Homemade Glycerine Based Tinctures

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Left to right: Dandelion leaf, Chamomile, and Lady’s Mantle

I’ve been making my own tinctures for a few years now. There are two different kinds I make. One is glycerine based and the other is alcohol based. Today, I’ll go over making glycerine (sometimes spelled glycerin) tinctures in my crock pot. Most of them take three days on low, but I did have one a while ago that took four days to steep.

The ones I’m making here are Dandelion leaf, Lady’s Mantle, and Chamomile. I use wide mouth mason jars so they’re easier to strain when they’re finished. I purchase most of my herbs in bulk from Amazon, Starwest Botanicals, Bulk Herb Store, Bulk Apothecary, and sometimes Mountain Rose Herbs. I usually compare prices, including shipping before I purchase. Sometimes, even if Amazon is more expensive, it works out for me because I have free two day shipping through Prime.

Here we go…

First thing I do is boil some water. I have an electric kettle for this, so I fill it up and turn it on.

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While I’m waiting for the water to boil I get everything I need: herbs, jars, lids, glycerine, potholders and towels (I don’t think I left anything out).

Then I scoop the herbs into the jars, fill to about ⅓ of the way full. It’s a little hard to see in the picture, but there’s a 600 ml mark on the jars I’m using and that’s about where you want to fill to.

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Once the water boils, pour just enough in to get the herbs damp. I usually use a chopstick or fork or something like that to help move the herbs around so the water can do its thing.

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Once you do that it’s time to top each jar off with glycerine. Fill just to the top of the jar, again, I use a chopstick or fork to stir everything up and help things settle, plus add more glycerine. (Don’t be like me and spill some of the mix, lol.)

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Once the jars are full, put the lids on nice and tight, and don’t forget to label them. Since all of mine started with different letters I just put the first letter of each on the lids. They kind of look like tea, don’t they?

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So these guys go in the crock pot (use some sort of pot holder so you don’t burn your hands!) all wrapped up in wet towels. Fill the crock pot up, and if you have a Ninja like me, carefully put the pot into the outer unit, turn that puppy on low and set a reminder so you don’t forget them. And don’t forget to add water periodically too!

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My Ninja has a 12 hour timer on it, so I have to make sure to turn it back up or it will turn itself off automatically.

After three days, I turn the crock pot off and let everything cool before I handle the jars. All that needs to be done now it straining. I use cheesecloth and strain them into a bowl, then pour the liquid into jars that are labeled with each herb’s name and store them in the fridge. I read somewhere that’s the best way to store glycerine tinctures, but I can’t remember where that was now!

Next time I need to make some alcohol tinctures, I’ll make a post about how I make them! They’re easy too!
Thanks for reading my blog and please feel free to comment on my posts or even send me a comment personally. I love feedback!

God Reminds Me All The Time

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Plumb – I Can’t Do This

Every time this song comes on, especially when I’m driving by myself, I have to crank this song up and sing my heart out. I probably get some crazy looks from other drivers, but I don’t notice. This song is like a prayer to me. Sometimes it hits me so hard that I cry.

I know why this song hits me so hard. It’s because I constantly need to be reminded that I can’t do anything without God. We always try to do so much on our own, then wonder why we fail. When things finally get too hard, we eventually turn to God and cry out to Him in desperation. But, that’s totally backwards. We need to go to Him FIRST, before we try to do anything so that we have Him backing us up.

Even something as simple as getting out of bed in the morning needs God. Because that sets up the rest of our day. Every morning I thank God for the day He’s given me. And I ask Him to guide and guard me all day. I also pray for my son, my mom and my dad.

Does that mean my day is perfect? No way! As a matter of fact, there have been days where all I wanted to do was sit and cry and sometimes I did it too. One day I got into such an argument with my mom that I spent hours upset and it even upset my son. It was not a good day, but we made up and things got better.

Do you need this reminder too? I’m sure we all do at some time or other. I’m glad God doesn’t give up on me and He’s always there, waiting for me, even when I’m running with tears streaming down my face because everything is falling apart.
Thanks for reading my blog and please feel free to comment on my posts or even send me a comment personally. I love feedback!

