DIY Home Remedies for Cold & Flu-Guest Post

When it comes to dealing with a cold, tempers and temperatures can reach a fever pitch (pun intended) fast! Your throat feels scratchy, your nose won't stop running and all you want to do is sleep! To help bring your symptoms down to a manageable level, the staff at Cold-EEZE Cold Remedy put together some great do-it-yourself tips for home cold remedies. Be sure to try the new Cold-EEZE Cold Remedy Plus Natural Multi-Symptom Relief Cold & Flu QuickMelts, formulated with zinc gluconate to shorten the duration of the cold by nearly half!
 Do-It-Yourself Home Cold Remedies
Brought to you by: Cold-EEZE Cold Remedy

  1. Stuffy nose? Use steam for relief.
    You don’t need a fancy humidifier to ease congestion (though it can be convenient!). Slowly breathing in steam from a pot of boiling water can work wonders! Just make sure to be very careful — you don’t want to burn your nose!
  2. Make it spicy.
    Incorporate lots of cinnamon, nutmeg, rosemary, cloves, pepper and ginger into your sick-day diet. Spices are natural ways to help boost your immune system and fight off viruses and diseases. Some other ingredients to include? Garlic, honey and coconut oil. Check out some more natural cold medicine.
  3. Try chicken noodle soup. 
    A nice hot bowl of chicken noodle soup might be just what you need to fight off that virus. It’s a delicious home remedy that’s medically backed to help ease cold symptoms. Check out some of our Cold-EEZE Cold Remedy-approved tasty recipes by visiting us on Pinterest, and make sure to include plenty of veggies!
  4. Make your own nasal spray.
    It’s easy and takes a matter of minutes! Simply mix 3 teaspoons of iodide-free salt and 1 teaspoon of baking soda and then add 1 teaspoon of the mixture to 8 ounces of warm boiled water to create your own nasal spray solution. Use a bulb syringe to gently squirt the mixture into each of your nostrils, while holding the other one closed, and letting them drain. This will help clear nasal congestion as well as remove virus particles and bacteria!
  5. And of course, drink plenty of fluids.
    It’s so important to stay hydrated, especially when you’re sick. By drinking plenty of fluids regularly, you can help break up congestion and ease a sore throat. Some great options include water, herbal teas, natural juices (no sugar!) and ginger ale. Also be sure to check out some of our favorite healthy hydration recipes.

Guest Post-8 Tips You Need To Look & Feel Your Best This Spring!

The winter woes are almost behind us; we've been cooped up, living under layers, craving comfort foods, working out irregularly  – and possibly even struggling with a spell of seasonal depression? Rejoice! Springtime is near and while we welcome the season happily, it's a little easier said than done to adjust mentally and physically so quickly.
Are you ready to jump right into regular workouts? Ready to bare your bathing suit-body? What do new seasonal beginnings actually look like? Talk about pressure..

