Monday, May 27, 2013

Have A Safe Memorial Day!!

Just a quick note to wish you all a safe Memorial Day!!  Don't forget to give a hug &/or a thank you to any current, former, & future military members!! 

Thank you to all of the men, women, & your families for the tremendous sacrifice you make for us!!

<3 Mama Lee <3

Friday, May 24, 2013

Natural Trash Can (And Diaper Pail) Freshener

I used to gag when I would empty or trash cans, even though I would sprinkle baking soda in the bottom of the cans before putting a bag in (if I used a bag) to help absorb the funky odors & moisture.  The baking soda helped to cut down on the odor & it also helped things not get stuck to the bottom of the trash can, if they somehow mysteriously made their way out of the bag (how DOES that happen, anyway?!) or in the case of our bathroom trash cans where I don't use any bags at all, but it seemed the baking soda would absorb all of the odor.  Which was great not to have it absorb into the plastic trash can, but then it still smelled... ahem, oh, SO gross!!  The worst was when a kitchen garbage bag would leak into the can... all kinds of nastiness would occur & talk about grossing me out... & the stink?@!*  Ewwwwwwwwwww!!!

Anyway, one day I decided to sprinkle some cinnamon in the kitchen trash can (the nastiest can that gets the most use, so a great test subject) along w/the usual baking soda & what did my nose smell, or rather NOT smell??  It smelled nothing gross!!  I was amazed & VERY pleasantly surprised... so guess who ran giddily through the house adding cinnamon to the baking soda in EVERY trash can & diaper pail (great for cloth diaper pails or hanging pails too!!)??  Yes, me... I am very easy to please, no?! LOL 

Just yesterday, for the first time since I started adding the cinnamon to the baking soda, when I went to empty the kitchen trash can I realized the brand new bag that had no holes in it when I put it into the can had leaked all into the can (Oh, yuck!!!!!!!  HOW does that happen when we recycle and/or reuse almost all of the packaging things come in, so they don't go into the trash can, & we really don't have a lot of packaged things anyway simply because I have to make most everything from scratch due to sensitivities) & I cringed.  I then followed my usual routine when that happens & took the can, bag still in it, to the garage to remove the bag.  Much to my dismay & delight there was not the what-on-earth-could-possibly-smell-this-horrible thought that usually races through my mind when we have a leaky bag... no gagging either...  Hmmmm, so I got brave (or stupid?!) & took a whiff of the empty can w/the liquid still in the bottom of the can.  Hey for the sake of my experiment I HAD to, no??  Well, I still didn't gag (& was so relieved too!)... the can actually had a neutral to cinnamon scent instead of the what-on-earth-crawled-into-this-can-&-died scent?!  SCORE!! 

So there you go... for YOU I risked losing my breakfast & there is another plus for the benefits of baking soda... & of course, cinnamon, because just the baking soda doesn't cut it alone. 

In case you're wondering I just sprinkle a thin layer of the baking soda on the bottom of the garbage can or diaper pail & then I sprinkle cinnamon on top of that... and VOILA!! 

Do YOU add anything to your garbage cans to help cut down on odors??  If so, what do you use??  Will you try baking soda and cinnamon?? 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Healthy Orange Slushy

We love our cold desserts around here... slushies, ice cream, & sorbet, which we can make because we have a Vitamix.  I am confident you can make this slushy in a standard blender though, so no worries if you don't have a Vitamix or other blender of that type.  I typically try to use honey to make the recipe w/out refined sugar, but you can just as easily use white sugar, succanat, stevia, agave, etc.


1. 1 1/2 peeled oranges (you can also use lemons, strawberries, etc. but this time of year we tend to have oranges in the fridge.. if using something other than oranges use an amount that would be closest to 1 1/2 average size oranges; also I do NOT remove any seeds because the VM pulverizes them, so you may want to remove them if your blender won't break them down unless you don't mind spitting them out like watermelon seeds... summer fun, no?!)

