WORMWOOD ~ WONDROUS WORMWOOD

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Most of the time I lived in California, I had a wormwood plant by the door of my home. When I moved across the country, I gave my well-loved door guardian to my oh-so-sweet, young neighbor. She loved plants, and I knew she would provide a good home for my beloved wormwood friend.

My herbal friend is dearly missed. And I sometimes wonder how she is doing now ❀

This amazing plants botanical name is Artemisia absinthium.

It was used by both the Greeks and the Romans to combat fever and fight intestinal worms. They also used it as a bitter tonic. It is one of the most bitter plants known to herbalists, for sure.

Still, there are so many herbs which can be used as bitters, that wormwood would not be at the top of my list for this purpose. Dandelion, yellow dock, and chamomile, among others, all make really amazing bitter tonics. And because wormwood has a bit of a sordid past, it is simpler and safer to just choose a suitable replacement herb instead.

This herb is a main component of absinthe. An alcohol product which has been banned in many countries. Absinthe was widely consumed by French bohemians in the 19th century. Those who drank it habitually suffered from intoxications known as absinthism. Symptoms included; tremors, sleeplessness, hallucinations, and convulsions. These side-effects are what led to its ban in France.

Wormwood is considered a hallucinogenic and psychoactive ally by many in the herbal world. It is said to have an affect on the brain which is similar to that of THC.

And while there are many reputable herbalists out there using this herb internally with great success, I am not among them at this time. I have kept my focus on it’s other talents. Until I have an opportunity to work with someone who is familiar with its ‘powers’, I will continue to employ this amazing herb externally and energetically. I find both of these applications useful for my purposes. And there is never any harm in sticking to the safest route. Particularly, when you lack the knowledge needed to travel the rockier road.

But before I share the ways I use wormwood with you, let me say one final thing about taking this little beauty internally. Wormwood is an abortifacient. Therefore, it should not be taken by pregnant women. And it contains thujone, which is toxic in high doses.

Now onto that with which I am more informed …

This plant makes an incredibly effective cream/balm/salve for pain and inflammation reduction. I like to have a bit around the house to use when the tension in my neck flares up. I have an old injury there and wormwood helps ‘work it out’ when it acts up.

It makes incredibly wonderful little sleep pillows. They are fun to sew and make really great gifts. This is perhaps one of the nicest ways to share the energetics that wormwood possesses with friends and family.

The energetic quality it is likely most reknown for is it’s ability to dispel negativity. Place it in a bowl and set it in a room following an argument and it will restore the positive vibe there in no time. Or infuse it into an oil and wear it on days when you expect to have to deal with any sort of unpleasantness.

One of my favorite ways to use wormwood in this regard is to infuse it in a bucket of water and use it to clean all the surfaces in my home. I have done this upon moving into the last few places I’ve lived and felt I had good results. And, besides, it smells lovely. So it’s really just a pleasure to work with it in this way.

Wormwood deters weeds and can be planted in your garden for this purpose. How marvelous! You do have to be careful not to plant it around your herbs though. It’s roots secrete a component that may inhibit their growth. Best to keep it with the veggies πŸ˜‰

This herb repels fleas, moths, and caterpillars. And when infused in water can be used for aphid control.

Getting familiar with wormwood and its properties is definitely a worthwhile venture. So, if you are inclined to get to know it better, I say go for it!

Please do take a moment to pop into the comments and share any information you may have about this lovely herb. I would love to hear what you have to say.

And … connect with me on facebook, instagram, and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❀

DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed health professional. You are solely responsible for researching herbs to determine how you choose to use them. If you decide to make them a part of your health care plan, I take no responsibility for the results of that decision.

SUMACADE ~ A SUMMERTIME HERBAL BEVERAGE YOU’LL LOVE

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It has been many moons since I was introduced to sumacade. I can’t even recall who first shared this herbal knowledge with me. But I can see myself standing in the production room in the back of my herbal shop, brewing up this tasty summertime treat for the very first time. And that, like most all of my herbal firsts, is a fond memory ❀

Sumac is a very easy herb to identify. It has only two look-a-likes, poison sumac and tree of heaven. I’ve always been a little bewildered as tp why they are considered look-a-likes for sumac, because they have white fruit/berries and sumacs berry blooms are red.

Nonetheless, they are look-a-likes. And poison sumac is … well … poison.

This is a picture of the type of sumac shrub I gather the material from to make my sumacade. Apart from the difference in the color of the fruit/berries between this bush and it’s two look-a-likes there is another variation you can us to tell them apart.

The sumac used to make ade has serrated edges around the leaves. Poison sumac and tree of heaven’s leaves have smooth edges.

The botanical names for the ade you want to make herbal beverages with are Rhus glabra and Rhus typhina.

In addition to vitamin C, the berries of the sumac shrub contain many beneficial minerals.

Sumac berries were used by Native Americans, Native Canadians, and American pioneers for many ailments. These include; bladder issues, digestive problems, respiratory ailments, and fever. It was also used as a laxative and a diuretic. And to support liver function, as well.

A little sumacade in the fridge throughout late summer and early fall is a good, good thing. It’s such a healthy way to treat yourself well. If you have this incredible berry available to you don’t miss out on the pleasures and benefits it has to offer πŸ˜‰

Head out to your closest sumac shrub and harvest yourself 3 or 4 clusters of berries. Be sure they are deep red in color, as this indicates that they are ripe.

Bring them home and get out your favorite half gallon pitcher. Or if you have one, grab a half gallon canning jar.

Boil about 2 cups of water and sweeten it with your favorite natural, unprocessed sweetener. This step is done to taste. So remember that these 2 cups of water will sweeten the whole batch of ade. Don’t go overboard. Sweetener is not really healthy. Besides you won’t need much πŸ˜‰

Pour your ‘sweet mix’ into the vessel you’re using to make your beverage, place the full cones of berries in it too, and then top it off with water.

Let it sit on the kitchen counter until it cools down to room temperature. Then cover it and let it sit overnight.

In the morning pull out the berries, and if you are opposed to the small plant particles left behind being in your drink, line a strainer with a coffee filter and use it to remove them.

And that’s it all! You have made sumacade ❀

The only thing left for you to do now is give it a taste and let me know how that goes for you! Is it a beverage you see yourself making again? A few times a year? Or just once a season? I’d love to know πŸ˜‰

And … connect with me on facebook, instagram, and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❀

DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed health professional. You are solely responsible for researching herbs to determine how you choose to use them. If you decide to make them a part of your health care plan, I take no responsibility for the results of that decision.

CHANTERELLE MUSHROOMS ~ JUST A FEW SHORT WEEKS

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Chanterelles are easily the most known wild mushroom out there. It seems that just about anyone who has ever had even the slightest interest in foraging mushrooms has heard of these fabulous little woodland treats.

They are also one of the tastiest wild shrooms. And they are among the least likely to cause gastrointestinal distress, a side effect of many wild mushrooms. Particularly by those who are not accustomed to eating them.

They are common throughout the United States and rather easy to find. They do have look-a-likes, so proper identification is key. But then proper identification should always be a priority when harvesting any wild food πŸ˜‰

Foraging wild mushrooms has slowly been creeping its way into my life for a few years now. And I’m a fan ❀

Chanterelles are one of my very favorite shrooms to find. I always get quite excited when my eyes spot their bright, golden yellow color on the forest floor. I know the goodness that awaits me as I place them in my basket. And I don’t even mind the tedious job of cleaning them up when they come home. It’s well worth the effort ❀

They are only with us for a few short weeks a year. So our time together is fleeting. Making me cherish it all the more.

Fortunately, they freeze really well so the bounty can be preserved and spread over a few months (or more if you’re lucky)!

If you’re among the blessed who get their hands on some it’s pretty simple to prep them for freezing. Clean them well and cut off the bottom of the stems. Slice them up and dry fry them to remove the water. Drain them and allow them to cool. Place them in freezer bags and toss in the freezer for later.

The first batch that was wild-harvested in my house this year was sauteed with shrimp, served over rice noodles, and topped with a butter basil sauce. Sooooooo damn YUMMY πŸ˜‰

Eat light the first few times you try chanterelles just to be sure they get along well with your belly. I find that each year it is best to go easy on portion size for my first few meals. Then … it’s time to dig right in!

Do you wild-harvest mushrooms? If so, what are your favorites? And how do you prepare them? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments. Being a relatively new ‘shroomer’ I’m like a sponge for info. So, if you’ve got some, dish it up please!

If you have questions rather than info, ask away. I’ll do my best to answer them!

And … connect with me on facebook, instagram, and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❀

RULES TO LIVE BY ~ MY THREE NON-NEGOTIABLES

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We all have rules we live by. Some of us may be more cognizant of them than others. But we all have them nonetheless. You’ve heard people state them many times.

“Don’t compare your insides to someone else’s outsides.”

“Don’t mistake making a living with making a life.”

“Get comfortable in your own skin.”

These, and several others, are all ‘life rules’ I respect. And I actually employ them pretty regularly in my own life. But they are not the ones that have had the most impact on me. You know, the ones that literally took my breath away for a few moments when I first heard them. Like really heard them.

There are three life rules which qualify for that status in my world. I live by them almost infallibly. AND today I’d like to share them with you, in hopes that they have the same profound effect on you that they have had on me. They make my life better! I want to spread that around πŸ˜‰

1) YOU TEACH PEOPLE HOW TO TREAT YOU

The way that you respond to how people treat you literally shapes their future behavior toward you.

If you are being treated in a way that displeases you, than it is paramount that you remember the only behavior you can change is your own. You cannot make another person behave differently. However, you can certainly change the way you react to them. Don’t react neutrally. And don’t react positively. React negatively.

Remember not to ‘overreact’ negatively, as this will not benefit you. Remain calm. Don’t lose your patience. Voice your displeasure, and move on with your day. If their behavior has ‘ruffled your feathers’, try to keep that under wraps. Not doing so, will only feed their flame.

When your reaction changes, their behavior must change also. It really must. Sometimes this means that they will remove themselves from your space. AND I think that’s an acceptable solution as well. Don’t you?

Obviously, if the situation is serious enough you will want to make removing yourself from their space the way you change your reaction. Remain calm. Don’t lose your patience. Voice your displeasure (or not in abusive situations), and move on with your life. Do not maintain contact with them if they are abusive in nature. It will only feed their flame.

I have used this technique in my life from the moment it was taught to me. It works pretty damn reliably. It is harder to employ in personal situations where behavioral patterns are already set. BUT with steadfast patience and consistent responses it can absolutely be done.

2) LIVE LIFE ON PURPOSE

We are not meant to sit back and allow life to ‘happen to us’. We are creating this life we live, and we need to choose each step of our path with intention.

I know that some of you are saying, “You don’t get it, Diane Gail. All of these things are going on in my life and I can’t just ignore them. I have to deal with them. Life is happening to me. I can’t just stop that. What am I supposed to do?”

My response to you is this …

Choose one or two things that you want in your life. And then do them ‘on purpose’. They can be large or small. Both are doable. Small can be implemented. Large can be tackled in little bite size chunks.

I have been practicing this life rule for quite some time. So, I now have many things in my life which have been intentionally chosen and implemented. As well as many that I have been chipping away at for some time. The result is that a rather large portion of my current life has evolved from the act of ‘living life on purpose’. And that is just the way I like it.

However, I recall the early days of trying to get this practice in place. It wasn’t easy! But it gets easier. I promise πŸ˜‰ Once you decide to make a few things that are important to you a priority, the Universe begins to assist you in ways which cannot be explained or imagined. She is faithful like that.

So choose something and do it on purpose. Set it right up among the things which are most important to you. And get started on making it happen. Then choose another. And then another. And then … well you get the idea πŸ˜‰

Before you know it, you will be living the beautiful life you’ve always dreamed of. A life you have chosen on purpose.

3) QUIT EXPLAINING YOURSELF

It is not necessary to explain your choices, or your reasons for them, to others. People are only able to understand the world around them as it appears through the lens of their own experiences. If they do not ‘get it’ when you try explaining your choices to them, then no amount of clarification will make them understand.

And exactly why are you explaining anyway?

If it is because you need their acceptance, you are spinning your wheels needlessly. You cannot obtain acceptance from someone who isn’t even able to wrap their head around what you’re trying to do/choose.

If it is because you are simply excited about some new thought process or activity you’ve discovered, and you want to share it with others, then by all means share away. But the very minute you see someone’s eyes glaze over, drop the subject and move on to a conversation you can both participate in. Likewise, if you give a full explanation to someone about your interest and they respond in a way that doesn’t even remotely connect to what you’ve just said, move on. They don’t get it. AND that’s OK!

People are having their own experience in this world. Each of them is walking their very own path. And there is no way that they will understand the paths of every other person they meet.

So, with that thought in mind, if you find yourself feeling a bit disturbed by the fact that people don’t ‘get what you’re doing’, you may want to take a look at where that’s coming from. Perhaps, you are so wrapped up in them understanding your choices that you are not considering where they are on their own journey. In other words, you are doing to them the very thing you do not want them to do to you. It’s pretty ironic really. Could it be that you are the one who doesn’t ‘get it’?

This life rule set me free in a multitude of ways. The most important thing that it brought to my life was being able to make choices without concern over the opinion of others.

I choose. I implement. My decision. If someone supports my choice great. If they don’t, no matter. When someone who is close to me doesn’t support a choice I have made, I simply avoid making it part of our interactions. Issue solved!

And that’s it … 3 non-negotiable life rules that are game-changers for sure!

Do you relate to these life rules? Do you practice any of them in your own life? Let me know in the comments. Or, perhaps, you have a life rule of your own that you would like to share with me? I’d love to hear about it πŸ˜‰

And … connect with me on facebook, instagram, and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❀

POTATO LATKES RECIPE

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I grew up with the notion of potato latkes, known as potato pancakes in my hometown area, being classified as fair food. If there was a fair or a carnival in any one of the local towns, there was sure to be potato pancakes there.

When my Mom remarried, after my fathers passing, she married a man who made one mean potato pancake. And I was pretty thrilled to have this fair food become a part of my in-home menu. No complaints from this girl. I could eat them every night πŸ˜‰

In all fairness, I’ll eat a potato just about any way you prepare it. They are one of the foods which have me hopelessly entwined in their spell.

But, regardless, shredding them, seasoning them, frying them, and serving them with sour cream can’t be beat. Some latke lovers skip the sour cream and go for a side of applesauce instead. I get it. Everybody has their preferences. But for this girl, it’s sour cream ALL THE WAY! You, of course, get to choose for yourself. AND I promise I won’t think less of you if you go for the applesauce. I might even admire your will power in making the healthier choice πŸ˜‰

I decided to whip up a batch of latkes yesterday as I was craving a little ‘taste of home’, and it occurred to me that all of you may be interested in getting your hands on the best damn latke recipe ever. Which would be the one I use! So … I’m writing this post to give you a fair shot at it ❀


POTATO LATKE RECIPE


4 1/2 c shredded potato

1/2 c grated onion

3 eggs, beaten

1/2 c bread crumbs

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

vegetable oil for frying

sour cream, optional

applesauce, optional

Soak shredded potatoes in water for 10 minutes to remove excess starch. Drain and hand squeeze remove as much water as possible.

