Wednesday, March 27

Mother's Day Drawing!

Mother's Day is sneaking up on us quick, it's on May 17th in case you forgot, and that means that jewelry stores and flower shops everywhere are going to be getting busy. I intend to make gift giving easier for one lucky person who will win a Mother's Day basket.

The basket will be filled with gifty things like a small handmade candle, a gift certificate for my Etsy shop, a cute little amigurumi heart, a bottle of wine, a wine bottle cozy/bag, and maybe a few other little things depending on how much feedback I get. 

Now, you may be wondering, how do I enter? Easy! First, everyone gets one free entry, just go to HERE and enter your info. Now on to the topic of extra entries, a purchase from my Etsy shop (or in person) will provide you with another entry. A share, and comment, on Facebook elicits yet another entry. Favorite an item in my Etsy shop and boom! there's another. And finally, any of the options, minus the free entry, can be used twice! Now the best thing is that I am allowing up to 5 entries per person meaning that a person could:

  • Use their free entry
  • Make a purchase on Etsy
  • Share 2 Happy Mountaineer FB posts, and comment on said posts
  • Favorite an item on Etsy
So, there you have it. 5 entries. After each of the above options you can either come back to this post and click the above link or click the little link on the top of the sidebar. The entry form will come down on April 28th and the lucky winner will be announced and contacted on May 1st.

I have a bunch of new items up on Etsy and have the fan page on Facebook here. I'll see everyone in a few days!

Saturday, March 23

Winter Wrap Up!

Credit goes to Ask Pun Pony
Spring is upon us! Although the Winter Wrap should have been a few days ago as the last day of Winter I feel like we're a few days behind. Snow still on the ground and temperature peaking at about 40ºF. At least Spring is here and Summer is on its way! Finally time for flip flops, swimming, and fun! Along with Spring comes Easter and Spring cleaning. On that note I'd like to announce my Easter sale in my Etsy store. Free shipping for purchases and special orders $10 and over to the US. Just type in "SHMEASTER13" at checkout for the discount to be applied. 

I have all new stuff up in my shop right now including tablet cases and gratitude stones and hackey sacks. I'm still working on getting some more listings up including a few listings for beanies, slouchy beanies, and market sacks. I'm also going to get some baby items worked up including nappy covers and cart covers. If anyone has any ideas that they would like to see worked up and put in the shop, comment and let me know. 

This is just going to be a quick post today but I would love if everyone could check out my friends Etsy shop too,  Etsy Shop - Burrito Princess. She makes kick ass perler art and shrinky-dink art. Plus! I have a button on my sidebar that goes straight to her Etsy shop.

If you have a blog or shop or site that you would like me to add to my friends link list on the side comment, send me a message on g+, or jump on over to my Fan page on Facebook and send me a message.

I hope everyone has a good and safe Spring Break. Comment, subscribe, and share and I'll see everyone in a few days.

Review of 21 Drops Aromatherapy

Recently, I bought 2 of the bottles of 21 Drops. 21 Drops is a "Modern Essential Oil." From their website (
Essential oils are the root of it all, benefiting the mind, body and spirit. These are fragrant and highly concentrated molecules, extracted from various parts of the plant – leaves, fruits, woods, seeds and flowers. Interestingly, essential oils represent a critical part of both the plants immune system and survival mechanisms.
Because plants and man have evolved alongside each other with the same chemistry, once these oils are either inhaled or absorbed into the bloodstream, they interact with your body, creating balance and wellness. The science of Aromatherapy is based upon this principle.
At 21 Drops, we source our essential oils from organically grown herbs or plants, collected – sustainably -- from all over the globe.
The resulting distilled oils are in their purest, most effective form. Select essential oils are carefully fused to create the most effective “customized” solutions to answer each and every one of 21 blends’ solutions…from Headache to Heartache.
21 Drops captures the incredible power of these pure essential oils for our therapeutic blends, empowering our friends and customers to Feel Better. Be Better.  We've chosen a unique palette for our 21 Drops house blends comprised of hard working adaptigens, combined with more targeted and delicate plant species for specific effects. All our oils are 100% organic or wild-crafted, and sourced from artisan distillers around the globe
I picked up "05 Headache" and "08 Pain Relief", the headache for myself and the pain relief for Joey. They are the only 2 that I have tried thus far but I fully intend to get a few more like "01 Invigorate" and "09 Focus".

