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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My Natural Cold Remedies

I am mainly posting this so I can remember what I did next time I get a cold! Hopefully it will help someone else too. So sorry for all of the guesses as to amounts, I just throw things together! ;-)

I started feeling a cold creep up on me yesterday so I started drinking my go-to,

Cold Kicking Tea
Boil about a cup of water on the stove, then pour it over about a tablespoon of dried nettle leaves in a mug. Place a saucer over it and let it steep for about 20 minutes or so. In the meantime, boil some fresh grated ginger in water in a tea kettle. When the nettles are done steeping, strain the liquid into another mug. Add the juice from half a lemon and about 2 teaspoons of honey (or more or less to taste). When your ginger water has come to a boil, strain it into your mug to fill it up the rest of the way. I also sometimes add a teaspoon of Elderberry syrup. Stir it up and enjoy! I think it tastes a bit like hot lemonade. =)

I also read somewhere that garlic and onion sauteed with curry powder is a good remedy, so I tried it too. It was really yummy!

Garlic Onion Saute
Chop 1 medium onion and start frying it in some butter. Chop your garlic and add it in, along with about a tablespoon (I never measure so not sure how much I use!) of curry powder. While that is getting going, I dissolve a chicken bullion cube in about a half cup of HOT water, then add it to the saute. I cook it until the water simmers away and then its ready!

I have made this 3 times in the last 2 days now lol.  That along with many cups of tea, and I am already feeling better! I hope I can say bye-bye to my cold after today, tomorrow we will know! =)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Remembering...and Renewing

If you have been around my blog much at all, I am sure you know about our Aussies. Well, three years ago today, we lost our best furry friend, our beautiful Australian Shepherd, Duke. We were so devastated, he was a member of our family. Our home felt so empty and quiet without him and we immediately started looking for another Australian Shepherd, as we knew they were "our" breed and we would always have an Aussie. We knew Duke would never be replaced, but we needed to fill that void in our lives.

Well, we ended up with 2 new pups! Bo and Luke. Bo came first and was a bit crazy and a really great farm dog. He protected the barn and the barn cats and was so much fun. He climbed high up the stacked hay bales and was the fastest Aussie I have ever seen. He would have made a fantastic agility pup! Luke came to us a couple months after Bo, and he is a lot more laid back and more of a family dog, a bit more like Duke. A bit calmer than Duke too, I should say. Bo and Luke loved playing together and just had a ball. Then, sadly, in May of this year, we lost Bo. He just passed away out of nowhere. His third birthday would have been this week, July 26th.

This time, we decided we would not just jump in right away and get another Aussie. We would wait for the right one to come to us. Well, at the end of May, I heard that there had been a litter of puppies born just 3 days earlier. And they were the puppies of one of Duke's sisters! Well, I of course wanted one, but Jim couldn't be convinced. So I put it off and just prayed for a pup each time I received new photos of the litter. To make a long story short, things ended up working out and we brought home our new little bundle just in time for the anniversary of Duke's passing! And on top of that, guess when the new pup's birthday is? John Wayne's birthday, May 26th. Why is that significant? Well, our sweet Duke was named after John Wayne, "The Duke"! =) And, it was exactly 2 months before Bo's birthday. I know, I think about things WAAAY too much lol! But I thought that was pretty cool! I didn't even know when John Wayne's birthday was until I stumbled upon it, I was looking up significant events of that date, trying to come up with possible names for the puppy. Who is still not officially named by the way, but I think we are going with Blue Steel (the John Wayne movie of course!) in part of his name....we wanted to call him Blue, but that sounds too similar to Luke, and we don't want to confuse our pups! So we will see, I kind of like "Jake" so that could be what we call him. ;-)

Alright, so I suppose you want to see this special new pup? Well, ok! Here he is!

