My May Young Living Essential Rewards Order

Every Friday you can look forward to posts on recipes with essential oils, diffusing combinations, and information on individual oils.  I’m going to start with the oils in the Premium Starter Kit because that is the way that most people start their essential oils journey, and I want to give you the tools you need to know what to do with the oils you purchase.  Haven’t purchased your starter kit yet? I’d love to be the person who helps you learn all about essential oils and their great applications, just click here to get started.

Want to see what I ordered in my May Young Living Essential Rewards (ER) order? Keep reading below for the list (and the freebies!). Read More »

Dollar DIY Birthday Party Favors – Minnie Mouse and Knights

April is always a eventful month for our family with Easter, our son’s birthday, and our daughter’s birthday.  This year we combined their birthday parties, but we still let each child choose their theme.  While I did scale back on the amount of decorations I had this year, I still had theme-related party favors for our guests.  Since I purchased party favors for each child’s birthday party theme, I wanted to make sure I kept the cost low.  In the past, I’ve ordered from Oriental Trading, but the party was a little last-minute this year, so I had to find the items in my budget from our local stores.  We do have a few Dollar Tree stores in the area, so there’s always that option, but we ultimately found the favors we chose at Target.Read More »

Frugal Living: How to Feed Your Family With Just One Chicken! Recipe #8: Chicken Broccoli Bake

This is post eight in the series that started with the crockpot whole chicken.  Just finding out about this great series? Start here to catch up.

I love chicken, broccoli, and casseroles, so I think I would love any kind of chicken broccoli baked dish.  However, it has been my experience that the few times I’ve tried this combination, I’ve not loved the outcome.  Today I tried this combo again and I actually found some success!  Bonus points that this recipe is quite healthy and easy!

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp of coconut oil, divided
4 cups of broccoli florets (I used a bag of frozen ones, chopped)
1 medium white onion, diced
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
2 cups chicken, cooked and chopped
1 cup chicken broth (make your own here)
1 cup coconut milk
2 eggs
1/2 tsp of nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste

Steps:

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2.) Use one tablespoon of the coconut oil to grease the casserole dish.
3.) Steam the broccoli only until lightly cooked.  I used frozen broccoli florets, so depending on the package, you can steam it right in the bag (just steam for less time than the bag instructions say).  I also chopped up the broccoli into smaller pieces after it was lightly steamed.  Set broccoli aside.
4.) In a pan, add the remaining one tablespoon of coconut oil, onions, salt, and pepper.  Brown the onions.  Once the onions are brown, add the mushrooms and continue to cook until mushrooms are done, stirring occasionally.

add-contents-to-casserole-dish-chicken-broccoli-bake
5.) Add the broccoli,  mushrooms, onions, and chopped chicken to the casserole dish and mix slightly.


6.) In a medium bowl, whisk broth, coconut milk, 2 eggs, and nutmeg with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Pour the mixture into the casserole dish evenly.

remove-from-oven-to-cool-chicken-broccoli-bake
7.) Cook for 40 minutes. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes and then enjoy!

–Brandi

 

 

How to Make Your Own Beef Bone Broth

 

In one of my past blogs on eating healthy and sharing meals, I shared how it was easier to eat healthy when you take turns cooking and share the healthy meals with a friend.  The friend that I share meals with is not the only friend that I have that is aiming to eat healthier.  Although we don’t share meals each week, she has shared recipes and sent samples of new recipes.  In today’s post I am sharing the pictures and recipe for the beef bone broth that she made.  Thanks Christine for sharing!

Start by roasting organic soup bones in oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes.

roasting-beef-bones

While bones roast …
Into a crock pot, add three fourths hot water, large onion (or onion peels and tops of onions that you have been saving in freezer after chopping onions for other recipes), celery (or celery leaves and ends cut off and saved in freezer), cloves from one head of garlic, ground Thyme, 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and sea salt.

After bones have baked for 45 minutes, add cooked bones and any liquid to the crock pot.

Cook on high for one to two hours.  Then cook on low for one to three days.  The longer the broth cooks, the more nutrients and minerals will be extracted from the bones.

cook-on-low-in-crockpot-for-beef-broth

Drain liquid.  Freeze in freezer quart jars.  This recipe made 5 jars.

