Friday, May 31, 2013

DIY Planner

As I was browsing Pinterest I saw a pin for a DIY Planner, so of course I had to check it out.
The original blog I referenced can be seen here.
I immediately loved the idea of a personalized planner that has everything I need in a planner, and nothing more.
As I set out to make my own, I found a plethora of templates online, but none of them were exactly what I needed (The author of this blog includes a cleaning schedule and a detailed prayer journal in her DIY planner and her weekly calendars are broken down by the hour, which is more detail than I need in a planner right now), so I started up Pages, and began creating my own.
It definitely took some time, but I love the outcome and it was so worth it!

At the start of every month I have a monthly calendar so I am able to look at the month as a whole, not just week-by-week.

I also added a prayer journal page at the beginning of each month.
My hope is that this will help me be more intentional in my prayer life. And so when I tell someone that I will be praying for them, it won't slip my mind.
I am super excited about this part of my planner!!!

Instead of typing in the dates for each week and having to print them out at home, I left them blank so I could print it off at Office Depot, for way cheaper!
Then I went in and wrote in the date for each day.
I know it sounds like a lot of work, but it really wasn't. And I was able to use fun color pens to fill in the dates!

I also added a space at the bottom of each day to put what we have planned for dinner. Since we schedule meals 2 weeks at a time, sometimes I forget what we have planned! Also, it allows me to see how long it's been since we have eaten a certain meal.

All in all my weekly calendar is pretty simplistic, but it works for me, and gives me plenty of room to doodle! ;)

On the last page of each month I also added a "notes" section for anything I may need to write down to remember.

For the cover I picked out a fun piece of scrapbook paper from Michael's and cut it to fit the rest of the pages.
The binding was only $2.90 at Office Depot and the entire planner cost me $15.
I realize that I could buy a planner at the store for $10 or so, but being able to have one that is customized to fit my exact needs is well worth the extra $5!

Enjoy! And let me know if you decide to make your own planner! ;)

Also, I have the file with the pages that I used for my planner if anyone is interested!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Homemade Cough Drops!

Long time no see! But alas, I am back!
And so is summer.
That means I am sure to be getting some summer colds.
This unfortunate fact makes these DIY cough drops so special and such a great find!

The original recipe came from HERE

For my cough drops I used green tea for the liquid base, honey for the sweetener, and peppermint essential oil for the medicinal properties.

The website where I found the original recipe had this information:

Some great herbs (and their uses) for lozenges are:
Horehound - (be careful - this stuff is strong!) pain reliever, stimulates digestion
Echinacea - best before full onset of cold, anti-bacterial + blood cleanser
Peppermint - expectorant, decongestant and mild pain reliever
Eucalyptus - relieves congestion
Camphor - relieves congestion
Ginger - pain relieving, antiseptic and antioxidant
Goldenseal - antiseptic and immune stimulant
Licorice - anti-viral, chest and throat soother
Sage - good for sore throats
Fennugreek - expectorant
Juniper - relieves congestion
Yarrow - reduces fevers and inflammation

All you actually need for this recipe is sugar (sweetener) and tea. The herbs are helpful, but if you use tea that has herbs in it to help with your cold, they aren't necessary.

To make the cough drops:

1 part liquid : 1 part sugar

You can use a combination of sweeteners, but each combo will have different cooking times for this reason I bought a candy thermometer. It helped so much!

Add your sugar to your tea and heat over med-high.
Stir until sugar is completely dissolved.
Bring to a boil and DO NOT STIR AGAIN. (Since I used all honey, I stirred continuously)
Wash away crystals from the side of your pan with a damp brush or cloth.
Once candy reaches 300oF (150oC), remove from heat.
Add colors and flavorings (opt) and stir.

Pour your finished mixture into your prepared molds.
Allow to set until firm.

The website where I got the recipe from suggested to make your own molds using powders sugar. I tried that, it didn't work for me. I would rather buy some molds to use.

Disclaimer: since I used only honey to sweeten these drops they tasted predominately of honey with a menthol aftertaste (from the peppermint EO).

Next time I want to use other herbs as well as the peppermint. And I may cut the honey in half and just cave and use some sugar (ugh)

Now I'm all ready for summer colds and winter colds!

I love that they are all natural and I know exactly what's in them! :)