Welcome! Hippie skirts and Harleys essentially explains my life. I am the hippie mom who likes to do a lot of things the natural way, and hippie skirts tend to be my favorite wardrobe item. Harleys is pretty self explanatory. My husband and I love to get on the bike and just go. Some people would consider us strange, but we're just us...

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Infused oils and a little education...

I love infused oils.  I use them in salves, lotion bars, lip balms, even alone.  You could say I go a little oil crazy.
I currently have some calendula infused oil hanging out on my porch (among others).  My son came in the first day it was out there, and asked why on Earth I had drowned sunflowers in a jar.  I laughed, then took that opportunity to take his herbal education a little farther.  He is growing up in a home where we use herbs instead of Tylenol, baking soda instead of shampoo, and vinegar instead of cleaners, so he has a pretty good base knowledge of natural alternatives.  He’s also familiar with the herbs we use to treat his asthma, reactive airways, sinus infections, etc.  He probably knows more than most adults in this area, but apparently his oil education was lacking.
We went through the basic properties of calendula and organic olive oil.  He kept telling me, “I know Mom…”  To his credit, he has paid attention when I’ve been in the kitchen creating my concoctions.  He remembered a lot about calendula from when we made a nipple salve and lip balm a few weeks ago.  I told him about the process of infusion, why we have to wait at least 6 weeks, and why the “drowned sunflowers” go in the sunlight.  To my delight, he was enthralled!
I was not about to let this educational opportunity slip away, so we headed to my tincture cupboard.  We went through a full shelf that day, and talked about what each does and how I made it.  He helped me shake each one and check the labels.  He asked a bunch of questions about how each would affect certain conditions.  It was one of those times where you could see the information being absorbed and the wheels in his head turning.  One of my favorite sights.  We decided to add herbs to his summer curriculum.  I think everyone should have a base knowledge of herbs and basic home remedies, and this seems like the perfect time to expand his knowledge base.  It is wonderful to see him take an interest in something I love, that will serve him well as he gets older.  I am one happy mama.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Tarot Cards

What do you think of when you hear about tarot cards and their readers?  Most people I know conjure images of an old woman dressed in layers and layers of skirts and scarves, in an incense filled dark room, staring into a crystal ball.  Or maybe a gypsy in a traveling caravan.  Maybe the spooky psychic that goes into a trance...  The reality?  That would be me sitting at my dining room table, probably in my PJs.

Sorry, not as mysterious as you'd pictured.  There is a lot more to them than meets the eye though...

I've never really mentioned tarot to most people, mostly because it just hasn't come up.  I'm sure that some will be very surprised to find out that I read the cards regularly.  They are not the work of the devil, evil, or anything of that nature.  Honestly, those opinions, while they are opinions, are usually based on miseducation.  They are in fact based on archetypes, intuition, and the interconnected world we live in.  They are incredibly useful in personal meditation, besides the more known uses.  There is a long, long, seriously long, history associated to tarot cards.  I won't get into that, but there are some awesome books on the subject that I highly recommend if you are interested.  

Have you ever taken a True Colors test?  Myers-Briggs Personality Assessment?  Studied the work of Carl Jung?   If so, then you will find many of the tarot cards extremely familiar.  The major arcana are actually archetypes that correspond very closely (if not exactly) to these personality types.  We all have these parts of our personality, they are just in different orders, concentrations, etc.  In fact, I have taught True Colors workshops in the past, and was amazed that the Orange characteristics are described identically, verbatim, to the wands suit of tarot cards.  Odd how things don't always mean what you think they do at first glance.  I know of several psychologists or counselors who even use tarot cards to help their patients explore their inner psyche with great success.  

I'm sure I'll talk more about this eventually, but the point of this post is more to share my excitement!  There is a beautiful set of tarot cards that is about to be released that have been in the works for 7 years!!!  7 years!  That is a long time to wait.  Here is one of the cards that I just fell in love with!  (This image belongs to Mary-el, http://www.mary-el.com/5swords.html)
I am so excited to get this deck and try it out!  The artwork is amazing, and looks like it will read beautifully as well.  I've heard stellar reviews from everyone who's tried it out and studied the scans.  

By the way, happy Monday!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Warning: Vagina Talk! But it could be helpful...