Spring Recharge: 8 Tips For A Healthy Seasonal Transformation 

Nutritionist and Health ExpertTrishna Joshi, dishes on the top diet misconceptions, winter detox foods, ways to combat cravings, and more:
  • EAT THIS, NOT THAT: The winter months have had us reaching for warm (not waistline-friendly) comfort foods. Time to swap out those heavy foods for lighter variations that still satisfy your cravings. Trishna recommendstrying sautéed garlic spinach instead of creamed spinach and quinoa bowls topped with fresh, light flavors including roasted vegetables, vinaigrettes, lemon, and herbs. Opt for spaghetti squash or spiralized zucchini to replace pasta. The emphasis should be on lighter dressings and seasonings, fresher ingredients.
  • ON THE ROAD-READY SNACKS: The important factor here is to think about what foods that travel well and to pick snacks that will be play if they get bumped and do not have to be refrigerated. Nuts, seeds and kale chips are always a good choice: low in calories and in fat. Roasted chickpeas are high in potion and in starch that keeps you fuller longer. If you're taking a cooler, opt for yogurt. Pair hummus and peanut butter with celery or cucumbers because they're non-starchy vegetables. Remember that protein helps to satiate your appetite while sweets tend to make you hungrier.
  • BLOAT-LESS BITES: Hiding under layers has come to an end – we’ll be sporting spring dress and bathing suits shortly and now is no time for bloating. Trisha advises to stock up on fiber and potassium from bananas to help reduce water retention. Also reach for melons, leafy greens, artichokes, avocados, yogurt, cucumbers, tomatoes, berries, asparagus, almonds, and eggs.
  • EXERCISE EATS: What you eat before and after a workout is critical for energy, rebuilding and maintaining a healthy weight.
    • PRE-WORKOUTContrary to what you might believe, Trishna recommends to snack on carbs! Cereal, oatmeal, yogurt with granola, and peanut butter toast are all great options.
      POST-WORKOUTYou need to opt for something with protein to help replenish muscles: cottage cheese with fruit, an omelet, bean salad, pita with hummus, or chicken salad.
Wellness Coach and Fitness Instructor, Sonia Satra, re-energizes your mental and physical routines to get you springing into action:
  • THE POWER OF PERSPECTIVE: Just the mere mention of ‘bathing suit’ sends shockwaves through our system. Rather than approaching the layer-shedding season with the knee-jerk reaction of dread or anxiety, how about changing your perspective? What would be possible then?
    • BONUS TIP: Step into a variety of different perspectives on getting in swimsuit-ready shape – ask yourself, “What if I succeeded?” “What if I did nothing?” Say to yourself, “I feel sexy,” “It’s fun.” Listen to your body’s reaction to these new perspectives and choose one to focus on. Now fully embody this fresh perspective. Remember how it felt, what sound it had. Notice how your posture, breathing, even outlook changes.
  • DEFENSE KNOCKDOWN: How many times have you said, “I’ll start tomorrow?” or “I don’t have enough time in the day?” Transition and change almost instinctively activate the fear of the unknown and this is when our defenses go up. Many of us will choose to stay where we are just because it’s familiar. What small steps can you take daily that will help build your confidence and familiarity with this new unknown?
  • GO FOR THE GOAL: The 'Mindset Reset' challenge encourages you to break down larger goals into one specific and measurable goal because our brains are more effective when they focus on one thing at a time. Whether it’s giving up sweets or working out five days a week, choose a different piece of your goal that’s obtainable and awards you with “quick wins”.
    • BONUS TIP: In the world of instant gratification, the biggest hurdle is accepting that transformation won’t happen overnight. Shortcuts or an excessive approach for a week won’t help you reach your goal. We ultimately want lasting change instead of making diet and exercise a grueling seasonalthing – commit to one small goal every day that will get you closer to your bigger goal.
  • WORKOUT WARRIORA total mind and body transformation will come from making healthy habits – after awhile, these become practices you crave rather than dread. For maximum results, aim for 30-50 minutes per workout. Try doing 2 days of an intense workout (boxing or plyometrics), 2 days of moderately intense (running or biking) and 1-2 days of a lighter workout (Pilates or yoga). It's also important to have a day or two to give your mind and body a chance to rest and recover.

TRISHNA JOSHI, The Fresh Diet's Lead Nutritionist
Trishna holds a Bachelors of Science in Dietetics and Nutrition and her experience includes: Miami VA Healthcare System, Miami Children’s Hospital, Florida Department of Health WIC Programs in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties and Miami-Dade County Public Schools Department of Food and Nutrition Program. You can read more about Trishna here.

SONIA SATRA, The Fresh Diet's Fitness and Wellness Expert
Sonia Satra, founder and CEO of the hot new fitness program Moticise, is a life coach, fitness guru and award-winning motivational speaker. Based on the science that exercise is an optimal time to focus, create, and plan, Moticise—Motivational Exercise—is a high intensity cardio workout that gets you in shape, while helping you create, plan, and live your dream life. You can read more about Moticise here.

Michaels Kids Club

I thought I would share the following information for those who live near a Michael's store.  Sadly I do not, but I use to work in their RDC.  This was a company that fully supported me when I was at my lowest point.  I can not tell you how wonderful it was to have management stand behind their words.  I am thankful they were there for me and completely endorse them with no prompting from this.  This is not a paid endorsement.  This is just me to you.  Now take the kiddos out and have some fun at one of these events.

Throughout April, Michaels is offering a variety of free and low-cost in-store crafting events including a paper crafting class, a jewelry-making seminar, Crayon flower pot making and an open house to meet our talented instructors! Kids Club events include spring projects such as clothespin insect magnets, Mother’s Day frames and more.

Events are available at all Michaels stores nationwide unless otherwise noted.


Free Paper Crafting Class
Monday, April 13 | 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Learn the basics of paper crafting as you create paper lanterns with bows and tassels—perfect for your next celebration!
Jewelry 101
Tuesday April 14 | 6:30pm-8:30pm
Learn basic jewelry-making skills as you create a stylish necklace using a variety of cords, beads and chains.

