Banana Bread and Monster Cherry Tomatoes!!

Hey Everyone!

We had a couple bananas that had gotten a bit to ripe for eating, so I made a loaf of banana bread.

It looks and smells good, I just can’t try it since it has butter in it.

I have also been keeping an eye on the tomato plants we have in the backyard. They are a variety of yellow cherry or grape tomatoes. So far some of them have gotten huge.

As we are in the height of summer, I am looking toward autumn and the weather cooling off. There are a lot of summer crops that I would love to grow, and have in my garden. There is so much I would love to can and preserve. Then comes autumn and everything apples and pumpkins.

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Pie Crust Recipe

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I went back through my blog posts to see that I haven’t posted (that I could see) the recipe I use to make pie crust. This is the recipe I have been using since I first learned how to make pie crusts, and it turns out amazing.

While it is dairy free, it is not gluten free or vegan, so bear that in mind.

This recipe makes two nine inch pies with a top and bottom crust.

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/4 cup Crisco (vegetable Shortening)
  • 3 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 5 Tablespoons Cold Water

Directions:

in large bowl combine the flour, shortening, and salt with a pastry blender, until the shortening is about the size of peas.

in another bowl, beat egg and combine in the apple cider vinegar and the cold water, mixing well.

add egg, vinegar and water mixture slowly to the flour and shortening, being careful not to over mix and over handle the dough. Mix until flour is all mixed in.

On a floured rolling mat, place about 1/4 of the dough (or more if you are making a larger pie), and roll until about an 1/8 of an inch or  about 3mm thick. Fold and have and transfer to pie plate, and fill with your filling of choice.

With filling inside, bake according to filling recipe directions. Be careful to check the pie occasionally, and cover with foil while baking if crust starts getting to brown.

Grocery Shopping: Plastic VS Paper VS Bring Your Own Bags

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I was watching a YouTube Video yesterday, made by a young American woman who has only lived in the US a short time since she moved to Switzerland at 17. She has since returned to the US. She had made a “reverse culture shock” video about some of the things she had forgotten about while spending the last 5+ years in Switzerland and Germany. One of those things we having plastic and paper bags available in the grocery stores / Supermarkets, because, in Germany and Switzerland (at least in the parts she lived in) you had to bring your own reusable bags. 

I can only speak on it from my own experience from the grocery stores I have been in. 

I will only talk about places I have visited in the last 5ish years. 

Here in Portland Oregon, and in Multnomah County (The county Portland is in), a plastic bag ban was put into effect a few years ago. Up until that point, and still to this day in other counties (as well as for paper bags in Multnomah County), paper/plastic bags are free. 

Bringing your own bags is still totally optional here in Oregon and SW Washington, but is definitely encouraged here in Portland. I can’t speak on Tacoma or Seattle, because I haven’t been grocery shopping in Seattle and it has been way to long since I have been in a grocery store in the Tacoma and Olympia areas. 

When I was in New York (Long Island), a few years ago, I want to say plastic bags were readily available and didn’t cost anything.

From where my parents live, in Portland, Clackamas County is a short drive away (and the closest Fred Meyer to their house is in Clackamas County). Clackamas County still has plastic bags in their stores, free of charge. 

Polk County (central willamette valley), where I lived while in college, as well as Lincoln, Tillamook and Clatsop Counties on the coast still for sure have plastic bags in their grocery stores, free of charge. 

I get the point of doing away with plastic grocery bags, but I am not a fan. For people like me, who reuse them for garbage when I am cleaning the house, I don’t want to spend money I am going to put trash in anyway, when (at least here) you can get plastic grocery bags that many people still reuse. I also like them for when I buy meat, and should something leak, the plastic contains the mess, and is less time (and cleaning products) to clean up after. 

For the most part I don’t mind using the reusable bags for everything but raw meat, but I also don’t like being dictated to or punished for the actions of those who don’t reuse or dispose of their plastic bags properly. 

I have been known to purposefully go shopping for groceries in Clackamas County and for non perishables in some of the other counties if I happen to be in the area, just to get plastic bags. Yet I am also taken aback when asked “Paper or Plastic?”. 

