Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Homemade Eye Serums & Gels

Experimenting with homemade face & skin care recipes can be fun, especially when, after much research & trial & error you FINALLY find THE perfect recipe for your particular skin type. It's always so satisfying to not only know & be able to pronounce everything in your skin care, but to be able to make it yourself & save oodles of $money$. And . . . it does exactly what you wanted it to do!

Face washes, masks & facial moisturizer recipes are relatively easy to make & recipes abound, but sometimes it can be hard to find a really good eye moisturizer recipe. I think I've found 3 really good ones ~ 1 for dry, 1 for normal & 1 for oily skin-types.

One of best things I learned from having been a make-up artist for 17 years (yeeeeaaaars ago!) was the difference between moisturizing & GREASE! Greasy moisturizers DO NOT make a good moisturizer. Actually, greasy products can cause more harm than good. As we age, our skin not only loses elasticity, but it loses moisture, too. If you try to supply your skin w/moisture w/a greasy product, not only do those products clog up your pores, but by clogging your pores NOTHING GETS IN . . . it sits on top of your skin or smears onto your pillow (ICK) & then gets clogged even further into your pores. Not a pretty picture. And the cherry on top is that these greasy products are generally very heavy on your skin & weighs it down . . . now, since gravity is not an aging woman's best friend, that may be another reason why you may want to rethink your eye care. The eye area is the FIRST place to age on a woman's face (unless you are/were a smoker, then it's a tie w/the upper lip area) b/c the under-eye area produces no oil.

So, if your skin is dry or 'normal', you want something made w/a light-weight oil. If you have a more 'normal' or oily skin you will want an "oil blend" that makes a very light-weight "serum" OR a gel. Oily skins should always look for either a serum or something w/a gel base. With serums & gels, a little bit goes a long way! Yet another reason to love them!

The best way to use & store oil-based skin care products is to put them in either an old, clean essential oil bottle w/the dripper top; or you can buy new ones at most health food stores. You can also use a bottle w/a squeeze-type dropper, but the essential oil-type bottles work best for what we want here ~ smaller drops. Gel products store well in small jars w/a good, tight screw-on lid.

Choose the recipe, below, that fits your skin-type. Even though the eye area doesn't produce oil, you still need to pick the correct one for your over-all skin-type because, simple put: gravity works. :-/ Also, DO NOT apply anything oily onto your eye-LID, it may cloud your vision & can ruin your contacts.

If you don't have any used dropper bottles, jars, or any of the other ingredients, you can find them at most health food stores. When you try these, let me know how well you like them!

~1 oz. jojoba oil
~5 drops chamomile essential oil
~5 drops rose essential oil

1) Combine all ingredients, shake well to blend & again before each use
2) Use 1 drop for each eye; apply below eye & on brow area

**NOTE** Substituting the jojoba oil with grape seed oil will make this recipe suitable for oilier skin-types.

~you will need either a 1-1/2 or 2 oz essential oil bottle OR a dropper-type bottle
~3 TB jojoba oil
~1 TB grapeseed oil
~5 drops lavender essential oil
~3 drops Roman chamomile essential oil

~2 drops bergamot essential oil

1) Combine all ingredients, shake well to blend & again before each use
2) Use 1 drop for each eye; apply below eye & on brow at bedtime
3) Drier skins can also use this on entire face


~1 TB aloe vera gel
~1 ts fresh cucumber juice
~1/4 ts corn starch
~1 TB witch hazel

1) Mix aloe, cucumber & corn starch; heat in microwave for 1 minute
2) Stir in witch hazel & let cool entirely
3) Once it gels, put it in a clean jar (about 1 oz size)
4) Dab around eye area

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Give-a-Way at Homestead Revival!!!

Amy, at Homestead Revival, is having a give-a-way. She's giving away "Home Dairy" by Ashley English!!! You can enter HERE!

I would LOVE to win this so that I can learn to make different cheeses & yogurts. Yummmm.

Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

Word-Filled Wednesday ~#23~ 3/30/11

Are There Any Righteous Here?

PASSAGE: "Then the LORD said, 'The outcry against Sodom & Gomorrah is so great & their sin so grievous . . .'

'. . . Then Abrahan approached Him & said: 'Will You sweep away the righteous w/the wicked? What if there are 50 righteous people in the city? Will You really sweep it away & not spare the place for the sake of the 50 righteous people in it? Far be it from You to do such a thing - to kill the righteous w/the wicked, treating the righteous & the wicked alike. Far be it from You! Will not the Judge o
f all the earth do right?'

"The LORD said, 'If I find 50 righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake,'

". . . what if the number of the righteous is 5 less than 50? . . ."

"'If I find 45 there,' He said, "I will not destroy it'. . .

". . . What if . . . ?"

". . . For the sake of 40 . . ."

". . . What if . . . ?"

". . . if I find 30 there. . ."

". . . What if . . . ?"

". . . For the sake of 20. . ."

". . . What if only 10 can be found there?'

"He answered, "For the sake of 10, I will not destroy it."

