Home Remedies, Natural Alternatives

How to make Elderberry Syrup at Home

Okay guys, this is so easy! I think the hardest part is searching for organic elderberries and raw honey. Also, you’ll notice if you do this that elderberries are sold out all over the place due to this crazy flu season. So get to it now and you’ll have a supply that’ll carry you through these cold and sick months, which around here seems to last through April.

If you’re not sure why you might want to make this for your family, go here to read all about elderberries and their history with health and wellness.

Dry elderberries in bowl

You need to purchase Elderberries in bulk and can do so at Mountain Rose Herbs and Oregon’s Wild Harvest, you might check out the syrups they have as well if not yet ready to make your own. When shopping, look for certified organic berries. I believe it is counterproductive if you use conventional berries, no point in putting pesticides and chemicals in your body if you’re trying to build up your immune system!

We just pulled our latest batch off the stove last night. Here’s what you need to do.

  • Place 1/2 cup of dried elderberries and 3 cups of water on the stove and bring to a boil.
  • Simmer for 30 minutes, remove from stove and allow to cool.
  • Strain liquid into storage container, add 1/2 to 1 cup of raw, local honey. Stir to combine.

Using raw and local honey will best support your immune system. Stirring in the honey after cooling will allow the honey to retain the natural enzymes (otherwise, you’ve just got sugar). Here’s all you ever wanted to know about why honey’s enzymes are important.

Dried Elderberries for scale

I will say, it does smell a bit medicinal in your house, but that’s good right? And our toddler has no problem taking this every day with his course of vitamins and probiotics. He definitely likes the store-bought kids version better (it’s much like candy, which makes me question it’s validity) but after we explain to him how it works with his body, he takes it no problem. Then he proceeds to put water in his glass, swirl it around and then drink it up to “get it all out,” he says.

Now I’m ready to start making more and thinking about good additions. Ginger, turmeric, cinnamon? I’ll let you know how it goes!

Home Remedies

All-Purpose (and more!) Cleaner

I say all-purpose and more because I use this cleaner for everything. The beauty of making your own cleaner is evident in how easily you can customize this one for heavy-duty, light-duty and everything in between and can scent it to suit whatever mood you’re in.

Just this morning I made a heavier duty version for kitchen and/or baths with Tea Tree (melaleuca) + White Fir and another more all-purpose spray with my go-to Orange + Lavender. Another lovely consequence is that I clean SO much more when I have these ready to go. I think it’s because I don’t have to worry using these around the kiddos and picking my own scents is motivating too. Plus this stuff works!

Tablerock Creek All-Purpose Cleaner

Tablerock Creek’s All-Purpose Cleaner Concentrate

  • 1 cup Hot Water
  • 1 Tsp Borax
  • 3 Tbsp Castile Soap
  • 15-20 Essential Oils

Mix Borax into hot water until dissolved. Add Castile soap and let cool. Pour into 32oz. bottle and add essential oils. Fill remainder of bottle with water (about 3 cups).

Tablerock Creek All-Purpose Cleaner Ingredients

We like to quadruple (or more!) this recipe and store in large jars until we need to refill one of the cleaning bottles. The ratio is 1 part cleaner concentrate to 3 parts water. So you can fill any spary bottle you find with cleaner! I personally like to use 16 oz. bottles so I can have more variety of scents.

Favorite Scent Combinations:

  • Tea Tree (Melaleuca) + Lemon/Orange – Great for Kitchen!
  • Tea Tree (Melaleuca) + Eucalyptus or Lavender – Great for Bathroom.
  • Orange + Lavender – Good all-around cleaner
  • And seasonal! How about Clove + Orange as we head into Autumn?

And if you would rather us make some for you, just let us know. We love mixing up batches for delivery right to you and can probably make any custom scent you desire!

Home Remedies, Roxanne

Natural Daily Remedies

I’ve been realizing there a handful of remedies/products I reach for daily or multiple times per day that most people might not even realize could help them.

Let’s start with coconut oil. You’ve seen it everywhere, but there’s good reason. I will talk about the ways I use it and begin with the obvious. Without getting too crazy about all the technical aspects, I’ll tell you what I know/remember from loads of research. It is naturally antimicrobial and antifungal, helps with digestion since it is easily assimilated into your body, is a great source of healthy fat for a well-rounded diet. I would highly recommend only purchasing unrefined, organic oil because I believe it retains more of the benefits than versions of oil that have been taken further from their natural state through processing. This Wellness Mama list is a helpful place for more information.

organic virgin coconut oil


  • Kitchen: Coconut oil has a high-heat smoke point so that makes it perfect for cooking almost anything. I use for sauteing vegetables, popping popcorn, shallow “frying” when making salmon or vegetable patties, and as a straight substitute for butter in baking (cakes, quick breads, muffins, etc).
  • Bath/Personal: Use as a dilution to add essentials to the bath. Body lotion – I’ve not purchased body lotion in years and although coconut oil is not the only oil I use for this purpose, I do certainly use it most often. For teeth and gum health, for oil pulling purposes and/or taken internally to remineralize teeth. On my face for moisturizer or cleaner using oil cleansing method (makes an excellent eye make-up remover).
  • Baby/Toddler: I think this is all I used on my first baby for any skin abrasion, diaper rash, help to remove cradle cap, and lotion after bath. I still use it (daily almost!) for cuts and scrapes and any other event that you would normally pull out the antibiotic ointment (such as Neosporin®).