Have you ever heard of a menstruation cup? Mama cloth? I have found that a lot of people have no idea what these things are. A menstruation cup is a small flexible cup that you insert into your vagina to collect the menstruation blood. Mama cloth is simply a cloth pad. Neither is a new concept. Some cultures had women sit on a large cup for the entirety of their period, others used natural sea sponges, others used cloth. We have developed disposable everything, so it's not surprising that we have one for our periods.
Disposable options are not always the best choice. Personally, I react to them. I also don't like to use disposable pads and tampons because of the chemicals and the insane amount of trash that they cause.

When I first heard about the Diva cup, my first thought was, "You want me to put that where?"

Then I researched it. Researched some more. And a little more for good measure.

Then I bought one, and waited. I'm still breastfeeding Britches, so I hadn't had my first postpartum period at the time. While I waited, I made some more mama cloth too. I used cloth during my postpartum bleeding, but it was more of a "Hey, I am having a bad reaction to these pads, let me whip up something that will work temporarily." I sew cloth diapers all the time, so mama cloth was a piece of cake. I knew from the reaction I had to postpartum pads that disposable would not be an option for me long term. Oddly enough, I hadn't had a regular period since conceiving Tater (who is now 8). The pad/tampon thing had not been an issue for a long time.

I waited and waited. Then on Britches' first Birthday (how's that for timing?), Aunt Flo came to town.

I tried the Diva cup with a mama cloth liner. It is... weird. When I first put it in, it was a very different sensation. It has a learning curve. Most people seem to make leaks their first couple of days, until they figure out how to place it. Mine was pretty easy, I just popped it in. In the directions it will tell you to turn it, I didn't. I tried, but quickly figured out that wasn't going to happen. It worked perfectly. No leaks. By the end of the first day, that "weird" sensation was gone, and I was a convert.

Taking it out is really not any harder than removing a tampon, or Ben Wa balls. Every 12 hours I took it out, emptied it, washed it with mild soap, and popped it back in. Worked like a charm.

I loved the mama cloth too. I tried just that for a day, and it worked perfectly. I used the same materials I use to make soakers for cloth diapers. I topped one with a wicking material (pulls moisture through it) for a stay dry feeling. The other I made with all natural absorbent materials. Both felt great, so much better than disposables.

I would highly recommend the Diva cup and mama cloth to anyone.

I have to share a chuckle too. Grizzly acted completely grossed out talking about the cup for the first time. He even made a face. We talk about everything, so it is totally normal for us to discuss my cycle. I swear, he knew it better than I did when we were trying to conceive. I asked if he'd rather I used disposable, and his tune did a 180. He said, "No, I love that you use these. It's natural, better for you, no trash, and the best part: it's cheaper!" He's 100% behind me using the cup and cloth, even if it is largely due to financial reasons. He is even willing to do the laundry, now that's love...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Oatmeal Cake Bars

I try to do most of my baking from scratch, but sometimes you need something super quick and easy. I love this recipe for those times. If you want to go all out Betty Crocker, you can use it with your favorite cake recipe too. Just use the dry ingredients instead of the cake mix.

Oatmeal Cake Bars
1 Box of cake mix (yellow and funfetti are my favorites for this)
3 Cups Quick Cook Oats
1 Cup Applesauce
2 Eggs
1 Tablespoon

Preheat oven to 350.
Mix all ingredients together until it resembles a dry batter.
Pour into a pan (I use an 8x8 or 9x9 most often) and press it down so it is even.
Bake for 30 minutes or until a fork comes out clean.

That's it. Simple, huh? Perfect quick and easy snack or dessert for those forgotten events that tend to sneak up on you. Or for something that smells yummy in the oven without making a huge mess of the kitchen.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Real Nursing Cookie Recipe

I was looking at my nursing cookies post, when I realized that is not how a really make my cookies. That recipe will still help boost milk production, but it's not exactly how I make them. I have a terrible habit of rewriting recipes or writing new ones and not keeping track of every step and ingredient. I swear someone has to watch me make a recipe to get the whole thing. I make so many recipes by memory only. I can blame it on my Grams, she does the same thing. The biggest change is that I don't use butter. I use organic applesauce for all butter, oil, and fat in my baking recipes. Here are the changes, with the actual ingredients and amounts (as close as I can eyeball).