~~Selected verses from Genesis 18:20-32 [all emphasis mine, KW<><]

"They think it strange that yo
u do not plunge w/them into the same flood of dissipation, & they heap abuse on you. But they will have to give account to Him Who is ready to judge the living & the dead." ~~ I Peter 4:4-5

LESSON LEARNED: Sometimes, I feel as though I live in Sodom. So much sin all around. And what's worse is that it seems that the more base, the more foul the sin the better accepted it is. Bad has become good, & good has become bad. I think of Abraham, Lot & even Noah [2 Peter 5:2-9] & how hard it must have been for them to have been the only people trying to live righteously & pass their beliefs down to their families in that culture. We have a hard enough time now trying to keep our children - whether young or young adults - on the path of righteousness; how hard it is to keep those tempting tentacles of sin away from our own lives, much less our children's.

But God promised Abraham that IF there were only 10 righteous people in that entire city that He would spare them. TEN PEOPLE! If the Lord made the same promise to you today, would He be able to find those 10 people in our town? Among our Christian brothers & sisters? Our families?

Even as Christians we fail, we sin. But in Christ we have access to the very Throne of God & can ask for His forgiveness in a way that even Abraham couldn't do. In these days of uncertainty let us be a beacon of hope, a people who have Jesus as our Standard. Let us be a part of the cure & not the problem. Let US be a part of The Ten!

Come & join Nancy at A Country Mom & I, if you are not already participating! Each Wednesday, we dig into the Word of God & share what we are leaning. All you have to do is share a passage you have read during your devotions, share the lesson you have learned from the Lord & then connect with others who are doing the same & comment on their blogs. Let's learn from the Lord & each other.

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook ~#116~ 3/29/11

For Today . . .

Outside my window . . .
a little gray w/some rain clouds moving in. The Mourning Doves (a.k.a. Rain Crows) are calling in the rain & we have a twitterpated couple of Red-Bellied Woodpeckers hammering away at our & our neighbors' trees.

I am thinking . . . how happy I am w/my new glasses. Just got the 2nd pair of my "get 2 pair for $99" special. The 1st pair to come in are a sorta-kinda trendy pair that are brownish plastic tops w/clear bottoms & this 2nd pair are simple little black wire-frames. It's so nice to have my bi-focals back!

I am thankful for . . .
MY HUBBIE'S NEW JOB!!!! Praise the Lord from Whom ALL blessings flow!!! He found out that he finally got a job (it's been a looong 2 yrs), it's 1-1/2 hrs away but we just can't complain b/c there is NOTHING around here.

From the kitchen . . .
bread in the oven, smells so good. I'm just going to make myself an egg sandwich since there's no one home but me.

I am wearing . . .
jeans, black shirt.

I am remembering . . .
when I didn't have to do my housework in such a hurry, before I had to go back to working outside my home. I enjoyed taking my time a little more than I get to now.

I am hoping . . .
for continued answered prayer.

I am creating . . .
a peaceful, Christ-centered home ~ a nest & place of rest for my family, a place of comfort & trust for our friends, & a place where those who don't know Christ will be drawn closer to him.

I am hearing . . . radio, a little wind, myself chomping on a little ice.

I am noticing . . .
that I'm getting a little pain at the back of 1 of my arches, next to my heel. It needs to go away . . . soon. :-/

Around the house . . .
general tidying, laundry, some baking; went to the Old Order farm & got milk & brown eggs yesterday, went to the bulk food store this morning & already put away my goods.

One of my favorite things . . . driving through the country & passing Old Order folks in their buggies.

Plans for this week . . .
family time, work, worship practice, Sunday worship w/the saints!

Pondering these words . . .
"Life is full of decisions, be willing to live with the consequences."

Scripture thought . . . ~ Gal. 6:4 & 14 ~ "Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, w/o comparing himself to somebody else . . . May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, & I to the world."

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you . . .

A Red-Bellied Woodpecker ~ this is the kind of woodpecker we have in our trees.

Read 100's of other Daybooks at Peggy's Simple Woman's Daybook!

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Difference Between Herbs & Spices

{The first year I grew lavender}

One of my favorite reference books is The Encyclopedia of Country Living by the late Carla Emery. She was simply a wealth of good, practical, usable knowledge.

Have you ever thought of the difference between an herb & a spice? I hadn't really given it any thought until I recently re-read a portion of her book. In her chapter on "Herbs & Flavorings", she shares great advice about the difference . . .

"Herbs" are the leaves or other parts of the aromatic plants grown in the temperte zone. "Spices" are the stems, leaves, roots, seeds, flowers, buds, or bark of aromatic plants grown in the tropics . . .
  • Culinary Herbs: basil, bay leaf, caraway, chives, mint, parsley, rosemary, sage, tarragon
  • Stronger seasoning herbs: capers, dandelion, garlic, horseradish, hot pepper, mustard, nasturtium
  • Decorative herbs: bergamot, lovage, rose, rosemary, tansy
  • Scented herbs: chamomile, scented geranium, lavender, marigold, mint, patchouli, rose, rue, thyme
  • Medicinal herbs: anise, horehound, hyssop, feverfew
  • Herbs that are natural pesticides: pennyroyal, pyrethrum
  • Herbs that thrive in containers: garlic, parsley, thyme, tarragon, marjoram, oregano, chives, mints, winter savory, geranium, bay leaf
  • Edible flowers: marigold, lemon mint, borage, nasturtium, bean, chrysanthemum, cucumber, rose, squash [including pumpkin], violet