Save bones and marrow.  When cool put in freezer bag, save for dog treats.

Save strained onions, celery and garlic.  When cool feed to chickens.  No waste!

If you have chicken bones instead of beef bones, refer to Brandi’s post (Homemade chicken broth)

In a future post, I will share Christine’s recipe that she made using this bone broth.  It was the most delicious chili that I have ever eaten!  Oh how I could eat some more of that.  Hint…Hint…

–Penny

Frugal Living: How to Feed Your Family With Just One Chicken! Recipe #7: Chicken Pesto Sandwiches

This is post seven in the series that started with the crockpot whole chicken.  Just finding out about this great series? Start here to catch up.

I am back again with a new recipe to add to your collection of ways to use your crockpot-cooked whole chicken.  This one is a nice, quick cold lunch that can be put together the night before for convenience.

Read More »

January 2017 Free Oils! How Young Living Promotions Work

Every Friday you can look forward to posts on recipes with essential oils, diffusing combinations, and information on individual oils.  I’m going to start with the oils in the Premium Starter Kit because that is the way that most people start their essential oils journey, and I want to give you the tools you need to know what to do with the oils you purchase.  Haven’t purchased your starter kit yet? I’d love to be the person who helps you learn all about essential oils and their great applications, just click here to get started.

january-promos-young-living-blog

This week I’m going to introduce you to Young Living’s monthly promotions.  I often get asked how someone can grow their Young Living essential oil collection without emptying their bank account.  While I feel that these oils are worth every single penny of their price because of the unmatched quality, I also understand the need to stay within a budget.

Read More »

Frugal Living: How to Feed Your Family With Just One Chicken! Recipe #6: Chicken Alfredo Pasta

This is post six in the series that started with the crockpot whole chicken.  Just finding out about this great series? Start here to catch up.

I am back again with a new recipe to add to your collection of ways to use your crockpot-cooked whole chicken.  Actually, I have two “recipes,” if you will, for you today because one is from scratch and one is the -it’s been a crazy day, I need something quick to keep me from going through the fast food drive-through- “recipe”.  Haha.

During the time when I was learning how to improve the meals that I was cooking for my family, moving more towards whole-food from-scratch meals and away from pre-made processed foods, this was one of the recipes I found and used.  It felt like I was cooking pasta from one of those boxed-pasta meals (easy!), but I knew it was better for my family because it included whole food ingredients that were commonly found in my home and it even had some veggies in it! Bonus points! My son loves pasta, so anytime I can feed him pasta with veggies in it, it’s a plus.

My favorite part of this recipe? It’s a one-pot meal, meaning that there’s only one pot to clean when I’m done cooking! Thankfully, this recipe is not very difficult even if you haven’t cooked the whole chicken ahead of time.  The only thing that changes is that you will have to cook the chicken breast thoroughly during the first step of the recipe, instead of just browning it a little like I explain below.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or the cooked breast of your crockpot chicken) *If you’ve already used the breast of the crockpot chicken, simply clean off enough of the rest of the meat from the chicken*
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups of chicken broth (use the chicken broth you made in recipe 2)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 lb your choice of pasta (I like to use rotini for this)
  • 2 cups shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 bag of frozen peas
  • Salt and pepper, as needed

Steps:

1. If you already have your cooked whole chicken, cut the meat into bite-sized pieces, and season with salt and pepper as needed. (If you are starting with raw chicken breasts, cut the chicken into 1 inch pieces.  Season with 1/2 tsp of salt and a few turns of pepper.)

2. Brown the chicken in olive oil over medium heat. (Brown raw chicken over medium high heat until cooked).

brown-chicken-with-garlic3. Once chicken is browned, add minced garlic and sauté for about one minute.

add-all-ingredients-into-the-pot

4. Add chicken broth, cream, and uncooked pasta to pan and stir.

5. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer.

chicken-alfredo-add-peas

6. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until pasta is tender.  Add in frozen peas during the last 8 – 10 minutes.

chicken-alfredo-add-peas-2

7. Remove from heat and stir in shredded cheese.

bowl-of-chicken-alfredo-2

8. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Enjoy!

