Something about building online “galleries” of my work always leaves me a bit weepy…nostalgic…and left thanking my mother over and over again for the gift she left me when she passed away.
Money to go out and by my first dSLR camera.
God bless her.  She left me a career, a passion and a legacy.
And yes, it kills me that she never even got to watch.
Never got to even meet Haley and Lucas…the list of “never got to see” is very very long actually.
There are no promises of time you guys.

Somewhere in between her death and picking that camera up I had learned the importance of taking pictures.
She left behind precious few images of herself.  I have…maybe two?  One is her taking the trash out.
Why I took a picture of her taking the trash out…only 15 year old me knows that answer.
43 year old me doesn’t remember.
I forced myself to learn absolutely everything I could about that camera and how to capture my own kiddos childhoods beautifully….before the age of Youtube and the full power of Google/internet.
It merged into sharing my love of that camera with the world.
Now, here I sit…ready to tackle teaching it to others again.
Passing that gift of knowledge down to the next generation of story tellers.

I have few words for the depth of how important these photos of my family and my clients families are to me.  Often I will shoot a session and be thinking to my self…
“You have no idea how much you will value these images 10 years from now…the tears they will bring you.  The joy you will have that you can hold your babies in your heart and in your hands in full color long after they have flown the nest.”

Fast.  Too Fast.  Always.

“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”

Aaron Siskind

The classes are up!

Late Spring Classes for Photography I will be held at Robert Caldwell’s wonderful studio.

Photography II classes will begin in the Summer.
I will be adding the registration information for that class later this week so be sure to check back if you are looking to take you knowledge even further.

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How about an archived post from back in Bramble Hill days…why?

Because I am STILL using a binder for seeds.  

I have this addiction to seeds….

and currently I had a huge bag of old and new and just “need a home” seeds…
I had to do something.  I figured if I could find a home for the little packets that would be half of my battle!
Since I love binders they were my first organizational choice!

Pretty simple…I picked up a few filler packs for the binder…

Added them in and then added the seed packs…

Grabbed some sticky notes…

And add them to the packets I have planted with the dates and if I want to I can add the location I planted it…

And if you are like me…the little binder will fill up to fast and the zipper binder ends up working much better!

I. love. this. binder!!!!!
Why didn’t I do this years ago?

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Vacation!!! We finally get to take a full week vacation in the Outer Banks…
We used to have use of a shared family home down there and the first two kiddos literally grew up running on the beaches like something from Lord of Flies but for the last 2 years it has been rented out solidly.

This will be our second Summer missing OBX as a family and we have been badly homesick.
The tax return hit the bank account and we decided a family vacation was a must!
Yes, that money could have been spent in places we need it (aren’t there always “places that need it“) but with one kiddo just about ready to fly the nest…well we need at least one more wonderful family vacation before that occurs.
Memories trump money sometimes ya know.
We need the beach and the time together!

So here we go!  Our little home away from home this Summer for one week…isn’t he beautiful?
I dream about Mr. Kingsford daily now.

For the first time in about 15 years we will be renting a house there so we opted for one that we can walk to the ocean and watch the sunset over the sound…
It should be glorious!

Now that the count down (in my head) has begun I know I have about 3 months to save as much as I can for our spending money while we are there.  I figured many of you may be in the same boat as I am…
A small army to feed while on vacation can be super expensive.  No really…it adds up FAST!
Especially with beach prices.

I start the planning and saving NOW.

When you walk into a grocery store with a binder in arms ready to do pricing battles…well nothing screams “don’t get behind me in the register line” louder.  Nothing.
If you see a person in the line in front of you with a binder you have TWO choices…
Wait and see how they do it and how much they save (this happens often)
Decide that this is NOT going to be fast.  Actually, it will be the opposite of fast.  Run!

