Coffee Lovers Dream!

Note to self, take the before picture.

Maybe one day I will remember that.

Let me back up… Last night I was deep cleaning our kitchen floor when, during a break, I came across a video of a woman using coffee beans to get rid of her dark circles under her eyes… DID YOU HEAR ME?!?!  COFFEE!  (which happens to be one of my favorite things in the world!)  Needless to say, I stopped cleaning my floor to watch this video.IMG_2363

It seemed so simple, I was intrigued.  So the next morning, I grabbed my coffee grinder and pulsed some coffee beans 2 times. This made the kitchen smell amazing.  Who does not like the smell of fresh ground coffee?

Next, I grabbed the black pepper and the coconut oil, the other ingredients called for in the video.

I mixed the pepper in with the coffee.  I went with a couple of twists on my pepper grinder and maybe a tablespoon of freshly ground coffee.

Then I mixed in the coconut oil.  My suggestion, use just enough coconut oil to make the coffee and the pepper bind.  I use a cold pressed, organic coconut oil.

If you use too much it melts down the side your face. I may have learned this lesson the hard way.

Finally, apply your mask and let it do its magic.

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I spread the mix under my eyes and enjoyed the wonderful aroma.  Personally, the aroma therapy was just as enjoyable as the mask working on my dark, puffy eyes.

Remember how I mentioned to only use enough coconut oil to bind the coffee and pepper?  OneWell, I think I used a little too much oil because the mask enjoyed melting and running down my face… which led me to think that one could use this mask on their entire face. Check out the oil running down my face –>

I left this on for 15 minutes.

During this time, I wondered if this mask would really get rid of even some of the wonderful dark circles that have shown up recently.

After washing away my mask, I was more than pleasantly surprised. Not only were my dark circles diminished greatly, but my eyes that had been feeling so tired were now perky! I think this was the best part of the mask—Rejuvenated eyes! SEE!

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I almost look cross-eyed in this picture. Hey, cut me some slack, taking a selfie of one’s eyes and not looking goofy is harder than one would think 😉

Let’s recap the lessons learned:

  • Take before pictures.
  • Use less coconut oil when applying to face—less streaking!

Note: all pictures are unfiltered.

Mud, Mayhem and Murder!

What?  You did not spend your weekend playing in mud and mayhem and maybe a little murder?

I did!

I have a pretty good, “honey do” list for the horses.  One of the items on my list was to run a water line and electric line to the barn.   After last year’s brutal winter I learned my lesson, water lines need to be buried going to the barn.  You see in Dec 2010, we added onto a lean-to for the horses making it into a barn.  Since it was so late into the season, we were not able to get a proper water line to the barn.

What’s a proper water line?  It’s when the pipes are buried under the ground, at a depth of at least 4 feet so it is less likely to freeze. It became apparent last winter when the windchill was  -45* degrees.  Our makeshift, above ground water line did not stand a chance at being helpful in the delivery of water to the barn in those temps.  After hauling water in 5 gallon buckets  or in 55 gallon barrels from the trough to the barn, I decided that I was not going to do that again… Well, I should probably not say never, because you never know when a water line will break. This coming winter… there would be a water line installed, even if I had to hand dig it.  That might be a slight exaggeration but you get the picture.

Do you get the feeling that I am getting ready to share my experience with adding in a water line to the horse pasture?

You’re right and so smart!

I am so thankful that this past weekend was so nice out because it made this project enjoyable.

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 Unloading the equipment… getting ready to break ground

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We broke ground just about 10:30 am.  The sun was shining, it was warm, and the farmers were just starting to harvest the field next to our property.    With the excavator chewing up the ground, leaving the first piles of MUD behind,  I started my first job for this, which was to breakdown the “shelter” that protected the hydrant next to the horse trough.   So now I have the mud starting to show, the mayhem will come later in the adventure.  I am sure you are wondering about the murder; hang on,  I am getting there.

I had just picked up on of the last five bricks that I needed to move, when a mouse mom with what seemed like 500 babies hanging on her back flew out at me.  Okay, it may have been 6-8 but when facing off with a flying mouse and her babies, they multiply.  I half dropped– half threw the brick at the mice, jumped, and screamed… Once I thought the coast was clear, I poked around the brick evaluating the damage.  I am sad to report that  I committed my first mouse murder.  I won’t lie, I did not shed any tears over the lives lost in that fateful moment, or as I tossed the baby mice bodies into the trench that was just dug.

The very beginning!

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As the day progressed, the project continued to run smoothly… that is until the trench was almost opened all the way.  Dad had about a 2 foot section of ground to remove, when the ditch collapsed on itself!  It happened in a slow motion and yet fast at the same time… the excavator tipped over and sank down.  For a brief moment, I was not sure if we would get dad out of the excavator before the door was pinned shut.