My Son Deserves the Best Mommy Ever

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By best mommy ever, I mean health-wise. Up until I had him, I didn’t think too much about why I was so overweight. Most people told me it was because it ran in my dad’s family, and I believed them. Well, that may be partly true, but I know that there has to be something I can do to change the situation I’m in. The past year or so I’ve made a commitment to eat real food and cut out processed convenience foods, and for the most part I’ve done really well.

Naturally, we all slip sometimes, but I have 100% cut out soda, refined sugar, and fast food like McDonald’s, Wendy’s. Burger King, or any other place with a drive-thru. I’d say a good 80-90% of the food in my house is organic, my mom will bring in whatever she pleases and I don’t really try to stop her because that will cause arguments, and it is her house after all. I do however try to encourage her to find healthier alternatives and sometimes it works.

A couple of months ago a friend of mine introduced me to Young Living essential oils. At first she told me about diffusing them and how that can help with energy, concentration and mood. Plus, using oils in cleaning products makes them smell amazing and some of them do have antibacterial properties for cleaning and can even be used in beauty products like soap, shampoos and moisturizers.

Most recently we’ve discovered there are a handful of oils that help support digestion. They are peppermint, grapefruit, lemon and lemongrass. I’m only using lemon and peppermint right now, but grapefruit and lemongrass are on my list to buy ASAP. I put a few drops of lemon in my water every day along with some dandelion leaf glycerine tincture that I make myself. I also put a few drops of peppermint in a capsule and pop that every day. Well, not every day now, initially I took it every day for about a week, but now I’m doing every other day.

Along with the oils, I’m also taking special herbal supplements to help balance my body, get my metabolism working and get rid of many deficiencies we’ve found can hinder weight loss and cause weight gain. I’m noticing an improvement in my sleep (that’s also thanks to magnesium), my energy levels and my joint and back pain. At this moment I know I weigh in the 250lb range, but I’m hoping that by being more active and doing the other things I’m doing, I’ll start seeing the pounds melt away.

If anyone is interested in finding out more information please don’t hesitate to drop me a line: carmen.nichole81@gmail.com. You can also sign up to become a distributor for Young Living, like I did, by following this link: http://yl.pe/3n9t. I appreciate any feedback I get so please feel free to leave a comment!

PS-I’d post a current picture, but I’m kind of embarrassed, so maybe once I lose some weight I’ll be brave enough! Lol

**DISCLAIMER**

I’m not a certified Holistic Practitioner of any kind, I’m only sharing what a close friend of mine, who is a Holistic Health Practitioner, has been recommending to me and has been helping me. I’m not recommending anyone try anything I’ve been doing, I’m only sharing what has worked for me so far. Also, I’m a new distributor for Young Living, so if anyone finds anything wrong with something I’ve said (as far as FDA compliance goes), please let me know as I don’t want to get in trouble. I don’t claim that anything I’ve said will treat, cure, or heal any health issues. Make sure you consult a qualified Practitioner before trying anything I’ve been doing.

What Would You Say to a Younger You?

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Mercy Me – Dear Younger Me

What would you say to a younger you? Ever sit back and think about that one? This week’s song makes me think about just that. What would I tell a younger me?

I know a lot of us think that we’d tell them not to make the mistakes they’re going to make. That’s the first thing that comes to mind for me at least. But then, I stop and think about that.

If I told a younger version of myself not to make the mistakes I know they’re going to make, what would my future be like?

I could tell my younger self all these things and probably more:

Don’t drop out of college

Don’t date that guy, or that guy, or that guy (LOL!)

Don’t drink so much

Don’t move out of your parents house

Study more

PRAY

 

Like I said, the list could go on and on. But then it hits me, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t make the mistakes I made. I certainly don’t think I’d have my son. And as much as, yes, I’m exhausted most of the time from trying to do all the things I want to do on a regular basis, I don’t know if I’d be the person I am without those mistakes.

As much as we struggle in life, if we could go back and tell our younger selves to do things differently, would we? Thinking about it more and more, I don’t know that I would at this point.

Yes, of course, not having my son would make things easier. I’d be able to come and go as I please and I wouldn’t have to take care of someone else. But, I also wouldn’t get the hugs, kisses, smiles and giggles I get from him every single day. I’d be able to sleep in if I wanted, or take off with my friends on a random trip for a day or two. But, I wouldn’t get that happy, smiley squeal from my son every morning when I open his bedroom door and say good morning to him.