Second, I reach for the following essential oils (usually in roller bottle form) all the time. I think one of the biggest hurdles to incorporating the healing properties of essential oils into daily life is the start-up factor. That is one of the main reasons Dana and I are making roller bottles ready-to-go pre-mixed with useful blends or made-to-order with custom blend requests. Before I used the roller bottles, I would scoop out a spoonful or two of coconut oil into a small jar, gently heat in the microwave, drop in my essential oils, mix with a chopstick and then scoop out with my finger to use. I cannot tell you how many times that whole (easy, but still…) process kept me from using the oils as the tools they are meant to be.

essential oils for everyday use

  • Lavender – For burns, cuts and scrapes.
  • Lavender+Frankincense – For any skin irritations including the above but more for bites,
  • Tea Tree (Melaleuca) – Added to an equal solution of vinegar + water for quick clean-ups when I am in need of mixing up a new batch of cleaner. It’s antibacterial properties are a great reassurance especially when cleaning the kitchen and bathroom areas.
  • Lavender+Lemon+Tea Tree or Peppermint – For allergies.
  • Peppermint – For headaches or a little pick-me-up, diluted on temples.

Third, I feel bad even including this, but a glass of water. So many things get better when I am fully hydrated. And remember, if you need to make sure you are hydrated for something like a sports event, start two to three days early if you are not in the routine of continually staying hydrated.

  • With half a lemon juiced into it, I use to wake up in the morning. I always make healthier eating choices all day if I start out this way. This routine from the Food Babe is even better.
  • If I feel a headache beginning.
  • If I’ve eaten too much junk food.
  • If my feet are feeling sore and tired.
  • If I find myself in the kitchen looking for snacks but am not hungry.

Okay, if you are still here, thank you!!! I have so much more to say about almost every line item on this list. So if you are at all interested in more of anything, please let me know. I am trying to balance between keeping things attainable and still being somewhat helpful without coming across as cryptic.


Meet Roxanne


Tablerock Creek - Meet Roxanne

HI folks! We’re in the middle of  construction on this site and this particular post is far from finished. I’ll leave it up in case any kind souls visit, but please hang in there with us as we navigate some bumps in the road with getting this project off the ground!!!

Hello everyone and welcome and thank you so much for coming! I am the Roxanne half of the sister-endeavor and here’s just a little about me. Over the past 15 years we have eliminated and replaced so many common household items, food staples, bad habits and other goods for living that ultimately just kept us from reaching our full potential. I personally suffered from fatigue all the time(at least it felt that way). If I had a dime for every time I have thought or said, “I’m just too tired to do…” goodness, I would certainly stop working until my kids were in school! While I still battle that some (these days mostly due to being the 23-weeks-pregnant working mom of a 2.5 year old), I have made huge strides in taking back my life from what felt like days just slipping away.

Tablerock Creek - Roxanne's First Fish!

I have big dreams, goals and ideas! Ideas, I cannot even begin to scratch the surface on ideas here, but hopefully those ideas will start seeing the light of day more often than not as I plan on being ever more successful with healthy living now that I’ve got accountability by putting it all out there on the internets. Haha! Trust me, not all steps are easy – I struggle the most with making good eating choices after a night of interrupted sleep. So that would be every day I guess.

But! That’s a big one because there are so many easy changes you can make to live a healthier lifestyle and have a safer home for yourself and your children. I think for a lot of my friends, a growing family is often the catalyst for asking more questions about what we are bringing into our homes and putting into our bodies. So we are here to share what we know and encourage our family, friends and communities into implementing easy changes to create not only better living through healthier choices, but also a more sustainable lifestyle.

We are anxious to have others join us on the journey. While I do not claim to have the answers (not even close!) I probably have a great resource to share regarding whatever specific issue you may have on your mind. Do you want to live in a world without DANGER warnings on items in your house and free from worrying how exposure to every day household chemicals and items in your home could affect your kid or even grandkids? Me too.

My ultimate goal: To feel as alive as I do when breathing the mountain air. Something about the Colorado mountains and rivers gives me energy that I can never seem to capture fully when I’m home. These old pictures are just about right – one in mid-sentence with a bit of a furrowed brow and one when I just feel energized after my first catch!