Sunday, August 17, 2014

300 Likes on Facebook!



My little facebook page for this blog has officially hit over 300 likes! As promised, I am offering a giveaway to celebrate this moment! To enter, follow the link here.



The items from the giveaway will come directly from my herbal apothecary, Newcomb Apothecary.

The winner will get to choose one item from the following:

1/2 ounce packages of 3 specialty organic tea blends (I will consult with the winner to find out what tea blends would be best for them)

1 ounce herbal bath blends (blends will be decided upon after consulting with the winner)

1 container of organic handcrafted peppermint toothpaste

1 container of organic handcrafted cinnamon toothpaste

1 bottle of herbal infused oil for medicinal and magical uses (size of bottle will vary by herb - herb blend will be determined after consulting with the winner on their needs)

4 ounces of herbal infused dry laundry soap (scents include: peppermint, clove, eucalyptus... others can be added upon request).

To enter the contest, all you have to do is like, comment, and share the Facebook post, as well as go over to my apothecary page, Newcomb Apothecary, and give it some like love.

The winner will be chosen on Friday (August 22), so you will have plenty of time to browse through my shop to look at all of the goodies available! P.S. More items will be added to the shop this week, so keep checking back!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Our Daily Wadorf-Inspired Pagan Homeschooling Rhythm




A daily rhythm differs from a schedule. With a schedule, you have goals and plans set for certain times of the time. With a daily rhythm, you have an established set of fluidity to each and every day.

With a rhythm, your days flow peacefully, calmly, and uniformly (at least, as much as you can possibly get them to follow these functions). Obviously, not every day will be the same, but the goal of a rhythm is to help you bring consistency in what is quite possibly utter chaos (Toddlers, man).

I started working towards the concept of a Waldorf daily rhythm after Viking Man left the Navy. While he was in the Navy, it was pretty much impossible to have any sort of rhythm, or at least, I never was able to find a way to do so. Over the years, our daily rhythms have changed, due to moves and babies, but we have always been able to establish new rhythms within a few weeks of changes occurring.

With a daily rhythm, my children (ages 2 1/2 and 1) almost consistently take naps on their own, work on projects when we have them planned, and are able to handle well the days that Viking Man is gone at work vs. the days that he has a day off.

Here is an example of what our daily rhythm looks like:

Wake up, perform light chores (personal hygiene, get dressed, make bed, etc.) - The time that we wake up varies, but on a normal day we are usually up by 7am. 

Breakfast - Usually smoothies & apple cider vinegar shots.

Religious/Spiritual Pursuits - This usually consists of a 15-30 minute walk outside (weather permitting), altar work in which we light candles and Big A and I say prayers, a quick reading of one of the many Pagan children's stories I have written for the kids.

Math - Don't worry, my 2 1/2 year old and 1 year old are not already performing complex equations. What I mean by math is that we're working with numbers. Often times, this involves baking, where the kids are learning measurements and basic chemistry. If baking is not on the menu for the day (see what I did there?), then we'll sing number songs, play number games, count our fingers and toes, count objects throughout the house, and multiple other fun goodies. 

Errands/Chores/Free Time - This is where we go on field trips (within walking distance of our house), library visits, clean the house, play, dance, since, giggle, give/get tickles, nap, craft tinctures and other herbal goodies, I'll blog, read books, speak Spanish (or Russian if Viking Man is home) to the kids, and many other life lessons. 

Language/Writing - This usually occurs before dinner time. We'll work on recognizing letters and making the sounds associated with those letters. This is also a part of the day that I take the time to journal and the kids will usually color, draw, or trace letters and shapes. Big A has been really focused on new words lately. He'll bring me an item and will try to say what it is and I will help him enunciate. 

Dinner/Free Time/ Chores/Errands - This is usually the time of day that Viking Man gets home from work, so the kids will play and wrestle with him while I get dinner going. Depending on how long dinner takes, we might watch a movie, but we always eat at the dinner table. After dinner, it's free time for play, reading, or whatever we're in the mood for. Then we take showers and get ready for bed. 

Bedtime Poetry - Before bed, we all sit together and read a few lines of poetry. We just finished up a book with the complete collection of Robert Frost and we're now on Thomas Hardy. Poetry really seems to help calm my kids down, especially Big A. Once the kids are in bed, the hubs and I spend time together and I'll get some work in before bed. 



