Give a Man a Fish, and You Feed Him for a Day. Teach a Man To Fish, and You Feed Him for a Lifetime
– author unknown
It’s been a minute huh? Ok, here’s a very fast update. I’m on the Bulb’s advisory board! (Yaaaay Me!) And I’m also now a certified in CPR for youth and adults.
For the last 6 weeks, home-schooled students across Charlotte from 3 years old to 16 have been learning how to grow food in small spaces. These kids were from very diverse walks of life. I taught Urban Horticulture and the focus of the class was self sufficiency.
Each class was taught in a age appropriate group using engaging strategies to encourage creativity and exploration. The students face literally lit up with our weekly gardening adventures.
So far we have successfully learned how to make:
Raised Bed Gardening
The biggest take home for these students were
For me, it was verification that parenting greatly reflects a garden.
We all begin as seeds. The better you tend to it the seeds, the better it grows, and the more fruitful it will be. To do the opposite is perilous. Too many weeds and wild animals will destroy it.
Disclosure—> I am not a master gardener or carry any degree in the science of horticulture. I am just a mom that believes in self sufficiency and have learned so much from local master gardeners and lots of trial and error with my little guys in tow.
Repeat After Me; “Cooking classes are for people that eat.” They aren’t just for free food samples and entertainment. Now, If you attend a really good one, that also has a farmer’s market on the property…you’ll really be sizzling!
Each week the boys and I have been attending the Rosa Parks Farmers Market here at the Health Department on Beatties Ford Rd. They even had a chef out there offering free cooking classes. I give them an allowance and most times, they stay within their budget. Because the prices are very fair, the produce is organic and locally grown, it quickly became a highlight of our week. As a matter of fact, the baby boys learned their days of the week based on “Tuesday Market Day.”
My home-schooled boys love the Kids Zone too. It’s like their own little world of education and entertainment. Which is great as I shop and get the first sample of Chef Kabuhi’s dishes, on the days they don’t feel like sitting quietly and watching. As the chef cooks, he teaches, tells stories and pause for culinary photo opportunities every once in a while. From him we’ve learned these things:
It’s smarter to add salt as you go along. There is NO WAY of reducing it once it’s on your food.
God doesn’t bless you with good health when you choose to eat cheap food
Spice is a seed and herbs are plants
If you listen*, your food will talk to you.
Produce are mostly water. You don’t need any more to cook them.
The sign of a good chef includes just 3 Things – Temperature, Flavor and Moisture.
When we buy dead food , we not only disrespect our bodies, but also our local farmers, family,and your families local economy.
Your food is your mirror
He shared so much more,but I dare not tell you. You’ll have to go see him for yourself.
Today, I do take more time with each meal. I am empowered to try different combinations of food textures and understand the necessity to keep our garden up as much as we can, even in the winter months. Honestly, I think everyone should frequent farmers markets and take cooking classes. It empowers you to learn basic cooking skills, gives you awareness of food integrity, and teaches you how to speak with your food dollars!
Lol! He said”Take a picture of this beauty!”
And I could not end without showing off my enhanced culinary skills that I did not get from Johnson and Wales University, (because I was a business major) I gathered some produce from our garden. Seasoned my oil with this mix I bought from the chef. Cooked my eggplants first, peppers/mixed greens last. WHY? Because the pepper/greens mix were the fastest to cook, so adding them near the end is best for the finished product (Thank you Chef Kabuhi)
I can only hope the kids at the upcoming Total Children’s Wellness Fair does this well and leave this big of an impression. I know my boys are requesting to make more cooking videos now. Yes, Win Win Win!
We are going to miss our Tuesday Market Days’ It will always be our summer spot for community chatting, fun shopping, organic produce, informative and wise chef place to buy real food and learn how to cook it.
Have you ever attended a farmers market that had a chef there? Do you like cooking classes? Tell me about your experience.
