Essential Christmas Treats

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I’ve been learning about and using essential oils more and more this year, but my new favorite way is to incorporate them into FOOD.  (Note that not all oils are created equal, and only Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade can be ingested.)  So we get the wonderful health benefits of essential oils while also satisfying our sweet tooth.  Not a bad holiday plan…

Food + Essential Oils = These are a Few of my Favorite Things….

My momma friends and I recently had a “T’is the Season for Essential Oils Party” (to smell and learn and try) and we brought the following essentially yummy treats:

Peppermint Chocolate Bark with Peppermint essential oil (substituted maple syrup/stevia combo instead of honey)

Spicy Sweet Popcorn with Cinnamon essential oil

Apple slices soaked in OnGuard Protective Blend

Olive oil and vinegar bread dip with Oregano essential oil

Creamy fruit dip with Lime essential oil (I healthified it with Honey Greek Yogurt and Organic sour cream)

And a couple of others that I will keep in my back pocket for the next holiday shindig are:

Cinnamon Roasted nuts with Cinnamon essential oil

Gluten free Gingerbread cookies with Cinnamon, Clove, and Ginger essential oils

Lemonade with Lavender essential oil

Strawberries and cream with Orange essential oil

And Lemon essential oil flavored bars, muffins, and cookies

Finally, I created my own simple, healthy holiday treat:

Cranberry Snowballs with Orange essential oil

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1 8 oz package of organic dried cranberries (There are high pesticide residues on conventional cranberries.)

1 10 oz package roasted & salted macadamia nuts

3-4 drops of CPTG Wild Orange essential oil

and

IMG_17781 cup shredded coconut

Place the first 3 ingredients in the food processor until it is blended into a sticky mass of small crumbles.  (That was not articulate.)

IMG_1779Form into bite-size balls and roll in a bowl of shredded coconut to cover.  Chill and serve.

I’m incapable of following exact recipes, so I recommend tasting and tasting and tasting until you get the flavor that you prefer.  Also beware that essential oils take some time to blend throughout the whole batch, so taste and taste and taste again!

I hope you are able to enjoy some of these yummy treats!  Happy Advent!

And here are 5 creative Christmas gift ideas featuring essential oils.

Please share any of your favorite holiday recipe or gift ideas!

(And if you ever want to know more about or purchase any CPTG essential oils, please let me know.  I am a humble Wellness Advocate for doTerra and love to share what I’m learning with others.  If I can make some income by selling oils or enrolling new Wellness Advocates to help pay for our EO healthy lifestyle, then what a great bonus!)

In Praise of Posture

postural-assessment

Photo credit: proactive4pt.com

During the last three years I have become more observant of the negative effects our technological, sedentary culture has had on our collective posture.  I have also learned how interconnected our posture is with the rest of our bodily functions (like breathing, digestion, circulation, etc.) And I have gradually improved my own posture through a number of helpful exercises.

My Posture Story

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Lenten Landmarks

 

The 40 days of Lent symbolize the 40 days that Jesus spent fasting and praying in the desert. But that number 40 was, in turn, meant to remind us of the 40 years that the Israelites spent in the desert. The Church has always seen in the Israelite’s journey from Egypt to the Promised Land, from bondage to liberation, an apt image of the Christian’s Lenten journey from Ash Wednesday to Easter.

- Albert Holtz, Pilgrim Road:  A Benedictine Journey Through Lent

When it comes to celebrating holiday seasons, we like to mix it up around here.  (In other words, Mommy goes through phases.)  And Lent has grown into a special time of teaching the kids and preparing our hearts for the gift and victory of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

The Spirit of Lenten Past has led us to many enjoyable semi-traditions over the years:  Continue reading

Healthy Jello? Hello!

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Jello Parfait in poor lighting

I never recall being a big fan of the jiggly stuff.  But once I got into eating Real Food, and found out that Jello’s main ingredient (gelatin) is good for you, I was ready to try my hand at Bill Cosby’s favorite treat – minus the pesky flavorings, artificial colors and added sugar.  J-E-L-L…No.

With  apologies to my vegan friends, gelatin is a powdered supplement made from animal bones and connective tissues and has many health benefits, like aiding digestion, improving hair/nail/skin growth, helping joint recovery, and providing protein in the form of necessary amino acids that we rarely get in our SAD (Standard American Diet.)   Continue reading

The Armor of God

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We are part of a wonderful homeschool co-op called Classical Conversations.  It involves a lot of memorization of a wide variety of subjects and my 4th grader is particularly thriving at it.  (The Timeline Song is a family favorite!)  One of the passages we are memorizing is Ephesians chapter 6, one verse each week.

We just finished the section involving the armor of God and had a fun time creating armor out of cardboard, duct tape, and a silver bowl most recently used to catch our stomach flu offerings…  ={ Continue reading

BOOK BITES: The Count of Monte Cristo

“All human wisdom is contained in these two words:  Wait and Hope.”

- Edmund Dantes, Count of Monte Cristo

After our wonderful experience reading Les Miserables, my lovely book club decided to stick with the French and choose The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas as our bonus read for this last summer.  It had been recommended to me by a number of friends over the years, and this seemed like the right time to tackle its 1100+ pages.

For some reason, I never have the energy to write book reviews or summations (so you can read this summary/review here.)  But I love to underline phrases and passages that moved me and have included them below.  This beautiful story drew me in because of its complex characters, strong messages, and beautiful language.  But it has made my “favorites books of all times” list because of its realistic yet creative acknowledgement of God. Continue reading

This Year’s Christmas Reflection: REST

A friend asked me (and three other women) to share for 5 minutes at a local Christmas event on what God was teaching us during this Advent season.  The theme for the evening was Isaiah 9:6 and I chose to talk about Jesus as my “Wonderful Counselor.”  We had the pleasure of sharing in between beautiful worship led by Hilary and Kate.  It was a remarkable evening.

This time last year, I was VERY pregnant with my 4th child who was born December 28th.  We named our Christmas baby Karis Joy.  She is a true delight and we have all enjoyed watching her grow.  But God has been teaching me a lot through her, particularly in the area of REST.

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