Beautifly Blended

Beautifly Blended
"Like clay in the hand of the potter, so you are in My hands." God said. Jeremiah 18:6

18 November 2013

The middle of the first year

Tempers were flaring at this point. We practically couldn't say one nice word to one another. We were basically at our whit's end. What is there a couple to do??

Seek Council of a higher power? No, not at first we didn't  go to God, but to our pastor. We were super honest with him. I mean if we really wanted to work this thing out then we NEEDED to just put it out all on the table. Hang our dirty laundry out for him to tell us where the stains are.

This was not easy or fun. But, our pastor is such a Godly man and we needed that, as both of us, obviously, were not seeking God's will at this time.

So, you really wanna stayed married?

Blank stares from us and then a resounding  YES!

The healing process was to begin. It was hard seeing where we were both needed some work. And, by work I am a lot of work!!! I was determined I didn't want to be divorced again.

Here is where God really showed up in our lives. No longer were we seeking the have things our way but, to have things go Gods way. This was difficult because it was so easy to forget to seek Him, and time and time again I would need to be brought back to the place where I want Him to guide my heart. 

We started reading our bibles, we starting praying and things started changing. For the Good. I will admit sometimes, even to this day, I will let pride get the better of me, but I then have to go before God.

I noticed my hubby was more compassionate and not so easily angered. I thought I wanna be like that. So, I watched him, studied him, and spied on him. I needed to be where he was at this point.

We have been married for 5 years now and I must say that everyday God brings us closer and closer. Don't get me wrong, we still don't always see eye to eye, but we now no longer feel it has to be his/my way. We talk about it, we pray about it, and we listen to each other.

I am so thankful/blessed for the relationship  we have today!!! I know NOW above all else that God can change people. God still does miracles!!!


14 November 2013

In the Beginning

When God created me for my hubby. I met my dear hubs at my job, unbeknownst to me I would marry a man that is almost a foot shorter than me, but lust was in the air. I say lust because really and truly love was not on my mind when I met him. During our dating season, we had LOTS of up and downs, well mostly downs. He would keep breaking up with me and I well, wouldn't wait around for him to make up his mind. Until one day I had, had enough. I wanted to settle this thing once and for all. I wanted to know if he really wanted to be with me or just let me be. Honestly I wanted him to let me be, only because I thought that it would be much easier that way, But, God had different plan in  mind.

At this point in my life I was a new babe in Christ and well I just wasn't sure of what all His word said.I really wasn't sure if God really made plans like that for people like me. Boy did I have a lot to learn and still do. Everyday God teaches me something new, and oh how I love Him for that.

Anyway back to the story at hand. My hubs and I talked it out and figured we would go ahead and give it a try, no more breaking up, no more dating other people. Monogamous. For me at that time was a hard word to live by. See, I had only be divorced for about 2 years when I met my sweet hubs. I wasn't sure if this is really was what I wanted, but I was going to give it a try. And try we did, because not long into our monogamous relationship did my feelings for him really begin to develop.

Then, one day I let the "L" word slip out and you know at that point he will either say he does or play it off like he didn't hear. And I was so hoping that he would play it off. But, he didn't. He just sat there and stared at me!! NOT very intimidating now is it? My first thought was to run, run far away; for pete's sake say something!!!! As, I sat there looking at him like a deer in headlights, he said it back. Yes that's right he told me he loved me. I was like you don't have to say anything. I totally understand if you are shocked because I am too.

On May 31, 2008 we said our I DO's in the back yard if our church. It was beautiful and cheap. My kinda wedding!!!

Back from the honeymoon, is when the real "fun" began.**** This next part is really a testimony of how God can really work in your life****

See, my hubby and I had both been married before and we both had kids/kid from our previous marriages. I don't really know how to explain it, but in my first marriage, he and I raised the kids with the same attitude. It wasn't like we sat down one day and said this is how we are going to do this, it just worked out that way. Small blessing. However, I would assume the same for my hubs and his ex. But, when you bring two people with kids together, things can surely fly.

I raised my kids one way and he raised his kid his way, and that was how our 1st year of marriage began. As, I have explained before I only get my kids every other week and we have Bro all the time. So, this was a huge adjustment to me. I have someone else's kid with me 24/7 and mine only every other week. This was hard!!!

I cried most of the time. I yelled most of the time, and I was miserable most of the time. Our first year was the hardest. There were some knock down drag out times and great screaming matches. You would have loved to have popcorn and a seat at some of these, I assure you! Nothing like dinner and a show.

I was for sure I knew the better way to raise a child than a single father would. I mean I was a mom of  two, who had been married almost 5 years. I was a pro by my standards. But, let me be transparent with you for a moment. I was a yeller. I grew up being yelled at and that was the way I was. If something didn't go my way I would yell, and still do at times, but the Lord is working on me. I yell less now then when I did. My hubs on the other hand was NOT a yeller. He was a talk to ya kinda guy. I thought WOW he will never get through to him if he continues to talk like that.

But, then one day something happened and I, for first time, heard my hubs yelling at one of my kids. Oh no he didn't I was hot and from that day on I had made my mind up that divorce would be next.......

31 October 2013

Life

When life happens. You have to jump on or you might miss it. In the past week we have had so many things going on, that sitting in front of a computer has been near impossible. I have practically lived out of my car for the past 2 months, because of football. But, Tuesday was our LAST game. Praise the All Mighty King!!!!!!!

I do enjoy my kiddos being in extra curricular activities, but man it takes a toll on this mama. Anyone with me on that????? Any one??