“This ensures that everyone has the opportunity to have fresh, affordable food.” We also believe that, just as Ms. Rosa Parks felt that people having access to public accommodations is a civil rights issue, we also believe that food sovereignty – people having fresh, affordable culturally appropriate food – is a human rights issue as well as a civil rights issue.” -Reggie Singleton,a health policy coordinator with the county
Phew! Can you believe we are headed into the winter season already? There is nothing more pitiful than to look in your child’s eyes and see pain, congestion and low energy. Over the years, I’ve put together some of my favorite herbal blends for my family. Because they don’t always like my culinary creations, I try to mix it up a bit with power herbs to reach the same goal of a high immune system.
Kombucha-A happy gut is a healthy body. The main part of your immune system is in your gut, so keeping it supplied with good bacteria will help make a stronger body. There are a few ways to do this but a good probiotic and/or fermented foods in your diet like kombucha will help populate the good bacteria in your body.
Powdered herbs into blender shakes/Smoothies– ADD IN cod liver oil, collagen/ food sources of vitamin C with some berries, steamed greens and coconut water every day to make sure we are starting off on the right foot.
Soap -When flu prevention experts advise you to wash your hands, they don’t mean a light drizzle of water. As mama always said, use soap and warm water — and rub hands for 15 to 20 seconds. Sing the ‘Happy Birthday’ song twice while rubbing, to keep track of the time.
What You’ll Need
A natural bar soap of choice. Homemade bar soaps usually work well and my other favorites are Dr. Bronners, african black soap, and Kombucha soap (available here).
Distilled or filtered water
A dispenser: Reuse an old soap dispenser, use a glass one or metal one, or make one out of a mason jar by drilling a hole in the top and hot gluing on the top of a soap pump dispenser.
Prep time: 5 mins Cook time: 20 mins Total time: 25 mins
1 part Elderberry
2 parts Rose Hips
2 parts Echinacea puroporea
2 parts Chamomile
2 parts Astragalus
Combine herbs and use 1tsp of the mix per cup of boiling water. Let steep at least 20 minutes up to 8 hours for full medicinal effect. Drink 2-3 cups a day as needed to support immune function.
Mouth Wash (if you have a Doterra or Young Living connection, you’re good! )
How To Make Homemade Mouthwash
1 cup of Purified Water
¼ tsp salt
5-10 drops of Thieves Essential Oil (depends on how strong you want it)
4 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil
2 drops of Frankincense Essential Oil
Optional: 1 tsp baking soda
Glass bottle (essential oils can degrade plastic)
Getting our herbs and spices from our garden and local farmer’s market is nice too. Being able to grab Western medicine is easy. But do you really want to be completely dependent on someone else for your healing. Let’s be like the ants and do more for ourselves. It works!
This list, as simple as it titled, needs to be shared. – Hand Washing
Sometimes Sheroes are right in our back yard! They are the ones that get up everyday, no matter what’s going on at home, in their mind, or in their account and make it happen. No excuses , no delays- they are unselfishly walking in their calling and impressing the world one day, move, and thought at a time.
You may or may not know their names, or ever spoken to them, but you’ve seen them or results of their incredible work. They are “Sheroes; Moving Forward!”
On April 2nd, at 11″30 am, We will honor our sheroes by resting their capes and revealing why they are so bold, brave and unstoppable!
In honor of Women’s History Month, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Library presents NC SHEROES “Moving Forward!”
THIS IS OUR 2nd year celebrating with MomsRising NC and my moms group Queen City Stay At Home Moms.
We will honor 6 amazing women, who have made significant contributions to the Women’s movement right here in North Carolina.
After an introduction, we will award each Shero. Then go into a Round-table. Come prepared to find out why women matter and should be empowered to have a voice! Bring a child with you. It’s lessons like these that stick with them!
Sweet Right?! We’ll see you there! This ceremony is complete with refreshments! So don’t worry about stopping for breakfast. And …Yes bring the kids, we’ll have a station for them to entertain themselves need be.
Beatties Ford Public Library, Charlotte NC
All are welcomed and encourage to attend. Free Parking, Refreshments and Admission
Did I tell you about my “40 by 40” mission? Okay, so here it is. This October, I will be 40. Clothes I loved from years back, I can’t get in them any more. It’s beginning to show in my face and I can’t suck it in anymore. Because of those reasons, I’ve been hitting the gym 5 days a week for a total of 13.5 hours a week. Well, it caught up with me last weekend. I was a mess. I couldn’t move my pelvic area from the front to buttocks. The pain was crippling to say the least.