2. 2-4 cups of ice cubes (I start w/less & add more if needed until I reach the desired taste & consistency depending upon how many servings I am trying to make)

3. 1/3-1/2 cup of honey (I try to use as little of a sweetener as possible when making anything, even when using honey or another "healthy" type of sweetener simply because it is still a sugar & while it is a healthier one it still affects our blood sugar, etc. so I tend to use as little as possible... if you use white sugar, you will need closer to the 1/2 cup of sugar)

4. 2-4 cups of water (or as needed)... I usually start w/approximately 2 cups & then add more as needed to get the desired taste & consistency depending upon how many servings I am trying to make.


Add ice, water, & orange (or other fruit) to the blender container in any order.  Then add the honey last so it doesn't get stuck in the bottom of the blender container... (just trust me on this one, okay?!). 

Blend everything together until the ice is pulverized & it reaches your desired consistency. 

Pour into glasses, mugs, bowls, etc. & serve!


I like to serve it in coffee mugs because it makes it easier to hold onto a cold drink without our hands getting cold in a mug with a handle... and call me lazy but I also like to be able to put the mugs in the dishwasher so I don't have to hand wash any extra dishes beyond what I already have to, which I can't do with a plastic cup.

Makes about 6-8 mugs of yummy, icy fun!! 

Do YOU have a favorite slushy recipe??  Do you make any frozen drinks to cool down in the warm weather??  Will you try this one??

Thursday, May 16, 2013

How To: Kombucha Tea

See the new scoby forming on top??
Most everybody has heard of probiotics these days, but many people have no idea you can actually culture them yourself in your very own kitchen.  One way to do so is by making kombucha, a fermented, fizzy drink that has a slight kind of an apple cider taste to it.  It can also be cultured longer for it to turn into vinegar & can then be used in your recipes that call for vinegar or apple cider vinegar.  Good stuff with so many uses!!

I have been making my own for some time now... I have tried some other recipes out & have come to find a routine that works for me... feel free to tweak it to meet YOUR needs as well.  I'd love to hear from you how you like it & what changes, if any, you made to the recipe!!

You CAN use a smaller jar, but will obviously need to figure out the right ratio of starter, to water, to tea, to sugar for a smaller batch. 

-    -   1 gallon glass jar (plastic & ceramic can leech toxins from them into the kombucha drink) – you can use a smaller jar, just use less tea,  sugar, & starter – you can use the same size scoby and the new one will be the size of the smaller jar, if you use a smaller jar; I use an old pickle jar
-    -  3 qts filtered water (no fluoride & no chlorine especially)
-    -  1 ½ c sugar (some recipes call for less sugar, but I find it just won’t work right if I use less, as much as I’d like to use less sugar)
-    -   4 tea bags or 2 T. loose tea (decaf okay, no herb/flavored/or fruit tea)- some say organic is okay, some say not as they claim claim organic tea will cause it to mold- I personally think the issue is not letting the tea cool enough before putting it in the jar… if it is cool, it should not mold... I had 2 batches mold (2 different times, some months apart) & both times I was too antsy & didn't let it cool long enough
-    -    1 scoby culture 
-    -    6 -12 oz starter (per gallon jar… so if using a smaller jar you can use less, of course) -- if you use more starter the faster it will ferment & I am all about faster!! 


1.       boil 1 qt water until rapidly boiling (lid on) – save the other 2 qts for another step
2.       stir in 1 ½ c sugar until completely dissolved
3.       turn off stove 
4.       add 4 tea bags & leave to steep w/lid on for 20-30 mins (longer is okay if you forget about it, but ideally not for more than 2 ½ -3 hours)
5.       remove tea bags & allow to cool for 2 ½ - 3 hours (if you steeped for 20-30 mins… if you left it steep longer, don’t let it steep & cool off for a total of more than approx 3 ½ hours or you risk it molding – advice varies on that, but I like to be cautious)
6.       add cooled sweet tea to glass jar
7.       add 2 more qts of room temp water
8.       add 6 oz starter
9.       add culture
10.   cover w/a coffee filter or thin piece of fabric, secured by a rubber band around the neck
11.   place in a warm, dim/dark place for approx 7-14 days – the warmer the place, the faster it will brew (start tasting after 5-7 days & every 1-2 days thereafter to check for the right taste you like… I brew until about 12-14 days until it gets fizzy & a bit tart, but that may take longer w/your 1st brew or 2 until the culture adjusts to your water & brewing environment--- a dim/dark place is a must to keep the culture alive—I keep mine in a pantry that is opened several times a day, so complete darkness is not a must)

