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How to Make Herbal Tea without a Tea Bag

How to Make Herbal Tea without a Tea Bag

Making herbal tea is easy. So easy that I almost wrote this post in “pig latin”  You guys are smart.  You need something more challenging than boiling water and dropping in some herbs.

My brain has the tendency to complicate things.  When I first learned how to make herbal teas, I didn’t believe it.  Making an herbal tea couldn’t be that easy… could it?  I re-read the instructions over and over looking for the “complicated part.”

Guess what.

There is no complicated part.

With that said, let’s get started.  Herbal teas are sold in their own little individual pouches and while that is easy and convenient, it isn’t the most cost-effective… or creative for that matter.  To make your own herbal tea, you are going to need the following items:

1.  A pot

2. Water

3. Dried herbs of your choice

4. A fine mesh strainer or tea-pot with mesh strainer.


Fill your pot with water.  Heat on high until boiling.  Sometimes my husband sets the timer to remind himself that he is boiling water, but that really isn’t necessary.  Once your water is boiling, turn off the heat and remove your pot from the burner.

Now, hang with me.

This is where it doesn’t get tricky.

You are going to need about one tablespoon of herbs for one cup of water.  You can measure if you want… or if you are like me, you can just “guesstimate.”


If you are using a teapot with a mesh strainer, dump your herbs on into the strainer part.  If the strainer is full, you have over “guesstimated.”

IMG_3320Carefully pour the boiling water over the herbs inside the mesh strainer.  Remember, the water is hot.

IMG_3324The herbs will start to look something like this:


This is where you walk away.  Take a nap.  Hop in the shower.  Play with your kids.  Read a book.  Do whatever you want, just leave the tea alone for at least ten minutes.

The hot water is leaching out the nutrients from the herbs, otherwise known as steeping.  Steeping is what makes the tea a tea.  You will need to give the herbs at least ten minutes to do their job.

IMG_3331When the herbs are done steeping, the water will be a different color.

If you have waited for longer than ten minutes and your water hasn’t changed colors, your “guesstimate” was way off.  Try adding more herbs to the mixture.

If you have a mesh strainer, your job is pretty easy.  Like I mentioned above, you want to begin by boiling yourself some H2O.  When the water is boiling, remove the pot from the hot burner and drop your herbs into the water.

Give your herbs at least ten minutes to steep.


Place the fine mesh strainer on a water pitcher.  With one hand holding the strainer, use the other to pour the herb-infused water.  Once again, be careful.  Your water is still pretty hot.

IMG_3340Your mesh strainer should catch 99.9% of all herbs.  If not, your strainer isn’t “fine” like mine.

IMG_3347 Once your tea is cooled enough for consumption, sit back and enjoy.  Congrats!  You did it!


There are also Tea Strainer Balls that work just like a tea bag… only you have to fill them first.  Some of my favorite herbs to brew are licorice root, dandelion, red raspberry, peppermint, and rose buds.  Try adding a dab of honey for sweetness.

Weekly Recipe Roundup: Cinnamon Buns, Sweet Potatoes, Girl Scout Cookies, and Honey Lime Enchiladas

Weekly Recipe Roundup: Cinnamon Buns, Sweet Potatoes, Girl Scout Cookies, and Honey Lime Enchiladas

Once upon a time, I didn’t know how to cook.   As newly-weds, we ate stroganoff for dinner every week along with cheesy soup, enchiladas, and cereal.  The day quickly came when I thought one more bite of stroganoff would KILL me.

I hounded people for recipes like a moth begging for light.  My survival depended upon it.

Our stroganoff death-binge taught me one thing.

I like variety.

I rarely make the same thing twice, unless the dish is beyond incredible. When it comes to healthy eating, you have to be willing to “shake it up a bit.”  Living off of lettuce alone may increase your chances of looking awesome in that bikini, but after a while you are going to binge on something not-so-amazing.  Matt Stone in Diet Recovery teaches that dieting is like holding your breath.  You can only hold it for so long.  Eventually you are going to have to breathe again if you want to live.

Changing up my meals makes healthy food exciting.  Plain and simple. It helps me learn my boundaries and avoid the deprivation/binge cycle of dieting.

Here are some of our favorite recipe finds this week:

Now it’s your turn to share.  What amazing recipes did you concoct this week?

How To: Make Baby Formula with Goat’s Milk

How To:  Make Baby Formula with Goat’s Milk

Damaris at Kitchen Corners has an awesome recipe for homemade infant formula and so does Lindsay over at Passionate Homemaker with her Natural Goat’s Milk Formula.  To make my baby formula, I mixed the two of them together, tweaked things around, and created a formula that helps feed “little-miss-hungry” when breastfeeding was no longer an option.

