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DIY Marbled Glassware

DIY Marbled Glassware

When graphic designer and artist Joanna Bean Martin shared with us her technique for marbling the bottoms of glassware with nail polish, we couldn’t wait to try it ourselves. Who knew it would be such an easy way to add color and pattern to your next tablescape or party? Remember, the brighter and bolder colors you use, the more the glasses will radiate and glow. Have fun!

You’ll need:

  • flat bottomed glassware
  • variety of colorful nail polish
  • clear nail polish
  • a disposable plastic container
  • nail polish remover
  • painters tape
  • toothpicks
Mask off the bottom of the glass with painters tape.
Fill a disposable, plastic container with water. Open all the nail polish bottles and start dripping polish into the water, one color at a time.
Layer the colors one on top of the other. Take a toothpick and pull out the polish to create a swirly pattern, starting from the center. Work quickly as the polish will start to harden and clump up over time.
Submerge the bottom of the glass into the polish. Allow the polish to collect around the sides of the glass and pull out carefully. Little air bubbles may form but that is to be expected! Before marbling the next glass, take a clean toothpick and sweep up any excess polish from the water.

Asian Chicken Soup

Asian Chicken Soup with Napa Cabbage and Bok Choy

Asian Chicken Soup with Napa Cabbage and Bok Choy


  • 1 T sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ T ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken, diced into 1 inch cubes
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 1½ T fish sauce**
  • 2 T gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1 carrot, cut into ribbons using vegetable peeler
  • ½ head of napa cabbage,chopped
  • 2 stalks of bok choy,thinly sliced
  • 1 T lime juice
  • salt, pepper to taste


In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger, sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown on all sides, 5–7 minutes. Add the stock, fish sauce, and soy sauce, bring to a boil. Add the carrots, napa cabbage, and bok choy. Cook until bok choy is tender, 2–3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the lime juice. Season with salt and pepper and serve

30 Plus Things to Do with Eggshells

30+ Things to Do with Eggshells

To the majority of people, eggshells are simply trash.
But to homesteader or natural living enthusiast, eggshells are a surprisingly useful resource.
I personally get a big kick out of finding uses for things people normally throw away. So, I’ve put together a list of 9 Things You Can Do with Eggshells around your own homestead.
(Holy Moly! My list started out with a measly 9 ideas, but after all of my thrify readers left their ideas in the comment section, it has grown to 30+! I’ve edited the list with these new additions- keep them coming folks!)
**It is very important to only use eggshells from healthy, natural chickens if you or your animals are going to ingest the shells. Eggs from factory farms are not only less nutritious, but can also carry harmful pathogens. I personally have no problem eating raw eggs from my own free-range hens, but I wouldn’t do so with eggs from the store.**
1. Feed them to your chickens.
Boost your flock’s calcium intake by crushing the shells and feeding them back to your hens. My girls much prefer crushed egg shells over the oyster shell supplement from the feed store. I wrote a post a while back that has all the details of collecting, crushing, and feeding the shells.
2. Use the shell’s membrane as an all-natural bandage.
I just discovered this idea, so I have yet to try it, but what a cool concept! The membrane of the shell is reported to help promote healing in cuts and scratches. This post should be able to answer most of your questions about using membranes as a first-aid tool.
3. Boil the shells in your coffee.
My first thought when I read this idea was ”Why on earth would you do that?” But apparently, people have been boiling eggshells in their coffe for centuries to help clarify the grounds and reduce bitterness. I have yet to give this a try myself, but it might be worth a try. Here is a Boiled Eggshell Coffee tutorial.
4. Sprinkle the shells around your garden to deter pests.
Soft-bodied critters like slugs or snails don’t like crawling over sharp pieces of shell.
5. Give your tomatoes a calcium boost.
Blossom-end rot is a common tomato problem, but I recently learned that it is actually caused by a calcium deficiency in the plant. Experienced gardeners often place eggshells in the bottom of the hole when transplanting their tomato plants to help combat this problem. I’m definitely trying this next year!
6. Eat them.
Yeah, I know. First I told you to eat your weeds, and now I’m saying to eat eggshells… Hey, I never claimed to be normal. ;)
But yes, many folks actually do eat eggshells for their awesome amounts of calcium.  I’ve never actually tried it, but I know that several of my readers have. This post will give you all the info you need to make your own calcium-rich eggshell powder.
7. Use them to start seedlings.
If homemade paper pots aren’t your style, give some of your smaller seedlings a start in rinsed-out shells. This post from Apartment Therapy will give you all the info and photos you need to get you started.
8. Toss them in the compost pile.
Add calcium to your compost by adding shells to your pile or tumbler.
9. Sow directly into the soil.
If none of the previous idea sound appealing and you don’t have a compost pile, then you can simply turn crushed shells directly into your garden patch. It’s still better than sending them to the garbage.

