Wednesday, July 23, 2014

How to Make Homemade Almond Milk

I'd like to introduce you to my Mom--the fabulous Kathleen--who is contributing to a post for the first here at Darling Darleen, and I hope not the last!  She is my mentor in so many ways.  I love her to pieces!  She has taught me the importance of living and eating healthy.  Growing up, it felt like I lived in a health food store--daily vitamins, herbs, only filtered water, lots garden vegetables, freshly picked fruit, whole wheat everything, no refined sugar, tofu in everything. Although not a popular concept at the time and I would secretly eat white bread slices at our friends' houses, I am so grateful she taught me good healthy eating habits.  Many of my homeopathic healing tips have been taught through her and she learned many of her ideas through her mother!   

We just got back from our annual Vegas trip to see family, and one of my favorite things to drink is my mom's yummy homemade almond milk.  We love it and it's so sweet and healthy!  My kids like it on their morning cereal or just an afternoon treat.  My mom told me I need to start making it for my family, and I gave the excuse that I didn't have the recipe...which leads me to this post!  We made the milk in her outdoor kitchen.  It's that simple. With a little preparation, this easy recipe is just a click of the blender.

Here's what you need:

1 cup raw almonds
4 cups of Filter water
measuring cup
About 4 dates
1tsp. of vanilla
Strong blender like Vitamix or Blendtec

Raw almonds.  If they aren't raw, the almonds are irradiated meaning less nutrients and more chemicals.  Soak the almonds in filtered water over night in a quart-size jar.  Why soak?  Soaking plumps them up, and it's a way for the almonds to sprout and bring life to the nut, which means more nutrients.  You will see on the end of the almonds a white little spot on the pointy end which means it is starting to sprout.

After soaking, measure out 1 cup of almonds and pour into your blender.

Throw in about 4 dates

And a teaspoon of vanilla
Add your 4 cups of filtered water and put the blender on its base.
Start the blender and blend, blend, blend!
Pour, serve and drink!
Yum Yum!

Isn't she the cutest!  Here are some fun facts I learned about my mom while making some homemade almond milk (but really I already knew).

  • She doesn't follow a recipe.  It's all in her head!  Just throw it all in and blend!
  • She would make a fresh batch of almond milk every morning while we were there. 
  • She said you can strain the milk through cheesecloth to get rid of the pulp, but you would lose some of its nutrients.  However, she is so kind to strain the milk for her most pickiest grandchildren, aka my kids. :)

Thanks mom for teaching us all about Homemade Almond Milk.  Mwah!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

DIY: Shell Bottle

I'm over at How Does She today talking about bottling up your beach trip memories!  Literally.  We head to the beach a few times a of our favorite family activities...and we always come back home with a bucket full of sand and shells.  Instead of throwing it out, I just bottle it up.  I love the results and have bottles around the house.  Perfect summer beach-y decor!  Check out the easy step-by-step tutorial.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Fourth of July Bike Parade

Happy 4th of July!  Get your streamers, garland and paper pinwheels out and go decorate your bike.  Then take your party on the go--hitting up your town's parade or have a festive picnic at the park.  Whatever you plan to do, go check out my post on Or So She Says with all the fun details to make your Fourth of July bike parade a success.

bike parade

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Painted Wooden Block Sign

Wooden block signs are a great way to express a quote in a simple artistic way.  I've seen alot of the reproduced ones in stores, but the ones that are hand painted and hand made add more rustic characteristic and personality.  I made a few wooden block signs for my kids room and shared the easy tutorial on How Does She today.  The best thing is about the tutorial is that you can make the sign in any font with any design.  Check it out.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Sequin Monogram Letter

I am still obsessed with monograms and personalizing a space.  I love how this sequin monogram letter came out for my post over at Or So She Say that I did last week.  It will add a little bling to your office shelves or tablescape.  And its easy, easy!  Head over to Or So She Say to see the step-by-step tutorial.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Healthy Strawberry Ice Cream--Sugar Free, Diary Free, Gluten Free

We've been having so much fun eating and making all things strawberries.  And of course we have to make homemade strawberry ice cream.  With summer here, I have been trying so hard to really watch my diet and have cut out (for the most part) sugar and diary.  But in the summer we break in our ice cream maker quite a bit and the kids have a lot of fun coming up with different recipes.  So homemade ice cream is quite tempting around our house.  This healthy recipe is guilt-free, and ice cream that I can turn too when I crave something sweet and fruity.

