Saturday, March 26, 2011

Natural Remedies - Bronchitis

I recently had a 48-hour flu and then when I was feeling better I got bronchitis.  I had a wonderful friend that brought me over some homemade, organic soup and it was so good!  Below are the natural remedies I took the past week and I'm glad to say its been 6 days with bronchitis and I'm almost completely better!  Here is what I used:

  • Echinacea - as soon as you start to even feel a cold/cough, etc coming on start taking echinacea.  I took 3 doses per day, which was a dropperful for each dose mixed in a tiny amount of water and shot down.   You need to get the correct echinacea, one with BOTH the purpurea (whole plant) and augustifolia (root).  Sometimes it is sold under the name "Premium Echinacea" but you can always make certiain by looking on the back for the blend.
  • Astragalus (Astragalus Membranaceus)- you can actually take this everyday, not just when you are sick, to strengthen your immune system.  For this illness, I took 2-3 doses a day, which a dose is one dropperful.
  • Raw Organic Garlic - garlic is a natural antibiotic, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, etc.  It is awesome stuff and you can ingest some everyday for good health.  For this illness, I swallowed 1-2 cloves a day.  I simply mince a clove and put it in my mouth, throw some water in and swallow - don't chew!
  • Eucalyptus Steam Bath - this is for not only pain relief in the sinus/bronchial tubes but it will prevent you from getting bacterial bronchitis.  Eucalyptus inhibits the growth of bacteria and its even used in public saunas.  It not only will help coat your airways and prevent bacterial growth, it soothes and feels so good!  You simply bring 4-6 cups of water to a rolling boil on the stove, remove from heat and let sit for about a minute or till the bubbles go down. Then, add 3-4 drops of eucalyptus oil and get under there with a towel for 10 minutes.  It feels awesome!
  • Neti-Pot or Nasal Douching - This is your best friend!  I use the neti-pot every morning I have a cold or in this instance for bronchitis.  It cleared out my nasal cavities, got rid of that terrible nasal dripping in the back of my throat by loosening it all up and expelling out.  If you don't have a neti-pot, you can do what my mom does and mix some salt/baking soda in warm water and then cup your hand get some and inhale it and spit it out your mouth.  I didn't like that way and I prefer the neti-pot's ease.  I did this every morning and not sure what I would have done without - probably been really miserable with nasal congestion and the dripping ugh!  A few years ago, I used to take nasal decongestants, such as Sudafed but my doctor told me NO MORE Sudafed EVER!  He hates the stuff and I can see why - its messes with you.  Anyway, since then, I've not needed a nasal decongestant because the neti-pot does it without the harmful effects that the drugs give you.
  • Vitamin C - this is a must to help you get better and build your defenses.  I was taking 2000-5000mg per day while I was sick but the form of vitamin c I had on hand was just too strong for my throat so I switched to some pure vegetable/fruit juice with extra vitamin c.  I would suggest if you have a sore throat or bronchitis to not use vitamin c in ascorbic acid powder but rather Ester-C.
  • Warm Water - at least 64oz of water a day and seems like warm, not cold or hot, worked best for me.  Also I added organic lemon juice to my water sometimes.
  • L-lysine - most won't need this but whenever I get sick, I tend to break out in cold sores on my lips.  I felt one coming on but quickly swallowed 1000mg of L-lysine and it never progressed thankfully.  I try and take this whenever I feel one tingling or when I'm sick, for prevention.

The next two are not natural but over-the-counter remedies that I feel are safe and work and benefits far outweigh the risk with bronchitis.

  • Guaifenesen - this is an expectorant for when you are having productive coughs.  It helps loosen the mucus and thin bronchial secretions to get your bronchial passageways clear and make your coughs more productive.  400mg every 4 hours when you have mucus in your chest/bronchials.
  • Dextromethorphan - this is hard to find but its there if you look for it.  Usually they have a store-brand, but make sure you only get this ingredient and not this and something else.  Kroger/Fred Meyer has a store-brand.  This is for those dry coughs at night or whenever that would cause more irration/damage to the bronchials if you didn't suppress them.  This is not for the productive coughs that are generally in the morning.  I took this when I felt that I was dry coughing way too much and my bronchials were burning to the point I thought if I don't stop the cough it will do more harm than good.  Generally you take it every 6 hours, but I only needed it on 2 nights.

