08 June 2015

From That to This

Where do I begin? Well, how about with this: two weeks to the day after my Faith is the Substance of Things Hoped For post, our new (to us) rv was delivered. In less than a year, and less than three months into our "full-timer" life, we went from that -


...to this !



I must say:  God. Is. Good. Great!  We now have separate spaces! We have a kitchen space, a living space, a dining space, a shower and toilet space, and a sleeping space.  It's awesome! We have vented heating and air conditioning.  And we have the ability to be as self-contained as we want.  And we have an awning! Need I say more? :-)

We looked into tiny houses months ago.  And while this is not exactly the same thing, we see this as our very own tiny home. Some years from now, we hope to make another step into an ever. so. slightly. (slightly!) larger model -- but this is "it" for us. This is how we are meant to homestead. The goal is still to have a small piece of land where there is more room for gardening and small animal raising. That will surely come in God's good timing. [Pray boldly, people!]

As far as living arrangements are concerned, we are ready. And though the move is still some months away... Mountains, here we come!


Shared at Homemade Mondays.

10 May 2015

Essential Oils Revolution Starts Tomorrow!

I meant to post this much earlier in the day, but Mother's Day festivities held over longer than expected. I hope you were able to spend time and show appreciation to the mothers in your life. I don't have children, and I lost my paternal grandmother last year. I was blessed, however, to be able to spend the day with my mother and her mother. Not to mention the mother of my niece and nephew, as well as an aunt who has taken on a maternal role for the family more than once in my life. It was a good, family filled day.

So are you ready for tomorrow? At 10:00 am eastern time (U.S.), the *Free* Essential Oils Revolution will be live! Here are the speakers and topics for day one:


I'm especially interested in "Biblically-Based Essential Oil Uses" and "Empowering Emotions with Essential Oils."

If you sign up for the free summit, you'll receive a link to a page for each day's presentations. They will be available to you, on demand, for 24 hours -- starting at 10am (eastern) and ending at 9:59 am the next day.

It's important to note this is a brand-neutral essential oils summit. If you read my post series, Dipping My Toe into the Pool of Essential Oils, you know how happy I am with that. More than one company is represented in my essential oil stash!

Click here, or on the image above, to register for the free essential oils revolution. If you find this post after it goes live, you can still join in!

If you are interested in owning all 31 presentations without the 24-hour time restraints for each day, click here. You can also visit through the image in this blog's sidebar.

See you at the summit!


Shared at Simple Life Sunday and Simply Natural Saturdays.


Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link, which means I may receive a very small commission if you click the link and buy something. This helps support my mountain homestead dream as well as my blogging activities, and the price you pay will be no different than if you arrived at the same destination through any other link. My opinions are my own, to be sure. If I link to a product and say I like it -- I truly like it! :-) Thanks for reading, following, and supporting Stephlin's Mountain.

07 May 2015

Thyme Oil Testimonial (and an Invitation!)

I know the value of essential oils, but I'm still learning all they can do for me and my family. Reading how others use them helps me with learning specific uses for each oil, as well as gives me ideas of what to use when a specific need arises. It is in this vein that I am writing here about my experience with Thyme 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil.

I had an issue in my mouth. It wasn't a toothache, nor a sore. It was some sort of an infection that caused some swelling and tenderness around the gum line at the base of one of my teeth. I wasn't overly concerned about it, but I hate the dentist and didn't want it to grow into something that required an antibiotic, so I looked to my essential oils.

Lavender, Lemongrass, and Thyme are three that I had on hand that, after doing a bit of reading, I decided were good ones to use in this instance.

Lavender is one of the most useful essential oils for therapeutic purposes. It's commonly associated with the healing of the skin.

Lemongrass is known for its antiseptic and astringent properties.

Thyme is considered to have very powerful and penetrating antiseptic properties.

I continued reading and discovered Thyme Oil contains Thymol, which is used as a germ-killer in mouthwash and helps prevent tooth decay.

Needless to say, I went with the Thyme Essential Oil. I could have mixed a few drops with a carrier oil, but went a bit simpler. I took one drop. Literally! One. Drop. Put it on my finger and dabbed the sore spot. The heat was amazing and felt powerful (if that makes sense). The relief from soreness was immediate. And the swelling went down quickly enough that I felt no need for a second application. The single annoyance was my saliva glands went into overdrive.

