Thursday, May 5, 2016

Preserving Aloe Vera





Last weekend I was visiting my parents in Kentucky, and I stumbled across the largest Aloe leaf I've ever seen. I know there are plenty of areas that have Aloe this big, but coming from the cornfields in a small town, this doesn't come around often. Naturally, i bought a leaf bigger than my arm. I got it home safely and then it dawned on me that I had more Aloe than I knew what to do with. I did some research and I decided my best option would be to preserve it. This way I have it on hand so I can start using it in . . . well, everything! So, here is how i preserved my Aloe.


    Saving Your Aloe
  • As much Aloe as you can find
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Jar for storage

First I cut my leaf. You can google how to do this if you've never cut a leaf before. This was my first time and it was super fun and pretty simple. Once you have all of the aloe meat out, chop it up into small squares. Just small enough to fit into the Ninja or food processor. For every 1/4 cup of Aloe, you'll want to add 500 mg of Vitamin C & 400 IU of Vitamin E. I had 1 1/4 Cup of Aloe in my leaf.





Blend this all up into a puree and store in an airtight jar. This will keep for up to 8 months in the fridge. And imagine how good this is for you. If you don't know the benefits of Aloe, I recommend that you do a quick search, because the list goes on and on.




Now you can start harvesting all the Aloe you can find. Or start growing your very own plant!


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Strawberry Basil Lemonade





There is nothing more refreshing than ice cold lemonade on a hot day. Why not take it up a notch? This hydrating drink only takes a minute to stir up and will keep you hydrated all day long.


    Ingredients:
  • Homemade Lemonade to taste
  • 3 Frozen Organic Strawberries
  • 3 Small Basil Sprigs
  • 1/2 Lemon, Frozen

This is a pretty simple recipe. All you need to do is pour your lemonade into a Mason Jar, no ice. Then go pick and wash your Basil sprigs (hopefully from your garden). your ice will be the frozen strawberries and the lemon. Throughout the day, the strawberries will infuse into the lemonade while keeping it cold and delicious.


I've also previously posted the Basil Lemonade recipe so if you'd like to use that and just add in your strawberries and lemon, you can find that recipe HERE.


Friday, April 8, 2016

The Time We Took A Road Trip

You have this great idea that you want to travel the world and go on all these adventures. Then you start breaking it down and the whole thing becomes really overwhelming. Where do you begin? How do you prepare? Well, my hubby and I went on the ultimate road trip and I’m going to break everything down for you and share our journey. Over the course of a few posts..

We sat there on new years day, knowing we were going to take a road trip on the west coast, but not much more than that. We hadn’t started to save money yet, but we knew tax season was upon us. I pulled out my laptop and we started searching places that we knew we wanted to visit. We knew we were going to stay Portland because hubby has family there and grew up in Vancouver, WA. So I mapped how long it would take us from St. Louis, to Portland. . . 33 hours. Wow – ok.

Backtrack. Grandma had gotten us plane tickets to Portland for Christmas and we planned to rent a car from there. Literally, that was the only thing planned out and that didn’t even work out right. So no one told us that rental cars are over $1200 to rent 1 way. There goes our plane tickets, hello 33 hour drive.

So we knew we were going to drive to Portland and obviously stop once to rest up. From there it was unknown. We knew we wanted to drive down through California and stop in Vegas. We knew we were going to stop at the 4 corners and see that. And we knew we were going to go back through Denver to stay with one of my best friends. Everything in between was unknown.. Through my research there at that table with family surrounding me, I found out that Antelope Canyon was just outside of the 4 corners! This has been on my bucket list on Pinterest since Pinterest came out! And if it’s on Pinterest, it’s a legit bucket list!! Definitely adding that to the stop list! Beyond those stops, everything was really unplanned.

We then mapped everything out and determined about how long it’d take from point to point and this is what we came up with. We figured we’d take 2 days to drive to Portland. Stay in OR for 4 days. Then take a day to drive through Cali down to Vegas. Stop in Vegas, see it, leave it. Drive over to 4 corners and spend the night in Antelope Canyon. Then drive up to Denver stay with my friend, then home. Boy was it nothing like that. . . let’s get started on our journeys!

