Monday, November 18, 2013

The Stomach Flu: Part II

Last week I (Olivia) discussed some ways to prepare & treat the flu this season. You can read the post here. Today I want to talk about healing with essential oils. I do want to be clear on one thing - although I regularly use EO's to prevent & treat common illnesses, modern medicine is still very much my friend. I have seen miraculous healing using both methods of medicine. This post is in no way intended to bash doctors or glorify alternative medicines. I have found that each are equally important to maintain well being.

Before I describe my EO regimen, it is important to know the oils are potent and only a small drop or two is necessary and that they almost always need to be diluted with a carrier oil such as Vitamin E oil, coconut oil, or olive oil. I usually use a 2:1 ratio with carrier & essential oils. This helps protect the skin from irritation and helps with absorption.

The first day the flu set in I didn't do anything to care for myself. After some help & encouraging words from my MIL I  focused on what needed to be done: kick this flu's trash. I mixed two parts oil to two parts tea tree oil and rubbed on my abdomen, and a bit on my neck lymph nodes. There are lots of lymph nodes located on and around the neck, so I just draw a line starting behind the ear lobe and pull down in a slight diagonal to just above where the neck meets the inside of the clavicle. I applied just before bed.

In the morning I mixed two parts Vit E oil with one part Deliverance and rubbed it into the soles of my feet, then put on socks. Essentials oils can leave a hefty stain so make sure to let it soak in or just wear grubby clothes you won't mind staining.

When my kids caught the flu I used a couple different oils. I applied tea tree oil to their neck nodes during the day. They seemed to have more trouble sleeping than I did so I applied Aspire in a 2:1 ratio to their chests, focusing on the bronchial tubes and esophagus. I did this at night only.

During the day I put a couple drops of On Guard into a pot of water & let it boil until there was about an inch of water left and then refilled the pot. This particular blend is very potent, so if you have a sensitive nose you may want to use less oil in the water, or dilute a couple drops in a tablespoon of carrier oil and diffuse it.

Although I didn't have peppermint oil on hand, you can also dilute a drop or two in water and drink it for nausea relief. My cousin in law sends some to school with her children to help with nervousness. She says it works great.

These are just a few of the many essential oils available and only one way to use them. Essential oils not only provide physical relief but also emotional and mental relief as well. Each oil (whether single or blended) has specific properties that focus on certain parts of the body and spirit. I wish I could explain all of it, but my knowledge of EO's is very basic. I've been taking classes and reading looks to better understand them. Thankfully I have close family who is more knowledgable that I can call on to help me. I also visit a naturopathic specialist in Twin Falls. Her name is Dr. Brenda Grogan and she is amazing. Her business is called The Healthy Way. She offers classes, hypnotism therapy, and mid-wifery, among other things. And, she is very tuned in. She can see right through your lie & will call you on it. Kinda freaky sometimes.

I of course will continue to learn and share my experiences with essential oils with you here on the blog. And someday, we can talk about reflexology & the energy systems of the body. I find it fascinating and when you get down to it, it's all fairly simple and logical.

So here's hoping these uses will get you started on discovering the work of oils.
Happy Tuesday!

The Joys of Stitchfix.

I joined this club a few months ago and love it. Stitchfix. I don't know why but the idea of clothing coming to my door to try on decide for a few days and then send back is heavenly. I schedule my 'fix', wait for it, (I usually have to go to the post office to pick it up because the mail lady isn't exactly the greatest ever) and then try everything on. I'm a good sport and try on the itchy stuff, the ghastly stuff and the 'I know this isn't going to fit stuff' which there is usually one in each fix. Usually the tops I am a little hesitant about AJ likes because they aren't plain, boring and are more flattering and bright. I got every piece in my first fix (thank heavens they give you a discount) and since then I have only gotten one or two items because I have to choose my favorites so I can afford to do it again. (Yes it is expensive. Like a mini shopping spree every month that my bank account cannot handle) I do it every other month or every two months depending on what I kept from the previous fix. Its fun. Its convenient and I love the surprise of getting something I know I wouldn't ever buy myself or try on in a store but love the moment I try it on. 

Here is what came in my fix this month....

Kensie Jeans. Kaleigh Ankle Biter Skinny Jeans. I kept these because they are magnificent and who doesn't love a colored pair of stretch skinnies. 

Fun2Fun. Calibri Plaid Tab Sleeve Cotton Top. This top is heavenly! My favorite style of shirt by far. It flatters, it hides and it has three quarter length sleeves. I will wear this once a week until I die!

41 Hawthorn. Shara Herringbone Vest with Black Piping. This was great. Just a little too bulky and thick for my liking. 

Ellison. Cordelia Striped Boat Neck Sweater. I love a good sweater but when it hits you at the wrong spot its not good. (My husband asked me if it was on backwards and then asked what was wrong with the neck!)

Renee C. Jemdy Heathered Dolman Sleeved Shirt. This is not my style and it was extremely scratchy.

