Blackberries, Baby!

We have lived in our house now for 3 1/2 years.  One of the great things we heard from neighbors when we moved in is that the blackberry bush in our back yard would produce the biggest, juiciest blackberries.  I was SO excited!

But we have not been able to take advantage of a blackberry harvest yet.  They had overgrown and needed some tending.  Two years ago, I cut them way back and thought if they didn’t grow we could buy more to plant.

Last year, they grew, but there were only a few berries – and most of them got eaten by birds before we could get to them.

This year.  THIS YEAR I hope to see a change in that!

Blackberry blossoms

I don’t remember seeing so many blossoms in previous years. Whether it was due to needing some pruning or weird weather cycles, I don’t know – but I can’t believe how many blossoms our blackberries have this year already!

And there are SO MANY BLACKBERRIES already growing! I am really excited and HOPE that we can take advantage of these berries this year!

I have HUGE sweet memories of picking blackberries with family friends who lived in Oregon while I was still in high school.  I can still taste the warm blackberry cobbler and vanilla ice cream, after spending some time picking some of the biggest, sweetest blackberries I’d ever seen.  The blackberries in our yard – the few I have been able to enjoy – have been very big, but not as sweet as the ones I remember.  (I do think the flavor memory is definitely enhanced by the company and sweet friendship we shared!)

I have to say, while I am interested in the medicinal properties of blackberries, this year, I am hoping to really reap the benefits of just eating the fruit in a few different ways!!!

As you can see there are blossoms that have yet to bloom, blossoms in mid-bloom and rapidly growing berries. I don’t know the variety of berry, but I do know they produce 2 crops (and can you believe we’ve never really been able to harvest them?) per summer.

My hope is to make a blackberry cobbler for my family to enjoy and maybe WE can make sweet memories together, too!

Do any of you have any berries growing in your area?  Do you like to pick them?  What’s your favorite way to eat your berry harvest?

Summer Days are Right Around the Bend

My kids have 8 days of school left.  8 DAYS!  The school year has gone by quickly, but the month of May is like a fast-motion movie!  And they have so many fun events going on including concerts, field trips and rally events.  We have even had some slight sunburns from all the time in the sun!  (So I stocked up on sunscreen AND my rollerball of after-sun essential oils!)

Since my work schedule is changing, and so is my husband’s, I am trying to get a handle on our Summer Days.  I laughed when I read a post on Facebook by a mom who said her kids figured summer was all about playing electronics.  I can SO relate to that!  My kids figure they can just spend all day watching TV or playing computers, tablets, or phones – and I am trying to build my arsenal of alternate activities.  I like what MeetPenny did in response to her kids idea of summer “fun”.  She made a special Summer Chore Chart which keeps responsibility first, fun time second!  (If you subscribe to her blog, you can get your own editable copy of this chart free!)

I’ve been printing out things to add to their summer binders, too.  We don’t homeschool, but I have found that my kids still like to do mazes and puzzles without argument – and I like throwing in some educational stuff on the sly while they “play”.  There are so many free printables all over the internet, and I am just waiting for my HP Ink cartridges to arrive from Amazon so I can start printing again!  I have a Pinterest board devoted to summer ideas, so check it out!  I have another board devoted to Printable Journal Pages which I hope to use throughout summer to inspire their creativity and add some fun ways to journal about their days!  I have some pages printed for teaching specific housekeeping skills – laundry, bathroom, etc.

Just a reminder that the Herbs & Essential Oils Bundle Sale ends TONIGHT!  If you are interested in Herbs or Essential Oils in any way – this is a great investment and I am really enjoying so many of the great products in the bundle already!  In fact, I bought a Thyme plant this weekend and am watching some videos to learn how to harvest and dry it.  Thyme has some GREAT healing properties, as well as being a tasty culinary herb.  (I love those multipurpose things, don’t you?)

On an entirely different note, I finally sat down and watched the movie, Temple Grandin.  I bawled through almost the WHOLE movie!  It was out in 2010, but I never watched it.  I had some minor epiphanies about our girl, Curly, while watching it.  It isn’t so much that they are SO alike – but rather, the exploration into Temple’s Autism from HER viewpoint kinda shed some light on a few things we see our girl doing.  Some things are issues NOW because she is getting older and, for example, still doesn’t understand why other people’s boundaries are as important as her own.  That’s just one issue, but we need some help breaking those things down for her and translating those on her terms.  We are pursuing some professional help and hope we can get them going through summer!

