pint jars

“Shooting Star” Hex 🌠

Based on the spell “Shooting Star” from Elder Scrolls Online - in the game, the spell deals 1437 flame damage and knocks the enemy away from the caster. Enemies in the target area take an additional 457 flame damage for every 10 seconds.

For actual magickal purposes, this hex is designed to use the energy from a meteorite to set aflame your target’s inspirations and motivations (flame damage), plus bind their actions and keep them away from you (knock-back). Additionally, this curse will incinerate their personal relationships over time (additional flame damage). 

Warning: this is most definitely not a “nice” spell - do not proceed unless you are serious about it and prepared for any consequences

Items required:

  • Visualization
  • Common sense and fire safety knowledge 
  • Taglock for target + your written intent
  • Small jar (a pint or half-pint mason jar would be perfect since mason jars are heat resistant)
  • A nickel and/or an iron nail (represents the meteorite as they are composed of iron and nickel)
  • Chili powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Matches
  • An alcohol soaked cotton ball (rubbing alcohol or vodka)

Pre-spell preparation:

  1. Set up any wards, shields, magick circles, or any other protection methods you feel necessary
  2. Design the taglock for your target - a piece of paper with their name and your specific intent would be best 
  3. Add the taglock to your mason jar
  4. Sprinkle the chili powder, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon around the taglock inside the jar


  1. When ready, take your jar outside and set it on a fire-safe surface - bring along the nickel/nail, matches, and a cotton ball you’ve poured alcohol over
  2. Take some time to channel cosmic energy to use in your spell
  3. After you’ve done that, add the cotton ball to the jar
  4. Visualize a meteorite coming down to burn up your target’s inspirations/motivations and personal relationships - drop the nickel/nail into the jar
  5. Light your match, throw it in the jar and step back
  6. Focus on your intent as the fire burns out
  7. Let the jar cool off (might take a while) and seal it - keep it hidden somewhere safe to let the spell manifest
  8. I would recommend doing a good cleanse on yourself when you are finished


Orange-Vanilla Jam

Ever get bored of all those berry jams? Gripe and groan no more! These is a zesty spread with a real kick that will ascend your lowly toast into breakfast heaven.

Orange-Vanilla Jam (printable)
makes about 72 oz; that’s between 4-5 pint sized jam jars. Ish.


8 oranges, peeled and cut in half
4 oranges worth of peel
3 ½ cups (700 g) white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 


Add oranges to a saucepan with enough water to cover and cook for 20 minutes until tender. Drain and add to your food processor along with the peels. Blend. Be careful, the peels must not be completely pureed—we want them chopped into small pieces.

Add mixture back to the saucepan along with sugar and vanilla. Simmer for 20–40 minutes, continually stirring.

The best way to know when your jam is ready is to check the consistency. It must be quite thick and form large bubbles while simmering. Take a spoonful and let it drip back into the sauce pan. If jam has the right consistency, the last drops will not drip freely like water but rather will be more like syrup.

While jam is hot, fill sterilized jars, leaving some space on top. Cover and turn jars upside down. Let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate.

recipe adapted from

🌞Happy sunny Saturday!!! Before my c25k workout, I’m gonna make 116oz of vegetarian low fat, low calorie, whole, clean Italian spaghetti sauce. Costs about $7 to make. Or $16 if you don’t have 8 pint Ball Mason jars yet. Lol

- Eight (8) 14.5oz cans of Italian diced tomatoes with basil, oregano and garlic
- ½ vidalia onion, chopped
- 1 large green pepper, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- ½ tbsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp stevia in the raw
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ cup of ricotta cheese

Heat the olive oil in a 5+ qt. pot and add the minced garlic, chopped onion and chopped green pepper. Saute and stir for 10 minutes.

then add all the tomatoes, black pepper, Italian seasoning and sugar.

Stirring every 20-30 minutes as you bring it to a low boil for 1.5 to 2 hours. Do not cover the pot at this time. It must reduce.

After 1.5 to 2 hours, cover pot with lid. Reduce heat to low and simmer for another 1.5 to 2 hours. Stir occasionally and always put the lid back on afterwards

After that, add the cheese, stir in. Remove from heat.

Put eight (8) 1-pint Mason Jars in a cool bath of water. Put the hot spaghetti sauce in each jar and cover tight. Careful not to burn yourself.

Like jarring homemade jelly, the hot steam from the sauce will make the lids pop up (you will hear the lid “pop”), telling you that the air-tight seal is in place. When jars are cool enough, store in the pantry for use later.

This makes 8 pint jars of sauce… For only $7. Or, 16 cups of sauce. Stats in pic are based on 8oz of sauce (1 cup)

Beat that!

Off to walk and jog C25K!

I enjoyed Cynthia in 3x11. She is a full gallon of whoop-ass in a pint jar and I do love that.

But her interactions with Cisco were especially cute and hot tonight, especially when she laid one on him. I especially enjoyed that she was straight forward in how low Earth-1 was on her list of concerns. “Look, you doofus, I have other priorities, I have a job, I have a life, but now you’re looking at me with puppy dog eyes, and oh shit.”