Remedies I didn't try:

  • Mullein (Verbascum thapsus)- I tried to find this locally but couldn't.  This was what I wanted to try for my coughs instead of the above 2 OTC choices.  It does BOTH jobs - it works as an expectorant and suppressant.  I plan on trying this next time I get a problem with cough/bronchitis.  

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Bible Curriculum - Bible Study Guide for All Ages

I've been on a search for a good Bible curriculum to use for 2nd grade.  Most of the curriculums had statements of faith that didn't align with ours.  I came across "Bible Study Guide for All Ages" and from what they share it seems to align with our beliefs for the basics.  They are one of the few that don't just say you get saved and that's it, they go on to say we must live holy lives.  I'm amazed that this curriculum hasn't been talked about more because it seems really awesome!  It can be used for children in grade level K-6, and it's multi-level for those with more than one child in those levels and it is very thorough, including maps, timeline and drills/memorization.  Seems like its been around since 1991 but they updated it a few years ago.

The "classic" student pages contain KJV, but the updated ones do not.  However, from what I understand, you can easily use KJV for the scripture references - which is what I do for some of the books I read myself, I just keep my KJV handy.

There are 4 units that cover the entire curriculum and normally one unit is equal to one year if you do 2 lessons a week.  However, we plan on doing Bible daily, so I'm sure we will get through more than the average.  The student pages are very nice, simple and really help the visual learner (including me!) to grasp the stories and events as they happened.  You can get the timeline and map wall charts but you don't have to have those as you get the timeline in the teacher's manual I believe.  But if you prefer if a larger one for the wall for reference you can get it but you also have to buy the labels, of which can be used over and over again.

We have a curriculum we really like for 3rd up until 6th grade, Memoria Press' Christian Studies, but we wanted something for 2nd grade and we found it!  We may even hold off on the Memoria Press till we finish "Bible Study Guide for All Ages".  I would think it would take us 2 years to do all 4 units doing it daily year-round.  Then we would do the Memoria Press Christian Studies starting in 4th grade on up.

I've read a lot of reviews on those that have used this curriculum for years and they all seem to say the same thing about how great it is and how their children are very knowledgeable in the Bible and get compliments in their youth groups.  After looking at the drills that are done daily - I can see why!  I'm going to participate right along with my daughter with the drills and I can't wait to know all these facts lol. ;-)

They also have a great 2-cd children's songs that help with memory and I'm probably going to get that as well as I've liked the samples I've heard so far on Christianbook.com.  I also like the Bible Summary cards for review.  You can view samples of all the products on their website and Christianbook.com has samples as well.

Just thought I would let you all know about this great resource, it seems like it could also be used in Children's Church/Sunday School as well.

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Update & Blog Break

I'm not finding much time to blog lately, so we will see how the next few weeks go.  I have a lot going on,  a lot that God has been dealing with me about and the blog is not on the top of that list.

I've been reading a LOT on sewing and learning a lot.  I've realized that I already made several mistakes on some projects I have finished - which look good but still, I used the wrong thread on my curtains and the fabric is heavy and it could have broke my sewing machine needle lol, but thank the Lord it didn't!  I do suggest to those wanting to learn how to be a good quality seamstress to study first and learn about fabrics, threads, practice your different seams, etc.

It takes patience and I felt like I got the "I need to sew NOW" feeling out of my system by sewing a skirt last week and I really want to learn how to make good quality garments for my daughter and myself and then things for my home.

This week we are changing our schedule and getting more organized with our daily life - the last 2 weeks were really lazy for me and I felt so scatterbrained and I can't live like that.  I realized that I let others interrupt our homeschool to the point where we got off track and I just have to turn the phone off, say "no" more and give my time to my family and bettering myself (exercise) and my home (sewing).  So lots of changes and I got these in prayer and putting God first makes everything turn out right!

