Egg Salad

Are you hungry and in need of some Fast food???

This is actually my daughters new favorite dish.  She is only 11, but already amazing in the kitchen. I think she is on to something with this one!

feta cheese

Take the greens and toss them with feta, walnuts, cranberries, and dressing of your choice.  Place in a bowl and set aside.  Fry an egg in bacon fat.  Add a little salt and pepper.  Place egg on top of the greens and enjoy!


Body scrub

One thing I wish they would have told me in cosmetology school is to make sure and take care of your body.  It doesn't seem like being in the salon is a particularly taxing job...  but it can be.  On any given Thursday I am standing on my feet for 9 to 12 hours with not so much as a potty or lunch break.  To top that off 90% of the time my arms are up in front of me at shoulder level.

I am pretty good at watching what I eat and I exercise about 5 days a week, but that doesn't stop my shoulders from fusing and my rib heads from popping out because of the repetitive movement.

Lucky me!  I have a wonderful friend named Karry.  She is the body worker that puts me back together once a month. Not only does she give the best massage in town she sends me home with exercises and stretches to help me balance out what I do for a living.

Most of the time I go to her studio, but Saturday she was kind enough to come to my home and do a treatment.  It was so nice to be able to just stay home and be pampered.  I am dealing with some health issues and part of it involves a major liver cleanse.  It leaves me, quite literally, wanting to crawl out of my skin.  Kerry suggested a salt scrub.  Let me tell you... this was the most amazing thing ever.  She mixed up the scrub right there in my house using the essential oils that were a good fit for me.  (She also makes her own lotions and soaps)   My skin feels so amazing.  I have never had skin that was this soft, silky and hydrated.  If you haven't had this done, please do.  Your body will thank you.

If you are in Moab or just passing through check her out at Del Sol Massage .  You will be so happy you did.

For everyone else that can't make the trek to Moab I do have some recipes you can try on your own.

If you have scrapes or acne the salt in the scrub can sting.  It is just fine to replace the sea salt with raw sugar.  You can find both at the health food store.

 Basic Sea Salt Scrub
1/4 cup fine sea salt
1/4 cup olive oil
3 to 5 drops lavender essential oil

Mix ingredients together then use to exfoliate body. Add a bit of water or liquid soap as you scrub.

Favorite Scent Sea Salt Body Scrub
3 cups fine sea salt
3/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup sweet almond oil
your choice of essential oils

Mix ingredients together then store in a sealed glass jar. Use to exfoliate and scrub body after showering.

Peppermint Salt Foot Scrub
1 1/2 cups fine sea salt
1/3 cup olive oil
3 drops peppermint essential oil

Exfoliate your soles and heels with this mixture after a bath or foot soak.

If you are going to try this, it would be a good idea to stand or sit in an empty bath tub or shower.  That way all the mess you make will be washed down the drain.   Follow the scrub with a shower and then rub your skin down with coconut oil.


Crockpot Chicken

I have said it before and I'll say it again...

I love my crockpot!

This little pot has made my life so much easier and my house always smell comforting. 

This crockpot chicken is our new favorite thing.

3 carrots, sliced
1 onion, sliced
2 celery stalks cut in 1/2 inch pieces
Chicken thighs, the large pack
2 T. olive oil
spices,  I used turmeric, sage, chili powder, and basil.  feel free to use what ever spices you like on poultry.
peas (optional)
coconut milk (optional)

Put the chicken, salt, pepper, olive oil, and spices in the crock pot and walk away!  I love that part.

In about 3 hours stir the chicken up a bit.  If it is done break it up with a fork if not just let it cook longer.  Sometimes you have to drain off the liquid a bit.  Then add the veggies and stir them in.  Cook till they are tender.

At this point I added some frozen peas and a big dollop of coconut milk and it tasted just like the inside of a chicken pot pie.  mmmmm....  You could also use a can of cream of chicken soup if you don't like the sweetness of the coconut milk.


