Thursday, July 7, 2016

All Natural Hair Health: Reviving Hair Mask

My apologies for the delay in posting of late. Busy-ness crept into my schedule and I fell behind; but we're here with another fabulous recipe for your lovely locks, so all is forgiven, yes? Of course yes!

. . .

When I was trying to grow and repair my hair after it began falling out, this was my go-to recipe. Nothing else I tried made my hair this soft, silky and shiny, nor made it grow so quickly.

A picture of what my hair looked like a year or two ago:

 This recipe is a bit on the messier side but it's totally worth it!

Let's have a look at the recipe, shall we? Onward...! 

Reviving Hair Mask Recipe

- 2 eggs
- 2+ tbsps of oil (I used coconut oil)
- 1 c of water
- several drops of essential oil of choice (I used rosemary) 

Throw everything in the blender (a food processor will work, too. Or if you don't own either of those, simply melt your oil and whisk ingredients together by hand) and whizz it up.

Be sure to mix it very well. You don't want bits of egg white stuck in your me, been there, done that.

It should look something like this:

It's very frothy and creamy, like putting liquid ice cream in your hair. It smells good enough to eat too...but I wouldn't recommend eating it. ;)

Pour mixture into a bowl, large enough for you to dip your hair into easily. And grab a clip for your hair so you can put it up after you apply the mask.

Go someplace where you can make a mess and easily clean it up. You could stand in the bathtub and do this for an easy clean up. Or go outside like I did.

Begin by dipping your hair in the mask, and slowly working it in until you cover everything. Pay special attention to your scalp and ends.

Once you've applied the mask to your hair, twist it up in a clip or shower cap and leave in for a minimum of 1 hour, or longer if you wish. Afterwards, wash your hair out in the shower using just water, or you can go ahead and give it a little shampoo.

Air dry your hair and enjoy silky smooth locks with a lustrous shine!   

 Photo credits to my photographer: Carolina

(she's full of it, isn't she? LOL)

I hope you enjoyed this installment of our all natural hair health series! 

Love and Rich Blessings - 

~ Aspen 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Mirror Creativity

Mirror Creativity

Why do we attempt to create things? Why do we spend so much of our time trying to perfect a certain art or interest? Could it be, perhaps, that this is due to our Creator's undeniably beautiful creation around us? That we are trying to mimic our Creator's artistic hand? Think about it a moment; how many writers and poets have been trying for thousands of years to bring forth the perfect words that can describe the almost, sacred beauty of nature? Or painters, or musicians, or builders? They are still trying to copy and describe nature and its beauty. And no matter how hard we try, we shall never be able to recreate either in words, images, songs, etc; the creation around us.
It seems we are always trying to create and model our creations after God's designs, so many things are inspired from them; yet none of them can compare to the creativity of our God. 

But despite that, what a wonderful challenge and goal to work towards. To mirror Christ in all things, our interests, our life, everything. Even though we will never come even close to the depth of the majesty of His marvelous hands. 

I feel the earth around us will never be fully explained in any art or fashion, you can only imagine it, whisper its name to the wind and feel its presence; the presence of our Creator who is in all things.

Blessings - 

~ Aspen   

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Dream Homestead Chronicles: Rotational Pastures

Making the most of one's land is an essential ingredient in creating a well-oiled homestead that runs smoothly.

Most (not all, but most) homesteads are on the smaller scale and therefore every square inch of space is prevalent in the makeup of the homestead and the working of it. 

And even if you have much land to work with, taking care of and improving the soil of your land and increasing it's yields; is near and dear to every homesteader's heart.

Today I'd like to discuss the pros and cons of using rotating pastures for livestock.

Everything you need to know is in the name. Rotating your pastures after your livestock have grazed through it, then allowing it a rest period where it can regrow and produce more nutrient-dense plants due to the droppings of the animals that have grazed over it, is the basics of this method.

Having several fenced in areas that you wish to have grazed and then rotating your animals to a different pasture once they have grazed the current one down, is called "controlled grazing." It allows you to oversee that your animals are making the most of their pastures and eating all the different plants offered them, instead of allowing them free reign on your whole pasture, where they will only eat their favorite plants and leave everything else behind.

Grazing in sectioned pastures and keeping strict control over the pastures that are grazed has enormous benefits. The quality of the land and plants will be much improved and will create a higher yield of forage; or if you intend to plow and plant the pasture that your livestock have grazed and fertilized, the richness of the soil will greatly benefit your crops as well.

The meat, wool, eggs, and milk of animals who are raised primarily on pasture will be much healthier, whereas if they were locked in a pen and given grain, hay, etc. And the animals themselves will be healthier since they will be actively grazing their pastures instead of standing in one spot munching on hay all day long, and their diet will be much more diverse on pasture, therefore providing them with more vitamins and minerals from the varied forage. 

Unless you live in a location with a warm climate year round, you will only be able to graze like this for half of the year. However, my thought is during the colder months, sow your seed of choice into your different divided pastures and rotate them around; so even during the winter, fresh food may be offered to them.

Or fodder can be grown in a large or small scale, depending on your needs but that's another post altogether.

I practice rotational pastures with my herd of goats, quail and ducks, on a very small scale.

My Button quail in a moveable tractor that we push around the front yard as the grass gets fertilized.    

Here I've tried to document for you how quickly and efficiently my goats have cleaned up our old garden plot, and some of the backyard that they are allowed to graze. There is no need to let them graze down to the nub, unless you want them to. I believe it took them about 3-4 days to trim everything down to my satisfaction.


Simple hog panel fencing across their grazing area makes for easy movebility.

After being grazed for 3-4 days:

I have several pens set up that I can move the goats to. Once they graze one down, the next is grown up and ready for them.

Now, keep in mind goats are very different in their foraging habits than cows. They prefer leaves and weeds, to grass.  

They eat leaves, weeds and grass; in that order.

 They will be standing in foot high grass and when you come out the door, they'll scream at you like they are starving. Silly goats.

Goats will eat grass, after they've eaten everything else first. This is why they make great pasture companions for cows, horses, or geese, who eat grass but won't eat the trees or weeds unless there is nothing else available.

In my mind, a rotating pasture should have an assortment of animals all grazing it at once for optimal cleanup. 
Goats to keep the overgrown trees and weeds in check, cows (or insert any grass eating livestock here) to keep the grass grazed down, chickens and ducks to keep the bug population in check, and livestock guardians to keep an eye on things when you can't.

Everything working together to create harmony and peace is the mindset I have for my homestead. And indeed, for my life.

What more could you ask for in pasture management?

 One of my favorite things about homesteading and the general lifestyle it holds, is that everything works together to create, to build, to grow and flourish, as it was made to do. Everything, man, beast and plant, in the kind of life we were meant to live, in my opinion. 

So modern world of electronics, fast paced mindset and unrest; you can leave me in the middle of nowhere with my four-footed lawn mowers. 

I've shared my thoughts on a topic I am very excited about and hope to use in a much larger scale in the future, but until then I am using what I can of it on my own livestock.

Do you use controlled grazing with your livestock? What are your experiences? 

Love and Rich Blessings - 

~ Aspen