Tap, Tap, Tapping….

Our inaugural tree tapping happened this long weekend!

The days have been warm and the nights cool, so hey…tapping is going on early this year. 🙂  Local sugar shacks are already making maple syrup, so why shouldn’t we??

We came across a killer clearance sale at Lowes last year on their maple tree tapping kits so we jumped on it and now we have 9 buckets going, each holding 3 gallons.  It takes 10 gallons of sap to make 1 quart of syrup.  Its more the process and the experience that we are in search of, full well knowing that we aren’t going to line the shelves with maple syrup for the entire year.  The kids were really excited to help, they were out there, freezing their little buns off, in the 20 MPH winds helping hang the buckets and braving the woods.  I have to admit that I am a bit of a bug freak, particularly ticks so we don’t necessarily go gallivanting through the woods.  Although, truth be told I really wish we could gallivanting…  I’m getting there, slowly. 😉

Drip…Drip…Dripping our way to Maple Ice Cream!

Bubba helping Dad…

Haven’t figured out why these buckets are bright blue?!

Big Ol’ Sugar Maple!

We have 2 gorgeous old rock walls that line one side of the property…I think it may have been a road at one time.  This is one of the main reasons that we bought the house…we just loved the history of the land. ❤

I try to imagine all of the different kids through the years that must have played on these rocks…

Ahhhh….I can’t imagine looking out and not seeing trees!  We’ve done our time in the city and wouldn’t trade the scenery we have now…it’s mother nature at her best!

We’ll see if our cup runneth over with sap.. 😉

Be mine….Oh, wait you already are.

Happy Valentines Day!  

Ahhh, Yes, Valentine’s Day!  This day in my life has had many meanings as the years have ticked away.  When I was little, it was another excuse to get candy.  When I was in grade school it was an excuse to find out who liked you.  Once in grade school, maybe 3rd or 4th grade, a boy from my school dropped off a dozen red roses to me at my house!  Crazy, I thought, but  hey, that’s how I rolled with the grade school boys! 😉   As a teenager Valentine’s day was a reason to ogle the boys and try to figure out what that girl had that I didn’t.  As a twenty something, it was known as Black *insert day of the week here*, mainly because we ladies never seemed to have steady beaus around that time.  I do believe that there is too much pressure on Valentine’s day for the daters of the world, but that is a different post all together.  Now, it’s for my little ones, a chance for them to get chocolate, heart-shaped breakfast and learn that giving and showing love is not just a February 14th occasion, but an everyday occasion.

I love my kids, sometimes they would say too much.  But when I hug and kiss them, I make sure to give them a special little squeeze because I know that there are so many little ones that don’t get nearly the amount of love that my little ones get.

So forget the cards, and candy (well chocolate is always a good thing) and instead give a little extra squeeze to the ones you love and tell them why you love them, they’ll appreciate it more than that piece of paper in the long run. ❤

DIY Deodorant…..

This all came about 6 months ago when we began making soaps, scrubs, laundry soaps etc.  My hubby started in on me about my antiperspirant/deodorant and the aluminum that it contained.  I said that I was cool with going “crunchy” on quite a few things in my life but I was NOT going to give up deodorant and was NOT going to stink. 😉  I could tell he was concerned for my wellbeing so I said what all good wives say, if I do it, then YOU do it!

He agreed!

So my hunt for a homemade deodorant began.  I wasn’t looking for anything complicated because honestly, I didn’t think we’d make it more than once.  After all, there is a reason that there are so many commercial products on the market and the only experience that I had with a natural deodorant was with Tom’s of Maine and it felt like I slathered sticky honey under my arms when I used it. Ummm… no thanks!

So, I found a simple recipe and gave it a shot once my aluminum filled  tube was empty.  I have to admit that I panicked a bit because the very first time we used it was on an evening that the hubs and I had to work together, see in our other lives we are caterers which means fast paced, stressful, hot environments.  This particular night, we were producing a menu that in all rights should have had back up help, but we are crazy like that, so it was just us.   Any who, moral of the story is that the deodorant performed amazingly, so much so that the sniff test was in order…and passed!  Nothing, notta, zip, zilch in the smell category!

SOLD!!

 Ever since I have been making our deodorant.  It takes about 10 minutes and uses ingredients that I have lying around already.

This is a large batch because it is a recipe that I know works for us…you might want to start with a half batch to perfect your own recipe.

Recipe:

Makes 2+ small jars worth

1/2 cup arrowroot

1/2 cup Baking soda (get a trusted name like Bob’s Red Mill or Frontier)

Approximately 8-10 tablespoons of Coconut oil

Tea Tree oil (antibacterial properties)

Rosemary oil

Directions:  Put Arrowroot and baking soda in a bowl.  Add in the coconut oil and mix very well using a spatula to smoosh all of the ingredients together into a paste that will be similar to a loose cookie dough.  Add 6-8 drops of tea tree and 6 drops of rosemary oil.  If it is too loose, add more arrowroot. Too crumbly? Add more coconut oil.

** You can also do this in the food processor!! Way faster.  Just don’t pulse it for too long, you’ll have coconut oil soup. 😉

That’s it!  Put it into wide mouth jars and keep covered.

To apply, take out a dime sized (or smaller) amount.  Let it sit in your palm for a few seconds and it will begin to melt as coconut oil melts at 75 degrees.  Apply with your finger tips.   We did try using deodorant sticks, but actually prefer the jar method.  It’s less messy.

Tips:  Sometimes it burns a bit right after you shave, so wait 10-15 minutes until you apply right after shaving.

Use whatever you’d like for an oil to fragrance.

You can use cornstarch instead of arrowroot.

If it irritates, you can use more arrowroot and less baking soda.