 

If you are scrolling for the even easier recipe, here’s your “recipe” for chicken alfredo pasta:

Ingredients:

1 box of fettuccini noodles
1 jar of alfredo sauce
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 chicken breast from your crockpot whole-chicken
*peas optional – will need to be defrosted beforehand if frozen*

Steps:

1.) Put noodles boiling in water, according to instructions on box
fettuccini
2.) Cut up chicken into bite-sized pieces, brown slightly in pan with garlic


3.) Add Alfredo sauce from jar to the pan with the chicken, heat sauce.
add-alfredo-sauceto-chicken
4.) Add cooked pasta (and peas, if desired), mix thoroughly.
completed-chicken-alfredo

Remember, our site is all about taking little steps to improve your life.  If you use this second recipe, you’ve at least taken a step of improvement from the boxed pasta dinners.  Want to take a step further? Use the first recipe given.  This is one of the ways I slowly made the transition from processed foods to more whole-food meals.

–Brandi
bowl-of-chicken-alfredo

 

 

 

DIY Make-Up Remover Pads and Lavender Orange Bath Salts

Last week I gave you lots of information on Young Living Lavender essential oil.  While I did include a few ways to use it, and a few recipes, the following two are some of my favorites that include Lavender.  I recently went to a Make & Take where I made lots of various oily products in beautiful containers, including these two recipes.  I’ve been using most of my products almost daily, so it’s time to refill them.  Here are the step-by-step instructions so that you can make these for yourself also (or maybe even for a few Christmas gifts this year!).  Don’t have Young Living essential oils yet?  I can help you get started.  Click here, or email me at ourlittleways@outlook.com

Make-Up Remover Pads
Ingredients for a 6 oz jar:
*2 tablespoons of fractionated coconut oil
*4 drops of Young Living Lavender essential oil
*2 teaspoons of witch hazel
*2 tablespoons of distilled water
*14 cotton rounds

  1. Pour coconut oil, lavender oil, witch hazel, and water into jar.
  2. Tighten lid and shake thoroughly.
  3. Open lid and place 14 cotton rounds in the glass container.
  4. Tighten lid and rotate until solution soaks into all the cotton rounds.
  5. Enjoy removing your makeup (or simply wiping your face down) at the end of a long day.

Lavender is great for your skin as well as such a calming, relaxing smell – perfect for preparing for bedtime.

Lavender-Orange Bath Salts
Ingredients:

*1 1/2 cups of Epsom salts
*1 cup of baking soda
*12 drops of Young Living Lavender essential oil
*12 drops of Young Living Orange essential oil

  1. Add 1/2 cup of Epsom salt and 1/3 cup of Baking soda
  2. Add 4 drops of Lavender and 4 drops of Orange, mix (or close lid and shake)
  3. Add 1/2 cup of Epsom salt and 1/3 cup of Baking soda
  4. Add 4 drops of Lavender and 4 drops of Orange, mix (or close lid and shake)
  5. Add 1/2 cup of Epsom salt and 1/3 cup of Baking soda
  6. Add 4 drops of Lavender and 4 drops of Orange, mix (or close lid and shake)
  7. Enjoy adding anywhere from a few tablespoons to a 1/2 cup of the bath salts mixture to a tub of hot water.  Soak and relax.

Check back here next Friday for information about a new oil with more recipes to follow!

–Brandi

diy-lavender-makeup-remover-pinterest-2          diy-lavender-orange-bath-salts-pinterest

 

What’s in the Garden? Compost

It is autumn here in southern Louisiana.  Our daytime temperatures have been in the seventies and nighttime lows have been in the forties.  Take a walk in my garden and you will soon see that my plants think it is springtime.  My green eggplants and all my pepper plants are still producing.  I had a volunteer tomato plant that came up in the garden a couple of months ago.  It is now 3 feet tall and loaded with tomatoes.  Wouldn’t it be a blessing to eat fresh tomatoes from the garden in December?  I am watching the weather and if we get a forecast for frost I have a plan to try to save the tomato plant.  I will let you know if I succeed.

I didn’t plant much in my fall garden this year.  A fall garden is planted at the end of the summer and at that time it was hot outside and I was busy doing other things so I failed to plan for much of a fall garden.  I did manage to put six cauliflower and 32 kale plants in the raised bed.