{Some of my grown & dried herbs, spices & herb mixes}

You can also grow herbs for dyeing, making cosmetics, or attracting bees that make exotic flavors of honey . . .Unlike spices, herbs can be used fresh from the garden because we temperate-zone dwellers can grow them ourselves. You can plant herbs in a border around your vegetable garden or give them a plot of their own. Kitchen herbs fit nicely into about a 3x5-foot area, ideally outside near your back, or kitchen, door! Herbs are grown in solid patches jammed up against each other rather than in rows like a vegetable garden, so you get lots for your space. Some herbs are enthusiastic self-spreaders, but wood, stone, or metal edging keeps them within your chosen bounds and can also serve as little footpaths of stones or slate. Some herbs you can start from seed, but many are propagated by division or layering. Some are temperate-zone perennials, but many do best if you bring them in for the winter. Some do fine in an ongoing window box or container setting. For hers in the house, a southern-facing window in a coolish room is ideal.

{More of my own spices}

When I first took the step of taking my window herbs outside & beginning a little kitchen herbs garden, Carla's words of advice were my "courage in a book." Something I also found out is that herbs grow almost anywhere! For some, it seems that they even grow best in "unhealthy", un-taken-care-of ground! So, even if you don't have a green thumb, but have always wanted to grow SOMETHING, especially something that will benefit your family & your food . . . herbs are a great place for you to start!

{Drying my echinacea, lavender, rosemary & sage}

So, go look for those herb seeds or starter plants, say a little prayer & watch in amazement as your plants take off & you enjoy that fresh rosemary for your chicken, fresh cilantro for your homemade salsa/pico de gallo, herbs for your own teas & sage that you grew yourself in this fall's Thanksgiving stuffing!

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><

Friday, March 25, 2011

Homemade Medicinal Tea Mixes

I know that spring is coming and we are all thinking of warmer weather and signs of new life, but some of us are also thinking of planting or transplanting herbs on our window sills or in our outdoor herb gardens!
Some that we plant will be for medicinal use, some will double for other things and some will simply be for . . . tea! Something you might want to think about, as you are choosing your herbs, are your favorite tea blends. Why not brew your own from herbs your have grown yourself? It's so easy! 
All you need is a good tea ball, or infuser, or do-it-yourself tea bags and fresh or dried herbs.

{This looks like one of mine}

There are some great store-bought teas that I enjoy using (one of my favorites is Traditional Medicinals) but I also like to make my own from some of the herbs I grow. When I make my own, I sometimes use my old tea ball. There are other tea balls/infusers that are everything from practical - wire mesh ~ to whimsical - floating ducks w/holes in the bottom to let the herbs do their magic. 
There's even a really neat one we sell at the health food store that is simply a mesh 'basket' for the herbs w/a ring around the top that sits on top of your tea cup! So cute! {See below . . . }

It is SO simple to make your own tea mixes . . . after looking at some of my recipes - some gathered over the last few years, some of my own - you will probably come up with some ideas of your own family. :-) NOTE: I personally enjoy hot teas more than iced teas and I use hot teas for medicinal purposes, too, so these recipes are best used for hot teas. 

**PLEASE NOTE** New tea blends will be added as discovered. Bookmark this page and then stop back from time-to-time and see what's new!!


~1" knob of ginger
~hot water

~1-2 cinnamon sticks
~1 ts. whole cloves
~1 TB. honey 

1) Peel ginger, finely grate 2-3 TB (*depending upon your taste buds, or if you are preparing this for someone w/a cold or sinus infection).
2) Place ginger and cloves into the ball/infuser, place cinnamon stick into cup or mug of hot water, let steep for 5-10 minutes until
it is as strong as you like it.
3) Add honey while tea is still hot so that it will melt and blend well.

**This is a great cold/sinus tea.


~2 ts. chamomile flowers
~2 ts. lavender flowers
~hot water

1) Add flowers to tea ball/infuser, place in hot water, let steep for 5-10 minutes.

2) Add honey while tea is still hot for a better blend.
**Recommended before bed or to relieve stress. Ahhhh . . . This tea is also good for up-set stomach, a digestion aid, headache
s and migraines, it's also a good breath freshener! Good for menstrual cramps.


~1 TB dried peppermint OR 2 TB fresh peppermint
~Hot water

~Honey, if needed

1) Add peppermint to tea ball/infuser, place in hot water, let steep for 5-10 minutes.
2) Add honey while tea is hot, IF you need it. Most of the time, I don't. 

**Peppermint tea is good for relaxation, digestion and to cause perspiration to aid in reducing fevers. 


~1 TB dried and crumbled sage leaves
~1 ts. Chamomile (optional)

~1/2 ts. lemon zest OR a big squirt of real lemon juice (I get those plastic lemons w/real juice)
~hot water

1) Add sage and lemon zest to tea ball/infuser (OR squirt the juice directly into the tea cup/mug), add hot water; steep for 5-10 minutes.
2) Add honey to taste while water is still hot. 