Natural Hair conditioner

The two things that go bad in my house really fast if I don't use them up are avocados and bananas.   When I was vegan I would make banana bread all the time so I didn't waste them.  I have put may fair share of avocados in the compost pile and that really ticks me off because they are not cheep way out here in the middle of no ware.

The solution! Use them to nourish your hair if you can't use them to nourish your body.

Avocado Conditioner

Avocados hydrate the hair from the inside out.  This conditioner is super easy and excellent for damaged or dry desert hair.

1 ripe avocado
1 t. olive oil
3 drops rosemary or lavender essential oil

Combine the ingredients and massage into your hair and scalp, concentrating on the ends of your hair.  Leave for 10 minutes, then rinse well.

Banana Deep Conditioner

This one makes your hair so soft and silky.  I love how it smells too.

1 cup hot water
1 ripe banana
1/4 C. dried chamomile or rosemary
1 T. coconut oil
1 T. honey

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and apply to your hair.  Leave on for at least 10 minutes, then rinse well.

Try these!  You will be so happy.


Spicy Jicama Salad

I have been having a bit of a sweet tooth lately.   It is spring and everything is super fresh at the market so a fruit salad seemed to be a no brainer.

This one has a bit less sugar then the normal family reunion fruit salad with a spicy twist.

Jicama!  If you haven't used a Jicama before do not be afraid.  They are a large root vegetable that comes from Mexico.  They taste really mild and so they go with almost anything.

The skin of the Jicama is really quite tough so you almost have to cut it off with a knife.  It smells sweet and fresh inside.  Jim says it doesn't taste like anything.  I think it tastes like fresh peas from the garden.

1 Jicama
2 apples 
1 large cucumber
1-2 C. blueberries
1 bunch of grapes
1 lemon
1 t. chili powder
fresh ginger root
1 t. cinnamon
a dash of sea salt

Cube the jicama, apple, cucumber,  and pineapple.  Leave the apple peal because it is pretty.  Mix in a large bowl.  Cut the skin off the ginger root and run it through a garlic press right into the bowl.  Add chili powder, cinnamon, and salt.  Mix it up a bit.  Add blueberries, grapes, and lemon juice.  Gently fold together so you don't crush the blueberries.

I just think this turned out so pretty!   Everyone thought the jicama was apple.... and I didn't say a word. 


Weeds & Seeds Salad

One thing that has always interested me is what plants are edible or useful for something.  I am just as intrigued by what is poisonous.  I think it is smart to know your environment.

Yesterday I took  walk and a few photos.  Then I came inside and made a Wild Salad.  I love when I get to collect the ingredients myself.

This is a Chinese elm tree.  They grow everywhere here and are considered trashy and kind of like a weed because of these pods they make they will come up any ware there is water.  The pods are actually quite good.  I like them right off the tree.  They taste sweet and fresh.  You could also cook them up and make an oatmeal like breakfast.

Believe it or not, there is quite a bit of spring water in under all this water cress.  The water runs all year and is warm enough to keep the watercress alive even when everything else dies off.  That has been a nice gift.

You know what this is....  The plague of yards everywhere.  My hubby spends more time fighting dandelions than anything.  I don't mind them.  All parts of the plant are edible.  Just remember with dandelions they start off sweet at the blossom and get more and more bitter as you move down to the root.

Chinese elm pods
Red clover shoots
Dandelion (greens and flowers)
Sesame seeds
Sunflower seeds

Wash everything really well.  Toss together and then top with your favorite vinaigrette or a squeeze of lemon.
This salad tasted Sweet and Hot.  The watercress and the nasturtiums are both really peppery.

Here is a better look at the water cress and the pods.

Anything will work for a weed salad.  All you have to do is keep your eyes open for the gifts in your own back yard.


a field of Milk Thistle

I had the best day yesterday!  I was able to spend it with my Grandmother.  She gave me a million tulip bulbs that I planted down the drive.  She told me the best stories of when she was growing up.  Grandma was the eldest of 10 kids!  She was left in charge of the other kids a lot.

The story that struck me...  and shocked me was about a field of thistles.  She said that her parents were gone over night and they had a field that had not been planted with anything that year.  It had been taken over by milk thistles.  So the kids decided it would be fun/helpful if they .... 