With 32 kale plants you are probably thinking we  must eat a lot of kale.  No.  We use a few kale leaves in our salads, as a wrap in place of tortilla when eating fajitas and for a snack as kale chips. Why so much kale?  It is for my workers.  My compost makers.  My chickens.  They LOVE kale and as you will see they have been helping me get my garden ready for the springtime.  Yes, springtime.  I am feeding my garden bed by adding compost and then I will lay a blanket of shredded leaves on top.  After giving my garden this little TLC (tender loving care) I hope it will yield a bountiful harvest next summer.

How did I make my compost?  Besides the daily scraps that I throw to the chickens, we removed some grass, dirt and old mulch from an area in the garden to make room for a new project.  I will share this project in a future post.  Each day I hauled a wheelbarrow full of the grass etc. into the chicken run.  The chickens would scurry to the pile scratching and pecking at the grass, bugs and worms.  Oh happy chickens.

The next day I returned with my wheelbarrow, shovel, and a frame with wire screen attached.  I used the screen to sift through the now loose and mostly grass-free soil.  What was left was my new soil for my garden beds.  After emptying the compost into the garden, I would bring the chickens another load of grass etc.

What if you don’t have chickens or piles of grass and dirt at your home?  You can still work on getting compost for your garden.  Begin by making a compost pile.  Throw all your leftover fruit and veggie scraps (don’t add meat) into the pile.  Also add your egg shells and used coffee grounds. In the summer add grass clippings and in the fall add leaves.  Turn the contents of the pile each week and then spray it with  water.  With time, and some effort, you can make compost too.

Since I have started raising chickens, not only do I get eggs but I no longer have to turn a compost pile. They  turn it for me.  I just grow more kale.

–Penny

Frugal Living: How to Feed Your Family for a Week With Just One Chicken! Recipe #5: Chicken Salad Sandwiches

This is post five in the series that started with the crockpot whole chicken.  Just finding out about this great series? Start here to catch up.

Once again, here’s an easy and quick recipe for the chicken from your crockpot (or the rotisserie chicken if you did the hack).  Not everyone in my family loves chicken salad sandwiches, so the amounts below will make two or three large sandwiches.  I usually feed the kids half of a sandwich, so this would be plenty for one adult and two young children.  Or, of course, you can double (or triple) the recipe to feed your whole family. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of chopped chicken
1 cup of chopped boiled eggs
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
1/2 Tbsp of garlic powder
1/2 Tbsp of onion powder

Steps:

1.) Before you begin chopping the ingredients, start with a pot of water.  Add 5 or 6 eggs to the water and then bring to a boil.  Once the water has begun to boil, turn off the stove (but leave the pot on the burner) and cover the pot.  Let it sit for at least 5 – 10 minutes.  Your eggs should come out perfectly boiled and easy to peel.

2.) Chop up about 1/2 cup of the whole chicken.  I used most of one chicken breast for this particular bowl of chicken salad, but you can always use whatever pieces of meat you have left from the week.

chopped-chicken

3.) Measure out the garlic powder, onion powder, and mayonnaise.  Add all ingredients to a bowl.

4.) To peel my boiled eggs, I take them one at a time and run them under cold water in the sink, crack them, and then peel them.  My family is a little picky as far as boiled egg yolks, so I leave them out (our dog, however, loves them), but you can include them in the recipe if your family likes them.  Once all eggs are peeled, I simply chopped the egg whites up and added them to the bowl.

chicken-salad-ingredients

5.) Mix everything together well.  I then chill the chicken salad for at least 10-15 minutes before serving on whole wheat bread.

chicken-salad

Add carrot and celery sticks on the side, and you have a healthy, easy meal.  This can also sit in the fridge overnight and can be used for lunch the next day.  It’s super easy to pack up and bring to work for a brown bag lunch, which can save you even more money if you normally go out to eat for lunch.

chicken-salad-sandwich-with-carrot-and-celery-sticks

*Some people also like to add relish or various finely chopped vegetables to this chicken salad recipe.  I like to keep it simple, but feel free to experiment to find out what you like.

*Want to mix things up? Add 1 can of tuna, drained, instead of the 1/2 cup of chicken for an easy tuna fish salad.

–Brandi