**Sage tea can be used for so much: it can be used to BOTH drink and
gargle for mouth sores and sore throats, it can be used as an astringent for oily skin (soak a cotton ball in it), it can be used as a rinse for grey and silver hair; there is also some evidence to show that it helps w/lowering blood sugar and even slows the on-set of Alzheimers! And you thought sage was JUST for cooking! '-)
{you will want to make a pot of this and drink it throughout the day}

~1-1/2 oz. dried goldenrod
~3/4 oz. dandelion root
~3/4 c. rosehips
~hot water 

**Either make a pot OR keep this mixture in an air-tight container and make a cup at a time by using about 2 ts for each cup, OR 3 ts per mug

**Goldenrod is very well known to help with nearly any urinary tract disorders. It flushes the kidneys, bladder, can help with stones and even thrush/Candida. Dandelion root is a gentle cleanse ~ you will often find that it is "just enough." Goldilocks would have LOVED it. :-) It is also one of the best, but for some reason one of the least used, sources of clean, non-constipating iron sources for women. Rosehips have more Vitamin C than citrus fruits and, thus, will raise the acidity of your urine which will kill the bacteria. **Important Note** While recovering from a ANY urinary tract infection, cut out ALL sugars . . . even honey for your tea.


~1/2 ts. dried ginger root
~1/2 ts. whole cloves
~1 ts. chamomile flowers
~hot water 

1) Add herbs to tea ball/infuser,
2) add hot water, steep for 5-10 minutes
3) only sweeten IF necessary 

**Ginger root is known all over the world as the go-to item for up-set stomachs and nausea. Clove and chamomile will help calm and relax; keeping your tummy from being tense will help heal and settle. 


~1 ts. fennel seeds
~hot water

1) Add fennel seeds to tea ball/infuser
2) add hot water, steep for 5-10 minutes
**If you prefer a mug rather than a cup, use 2 ts.


~1 ts. fennel seeds
~1/4-1/2 ts. fenugreek
~1/4 ts. blessed thistle
~1 star anise star-shaped bud
**this is a mug-sized serving**

1) Add herbs to tea ball/infuser
2) add hot water, steep for 5-10 minutes

**Fennel seeds have long been known to increase breast-milk production because it triggers the let-down reflex so that a baby may nurse. It is an anti-inflammatory, so in that way, it can relax and open up the milk ducts, especially if mama if having trouble expressing for a breast pump. Fenugreek can work fairly quick, especially when used with Blessed Thistle. Blessed Thistle is well known to relax and de-stress; also helps with anxiety and adrenal health. Spearmint is not only tasty, but will calm and allow an easier flow of milk. Star Anise is well known to stop colic in babies and young children.


~1/4 ts nettle
~1/4 ts peppermint
~1/2 ts chamomile

1) add herbs to tea ball/infuser
2) add hot water, steep for 5-10 minutes
3) add honey to taste

**This is probably my family's favorite tea blend. I originally started making it for THE Man and DD#2 for 3 purposes: 1) the nettle makes this a great tea for opening their sinuses and reducing night-time sneezing and stuffiness due to allergies, 2) the chamomile relaxes them and helps them to enjoy a peaceful sleep, 3) the peppermint helps their digestive tract to gently work while they sleep and gives it a slightly sweet taste; you may not even need the honey.   


~1 or 1-1/2 ts whole cloves

1) add cloves to a tea ball/infuser
2) steep for at least 10 minutes, but drink hot to very warm

**Cloves are renowned as an aid for toothaches, but many may not know that clove tea will give you a quick, restful sleep with the sweetest dreams. For toothaches, drink this tea hot and swish each sip over the effected tooth before swallowing.


~1/4 ts peppermint
~1/4 ts eucalyptus 
~1/4-1/2 ts dried orange peel
~1/4-1/2 ts whole cloves 
~1/2 ts chamomile (optional)

1) add herbs and orange peel to a tea ball/infuser
2) steep for at least 10 minutes
3) add honey, if desired

**This is another family favorite, especially me :-) This is one of those cozy blends that will not only open your breathing passages, but is just the right blend for those cold winter nights while you relax with a book or an old movie, or sit in front of the fireplace while you watch the snow fall outside your window. Add the chamomile for extra relaxation.


~1/4 ts peppermint
~1/4 ts eucalyptus
~1/4 ts licorice root
~1/2 ts slippery elm bark

1) add herbs to a tea ball/infuser
2) steep for at least 10 minutes
3) add honey, if desired

**This is a real two-for-one tea. 1) If you have a cold, the licorice root and slippery elm make a great throat coat-cough suppressant; 2) they are also two of the best ingredients to stop that little rumbly in the tumbly (as Winnie-the-Pooh would say) at those times when something just isn't digesting correctly and you want to STOP what's happening from turning into a long visit to the restroom. :-( 


~1 or 1-1/2 ts dandelion root

1) add herb to a tea ball/infuser
2) steep for at least 10 minutes

**This simple tea is one the the best gentle cleanses. If you need a gentle detox/cleanse, drink this tea 3 times a day for 3-4 days.