While most of you know I feed this crew just about all organic and as “plant based” as I can get in them (granted the teens aren’t always on board with my crunchy ways) I still use good old fashioned coupons.
Crazytown!  Right?!  I hear it all the time “Coupons are all for junk.”
I am here to tell ya they actually do exist for organic stuff.
You do have to dig a bit deeper but I tend to order the organic ones off of coupon clipping sites like:
The Coupon Clippers
Bargain Coupon Clippers 

These sites allow me to target the coupons that our family uses most.
In our case mainly paper goods, organic foods (like organic almond milk and really I have $50 of coupons right now for those two alone.) and things like batteries/lights/kitty litter/pet food etc.

I know many of you CAN afford the fancy dancy 100% organic, crunchy lifestyle (I am jealous)…we can not.
When I talk plant based diet with folks I often hear “But we can’t afford the organic stuff” and my answer is always “If you can only afford the regular strawberries on sale for $1.50 (actually got them last week) over the organic $7.99 a pint version you don’t just skip the berries you simply wash them extremely well.  They are still a better option than a bag of chips.  Promise.
(FYI I will be posting how I clean my produce later this week 😉

By cutting my costs in the “household products” departments it gives me a larger budget for the produce and health food isles.
I am far from being a “crazy couponer” with a stockpile full of products that we will never use…
I am extremely picky what comes in my door.
Sometimes there are some processed foods that make the cut…remember those pesky teens?
My son in particular would rather just starve to death than eat many of the healthy meals I make.
All I can do is make sure he knows what he should be eating and hope one day he comes to it on his own. But at least he will eat a salad, veggies and fruit 😉  Baby steps.
Can we just talk toilet paper and paper towels?
I literally am in complete wonder at the speed with which this family goes through them.
I must save $200 a month alone by couponing paper products.
Would I love to walk into Whole Foods and buy those beautiful, eco friendly/organic papers?
Yes.  Do I have the money too?  No.
In the last year I have watched the “how” I save money change alot!  How?
My iPhone.

I now use apps ALL. THE. TIME.
I figure I need to start a little “Money saving Monday” series reviewing each of my favorites apps and favorite ways I save…and any you guys would like me to try out.

This week I am sharing my new favorite Ibotta  do a girl a solid and use this referral code: kotxqbv  if your try it out so I can add the referral credits to my vacation fund 😉

This app…oh how I love it…let me count the ways.
Once you get past the fact that it feels a bit like “Big Brother” knows your every move…and you realize nothing you do in this world these days is actually private…
Well you might as well get paid for what they are already tracking :-/
Your purchases.
How it works?
Well you find the products that the store you are in is offering to give “rebates” to you for purchasing.
You make the purchase (don’t forget you can use clipped coupons in combo)
Then take a picture of the receipt and scan the products barcode.
It may seem like a bit of a hassle at first but once you get into the habit it really doesn’t take much of your time.

Last week I had a paper coupon for like $.50 off (can’t remember if it was $.50 or $1.00 hmm my mommy brain is fuzzy) then Ibotta was giving back $.50 rebate for it…then Kroger had it on sale (they still do this week…the Ginger flavor is my jam) for $2.27.  If you have ever purchased Kombucha you know this is CHEAP!  And did I mention yummy?

Paper stuff…same story.
This week Walmart Ibotta I can pick up $1.00 rebate added to my little “vacation fund” for purchasing Scott Paper towels (which we always need anyway).  I have several coupons for the paper towels so I will get another $1 or so off…they are around $5 to begin with.

The $35 in my Ibotta account above is from 1 week of using the app.
I will keep the account growing each week and then “cash out” about 4-5 weeks before our vacation to make sure the check makes it here in time.

Our family (6 people, 3 dogs, 1 cat and 1 bunny) typically average $300-$400 a week in groceries.
If your jaw is on the ground then you should totally understand why my money saving ways are a necessity.
We have 2 in private school and one homeschooling and in college.  Cha Ching.
I always get a giggle when people talk about how expensive it is to have a baby…you know what is expensive?  Older kids.  THEY are expensive.
Not complaining one bit….just problem solving over here.

