So here we are again, at the end of another month, and what a month it’s been. It’s been a busy one for me. How about you? Can you believe a quarter of 2017 is almost over? I’m almost afraid to look back to see what I’ve accomplished during this first quarter. I often feel like I’m so busy, and it’s hard to see what all this busyness is amounting to. Maybe I’m still too close to it. Maybe I need another quarter to really see the progress I’m making. Okay, moving on.
Spring is officially here friends, and the weather is finally starting to warm up here in Tennessee after a long cold stretch. I don’t know about you, but I’m so ready to get outside and get my garden on!
Anyway, I’m back today to share some of my favorite things from the past month with you. As always, thanks for letting me share bits of life with you.
Fixing up things around our home feels like a never-ending project. Is it that way at your house too? I imagine so.
This past month, the boys and I started some seeds and watched them grow into full sized seedlings that could be transferred to bigger containers. Seeing how we live on a mountain, we don’t have a large amount of level area to grow plants. Part of our big landscaping project from last year was to build some block retaining walls so we could terrace our front yard in order to have more growing space and to give our home some curb appeal. This year, part of our landscaping project will be deciding what plants to put in that space, but I also plan on growing a lot of plants up on our deck in containers.
So, along with starting our flower, veggie, and herb seeds this past month, we also painted some clay pots with various chalk paints that would match our decor. These pots are what the seedlings will be transplanted into as soon as they’re big enough. And like most projects around here, this one looks like it will be spilling over into next month as well as I’m realizing I’m going to need A LOT more pots and paint for all of our plants!
Here are the supplies I used: various sizes of clay pots, Waverly chalk paint, Waverly antiquing wax, and Waverly sealant (purchased at Walmart).
I recently shared my 2017 Reading Challenge plans with the mamas that get my Letters To Natural Mamas emails and thought it would be fun to share it with you too.
The boys and I do a lot of reading for school, and I do a lot of reading for work. But, I rarely find time to read just for the enjoyment of it. So, I’ve decided (thanks to some recent inspiration I found from a new friend on Facebook) to create a list of books I want to read this year. I’m going to keep this list super simple and relatively small because, let’s face it… time these days is short, and I’m not really sure how much I’ll get done. So, I’m choosing 12 books to read for 2017.
Since I’m getting a late start on things, my plan is to start by finishing some books I’ve started. I’m so bad for starting a book and not finishing it before starting another one. Once these are finished, my goal is to read one book a month.
And because I’m a fan of accountability, I’m sharing my list of books with you below.
2017 Reading Challenge
1. Heartfelt Discipline by Clay Clarkson
2. Parenting The Wholehearted Child by Jeannie Cunnion
3. The Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson
4. The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
5. Harry Potter and The Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling
6. Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon
7. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
8. Divergent by Veronica Roth (The Divergent Series: Book 1)
9. Insurgent by Veronica Roth (The Divergent Series: Book 2)
10. Allegiant by Veronica Roth (The Divergent Series: Book 3)
11. The Witch of Blackberry Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
12. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
Do you like to read? If so, what are you reading right now? Share with me in the comments below the post!
One of my boy’s favorite breakfast foods is Oatmeal Banana Breakfast Cookies. My favorite thing about them is that they’re easy to make, and they can be prepped in advance. These cookies store for a couple days unrefrigerated, around a week or so in the fridge, and for 3 months when frozen. We usually have these cookies every month or two, and they a perfect fit for busy mornings!
- 1 cup mashed ripe bananas
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1 TBSP vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (or oat flour)
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine ingredients and mix well.
- Scoop on greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before storing.
You can find a printable recipe at the bottom of this post.
St. Patrick’s Day is one of our favorite holidays of the year! First off, we have some Irish blood in us… way, way back. Secondly, it’s a great reminder of the people who came before us and what they did to better our world. And lastly, it’s just plain fun.
This year, in addition to eating green food, we decided to put our green shirts on (except for the man… and yes, I pinched him all night!) and go bowling. It’s been a while since we’ve been so I won’t tell you my final score, but we had a great time together! We bowled in the dark with crazy lights which made the little guys do some wild dancing, we had milkshakes for dessert, and we spent a fortune (I totally forgot how expensive bowling was!) Nonetheless, it was a good time as a family, and I’m already looking forward to next year’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration.
Favorite Herbal Remedy
Last month, I shared my first monthly herbal tonic recipe with the mamas who receive my weekly Letters to Natural Mamas emails, and this month, I thought I’d share my March tonic with you.
You see, one of my goals this year is to do better at using herbs on a daily basis, and the best way to get into this habit is to use tonic herbs that are supportive to specific body systems. In February, the tonic I used was centered on the heart and cardiovascular system, and this month, my focus, while still on the cardiovascular system, has moved away from the heart and more towards the veins.
You see, my paternal grandmother had really bad varicose veins… like BAD. And while I’m doing great in that area so far, I know it runs in my family which makes me prone to potentially getting them. So, I’m doing what I can to prevent it from happening now. That means lots of fluids, frequent breaks when sitting for a while, and using herbs to strengthen my vascular system.
This tonic comes from Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health (one of my favorite herbal books), and it’s called “Healing Tea for Healthy Veins. Rosemary recommends this tea to prevent and relieve varicose veins when drank daily.
- 2 parts butcher’s broom
- 2 parts hawthorn
- 2 parts rose hips
- 1 part white oak bark
- 8-ounces boiled water
- Bring water to a boil in a kettle.
- Combine herbs in a tea strainer and place in a teacup. Pour boiled water over the herbs. Cover and let sit 15 minutes.
- Remove tea strainer. Sweeten if desired, and enjoy!
Get a printable recipe at the bottom of this post!
Goals To Shoot For In April
Oh, my word, y’all! I actually accomplished all of my March goals except for one (buying more indoor plants... which I’m carrying over to April) which is a big accomplishment since it feels like I’ve not been doing so great at meeting my goals for the last few months. One of the biggest goals I’ve met this past month is that my new herbal membership site – Herb Folk – is ready to go and is officially launching next month. Like, for real! WOOHOO!!! This project has been a long time coming, and I’m so thankful to my web designer/developer and friend, Jamie, for all her hard work and help getting this ready to go. If you’re interested in learning how to use herbs without all the overwhelm that often goes along with it, I so hope you’ll join me inside of Herb Folk! I can’t wait to work more closely with you!
Okay, so, onto April goals.
This month I’d like to:
- Officially launch Herb Folk!!!
- Purchase some indoor plants for the house
- Get Easter outfits together and have a family picture made
- Complete another unit of the Advanced Herbal Study course from the Herbal Academy
- Continue planning for our spring/summer landscaping projects
- Read a book from my 2017 Reading Challenge list
- Go on a date with my man
- Finish Dr. Quinn series and start a new one (what… I’m not sure yet)
- Plan out some spring homeschool fieldtrips for the boys
- Get back in the habit of monthly Mother-Son dates
- Make a decision about curtain rods for the house
- Plan Ezrah’s birthday party
And that’s it! I hope you had a great March, friend, and as always, thank you SO MUCH for reading Growing Up Herbal!