~5-6 whole cloves
~1/4 ts dried orange peel
~1/4 ts white willow bark
~1/8 ts chickweed
~1/8-1/4 ts nettle
~1/8-1/4 peppermint 

1) add herb to a tea ball/infuser
2) steep for at least 10 minutes

**White willow bark is a known pain reliever, especially good for headaches and joint pain. Chickweed also helps with minor pain relief, sore muscles, minor inflammation and light cleansing. Nettle opens up the sinuses and allows for good breathing, breathing well also helps with headaches and all-over comfort. Cloves help to relax and also makes this a good bed-time-headache-relief tea. Peppermint and orange peel not only help with digestion, but are just plain tasty in a tea. 


~1/2 ts licorice root  
~1/4 ts peppermint
~1/4 ts parsley
~1/2 yarrow
~1/4-1/2 ts chamomile
~1/4-1/2 ts white willow {**optional}
1) add herb to a tea ball/infuser
2) steep for at least 10 minutes

**Licorice root has been a well-known irritant healer since ancient Greek times. It soothes and calms ~ and heals ~ all sorts of inflammatory digestive ailments: ulcers, gastritis, stomach acid and GERD, canker sores. It also helps with other inflammatory problems such as: swollen joints, arthritis and vein health. Peppermint, as mentioned above, is well-known to aid with digestion. Parsley is highly nutritious and is often included in herbal/plant-based vitamin and mineral supplements. It also is an anti-inflammatory and helps with gout and arthritis and flushes wastes out of the body. Parsley may also bring on a period that's late due to illness. Yarrow is a known would healer and ointments made with this herb have seen used for centuries in Scotland and the UK for wounds and, as such, helps to heal ulcers as well. Yarrow is also known to help regulate periods, help with digestion and ~ adding just a ts to Baby's bottle or squirted into Baby's mouth with a dropper ~ can help with colic. Another anti-inflammatory, it can also help with hay fever, lower blood pressure and give relief for poor circulation. Chamomile (German) is everyone's go-to calmative, and we all know that anyone with an ulcer needs to stay calm. Chamomile also helps relieve spasms, thus helping calm ulcers. White Willow is for pain relief and may be used as an option for severe flair-ups.


~1/2-1 ts licorice root
~1/4 ts peppermint
~1/2 ts China green tea
~5+ jasmine flower buds (to taste)
~1/4 ts blessed thistle (optional)
**mug sized serving**

1) add herbs, tea and flowers to tea ball/infuser
2) steep in hot water for at least 10 minutes, longer if you need it to be stronger
3) drink as often as you can throughout the day

**This is basically a heavy metals detox tea. Your 2 main concerns when you quit smoking are calming cravings and detoxing the heavy metals that you've been putting into your system (FYI ~ I know, I quite smoking about 12 years ago and I WISH I had known about this tea, at that time). Short of going cold turkey and satiating your oral habit with food, thus gaining weight, this tea will help with something beneficial to put in your mouth. Some people can get by with just the Licorice Root, alone ~ by chewing it when they want to light-up, or with a tea. Licorice Root calms, aids with nervous digestion problems and sore throat that may come from the weaning process. Peppermint also helps with digestion, a breath sweetener ~ because most detoxes and cleanses can cause bad breath. China Green Tea will give you a boost in clean energy, anti-oxidants, and naturally contains the Amino Acid L-Theanine ~ a lovely, natural relaxant that your body recognizes and uses to the fullest to de-stress. Jasmine Flowers are another stress reliever with a light, pleasant taste. 


~1/2 ts German chamomile
~1/2 ts raspberry leaf
~1/2 ts peppermint

1) add herbs and flowers to tea ball/infuser
2) steep in hot water for at least 10 minutes, longer if you need it to be stronger
3) drink as often as you can throughout the day

**German chamomile is known world over to have a lovely calming effect. Raspberry leaf is also well-known to help with all sorts of women's issues through all stages of life. Peppermint helps with digestion. Good digestion, in itself, helps with relaxing.


~1/4 c. holy basil
~1/8 c. schisandra berries
~1/8-1/4 c. licorice root
~1/8 c. German chamomile
~tea ball/infuser
~glass jar, tea tin or other air-tight container
~small mixing bowl

**If I especially want this to be a "sleep well" blend, I add 
~1 heaping TB cloves
~1 ts orange peel

1) in a small mixing bowl, gently whisk all ingredients to blend; carefully pour into your air-tight container.
2) fill your tea ball/infuser with 1-1/2 ts of herbs for a mug-sized serving
3) pour hot water over the herb-filled tea ball/infuser and let steep for 10 minutes
4) take our tea ball/infuser, throw away used herbs and enjoy. You probably won't even want to "spoil" this comforting tea with honey.
5) keep what's left in you air-tight container handy for your next cup.

**Holy Basil, an adaptogenic herb, even all by itself, is of great benefit for adrenal glands. A real stress reliever. Schisandra berries, another adaptogenic, helps with stress, liver function, contains cancer-fighting lignans (as does flex seed oil), helps with menstrual cramps, improves brain function, helps with depression and even helps the sex drive. Licorice root calms and helps with sore throats. German chamomile is a sweet, gentle soother.   

Kim's Wellness Tea
My Wellness Tea is a blend that helps with everything from adrenals, to joint pain (remember, at the health food store, I'm on my feet ALL day), sinus/breath support, mood, light cleanse, and immunity building. I love it.

