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Posts Tagged ‘whole living’

I’ve acquired many new readers here lately.

Thank you, New Readers!
And long standing loyal readers too!!! You are all so very much appreciated. Without you, I would be talking to myself. And I already do that enough!

So, in the spirit of welcoming those new, I am compiling a list of some of my (and apparently your) favorite posts of the past.

And a couple of my favorite random old photos too…

Dreaming of last years bounty
And new shed doors

Here goes….. 

Green Your Home – Bathroom Cleaner – Hands down. The. Best. Bathroom Cleaner. Ever. ….Still.

Lemon Honey Gargle – This is one of my most viewed, most searched for posts.

Quinoa and Sweet Potato Cakes – This is my most viewed recipe and I have found it on Pinterest more than I ever expected.

Bento…. What? – I love this stuff. I  have seen it work magical wonders.

Winter Sown Gardens – Because these things are great! And I love gardening.

Wild Fermentation – Because everyone should make their own sauerkraut. Or you could buy some from me.

Getting Your Mojo Back – Because we all need some serious inspiration now and then. Or a good swift kick in the ass.

Today I’m – Making Laundry Powder – This one is fairly recent, but a definite fave. It’s so easy, saves tons of money and rids our homes of more unneeded chemicals.

That’s Not Really Olive Oil – Because everyone should know.

A Day In The Life… – It’s sappy and wordy, but there is tremendous meaning behind my words. And a considerable amount of emotion. Lot’s of others seemed to like it too.

And hoping for good news today
Even if he does leave the window sills a mess

I write mostly about stuff I love, so there is no shortage to choose from. Now it’s your turn…

What has been your favorite post?

Live Well!
~S 

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You heard me! REGROW celery.

This is the best.  Don’t throw out the end of that celery. Grow a new one!!!

Just cut the end off – about 3-4 inches.

Place them in a bowl of water.
Yes! That is lettuce you see there. It works for lettuce too!

This is day 5. Look how much the lettuce has grown.
You only need 3-4 days but they will stay longer if you don’t have time to plant.
I also am trying this with leeks and scallions for the first time.
We’ll see how it goes.
In this photo they have been in water a day.

Then plant!
Don’t worry about the yucky looking edges. They will decompose.

Regrow your celery and lettuce!

Live Well!
~S

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In the world of sustainability we use what we have available to us. And lucky for me, not only do I live in an area where seaweed is readily available, but seaweed is also an amazing addition to any garden.

The Benefits of Seaweed –

  • Enriches the soil – Seaweed is full of beneficial trace minerals and hormones that stimulate plant growth. It’s a natural fertilizer.
  • Natural pest repellent – Slugs hate salt. They also hate sharp edged material because it cuts their soft bodies. Seaweed, being from the salty sea, contains a high salt content. When it dries, the edges get very sharp. It’s perfect for the strawberry patch! It also helps to repel other pests as well.
  • Acts as mulch –  A thick layer of seaweed can help keep soil moist by reducing evaporation and block the formation of weeds. It also does NOT contain weed seeds like many other mulch sources such as bark mulch.
  • Aerates and loosens the soil – When seaweed breaks down it helps to lighten soil, providing a better growing environment for plants.

Using Seaweed in Your Garden – 

  • When using as mulch be sure to apply it 5-6 inches deep. As it dries out, it will shrink, leaving gaps in coverage.
  • Because it dries and shrinks as it does, and breaks down well, it often needs to be reapplied one more time before the season is over.
  • Seaweed doesn’t have to be used as mulch. It can be added to compost or applied under your favorite mulch choice. You will still reap the benefits of fertilizing.
  • Don’t use kelp for mulch, except for between rows. They are hard to form around plants and leave things looking messy. They can be applied first, however, in between rows of things like beans and peas. Just lie them flat. You might need a knife or large scissors to cut them to meet the ends of the row.
  • As with all mulch, keep the area around the plant stem free.

Gathering Seaweed –

  • Be sure to gather with as little negative impact as possible. Only take about 1/3 or less from an area. Then move on to another.
  • Use buckets, small grocery bags and sacks when gathering. It’s wet stuff, so it gets heavy. And slippery. Place a large tub or bin in your car, if you aren’t using a truck bed, to keep from making a mess.
  • Be sure to have permission first. Although most have crews they pay to remove seaweed, it may be against the rules for you to gather it in some locations. Check with the local parks recreation first.
Disclaimer – Seaweed is not for the faint of heart. Things live in seaweed. Like bugs. I’ve found that when gathering, it’s best to pick it up from the very top with a small grip and shake it out. Be ready for critters!

