Grapefruit Ginger Refresher

DSC_0382-RecoveredBet you guys have never been to a virtual baby shower!  Well, you’re at one today!  I am so excited to join with some of my online pals, The Creative Mamas, to throw a baby shower for two expectant ladies in our group of bloggers, Lacy of Living on Love and Carla of Small & Friendly!   We have been friends for while now, so it is a HUGE bummer not to throw a party in person for these ladies, but a virtual PAR-TAY is a close second, right?!

I’m so excited for these friends.  I miss having babies so much!  The snuggles, the cute faces, seeing a little human do something for the first time, and even the diapers.  I love it all.  I’m hoping to have another baby one day, whether from my husband and I or a little somebody who’s out there waiting for us somewhere.  We know that God blesses children to families in so many DIFFERENT ways.  The promise is sure, it can just be hard to see the “right” way for our own family sometimes.  Either way, waiting for a baby, filled with wonder and excitement, is a fun time.  So happy for you two!

Ok, so pretend you just walked into the party, I give you a huge hug, and offer you something tasty to drink.  Springtime is upon us and you’re excited for something to wake your Winter taste buds up, right?

This Ginger & Grapefruit drink is a lovely blend of fresh and energizing flavors, thanks to the slight zing of the ginger and grapefruit.  These two are a power couple, people.  Guests LOVE this drink.  The cute straws and flags on them are from one of my favorites, Minted.  I just peeled the flags off the paper and stuck them on the straws.  Instant cuteness without hours of cutting.

Grapefruit Ginger Refresher

2 ounces of fresh grapefruit juice

1 ounce ginger simple syrup

Sparkling water or club soda, to fill the glass

Grapefruit slices, for garnish

For the drink:

Measure the grapefruit juice and simple syrup in a glass or mason jar.  Add club soda until the glass is almost filled.  Add the grapefruit slice and serve.

For the simple syrup:

In a pot, combine 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, and 1 “knob of fresh ginger, sliced.  Cook until the sugar is dissolved.  Cool before mixing in the drink.

20140311-DSC_0350-RecoveredDSC_0366-RecoveredDSC_0374-RecoveredDSC_0341_2-RecoveredEnjoy your baby shower, Lacy and Carla! ;)

For more baby shower fun, check out my friend’s posts:

imagine gnats / Casa CraftyMade / With Moxie / Hideous! Dreadful! Stinky!
petit a petit and family / Rajovilla / Kids Stuff World / Elsie Marley / Buzzmills
A Golden Afternoon / My Life at Playtime / Salsa Pie / this heart of mine


Dating my husband: A #1 Podcast!

20140218-DSC_81831As a couple, it’s always been important for us to keep learning and growing with each other.  We always laugh about how little we knew about each other when we were first married.  You have to start somewhere, right?

A few weeks ago we were able to take a trip to Portland, Oregon where we took a fishing adventure on the Willamette to catch some sturgeon.  It was raining and gorgeous. I really wanted to go fishing my Ed because this is something he REALLY loves.  I need to do more of the things that HE loves.  There is so much more to see and enjoy in life when your best friend is by your side.

Sooo, this is kinda crazy guys.  My husband just started this fishing show on iTunes.  In one day, it is the #1 fishing show, #1 outdoor show, and #37 of ALL shows on itunes, beating shows like Suze Orman, Dave Ramsey, Joyce Meyers, and a bunch of popular radio shows like ESPN!  Amazing, right?  He’s worked so hard on this show with his fishing friend Paul Moritz.

I’m so proud of him.

I want to show my support for him by asking my friends and readers HERE to download the podcast from itunes and get this show to #1!  Yay!  Can you guys PLEASE help me?! You might become a fishing convert in the process! ;)

Click this link now to go download and share with the men on your life (or women, if they love to fish)!!!

Download here!

Thanks, friends!


Homemade Lip Balm: Burt’s Bees Copycat

DSC_0004 copyYou asked how my new recipe went last week so here are the results…LOVE IT!

Burt’s Bees.  Some of us have used it since high school or even before.  It was a staple in our purses and pockets.  Then those meanies went and changed the recipe and the formula just never felt that same smooth and super tingly way again.  Did that happen to you too?  Last year I tried a few copycat recipes with no success.  One was too hard.  One was too soft.  They both had no peppermint zing to them AT ALL.  Minty lip balm…maybe?  Burt’s Bees wannabee? Nope.