Milk Thistle is very well known for liver support and as a light cleanse. Taking care of your liver is very important, nearly everything that goes into your body is processed in some way through the liver. Chances are that if your brain, heart and liver are doing well, you are in good health.

Orange Peel is an excellent source of Vitamin C immunities and adds a touch of citrus flavor.

Fennel, although known to help with breast milk production, is good for everyone as a light cleanse, a relaxant, stops gas, bloating, stomach pain, kidney stones and canker sores.

Rooibus tea is becoming increasingly known for it's cancer fighting abilities, full of antioxidants, eases indigestion, adds minerals, helps with iron absorption.

White Willow Bark is very well known as a pain reliever, most notably for joints and headache.

Cloves are good for so much from that yummy warm, homey taste, teeth and gum health, and is good for calming you down like a long, deep breath. Drink clove tea before bed and you will sleep deep and dream wonderful dreams.

Passion Flower is one of the best calmatives around. Aids a peaceful mind and positive out-look, can stop that "racing heart" feeling in a stressful situation, it is even good for hysteria. Can be used in a tea for adults and children.

Holy Basil is one a of the best adaptogen herbs. I take this either in a tea or capsule form everyday for my adrenal health. Wonderful for mood, stress, regulates body temperature (if you have a fever), improves over-all vitality and the ability to cope with stressful situations with a cool head, helps with fevers, lowers blood pressure, normalizes blood sugar and can help clear respiratory illnesses from colds, flu, bronchitis to pleurisy.

Nettle is one of the best herbs for respiratory issues, especially allergies. It is an anti-inflammatory and opens up your sinuses so you can breath deeply and clearly.

Peppermint/Spearmint are great for digestion and breath support. Take your pick as to which one you want to use for your personal tea blend, I switch back and forth. I do, however, think that spearmint is a little more flavorful.

Olive Leaf is one of the best immunity builders. Many people take olive leaf ~ either in liquid or softgel ~ during cold and flu season. Olive leaf is also lightly cleansing, is good for blood pressure and your whole circulatory system and is good for your skin.

Normally, I give you nearly exact amounts of ingredients, but with this blend, use nearly equal measures of each ingredient and just use a pinch to a handful ~ depending upon whether you are making a cup, a mug or enough for a pot.


  Some of my medicinal tea herbs
You will need:

~milk thistle
~dried orange peel
~fennel seeds
~white willow bark
~whole cloves
~passion flower
~holy basil
~peppermint OR spearmint
~olive leaf (dried and crumbled)


1) simply load your tea ball, infuser or make-it-yourself tea bag with the herbs
2) steep for 10 minutes for a cup or mug, or for 15 minutes for a pot
3) sip as often as you like, use local honey for extra immunity building and yummy taste, if desired.

Girlie Tea 
This has become such an often requested blend by our youngest daughter, that I make up a good-sized batch and store it in a little canning jar. That way, all I need to do is take out about 1-1/2 ts per mug-sized serving, heat the water, steep and comfort is on the way.

Red Raspberry Leaf is one of the best known "women's herbs" around. Many women take it in preparation for childbirth, as it helps to lower the pains of labor and helps for a smoother delivery of the placenta. (Start drinking raspberry leaf tea about 3 weeks before you are due.) And since it works so well to calm labor pains, it also helps tremendously with menstrual cramps.

White Willow Bark is very well known as a general pain reliever; most notably for joints, headache and fevers.

Nettle is one of the best herbs for respiratory issues, especially allergies. It is an anti-inflammatory and opens up your sinuses so you can breath deeply and clearly. And as an anti-inflammatory, it helps with minor swelling of the uterus and smooth blood flow.

Dandelion Root is a great gentle cleanse and detox. What many people don't know it that dandelion root is one the very BEST sources of non-constipating iron. Since there is blood loss during one's menses, women can lose quite a bit of iron. If you normally suffer from low iron, consider drinking a couple mugs of dandelion tea everyday. 

St. John's Wort is one of the best known herbs for depression and anxiety. But what you may not know is that it's also good for stiff joints, shingles/chicken pox, sore muscles, menopause symptoms, insomnia. **NOTE** This herb CAN interact with certain meds, reducing their effectiveness. Make sure you do your own homework, or just leave this one out.**

Passion Flower is one of the best calmatives around. Aids a peaceful mind and positive out-look, can stop that "racing heart" feeling in a stressful situation, it is even good for hysteria.

Scullcap, to me, is right up there with passion flower; PLUS it is an excellent nerve tonic. It helps with everything from panic attacks to migraine headaches, depression, anxiety, stress, and is an antispasmodic, which helps with menstrual cramps and muscle aches.  

You Will Need:

Large 3-fingured pinches of:
~red raspberry leaf
~white willow bark
~dandelion root
~St. John's wort
~passion flower
~small mixing bowl
~small canning jar or other air-tight container
~tea ball/infuser


1) in the mixing bowl, whisk together all of the herbs
2) store in canning jar/container
3) use approximately 1 ts per cup, 1-1/2 ts per mug
4) pour hot water over your tea ball/infuser, let steep for 10-15 minutes

PLEASE let me know how you have enjoyed any of these blends. 

**If you would like to learn how to make your own tea bags, instead of using a tea ball or infuser, click HERE**

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><

**See the obligatory disclaimer at the bottom of this page** 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Mushroom & Stuffing Chicken

Here is a tried & true family favorite. I don't think I have made this since I had to return to work outside my home last year, so since I was off yesterday, I thought I'd treat my family's taste buds to something they haven't had for a long time. The response was just what I had wanted it to be. :-)

{Google Photo}

Here it is, simply & easy (my favorite combination! lol) . . .

You will need:

~4-6 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
~2 boxes of Stovetop Stuffing (I use either Herb or Sage & then I add some of my home grown dried sage crumbled into it, about 1/4 c. of finely chopped carrots &, at times, a little diced celery)
~2 cans of cream of mushroom soup (I use Campbell's)
~13"x9" baking pan


1) Preheat oven to 400*
2) Brown the chicken breasts. I fry them in olive oil & I like to sprinkle a little Spike seasoning & my own herb mix on them while they are frying so that they are not so plain.
3) While chicken is frying, prepare the stuffing mix - don't forget to add any extras, mentioned above, that you may want.
4) When chicken & stuffing are ready, spread the contents of 1 can of cream of mushroom soup on the bottom of a 13"x9" pan, arrange chicken breasts into 2 rows, on each side of pan, fill the space between the rows of chicken w/the stuffing.
5) Pour the contents of the 2nd can of soup over the chicken & stuffing, sprinkle w/a little paprika.
6) Bake for 15 minutes COVERED w/aluminum foil & 10 minutes UNcovered.
7) Enjoy!

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Pioneer Story

"The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie with the goat, the calf & the lion & the yearling together; and a little child shall lead them." ~ Isaiah 11:6

". . . but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children." ~ I Thess. 2:7

A few years ago, when we were still homeschooling, we were studying the Pioneer Era. Of course, any excuse to watch PBS's "Frontier House" series is good w/me! But I also checked out a few books on the subject; one such book was "Pioneer Women" by Linda Peavy & Ursula Smith (consultants on the Frontier House project). While reading it, I came across a story that really touched my heart . . .

I hope you don't find this morbid, but once you have lost a child, the story of others who have lost catch your attention. There is an odd comfort in numbers.

Unfortunately, a sad but common occurrence on the frontier was the death of mothers & children ~ usually, mothers were lost in childbirth. In a chapter entitled "Behind Closed Doors", Peavy & Smith deal w/this very issue. I found this story so sad, yet so precious . . .

"When Oregon pioneer Martha Gay Masterson’s little son Freddie died after a sudden and brief illness, the family buried the boy in a place where he loved to play, so that ‘the little birds he loved in life sang their evening songs over his grave.’ His little playmates ‘came loaded with lovely white flowers’ which were strewn over his grave. Only a day or so before he grew ill, Masterson had cut his curls for the first time, and asked what should be done with the ringlets, Freddie had answered, ‘You take one curl, Mama, then I will put the others out by the big tree and the birds can have them to build their nests.’ Busy with her work, Masterson did not follow him outside and had all but forgotten the incident until late in the fall when one of her daughters called her outside to see a bird’s nest she’d found. There in the tangled mass of sticks were little Freddie’s golden curls. Twenty-one years later, Masterson still had that little nest."

Isn't the Lord good?! How meaningful & precious it must have been to that family to be assured that the Lord loved their little Freddie so much as to grant his wishes ~ & to make sure that the family knew that He did. What comfort in their grief. I'm sure that meant more than words could ever have expressed. I hope someone in their family line still has that little nest.

As mothers & keepers of our homes, I am hoping that something of me ~ as the Lord has led me ~ is woven into the walls & nooks & crannies of our home.

What is it that you leave behind? Something to think about.

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><

Homeschool Objectors ~ Why So Afraid?

{Originally written 5/2008}

(1 Peter 4:4-5) – “They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. But they will have to give account to Him Who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

I knew from the moment I heard about homeschooling that that was the choice for my future family! I knew how government schools had damaged my life, my self-perception, the negative influence of peer- and teacher-pressure that nearly ruined my life; the shock of finding out, as I lived out in the world, the difference between real truth and the revisionist science and history we were force-fed in school. Coming to terms with the fact that NO WHERE ELSE in my life would everything be provided for me in one building…that NO WHERE ELSE in my life would I spend the day locked in a building with only those of my own age…that NO WHERE ELSE in my life would there be someone to spoon-feed information – true or false – into my mind as a member of a captive audience where freedom of thought and creativity was disallowed.

Was THAT really the REAL world?!

We were forced to stunt our mental and emotional growth by spending 12+ years in a false environment. It was bad enough when I went to school…it was worse when I saw my beloved niece grow up knowing all the in’s and out’s of “the system” so that her parents hands were nearly tied and they lived in fear when they needed to discipline her. And every time I go to a mall, movie theaters, a carnival, or to a park, I see for myself that the failed social, mock-educational “project” of the John Dewey’s and Horace Mann’s of the world and other elitists who envisioned a state (government) educational system that would raise “good little soldiers for the state.”