Chewing on his little hedgy toy:

And sitting pretty in my flower bed:

Is that not just the cutest little Aussie pup?? Yeah, he is! He follows in the paw prints of 2 awesome Aussies, but I don't think he will have a problem living up to them. I just love this breed, they are so unique and special, each and every little quirk! They are each so very smart and have their own personalities. I can't wait to see what this fellow has in store for us! I pray he and Luke will enjoy many happy years with our family!

Friday, May 11, 2012

So Long Bo

I have some sad news. Our red merle Aussie, Bo, passed away unexpectedly last Saturday, May 5th. I feel bad that I have waited this long to post about him!

Jim was so upset, he had really bonded with him after Duke died almost 3 years ago. I have really been slacking on photo taking lately so I don't even have any recent photos of him. =(

He was a really good farm dog. He kept the racoons and other critters out of the barn and was a good watch dog. He was also really, REALLY fast and loved chasing his buoy toy (we had an old boat that we sold and it got left behind so it became a dog toy). He LOVED to climb and he would climb up the straw and hay bales in the barn, all the way up to the top of the stalls they are stored in (maybe someday we will have a hay loft...).

He was Jim's buddy and a good listener. He had this super intense stare and would just look at you with penetrating eyes. We are so sad to lose him and all his unique quirks. He would have been 3 in July so he was still just a baby.

We don't have any idea how he died. Jim played with him that morning, we went to run some errands for a few hours, and when we got back he had passed. So very strange.

Rest in peace silly Bo Dog, and have fun playing with Duke over the Rainbow Bridge. May we one day see you again!

Skincare Routine Update

I am such a horrible blogger lol! Ok, so my last post was about my new skincare routine using the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM). Well, it was going pretty well, I loved how my skin felt. It was soft and smooth, and the refreshed feeling was awesome. But then a problem developed, which from what I have read, is quite common. I started breaking out on one side of my face. So WEIRD! I have never had bad acne, just a zit or 2 here and there. Well, this was zits all over my right jaw up to my mouth and some on my cheek. NOT COOL!! I then tried looking up other ways to clean my face (I did not try changing the type of oil I was using because I really didn't want to spend any more money).

I tried honey but it didn't really help. I used apple cider vinegar and water as a toner after washing and it sort of helped, but the zits just came right back. I found that you can use baking soda and water to wash, pretty similar to the No Poo method for your hair. You mix some baking soda with water (I think I did about 1 tsp BS in 1 cup water), scrub it on your face with a washcloth, splash the rest on your face and let it sit for 20 seconds or so then rinse. Then follow with the apple cider vinegar diluted with a little water on a cotton ball as a toner to balance your skins ph. Well, that seemed to help, but the zits remained or disappeared and came back.

Then I just stopped washing my face. I just rinse it with water in the shower. If I am wearing makeup (very rare these days) I use the baking soda wash to help get the makeup off. And guess what? My acne is pretty much gone! So I guess I was over-washing my skin. Fine with me! Hopefully this keeps up. And yeah, it has been a battle since my post in January, took me this long to (hopefully) figure it out! We will see how the next few weeks go.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My New Skincare Routine

I have been searching for an all natural facial cleanser and moisturizer for a while now. Some of you may know that I used to be a consultant for a popular cosmetics company and I really loved their skincare and used it pretty religiously. It felt really good to wash my face and put on that moisturizer and feel all the tightness and dry skin disappear....but I was never quite comfortable with all of the chemicals I was letting my skin absorb an my skin was still a little rough feeling, I always had these tiny rough bumps I could never get rid of.

So for the last couple years I have been trying various all natural & organic products, from etsy and other websites, but nothing felt as good as what I had been using and most of them made me break out, or didn't quite clean well enough, etc, etc. And they still had a lot of ingredients. I thought there had to be SOMETHING simple out there I could use!

My sister had mentioned using various oils on her skin, like tea tree oil and olive oil, and I thought she was nuts and that it would just clog my pores. YUCK! My skin is oily enough, why would I want to add MORE?? Well, she again mentioned it just last week when her family was visiting us after the holidays. Again I just sort of shrugged her off, thinking how gross it sounded and that it could never help MY skin.