Nursing Cookies to boost lactation


1 C Applesauce

1 C sugar

1 C brown sugar

3 T water

2 T flaxseed meal (no subs)

2 Lg eggs

1 t vanilla

2 C flour

1 t baking soda

1 t salt

4.5 C Thick cut oats

1 C Chocolate chips

4 T Brewers Yeast (no substitutions)

1 T Fenugreek


Preheat oven to 350

Mix 2 T of flaxseed meal and water, set aside 3-5 minutes.

Cream applesauce and sugar.

Add eggs.

Stir flaxseed mix into butter mix and add vanilla.

Beat until well blended.

Sift: dry ingredients, except oats and choc chips.

Add butter mix to dry ing.

Stir in the oats and then the choc chips, fenugreek, and brewers yeast.

Drop on parchmant paper on baking sheet.

Bake 10-15 minutes.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Dress Form

Here was the short, yet wonderful conversation:
Me: I want NEED a body double to stick pins in!
Grizzly: Sigh... Go ahead and order the dress form.
Me: (Hesitantly) Are you sure?
Grizzly: I said yes didn't I...

Most men would think I was crazy and not have a clue what I was blabbering about, but my wonderfully enabling husband actually gets it. Or at least pretends to.

I like to sew. It is an constructive hobby, I do make some money with it, and it can save us money. Ok, it does save money, but not necessarily a lot because I am a complete fabric-oholic. I love my fabric stash!

Anyway, Grizzly is the best man in a wedding at the end of the month. I got the hair-brained idea stuck in my head to make my dress. I have several "good" reasons for wanting to do this:

1. I want to. Simple reason, but it is enough for me.

2. I have had crazy inspiration lately and it is a great experiment. I don't think that Grizzly would be fond of me making the elaborate wedding gown that I have in my head (unless he feels like selling me off to the highest bidder that day--could happen), so I'll play with this instead.

3. Nothing fits me and I despise shopping. I guess "nothing fits me" isn't entirely accurate, but I had a baby 7 months ago, I am breastfeeding, and recovering from a serious illness. My body is not in it's normal shape, nothing even resembling its normal form. My body has seriously been through hell, so I am fine with this--for the time being....

4. To see if I can do it. I love Project Runway. I am not the typical "I watched Project Runway so now I can go design a fashion line" type woman. I sew already, so that is a big help. I am also not looking for high fashion. I am looking for something to flatter my curves. What better way than to design and fit it for my body. Not nearly as easy as it sounds...

Because of this, I decided I needed a dress form. I really didn't want to spend a fortune on one. I found one on Craigslist, but it was gone before I could commit (we all have our issues, committing to purchases is one of mine). My mom helped me attempt a duct tape dress form. That was a no go, even though it really works for some people. My guess is those people don't have a screaming infant who freaks out when her source of nutrition is being wrapped in duct tape. Just a guess... (She was just hungry, but that sounds better)

Thankfully Grizzly was in a highly accommodating
mood during the afore mentioned conversation. Love you honey!

I have had a dozen different designs for this dress in my head. I have finally landed on one, but I assure you it will evolve. They always do. My mom showed me a beautiful dress that I will be taking a lot of inspiration from. It is a beautifully draped greek goddess inspired frock. I think it should flatter my statuesque (aka nursing boobs and child-bearing hips) figure.

I decided on a maroon/burgundy type color. This could also change halfway through, so we shall see. Now the dress form and fabrics are ordered! Keep your fingers crossed for me, and wish me luck. I am definitely going to need it!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Crayon on Canvas

I saw an awesome piece of art that I loved on pinterest the other day, and thought "I can totally make that!"

(Said piece of art)
I happened to have a few boxes of crayons and a canvas just waiting for inspiration. I chose to go with a full rainbow for mine. Tater didn't even blink when I grabbed the hot glue gun, a canvas, and his crayons. He knows better than to be surprised. Remember, he has been raised by me so he thinks this is totally normal!

It is a very simple piece to do. Glue the crayons to the top, then let it sit in the sun. It will melt all by itself. If you are impatient like me, use a blow dryer. Be very careful though, it splatters that way. I would also recommend using a flat canvas, not a stretched. The heat will deform those.

I had a small monkey attached to me most of the morning (Madame Britches), so I didn't take pictures for a tutorial. BUT I just saw that one of the awesome moms on my craft board did! Here is the link to Naptime=Craft time for the tutorial.

Here is my masterpiece...

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