Although, good goddamn, he was sizzling hot in the rain on Earth-19. I would have gone with him too.

I just wish we’d gotten a scene of them fighting back-to-back. That would have been fun.

Rumple Finally Came Out of the Closet!

My Rumple standee, that is:

In accordance with my plans if the finale went well, I finally brought him out of storage, out of his plastic and set him up with a housewarming makeover!

Actually, I hadn’t even realized, he was purchased a little over a year ago. Bought him back in early April of 2016 (likely as an early bday present for myself), just before things went downhill in season 5. Then just never set him up because it didn’t seem safe to do so, what with all that was going on in the show & all..

I was actually most pleased by how small he was! Mr Carlyle, of course, isn’t very tall. And well, neither am I, so I’m pleased to have a cardboard Imp who only stands only a few inches above me.

Brief glance at my desk to the right. If he needs it, Rumple has his dagger and chipped cup close by. 


Here’s a neat idea: packing your salad in a jar for a quick meal.

It’s easy enough, but keep these tips in mind:

  • Most important rule: dressing at the bottom, greens at the top. Keep them as far away from one another as possible. If you do that, your greens will stay crispy and fresh, no problem.
  • Use the resting time to your advantage. Place items that’ll soak up and marinade in the dressing as the next layer for the best salad flavor. Cooked grains, tofu, meats, mushrooms—anything that is spongy and will suck up that yumminess as the jar sits in the fridge.
  • To make the salads a little more hearty and filling, try adding a protein like chicken, quinoa, beans or cubed tofu.
  • We’ve had these salads last as long as 10 days in the fridge without getting soggy, yucky or anything but delicious.
  • I try to keep the ratio of each jar about half-and-half—half toppings, dressing, grains, proteins and half greens.
  • For a few more tips, see the source:

Here are some nice combinations:

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Strawberry-Lime Vinaigrette

  • Strawberry-Lime Vinaigrette (I use about two tablespoons of dressing per pint-sized jar)
  • Cooked Quinoa
  • Sliced Strawberries
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Sliced Green Onions
  • Crumbled Feta
  • Baby Spinach

Mexican Chickpea Salad with Chile-Lime Dressing

  • Chile-Lime Dressing (I use about two tablespoons of dressing per pint-sized jar)
  • Cooked Brown Rice
  • Cooked Chickpeas
  • Salsa
  • Red Onions
  • Halved Grape Tomatoes
  • Chopped Cilantro
  • Chopped Romaine

Tofu Living Salad with Sesame-Lemon Dressing

  • Sesame-Lemon Dressing (I use about two tablespoons of dressing per pint-sized jar)
  • Drained, Pressed and Cubed Extra Firm Tofu
  • Sliced Red Bell Pepper
  • Chopped Cucumbers
  • Sprouted Lentils
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Chopped Parsley
  • Chopped Romaine

Sunshine Salad with Orange Marmalade Vinaigrette

  • Orange Marmalade Vinaigrette (I use about two tablespoons of dressing per pint-sized jar)
  • Cooked Quinoa
  • Clementine Wedges
  • Sliced Red Onions
  • Sprouted Lentils
  • Pine Nuts
  • Chopped Romaine
  • Baby Spinach
Witchy Supplies on Amazon Masterpost

Amazon is a really great place to buy things in bulk or get items you could otherwise not really acquire, sometimes directly from witchy sellers! I shop from there all the time. These are some things I recommend:

(These are prices and items current at the date of my posting. I will update later if needed. Also, if you like this, please let me know, I’m thinking about starting a website/store for these and more items.)


Wicca For One: The Path Of Solitary Witchcraft - $10.55

Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner - $14.95 $10.03

Living Wicca: A Further Guide for the Solitary Practitioner - $10.33

The Inner Temple of Witchcraft: Magick, Meditation and Psychic Development - $14.18

Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft - $13.09

Practical Candleburning Rituals: Spells and Rituals for Every Purpose - $12.03

Earth Power: Techniques of Natural Magic - $10.57

Earth, Air, Fire & Water: More Techniques of Natural Magic - $11.60

Grimoire for the Green Witch: A Complete Book of Shadows - $12.75

Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs - $10.13

The Complete Book of Incense, Oils and Brews - $13.62

Earth, Air, Fire & Water: More Techniques of Natural Magic  - $11.60

A Witches’ Bible: The Complete Witches’ Handbook - $21.41

The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Over 600 Natural, Non-Toxic and Fragrant Recipes to Create Health — Beauty — a Safe Home Environment - $21.95 $14.92 

Indoor Gardening: 15 Steps to Design a Successful Indoor Garden + 20 Easiest Indoor Plants You Can Grow  - $8.95

Candles & Candle Making

Search for Various Sets of Colored Chime Candles - Varying Prices

(4) Sets of 10 Spell Candles (40 Candles) & (1) White Ceramic Mini Candle Holder $28.00 $13.64