Make it With Michaels Workshop Crayon Flowerpot
Thursday April 23 | 6:30pm-8:30pm
Create a crayon vase – perfect to surprise a beloved teacher! Only $15 per flowerpot – includes supplies.
Creative Classes Open House
Saturday, April 25 | 11am-3pm
Stop in for our Open House. Meet our talented instructors and receive 50 percent off when you sign up to take a class. 

Lady Bug Clay Pot
Saturday, April 11 | 10am – noon
Drop in for Kids Club where kids can create a lady bug clay pot. Just $2 per child - includes supplies for 30 minutes of creative craft fun. Ages 3 and up.

Tissue Paper Flowers
Saturday, April 18 | 10am - noon
Drop in for Kids Club where kids will make a clothespin bug magnet that you’ll be proud to hang on the fridge. $2 per child - includes supplies for 30 minutes of creative craft fun. Ages 3 and up.
Mother’s Day Cards
Saturday, April 25 | 10am - noon
Come in and your little crafters will create a special Mother’s Day card. Just $2 per child - includes supplies for 30 minutes of creative craft fun. Ages 3 and up.
Mother’s Day Wood Frame
Saturday, May 2 | 10am-noon
Come in and kids can create a picture frame that mom will treasure for years. Just $2 per child - includes supplies for 30 minutes of creative craft fun. Ages 3 and up.

National Puppy Day

I thought y'all might be interested in learning how puppies, and pets in general, are invaluable in teaching families, especially children, emotional intelligence (EQ) skills.

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the process by which children learn to recognize and manage their emotions and connect with others. Unlike IQ, which is fixed at birth, EQ can grow and be nurtured, and what better way than with a loving pet who is a gift to the whole family?

Child and Parenting expert Denise Daniels offers 10 ways (as seen below) in which pets can help children develop their EQ skills. 

Puppy beagle
Puppy beagle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
1.   By teaching children to care for something besides themselves-
One of the cornerstones of EQ is empathy. We want to start teaching that in early childhood. Caring for a pet gets a self-absorbed child out of him- or herself. Hearing a kitten yowl when it wants to eat, seeing a dog run to the door when it wants to go outside, all of this gets kids to think, “What are their needs, and what can I do to help?”
2. By being a non-judgmental pal-
If your child got in trouble at school, is struggling to read, or has difficulty with homework—pets don’t care about any of that. They love your child regardless. Of course parents love their children unconditionally, too, but parents have to be disciplinarians. Pets don’t. Whether it’s a dog, cat, or rabbit—a pet simply shows a child the meaning of true friendship.

3. By teaching children to read nonverbal cues-
So much of human communication is nonverbal—facial expressions, body language, gestures. Children aren’t born understanding those things, but loving a pet can help them learn. When my husband leaves for the airport on Sunday night, our dog pouts in an obvious way. Parents can point out this kind of thing: “Look, Fido is feeling sad today” or “Max the cat is turning his back because he doesn’t want you to leave.” Children will learn how that applies to other humans.

4. By teaching responsibility-
I’ve heard people say, “I’m not getting a pet because I’m the one who will end up taking care of it.” And it’s true that we have to be aware of our child’s ability level, but at a very early age, children can be taught graduated levels of responsibility, from “Pet the hamster gently” to filling a food bowl to walking the dog.

5. By letting boys practice nurturing-
All children need to learn this skill, but this is especially important for boys, who—for all our efforts and awareness—are still not taught to show tender feelings. With a pet, it’s socially acceptable to be loving and gentle, scratching pets’ ears and tummies. Then you can talk about it afterwards.

6. By providing a natural stress buster-
At the National Childhood Grief Institute, we conducted a study with the Delta Society using certified Golden Retrievers in children’s support groups. A therapy dog would sit in front of an emotional child and put its head in the child’s lap. As the child started petting the dog, you could visibly see the child relax. We studied the blood pressure readings of the dogs and the children, and the experience lowered the blood pressure of both. All the research I’ve seen on the subject says the same thing. There’s almost no better way to help a child deal with stress than with the company of a loving pet.

7.  By boosting confidence-
Learning to read can be stressful for a young child. And while reading out loud is critical for literacy, it can be torture for child who’s intimidated or embarrassed. The answer? Read to your pet. With an endlessly patient animal, children can go at their own pace and sound out difficult words with no fear of judgment. The hardest part might be getting a sleeping puppy off your child’s lap when the book is finished!