I had to fight, I mean knock down drag out, father time just to sit down and come up with another 30 days worth of meals. This time I may have spent more than just a couple of hours, it's likely I spent a couple of days gathering all the ingredients and recipes to make my list worth wild.

I do hate to tell you that the last week or so some of the menus I had planned before didn't go according. I We ate out a lot and when I mean a lot I mean a lot. Did ya get all that????!!! Lets just say I haven't eaten that much processed food in so long I felt like I had put on 15 lbs after one meal or two. No longer, I can now check the menu and devise a plan to cook. Yes, that is what it is all boiling down to devising a plan to get back on the HEALTHY TRAIN BABY!! Booya!!

Something I have learned in planning and preparing these menus so far in advance is that it gives me an opportunity to see how much of what we eat, like rice, beans, and meats. I am stock piling my pantry with the basics, like rice and beans. I almost feel like one of those dooms day people. Have you ever heard of them? They can anything and everything they can get their hands on. It is quite funny and intriguing to me, to watch these people prepare for something that may or may not ever happen.

But, I assure you this is not me. We will be eating this staples items all through out the month. Having these on had makes a meal preparation much easier. So, when grocery time comes around there may be only a couple of items I need to pick up to finish a meal. How nice is that???  OOO So NICE!!!!

Oct 28- Nov 24

1st Week (they will go in order of M-S)

(M)  Muffins, Cube Steak, Rice and Gravy (Because we were so busy that day we didn't eat B or L)
Bro and I ate at Joli's house -Hamburger Soup. I was soooooooo gooooooooddddd!!!!!!

(T) Grits, Eggs, and Bacon
Meat loaf, Rice and Tomatoes, Corn Bread (We ended up eating Tuna Sandwiches like I say busy busy)
Game night-we ate at the ball field (Now that is some "Good for you" Food

(W) Co-op Day!!  Oatmeal,
Raw Veggies, Fruit, peanut butter balls, and Kombucha
Pizza (homemade)

(TH) Pancakes
Chili
Trophy night for footballers so we will eat whatever they have (yet another "healthy" meal)

(F) Cereal and Toast
Sausage cabbage potato something, broccoli
Leftovers

(S) Hash Brown Casserole
 Unsure right now because we were suppose to have games this day...
Leftovers from whatever we eat for dinner (lunch)

(SU) Biscuits
Nana's
T & S come home-Quinoa hamburger casserole with mixed veggies ( I will pick all the corn out)

Rest of the month (I am going to do breakfast, dinner, and supper)

Breakfast

(Nov 4-10)
Muffins
Grits, Eggs, Bacon
Biscuits-Sausage, Chicken
Pancakes
Cereal and Toast
Southern Grits Casserole
Monkey Bread

Philly Steak and Cheese (Crock pot)
Tuna Melts
Hamburger, potatoes
Chicken Pot pie
Hotdogs, Cole slaw
Potato soup
Nana's

Chicken Alfredo and Broccoli
Steak, potato and garlic bread
Eat at church
Leftovers
Fajita
Leftovers
Nana's

(Nov 11-17)

Breakfast is same as above except for Sat and Sun

Omelets
Egg Casserole

Cheesy Beef and Rice
Salmon Patties
Subs
Taco Soup
Lasagna
Hamburgers, Au gratin Potatoes
Nana's

Leftovers
Date Night for Hubby and I
Pizza
Leftovers for the rest of the week
Chicken Pot Pie

(Nov 18-24)

Homemade Pop tarts
Monkey bread

Baked Ziti
Steak Fingers
Tuna melts
Cheese burger Mac
Hotdogs, French Fries
Parmesan Meatloaf, Past salad
Nana's

Leftovers
Pizza Casserole, Salad
Leftovers
Black beans and nachos
leftover the rest of the week








17 October 2013

HM Mayo brings out the best!!

Did you recognize the tune?.. Yeah!! That's right I high jacked the famous mayonnaise line of all time.

I recently have been dabbling in a few recipes to make my own mayo, and several that we have tried were, well, yucky. I really wouldn't say it was the recipe, but the maker. Sometimes, I don't always read thoroughly through the directions and the ingredients. And, this my friends will get you into trouble.

I have found ONE that we all like, and that is a rare thing in the Griner household sometimes.


Homemade Mayo!!!

2 whole eggs
2 egg yolk
1/2 t Real salt
sprinkle of pepper
1 T Lemon Juice
dash of onion powder
1/8 Dry Mustard
1/2 c Coconut oil-UNFLAVORED
1/2 c Safflower oil

* If you didn't want to use the Safflower oil you can use a whole cup of coconut oil.*

Blend all the ingredients except the oils. Make sure they are blended well. I blend mine at a rough min and half.

Melt and mix oils. Note you don't want the oils bubbling hot!!

Now, pour the oils into the blender while it is still going. ***** The oil should be poured in slowly pouring a stream the size of a pencil or smaller****  The smaller the better. You are going to want full emulsion of the oils in to the mix.




 You shouldn't see any separation when you transfer to your mayo jar.

Refrigerate before use. Good for about 2 weeks.

This makes the perfect amount for our family, only because we don't eat a lot of mayo. But, if your family loves mayo I am sure that you could double the recipe at any given time.

HAPPY HOMEMAKING!!!!

07 October 2013

Chocolate, Chocolate chip Breakfast Muffins





As you may have noticed on my 30 days of meals menu we have muffins every Monday. These are super easy and delicious and nutritious. What better way to start your day than with chocolate.

The recipe I use is one I got from Heavenly Homemakers. However, I have to alter the way she mixed hers.