When completed to your liking, pour into glass jars & store in fridge (it stops the fermentation process).  Do NOT store on counter or pressure can build as it continues to ferment & you risk explosion of the jars.  Be sure to reserve 6 oz of your brew for your next batch.  Use the culture from the TOP layer to start your next batch (you can use the one underneath too, but the top one is freshest), & you can even do a double batch using the other culture, just be sure to save 6-12 oz of kombucha for the next batch you want to brew (remember to save some from every batch for each successive brew following... so you brew a batch & then save 6-12 oz., then you save 6-12oz from the next brew, & so on).

You can compost any extra cultures, sell them, dehydrate them, give them away, store 1 or more in some sweet tea (no kombucha needed) in the fridge, or throw them away (GULP! LOL  I have thrown them away myself before I had a compost bin & didn’t know of anybody else to share them with before I found out how many people on Freecycle are crazy about them too! LOL).  I advise you to keep at least 1 extra one in the fridge as a back-up.

I found it is pretty hard to kill your culture, so don’t worry too much!  Use CLEAN hands only to handle the culture & while making the brew.  NO metal utensils (I do use a very fine, mesh metal strainer to strain my brew when complete & have not had any issues… it never touches the actual culture).  

Have YOU ever had kombucha tea??  If so, did you buy it or make it??  Around here they sell small bottle of kombucha tea for $4-5... yes, PER BOTTLE!!  Do you take probiotics or eat any certain foods/drinks known to contain probiotics (yogurt, milk kefir, water kefir, etc.)??  Do you think you will try making your own kombucha tea??  

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!!


<3 Mama Lee <3

Friday, May 10, 2013

EXPIRED: FREE 8x10 Collage Portrait at Walgreens (Expires May 11, 2013 @ 11:59 pm CST)!!

Here is a FABULOUS freebie I had to share!!  ** NOTE ** this expires May 11th @ 11:59p.m. Central Time, so HURRY UP....ahem, please hurry up :0)!!

Create an 8×10 Photo Collage @ and use coupon code COLLAGE4YOU at checkout to make it FREE when you select in store pick-up. 

You can also have it delivered to your home for $.99, if you like to select a "matte" finish, which is only available when shipped to home.  Even if you pay the shipping charge, it is still a great deal in my book!

Thank you, Money Saving Mom (the affiliate link above is for Money Saving Mom, not All Things Mine & Yours as I don't yet have an account set up with them, but still wanted to pass along this sweet deal)!

Have you seen any other great photo deals??  If so, please post them here for others to be able to use them too :0)!


<3 Mama Lee <3

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

HELLO Spring!!

A quick note to touch base... we are FINALLY having spring here & have so much to do all of a sudden this week with the weather breaking (seemingly for good... I hope?!)!! 

I am also hard at work testing out some products I have been graciously sent for reviews... in fact I spent several hours trying one of the fabulous products out yesterday & will be continuing to test it out over the next 3-4 weeks (& I am in LOVE with it, so I am thinking I will be using it quite often for the next several years to come, too.. or at least until my youngest outgrows it).  I also have some other yummy goodies to dive into (literally, as they are bath products... can't wait)... so. much. fun!! 

Right now we are working on some handmade Mother's Day gifts for grandmas & have to get them done so they will arrive in time.  I will sign off for now & will be back soon!

How will you spend your Mother's Day, whether you are a mama, aunt, grandma, sister, friend... or even a man (YES, I DO have male readers!! LOL)??  