Coupon clipping, and money saving apps AREN’T for everyone.
It reminds me of homeschooling…it’s not for the faint of heart…lol!
This is a J.O.B.
If I can save $200+ a week then I look at it all as my part time gig.
The time I put into this IS making us money.  It may not always seem like it but when you put the budget together at the end of each month (be sure to log your receipts) you will see that you saved the bucks.  There are definite rules I set for myself though.

  1. My number one rule is “Don’t buy something just because it’s a great deal unless you are REALLY going to need it or use it.”  Cause THAT is wasting money.
  2. You must have a location to store the “stockpile“.  You will literally end up with a massive stockpile of toilet paper, toothbrushes and razors.  You will be soooo thankful for that pile but it will need a home.
    My little pile is in our garage, living on some shelves.  Toiletries are in a plastic drawer storage thingy.
    Cans and jars may live out there as well…bags and boxes come inside (cause I am always paranoid about mice.  It IS a garage after all.)
  3. Don’t ever be embarrassed by using your coupons.  Trust me if the world were to go to crap tomorrow…at least you will have toilet paper, razors and toothpaste to sell to all your neighbors who will be soooo thankful you have a small grocery in your garage.
    They will be lined up begging for a roll.  It’s the little comforts of life 😉
  4. Use couponing etiquette.  Don’t be a jerk to the cashier.
    If something isn’t scanning correctly I always assume it is my fault first…read the coupon again, find the product THEN we can figure it out together.  It’s just a coupon so no going all squirrely on the cashier.  Be kind….you are more than likely walking out with tons of free stuff so focus on THAT.  Smile. Breath. Smile some more.
  5.  If you can get free products that you will never use…get them and donate them.
    No really…donate that stuff!  Do I wish I could not be donating overly processed food?  Yep…but sometimes in life free food is just better than no food.
    Grab the deal.  Share the deal.  Help your community.  Keep a section in your coupon book for the food products your family won’t touch.  If you come across the free deal that matches up in your travels…throw it in the cart and find it a home.
    Use your thrifty powers for good 😉

Well that sums up this weeks.
Next week I will go over Shopkick. They are another favorite.
Until then…my favorite “haul” this week.
CVS.  Oh how I love CVS…glorious app, wonderful coupons and extra bucks.
God Bless Extra Bucks.
54 rolls of Toilet Paper
6 rolls of Paper Towels
Smarty Pants Vitamins
Carols Daughter natural shampoo
4 Boxes of Kleenex
10 toothbrushes


Should have cost:  $118.68
What I paid:           $51.35
Amount saved:       $67.33

I took an hour of prep time on this journey before going to the store and an hour in the store shopping…
so it’s like I made roughly $30 an hour.
Not bad for a part time gig 😉

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Amazing how one gal can have such a crazy full lifetime.
I was reading an excerpt from Alice in Wonderland the other night and I was like…
“WOW!  She is talking about my life!”

‘It was much pleasanter at home,’ thought poor Alice, ‘when one wasn’t always growing larger and smaller, and being ordered about by mice and rabbits. I almost wish I hadn’t gone down that rabbit-hole — and yet — and yet — it’s rather curious, you know, this sort of life! I do wonder what CAN have happened to me! When I used to read fairy-tales, I fancied that kind of thing never happened, and now here I am in the middle of one! There ought to be a book written about me, that there ought! And when I grow up, I’ll write one — but I’m grown up now,’ she added in a sorrowful tone; ‘at least there’s no room to grow up any more here.’

When the two youngest went off into the world this year I swear I spent the first half of the school year wondering “what now?”.
I fell immediately back into making things.
Making things…is my thing.
Always has been.
I am like the MacGyver of the crafting world…that guy could make ANYTHING!
It’s a therapy of sorts I suppose.

