Things I Love: January 2017 | Growing Up Herbal | I'm sharing some more of my favorite things from January 2017... including essential oil blends, using leftover herbs from elderberry syrup, a blogger friends newest book, and more. Check it out!

Oh, my word! Can you believe the first month of 2017 is OVER? This past month has been a bit crazy as far as weather goes. One day it’s bright and sunny, like a warm spring day, then a few days later, it’s freezing cold, and we’re snowed in up here on the mountain (which is the case right now). Yep. The snow fell all night last night, and I woke up to the quiet woods covered in a blanket of snow. It’s gorgeous! Snow, my friends, makes me happy… like, Lorelai from Gilmore Girls, happy.

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. Without you, Growing Up Herbal would not be the same.

xo, Meagan

Favorite Project

Things I Love: January 2017 | Growing Up Herbal | I'm sharing some more of my favorite things from January 2017... including essential oil blends, using leftover herbs from elderberry syrup, a blogger friends newest book, and more. Check it out!

Something I’ve really enjoyed doing more and more over the last few years has been to play around with blending essential oils. I started by creating simple blends using 3 oils based on aroma only, but the more I learn about essential oils and using them correctly for my family, the more I’ve grown into creating blends that are either more in-depth (with 5 or more oils) or blends have more therapeutic value.

This past month, I’ve been working on updating my post all about blending essential oils for beginners, and I’m creating a super special free goodie to go along with it (the update and freebie will be here February 2017) so keep an eye out! During this big update, I’ve been working on some new essential oil blends to include in the freebie, and I can’t wait to share them with you. The above photo is part of my process for creating new oil blends. 

If you’re interested in creating your own aromatic/therapeutic essential oils blends, but you’re totally lost as to how to begin, keep an eye out for my post update and freebie. I know you’ll love it!

Favorite Book

Things I Love: January 2017 | Growing Up Herbal | I'm sharing some more of my favorite things from January 2017... including essential oil blends, using leftover herbs from elderberry syrup, a blogger friends newest book, and more. Check it out!

My blogger friend, Chris Dalziel of Joybilee Farm recently wrote a book called The Beeswax Workshop, and I snagged one of the first copies! Eek! 

And, as always, when I get a new book in the mail, I love flipping through the pages, checking out all the fun things inside, whether it’s information or DIY projects to bookmark for later. This book was no different, and oh boy, do I have a lot of projects marked.

So far, I’ve only made one, and I’m loving it! I’ll be sharing it in one of my upcoming Letters To Natural Mamas, but don’t worry… if you’re not getting those, sign up quick so you don’t miss out, but also know that I’ll be sharing some more DIYs from this book over the coming months. 

If you have your own bee hives and you are looking for some more ideas on how to harvest and use the wax from your hives, this book is for you! And if you’re like me and you don’t have bees, then you can simply purchase beeswax from a local source or online and make these goodies too.

Favorite Photo

Things I Love: January 2017 | Growing Up Herbal | I'm sharing some more of my favorite things from January 2017... including essential oil blends, using leftover herbs from elderberry syrup, a blogger friends newest book, and more. Check it out!

I told you a while ago how I’m working on doing a better job taking photos. Maybe this is something I’ll always be working on because I never look at a photo and think, “Yeah. I nailed that one!” Does anyone?

Anyway, landscape shots are tough for me right now, especially snowy ones. They seem to always turn out so blue looking on my camera. Maybe my settings are wrong or something, but for whatever reason, this one turned out just right. It wasn’t super blue, and I didn’t have to do much editing. 

I’m not sure what I like best about it. Maybe it’s the way the slow is laying on everything, giving the tree branches and laurels more definition, or maybe it’s the fact that the American flag is right up front and stands out against the neutral background. No matter, it’s a keeper!

Favorite Memory

Things I Love: January 2017 | Growing Up Herbal | I'm sharing some more of my favorite things from January 2017... including essential oil blends, using leftover herbs from elderberry syrup, a blogger friends newest book, and more. Check it out!

This month, our family celebrated cousin Lincoln’s 2nd birthday at the Kingsport Carousel, and everyone had such a blast! We’d never been there before, but all the kids had a good time riding the carousel over and over and over. Even the adults took turns riding with the kids. 

Seeing how Lincoln and Ezrah are around the same age, they’re best cousins and have a blast playing together (along with their cousin Aliza who’s super close in age too)! I love that our family is so close and that our kids will all grow up as best friends. 

And yes, the carousel is beautiful! All the horses and other woodland animals are hand-carved and painted by various craftsman, and the whole thing is a work of art! 

Favorite Food

Things I Love: January 2017 | Growing Up Herbal | I'm sharing some more of my favorite things from January 2017... including essential oil blends, using leftover herbs from elderberry syrup, a blogger friends newest book, and more. Check it out!

This past month, I made a fresh batch of elderberry syrup, and after I strained all the liquid off of the herb mixture, I just couldn’t bring myself to compost it right away. I mean, there’s still so much goodness left in it, right?

Now, some people will reuse the herbs from their first batch of syrup again for a second batch, only making the second batch a bit more concentrated. And while that’s a fine plan, I didn’t need a second batch of syrup so I decided to steep the herbs in more water, sweeten it with a little raw honey, and make some elderberry tea for the boys. 

Now, normally, the boys only drink water throughout the day. Occasionally, though, they’ll get some raw milk (or even a Zevia on special, special occasions). But, seeing how there’s really no harm in drinking regular glasses of elderberry tea throughout the day, I decided that I’d make them a special treat that they could drink whenever they wanted. 

And, as expected, they were so excited. They love having special herbal teas made for them. So now I’m asking myself why I’ve never thought of this before because I will totally be doing this more often! Or, using the leftover herbs to make an elderberry tincture. Humm… choices, choices.

What do you use your leftover elderberry syrup herbs for? Anything special? I’d love to hear your tips in the comments below!

Goals To Shoot For In February

Seeing how I took a blogging break in December to gear up for the launch of my new website redesign, I didn’t set any goals for January except to get this website launched. And, as you can see, happened, and I couldn’t be happier. Yes, there are some things that are taking getting used to, and I’m still finding things here and there that need some adjustments. Thankfully, my web designer/developer, Jamie, is top-notch, and she’s continually fixing things that aren’t working right. If you’re a blogger, and you’re ever looking for a gorgeous website, get in touch with Jamie and see if she’s a fit for you!

Okay, so, onto February goals.

This month I’d like to:

  • get the 10,000 things I need to do for Herb Folk’s March launch done!
  • Experiment with some adaptogen herbal recipes (and share some with you)
  • Finish the book The Child Whisperer and type my children
  • Finish the book The 5 Love Languages of Children and identify my kid’s primary love languages
  • Make Valentine’s Day goodie bags with the boys for their cousins
  • Make/buy each of the boy’s something special and have a Valentine’s Day-themed family day with them complete with yummy food and a movie
  • go on a Valentine’s Day date with my man at Cafe Lola in Johnson City! It’s a yearly tradition!
  • Finish our kitchen remodel (new countertops, tiled backsplash, new sink, and finally… a DISHWASHER!!!)
  • Keep up with my skin care routine since this is the time of the year I start slacking off
  • Finish Gilmore Girls (so I can start completely over with season 1)
  • Help Judah prepare for his first spelling bee
  • Take the boys to a pottery class

Alright, friend. I hope you had a great start to 2017, and thank you SO MUCH for your support! You are the best!

Be sure to follow me on Instagram to see more glimpses into my everyday life!