Sunday, May 29, 2011

Enter to Win! - extended deadline

I'm close to my one year anniversary as The Woodwife with nearly 100 followers.  Can I make it to 100 by June 4th?  If you like what you're reading here, please consider following my blog so you'll be notified when new articles are posted.

Here's how to enter the drawing for a grab bag of herbal products (valued @ $25 ) from my kitchen to yours.
1. If you are a public follower of The Woodwife's Journal via Google or Facebook, comment below to enter. 
2. If you're a blogger and displaying my buttons on your blog, comment below for another chance to win!

Sorry, US only.  Deadline for entry is midnight Friday, June 3rd, 2011.  Winner will be announced on June 4th and notified by email for shipping info.

Also, for local folks, send me an email to enter the drawing for a full scholarship ( a $30 value) to any one of my herbal classes.  This contest ends @ midnight June 3rd, also.  Winner to be announced on June 4th and notified by email.

Sharing this link with the folks @ Alphabe-Thursdays

Much herbal love,
 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Legacy of My Heros ~ The American Soldier

Celebrating Memorial Day and our heros...in light of where our country stands on freedom, I wonder how many soldiers, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice, ever dreamed that those freedoms would be so abused. Imagine a soldier standing by while one of their countrymen burned the flag they followed into battle or that covered the coffin of a friend who was killed in the field. It's a brave and admirable thing they do to defend our right to freedoms that make a soldier cringe. That is the legacy of the American soldier...to die for our freedom to make choices...even foolish ones.

This post is in response to a story prompt @ Jenny Matlock ~ Saturday Centus

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Pondering My Meanderings @ The Woodwife's Journal

And a contest!

In a few days The Woodwife's Journal will be a year old.  It started as a gift to myself as I made the countdown to 50.  I've certainly fallen short of my original goal of posting everyday but it was a large assignment...quite unrealistic at this stage of my life.  A lot has happened in the past year and I've learned so much.  If you've read much of the content here, you know that I've been working with herbs in various ways for a long time.  As a homeschool mom, herbs have played a large roll in our studies.  As I looked ahead toward the future when my girls would be graduating and moving into the next phase of their lives, I wondered what would become of me.  So much of my world is devoted to them and I love being a part of whatever they are doing. I wouldn't have it any other way because this has been such a special time for us...one that can't be wasted on "ME" time because we can never pass this way again.  I've been thinking ahead toward the future and making some plans but I don't want them to interfere with where we are right now.  And as I added to my studies in hopes of gaining my footing, I felt at peace about my pace.  There have been a few obstacles, some large and some small but I'm still working toward my goal.  But last year as my oldest headed off to college, it really struck me...someday this part of our adventure would be past...what would I do with my time?  There were dreams and ideas that I've been slowly reaching for but my time is still a little at a premium until my youngest graduates.  But I didn't think I had to hurry.  Everything in God's timing because I'm striving to give it all to Him.  Of course I fail miserably at that pretty often, too. 
But it's been so much fun and I've met some lovely folks who have encouraged me and shared with me.  There's still so much to learn about the art of blogging and designing a page but I think I'm closer to sharing a true reflection of myself in what you see here.  And through the things I've learned, my original blog has undergone some improvements as well.  That's where it all started but as I shared the meanderings of my heart and mind there, I thought the alchemy and concoctions of a woodwife needed to have their own space to blossom.  What a gift to be able to use the gifts God has given me to make such a difference in the lives of my family!   
As the year draws to a close, I have some fun things planned for my 50th and the year to come.  Thank you so much for pondering my meanderings @ The Woodwife's Journal and following through Google and Facebook.  Be on the lookout for new additions and watch for me when you least expect it!

I've noticed that the number of folks who are following my blog has been creeping up in the last few weeks and I'd like to say, "Thank You!", to each one of you for letting me know that you're out there by adding your name to the list of public followers! We're closing in on follower #100!  Can I make it by by June 4th?

Let the Celebration begin!  Enter to win!