Oh, first I should talk about our preparation! We started saving up money just after Christmas. Tax season came and we only stashed about $500 of that. By the time March came, we had about $1600 saved up for the trip. We also had a MasterCard with an unlimited limit from my wonderful mother, just in case of emergencies. We also used this for the rental car because they put a hold on the card. I paid the card off as soon as we got home from the trip. We took the pup to my sister and I paid $20 to my good friend I work with to come check on our kitty every other day. Ready to rock n roll.

We didn’t get up early. We didn’t set any alarms. We woke up from excitement around 8am. All of our stuff was packed, just needed to be loaded into the truck. About 40 minutes later and we were saying our goodbyes to the kitten and nervous as heck to be going so far from home with no real plan of action. We went to drop off the puppy and get our rental car. We had a few stops to make but we finally got on the road about 11:30am on Friday morning. The drive through Illinois and Missouri was endless and boring. We got to Kansas City, MO and traffic greeted us with a steady halt. Windows down, and Road Trip radio blaring was the only way to get through that mess.

With IL & MO in our rearview, we were off through the tip of Iowa then we hit Nebraska. Still a boring state, but the openness was breathtaking. All I could do was kick my feet up on the dash and enjoy the open road and my hubby by my side. Nebraska was long and boring. We didn’t stop much, but that was mostly because we packed a whole bag of food, and a cooler of drinks. Whenever we got hungry I just made us up some sandwiches and grabbed us a drink. Not having to stop for food was a huge money saver and time saver.

We finally made it to Wyoming! We had figured up on the way there about what area we would hit around midnight so we aimed to get to Cheyenne, WY. So, this was before we discovered Air BNB and we were foolish enough to get a hotel room. *never again* We rolled into Cheyenne very sleepy and nothing booked at a hotel. I am very picky with my hotels so we found the closest Holiday Inn. $127 – heck no! At that rate we wouldn’t get past California! We found some no name hotel and took it for $80.

Keep reading to part II to see how the next leg of the trip goes.

Namaste~

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

New ideas

The last post we made, we were 6 weeks out from our trip to Oregon.  Now here we are 3 days away from leaving. I suppose we should get packing. We couldn't be more excited and anxious to get out there. There have been a few changes and a few new ideas have arisen.

First.. our original plan was to fly to Portland and then rent a car and drive home taking 4 leisurely days to make a few stops along the way. Well, who knew a rental car was $1200!? Not this girl! So we traded in our plan tickets and got a rental car from our hometown for $300 the entire trip. This will take us 2 extra days to get there, but I love my husband and we can't wait to spend that quality windshield time together. So 6 days of driving, 5 days of visiting, and 1 day recoup at home.

Second.. we got a puppy! Yep! A pure bred Siberian Husky. His name is Neko and he's about 9 weeks now. He's a crazy fool. So adorable though. There's been talk about taking him with us, but since he's still small, and clumsy, we're going to leave him at home for nkw. He will stay with my sister, I hope she knows what she's in for.

So the biggest update is that we are looking into doing the RV living!! We have been going every week to look at some options and we are pretty sure that right after we get back from our trip we will be making the plunge.

We are to our breaking point with our 9-5 job and we need to make some moves, and quick. We both are ready to just do it and whatever happens we will make it work. We need more adventure, more excitement. Hubby and I truly are best friends and I want to spend more of my time with him. After all, I did marry him, not this job. I think it really started to hit when we needed a day off here and there and work denied us those days. We are being 'denied' to live our life.

So we hope to have a wonderful trip and shortly after find our perfect RV and start our adventures out on the open road. I'll be sure to write about our trip all along the way.

Thanks for reading.
Namaste.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Road blocks and game changers

So here's an update and trigger, some of it is not all happy rainbows. But I think it is just as important to post our bumps in the road and how we get through them along this journey. We will rise above and nothing is stopping us.

So we are about 6 weeks away from our big trip to oregon. Reminder: this trip determines if and when we move. So we have been saving every penny and dime we have, but we are really counting on our tax refund to get us there and hopefully enough to move afterwards. So It's a lovely Thursday evening and I  sitting down to file my taxes. Turbo tax asks if I'm madried, well of freaking course! Highlight of my life right there. So I choose yes. I continue on. Now let me tell you that most all of my refund comes from 2 things, earned income credit, and my student loans that I will be paying on until I'm dead. Not joking. So I come to the section for those lovely money advancers and BOOM, denied! What , why!? Well, turns out once your married they make you file jointly to get those lovely tax credits. Ok so why don't we just file jointly? Well, see that there proposes a problem. Long story short and to avoid dirty laundry, hubby owes so excited child support that he was never made aware of, so if we file jointly, there goes both of our tax returns. This was road block #1.

My heart shattered into a million pieces. Yes, I got a good refund, but not near enough that I was hoping to get for the trip. I stressed for about 6 hours and the next day my mom gave me wonderful advice. "Everything happens for a reason my love". So I let it be. I know in my heart we will have enough money and we will wind up wherever we are supposed to be. So what was road block #2?

Well, road block #2 wasn't really pertaining to the oregon move/trip, it was more a road block of my heart. So hubby's family planned this wonderful cruise to Mexico for everyone and we were invited. Full free trip, including airfare to get to TX from OR ;)  hubby's never been on a  cruise and I was overjoyed to get to show him the ropes from a 5 time cruiser right here. Let me just say that if I could move to the islands, I'd move to St. Marten in a heartbeat. Well cruise is booked, non refundable and hubby sent off for his passport. Guess what ?! Can't get a passport if you owe back child support! Like he is a criminal or something and he's going to skip the country! I knew this was just a material trip but still, I was really looking forward to this time with hubby and his family that we don't ever get to see.

So hubby sends the dreaded text to his mom and guess what again.  . . . You don't need a passport to go on a cruise to mexico! Some you do, but the particular one were going on you don't. We stressed for a whole day about nothing. And in the meantime, hubby is in touch with child support to get everything paid and cleared up! So possibly this was a blessing in disguise.  But wait. . . .there's more!

So we have these groups on FACEBOOK in my area for online yard sale items. I had gotten a Ninja as a wedding gift back in august from my momma. Since we are downsizing, these groups have become our best friend. I was skeptical to list my old blender on the site because it was a perfectly good blender, but I have a Ninja now, why do I need a blender. I dont. Consolidate. So I skeptically let hubby list it. On Sunday morning he had someone interested in it so we set up a time to meet. All the way across town, like we live in a huge town or something. We dont. But it was cold and my cycle had come on full throttle, thanks full moon.  So we're pulling into the Shell station to meet this guy and we see a pickup truck with 2 families crowding around a box. Awe, puppies! Not just any puppies...HUSKIES!!!!! Now, I don't think I've mentioned it much in my blog, but if you follow me on Pinterest you will see just how much we have loved and wanted a husky. The plan was to find one when we moved to oregon, but I've been in touch with a few  readers and realized it's going to be hard and expensive. So what are the chances that right here in this parking lot, where we weren't even scheduled to be. . .there are husky puppies right in front of our eyes. I think you already know own how this ends. . . His name is Neko and he comes home equity with us in about a month! I literally giggles the whole way home!want to know the craziest part. The guy that bought our blender also bought an item from the couple selling the puppies.

So what was that my mom was saying? "Everything happens for a reason my love".

A few days ago we were so beat down saying "we feel so defeated, everything is spiraling down" and now here we are on top of the world filled with love and joy and couldn't be happier and stronger.

So this is where were at and we couldn't be happier to continue up on our journey.

Stay tuned ,
Namaste.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Life Changes

I feel this is a very appropriate time to make this post and start this journey, since the winter solstice is upon us. In my last post I mentioned that hubby and I have a trip planned to Oregon and shortly after plan to move. Well I have decided to document the whole thing. Readers or no readers, this is our journey and I want somewhere to express, share, vent and learn. So here goes...

We live in a very very small town, we work 9-5 jobs in an office in the biggest place in our town. We have a nice little cozy home that we rent for a pretty penny, and a good chunk of debt to our name. Personally I have more student loan debt than anyone can possibly imagine, but hey, our vehicle is paid off so that's a plus. Our days are the same, with a nice little routine. Our weekends are always fun because we try to get out and make the most of them. We are doing good. But at the end of our day, after we've put in our 8, sometimes 9 or 10, hours and we lay down at night, we are constantly talking about a different lifestyle and this dream we both have. We are constantly thinking 'there's got to be more'. So we're setting out on a journey to see just how much more there is. We're going to go to Portland for 10 days and take a 3 day road trip back and put our 2 weeks notice in when we get home and start packing our stuff to move out west.

We've both lived in other countries and we've both traveled a lot before. We are gypsy souls and love the journey.

So what are our plans.... well, we have a small home now, 1 bedroom that we've turned into 2  bedrooms becase we were pregnant, but lost the baby. This house is just too big. We don't  need or want this material stuff. So we are downsizing to a tiny home. We are currently in the process of going through our posessions and either selling, donating, or storing.

We hope to eventually to live off our passions, but for now we will do what we have to. I currently teach yoga on the side so I'm hoping to get 1 more  certification before the trip and hopefully land a yoga teaching job full time. We also make soaps so we're hoping to get them carried in a few shops. I currently am in the works with 1 shop here locally in the Midwest, but with the holidays it's been hard. Hubby wants  something outdoors, with a park ranger or a farmhand. This will help hi gain the knowledge for when we start to gather and grow our own animals. We aren't too worried about jobs, we know in our hearts that everything will work out the way it is supposed to.

So... now we just put all the pieces together and start planning the next leg of our journey. I hope someone finds interest in this, even if it's just my hubby ☺ stay tuned for more on our wonderful journey of life.

Enjoy the Winter Solstice!
Namaste.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Thankful

I love when the sun goes down after a long rainy day. The earth is moistened and it feels as though the atmosphere has expelled everything it needed to for the time being. The clouds gave forth what the earth yearned for and now every part is satisfied and released. Everything can relax and breathe.

According to tradition, this is a time to be thankful. (I know I'm a little late for Thanksgiving) but shouldn't we be thankful every day of our lives? You would think. Well, I am thankful simply for this body that has provided me life here on earth. Remember: we are souls having a human experience.

Despite the holiday season upon us, there has been so much death and chaos around us. I know of 3 people that have passed away just off the top of my head, young people too! This makes me extremely thankful for my body and I wish I could start treating it better, I've fallen off my clean eating and yoga lately. It also reminds me that life is too short so we must follow our hearts. Which reminds me that the moon is waning in Leo and we should be following our hearts more than ever right now. I read somewhere that people who have heart attacks and heart complications are those who overall, didn't follow their heart in life. Makes sense.

Since the attacks on Paris a few weeks ago, am I the only one noticing that technology has totally been sketchy lately? First my phone stopped working. It won't send messages or get service for calls. This improved overall, but when I'm in a certain  part of our small town, service goes down all together. Then my Bluetooth mouse blew up and quit working which was followed by my mac laptop crashing completely. Luckily I can save he hard drive and have a new laptop on the way, but still a sad moment. I work in a call center and I can't even begin to calculate how many problems we've been having with phones and emails. It's amazing what people are overlooking right now.

Well, here's what's in store for the future:
Hubby and I have a trip to Oregon planned in March. Shortly after we plan to move there. Portland area. We are hoping to get a tiny house on a little land we can have  some bees and a little workshop for our soaps and projects.
We are pitching our soaps to our first store in the next town over. First gers crossed she will want to carry them.
We are still trying for our  3rd member of our family after the miscarriage in October. We hope this happens before christmas.

Thanks for reading,
Namaste.