What was my first reaction?  Take a picture for the wall of shame? Cough, cough, cough… I mean wall of Fame.  You see my father is very capable of getting the farm equipment stuck.  Most of the time the adventure ends with multiple trucks hooked up to the “stuck” piece of equipment, pulling it out of whatever precarious situation he got it in!

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One time when I was 14ish, dad came running into the house looking for help.  When mom and I walked outside; we looked at each other; looked at dad and told him to call an employee to help.  Why?  Because he had one of the business John Deere tractors being picked up by a larger Kubota tractor and dangling over the bed of a truck… No big deal. But the John Deere flipped upside down and was leaking fuel.  Mom and I really like living, so we decided that dad needed to get a guys help to flip his tractor right side up.  Do you blame me?IMG_0900

Anyway, back to the Mayhem– we hooked chains up to excavator and I climbed into the bobcat to provide tension to help support the sinking excavator. We were able to get the excavator to stabilize a little bit, but it was still pretty well stuck in the trench.  We changed the angle of the chains, and we were able to walk the excavator out of the ditch!  THANK YOU GOD!  The mayhem of the project only lasted 45 minutes, no one was hurt, and nothing broke!

The project continued on!

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With the trench fully dug, it was on to gluing the pipe together and putting it into the trench.  The goal: glue the pipes and attach the facet before dark.

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Well, the Mayhem delayed the project, so new goal: get the pipe glued before heading into the house for the night.  This would prevent us from having to rework much in the morning if the trench collapsed.   Mom was a trouper, and she held flashlights while dad and I glued.  New goal met… now it was time to find food and warm up!

Setting pipes by phone flashlights!

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Sunday morning came way too fast! I really did not want get up, but daylight was burning, and we had an open trench, a field tile broken and a brother’s lacrosse game to get to if possible.   Nash came out to check on the progress with me first thing Sunday.

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We fixed the field tile and dad back filled the trench, while I cleaned up and started to fix the fence.  Soon, Mud and Mayhem struck again.  Dad pulled up next to me with the bobcat full of dirt in the cab.  For the first time in my life, I dug out the cab of the bobcat and then vacuumed it out.   I was amazed at the places that the dirt got into in that small cab.
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As the project was nearing an end, dad looked at me and said, “All this hard work, and all there is to show for it is a pile of dirt and a facet in the barn– that gives you lots of water.”  I am okay with that!

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By 6:30 pm, the fence was fixed, the water line was considered complete, all the tools and supplies were put away, and I was heading back to the house to clean up and get food. So there you have it… my weekend was spent playing in the mud, a little mayhem and a few mice murders… almost the perfect weekend, if you ask me!

I’ll catch you soon.

H.C._J.

Mac’s EZ Lemonade

Summer is quickly slipping away…  I wish it would stay a little longer.  I am going to miss it, are you?

Days are getting shorter and soon we will be bundling up in big sweaters and jeans. Temperatures are dropping and soon the leaves will be changing, this makes me pretty excited.

Don’t get me wrong, my favorite season EVER is Fall.  Normally,  I am looking forward to fall’s arrival, but this year Louiesummer seemed way too short.  I wish it would hang around a little longer.   Maybe it was because we had a record breaking winter for both temperature and snow accumulation.  Heck, we even had to plow the horse pasture!  That was a first for me, the drifts were so big that the babies could not climb over.  I was a little worried they would get stuck and we would have to launch a rescue mission. Check out a video of the horses playing in the snow on one of the coldest days last winter: Here.  It is pretty cute, but I am biased.

IMG_0199Anyway enough about last year’s monster winter, back to me not letting summer go–by sharing a favorite summer drink, “Mac’s, EZ Lemonade” with you.   This recipe is so quick and easy, you will wonder how you have been living without it! I know that I have asked myself that exact question more than once when making this lemonade recipe.

Before I share the recipe, I think I need to let you in on a secret and the secret ingredient…  as a rule, I make things from scrap, with whole ingredients and fresh, but…I am also all about quick and convenient!  So when a great family friend, Mac, showed me a bottle of squeezed organic lemons, I fell in <3.  I mean, it’s not hard to use the hand squeezer to make your own lemon juice.  It just seems to take me a few minutes that I never seem to have. I almost feel like I am cheating on life by getting my organic lemon juice from a bottle, but when life gets busy, you have to play smart.  Thanks to Mac, I can have one of my favorite drinks in no time at all now all year. Because he introduced me to the secret time saving ingredient: Italian Volcano’s Lemon Juice.

