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Archive for March, 2012

For those of you who remember The Migraine Chronicles – Take 1, I’d like to update you.

For those of you who don’t, go look. We’ll wait…

Back already?

Ok, here goes. I was super excited to share with you the fabulous news. Well, until last week that is. That’s right. I hadn’t had a single migraine since writing episode one! And since starting the supplements. I was taking magnesium and evening primrose daily. Every day. Or. Well. Almost every day.

Like with most things, I start out all gung-ho. Staying on tract. Doing everything right. Sticking to the plan. And then it starts to go south. But I had done quite well this time. I was determined to figure this thing out. And I guess by forgetting to take the magnesium and evening primrose I did just that.

All of sudden, there they were. I mean I literally blinked my eyes and they appeared. Vision spots. It was like a movie playing in slow motion. Nnnoooooo! And I was stumbling through the house, racing for the herb cabinet. Racing for the magnesium. And the ibuprofen.

It was terrible. Full bore sickness, pain, horror. Ok, ok, I’m feeling a bit dramatic today. But it was bad. Made worse by the realization that I did this to myself. I hadn’t taken either magnesium or evening primrose is two weeks. Sigh.

I really think it’s the magnesium doing the trick on the migraines, but the evening primrose has absolutely been helping with hormones and the other crazies I won’t go into detail over.

Did you know this was evening primrose?

Yup, you’ve probably seen it growing wild on the side of the road.

It works wonders for women’s health. It’s also great for inflammation. Especially for rheumatoid arthritis. Which is why it probably helps with the migraines. It also is used to treat eczema.

So, needless to say, I am back on track. Taking these supplements daily. Or, as often as I can remember.

Have you had any luck with either of these supplements?

Live Well!
~S 

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This is my first year trying this so let’s take the journey together, shall we?

I have seen this done before. I have read lots of success stories… but for some reason have just never tried. It seems unbelievable, doesn’t it? Here, it is VERY cold nights in February, March. Like near or below zero cold. And people are starting their gardens. Outside! But seeds do what they were meant to do – withstand and survive.

Here we go…

You can start many of your perennials and some vegetables outside. Now. In March. In the snow and cold.

I am starting this very late. I had planned on doing it in early February, but life got in the way. Many start as early as just after the Winter Solstice. I don’t know if the seventy degree weather forecasted for this week will have any ill effect on this outcome, but we shall see. (Obviously I wrote this some time ago. For sake of time and just finally getting this out I’m not bothering to change it.Ok, ok. I confess! I actually wrote this in January and  already changed it once!)

Take a milk jug. Or a few. Or many.


Cut them about 4 inches from the bottom. You can cut all the way around or leave one side as a hinge. I am trying both to see which I prefer.

Poke drainage holes in the bottom. I used an old cheap carving fork to start the holes and a chop stick to make them wider.

Start from the inside so the plastic pushes out.

You could use a wood burner to melt smalls holes if you had one. Just be sure you get about 2 in all 4 sections of the bottom of the jug.

Fill with a good starter mixture and water thoroughly

Plant your seeds as directed

I confess (again), I used the cheap 20 cent seeds from Walmart for this experiment. I’m saving the more expensive organic seeds until I know I won’t botch this one.

Be sure to mark your jugs so know which is which

Place the top back on and tape it up. Be sure to leave the cover off

Now place it, them, in the sunniest place available

The jug acts as a mini green house and a bit of a terrarium. You don’t have to water them. The hole in the top allows for natural watering. And the closure helps keep the existing moisture in. It also helps keep everything warm enough to germinate. Keep an eye on them just in case though. You don’t want to let them dry out.

I’m really excited about this. I start seedlings every year inside, but there are always a problem or two. Or many. First, the dogs and cat love to eat them. And find them no matter where I hide them. And let’s face it, there are just so many places to store trays of seedlings. I do plan to start some in the basement this year with a grow light on a timer. But Mr. Kitty has a kitty door and free rein. We never know how it will go.

Second, there are always those days when things get so crazy that checking on and watering the seedlings, well, just doesn’t happen. Terrible. I know. But such is my life. Busy.