Mini 4" Chime Spell Candle Magick Set: 20 Candles - 10 Assorted Colors! - $6.85

Star Chime Holder - Blue Color - $2.79

Blue Ceramic Starry Chime Candle Holder - $7.25

White Chime Holder - $5.50

Zodiac Chime candle holder - $10.99 $8.59

Reversible Glass Candleholder - For Chime and Taper Candles - $3.50

Mini Candle Holder Pentacle Black - $4.35

Brass Chamberstick for ½" Chime Candles - $8.95

Candle Making Beginner Kit - $22.98

The Candlemaker’s Store Natural Soy 444 Wax, 10 lb. Bag - $29.99 $17.95

CandleScience 50 Piece Natural Candle Wick, Large - $9.79

Candle Crafting Candle Dye - $7.56


50 Mini Glass Vials w/ Cork - $10.99 $7.96

12 Spice Jars w/ Label Set - $19.99 $14.99

Set of 24 Glass Spice Jars - $33

4 8 oz Ball Jelly Jars - $9.99 $9.55

12 Ball Jar Mouth Pint Jars w/ Lids and Bands - $10.99 $6.79

6 Purple 100th Anniversary Vintage Ball Jars - Pint - $12.99 $9.60 (they have blue and green, too!)

12 1 ml Amber Glass Vials w. Orifice Reducer and Black Plastic Cap - $4.86

Amber Glass Bottle with Roll On Applicator and Black Cap - 10 ml - Package of 6 - $7.99 $6.50

1 oz Amber Boston Round Glass Bottle with Fine Mist sprayer 6/bx - $5.93

1oz Amber Glass Bottles for Essential Oils (4 Pack) - Mini Boston Round Bottles With Lids - Black Plastic With Phenolic Lid Top Cap - $19.99 $6.02

Premium Spray Bottle 500ml - $3.87

Essential Oils & Diffusers

Calily™ Premium Aromatherapy Essential Oil Basic Starters Gift Set - 100% Pure (6) - $79.95 $17.95 

First Aid Essential Oil Set of 6 100% Pure, Best Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil Kit  $40.99 $19.99

Relax & Rejuvenate Set of 6 100% Pure, Best Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil Kit - $40.99 $19.99

Silky Skin Set of 6 100% Pure, Best Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil Kit - $40.95 $19.99

Love & Passion Set of 6 100% Pure, Best Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil Kit - $40.95 $19.99

Best of the Best 28 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil Set - $229.99 $99.99

Wooden Essential Oil Box - Holds 25 (5-15 ml) Essential Oil Bottles -  $29.99 $19.95

Heart Necklace Aromatherapy Diffuser w/ 4 Essential Oils - $40 $20.99

Celtic Cross Ball Necklace Aromatherapy Diffuser w/ 4 Essential Oils - $40 $20.99 (Bronze & Silver Colors)

Hollyson Electric Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser and Cool Mist Humidifier - $49.99 $19.99

Folk Art Porcelain Teaqr Drop Oil Warmer - $5.77


Search - Bulk Herbs - Varying Prices

Indoor Culinary Herb Garden Starter Kit - $39.95 $34.95

Deluxe Wicca Starter Kit - $101.99 (This includes 75 herbs plus lots of other supplies!)

Wicca or Hoodoo Herb Spell Kit - 30 Witchcraft Herbs + Magickal Herbs eBook - $33.99

Wicca or Hoodoo Herb Spell Kit - 92 Witchcraft Herbs + Magickal Herbs eBook - $83.99


White Sage Smudge Stick 3-Pack - $10.99 $7.00 (comes in various quantities)

Charcoal for Incense: Pack of 10 Rounds (33mm) - $10.00 $1.99

Mixed Assortment of 100 Indian Incense Cones: 10 Different Scents! - $9.95

Wooden Pentacle Incense Cone and Incense Stick Burner, 5" - $6.49

Celtic Cone Incense Burner - $5.79

Set of 12 Nag Champa Sunrise Sandalwood Midnight Patchouli Celestial Fortune Blessings Romance Super Hit Jasmine Blossom Rain Forest By Satya - $16.99

Set of 6 x 15g Boxes Incense Nag Champa Sunrise Sandalwood Midnight Patchouli Celestial - $9.36

Gift Set of 6 Nag Champa Sandalwood Patchouli Rose Lavender and White Sage Incense Kit(incense Holder Included) - $9.99 $8.99

Tibetan Incense Burner - $12.79 $5.75

Wooden Coffin Incense Burner - Black Sun and Moon 12" - Brass Inlays - Storage Compartment - $10.00 $7.95

Incense Burner ~ Traditional Incense Holder with Inlaid Design ~ Approx 10 Inches, Variety of Designs  - $10.00 $3.90


Search - Wiccan Gemstones - Varying Prices

2 Pounds Brazilian Tumbled Polished Natural Stones Assorted Mix - Medium Size - 1" to 1.5" Avg. - $31.95 $15.99

Break Your Own Geodes - Set of 12 - $19.95 $11.53

Other Supplies

Rosewater - 8 oz - $8.79 $8.50

Sea Salt Flakes, 8.5 oz box - $6.70

Food Grade Himalayan Crystal Salt - Dark Pink - (Coarse) - 1 Kilo - $8.95

Morton Iodized Salt, 26 oz - $6.34

Natural Sources Sea Water, 32 Ounces - $12.11

Graveyard Dirt - 1 oz - $4.60


Pickles! Everybody loves pickles (well most of you do) and they are ridiculously easy simple to make at home. So, what do you need?

