Gigi Blog » The life and loveliness of Gigi's World

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  • Welcome to the Gigi Blog!

    Blessed to be a mother to half a dozen girls & one boy. Wife of an undertaker.
    Photographer. Homeschooler. Daughter of the King. Chicken and goat raiser.
    Lover of Jesus and all things pink and vintage. ♥

Plantain {uses}

One aspect of being a mother and homemaker that brings me joy is finding ways to simply help our family – whether it be preparing meals for the freezer, canning produce, making jams or homemade medicines.

Plantain is a common backyard weed – or a weed that will grow most anywhere, for that matter. If you look outside your window, you will most likely find the stubborn plant {weed} growing all around. But plantain, if you have not discovered so far, not just a weed but a wonderful plant God created with lovely medicinal properties.


Plantain is often called a natural anti-bacterial band-aid. Not only does it aid in healing, it can help ease the pain of stings, bites and rashes. Crushed up and placed over a bee sting is one of the best remedies we have found for those sadly painful honey bee stings we often attain during the clover season in our yard (walking through our grass, one is likely to be stung quickly as the bees hum about the summer months).

To help a sting, simply locate a plantain leaf, chew it up (yes, chew it) and place the gummed up sticky mess on your bite. It will work wonders! Such a natural way to help ease the pain and itch of a sting! Or you can make a tea with the leaves, put the tea in a spray bottle and use it to spray pesky mosquito bites during the summer time.

Plantain will help speed up the recovery of wounds on your skin. It only makes sense to collect this precious “weedy”-herb in the summer to save for all year long.

You could dry the leaves and keep them in a cool location in a mason jar.
Or you could freeze the leaves to use in the winter months, as well.

One way to preserve and use plantain is to make plantain infused oil.

This oil can be used for lip balms, skin lotions, baby lotions – any product used on the skin.

It is simple to make – just collect the leaves and gently wash them in your sink. Place them into a mason jar and cover with olive oil. Let it sit for 3 weeks out of direct sunlight. After this time, strain the oil from the leaves into a mason jar. Store in a cool dark location. It can be used throughout the winter for various home remedies. Plantain oil can make the best diaper rash cream – so much better than a store bought version!

Here is a recipe for a wonderful plantain salve:

Once your plantain oil is infused and strained from the leaves, add 1 tablespoon of grated beeswax and a capsule of vitamin E (or scrapings of the gel from your aloe plant) per ounce of oil.

{There are 8 oz. in one cup, in case you forgot.}

Heat the oil, stirring until the wax melts. Pour into jars and cool.  One cup of the oil makes one cup of salve.

There are many uses for plantain salve -
all cuts and wounds will heal faster with this lotion applied.

Another way to preserve plantain is to make a tincture with the leaves. Once you have a picked enough to fill a mason jar, top off with 80 proof vodka, give it a shake and store in a dark location for 4-6 weeks.

Strain the vodka from the leaves and store your tincture in a bottle. This can be used as a spray which can be sprayed onto any skin abrasians, bug bites, cuts, splinters, even used to help heal c-section incisions, diaper rashes or little one’s scraped knees.

 ”He causes the grass to grow for the cattle,
and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth.”

Psalm 104:14-15

How do you use plantain in your every day life or your home medicinal cabinet?

{Linked up with Strangers & Pilgrims}

Quiet Down, Cobwebs.

Sadly, my sweet little baby boy will not stop growing …
but every day, he just gets cuter and cuter – at least, in his sisters and his mommy and daddy’s eyes. 

Be still my heart – how I do love you, little son!

Are those fingerprints you see on my kitchen door? A pile of laundry that needs to be tucked into drawers?
Yes, well, I know we all must care for our homes, of course {and I do so love a good house cleaning!} but I also realize how quickly our little ones suddenly become big ones.