16 c of  Soft white wheat ( Freshly milled)
3/4 c of baking powder
1/2 c of Sucanat
2 t of  Real salt

I mix all this together in a large bowl and store it in the freezer for when ever I will make muffins or pancakes. This will last me about 6 weeks.

To make the muffins and pancakes are pretty much identical until you start adding the chocolate and chips and the other goodies.

To make the "dough"

2 c of the Mix (the recipe above)
2 T of oil (I suggest olive oil)
1 egg
2 t of Vanilla
1 c of water

This will make basic muffins and pancakes. Now, for the Chocolate, chocolate chip muffins also add this to the "dough"

3 T of  Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/2 c of chocolate chips
1/4 c of shredded coconut
1/4 c of chopped nuts your choice

Sometimes after I add all this to the "dough" I will need to add a little more water just so the dough is not too thick.

Once it is all mixed together, spoon into muffin pan bake at 350 for about 20 to 25 mins depending on how fast or slow your oven may cook things. I usually only bake for 20 mins.

 
Let cool and Enjoy!!  These are not only great for breakfast but also for an afternoon snack!!
 
 

30 September 2013

This ones for AMY!!!

Hello Dear Amy,

Not long ago I did a post on shampoo. And, since that post I have not had the time to make the Coconut Milk shampoo until the other day. I wanted to use it a bit before posting on how much I really love it.

I was amazed at how my hair felt after I used it. This recipe also gave me the lather I was looking for. I know I mentioned before that it just didn't feel like shampoo if bubbles didn't appear, well you can have your coconut milk shampoo and your bubbles too!!!!!  YAY!!!!!

 I didn't even need to use conditioner which I have had to use in the past with the baking soda and Dr. Bronner's. I wanted to go all natural but, it was hard to do when my hair felt like straw. I just knew deep down in my heart that I was being to look like I had a bale of hay on my head. So, I stooped and bought some expensive organic conditioner. This helped keep my hair feeling soft and smooth. But, come on who wants to pay a lot for conditioner anyway.

NOT ME!!!!!!!  NOPE NEVER AGAIN!!!

So, Dear Amy...Here ya go I hope this recipe will work on your curly hair, as it did on my bale of hay!!

1/4 c of Coconut milk (I just used a store bought brand-organic)

1/3 c of Castile soup

1 t of Almond oil, but you can use vitamin E oil too

10-20 drops of E.O.  I used Rosemary and Tea Tree..



I use about a Tablespoon at a time. Rinse good.  I think that with one of the ingredients being milk that it can't last very long. However, when I made this I doubled the recipe.. Don't ask why I just get over zealous
 sometimes.

So, I am washing my hair everyday, but I usually on wash it about 2-3 time a week.

Let me know how you like it!!!!!   Good shampooing





27 September 2013

30 days worth of meals

Okay I didn't really know how popular this 30 days of meals would be. I have had some friends ask me to post my menus.

But, first, let me just say it may seem overwhelming don't let this discourage you from attempting. Even if you can't do 30 days maybe you might be a weeker like I was for so long.

I went back over my course of several months and I have been planning menus since April. This has been a tremendous help to me and my family. NO longer do I hear, "WHAT ARE WE HAVING FOR BREAKFAST?"  "WHAT ARE WE HAVING FOR DINNER?" WHAT ARE WE HAVING FOR SUPPER?'

Some of you may be thinking dinner and supper, but down south that is what we call lunch- dinner and well dinner- supper.. I know we are a great group of people.

Okay so, back on topic, MENUS Arica....

I say sit down with your family and come up with some all the time meals. I didn't do this only because we have been making them for so long now that we all knew what nights we wanted certain foods, and with my hubby's work schedule this made things purtty convenient.

These menus will be in order from Sept 30-Oct 27.

I am going to set this up with all breakfast, dinner, and supper.

BREAKFAST

~~This was super easy, because I just repeat M-F and Sun. Saturday I like to do something different and everyone can put in their 2 cents..

M-Muffins ( I make chocolate, chocolate chip)
T- Grits, Eggs, Bacon (This is my hubby's day off and his favorite meal)
W- Oatmeal (I usually fix Steel cut oats, or I have a recipe for instant oatmeal)
Th.-Pancakes (I have my own recipe or this too, Brodie's favorite dish)
F-Cereal and toast ( I make my own cereal, with the occasional store bought box)
S.- I suggest letting your family pick it. It could range from cinnamon roll, omelets, etc..
Sun.- Biscuits (supper easy meal for before church)


DINNER (LUNCH)

I won't name the day only because that will be a lot of extra typing but they will go in order as the breakfast did. Something else I would like to mention. On the weeks that I have Syd and Ty I will cook more than when they are not with me. So, on the supper menu there may not be as many meals due to leftovers. This is Syd and Ty's week this week so the starting menu here they will not be with me.

Cube steak, rice and gravy
Steak and potatoes, Broccoli
Black bean hummus- co-op need something easy
Lasagna
Veggie Soup
Sandwiches
Nana's--we do this every Sunday so I won't repeat it again.

~~Ty and Syd's Week~~
Shepherds Pie
Salmon Patties, Cheese Grits
Tuna Melts
Spanish Rice with ground Beef
Lasagna
Hamburgers

Meatloaf, Broccoli, Rolls
Tuna Melts
Cheese burger Mac
Potato Soup
Sandwiches
Beef Stroganoff

~~Ty and Sy's week~~
Spaghetti, Garlic Bread, broccoli
Salmon Patties
Cube Steak, Mashed potatoes
Cheesy beef and rice with mixed veggies
Sloppy Joes
Eat out-Bro's game day

SUPPER (DINNER)

We eat a lot of leftovers, so again this will not be as long.