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Reasons that I LOVE this juice:

1. It’s ORGANIC!

2. 1 Jar contains 80 lemons worth of juice… do you know how long it would take to hand squeeze that many lemons?  I don’t even want to imagine how long it would take or how sore my arm would get.

3. It’s a great buy.  You can find a two-pack of these at Costco for $7.00!  Do you know how many glasses of lemonade you can make with a two-pack?  MANY!  More than I could count… okay maybe I would get distracted before counting them!

4. I don’t have to clean the hand squeezer.

5. It’s stored in glass… I will tell you about my love of glass soon.

6. It’s waiting for you in the fridge.

 I think you get the picture… I really <3 this product and you should fall for it too!

Now for the recipe: Mac’s EZ Lemonade!

There are only 3! Count them 3 Ingredients!  Simple right?

1. Italian Volcano – Lemon Juice
2. Water
3.  Stevia

Alright… here is how I make Mac’s EZ Lemonade!

Grab a jar, a glass, a water bottle… something that will hold liquid and fill it 2/3 full with water.
Here is my favorite jar… it’s such a fun blue.

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Bonus:  it’s 34 ounces , which means I am not running for refills every two minutes!
Double Bonus: It has a lid with a straw (not pictured) but makes spills less likely.
Yes, I am pretty much a big kid and need a lid with a fun straw!

Fill your cup with water.

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Pour some of your Italian Volcano juice into the water. This is where you will have to experiment to see how much you like.  If you want your drink really lemony, add more.  If you don’t want it as strong, then add less. To start,  I normally add just enough juice that my water turns cloudy, taste and then adjust my lemonade from there.

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Next grab your stevia and sweeten your drink. I have a sweet tooth so I tend to use 1-2 droppers full in a 34 ounce jar.  If you are not used to Stevia, start small and add 5-10 drops until your drink is sweet enough.

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Secret tip: you can always add more lemon and stevia, but you can’t always take it back.

Now that your drink is made, add ice, and enjoy!

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If you want to spice up your lemonade, you can always add some strawberries or raspberries.

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Italian Volcano’s Lemon Juice has revolutionized how I make lemonade!

What’s your favorite easy recipe or “cheat” healthy ingredient?

Day 17: Life smells better when you make your own detergent…

I guess better late than never! Sorry guys I did not get this to you yesterday… I am making up for it today with Day 17 and 18’s post.

Who said a food processor is just for processing food? Not me! I have used mine for a few different things. One of which is making my favorite natural homemade product: LAUNDRY DETERGENT. I mean, I am a pretty big nerd and hippie to get excited about homemade laundry detergent! I am okay with it.

Reasons I love homemade detergent:

  1. It’s healthy… Free of the bad chemicals in commercially processed detergent.
  2. CHEAP!
  3. It’s a great way to get your food processor clean.
  4. You can make it smell pretty with essential oils. If you leave the majority unscented in a big box then you can change the scent at any point in time.

 

Making detergent is so easy, especially with a food processor. A couple of years ago, many of my friends were posting online about making their own laundry detergent. All you have to do is a quick google search to find just how popular making your own detergent is. (Note, below are a couple of links to other sites that highlight how easy it is to make your own detergent.) It was about the same time that I was trying to cut out fragrances that were not essential oil based, so I thought why not try making my own detergent. You only need a couple of ingredients and a food processor to make it easier on yourself. You can do it by hand, but the processor makes breaking up the bar of soap much easier.

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Ingredients:

* 1 cup of Borax
* 1 cup of Washing Soda
* 1 bar of castile soap – you can buy a scented version but if you want to scent your soap by essential oils buy the plain bar

 

Here is how I make detergent in a food processor.  I would love it if you tried it too!

  1. Cut bar of Castile soap into 1 inch and place in the food processor.

Note: if you do not have a food processor, you will need to grate the bar of soap by hand.

  1. Pulse the food processor to start. Eventually, I turn the food processor on until the soap is close to a powdered consistency.
  2. Add the borax and castile soap. Mix until all ingredients are blended together.
  3. Add several drops of essential oil and pulse. I like lavender, or cedar wood, or a lemon scent. Be creative at this point, add oils that you love smelling!
  4. Place your homemade detergent in a container and wash your food processor! It should it should be super clean, smell amazing, and ready for your next “food” processing adventure.

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I hope you have fun taking on this new adventure and try making your own, HEALTHY, smell good, cheap laundry detergent soon!

Google search for homemade detergents: http://wellnessmama.com/462/homemade-laundry-detergent/ http://www.diynatural.com/homemade-laundry-detergent-soap/ http://thehumbledhomemaker.com/2013/05/homemade-laundry-detergents.html