Up where my aunt and uncle live in BC, they still can get plastic but have to pay for the bags if they don’t bring their reusable bags. 

So I have grown accustomed to having reusable bags, but still miss (and take advantage of other counties still having them for free) the plastic grocery bags, that I do reuse.

Leave me a comment below, letting me know what it is like where you are in terms of paper, plastic, and reusable and do you have to pay for your paper or plastic bags, and your thoughts on should more states be banning plastic bags?

Technology Free Evenings 

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For the last several months I had issues with waking up tired in the morning, even when I got 7 – 8 hours of sleep. Part of that is the days getting shorter, but then I got thinking that maybe the problem could be related to be using my computer and phone right up until I got to bed each night. 

I have heard and read about technology messing with our circadian rhythms, which controls our sleep / wake schedules. I am no expert or even a scientist but just from my own experience, there is truth behind these studies. 

This week I have been trying to be off my computer by 8 pm, and only use my phone for the white noise app after 8 pm. After 8, I have been reading a book until I go to bed, and the couple of nights I have been doing this, it has been easier to get up in the morning. 

This winter, my allergies have also been worse than in years past, and I picked up some of the allergy meds that work for me, and that has also been helping. 

Between readingbto help me wind down in the evening and dealing with my allergies has definitely helped me be able to function and feeling better. 

I have missed spending time with my nose in a book, and I am glad I am spending less time wasting my time on computer games and more times reading books. I am currently rereading Outlander (The first book of the Outlander Series), before moving on to the second book. 

November Scentsy & Perfectly Posh additions

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This past week, my Scentsy and Perfectly Posh orders were delivered. 

This month from Scentsy, I had ordered a Morning Sunrise Nightlight, which is simple and beautiful, as well as three bars of Lavender and White Balsam, which smells amazing. Lavender and White Balsam is definitely a very wintery scent that is not super overpowering or strong which I like. I had pulled the Morning Subrise warmer out of the box and put it together and turned it on long enough to see what it looked like on, and I love it. It will be perfect in a hallway or bathroom at night, it is bright enough to light the way and see what you are doing without being too bright. I also really like the design. While I am a consultant, I am a customer first and foremost. I won’t buy a warmer unless I like it, and even then, I have to really like it since I have had a year to be building my warmer stash up. I am also picky about fragrances. 


One thing I have learned about being a consultant, that I am glad I am learning now, when I am still new and have a small customer base it to have stock on hand, especially new/seasonal scents. As well as learning what my loyal local customers like, and keep some bars of each on hand. I got into Scentsy because I have always liked candles and the glade wall plug ins, but wanted something that was less of a fire hazard, non – aerosol, and made out of better ingredients and better scents. 

This month I also ordered some perfectly posh products. I had ordered 3 fall out girl chunks, 2 gender Bender chunks, 1 rolling in the deep chunk,  2 dressed to chill big fat yummy hand cremes, 3 Orange cara mellow caffeinated lip balms, a pack of Blissed Out scrub samples and a pack of Vitamin Sea shampoo and Off Shore Restore conditioner samples. I am working on building up my stash of samples for customers and potential customers to try the products and see what they think of it. One thing I found out that I am bummed about is that the Blissed out scrub has non fat dry milk in it, which means I won’t be using it as I avoid touching anything with dairy in it, and if I have to handle dairy I wash my hands like a crazy person so I don’t absent-mindedly  put something in my mouth that has contaminated with dairy. I am bummed because this was one of my favorite scents – it smells like sprite or 7 up. 


As many of you know, I was introduced to Perfectly Posh by a friend of mine, and decided to try the smashing good pumpkin clay mask a few months later. I was hooked. The fact that Posh prides itself on using more natural ingredients is amazing! I have noticed such a difference with my skin. Using the BFF face cleanser then following that with a mask then using the Night & Day moisturizer or Apricots Overnight to moisturize has really helped my skin. 

No longer doing ItWorks 

Hey Everyone!

