Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Peek Into My Medicine Cabinet

March in Oklahoma is a nightmare for allergy sufferers.  We are all running around sneezing, coughing, rubbing our eyes & blowing our noses!  However, rather than turn to allergy medication, I turn to more natural ways of dealing with allergies.  For me, it works.  However, even with Allen doing all of this, he got his annual case of Bronchitis.  He gets it every single March.

I am a HUGE fan of my neti pot.  I use it once a day, as needed, for allergy & drainage issues.  If you've never used a neti pot, it takes a little practice.  The first few times, I had water running all over my face.  It immediately makes a difference for me.  And I believe it keeps me from getting a sinus infection, which I used to get every Spring.  Here's a funny, but helpful, video on how to use a neti pot.

I use a humidifier almost year round.  I really believe in them & have one for all three bedrooms.

At the first sign of a scratchy throat, I gurgle salt water.  I remember watching my Grandma do this when I was a kid.  I think she did it every night, year round.  I just mix salt & warm water in a cup & gurgle repeatedly. 

I drink lots of green tea, and eat lots of oranges & apples.  All of which are natural antihistamines. 

And the latest thing I've been doing is drinking 8oz water mixed with 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar.  It taste horrible, but is said to have many health benefits.  I don't do it daily, for fear of getting too much vinegar in my system.  But I drink it occasionally, especially when my allergies seem to be flaring up.

I've also heard that eating local honey can help with allergies.  I use local honey in my bread recipe so maybe that's helping me too.

I quit taking over the counter cold & allergy medications over a year ago & have been quite healthy doing all these things I've mentioned.  Except for that pesky case of the flu I had.  And once you get the flu, nothing helps!  You just have to lie there and let your body take care of it, which is what I did.

I am not a doctor.  I am just sharing what works for me.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sock Monkey Baby Shower

I recently hosted a baby shower for my Sister-in-Law.  She's having a baby boy & told me to surprise her with the shower theme.  I am loving sock monkeys lately so I went with a red/brown/white sock monkey theme.  I kept it simple & practical by making everything myself.  I think it turned out pretty cute. 

The cute little sock monkey doubled as a table decoration and a gift from my kiddos to their soon to be baby boy cousin.

I love making tissue paper puff balls for parties.  And a little tip, don't waste your money buying the Martha Stewart kit.  Guess what's in the box?  A stack of tissue paper & some crafting wire.  It's much cheaper to buy it yourself.  The only extra step is to cut the ends of the paper into a shape.  Either a triangle or half circle.

Tissue Paper Puff Balls
What you need:
A stack of tissue paper (about 10 sheets, depending on the size you want)
Crafting wire that bends easily

How to:
Fold the tissue paper accordion style, with about a 1 1/2" thickness.
Place crafting wire around center of folded up tissue & twist into knot to hold in place
If you want small puff balls, cut the folded stack in half to make two small ones
Snip each end into a shape (triangle for a pointed edge, or half circle for a rounded edge)
Now fluff the tissue paper out, one layer at a time, until it forms a ball shape. Be very gentle so that it does not tear.
Hang with fishing wire or just set around for cute decorations

White cupcakes with chocolate frosting is my favorite combination.  Plus, it matched my color scheme. ;)  I made the cupcake toppers by printing the images on card stock, cutting out and taping to a toothpick.  Sydney helped me frost & decorate all the cupcakes.  She is such a great helper!  She also pays great attention to detail.  She coordinated her outfit to match the shower colors.

I love pinwheels!  They taste great & are so easy.  3 ingredients: flour tortillas, cream cheese & pace picante sauce.  Mix cream cheese & picante sauce.  Spread on a tortilla, roll up and slice.  Done!

This punch is my go to drink when hosting parties.  It's always a big hit.  I got the recipe from a friend years ago.

2 c sugar
1 c water
Bring these to a boil in a pot.
Then, in a cooler, add sugar water to a 10 lb bag of ice to begin melting.  Then add:
46 oz pineapple juice
12 oz frozen pink lemonade
12 oz frozen orange juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract

The recipe says to let punch set in cooler 3 hours before serving,  However, I always make mine the night before.  The recipe also says it serves 50, but I promise you will need to double the recipe if throwing a large party. 

I can't wait to meet  my new nephew in April!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Monday, March 7, 2011

Mama Bertha

We recently celebrated my Grandmother's 85th birthday.  We lovingly call her Mama Bertha.  She is my Dad's Mother & I am very close to her.

At 85, she is as sharp as a tack & very healthy.  Her only ailment is a broken heart.  Losing her Son, {my Dad}, has been excruciatingly painful for her.  But she is a strong woman who has always been able to stand on her own.  This strength is what helps her every day.  And her strength was, thankfully, passed on to me in the gene pool.  I hope the good health gets passed on too. 

We spend a lot of time together & are very much alike.  I think being together makes us both feel closer to my Dad.  While no one can fill his void for me, she is the closest person to him that I have.  They were so close & similar in a lot of ways.

She absolutely adores my children & would do anything for them.  We all make sure to spend a lot of time together.  That's the most important gift you can give the ones you love.  Simply give your time.  You can see where Garrett gets his red hair.  My Dad was also born with red hair, but it turned to brown pretty quickly.  My Dad always wanted a red haired little boy & I'm certain he had a hand in Garrett's hair being red.  I got pregnant with Garrett 2 months after my Dad died.  Some things you just know, even if you can't explain them.

Sydney has an extra special bond with Mama Bertha.  Just because she's older and has spent more time with her.

Everyone should be so lucky to have a Mama Bertha in their lives.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Pretty Food {Salad}

This has been my lunch of choice at home lately.  Mostly organic & 100% delicious.  I love it when your food is so darn pretty you have to take a picture of it.  

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Alexander Ebert

I love Alexander Ebert's {of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros} new album!!!  I just added it to my iTunes.  Check it out!

Mountain Man

Did you know I had a fling with a mountain man for a while? 

Hee, hee. Allen grew a wooly beard for a while & I must say, I kinda liked it. He recently cleaned up a little, but I have a feeling my mountain man will come back to visit.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Daddy Daughter Dance

Sydney's school had a Daddy/Daughter dance recently.  Sydney had so much fun getting all dressed up and going to the dance with her Daddy.  She thinks he hung the moon, ya know?  He lets her get by with just about anything.  Funny how that works with little girls and their Daddy's.  Truthfully, I wouldn't have it any other way.