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Posts Tagged ‘live better’

I have endured many struggles in my life. Although I like to paint pretty pictures I can assure that there have been plenty of train wrecks. Mishaps and down right catastrophes.

But it’s not these events that define us. What defines us is how we react and how we proceed.

There have also been many, many blessings in my life. And for those I am beyond grateful. Walking through life with grace, full of gratefulness, is the difference between success and failure. Success is not how big your house is or how fancy your car. It has nothing to do with money or even fame.

Success is being happy in who you are. Loving yourself for the person on the inside. Enjoying your life because of what you have created.

Success is being grateful. Being HAPPY. Accepting the world around you and knowing there are beautiful gifts on  your doorstep each and every day.

It’s because of this gratefulness, these beautiful gifts, that today I am choosing to give something back.

I’m striving to build this community. I’m striving to grow this blog and multiple adventures at the same time. It has often been a slow and somewhat frustrating road. There are days I wonder where all the followers are. Why there aren’t any comments. Is there anyone even listening? And some that I wonder if it will ever happen. If it’s even worth it.

But I know in my heart that if one pretty package makes someone happy, one lotion offers comfort, one post helps someone grow or through their day, then I have succeeded. No matter my struggle.

I don’t always have a tremendous amount to give, but what I do have, I like to give freely when I can. So today I am offering to one random person their choice of gift! It can be a free ad space for their blog, service or product. One item of their choosing from Enchanted Gardens. One service from Enchanted Wellness. Or perhaps a post written for them.

So YOU decide! All you have to do is leave a comment below telling me what appeals to you most. I will choose the winner by using the Random Number Generator at Random.org. The winner will be chosen in one week.

Giving things away with no thought of receiving anything in return feels wonderful. Making someone happy, brightening their day for no reason other than their joy is a beautiful feeling. Try it. It’s mustn’t be big or extravagant. Hold the door for someone. Compliment them. Ask someone what you can do for them.

Now, tell me what I can do for you! Don’t be shy!! 

Live Well!
~S 

***YOU MUST COMMENT AT A LIFE ENCHANTED TO ENTER!!***

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Lovely Coconut Oil. I love it. And you should too!

It’s thick and creamy. It offers substantial health benefits. It works wonders on detoxifying the body. And even helps curb appetite.

For your health –
  • Is antibacterial therefore, helps fight infection
  • Take a spoonful 20 minutes before eating to curb appetite
  • Assists with weight control
  • Use to strengthen immunity
  • Helps treat arthritis
  • Improves thyroid function
  • Increases energy
  • Improves digestion
  • Treats and prevents acid reflux, heart burn and indigestion
  • Treats sore throats and ear infections
  • Even been known to help ADHD and Autism

Coconut Oil is for more than cooking with!

Coconut oil is also great for your hair and skin! For real.

For the hair –

  • It is great for all hair types
  • It works especially well on dandruff
  • It offers incredible shine and softness
  • Great for color treated hair
  • Used to treat lice
  • Removes gum from hair

For the skin –

  • Heals burns fabulously
  • Is antibacterial so works wonderfully for cuts and scrapes 
  • Is nourishing and moisturizing
  • Offers sun protection
  • Is a fantastic eye make up remover
  • Treats rashes, fungal and yeast infections like ringworm and athletes foot
  • Soothes stings and bites
  • Softens cracked rough feet
  • Strengthens nails
  • Treats eczema and psoriasis
You love coconut oil now, too, don’t you? I told you you would!

Over the next few weeks I will offer a tremendous amount of tips on using coconut oil throughout your life. Stay tuned! 

Live Well!
~S 

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Many of you already know how to make your own vanilla extract, but those of you who don’t, you will be pleasantly surprised at just how simple it is.

I say that quite a bit don’t I? “It’s so easy.” It’s really simple.”

But so much in life has been done by big machines and bigger business that many have never had the chance to realize just how easy or how much healthier, and even cheaper, they are to do yourself.

And Vanilla Extract is no different.

You need:

Vanilla beans
Hard alcohol (vodka, rum, brandy, whiskey, ect.)

I used 2 vanilla beans,  8 ounces of vodka and a recycled bottle.

Cut the vanilla beans in about 1 inch pieces. Place them in the bottle.

Fill the jar with alcohol. Cover and wait.