  1. 6 cucumbers
  2. 6-7 ½ pint jars
  3. 3 cups white vinegar
  4. 3 cups water
  5. 3-4 tbsp of salt
  6. 1 garlic bulb (optional)
  7. your choice of seasoning if desired. I use dill seed (hence how you get dill pickles) and husband likes them hot so we use red pepper flakes too. Some people like to add celery seed or whole black peppercorns too. It’s up to you really.

You’ll also need a sharp knife and a cutting board and a large pot for canning if you plan to preserve them, but again that step is optional provided you think you can eat 6 jars of pickles in about 4 weeks. I know I can but that’s neither hear nor there. 

This is going to be image heavy because I let Elusive Tumblr Dad take the pictures so bear with me.

Step One: Wash Your Shit

Be sure to gently scrub your cucumber (*polite cough*) and check for any irregularities and bruising. One of mine turned out to be all soft (*cOUGH*) so I had to pitch it :( If you have store bought ones be sure to get any waxy film off. If they’re home grown or farmer’s market just make sure they’re clean yea? No one likes a dirty pickle. (Okay I promise you no more implied dick jokes from now on. It’s just good clean pickle fun from here on out. Honest.)

Keep reading

The mental gymnastics people go through to justify tiny enclosures for the ‘health’ of an animal is amazing.  ‘They feel vulnerable in large empty spaces!  Therefore, instead of providing adequate cover, they should be kept in a very tiny space - FOR THEIR HEALTH!’  

Flying Salve Recipe (Double Boiler Method)

*Warning: Always do your research on herbs before using them.  Do NOT use if pregnant, lactating, or have heart troubles.  Only use if you have time on your hands (i.e., don’t operate machinery, etc.).  Do not allow it to come into contact with your mucous membranes if you don’t know what you’re doing (e.g., eyes, nose).  Give yourself plenty of time to recover from the effects of the salve.

If you don’t have a double boiler, follow the oven method or make your own double boiler (Google/YouTube it because it’s really easy!).  


  • 1-pint glass jars or metal tins
  • Pure olive oil
  • Rule of thumb is you want enough room for the dry herbs to expand, so I usually use 1 cup of olive oil per 2-3 oz of dried herbs
  • 2-3 oz of dried herbs—I will be using mugwort, wormwood, mandrake, cinquefoil, bay leaves, and wild lettuce for this specific flying salve.
  • Beeswax (I replaced lard with beeswax because I don’t like the feeling of lard on my skin)—1.5-2 oz per cup of infused oil
  • 4 or 5 vitamin E capsules for preservation


Put enough water into the bottom pan to leave about 2 inches between the water and the top pan (this is what I’ve found works best for me, at least).  Put it on the stove on the lowest setting.  Measure out everything and put it in the top pan of the double boiler, then put that on top of the bottom pan once the water in the bottom pan heats up a little bit.  Cover it if you can.  Let this infuse on heat for two to three hours, stirring about every fifteen minutes.

Once the two hours are up, either infuse that oil again with more herbs to make it more potent or just use that oil for the flying salve.  Strain the mixture either by using a fine strainer or cheesecloth and then put it back into the top pan.  Add 1.5-2 oz of beeswax per cup of infused oil you have and add the vitamin E capsules.  Continue stirring until the wax has melted.  Pour into metal tins and let cool; I put them in the refrigerator to speed up the process.


The amazing marshmallow root!

I recommend that everyone keep a bag of marshmallow root (Althea officinalis) around in case of illness.  Mountain Rose Herbs and Pacific Botanicals are two companies I trust for high quality herbs at reasonable prices.

What to do:
1.  Measure ¼ a cup marshmallow root into a pint jar.

2.  Fill the jar with room-temperature water.

3.  Cover and wait 2-8 hours.

4.  Carefully strain into another pint jar.

5.  Put the strained contents into the now empty first pint jar, fill with water and allow to extract again.  Compost the material when you’re done.

Marshmallow root is high in mucilage, which coats and soothes a sore throat, acts as a gentle expectorant for coughs, and helps heal the lining of the stomach and intestines after vomiting and diarrhea.  The taste is light, naturally slightly sweet, and though it’s a little goopy, it’s easy to drink.


Listen up you alternative medicine loving people, here’s a thing I did for my mom today. 

So, mom’s got some joint trouble. “Go to the doctor,” I said. “They won’t do anything for me. But my friend gave me some turmeric pills that worked great,” she said. “Okay,” I said, thinking she may as well be taking a sugar pill but whatever if she feels better ok. “They’re $25 for 20 doses, though.” she adds, sadly, because that means she’s not getting shit because who know who doesn’t have cash? My mom. 