Leftovers-Revival
Hotdogs-Revival need something easy
Pizza--we eat this every wed
Leftovers
Leftovers
Tacos
Hamburger Quinoa Casserole, Broccoli

~~Ty and Syd's week~~
Leftovers
Hamburgers-game night
Pizza
Leftovers
Fajitas
Chicken pot pie

Leftovers
Steak and cheese Potatoes, Broccoli
Pizza
Leftovers-game night
Sloppy Joes
Leftovers
Mexican Pizza

~~T and S week~~
Pop corn Chicken
Eat out-game night
Pizza
Leftovers
Fajitas
Leftovers


Every other Sunday night Bro and I will eat at nana's house, but on the Sunday's when T and S come home I cook.

Looking through you noticed a lot of repeat meals, this makes planning easier, only because I am not trying to figure up 18 different meals a weeks. Now, that would be overwhelming to me.

My goal in doing this is so that I only have to grocery shop one a month. There will be items that I will need to buy from a week to week basis like milk and orange juice. I hope like with eggs and other fridge items I will be able to get them at my local co-op. Oh, and fruit that is one that I usually end up going to the grocery store, but I have noticed that my trips and the amount in my buggy are becoming less. And. LESS!! is what I am looking for. If I don't have to go to the grocery store I have a LESS opportunity to impulse buy. And impulse buying can be bad or your pocket book and budget.


How are some ways that help you budget and plan???









23 September 2013

A new state of CHEAP

Here in the G household, we are entering into our new frame of mind, heart/wallet change if you will. My hubby and I have decided that it is time we become cheap. Now, I understand that, that is such an ugly word to use but, other than frugal, cheap just sounded really what we are becoming. I have heard people refer to the rich/wealthy people as cheap and well I guess that is how I will refer to ourselves cheap. I know it won't make us rich!!!

So, I have really gotten a jump on menus. Today, yes this very morning, I sat down at my computer and with my UNF order and Alberts pulled just whipping that menu into shape. I now have menus planned out for the month, 30 whopping days, this was not an easy task.

I am really trying to budget our grocery bill SO much better than I use to.. This way I am able to see what I have for the next month and what I will need to buy for each meal!

Genius I say Genius!! 

Right now, after looking at my NEW and improved menus I have very little that I will need to purchase over the next 30 days, aside from milk and eggs. There are just some things I will need to buy all the time.

So, what about you what are some ways you can budget your grocery bill? What plans help in you in grocery shopping and not over spending?

21 September 2013

Jump start on this weeks Menu

Last week I didn't make one and I have been just all outta sorts about it. I have pulling recipes out of thin air and hurrying to find something to cook, but all went ok..

I must say that a well planned out menu works best in this house hold.

I have been on Pinterest this week and have found some really great recipes and we are going to be trying them this week..YAY!!!

And, of course when we do eat them I will rate them for you!!  YAY AGAIN!!!


Monday: Muffins

Chicken n Dumplings, Broccoli

Leftovers



Tuesday: Grits, Eggs, and Bacon

Hamburgers, Potatoes, Green Beans

Leftovers-Football Game 7:00



Wednesday: Oatmeal

Tuna Melts

Pizza



Thursday: Pancakes

Cheesy Beef with mixed veggies

Leftovers



Friday: Cereal and Toast

Sandwiches

Fajita Night



Saturday: Pumpkin French toast

Hotdogs-Youth gathering at my house

Meatballs Bake, Garlic bread

16 September 2013

Grow your own Scoby?!?!

Some of you maybe asking yourself right now what is a scoby?

It is a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. That is a scary answer.. I just call me La'quisha an La'toyia. I have two now, and they are beautiful healthy looking girls. Why do I call them girls? Because if you study your scoby, like I did mine you will notice that they will have babies grow on them. As far as I am concerned females, other than seahorses, produce babies. So, girls they shall be called.

I must say this Kombucha rave has taken off in the south. I know Joli has helped many of her friends and I have gotten a couple of mine getting started. Each time you want to help someone you are having to cut your scoby and give a little to them to get them going. And, I didn't want to have to keep cutting my girls and I needed another way to get scobys fast.

How Arica do you do that? 

Well I am glad you asked blog readers. Here is how.

Not long ago I was plundering through Pintrest, which is something I love to do, and came upon this video on how to GROW your scoby. I was totally impressed, at first I was a little skeptical but, I knew I had to try it.

The next time I was co-op, I went to this Farmers Depot place where they have organic everything. I bought a bottle of the blandest Kombucha they had. When, I got home I got two quart jars and split the Kombucha between them. It probably filled them up about 1/4 of the way. Placed a paper towel over them  tied with string, you don't want to paper towel flying off all the time, and left them alone for 14 days.

And, after my 14 days this is what I had....


There she is. The white thing floating at the bottom. What she is sitting in right now I would call that the starter tea. I would recommend anyone who is going to grow your own scoby use this tea when you make your gallon.

How to make the Kombucha is simple.

6-8 tea bags (any tea of your choice black, green, or white)
1 c of sugar (that seems like a lot but that is what your girl will eat)

Boil the water and pour over your tea bags and sugar a rough four cups of water. Stir with a wooden spoon (NOT METAL) Let it set out until it is a room temp. Once cooled pour into a gallon GLASS jar and fill the rest of the way with water. Put a coffee filter, dish towel, cheese cloth or something airish like that over your opening and leave her alone for about 5-7 days.

Drain all but about 20% and start the process all over again.


I recommend using a jar like this one, but with out the metal spout.




Look how pretty. I was so impressed. I gave one to my dear friend Avis, and I saved one for me. Now, all you have to do is feed them/her.