Each item comes with a style tag showing 2 ways to wear each piece. I love keeping them for future reference and so I know where I got it! I wont ever forget. They're too fun. I think my three year old likes them more than I do. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Head-To-Toe Holiday Style Guide for Kids

Head-To-Toe Holiday Style Guide for Kids 
including Summer Sariah Mini Men Bow Ties from Sweet Relish

‘Tis the Season for holiday parties, and that doesn’t just mean for you: it goes for your kids as well. Not sure how to deck out your daughters and spiff up your son’s wardrobe for the upcoming Nutcracker/choir recital/Breakfast with Santa? Check out our list of holiday trends and style finds to be sure they’re picture-perfect all season long.

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Dreaded Stomach Flu

Hi everyone; Olivia here. Three weeks ago our house was hit with the stomach flu. It was awful. I was totally unprepared. No medicine, no Gatorade in storage, and no idea how to stop the vomiting. In less than 24 hours I was completely knocked down to the point of dry heaving. There was nothing left in me. And my poor kids we're left to fend for themselves. The hubs was called into work for extra help & wasn't going to make it home until late, so he called my visiting teacher (who is also a nurse) and she rescued my kids for the night. She brought Gatorade and crackers and gave me this remedy: eat one or two crackers, take a sip, a small sip (less than a medicine cup) of Gatorade and sleep. I took some nighttime flu medicine & crawled into bed. Every time I woke up I followed her orders. A few hours later my mother in law stopped by with chicken noodle soup and did my dishes. I have some really wonderful people in my life!

Then the next week both my kids caught it. I was barely regaining my energy from puking for three days only to turn around and manage the flu double time. Although it was difficult, I think I was more sad about them missing Halloween. But by some miracle they felt much better by then & we were able to go trick or treating.

So why I am telling you this? I'm telling you this so you can be prepared. The flu hit so quick and hard it was near impossible to comprehend what was happening. I just wanted to curl up into a ball and die. And even though I have a fantastic husband, he wasn't able to drop everything and run home like I'm sure we all want our hubbies to do. So with flu season upon us here are a few things I've learned in the last few weeks.

First, gather & stock your medicine cabinet. There's nothing like looking for illness relief and realizing the bottles are empty. You'll need flu medicines for you and your children. We keep day & nighttime varieties, mostly to help me stay awake during the day and sleep well at night. I keeps several boxes of Emergency-C in different flavors in my cupboard (Airborne or similar works great too). If fizzy supplements aren't your thing then chewables, solid tablets, or liquid vitamins are great alternatives. I've found that with my kids the fizzy drinks work best. I mix a packet with juice and they think its soda. Win-win. I also keep anti-nausea medicines around. There's an OTC liquid that works pretty well but only if the stomach is completely empty, no food or liquids. I've learned this one well. Or you can try liquid ginger or ginger capsules. Just prepare for a burning like sensation as you swallow, but it really does work, and fast too. I really like the Queasy Pops, or Preggie Pops. These are most commonly found at children's & pregnancy stores, but more nutrition stores are carrying them as well. The pops are made of 13 essential oils to ease stomach discontent and taste like regular candy. My kids love them. They also have ginger flavored ones if you can handle the bite.

Second, stock your storage with a variety of crackers and electrolyte replacement drinks (Gatorade, Powerade, or Pedialyte). These are going on sale right now so grab a bunch for cheap while you can. You will get tired of saltines very quickly so keep a few other kinds of crackers handy. Goldfish, Club, Ritz, and recently Vanilla Wafers are our favorites. As far as liquids go sour or subtle flavors work best: orange, lime, lemon-lime worked best for us.

Third, stock your washroom. You will be doing a lot of extra laundry. Keep extra boxes/bottles of stain remover and detergent handy. I also had some Borax so I threw a little in with each load. We have microfiber couches so I had to scrub them. Keep extras of whatever you use to clean your floors and furniture. I went through two bottles of kitchen cleaner & a big spray bottle of rubbing alcohol (for the couch) in less than a week. I used every towel and rag in the house.

Now, mentally prepare yourself for nonstop vomit and crying, baths and a ridiculous amount of laundry. Hopefully your kids can make it to the bathroom in time, but mine are still young (4 and 2) so they threw up wherever they were standing. After the first day I just left empty bowls around the house so there was always something close by.

Finally, prepare for lots of snuggles. Although we all hate being sick, watching a movie snuggled with my babies is pretty awesome. Being a mom is really rough sometimes, but knowing you are the only one that can make their day better is again, pretty awesome.

With these reminders now fresh in your mind, you are now set to get ready for the flu season. I hope that your families stay safe and well, but if not, you can tackle it like a boss.
I wanted to talk about the essential oils I used as well, but since this post is already long, I'll save it for next week.

Happy Tuesday!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Summer Sariah on Sweet Relish! 5 Tips for Pulling Off an Epic Kid's Birthday Party! and a mini Summer Sariah shop announcement!

Summer Sariah Barbecue Bows were featured in another article at Sweet Relish!!!

Last year, my daughter was invited to a 3 year-old’s birthday party. I didn’t really know the kid but I was hoping to connect with some of the families in her class at school, so we went. The party was super cute, all completely handmade with love.