Infant Formula

  • 2 cups goat milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tsp blackstrap molasses
  • 1 tsp infant probiotics
  • 2 tsp organic maple syrup
  • 1 tsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast

Combine ingredients in a mason jar and stir with a wooden spoon.  Just FYI, the formula only last for 24 hours in the refrigerator.  I can now make this formula with a baby on the hip and a toddler hanging off my ankle.  Its pretty simple once you get the hang of it.

I also supplement with Dr. Christopher’s KID-eMins, Barlean’s O-mega Oil, and a DHA vitamin drop.  Because baby girl’s favorite food is packed with vitamin C, I didn’t worry so much about adding the acerola powder.

One thing is for certain: little girl loves this formula.


As noted in our disclaimer below, take any and all health information and make your own informed decision.  We are not licensed pediatricians.  If you have any concerns about feeding your child this formula, please consult your doctor.

HOW TO: Sugar-Free Minimalist Easter Baskets

HOW TO:  Sugar-Free Minimalist Easter Baskets

The words “sugar-free” and “minimalist” are rarely seen together when it comes to Easter Baskets.  There are so many sugary treats out there and there are way too many little toys to occupy little hands for a day or two… or twenty minutes if I’m unlucky.

2014 has introduced a whole new way of seeing the world for my family.  We are learning to let go of the things we “think we need” and embrace the things we actually need.  I contribute our changes to Joshua Becker at Becoming Minimalist.  You should really check out his book, Simplify because it is an amazing book with a powerful message.  More about that will definitely be a post for another day.

I wrote about our Easter Baskets last year.  They were a hit.  Flashlights?  Flip flops?  The Easter Bunny was the coolest dude around town all summer long.  Strangers were informed at the grocery store, swimming pool, and even at the hospital when baby girl was born about the “coolness” of the Easter bunny.

“Do you know who gave me these flip flops?  The Easter Bunny did.”

That fuzzy little fellow got more attention and praise than Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and the “Fart Fairy” combined.  (Once again, the “Fart Fairy” is another story for another day.)

Sometimes Easter and Christmas and celebrations are less about the stuff and more about the magic of it all.  It is about spending time together and making memories and less about the grass and eggs and “stuff.”  Not that the trinkets, the plastic grass that spreads like a wild fire around the house, and the plastic eggs aren’t fun.  Okay, maybe the grass isn’t fun.  But it is more about the magic.  The moments.  The story of the day.  The items are long forgotten years later.

With that being said, I have tried my best to create a sugar-free minimalist Easter basket for my kids.  Minimalism, in my mind, doesn’t always equal frugality.  Minimalism is about planning ahead and thinking through the clutter that you are welcoming into your home.  Call me the “Easter Scrooge,” but I don’t want a dozen cheap Easter toys in my home.  And we really don’t need the candy.


To begin, I made a list of the things my kids need.  Things that regardless of Eater, I am planning to purchase.


The list included things like socks, water-color paint, glue sticks, toothbrushes, toothpaste, summer sandals, a new tie for church, homeschool books, homeschool games, a summer hat for the baby, sporting equipment, etc.


In the end, the baskets each ended up with a couple church socks stuffed in the bottom, a fun book to read, homeschool history readers, and a math/learning game.  Baby girl needed some leggings, a summer hat, and a pair of shoes.


The buckets aren’t new.  We used them last year.  Luckily, they slide right into one another and require little to no space in my storage room.  I plan to use them over and over again until they fall apart.  Thanks to Amazon Prime shipping, the items all arrived today in a big brown box.  I didn’t even have to plan a “without-the-kids” shopping trip.

There you have it.  Sugar-free and minimalism can exist in an Easter basket.  Defying gravity never felt so good.

Wellness Reads

water drop

There are so many awesome resources on the internet written by amazing people.  It is helpful to know that by our little “drops” of change, we can make create big positive “waves” in regards to our health.  At times, healthy habits can feel daunting.  Where does one begin?

The answer is simple.

Pick one thing and start right now.

My road of health is constant and ever learning.  I learn one thing and then apply it.  Then I learn another and another.  My foundation has been largely built upon the messages of people around me that are willing to share.  Their messages are inspiring and healing and I am excited to share four of my favorite “recent” reads with you today.


Now it’s your turn to share.  What have you learned this week?



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