Hi, friends! July has come and gone, although a little too quickly for my taste. I’ve been kicked back this summer, trying to take it easier than I normally do. I’ve been sleeping in, doing a lot of reading, and spending lots of time outside in the sun. If you get my Letters To Natural Mamas emails, you’ll already know all that though.
Today, I’m back with another “Things I Love” post where I share 5 of my favorite things from this past month with you. Seeing how I missed this post last month (on account of my laziness), I’ve really enjoyed putting this month’s post together for you! I hope you enjoy it too!
PS. If you like these kinds of posts (a mix of personal and educational), you’ll love my Letters To Natural Mama emails because they’re very much the same. You can learn more about them and even check out a sample email right here. I’d love for you to join me there. I love getting your letter replies and connecting with you in a more personal way!
We celebrated our annual Cousin’s Party this past month… a little earlier than we normally do on account of several family members being out of town for vacation in August (that’s us… woo-hoo!).
As usual, it was a blast, for the kids and the adults alike. We celebrated with our regular party food, swimming, and party games like the pillow sack race, three-legged race, speed race, balloon pop, and tug-of-war. The men even played a new game called Watermelon Ball in the pool. We’d never heard of it, but my father-in-law says it was a popular game when he was growing up. You grease a watermelon down with Vaseline then basically play football with it in the pool. It’s harder than it looks… or so the guys said. It was brutal for them and hilarious to us!
We ended the day with all the cousins opening their presents from Mum-mum and Pop-Pop. All of our boys got Wise Owl Outfitter hammocks! They love them! They’re super easy to set up, use, and take down. They’ve been doing their reading in them every day!
If you want an inside look at the Cousin’s Party, you can check it out right here!
Favorite Natural Product
With all my focus on rest this past month, this magnesium oil from Raise Them Well has gotten a lot of use around our house in the evenings! Magnesium is one of those necessary minerals to help our bodies function, not to mention get some good quality sleep, and unfortunately, it’s one that we can be deficient in.
You can make magnesium oil yourself by dissolving equal parts magnesium flakes and hot water together and putting that in a spray bottle, but sometimes, it’s simply easier to buy things premade. This magnesium oil has come in very handy when I want to quickly grab it and put it on myself or the boys before bed. It comes in a roller bottle and that makes applying it quick and easy!
Favorite Food Recipe
It’s no secret… cooking breakfast is not my thing. In fact, if I could convince my husband to let me hire someone to come to my home and prep healthy meals for my family, I so would!! No joke! That way, all I’d have to do would be to pull them out of the fridge or freezer, cook or heat them, and voilá! Food, served. Unfortunately, I think that may be a pipe dream.
Anyway, back to breakfast. I’m always looking for healthy, easy breakfast recipes I can make ahead of time so breakfast in the mornings is quick and simple, and I recently found a recipe for a breakfast casserole that my kids actually like.
Now, I’ve tried making breakfast casserols before, and my kids have NEVER liked them. Maybe that’s because they were all called “breakfast hash” and had some sort of winter squash in them. Thankfully, this breakfast casserole didn’t call for winter squash, and they liked this one. It did, however, have sausage, and my kids love sausage.
We recently had my mother-in-law’s hog butchered, and we’re eating him. Weird… I know. It’s kind of weird for me too. I normally buy meat packaged up all pretty at the grocery store. I mean, I’m no homesteader by any means. Anyway, my MIL keeps a lot of animals, and she love them very much, unless they hurt one of her grandchildren. Then the animal is a gonner. Well, the hog got a little protective over his food one day and bit my kiddo, Judah, on the leg. Thankfully, I convinced my MIL to hold off on putting the creature down so we could butcher and eat him. He was a non-GMO, mostly pastured hog for crying out loud! I didn’t want to waste that meat! So, “delicious” (yes that’s what we call him because that’s what he is) is packaged up all pretty, four different ways, in our deep freezer. We see him every now and again. Usually at breakfast.
Favorite Home Project
I love my home here in the moutains. Love it! Except for the driveway, but that baby is getting fixed soon and that means I will love it too.
Anyway, as usual, we are continuing to work on the landscaping in front of our house. We’ve made some progress this summer. We have filled in dirt behind the retaining walls that were build last year and covered everything up front (except for one section in front of the lower wall) with mulch. Dean has also finished my “Pinterest stairs” that lead from our deck down the front yard and to the boy’s playset, and we recently filled them with some tiny gravel. All that’s left to do is stain them to match the deck flooring, but we have to let the wood sit and age for a bit before we do that.
No matter, I’m a happy woman because our front yard is finally starting to come together! Onward and upward, friends!
Favorite Herb Finds
We’ve been out and about quite a bit this summer, and while we always spot herbs that we recognize well by now, it’s always fun to spot some new finds every now and then.
One evening, Dean and the boys were out doing something and came back with an “old man of the woods” mushroom. It was a first to find close to home, for us, so that was exciting. The boys are always excited when they find mushrooms they can eat, though.
And, as always in July, we went out to collect some mullein flowers to make some fresh mullein infused oil, one of my go-to herbal oil for inflammation among other things. You can see how I make it here. This has become a family tradition for us, and it’s a good lesson for the boys to learn.
Lastly, driving down my driveway the other day, I found a little patch of Indian ghost pipe growing. I love finding rare-ish herbs near my home. Unfortunately, this is one I’ll probably just leave to see if it comes back in a larger amount next year unless I can figure out how to harvest it without destrying the roots. I read that aerial portions worked just as well as the whole plant, but I’m still not sure if I’m ready to risk it.
Goals To Shoot For In August
I can’t really share how I did with the goals I set for myself in July, seeing how I skipped setting any last month—other than having a goal of majorly taking it easy, which I accomplished. As for August, I’ll be doing much of the same except for finishing gathering school supplies for this coming school year.
This month I’d like to:
- Finish gathering all school books needed for the 2017-2018 school year
- Prep work to-dos for vacation
- Pack and finish last-minute vacation plans
- Finish 2 books from my 2017 Reading Challenge list
And that’s it for this month’s Things I Love post! I hope you had a great May, friend, and as always, thank you SO MUCH for reading Growing Up Herbal!