How are YOU getting ready for summer?  Do you have any big plans or goals for Summer 2017?

 

Essential Oil Profiles and Two Herbal Ecourses

Because I am an affiliate for the Ultimate Bundles geniuses, I was able to purchase my Herbs and Essential Oils Bundle early.  And I have been playing with it for almost a month.  I have been in HEAVEN!  I have breezed through a couple of the ebooks and will be rounding back around to them over the summer.  This bundle just has so many valuable resources, but I wanted to highlight three specific products.  Maybe you just want to find a couple of home remedies to deal with simple issues that you or your family are concerned with, and you just need some help getting started.

The first product I want to highlight is the Top 60 Essential Oil Profiles by Lea Harris.  This is an app of sorts that is built into Evernote.  (Which by the way – if you don’t have Evernote – you should use it for storing valuable documents, files, and more.  More on that later…)  Lea – my go to safety guru for essential oils – has provided a digital notebook of her Top 60 Essential Oil profiles.  This provides specific information on specific oils – and how to use them safely.

Wait?  You have a phone app that does this for you already?  I have not found ANY phone app that gives me the information these profiles give me.  They are not brand specific, they include dilution rates, and provide safety information for pregnant or nursing women, infants, and pets.  She has done the hard work of studying essential oils and provides information about the characteristics of each oil and suggestions for use.

This product alone retails for $24.98, just $5 less than the purchase price of the Herbs and Essential Oils Super Bundle.  If there is ANY other product in this bundle that interests you, then this bundle will likely save you some money!!!

I also enrolled in the DIY Herbal Apothecary Ecourse almost immediately upon downloading my bundle.  It is included in the family section of this bundle.  It retails for $197 – so if this product alone is enough for you, purchasing the bundle will save you big bucks!  This course allows you to study 25+ herbs in depth and learn how you can use them to help in your home and family.  As much as I love essential oils, I understand that they are only one product derived from herbs – and I am very interested in how herbs in general can be used at home.

This course is BEAUTIFULLY done.  I cannot say how much I enjoy seeing the quality of photos included.  The directions are provided in a simple manner, providing the opportunity to create something that can contains multiple benefits to my health and that of my family’s.  And then there are the recipes.  Oh my goodness! Salves, lotions, vinegars, candies, tinctures, decoctions (think “tea”) and more.  Using herbs you can find in your back yard, or garden pot, or purchase online.

The 3rd product I will highlight is the Herbal Academy Herbal Materia Medica Ecourse (valued at $79).  While similar to the DIY Herbal Apothecary Ecourse, this course focuses more on profiling a single herb in detail.  It teaches you how to research and herb in greater detail and how to build a reference book for yourself.  The printable PDF files provided in this course (which help explain “constituents” and “actions” in easy to understand terms) are a cinch to use and beautifully done.

If you have ANY desire to learn how to use herbs for your health at home, this bundle is an amazing collection of tools and resources to help!  If you are tired of buying OTC meds that don’t always work or cause some not-so-great side effects and you want to rely on more naturally-derived products – whose ingredients you know down to the last ounce – you cannot pass up on the Herbs and Essential Oils Bundle.  This sale ends on MONDAY!  Don’t let it pass you by – You can purchase your bundle by clicking below:

Heads Up! Herbs & Essential Oils Super Bundle Sale

Hi Everybody!  Hope you are having gloriously sunny Spring days like we are in my neck of the woods!  Yesterday was nearly perfect!

Our changing weather has brought on some severe allergy issues for me – I’ve been wrestling with some serious allergens, and am feeling better today than I have in almost a week!  My allergy issues tend to go into sinus infections and I have to keep tabs on it.  I can’t take benadryl because it will knock me out (like literally.  for almost 12 hours.  with half the adult dose).  So I have to rely on allergy medication and some alternative remedies to try to keep me going.

Which is why I am so excited to share the Herbs and Essential Oils Super Bundle with you!  Instead of making a whole post about it – I wanted to create a page for you so you can see all the items contained in the bundle.  Now listen, if you are AT ALL interested in relying on natural and alternative remedies for the health little issues that come along for you or your family – THIS BUNDLE IS FOR YOU!