12 September 2013

Better for you ~UPDATED~

Okay so I didn't get a chance to make some coffee last night. What a bummer!!  But, I did this morning of course. I mean who could start their day off with out coffee, I surely couldn't and I wouldn't dare think of trying..

OOOpppss Rant.. Sorry..

So, the coffee creamer turned out GREAT!!  Tasty!! and is a definite Keeper!!  I did end up having to add sugar, like I had been using before, to my cup.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I have taken another stab at getting even morer healthier around here.  As most of you know I love, love, love coffee and I don't plan on giving it up anytime soon. But, I don't want to take in all those "ingredients" in the coffee cream I used.

Remember not long ago I tried using coconut oil, and that was a NO GO!!!  I almost got sick trying to drink it. Never again will I stray from my beloved coffee creamer. Until one day, a day much like today, I was perusing through Pinterest  and came upon a recipe of sheer greatness.

HOMEMADE COFFEE CREAMER

What!?!?

I couldn't believe it, right there before my very eyes, a dream come true. I couldn't wait until I could make this but, I had so much of the other kind left that I wasn't going to jump in and make MORE coffee creamer.

But alas, I ran out and had been using my hubby's, plain no flavor, coffee creamer and well my mornings just haven't been the same. Don't fret, I was able today!! YES this very day, make more betterer coffee creamer!!!! FOR ME!!! (can you just hear the joy in my voice? what about the excitement?)

Giddy as a sugar fed horse, I am going to make a pot of coffee tonight just so I can try the NEW creamer.

Okay, the moment ya'll have been waiting for the recipe..

1 can of condensed sweetened milk (I was going to make my own, but it took like 4 hours!! No thanks)

1 3/4 c of milk. ( I would suggest adding more milk if you think this will be too sweet. I will find out later today) Another plus I may not have to use sugar anymore..Yay!!

2 t of Vanilla

Put all ingredients in quart jar and mix good and I mean really good.. Give it all you got. Leave nothing on the side..

Place in fridge until you are ready to use.



09 September 2013

Meal Plans

Last week I was able to get one row of tomatoes and bell peppers planted. I hope to work some in the garden this week as well. My hubby and I are looking forward to another productive garden. I hope that over the years I will get better and better.

I am starting to can more and more, and that is something I would like to be able to do with my garden plant enough to eat from and can some for later.

Here is the menu for this week.


MONDAY: Muffins

Cube steak, potatoes, cream corn

Leftovers



Tuesday: Bacon, Eggs, and Grits

Tuna Sandwiches, fruit

Steak, Garlic biscuits, broccoli



Wednesday: Oatmeal

Beef Stroganoff

Pizza



Thursday: Pancakes

Lasagna

Rice and beans enchiladas



Friday: Cereal and toast

Fish and grits

Taco Salad



Saturday: Hash brown and egg

Meet Nana B for lunch

leftovers



Sunday: Biscuits and gravy

Nana's

Leftovers
 
Sometimes, I think how easy it would be if I didn't take the  time each week to make a menu, but my kids and hubby are so use to seeing it on the fridge. That if I don't make one they are constantly asking what are we having.
 
So, if you don't menu plan I HIGHLY recommend it. What a time saver.
 
 

28 August 2013

More Veggies Please

Over the last few months I have been trying to introduce more fresh, raw veggies into our diets. I want to my family to get the benefit of eating raw veggies. I had a summer garden and I feel that it did pretty good, but I have learned that most of the veggies we like are winter veggies. I wasn't sure if I would do a winter garden and I have totally changed my mind.

There is nothing for satisfying, than my kids asking, "Did these come out of our garden?"

And, I just love to tell them YES they did. I was disappointed in my planning on the first garden. I wanted to can tomatoes this year. Because we go through a lot of different tomatoey stuff. But, when they started blooming I noticed I planted cherry tomatoes instead of the not cherry tomatoes. And, I just wasn't even going to try to can those little guys.

Plans for the winter garden~~~~~

Lettuce
Spinach
Bell Peppers- Now these are also a summer garden
Broccoli
Tomatoes- giving it one more try with new seeds
Cucumbers

Do you garden?

Gardening is also way to get the kids outside, save money, and enjoy some of God's beautiful creations!!!

26 August 2013

Our menu for the week

When I started this blog I really wanted to just bring you into my everyday life as a blended family, but as time has moved on I have become for a healthy living blog. Which I am okay with that.  I hope that you are too. I want to live a happy and healthy life and I hope a little bit of what I learn will help you along the way.

Oh by the way... I made some cranberry and ginger kombucha and I LOVE IT!!!!!!!



Monday: Muffins (because we didn't eat them Sunday)

Lasagna (because we didn't make it last week)

Meatball Monday-Per Syd



Tuesday: Grits, Eggs, and Bacon

Tuna Sandwiches, fruits and raw Veggies

Celebrating Mark's Birthday (his choice of food)



Wednesday: Cereal day, toast

Sloppy Joes, fruit

Pizza and raw veggies



Thursday: Poptarts

Barbeque brisket, Broccoli, Fruit

Fajita Friday



Friday: Oatmeal

Chicken Alfredo (because again we didn't make it last week)

Leftovers



Saturday: Cinnamon Rolls

Hamburgers and cheese potatoes

Breakfast night (Per Ty) Waffles



Sunday: Chocolate Pancakes (per Bro)

Nana's

Leftovers

20 August 2013

The Kombucha Story

Well as you have read in several posts I have been making this weird drink call kombucha  (pronounced KOM BOO CHA) try it...it is so much fun to say KOM BOO CHA .... KOM BOO CHA...KOMBOOCHA....KOMBUCAH...KOMBUCHA..be careful you could start to do a little jig with it..