...lit it on FIRE!!!

Grandma said that the thistles smell kind of nice as they burned and they make a loud popping noise a little like popcorn when they burn.

Here is the thing....

their baby sister go too heavy to pack around the field while it was on fire, so they decided to lay her down in a SAFE place that was already  burned. 

After hours of playing and playing the fire finally went out and it was dark.  I mean pitch black.  It was then that they realized that they didn't know where the baby was and it was too dark to see her.  They had to search for her so carefully so they didn't step on her.  In the end they did find her and she was ok thank goodness.

I ask grandma if her mom freaked out about them loosing the baby.  Grandma said "No, she said the baby would have woke up and started crying sooner or later".

Clearly I have a LOT of loosening up to do because the story freaked me out and I thought about it all night.  I think that because K can't talk I am one of those moms that hover and make sure I know what she is doing every moment. 

If you have a milk thistle you may want to check out the popping noise it makes.... or

Use it as a liver tonic.  It is pretty common knowledge that it will quickly remove liver stagnation and indigestion.  It works best on people with heat signs like over weight and red face. 

Mix equal parts licorice root, chamomile, and milk thistle.  Make a cup of tea.   Take on an empty stomach before bed.

*Other herbs the help detox the liver are:
citrus peel
Oregon grape root


Beef Stew and bay legends

I have this faded memory of being at my grandmas house when I was little.  We must have had some family project to do that I was either too little to help with or off playing because I can't remember why we were there or why I was so very cold when we came inside the house. 

I do remember opening the door and having the smell of lushes beef stew hit me like a wave. It had been cooking all day and it seemed like heaven to me.  We sat around the table and Grandma used a huge ladle to serve up the stew. 

I was just about to take my first mouth watering taste..... when Grandma, who was sitting next to me, grabbed my spoon away from me and told me not to eat it because it was POISON.  At first I thought it was a joke, but soon realized she was "dead" serious.  There was some foul play going on....  Who would poison the stew???

It turns out it was a Bay leaf and she had put it in there for "flavor".   I was pretty freaked out so she told me that the person who got the leaf was Lucky and got a wish.  I don't know if that was true before I found it...but it has been our family tradition ever since.

Beef Stew
2 lb stew meat cut into 1 inch cubes
1 t. sea salt
1 t. ground pepper
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (magic) Bay Leaf
1 T. dried thyme leaves
2 large tomatoes
3-4 carrots slice's
4 celery stalks
1/2 cauliflower or cabbage
1 lb. mushrooms (any kind) sliced
3 C. water or tomato juice
32 oz beef or chicken stock
1/2 C chopped parsley

Season the meat with the salt and pepper.  Heat a heavy pot to medium, then add 2 T oil and 2 T water. Steam saute beef until it is browned, about 8 minutes.

Add in the onion and garlic and stir for about 30 seconds.  Then add the water, beef stock, tomatoes, thyme, and bay.  Let it bubble away as you cut up all the veggies.

*As it turns out, bay is not the safest of herbs to ingest.  Remember all the Greek myths about the Oracle of Delphi???  That is a real place and the priestesses chewed bay leaves to connect with the Oracle. (and maybe just to see the pretty colors)

Add all remaining ingredients except for the parsley.  Simmer for several hours and serve with a sprinkle of  chopped parsley.

*potted bay is said to protect you home from thunder storms.
* The winners of the first Olympics were crowned with a wreath of bay laurel and it has been a symbol of esteem, glory and honor ever since.  Many of the Olympic metals even today have a bay wreath pictured.

The stew will cook down as thick as you want.  I don't care for my veggies to be too soft so I always save it when it is more like a thick soup.  Stew is always comforting the day you make it, but gets better the next day when the flavors have had time to blend.

* Bay is also said to attract romantic love.  Before you go making a perfume out of it or anything look up the story of Daphne and Apollo.  She was not in to his vigorous pursuit so she turned herself into a bay tree to escape.  (That may be where the idea that it protects from thunder storms comes from)


cook up some stew and a good story to go along with it...  and what ever you do, don't let any one you love eat the bay leaf.