Even though I know their strength, essential oils continue to impress me. I don't pretend that this was some miraculous cure of a horrible condition. But if one drop of Thyme oil prevents a dental and / or doctor visit, I am all for it!

OK. There's my thyme oil testimonial. And don't forget about how I used it in my wonderful, comfortable to wear, homemade bug repellent!

On to the invitation! I would like to cordially encourage you to attend the Essential Oils Revolution summit. It's free and brand-neutral! [No debates about whose oils are "best!"]



Why Attend?

With 31 presentations containing relevant evidence and practical advice from the experts, The Essential Oils Revolution will help you use essential oils effectively and confidently. This event is the first-ever, online, brand-generic event to include experts from every field, including aromatherapy, direct sales, medicine and research.

You can register (it's free!) by clicking here.

Important Things You’ll Learn About Essential Oils:

- Understand what essential oils are and why they are popular today
- Why essential oils are nature’s BEST medicine
- How to use essential oils safely and effectively
- Tips for regaining control of your health with essential oils
- Pain and stress remedies using essential oils
- Culinary uses for essential oils
- How to use essential oils for high performance health
- Essential oils for animal aromatherapy
- And so much more!

If you register today, you'll receive 5 free gifts. That's in addition to all the free information you can glean from the summit presenters May 11-18.

I hope to see you there!


Shared at HomeAcre Hop, Thrifty Thursday, Fluster's Creative Muster, Wake Up Wednesday, Wildcrafting Wednesday, Wonderful Wednesday, Simple Life Sunday, and Simply Natural Saturdays.


Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link, which means I may receive a very small commission if you click the link and buy something. This helps support my mountain homestead dream as well as my blogging activities, and the price you pay will be no different than if you arrived at the same destination through any other link. My opinions are my own, to be sure. If I link to a product and say I like it -- I truly like it! :-) Thanks for reading, following, and supporting Stephlin's Mountain.

06 May 2015

Faith is the Substance of Things Hoped For (Speaking Spiritually)

Another title for this post could be: When God Says "No" or even "Not Now".

We are not far removed from a disappointing, disheartening week. I'm choosing not to provide the gory details at this time. In short, I thought I was going after something that was meant to be for my life. I was somewhat confident it would materialize, but it didn't.

I was rather heartbroken, and even shed a few tears. Something I'm not known for doing often. Truth be told, I don't yet know if the Father said "No" or "Not now." Time will surely tell.

Which brings me to the subjects of faith and hope. In my opinion, it's pretty tough to have one without the other.

Hope, as a verb, is defined as "to desire and consider possible." The consider possible part is where faith and hope connect.

I'll admit it took me a day or two to get out of a disappointed funk. When I came around, however, I was a bit embarrassed before God. I talk the talk, but am I walking the walk? I am not a perfect being, so I allowed myself the human reaction and got back to the business of being a child of God. Is He trying to teach me something? Show me something? Does He have something "bigger and better" in His plan for me? Each of these possibilities requires patience and faith. Remember the life verse I mentioned in a previous post? Jeremiah 33:3. Yep. Patience and faith.

I do, in fact, think my Father is using this situation to teach me something. I have a tendency, when praying and talking to God, to be a bit meek. I mean, He's God! Shouldn't we bow to Him? Well, yes, but we are also told to come boldly before the throne. And we should not be wishy washy about it, either. Here are a couple of verses I was led to:

"But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that
wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and
tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any
thing of the Lord." -- James 1:6-7

Less than 24 hours later, I read this in Cindy Trimm's Commanding Your Morning Daily Devotional: "As a man thinks in his heart -- in the present active continuum -- he is building his life one brick at a time."

What is faith? The substance, or foundation (bricks!) of what we hope for.

If I'm being honest with myself, I have been a bit "wavereth." I don't mean in my belief that God is The Father. Nor do I mean in my trust in Him for my everyday needs. But I am a bit reticent when it comes to requests that I think align with His will. From now on, I vow to know in my heart and pray boldly!


Tuesdays with a Twist Featured

Shared at Coffee and Conversation, Wonderful Wednesday, Making a Home - Homemaking Linky, Teach Me Tuesday, Tuesdays with a Twist, and Homemade Mondays.


Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link, which means I may receive a very small commission if you click the link and buy something. This helps support my mountain homestead dream as well as my blogging activities, and the price you pay will be no different than if you arrived at the same destination through any other link. My opinions are my own, to be sure. If I link to a product and say I like it -- I truly like it! :-) Thanks for reading, following, and supporting Stephlin's Mountain.

05 May 2015

Strawberry Banana Yogurt Cake ~ Baked in a Toaster Oven

Life without an oven stinks. Especially when you love to bake. And since our beloved Destiny lacks the appliance, I haven't been able to bake in over two months! Well, I could stand for that no more. So we bought one.

A toaster oven, that is. ;-)

I had a bit of cash left on an Amazon gift card so, while it's not exactly high dollar, we were able to get a good one: a Black & Decker Countertop Convection Toaster Oven was delivered just a few days ago.

I was able to sample some recently received strawberries at work the day before yesterday. They were Delicious! I was actually surprised at how tasty they were, and made sure to buy some on the way out. I already had a couple of bananas at home, and had pinned the base recipe for this cake not long ago. It was a perfect storm, it seems.


You only need one bowl to mix this cake. A plus for those with limited space! The base recipe does not call for bananas, but I couldn't resist the combination. I simply folded in slices at the end of mixing the cake batter. And I think I made my dollops of strawberry jam a bit too big. Next time, I'll be more inclined to swirl it in to the top.


Here's proof I baked it in a toaster oven! :-)


And the yummy result. It's somewhat similar to the best strawberry bread ever I posted about here. Greek yogurt makes it super moist. Recipe follows.


Strawberry Banana Yogurt Cake

Strawberry Banana Yogurt Cake
Adapted from Betty Crocker recipe here.

Ingredients

  • 2 containers (5.3 oz each) Greek blended strawberry yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin organic coconut oil (can also use vegetable or canola)
  • 2 tsp vanilla (make your own!)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup strawberry jam
  • 1 1/4 cups quartered fresh strawberries (grow your own!)
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • powdered sugar, for garnish (optional)
  • 2 bananas, sliced (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven (toaster or regular) to 350°F. Grease and flour a 13x9-inch (I used a 10X12-inch) pan.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together yogurt, 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, oil of choice, and vanilla until well combined. Mix in eggs, one at a time, until well blended. Add flour and baking powder; beat with wooden spoon until smooth. Fold in sliced bananas, if using.
  3. Pour batter into pan, spreading evenly. Dollop strawberry jam on top of cake batter. Sprinkle with strawberries and remaining 2 tsp granulated sugar.
  4. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (Mine took 45 minutes in the toaster oven.) Cool 20 - 30 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if so desired.
Yield: 12 servings

P.S. I hope you'll forgive me rocking the paper plates and foil pan. Not very crunchy or homestead-y, I know. Sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Ya know? I'll make up for it when we get moved, I promise. :-)


Shared at Making a Home - Homemaking Linky, Tasty Tuesday, Teach Me Tuesday, Tickle My Tastebuds, Tuesdays with a Twist, and Homemade Mondays.


Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link, which means I may receive a very small commission if you click the link and buy something. This helps support my mountain homestead dream as well as my blogging activities, and the price you pay will be no different than if you arrived at the same destination through any other link. My opinions are my own, to be sure. If I link to a product and say I like it -- I truly like it! :-) Thanks for reading, following, and supporting Stephlin's Mountain.

20 April 2015

Good For You Chocolate Pudding with Gallberry Honey

I had the weekend off! [She pauses, for effect.] It's such a rare occurrence, as I average only 6 of them a year. So you understand why I must savor the moment.

The word for my rare weekend off was...Rain. I know. Lucky me. I didn't let it stop me from going to the local farmers' market, though.  I was on a mission, searching for some real honey. Not the pasteurized, take-all-the-good-stuff-out kind you often find in the store. I wanted Raw. Unprocessed. Honey. And, praise the Lord, a beekeeper braved the rain and brought his sweet wares to town.