Okay now that you have that out of your system.

What is Kombucha?

Kombucha is an effervescent fermentation of sweetened tea that is used as a functional food. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). Did you understand all that? I know I didn't! I don't do well with such BIG words. So, I had to do more research and this is what I came up with.

Kombucha (Arica's definition) A fermented, cultured drink that is consumed with probiotics that cause better health in your body.

I see, I too, have used a big word Probiotic. What is a probiotic?

A live bacteria that promotes your digestive system and your immune system.

Wow.. all that in a silly little drink call Kombucha.

I was first introduced to Kombucha from a dear friend of mine, Joli. I was at her house one day and I noticed she had all these different jars of weird looking stuff just growing on her counters. Well, curiosity got the best of me and I began asking questions.

If you don't know Joli, she has a plethora of knowledge on healthy living. So the word storm began. There was no stopping her until I asked if I could try some kombucha. She gave me this great big smile and poured a small amount.


At first, I was like hum, this tastes like vinegar. I wasn't thrilled with the taste until she started experimenting with flavors. Oh how, I just love flavors of all sorts.

So not long after that I got back with Joli and she gladly gave a Scobey. That is the active yeast that grows on top of your kombucha batch.

Here she is at the beginning of her life here in the Griner household. I do have to say that she has grown quite nice in the last few weeks that I have had her.

I have been through three batches of kombucha now, and I too have been playing with all kinds of different flavors.


I have made...


Lemon----loved it
Raspberry----hated it
Triple berry consisting of (raspberry, strawberry, blue berry) ----loved it
Peach ginger---Can't live without it
blueberry--didn't like it much
Lemon Ginger---yeah nope not for me
Peach ----love it
Lemon/Lime--yikes to tart

So, does the buck stop here for me??

Heck NO JOE!!!

I will keep on keeping on with the flavors.

Do you Kombucha????


19 August 2013

Menu and Kombucha

I know I have mentioned the Kombucha in the past and some of you maybe wondering what in the world that is. Well, it is a probiotic/fermented drink. Please don't think I am making beer or wine that is not what it is AT ALL. I will give more on it later.

I have been experimenting on some different flavors and I believe that I have gotten some favs already. Here is the menu for this week. I hope you are inspired to make great and healthy meals for your just as I have been trying to do!!!!

HAPPY COOKING

Monday: Toast and fruit
Cube-steak, mashed potatoes, Broccoli
Leftover

Tuesday: Grits, Eggs, and bacon
Tuna Sandwiches, Fruit, Fresh Veggies
Hamburgers,

Wednesday: Pancakes
Leftover Hamburgers, fruits and Veggies
Pizza

Thursday: Egg Casserole
Chicken and Dumplings, Green Beans
Leftovers

Friday: Cereal and Toast
Crockpot Lasagna
Leftovers

Saturday: Oatmeal
Chicken Alfredo
Leftovers

Sunday: Muffins
Nana's
Leftovers




12 August 2013

Blush and Bashful

Famous words of Julia Roberts in Steel Magnolias. " I want the colors to be blush and bashful." Pink on pink if I can remember correctly, it has been years since I have seen that movie.

But, I really want to tell you about the blush part of it. As, you all know I am on this EXPEDITION to change my family's life to a healthier, chemical free, natural home. From everything we to the stuff we put on our bodies, to the make-up we wear.

Not long ago I did a post on powder. I have been along and along making the changes I needed in my cosmetic bag. So, the other day I was finally able to make my own blush.

I researched for all the different ingredients I could put in it, and these are what I came up with. Now, do let me tell you that had I'd know that it was going to be as dark as it is I would have found a more reddish color than a rustic brown.

Ingredients are

Red French Clay (which I ordered from Frontier) You can also order from Amazon
Cornstarch or Arrowroot ( I didn't have arrowroot) They work the same
Cinnamon (for glow)

I also can't tell you how much because that would depend on how light or dark you would like it.

I feel that mine looks more like a bronzer than a blush. But, hey trial and error baby!!

I will get better as time goes on!!

Mix your ingredients in a small bowl, but do make sure that you mix well because if you don't you will see the cornstarch and it will leave the blush splotchy on your face. (just a helpful hint-no extra charge)

Next, buy you cute little container to put it in like this one here (another Frontier product)


You can see here the blush I used to wear on the right is a little more pinkish than the blush I am now wearing on the left.


11 August 2013

Menu August 12-18


One meal a day We will all drink 8 oz of Kombucha!!!
More to come on the Kombucha later. I have been dabbling in some different flavors, for the enjoyment of the whole family!!!!
Monday:Cheesy potatoes Casserole

Sloppy Joes, Broccoli

Chicken Pot Pie



Tuesday: Eggs, Grits, and Bacon

Tuna Melts, Fruits, Boiled Eggs

Pizza



Wednesday: Cereal and Toast

Cheese burger mac, Green beans,

Steak, Mashed potatoes, Garlic Bread



Thursday: Hashbrowns and Eggs

Spaghetti, Salad, Fruit

Leftovers



Friday: Monkey Bread, Fruit

Cheesy Rice and Beef

Fajita Night



Saturday: Eggs and Biscuits

Hamburgers, French Fries

Leftovers



Sunday: Cereal and Fruit

Nana's

Leftovers

09 August 2013

Toothpaste

Here is something I have never really given much thought too... TOOTHPASTE!

I just assumed like all things toothpaste was okay. Until you start reading what is in it, and of course each tube has something different in it.. So, how do you know which is really the BEST one to get!!