1. If you are following my blog through the public forum on either Google or Facebook, leave a comment below to be entered in a contest to win a grab bag of herbal products from my kitchen to yours! The cut off will be Wednesday, June 1st, 2011 @ midnight so you have lots of time to enter.  The winner will be announced on June 4th during the 1 year anniversary blitz!  Unfortunately, for this contest, I'll have to limit this to folks in the US. But know that I love and appreciate all my international followers too.
2. For a second chance to enter, link my blog to yours by grabbing the buttons from the right. Then comment to let me know.  If you're already displaying my buttons on your site, let me know that, too.

God bless you as you dig deeper into the opportunities before you.
I've invited the folks from Monday Mania and Follow me home, Friday and Frugal Follies to follow me over here to join the celebration!
Much herbal love,

Upcoming Herbal Class

You asked for it - You got it!
Our first soapmaking class was a hit but there were several who couldn't make it on that date and have asked for another class so here it is. 
The first in a series of herbal classes that can help you on your way toward caring for your family with homemade products and remedies that are free of harmful chemicals and full of herbal healing and goodness.
 
Soapmaking 101 will be held on Tuesday, July 5th, 2011 @ 6PM
Would you like to make your own herbal soap? Create an herbal shampoo bar? Learn about "soapnuts" for cleaning nearly everything from your laundry to your hair? Make your own laundry soap powder for pennies/load? Join us for Herbal Soapmaking 101. Class size is limited so please reserve your spot early by sending payment ASAP. (preferrably by June 15th) This allows me to order supplies for everyone in time for class. Class cost is $30 and includes class notes, recipes, product to take home and light refreshments.
Extra product/ingredients available for purchase.


Contact me with questions, for more information or directions.
Child care available for a small fee. Contact me for details.

Stay tuned for more upcoming herbal classes as the season's schedule unfolds!
Herbal Baby Care Basics
Herbal Medicine Chest 101
Herbal Medicine Chest 201
Herbal Tea Party
Fermented Dairy and Vegetables
Herbal Beauty Basics
Herbal Spa Party
Green Cleaning Basics
Potpourri, Smudge and Incense
Wreath making - dried flower or evergreen

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Facial Spa Treat

It's been raining here for nearly a month with only a few sunny days inbetween...you know...just enough to make the grass grow really fast!  Today was a slow day with loads of room to accomplish things that get neglected in our regular schedule.  My oldest is home from college for the summer and working several days/week but today, she didn't have to go in so she decided to get creative while I tried to get rid of this crazy stomach ache and homeschool my 15yo.

For our break, she had a surprise waiting for us!
 
First, a facial sugar scrub...Very nice except that we don't use refined sugar so the closest we could do is evap. cane juice which is a little course for a facial scrub.
It was a nice blend of
1/3 C.sugar
10 drops lavender essential
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp almond oil
a generous pinch of lavender flowers

Both girls decided to use a castille soap to remove their scrub but I just rinsed the solids from my face and gently wiped away the excess oil with a towel.  This proved to be important in the next step.

Chocolate Brownie PMS Mask!
Sounds yummy, right?  Taste tests revealed that it's good to eat as well as put on your face!
4 tsp ground and sifted oatmeal
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp sourcream (add more if needed)

Doesn't it look good?!


Chocolate makes everyone smile!
Notice that my mask is sliding a bit because of the oil from step 1.

 After about 20 minutes, we wiped/washed off the mask.

What's a facial break without a little fun?!  Marx Bros. anyone?






We followed that with a goat's milk moisturizer made from
2 tsp. powdered goats milk
1 tsp.filtered water
2 drops lavender essential oil
1 tsp. glycerin

Soft and smooth and still smelling a bit like chocolate...what could be better than that?  Thanks for the facial spa, Little Bit!

Sharing this herbal link with:
Alphabe Thursdays

Much herbal love,
 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Much as I hate to admit it, chocolate is my weakness.  Not just any chocolate...Something worth wasting calories to eat!  So hiding vegetables in a tasty chocolate cake seemed like a good idea to me.  You know...less guilt!