8. By providing stability-
After our house burned down in 1989, our family was displaced for months, and our dog Alfie, a Newfoundland, couldn’t stay with us. It wasn’t until we were reunited in our new house that our family was truly whole. People and situations can be unpredictable, but pets are stable, loyal, and true.

9. By helping children express their emotions-
It can be hard for children to talk about powerful emotions. I’ve worked with children all around the world who’ve dealt with the traumas of war and natural disaster. In New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and in Sandy Hook after the school-shooting tragedy, children had a hard time expressing sadness and anger. What helped them was being able to tell their story over and over and over, until they felt they were regaining control over a situation that felt out of their control. That’s where a loving animal is invaluable. Besides reducing a child’s stress, an animal provides safety and comfort. Dogs just listen and are there for you.

10. By making children laugh-
Whether it’s chasing laser points or their own tails, jumping into cardboard boxes or rolling in snow, there’s no greater source of free entertainment than a pet doing its goofy thing—and there’s nothing healthier or more joyous than a child bursting into an unselfconscious peal of laughter.  

Thanks so to Denise for the above information.  Denise Daniels is a Peabody award-winning broadcast journalist, parenting and child development expert and author who specializes in the social and emotional development of children. Her books have reached more than 15 million parents and children offering practical, simple and essential advice on how to deal with grief, loss and family transitions, as well as the everyday challenges of growing up. Denise hosted her own daily parenting show, Parents Helper, on NBC’s cable network has appeared on numerous morning and primetime TV shows including Oprah, The View and served as a regular contributor onTODAY. She is also the creator of The Moodsters- a new line of toys and books designed to teach young children the fundamentals of feeling- launching exclusively in Target August 2015.


Oh yes, this is how it is...Just with big dogs instead.  So they are whole face kisses.

Doggie Dance

Yes, even the dogs know that 
There is always time to DANCE!


Today is one of those times that I just want to pull my sweet doggie closer and tell her that I also miss her friend.  It is hard to not have Streak here too.

You know how it is when your heart is attached to a doggies heart.

Behind The Smiles

Rethink Mental Illness
Rethink Mental Illness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I have struggled with my mental illness my whole life.  Depression is just a way of life for me.  I have never not known it to be present.  But it does not mean that I do not understand what happiness feels like.  It does mean that odd as it may sound I can feel both emotions at the same time.  Now if you do not know, this is something that can really throw you for an emotional loop.

So how do y'all handle those ewww days?  Most of the time I just do my best to smile through them.  It is not possible for me to predict when they will hit.  Or how often or even why.  They just do.  I can be feeling beautiful, loving the weather, digging in the dirt and enjoying the sunshine.  At the same time inside I may be fighting back tears.  For no reason, nothing wrong at all.  I am truly happy.  But I am depressed too.  Chemical imbalances are the pits.

Of course I have the thought of just chucking it all in and going stark raving mad at times.  Honestly it would be easier than battling with my inner self to keep life on a more even keel.  And would take a lot less energy too.  Not that I am going to.  Nope I am in for the long haul, the life long fight.  I love my life, my Dear Hubby, my children and grand babes.  I so enjoy dancing, friends, the birds singing....  Life is amazing.

So for now, I will dig in the dirt, pull the weeds and smile in spite of the tears inside.

Just A Howdy!

Hey folks, how are y'all doing today?

Myself?  A lil ewwww!  You know what I mean.  It has been drizzling around here and that is so much needed.  Yippee for that.  And the softened ground has also helped where I was able to pull some weeds.  Tons needed to be pulled and I was able to put a tiny dent into them.  So much to do but hey, we all are working in our own lives to do the best we can do.

Today we also had a new member of the family show up.  Bella is our newest fur baby.  She was my cousins baby, but with my cousin is having to move into a smaller place.  And larger dogs are not allowed.  It was so hard for her to know what to do yet there is comfort in knowing her baby is going to stay part of the family.  Bella is young but oh so beautiful.  I feel so blessed to have her join us.  And our Sweet Liberty was ever so gentle in getting to know her.  Yipppeeeee, a new family member!

What else?  Oh I have mopped the floor a thousand times today.  So muddy with dogs coming in and out all day long.  It is not doing to well but I am doing my best in keeping the mud down.  Have an amazing day and keep smiling.