It has been years since I used to write over on Bramble Hill and I have missed it since Lucas came along.
He kindof threw my career world into a bit of “the upside down” for a handful of years.
In a good way of course but in a way that only a little human with big demands can.
You have these babies and as a mother you have to decide what part of you….you put to the side.
I never really put everything fully to the side but I definitely had to put certain things in a closet for a bit.
Like amazing photography assignments and adventures.
Oh how I have missed the adventures.
When I brought them back out of that closet the world had changed.
Happens to most women who set their career to the side for kiddos I suppose?
But there I was still making things…all the things.
The gardening, cooking, photography….growing and continuing to learn new things.
Teaching…always the teaching.
I have spent the last 2 decades teaching little people and big people alike.

The irony of these decades “teaching others” is not lost on me.
10 years of preschoolers and special needs kiddos followed by a decade of homeschooling this crew.
How has time gone by so fast?
I was that ADHD/Dyslexic kid that spent a solid 12, of my own, school years being told I was basically “unteachable“…the truth was they were “teaching” me in a way that was never going to work for me.
I truly think that those horribly torturous years of “learning” gave me this solid base for being able to “teach the unteachable“.   Or at least having a VERY healthy respect for HOW we opt to teach others and how true learning evolves.

I have mastered the fine art of being “self taught“….and learning all the random things I love learning.
We are all “teachable“.
2 decades of teaching others has taught me that we should NEVER stop learning new things.
The day I stop finding the world infinitely beautiful and full of possibility is the day I cease to exist.
I am probably one of the happiest folks I know.
I know that this endless desire of mine to learn something new everyday is probably directly linked to that happy heart of mine.

Back to this year of searching for my “next big thing“…
I love my beloved photography, you guys know that.
I have had these huge multi country… celebrity assignments… more stories than I could ever tell… type of lifetime with this camera in my hand.
Oh how I have missed that adventure these last few years.
My life with my camera has never been one of simplicity…it has been one of showing the world how I see it. My camera has always been this appendage I will never be without.
It tells my story.
But running a full time family portrait  studio…well that doesn’t really fit my world either these days.

Add in my love of all things plant based, nature, cooking and crafts and well…I am left with…
How is this a skill for a resume?  Where do I put ‘Can make a full vegan meal from things found in my yard’ at exactly?  Or ‘Can teach you anything you want to know about photography’ Or ‘Can teach you photoshop for photo editing or graphic design…you pick’…”
My resume would look so strange on the desk of a normal job.
So I just did what I have always done.  Threw myself into just sharing what I am making, doing, seeing, eating and growing…
And bam.
The universe calls.
A few job offers in one week.
If you guessed “teaching” and sharing my loves and passions on bigger platforms and venues  you would be correct!
Opportunities landing right on me.
Photography…cooking…my beloved growing things…editing/graphic design…maybe even some crafts sprinkled in.
I will be using this beautiful passport again in the very near future even<3

God reminding me…
I have knowledge and given gifts to be shared with others.
I have many adventures left to be had just yet!
My newest bracelet from my friend Becky over at FarmGirl Paints sums it up beautifully…

“For I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”
Oh how I love that Psalms…

Now I have much to do!  Classes of all sorts will be starting in May.
I will be keeping you guys posted for sure once everything is all hashed out but first things first.
A new website needs created…again :-/
(It’s a good thing though…not complaining a bit!)
And I still have to do all of the home renovations…
And put the garden in….
And get through a solid month of Adam’s driving school just about every day…
And making a bunny rabbit palace…
And the million April family birthdays…
And getting a little boy through his first T-ball season…
And making all the jewelry (cause you know I am not stopping that…duh)
And curriculums to create…
And know that my skills maybe a bit out of the norm…but they still hold a value to the world.
Who knew?