What Makes Seaweed So Great –

  • It regrows rapidly, making it one of the best, most sustainable fertilizers available.
  • It can also be used as chicken feed. Just put it in a burlap sack, place it in the farmyard and for the next few days you can turn it over to find lots of little bugs and critters for the chickens to feast on!
  • Best of all… it’s FREE!

Then there is Kelp Tea

You can make a fabulous fertilizing “tea” from kelp. This works great if you can’t gather large amounts and just want the benefit of the fertilizing qualities of seaweed. Just place it in a large glass container with a lid. You could use a solid bucket, but glass is better. Leave it to sit for just a couple days in the sun. Use the liquid to spray directly on plants or apply to the soil. Again, it’s a great fertilizer and pest repellent.

There is a high salt content in seaweed, of course, so when using as fertilizer or using large quantities you may want to rinse some of the salt off prior to use. Just lay it flat in a driveway and spray it with a hose.

Disclaimer II – Seaweed is not always the prettiest form of mulch. Personally, I like it for some of my gardens but not all. I especially like it in the strawberry patch. Otherwise, I prefer to add it to the compost piles and using it as a tea. For gardens where you will be kneeling often to work, consider another form. It gets very sharp which can make working in the garden a bit uncomfortable. You can see in the photo above how I limit it’s use. I will use something else, like buckwheat hulls, in the rest of the herb garden. I do need to go back for more though.


Have you used seaweed in your garden? Will you now?

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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I am fairly well versed in wild New England Edibles. I love to spend time, basket slung over my arm wandering the woods, fields and riverbanks of New Hampshire foraging for greens and berries and the like.

There is something inspiring, comforting and even exciting about making a meal from things found. Last year, while the Mister and Macala were fishing, I gathered berries. I made a lovely black raspberry crostada. Many Summer nights we enjoyed salads of wild greens found in my travels.

My thirty six years, though, have not been sufficient to leave me anywhere near an expert in such things.  Perhaps under other circumstances. Perhaps were we in a time when survival meant being so. Perhaps, no, certainly, then I would be schooled by a ten year old in the matter of wild edibles.

But I press on! I am determined to learn more.

So what will be next? 

I’m spending some time with my favorite guide this lovely, warm Spring afternoon in the Shire to pick.

My feeling, pick something and learn as much as you can about it before moving on to anything else.

I wonder what it will be this Spring? 

I’ll let you know as soon as I choose.

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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There are so many skin care products on the market these days. Thousands.

Many of them are cleaner and less toxic than others. There are some really great products out there that are made from all natural products. But they are often very pricey. You can use simple ingredients, many you will find in your kitchen already, to replace most of these. For cheaper. With less chance of contamination or added harmful preservatives and toxins.

We’ve been over this a few times before, haven’t we?

There are two simple items that work great for removing eye makeup.

  • Coconut Oil
  • Jojoba Oil

Both can be simply applied gently and removed with a cloth or cotton ball.

Using Coconut Oil

I buy coconut oil in large batches. Then I scoop out containers for different areas of the house. I keep one next to my bed and one in the bathroom for removing eye makeup and a few other uses you can read about in For the Love of Coconut Oil. (coming soon)

To use coconut oil as an eye makeup remover take a small amount… I mean small. Like half a pea size and place in the palm of your hand. Rub it in a very small circle with the tip of your finger to soften it. Now gently spread it over the eye and work it in small circles. Then simply wipe off, gently moving from the outside of the eye toward the inside corner with a cloth or cotton ball.

Using Jojoba Oil

This might be a bit easier than coconut oil only because it’s one less step. But different skin types take to different ingredients… differently. We are all different.

With Jojoba oil simply dab a bit on a cloth or cotton ball and gently wipe across the eye from the outside corner to the inside.

There are lots of other options for eye makeup remover, like vitamin E oil, and well, many other oils too, but these two are my favorites. Right now anyway. These things change now and then.

Isn’t it nice knowing there is only one safe, edible ingredient in the things you need and use? How about knowing you can save a ton of money over the course of a year switching to that one safe ingredient?

What is your favorite eye makeup remover?

Live Well!
~S

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