In a large mixing bowl combine potato, onion, eggs, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and garlic.

Place a 1/2 inch layer of vegetable oil in a skillet and heat to med-high temperature. I set my electric skillet on 275Β°

Using a large household tablespoon, scoop heaping portions of potato mixture from the bowl, pressing them up against the side of the bowl as you do in order to drain any excess liquid.

Drop the spoonfuls into the hot oil carefully and then gently flatten them with your spoon. Cook until golden brown. This should take 3-5 minutes per side.

Remove from pan and set on a plate lined with a paper towel. Allow the paper towel to absorb any excess grease.

Serve with a scoop of sour cream on top. You can garnish the sour cream with paprika, fresh oregano, or chopped scallions if you like. Or serve with a side dish of applesauce, if you prefer.


If you try this recipe let me know how it works out for you in the comments! Bonus points if you share your preference on the sour cream vs. the applesauce πŸ˜‰

And … connect with me on facebook, instagram, and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❀

MAKE AN ELDERBERRY SYRUP TO SUPPORT YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

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Elderberries and I are great friends. My Grandma and I used to pick them at the edge of our property when I was a little girl. Those memories are a bit blurry for me, so I don’t recall what Grandma did with all those berries we picked. But I’m willing to bet she created something very similar to what I’m about to share with you today.

I am a big fan of immunity boosters. Our bodies are under a relentless and consistent attack from toxins that abound in our modern day environment. There are chemicals EVERYWHERE. I try to purge them from my system pretty regularly. I do this in many ways. The two primary ways I utilize are keeping my body and its surrounding environment as chemical-free as possible and taking herbs to enhance liver functioning. The liver cleanses our system of toxins. It’s a hard job, indeed. Poor thing 😦 She can use a little help every now and again!

Providing a little boost to our immune system also assists our bodies in dealing with the onslaught of toxins that come its way.

The elderberry syrup recipe I’m about to share with you is one of my all-time indispensable allies. I have been using it to boost my immune system and combat the cold & flu season for many years now. I prepare a batch of this deliciousness in the beginning of July each year. It brews for about 6 weeks; making it ready for consumption by mid to late August.

I dose myself with this tasty, health enhancing brew 3 times a day until the batch is gone.

And voila! My body is well equipped to repel the cold & flu bugs that try to attach themselves to it throughout the season.

I recently started making another batch of this wondrous brew in late winter. This batch is then ready for early to mid spring. It has proven to be quite an effective home remedy for allergies, as well. So, that’s perfect timing!

All of the ingredients, in this seemingly magical brew, contribute to its efficacy. Each of them carries potent immune boosting properties. Combined they are pretty unstoppable.

Elderberry and ginger are top of the line immune system boosters. And local honey assists the body in fighting off the viruses Mama Nature anticipates to hit the locality it is harvested in. In addition, it is one of the best stand alone herbal cures for allergies that I know. It’s a real superstar πŸ˜‰

So grab a quart jar Apothecarists …

And let’s get started …

Pour about 1 cup of dried elderberries into your jar.

Add 1/2 cup of sliced ginger root.

Fill the remainder of the jar with plain brandy and shake.

Label the jar with the contents and the date. Either today’s date or the date six weeks from today. I usually write, ‘Brew until ??/??/????’ on my label.

Place the jar in a dark, cool spot. Shake it each day for 6 weeks.

After 6 weeks have passed, strain the mixture using a mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth or organic muslin. You can place the cloth full of herbal material in a ricer, and press as much of the prized herbal nectar out of it as possible if you like.

Mix this herbal brew with local honey. One part brew to one part honey. This will make a nice syrup, with a pleasingly sweet and fruity flavor. Please try to obtain local honey. And be aware that sometimes a label reveals where a food product is packaged, as opposed to where it is produced. You want to be sure it is produced in your area.

If you are absolutely unable to get your hands on local honey, use store bought. After all, ya gotta do what ya gotta do πŸ˜‰

Take one tablespoon of this fabulously effective brew, 3 times daily until the batch is gone.

If at any point you feel as though you are coming down with a cold or flu, take 1 tablespoon per hour for two or three days.

If you do get a cold or flu, this remedy will not clear it up. BUT, it will greatly reduce the symptoms and shorten the life of the illness.

If you have made an immunity syrup from elderberries before, please tell me a little about it in the comments. Or, if you make this one, let me know how it works out for you. I’d love to hear your input.

And … connect with me on facebook, instagram, and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❀

DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed health professional. You are solely responsible for researching herbs to determine how you choose to use them. If you decide to make them a part of your health care plan, I take no responsibility for the results of that decision.

TWO INGREDIENT PLANT BASED POPSICLE RECIPES: A TREAT FOR YOUR TASTEBUDS & GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

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There are herbal popsicle recipes galore on the internet. And I’ve made more than my share of them. Many that I absolutely loved. Most with herbal material, or chunks of fruit in them. The addition of these ingredients adds a great deal of eye appeal to the final product, for sure. And it’s often very tasty as well.

BUT …

I prefer to make my popsicles from a plainer herbal brew. Chunky is great! Plain takes me back to my favorite childhood pops. I remember eating endless root beer flavored pops. And then there was my absolute favorite, the vanilla twin pop ❀

The only place that carried these little gems in my neck of the woods was about 45 minutes from my home. After I got my drivers license I used to drive to that little town just to get one!

As a grown woman, who understands the importance of fueling her body with healthy food, I can’t remember the last time I ate a sugar laden popsicle. They simply don’t appeal to me anymore.

But an herbal infused popsicle hits the spot. Without a doubt. Every damn time πŸ˜‰

And if you must have a sweeter version, there’s no harm in adding a little honey to the brew. I sometimes do.

Here are three of my favorite herbal popsicle recipes, to get you started on your herbal popsicle making journey. But remember that the possibilities are absolutely endless. You should definitely experiment with some of your favorite flavors.

And also keep in mind that these popsicles are a really fabulous way to get much needed herbal nutrients, antioxidants, immune boosting properties, and so much more into a little person when they are not feeling well.


ROSE HIP & GREEN TEA POPS

Brew 6 cups of green tea, 3 tea bags per 6 cups of water will be plenty strong enough. Toss in 8 tablespoons of dried rose hips. Let sit for at least 2 hours. I usually let mine sit overnight. Strain rose hips out. Pour into popsicle molds. Freeze. And then … ENJOY!

ORANGE & GINGER TEA POPS

Bring 6 tablespoons of fresh, sliced ginger root to a light simmer, in 4 1/2 cups of water. Remove from stove and allow to sit for at least 2 hours. Overnight is preferred. Then strain out the root and add 2 cups of fresh squeezed orange juice. Pour into popsicle molds. Freeze. And then … ENJOY!

PINEAPPLE & ELDERBERRY POPS

Put 6 tablespons of dried elderberries in 6 cups of pineapple juice. Place in the refrigerator and allow to ‘brew’ overnight. Strain out the elderberries. Pour into popsicle molds. Freeze. And then … ENJOY!


Following are just a few of the health benefits you can reap from indulging in these incredibly tasty frozen treats …

Rose Hips: reduces inflammation, strengthens connective tissue, supports the immune system, supports the heart and cardiovascular system, used long term to reduce varicose veins, diabetes, and allergies, coats and soothes mucous membranes and the digestive tract

Green Tea: modestly lowers total and LDL cholesterol, improves inflammatory skin conditions, enhances cognitive function, helpful for reducing stress and chronic fatigue, increases fat burning, improves physical performance, lowers the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, kills harmful bacteria in the mouth

Ginger Root: improves blood sugar levels, reduces LDL cholesterol levels, lowers blood pressure by expanding blood vessels, assists digestion, reduces cold and flu symptoms, supports the immune system, relieves nausea, improves blood sugar levels, great for minimizing menstrual pain, improves brain function, lowers and fights infections

Orange Juice: lowers high blood pressure, relieves constipation, strengthens teeth and bones, prevents kidney stones and macular degeneration, supports eye and lung function, supports the respiratory system, contains anti-inflammatory compounds, beneficial for those with arthritis, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome

Elderberries: improves vision, supports the immune system, enhances heart health, lowers cholesterol, combats bacterial and viral infections, used as a mild laxative and diuretic, protects cells against damage, assists in regulating diabetes, promotes weight loss, reduces acne, soothes the skin, lessens the appearance of age spots and wrinkles

Pineapple Juice: fights inflammation, aids digestion, boosts the immune system, reduces coughing, eases digestion, relieves arthritis pain, speeds recovery time after exercise, protects against heart disease, reduces the risk of cataracts, boosts fertility, reduces bloating and constipation


I hope you dive head first into the world of herbal popsicle making. Please let me know, in the comments, if you try any of the recipes in this post. Or share your own recipes with me. I’d love to have them ❀

And … connect with me on facebook, instagram, and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❀

DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed health professional. You are solely responsible for researching herbs to determine how you choose to use them. If you decide to make them a part of your health care plan, I take no responsibility for that decision.

HOW HUMANS CAN GET MOST OUT OF THE SUMMER SEASON

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There is something about the heat of a sunny summers day. Something that is a little hard to put into words. And yet seems to be clearly understood by both the plant and the animal kingdoms.

I like to think of it in gardening lingo. The seeds have been planted, and now it is time to just relax a bit and wait for the harvest to come. There is some maintaining to do, of course. Things will need to be watered and weeded. But, still, the next event that will require a significant bit of energy from us is the harvest.

So we have time to PLAY! And it feels good.

There are many ways that I engage in summer season play. But today, I want to share those that I never allow to slip through the cracks. A summer does not come and go, without me paying a little extra attention to these three areas.

GET PHYSICAL

The first of these is the innate need I feel to get physical. What? I just said to relax didn’t I?

Indeed, I did. So, do both. Get yourself engaged in physical activity that you enjoy. Things that get your blood pumping, your endorphins moving, and your mind off of the every day.

Maybe take a hike. Or a bike ride. Perhaps you could go on a hand-gliding adventure. Or water skiing. You get the idea!

AND … do yourself a favor and, at least once this summer, get physical doing something you’ve never done before. It is so good for your head space. So damn GOOD.

LEARN SOMETHING NEW

Choose something you would like to learn. Or further study a subject you’re already familiar with. But pick something that interests you and commit to increasing your knowledge of it.

You can do this with a hands on activity, if that is more desirable to you. I love hands on activities, and as you likely know they are often touted for their ability to help those who use them retain details of the subject matter they employ them with. I believe that to be true. They have a certain kind of stick-with-you quality.

BUT … I am a book nerd. And if you are also a lover of the written word, you may want to spend a good amount of your summer nights sitting in a comfy chair, under a star lit sky, with a book (or twenty) on the subject of your choosing.

PRO-TIP: Combine your hands-on skills with your inner book nerd, and you’ll likely come out light years ahead of practicing only one or the other technique πŸ˜‰

COMMUNE WITH YOUR HIGHER POWER

And finally, commune with your higher power.

This is something you may be doing already. And that’s great. Which goes without saying, right? But the summer months offer you the opportunity to head out into nature and allow your connection with the divine to deepen. The ‘signal’ is stronger out there, as they say πŸ˜‰

Let the soothing sights and sounds of Mama Earth melt away all of your stress and anxiety. Let her aromas and the sensations of her elements, earth, air, water, and fire, wash over your senses. And you will inevitably be changed on a profound level.

The summer season will be upon us soon. Do you have plans to engage in any of the activities I’ve mentioned this year? Or, perhaps, you have another way to squeeze all you can out of this energetically charged season. If so, I would love to hear about it! So, meet me in the comments, and share it with me if you will πŸ˜‰

And … connect with me on facebook, instagram, and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❀

HOMEMADE BBQ SAUCE FOR DAD

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There really is nothing like homemade bbq sauce. Making it yourself is the only way to go. It is so much better than anything you can pour from a bottle picked off the supermarket shelf.

If you don’t already have a recipe you love, or even if you do, I’ve got one for you that’s going to make your tastebuds sing πŸ˜‰ And I can’t imagine a better time to roll it out than just before Father’s Day! You’re welcome Dad!

Whether Dad is doing the grilling, or the fam is doing it for him, he’ll appreciate having a top notch sauce to slather all over his chicken and ribs. And this recipe makes a top notch sauce, for sure ❀

It’s so damn simple too! Gather the ingredients. Put ’em in a saucepan. Simmer ’em for 10 minutes. And you’ve got bbq sauce. Just like that πŸ˜‰

Invest in good spices. Really. Do it.
10 minutes on the stovetop. So easy.

HOMEMADE BBQ SAUCE


1 1/2 c. ketchup

1 c. dark brown sugar, packed

3/4 c. white wine vinegar

1/4 c. molasses

2 tbls worcestershire sauce

2 tbls ground mustard

2 tsp paprika

2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes.

Use immediately. Or store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Changing the vinegar will alter this sauce to fit your mood.

The white wine vinegar in the recipe gives it some tang.

Red wine vinegar will make it smoother and richer.

And balsamic will give it more depth and boldness.

Your choice. Enjoy it your way.

Or better yet … make it the way Dad likes it ❀


If you make this sauce for the special Dad in your life this Father’s Day I would love to hear how he liked it. Take a minute and share that info in the comments for me, if you would. Or just connect with me there and let me know what your Father’s Day plans are for 2020!

And … connect with me on facebook, instagram, and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❀

WHY I BECAME AN HERBALIST

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When I was a young woman I cleared out an old estate with my relatives. I will never forget that old house. And the strewn about belongings of the clearly extraordinary woman who had lived her life there. She was no longer walking this realm by the time I stepped through the front door of that house. But when I walked back out that same door for the final time I felt as though we had become friends.

Her home was well ‘lived in’. Perhaps, some would call it messy. But it wasn’t. Not to me. It was quite disheveled, that’s true. But in a way that made you feel as though the ‘mess’ had an intentional artistic flair to it.

There were herbs and materia medica notes everywhere. I was completely enchanted and never wanted to leave. If I could have stayed there sifting through all there was to explore forever, I would have.

I have often told this story in response to the question “Why did you become an herbalist?”. But as time has evolved and I have evolved with it, I realize there is much more to be said when answering that question now.

I have developed a deep relationship with my plants. I love them dearly. And, while I’m still enchanted by them, the connection I have to them now is much more than enchantment.

Perhaps I didn’t realize it back then, but it was not this light flirtatious moment with my beloved plants that made me want to learn more about them. Rather, it was the inner-sense I had at the time that I was on the brink of a profound journey with these amazing natural gifts from the great Mama Earth.

And still …

I didn’t run after them all godspeed or anything back then. It would be years before I began to explore and unravel their mysteries. And over that time I accrued many more reasons to choose to make them a part of my world.

I began uncovering the dark side of modern medicine and wanted some alternative health solutions for myself, and for my family and friends.

I started to understand that there are many people who still practice folkloric herbalism. And as I immersed myself in learning about this sub-culture, I once again experienced the enchantment I had felt in that old estate so many years ago.

I made herbs a part of my daily routine and absolutely adored the transition which occurred in my health and the energetics of my home because of that.

