Saturday, September 28, 2013

Beauty Tips Busted

There is so much info floating around the internet about which beauty products are safe and which contain harmful chemicals. It's really hard to know what's true. This is a blog post that tries to set some records straight and bust some beauty myths. (I was especially glad to hear that hair dye is safe!)

Here at Gathered From The Garden we try to use many natural ingredients. As a certified Aromatherapist I try to incorporate essential oils whenever I can. Some of the herbs and flowers we use are organically grown in my garden.

As always, it's good to read ingredient labels and follow product directions.

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Fall Bucket List

Autumn Sunset

Here is my Fall Bucket list of all the things I want to make sure I do this season. You know, before we wake up and it's December!

1. Go apple picking at Stillwater Orchard

2. Find the perfect pair of new Fall boots: caramel colored

3. Make caramel apples

4. Organize all my sweaters

5. Try to make pumpkin butter

6. Sit by a campfire and make s'mores 

7. Watch Viking football (in spite of their horrible start to the season)

8. Decorate our front step with mums and pumpkins

9. Make it to an Octoberfest--if not here in MN I hear there is a fun one in Lacrosse, WI

10. Make a trip up north hopefully to Duluth to see the fall colors

11. Make a Fall trip to the wineries in Delano or Melrose, MN 

12. Celebrate our 40th anniversary! (October 20)

13. Check out a local pumpkin patch with our little grandson Jack when we go to visit him in Oct.

14. Eat butternut soup.

15. Take a walk in the woods along the lake trail at St. John's

16. Carve a pumpkin

17. Practice my photography skills doing some fall mini-sessions

18. Take the grands on an overnight adventure on their Fall break

19. Rake up a huge pile of leaves to jump into

20. Make a big pan of apple crisp

What's on your Fall Bucket list?

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Are You Prepared?

September is National Preparedness Month. After seeing the flood disaster in Colorado and Mexico this week, it really made me think about whether or not our family is prepared for a disaster.

I found this list of things you should have handy in case of an emergency. How many do you have ready?

Basic Disaster Supplies Kit

A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
  • One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food

You might also want to include these:

  • Prescription medication and glasses
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Cash or traveler's checks and change
  • Important family documents in a waterproof, portable container.
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person.
  • Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes.
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted, nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Paper and pencil

  • These lists were taken from the FEMA website.
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    Monday, September 16, 2013

    18 Everyday Products You've Been Using the Wrong Way

    I really had to chuckle when I saw this post on Buzzfeed DIY! Especially the right way to get a tic tac out. (Yes, I usually end up with more than I want.) So take a look and see if you are using any of these products the wrong way. I guarantee you'll get a chuckle out of this post too!

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    Saturday, September 14, 2013

    Have a Favorite?

    I've been shooting a lot with my macro this summer and thought I'd share a few of my favorites! A very real dream of mine is to see these beauties hanging on bland walls...So, in the spirit of having them showcased, I'll ask each of you to tell me (by leaving a comment below) which image is your favorite and why you love it. In just a few days, I'll pick one random person to have their very own set of fine art print all occasion cards made with my photos!

    Ant on a Flower

    Blue Bachelor Button

     Brown Eyed Susan

     Purple Flowers

     White Flowers


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    Thursday, September 12, 2013

    Getting ready to blow out the candle. 

    My dad just celebrated his 87th birthday. Pretty cool, huh? It's especially cool since he has gone through open heart surgery, had a heart valve replaced with a pig valve, wears a pacemaker and has many stents in his arteries. In his family of 12 siblings every one of them has had heart issues. You can bet that I'm always on the look-out for ways to keep my heart healthy.

    I was happy to see that To Your Health has 5 ways to avoid a heart attack or stroke in their latest issue. Here are some ways to keep your heart healthy:

    1. Exercise. I heard somewhere that you should sweat every day. Running sure makes me do this, especially these last hot and humid days. Even if you only are moving for 30 minutes it will help you maintain your weight and keep your heart healthy. It's a great habit to cultivate. I make it a priority!

    2. Watch your diet. It really is easy to cut out fats and sugar. Not always fun, but it can be done. Adding in lots of fruits and veggies, cutting back on red meat, limiting alcohol and sodium. You can find a ton of delicious recipes on the internet. Everyday you should be eating foods of many different colors.

