Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Taking A Brief Break

Just a quick post to say I am taking a break for a week because we have so much going on!  More soon! 

<3 Mama Lee <3

What have YOU got going on??  Are you busy gardening, taking a vacation, etc.?? 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

How To: Water Kefir

Water kefir is a way to make a natural, well tolerated, affordable source of living probiotics.  Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria we are born with in our guts & on our skin, and they are destroyed every time we eat cooked foods, take antibiotics, eat animal products that have consumed antibiotics, as well as when we drink, bathe, swim, drink from a water fountain, brush our teeth, & wash our hands in chlorinated & fluoridated water.  Also, eating foods & drinks ready-made & on-the-go (tea, coffee, soda, juice, etc.) are made w/chlorinated & fluoridated water unless they state they are made w/reverse osmosis or distilled water.  

Keeping that in mind, it would seem hopeless to replenish the good bacteria if we dwelled on that info alone, but good thing for us God provided a way to replenish our bodies by simple means in our very own kitchens, & many require minimal time & cost involved!  Some are more involved w/complex and more expensive ingredients, but there are some really great, quick inexpensive options.  One of those options is water kefir.

Here is the way I make water kefir, but there are many ways & you may find that you need to tweak my instructions to fit what works best for you.  Feel free to experiment & have fun!!


·   Add 3-4 cups reverse osmosis, distilled, well, or spring water to 1 QT jar (the water MUST be NON-fluoridated & NON-chlorinated… you add 1 cup of water PER TBSP of water kefir grains)

·     1 TBSP white sugar PER CUP of water… you can also use raw sugar, brown sugar, sugar cane juice , cane sugar, or even muscavado… do NOT use honey.. it will KILL the grains/good bacteria.  Fructose can be used for diabetics… NO artificial sweeteners!

·     1 tsp of unsulphured molasses every other batch or so (optional, but really seems to help ‘em grow like crazy… I use a few drips every batch!!)

·      1/8 – 1/2 tsp of baking soda (you will need 1/2 tsp for 8 C water if you are using distilled or RO water… less if using water w/minerals in it, such as filtered tap water, etc.  You probably do not need this if using well water or spring water, but feel free to experiment.)

·    **  Optional ** About 14-20 unsulphured organic raisins (you can use regular ones too, as well as other dried fruit… figs, apricots, cranberries, sultanas, dried prunes, or any other fruit… some claim success by brewing w/bananas, fresh, frozen, &  dried, but mine turned out to be a horribly nasty goo when I tried fresh bananas)

·   ** OPTIONAL (but oh so good & I find mine do best WITH lemon!) ** 1-2 small qtr slices of organic lemon (I buy them bagged fresh, wash & slice them, put them in a freezer bag, & then pop 1-2 frozen slices/slivers in a jar w/the grain mixture... the organic lemons have been about the same price or even cheaper than the regular lemons the times I have had to buy them.. if you use non-organic lemons, peel the skin off 1st).


To begin, just add all the ingredients to the glass jar EXCEPT the water kefir grains, stir vigorously until the sugar is dissolved, THEN add the grains, cover loosely (make sure it is NOT air-tight), & set on your counter.  You can also use a canning jar rim over a coffee filter instead of the canning jar lid disk. 

I brew for 24-48-72 hours & enjoy… shorter brewing time in warmer weather… taste it every so many hours in warm/hot weather to every ½ day to day in cooler weather ;0).... I usually sip some after 24 hours & may even drink some then... in the heat/higher temps, I have been brewing for 48 hours max... if I wait the full 3-4 days, it tastes like alcohol & the grains can turn into a yeasty goo... the 1st brew you do (or maybe even the 1st 2-3) may need to brew a little longer though, so as to get used to different brewing conditions/ingredient variations....

When temps are colder, it may take the full 4 days... just sip it as you go along & stop brewing when you like the taste...** note** the taste gets stronger the next day after it has been refrigerated for several hours, so you will learn what taste you like & figure out if you should brew 12-24 hours shorter, if the taste is too strong for you after being refrigerated... if that makes any sense. 

It is easy, really... you just wing it & go w/what taste suits you... the longer you brew = more alcohol content, which is apparent by tasting & smelling it. 

*** Something new I learned about is using 1 tea bag (I was told 1 tea bag no matter how much water) in place of using any dried fruit & fresh/frozen fruit… so you’d just mix the water, sugar, & baking soda (add baking soda only if needed for your water type… it usually isn’t for spring or well water, but IS for RO or distilled water) ‘til the sugar is dissolved completely… add the grains & then the tea bag (it can float around if it is tag less… if not, hang the tag over the side of the jar)… I haven’t yet used a tea ball, but I plan to… it is stainless… I think it will be fine as long as it is not sitting in the grains… & even then I think it would be fine, but I am not willing to risk that.
Also, since there is not a lot of info out there about brewing w/tea bags, I suggest you use the fruit & dried fruit every few batches to revamp the grains… it is not yet known if brewing w/tea bags stunts growth of the WKG, so to be on the safe side, rotate what you use…. & keep some spares in the fridge, dehydrate some, etc. 

When I brew w/tea bags, I find it takes 12-24 hours LONGER than usual to get to the same strength as the fruit brews do… which is really helpful if you forget about it like I do from time to time. ***


GRAINS  :   SUGAR   :   WATER   =             1       :        1          :         1
for example----------------------    2 TB GRAINS :  2 TB SUGAR  :  2 CUP WATER

Do YOU ferment anything??  Have you ever had water kefir??  Do YOU make water kefir??  Will you try to brew it yourself now after reading how frugal & easy it is??

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Happy Father's Day!!

A quick post to wish everyone a Happy Father's Day!! 

<3 Mama Lee 

Friday, June 14, 2013


Anybody outside of blogland who knows Mr. Lee & me, knows that we wear (or hold) our children as babies, infants, toddlers, & even older, when they need a snuggle, rest, etc.  We've been babywearing now for over a decade and it has been a tremendous blessing in so many ways.

For anybody unfamiliar with babywearing, the benefits are phenomenal & numerous.  Just a handful of the benefits are a hormone boost for mama, which can help with milk supply & postpartum recovery, bonding between the child & the wearer, allowing baby to be cared for safely while the wearer is hands free, and an increased quietness & alertness for the child which gives them the time to study the world around them from a safe, loving, & secure environment.  When a child is able to observe life from a place they feel safe, they often reach developmental milestones faster (learning to talk, walk, potty learn, etc.) and they will often become independent sooner because of the sense of security they have felt.

I know, I know "they" say if I carry or wear my baby (or child) they will become spoiled.  The most polite way I can respond to that is to say it is hog wash!  A baby ideally spends a full nine months in the womb & then all of a sudden they emerge from their safe haven.  Can you imagine all of the overwhelming stimulation they receive starting with the birth itself, but then to be laid down all ALONE?!  Uhm, where did everybody go?!  Mama!?!?  Where ARE you?!  I am scared, cold, & unsure of the new world around me!!  That sure sounds scary to me & I am big girl; can you just imagine how unsettling that would be for a baby?!  Of course, older babies & children, while they aren't immediately recovering from the awesome adventure of coming earthside, they still greatly need that closeness, security, & love too.  

That is where babywearing comes in!!  When worn, a child's needs are able to be known & met as fast as possible because they are known promptly (trust me on this one... a child in a carrier of some sort will let you know if they are hungry, tired, wet, dry, etc.).  Over the years I have worn ring slings, pouch slings, mei tais (no, not the drink!), framed backpacks, soft structured carriers (SSC), wraps, etc.  I have tried them all!  Certainly not every brand, but I have tried pretty much every type of carrier out there.  They all have pros & cons.  Some are more comfortable for a newborn or smaller child, while some are more practical for an older baby or child.  Some are adaptable for a newborn to a larger child, but require expensive add-ons, such as an infant insert, to do so.

Enter the Boba 3G!!

I can't even tell you how ECSTATIC I was when chosen to review the Boba 3G.  I was given my choice of colors & I chose Montenegro (black), but Camouflage & Tweet were close behind in my color choices (you can check out the other fabulous color choices here).  I actually really like all of the colors the 3G comes in, but I knew Mr. Lee would wear Montenegro or Camouflage rather than a floral or cutesy pattern, so I wanted to be sure to think of him when choosing the color.  Also, anybody who knows me knows that my favorite color is black (unless we are talking food, in which case it is chocolate, hands down) because it hides stains & is slimming. 

The Boba 3G has so many great features (check them out here)...I have finally found my favorite carrier!!  It is extremely versatile & doesn't need a costly, add-on infant insert yet is usable from birth through toddlerhood (7-45 lbs), comes with a removable hood (for a napping child and / or for protection in inclement weather), has adjustable, removable stirrups to provide extra leg support for older & taller children (which is a HUGE plus for me because we have very tall children), adjusts very easily for people of various heights & sizes (mama, daddy, older siblings, grandma, aunts, uncles, etc.), has a few pouches to store things in, can be worn on the front with the child facing in or on the back like a backpack, the straps can be loosened to allow for easy, discreet nursing, etc.  It is absolutely FABULOUS!!

We have been sure to really give it a good test period & have worn the 3G to the store, warehouse clubs, church, rummage sales, sporting classes & events, the park, an amusement park, a waterpark, on walks, hikes, at a picnic, frequently at home (at least once or twice a day), & I am sure I have forgotten other places, but you get the idea.

Oh, I forgot to mention that the Boba 3G is nice & soft, which means no rub marks on baby's delicate skin and it is comfortable for baby & the wearer.  I also have an Ergo Performance (Boba 3G & Ergo Performance side by side comparison review coming soon), but have not reached for it one time since my Boba 3G arrived... not one time... & I was wearing it everyday prior to getting the Boba 3G!

There is only one thing about it that has room for some improvement which would make the Boba 3G the absolute perfect baby carrier ever in my eyes & that is the zippered pocket, which is large enough to keep the removable hood in when not being utilized. When the hood is in the pocket it is bulky & it causes a bulge that goes into the back rest area. It isn't an issue for us though because I have found that since my LO is frequently dozing when worn in the 3G anyway, I just keep the hood hanging down so I can grab it & secure the baby's head as soon as he falls asleep. I absolutely LOVE the 3G & the hood pocket is not an issue for me. I just mentioned it though because it may be a bigger for someone else. The pocket is certainly still very handy for other smaller, items like keys, teething tablets, a cell phone, teether, etc.  

Overall I give the Boba 3G 5 stars & would very highly recommend it to anybody looking for a soft structured carrier!!  Be sure to check out Boba's website as they have many other wonderful products (I am personally eying the teething pads for the shoulder straps as my little one loves to suck on the straps), in addition to the 3G.  Boba can also be found on Facebook & Twitter so be sure to stop by & tell them you heard about them from Mama Lee @ All Things Mine & Yours.

 Boba Inc. provided a Boba 3G carrier for my review and my unbiased review is based upon my experiences with it & was not influenced by any outside factor.

Have you ever worn a child??  Do you currently wear a child??  If so, what is your favorite carrier??  What is your favorite color choice for the Boba 3G or any of their other great products??