Here is a glimpse of some fabrics I stocked up on in an awesome sale, the bottom 4 were $1.95/yard.  I got the black colorful fabric from IKEA to make my sewing machine cover with and I LOVE almost all of their fabrics.  The 3-browns are for Katie's clothing, as is the dragonfly springy fabric and the rest are for home things.


Not sure if I will blog soon or it could be a week or more, it all really depends on if I have something to share and even though I have a long list of things I would like to blog about - I need to spend my "free" time doing other things right now.  If you want to be updated as to when I will blog next (which could be tomorrow or a week from now?).....enter your email and validate it in my sidebar subscription box or add me to your reader.  There are 973 posts here, so have a browse!

Until next post........

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Friday, March 11, 2011

My Hair Care Regime

You can read my previous post from on hair care here and then there is also a series of "My Hair Story".   Someone had asked about hair care tips, so I thought I would do another post on it.  You can click on the first link above and basically still do the same thing I have done for years with my straight hair, except I do curl it LESS now than I did years ago.

It's not just wash, condition and go - you have to be gentle with your hair and even rubbing your hair with a towel can damage it, cause frizz, etc.  Here is my hair cleaning regime:

Shampoo mostly concentrating on the scalp and using the suds for the ends; Rinse.  Condition with half-palm size of conditioner only from ears down!  I don't use conditioner on my scalp or above my ears.  I then very gently put the conditioner on my ends with my head flipped over.  Then I gently use a wide-toothed comb (I keep one in the shower) from ends up to scalp.  Then I put my hair in a loose bun at the nape of my neck and cover it with a shower cap.  I leave it in the shower cap anywhere from 3-5 minutes.  Then I rinse it out.

When finished, very gently work your hands from scalp to ends squeezing with your hands - don't twist or rub.  Then I flip my hair over in the shower and squeeze from scalp to ends again to remove excess water.  Then I put the towel over my hair and it give it a twist to secure it on top and wear it for about 5 minutes.

Next, I take a wide-toothed comb and fluff my roots up, then comb my hair gently and it glides straight through - because remember, I combed it with conditioner in the shower so its not tangled.  Then I let it air-dry and depending upon humidity in the house, it usually takes anywhere from 2-3 hours and sometimes its dry enough to walk out the door at 1 1/2 hours, just damp underneath.

You can read about the coconut oil treatments here.  I do those just monthly now or whenever I curled my hair to prevent breakage.  I still clarify my hair about twice a month with Suave's Daily Clarifying Shampoo.  This is to remove buildup from my shampoo/conditioner that is inevitable.

Most people don't think about how they sleep on their hair damages it. I always throw my hair back behind my pillow and I also taught my daughter to do this and she does it every night - its a habit for her now.  It also keeps my hair looking good for the next day and I don't have to wash but every other day.

I comb and go - I no longer use ANY styling products!  I don't use any hairspray, silicone sprays, gels, NOTHING!  Just shampoo/conditioner......and my hair's natural state is allowed to flourish without all these added products.  I also never blow-dry anymore.  There were a few times I did but only in emergencies lol.  I refuse to put my hair through that because the damage is so great.

I also don't use a flat iron - I don't need to because my hair is naturally straight now that the perm is grown out.  The only curling iron I use is the one I told you about in the other post - the heat is so low, I can hold my hand on the iron and it will never burn.  Its barely-there heat and it still curls my hair and it lasts till the next day.

My recipe for perfect hair - a good shampoo/conditioner; NO BRUSHING! Just a wide-toothed comb; NO HEAT and NO products with drying ingredients - like alcohol in hairspray.

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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Weekly Fitness Update #3

I had tried a different method last weekend and not sure why I even did - because what I was doing has ALWAYS worked, I guess I just wanted a change maybe?  Anyway, the method said to have one cheat meal on Saturday and then one cheat meal on Sunday.  My husband, knowing me well, knew this wasn't a good idea but I thought it would work and keep me "clean" during the week.  Well, obviously he knows me better than myself sometimes - because it turned into a 3-day eat whatever Sat-Mon!  Yes, I felt horrid and said.......forget this, I'm going to back to what works.