But the Classes Were Fun!
As the organizer for Queens Fitness, I couldn’t miss a workout! Sunday Night it came to an end. I was bedridden,broken, and bored! First thing I did was fast. The plan was to minimize trips to the bathroom. I didn’t want to break anyone’s back either.. Needless to say, I loved the fact that had so many shoulders and hands to take care of me. Yet loathe being dependent. I pulled out my phone and began to look for low toxic remedies. ( well, I actually call my local herbalist, but it took her too long to respond & I had already taken 2 store brand pain pills ) Here’s what I found:
Capsaicin Relief Recipe –
Capsaicin the substance that makes chile peppers hot, has been found to reduce pain in arthritis patients when topically applied repeatedly over several is weeks. Researchers have found that it reduces substance P which is found at nerve endings and is involved in transmitting pain signals to the brain.
You will need…
-3 cups of grapeseed oil, or any other oil like almond, jojoba, or olive
-3 tablespoons of ground cayenne -1/2 cup of beeswax
-3 tablespoons of turmeric -2 tablespoons of ground ginger
-A double boiler
Mix together 3 tablespoons of ground cayenne, 3 tablespoons of turmeric, and 2 tablespoons of ground ginger. Add this to 3 cups of grapeseed oil in a double boiler and stir until mixed thoroughly. Warm over medium heat for 5-10 minutes and then add in 1/2 cup of beeswax. Stir until the beeswax has melted completely and everything is blended together, and then remove from heat and chill in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes take it out and whisk it together and then refrigerate for another 10, blending it once more at the end. Put in a glass jar with a tightly fitting lid in the refrigerator, where it will keep for 1 ½ weeks. Apply as needed for pain, but with this cream, rub in as much as you can and then let it dry before rinsing off. The turmeric will really stain. Important note on use!
* If you prefer to skip grating and use weight to measure the total should be about 2 oz. THIS recipe came from ‘Massage By Denise’ -go there for the directions…
If you don’t want the little bits of spices in there, follow the steps below to get a smooth infused oil to use in the cream (this makes it easier to get absorbed.)
Mix together your oil and spices for whichever recipe you choose to do. Heat over medium heat in a double boiler for 15 minutes, and then remove it to cool and infuse for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, strain through a cheesecloth and reserve the infused oil. After it is strained melt the beeswax in a double boiler, and pour in the infused oil. Stir until blended thoroughly, and then follow the same steps for chilling, whipping, and storing as above.
Warning: These spices stain. Wear an apron or clothes you don’t mind putting at risk when making these.
And the classes will be fun again after I’m back on my feet!
OK, let’s face it, you gotta do laundry. My family runs the washing machine at least four times a week. Can you imagine the amount of laundry powder we go through?
I get so frustrated because I love the good smelling strong powders but I also want to stay away from the strong toxins many of them have while saving money. It was a few years back that I decided to learn how to make my own. Now I have the best of all three worlds. My clothes smell dreamy, feel of toxins and we save money with each load.
Try these recipes and see how you too can be toxic free like me….. well, at least in the laundry room. This mixture will wash about 60 loads. Enjoy!
bar bath soap, grated (your favorite brand)
1 cup arm & hammer super washing soda laundry detergent (a laundry booster)
Cover with water and simmer over medium heat until all soap is melted, stirring occasionally.
Pour into 5 gallon bucket.
Add washing soda and borax.
Add enough hot water to fill the bucket.
Stir & let sit overnight to gel.
Use 1 cup per load.
NOTE: You can pour this into old detergent containers or leave in the bucket. For fresh, clean laundry without chemicals, make your own powders and sprays.
16 cups baking soda
13 cups of Borax
12 cups washing soda
8 cups grated castile or glycerin soap flakes*
3 tablespoons lavender, lemon or grapefruit essential oil
Combine baking soda, Borax, washing soda and soap flakes. Add essential oil and mix with a wire whisk. Use 1⁄8 cup per load. Yield: This recipe makes enough powder to last a family of eight for six months.