One a brand that we had been using (it shall remain nameless) The active ingredient is Sodium Fluoride----that's some bad stuff.. it so bad that if you swallow any you are to call the poison control center RIGHT AWAY!!!!

****Warning****   that's right there is a warning on your toothpaste

DO NOT USE IF irritation occurs and persists.. KEEP OUT OF THE REACH OF CHILDREN UNDER 6 YEARS OF AGE. If some is swallowed while brushing get medical help or call poison control immediately.
Does that sound like something a mother who wants to go natural should continue to endeavor in?

I should think not!!!!

So, how come putting poison in our mouths is okay?

Well, frankly it is not. But, because we the general public think that everything that enters into a grocery store is A-OKAY for us to use we keep on buy and they keep on making.

Now, I have covered some pretty scary ground. I know right now all who are reading this are ready to dash to your bathroom and read what is in your toothpaste. I warn you be ready to be surprised. I was!!!

So, now I am on another mission... I want a healthier toothpaste for my family.

The time came for me to STOP POISONING MY FAMILY WILLINGLY!!

I searched the world over for all these different recipes and found one with ingredients I already had on hand. Yay!! I didn't have to buy anything to make this one!!!!!!!

Recipe Number 1

1/2 c of Baking Soda
1/4 c of Peroxide
2 T of Coconut oil
2-10 drops of Essential oil

Mix all together and store in glass jar.


When I finished making this exact recipe I felt it needed more solidity, so I add 2 more T of coconut oil and a total of about 20 drops of essential oil. Peppermint or Orange is recommended. I used peppermint because we like that mint flavor.

Frist of all, let me tell you we DO NOT like this recipe. It is very bitter tasting even with the extra mint. My hubby and I like to look at each other when brushing just to see whose face looks funnier!!!

Great times...Great Times!!!


 It looks good, but don't let that fool ya!!


But what can I say the jar is so stinking cute!!!  Right?
 
Recipe Number 2

2 T coconut oil
3 T of banking soda
1/2 t of Xylitol (this is for sweetener and taste)
15-25 drops of Essential oil again Peppermint or Orange

Mix in bowl with fork when it is pastey (if that is even a word) add your oils and store in glass jar.

I haven't made this recipe yet, but it is the next one we will try after we finish off the first yucky batch.

Stay tuned for more inside makings at Arica's place..

PS. the Deodorant is still going strong.. Not as in stinking strong but stopping the stinky strong!!!





08 August 2013

Homemade

Don't you just love those words HOMEMADE, with a name like that you know it will be good, right????

I took Tuesday to make some things that I have been wanting to make like deodorant, blush, toothpaste, and perfume. Soon to come mascara and coconut shampoo.

I first started off with the deodorant, only because so matter what I used natural, organic, or the bad stuff I always seemed to stink. I was constantly checking, sniffing my pits at any given moment. I don't mind the sweating because that is what we suppose to do, but the stinking part I can't stand. My dear friend Joli over at Following where He leads has been making her own deodorant, and Sunday of last week when I went over for my Kombucha class, she came running or walking, I don't really remember, down the hall with a deodorant in hand. I was impressed because it was in a deodorant bottle and a solid. I knew at that moment I had been putting making my own deodorant off for way to long.

I used the same recipe that Joli uses we both go ours from http://www.keeperofthehome.org/. I found her on pinterest. The recipe is simple and effective. She stated that the longer you use it the better it works. She had me at better!!! 

I had co-op yesterday and I sweated a bunch but, I couldn't smell any stink. All day long I worked and worked, got in a hot car, then unloaded the car when I got home, put of 50+ pounds of chicken sweating the whole time and still I couldn't smell the defining smell of Body Odor. I was totally shocked, so shocked that I had my hubby do the pit test. I need him to smell the pit so that my smell was not blinded by my excitement of not stinking. He said I don't smell anything Arica.. What really???? I am SOLD!!!!!!!!!

 I really didn't think that this was going to be as good as I thought it would. But, here I am on day 2 and I am still excited that I can't smell myself.

DON'T MIND THE LINT!! THIS ONE IS BEING USED!!! 

Homemade Deodorant

1/8 c of Cornstarch or Arrowroot (I didn't have arrowroot so I used the cornstarch)
1/8 c of Baking Soda
2 1/2 T of Coconut oil
1 heaped T of Beeswax ( Pellets or grated)
8 drops of Tea Tree Essential oil
8 drops of Lavender oil
2 drops of Castor Oil
8-10 drops of a sent that you like..

Add all ingredients to a small pot and put on low heat

Stir every once and while until everything is melted and a smooth texture

Pour in to your deodorant bottle.

I put my in the fridge to cool faster, but you can set it out on the counter to cool just the same. I am just an impatient person.


06 August 2013

A Family Vacation

Last week all of us, Griners, went down to Daytona for a week. This trip was a blessing from an Aunt of ours whom rented this condo for a month and was unable to stay the entire time and wanted to know if we would like to go.

We were so excited. The beach for a week. Yay!!  Okay now for the truth, all but two members of my family hate the beach. We don't like the sand in our bathing suits, we don't like the water, we don't like the chaffing that comes from the sand in our bathing suits, but the trip was donated in love. It was a time for all of us as a family to get away and that is what enticed us to take her up on her generous offer. 

That was until we got down there. My hubby, the boys, and I (Syd went with Nana the day before) pulled up around 11:30ish or so, and the owner of the condos was still there. That at the time was no concern to me, UNTIL she started asking all these questions, that I didn't know the answers to. It turned out we, the 12 of us, couldn't stay in one condo. It was against the law. Now, we are law abiding citizens in the great state of Florida were forced encouraged to rent another condo.