16 ounces of strawberry--chopped and pureed
2 cups of coconut milk
3-5 tbsp of maple syrup (depending on how sweet)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 lemon juice


1. Cut stems off strawberries and measure out 16 ounces in cup.  Put it in your blender and puree.
2. Combine coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla and lemon juice in a mixing bowl.  
3. Slowly stir in strawberry puree with the milk mixture
4.  Pour mixture into your ice cream maker and follow directions.

After the ice cream is made, serve immediately and enjoy.  Got any leftover ice cream?  Don't put it in the freezer just yet.  One of the bummer things about coconut milk is once it freezes it comes really ice hard and the consistency is not creamy anymore.  BUT, what we do with any left over coconut ice cream is put the remains in popsicle molds.  It works out great and kids like it as do adults.  And you don't have to chisel out a huge block of ice.  

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Georgia Strawberry Picking

All I want to do this summer is take advantage of all the fruit picking there is in Georgia.  With all the moving we've been doing the last two summers, we haven't really gone out to the farms and done our own picking.  The seasons come sooner down here than Connecticut, so Georgia strawberry picking is in full swing the month of May instead of June.  So many strawberries! My little helpers were, in fact, really good helpers.  They did most of the picking...and the eating of course!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

DIY: Marble Vanity Tray

I am so in love with this marble vanity tray that I made for my How Does She post this month!  It's been so handy as a place I can put my everyday jewelry, wedding bands and favorite scents and oils.  I have it right on my bathroom counter.  And it adds just the perfect touch of sophistication to my bathroom.

After you get the supplies, this craft takes 5 minutes to put together and costed me about $30--depending on if you don't have any of the materials on hand.  Not bad for marble!

Head over to see my step-by-step process on making this marble vanity tray!  It requires no tools!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day Sale

I forgot to post here!  BUT...I had a memorial day sale with free shipping.  Like my facebook page OR follow in Instagram OR sign up on my newsletter page to stay tune for sales.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May Day Flower Tradition

I'm over at Or So She Says talking about May Day flower baskets.  It's a tradition we like to do the 1st of May, which is today.  But we also celebrate throughout the entire month of May.  I have posted about it before,  and it's just a nice gesture to neighbors or friends for no particular reason.  And its one that will for sure leave a smile on their face.  You can read all about it here.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

How to Treat Strep Throat Naturally

When my children are sick I always try to treat their illness naturally before I run off to the doctors. I give a 48-hour window of natural remedies, and if I don't see progression of my child getting better then I will go to the doctors. But 95% of the time we never get to the point of a doctor's visit.  Because of this approach I get a lot of questions from other moms who are curious to know what remedies I use. I have posted about some of my favorite natural remedies before and about garlic shots.  Garlic shots are the best for the flu season! Anyway, natural healing does not mean that my children don't get sick because they still do, but it does mean that their immune system is stronger, and they don't get sick as often or for as long. My children have not been to the doctors for an illness in over a year and half! And I don't say that to brag; I say that because it works!

This past week my 7-year-old son was home with strep throat. His symptoms were fever, swollen red throat with blisters and tummy pains. In the past he has been on antibiotics for strep and sure enough once he is done with his 10-day dosage, he always gets sick with something else, even when I give him probiotics. Very frustrating!

So here are some basic remedies that combine herbal, essential oils and basic food items to kill strep. Remember when you do natural remedies, I recommend breaking up each remedy in stages, so give some time between each remedy/each dosage. And you give or take each remedy every hour! This is so important because every hour the immune system goes down and the goal is to keep the immune system up and strong and able to fight the sickness. I'm not going to lie--naturally healthy is time consuming and you have to stay up on it, but it is so worth it and the benefits it provides your child OR you! And remember strep is serious so you have to be on top of it, and if you don't see progression in a 24-hour period of natural healing then take your child to the doctors. In most illnesses, there is a point where the sickness "breaks" and the healing and wellness is notice. I always continue with the remedies until the child is 100% back to normal.

Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (RACV) , Cayenne and Raw Honey--this is your basic ingredients for your throat syrup.  I use a medicine cup and fill it with raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar, a capsule of organic cayenne (90,000HU) or 1/4 tsp. cayenne and a tsp of raw honey.  Stir well.  Use a dropper and squirt on the back of the throat.

Health benefits: RACV contains powerful enzymes that support good bacteria and deters harmful bactera.  Cayenne helps the body's defenses, takes away the sore throat feeling and kills harmful bacteria.  Raw honey coats the throat and sweetens the syrup.

How to Use: Squirt in the back of child's throat.  Give 3 dropperfuls.  Wait 30 seconds.  Then let them eat a cracker or toast to absorb the heat.

Essential Oils: Lemon and On Guard--I like to use Doterra's Lemon and On Guard essential oils.  These oils can be taken internally.  I put three drops of On Guard and one drop of Lemon in medicine cup, add water to dilute and use a dropper squirt in the back of the throat.  Or have the child drink it quickly.  I just like to use the dropper because it goes directly to the problem area.  Then I topically apply--dilute lemon and on guard with fractionated coconut oil and apply 1-2 drops on throat and reflex points on feet.  At night, I use a diffuser in my child's room and put 3 drops of each in a little water.

Health benefits: lemon kills harmful viruses on contact and builds the immune system.  It also strengthens infected tissues.  On Guard (a blend of wild orange, clove, cinnamon and rosemary) has been studied for strong abilities to kill harmful bacteria and viruses.

How to Use:  If you apply internally, wait 30 seconds then give the child toast or cracker to absorb the heat.  My kids like to have Vitamin C packet (we call it juice) after.

Clay (green or gray)--put a teaspoon of clay into half a glass of distilled water.  Drink an hour before eating.  Add a dash of Himalayan salt.

Health benefits--I talk alot about clay in my natural remedy post and where you can buy.  The ZeoForce brand is from whole foods, but I prefer the Redmond brand.  Clay is an amazing healer!  My kids love it because they know it will make them feel better, even if looks like mud!  Clay draws toxins from inflamed areas, relieves pain and discomfort and reduces swelling.  It reduce fevers.  And it attracts parasites and cleanses them out of the body.

How to Use--   Drinking clay really has no taste besides the taste of water.  Put the clay water in a fun solid cup and add a fun straw.  Let your child drink a Vitamin C packet after.

Okay, so you are probably wondering how I get all these remedies down my child's throat!  Well, I do a lot of positive talking...without telling too much.  If my child throws a fit, I simply don't give it to them.  I believe in positive healing.  Not negative. So sometimes I can get all the remedies down and sometimes I can only get a few.  Even if you can only rub essential oils on their body, that is better than nothing.  I also like to make fruit smoothies...and sometime a little cayenne gets thrown into it or RACV!

Other healing aids:  Make your own lemonade with freshly squeezed lemons and add raw honey to sweeten. Add clay to a warm bath and have your child soak in it.  Use fresh garlic juice in your throat syrup as an alternative to cayenne.  Make lemon tea--fresh lemon juice, water and raw honey.  Also Infection can also read this in my natural remedy post.  I give to my children EVERY hour whenever they get sick or have any signs of sickness (runny nose, cough, etc).  Usually it stops any illness.

UPDATE: After this post, I got strep throat from my son.  I thought, now I get to test the science on me!  So, I went out and got a strep test.  It came back positive.  I started all the remedies immediately and was diligent on doing remedies every hour.  Also drinking lemon water and staying hydrated helped a ton and kept the pain level down.  And of course sleep!  At night I put a diffuser in my room with on guard, lemon and added oregano.  Also I made sure to put on guard and lemon essential oils on my feet.  I was able to beat the strep in three days.  I went back and got tested again and it came back negative.  

Other remedies that helped for the soreness in my throat was drinking 100% pomegranate juice.  And I would dilute a dropperful of slippery elm (herb) in water and drink twice a day.  You can give this herb to children and also dilute in water or pomegranate juice.  

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Easter Table

A small glimpse of our Easter table--earthy tones and white flowers.  I love pulling out my scalloped plates that don't get used that often.  For the name table pieces I used tiny bird nests from Michaels and filled them with chocolate white egg candies and nestled a white tag with their name in the nest.  Sometimes simple can make a big impact.

Hope your Easter was fabulous!


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