Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Make your own Rice Milk

So far, our gravitation to a whole grain plant-based diet has been going well. We're still trying to figure out new recipes to try, so we have a little more variety and aren't just eating a million and a half beans, but we're getting there.

In trying to cut out dairy (among the other animal-based proteins)  we decided to try making our own rice milk. And I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it!

Rice Milk Recipe - How to make rice Milk

Some people prefer to cook the rice first, but I find the milk ends up a little on the slimy side that way.

I followed some suggestions to roast brown rice on the stove and soak it overnight, instead of cooking it, and found that I like that much better.

If you're trying to move away from dairy, or just want to see what all this rice milk hoopla's about, give rice milk a try. It's so easy to make and really does taste good.

After trial and error, here's the way we like to make Rice Milk:

Rice Milk Recipe

1/3 c brown rice
3 cups water
Honey or other sweetener

Toast 1/3 c brown rice in a pan on the stove until you start to smell its nutty flavor
Transfer the rice into a container with more than enough water to cover it
Soak toasted rice over night

Pour out water from soaked rice and rinse the rice
Transfer the soaked rice into a blender and add 3 c water
Blend well
Gently pour blended rice milk through a wire strainer into a mason jar (some use cheesecloth)
Add honey to your liking
Add vanilla to your liking
Store in a sealed container in the fridge

I usually double the recipe and end up with two big mason jars.

We've used our rice milk on cereal, added it to recipes, and used it in veggie/fruit smoothies.
It has just the right sweetness (after adding a touch of honey and vanilla) and is very light on the tongue.

You can also buy it at most grocery stores, but it's easy enough and much cheaper to make it right in your kitchen!

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Ramblings from a sick bed

Sick day sarcasm
One minute your husband's sick and you're feeling a bit guilty for feeling so healthy...and the next? You're the one down for the count!

After 11 long days of plugged ears and sinuses, yesterday the heavens finally parted and my ears unplugged. Hallelujah! And yes, I could literally hear the angels singing.

Going back to work has been tough with the kids at school running circles around me. I'm still at about 1/2 speed. Good thing it's Saturday tomorrow!

  • 2 sunny days in a row. Big deal for Seattle!
  • 4 days of work (yikes!)
  • 2 Sundays at church
  • Hearing
  • Breathing
  • Sleeping
  • Sanity

Steam treatments. Love them!
  • They can clear plugged sinuses in about 15 minutes and are quite relaxing. They didn't unplug my stubborn ears though. Boo!
  • Steam treatments even gave my skin a healthy glow (bonus!). I might make this a weekly ritual!

  • Thanks to our 2nd free Netflix trial, I had a load of baloney good flicks to watch.
  • I'm a little late to join the Downton Abbey obsession, but I'm officially hooked. Unfortunately, I only had season 1. Now I'm #698 on the library waiting list for season 2. Drat!
  • Mirror, Mirror
  • Adoption Terror (cuz, why not?)
  • Documentaries on food, veganism, vegetarianism, whole grain plant-based diets, environmentally friendly cleaning. 

The most surprising thing that came out of this sick spell, was what I learned about food and the changes I have stared making. I guess that's what happens when you're trapped in a sick house watching 6 straight hours of Food Documentaries.

My husband and I have decided to turn away from eating animal proteins (i.e. meat, dairy) and turn toward a Whole Grain Plant-Based Diet.

What totally resonated with me, was learning why it's not healthy to eat animal proteins. I've always thought it was just about eating leaner versions of cheese, milk, beef, chicken, & turkey, but what I learned, is that it's the animal protein itself that promotes disease and cancer cell growth in human beings, no matter how fat or lean it is.

Every time I ingest an animal based food, I'm ingesting the animal proteins that make up that food.

It suddenly all made sense to me.

For some, animal proteins may not have the same effects, but for me? From personal family health scares, it seems that my genes don't tolerate animal proteins very well.

You can reverse disease and other effects animal proteins have done to your body, by changing your diet to whole grain plant-based foods. So we're going for it! I have to say, it's great to have my husband totally on the same page with me on this. We've been able to shop together and come up with some interesting recipes to try.

Watch out world as a healthier Shannon emerges! ❀

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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Pillows for Children and Nursery Decor: Sarah Jane & Alice Kennedy Fabrics

Childrens bedroom decor and Baby Nursery decor Handmade Pillow cases
Since one of my New Year's Resolutions was to create new items for my etsy shop, I decided to go crazy and buy some cute new fabrics.

I can't get enough of the scrumptious prints from Designer Sarah Jane! I stumbled upon her art a few years back and fell in love with it all.

