Easy Blueberry Jam

Blueberry Jam

This past Saturday, my husband decided we needed to have an on-a-whim family outing! We went to a local u-pick blueberry farm, since Little Man loves blueberries. Plus, there is SO much you can make with blueberries!

Blueberry Picking

After we got home and I washed them all, I found a recipe that I could….sorta follow. 😉 Since I don’t like following recipes to a T, I decided I’d share with you all this super simple, so easy, small-batch blueberry jam recipe!

Jam

Ingredients:
4 cups blueberries
1/2-3/4 cup sugar (I erred on the side of less sugar)
6 drops Young Living’s Lemon Vitality oil (you could use about 2 tsp of lemon juice)
sprinkle of cinnamon (believe me, this helps make it!)

Directions:
Mix all the ingredients on medium heat in saucepan, stirring continually. Continue stirring for 30 mins. Don’t stop stirring, or it will begin to stick and burn to the bottom. Yes, I understand not leaving the stove for 30 mins is difficult. It will be worth it. After 30 mins of cooking, pour into glass jar- my batch made 1qt and 1/2 cup of jam. Refrigerate until at least cool for it to firm and turn into jam consistency. Enjoy!

My men loved this on a batch of homemade zucchini bread and a batch of zucchini bread where I added blueberries to the top. Yum!

What’s your favorite blueberry recipe?

Sincerely,
Hannah Diane
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Other Blueberry Recipes:

Coconut Blueberry Cake Lemon Blueberry Muffins Blueberry Banana Muffins

 

Easy Ways to Prepare Your Body for Labor

I’m one of those really crazy, weirdo, crunchy mamas who actually likes giving birth. Sorry, sue me. 😉 Birth is a very natural (obviously) thing to have happen, and I know it’s different for everyone, but I really believe there are some things you can do to have a faster, easier labor.

(And I’m not naive, I know there are instances where nothing like these tips will help- but it’s worth it to try!)

Preparing for Labor

#1- Walking, walking, walking! Walking is one of the best things to do to help your body get ready for labor. After 37 weeks, I incorporated lots of hill/incline walking to help encourage labor.

#2- lots of squats! “Squat 300 times a day, you’re going to give birth quickly.” – Ina May Gaskin. There are lots of different kinds of squats to do- normal, wide, deep. Do what feels good and mix it up! I definitely believe squats get your body ready for labor.

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#3- red raspberry tea/third trimester tea! I didn’t do this with my first birth, and even though I had a very fast labor, I’ve been drinking tea religiously this pregnancy to see if it will help.

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#4- stretching! Stretching feels good on a growing, stretching body, but also helps open up your hips in preparation of your upcoming birth. Check out all the awesome hip opener stretches online!

#5- read & watch positive births! When people want to tell you their “horror birth stories”, just tell them you want to have a positive experience. I watched lots of good homebirths to get my mind ready and to be confidant in my body’s ability of giving birth.

What did you do to help prepare your body for labor?
Sincerely,
Hannah Diane
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Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for the Crunchy Mom

Can you believe Mother’s Day is a week and a half away? Crazy! My husband asked me the other day what I would want for Mother’s Day and I actually had some ideas….since I needed to write them down for him anyway, I’d thought I’d share them here for some other husband’s inspiration! 😉

Gift Ideas for the Crunchy Mama

Books. Crunchy Mamas are all about learning. They love learning new things, and usually like reading for fun, too. Check out her Amazon cart or other list of books she may be wanting. Some of the ones on my list are….
1) Mama Natural’s Week by Week Pregnancy Guide
2) The First Forty Days
3) Magic of Motherhood
4) Long Days of Small Things

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Gardening. If your wife is the gardening type, treat her to a garden day together! Either pick up some plants you know she’s been wanting (blueberry bushes, fruit trees or rose bushes are a good place to start), or a trip to the garden center, and spend the day as a family working in the garden! Some things to help her out with her gardening would be an awesome bonus!
1) A cool gardening kit like this!
2) Cute gloves like these.
3) A fun knee pad like this!

Self-Care. All mommas need to work on self-care! Getting her somethings to encourage her to take care of herself, and watching the kids so she can, is such a great gift! Some self-care ideas would be….
1) A trip to get a massage, or mani/pedi
2) Toxin-free nail polish! Did you know that there are tons of hormone distrupting chemicals in nail polish? Gross. I would absolutely love to get the Crescent Crush or the Pothole Polish colors from Native Polish!
3) Young Living Starter Kit!!! MEN. This is the best gift you could ever give her! The health of your wife & kids is definitely worth it. She will love the diffuser, and trying out all of the 11 oils it comes with! A super awesome BONUS during the month of May is the extra 15mL bottle of Tangerine. It smells devine and she’ll find so many different uses for it! You can order it for her HERE, plus, she’ll get added to an awesome community full of like-minded women who love natural health!
4) Bath bombs– y’all. These scream self-care! Make sure you get your wife some- but make sure the ingredients are actually good for her and not full of yucky chemicals!

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Snacks. Men, women need their snacks- especially chocolate. Whether it’s that time of the month, or pregnancy cravings, your wife will always want a special stash of healthy stuff just.for.her. She’ll love you for it, promise. Some of my favorite are….
1) Lily’s sugar-free chocolate! She would love a bar {or 3!} of these!
2) These Wolfberry Chocolate Bars are so good for her health, and she’ll enjoy them!
3) Any other of her favorites…..