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If you followed me on the old blog then you may remember years back when I spent a magical Summer out at Forrest Green Farm learning all about herbs and their health benefits and well…I learned a million other things as well.
That Whole Living class goes down as one of the best investments ever made in my life.  I am going to take the second one…one of these days 🙂
I STILL use everything I learned and continued to learn over the last 3-4 years to treat my families health naturally.
I took the class during a time that I couldn’t get health insurance.  Oh yes…the good old days before ACA when insurance companies could tell you “we can’t insure you because you had tennis elbow.”
Taking the control for our health into my own hands was actually the best thing for our entire family.

My family likes to tease me and call my love of herbs and natural remedies my “witchy ways” but in all honesty this was the only way people had to treat their aches, pains and illnesses until the last century.
It used to be that every mother’s medicine cabinet was filled with plants and natural remedies because that was all they had.
We have just forgotten that the things those mothers used are things that actually STILL work and often without the side effects that many of our current over the counter medications bring with them.

We have been fighting the flu in this house for a few weeks now.
There are 6 of us so typically it will take a full month before something like the flu works its way through the entire house.
Fun!  (Said no mother ever.)
The reality is that we ALL get sick from time to time.  I am going to share how I treat my family when the plague hits each year.  This is NOT medical advice…this is just me sharing what we do around here.
Take it or leave it but for the love of God if you are dying sick go visit the doctor.
The key is finding a good doctor that isn’t antibiotic happy but will tell you if you truly need one or if you just need a few more days to let it run it’s course.
Typically I can knock most hardcore colds out within 1-3 days but there are always exceptions.

I wish I had been given this knowledge before I had my first two kiddos, who stayed sick constantly. Poor Haley lived off of antibiotics and is still dealing with the repercussions of over use.
I didn’t know what I know now…mother guilt 100%.
Lucas, who came a decade later, hasn’t had a round of antibiotics in 5 years.
This knowledge is powerful folks.
Last week I took him to the doc for his first earache.
First time he has been for illness in years.
We walked into Kidmed and I swear the place looked like the Zombie Apocalypse with children in various forms of vomiting and looking like death.  I made him sit in my lap and touch NOTHING the entire time we were there…hiding in a dark corner…lol!

The doctor couldn’t see in his ears due to wax build up.
He prescribed an antibiotic “Just in case it is an ear infection”.
I asked him point blank “If this was your child would you be giving him this antibiotic if you weren’t 100% positive it was an ear infection?
The doctor looked at me with this look of “Holy crap I actually have a parent here who isn’t demanding an antibiotic!
God bless him he answered honestly with a “No I wouldn’t…honestly I would give him ibuprofen and a decongestant for three days and if it still hurts him or a fever starts raging then I would fill the script.
I smiled at him and said “Wonderful!  That is what we will do then!
Guess who felt better after a day?
Sometimes when we see our babies in pain we just want to fix them…fast.  Our hearts break, we are exhausted and we just want to do anything we can.  We fill that script and they are better in a day and we think it was the antibiotic but the truth is they probably would have been better in a day anyway.
I wish I had known to ask the first two kiddos doc’s “What would you do if this were your child?
I have found that the answer is almost always different than when they tell us what they think we want to hear.

I also knew that a round of antibiotics would weaken his immune system…gut health is HUGE.
Antibiotics are not the miracle drug we have been taught they are.  Again…I learned this the hard way.
There is a cost.  
When Haley had teeth grow in with no enamel due to antibiotics my heart just sank.
If only I had known….her main issue was a dairy intolerance that caused ear infections.
If we had stopped dairy chances are most of her infections probably wouldn’t have occurred.
So now we rebuild her gut still.
Next time your child comes down with a cold maybe try a few of these tricks.
Why do I reach for the natural healing items instead of the over the counter meds first?
Simple…herbs/vitamins are about healing not just masking symptoms.
Getting rid of a symptom is a far different thing than stopping the replication of a virus and getting better faster.


Cold/Flu Care for the Older crew:
I am going to start by sharing my absolute favorite combo I reach for the second the older kiddos and adults get so much as a sniffle around here.