It takes about 3 months to get a good vanilla extract, but it’s usable within days. It really depends on the beans.

But get this…
You can keep topping off the bottle with more alcohol and continue to have plenty of vanilla extract! This will work for at least 3-4 more full bottles. As the beans soften they continue to release vanilla-ey goodness.

What you brewing in your kitchen?

Live Well!
~S 

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View the original post at A Life Enchanted

It’s been raining for days here in the Shire. But you won’t hear me complain. I love the rain. I find just as much beauty in a warm Spring rain as I do those bright sunny days. And I’m not afraid to get a little…or a lot wet for a visit to the garden.

I’m also not going to complain, because as you may have noticed, I have been rather preoccupied as of late. I know, I know. I haven’t written in days. I have been so busy with products though that there hasn’t been time for much of anything. I can’t tell you all the details for I don’t want to ruin any surprises for some, but I have been in a creating frenzy. My house has been littered with bottles and jars, paper drying and masses of heavenly herbs.  There have been early mornings, long days and late nights. I am proud to say I have created more potions and brews in the past week than ever before!

And my gardens can prove it. Oh, the neglect! I dodged a few rain drops and took some photos. You will see just what has been … NOT happening or happening without me here in the Enchanted Gardens. They sure aren’t looking very enchanted today. Have a look….

There’s quite a bit of lettuce.
But so much more waiting for a home.

Some celery, scallion and a lonely leek patiently waiting for the others to join.

The watermelon radish are putting up a good fight against the stones.

How do they get there?

The peas are looking okay.
I do wish I had gotten them in a week or two earlier.

 The blackberries need a straw blanket…
and perhaps a trim.

They chose this spot themselves. We didn’t plant them.
I do wish they had chosen a spot further from the raised beds.
Another bed and a fence belong here.
But I just don’t have the heart to pull them out.

 Nor do I have the heart to remove these
that have created a home on the other side of the raised beds.

Look at that mess!

 TOO many beets?

They self seeded AND I unknowingly planted more.
Thinning is in order here.

And here.
The cilantro self seeded last year
here where the pattypan squash will call home this year.

 And the dill called this place home
but the cucumbers are moving in soon.

Look at all that baby dill!
And I planted more…. uh oh.

 I was sad to tear out this raised bed,
but the hot tub needs a home too.

I told you it was a busy week…

The herb garden needs some love!
And some mulch.

But the chives are happy.

 The oregano is happy too.
She just needs a little hair cut.

So do her sisters.

The strawberry patch is doing okay,
but look what happens to the seaweed with all this rain.

Soft and mushy and slimy.
This is why I don’t use it for full mulching.

This is Matilda.
She was supposed to be a dwarf weeping cherry.

 She is not a dwarf.
I love her dearly, even if she is far too close to the house for her size.

The lawn is in terrible shape this year.
Ants and moles have taken up residence.
Sixx, the stealthy hunter is taking care of the moles.
The ants… well, that’s my job.
And I’m slacking.

The dogs have done their fair share of destruction as well.
I have my work cut out for me.

Nothing has been edged
and the mustard greens are trying to over take the lawn.

But The Mister’s grandmothers peonies are loving their new home.
Their very healthy, vibrant sisters didn’t fair so well.

Who new the gas man would decide the tank should be moved
when only come to fill??

And who in their right mind would place it over a group
of glorious peonies 3 feet wide?

Well, he did. And he killed them.
All of them.
This group here is the last of them because, well…
The Mister’s mum and aunts…
They killed theirs too.

I’m taking dear care of these ones.

Grow little beauties. Grow!
So the legacy may live on.

This is where my iPhone risked serious destruction as the drops turned to streams. The sun is finally shining though, and the last of the mass of botanicals is to be delivered today. Until Monday of course, when the conjuring will begin again.

I hope you get to play in your gardens this weekend!

Live Well!
~S 

We’re Moving!
Come visit our new home….

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I have had made just about everything you can imagine at one point or another. But there are two things I have yet to add to that long list…

Beer and Kombucha

Seriously! You’d think I would have done this by now.

Well, let’s change that shall we?

Starting Kombucha Mother is really quite simple. You can purchase SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of  Bacteria and Yeast) at a number of health food suppliers, but why bother? Besides being more expensive – the average mother is around $20, this way will cost you about $3.50 – it’s easy and you get to say you made it yourself!