What works for me is one cheat meal a week, eating clean 80% of the time and having a treat when I feel I need it.  If I don't want a cheat meal, I'm not just going to shove one down, you know?

After that horrible weekend, I got back on track this past week with eating and today had my cheat meal because I really wanted one and it felt awesome! ;-)  Here are my workouts for this past week:

Monday - 15 minute high intensity interval walk/running
Tuesday - resting because I really jarred some joints with the running on Monday - I think I will wait till I'm smaller before putting that much stress on my knees and feet!
Wednesday - FIRM 30m
Thursday - 55m 4-mile WATP
Friday - FIRM 25m

I rest on the weekends, all my workouts are done Mon-Fri and I like it that way.  The weekends are more restful and I usually have my cheat meal on Sunday when I'm ready to eat something that isn't "good for you". Not a cheat DAY but a cheat MEAL - there is a difference there! ;-)

Until next weekly update.........Oh ya, almost forgot, the scale hasn't gone down, its actually up but I've been lifting heavier so that is expected.  I haven't checked my inches but I know they are down because I'm shrinking!  I will probably check them sometime this week and report on that next update.

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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Sewing: My First Skirt

I've been doing mending and learning how to use my sewing machine.  I've tried to understand how to use a pattern, but didn't want to take the time (yet) to figure it all out, so I just decided to try and sew a skirt for my daughter.  I used some old fabric someone had given me years ago, so that way if I messed it up, it wasn't my favorite fabric.  I took one of my daughter's skirts that I like for house/play, and placed it on my fabric and cut out 2 trapezoids, making it larger, not only for seam allowance but also to have a bigger and longer skirt.  Then I sewed it all up.

I did make some mistakes but for a house/play skirt, it didn't matter much and it is my first skirt and as my daughter told me: "Mom, your first skirt isn't supposed to be perfect." LOL!  I'm pleased overall and going to start reading my how-to-sew book here soon and learning how to use my patterns but it felt good to finally sew a piece of clothing!  You can see the "leg room" test in the last photo - that is why I love trapezoid shaped skirts for girls, they can move, kick, run, etc in them.


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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

New Recipe Finder List Printable

This is a second version of the recipe finder, this is smaller, with darker lines and can hold more than the first version.

2nd Version Recipe Finder List Printable

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New Pantry or Freezer Inventory List

I tried printing some of my old lists and some of the lines weren't showing up, so I went ahead and made another inventory list with darker lines.  This one is smaller, but it can hold more than my first printable here.  Enjoy! ;-)

2nd Version - Pantry or Freezer Inventory List

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Freezer Cooking Guide E-book

I spent several hours to put all this together and I hope it is a blessing to others and a help!  If, after reading the guide, you still have questions, please go ahead and ask or look through the pictures of my freezer cooking months under "freezer/batch cooking" on my sidebar.

If I left out anything or you find typos, please let me know - I can easily upload revisions.  Hubby wasn't home to proofread for me so there may be things I overlooked. Also note that the colors are a bit off for some reason on the below preview, but when you download it should come through clearer at 70-100%.

This e-book is copyrighted, FOR YOUR OWN PERSONAL USE, not for sale and is not to be distributed anywhere - that includes online in forums, facebook, etc.  If you know someone who would like a copy, direct them to my website or Scribd document page to download.  Thanks and enjoy! ;-)

Freezer Cooking Guide


I also wanted to add that I'm working on my recipe blog to show you the recipes I use but my time is limited lately, so I can't give a good time-frame as to when it will be finished but I will post it on this blog when I do.

I will also get to the costs of 3-4 month meals question that was asked soon, I haven't forgotten.

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Free Printable March 2011 Calendar

I posted this in January, but reposting it now.

This month's theme is spring cleaning, enjoy!
Free Printable March 2011 Calendar

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