Well.... (you get where I am going with this now I am sure ;-) a few days after my sis went home, I came across the Oil Cleansing Method online. Needless to say, I had to read it. And what I read actually made sense! It sounded way to good to be true, but I knew I had to try it. I searched for more information and came across quite a few blogs and posts about this gross sounding skincare. And the best part of the research is that there are a ton of replies to the posts where people talk about how the method works for them! I read through so many and it was so encouraging.

The castor oil, which is the cleansing oil, and a carrier oil. A cold pressed, pure vegetable oil is what you want. Extra Virgin Olive Oil seemed to be the most common one used, but I read great things about Sunflower oil and that is the one mentioned on the OCM site, so I ordered some sunflower oil right away. And yes, I did find an American company, will post about it when it arrives and I can try it out. If you are wondering why I say that, check out my post here about buying American made products this year.

I wanted to try OCM right NOW though, so I used some Extra Virgin Olive oil from the kitchen and some Castor oil (not made in America, boo) from the store.

Yesterday was my first day using the OCM and I have to say, I am loving it! My skin just feels better. It does feel a little tight and dry right afterward, and I did have a small breakout on my jaw line, but I am still tweaking amounts of oil. And those tiny little bumps are already gone! Not even kidding. My skin feels smoother and softer than it has in a really long time. My face is a little splotchy, but I am hoping my skin will get used to this new routine and adjust soon, I know it takes time.

Here is a pic of my face right after my first try at the OCM (eeek, scary face!) ;-)

My face doesn't look too red, but my cheeks and across my nose are what get bad. I am really hoping this will help even out my skin tone. I will try to take a pic of when my face is splotchy, if I can.

I will post an update next week to let you know how its going and to post another pic, see if we can see any differences (good ones hopefully!).

Please let me know if you try this out and what you think! If you would like more info, here are the sites I found most helpful:

Already mentioned, The Oil Cleansing Method
Simple Mom
Aisha Wood's blog
Crunchy Betty - awesome site by the way!!! I am going to try honey cleansing as well, for mornings or in between OCM! I also want to make some lotion bars and solid perfume. I will post about them when I do. =)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

My Hopes for 2012

This year our family has decided to make it a serious point to buy only American made products. We have been consciously paying attention to where things are made up until now, but we are really going to try and ONLY buy things that are American made this year. I know this is going to be hard to do and we will probably fail many times, but if there is a product that is made in the good old United States of America, then I am going to try my hardest to find it before buying a foreign made item. We also decided that we can buy second hand items from thrift stores, flea markets, Craigslist or Ebay, even if the item is not made in the USA, which could also help keep things out of landfills. The item must be from a private seller and not someone trying to market new foreign made items.

As we travel on this journey, I will try to post updates about items we have purchased and give sources of American made products we have found in an effort to help others with similar goals.

I see a whole lotta etsy and pinterest usage in my future lol! I am going to try to do DIY projects as much as possible and I will try to post about those too.

I have created a facebook page, Made In USA 2012. Please "Like" it if you want to follow on our journey and my hopes are that people will share sources and ideas for American made products to help each other.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Welcome 2012!

Happy New Year everyone! I hope everyone had a safe and wonderful holiday and a wonderful Christmas as well.

So sorry its been so long since I have posted, we got the stomach flu the week before Christmas. That was not so fun. And my sister and her hubby and family just left after staying with us a couple days. Now its back to "normal" and I am praying I will not slip into the winter blues. It has been a very mild winter so far, we just got our first real snow fall this past weekend. I am looking forward to getting my garden all planned out and getting Jimmy back on a schedule for his schooling. Matthew is still not walking at 17 months old, but he did take his first steps alone. Hasn't done it since, but at least I know he can if he wants to!

I will be posting the last few Christopher Pop-In-Kins posts soon, so we can have them for our memories =) I will also be posting soon about my main New Year's Resolution, so stay tuned! Its going to be an interesting year and I hope our family can keep with it! That's all for now, I am off to work on my catch up posts. Cheers!

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