“Oh. Hell. No.” I said. 

And then I marched my ass down to the local co-op and they’re selling these turmeric capsules for $25 for 20 and that’s the bullshittiest. THE BULLSHITIEST, FIGHT ME. 

So then I marched my ass back to my house and got out my spice jar and a half pint mason jar. 

Mix the shit out of tumeric and honey. Just keep adding turmeric. Keep doing it until the honey is thick and grainy and not even really sticky any more. Mix until any more turmeric you add just stays as powder on the top of the honey, doesn’t get stuck into it anymore. Then you’re done. 

One little teaspoon of that in a big milky cup of chai tastes AMAZING and gets you way more turmeric than a tiny little shitty $1.25 pill capsule. Drink that shit and enjoy.

Spent the morning digging out Brother-in-Law’s beer-brewing supplies. He hasn’t used them since parenthood happened, though for a while he was quite into beer-making. 

The beekeepers who keep hives on the farm (and sell their honey in the farmstand next to the egg fridge, and also have some kind of massive network of places they keep bees and sell honey, they’re some sort of benign Russian mafia) pay their rent in honey, big plastic tubs of it that my sister always mildly complains are hard to get any out of, and you get it all over your arms. This latest tub was so solid you had to kind of chip gooey chunks out with a butter knife, a rubber spatula wouldn’t do it. 

So I submerged the whole thing in hot water while I did all my setup, and when it came time, I hauled it out and made a total mess getting two quarts of it into a giant stockpot, and the rest into quart or pint jars for the pantry. I used two quarts of honey and ten quarts of water, plus some strong-brewed black tea and a teaspoonful or so of diammonium phosphate. And a cup of molasses, for good measure, because I have it. 

Once it’s cool enough, I’m going to dump it into a nice glass carboy, and let it go for a couple of weeks. The more I read, the more I think it won’t be done before I leave, but maybe I’ll be fancy and rack it for a secondary fermentation before I leave, and let it settle until I come back and I’ll distill it in July sometime. 

It’s the first flower harvest today, but there was so little to harvest that I wasn’t needed at all, and Sister has gone on to do the vegetable harvest with the others. It’s been so cold, we don’t even have the screens in the doors yet. She had a customer who wanted a bucket of unarranged flowers for the last week of June, and the poor lady had gone to Facebook and looked at last year’s pictures, and was like “so this is what will be blooming?” and Sister looked, and was like, ha, last year they were, this year, I don’t think I’ll even have zinnias yet. Nothing is blooming except the peonies, which she harvested in May last year… The zinnias aren’t even starting to set buds. 

Anyway. While there’s time, I figure I’d get some mead going. I’m not being as fussy as some of the winemakers who get really into it: I’m making the most basic-ass kind, because it doesn’t matter what it tastes like, I’m going to distill it. 

20 Various Cold and Flu Remedies

By Gina DeBacker

It’s that time of year—stuffy noses, aggravating coughs, nasally voices…oh, here we go again. This cold and flu season we thought it would be fun to ask our Facebook readers how they kick nasty colds to the curb, and everyone seemed to have some great ideas! We received so many wonderful tried-and-true remedies that it was hard to pick just 20, but here are some of our favorites.

Drink This


“I swear by this strong ginger-honey-lemon drink: In a glass jar, combine 10 ounces boiling water, a thumb-sized knob of thinly sliced (or grated) ginger, the juice from half a lemon and enough honey to sweeten (to taste). This recipe helps soothe sore throats and relieve sinus pressure. Let it steep for as long as possible, but sip it while it’s still hot.” –From Lori Parr

Hot Toddy

“Try this old home remedy: Brandy plus hot water, honey and lime. It’s called a hot toddy. Drink it just before bed.” –From Jackie David

Grapefruit Goodness

“OK, I don’t know how natural this is, but it sure knocks out a bad cold. Take one grapefruit, cut it in half and squeeze the juice into a saucepan. Add some water as well as the grapefruit halves, then bring it all to a boil. Finally, add some whiskey and honey, and drink it while it’s still hot, right before bedtime.” –From Sharon Howell

Preventative Tea

“While everyone around me is sick, I stay healthy with this preventative elixir: Combine ½ cup hot water with 1/3 cup lemon juice, or juice from 1 fresh lemon; ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne powder; ¼ teaspoon ground ginger powder, or fresh; and honey, to taste. Drink the concoction as warm as you can, without risk of burning yourself. Drink it all at once. This will raise your body temperature and cleanse your kidneys and liver. Enjoy daily.” – From Ellen Nygaard

Chest Congestion Relief

“For chest congestion: Mix 4 tablespoons warm water with 2 tablespoons organic honey, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, ½ teaspoon cayenne powder and ½ teaspoon ground ginger. Shake well. Drink 1 tablespoon, three to four times a day.” –From Sally Rogers Devine

Go-To Foods

Lots of Garlic

 “Raw garlic: Eat it, steam it and inhale it. It works on the toughest of infections. I’ve used it on myself, my husband and my three little girls.” –From Star Gypsy

Secret Ingredient

“I’ve studied holistic medicine and swear by black cumin seed organic oil—it’s beyond amazing. Even though it tastes terrible, it treats more than 40 ailments and is better than any high-dollar face cream or serum on the market. Many companies use it in $200 face creams as their secret ingredient. It’s good for acne or scalp conditions, but it’s great for wiping out a cold, flu or sore throat in a couple of days! Nettle is also awesome at helping clear up mucous, hacking coughs and allergies.” –From Cynthia Shirrell

Juice Up

“I juice kale, garlic, carrots and apples for flu symptoms. It’s very effective for my diabetic husband who shouldn’t take much over-the-counter medications.” –From Patty Kratzer

Chicken Soup

“My grandmother’s chicken soup is not your traditional soup—it’s a recipe my family has used for generations. Cover pieces of chicken with cold water, then season with kosher salt to taste; ½ cup star anise; and a couple of bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a boil then simmer, covered, for a few hours. Strain and place in the refrigerator until cold. Skim off the fat, then reheat the soup, garnishing with parsley. Serve by itself or with egg noodles or another noodle of your choice. This is a great soup to freeze. In fact, I have some of it in my freezer right now! –From Candice Gayleen

Keep reading

Assorted cats and kittens, I am pleased to announce that since my aunt has leant me her dehydrator, I will now be drying ALL THE TEA and it will (probably) take less time and be nicer.

I have so many plans.
- regularly harvest and dehydrate herbs
- use the little fruit leather tray and my mom’s apple sauce to make apple leather (!!!!!!!!)
- make lil banana or apple chips to throw in my granola which is about to become about 3099% more cool

Now all I need is to get permission to siphon off some of my mom’s jar hoard so I can store all these herbs???? I need pint jars. In an ideal world I’d get a bunch of jars with those clamp shut lids so I don’t need to fiddle with canning lids just to store tea. In the pantry of my dreams.


How to Make Echinacea Tincture

You will need:

1 1-pint glass jar (make sure it is clean)
¼ cup dried Echinacea
1 pint vodka


Place dried Echinacea in the pint jar.

Pour vodka over the top. You may use a little less than 1 pint of vodka. Fill to the shoulder of the jar so there is a little room at the top.

Seal tightly with lid.

Label jar with the date and the expected date your tincture will be ready. Also include the ingredients on your label. You probably think you will remember, but trust me, that doesn’t always happen!

You have now created a menstruum. Leave menstruum at room temperature for four to six weeks. Shake every few days.

After the four to six weeks has passed, strain the herbs out of the vodka. To do this place a layer of cheesecloth over a large measuring cup or small mixing bowl and secure with a rubber band. Pour menstruum slowly into the cheesecloth and allow to drain for a few minutes. Then use your hands to wrap the cheesecloth around the herbs and squeeze out the excess liquid.

You can also lay cheesecloth in the over a colander and set colander over a large bowl or pot. Strain herbs as described above.

Discard the herbs.

You now have Echinacea tincture! Woo hoo! (Isn’t this fun?)

Pour tincture into dark, glass bottles for storage. Don’t forget to label them.

As longs as your tincture is made with 25 percent alcohol content, it will last indefinitely.

To use:

At the first sign of a cold or throughout a cold take take ½ to ¾ of a teaspoon 3 to 4 times a day. per day.

Echinacea has shown to be most beneficial at the beginning and for the duration of a cold. It is not intended as a long term preventative.

DIY Natural Room Scents

Fragrant items for naturally scenting your home:

  • Citrus — I’ve tried other fruits. Some of them smell good initially, but they don’t hold up for more than one use. Citrus is sturdier, longer-lasting, and gives these scent recipes freshness. Lemons and oranges are particularly fragrant and have the best staying power in these scented waters.
  • Herbs — Any herb can be used for making a room scent, but the ones that are sturdier and on woody twigs hold up the best. My favorites for room scents are rosemary and thyme.
  • Pine or cedar twigs/needles — There may be other fragrant trees that will work, too; pine and cedar are the two I’ve tried for their appealing, fresh fragrance.
  • Extracts — A touch of vanilla or almond extract improves most room fragrance mixtures. Mint extract has a nice fresh scent.
  • Spices — You can use ground or whole sweet spices. The whole spices look prettier, if your scented water will be in a location where it will be seen. I have found that cinnamon sticks and whole cloves have the most scent staying power. Cinnamon sticks can be rinsed off and reused several times. They keep on giving.

Five Natural Room Scent Recipes

These are all scents that my nose likes. But, scents that are pleasing to one person may not be to someone else. Consider how many different scents of perfumes, soap, and candles there are in stores in an effort to appeal to the masses. So, use my recipe combos as guidelines that you can tweak and customize to suit what your nose likes.

General procedure: Combine the ingredients in a 2 cup (pint) jar or container, or in a pan on the stove top. Cover them with water and heat. I’ll explain different heating options further down. Keep reading.

Scent #1: Oranges, cinnamon & cloves (allspice and anise are optional). This is my favorite, both for it’s wonderful aroma and for it’s staying power. This scent carries into multiple rooms better, and it can be reheated to scent your rooms for several days.