I know that it’s not possible to claim an exact replica because I’d have to have a lab and well, I just have a kitchen with a sleeping pug in it.  This is the closest I’ve come to a matched recipe and I’m super happy with it.  I’d love to hear your feedback to help us all get closer to a lip balm that has only a couple of pure, whole ingredients and is SUPER easy to make in bulk or as a gift!  The ingredients on the Burt’s Bees chap-stick state that they use sunflower oil, but I opted for the more nourishing jojoba oil.  I use round metal tins from Specialty Bottle or sliding ones from SKS Bottle instead of filling plastic tubes because we try to be a plastic-free household.  The round tins were only 42 cents! Sticking your finger in a tin isn’t as easy, but you can actually apply this balm to most areas of your body, so the tin is actually quite handy!

One of the MANY reasons I love making my own body care products is getting to choose my own scents and healing options with essential oils.  I have used essential oils for a long time but I am CONSTANTLY finding new ways to incorporate them.  If you have been curious about how essential oils can improve your health or maybe just provide you with pure and natural scent options, PLEASE see my friend Lynsey’s wellness page on IG here to see practical ways they can help or go buy an essential oil starter kit from her here.  That kit is a great option if you want to take the next step to improve your health.  You will NOT regret it, friends.  End soapbox.  haha

If you’ve never made lip balm, it’s SO EASY!  You just…

measure and melt!

Homemade Peppermint Lip Balm

(Burt’s Bees copycat)

3 Tablespoons beeswax, chopped off the whole block with a knife

3 Tablespoons organic coconut oil

2 tablespoons jojoba oil

1/2 teaspoon lanolin

several drops vitamin E oil, optional

60 drops organic peppermint essential oil

10 drops organic rosemary essential oil

raw honey, optional (add a touch at the end for some sweetness)

beet powder, optional

Metal tins (I got my round ones here and my sliding ones here)

Labels (I used these Rifle Paper Company stickers…my sister’s idea ;))

Melt all of the ingredients (except the essential oils and beet powder) over medium heat in a double-boiler (or heat-safe bowl on top of a small saucepan with 1/2 inch of water in the pan).  When all of the ingredients are melted, turn off the heat, then add the essential oils.  60 drops totally sounds like a lot, but if you want that Burt’s tingle, you need to use all 60 or even more if you dare! To test the strength of the mint or the feel of the balm, let a little dab dry on your counter (tastes 10 seconds!) and take it for a test drive.  Pour the mixture into tins, using a measuring cup, until they are almost full.  Let them set overnight, but they really only take about an hour to cool all the way.

For color: If you desire color, add about 3 Tablespoons of beet powder to your mixture.  If you desire more color, add more beet powder.  It will seem like you’re adding a lot of powder but let me assure you…it won’t taste like beets and the color doesn’t saturate as well as you’d think! ;)  The powder doesn’t fully dissolve, so you are left with small grains of beet, but if you are truly desiring NATURAL color, this is the only way to go that I’m aware of.

Methods/Ingredients I see in a LOT of recipes that haven’t worked for me…so far:

Extra lanolin.  Dude…this stuff tastes bad so too much is no.bueno.  It might keep winter dryness away but you’ll lose your taste buds in the process. Ick.

Shea Butter.  Tried it a few times and didn’t like that it makes the balm less smooth.  Who wants a sticky lip balm?  I thought so.  I’ve tried using only a little, but at that point it just becomes an extra ingredient so why bother.

Beeswax that doesn’t smell like honey.  I mean…that just doesn’t make sense.

Less ingredients.  I’ve tried recipes with less ingredients but the consistency is not what I look for in a balm…too goop-y.

Large quantities at a time.  Before you make 75 tins of lip balm, make half or even a quarter of the recipe so you can see if it works for you.  Not all lips are created equal.  Just sayin’.

Adding lipstick for tint.  Natural lip balm becomes unnatural when you add lipstick.  I don’t understand why people do that.

Have fun and enjoy!

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NEW Cricut Explore cutting machine!

1920568_587132674694642_1668692810_n(1)Today is the day!

The new Explore machine from Cricut is going up for sale at MIDNIGHT EST on HSN!

Remember, this is the ridiculously amazing machine I posted about before that cuts fabric, felt, vinyl, and faux-leather!

There are no settings you have to mess with, so many projects are done within a few minutes, and you can upload your own design! Yippee!

Buy HERE now! I can’t wait to get started on my projects.  I got to play around with this machine and my mind went crazy with ideas.

Who’s getting one of the first releases tonight?!

Soaking in the Good Days

IMG_4119Faith requested school at the park today. She made lunch, packed it, got the bikes in the car. Kinda couldn’t say no after that, right? I was able to get all of our reading, history, and science done with ease. Today was a reminder to think on these good days instead of all of the frustrating ones I let creep into my mind sometimes.

I need these reminders often, don’t you?

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