All of the following ideas were submitted by readers of The Prairie Homestead:

10. Potting Soil Addition: Used coffee grounds and egg shells are wonderful in potted plants. I use a 1:4 ratio. (From Tala)
11. Blade Sharpening: Keep them in the freezer and use to clean and sharpen blender blades by adding water. Then pour the mixture into your compost bin. (From Greenie and Ceridwyn)
12. Canine Remedy: I save mine and let them dry out, when I have a good size amount I crush them, then use a coffee grinder and make them into a powder. If one of my dogs get diarrhea, I just sprinkle a couple teaspoons of the powder on their food for a day and the diarrhea goes away. (From Terri)
13. Calcium Pills: I save my eggshells in a large bowl, then I steam them to sanitize them and let them dry. Then I grind them down (I use a vitamix but I think any blender would do if you crush them a little first, or just do it in a coffee grinder) into a fine powder and spoon them into 00 gelatin capsules for homemade calcium pills. (From Mari)
14. Mineral supplement: I sometimes soak egg shells in lemon water for a few weeks in the fridge. Then I add a tiny bit to my shakes to get extra minerals. (From Jill)
15. Tooth Remineralizing: Natural has an article about using comfrey root & fresh egg shell (organic & pasture raised) for re-mineralizing your teeth.  Not sure about this particular method, but it would make sense due to the healing properties of the comfrey AND the minerals in the egg shell.  (From Jennifer)
16. Sidewalk chalk: 5-8 egg shells (finely ground), 1 tsp hot water, 1 tsp flour, food coloring optional…mix and pack into toilet tissue rolls and let dry. (From Linda) 
17. First Aid Treatment: Fresh egg membranes applied, then allowed to dry, will “draw” minor infections: splinter, pimple, boil, etc. (From Anne)
18. Making Water Kefir: You can also use egg shell to nourish your water kefir grains.  You just add 1/4 of a clean egg shell to your water kefir while it’s brewing.  We’ve done this instead of buying mineral drops and it seems to work great. (From Jenna, Sherry, and Tiffani)
19. Christmas Ornaments: When I found a large cache of slightly-flawed plastic suncatcher ornaments to paint cheap at the local flea market a few years ago, I snatched a big bunch of them up.  I mixed regular acrylic colors with Elmer’s glue and various “texturizing” elements to pack those suncatchers with.  I tried everything from small seeds and spices, to sifted sand, and my favorite turned out to be crushed egg shells.  They were no longer transparent, but the flaws were covered, and they make very nice Christmas tree ornaments, wall hangings, mobiles, etc.  (From Sweetp)
20. Make Calcium Citrate: Make your own calcium citrate using only fresh farm raised, preferably organic, egg shells.  Rinse residual egg out of the shells and air dry. Crush the shell and add 1t. lemon juice per egg shell and cover.  The lemon juice will dissolve the shell and there you have it… calcium citrate. (From Mary Anne)
21. Calcium-Rich Vinegar: I was taught by my herbalist teacher to make a calcium rich vinegar by adding calcium rich herbs (nettles, dock, etc) and one clean high quality eggshell to apple cider vinegar.  It needs to infuse for at least six weeks, then be decanted.  But the calcium from the shell and the plants goes into the vinegar and can be used as regular vinegar would be in salad dressing, over cooked greens, etc.  (From Sara)
22. Pan Scrubber: Crushed egg shells work great to scrub pans that have food stuck in them. Yes they will break up, but they still do the job! (From Rose)
23. Ice Cream Addition (?): I was told companies put egg shell powder in cheap ice cream to add extra calcium.  I imagine you could do this when making homemade ice cream as well. (From Brenda)
24. Comestic Booster: Make it into a powder and add a little bit to your nail polish to strengthen nails. Take that same powder and put it into ice cube trays with water and rub it on your face– it helps reduce the look of wrinkles. Put the powder in your lotion– it softens your hands. (From Amy)
25. Add to Broth/Stocks: For extra calcium and minerals. (From Becky and Tiffani)
26. Arts and Crafts: Use to make mosaics or mixed-media art projects. (From Carol and Janet)
27. House Plant Booster: My Grandmother kept eggshells covered with water in a mason jar which she used to water her African violets. She had the most magnificent plants imaginable! (From Cynthia)
28. Wild Bird Treat: You can also feed them to the birds. They’re high in calcium and are great for birds in the spring when they are laying eggs– just make sure to sterilize them. Bake them in the oven for 20 minutes at 250 F and crush them. (From Susanne)
29. Laundry Whitener: To help your whites not to turn greyish, put a handful of clean and broken down eggshells and 2 slices of lemon in a little cheesecloth bag with your clothes in the washer. It will prevent the soap deposit that turns the white clothes grey. (From Emilie)
30. Garbage Disposal Cleaner: Toss a few shells down your disposal to help freshen things up. (From Carol)
What do you do with eggshells? Share in the comments and I’ll add your ideas to this post!
This post was shared at: Monday Mania, Frugally Sustainable, Simple Lives Thursday, Fresh Bites Friday, Farm Gal Frida

Carrot Turmeric Juice

Carrot Turmeric Juice

9 carrots
1 orange, rind removed
1 apple, quartered
1 slice pineapple, skin removed
1/2 of a lemon
1 inch turmeric root