Here’s what you need – 

  • A bottle of Organic Raw Kombucha (right from the grocery store)
  • 1 cup of sweetened tea
  • A large glass jar ( a wide mouth mason jar is perfect)
  • A kitchen towel or cheesecloth
  • A rubber band

First, steep your tea – one tea bag in one cup of water. You can use any kind you like. For this batch I am using a black and orange pekoe blend. I will experiment with others next.

Sweeten your tea while it’s warm. For this you want to use regular sugar. One tablespoon. From all of my research, all other forms of natural sweeteners will cause the kombucha to be bitter. The sugar is only food for the bacteria.

Add the bottle of kombucha to the  room temperature tea and cover. You want the cover to be thin enough so it can breath, yet keep out any bugs and what ever might be floating around the kitchen. Place it on the counter or in a cupboard.

Now you wait.

That’s it! I told you it was easy. My kombucha mother has been brewing for a few days now. The temperature of your house will determine just how long it takes for the mother to be ready. A thin layer will begin to form on the surface. This is the SCOBY. You are looking  for a layer about 1/4 inch thick. When you have achieved this, you’re mother is ready and you are ready to make kombucha! It could take a week. It could take 3.

I will give you an update when mine is ready.

Happy Brewing!

Live Well!
~S 

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What a fabulous weekend here in The Shire.

Friday and Saturday were gloriously and unseasonably warm. Sunday was perfectly drizzly and stormy. I couldn’t have asked for more. There was some serious production and accomplishments. A bit of a visit with one of my favorite people, a stroll through a perfect cemetery (I’m jealous) and a spin in the orchard (ditto). And there was some serious relaxation too.

Some much needed relaxation, for big things are about to break. Months, of work – many, many years of planning and dreaming – are about to collide. Dreams realized. Fears faced. Worries, well, mostly conquered.

I have been working on something big for you all! And soon I will be able to deliver. But first I must make sure it’s perfect. This lovely weekend, was the calm before the storm.

Take a look…. 

I foraged and treasure hunted near the sea

And what a bounty to be had

I prepared another sweet gift for you dear readers

She bloomed while I was away

I dined on the porch

Botanicals were created, sealed and delivered

I lounged on the couch with the Mister and sipped Sauvignon Blanc

I played with the goats

The Mister did too. He is in love.

She wanted to come home with us

I fell in love with these babies

And remembered why I don’t want pigs

I hope your weekend was as lovely as my own! 

Live Well!
~S 

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Weight loss is on many minds most of the time, but with beach season.. and bathing suit season…. just around the corner it’s everywhere.

Here are my 3 favorite tips to remember when starting your weight loss adventure.

Eat Your Vegetables

So often I hear my clients say “I eat lots of vegetables. Tons.” Only to find their food journals show a very different situation. Often, vegetables are consumed at lunch and at dinner. And that’s it. But if you make sure you are eating at least one vegetable at each of your 5-6 meals, you can drastically change your health and your waistline. When building your meal or your snack start with vegetables. It should be the largest portion on your plate.

Bonus tip – Don’t forget the protein. Protein is essential for building muscle. And muscle burns fat! Be sure you are getting protein with each meal also.

Drink More Water

Again, people often think they are getting plenty of water, but the reality is that most people spend their lives dehydrated. Staying well hydrated is essential for proper body function. Keep water in your car, your bag, your desk, next to your bed and drink, drink, drink.

Bonus tip – Oolong tea has the ability to help boost metabolism and keep you well hydrated. It’s great warm or cold. Try adding a cup or so a day.

Sneak in Extra Exercise

You are going to the gym 4 – 5 days a week. You are eating healthy. You are drinking lots of water. You want to see bigger results. Perhaps you don’t have time to get to the gym as often as like. Try squeezing in bits of exercise through out your day. Do some squats while brushing your teeth. Take 3 minutes to do a few Burpee’s. Do some static lunges in the kitchen while cooking dinner. Find ways to work in some extra exercise and you will start seeing bigger results.

Bonus tip – I keep free weights under my coffee table. During those rare occasions I’m watching tv I can pull them out and do bicep curls, overhead extensions, shoulder presses… all from my couch.

A healthy body isn’t all about vanity. To live well, we must be well. 

Live Well!
~S 

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