Third, if the precious seedlings finally make it to the point of hardening off, there is always that. Will they be forgotten on the deck through the cold early Spring night?

Next is the fact that those grown indoors chance that leggy, weak state that leave them less than healthy and vibrant. Often never making it to anything very productive.

This method is supposed to eliminate all of that. No watering. No grow lights. No hardening off. Just plant, place and wait. When the seedlings start to get too tall for the space or it’s safe to plant, generally after the May Full Moon, you simply open the jugs, separate the seedlings and plant them as you wish. WAHLAH! You have strong, healthy plants for MUCH less than purchasing them at the local nursery. And if you collect your own seeds in the Fall we are talking free! Free.

What plants are best for Winter Sowing?

Vegetables

Beans
Beets
Broccoli
Cabbage
Carrots
Celery
Radishes
Spinach
Kale
Peas
Lettuces
Onions
Potatoes(not seed potatoes)
Peppers
Squash
Tomatoes

Flowers –

Aster
Astilbe
Bee Balm
Broom
Catmint
Cinquefoil
Chinese Lantern
Chrysanthemum
Coneflower
Coreopsis
Clematis
Daisies
Delphinium
Evening Primrose
Flax
Foxglove
Heather
Hollyhock
Hosta
Iris
Joe Pye Weed
Lobelia
Lupine
Phlox
Poppy
Rudbeckia
Russian Sage
Salvia
Sedum
Verbena
Yarrow

There are MANY more than this. Look for words like stratification, self sows, sow early, hardy, wildflower, weed.

I’ll be sure to update with pictures once things start growing.

Have you tried Winter Sowing?

Live Well!
~S

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You heard right.

Whole Living With Stephanie is currently searching for Guest Bloggers! AND small companies interested in sharing their wears, plus a little about themselves and their business.

The BRAND NEW site will be up and running soon and so many new things are coming our way.
(…including a new name! sshhh.)

Do you have a blog you want to promote? Are you a budding writer? Do you have a product you love or create that you would like to get in front of hundreds of people a day?

Well, here’s your chance. Just send me an email with some details of your work. I will have a limited amount of space and do ask that all be of the same mindset we share here – green, handmade, natural lifestyles, great writing, wellness, holistic ideas… the options are truly endless. Jewelry makers, crafters, artisans or even just those who welcome the chance to share a favorite recipe, home make-over or thrifting find. You can promote your blog or not be a blogger at all. Have a local book club you would like to promote? How about a design company looking to expand?

You don’t have to be a writer so don’t fear. There will be interview options and articles written for those who prefer.

Let’s share what we do!

Live Well!
~S

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This is all that is left of the larger of the bottles.

HOLY!

The other day I discovered this splattering on some dishes left to dry in the rack overnight. I thought, boy do I need to teach that  kid to properly clean dishes!

Then when starting dinner, I reached to the liquor cupboard for sake. I was making Sake Butter Mushrooms! Yum. Anyway, upon opening the cabinet I discovered broken glass. It took me a second to realize what happened. One of the bottles exploded!

I left room in the top. Look.

Light Ginger Beer

It’s the big one in the back.

What a mess. Once I realized what happened I also realized the mess it left behind. The counter below was covered in the stuff. I just hadn’t been over there to see it. And what a waste!

Needless to say, I popped the tops on the remaining bottles to let out some pressure. So far so good. Perhaps real beer bottles with caps are better.

Any beer making tips to share?

Live Well!
~S

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It’s my favorite time of year!

Spring!

Everything is new. Freshly emerging flowers and herbs. Buds forming on trees. Birds finally singing. The peepers freshly emerged from their Winter depths. I love raking the fallen leaves from the beds to find little sprouts and hidden secrets. The parsley held on tight through the snow and ice.

It was a fabulously mild winter here in The Shire this year. (my loving term for New Hampshire incase you were wondering) And a gloriously early Spring. With days in the seventies already… nearly unheard of here for March… it’s been hard to sit to write or anything really that doesn’t involve luxuriating in the sun and digging in to the gardens. I’ve been raking and planting seeds (Not in the ground. You’ll see). Plotting new beds and the expansion of others.

All the while the mister watches from a distance. A mix of love and concern on his face.