It definitely is a totally different life, and not one I imagined I’d have at this point, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the entire world, even on the bad days.

What are some of the things you’d make sure a younger you knew? That they’re loved? That it’s not their fault? That they need to turn to God, rather than try to handle things on their own? It’s a lot to think about, isn’t it? Let me know what you might tell a younger you, or if you’d even tell a younger you anything. Would you change your past, or are you afraid of what your present might look like?
Thanks for reading my blog and please feel free to comment on my posts or even send me a comment personally. I love feedback!

Holidays As A Jewelry Designer

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Inspiration can come from the oddest places and hit at the oddest of times. It’s nearly 10 o’clock at night and I’m getting ready to go to bed when I decide I want to show my mom some of the jewelry supplies I recently purchased. I’ve been splurging lately on some much needed supplies and Fire Mountain Gems and Beads is one of my favorite places to shop.

In the past I made these really pretty, yet simple Christmas tree earrings and I’d sell them at fairs. They were usually pretty popular and my mom even bought a few pairs from me. (No matter how much I insist, my mom ALWAYS insists on paying for jewelry that she gets from me, but I give her a discount.) She loved wearing them to work (she works in retail) and people would always ask her where she got them. Naturally she’d tell them that her daughter made them and that she makes all kinds of jewelry. Well, that resulted in a few sales here and there.

Just a few weeks ago my mom came to me and asked me about making more of the Christmas tree earrings so she could possibly sell them at work. I thought about it and decided to go for it and I ordered some supplies from FMGB for the earrings. That’s what I was showing her tonight when the subject of creating products with the upcoming holidays in mind.

I love the holidays, most of the time. A lot of the commercialism gets to me some, but there’s not much I can do about it, so I just suck it up. Plus, if I’m going to be selling products, I’m going to be in the thick of some of that commercialism to a point. But, I’ve always found it hard to work on things for holidays months in advance.

I’ve never been able to really wrap my mind around working on Christmas/Winter products in July, Valentine’s day products in November, Easter products in October, or Halloween/Fall products in March. I mean, I feel like it’s silly, but at the same time if I want “themed” products to sell for these holidays I need to do the work ahead of time so I have products ready to go, right? Right!

So, starting with the Christmas trees now, I’m really going to try and do better at this, but I can’t make any promises. I think maybe just starting small will be  good idea. Like trying different colors rather than something like snowflakes, bunnies, hearts, jack-o-lanterns, etc.
What are your thoughts on this subject? I love feedback and comments so please feel free to share something. I really hope you enjoy reading my blog.

Grace, We All Need It

Francesca Battistelli – You Never Are

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Like one of the lines in this song, grace is underestimated. Taking it is hard, but really that is all we have to do. And yes, forgive ourselves. I almost started crying when I played this song to write this. I never know which song is going to speak to me at the time I’m ready to write these posts. But, this time this one hit home. It really reminded me that I’m not the person I was, even just two years ago.

Being raised in church, doesn’t automatically make us Christian. I was Baptized when I was 8 and I had accepted Jesus as my Savior, but as I grew, He became less and less important to me. My parents didn’t set the example to spend time praying and reading the bible every day. Not that they didn’t love God too, they did.

As a teenager I rebelled a bit, but never got into trouble. At the age of 19 I started drinking on the weekends at my friend’s house. We didn’t go out and get into trouble, we stayed at her house and just drank. Her dad didn’t care as long as we didn’t leave the house. Little by little I started drinking more over the years. Once I hit 21 I spun out of control. I could buy the alcohol myself now, so I was even hiding it in my room and my parents had no clue what was going on. I was able to hide if I was drunk or hungover.

Once I moved out, I didn’t have to hide anymore, so of course it got even worse. Still, I didn’t cause any trouble anywhere, I just drank myself into oblivion. I was depressed and angry at everyone. The guy I was with was not a good person. We’d go to church some Sundays, but we were just “playing church”. I loved the people we were around, but after service on Sunday, nothing changed. We’d go home, drink, argue, and go on like nothing had happened.

Things fell apart at one point and I found myself single and living with my parents again, feeling like a loser. I tried to tell myself I was going to be a better Christian. So I tried to stop drinking and I tried to make time to pray and read my bible, but I didn’t find a church. I backslid and started drinking again. I was angry at myself for not taking control of my situation.