I saw first hand just how miraculous the results they provide can be. And stood in absolute awe of them.

As time passed, there came a point where I could never go back to life as it was before them. You know that place where you have become so intertwined with something that it is woven into the very fabric of your being.

That is the place I find myself in regarding the world of healing herbs.

AND …

I have no complaints. I feel privileged to call them friends ❀

If you work with herbs or aspire to, please reach out and introduce yourself in the comments. I’d love to meet you πŸ˜‰ Also, feel welcome to reach out with any input or questions you may have about the mesmerizing world of herbs!

And … connect with me on facebook, instagram, and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❀

3 DAYS WITH ROSE QUARTZ

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Rose quartz and I are very old friends. She’s stuck by my side through the last decade or so. And I am mad grateful for her loyalty. Every single time I turned to her she came through 😘

She is renowned as a stone for the heart. All matters of the heart. Both energetically and physically. She safeguards this life-giving entity which resides in our chest, and promotes its overall well-being.

To say I love her is to make a profound understatement.

I will be carrying her with me for the next three days. And posting what I feel she brings my way. I’m pretty excited about this little ‘experiment’. It has been some time since she and I walked together ❀

DAY 1

I put my precious rose quartz piece in my purse last night. I’ve been wanting to work with her for a few days now. And I kept forgetting to snatch her up in the morning and take her with me. So I didn’t want to leave the house without her again today.

I forgot I had her with me, which is so easy to do when you are a crystal toter πŸ˜‰ But then I was looking over my list of blog posts in progress. And I came across this one. Finding it prompted me to retrieve her from my purse and bring her more fully into my day. And it also brought to my attention that not remembering she was with me in no way stopped her from working on my behalf.

I have found myself feeling warmly toward people that I don’t normally have much affection for this morning. And that’s a good thing! Because as humans we should strive to cultivate warmth, compassion, understanding, and kindness in our world, as much as possible.

I am also dreaming of domesticity today. There was a time in my life when that was of great importance to me. But that was long ago. I assumed it was no longer one of my desires. And yet it rears its pretty little head today. Hmmmmmmm?!?! Sort of delightful if you ask me ❀

DAY 2

I was over-the-top blessed to hear from someone today, who holds a piece of my heart. It is owned by them. I gave it to them freely, and it is my hope that they never seek to return it. I don’t want it back. It feels like it was rightfully theirs all along.

Hearing from them changed my head-space in the best of ways. It brought a wave of peace to my soul. The timing could not have been more perfect. And if that sort of synchronicity in the area of human connection is not the work of my long time friend rose quartz, then I don’t know what is. It is classic for her. So much love to her. And so very much love to them. I fully believe that our paths will intertwine again one day ❀

DAY 3

Rose quartz, my son, and I took a little road trip today. None of us felt much like going. It felt more like a lazy day at home to us. But the errand was necessary. So we got ourselves together (just barely) and headed out the door.

We had a nice visit on the ride. We always do. But it was just a bit more enjoyable today.

We went to make a large purchase for the food truck and there had been a little dissension with the sales people in that office prior to today. I wasn’t really looking forward to how the transaction might go. But it went smoothly. Very smoothly.

And much of that was because I didn’t react adversely to the situation. Even when it gave me cause to. Don’t get me wrong, it is not unusual for me to act like a big girl. I do it most of the time, LOL! But I didn’t even get my insides in a swirl. And there were plenty of underlying nuances going on that would have normally aggravated me a bit. Instead I had the innate desire to avoid conflict. And the necessary level of constructive aggressiveness to work the situation to my advantage. A perfect combination for this task πŸ˜‰


POSTSCRIPT
:

As a person who has worked with alternative healing and spiritual modalities for decades, I recognize that some of the emotions, thoughts, and events which occurred while I carried my lovely piece of rose quartz with me may not be related to her presence.

And still, I don’t discredit the sixth sense I have cultivated about these sorts of things either. And I put forth information which I really do attribute to the energetic frequency that this stone brought to my days.

My intent in approaching this post in this manner, as opposed to the usual style in which healing crystal properties are written, was to offer something a bit different. More personal. Less general.

I hope this space inspires others to share their experience with healing stones. I think it would be beneficial for everyone to have more information about stones presented in this way available to them.

If you have experiences with healing stones, particularly rose quartz, that you would be willing to share, please put them in the comments. I am very excited to hear them ❀ πŸ˜‰ ❀

And … connect with me on facebook and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❀

DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed health professional. You are solely responsible for researching crystals to determine how you choose to use them. If you decide to make them a part of your health care plan, I take no responsibility for the results of that decision.

LAVENDER ~ LOVELY LAVENDER

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Lavender was one of the first herbs I ever worked with. And, if I’m honest, I have to say we were not very good friends at the start.

I was manufacturing a personal care product line, and selling it both online and at open air markets. I felt as though I needed to carry a lavender line. It is a very popular scent and a well-known therapeutic oil. People love it!

Unfortunately, the oil brought on a mild headache every time I got near it. Ugh!

It was particularly bad when I made lavender soap. The steam that arose when I poured the oil in with the hot soap was quite powerful. It had a profound effect on me.

I remember thinking, “Who the hell uses this stuff to promote rest and relaxation? It’s just awful!” LOL.

But if you ask the average person what lavender oil can be used for, they would likely respond that it provides a calming effect. Aka = rest & relaxation!

Time has passed. My relationship with this botanical has evolved. And her seductive powers have won me over.

I am no longer sensitive to her aroma. I can not only use her for self-care, but I am fond of her. She is now affectionately known to me as Lovely Lady Lavender ❀ πŸ˜‰ ❀

I am rather an avid fan of a bit of lavender balm rubbed on my wrist just before I lay down to sleep at night. She lulls me. It’s wonderful.

I cannot imagine my home without a bottle of lavender oil in it. I like to have a bag of dried lavender flower buds in the house as well. But the oil is essential (no pun intended). There are just so many ways to utilize this delightfully fragrant ‘nectar’.

Perhaps my favorite use for it is to soothe and heal burns. I make a simple lavender balm, using this plants essential oil, and keep a jar of it in my kitchen for this purpose. In my opinion, it is by far the best way to alleviate the pain and redness of burns. There are many home remedies out there which provide top notch remedial effects for burns, but none compare to lavender.

Simply rub some oil, either diluted in a carrier or brewed into a balm, on the affected area immediately after a burn occurs. This will reduce redness, blistering, scarring, and pain. She is that good πŸ˜‰

This also works well for sunburns. I’ve used it MANY times.

As if these uses for lavender are not enough reason to keep her around, there are many, many more.

She is one of the best herbal remedies for muscle and joint pain. I remember sitting at an outdoor market one day and talking to the vendor next to me about what types of balm she could use for her arthritic hands. Unfortunately, I was out of the product I was making for this purpose at that time. I made a comment, in friendly jest, about her using my lavender balm instead. I said, “It may or may not take away your pain, but one thing for sure, your hands will smell just lovely today!”.

She chuckled and took some of the balm and rubbed it on her hands. About 20 minutes later she bought 4 jars! She said the pain had completely lifted. This was the moment I learned what a useful ally lavender is for muscle and joint pain. It works. Give it a try.

Taken as a tea, this herb is fabulous for digestive issues. This yummy beverage can also be served to friends and loved ones who are suffering from stress or grief. It will hit the spot and lift the emotional struggle a bit for sure.

Infuse her in your favorite cooking oil and use it to sautΓ© veggies, chicken, or fish. This also makes a great replacement for other oils when baking. I avoid sweets almost completely, but a piece of lavender shortbread will weaken my willpower every time πŸ˜‰

If you indulge in the sweet stuff from time to time, try infusing this tasty herb in sugar. It’s fabulous on grapefruit! Yep. Yep.

I prefer to infuse mine in pink Himalayan salt, and use it as a rub for chicken. I allow the chicken to ‘marinate’ in the salt overnight, grill it, and then roll it, ever-so-lightly, in a gourmet bbq sauce. YUMMY!

Lavender infused butter is the perfect companion for farm fresh, organic potatoes. This is a must-have. Really. For sure.

AND …

Finally …

She just smells good. Like really very good. Making her the perfect aromatic addition to handmade personal care products πŸ˜‰

If you have a favorite use for lavender, or have been wanting to try her out remedially, cosmetically, or for culinary uses … tell me about it in the comments! I’m excited to hear your input πŸ˜‰

And … connect with me on facebook and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❀

DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed health professional. You are solely responsible for researching herbs to determine how you choose to use them. If you decide to make them a part of your health care plan, I take no responsibility for the results of that decision.

MY FIRST EVER MOREL MUSHROOMS

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Morel season is upon us once again!

I’m not sure how excited that makes you but it literally makes me squirm in delight!

I have kept an eye out for these little beauties for a few seasons now. A couple of years back I decided to start taking baby steps toward becoming a reasonably competent mushroom hunter. It’s for sure something I aspire to be good at πŸ˜‰

The obstacles I am facing are time and a places to hunt.

Time … well I probably don’t have to explain that one to most of you. We are all lacking in this area, LOL!

Places to hunt … I am surrounded by state and national parks. You can’t forage there 😦 And most other land here is privately owned.

Sooooooo … the morel mushroom might is sort of a reclusive forest dwelling creature to me!

And then …

I met a new friend at the gym.

AND …

Her significant other is a mushroom hunter!

Ahhhhhhhhh … Lady Luck has turned her smile upon me ❀ ❀ ❀

As if meeting a great friend (I really do like her a lot) and finding out that her significant other hunts mushrooms is not lucky enough, it just so happened that he returned from a morel hunting trip a short time after our meeting. Life is good!

I was able to pick up a pound of fresh morels at a great price, and trust me that made my day. Well, maybe my week. Probably, definitely my week πŸ˜‰

I FINALLY had the chance to cook fresh morels.

I could touch them. Smell them. Sit quietly and admire them.

I could clean them. Chop them. Season and sautΓ© them. I could stand with them as they cooked, soaking in the delightful aroma they emit as they simmer. Oh my! If only the net had a scratch & sniff feature … You would be in heaven right now!

How do you cook morel mushrooms, you ask?

I’m sure there are MANY ways to prepare these little beauties. But I kept it pretty simple. I wanted to really savor the taste of them the first time I ate them. I didn’t want them to be smothered in sauce or buried in seasonings.

So I put half a stick of butter in a large frying pan with about 3 large cloves of garlic, and threw in the whole pound of mushrooms. I covered them and let them simmer on a low setting for about 20 minutes.

Morels need to be cooked well or they can make you a bit sick. No one wants that! It works out though because they don’t get tough or rubbery when they are cooked for long periods of time πŸ˜‰

After 20 minutes the pan was pretty full of liquid. Mushrooms always lose a great deal of water while cooking. I drained the water off and threw in just a bit of salt. Salt is a flavor enhancer and … well … as I’ve already said, I for sure wanted to REALLY TASTE these little beauties!

I cooked them with very minimal liquid. Like really hardly any at all, for another 5 minutes or so, and then I served them with roasted, organic bell pepper and onion and fresh, organic mild Italian sausage.

They were SERIOUSLY delicious! Now I know why everyone raves about them!

The experience left me with just one pretty serious issue …

Where, oh where, am I going to find a patch of fresh morel mushrooms to harvest next spring?

I’d love to hear about your thoughts on or experiences with morels! Leave them in the comments if you will πŸ˜‰

And … connect with me on facebook and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❀

POSTSCRIPT:

This post was written while I was living in the PNW. Where I live now in northern Maine morels are not common. But I have heard they are sometimes found. I hope to be so lucky as to come across them here πŸ˜‰

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU FEEL ‘STUCK’

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Before we talk about what to do when you feel stuck, we should cover the definition of stuck as it pertains to this post.

It refers to those moments in time when you feel like your life isn’t really going anywhere, is going a little poorly, or is just plain crappy. It’s doesn’t pertain to the times that you are happy with life in general, and are just enjoying the status quo for a bit. Or, needless to say, to those times when LIFE IS GOOD!

BUT …

With all that said … The principles you can follow to pry yourself free from ‘stuck mode’, can be practiced at any time to just generally gain positive ground as well.

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU FEEL STUCK

When you’re stuck apply yourself to these two things …

  1. Actively work on making your current circumstance better (or, at least, as pleasant as possible)
  2. Visualize the future

Doing these two things will grease the Universal wheel making it turn more smoothly and with greater speed.

ACTIVELY WORK ON MAKING YOUR CURRENT CIRCUMSTANCE BETTER

No matter what circumstance we find ourselves in, there is generally room for improvement to occur. And it simply makes good sense to consistently strive for improvement in our lives. Who doesn’t want things to get better, right?

So, if you feel stuck, or just as a regular matter of course, take stock of the current circumstances of your life and then create an action plan for progress.

What little steps can you take to make an immediate improvement in your situation? Brainstorm. Come up with as many as you can. And then do them. One at a time. Do each one.

And don’t consider any action to small. Because, in addition to results obtained directly from the action itself, you will derive a measure of improvement just from the movement of energy that taking action creates. It is energy that is impeded in some way, which is causing a feeling of inertia or decline. You need to get that energy moving again. So act. And maintain a good attitude, because the positive vibe of that attitude will raise the frequency of the energy. And the higher the frequency is the more desirable your results will be.

VISUALIZE THE FUTURE

We so often hear the phrase ‘dreaming of the future’. It is tossed around like an all-purpose solution to bringing our deepest desires to fruition. And that is a good thing!

But, I challenge you to consider that it is better to visualize your future, than it is to dream about it. Visualization is a more positively charged activity. It is a bit different than its more subtle counterpart, dreaming.

When we visualize our future, we make the effort of conjuring up the feelings which will accompany the realization of our dreams. These feelings are of the same frequency as the actual presence of our desires. And, because frequencies attract like frequencies, they will literally attract those desires into our lives. They are a key component to the actual physical manifestation of our desires.

Combining action and visualization creates a powerful duo. One that is sure to clear up any stuck energy you have lurking around your life, and get you well on your way to living in the very midst of your most heartfelt desires ❀

So get to it! And let me know how it goes in the comments. Or share an experience you’ve already had in this area. I love hearing your input! I really do!

And … connect with me on facebook, instagram, and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❀

PLANT BASED BREAKFAST IN BED FOR MOM'S SPECIAL DAY

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Breakfast in bed is a great way to make Mom feel special on Mother’s Day. It’s such a simple gesture. And yet it means so very much to her. There’s really nothing like the feeling you get when your family takes time out of their morning to prepare a meal for you. And if they bring it to you before you even put your feet on the floor for the day, that somehow turns up the warm and fuzzy feeling factor ten fold ❀

But what it your Mom would prefer to avoid the common breakfast foods that make up the typical American diet? Well, I can help with that. Because, I too appreciate a good plant-based meal.

So, I’m going to share a simple recipe for flax meal crackers and cashew cheese with you. Both of these can be made the night before Mother’s Day if that’s easier for you. And if you are able to do that it may work to your advantage. Then you can just pull everything out and put it on a tray with a hot cup of java, a glass of juice, and some fruit in the morning. No mess. No fuss. AND yet Mom feels like you’ve gone out of your way to acknowledge her first thing in the day! WIN! WIN!