What will she get herself into this time? And will I be dragged in with her kicking and screaming to no avail?

It’s both exciting and a bit daunting looking at all the things that need attention. The blackberries were busy in the Fall taking over the raised beds.

I almost don’t have the heart to tear them out. But I must. Today. The peas need to go in!

These mums that never got planted last year made it through! At least one that did, made it too. How wonderful.

For me, there is nothing better than a day spent playing in the dirt, nurturing plants, sipping some wine in the sun surrounded by my gardens, reading a book by the flowers and herbs with knowing satisfaction that I helped create this enchantment. Except perhaps sharing it with friends. It’s the quiet time there alone I like best though.  I am thrilled to be able to have so much extra time to do so this year.

It’s easy to take so much for granted. To expect things to last. We hustle and bustle through life. Trying desperately to do it all. To have the newer car, the bigger house. We spend our lives always searching for more when really, it’s all there in front of us all along.  Stop and smell the flowers! Slow down and enjoy Spring before it’s gone.

Live Well!
~S

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I am very excited to announce todays guest blogger!

Heather and I met in elementary school. We were in the same grade. The summer going into seventh grade my house burned down. We lost everything. That morning Heather had her father bring her over. She showed up with bags full of clothes. We became fast friends that morning. I love her dearly. She has an amazingly beautiful heart.  She really is such a lovely person. She is spiritual, she loves to sing, enjoys music, makes the people around her laugh and feel good and is here to share a great recipe with us!

If you can’t get enough of sweet potato or quinoa like me, you are going to be thrilled when you see this. In her quest to eat better she found this recipe and wanted to share with us.

“I decided to try the recipe from shine.yahoo.com because I love sweet potatoes and tater tots; plus, I am trying to eat more healthy. The recipe was easy to follow and they were super yummy. I thought you’d enjoy them as well since you are so enamored with sweet potatoes and quinoa!

 Xoxoxo
Heather”

Sweet Potato Quinoa Tater Tots

INGREDIENTS
1 cup quinoa flakes
1/4 cup golden flax meal
Non-stick cooking spray
1/3 cup finely chopped small onion (from 1/2 small onion)
4 sweet potatoes or russet potatoes, peeled
1 Tbsp. kosher or sea salt, plus more
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. cayenne
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. garlic powder (I LOVE garlic so I also added 1 tsp. dehydrated garlic)
Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine quinoa flakes and flax meal in a bowl; set aside. Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spray generously with nonstick spray. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 8 minutes. Transfer onion to a bowl; set aside. Wipe out and reserve skillet.

Using the small holes of a box grater, finely grate potatoes to make 4 cups. Transfer to a colander and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. salt. Massage salt into potatoes and squeeze out the excess liquid. Transfer potatoes to a medium bowl; add egg and mix well. Add reserved onion, cayenne, paprika, and garlic powder; season lightly with salt and pepper. The mixture should resemble a potato pancake mix but be on the dry side. Using your hands, form potato mixture into 1″ balls.

Roll potato balls in quinoa flake mixture. Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spray lightly with nonstick spray. Working in batches, cook balls, turning occasionally, until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer tots to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until cooked through, about 10 minutes.

I’m making them this weekend! Let me know what you think.

Live Well!
~S

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Are you ready for another installment of Blog Love?

Here are a few more blogs I would like to share with you. I hope you enjoy them.

Primitive and Proper

Cassie is a wife, mother, decorator and blogger who sells her fabulously refinished furniture. She has an incredible knack for seeing beyond the dings and dents and chipped paint and creates some gorgeous pieces. All on budget. She also shares her finds that other bloggers have created. Go see for yourself.

I just stumbled upon The Shine Project and am fully amazed at the beauty there. Ashley’s intent is to inspire and help change lives. Beautiful! She also has created The Shine Scholarship Project, a nonprofit, to improve the lives of at-risk teens. I am inspired to get involved!

Kara’s Party Ideas. One word. Amazing. I love to throw a party and have been to some fabulous one’s, but nothing as sweet as these. (Sorry friends) The ideas here are endless. Go see!

There you have it. Even more blog goodness! I hope you enjoy.

Do you have a favorite blog?

Live Well!
~S

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