Scent #2: Lemon, rosemary, & vanilla. A similar scented water is often simmering in Williams-Sonoma stores. It has a lovely freshness to it.

Scent #3: Lime, thyme, mint & vanilla extract. This combination has such a fresh, pleasant scent. I initially made it without the mint extract, but have found that it really kicks up the aroma.

Scent #4: Orange, ginger (fresh or powdered), and almond extract. This is a sweet, delicious scent.

Scent # 5: Pine or cedar twigs (or other fragrant twigs), bay leaves, and nutmeg. These scents combine for a complex aroma. If you have whole nutmeg, use a microplane to grate off the outer surface–this will release the scent. Add the whole nutmeg piece along with the gratings.

Here’s the gang of five. Aren’t they beautiful? I like to make these up in pint jars and keep them on hand in the fridge so I’m ready to start a pot of simmering scents as needed.

Make ahead and…

  • …store in the fridge. Uncooked jars of scented waters will keep in the fridge for 1 to 2 weeks, so you can make these ahead to have on hand. I recommend adding all of the ingredients, including the water, to the jars before refrigerating them. I’ve tried refrigerating the fruit/spice/herb combos in jars without the water, but they don’t last as long that way.
  • …freeze them.  I’ve tried freezing them both with and without the water added, and both ways work fine. I haven’t tested them in the freezer longer than 2 weeks, but I’m confident that they can be frozen for a month or longer. Make sure you use freezer-safe jars. (Not all mason jars are freezer-safe.)

How to heat the scented mixtures

I’ve tried a variety of methods, and all of these work to varying degrees. Some of them provide a more powerful scent than others. Just like the air fresheners you buy, none of these will scent a whole house; but I’ll show you some ways to set up individual scent sources in multiple rooms. Hopefully you already have what you need to try out one or more of these options.

Stove top method. This is by far the best way I’ve found to get the most powerful scent that will spread to more rooms the fastest. It’s easy as can be. Simply combine the ingredients in a pot on the stove, bring them to a boil, and then lower the heat to a simmer. They will immediately begin to scent your kitchen and spread to other rooms. How far the scent spreads depends on the size and layout of your house. A simmering pot like this makes all four rooms on our first floor smell good. The only drawback of this method is that you have to keep a close eye on the water level. If the pan dries out, you’ll be smelling burned citrus instead of sweet, fragrant citrus.  NOTE: For a stronger scent, simply double or triple the recipe in a larger pot on the stove.

Uncovered Slow Cooker Method. This is my personal favorite for having my house smell pleasant every day. I use a mini slow cooker–the kind made for keeping dips and sauces warm. Mine only has one low heat setting. The mixture never actually bubbles and visibly steams. I leave it uncovered on my kitchen counter to slowly release scent throughout the day. It’s subtle, but creates a pleasant smell in the house. When I’m home, I keep my mini slow cooker going. It’s easy and uses very little electricity. When I fill mine in the morning, it won’t dry out for an entire day. If you’re concerned about accidentally letting it run dry, you can put a lamp timer on it so that it automatically shuts off at the desired time. I put a scented jar mixture in the microwave for 2 minutes to get it really hot before I add it to the slow cooker. That gives it a jump start on releasing the scent.  NOTE: For a stronger scent, simply double or triple the recipe in a larger, full-size slow cooker.

Fondue Pot Method. If you have a fondue pot, then you have a portable scent station. Set it up in any room you’d like to scent. Below is a small ceramic fondue pot I have that uses a tea light for heat. So, this will only remain warm as long as the candle lasts–3-½ to 4 hours. Like the slow cooker, this is a low level of heat and releases a very subtle scent–enough for a small room. Get the scent mixture boiling hot before adding it to the fondue pot. I like to set this up in our entry way when we have guests. It makes it smell wonderful when you walk through our front door. And, it looks pretty.

Mug Warmer Method. I normally keep this little mug warmer next to my computer to keep my coffee and tea warm. I’ve discovered it also can be used to keep a jar or small bowl of scent mixture warm. It only keeps it warm, it doesn’t actually heat it up. So again, be sure to heat the mixture before adding it the bowl. Or microwave a jar and set it right on top of the mug warmer. This low heat puts off a soft scent that is perfect in a bathroom.

  • Here’s a hint to keep it pretty. As the mixtures cook and lose their color, they’re not as attractive. You can spruce it up by floating a fresh slice of citrus on top. Or add a few cranberries (I keep a bag of them in my freezer); they float and add a touch of color.

Candle Warmer Method. These work just like the mug warmers. Candle warmers come with a little bowl on top for melting scented candle pellets. Instead, you can add some heated scented water. Or, remove the bowl and set a jar or other bowl on top.

  • Note: I tested the temperatures of these with a thermometer. The mug warmer and candle warmer both kept the mixture at about 120°F. That’s enough to let off a very subtle scent, but don’t expect these to strongly scent a big room. You need more heat and steam for a stronger scent.