Let’s start with the flax meal crackers, shall we?

PLANT-BASED FLAX MEAL & HERB CRACKERS


1 3/4 c. Ground Flax Meal

1/2 c. Water

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/2 tbls Garlic Powder

1/2 tbls. Dill (dried)


Preheat oven to 350Β°

In a medium bowl combine flax meal, salt, garlic powder, and dill.

Add water and mix until well blended. Form dough into a ball.

Place dough between two pieces of parchment paper and roll out to approximately 1/8 inch thick.

Remove the top layer of parchment paper. The dough will be uneven along the edges. You can cut the edges straight if you like. But it is not necessary.

Score squares into the dough. This will make it possible to cut it later. If you do not score your dough it will simply crumble when you try to cut it after baking.

Bake for 30-40 minutes. Removing outer edges when they are done and allowing the center squares to bake a bit longer.

Place on a wire baking rack to cool.

Cut into squares along score marks. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

And there you go … just like that you’ve got incredibly delicious, and seriously healthy flax meal crackers that are just packed with flavor!

It doesn’t really get any easier than that. Unless, of course, you count this cashew cheese recipe. Then it gets easier. Which is pretty hard to believe. But true nonetheless πŸ˜‰

CASHEW CHEESE


1 c. raw cashews (heaping, soak overnight)

2 tbls. nutritional yeast

2 tbls. lemon juice (fresh squeezed)

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/4 c. water


Pulse cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper in a food processor until it forms a coarse, wet texture. You will have to scrape the sides of the bowl several times throughout this process.

If you have a magic bullet use that instead. This is not a large amount of food to process. And the bullet is more conducive to smaller amounts. Additionally, it will eliminate all of the scraping. As you can just pop the top off the bullet and shake.

Once you have ground the mixture down as much as possible add the water. Start with about 1/8 cup and then add the rest as needed. You are striving for a mixture that has a consistency similar to hummus.

At this point, taste your cashew cheese and adjust your seasonings accordingly.

This cheese will store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for approximately 6 days. But it is unlikely to stick around that long.

Take a minute to tell me about how you are celebrating Mother’s Day this year in the comments. I would love to gather some new ideas for next year. And, if you are making these recipes let me know how they work out for you! I’m dying to know if the Mom in your life enjoyed them πŸ˜‰

And … connect with me on facebook, Β instagram, and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❀

MY FIRST EXPERIENCE WITH FIDDLEHEADS

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I’ve wanted to get my hands on fiddleheads since my enamoration with wild food first began. If you are among those who don’t know about this delectable little spring treat, please allow me to enlighten you πŸ˜‰

A fiddlehead is the furled frond of the young ostrich fern. They appear in the spring and are harvested as a vegetable. As always, it is important to ethically harvest this tasty little gift from Mama Earth, as you don’t want to affect the population of the species.

If you do not know the ‘rules’ for wild-harvesting do check them out before you head out to gather wild food. One of the most important guidelines to follow with fiddleheads is to be certain that you don’t collect all the fronds from a single plant. This will result in death of the plant. And that is a pretty crappy trade-off for the gift that this generous little green ally brings to your plate 😦

Where I am living in northern Maine these delicious little morsels are wild-harvested and then sold by the roadside and in local markets. And as much as I love ‘collecting grub’ from the wild, I haven’t had much time lately so that works out perfectly for me! I get fresh-picked fiddleheads. And foragers get a little cash in their pocket. Win! Win!

The batch that inspired this post was picked up at a self-serve roadside stand. I saw them on my way up north and passed them by because I didn’t really have room in my schedule for meal preparation at all, and uncovering how to cook fiddleheads felt burdensome.

But hose fiddleheads stayed in my head through the whole trip. Lucky for me, the stand was still there on my way home. So I grabbed a bag full of fiddleheads and went back home to figure out just what I was going to do with them.

I discovered that you have to cook them down before you can eat them. I’ve learned that this is the case with many wild foods. If fiddleheads are eaten raw one can get quite the case of indigestion from them.

So I put them on the stove in a pot of water, heated it up to boiling, and then let it simmer for 10 minutes.

After that I took the easy way out because it was late and I was hungry, LOL!

I sautΓ©ed them in butter, garlic, onion powder, salt, and pepper. When they were done I squeezed just a tiny bit of lemon juice on them, gave them a toss, and voila … deliciousness was mine.

They are crazy tasty! Like really crazy tasty!

They taste very much like asparagus to me. Like really very much like asparagus. And I’m a big fan of asparagus ❀

My son and I enjoyed them that evening, but you’re not supposed to eat too many at a time until you are sure your stomach doesn’t react the them (another common wild food rule). So, we had plenty left over. And when I woke up in the morning I couldn’t wait to get another crack at them.

So, the first fiddlehead omelet ever was made in my kitchen that morning. Fiddleheads, tomatoes, grilled onions, and swiss cheese = heaven ❀ Just sayin’.

I have another bunch of these little babies in the fridge right now and I’m looking at breading and deep frying them. I’ve had a few locals tell me that I won’t be disappointed if I prepare them that way. I think they’re right. I just can’t decide if I want to serve them with a butter garlic parmesan sauce or a bit of siracha mayo?

But a decision will have to be made. Unless, of course, I choose both πŸ˜‰

Have you ever had fiddleheads? And if so, how were they prepared?

Did you like them? Would you eat them again? We loved them! And will likely eat them often from now on ❀

Share your thoughts in the comments. I’d love to hear what you have to say πŸ˜‰

And … connect with me on facebook, instagram, and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❀

MAKE ROSE SCENTED OIL ENERGETICALLY DESIGNED TO HEAL THE HEART

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I am a woman who has seen more than her share of heartache. I don’t say that to gain condolences from you. I say it as a matter of fact. It is not something that I spend much time reflecting on. That would be counter-productive in so many ways. It just is. Fact.

I also have a marked history of heart disease in my family line. So my heart is one of the things I try to take good care of in my life. I’m not great at it. I wish I were. But I do try to be mindful of her when making decisions that affect her.

In addition to the more well known practices geared toward heart health, like; a healthy diet, exercise, and maintaining low stress levels, I firmly believe in implementing herb and crystal energetics into my routine.

I brought rose into my routine quite a few years ago, when I was gifted a rose essence from an acquaintance I met while living in northern CA. I faithfully took that essence every day. And I experienced a noticeable transformation from its use.

That little bottle has been gone for some time now. And while I have used the lovely rose as an herbal aid since then, I haven’t employed her in my life on a daily basis. But I am feeling as though spending some time with her would be good for me. And I intend to make myself a batch of rose essence this summer when this amazing plant is blessing us with her gorgeous blooms. But, until then I want to be able to access her properties whenever I feel the need for them.

So, I put together a few heart friendly herbal roll-ons to have on hand. And I thought that it would be nice to share the process of making these sweetly scented little herbal remedies with all of you ❀

The ingredients I used are as follows …

ROSE PETALS (DRIED): Medicinally the rose is used to fight depression and improve the overall function of the heart. Energetically it is used to heal heartache, promote feelings of connection, and soothe disappointment. The rose essence I spoke of earlier in this post was designed to assist one in taking steps toward reaching their deepest desires which, of course, reside in the heart.

HAWTHORN BERRIES (DRIED): Hawthorn comes from the rose plant family. It makes one of the most effective general heart tonics known to herbalism. It seems to read what the heart needs and then quite graciously provides it. This property is seen in the way it reacts to blood pressure. It will raise low blood pressure and lower high blood pressure. I have heard many an herbalist say, “Hawthorn just knows.” I concur.

AND it performs in the very same way on an energetic level. It deciphers what one needs to obtain healing in matters of the heart, and then it provides exactly that.

CLEAR QUARTZ CHIPS: Clear quartz is often used to amplify the properties of the herbs and crystals it is paired with. And while it has many other energetic properties, it is this one that makes it the perfect addition to this ‘brew’.

BULGARIAN ROSE ESSENTIAL OIL: This is the essential oil extracted from the petals of one of the rarest flowers in the world. It is only cultivated and harvested in the Rose Valley of Kazanlak. I am fortunate to have a bottle of it, as it is very pricey. And while it is worth every penny, I would likely not have purchased it at full price. But I came across one hell of a bargain and I simply couldn’t pass it up!

It possesses the same properties as the rose flower itself. Which I’ve described above for dried rose petals. And, almost more importantly, it adds the intoxicating scent of this healing plant to this herbal gem. So that each time you use it you are reminded of whence your ‘medicine’ has come ❀

ALMOND OIL: I really used this oil because it is what I had in the house that had the most transparency. I wanted to showcase the rose petals, hawthorn berries, and clear quartz chips. I think it accomplished that nicely. And I suppose it counts that almond oil is a heart healthy oil. Perhaps, it counts more than I realize πŸ˜‰

After choosing the ingredients for my roll-ons, putting them together is sort of a no-brainer.

Simply place a few rose petals, clear quartz chips, and hawthorn berries in a roll-on applicator bottle. Add rose essential oil. I used 45 drops. Then top off with almond oil, snap the roll-on ball in place, and secure the lid. It’s that simple πŸ˜‰

I had the great privilege of gifting one of these to a friend. And another to a new co-worker. An act that is also good for the heart πŸ˜‰

And that left me with one bottle of heart healthy goodness for myself. It should get me through the early spring as I await the arrival of the first rose flower of the year without a problem! Mission rose scented oil accomplished!

Are you familiar with the healing properties of the rose? If so, fill me in on what you know about this wonderful plant in the comments. And if not, please share whatever thoughts you have about the information I’ve provided on this healing herb in this post. I’d love to hear what you have to say!

And … connect with me on facebook,Β pinterest, and instagram to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❀

DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed health professional. You are solely responsible for researching herbs to determine how you choose to use them. If you decide to make them a part of your health care plan, I take no responsibility for the results of that decision.

THE SINGLE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY TO SHOW YOUR LOVE FOR MAMA EARTH

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There are a plethora of ways to show Mama Earth how much you love her. We pretty much know most of them well, right?

Conserve water. Cut back on your energy usage. Produce your own energy. Compost food waste. Reduce/eliminate plastic usage. Plant a tree. Use chemical-free cleaning and personal care products. Recycle everything you can. Reuse everything you can. Shop at resale stores. And many, many more.

Still, while I support ALL of the many ways we as humans can show our love and support for this amazing planet that sustains us … it is my opinion that there is one thing which 100% trumps all other practices.

And that is …

BE A LIVING EXAMPLE OF AN EARTH ADVOCATE

Gently, and without any trace of judgement or condemnation, make a living example of yourself as an earth advocate.

I have had the privilege of meeting many Earth Warriors. And while I found that each one of them has at least a tidbit of valuable information to impart to me. I am profoundly aware that some of their ways of delivering their all important message are off-putting, to say it nicely. If I were not already open to this teaching, I would have ignored them completely.

Many years ago while working at a big chain restaurant I met a young woman who was quite passionately leading a remarkably eco-friendly life. She was completely immersed in her lifestyle choice. And very well educated concerning all types of earth friendly practices. She began at the restaurant as a server, and I was happy to glean a wealth of information from her.

However, it was almost painful to watch her relationship with other employees there. There were few (if any at all) who gave a damn about the size of their carbon footprint. And that showed. She had great difficulty tolerating this. AND that also showed! She was condescending toward their wastefulness on a regular basis. As a matter of fact, most times she was just downright mean 😦

Over time the loosely tied bond between her and I flourished ever so little. But enough for me to find an opportunity to talk to her about her attitude. I managed to effectively get her to understand that her behavior was doing the exact opposite of what she so intensely desired to accomplish.

It was her deepest desire to win people over to her way of thinking in the area of becoming earth friendly dwellers. But the way she approached people was so hurtful and offensive that it caused them to turn their face away from the goodness she had to share. They didn’t want any part of ‘her nonsense’.

I explained to her that if she were a bit kinder and shared her information with the hope that they would change their habits, as opposed to the command that they do, she would slowly sway them in the direction she wanted them to go. She listened.

And watching the transformation which took place, not only in her work relationships, but in the people who were even a slight bit open to her teaching was pretty damn remarkable. Indeed ❀

So, fully engage in an eco-friendly lifestyle my Luvs. Immerse yourself so deeply that there is no chance you could ever find yourself in any other state. And then share what that means with every person who is willing to lend an ear.

Share it with a gentle voice and kind words. With an encouraging tone and warm, welcoming expression on your face. Share it with a peaceful passion and burning desire to ignite the flame of passion which burns in you in others.

Share it in these ways, and you will not only reduce your carbon footprint, but you will recruit others to the cause. More often than not!

Have you ever been put-off by someone like the young woman I’ve described? Or maybe you were once like her?

Do you have any input that may be helpful for those who are trying to curb their attitude when sharing such a passionate subject with others?

Let me know in the comments! I would love to hear your thoughts. I really would πŸ˜‰

And … connect with me on facebook,Β pinterest, and instagram to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❀

ALLERGIES & HONEY

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Allergies hit me hard this past week! I was pretty much down-for-the-count!

At first, I didn’t quite catch on to what was happening to me. I thought I must be getting the flu. Back on the east coast allergy season hasn’t started yet. This is my first spring here on the west coast – so it really snuck up on me. I was taken completely by surprise πŸ˜‰

Gosh, it’s only the first week of April!

Once I realized that my suffering was caused by seasonal allergies and not some sort of nasty cold or flu, I started rummaging through my cupboards in search of an herbal remedy.

After all, there is no better place to run when in any sort of distress than to the faithful, fabulous, magical plant kingdom. She is my ally – always eager to relieve my suffering πŸ˜‰

The thing is – moving from coast to coast in a little car with two people is no easy feat. There just wasn’t enough room to bring along much more than clothes and a few books that I was unable to part with. Leaving my herbal goodies behind was a heart-breaker for me – but it had to be done!

Soooo …

I didn’t find anything on my search that would really help me out.

Luckily, I know that the simplest (and often most effective) way to treat seasonal allergies is with a few doses of local honey. It must be local – we will discuss why soon πŸ˜‰

Unfortunately, I also know that the one brand of honey, I have been able to find here in my new home, that is labeled with a local address is no longer produced in this area. A little misleading? Yep! Still – true!

I began thinking I was going to have to either settle for something over-the-counter (haha – no way!) or find a fresh new herbal solution. The problem here = Many remedies may take weeks to brew and I was suffering now.

Then one of my co-workers (Thank You Carolyn!) clued me in to the fact that I could pick up honey at the town market which is produced about an hour from my home.

Hmmmm – an hour is still quite a distance. AND the diversity of the eco-systems around here is pretty wild. They change in the blink of an eye, and they do it pretty regularly! So, I felt a little skeptical.

BUT – she said it works for her and I was pretty darn desperate! I dropped the extra cash on a bottle of Loleta Farms Honey.

This stuff is incredibly tasty! If it didn’t help my allergies it would def make my beverages a whole lot better!

The good news …

IT WORKED WONDERS!

I took 2 tablespoons of this magically effective nectar at bedtime, and awoke the next morning feeling 75% better than I had for the past 6 days!