In the afternoon, you will find me sitting on the front porch, holding this little sweet baby while he sleeps and listening to the children play, the birds sing and the wind whisper in the trees. My chores will always be there, but my children will grow and soon be gone. That makes me want to freeze time, but all I can do is treasure each day and every moment.

I read this poem about six years ago and it struck a chord in my heart. Listen to the beautiful words.

July 5, 2016 - 8:59 pm

grandma Cardinal - XXXXXXXXX

July 5, 2016 - 5:17 pm

Sherri Smith - Wow, he reminds me a lot of Lovelyn when she was that little.

July 5, 2016 - 5:13 pm

Teresa - So so so true momma, my oldest is 19 and getting married, i’m so glad I invested in him when he was growing up and not the perfectly kept home. It was wonderful to go for walks, nature, ride bikes, play outside, swim, garden, craft, read together. A friend when his child was about 9 realized he ONLY had about 8 years left in the home with his daughter ~he cherished every year with her…. think of the only years left before they leave your nest and start their own…… my youngest is 13 ~I only have about 4 years…. enjoying my time with him too, walking, playing catch, playing card games, biking, crafting together, life with them is so short enjoy it Momma’s

July 5, 2016 - 9:23 am

Maike - That is such a wonderful poem and it is so very true. There are only a handful of years to rock your children and so many more of them being grown up where life will be quiet with enough time to clean the house. Enjoy these very precious times as long as they last. Your baby boy looks very adorable. I don’t know if he gets cuter…I fell in love with him when he was just teeny tiny and think all of your tots and children are quite beautiful ones inside and out.

July 5, 2016 - 8:16 am

Brenda Clair (Gigi's Mom) - So true, Gillian! It seems like just a short time ago that I had 3 small children! I miss that stage so much! Enjoy xo

Bunnies & Mothering

And we have baby bunnies now!

Both Lacey’s {lionhead} and Lucia’s {chinchilla} rabbits were bred and produced a lovely litter of seven bunnies in total.

 

 

They are, of course, very cute.

 

And one of our broody hens hatched her little chick … I always love to see all this mothering happening around here. In most cases, the natural care a mother animal gives her offspring is quite lovely to watch … the little chick nestles deep under her mother’s breast feathers to stay warm and protected …. the mother rabbit carefully hides her young litter away from the dangers of the outside world … even the mother goats call mournfully to their kids when they are out of sight.

 

It is a good, refreshing reminder of how we should guard, care and protect our own children from the dangers and evil of this world. It is our job, a calling from the Lord. There is no one else responsible for your children other than you and your husband. In a society and world that is quickly losing its moral compass, now is the time to embrace your role as a nurturer, as a mother.

 

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones.
For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.”
Matthew 18:10

 

July 10, 2016 - 10:25 pm

Janelle - Oh, I am so pleased to see you with more bunnies! They are such wonderful animals to care for (as all animals are). I do hope Lucia cherishes them as much as she did last summer. Good luck with them all!

July 4, 2016 - 10:35 am

Grandma Cardinal - Dearest Granddaughter, How much I love you! xxxSo proud of you and hubby!
Do so love you all. so sweet! xxxxx

July 3, 2016 - 5:24 pm

Renee - Oooh Georgia had babies!!!!! So excited to hear!!! Congrats xo

A Little Spirit

Lavender and Spirit {who is such a lovely horse – so well mannered and gentle – we are pleased}:

June 26, 2016 - 9:38 am

Danessa Stride - Hello from Newfoundland!! I can’t tell you how much I love you blogs, I look so forward to the next one, keep up the good work:) I love how you are raising precious family, it is so refreshing in todays society to see how much you love the Lord and is teaching this to your children. I love the country and all things vintage! Just love it:):) Keep the blogs coming, look forward to see what other exciting adventure awaits your family:)

June 25, 2016 - 12:26 pm

Erin Lynn - Such a little beauty! She is starting to look like a little girl rather than a baby.