Holy Ravens!

For the last few years there has been two ravens that hang at our house.  They are almost like a watch dog.  I always hear them before some one rings the door bell.  My daughter gets great pleasure feeding them scraps of food.  If you ever leave your lunch out on the patio.... somehow the plate gets cleaned.  Feeding them may not be the best idea after all.

Here they are last summer.  I think this is funny because, to me, it looks like they may be waiting for some one to enter the furniture store so they can "bomb" them.

This is in the back yard and I just love how they look next to the autumn leaves.

This winter they got really friendly and didn't even care if I would go out to take photos of them.

According to Ted Andrews of Animal Speak, "The raven has great intelligence.  It is adaptable to its environment.  It will eat almost anything and that is why it is able to survive and thrive.  They have a unique ability to communicate to each other and work together.

Ravens and all corvines are easily imprinted with the image of their keeper.  They are easily trained and have the ability to count and develop a complex communication with their owner.

Wherever there are Ravens there is Magic! They are symbols of creation and Spiritual Strength.  They remind us to look for opportunities to create and manifest the magic of life.  They are messengers calling to us about the gifts the are always available to us."

The other day I walked into the living room just in time to see flood of Ravens taking to flight out of the back yard.  By the time I ran and got my camera they were quit high, but you can still see how many. 

They must have been playing in an updraft because they didn't seem to be going any ware.  They just swirled around and around.

I have never seen this many before.  It makes me wonder what message I am not getting or what is going to be created in my life this year.  No matter what it is a pretty cool memory that I will not soon forget.

***Check out my No makeup update***


Natural Hair Highlights

It is spring time here and the sun is finally out.  We have dug out the shorts, tank tops, and flip flops.  I love this time of year when it is not yet too hot to go play outside.  However, for me, it means a lot of work and being in the salon.  It seems that when everyone sees how white their skin is they need to highlight their hair.  To look like they have gotten some sun?

I use the  No Poo method or MSM on everyone who comes in so I attract a a lot of clients who are chemical sensitive or who just don't want to be exposed to that many chemicals.

Even Natural girls want to look pretty and glow like they have been in the sun.  For you, my loves, I do have some ideas.

Goddess Glow

This time tested recipe has been around since the Ancient Greeks but was at it most popular during the heyday of the Roman Empire.

3 to 4 fresh Rhubarb stalks
2 C. water
1 T. honey

Combine all ingredients in a blender, and process till smooth.  Strain mixture into a clean container.  To use, massage the mixture into your hair.  cover with plastic wrap or a warm towel.  This step is important because you want you body heat to help the lightening process.  Allow it to set for 30 minutes.  (The longer it sets the stronger the lightning properties)  Rinse well.

Kissed by the Sun  Tea

This is a natural way to lighten hair and lovely to try when you plan on spending time at the pool or the beach.

1 C. strong Calendula or Chamomile tea
1/2 C. freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Combine tea and lemon.  Strain out any lemon floaters.  Work mixture into clean hair and blot dry.  Use before going out into the sun. Rinse well when you come in.  (This mix turns out a bit more golden than the other)

Note*  As with all hair color you will want to condition you hair really well.  I put coconut oil in my hair about once a week to make sure the ends stay healthy.


Lettuce Roll Ups

I used to Love wraps and had one for lunch 4 or 5 days a week.  I have been missing my wraps lately so we have been experimenting in the kitchen.  After a few ideas that failed I figured out a few that do work for me.

I found that the leaves from Romaine lettuce work really well.
First wash them and pat dry. Fill with any of the following combinations. Roll the leaves and secure with a tooth pick.  I have found that wrapping them with plastic wrap and putting them in the fridge for a few hours makes the lettuce stay put a lot better.

This was my lunch today.

mix 1. 
1 can tuna in oil
1 small carrot chopped
1 celery chopped
1/4 red onion chopped
1 pickle chopped

I like to squeeze lemon on mine but it is also nice to add your favorite vinaigrette to the mix or use as a dip.