I downed a teaspoon full about every 4 hours throughout the next day and that did the trick. AMAZING!

I FEEL GREAT! I’m making some hot tea with it as I write this, and there is already fresh-squeezed lemonade in the fridge that contains a more than generous portion of this sweet sticky goodness!

Loleta Farms Honey just became a regular part of my diet! It’s just sensible!

Now, many of you are probably still sort of stuck on the question I mentioned earlier …

WHY DOES IT HAVE TO BE LOCAL HONEY?

As you likely know, our little bee friends buzz around from flower to flower looking for nectar to make honey. While they are busy going about their work, sticky little pollen spores attach themselves to their little limbs. They then transfer these spores to the pistils of other plants and the handy little process of cross-pollination occurs.

The thing is – not all of the spores are transferred. Some of these little guys remain on the bee and get carried back to the hive.

They find their way into the honey these busy little workers make through the production process.

The end result of this, as far as we honey-eating humans are concerned, is that the consumption of this sweet insect made elixir (honey) vaccinates our body against the allergens that are present in the spores the bees have indirectly made a part of their ‘honey-brew’.

Obviously, these are the allergens we need to be protected from, as they are the allergens we will be exposed to.

Soooooo … Eat local honey πŸ˜‰

And take a moment to share your thoughts on this post in the comments. It helps rank the website higher. Which supports my work. And it only takes a moment πŸ˜‰

And … connect with me on facebook and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❀

POSTSCRIPT:

This post was written for a blog I ran while I was in California. I have republished it here in order to share these valuable tidbits of information with all of you. I hope you find it helpful. When I moved back across the country last year I didn’t have much trouble with allergies. Even though I was once again adjusting to a new environment, as I have never lived this far up the east coast before. Possibly, the flora and fauna are similar enough that my body doesn’t find it necessary to object. More likely, it is because I put my hands on local honey just about anywhere I go for an extended period of time now. And I did exactly that when my feet landed here ❀ πŸ˜‰ ❀

DYE EASTER EGGS WITH PLANTS

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I’ve really been checking some things off my hope-to-do list since I’ve started the Bohemian Apothecarist Lifestyle Blog! And if feels GOOD!

Today, I’m going to share my experience creating stunning, naturally dyed Easter eggs with all of you. This is something I’ve always wanted to do. And now that I’ve done it, I feel like it’s for sure share worthy. I know I will never dye eggs with chemical laden dyes again. This process was incredibly easy. It will be my new go to!

There are many natural egg dying guides available out there. Google brings back plenty of results. But they often contain ingredients that are just not that reasonable for the average person to use.

Things like, the skins from 12-15 onions. I mean that’s great and all, but just exactly what are you supposed to do with all of those skinned onions after you’ve stripped them down? In my house that would be a total waste. And I just can’t justify that kind of waste.

So, I chose four different plant materials which are readily available, affordable, and create little to no waste for this project; beet juice, paprika, turmeric, and red cabbage. Using these materials will give me pink, blue, orange, and yellow eggs. I also picked up a bunch of parsley to use a few of the leaves for stencils. It was just $1.29 at my local grocery store. And I will saute the rest of it and toss it in a stir fry, no waste there.

I was really unsure of how well the stenciling was going to turn out. I had concerns about the dye finding its way under the parsley leaf. But I wanted to give it a go because, quite frankly, it makes my heart go pitter-patter!

And I’m so glad I did because it came out really great. It showed up much better on the darker eggs, for sure. But was still visible on the light colored eggs as well. Overall, it was a great success. No seeping or bleeding involved. Just a perfect little stencil. I hope you choose to give it a try. It makes all the difference in the world!

I only dyed 8 eggs total; 2 of each color. This is plenty for my little household of two. Three if you count the bulldogge (and we do), especially when it comes to hard-boiled eggs πŸ˜‰ However, if there were children around, I would likely do a much larger batch.

I started by getting myself set up for the process. The last thing I wanted was to get in the middle of my little experiment and be scrambling to put something together last minute.

I hard boiled a dozen eggs in the morning so they would cool by the time I was ready to get started in the afternoon. I only needed 8, but I didn’t want to come up short because some cracked while boiling. If you use cracked eggs with these natural dyes they will take on the flavor of the ingredients used in the dye. No thanks! YUCK!

I also boiled down and strained my red cabbage ahead of time. It was the only material I was using that required beforehand preparation. I almost didn’t use it because of that. But the color it produced was really spectacular. One of my favorites, by far. So I’m glad I went to the extra trouble.

Once the eggs were cool I placed my parsley leaf stencil on them. I simply pressed the parsley leaf onto the egg with my fingers. Then I wrapped it tightly with a piece of stocking material. I picked up a pack of knee-his at walmart for 50 cents. They were perfect for the job. I used just one of the pair to wrap four eggs. So you can definitely get eight eggs our of a pair.

Next, I prepared the dye. I used just half the amount of plant material and vinegar for this process. Because I only wanted to dye two eggs of each color. And I had the perfect glasses to accomplish that in. Just the right size to completely immerse two eggs in.

The directions I’ve supplied with this post will give you enough dye to color four eggs in a jar. I suggest a mason jar. However, any container you have that you feel will allow the liquid to sufficiently cover the eggs will work just fine.

You’ll need 2 tablespoons of white vinegar in each of your jars. So you can start by getting that in there. Then it’s done and you don’t have to try to keep track of whether or not you’ve already added it to a jar while creating your colors.

FYI: The vinegar acts as a medium for the dye. It assists the color in adhering to your eggs, and can’t be omitted from this process πŸ˜‰

The only thing left to do at this point is to add your plant material to your jars. Here are the measurements for that step …

ORANGE: 4 tablespoons paprika to 1 1/2 cups boiling water

YELLOW: 4 tablespoons turmeric to 1 1/2 cups boiling water

PINK: 1 1/2 cups beet juice (no water)

BLUE: 1 1/2 cups of red cabbage juice – prepare this by simmering 1 1/2 cups of shredded red cabbage in 2 cups of water for 20 minutes and then straining the cabbage shreds out

Allow your dyes to come to room temperature before placing your eggs in them. Use a spoon to gently immerse your eggs into the dye solution. This will help you avoid cracking the shells. And then just walk away!

I’m not sure how long you have to leave them soak. They didn’t take color right away like store bought dye, that’s for sure. I checked them about a half hour in and they were very light. Particularly, the turmeric and paprika. So I headed out to run some errands. I was gone for about six hours, and when I got back they were gorgeous. Such vibrant colors. I suspect it took a good long time for those colors to develop. So, it’s probably just easiest to plan to immerse your eggs in the morning and get back to them in the afternoon!

I’m really thrilled with the end result of this little project. The overall effort was pretty minimal. I love the fact that the process is all-natural. Anywhere that I can eliminate chemicals in this house is a big plus for me ❀ And the look of the finished product is just fabulous!

If you make naturally dyed eggs and you’d like to share some tips or tricks in the comments, I would love to hear them! And if you decide to try some of the dye recipes I’ve posted here, please take a minute or two to share your experience with me. That would be great πŸ˜‰

And … connect with me on facebook and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❀

12 WAYS TO PAMPER YOUR BEST FRIEND

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“Everyone thinks they have the best dog. And none of them are wrong.”

~ W.R. Purche

I was surfing the web the other day looking for some creative ways to spoil my pooch! He’s the king of my castle (as you may know by now), and I want him to live just as royalty does.

My research taught me two things. First, there are a whole lot of people out there who want to teach others how to pamper their canine companions. And second, the suggestions they make are not really about spoiling your best friends at all.

They propose things like taking your pooch to be groomed, buying them a new pet bed, or picking up a new doggie outfit for them. I mean, let’s get serious here, grooming is not your dogs favorite activity. As a matter of fact, they are likely not fond of it at all. They are not particularly thrilled with a new pet bed either. They would prefer to hold onto that old, stinky bed they’ve had for some time now. Those nasty smells it emits are familiar to them and bring them a deep sense of comfort. And don’t even get me started on how much canines hate to wear doggie clothes. Just sayin’ πŸ˜‰

So. I’ve composed a list of things that your furbaby will really enjoy. Things that will make THEM feel pampered. Not you. This isn’t about you, Baby! Sorry. Not sorry.

GET THAT DOGGIE A MASSAGE

Dog’s love to be touched. And canine massages are a pretty trendy thing, right? There’s a good chance you will be able to find someone who gives pet massages in your local area. But if you can’t than you can just spend a little time giving Fido a damn good rub down.

Please remember that massage is meant to be therapeutic and shouldn’t be taken lightly. So don’t try to give a professional massage if you aren’t trained. Just give your furbaby a firm rub down. I’m pretty sure you’ll know if they’re loving it or not πŸ˜‰

BAKE YOUR BEST FRIEND A SWEET POTATO

Dogs love sweet potatoes. And it’s pretty damn rewarding see how quickly they chow them down. Don’t give your beloved pup too much though. It’s not good for them in large quantities. Bake a big one for yourself and then chop off about 1/4 of it for your pooch. Put it in a dish and top it with a little peanut butter and a few slices of banana. YUMMY!

PICK UP A MARROW BONE ON YOUR NEXT SHOPPING TRIP

The next time your at the grocery store pick up a marrow bone in the meat department. It’s a great treat for your dog. And it will keep them busy and out of your hair for hours. Just remember to give it to them in an area where they can’t make a huge mess with it. I close off the bedroom doors. My bulldogge won’t go on the couch with it. So that pretty much leaves his own bed as the only spot he can retreat to, and I’m okay with that. We live in a very cold climate and he gets incredibly bored over our long winters. So, a bone is sort of paramount to his good mental health!

If you don’t have a way to allow them to enjoy this treat indoors, save it for the summer months. Riley usually has a dozen of these babies hidden in the yard by the time winter comes πŸ˜‰

TAKE YOUR POOCH ON A HIKE

Take your pooch on a nice long hike. And if you have the option of allowing them off leash for some of it, please do!

It can be tiresome for a dog to see the same scenery every day all day long. It is no more fun for them to be stuck at home than it is for us. So get them out whenever you can. It’s crazy good for their stress levels. Which is crazy good for your stress levels!

HEAD OUT TO THE LAKE FOR THE DAY

Take Fido to the lake. Or any body of water you have available to you. If you are able to allow them to swim, definitely do it.

And don’t get wrapped up in your own world while you’re there. Bear in mind that this outing is for your furbaby. Spend your time with them. Run. Play. Roll around on the ground a little. It will be good for both of you.

Take a frisbee with you and make good use of it. I’ve never met a dog who doesn’t like a frisbee πŸ˜‰

DO SOME RESEARCH ON HOW DOGS THINK

There are some amazing books out there on how dogs think. I’ve read a few. And there is one at my vet’s office that I always browse when I’m there. It’s pretty incredible how easy canines are to misinterpret. Sometimes behaviors that appear to have an obvious meaning don’t mean what we imagine them to at all.

Pick a book up at your local book store or your library on this subject and start to build a better understanding of what goes through your dogs mind. This activity may not seem like it pampers your pup. And it doesn’t in that direct spoil ’em kind of way. But in the long run, it certainly does. Life is exponentially better for both of you when you have a clear understanding of your pooches subtle signals.

MAKE HOMEMADE DOGGIE TREATS

Keep homemade treats on hand for your canine pal. They are better than most treats you find in the store. And they really don’t take much time to make. Not to mention, that the price is significantly better.

It doesn’t take much to learn what ingredients are best for our dog. Just a little research. Usually google is smart enough to tell you what Fido can and can’t have.

There are currently two homemade dog treat posts up on the blog; A Christmas Treat for Riley and Riley’s Birthday Surprise. Both are full of wholesome human grade ingredients that your dog will love!

‘JUST BE’ WITH YOUR BELOVED CANINE

It’s so easy to get caught up in our daily grind and allow the day to slip by without doing any more than the minimum to care for our pets. Life is busy!

Still, it is important that we take time out to spend with them. Go out in the yard and be with them. Simply be with them. Don’t let yourself be distracted with yard work or the neighbors. Be present with your beloved canine.

BELLY RUBS AND EAR SCRATCHES ALL THROUGHOUT THE DAY

Do I need to say belly rubs and ear scratches?!?! Dogs are very affectionate creatures. They are pack animals. And pack animals often engage in mutual grooming behaviors. They also spend a great deal of time up in each others tree, as they say. They want you to touch them. A lot. A whole lot.

So, be sure that you lavish your pooch with TONS of belly rubs and ear scratches. And I should also mention butt scratches. They love butt scratches. Just above their tail. Because this is another area, like their bellies and behind their ears, that they can’t reach themselves.

QUENCH YOUR PUPS SEAFOOD CRAVING

Most dogs love seafood. They cannot have all seafood, so you should check before you give them any because I would not venture to comprise a comprehensive list here.

Our bulldogge goes absolutely crazy for shrimp. It’s his favorite. And we also give him cod, haddock, tuna, sardines, and oysters. So, I know all of those are safe.

I can’t imagine making seafood and not sharing a bit with him. It’s his favorite food, for sure. When I prepare our meal I simply leave some of it without sauce or seasoning just for him.

When my son makes salmon for himself. I open a can of sardines for Riley. Canines can’t eat salmon and it is impossible for me to not have a seafood treat on hand for him so that he doesn’t get a whiff of the sea and no taste to go along with it.

GET THEM THEIR OWN HOUSE

If you don’t have a dog house for your dog, pick one up. Or build one. Even if your pet only goes out in the yard to do his duty or when the fam is out there, he will LOVE a dog house. You’ll be surprised at how much time he spends in there.

Dogs live in dens in the wild. And enclosed spaces make them feel safe. They will seek out spaces to lay where they feel protected by a ‘covering’. Our furbaby is due to have a house built for him this year. And I know he is going to be pretty pleased when it is done.

Right now he wiggles his way under the oil tank. My son had to actually dig a bit of a hole there so he wouldn’t get stuck because it was such a tight fit! He got himself stranded there one day. And as good fortune would have it, we forgot something when we left home that day and had to go back. So we discovered his plight. Otherwise, poor baby, would have been under there all damn day 😦

VISIT THE LOCAL DOG PARK

Socialization is so good for dogs. If you have a dog park in your area ,make it a regular part of your routine. A few times a week is pretty ideal. And likely won’t put too much strain on your schedule. But if it does, do your very best to make it there at least once a week. It is important for your pooch to hang with some of his own kind every now and again.

Still, keep in mind that if there are too many dogs frequenting your local park it may be over-stimulating for your pup. In that case, try to set up a few play dates with other dog owners. It could be that one on one interaction is more of what your furbaby needs.

Our pets are a huge part of our lives. And they deserve the very best. So, I hope you make use of as many of these suggestions on how to spoil your pup as you can manage. It will be crazy, mad good for both of you!

Please take a few minutes to share your thoughts on this post in the comments. I love to hear all about your experiences, tips, and suggestions. I really do πŸ˜‰

And … connect with me on facebook and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❀

HOW HUMANS CAN GET THE MOST OUT OF THE SPRING SEASON

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One of the most beneficial things we can do for ourselves is to more closely align with the ways of Mama Nature. As her seasons change the rest of the natural world aligns with them. We humans seem to have lost touch with this phenomena over time. And it would be in our best interests to reconnect with it.

The spring season is so clearly a time of renewal and rebirth. The animals are birthing their young. They become more active as the days grow warmer. The flowers are beginning to ‘strut their stuff’. Tiny little buds are forming on the trees. And we see fresh new life popping up throughout the plant kingdom.

Humans are feeling it too. People are friendlier. They smile more. It is more common to hear the melody of their laughter. And the heightened level of energy they are experiencing is apparent by the ‘pep in their step’.

There are a few things I like to do in the spring to reap the full benefits of this season. You may want to consider implementing them in your own life. They really do make life a little richer. A little more indulgent.

PHYSICALLY RECONNECT WITH MAMA EARTH

Every gardener knows the deep-seeded connection that digging in the dirt in the early spring produces between them and the earth we live on. Without the careful and purposeful system she tirelessly runs, we would perish. She literally gives us life.

We need to grasp every opportunity we can to connect to her life force. It is immeasurably beneficial for us. And the spring season is particularly conducive to this activity πŸ˜‰

So dig your toes in the dirt. Walk barefoot. Wade in a nearby lake or stream. Hug a tree. Turn your face to the sun and soak up some rays. Sit and have a talk with Lady Moon in the evening. Do whatever you feel the urge to do that brings you closer to Mama Earth. And do it as often as you are able!

CLEAR YOUR PHYSICAL SPACE TO OPEN PATHWAYS FOR NEW BEGINNINGS

After the long, dark days of winter have left us, it is quite common for our indoor space to feel stuffy and drab. I suppose the fact of the matter is, it is stuffy and drab!

So take some time and clear it out. If you can open a few windows while you work, go for it. If you are starting before it is warm enough in your area to let the breeze flow through the house, that’s okay. BUT, please, get those windows open as soon as you can. It’s one of the most rewarding elements of this activity for sure.

Clean windows. Wash bedding and curtains. Then hang them outside to dry. Go through each room and pick up the little bits of clutter that gathered over the winter season. Give each room a thorough cleaning. And then burn some uplifting incense in them. Or maybe a linen scented candle. So nice!

Then take a few minutes to walk through each room of your house and consider what you want to happen there this season. Visualize the people and activities you want to see fill them now. And then release your vision to the Universe and stand steadfast in the belief that she will fulfill it for you ❀

SPRING CLEAN YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE TO MAKE WAY FOR NEW GROWTH

Set aside some time when you can be undisturbed, and spend it taking stock of where you are at spiritually. Is there a spiritual practice you have been feeling called to bring into your life? Are you struggling with negative feelings surrounding a certain person? Or maybe you feel as though there is more you could be doing to contribute to the spiritual enrichment of others?

Whatever it is that you are feeling needs some attention in this area create a game plan for accomplishing that. Make it baby steps. Because they are easier to reach. And reaching our goals makes it substantially more likely that we will continue to set and meet goals in the future.

One of my go-to tools for assessing where I am at spiritually is to sit and write down the names of every person I can think of who I am presently processing emotions for. The good. The bad. And the ugly. LOL!

I then cut the names into slips. And put them in a jar. I pull them out one at a time. And as I extract each one from the jar I take a few minutes (or longer if needed) and sit quietly and process the emotions that thinking of them brings up. It creates a great space for releasing any negativity I have around others. This prevents it from rendering bitterness or anger in my being. Which is good for ME in the long run.

If you manage to check all three of these exercises off your spring improvement list, you will have done something healthy for your body, your mind, and your spirit. It just doesn’t get better than that ❀ πŸ˜‰ ❀

I’d love it if you took a minute to share your thoughts on this post. Particularly, if you choose to include some of these activities in your spring schedule. It would be great to hear about your experience!

And … connect with me on facebook and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❀

MAKE IRISH SODA BREAD FOR ST. PATRICK’S DAY

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Being an Irish woman from an area with a dense Irish population, I have a love for soda bread ❀

This delectable treat would surface in every store around St. Patrick’s Day back home. And I always made my way through a loaf or two before it disappeared from the store shelves. I told myself every year that I would get a good recipe and make my own so that I could always be guaranteed the best loaf ever! But it seems that never really happened. Until now. That is. Until now!

I finally tried my hand at baking this Irish staple. And it turned out pretty great! Like really pretty great! I’m impressed with myself, for sure πŸ˜‰

Soda bread became popular in Ireland in the 1840’s. It was then that baking soda became affordably available to the general population of this amazing country. This was a game-changer. And soda bread found its way to the table at most every meal.

As is so often the case with traditional foods, soda bread recipes vary by region in Ireland. But the 4 main ingredients are always the same; coarse wholemeal flour, salt, baking soda, and buttermilk.

I’m shooting to duplicate this recipe as closely as possible. With the unfortunate exception of coarse wholemeal flour. I would prefer to have this flour. AND I fully intend to order some for my next go around with this recipe, as I’ve never had the opportunity to try it. I LOVE whole grains! But I don’t have it for this time around. And that’s okay. White flour is always often used by Irish elders who live here in the states to make this tasty treat. And it will get the job done in my kitchen this time, for sure!

There are many recipes out there with added sugar and butter. Some also toss in raisins. And others caraway seeds. My beloved bread had butter and sugar in it, but I left that out today. I wanted to keep the recipe as authentic as possible. And the end result proved that I did the right thing! Those ingredients are absolutely unnecessary. The buttermilk adds plenty of fat and sweetness without them.

A crusty, golden brown top is a key signature for this bread. The cross cut in it has many back stories to its origin. But the most reasonable explanation I’ve found for it is that it was meant to ‘score’ the bread into 4 individual portions. Allowing it to easily be cut into a single portion to be served at mealtime.

IRISH SODA BREAD


4 c. all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

2 c. buttermilk

3/4 c. raisins

1 tbls caraway seeds

Preheat your oven to 375Β°

In a large bowl blend the all-purpose flour, salt, baking soda, raisins, and caraway seeds.

Create a well in the center of the flour mix and pour in the buttermilk.

Mix the dough together with your hands. You want to firmly mix it together. Do not knead the dough as you would for many bread recipes. Be more gentle than that.

It will stick to your hands. It’s a bit messy.

When you see it separating from the bowl and forming a ball, it’s ready.

Flour your counter top and roll the ball of dough out of the bowl onto it. Shape your dough into a round loaf. And flour the top. You want a nice layer of flour on your dough ball.

Place your dough in a lightly greased baking dish. Do not allow the dough to touch the sides of the dish. If you have a baking stone it is even better. No need to grease the stone (obviously), simply lay your dough ball out on it.

Take a sharp knife and cut a cross in the top of your dough ball.

Bake for 40-45 minutes.

You’ll know it’s done when the top is golden and crisp. And the bottom has a hollow sound when you knock on it. To do this, simply place an oven mitt on your hand, flip the dough over onto your covered hand and knock on the bottom with your free hand.

After you remove your bread from the oven, place it directly on a plate. Allow it to rest for 15 minutes. And then wrap it in a clean tea towel. Wrapping it when it is still warm like this causes it to retain optimal moisture. It will keep the inside moist, and slightly soften the crisp outer crust.



I’m really pleased with how this recipe turned out. I will, without a doubt, be making my own for St. Pat’s Day from now on. It’s soooooooo delicious!

But I may have to shelf the recipe for the rest of the year. Because I can’t stop eating it once it’s made. I just devoured the loaf I made in 3 days flat! That’s a lot of bread!

However, if you have more self-control than I do you can make it all throughout the year. It’s a great recipe to have up your sleeve to impress guests, for sure. And … FYI … It makes an amazing accompaniment to coffee or tea. So it’s great for between meal visits with friends. Or served with hot chocolate to hold the little ones over when dinner is running late πŸ˜‰

If you have any tips or tricks for making Irish soda bread you’d like to share, please pop them in the comments. And let me know if you try this recipe. I’d love to hear how it worked out for you πŸ˜‰

And … connect with me on facebook and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❀

ELDER ~ AN HERB QUEEN

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“When you settle a share of land, first plant an Elder tree, then make your home there.” ~ T. Elder Sachs

The beautiful Lady Elder is considered a Queen among herbs. She is believed to watch over her fellow plants and the spirits which reside on the property that sits under her charge.

As seen in the quote above, T. Elder Sachs recommends planting an Elder tree on your property before you begin to establish a home there – with that I wholeheartedly agree!

Of course, if you are already settled in to your property – it is not too late, it is never too late, to make a space from which Lady Elder can reign πŸ˜‰

Her botanical name is Sambucus nigra, and each of her parts is to be used in its own way and understood separately.

Her flowers can be infused and used to treat fevers, severe bronchial and lung issues, chronic congestion, allergies, candidiasis, and ear infections.

Elder flower infusions are also very effective when working with eruptive skin conditions like measles.

They can be used to tone the mucous linings of the nose and throat; thereby, increasing their ability to resist infection.

Start taking a flower infusion a couple of months before hay fever season begins and you will see a decrease in the severity of your hay fever attacks.

The berries from this herbal wonder are used for food, to alleviate allergies, and combat colds and flu. They improve overall respiratory and sinus health. Their anti-inflammatory properties make them suitable as a pain reliever in most cases, and they can help with nausea.

As with all berries, this little lovelies support the normal production of white blood cells.

Because they contain bioflavonoids, alkaloids, vitamins, minerals, and anthocyanins they promote healthy immune system function.

The energetics of the bark are bitter and toxic.

While this part of the tree can be used medicinally, it is best to use a different herb to accomplish that which it does well.

If bark that is aged less than one year is used cyanide poisoning can result.

In days gone by, the bark was used as a diuretic, cathartic, emetic, and purgative.

The leaves of the elder tree can be used to make an ointment that will successfully treat sprains, bruises, and chillblains.

This ointment is a superior emollient as well.

Boil the leaves in linseed oil to create a great remedy for hemorrhoids.

An infusion made with them makes a good diuretic, and they are said to be even more purgative and nauseating than the bark.

The leaves, bark, and berries of the beautiful Lady Elder can all be used to produce dye.

The leaves make a gorgeous green. The bark produces black dye, and the berries create the loveliest purple color. If you prefer lilac, simply add a little salt to the water – and just like magic there it is!

PLEASE NOTE: Red elder is toxic – soooooo as always, proper identification is key!

I’d love it if you shared your thoughts on this post. Along with any input you may have about the amazing Lady Elder πŸ˜‰

And … connect with me on facebook and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❀

DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed health professional. You are solely responsible for researching herbs to determine how you choose to use them. If you decide to make them a part of your health care plan, I take no responsibility for the results of that decision.

CONSCIOUSLY CREATE YOUR LIFE

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We all work with (command) energy. Every single day. Every single one of us.

It can’t be avoided. We are made of energy. Everything that exists is made of energy. And energy is attracted to energy of the same frequency as itself. Therefore, we are perpetually manifesting our future.

Once we have a firm grasp on the reality of this situation, we begin to understand that we will fair better in life if we choose how we use our energy and the energies surrounding us.

Do we want to allow our thoughts and emotions to manifest physical people, situations, and objects in our life at the whim of our subconscious? Or would we rather discipline ourselves to consciously choose what manifests in our lives?

My vote goes for conscious creation. That only makes sense, right?!?!

Choose what you would like to occur in your life and then get to work making it happen. So just how do we do that?

Let’s break it down into three parts …

TRAIN YOUR THOUGHTS AND EMOTIONS

Learning to keep positive, present tense thoughts and emotions at the forefront of our mind is easier than it may seem. Simply persist at redirection in this area until you see success. You will see success. Thoughts and emotions are trainable.

The key to this process is to be patient and kind with yourself as you navigate it. Be your own cheerleader. Your own biggest fan. And if you find yourself struggling with that, then fake it till you make it.

Whenever you find yourself thinking a negative thought or experiencing a negative emotion, replace it with a positive thought or emotion. And whenever you catch yourself phrasing things in your mind using past or future tense (I used to have more abundance or I am on my way to abundance), rephrase that thought to present tense (I am abundant).

Over time your thoughts and emotions will shape themselves in a positive manner. It will likely begin happening without much notice on your part. And then one day you will realize just how far you’ve come πŸ˜‰

VISUALIZE WHAT WE WANT

We hear a lot of talk about using visualization to manifest the things we want. And it is a very powerful tool.

There are two very important components of visualization.

You must get to a place in this process where you can feel all of the good feelings you know you will have when your desire materializes. The more intensely you can feel them the better.

And you must be very clear in your desires. It is important to sit with yourself and carefully choose exactly what you are aiming to manifest. Get nitty gritty with the details.

For instance …

I once manifested a relationship with the unlikeliest of people. I decided that I wanted to spend some time with them. I was completely infatuated with them and loved being in their presence. So I started to train my thoughts (as explained above) in this area. I began to visualize being together. And then I released the work to the Universe (as described below). It worked. I’ve been manifesting for a long time now. I’m pretty good at it. It usually works.

The thing was, after I found myself in a mildly serious relationship with this person, I realized that it was not where I wanted to be at all. I hadn’t thought through what I actually wanted our time together to look like. Or what roles I wanted us to play in one another’s lives. There was nothing gratifying about our relationship to me. It was empty. And worse yet, often troublesome.

BUT it did teach me a valuable lesson about taking the time needed to think through the details of things I set out to manifest! Now, I know exactly what I want before I begin the manifestation process.

RELEASE THE ‘WORK’ TO THE UNIVERSE

After your thoughts and emotions are in good order. And you are able to readily visualize your desire. It is time to let it go.

This part can be a bit tricky. It is my experience that you have to come to a place where you know that your request has been completed in the quantum realm in order for it to work. And there is really no way to teach someone what that feels like.

All I can really tell you is that you will know. You will just know. I’ve had many conversations with people who are damn good at manifesting and each person explains this place differently. Perhaps the Universe gives us a way to recognize it that She knows we will understand. But you will know.

You may mess up and think you know a few times before you discover how the switch flips for you. But you WILL GET IT! You really will.

Once you reach this place of ‘knowing’ … LET GO! Completely.

Don’t allow your thoughts to return to it. Don’t spend your time trying to visualize it. Just wipe it our of your mind. When you are able to do this … it will manifest. Often it becomes a physical reality the very moment you are able to fully release it.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this post in the comments. Please share them with me. It means so very much πŸ˜‰

And … connect with me on facebook and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❀

6 WAYS TO SPOIL YOUR VALENTINE

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I’m not sure if you’ll agree with me or not, but I think it is safe to say that the larger part of the population has struggled through at least on Valentine’s Day. There are so very many expectations placed on us with this holiday. Perhaps, much of that is due to the commercialization surrounding it in our society.

I, personally, think that the grandest gesture one can make for their significant other on this special day is to lift the pressure of ‘coming through’ for them in some way. Whatever way would hold significance for them. Which, incidentally often eludes their partner!

The only elements that I consider essential to the day are a loving, warm attitude, a pleasant and inviting atmosphere, and if its conducive to the celebration, a little (or more than a little) bit of the power of suggestion.

These elements can be as simple or elaborate as both parties prefer. But they do a great deal to set the mood for a celebration of mutual love ❀

I’ve put together a list of 6 different suggestions for the perfect Valentine’s celebration. I think you’ll find them useful. The only goals I had in mind while assembling this list was that they be easy and straight forward. With a flexible price tag attached to them. So that they can fit absolutely any budget from dollar store to Tiffany’s!

So … here goes!

In no particular order …

ASK ~ THAT’S RIGHT. ASK YOUR VALENTINE WHAT THEY WOULD LIKE FOR VALENTINE’S DAY

I recall one of my favorite professors in college, who was a couples councilor, telling us that one of the most common things he hears in sessions is, “He never brings me flowers anymore”. Sounds pretty clichΓ©, right? No matter. It was so commonplace in his counseling space that he had a prefab way of approaching the subject.

He would respond by asking when the last time was that they told their partner they would like to receive flowers.

It may all seem pretty simple. But, if you just take a minute to consider it, you will see that it is a precise representation of every day lack of communication in human relationships. We assume the other person knows what we want. And when they don’t. We interpret it as an intentional act of indifference.

With that thought in mind … it might be nice to just ask your significant other what they want for Valentine’s Day. Ask them how they want to celebrate. And allow their answer to be enough for you. If it falls way short of your own expectations and desires, than perhaps you can set up a trade-off system. Do it their way this year. And do it your way next year. Problem solved πŸ˜‰

KEEP IT CLASSIC ~ DINNER, FLOWERS, CANDY, MOVIES ~ MAKE RELIEVING THE PRESSURE YOUR GIFT TO EACH OTHER

If both you and your partner are on board with an old-fashioned Valentine’s day celebration, keeping it classic may be the easiest way for you to go.

Dinner, flowers, and candy are pretty traditional ways to acknowledge the holiday. And they can be as elaborate or as laid back as you choose. Just remember to choose together.

When you’ve finished your dinner, you can head out dancing, go to a movie, or head home to play board games. Or you can just call it a night. Which may be a preferred option for those with young families.

TREAT ONE ANOTHER TO A TANTRIC MASSAGE

Tantric massage is an intricate practice, with a long history. It is defined as; a unique experience in which affectionate and refined touch is used in order to open and relax. But it is so much more than that. Much more than the scope of this post can cover.

You can take the time to research this ancient art, if you like. And then choose how on board you want to get with it. However, that is not ground you can cover before the holiday.

So I’ll clue you in on a few basic points.

A warm and sensual atmosphere is pretty par for the course with this art. Think candles, mood lighting, and deep musky scents. Both partners are usually unclothed. And tactile sensation is important; use oils, silk scarves, etc …

The idea is to massage, gently caress, and lightly tantalize your partner for extended periods of time without holding orgasm as the end goal. Cover every inch of their body in this time. Leave nothing untouched. An hour per partner is likely longer than you will find enjoyable if you have never participated in anything like this practice before. But it is not an unreasonable goal either. The bottom line is only you and your partner know how long you want to set your session for. Talk it out. And then commit to a time frame for this new experience. It is one that is going to stand the test of time in your relationship. It really is!

HAVE A PICNIC IN BED

Set the stage (your bedroom) for a romantic interlude. Whip up a little picnic. Complete with basket if you prefer. Lay out some beautiful cloth on the bed. And indulge!

Keep the food light. Make the drinks indulgent. Champagne is always nice, if you drink. Good wine. Or even whiskey if that’s your thing.

If you don’t partake of alcohol, then make something special with club soda, fruit/fruit juice, and perhaps a few herb sprigs.

TRADE YOUR NIGHT OUT FOR A NIGHT IN

I know couples who go out for Valentine’s Day just because they feel it’s expected of them. The truth is neither partner is all that interested in celebrating this holiday in a traditional way. Sometimes, not in any way at all. And yet, they do. Because they feel they would be letting their significant other down if they didn’t.

If neither partner gives a crap about heading out into the world to declare your love for another. Don’t. Stay home. And do something that you both find gratifying.

I have no way of knowing just what that might be. But a few suggestions that come to mind are; enjoy some fondue together, watch a few movies, play a few board games, or just visit with one another in the way you would with an old friend on a weekend away. Sounds divine, doesn’t it?!?!

CREATE A SENSUAL BATH FOR EACH OTHER

The ancients of Greece and Rome both utilized communal baths in their cultures. The term they used for this practice was, “taking the waters” together. And it was an incredibly important part of their lives. Nearly as important as their spirituality.

There was an erotic element to this practice, for sure. But it was also a time of union in a non-sexual way. A time used to connect to others in the way that only nudity can encourage, with deep vulnerability. Sometimes, even a time to nurture one another via acts of pampering, such as; brushing/washing one anothers hair or washing each others backs.

Get together with your significant other and plan to partake in a communal bathing ritual for Valentine’s Day this year.

Create a space of peace and tranquility for yourselves, using scent, candlelight, music and flowers. And be sure to have plenty of oils, sponges/loofas, and deeply hydrating beverages available as well.

That about covers the 6 suggestions I have for your Valentine’s celebrations this year. I’m betting that at least one of them is going to be just what you need to make this year special.

Take a minute to let me know what you think in the comments. It’s ALWAYS great to get your feedback on posts. It helps me know that the work I’m doing is meaningful. And it often provides me with fresh insights and new directions for my work.

And … connect with me on facebook and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❀

MAKE YOUR OWN HERBAL CAPSULES

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I regularly make my own herbal capsules, and I thought you might be interested in the what, why, and how of it πŸ˜‰

I have a sort of love affair with this task. It is a very edifying process for me. I find the repetitive nature of the work meditative, I like the feeling that making my own remedies gives me, and I feel healthier (more alive if you will) when I am taking good care of my body. When I make remedies for those I love, it feeds my inner-nurturer. It all feels good, indeed!

If those are not enough reasons to spark your interest in making herbal pills, here are a few more for you …

  • It makes herbs easier to access. A small bottle of capsules can be carried just about anywhere.
  • You are more likely to maintain consistency when taking capsules, as compared to other forms of herbal remedies.
  • Many herbs provide nutritional value in addition to the remedial properties we revere them for. Therefore, you can meet dietary needs with them as well (think spinach powder πŸ˜‰)
  • Making your own herbal capsules saves you money. Quite a bit of money. Actually, like a bunch of money!! (Point made? LOL)
  • Many commercially available capsules contain fillers. Homemade capsules do not. This allows you to get more herb per dosage, which is most often a good thing. Not to mention that you are not putting useless (or even harmful) fillers in your body. YUCK!
  • For those who struggle with the taste of other herbal remedies, like tinctures, a capsule is a great alternative. Of course, there are times when a different form of herbal supplement is necessary. For example, I don’t know of an herb you can take in capsule form to remedy a cough. But there are MANY issues which can be addressed with capsules.
  • When you make your own herbal capsules, you can tailor them to YOUR specific needs.
  • When you make capsules yourself you can be certain that the herbs you use are fresh and organic. Who knows what they are putting in commercial brands of herbal capsules! I do know that, in the interest of profit, many of our food sources are highly contaminated and our medical system is corrupt. I can’t imagine that companies who are mass-producing herbal remedies are any different than those who provide these services to us. After all, they are all in bed together! And I would rather not support them anyway. Herbalism is a ‘for the people, by the people’ system, and keeping it that way greatly reduces the likelihood of its distortion.

I think those are some pretty good reasons to make herbal capsules at home. Don’t you?

If getting started on this task makes you feel a bit overwhelmed, fear not! You don’t have to have much (or really any) herbal knowledge to get the ball rolling. Simply start by making some single herb capsules that are known to work for the majority of the general population.

Here’s a few ideas for you …

  • Beet Root = general nutrition and lowering cholesterol
  • Hawthorn Berry = overall heart health and regulating blood pressure
  • Spirulina = general nutrition (as in ‘eat your greens’)
  • Milk Thistle = overall liver health
  • Chaga = energy and adaptogen
  • Turmeric = inflammation reduction

A bit less overwhelming? Of course it is!

The investment to start is pretty minimal as well …

All you need is a capsule making machine, some empty capsules, and the herbs of your choice (in powder form). You can pick all of these things up in one fell swoop, at Mountain Rose Herbs. I love them. Their business is built on good stewardship and integrity. AND they provide outstanding products and service.

Both the machines and the capsules come in two different sizes (0 & 00). I prefer the larger capsules (00). They just make sense to me (unless, of course, you have difficulty swallowing capsules). It is rare that a dose smaller than a 00 capsule is needed. As a matter of fact, most often I take several capsules a day.

If you choose to purchase your supplies from a source other than Mountain Rose Herbs just be sure they are reputable. The quality of herbal powder you use is very important. Your capsules will be much more effective if they are made with fresh, organic material. The quality of the capsules themselves is also very important. Temperature and moisture levels can cause them to swell or shrink. This will make it so they don’t fit properly into the capsule making machine, rendering them useless. Keep this in mind when storing them at home as well. I store mine in a canning jar with the moisture packs that Mountain Rose Herbs ships them with. This method has always worked well for me.

Your machine should come with step-by-step instructions. They are crazy simple to follow. Like even a monkey could do it. Keep in mind monkeys are pretty smart though, LOL!

Following is a pictorial for you that is also pretty simple to follow πŸ˜‰

Your capsule making machine will have two sides. Your capsules will have two parts.
One part of the capsule will fit into one side of the machine.
The other part will fit into the other side of the machine. Fill both sides of the machine with the appropriately sized capsule pieces.
Place your capsule making machine on a plate or tray. Pour the herb or herb blend of your choice over the larger side of the machine.
Use the card supplied with the machine to scrape off the excess herb powder. Tap the machine on the surface of your plate/tray to compact the herb.
Use the tamper provided with the machine to tamp the herb down into the capsules. And then fill. And repeat until your capsules are full.
Scrape remaining herbal powder off the machine.
This will leave you with a nicely filled half capsule in the machine. Ready to compress together and form a finished piece.
Using both hands press down on the top of the machine, compressing the two halves together.
Separate the two halves of the machine. Your capsules will remain on the smaller side of the machine.
Turn that half of the machine face down toward your plate/tray and squeeze the levers on the bottom side of it to release your capsules. Pick up each capsule and gently squeeze them together to create a seal between the two halves.
Now place your capsules in a jar and label it. It is wise to put the date the capsules were made, the botanical name(s) of the herb, and the source of the herbal product on the jar. It is easier than you can imagine to find jars of herbal products long after they were made and have no clear recollection of how old they are or where they were sourced from. If you are wondering why I did not label my jar this way … it is because the capsules I have shown in this post are ones that I take daily. Faithfully. And they are not around very long at all.

Voila! You have successfully made herbal capsules!

I knew you could do it! It’s so easy. I told you even a monkey can do it. You had a monkey to help you didn’t you? LOL

You are now an Herbal Capsule Making Wizard. I don’t actually have any credentials which permit me to bestow this title upon you. BUT if you agree that I am able to do so, and I agree that I am able to do so … I am CERTAIN that makes it so. At least in our eyes. And I’m good with that. I assume you are as well, considering that there is no other place you can go to be declared on Herbal Capsule Making Wizard πŸ˜‰

AND …

For those who feel like they want to try their hand at creating capsules containing a blend of herbs, as opposed to a single herb, following you will find a few herbal powder blends for common health issues.

They are taken directly from an article written by Ronald Goedeke. He is a leading expert in anti-aging and alternative medicine.

Each recipe makes 30 servings. Number of capsules per serving depends on capsule size. I would start with one serving three times daily. Adjusting my dosage from there in accordance with my reaction to the herbs.

NOTE: The Sleep and Calming Blend should not be taken throughout the day. Instead, take 1-3 capsules at bedtime. Start with one and work your way up from there, as they may cause you to have trouble ‘getting started’ in the morning. Also know that valerian acts as a stimulant in a small percentage of people. When taking it for the first time, be sure that you do not have an early start (or a busy schedule) the following day. There is the off chance that it will keep you from getting any rest at all!

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY BLEND FOR PAIN AND SWELLING

Turmeric powder (Curcuma longa) – 22.5 g

Ginger powder (Zingiber officinale) – 9 g

Black Pepper – 1 g

Boswellia – 12 g

Devil’s Claw (root) – 6 g

SLEEP AND CALMING BLEND

Kava Kava (Piper methysticum) – 12 g

Passionflower (Passiflora incarnate) – 6 g

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) – 18 g

Hops (Humulus lupulus) – flower – 9 g

IMMUNITY BLEND

Ashwagandha – 12 g

Mushroom (any of the following, or a combination): Reishi, Cordyceps, Maitake, Shitake – 6 g

Olive Leaf – 12 g

Astragalus – 27 g

Citrus Bioflavonoids (dried citrus rind) – 10 g

ANXIETY BLEND

Passionflower – 6 g

Rhodiola Rosea – 6 g

Lemon Balm – 12 g

Ashwagandha – 12 g

St. John’s Wort – 12 g

ENERGY BLEND

Ashwagandha – 12 g

Siberian Ginseng – 12 g

Panax Ginseng – 12 g

Green Tea – 12 g

Gotu Kola – 6 g

When making capsules don’t get too crazy about stockpiling them. Powdered herbs will lose their potency more rapidly than other forms of dried plant material, as in this form maximum surface area of the herb is exposed to air. I generally make enough for 2 or 3 months at a time.

You may find that after a few months these potent little allies have done their job so well you no longer need their assistance. Having too many capsules left over is wasteful and defeats the frugality of making your own capsules in the first place πŸ˜‰

Don’t forget to let me know if this post was helpful to you or not in the comments! Or share any thoughts, concerns, or wisdom you may have concerning herbal capsules and producing them at home. I am excited to hear your input as always.

And … connect with me on facebook and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❀

DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed health professional. You are solely responsible for researching herbs to determine how you choose to use them. If you decide to make them a part of your health care plan, I take no responsibility for that decision.

3 DAYS WITH RED JASPER

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When I headed out to the local crystal store to pick up a stone to spend some time with, I fully intended to buy a piece of rose quartz. And I did. But sitting close by that stone was a pretty little red jasper heart. And I knew I had to have it. That kind of inner-knowing you get that can’t be ignored.

So I picked it up and told myself that I would work with that stone after I ran my little ‘3 days experiment’ with the rose quartz.

But when I got in the car and started to drive back home it was the jasper that I couldn’t put down. So I held on to her. I rubbed her between my fingers. Shifted her around in my hands. And held her close to my heart.

This is what she brought to mind …

DAY 1

While in my right hand I felt completely energized. That clean, vibrant energy we all long for. Like I could take on the whole world and win. Like a hands down win. No battling. Just victory from the onset.

I began to visualize plans for the future. The immediate future, but that isn’t so unusual for me. And the distant future, definitely not par for the course for me.

I was gazing at her cracks. The imperfections that drew me to her. And the way they divided her into three parts caught my attention. My mind was drawn to the two people in this world who mean the very most to me.

One is an active part of my life. The other is seemingly removed from my future. But there we were. All three of us in this gorgeous stone. This healing stone that was making me feel so vibrantly alive.