Tea Pot Warmer Method. My tea pot warmer also uses tea lights. I can put two or three tea lights in mine to achieve the temperature I want. These only last as long as the tea lights burn, but they can get hotter than the mug and candle warmers, thus releasing more scent. I can put a bowl or jar on top of my tea pot warmer, as long as I put it somewhere that I can keep an eye on it. I don’t like to leave candles unattended.

Add more hot water as needed. As the water evaporates from any of these warming bowls or jars, top it off with additional HOT water. It needs to be hot when it’s added so that it doesn’t cool down the temperature of the scented water.  Higher heat = more fragrance.

Gift them! These make a fun, unique hostess gift. Take one along to a party as a gift for your host that can be simmered and enjoyed the next day.

Reuse each mixture 2-3 times. After these have been heated and simmered for awhile, the water becomes cloudy (as you can see in the jars below), and some of the ingredients lose their vibrant color. Although they don’t look as pretty, they still smell good. Usually, you can reheat and simmer these again 2-3 times. Jar them up and refrigerate them between uses. Open the jar and give it the sniff test–if it still smells good, reheat and reuse it. Add more water as needed.

Cost saving tips

You can save, use and reuse a number of fragrant ingredients. These scents don’t need to be expensive.

  • Leftover ginger —  If you ever cook with fresh ginger and end up with leftover pieces , this is a way to use them up before they spoil. Slice the leftover ginger and freeze it in a bag or container to have on hand for whipping up a quick batch of scented water.
  • Save your orange peels – When you eat an orange, save the peel for use in scented waters. Store them in the refrigerator or freezer until you need them.
  • Save your juiced lemons and limes – After you’ve juiced these for use in a recipe, refrigerate or freeze the leftover pieces.
  • Save your leftover herbs – If you have herbs in a garden or have leftover herbs that you’ve purchased for cooking, they can be frozen and saved for use in these scented waters.
  • Use expired juices. If you have fruit juices that are past their prime, use them as a base in place of the water in these mixtures. They’re both fragrant and colorful.
  • Use expired spices. Spices are supposed to be replaced after a year, because they lose much of their flavor. But, they still smell good! Instead of throwing out old spices, use them for scenting water.

There are endless combinations for these scented waters. If you have some additional ideas, please share. I’m always looking for a new, pleasant scent for my home.

Natural Room Scents By Monica Ingredients
  • Citrus, sliced — lemons, oranges, limes (may use peel only, if preferred)
  • Herbs — rosemary, thyme, & bay leaves
  • Spices– whole cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice (optional), anise (optional); may substitute ground/powdered spices
  • Ginger (fresh or powdered)
  • Extracts–vanilla, almond, mint
  • Pine twigs (or other fragrant twigs)
Directions Use a pint (2 cup) jar, container, or pot to combine scent waters. Add ingredients to container, cover with water, and choose from these options:
–simmer on stove top, topping off with more water as it evaporates
–add heated mixture to a slow cooker, fondue pot, or something similar that will keep mixture heated. Preheat waters to a boil (in microwave or on stove top). As water evaporates, always top it off with HOT water to keep the temperature as high as possible. Higher heat = more fragrance.FRAGRANT COMBINATIONS:1. Orange, Cinnamon & Spice. 1 orange, 2 cinnamon sticks (or 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon), ½ tablespoon whole cloves (or 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves), ½ tablespoon whole allspice (or ¼ teaspoon ground allspice), 1 anise star (optional)

2. Lemon, Rosemary & Vanilla. 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, 2 lemons, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

3. Lime, Thyme, Mint & Vanilla. 3 limes, 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme, ½ teaspoon mint extract, 1 teaspoon vanilla.

4. Orange, Ginger, & Almond. 1 orange (or peel from 2 oranges), 1 4″ finger of ginger, sliced (or 1 tsp ground ginger), ½ teaspoon almond extract.

5. Pine, Bay Leaves, & Nutmeg. Handful of pine twigs or needles, 4 bay leaves, 1 whole nutmeg, outer layer grated into mixture.

Scented waters may be refrigerated between uses. Reuse for 2-3 days, or as long as they still have a pleasant fragrance.

Five days worth of Steel cut Oatmeal in Five minutes

This is a super easy and healthy weekday morning breakfast. You just make it on Sunday night and you’re good to go for the rest of the week.


5 pint sized mason jars (you can also use half pint jars but they will be FULL and hard to add things to)

a pot

a ladle

1 cup and 1/3 cup measuring cups


1 and 2/3 cups of steel cut oats

4 cups water

1 large pinch of salt

Any mix-ins you want, like dried fruit, nuts, milk, honey, or whatever floats your oatmeal boat.


1 Bring oats, water, and salt to boil and then simmer for like three minutes and remove from heat.

2 Divide oatmeal into the jars with the ladle, put the caps on, and leave them on the counter over night (or you can put them in the fridge if that makes you more comfortable but it will change the texture)

3. In the morning put all but one of the jars in the fridge. Remove the cap and stir the oatmeal. Microwave it for 1:30-2 minutes. Add your mix-ins and enjoy!