Making Lemonade out of Lemons-Literally

Oh my!  I am not sure what happened but I have been in a funk for the past couple of days.  I was supposed to post this like a week ago, but I was just not feeling it.  Now I am back to normal and so ready to get back into the swing of things.  So, as promised, here is the recipe for the delicious lavender lemonade that I made for our BBQ a couple weekends ago.

lavender lemonade 3

Here are the ingredients; a bag of lemons, honey, lemon and lavender essential oils.  I also found this super cute glass pitcher to put it all in.  The best part is it was on sale at TJ Maxx for only $14!

lavender lemonade 4

These two oils are a couple of my favorites.  They can be used in so many ways and the flavor that they add is amazing!  I love just having the lemon in my water.

lavender lemonade 2lavender lemonade 1

I juiced 9 lemons right into the pitcher.  It was a little difficult trying to keep all of the seeds from going in, but if they do it’s no big deal.  They won’t come out of the spout anyway, so no one would accidentally get them in their drink.

Next, I made a honey syrup with a cup of honey and a cup of water.  I warmed them in a small saucepan until they combined.  Then I added two drops of lavender and two drops of lemon to the honey syrup.

I add the honey syrup to the lemons and then started adding a cup of water at a time until I got the right flavor and consistency.  You just kind of half to play around with it and it depends on how tart or sweet you would like it to be.

lavender lemonade

Then I added neon purple food coloring, until I got a color that I liked.  I stuck the pitcher in the fridge and let it sit over night.  The next day it was probably one of the hottest days ever and this delicious drink was the perfect thing.

I hope you are able to make this for your family and enjoy it as a refreshing drink.

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Peppermint Fudge, What?!

This past weekend my beautiful niece was dedicated at our church.  So after church we had a small BBQ and I thought, “What better time to try out some new recipes using my oils?”  I had been pinning like crazy and needed to see if they were any good.  The first one I made was peppermint fudge.  Can you say, York Peppermint Patty?  That is exactly what this rich deliciousness tastes like.  I took some pics, just in case you want to try it for yourself.

peppermint fudge 4

First, you line a pan with foil and put non-stick spray on it.

peppermint fudge 1 peppermint fudge 2peppermint fudge 3

These are the ingredients.  That’s it!  No joke.  You need 3 cups of semi-sweet morsels, a can of sweet condensed milk and one drop of peppermint essential oil.

peppermint fudge 5

You put the morsels and condensed milk in a saucepan on low heat.  Let it slowly heat up and melt the chips.  You do not want to rush this or you will have burnt chocolate on your hands.  Once the mixture is smooth you add the one drop of peppermint oil.  One drop is really all you will need.  It is some super potent stuff, so don’t overdo it.

peppermint fudge

You then press the mixture in the prepared pan, cover and stick it in the fridge for a couple of hours.  Easy peasy.  Once it is hard you can cut into small squares.  I say small because it is very rich.  You only need to eat a couple of these babies before you have had your fill, which is a good thing for me.  If this was say, a tray of brownies, they would not last long in our house.  Fudge, on the other hand, has a little bit longer shelf life here.

Well, I hope you are able to make yourself a batch and enjoy that chocolatey, peppermint goodness.  Tomorrow I will try to post the recipe for the lavender lemonade that I made as well.

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My new kit!

So the long awaited day FINALLY came!  My kit came in and I am over the moon excited about it.  I don’t want to overwhelm you with everything, but I probably will.  So be prepared!  Here is the box that my kit came in.  Not too big, but they pack it pretty full with everything.

box

So I ripped it open immediately and here is what I found.

oils

My beautiful oils!  As you can see I have opened every single one of them.  I probably spent a good 20 minutes just smelling them all and making the kids smell them too.  I was a bit surprised that they did not all have the generic type “pretty” smell that we all usually experience with scents.  There are some that are really potent and should not be inhaled deeply from the bottle.

The next thing I took out and plugged in right away was this.

rose diffuser

It is so pretty and really easy to set up.  I just put in water to the fill line and started diffusing right away.  I put 3 drops of Copaiba and it was lovely.  I have since tried Lavender and Peace and Calming.  It is also super easy to clean out between uses.

Here are some more of the goodies that were packed inside.

inside goodiesproduct guide

The left picture is all of the samples that you get.  There are little bottles, that are super cute by the way, that you can put any oils in to hand out.  There are also little cards that the sample bottles connect to with information about the oil, as well as uses.  I gave out my first two last night!

