Homemade Bug & Sun Relief

Are the mosquitoes crazy this year or is it just my slice of earth? We have been inundated with them!!  To help ease the pain and itch of mosquito bites in our house - I whipped up this homemade anti-itch spray using some naturally awesome essential oils.  In less than 5 minutes you can have some too!

You need:
12 Tbs of warm water
4 tsp of coconut oil
20 drops of tea tree essential oil
10 drops of peppermint essential oil
10 drops of wintergreen essential oil
10 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
10 drops of vetiver essential oil

SHAKE & SPRAY and keep the itch away.

You'll need to shake before every use because the oil naturally separates - but the kids love the smell and the oils naturally cool the skin.  I am glad they have use in the good weather and not just in my humidifier :)  You can find essential oils online - or if you're lucky and you have a Wegmans... at the grocery store by all the crunchy soaps :) 


I share my posts here.  It's an awesome list.  Check it out.  Seriously.  It's a great list and if you visit blog parties you are going to want to check them out!  It's up to date, organized by day, and the links all work <3



That's it.

My 16 month summer vacation is over.

It included beaches, snowmen, cuddles, movies, books, blocks, crafts, letters, numbers, walks, playgrounds, zoos, farms, preschool, gardening, grandparents, cousins, mama friends, a new non-profit, old friends, new friendships, broken friendships, cooking, blogging.

I will miss my days filled with my boys, mud, sand, and silliness.

But.  I am happy to return to work.  Am I filled with a little guilt and sadness? Sure... but a teacher is part of my identity.  It is part of who I am.

I look forward to meeting my extended family, my colleagues, my new 'kids.'  That's what we call them 'our kids.'  I know we borrow them for only a few hours a day, but we love them, care about them, and want the best for them.  They are what I love most about teaching.  They are what keeps me going back.  

My rooms (we have two) are set up, my copies are made, my calendar displayed, my plans written, my class lists printed. 

The list of things I love about working in school is long.  What I am highlighting here just the tippy top of it. 

Loving lots of kids.  Getting to know them.  Learning from them.  Teaching them.  

Our specific kids.  The ones at my school.  I help run Freshman Orientation for the 9th grade.  It is led by a group of 150 upperclassmen - who love.our.school.  They paint themselves, deck out in maroon and gold, come to school a week early, skip their sports try-outs for a few days, and tour the 9th grade around.  They run a dance, to which they can't bring their significant (or insignificant as it applies) others, for the 9th grade and dance it up, do the school cheer, and make the 'new kids' feel at home.  They line the sidewalk as they arrive and cheer, sing, high five, every.single.one.  

Team Teaching.  I teach a humanities class - Freshman English+Freshman Social Studies - with the best English teacher.  We are quite a pair - and I can't wait to get back in the classroom with her.

Starting over.  Every year, month, week, and day, I get to start my job over.  Do it differently.  Do it better.  If I learn something new, better, cutting edge, about teaching... I can implement it almost immediately.  I model that I am learning to the kids - it's no secret here that we are going to be trying new things.

Learning.  I love learning with our kids.  Because I teach a double class, with an English teacher, I get to really take English class with our class.  I read the books, ask questions, take the quizzes and tests and do the homework.  My co-teacher does the same for Social Studies.  The kids love that we don't know everything, that we have questions, that we are still learning.  

The building.  We have the best school.  The.end.

It keeps me young.  There is something about being surrounded by teenagers that keeps you on your toes.  Young.  Current.  I might have the oldest phone in the building, but I know what crazy new technology teenagers are using... what movies they're into, what books they're reading, what songs they're singing.  Face it... there are people my age that are still debating their 'top 8' because they still think myspace is current.  High school teachers don't have that issue :)

Just being in school.  There is just something about being in school, in a classroom, surrounded by learning, books, technology, teachers, notebooks, pens, markers, and whiteboards that I love.  I always have.  This is my #RealLife.

I hope to be here too, blogging, cooking, organic living... but if I'm not - you know where to find me <3


I share my posts here.  It's an awesome list.  Check it out.  Seriously.  It's a great list and if you visit blog parties you are going to want to check them out!  It's up to date, organized by day, and the links all work <3

Back to School Ready; Tips for Success!

