Saturday, December 29, 2012

I Can't Wait to Meet My Lil'....

We found out on the Winter Solstice the sex of our new baby (who will hopefully be making an appearance sometime mid-May). We waited until Christmas Day to share the news with our families. I wanted to do something cute, since we weren't having an actual Baby Reveal Party which we had had for Nye-Nye (there is something to be said for being the first grand-child on BOTH sides of the family).

After everyone went to bed on Christmas Eve, I spent two hours decorating T-shirts for our families to open on Christmas Day. I've never worked with fabric markers before and was surprised with how time-consuming the process was...maybe I should have also gotten the fine-tip markers. But overall, I'm pretty happy with how they turned out.

Here is the video of my parents opening up their present and finding out whether their predictions were correct...

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Making Candles in Rememberance

English: A lit candle in the dark Español: Una...
English: A lit candle in the dark Español: Una vela encendida en la obscuridad (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Like much of the country, I've been overwhelmed with the horror of the recent school shootings in Newtown, CT.

Saturday night, I made my first batch of beeswax candles. When I bought the supplies for the candles, my intention was to make some home-made Christmas presents. Now, I think I'm going to use most of them to light in memory of those that were lost.

If you are looking for a simple way to channel your feelings about the shooting, I know I found comfort in making candles to honor the victims. It was surprisingly easy to do. It only took me around an hour or so to make 12 candles. Once you get the hang of it, I'm sure it will take less time.

I think this could be an appropriate activity for 3rd graders and up. Younger children could help with some of the steps, but I think an adult with very steady hands should probably pour the wax into the mold.

Here is my post showing the video that I used to learn how to make the candles. The only thing I did differently was dip the entire wick in the melted wax. This made the wick more wire-like and made threading the wick through the mold much easier. You can also use vegetable oil instead of the silicone release spray.

I found my beeswax at the Baltimore Farmers' Market. The small flat braid wicking was purchased from Michaels. I borrowed my Mother's ancient candle taper mold which ended up leaking and creating lopsided tips. Not the most perfect candles but made with love.

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Friday, December 14, 2012

Getting Your Zzzzzz's. Linden Leaf and Flower Tea.

Linden (Photo credit: Lennixx)
I was introduced to Linden Tea by a Turkish friend, four or five years ago. I enjoyed the taste of the tea she made me but I didn't know anything about Linden's medicinal purposes at the time.

Now, Linden is my go-to herb when I'm feeling anxious or having a bout of insomnia. (And, it's safe to use while pregnant, for all those Pregnant Mamas out there). It's the only herb I've discovered that really helps me fall asleep. Interestingly, you need to make sure not drink Linden tea within 2 hours of taking your vitamins. Linden can interfere with vitamin absorption.

I find it fascinating how every plant reacts differently to everyone. One must really experiment and try each plant for yourself.

Over the last few years, I tried various herbs all known for their sedative properties. Passionflower only has a mild affect on me, Lemon Balm tastes lovely but doesn't make me sleepy, Chamomile gives me a belly-ache and neither Skullcap nor Valerian work for me. Only Linden has had much of an affect on my body.

Have you tried any of these herbs? What worked for you?

Remember, there is a difference between a medicinal tea and drinking tea for pleasure. Here is my post on how to make a medicinal tea or infusion. Also, don't forget to get the okay first with your Family Doctor. Hope this helps!

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This is Currently the Soundtrack of My Life

Toddlers are a lot of fun. A lot of work but the curiosity, the silliness, the joyfulness usually balances it all out. (Usually).
As anyone who has any experience with toddlers knows - repetition is part of package. Some books are easier to read 40 time a day. Some songs are easier to listen to on repeat for hours on end.
Nye-Nye has really gotten into making up her own songs. Frequently, she will use the name Lola in her songs.  I thought she would enjoy hearing another version of a "Lola" song, so I showed her a video of the Kinks performing "Lola" at a 1973 show. It was a hit. A little bit too much of a hit!
Now when we are at home, "Lola" is on constant repeat. When the song ends, I hear this insistent little voice say, "Lola, again." It's kind of hard to resist that voice. So, Lola it is....over and over all day. Luckily, it's a good song.


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