And it was insane. They had games for the kids but people stopped manning them halfway through, which means the toddlers stopped playing the games and just started eating the treats. By the end of the party I, the adult, had such a sugar rush I just watched as one daughter dragged a bucket of chocolate drops around the room and the other grabbed candy out of the chest, stuck it in her mouth, and spit it back out. Along with 4 other kids. It felt like the toddler version of the SNL sketch mocking Oprah’s Favorite Things. People peeing their pants, jumping around, crying tears of joy (or something).
 To continue reading the whole article click HERE.

And.... New products were just listed in the SHOP

A super quick Summer Sariah announcement - 

Summer Sariah FREE SHIPPING will end at the end of the month (NOVEMBER 2013). Because of the Holiday Season and all the chaos and fun that comes with it we will no longer be offering free shipping. Get your Christmas Shopping done this month! All coupons will still remain active until the end of the year. Expiring December 31, 2013 at midnight! I am almost positive more amazing ones will surface in 2014!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Homemade Baby Food in a SNAP!

I saw Hallie's post on Facebook about how she made her own baby food and I wanted to know more! I have never been a huge baby food fan and think most of them tasted nasty and then one blew up in my face once and burnt me! Thank heavens for an amazing neighbor that brought me some burn cream fast! (yes I need to work on my medicine cabinet!) Needless to say I stopped buying baby food after that and stuck with pouches (which are super expensive as well). When I saw her photos I instantly wanted to know more! I asked her to share all her steps and secrets and she makes it sound so simple and so EASY! She is super cute; we went to the same High School and has a such a super cute little family! This is a must read for sure and I am definitely going to do this for my next baby (check back in a couple of years on that one)!!! 

My name is Hallie Stokes.  I was born and raised in the Burley, Idaho area.  I graduated from Raft River High School in 2006 and then went on to graduate from the College of Southern Idaho in 2010 with my associate degree in Nursing.  I married Brandon Stokes in March of 2010 and we have been blessed with 2 beautiful children (Graham age 2 and Paetyn age 5 months).  I enjoy crafting and being a mom! I also work at the St. Luke’s Magic Valley 2 nights a week. 

I was honored when asked if I would write about my experience in making my own baby food.  I wanted to make my own baby food for a couple of reasons:

1.      I know exactly what I am feeding my baby
2.      It is healthier for them
3.      There is more variety than feeding from store bought baby food
4.      In hopes that she won’t be a picky eater like my son (lol)
5.      It is very inexpensive to make

I did a lot of research before I started making my baby food. The website that I found most helpful was:  This websites has many recipes, gives you a guideline on when you should introduce certain foods and tells you how to make baby food.

The first thing I did was I bought some OXO Tot Baby Food Freezer Trays. I bought mine on Amazon for $2.99 each. I chose this kind because it has a lid (but the lid does not seal completely, which is okay).  The OXO Tot trays are made only to freeze baby food and then to transfer the baby food to something else.  I also freeze my breast milk in the trays and then transfer to a zip lock bag. The next thing I did was go to the store and buy fruits and veggies that could be made into baby food. The great thing about making your own baby food is you can use just about any fruit or veggie for homemade baby food. 

There are a couple of different ways to prepare your baby food.  You can steam them, bake them and sometimes microwave them.  I chose to bake most of my food.  (There are a couple of things that you don’t need to do anything to except puree them like: Avocados, Bananas and Kiwis).  If you choose to bake your baby food, you cut them in half and place in a glass dish with water on the bottom of the pan and bake until it is soft.  Once your baby food is done cooking then you let it cool so it is not hot to the touch and then spoon out the meat into a blender/food processor (I use a food processor).  You puree your food until it is the texture you like. If it is thick then you can add water to help it thin out (I use breast milk to thin out things that are too thick for my liking).  I have learned that most things don’t need to be thinned out.  After you have pureed your food you put it in your Freezer tray and freeze it over night and take it out in the morning and place in a zip lock bag.  If you leave your baby food in the trays they will start to get freezer burn in about 5 days.  

I have made baby food for my daughter to last her at least 5-6 months and I have spent less than $25. I have made Avocado, Peaches, Bananas, Pears, Plums, Sweet potatoes, Squash, Apples, Carrots, Peas, and Kiwi.  My daughter has tried Avocados, Squash and Bananas and she has loved them all so far! Remember when feeding you baby food to introduce one at a time so in case they develop a reaction you can pin point which food they are allergic to.

Making baby food is very easy and very inexpensive. It doesn’t take very long and it is super healthy for you little ones.  If you have any questions about making your own baby food I would refer to:

Thanks for listening to my story, and Happy baby food making! J

Friday, November 1, 2013

Free Playtime Activities Printable

I looked ALL over online for an easy printable to print, laminate and put on my fridge. It was getting desperate and scary when my tired brain tried to think of things my little one could do, at home, for free. Turns out there are quite a few! Some messy, some silly, and some just so easy they require no thinking at all! 

Just print this, laminate, and BAM magnet it to your fridge, now your brain can come up with some fun last minute activities when you feel like you are just gonna lay on the couch while they destroy the house!