    3. Quit smoking. 'Nuff said.

    4. Control your blood pressure. This is so important to keep your heart healthy. Many times exercise and diet can help with this.

    5. Have your cholesterol checked. Like high blood pressure, cholesterol can lead to a number of problems. Make sure to stay under the overall 200 mark and check with your doctor about your options if it goes past that number. There are some ways to lower this without medications.

    I'm hoping if I work on these 5 that I will live to be at least 87 but without all of the surgeries and medications my dad has to take. (He is working on the above things too but for him it's trying to maintain whatever heart health he has.) Heredity plays a part in all of this too but I'm hoping it's just a small part.

    How healthy do you think your heart is?

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    Tuesday, September 10, 2013

    A Tip For Tuesday

    You know how you come across tips on the internet that are supposed to make your life easier or simpler or just better? Well, I came across one that sounded so good I just had to try it. The tip was to spray your nails right after painting with cooking oil spray to make them dry faster. So my granddaughters and I gave it a shot.

    Yeah, we didn't like it so much. While our nails did dry right away, our fingers were very oily. It wasn't a problem to wash the oil off but they weren't too thrilled with it. I think they decided they'd rather blow on their nails to dry them.

    Oh well, you don't know until you try--right? ☺

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    Sunday, September 8, 2013

    Passing Down Family Recipes

    A lesson from Great-grandma

    My family has an old, old recipe passed down from my grandmother and possibly her mother too. We call them Butterhorns. My mother always bakes these for holidays and other special family occasions. I have tried making them but they are never quite as good as hers. My sister Nancy who lives in GA can make them almost as good as mom's.

    A few months ago my little granddaughters asked if Great Grandma would teach them how to make Butterhorns. So she bought the ingredients and invited them over for an afternoon of baking. They had a super fun time AND got to eat them fresh out of the oven.

    I'm hoping to perfect them some day and to make them with my granddaughters too.  It would be a shame to not continue the tradition. (I don't have a picture of the finished product because they never last long enough to photograph them!)
    Butterhorns--an old German family recipe
    1 cup milk                    1/3 cup sugar                
    zest from one lemon    1 cup butter (+ a little more)     
    1 pkg. yeast                  1/2 teas. salt
    3 eggs beaten               5 cups flour                  
    optional chopped nuts
    Scald the milk and butter. Let cool. Dissolve the yeast in a little warm water with some of the sugar. Add to the milk and butter mixture. Add the other ingredients. Mix well. Let rise until the dough is double in size. Roll out. Spread with more butter, sprinkle on some brown sugar, cinnamon and chopped nuts if desired. (I have no measurements for this part. My mother and grandmother always knew by looking how much to put on the dough.) Let rise again. Bake at 350 degrees until light brown.
    We frost them with a simple powdered sugar frosting when they are cool but they are also delicious unfrosted too!
    Do you have any old family recipes?

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    Monday, September 2, 2013

    Flip Flop Wisdom

    As a grandmother I sometimes have to bite my tongue. They are not my children to raise even if I think I have better ideas. So when I see my granddaughters spending the summer in flip flops and now going back to school in them, I have to stay quiet.

    It's not that I don't think flip flops are cute or like the idea you can get them to coordinate with any outfit. It's just that they are so bad for your feet. I think especially little feet. In our local paper yesterday was a feature article about how hard they are on your feet. They just aren't supportive, they can lead to hammertoes (because of how your toes grip the sandals) and heel callouses can form from repeated slapping of the flip flops.  Most people walk differently in them in order to keep them on. know how much it hurts to stub your unprotected toe!

     Children have new bone growing in their feet. Flip flops do not cushion their heels so repetitive stress from walking in them can inflame the heel bone growth area and cause pain and tenderness. As a former teacher I used to see kids running in them on the playground and riding bikes--just an accident waiting to happen.

    So what can you do (or my grandchildren do) to prevent problems?
    * Replace old worn out flip flops.
    *Leather flip flops are less likely to cause irritation.
    *Wear the right size. Your toes and heel should not hang off the edges.
    *Give them a break--wear them less. Use them for beach wear, at the pool or around the house.

    Maybe if my daughter reads my blog she'll get the hint. Or maybe grandma has to take the girls shopping and help them pick out some different shoes as a treat. Hmmm...
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