*Pre-Wash Stain Spray
1⁄2 cup white vinegar
1⁄4 cup baking soda
3 cups water
Stir together and fill a labeled spray bottle. Spray on soiled spots just before washing. Always test a hidden spot first.
1 cup hydrogen peroxide
1⁄4 cup lemon or grapefruit juice
12 cups water
Store in a labeled plastic jug. Add 2 cups per load along with detergent.
Extra tips: For extra-clean clothes, follow your detergent with 1/2 cup of washing soda, an all-natural laundry booster. Add baking soda to wash water at the same time as detergent to soften and freshen clothes and linens. These work well for us. The children love to help with these projects, also. I allow them help select the soap pieces, pour dry items and capping bottles. It makes them happy, so have fun with it!
Okay, now here’s a little from my son’s game Monday. We had a ball! It was so clear that it’s More than just a game.
I am not a hoarder! I only like to keep great information together for future reference. And I have no problems getting rid of things. Contrary to what my family may say. For example, my magazine from 2006, it will be recycled today, right after I rip out the reference friendly bits that I need. I came up with a plan. Sort, compile, and back up everything starting with my overcapacity file cabinet.
It’s amazing what you can find while cleaning up. Instead of stapling, storing, and stuffing, I’ve recycled others information into a new gift to share!
What took up needed space in my file cabinet is now recycle, reduce and reused. With so much information I figured there was no better time to write my 2nd book. So I enticed my husband to take the children out for a few hours over the last 4 weeks and BOOM! I have a quality product to show for all of that quiet “Me Time!”
Take a look. This collection is great for new moms, teens, baby’s, and dads with over worked body parts. It’s a teaser, if you want to see more, you’ll have to visit my gift shop. I have over 50 all natural treatments there. Many of the ingredients you can find in your kitchen or local health store. You’ll love every one of them. I did!
2 heaped tsps of fine oatmeal 1 tsp, baking soda
Combine ingredients. Add enough water to make a paste. Apply and gently rub skin. Rinse and pat dry.
High Energy Smoothie
½ C of plain yogurt ½ banana ½ mango ½ cup orange juice ½ cup of ice
Blend & Slurp.
Aromatherapy for Pain Management
2 drops of pine oil 3 drops of eucalyptus 3 drops of frankincense
Put in 20 ml carrier oil jar*
Use this up to 3 years for best results.
Add 4-5 drops of peppermint, rosemary, and thyme to a large bowl of water . Soak for a few minutes and air dry feet on dry towel.
¼ C of your favorite herbal tea, strongly brewed
8oz liquid castle soap
Add soap and tea. In a pot, stir mixture until well blended. After usage, store in capped bottle.
Combine oils and butter into heated proof cup. Place cup in boiling water and melt. Remove from heat and stir well with a popsicle stick. Place water, borax and glycerin in a separate —– (This process was way too long to post here. I’ll have it in a book for you. Just know thatit is really good 🙂 )
CoCo Mango Foot Bar
1 lb CHOPPED organic goat milk melt and pour base soap
½ C COOLED* fresh coconut, grated, flaked and toasted till golden 2 oz of organic mango butter
Grind coconut and set it aside.
Melt melts in double broiler. Pour the melted butter over the melted soap base. The sprinkle coconut on top. —-Too much to share here. Get the book in 2 weeks and have it all to enjoy at home..
So you like them or Naaah? LOL, that’s how the young ones suggested I ask. Take care ya’ll!
**** 10% of sales from this purchase will go to Queen City Stay At Home Moms********
We all LOVE the neen paste, but it’s so expensive in most stores.
Want a healthier mouth? Of course you do. If you use these 3 recipes, you can do just that and save a ton of money on oral care. Turns out my mom was smarter than I gave her credit for. Since she was the one to introduce me to the natural oral care, I found it fitting to name my family toothpaste line after her.
Truth is, I thought my mom was crazy when she sprinkled baking soda on her toothbrush & started cleaning he teeth. After research, I’ve began to make my own recipe. I wanted to see if other mos would like it so I took it to the playground and guess what? The moms at LOVED it! Now does it work? Heck yeah! It works just as good if not better than every toothpaste I have ever used. It gets my teeth feeling squeaky clean, and they stay feeling nice and clean until the next time I brush my teeth. Try it!
Here’s 3 you can try & yes, they’re easy- peasy!
“Plain Janie” toothpaste-
That’s it, I said it was easy.
or “Sassy J”
3 tbsp Baking Soda
2 tbsp Boiling Water
4 tsp Dr. Bonner’s castle soap
1/2 cup Coconut oil
1 tsp Peppermint leaf extract (or any natural extract like cinnamon or clove etc.)
OR “Vegan Ma J”
This formula swaps out the glycerin and uses coconut oil instead. The coconut flavor and essential oil should mask the subtle taste of the hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, but you can add a few drops of stevia if you prefer a sweeter paste.
6 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon hydrogen peroxide
2 tablespoons coconut oil (warm enough to be liquid, which means above 76 degrees F)
10 drops peppermint, clove, or citrus pure essential oil
Mix it all up
Adding more water will result in some separation between the baking soda and the water if you let it sit for a while, just make sure to mix it up before you use it each time. And you’re done! Brush On!
I don’t know who this child is, but she is enjoying the experience!
– additional info –
Storing it: You can store your brand spanking new toothpaste in any airtight container you’d like. Or if you want you can recycle an old toothpaste tube, and refill it with your new toothpaste.
How long does it last: This will easily last for a week. The less air that gets to it, the less bacteria and things like that will reach it, and therefore it will last longer.
If it dries out: If your toothpaste does end out drying out a little bit you can always add a little water to it to make it a good consistency again.
Don’t Eat It: Just as with regular toothpaste don’t swallow this toothpaste, baking soda is safe, but you definitely shouldn’t swallow a bunch. YUCK!
Pick a good toothbrush: Use a good soft bristle toothbrush. Brushing too hard with a firm bristled brush can damage your enamel. Personally I like these wooden toothbrush, they have soft bristles, look awesome, and are made from renewable resources.
In closing, let’s share a laugh:
A little boy was taken to the dentist. It was discovered that he had a cavity that would have to be filled.
"Now, young man," asked the dentist, "what kind of filling would you like for that tooth?"
"Chocolate, please," replied the youngster.
I would “Burry” & eat this up! But I don’t do Easter.
Fill up a sugar free basket!
Happy Easter Weekend!It’s raining in the Carolina. All outdoor hunts are officially drenched! Í would be upset if we had plans today, but because we don’t,” Que Sera Sera .” If you are stuck inside and need some sunny bright ideas for indoors, here you go. I’ve put together four of the best indoor egg games ever!
Growing up in the south, I remember my mom passing out Easter speeches to all of the church children and getting us out to each and every practice. Then when the big day came, we got all shiny and clean just to hold the mike and freeze.The church was lucky if they heard a “Happy Easter Day!” This video reminded me of those carefree days! Too funny, take a look. Our church would respond just like those folks did.
We don’t celebrate Easter anymore. In the mean time we have can up with so many ways to enjoy this festive time with family and friends. I’ve listed some below.
Goodbye ole man winter, with your bitter winds and mounds of snow, and hello young-óne spring.
How incredible our Creator is.
Spring, marks the beginning of warmer weather and longer daylight hours, the blooming of flowers and the budding of leaves. Yes!
So what do a large homeschooling family like mine do a the very 1st day of spring in the south? We dress our dog, look for worms, plant certified GMO FREE seeds, start gathering things inside of the house to give away to a local non profit thrift store, figuring out when we’ll go to Virgina to pick our oldest son up from college and who high school graduation we’ll be attending.(if any at all)
Yup, he’s that tall. I should mention that it’s my husbands favorite time of year. He calls me a clutter-er. (Go figure!)
Now who is afraid of Monsanto? Not us!
We give and get from the 501c3 thrift stores.
Plant just about all of these now.
This year we’re adding something else to the list. We’re going to see Disney Jr. Live Pirates and Princess Adventure LIVE! What better way to get excited about spring huh?!
Get your tickets here for the live show on the 20th!
Now that the winter weather was broke, get outside and look for adventurous signs of spring!