The year before my son was born I made more of an effort than ever before to change. I was more sincere and determined. I had stopped drinking and was looking for a church, but still not finding one. I was seeing someone, but hadn’t told anyone. That is of course, how I got pregnant, lol. Even though I was making a sincere effort to change, I was lonely, and he gave me the attention and affection I had been missing for a long time. We split up before I knew I was pregnant.
Once my son was born I rededicated myself to my faith. Still, I haven’t been able to find a church, but I pray all the time and I read my bible. I want to teach my son about grace and that you can’t mess up too much for God to forgive you. It’s never too late and you’re never too far from God to ask for forgiveness.

Thanks for reading my blog and please feel free to comment on my posts or even send me a comment personally. I love feedback!

Out Of My Comfort Zone

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My scattered work table, kinda like the inside of my brain

If you’ve known me for a while, you know I make jewelry, obviously. I dabble in a few different kinds of jewelry, but wire wrapping isn’t something I do much of. It’s hard for me to do because I don’t have a lot of strength in my hands and they go numb sometimes too. But, I came across some sand stone beads that a friend had given me a while ago. I wanted to do something with them, but I wasn’t sure what to do with them.

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Sand stone beads, soon to be pendants

They looked like they could be pendants, but they had a hole at the top and bottom, drilled front to back. So I was looking on the internet for some inspiration and ideas. I gave some serious thought to wrapping them in wire, so I sat down at my work table and started fiddling around with some 20g silver wire. Sadly, I don’t have much of it, because I usually only use it for simple wrapped loops and other things that don’t use a lot of wire, so I didn’t have the ability to experiment a lot.

After a couple of tries I came up with four simple, but beautiful wire wrapped pendants. Rather than trying to figure out beaded necklaces for them, I just strung them onto leather cords because I didn’t want to detract from the pendants.

I also decided to try making a pair of earrings to go with one of the pendants. I started out with memory wire because I had been trying to make memory wire earrings before, but that’s a topic for another post. However, one of the beads I was using wouldn’t go over the memory wire, so I decided to try using more 20g wire to make hoops, but the same bead that wouldn’t go over the memory wire also wouldn’t go over the 20g wire very easily.

Out of aggravation, I decided to take a break so I wouldn’t lose my mind. I went back to them a few hours later and at first I just sat at my work table and thought. Then, I pulled out my beading wire and decided to try making the earrings out of that. Turns out, it worked out perfectly. They’re a bit more dangly than I normally wear, but they turned out great and they have a beachy feel.

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The finished pendants and earrings

I still need to get better pictures of each necklace and the earrings so I can list them in my shop on StorEnvy. But, keep an eye out for when they’re listed!
Thanks for reading my blog and please feel free to comment on my posts or even send me a comment personally. I love feedback!

It Is Scary

a-angry-and-scared-little-girl-1184089Anthem Lights – The Unknown

Starting something new, like a blog, can be very scary. It’s something unknown to a lot of people when they first start it. But, if you’re like me, and believe that God is with you and will take care of you, then you’re not alone. No matter what you’re going through, just reach out to God and he’ll help you, watch over you, and walk through it with you, or carry you.

There have been many times I’ve been scared because I didn’t know what was going to happen. Recently, was when my son was born unexpectedly. Some people don’t understand how you can’t know you’re pregnant, but I didn’t. If you look at pictures of me on a trip just three weeks before I had him, I didn’t look pregnant. I didn’t have a “baby belly” and I didn’t feel him kicking and moving. Granted, I didn’t feel well and I had gained some weight, but I honestly was afraid something was seriously wrong with me and I was afraid to go to the doctor. Thankfully, my son was born full term and healthy and I won’t ever make that mistake again. Even if I’m scared, I’ll have faith in God that things will be ok and I’ll take care of myself and see a doctor. Not only was I scared about raising him on my own, I wasn’t sure how my friends and family would react. Thankfully they all stepped up and have been the best since the very beginning.

Another time was when my father was in and out of the hospital and a nursing home for a few months about a year ago now. We weren’t sure what was going to happen to him, but thankfully he’s doing much better now. He is, however, in the nursing home to stay. The amount of care he needs is not something we can handle here at home as he’s bed ridden now. Thankfully, he’s in a facility nearby so we can visit him often, and so can his friends.

Remember that no matter what, you’re never alone. Always reach out to God for help.