I am looking forward to time w/my family & enjoying the nice weather... & hoping for something edible... maybe in my favorite color... chocolate!! LOL  I may be into health, but let me tell you, chocolate is one way to derail me... & I don't discriminate... I like pretty much ALL chocolate... yes, even the less than healthy kinds!  

Hey, I can't help it... it is in my genes... just ask Grandma... she has candy hidden in her little cubbies, drawers, shelves, desk, etc.  SHE has taught me well... minus the having it hidden everywhere... I can't do that anymore because I know have kids who will find it... I have had to sharpen my skills & hide it other places... problem with that is I hide them so well, I even forget where I hid my treats!  Yes, true story... sigh... unfortunately!! LOL  Hey, just keeping it real even if I make myself look silly, no?!     

Do YOU make anything for any blessed ladies in your life for Mother's Day??  Will you be staying home?? working outside?? spending time w/others??  relaxing alone??   

How is YOUR weather?? Is it gardening time??  If so, what are you planting?? herbs?? veggies?? fruit??

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Now On Facebook

Just a quick post to say you can now find All Things Mine & Yours on Facebook:

And also here:

Please "like" my page, share with others, & feel free to invite me to like your page as well :0)!!  I look forward to hearing from you via comments here on the blog & via FB!!

<3 Mama Lee <3

Fabulous FREE Resources for 3 DAYS ONLY (For Busy Women & Moms)

I saw this & wanted to share... it says it is for homeschool moms, but I think some of it can easily be applied to women & moms who work out of the home, moms who don't homsechool, moms of grown children, grandmas, etc.

You enter your email address into the box & they will give you the code to receive the bundle for FREE.  I had no problems with it asking for payment after the code was entered.

I originally read about this via:

Some info about what is included & the link to the resource:

The Homeschool Mom Rescue Set is just what you need! Free for 3 days only for HSG Subscribers!

Each audio set is valued at $5 & comes with a cooresponding PDF ~ Total Value $50! Here's what you get:

Dinner Is On The Table by Felice Gerwitz
No Mega-Cooking necessary! Felice explains how a busy life and meals on the table do mix.

Seven R's for Homeschooling by Meredith Curtis
More than reading, writing and arithmetic--Meredith shares amazing insights for homeschool moms.

Square Pegs Round Holes by Tara Jenner
One size does not fit all - or even "most" and Tara explains hot to make the most of your child's gifts.

Too Many Eggs In My Basket by Judy Dudich
Over-committed? Overtaxed? This talk is for you.

Difficult Child by Kathie Morrissey
Everyone's child is not perfect - but maybe you are struggling with yours? Kathie has tips & real help for Mom.

When Planning Fails by Felice Gerwitz
Life doesn't follow a neat orderly path, even when we plan in advance and in detail. Felice knows this firsthand and shares ways to make lemonade from lemons.

Raising World Changers by Meredith Curtis
Why settle for mediocrity? We are children of the King and Meredith tells us how to set goals that give glory to God.

Organization & Planning by Tara Jenner
Get your school year

Frustrated Stressed by Kathie Morrissey
Stress? Anger? Discouragement? Katie discusses causes and how to deal with them.

Precious to God by Felice Gerwitz
During trials Felice realized the Lord doesn't make mistakes. Uplifting

The Homeschool Mother's Prayer Album
The first song in the album for homeschool moms - "Homeschool Mother's Prayer," encouraging and uplifting!


<3 Mama Lee <3

National Day of Prayer 2013...

I just wanted to share this in honor of National Day of Prayer...

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

~ 2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV) ~

Lord, I pray for your healing hand upon nations near & far.  I pray that we will see the error of our ways & turn to You.  I pray that Your light shines through all of those who love You.  May I be the salt & light You call me to be.  May I show Your love to others.  May I be Your hands & feet.  May I show Your love, grace, & mercy even when I may not always feel like it.  Thank you, Lord, for never giving up on me, for never forsaking me, & the gift of Salvation through Jesus!


<3 Mama Lee <3