Don't get me wrong, our days don't always flow this beautifully. But for the most part, they do go fairly smoothly so long as we try to stick with our daily rhythm.

I love having a rhythm, because the kids and I are not held down to getting things done during certain times of the day. With a rhythm, my kids eagerly eat breakfast because they know that once they finish, it is near guaranteed we'll go outside for a walk. They also love free time, because that usually means that Mommy has work to do and they get to help me pick fresh herbs, drink herbal teas (product testing, of course), and other fun goodies.

If you're having a difficult time establishing a daily rhythm, start off small. Start by every morning, when everybody wakes up, you all immediately make your beds. Another idea would be, immediately after dinner, you have family story time. Starting off small will help you to slowly figure out what works and what doesn't work for your family. It will also help everyone acclimate to the rhythm, instead of trying to force a whole new set of changes on everybody.


What does your family's daily rhythm look like?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Vegan-Friendly Stir Fry (Witchling Approved!)






One of my favorite frugal vegan dishes to make is an Asian-inspired stir fry. Being Cuban, I love anything and everything to do with rice. I could eat rice for every meal, so long as there was a little variation involved. In fact, growing up, we often did eat rice for every meal. 

My vegan stir fry is probably my husband's favorite rice dish that I make. He used to hate tofu, but after preparing it in this dish, he started loving it! I also make a massive batch of this stuff so that my husband will have enough to take to work with him over the next day or two (don't use leftovers past day 3 or 4!)

I am slowly trying to follow a vegan path, as I feel that, as a Witch, it is one of the most Gaia-friendly diets and lifestyles one can possibly follow. This particular dish has helped make my transition into veganism a little easier. 

Ingredients:

1lb brown rice, pre-cooked
1/2 acorn squash, cubed
1/2 brick firm tofu, drained and cubed
1 tablespoon flax seeds
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 handfuls kale, chopped fine
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced 
1/2 head cauliflower, chopped fine
Pineapple chunks (optional)
Coconut oil, for frying
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Saute the onions, garlic, and tofu together until the onions are firm, but beginning to turn translucent. 

Add the squash and cauliflower to the mix. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until squash begins to soften. 

Add the pre-cooked rice, flax, soy sauce, and pineapple. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes. 

Turn off the heat and add the kale. "Cook" the kale until it goes a little limp, but no further. This will help the kale to retain most of it's nutrients to pass them on to you. 

Serve and enjoy! 

Makes 8 to 10 servings.



------- I apologize for the lack of photo. As of right now, I don't own a camera or smart phone to take pictures with. -------


What are some of your favorite vegan dishes?



Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Ch-ch-chaaaanges!!!



I have some super exciting news to share with all of you lovely witches!

But first, let me talk about the blog... ;)

I'm so sorry I haven't been writing much lately. The reasons why will be revealed shortly. But I do want to say that I will be getting back on the blogging trail very soon.

I have several ideas for new posts that I think will be exciting and enjoyed by many of you.

What are some things you would all like to see on the blog? I do plan on picking up my waldorf/unschooling witchling's series again very soon, if that is one that you're going to request. I also plan on posting more Youtube videos once my hair grows back out into an agreeable manner. Right now it's in that crazy, annoying "too short to pull back and too long to look cute phase".





Anywhoodles, back to the exciting news!






Okay, so this is actually a picture of Little a's pregnancy test, because I forgot to take a picture of my recent pregnancy test, but still! I'm pregnant with Baby A #3!!! 

I'm roughly 8 weeks along now, so still really early in this pregnancy, but I am so excited! Viking Man is excited as well! We are so looking forward to this new little chapter in our lives!

I'll be posting more about this pregnancy as it goes along, as well as information on unassisted home births and my prenatal care options, but I just wanted to share the exciting news with all of you!

Blessed be and have a lovely day! 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

What I've Been Up To




Recent Family Photo
There have been a few changes in the Newcomb casa since I last wrote all of you, which is why I haven’t been able to post as often. I apologize, but I should be back to posting more often, because I miss all of you lovely witches!