At first, I was skeptical whether these little bottles of oil would actually do anything but I am determined to try anything once, especially if it could help with my migraines and terrible headaches. Luckily I was able to try the headache oil almost immediately after buying it. Flying always lands me with a headache from the pressure changes and from dealing with people acting like they lost their heads in the airports. So I slapped a small amount of oil onto the pulse points of both wrists, my temples, and the back of my neck. Our flight took off and I started reading my book and was listening to music. Within about 15 minutes I no longer felt sick to my stomach (which happens when I get a headache) and no longer had a headache.

I've since used the headache multiple times and I feel that it works just as fast for me as ibuprofen does. Plus, I prefer the fact that I don't need to be popping pills and can pretend to be "all-natural" but then again it does make me feel healthier because I'm not popping Advil like candy. Joey uses the Pain Relief from time to time when his gout flares up or he has back pain. He has told me that it works for him and it is one of the few things that makes his gout less noticeable. He still takes anti-inflammatories when he has a full blown flare up. I've used the pain relief a couple of times on my hand and it seems to work just as well as the headache one.

Since originally starting this post we have picked up 01 Invigorate and 09 Focus. I love both of them. I hate drinking coffee in the morning and some mornings the invigorate just gives me that little extra pick me up that I need to get going.

I guess the tl;dr here is that from personal experience I wholeheartedly recommend 21 Drops to everyone. I guarantee that there is a drop that would be useful to you, even if it's just 07 Equalize or 18 Sleep.

Subscribe to my blog to keep updated on happenings and make sure not to miss my next post for a sale announcement! I have new items up and I'm still adding more. My Etsy Shop!

Friday, December 14

Giveaway open!

Entry Form is officially up and active! I'm experimenting with this entry form style so I need your feedback and let me know how you feel about it. Just go to this link and you can enter into the drawing. Contest closes on January 15, 2013 at 11:59 pm est. There winner will be drawn on January 16, 2013 and announced on January 18, 2013. The winner will also be contacted by email where I will confirm the winners choice of prize and where to send your wonderful prize. The winner will be chosen by listing all participants in an excel doc, randomly ordering the list, assigning numbers and using a random number chooser. I am also allowing for extra entries when you share my blog on facebook or pinterest or whatever platform is your favorite! I'm allowing up to 4 entries per person. Good Luck!

Moving on from the giveaway, I really need to find some good new music. Some music that will convince me to continue tearing through my yarn. It's getting difficult to come up with everything to make or what yarn to use. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. I need some new jam.

Busy day, that's all for now. Holiday fun post soon! Follow me at thehappymountaineer on instagram for daily pictures. Subscribe, comment with feedback, and share! Don't forget to enter into the giveaway!

Wednesday, December 12

How to Dominate Some Soup

Soup is delicious and nutritious. Soup making is one of the bedrock skills of the kitchen world. Thing about that is a lot of people seem to skip that lesson somewhere along the line. I have been cooking for years, basically since I was old enough to start helping in the kitchen, but I never really learned to make soup. I never thought that it was an important thing for me to learn to make and I always assumed that I would be able to just do it like I was able to just know how to make most of everything else. My grandma makes soup like nobody’s business, growing up I got used to having all kinds of soups and stews all the time. Whether my grandma made a fresh pot for that nights dinner or had made one earlier and frozen it we almost always had soup around. Now let’s get to how to dominate some fantastic soup. 

First off you need to get your cooking apparatus. A larger pot with handles on the side and a good solid lid is what you’re looking for. Stainless steel is good, it’s light but sturdy and is an excellent material for radiating heat. The best soup pots are taller than they are wide and have a thicker bottom than sides. This allows for better heat transfer and convection. Now that you have your apparatus, let’s get started. I am going to run through how I make a basic  fresh vegetable soup. This will just give you an idea how to put it together. After the recipe I will have a run-down of the basics to keep in your kitchen to be conducive to a soup making environment.

What you will need:
  • 4 tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 cups Leeks - chopped
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped garlic
  • 2 cups carrots - peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups potatoes - peeled and diced
  • 2 cups fresh green beans - broken into smaller pieces
  • 2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth
  • 4 cups tomatoes - peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 2 ears fresh corn - kernels removed
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 1-2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice - or the juice from 1 lemon
  • Salt and Pepper