I know I wrote a similar post here recently, then deleted it. I am back to put into words the crossroads I have come to. 

After roughly 6ish months of promoting and using ItWorks products I came to a point where at best they weren’t working for me, and at worst they made me sick. I also saw no results while using the products. I had pretty much stopped taking the products about a month ago and have been trying to let my body detox from the products. 

I am back on my good old trusty $8.99 Safeway Care probiotics that actually work, and I can clearly see what’s in it. 

Now that I am really focused on living a more natural and healthy lifestyle, with the exception of probiotics, I want to get all my vitamins and nutrients from the food I eat. I have found that the Probiotics I have been taking for the last couple years really have helped by body digest and tolerate foods better considering I have food intolerances. 

I also didn’t like that the ItWorks products have no real scientific and medical research to back it up, the products are unregulated and I really am not a fan of putting stuff in my body when there is no research saying it is safe. 

It also got to be super expensive, in order to get paid, consultants are all but forced to maintain an autoship of 80 BV (that cost a minimum of $80, usually more) and spend $20 a month to keep your website active. When you are working your rear end off and you aren’t signing anyone up no matter how hard you try, you are losing money, not making it, and I got to the point where I couldn’t justify spending $100+ a month o products I couldn’t stand behind and didn’t believe in. 

Being a consultant also took a lot of my free time, which is hard to come by when you also work full time. I was taught the 3/3 rule, which is each day you post 3 ItWorks posts and 3 lifestyle posts. When you spend 10 hours a day 4 days a week on nyour computer working for a real paycheck, you don’t have fresh material for lifestyle posts. I also found it hard to set aside time on my days off to post, because I preferred to actually live life than spend my day on my phone. 

Yes I did become a Scentsy consultant. I did that for a completely different reason, I had been a fan of the products for a year before I signed up, and I joined because I wanted to see what was coming out before it was released. I also wanted to earn back some money off what I spent on products. It also works better for me, because I post about it when I want to and have the time. I also make videos, because it is fun. I loved the products before I was a consultant and I will continue using the products if and when I am no longer a consultant. 

What it really comes down to, is that I tried it, it didn’t work for me, now I am moving on, and really focusing on my health and well being. 

I Joined Scentsy!

Hey Everyone!

I have been using Scentsy products for about a year now, and fell in love with the company after receiving  my first warmer and scents. I have spent the last 5 months debating whether to become a Scentsy consultant or not, and if so, when. A couple of months ago, I decided I was going to do it, but kept putting it off due to finances, and bills that needed to be paid. I then found out that August was one of the two Transition Months, which is pretty cool, because if you become a consultant during a Transition Month, you get the testers and catalogs for both the Spring/Summer collections and the Fall/Winter collections, so as far as testers go, you are getting two for the price of one.

Also, beings that it is a Transition Month, everything on my site is 10% off, and there are many scents and warmers that will be no longer available after August 31st, so now is the time to stock up on your favorite spring/summer fragrances, and get that warmer you had your eye on that will no longer be available as of September 1st. Click Here to Shop!

I am also excited to announce that our fall and winter warmers and scents will be available September 1st!

My Favorite scent from this year’s spring and summer collection has been Blackberry Meringue, though my favorite scent in general is still Coconut Lemongrass. Coconut Lemongrass is definitely one of those clean fragrances that you can use year round, in any room of the house, especially rooms such as the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, etc. So far my favorite fall scent is Pumpkin Roll, it’s definitely pumpkin, without being overdone on the cinnamon or the sweet. My favorite winter fragrance so far is a combination of Very Merry Cranberry and Silver Bells.

Over the past year, I have also been working on my warmer collection. For the most part, I feel like I am pretty well set, though I am still keeping my eyes open for a fall/autumn warmer that I really like as well as a cute winter/ snowman one that I like. While I may get one along the line if it is really cute, and I just have to have it, but once I get an autumn and Christmasy one I like, I will be pretty well set, warmer wise. I am really excited for this years fall/winter catalog!

Stay Tuned! My starter kit will be here this next week, and I will be doing an unboxing!