And, I am glad that we did, because there wouldn't have been enough room for ALL 12 OF US to stay in a 2 bedroom condo. God knew what He was doing, because we all left the beach and we all still love one another. Yay!! That's one for Jesus!!! and 2 for Love!!

We only spent one afternoon at the beach, because the condo had a POOL. Okay you just can't go wrong with a pool, at least not with my kiddos.

Beach photo op!!!

Man! Those waves were coming in hard and the girls were having themselves a great time

I do believe that is a smile on Ty's face too!

 Yes! He is shirtless ladies, but remember he is MINE!!!
 
HOLD YOUR BREATH SON!!!
 
Warning you will not see me in any of these photos!!!
 



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Aside from the beach we also took a tour of the Chocolate Factory!!




They had chocolate covered bacon!! Yes that is right BACON!!   Here is Syd trying it for the first time!!

Wait for it!!

She loves it!!!



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We played cards, went to the board walk, and the flea market!!









Us, adults even had a double date night!!


One trip to the emergency room and we will call this vacation COMPLETE!!










26 July 2013

I need the "POO"!!!!

I have been doing a lot of research on shampoos that are good for you and your head. I have a friend who introduced me to the no poo shampoo.

That is a funny name to me the NO POO... but after months of using the no poo, I realized that I love the POO in my shampoo. The so called poo part of the processed shampoo is the lathering. Now, I don't know about you but the lather part makes me feel like I am actually doing something.

However, I have moved from these....

 To this....

The no poo shampoo consists

1 T of baking soda
1 c of warm water

There you are done. After I would apply this to my hair it felt course and unnourished, I immediately knew I needed something to condition my hair. Back to the computer. I found that apple cider vinegar was what people were using the bring back the shine and health to their hair.

So, I hopped in my car drove to my "Local" natural store and bought me some vinegar with "mother" in it. The Mother of the vinegar means that it isn't pasteurized. 



There I am no poo shampoo and a "nice" vinegar rise to top it off.


There is only ONE problem. My hubby can not stand the smell of the vinegar rinse. He absolutely hated it, fussed every time I had to do it. Which turned out only once a week. That was nice!!!

When I ran out of the original no poo shampoo, I just made some up. This one consisted of the same ingredients except I used Dr. Bronner's castile soap and a few drops of essential oils.

The shampoo with some poo

1 T of baking soda
1 c of warm water
1/4 c of castile soap (any fragrance) I used Hemp almond
5 drops of essential oil. (I used a lavender)

You must shake it before each use!

This has been doing good for me, but it still make my hair feel striped of moisture. However, when I style it, it doesn't look that way. But, I again ended up driving the my "local" natural store and bought, yes that is right BOUGHT  some organic conditioner. This one I bought for the smell and the moisture. But, I would love to find a shampoo that does it all.




Back to the computer again to find a different shampoo with  more moisture in it.

 I found one that was made with coconut milk. Wow, really Milk in my hair.

I figure at this point what could be so bad right?

Stay tuned for the update on the coconut milk shampoo........

14 July 2013

My menu and Ty's birthday

Well last week was really Ty's birthday my baby has now turned 15...

Whaaaaaaaa.....sniffffff, weeeeeeeeeppp

It is so hard watching them grow up..

I am thankful that God has blessed me with these beautiful children.


Monday: Muffins

Eat at football camp

Hamburgers, Potatoes, Salad



Tuesday: Grits, Eggs, Bacon

Eat at football camp

Steak and Shrimp, Pasta noodles and broccoli, Garlic Naan



Wednesday: Pancakes

Eat at football camp

Pizza, Salad



Thursday: Egg Casserole

Eat football camp

Chicken wings, Salad



Friday: Cream cheese Pastry, Fruit

Eat at football camp

Fajita's



Ty's Birthday party

Saturday: Eggs, Sausage, and toast

Crock-pot cheesy chicken salsa, Ice cream cakes, snacks

Chicken pot pie



Sunday: French Toast, Fruit

Nana's

Leftovers

11 July 2013

Another Painting Adventure

Okay so, we have just about lived in our new home for about 3 years.

I know it seems like FOREVEEEERRRRR!! But, seriously its only been 3 years. And, I believe no as a matter of fact I know I have mentioned in the past that I just love CHANGE, Again, I just LOVE IT!!!

Now back to my original post PAINTING I had said one time or another I wanted to paint the bathroom again. I looked and looked, nope I didn't really look all that hard I perused through the Lowe's color wall and picked up a card or two and was out the door. I didn't really mull over it or think about it much. when I got home with the color card I laid them on the floor of the rooms the were intended for and thought to myself.....

YEP these will work. Asked my hubby to pick them up, called my friend Joli  NOT to ask if she would come help but, to see if she had any primer left from painting her house. However, she came anyway (YAY!!) and between the two of us we were done in one day.

I would say that is record time.

We are up for hire, however we get to drag along our 6 children. Plus, you have to sign a contract that says we are not liable for anything they break.


Here are the before and afters........










There ya have it... This dark red paint job that I just had to have. Later do I found out from my hubby that it is too dark and he doesn't like. Well Me Either. So, we (Joli and I) changed it to this.











Okay so, at 9:30 at night I was hanging mirrors back on the walls and putting all my jewelry back up.

When I laid my head down that night it was like it had always been that color. I called Bro in to ask how he liked it and he said, "It looks like a big booger!!"

And, you know what he is RIGHT!!!



Some extras I took that Joli didn't know about and some she did!!


He may not look like it but he really loves his Aunt Arica...












Well, That is the end of our bloopers...