There are little sample packs with 4 drops or so of oils that you can give out and would be great to just keep in your purse.  The Ningxia Red samples are included and I am excited to try those.  Each pouch has 2 servings and is supposed to be a great energy booster.  There is also a bottle of Stress Away, which surprisingly I have not opened yet, and a roll on that you can add to any bottle.

The picture on the right is the product guide, which has everything that they sell, as well as pricing.  I like that the pricing is there for the retail price, as well as the discounted price, if you are a distributor.  There is also an EO magazine which would be awesome to hand out.  It has some great articles on what essential oils are and ways to use them, as well as how kids can even get involved.

My kit came on Tuesday and already I have made two different kinds of bug repellent, Thieves tea (Which was delicious by the way.  My four year old could not get enough of it), solved some tummy issues with Digize and put Lemon in my water yesterday.  Not to mention having the diffuser on nonstop since I got it plugged in.  It has been awesome!

I am planning to have some make and take parties soon that I am really excited about.  Still trying to nail down the details, but I think we will be making bug spray, bath salts, clothespin diffusers and either sugar scrub or linen spray.  There are so many different ideas out there that it is hard to choose.  I will also serve refreshments incorporating the oils in them.  The tea I had the other night would be great, as well as this delicious looking Lavender lemonade that was shared with me.

I could go on and on, but I will leave you with this quote that kind of makes me laugh.

flannery

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A Little Bit of This and That

So I had every intention of writing something yesterday, but the day got away from me.  Plus, I didn’t really have anything to write about.  Today I decided to be ambitious and clean off my cluttered desk that is in my bedroom.  The desk that I just HAD to have because I knew I would get so much more done with a desk.  Well, anyway, my desk is now somewhat organized an I am remembering how much I do get done when I have a space to do it in.  This said space can also serve as a work only space and when I leave it then I am no longer working.  I was finding that it was becoming hard to unplug, so I am hoping that this is the solution for me.

Well,  I am super excited about today because today is the day that my essential oils kit is coming in the mail.  Now I may have just checked the tracking number for the dozenth time and it is out for delivery.  Going on this journey of trying essential oils has me really optimistic and excited to see what happens.  There are some areas that I feel our family could truly benefit.  As soon as the kit gets here I will take lots of pictures and post the unveiling.

Another fun thing happened recently, we got a new trampoline for the kids.  Well used, but new to us.  Kara’s birthday is tomorrow and she is hitting double digits. 10!!  I can not believe she will be going into 5th grade this year.  Oh boy!  Well, one of the things she asked for, for her birthday, was a trampoline.  So when I saw a friend post that they were selling theirs, since they are moving, then I knew that I had to snatch it up.  I just picked up pool noodles today to do the Pinterest find below.

trampoline noodles

We are also looking to have it sunk in the ground.  How cool would that be?

trampoline sink

Summer is slowly passing by, but I know that July will be gone before I know it.  So my classroom will start to become my priority very soon.  I am hoping to become more familiar with my new 3rd grade standards and units.  Eek!  I am still not sure what I  have gotten myself into, but I have peace in knowing that it was the right decision.

I guess that’s all for now.  Stay tuned for my full review on my essential oils kit!

Let it Go (disclaimer:this is not a Frozen parody)

Luke quote

There are few things in my life that I absolutely have to have.  A good night’s sleep, my favorite book and anything with peanut butter.  I am a severe peanut butter addict!  So when I came across this verse it made me really stop and think.  What am I clinging to?  Are there things in my life that I am not letting go, which are causing me to miss out on what God has planned?  I know that I have a tendency to prioritize my life in a haphazard manner, especially during the summer months.  Being a teacher can be both a blessing and a curse.

Don’t get me wrong I love having time off to spend with my kids and reboot.  The hard part for me is going from a crazy busy schedule to the exact opposite.  The whole first week of summer is like this weird transition period where I still wake up early, give myself tasks to complete each day and stay as busy as I can all day.  A month into summer, I won’t lie, the kids and I stay in our pjs for as long as possible.  My daughter, twice this week, was in pjs when my husband got home from work.

I try my best to take time to read my bible and pray, but for some reason I have a hard time placing it at the top of my list.  The one thing that I do manage to do almost every day is turn on my worship music and wash the dishes, clean the bathroom, hang out in the pool or whatever else the day entails.  But in my mind, I know that’s not enough.

There are way too many other things in my life that I just let get in the way or cling to, as the verse says.  Why?  What am I afraid of?  Do I really think that I can do a better job of steering my life?  Like the song says, Jesus take the wheel.  I want all of the fabulous things that He has planned for me, not just the mediocre things that I think I need.

