April Care Package News Letter
“Keep your face towards the sunshine and shadows will fall behind you.” – Walt Whitman
This season’s box is packed with seasonally appropriate items your recipient will love! From essential oil blends and a marigold kit to homemade cookies and more, this spring care package can’t be beat.
Our monthly care package includes mouth watering, homemade cookies, seasonally appropriate essential oil blends, hot beverages, and much, much more!
Updates from the Moms
April 15 – Natural Kitchen Hacks
Supplied by https://www.simplyss.com/blog/natural-cleaning-hacks/
Your kitchen is one of the first places people see when they enter your home. It’s also the place that you’ll be preparing the food for you and your family. Keeping this area clean and sanitary is incredibly important. These natural cleaners can do the trick without the negative effects of harmful chemicals found in most commercial cleaners.
1. Clean sensitive surfaces: Use lemon and salt to clean wooden cutting boards, surfaces and cast iron skillets. Sprinkle surface with salt and use half of a lemon to scrub surface.
2. Clean pots, pans, baking sheets: Form a paste out of equal parts baking soda and vinegar to clean baking sheets, burnt pots and pans.
3. Wipe the stovetop: Concoct a stovetop cleaning paste using one part olive oil to two parts baking soda. Apply it to the stove top and let it set overnight. Wipe away the cleaning paste with a damp cloth the next day.
4. Shine stainless steel appliances: Rub cream of tartar (mixed with a small amount of water) on stainless steel appliances. Microfiber cloth work best. Rub it off for a polished look!
5. Clean the microwave: Fill a microwave-safe dish with water and a small amount of dishwashing liquid. Heat it in the microwave for one minute, then wipe it with a wet sponge.
6. Shine silverware: Boil one liter of water, one tablespoon baking soda and one piece of aluminum foil together. Toss your silverware in and let them boil for a bit. When you take them out they will be polished.
7. Clear the garbage disposal: Mix one part baking soda with two parts vinegar and pour it down the drain. Rinse with warm water, then toss some citrus peels down the disposal and run it to clear it of buildup.
8. Disinfect the refrigerator and dishwasher: Use hydrogen peroxide to wipe out your refrigerator and dishwasher. It’s a natural disinfectant.
9. Sanitize sponges: Sanitize your sponges with hydrogen peroxide—soak them for ten minutes in a 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and warm water in a shallow dish. Rinse thoroughly afterward.
10. Wash kitchen surfaces: Use citrus peels to make an all-purpose cleaner with vinegar. Fill a spray bottle half full of peels and mix in equal parts vinegar and water. Let it sit for two weeks for citrus to infuse. Strain the peels, pour it into a bottle!
These suggestions are proven winners so if you’re looking to reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals, especially in your home, give these “hacks” a try.
Let’s talk about Junk Journals!
“What is the world is a Junk Journal?” Here is a definition I found:
“Junk Journal: A book which is often made through found and recycled materials to be used as a way to collect and record memories, thoughts, ideas, and inspiration.”
I kind of think of it as a cross between journaling and scrap booking. One of the articles I read also includes art journaling and planners into the mix. It’s a fun way to get stuff out of your head and into something you can keep for later. Research shows that keeping a journal helps get you out of a funk. I have found it to help me sort out feelings myself. And this seems like a more fun way to do it.
You can use it as an everyday journal- put a ticket stub from a movie you saw. Write a bit of journaling, notes or to-do lists. Put a sticker that shows how you felt that day.
Use it as a planner-to keep track of projects you are working on. Maybe you are decorating a room. Put in a picture of a cute chair. Some color swatches. A sketch of the new layout etc.
Use it as a memory book- pictures, paper scraps, articles etc. with a commentary.
Make a personalized gift of it-start one for a loved one. Make it personal by including things you know they would love or for memories you share together.
Give it a theme- Gardening and flowers and fill it up with everything from garden layouts to seed packets, maybe a pressed flower or twelve.
Be creative, do anything you want with it every day, or every week. Use stickers, scraps of material, a funny stick drawing, or notes to yourself. Spill your tea on it for character. I hope you are as excited to get started as I am!
If you want to read more about getting started: artjournalist.com/what-is-a-junk-journal/
Our monthly box for May includes a small journal and few items to get you going! Let’s get “Junkie” with it!
I went to a birthday party where there wasn’t going to be a dessert. No cake. Nothing. I know…craziest thing you’ve ever heard! I brought this dessert, because I wasn’t having any of that silliness. The birthday girl couldn’t have gluten, and loved strawberries and lemon. I found a recipe on King Arthur Flour for a Strawberry Almond Tart and made a few minor changes. If you aren’t gluten-free and prefer not to use Gluten-Free Flour, I’m sure this recipe will work perfectly with regular All-Purpose Flour. I’ve used them interchangeably on many recipes. I will say though, I brought this to work and have had requests for it from people that are picky and not gluten-free. It’s delicious! Please give this recipe a try:
Strawberry Lemon Almond Tart
1 cup Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, diced into 1/2″ cubes
1 tablespoon whole milk, cold
1 pound fresh strawberries (washed, hulled, and quartered)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
-Preheat the oven to 350°F.
-To make the dough: Whisk together the all-purpose flour, almond flour, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl. Work the cold, diced butter into the flour between your fingers until the mixture has the consistency of sand. Add the milk and mix with a fork until a wet, crumbly dough is formed.
-Press 2/3 of the dough into a 4 1/4″ x 13 3/4″ rectangular tart pan, starting at the bottom and working the dough up the sides. Reserve the remaining dough for the topping.
-Chill the tart dough in the pan and the remaining 1/3 for the topping for 30 minutes.
-For the filling: Toss together the strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and zest in a bowl and let rest at room temperature while the dough chills.
-Fill the tart crust with the strawberry mixture and crumble the reserved dough on top. Sprinkle with the sliced almonds.
-Place the tart on a baking sheet to catch any butter that seeps out during baking. Bake the tart for 45 to 50 minutes, until it’s golden brown. Remove it from the oven and let the tart cool before slicing.
-Store any leftovers in the refrigerator, well wrapped, for several days. Freeze for longer storage.