Peppermint

Standard

I usually start my day off with a nice warm mug of peppermint tea.  Besides the delicious and refreshing taste, I looked into my mug this morning and wondered if peppermint had any more benefits.  I have noticed in the past that peppermint (tea, gum, etc) seemed to help with headache and upset stomach.  My research showed even more benefits!

https://i0.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b0/Mint-leaves-2007.jpg

Peppermint:

-Has been used throughout history and is one of the oldest medicines still in use today!

-Can increase blood circulation.

-Provides pain relief.

-Helps to relieve nausea.

-Can be effective in treating irritated skin or scalp by giving a cooling sensation and nourishing the skin itself.

-Can be used as aromatherapy to calm nervousness and anxiety.

 

And the list goes on and on!  Who knew such a commonplace herb could be so beneficial to our health!  I’m going to try some of the suggested uses of peppermint and see the great outcomes for myself! 🙂

 

Sources:

-http://www.organicfacts.net/organic-oils/natural-essential-oils/health-benefits-of-peppermint-oil.html

-http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/peppermint.html

-http://herbsrainbear.com/encylopedia/peppermint.htm

-http://voices.yahoo.com/5-facts-peppermint-7293624.html

Advertisements

Puzzle person

Standard

Puzzles are underrated and unappreciated nowadays.  My grandmother ALWAYS had a jigsaw puzzle she was working on in her basement.  Our family had fun finding new and more challenging ones for her to work on throughout the years.  We also did puzzles together as a family from time to time and I always enjoyed the grown-up feeling of trying to find which piece fit on the same puzzle my mom was working on.

This love of puzzles is still alive in me today!

Did you know that jigsaw puzzles are actually good not only for entertainment, but also for your brain health?  It is a leisurely activity with real benefits!

First of all, they help with Hand-Eye Coordination.  As a person (young or old) places pieces, fine motor skills improve.  Secondly, puzzles improve Visual and Short-Term Memory as these are used throughout putting the puzzle together.  They also improve Critical Thinking and Solving Skills.  Last, but definitely not least, as you put together a jigsaw puzzle, you are using both the Left and Right Side of your Brain.  When you use both sides of your brain it allows you to pass from the Beta state to the Alpha state, and also increases the efficiency and capacity of your brain cells.

This is an activity for all ages!  There are so many to choose from and you don’t have to do the whole puzzle in one setting.  Set up a card table and work on one after dinner with your family, or even while you watch TV!

Here is the puzzle I am working on at the moment (one my lovely husband gave me for a Christmas present).  🙂

20140217_175259[1]

Have Fun! 🙂

Sources:

1) http://social-psychiatry.com/jigsaw-puzzles-good-brain/

2) http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_are_the_benefits_of_jigsaw_puzzles

3) https://www.marblesthebrainstore.com/blog/2012/11/12/4616/

Lame…but I’m a fan!

Standard

OK so…some people might think this post is lame, but if you are an adult or at least someone who has EVER scrubbed a stubborn stove top before…you will agree in thinking this is awesome. 🙂

Today I was battling an ANNOYING grease mess on my stove that had been cooked on several times (I can’t clean EVERY time I cook. 😛 ).  I used a store-bought cleaner and it was still requiring much more elbow-grease than I was willing to give.  I decided to look online for a simple homemade cleaner that I could make quickly.  I was not expecting such awesome and INSTANT results as this.  I got the miracle cleaner recipe from THIS article.

Simply combine equal parts salt, baking soda, and water (I used a tablespoon as the article suggested).  Spread onto the stain and WIPE clean!  I used a paper towel so I could just throw it away after and not worry about it reacting with the other cleaner on my scrubbing cloth. It actually worked! Who knew? 🙂

Unfortunately I do not have a before picture to show the difference…but here is an after picture! All sparkly and clean. 🙂

Image

Use it next time your store-bought cleaner is letting you down! 🙂 I’m definitely a fan!

Homemade Bread

Standard

Image

Recently I have started to bake bread from scratch…without a bread machine. 😉  Although it is time-consuming, the pay-off is amazing! Today’s recipe was an oatmeal sandwich bread from Eat, Live, Run. I have also made this one in the past.  So good and SOOO much better than the preservative-packed store bread.  Basically, you are paying for convenience with store bread, but you are paying (with your time and a fraction of the money) for taste with homemade bread. 🙂

I think I might even invest in a bread machine sometime soon to make this bread-making even easier!