Long known for its anti-inflammatory properties, research has revealed turmeric is a natural wonder, beneficial in the treatment of many different health conditions from cancer to Alzheimer's disease. Read more here:
Juice of the Day: Carrot Tumeric  9 carrots 1 orange, rind removed 1 apple, quartered 1 slice pineapple, skin removed 1/2 of a lemon 1 inch turmeric root  Long known for its anti-inflammatory properties, research has revealed turmeric is a natural wonder, beneficial in the treatment of many different health conditions from cancer to Alzheimer's disease. Read more here:

Spring Fever Workout-12 Minute Athlete

Spring Fever Workout

    Workout equipment:

    Workout type: 16 minute

    Timer setting: 24 x :10 x :30

    1. Tuck jumps
    2. Chin ups
    3. High knees w/ jump rope
    4. Walking lunges
    5. Mountain climbers
    6. Knees to elbows

    DIY Lavender Oil

    How to Make Lavender Oil at Home

    Did you know that lavender oil was used to dress wounds during the first world war, because they were low on antiseptics? Lavender oil is not just for aromatherapy but for many healing purposes too. So, why not make your own lavender oil and enjoy its benefits.
    Lavender oil is one of the most commonly used multipurpose oils, and one of my most favorite essential oils. Lavender oil can be added to the bathtub, some drops can be added to a pillow, or it can be used for massage. It has relaxing properties, and it can also be mixed with a carrier oil and used over burns and cuts, as it has an antibacterial action. Not only does it heal the skin, but it also helps in scar-free healing! Lavender also helps in sinus problems, and this oil can be inhaled deeply to reduce congestion. Lavender oil costs around USD 10, for a bottle of 30 ml. But, why spend so much money when you can make lavender oil at home.

    How to Make Homemade Lavender Oil?

    Companies use the steam distillation process to make lavender essential oil. This process is a type of distillation process used for natural aromatic materials, wherein steam or water is added to the aromatic compounds, so that their boiling points is depressed and they are allowed to evaporate at lower temperatures, because such compounds tend to decompose at high temperatures.

    But, it is not possible to make lavender essential oil at home. However, the process of making infused lavender oil is fairly easy and can be done at home. In this process you just have to let the lavender herb soak in a carrier oil and then strain it. Here are the things you require and the stepwise instructions you should follow.

    Things you will need:

    One big bottle of carrier oil
    Bunch of lavender flowers
    A small glass jar
    Rubber band
    Plastic cling film

    Step #1: The process of making lavender oil from dried lavender plant is also possible, in case you don't have fresh lavender flowers. Take the twigs of lavender and run your fingers along the stem, to take out the flowers. Collect enough lavender flowers in this way, and then fill them up in the jar.

    Step #2: Now take a carrier oil in a saucepan. The quantity of the oil should be enough to fill the glass jar. Slightly warm this oil, and then pour it slowly in the jar, till it has nicely covered the jar. There are many choice of carrier oils. The most suitable is olive oil, as it can be used for skin care and massages too. My favorite choice is jojoba oil, as it a non-greasy oil which gets soaked by the skin easily. But jojoba oil is not a preferred massage oil, as it doesn't have the slippery effect. Another good choice for carrier oil is almond oil, as it is good for skin care and has a high amount of vitamin E in it.

    Step #3: Take a piece of cling film, and wrap it around the opening of the jar. Secure the plastic cling film using a rubber band.

    Step #4: Let this essential oil mixture steep for a month. Keep shaking the bottle lightly everyday, to let all the ingredients mix well. Store the bottle in a cool and dark place.

    Step #5: After a month's period, take out the jar and strain the mixture and use a spoon to press the lavender flowers, to completely separate the precious oil from the flowers.

    Step #6: Pour this oil in an amber colored glass bottle, and close it using a cap. There, you have it; your own homemade lavender oil.

    So, what are you waiting for? Grab all the things you need, and use the above steps on making lavender oil, and enjoy all the benefits and uses of this aromatic oil!
    Read more at Buzzle:

    Roast Acorn Squash w/ Pico De Gallo

    Roast Acorn Squash Bowl with Pico De Gallo

    pico squash
    Serves 2.

    You will need:

    • 1 acorn squash, halved and de-seeded
    • 1 cup tomatoes, diced
    • 1 cup white onion, diced
    • 1/2 lemon/lime juice
    • 1 cup chopped cilantro
    • 1 t chilli powder, cayenne pepper, or diced chillies
    • 1/2 t sea/rock salt
    • 1/2 garlic powder
    • optional add cooked mexican chorizo 

     Step one:

    Halved, de-seeded squash – place a teaspoon of butter in the middle so it doesn’t dry out. Skin side down, so it’s sitting like a bowl.
    In the oven at 300 for 45 mins to an hour, until fork tender.

     Step two:

    Combine the diced tomatoes, onions, cilantro, juice, pepper, salt and garlic. Let it sit, covered, while the squash roasts.
    Serve with the pico in your new acorn bowls :) and cooked chorizo and a little mexican goats cheese.
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