When I find a good recipe, I make as many changes as I can to make it more healthy without compromising the taste and texture.  Like using sucanat/rapadura instead of brown sugar, evap cane juice instead of refined white sugar, coconut oil, homemade buttermilk or yogurt, free-range eggs, sifted wheat flour w/ bran (a nice substitute for whole wheat and much better than refined white flour, dutch cocoa, organic chocolate chips. 

There's zucchini in there but unless you look hard, you'll never know it!

Here's the recipe as it was given to me years ago...you can make the above substitutions, or ones of your own, if you like.

Cream together:
1/2 cup oil
1 C Brown sugar
1/2 C sugar
1/2 stick butter

Add:
3 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla
1/2 C buttermilk

Stir in:
3-1/2 C flour
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp soda
4 Tbsp cocoa

Then add:
2 C grated zucchini

Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan

Sprinkle over top:
1 C chocolate chips
1 C chopped pecans or walnuts


Bake @ 325° for 45 minutes.

It's so yummy they'll never know they're eating veggies, too!

Funny Story...Early in our married life, I asked my sister-in-law to join us for dinner.  For dessert, I served her a generous piece of Chocolate Zucchini Cake.  She really enjoyed it and commented over and over how moist it was.  About half way through the piece of cake, she realized I wasn't getting the hint and asked me straight out how I made the cake so moist.  I told her the zucchini probably helped with that.  She immediately got this horrified look on her face and asked if I was serious.  I assured her that I was...then she pushed her plate away and wouldn't eat another bite!  I didn't know she didn't like zucchini...she's not a big veggie eater at all.  But for several bites she thought she'd died and gone to heaven!  If I hadn't told her, she never would have guessed!  Sometimes, it's all in your head!

I'm sharing this link with some friends @
Alphabe-Thursdays
Hidden Veggies Party
Hearth and Soul Blog Hop
Feasting in Fellowship Friday
Pennywise Platter Thursday

Much herbal love,

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mini Quiche

Mini Seafood Quiche

My daughter and I had a quick brunch at Panera Bread as we were leaving her college to head home for the summer.  It was yummy!  Today is Mother's Day and because we had such a long tiring day and a very late night, I'm the only one awake.  So with the taste of brunch lingering on my tongue, I started plotting!  Yes, I have a tube of crescent rolls...eggs...cream...frozen spinach but no artichoke, hmmm...but I have wakame!  Okay, shredded mozzarella.  What goes with all that?  A can of mini shrimp and a little left over caviar from a special occasion.  Let's go!

I thought I'd put some cupcake papers in a pie pan for a little base.  Instead of putting them right in the cupcake pan, I wanted to give them more room to "breathe" without being too deep to bake in the time the pastry needed.  Unfortunately, they wilted quickly.  But it was too late to turn back. 

Separate the rolls and tear the triangles in two pieces.  I lined the cups with the pastry leaving the corners sticking up.  Place a small pat of butter in the bottom of each pastry cup and place them in the toaster oven for 1 minute.  At this point, I mixed the following:
3 eggs - fork beat
2 tbsp cream
1 cup shredded mozzarella
2 heaping tbsp tiny shrimp
1 heaping tsp. wakame
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
1 cup chopped frozen spinach
pinch of salt

I placed 2 large tbsp of the mix in each cup and topped with a tiny clump of caviar.

I baked them for 6 minutes, switched racks in the toaster oven and baked for 6 more minutes.  It might need a little more tweaking but they were pretty tasty and very well received!
Next time, I'll try to find a better "form" to use and possibly a flakier type crust.


Sharing this post with Let's Do Brunch @ 21st Century Housewife and
Hearth and Soul Hop at A Moderate Life
Much herbal love,
 
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The Woodwife's Shop

Preparing small batch natural, additive free products for beauty, health and home right here in our kitchen since 1991 from herbs grown organically in our garden, wild crafted in nearby meadows and woodlands or purchased from reputable, like-minded companies. Dried everlasting wreaths, arrangements and potpourri. Herbal salves, tinctures, soaps, teas and more.