 

I hope I have inspired you to make your own bread today! You will need a loaf pan if you don’t already have one, but they are fairly inexpensive. 🙂

Image

 

Time to go have a perfect PB&J for lunch!

Pizza.

Standard

So, this post may sound a little obsessive. 🙂

I LOVE PIZZA!!!  It’s so good.  This probably sounds childish, but I don’t care. Tonight I made pizza from scratch with my husband (something we do on a semi-weekly basis).  I look forward to it! There are so many options…and flavors…and sizes.  I for one love calazones over the traditional pizza (and my “calazone” probably isn’t very traditional in the way I make it).  My husband ALWAYS wants the traditional-style pizza with as many toppings as possible. 🙂 I also always put a little garlic butter on the crust. 😉

We tried a new recipe for pizza dough tonight that was OK, but I had to make some adjustments.  Since I’m probably making you hungry with this post, here is the recipe so that you can make some dough and get cookin’! The super awesome thing about this recipe is that it doesn’t have to take an hour to rise or anything. Just make and bake!  Yes you can find some “better” doughs that take more effort and love, but this is a good one for a quick weeknight pizza fix.

Pizza Dough Recipe:

-2 3/4 cups flour

-2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

-1 teaspoon salt

-1 Tablespoon sugar

-2 Tablespoons olive oil

-1 cup warm water

Mix all dry ingredients together and then add the wet ingredients.  Knead dough until smooth.  Roll out and bake at 425 F for 5 minutes.  Cover with sauce and toppings and bake for another 10-20 minutes depending on desired crispiness of crust.  Also, try adding herbs or garlic into dough for extra flavor!

Extra Point Of Advice: When cooking homemade pizzas, the BEST option is to cook it on a pizza stone.  If you don’t have that, one of those non-stick pizza pans works too. 🙂

Have fun, and have some pizza!

How about a book review?

Standard

So, I thought I would start off the day with a good old-fashioned book review.  Since I am currently reading the second book in this (fairly long) series and a (not so great) movie rendition of this book premiered a few months ago, I would like to review the book Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. 🙂

http://christayelichkoth.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/ender.jpg

FIRST OF ALL, I do NOT typically like science fiction.  Although I enjoy the Star Wars movies and an occasional Star Trek installment, I always HATED reading Sci Fi in the past.  However, this book was SO GOOD!  First of all, this book goes beyond a fictional story and speaks to issues of war, love, human rights/responsibility, and more.  The story is about a young boy named Andrew Wiggin (a.k.a. “Ender) that is basically bred to save the world from destruction from an alien race known as the “buggers”.  He is a third child in a society of two children per family, but his older siblings did not have the right personality the international military wanted.  Ender seems to be the perfect mix of love for others and anger for justice.  The military ships him off to Battle School that is located on a ship far from Earth.  They put him through brutal training and social experiments in order to prepare him to be an influencing factor to end the “Bugger War”.  I won’t tell you the end of the book because I HATE it when people do that to me, but I will say that it is a bit of a surprise and is a satisfying ending to a satisfying book.  Go read it people!

 

I think that Card uses children as the heroes because of their innocence and (seemingly) easily pliable minds.  Ender is very smart however, and frequently gets mad with the commanders for obviously playing with his mind and emotions.  This book definitely goes beyond other Sci Fi stories to really speak to human rights and responsibility.  I also learned that some military schools have this book as a required reading as it can teach a lot about humanity and the pros and cons of war.  In conclusion, book can appeal to many different kinds of people and thus I think you should go read it. 🙂 Plus there are a lot of other follow-up books so you can continue the goodness!

 

Before I go, I want to mention that you should NOT watch the movie before you read this book.  You probably shouldn’t watch it AFTER you read either because it is a bit of a rushed disappointment…but some of it was enjoyable to see and I’m glad I still did.

 

I need to get into a book club, because I love this kind of thing. 🙂  Let’s start one, K?

The First One: Boredom Can Sometimes Bring Creativity

Standard

Although I would NEVER deem myself a writer, I do (from time to time) enjoy the art.  I am hoping this blog can be a creative outlet in which I can explore those things I enjoy most in life.  With that being said, the reader will never quite know what I will write about next!  However, I CAN tell you that it will be something that I find amusing or beneficial (i.e. Christian Life, FOOD, crafts, books, decor, marriage, etc.).  I hope you enjoy my posts as much as I do (but if you don’t, I don’t want to hear about it). 

 

I will end with a quote I found today that tickled my funny bone. 😉

“A word to the wise ain’t necessary – it’s the stupid ones that need advice.” -Bill Cosby