June 24, 2016 - 3:51 pm

Renee - Oooh what lovely pictures! Lavender is so precious!! Xo

Rosewater {DIY}

 

 

“There is simply the rose;
it is perfect in every moment of its existence.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

I love roses  – what female could resist the charms of such a lovely flower? Alas, I do not love them enough to ask my husband to bring them home at a very costly expense neither could I use them in our wedding flowers with such a high price tag. Roses are such beautiful flowers, so lovely and fragrant and delicately perfect in most ways, however the price of them is just too high for purchasing on a whim.

 

Often wish I could go to my garden and pick a small bouquet for the kitchen table or tea time on Tuesdays …  so this year, I decided to try my hand at a tiny rose garden… just six different varieties of roses scattered through my garden, but mainly near the front porch (which is my favorite place to sit and have tea – which is exactly what I am doing right now).

 

They are so beautiful and bring me so much joy. They replaced a portion of the garden that was simply filled with “filler” ground cover so I am delighted to see this area used in a more pretty fashion.

 

 

Roses are not just amazing for their beauty, however. I was delighted to have roses so I could collect rosehips and use the flowers for various projects – such as homemade rosewater.  Rosewater is often used as a natural facial toner and can be added to baths for a romantic touch. It can be worn as a lightly scented perfume and used to refresh bedding with a spritz bottle.

 

There are a few ways to make rosewater – but the way I chose was very simple.

First, pluck off your rose petals and collect them in your basket. When  you have a nice amount, you may choose to rinse them or place them directly into water in a small pot.

 

Just barely cover the rose petals with water. Cover with a lid and  let the water simmer for about 20 minutes or so until all of the color have left the petals.

 

Strain your water into a measuring cup, which you will use to pour into your glass containers or mason jars.

 

 

 

And that is it! It is very simple and yet produces a lovely reward. If you wanted to intensify the scent, you can either add more rose petals or add a drop of rose essential oil. {Personally, although I would like some, I do not have rose essential oil and actually do not mind the lightly scented water.}

Keep your rosewater in a cool location or the fridge. And enjoy! Tiny, prettily wrapped bottles would make lovely presents for dear friends. I am going to give one bottle to my daughter, who as she gets older, is getting into more of a good nightly routine for cleansing her face. Using rosewater sounds like a romantic, lovely natural way to take care of your skin. Rosewater is antiseptic and an astringent.  It can also be used topically on minor wounds to help heal and stop the bleeding. Rosewater can also gently fade marks of acne or blemishes on the skin.

 

 

There is something very rewarding finding ways to save money, lift your spirit and encourage good health … all from you home.

 

 

“I read in a book once that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,
but I’ve never been able to believe it. I don’t believe a rose WOULD be as nice
if it was called a thistle or a skunk cabbage.”

-Anne of Green Gables

Linked up with Strangers & Pilgrims

June 27, 2016 - 7:09 am

JES - Good morning! Just a little note to let you know this post has been * featured* this week on The Art of Home-Making Mondays at Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth! We hope to have you join in again this week! :)

June 27, 2016 - 1:10 am

Kelly-Anne - Oh, what a beautiful, inspiring post! I would love to make my own rose water, but first of all I need to establish a little rose garden of my own… Your photographs left me longing for a dreamy rose garden… {{smiles}}
Visiting from The Art of Homemaking Mondays today!

With love,
Kelly-Anne

June 25, 2016 - 2:35 pm

JES - Another stunning tutorial! I just love your beautiful blog. Thank you for sharing on the Art of Home-Making Mondays at Strangers & Pilgrims! :)

June 21, 2016 - 6:09 pm

Lauren - Gillian it’s so nice to see your wonderful blog back up and running! I missed it! I so enjoy reading your posts with a cup of tea, during the children’s nap time!

June 21, 2016 - 9:40 am

Sarah - Your roses are beautiful! Thank you for sharing your recipe for rose water. I hope to make some soon!