I bought one of her prints for my sewing room wall, where it hangs to inspire me each day.

I was tickled pink when I saw that she had expanded her artwork into darling collections of fabric: Children at Play and Out to Sea, which perfectly captures the whimsy and playful imagination of childhood. One of each please!

Okay, so I couldn't buy everything. But I wanted to.

I still have a few pillow cases to go, but here are the ones that are fresh in the shop!
Pillows are perfect for adding a soft, colorful touch to a child's bedroom, or adding something sweet and special for a baby nursery. They make lovely, personal baby shower gifts as well.

Baby girl or child pink mermaid pillow case perfect for nursery or bedroom

I made a pillow for my sister's baby girl Scarlett, and she absolutely loved it.
It's special because it not only brings auntie's love to her nursery, but it will grow with her and go on her big girl bed when it's time.

Great baby shower gift for new mom and new baby nursery decor

And we musn't forget playful little Pirates! Perfect for an adventurous little boy's room.

Baby shower gift idea: Pirates Life Pillow nursery decor

I bought one other really cute fabric from Sarah Jane's Children at Play collection and will share it when I've finished the last stitches.

Sweet aren't they?
I told you you'd love Sarah Jane's Fabric.

Now on to the owls...

Anyone else crazy for owls? Until recently, they've been a little under-appreciated. But now? Owls are everywhere! And I LOVE this colorfully bright owl fabric from Alice Kennedy. 

It's such a feel-good fabric.  My mom instantly ordered a couple for herself! I don't blame her! I want them too!

Cute, colorful Owl Pillow for home decor, children's room or baby nursery, unisex

Thanks for indulging me and sharing in my excitement for my new products!

I have many more to share, that are just waiting to be sewn. Like I said, I went a little crazy and bought a few several probably more fabric than I should have, but WOW! Don't even get me started with the number of cute fabrics out there. At least I didn't buy ALL of them. Yet. *wink*

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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Easy Watercolor Painting with Crayola Washable Markers

Easy Watercolor painting with crayola washable markers I have been excited to share this fun watercolor painting technique since Valentine's Day.

I don't claim to be a real watercolor artist, but this is just as fun as if I really knew what I was doing! ha!

If you have Crayola Washable Markers handy, you're already half way there. Just find a paint brush, plastic wrap and a little water and you're good to go!

Making Your own Watercolor Paints

use watercolor markers and water to create watercolor paintsSUPPLIES:
-Crayola or other washable markers  (*I've only tried Crayola)
-Plastic wrap
-Containers of water
-Small paint brushes
-Art work to paint

  • The markers have to be WASHABLE so the water-based ink can be diluted in water.
  • The smaller the paint brush, the easier it is to paint small spaces.
  • I searched for "coloring pages" online and printed these images onto blank cards.
  • The more water you add to your paintbrush, the more muted or "water-color-like" your colors will be.
  • Paint may trickle off the plastic wrap, so work on a surface that can easily be wiped off.
  • If you drip paint on your art where it shouldn't be, just paint over it! (***see below)

Step 1:
Lay a piece of plastic wrap down on a hard surface. Have containers of water, brushes, markers and artwork ready.

Step 2:
Color markers directly onto plastic wrap.

color markers on plastic wrap to gather ink

Step 3:
Dip your brush into clean water.

make your own watercolors with small paintbrush, water and washable markers

Step 4:
Dip your wet brush into the marker ink on the plastic wrap. *The more water you add, the more diluted or muted your colors will be. It's fun to try different amounts and even mix colors!

Place wet paintbrush in crayola washable marker in gathered on plastic wrap

Step 5:
Paint on your artwork, re-dipping your brush in water and color as needed.

paint artwork with a wet paintbrush and ink from a washable marker

Here's the finished owl card.

***And see those little hearts to the side? Those used to be red paint smudges that I just turned into hearts. So easy to cover up little mistakes and no one would ever know. Except now they will, but whatever.

owl handmade birthday card created with diy watercolor paint

Handmade umbrella card with handmade watercolor paints

Easy watercolor painting - starbucks mug painting with watercolor paints made from washable markers
DIY watercolor painting handmade cupcake card

I love the vibrancy and variety of paint colors, much brighter and diverse than you can find in regular little watercolor paint sets.

If you'd like watch and learn? I've included video tutorials of me painting the owl and cupcake cards on my youtube channel.

Try it yourself! If I can paint watercolors then anyone can!♥

{Watch} me paint the Owl card

{Watch} me paint the Cupcake card

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