Firstly, my family and I are planning on moving in the next few months. We’re really not happy in the town we currently live in, which has filled us with the desire to spread our wings and find a new place to call home. We’re still going to be living in Arkansas, but we’re planning on moving up north and further into the mountains. The mountains are calling me, baby!


Viking Man and I have also opened up an Etsy shop, FINALLY! You can find our shop, Newcomb Apothecary, here. As many of you know, I am very passionate about herbs and herbal healing, so it has truly been a blessing to finally be able to put my knowledge and passion into something productive. Our shop specializes in herbal goods for magical and medicinal purposes, if you're at all interested, check us out!

Newcomb Apothecary Business Card
I've been taking on more freelance writing clients, as well as trying to grow the audience on my other blog, The Frugal Hippie Housewife. I'm doing this because Viking Man really wants to go back to college. I want to be able to bring in enough income so that he can focus on school full time and we can rely on my income to live off of. We've never lived solely off of my income before, so this is an extremely daunting task for me. Positive energy would be greatly appreciated during this time!

Aside from searching for new income streams, the family and I have been doing well! The kids are growing like beans - Little a will be a year old in August! I can't believe she's already that big. She's not walking yet, but she's trying really hard to! She can already say a few words and is still almost exclusively breastfed (aside from her obsession with raw bell peppers). Big A is two years old, can speak fairly well, is learning to form sentences, knows a good portion of the alphabet, and is almost potty trained. We're still doing a combination of Waldorf and Unschooling and we're loving it! Viking Man is now a manager you can find here
Babywearing at a Recent Field Trip
at our local grocery store, so he's gone often, but we love what time we get to spend with him! He's also been working on his Pagan blog, Stormwolf Speaks, which

My spiritual path has been kind of "jumpy" as of late. The kids seem to require more attention lately, so I haven't really been able to have much me time to just sit and meditate and do much spell work. Big A and I still try to work in morning prayers around the altar, but that doesn't happen as often as I would like. Basically most of my magical work has been devoted to my herbalism lately, which is lovely, but I would also like to be able to find time to get in some other magic. That's something I'm definitely going to be working on in the coming days and weeks. 


Life has been crazy lately, but my family and I have been holding on and making it! How have all of you been? 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Discovering Magical Traditions from Unlikely Sources




There tends to be a great deal of debate amongst Pagans in regards to hereditary witchcraft. Some believe that you had to have a family member who was a practicing Pagan who passed on their tradition to you. Some believe we are just born with natural magical abilities. While others believe that witchcraft is not hereditary and only comes through learning from an elder.

I have my own opinions on hereditary witchcraft. I personally agree that hereditary witchcraft does exist, but I also believe that you don’t have to come from a line of practicing witches to be a hereditary witch.
Both my mother and great grandmother have passed on magical traditions to me without even realizing it. Neither were Pagans, but they both have been strongly attuned with mother Gaia.

My great grandmother, whom we called Granny, was an amazing cook. You could give her a cucumber, a tomato, and some vinegar, and she could make a 4 course meal, complete with dessert, that could feed 10 people till they were full. The way she cooked was like magic. She knew how to blend ingredients together and she never even used a measuring cup.

One thing I learned from Granny that has always stuck with me has been to do things with intention. She believed that your emotions went into everything you made. So if you were in a bad mood while cooking, that attitude would pass on to the people who ate the meal you prepped. I still rely on that kind of concept today when I'm doing work as a kitchen witch.

My mother has always had a strong love for gardening, especially herbs. When I was a child, I would help her plant her herbs, tend to them, harvest them, and cook with them. I learned the process the plant goes through from dirt to plate. Her passion for herbalism was so profound for me, even at an early age, that it filled me with a desire to pursue a career as an herbalist.

Both of these women practiced magic without even knowing it. They were both intune with the energies of the Earth Mother and used those energies to help, to heal, and to nourish the ones they loved.

As Pagans, we can learn magical principles from people of all walks of life. They don't have to be Pagans themselves, but they just have to have a passion. As Pagans, we need to begin seeing the magic in everyone. Many people practice magic without even realize that’s what they’re doing. Observe these people and learn from them. Even if they’re not Pagans, we can still learn a great deal about spirituality and magic from them.




What are some magical traditions that have been passed down to you from Wise Women (or men) in your family? 





Other Articles on Hereditary Witchcraft: