~Vacation~

I’ll be taking the next week off to finish up a few projects and get ready for my oldest son’s birthday.

I plan to be back on  June 5th with tales of  bee hives and marathons and Big boys turning 11 and hopefully some major progress to share on my floor.

Have a great week!

~Monika


This Moment ~ Her First Kite

Joining in with Soulemama.

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

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Stinging Nettle ~ Urtica Dioica

We are thick with Stinging nettles right now.  Any place on our property that has a bit of shade, has a patch of nettles growing nearby.  Nearly everyone I know has a nettle story that involves the prickly plant and stings somewhere unpleasant.  I have one or two of my own.  It’s generally not a big deal, and the stings go away within a day or so.

Not everyone is aware of this, but Nettle is edible and incredibly good for you.  So you can spend your weekends trying to rid of this little plant or you can use it to feed your family and help keep them well.

Some of the health benefits of Stinging Nettle include:

  • anti-allergy and hay fever
  • anti inflammatory
  • helps eczema
  • arthritis
  •  helps with respiratory aliments
  • helps with dandruff and makes hair shiny

The plan for today was to have a nettle recipe tried and reviewed for you, but sick kids and getting ready for Frank’s parents has taken priority so I’ll leave you with a few recipes.

Nettle Pesto

Stinging Nettle Soup

Nettle Aloo

Obviously you’ll want to wear gloves when picking and preparing your nettles.  The hairs on the plant is what causes the sting.  Once the plant has either been pulverized or cooked, the hairs are no long a problem.

Take care to avoid nettles if you are on blood thinners, beta blockers or a couple of other medications as it causes some interference.

The smallest and newest leaves are the most tasty.  The older ones are a bit tough.

I hope you take some time to eat your weeds this week.  I plan on making the pesto, and perhaps the soup.

Have you ever cooked with nettles?


The shape of things.

I’ve made the decision to lose the rest of my ‘baby weight’.   Don’t laugh, but my oldest baby is going to turn eleven (11!!!) next week and I still haven’t lost the weight from his pregnancy.  Yes, I’m still calling it baby weight.

I’m not going to do anything too drastic.  The plan is to go back to a mostly Paleo/Primal diet with a few cheats.  I don’t give up cheese.  Not for anyone ever.  I’ll allow a few other things here and there, but I’m going to try hard to  eat clean.  Stay away from grains, stay away from refined sugars and the biggie.. I’m going to move my body more.

My exercise plan as it is now (it’ll change.. it always changes) is this:

  •  Sunday – Yoga
  • Monday – Zumba
  • Tuesday – Yoga
  • Wednesday – Zumba
  • Thursday Yoga
  • Friday – Zumba
  • Saturday – Rest (really farm work, but I don’t need to add working out to that)

Currently, I’m doing an hour of yoga, and 20 minutes of Zumba.  Next week, the Zuma gets bumped up to 40 minutes and then the following week, if I’m keeping up.. I’ll bump the Zumba up to 60 minutes.

I’m a work out at home kind of girl.  I’ve never found myself to be a joiner of groups and the gym is no exception.  My yoga practice is based out of this book.

It has very precise pictures of how a pose is done, and the muscle groups worked when doing the poses correctly.  I’ve tried yoga videos, yoga on the wii  (and even a class) but this book has been by far the best resource I’ve found.  Currently, I’m awaiting the next book in my yoga collection.  It’s in the mail now.  Hopefully, next week I’ll have a book review for it.

Now for the Zumba.  I just got the Zuma Rush game for the Kinect and that’s how I’m getting my cardio in.  So far, I’m liking it.  I’ve only done it a couple of times,  so I can’t say anything too definitively either way.

On the right of the blog under the count down for summer’s end, you’ll find a My Fitness Pal ticker.  I’ve committed to losing 27 pounds.  That would put me back at the same weight I was before I found out I was pregnant for the first time in my life.  I find weight to be a pretty arbitrary number when it comes to a person’s overall health and fitness, so I don’t usually let that be my guide.  I’m not striving to be what the BMI charts say I should weigh.

Feel free to look me up on My Fitness Pal.  I’m bewitchinglife there.

For now, I just want to get back to ground zero.  To have the weight of three pregnancies off of my frame and to build and keep some good habits concerning physical activity and nutrition that will stay with me.  This is more about changing who I am than, just working towards a goal.  I plan on being around for a long, long time and I want to be healthy.. and also comfortable in my skin.

They say the people who make goal are more successful.  They also say that the people who tell their goals with others are more successful still.  I just told all of you!


Coconut Oil For Your Skin

A few weeks ago Joni Rae at Tales of a Kitchen Witch had a giveaway on her facebook page for hitting a milestone.  She had giveaways every couple of hours and had lots of cool things to spoil her readers with.  I was lucky enough to win a copy of the e-book Coconut Oil For Your Skin by Hybrid Rasta Mom, Jennifer.

With all of the things going on here at the farm and finishing up the yurt, it took me a while to actually get down to the business of making up any of the recipes.  Once I got down to it, it was very simple.  Most of the ingredients were easy to find at my local store and I had quite a few of them on hand.

The first recipe I tried was the Shampoo for Brunettes (center).  It was really easy to make and smelled amazing! Unfortunately, it is not the shampoo for me.  My hair is very fine and anything that leaves weight on my hair makes it limp and without body.  The shampoo was very moisturizing and I suspect it will make a very good deep conditioning treatment for occasional use.  Naturally, someone with a different hair type might find this just the thing.  I’m crazy picky about shampoo, and haven’t found one yet that I love 100%.  (OK, I just woke up with a crazy head of very oily wildly curly hair.. think Medusa)  This definitely is not the shampoo for me, but I’m certain when I wash this out my hair will be very conditioned.

The next recipe I made was the lip balm.  That was a very quick and easy recipe and the lip balm is perfect.  I flavored mine with Vanilla and Tangerine Essential Oil and I could have used more, as I can barely smell or taste it.  I like the feel of the balm on my lips.  I’d say this recipe was a win and I’ll definitely make it again.  I think some vanilla lime lip balm sounds just right for summer.  All of the kids like the lip balm and want me to make more so this one was a big win at the house.

The  makeup remover was next on my list (tiny Patron bottle).    It took just a few minutes to make.   I have to say this was another win!  I like it better than my current method of sleeping in my make up and then trying to scrub it off in the morning shower.  It left my skin feeling moisturized and soft.

The last recipe I made was the Rejuvenating  Face Wash(large patron bottle – I swear this isn’t a party house).  Another simple recipe.  It was quick to make like the others.  I have to say that this was my favorite product.  My skin has been feeling a bit dry lately and this has fixed it right up.

I have enjoyed reading through the book, and learning some new uses for coconut oil.   I absolutely think that if you are interested in making your own personal care products that you would enjoy this book.  My list of recipes to try next is getting a little long.  One thing is for sure, I’m going to make some toothpaste soon.

I hope you are having a great week!


The Weekend.

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We spent the first part of Saturday cheering on Kevin at his pre-marathon 10K.  He was the fastest runner there that day.  Good job Kevin!

The rest of our weekend was spent lying low and tending  to sick children.  I’m hoping that we’ve seen the last of that for a while.

Hoping your weekend was exactly what you needed it to be!

~Monika


This Moment ~ Five Years Ago Today

Joining in with Soulemama.

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.