There are far, far better things ahead

One of my all time favorite authors is C.S. Lewis.  When I was a teen I couldn’t get enough of his books.  Now that I am older and have children of my own, I am excited to introduce them to the worlds that C.S. Lewis created.  It always amazes me how a book can transform you and even when you pick it up again, years later, you still get those same feelings like you are reading it for the first time.

At the end of this school year I felt that it was time for me to make a change.  Having finished my fifth year of teaching Kindergarten, I had an urge to branch out and try something new.  I approached our school leader and shared my thoughts.  He was very excited and offered me some helpful suggestions in making my decision on what grade to choose.  In my mind, I was focused on 1st or 2nd grade, but couldn’t decide which one.  He made the point that 1st grade wasn’t really that much of a difference from Kindergarten and maybe wouldn’t feel like the change I was looking for.  After weighing all the pros and cons, which is something that I end up doing for almost every decision I make, I decided that 2nd grade would probably be my best choice.

So in my mind I am all set.  I know what I want and now it’s just a matter of my mind starting to plan for next year.  What kinds of things would I need that I didn’t already have?  Would I get some of my past students?  Then a week or so later I am waiting to use the bathroom in my small window of time during my student’s lunch and I see my school leader in the hallway.  He stops and asks if I’m busy during planning today, “Not at all,” I say, since you know nothing ever really gets done during planning time anyway.  He asks if I can meet with him briefly about something, to which I reply, “Sure!”  This is what ensues in my mind the moment he walks away:

Why does he want to meet with me?

He didn’t look mad, did he?

Great!  Now I’m going to stress about this until planning.

Well, the time came and as I went to meet with him the questions still ran through my mind.  Once I sat down in the office and he asked the question I had no idea that that was what it was going to be.  The question was, “Well, since you’re already thinking about going to 2nd, what do you think about 3rd?”

Mouth hanging open, close it, quick.  Isn’t that kind of an important grade?  No way!  I am not teaching 3rd grade.  He must be crazy.  So after I regained my composure he explained that he thought I would do really well in 3rd and that they needed to have a strong team.  Ok, so that made me feel good.  I told him that I would really think about it and get back to him.  Even as I left the office my mind was saying, “I am not teaching 3rd grade!”

Then, after having some time to process, I emailed and asked if I could do some classroom observations in both grades.  I thought maybe that would show that I was seriously thinking about my choice, when really my mind was still set on 2nd.  So I spent a day in and out of classrooms observing some awesome teachers interact with their students.  When the day was done I could not believe where my heart was pushing me.

There is a quote from C.S. Lewis that says, “There are far, far better things ahead then any we leave behind.”  While I felt that my mind had been made up, actually seeing the things that I could accomplish with 3rd graders sparked something in me.  It made me feel rejuvenated and ready to take on the challenge.  God had something bigger and better planned for me all along and you would think I would know better by now then to just try and figure it out on my own.  Duh!

So now, here I am, ready to be a 3rd grade teacher this coming school year.  I am excited, scared, thrilled, terrified and any other emotions that go along with those.  This starts a new chapter for me and I am looking forward to the far, far better things ahead.

Here we go, AGAIN!

peace

I am not sure how this happens, every time, but I somehow concoct these grandiose ideas of what my summer will be like.  The lists come out and I promise myself that it will all get done, one way or another.  Then reality sets in and lazy summer days take over.  The lists become suggestions of ways that I can spend my time and I start to make excuses of reasons why I don’t need to do those things.

  1. It’s SUMMER!
  2. The kids need a break (translation-I need a break!)
  3. There’s still plenty of time

I came across this verse today Psalm 34:14 “Turn away from evil and do good.  Search for peace, and work to maintain it.”  Or the condensed version, “Seek peace and pursue it.”  The word peace can mean different things for different people.  For myself, it can mean that I have a quiet moment sometime in my day to think and just be.  For others it might mean something else, like financial stability, a long vacation or even just taking a shower.  Finding this verse has helped me to rethink the lists and the pressure of getting things done.  I now want to seek “my” peace and run after it, with God’s guidance.

I am the type of person who has to be busy all the time.  I need to have things to do in order to feel like I have accomplished something throughout my day.  Well, lately God has been showing me that I just need to slow down and rest in Him.  To be honest, it has been really hard for me.  Whenever I try to rest my mind starts to race with other things and I just can’t sit still.  While I am getting better at it, I still have much more room for improvement.

So I will leave you with the challenge to find “your” peace and pursue it.  If it’s something that you’re not comfortable with then it’s probably right where you need to be.  Challenge yourself and know that you are not alone.

Thank you so much for reading my crazy random thoughts!