Keep in mind that you can use frozen or canned vegetables. For the posterity of this fresh vegetable soup I am using all fresh. First things first, get your pot over some medium-low heat and add your olive oil. Slosh it around a bit and make sure to get all of the bottom of your pot, as soon as it starts to ripple you can throw in your leeks and garlic as well as a pinch of salt to pull out some of that moisture. These are your aromatics. They have the strong full-bodied tastes and will enhance the flavor and experience that your soup puts across. Let those aromatics soften up and get to work. Once they are soft we can go ahead and add the first wave of veggies. We’re going to start with the harder veggies. The ones that need a little longer to cook and to soften up. Get your carrots in there, potatoes next and then the green beans. Now, since these are all foods that contain a little bit of sugar, they will benefit from the added heat. Go ahead and kick it up to medium and let them cook for four or five minutes. Don’t forget to stir occasionally! Time to add so liquidy good-ness. Add your broth, whether it be homemade or store bought is up to you, and there is no shame in using store bought. The soup will be fantastic either way. Stir that beast up and kick that heat up to high. We’re aiming for a simmer here, keep stirring! 

Once you have attained a simmer then it’s time for you to let the second wave of veggies to join the party. Now the way that I add the rest of the veggies is using a strainer spoon. The reason that I use the tool is for safety. It is much safer to slowly lower the veggies in to the hot soup than to just dump them in causing the hot liquid to splash. Get your tomatoes in to the hot mess and then the corn kernels. Now is the time to add your pepper, about 1/2 teaspoon should be good, but season to your taste. If you want to add any other seasonings then now is the time to do it. About now you should also check your veggies. We’re aiming for “fork tender” which means that the vegetables yield to a fork, but they don’t fall apart. Finally, the last minute seasoning. Get some parsley in there to brighten up the flavor a bit and then the juice from one lemon, or about 1-2 teaspoons, to bring up the acidity. And that’s it. Serve and eat or portion out and store by freezing it. There you have it, an easy and super yummy fresh veggie soup that is very healthy!

While fresh is always better, there are some corners you can cut and there are things that you can always have in your pantry so that you can whip up a soup quick if need be. Now you should always have some broths around, or the makings of broth. Make it whatever type of broth you like working with the most. I always kept vegetable broth and chicken broth around. Now from time to time when I would find myself without my chicken broth I would just make my own. Whether I would end up using leftover chicken or just making a broth with chicken base would depend on what else I was making that week. Beef broth is also a good one to keep around. What you keep on hand will depend on your kitchen, cooking style and your family’s taste. Next, you should always have certain spices in your spice cabinet such as cumin, chili powder, curry powder, and the like. Spices that are essential to specific soups like chili or curried wild rice.

Next you should always keep some dried beans on hand. Play around and see what beans you like the most and keep them in your pantry. They stay good for long enough that you shouldn’t have to worry about having them on hand. Next is barley. It’s an ingredient that can add the extra special something and can give your soup or stew that little extra body that it needed. It can also be used as a thickening agent in place of beans, rice, or noodles. On that note, you should always have some rice and noodles on hand. I always kept rice around because it is one of my absolute favorite side dishes and it is also one of my favorite foods in general. I always had a big bag of jasmine rice and I also would have some regular white or brown rice around if the jasmine rice wouldn’t work for a dish. It’s usually a good idea to keep some noodles, of your choosing, in your pantry to use in your soups and because they are just nice to have!

Now, the next few things I am going to say that you should have around is up to you and the way you cook. I like having some frozen and canned veggies around all the time just because I usually decide that there is a vegetable that I would like to have as a side or would like to add to something at the last minute and I can’t be running to the market for every little thing. Fresh veggies are better, heck you can even save extra veggies that you prepped for other meals and had too much of and through in a soup at the end of the week. And last but not least you should keep some meats in your freezer that you can use for soups, stews, casseroles and the like. I would usually keep chicken breast and some beef chunks in the freezer. Go with whatever meats talk to you and you feel most comfortable making. 

The best thing about soups? It is an awesome starter recipe for kids. Kids should be started in the kitchen young, and soups are something that is straightforward and can be easily taught to children. You can start them stirring or chopping or even breaking up the green beans if they are still too young to be handling a knife. Cooking with kids is an entire post all on its own though! So go, make soup and have fun! Play around with the goods that you have hiding in your pantry and your fridge or freezer and see what you come up with. Comment and let me know how your soup goes!

Sorry about going MIA on Sunday and Monday. My schedule got pushed a few days back and I ended up being without internet for a few days so I'm planning on just pushing everything back by a few days. The giveaway will open on Friday and I will have a pretty little link on the sidebar for entry. The prize will be a beautiful shawl or a bath set with soy candle, handmade soap, wash clothes (2) and soap stand. Winners choice. I shall see everyone on Friday with the weekly post and more details about the giveaway. Comment, Subscribe, and share! Hope you're all having a good week!

