Take your tacos to a new level of nourishment with this homemade taco seasoning. Learn how to give an extra herbal health boost where you didn’t even think of…Taco Tuesday! #letseatsmarter Continue reading
Lately, we have been experiencing a lot of aches and pains in my house. The cool damp weather of our new location has Mr. JEM and I stiff and achy. Our 4 children seem to be suffering from growing pains … Continue reading
Basil is a very aromatic and flavorful herb used in cooking and medicines. Basil is native to India, Asia and Africa but can now be found growing all over the world. Basil is part of the Mint plant family; some may … Continue reading
How to harvest and freeze spinach… This year we planted two rows of spinach, each row is about 30 feet long. This has provided enough fresh spinach for about six weeks. Spinach likes cooler weather (not hotter than 80 degrees … Continue reading
I have always used my All Purpose Cleaner to clean, especially on my kitchen appliances. I loved how easily it took of burnt on food or dirty finger prints and with barely any scrubbing. When we moved I found out … Continue reading
I want to thank Anna Aamone who runs Professional Cleaners N1 for this great tutorial post on cleaning your pillows in a environmentally friendly way. JEM Eco Pillow Cleaning Tutorial Usually washing pillow cases is the easiest part of maintaining your pillows … Continue reading
An Herbalist’s Point of View Everyone cooks with herbs and spices. Sometimes we use fresh herbs and sometimes dried, it doesn’t matter which stage you use the herbs and spices. Either fresh or dried will make your food taste delicious. … Continue reading
I hacked Vicks Vapor Rub Continue reading
Play dough was on my shopping list for about 2 months. I am not sure why I kept avoiding buying it; maybe because I knew I could make it at home. It’s so easy and when my oldest two children were younger we always made play dough instead of buying it.
Playing with play dough is a great sensory activity for people of all ages. Play dough helps kids learn how to use their fingers in new ways, also strengthens hand and wrist muscles. I once saw a physical therapist assigning a patient the activity of squeezing play dough in her hands; this was to help her carpal tunnel and arthritis. Play dough helps kids grow in many ways. It allows kids to be creative and responsible while having fun. Play dough is also very calming with or without essential oils added in.
The great thing about making play dough is the kids can help. It is super easy and only takes a few minutes to mix up. The most time consuming part is kneading the dough smooth and mixing the color in, but isn’t that also the fun part? Playing with the dough…You can make so many different kinds too. Some are even edible. This recipe might taste yucky!
- ¼ cup of hot water (just run your hot water for a few minutes)
- ¾ cup flour
- ¼ cup salt (you want to use finely ground salt, like table salt)
- ½ tbsp vegetable oil
- 10-50 drops of food coloring (optional- but what’s fun about non colored play dough?)
- 5 or so drops of essential oil (optional)
Mix flour and salt into a bowl, add oil and water, mix until it start to become dough like. Then place the dough on the counter or table and knead until all flour and salt is mixed in. It should look and feel like play dough. Now add your food coloring to your desired color brightness. The more you add the stronger the color will be. (This is where the kids come in.) Keep kneading for about 10 minutes; you can always add more drops of the food coloring if the dough is not bright enough for your liking. Now would be the time to add essential oils if you want. Kneading and playing with the dough will continue to mix all the color and oils in.
Store your homemade play dough in an air tight container or ziploc bag.
Suggested essential oils:
- Lavender for calming
- Lemon and/or orange for uplifting spirits
- Tea tree and/or eucalyptus for any respiratory congestion
- Any of the mint oils will work for many things too. Headaches, calming, and respiratory issues.
Have fun playing!
Since we are preparing to get out of the army and move at the beginning of the year, I am preparing to garden for as cheap as I can. Gardening keeps me well grounded. So there is no way I can skip it. One way to garden cheaply is to collect seeds from your own plants. Collecting seeds from plants you have already purchased makes next year’s plants and seeds free…you can’t beat free!
This year I found out that snapdragons can go to seed, if you don’t “dead head” them. They create this AWESOME seed pod, which looks like a skull.
If you gently pinch off the seed pods from the plant, it is safe and will keep blooming. You can also collect them after the plant dies off. If you wait too long to collect the seed pods they will start to drop seeds into the soil under your already growing plant; which will make your snapdragon plant look fuller but hinder your seed collecting progress. After you pinch the seed pod off you want to let the pod dry some in a container. As the pods start to dry they will drop very tiny dark colored seeds. You can crush or shake the seeds out of the pods as well. Use a sifter to separate any unwanted plant pieces out of your seeds.
I use an envelope, ziploc or paper bags to store my seeds and always label them with the plant name and year I harvested them. Store your seeds in a cool dry place.
I think collecting seeds is an important part of gardening, especially if you are an organic or chemical free gardener. Collecting seeds from your own plants can help you save money and keep your healthy plants growing for many generations. If you end up with too many seeds you can pass them to a friend or neighbor, set up a seed swap or even sell them online.
Do you collect seeds from your garden?