Back to School Ready
It is August 8th.  But have you seen it?  All the STUFF surrounding back to school?  Lists, books, papers, pencils, crayons, glue, stickers, those stretchy book covers (no more paper bags?), calculators, new shoes, backpacks, pre-packaged school snacks, and big signs pointing you to the part of the store where all of this stuff is piled.

As a mother, I am terrified.  I have been home from work since my second babe was born last April.  That’s 16 months of it being ok to *maybe* shower and taking 20 minutes 2 hours to get out of the house in the morning.  I am worried that we aren’t going to make it out the door dressed every morning by 6am...
Read the rest of this post over at Day2DayJoys where I am now... a contributing writer!  I will be writing with the lovely ladies there once a month and I am so excited to be part of their blogging team :) There are lots of good natural living, happy mama posts there!! 

Blueberry Pie {Gluten Free}

We have been blueberry picking.  A lot.  They are delicious, plentiful, and it is all I can do to pick them faster than my kids are eating them.  

With that said - I wanted to make one good gluten free, from scratch, pie.  So... here is my attempt.  It was delicious.  The crust stayed together better than I expected and was crispy.  The crumbly top was sugary and delicious and the blueberries were sweet and juicy! 

Blueberry Pie
We use organic, fair trade, and or local ingredients
1/2 a cup of each: coconut flour, brown rice flour, unmodified potato starch, sorghum flour
3 tbs sugar
1 stick of butter
4 tbs cold water
1 tsp coconut oil

1.5 cups of the crust mixture
3 tbs brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
OPTIONAL: 1/4 cup oats (remove if oats are no good for your gluten free style)

Blueberry Filling:
4.5 cups of blueberries
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp coconut flour
1 tsp corn starch
1 tsp sugar

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix flours and sugar for crust.  Cut in 1 stick of unsalted butter.  When pieces of butter are well incorporated/pea sized, remove 1.5 cups of crust.  Put it in the fridge for later.  Mix in water – 1 tbs at a time.  When dough sticks together stop adding.  Dump dough into pie dish (it doesn’t need to be greased… you have enough butter going on).  Press crust into the bottom and up the sides of the dish.  It crumbles a little but should stay together pretty well.  Brush the top with coconut oil. 

Cook for 15 minutes in the oven.

While crust is cooking, mix the coconut flour, corn starch, and sugar for the filling.  Toss blueberries in the vanilla and then the mixture and set aside until crust is done.

Take reserved topping out of the fridge.  Mix in sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and oats.

When crust has cooked 15 minutes, take it out.  Dump berry mixture in and top with topping. 

Bake for an hour and ten minutes.




Tomato, Zucchini, & Chicken Parmesan {Gluten Free}

So. Gluten Free.

Back to it.

On the upside... apparently I'm not crazy.  D's farm school teacher sent me a message after my last post to tell me that she was wondering why his behavior changed :) I didn't clue her into our experiment.  It was nice to know that someone else noticed what was going on!  

The gluten free recipe building continues.  This chicken was delicious and loved by both boys - and their gluten loving parents.  The measurements are not exact - nor do they need to be - so use what you have.  We like Tinkyada pasta - I don't work for them or anything - but that has tasted and felt the most like regular wheat pasta.

Tomato, Zucchini, & Chicken Parmesan
We use organic, fair trade, and or local ingredients
1 lb of chicken – cut into pieces and pounded out thinly

1 egg
1/4 cup of milk

1 cup of gluten free flour mix (ie: Pamela’s or Premium Gold – or whatever you have)
1/2 cup of grated cheese
2 tsp dried basil

1 tomato
1 zucchini
1 cup of ricotta
1 bunch of fresh basil

1/4 cup of oil (I used half olive and half coconut)

1 cup of mozzarella grated
Heat pan and oil.

Mix flour, cheese and dried basil.

Mix egg and milk.

Preheat oven to 400.

Dredge chicken in egg mixture followed by the flour mixture and then put into the hot pan with oil.  Brown on both sides and then remove from the pan.

Slice thin slices of tomato and zucchini and set aside.

Drizzle some oil in the bottom of your baking dish.

Lay out chicken.  Put a scoop of ricotta on each, then a piece of basil, zucchini, and tomato.  Top with mozzarella cheese.

Cook in oven until bubbly and brown.  Enjoy with pasta, alone, or on a sandwich.  The chicken was crispy and delicious, the veggies were fresh from the garden, the kids loved it!!


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