Monday, December 3

December Already?! and a Giveaway!

November was a busy month for me, especially the end of it. My birthday, Thanksgiving, moving out of the old apartment and into my grandparents house, along with getting everything straightened out for school in January. (I'm going back to school in January!) This past week we did all the moving and settling, although I have everything moved for the most part to where it is going to stay I still find myself shifting things from here to there and finding that I need to go and search for something amongst the piles of boxes and other stuff we have in storage. I didn’t realize how much stuff I had shoved into that apartment until I had to get all of it out. Now that we are settled and I have been able to get back to crocheting I had time to  also go through my massive yarn stash.

My yarn stash. Only another crocheter or knitter would understand how easily our yarn stashes can get out of control. I am able to always justify buying yarn too, no matter how much I already have because, hey, I don’t have this shade of purple or I don’t have a yarn that feels quite like this one. And so I come to my point, I am going to attempt a stashbust. I am going to use all of the yarn that I have right now by the end of this month and not buy anymore until January. I can do this!! That picture isn't even close to being all of it! I feel like I need to be going to an Anonymous meeting for my yarn addiction. "Hi, my name is Shaunda and I am addicted to yarn."

Now most of the yarn will be going towards items that I will be listing in my Etsy shop, some of the yarn will be going to Christmas presents and projects that I started months and years ago and need to finish, and the last of the yarn will be going to a special prize that I will be having a giveaway for. Exciting! I will be setting up the entry process and it will go live along with next Mondays post. I will also be unveiling the prize in Mondays post. Along with me cleaning out my stash I am offering a coupon code for my Etsy shop that will be 20% off any item in the shop including special orders. Just enter “STASHBUST12” at checkout for the discount. This coupon code will expire at 11:59 EST on December 31. I will also be adding at least one or two items to my shop everyday as I clear out my stash so if you don't see something you like right away either let me know and I'll see what I can make you or keep checking back. Check out the sidebar for some of the stuff I have in my shop now and for a link to my shop.

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. My SO, Joey, and I were lucky enough to have 3 days together and with our family and friends. We ended up having a dinner with both his family and mine and then dinners with friends. It was a very good holiday and birthday, I couldn't have asked for anything better. Not only are we finishing up being busy from moving but we are about to get really busy and bustling again with Christmas sneaking up on us relatively quickly. As part of our Christmas we are taking a five day trip out to Boise to see my Dad which I am super excited for. Plus, it will be Joeys first time flying, wish us luck!

Have a good week and I will be back on Sunday with a how-to/recipe for killer soups and Monday with a new post and the beginning of entry for the giveaway. Don't forget to share, pin, comment, or subscribe! I'll see you on Sunday!

Saturday, November 17

New Beginnings

I've been away for a long time, but I've been extremely busy and I apologize for being away. The next two weeks are going to be really busy too. Me and my SO will be moving back to my hometown, I will be getting ready to go back to school in January and we're both going to be finding new jobs.

So while we're busy packing and purging I will also be talking about the moving process and why we're moving this time. We are lucky enough to still be young enough that we are able to fall into our safety net without much worry. We are going to be moving into my grandparents home. They have a guest suite that we will be staying in for a few months or until we are able to get stable and get ourselves picked up. Not only will we be purging a lot of our belongings, we will also be storing the majority of everything.

I don't have much to report in this post other than to explain what is going on and why I've been absent. I've also recently started reading another blog - A Bowl Full of Lemons. It is an organization blog and I am super excited to get moved because I hope that me and my grandmother will be able to go through and organize their home. She seems excited to get started on a new organization system too. Recipe Sundays will also start getting more exciting because I will have my grandma to help me make phenomenal dishes. She has taught me nearly everything that I know about cooking and baking, and she continues to teach me every time that I am over at their house.

These next few months will be a new and interesting experience for everyone involved and I am super excited to see what comes of it. I will try to keep to posting at least once a week with an update or the like. 

Also, to anyone who has known me, and Wilfred, for a while should be happy to know that Wilfred has been found. We can take the pictures off the milk cartons and celebrate now. He will be making many appearances in my blog. He is my traveling hippo and he loves being my model. He has been across the country and to many different events and places. In the next month he will be traveling to Boise with me for the first time, he was missing before I went out to Idaho the first time, and he will enjoy yet another flight on Southwest.
And for people that have never heard of Wilfred before, here is an album of some of his previous exploits. The pictures here include Chicago, Cupertino, Morgantown, and Bruceton Mills (WV). 

I'll be back in a few days! Please follow, share, comment and pin me!

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