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 😉

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 😉

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 😉

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, 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 😉

And … connect with me on facebook, 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 😉

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 😉

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 😉

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 😉

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 😉

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 ❤ 😉 ❤

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 😉 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 😉

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 😉

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’ 😉

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 😉

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 😉

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 😉

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 😉

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 😉

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 ❤ 😉 ❤

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 😉

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 375°

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 😉

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 😉

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 ❤

SWEET POTATO AND APPLESAUCE TREATS FOR YOUR CANINE FAMILY MEMBERS

Like many people I have a canine family member who is spoiled as can be. AND I wouldn’t have it any other way.

My canine is an Olde English Bulldogge. A breed known for their sensitive stomachs. And also often having skin-issues which are related to food.

Don’t mind the dirt on the schnazz and the collar. We were enjoying the lake the day this picture was taken 😉

When I lived on the west coast it was easy to pick up treats for this little guy that were made with quality ingredients. And perhaps it has become easier here on the east coast in recent years as well. But I wouldn’t know about that because when I moved back to this side of the country I chose a remote location and most things are not readily available here.

So …

I’ve begun making his treats myself. That way I know exactly what’s in them. And I can keep my favorite guys diet as healthy as possible.

I recently whipped up a batch of these tasty little morsels for him and thought I would share the recipe with all of you.

This recipe is simple and quick. It has just 4 ingredients. And your dog is going to be pretty thrilled with you for making it. That’s a big *SCORE*.

If you can get together 1 c. of cooked, mashed sweet potato, 1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce (skip the cinnamon or other flavored variety), 2 eggs, and 1 1/2 c. coconut flour then you are ready to wow your furry friend with your mad culinary skills 😉

Peel and boil your sweet potato ahead of time. I did mine the night before and tossed it in the fridge. In the morning I mashed it with a fork. This leaves it just a bit chunky, which is perfect for the aesthetic of the final product.

Once your taters are done gather all of your other ingredients …

Then toss it all in a bowl and mix it up with a fork. You want it to be blended pretty well …

Use a teaspoon to portion out the dough. A heaping teaspoon is perfect. Then squeeze the portions into little balls. Form isn’t important here. You just want to make the dough stick together. Then flatten the balls into flat disks. This helps them cook more evenly.

Spread them out on a cookie sheet. You don’t need a lot of space between them. They do not rise in the oven.

As you can see I used my pizza stone. It’s one of my kitchen go-to’s. But really any cookie sheet will do.

Pop your cookie sheet in a preheated oven (300°) and bake for 6-8 minutes.

After you take the pan out of the oven let it sit for just a few minutes. Then remove the treats from the pan so they don’t continue to bake. If you have a cooling rack that’s great. I don’t, so I just tossed them on a plate.

Once they’ve cooled down you’re going to want to put them in a sealed container and refrigerate them. They don’t have as much flour in them as the typical dog treat, so they will not get hard. As a matter of fact, they will get a little softer as time goes on.

Riley loves the soft, chewy texture of these treats. And who can blame him?!?! Soft and chewy is good, right? That’s why we often shoot for it in our own cookie recipes 😉

The texture is not the only reason I’ve made these bad boys with less flour though. Flour is not a dog’s best friend. There are many alternative flours out there that they do better with. Coconut flour is one of them. But the less flour of any sort in a canine’s treats the better. So I keep Riley’s diet as free of it as possible.

These treats last in the fridge for about a week. And that’s just about how long it takes my furry little comrade in arms to polish off a batch. Perfect!

If you decide you want to whip up a batch of these scrumptious little morsels for your canine comrade let me know how it goes. I’d really like to know.

And I’d be especially thrilled if you shared a picture of your best buddy enjoying them. It would warm my heart to know that my little recipe made your best friend happy!

SWEET POTATO & APPLESAUCE DOG TREATS


  • 1 1/2 c. Sweet Potato (cooked & mashed)
  • 1 c. Coconut Flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 c. Unsweetened Applesauce

Preheat oven to 300°.

Peel, cube, and boil sweet potato until tender.

Allow to cool. Mash with a fork.

In a mixing bowl hand blend all 4 ingredients.

Portion by heaping teaspoon fulls. Squeeze together to form a ‘ball’. Flatten into disks.

Place on a cookie sheet. Leaving space is not necessary.

Bake for 6-8 minutes. Until firm when poked with a finger.

Remove from oven. Let rest for no more than 2-3 minutes.

Remove from pan and place on a cooling rack to prevent from continuing to bake.

Allow to cool completely.

Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to one week.


Don’t forget to comment on the blog and let us all know how this recipe worked out for you and your favorite canine 😉

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 😉

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 😉

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 😉

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 😉

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 ❤