Valued at about $800, containing 25+ ebooks and online courses, this bundle can help YOU use at-home remedies to help care for your health and the health of your family.  If you ever use any over-the-counter medications, you will probably find great value in this bundle!  You don’t have to become an herbalist to find this bundle beneficial – but I will tell you that one of the courses I’ve been taking {included in this bundle} has lit a fire in me again to learn what I can – not just about essential oils – but about herbs and natural products I can use (and even make myself) for my home and family!

Click RIGHT HERE to go straight to the Herbs and Essential Oils Sales Page!

Or, if you want to see all of the products that are included in the bundle, click RIGHT HERE to hop on over to my Ultimate Bundle Sales Page!

P.S. – I didn’t realize until late Sunday that a blog post I intended to go out on Saturday about this sale, actually got delivered on Sunday!  Blech!  I want to apologize for that.  I did not intend to send anything on Sunday and hope that if you are a mom, you did enjoy a beautiful Mother’s Day!

May Day! May Day!

Well, May just raced in like a dragster, didn’t it?  I can’t believe we are almost HALF WAY through May already.  And my calendar has filled up so quickly because of end of the school year events and programs and paperwork!  How about yours?

It has been a little bit surreal, quite honestly.  The amount of paperwork that explodes out of my kids’ backpacks this time of year is something like a ticker tape parade!  Only I feel more like the cleanup crew instead of the Grand Marshall.  It does help to get a jump on paperwork for next school year, but on top of all kinds of field trips and events – it’s a lot to keep track of effectively.

Last night I sat at the table with my iPhone, my bullet journal, and the piles of paperwork to fill out to get out of my house return to school in a timely manner. ahem.  But thankfully, my iPhone calendar and bullet journal lend themselves to easy recording and reminder setups.  I am thankful for that!  I rely on my phone calendar pop up reminders when I’m on the go – and writing it down in my bullet journal just helps me keep it in my head a little better.

As the school year comes to an end, and kids are antsy to just get summer started already, I am trying to look ahead to make plans for a fun and educational summer.  Y’all – I am NOT good with the heat and since we don’t have central air conditioning, there are days that we retreat to the master bedroom (with the window unit) to watch movies or read or play games.  I find that I can actually do a LOT of homework when the kids are watching Angry Birds for the 47th time.  (and i love the banter in that movie, so it’s entertaining for me, too!)  I am gathering some printables and resources to put together Summer Binders for the kids again, and will share more about that before school ends.

One of the other things I’ve been putting together in recent weeks, that I hope to spend time on throughout the summer, is an Herbal Journal.  Officially, some would call it a Materia Medica, but since I am incorporating a few different things, I’m just calling it my Herb Book.

My interest in herbs began when I was in high school and read a book that talked about using herbs as remedy for something or other.  I got hooked.  The thought that a “weed” in the yard could pose relief for some condition’s symptoms was incredibly intriguing to me.  I found myself checking out more books about herbs.  Yep, even the herbal encyclopedias.  My grandparents resorted to natural alternatives, so they would talk about remedies they grew up with – and of course, my mom & dad shared some things too.

  • Like horehound candy for sore throats.  My dad told me that’s what his mom would use.  I find that completely amazing.
  • Like raspberry leaf tea during the 2nd or 3rd trimester to help tone the uterus and prepare for childbirth.
  • Like lemon for sore throats and colds.

If you, like me, enjoy using naturally-derived products in your home or for your family, then you might be interested in The 2017 Herbs & Essential Oils Super Bundle.  I was able to get my hands on my own bundle already (because I am an affiliate) and it has been one of the most interesting, most educational bundles I’ve ever seen from The Ultimate Bundles crew!

The Herbs & Essential Oils Super Bundle contains 16 e-books & printables, 10 e-courses (which are blowing me away), 3 physical bonuses and 1 digital bonus.  I can’t tell you the specific titles I am so excited about (or about price) just yet, but if you think you *might* be interested, just click this link and you can provider your email to be NOTIFIED when this bundle actually goes on sale.  (Entering your email does not commit you to purchasing anything, it just lets you be notified the moment that the bundle is available for purchase).

Some of the topics in this bundle include:

  • How to create your own Herbal Journal and Herbal “Medicine Cabinet”
  • Creating your own naturally-based skin care
  • Parents guide to dealing with cold and flu season naturally
  • Using herbs in cooking,
  • and so much more…

 

If you have ANY desire to incorporate herbs and essential oils into caring for your family, I can tell you that the value of this bundle stretches way beyond the purchase price.  The sale starts Wednesday, May 17, and as soon as I can share more details and product titles, I will do it!