Here’s something to chew on from Chris Klicka’s excellent book, The Right Choice: Home Schooling. Did anyone ever tell you this?:

“…[E]ducation is the transmission of basic skills and values to the next generation. It is inescapably religious, and it cannot be neutral…How we educate our youth, therefore, is crucial for the future of our nation…The training of our minds ultimately affects all our action in this life…Taking place at this moment is a major battle for our children’s minds. This is a philosophical battle which has significant spiritual ramifications. The battle for our children’s minds is being waged by those who have a Christian mind-set (requiring the teaching of Scripture as the basis of all knowledge), and the humanists (who believe man is the measure of all things)….education is never neutral. Someone’s values will be applied to each and every subject…The humanists’ goal, as envisioned by many of the founders and present operators of the public school system, is to use education to manipulate and control masses of students…Today, we see the direct ‘cause and effect’ of the public school system on our youth and our nation…State education, as we know it today, did not begin to exist in the United States until the 1840s in Massachusetts. It was not until the early 1900s that state education became widespread. As a result, by the early 1900s the authority and responsibility of education shifted from the parents to the state. This shift was the beginning of the decaying process of American education…Horace Mann, called ‘the father of public education,’ led the crusade to establish a public school system throughout the country…He wanted to establish ‘a new religion, with the state as its true church, and education as its Messiah’.’ [Emphasis mine.]

Would you like to know what these founders of modern public/government education think about God and your family as pertains to their educational goals?

John Dewey: “Faith in the prayer-hearing God is an unproved and outmoded faith. There is no God and there is no soul. Hence, there are no needs for the props of traditional religion. With dogma and creed excluded, the immutable truth is also dead and buried. There is no room for fixed, natural law or moral absolutes.” [John Dewey, “Soul-Searching,” Teacher Magazine, Sept. 1933, p. 33.]

Paul Blanshard (author of The Humanist magazine): “I think that the most important factor moving us toward a secular society has been the educational factor. Our schools may not teach Johnny to read properly, but the fact that Johnny is in school until he is 16 tends to lead toward the elimination of religious superstition.” [Paul Blanshard, “Three Cheers for Our Secular State,” The Humanist, March/April 1976, p. 17 ~~Emphasis mine.]

John Dunphy (another writer for The Humanist): “The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new – the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism.” [John Dunphy, The Humanist, Jan./Feb. 1983]

How about Dr. John Goodland in his report to the National Education Agency: “Our goal is behavioral change. The majority of our youth still hold to the values of their parents and if we do not resocialize them to accept change, our society may decay.” [Dr. John Goodland, from the report “Schooling for the Future.”]

Now here are two of my “favorites.” First, from Harvard Professor Dr. Pierce in a speech delivered to over 2,000 teachers at a seminar in Denver, CO: Every child in America entering school at the age of 5 is mentally ill because he comes to school with certain allegiances toward our founding fathers, toward our elected officials, toward his parents, toward a belief in a supernatural being, toward the sovereignty of this nation as a separate entity. It’s up to you teachers to make all of these sick children well by creating the international children of the future.” [Chester M. Pierce, 1973 International Education Seminar; Denver, CO ~~Emphasis mine.]

Secondly, a past state superintendent of California (from 1863-1868), John Swett, helped form the government schools. Here’s a tell-tale quote from him: “Children arrived at the age of maturity belong, not to the parents, but to the state, to society, to the country.” [John Swett, History of the Public School System of California, p. 113]

Why do government school agencies – the NEA, in particular – and others involved with our failing public/government school systems fear the GOD-GIVEN power of parents to properly educate their children? Because they know that we are raising future family leaders…future moms and dads who will actually teach their children the truths they were taught in OUR homeschools. We are raising future political leaders…future college educators…future pastors and missionaries…and those who are just plain happy with their life! Those who will influence society for the good.

In his research study, Homeschooling Grows Up, Dr. Brain Ray (National Home Education Research Institute) found that “over 74% of home-educated adults ages 18-24 have taken college-level courses, compared to 46% of the general U.S. population.” Civic involvement: “…76% of homeschool graduates…between ages 18-24 voted within the last 5 years, compared to only 29% of the relevant U.S. population…” Older homeschool grads were even more active “with voting levels not falling below 95% compared to a high of 53%…” With 73% of the more than 7,300 homeschool grads who were surveyed said that they were “very happy” or “pretty happy” with their lives! According to Dr. Ray’s study, homeschool grads are more content and happier with their lives with 95% of them being glad they were homeschooled and with 74% of those having children 5 or over homeschooling THEIR families!

I’d say that our homeschooled children ARE a threat to the bogus, damaging effects of the government schools that we have worked so hard to escape. And rightly so. Yes, someone somewhere will bring up some mal-adjusted homeschool family that they’ve heard of, but NEVER on the scale or severity of what is suffered by so many children and teens in the government schools. But when they can’t dispute the well socialized people or the excellent education that homeschoolers receive, then they have to attack us personally. And we thought we left the bullies behind when we left government schools. At least for now they can’t come into our homes…unless they are invited.

Keep them home where they belong! They are the hope of our future.

Blessings from Ohio, Kim Wolf<><

Related Posts with Thumbnails