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Cookbooks. Healthy cookbooks can sometimes get pricey, but we women love them! The great thing about this gift is, you’re also treating yourself! 😉 Some great ones would be….
1) Against All Grain
2) Necessary Food 
3) A Better Weigh to Healthy 

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You know the woman in your life. Use these to give you some inspiration, but use this day to make her feel extra special and totally loved. ❤

Sincerely,
Hannah Diane
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22 Week {Pregnancy Update!}

On Sunday, we hit 22 weeks with Baby #2! What?!?! How in the world am I over halfway? It’s crazy how much faster pregnancy seems when chasing after a toddler….I just hope I’m ready for when this crazy boy comes! ❤

22 Week Update

The past week….

I’ve been craving- chocolate milkshakes and ALL THE CARBS. Seriously.

I’ve gained- a total of ~5lbs so far, thank the Lord! I started the pregnancy higher than I wanted, so I’m thankful I’ve kept the weight gain down, and the midwives are pleased, too!

I’m feeling- HUGE! Ha! I’m so much bigger in the belly than I was with Caleb. Guess that comes with having 2 in 2 years.

I’m looking forward to- the splash pad opening in a month. I know….not baby related. But it’s SO hot and humid but still a little too chilly to swim.

I’m wearing- maternity clothes alllllllll the way. Except dresses- the dress above is a regular dress and I can still wear a few non-maternity tops. But yeah….bring on the stretchy pants!

Favorite snack this week- carbs. Ha! Protein bars are my go-to, but trying to incorporate some carrots & hummus or apples & PB.

Sincerely,
Hannah Diane
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Why We Keep Houseplants

Keeping plants in the house is definitely not a new thing, but it has become a very popular trend lately. I’m always seeing some beautiful green plants in lots of different kinds of decorating styles on Pinterest. I never really was a fan of it for myself…I would rather spend every waking minute outside if I could.

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So what got me on board? Why do I have multiple different kinds of plants scattered throughout my house now? Because I stumbled upon an article on how amazing plants are for ridding your home of toxic chemicals & poisons in the air. If you’ve read my blog for any amount of time, you know I am all about ridding my home of toxins. Actually, compared to most people, we have a very toxin-free home. But, we don’t live in a bubble. There are nasty toxins that we come in contact daily outside of our home, and bring in on our shoes, clothes, and things we buy. Gross.

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The three main types of plants I keep are relatively easy keepers (I do remember to water them & care for them- I don’t have a brown thumb) and quite beautiful. But the amazing thing is- they’re all known for their air-purifying abilities. They can rid your home of formaldehyde, benzene and other air pollutants. Who doesn’t need that in their home? If you want more information on what these plants can do, or the best plants to get, check out this article.

 

Do you keep houseplants? If so, is it for their health benefits, or for the beautiful look it gives to your home?

Sincerely,
Hannah Diane
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Why We’re Happy with 2 under 2

Surprise!!!!! If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you saw around Christmas we announced that we are adding to our little family! ❤ The beginning of March, we had an ultrasound to see what Baby #2 is, and found out, to our surprise, that we’re having another boy! (My husband was thrilled- he doesn’t have to build another room onto the house! Lol)

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Of course we were congratulated, but a lot of people asked us why we were pregnant again, if this baby was a “surprise” or even if it was planned. What in the world makes people ask such nosy and intimate questions?

We actually were surprised that I was pregnant because of some health issues I had been having. We actually thought I was pregnant about 3 months beforehand but turned out I had a huge ovarian cyst. Hence, we were told I wouldn’t be able to get pregnant for a while. The Lord had other plans.

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There are lots of reasons we’re happy with the boys’ age gap (#2’s due date is 1 month before Caleb’s 2nd birthday). Lots of them are personal preference…. And my very wise sister-in-law had always told me that the 2 year age gap is her favorite. I also noticed Caleb got along well with those around 2 years older than him and those children played well with him.

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How often or even how many children people have is their business and their business only. If they’re not taking handouts from the government, and especially if the people are married- let them choose their own path. For us, we believe that children are a blessing from the Lord and should be wanted & celebrated.

We’re so excited to be welcoming this baby in about 20 weeks!!

Sincerely,
Hannah Diane
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DIY Rainbow Rice

Happy Wednesday, people! I know it’s been wayyyyyy too long since I had a “real” post up. Oh well. I’m really, really going to try to do better! Today I want to share with you this super easy project to put together for your toddler!

rice-project

I was needing a new, “big boy” activity for my son to play with while I cook supper in the afternoons. He’s pretty much given up his afternoon nap, so I have to get pretty creative to keep him out under foot. Up until recently I was letting him watch a movie (Thomas, Bible stories, ect), but I don’t like him having screen-time everyday, so I knew I had to come up with something.

rice-play

I wanted some kind of sensory play, so I decided on rainbow rice. Before having a child, I always thought it looked fun, so we took a quick trip to Dollar General (we took Grandmomma along with us!) to get the stuff I didn’t have on hand. Here’s what you’ll need:

-white rice (I got 3 bags for $.80 each)
– plastic box with locking lid
-food coloring
-plastic zipper bags
– small things to play in the rice with

All I did was put the rice in 4 different plastic bags and added food color to them. Then I just mixed and combined the rice with the color. I did a green, red, blue and a purple{ish}. Then I put them on paper plates to dry. Once it was dry, I poured it into the tub for Caleb to mix up and play with! 🙂

rice-diy

I ended up getting some measuring spoons, a wooden spoon and some small party cups at DG plus I had some popsicle sticks on hand for Caleb to use for the activity. Let me tell ya, it kept him occupied for over an hour!!!! Momma score! Everytime some rice came out of the box I just told him, “oh no! Keep the rice in the box so you don’t run out!”, and he did his very best at keeping it in. After he was done, I just swept the floor in 5 minutes and was all cleaned up. 🙂

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Tell me, how do you keep your toddler occupied while cooking? Do you think rainbow rice would be a hit for your little one?

Sincerely,
Hannah Diane
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