I felt prompted to turn her over and see the imperfections from another perspective. Much to my surprise the person I would have declared as the most stable in this trilogy was more scarred than the others. A revelation for me, for sure.

Does finding this 3 part representation of us mean that our relationship will somehow find new ground? Perhaps a place where we begin to plan for a future together? I don’t intend to speculate on the subject. The Universe so often has plans for me which I am unable to predict. Perhaps it will. Perhaps not. The only thing I know for sure is that I will be delighted by the outcome. That’s a given, as the cosmos always knows and produces exactly the right thing for me.

Another insight which came to me as I held her in my right hand was how content I am feeling in the wisdom my life journey has imparted to me thus far. And how it is time to begin to pour that out for others to access. I knew this. But I was feeling a profound confirmation of it. The time to teach on a deeper level has come. And it is quite welcome ❀

When I shifted her to my left hand my state instantly changed from an intense energy to a serene, stable sense of security. I experienced that moment one has when they fully grasp that the things they have been working on manifesting have been completed in the quantum realm. The work is done. And the only part left for them to play in the creation process is letting go of their expectations, and allowing the Universe to bring their desires into the physical realm.

I took note of the fact that it was the last full moon of the decade. And I knew she was telling me that turmoil and struggle I experienced through much of the past decade, will sit behind me in the decade to come. I have reached a place of strength, abundance, and prosperity. I cannot wait to see it all play out. It’s an exciting time for me, for sure!

DAY 2

I decided that today I would take my jasper friend to work with me. I thought it would be interesting to see what she had to say to me in that environment.

She put a $50 bonus in my pocket right after I arrived there. WooHoo! A great way to start the night. And she opened up an extra shift on a week when I was looking to pick one up. Along with the possibility of a few other shifts I may be interested in this month. And those are good things.

Day 3

I forgot to put my lovely red jasper in my pocket on day 3. So I grabbed her the next day and put her in my pocket before I left the house for work.

I didn’t feel the same connection with her today. Odd.

However, yesterday when I didn’t have her with me I went out and bought myself a cup of coffee. Coffee and I don’t do well together. It makes me physically ill. And I’ve been struggling with giving it up completely for a few years. It seems, I always go back to it. I hadn’t had a cup in a month and a half so indulging was not a great idea. But indulge I did.

Today I really wanted another cup (of course). But I decided it would be easy enough to forgo that because I didn’t have time to stop for one. I did, however, expect to struggle with the desire to feed the nasty caffeine addiction monster!

But after I put my little piece of jasper in my pocket the struggle simply dissipated. Yay! I also noticed that even though I didn’t bring a very satisfying lunch today I am not snacking on things that are not good for me. That is not the norm for me. I have to take something that is healthy and satiating or I eat crap. Thanks red jasper! That’s kind of a big deal ❀

POSTSCRIPT:

As a person who has worked with alternative healing and spiritual modalities for decades, I recognize that some of the emotions, thoughts, and events which occurred while I carried my lovely piece of red jasper with me may not be related to her presence.

And still, I don’t discredit the sixth sense I have cultivated about these sorts of things either. And I put forth information which I really do attribute to the energetic frequency that this stone brought to my days.

My intent in approaching this post in this manner, as opposed to the usual style in which healing crystal properties are written, was to offer something a bit different. More personal. Less general.

I hope this space inspires others to share their experience with healing stones. I think it would be beneficial for everyone to have more information about stones presented in this way available to them.

If you have experiences with healing stones, particularly red jasper, that you would be willing to share, please put them in the comments. I am very excited to hear them ❀ πŸ˜‰ ❀

And … connect with me on facebook and pinterest if you would like to stay abreast of any other happenings going on here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❀

DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed health professional. You are solely responsible for researching crystals to determine how you choose to use them. If you decide to make them a part of your health care plan, I take no responsibility for the results of that decision.

RILEY’S BIRTHDAY SURPRISE

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Never, in a million years, did I think I would be that person who bakes a cake for their dog on their birthday. But here I am, being that person indeed.

AND this guy right here is the one who transformed me into that person ❀

I adored making this tasty treat for my little bulldogge king! And he went completely mad for it, for sure. So much so that it’s likely to become a birthday tradition here in our home!

It was incredibly easy to make. I’ll walk you through it step-by-step.

You’ve simply go to make one for your favorite canine. It will be a huge hit! I promise!

You’ll need two small cake pans. I used disposable aluminum pans to make mine. It’s the first time I’m making this recipe and I wanted to see if I liked it before I invested in pans. I do. I’ll be buying pans SOON!

The disposable ones I used measured 3″ x 6″. And they were perfect. I’m sure you could also use a 4″ square or 4″ round pan. Which is likely easier to find if your investing in the real deal πŸ˜‰

Preheat your oven to 350Β°. And lightly grease your pans.

Combine your dry cake ingredients, rye flour & baking soda, in a medium bowl.

Combine applesauce, egg, honey, sweet potato, banana, and peanut butter together in a small bowl.

Blend together with a fork. Pour wet ingredients in with dry ingredients. And blend to make a ‘dough’.

Divide the mixture between your two cake pans and use your fingers to evenly distribute it through them. Place on a baking sheet (for stability) and bake for 20 minutes.

HINT: While your cake is baking you can make your frosting and fry your bacon πŸ˜‰

Remove from oven and allow to sit for 15 minutes before you take the cake out of the pans.

Let them cool completely before you frost them. I left mine sit out on a plate for another 30 – 40 minutes. It did the trick.

To make the frosting for your cake, simply blend mashed potatoes and peanut butter together.

Then frost the top of both cakes. Stack one on top of the other. And frost the sides.

If you like you can top your cake with bacon bits. I fried up two pieces of bacon and chopped it for mine. It was just the right amount. Adding a tablespoon of shredded sweet potato would have been a great touch, as well. But this doggie mom screwed up and cooked all of the sweet potato in the house in preparation for this recipe. So Riley missed out on that 😦 Although, he didn’t seem to feel as though anything were missing at all. He LOVED this cake!

Three candles were for sure in order here. My big ‘ol bulldogge baby is that old already. Three years! It’s hard to believe!

FINALLY, you get to the only part your pup really gives a d*** about. The slice and serve portion of the event. This cake sliced beautifully. It has a great consistency.

It’s a pretty indulgent canine snack. So Riley didn’t eat more than a few slices on his big day. The rest was sliced and stored in the fridge. It’s holding it’s shape nicely in there. And works well as a replacement for his treats this week. Perfect!


Don’t forget to share your thoughts on this post in the comments, please! Especially if you made this cake. I’d love to hear about your experience πŸ˜‰

And … connect with me on facebook if you would like to stay abreast of any other happenings going on here at Bohemian Apothecarist. We will both be glad you did ❀

RILEY’S BIRTHDAY CAKE


CAKE INGREDIENTS:

1 c. Rye Flour

1 tsp. Baking Soda

1/4 c. Applesauce, unsweetened

1 Egg

1/4 c. Honey

1/4 c. Sweet Potato, cooked & mashed

1/4 c. Banana, mashed

1/4 c. Peanut Butter

ICING INGREDIENTS:

1/2 c. Potatoes, cooked & mashed

2 Bacon Strips, cooked & crumbled (optional)

1/4 c. Peanut Butter

1 tbsp. Sweet Potato, shredded (optional)


Preheat oven to 350Β°

Lightly grease two 4″ cake pans

In a medium bowl combine dry cake ingredients (rye flour & baking soda)

In a small bowl whisk all wet cake ingredients together (applesauce, egg, honey, sweet potato, banana, & peanut butter)

Pour wet mixture in with dry mixture and fold together

Divide batter between two cake pans and use your fingers to evenly distribute the mixture

Place two pans on a cookie sheet for stability and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean

Remove from oven and allow to sit in the pans for 10-15 minutes

Gently remove cakes from pans and allow to cool completely

Blend mashed potato and peanut butter together to create an icing and ice the top of both cakes

Place one on top of the other forming a two-layer cake

If desired, top with crumbled cooked bacon pieces and/or raw shredded sweet potato

WHO ARE YOU GOING TO BE TODAY?

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Each day presents us with an opportunity to improve upon who we were the day before. Perhaps the version of you that walked this earth yesterday was a little less warm, vibrant, and energetic than you would have liked them to be. Or it could be that they were even warmer, more vibrant, and abounding with energy than they have ever been to date. And, of course, there are all of the measures and variances in between those two extremes.

USE EVERY DAY AS A CATAPULT TO AN IMPROVED YOU

However, no matter where you fell yesterday on the scale you use to measure your ideal self, there is ALWAYS room for improvement today. And it just makes good sense to take advantage of that gift to its fullest extent.

So …

When you wake up each morning, be certain to view it as an opportunity to ‘set the stage’ for who you plan to be today.

Perhaps you want to be more compassionate. Or maybe you want to expand your knowledge in some area. Or learn a new hands on skill. You may want to have more patience, better social skills, or a stronger propensity to kindness.

CREATE A LIST OF AFFIRMATIONS

Whatever it is that your seeking to improve, take a few minutes and jot it down.

Then turn those notes into a list of present tense affirmations. Meaning … ‘I want to have more patience’ becomes ‘I am a very patient person’.

Go over this list each morning. First thing, if you can. Before any negativity finds its way into your day. Repeat it a few times. Out loud if you can. And then do your best to wrap your mind around the idea that the affirmation you are repeating is already manifest.

If doubts creep into your thoughts as you first start this practice, don’t stress. The ability to FULLY believe will come in time. And it will come faster if you aren’t stressing!

Once you have come to a place where you are able to recite your affirmations with full confidence that they are already complete in the quantum realm, it is time to add the element of emotion to the mix. Begin allowing yourself to feel the emotions you expect to experience when your affirmations leave the quantum realm and become a physical manifestation. And then hold those feelings for as long as you are able. Shoot for 15-20 minutes. But don’t be discouraged if your starting point is much lower than that.

Again … this may take a bit of time. But it will come. It really will.

LAW OF ATTRACTION, SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY, & ACTION ARE YOUR BEST FRIENDS

Faithfully engaging in this morning routine works for many reasons.

The law of attraction is one of those reasons. This law states that energy attracts energy which is on the same frequency as itself. So, the act of experiencing the emotions which will come with the obtainment of your goals causes them to materialize.

A second reason this practice works is that the mind believes everything you tell it. Absolutely EVERYTHING. It relies solely on information that is programmed into it. It makes up nothing on its own. Therefore, you’re able to become the curator of its content. Actively create its files. Rather than letting the world around you choose what goes into its archives.

If you tell it ‘I am successful’ than it will do everything it can to urge you to take steps to make that a reality. If you tell it you are a loser, than it gets right to work on making that fact come true.

It doesn’t differentiate one from the other. It would be nice if it could differentiate for you and always work in your best interest. But the cold, hard truth is, it doesn’t really give a damn what is best for you. It simply does as it is told. Every time. Without fail.

You may have heard this phenomena termed as self-fulfilling prophecy.

The law of attraction and self-fulfilling prophecy are two different perspectives surrounding the same principle. It makes no difference which one you choose as an avenue for change. Either one will get you there.

Both hold the tenet that you keep your thoughts and emotions firmly planted in the realm of your highest good. And by doing exactly that, your reality will begin to restructure itself. It will literally start to create a world that reflects your deepest desires.

And yet…

Action is not to be underestimated.

You will find many claims out there that if you line up your thoughts and emotions with your desires they will come to you with no effort on your part.

Perhaps this is true. I’ve had experiences where it seemed as though it happened this way.

But, BE ASSURED, that taking actions which support your desires will drastically alter the timeliness of their arrival. Use the momentum of action in tandem with the law of attraction and self-fulfilling prophecy and you are sure to see victory significantly sooner than if you remain motionless πŸ˜‰

POSITIVE CHANGES ARE WITHIN YOUR REACH

If these principles are new to you they may feel a little ‘out of reach’.

There is no doubt that they require a bit of skill. But don’t despair. Because all it really takes to start to see some change occurring in your life is a little dedication on your part. Even the tiniest bit of commitment can kick-start an influx of positive changes. AND morning affirmations are just about the simplest way to start.


Do you practice the principles of law of attraction? Or self-fulfilling prophecy?

If so, please share your experiences in the comments. I’d love to hear them. And I know that those who haven’t yet known the power of these principles would as well ❀️

And … connect with me on facebook if you would like to stay abreast of any other happenings going on here at Bohemian Apothecarist. We will both be glad you did ❀

RECONCILING MY RELATIONSHIP WITH NEW YEARS

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New Years and I have been in a bad relationship for as long as I can remember. I have never considered her a friend.

As a young woman I recall that just about everyone I knew would be looking forward to their new years holiday plans with anticipation. I was never very excited about mine. I tried to feel good about them. I really did. But I just couldn’t muster up even one little ‘give a damn’.

I’m sure this was directly related to the fact that each time I did try to go out and join in the festivities, I found myself even more disappointed than the last.

Other holidays weren’t like this for me. I rather enjoyed them. Even with the fact that as a single mom I had to work through much of them, I made it a point to make the very best of the time I could squeeze in to celebrate.

But new years … UGH! She was always a disappointment. Or worse. Usually worse ☹️

Eventually, I turned my back on her completely. I haven’t acknowledged her presence in many, many years. I just sort of let her come and go without so much as a turn of my head.

However …

This year I am going to try to make amends with this difficult creature who spends but one day (two if you count new years eve) a year with us.

I’m not going to try to make up for lost time. That would be senseless. And at this point it feels as though jumping right into traditional celebrations would be a disaster. It’s just asking for more of a mindset alteration than I am willing to entertain!

So …

I’m going to plan a simple day. A day of quiet contemplation. Done with a positive attitude. And carried out in very warm fuzzy pajamas.

It is guaranteed to be cold as hell here in northern Maine. So there will be a toasty fire burning in the woodstove. Creating the perfect atmosphere for me to just sink into a day filled with self-indulgence.

There will be a mini-brunch spread in the early afternoon. It can be grazing material for the entire day. Freeing me from the kitchen, so I can focus on something more relaxing. Perhaps, a sewing project. Or finishing up the granny square lap blanket I’ve been working on. Or maybe I will immerse myself in the pages of a good book, leaving my world behind to become part of another’s.

In the evening, there will be candles lit throughout my home. They will burn brightly, ushering in good vibes for the upcoming year. The intention placed behind their lighting will be to perpetuate the atmosphere of peace and serenity which has been actively cultivated there throughout the day.

There will be card games, or movies, or both. There will be plenty of play time and sweet, warm snuggles with the king of the house (my bulldogge). And there will be laughter. Lots and lots of laughter.

When the day is complete, and I lay my head down to rest, I will know that the journey to reconciliation with this holiday I have been at odds with for so very long has indeed begun ❀️

How will you be spending your holiday this year? Do you have fond memories of past new years celebrations? Or have you too had a rocky relationship with this special day?

I’d love to hear about your experiences! So meet me in the comments below and fill me in πŸ˜‰

And … connect with me on facebook if you would like to stay abreast of any other happenings going on here at Bohemian Apothecarist. We will both be glad you did ❀