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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

DIY Kombucha

Hey girls,
  Today's post is how to make your own Kombucha.  We love this fermented tea that is chock full of probiotics and try to have some everyday to help keep our immune systems boosted.  Fortunately, it is delicious and super refreshing so it's not hard to do.  Simon would drink it all day if I would let him.
  Now, in order to start making your own Kombucha you will need to find someone who already makes it to get a scoby from them.  Once you have a scoby you are ready to go!

  I like to use green tea to make Kombucha.  I think the flavor is nice and I just like it.  You can use decaf tea or regular tea - your preference.  There is an actual green, Kombucha tea that you can also use.

  For a 1 gallon jar, you will need 10 tea bags.  Steep the tea bags in boiling water for around 10 mins (more is fine).  While the water is still hot, add 1 cup of sugar to the mixture so that it can melt and dissolve.  Once this cools down, add this mixture (minus the bags) to the jar with your scoby (side note, you will need some previously made kombucha in your jar already with the scoby so when you get a scoby from a friend, take some of their mix too).  Then fill the rest of the jar up with water.

Once that is done, cover your jar with a clean cloth and put a rubber band around the top to seal it off.  Make sure you don't have wrinkles in the cloth to keep out the fruit flies.  =)  

Allow this mixture to "ferment" on your counter for 7 days.  Then taste test it to make sure it is ready for a second ferment.  It should not taste too sweet or too tangy.  It should be right in-between.  Once it is ready, get your jars ready for your second ferment.  

I got these jars from Ikea and they work great.  For a 1 gallon amount, I use 3 of them.

In your jars, add sugar - enough to cover the bottom of the jar but not a ton.

Once that is done, add fruit of your choice to flavor it.  I use frozen fruit and have tried all sorts of flavors.  You really can't go wrong.  =)  If you want to play around with ginger and things that is ok too!

Now fill up the jars with the mixture and close them up.  These will sit on your counter for a second ferment for 3-4 days.

After 3-4 days, place your jars in the refrigerator and drink up!  I like mine served over ice and with a straw to feel fancy.  =)  Also, I strain out the fruit.  Some people eat it but I prefer not to.  This is what it will look like:

You can leave your scoby in the 1 gallon jar (with some mixture to cover it) until you are ready to use it again.  Also, you can filter out the sediment that will gather and wash your gallon jar regularly.

I hope you enjoy it!


Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Difference Between 1 and 2.

Okay so I thought I'd do a little update on everything since we had a baby and moved to a new state.  I have to be honest, I have a wide range of thoughts and emotions when it comes to noticing the difference with 2 kids as opposed to just 1.  I do feel that we have had a slightly different experience going from 1 to 2 because we had such a big move at the same time BUT it's still an adjustment and I I wanted to do a fun little list of things that I have noticed.  I'm sure people with even more kids could make a different list but this is what I've been experiencing lately.

Big Helper
1.  Ease.  I promise you, it is easier the second time around:  With your first, everything is new and you are questioning every decision which can make you stressed out and makes things "hard" on some level.  With #2, you have done this whole pregnancy/baby thing before so things come a lot more naturally and you are way more confident which can make it "easier" than the first time around.

Little Doll
2.  Baby weight.  This one is so incredibly true.  With your first, the weight seems to just fall off even without you trying - its really not fair because it gives you the impression that you can surely have that happen again (yes, you can be the ONE person that happens to, right?! ;)).  But after your second, it really does stick to you longer (even if you gained the same amount or less).  This has been a big surprise to me.  I know it will eventually come off, but it's weird to have it hanging around as long as it is.

3.  Time.  The first couple months you feel as though you officially have no time anymore.  Between trying to run a household, occupy/manage your older child and feeding a baby every couple hours, your own eating schedule goes right out the window (amongst other things - and the weight STILL isn't coming off how???).  This one also is was a big surprise for me because Simon was a baby who would go 4-6 hours between feedings from the get-go and sleep most of the time between so I had hours on my own to do whatever.  Scarlett eats a lot more frequently and needs more "entertaining" than he did which cuts down more on free time. However, I also recognize that this is a stage - there is no season that compares to the newborn/baby stage as far as the physical neediness.

Learning to vacuum

4.  Tiredness.  I am actually less tired this time around having a baby and a toddler.  That's probably because when you have your first, you have never experienced night feedings for months on end  - there is nothing like it to prepare you for that (AND Simon would take an HOUR for every feeding).  The second time around it's almost like you kind of know what to expect and you know that you can do it.  You adjust a lot easier to less sleep (BONUS, Scarlett has been doing longer night stretches a lot faster than Simon did and she takes half the time or less).

Bumbo Time

5.  Coffee.  If having your first baby didn't turn you into a coffee drinker, your second will.  =)  It definitely gets me up in the mornings AND now I'm occasionally having it in the afternoon too.

6.. Hormones.  Okay, this might actually be the difference between having a boy versus a girl but I've struggled a lot more this time around with wild hormones after the baby came.  Because Simon was such an easy baby, I really didn't struggle much (other than lack of sleep).  This time around has been harder (probably because we moved right afterwards which meant my toddler and baby were struggling PLUS I was still recovering.  Peter was also gone/busy a lot with moving us which threw me right into juggling 2 kids on my own almost from the get go.).

I have so much respect for all you Mamas out there!  Being a Mama is hard work - some of the hardest I have ever done.  But it WILL be worth it (and IS so worth it).  Keep up the good work!  It's so true:  "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world".  We are raising some pretty important people and it's such an honor to be a part of that.