Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Home Apothecary

My Apothecary!
I was feeling tired of medicine not doing what is was supposed to do. I was feeling stressed, popping ibuprofen and not getting any results, or slapping on vapor rub when my chest would get congested. So, I decided to take matters into my own hands. After doing research and Google-ing my little heart out, I found some great blogs and links to natural medicine and building my very own home apothecary. It sounds a little Harry Potter, doesn't it? I thought so too, and thought so even more when I found a great book on Natural Medicine. It was probably very hilarious for my neighbors as I laughed over all the funny names of things (False Unicorn Root? Really?!?!). I have started to gather many different ingredients for home remedies, such as Cinnamon Oil for tummy aches (mixed with olive oil, it works great rubbed on the area where it hurts). I find many ideas from another blog, such as Deep Roots at Home (http://www.deeprootsathome.com/-one of my favorites!). Using natural ingredients to help solve the problems at the source is a great way to live! I encourage you to give it a try, even if it's just a few essential oils to start. Making your body beautiful on the inside will make you feel better on the outside!

Monday, October 29, 2012

So, I mentioned Apple Cider...

Paul teaching Mary how to use the press
My sister pressing the cider!
Because it's fall, you have to have apple cider, and there is nothing better than making your own fresh cider from apples you picked that morning. Thanks to a good friend, Paul and all his help, cider press, and apples, my mum, sister, and I spent a few hours making 17 gallons of cider! Here are some pictures from our experience!
My mom, sister, and buddy Stuart
Pressing cider takes a lot of muscle!
Pouring cider into a jug! Mmm!

17 gallons ready to go home!

Pasteurizing the cider
Pasteurized Cider!

Autumn Bliss (aka I LOVE Fall!)

A true autumn beauty
I walk past everyday to work!
Fall is Here!!!! The leaves changing, crunching underneath booted feet that are warm and toasty in warm wool socks. Reading books in the dwindling rays of the autumn twilight while drinking freshly pressed hot apple cider, warmed and perfected with a little bit (or in my case, a lot) of cinnamon goodness. 
In case you didn't get the point, I love fall. It is truly my favorite time of year. It is the time of new beginnings as the leaves change and drop, preparing for another year of ever-changing beauty. As George Eliot put it perfectly, "Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns."
This time of year for me brings many activities starting up again, and I always look forward to the busyness that life brings upon me. I can also take time to relax, and drink that freshly-pressed cider while re-reading my worn out copy of Sense and Sensibility. I think that while summer is a great time to enjoy warm weather, lemonade, and the nearby swimming pool, autumn-especially here in the beautiful NW-the realness of life comes about in the fall (whether or not you choose to accept it). So perk up, enjoy the changing leaves with me, and drink that cider up!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Homemade Goods

Today I made one of my new favorite things: Laundry Detergent! It's a recipe that my mum taught me to make, and boy, am I glad she did! The recipe is simple and super easy-the longest part is grating the soap. You can find all the ingredients at your local Winco, and if you don't have one of those, look in the laundry/washing section of your local market. Here's the recipe: Homemade Laundry Detergent 2 Cups Arm & Hammer Washing Soap 2 Cups Borax 1 Bar Fels-Naptha Soap, finely grated Instructions Pour Borax and Washing Soap into a container, mix together. Finely grate one bar of Fels-Naptha soap and add to the container. Mix all ingredients together. Use 1 1/2 to 2 Tablespoons per load of laundry. Enjoy your yummy-smelling soap and fresh clean clothes!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Day 2: Morning Journeys

Today we went to St. Peter's, which is THE most beautiful place in the entire world. I know I haven't very much but I know nothing will ever be able to compare the beauty and mystery that is St. Peter's Church. The square was very fantastic, but the inside was so overwhelming it made me cry (literally). Josh also took me around to all these different churches in the Trastevere neighborhood of Rome. We also had delicious cappuccinos :D. We got to see St. Cecelia, the patron saint of music, at the church named after her. On one of the churches, there were stone markers from the catacomb graves attached to the wall. These churches, no matter what size, we're so beautiful, designed in styles from Byzantine and Baroque and more! I forgot my camera today but we are returning to those places one last time on Wednesday. 
After the tour, we went grocery shopping and after a bus and metro ride, we finally returned to the apartment where we ate a lunch of cheese, meat, wine, and apples with the generic brand of Nutella. Nutella is very popular in Europe; they eat it everywhere! Now that we were refueled, we decided to watch a video, where I nodded off a couple of times. So, we decided to take a nap-for three hours-until our third roommate, Judy, buzzed the intercom and woke us up! She and I went grocery shopping while Josh made a risotto-style dish. We returned and added some onions we caramelized and had a delicious supper. 
It has been a full few days so far, but I'm excited to see what's in store! Tomorrow, we head to the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, and who knows where else?!?! However, it's after midnight here and I must get some sleep!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Benvenuti a Roma: inizia il viaggio!

Day 1: April 14
For those of you who don't understand Italian, the title translates to: Welcome to Rome: the journey begins! Thus begins my incredible journey to Rome, Capitol of Italy. After a 17 1/2 hour flight- which I was so thankful to be off of- my brother picked me up from Fumicino airport. We headed to the villa where he had been staying the last 3 months. We headed from the airport on the train, followed by a bus. Let's just say the drivers here must be more than crazy because how they can get around some of the tight spots, I'll never know. After surviving my first experience with European public transportation, we walked up and down a hill a arrived at the villa. After walking the hill, I was rewarded with a beautiful view of the villa. Settled in a large amount of land lies a villa that contains a monastery, a guest house, and classrooms. The land is filled with beautiful tress, from olive to lemon to firs, and there are sounds of birds all around you! After taking in the view, Josh lead me to the guest house where the girls all slept at, then over to the dining room. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner-where I met a few of his classmates- of potatoes and zucchini, with orange soda and water.
After dinner we took a walk around the grounds, then went our separate ways. I was so so glad to unpack my toothbrush and put in pajamas! I slept like a baby that night (I hadn't slept in a real bed for over 24 hours!