Lettuce rolls are a kid friendly lunch and my daughter loves to make her own.  Here is her lunch.  She insisted on me posting her photo because it is "way prettier".   I think she did good!

Some of the other ideas we have tried are:

mix 2.
1/2 cucumber chopped
1/4 red onion chopped
avocado sliced lengthwise

mix 3.
1 C. ground walnuts
1 apple chopped
lemon juice

mix 4.
5 T. pine nuts chopped
1/2 C. chopped wild mushrooms
1/8 t flaked sea weed
1 carrot shredded

Really you are only limited by you own imagination.   Have fun!


A Mans breakfast

Since going primal  this is Hubby's favorite breakfast.  I can't eat eggs, but I am happy to make it for him.

1/2 package of bacon  (sliced in 1nch pieces)
6 eggs
1 parsnip
1 sweet potato
salt pepper

First put the bacon in a pan and start to fry.  Next shred the parsnip and sweet potato.  Mix together with salt and pepper. When the bacon is done take it out of the pan and set aside.  Fry the parsnip and the sweet potato  in the bacon fat.  While it is cooking beat the eggs and add a little milk.  When your parsnip mixture is brown  on both sides add the bacon and eggs.  Flip with a wooden spoon till the eggs are cooked.

Some times Hubby even wants this for dinner.

naked face

As promised, here is photo of my naked face for the whole world to see.

The first day of  my experiment was fine.  It was Saturday and I only went out in public a few times.  I am sure everyone just thought that I was busy with yard work.

Experiment Update.
This is what I learned this week with no makeup:
People who don't know me that well don't seem to notice at all.
People who do know what is going on in my life got really worried that I was ((dieing!)).
I got ask a lot if I was tired or in pain.
I also got ask at least 20 times if I had colored contacts in.  When I said I don't ware contacts the response was always..."Your eyes are Really blue!"
It was nice not to have to worry about it in the morning.
I learned that the scar on my face only matters to me.
A big smile and eye contact are the most important things.

So the plan is that I am going to dye my eyelashes as well as my eyebrows so I don't have to worry about it and maybe a little blush will make me look more alive.  It was so great to get some extra sleep on Thursday so I am going to start exercising and showering at night so I can catch some extra ZZZ.

All in all it was a great learning experience!



Today I was getting ready for work and was thinking how much better my hair was now that I don't use shampoo.  How it takes less than 5 minutes to do and that is just awesome!  I started thinking about how much better my skin is now that I have cut out grains, sugar, and dairy.   It made me think that if I didn't put my make up on I could have slept in a little.

I am up all night with my daughter.  If she goes to bed it is midnight and then always gets me up 3 to 4 hours before I feel rested.   Sleep is more precious to me than gold.  Even an extra 15 minutes a week would be a major gift.  If, on the night K stays at grandma's house,  I exercise and take a shower before bed and then don't do make up I could get an extra hour!!! 

So I am going to do an experiment this week.  I'm not going to ware make up!   What if I didn't ware make up???   Would anyone care?  Would anyone even notice?    Would people think that I can still make them beautiful if I just roll out of bed and go to work?  I have put mascara on my eyes every day since I turned 12.  So I have been doing it twice as long as I haven't.  Even though the thought is scary it is also kind of exciting.  Can I make it though a day with out my mask on?

I am going to find out. 

This is a photo of what I use on my face every day.

Moisturizer, essential oil, mineral foundation, setting powder, blush, eye liner, eye shadow, mascara, and lip gloss. I also use a lash curler and dye my eyebrows darker.

What if all I used was coconut oil?

I love coconut oil!  I cook with it I eat it right out of the jar and I slather it on my body from head to toe.  I think it is a miracle in a bottle.

This is what I look like today with all my creams and powders on.  I actually think I have a rather subtle and natural look going on.  (it takes a lot of work to look natural) 

I'll post a picture of my naked face over the weekend and keep you up to speed on if anyone seems to notice or not.  If not I may just pick sleep over ritual.  Wish me luck.