I decided to purchase a pound of Gallberry honey. My other choices were Wildflower and Cotton Blossom. The flavor of the Gallberry (a member of the Holly family) is unique, and oh. so. smooth. I drizzled and slathered and slobbered over some on a piece of french bread as soon as I got it home.

In a way, the rain helped prompt my experimentation with the recipe I'm about to share by ensuring an indoor activity. I saw this good-for-you chocolate pudding some time ago on MarthaStewart.com, and it's been on the to-do list hanging out in the back of my mind for a while.


The base of the pudding is... Avocado! This high protein fruit is super easy to work with, and in this instance especially, provides a quick creaminess for the pudding.

Let me interrupt with a quick note: you can see in the photo I used my NutriBullet to mix this pudding. We are short on space, and chose this small appliance to do double duty in addition to it's original purpose of annihilating fruits and vegetables into wonderful, healthy, drinkable treats. However! I do not recommend you using it for this like I did. There's just not enough liquid to make it easy. I would stick with a food processor, instead.


The recipe also calls for vanilla extract. Are you making yours, yet?

I love that all you have to do for this recipe is throw all the ingredients into your food processor and, well, process! I thought the amount of cocoa powder made a rich pudding, but wouldn't change it in the future. I will admit I added more honey than what the directions called for. Please don't judge. ;-) I have a long way to go in my goal of breaking my addiction to sugar.


One final note before the recipe: this good-for-you dessert is best served chilled.

Ingredients:

- 3 avocados, pitted and scooped out of skins
- 6 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup real honey (I probably added another 1/8 cup)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (make your own!)

1. Put all ingredients in food processor and let it whirl until nice and creamy. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

Serves 4.


Shared at Teach Me Tuesday, Tickle My Tastebuds, and Tuesdays with a Twist.


Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link, which means I may receive a very small commission if you click the link and buy something. This helps support my mountain homestead dream as well as my blogging activities, and the price you pay will be no different than if you arrived at the same destination through any other link. My opinions are my own, to be sure. If I link to a product and say I like it -- I truly like it! :-) Thanks for reading, following, and supporting Stephlin's Mountain.

19 April 2015

Life is Good! -- So What am I Afraid Of?

Ever been going along in your day-to-day life and think, "Wow. Life is pretty good right now!"

I'll bet, if you're like me and so many others, your very next thought is, "I wonder what's going to come along and ruin it?"

Or maybe you don't necessarily have those specific thoughts course through your mind. You just have a sense of something's coming. Life is too good right now.

I think you know what I mean. We rarely feel pure, unadulterated joy. Once we realize we're happy, we follow said realization up with wondering when the happiness is going to end.

It seems I've lately been doing that a lot. I know I'm on the right path in God's will for my life. Is everything perfect? Um. No. But I walk outside, look up at the trees, and smile. I'm happy...Then a "Why Me?" thought pops in my head.

I've struggled for so long to find this space, this peace, this wisdom. I feel it -- almost tangibly -- in my hands. Who am I to deserve this?

I'm a child of the most high God. That's who.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. - James 1:17

God is good. His gifts are good. And He's not gonna change. Nor are His gifts.

Charles Stanley mentions this notion of unworthiness in his book Handle with Prayer:
...the basis of all God's answered prayer is His love for us...According to His love, we are worthy of the greatest gift He had to give -- His Son. After that, anything else we ask for is secondary.

Why do we have so much trouble believing God for the minor things in life? It is [the enemy] who says, "Who do you think you are,...?

To this question there is only one answer: "I am a child of the King. I am so worthy in the eyes of God, He sent His only begotten Son to die for me...
He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed,
shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. - Psalms 126:6

There's a time for sowing, and there's a time for reaping. When it's reapin' time, rejoice!

Trayer Wilderness

Shared at April 2015 Chain "Linky" Climb, Freedom Fridays, Friday Favorites, Front Porch Friday, Faith Filled Friday, and Simple Life Sunday.


Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link, which means I may receive a very small commission if you click the link and buy something. This helps support my mountain homestead dream as well as my blogging activities, and the price you pay will be no different than if you arrived at the same destination through any other link. My opinions are my own, to be sure. If I link to a product and say I like it -- I truly like it! :-) Thanks for reading and following Stephlin's Mountain.

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