Vitamin C,  Super Lysine+, Oregano Oiland a solid probiotic.
I typically throw Zinc and Vitamin A in there too if I have it on hand (which I am currently out of).
I make them take 1 pill of each at least three times a day until they feel better.
This combo here typically kicks out the funk in a few days.
BUT if it lingers or is a bit more hardcore I add in …

Echinacea and Astragalus…all about supporting the immune system to fight back against the funk.
I take this sparingly because of my thyroid.  Astragalus is not a hypothyroid gals friend so keep that in mind if you have any thyroid anything.  Limited use when you need it but don’t go over board my thyroid friends.  I will only use it tops….3 days.
The reality is that any herbs you take you need to be sure to talk to your doc about or at the very least always google search the effects of taking any meds…ALL meds….especially if you have any other conditions or are taking any other pharmaceutical drugs that may interact.  Don’t fool yourself into thinking that “natural” medicine isn’t real medicine with real side effects.

I kid you not I take nothing anymore without a google search that goes something like “Bad effects of…” “Benefits of…” “I wish I had known that … causes…”.
I literally package up my own herbs from my own garden whenever I possibly can because my trust is so limited in any of the drug and supplement companies these days.  Be picky my friends.

Cold/Flu care for the younger set:
Moving onto what the little guy can take…children are a totally different ballgame.
I would NEVER have survived those early years with Lucas without essential oils!

Now I know you have heard about oils…and you are probably thinking “snake oil!”
But I swear to you that the first time you rub peppermint oil behind your ears when a headache comes on…or your child can’t breathe at bedtime and you put a diffuser filled with Breathe oil in it…or you have car sick people and you give them peppermint drops…
Well you will change your mind.  They have a place in the medicine cabinet.
You too will start hoarding them and keep a bottle of peppermint oil with a roller ball in your purse, your car and your pocket some days.
Now I know your next question is “which brand do you use“.
The short answer is the one in my house…the long answer is typically between Young Living (check out my friend Megan for that one), DoTERRA (which I love their Costco style membership program), and in a pinch when I run out and need it delivered fast Edens Garden (which can be found on Amazon as well).
I am clearly not a brand loyalist…but I also limit ingesting oils because I am afraid that ingesting oils messes with gut health.  Just a personal thing.  Everyone has an opinion on this matter.
For me there just isn’t enough proof that ingestion is a great idea on a regular basis.
We are pretty much a peppermint only on the ingestion front and that is because of the car sick crew I seem to have…those little peppermint beads ROCK when it comes to car yucks.
I have an underlying theme of “gut health trumps everything” around here.  If your gut is a mess you are a mess.  I don’t want to mess that thing up 😉
If I did ingest…I would stick with YL or DoTERRA…both have my trust and I don’t buy into the whole “one is better than the other” thing.  They both work great in my opinion.
What else do I give him?

Good old Elderberry syrup (click for recipe)…for everyone actually!  That stuff is gold.
A decent probiotic (which I give him everyday anyway), Echinacea Supreme 
Breathe Easier oil from Eden Gardens for the diffuser (because I go through this stuff and need a large size on the cheap) and a bottle of DoTERRA’s Breathe or Young Living Version as well with a roller ball inserted so I can rub it on his chest or shirt even.
Those peppermint balls help with breathing, tummy troubles and headaches!

For tummy bugs…which Lucas has yet to really have a real one BUT it is going around right now so never say never I suppose.
But I do keep these things on hand and have used them for all of us actually.
So let’s talk a second about the little meme going around right now with a picture of a grape juice and vinegar helping keep away the norovirus.
I kindof got a good laugh out of that one because hello…I am not really buying it.
My guess is that this preventative isn’t the grape juice that works though…it’s the teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar doing the magic.  Norovirus replicates deep in your intestines so grape juice isn’t going to hit it…but the vinegar may settle the tummy a bit.
I will attest that using a real grape fruit juice with a splash of ACV (apple cider vinegar) in it makes it much easier to take the ACV.  Which has about a million great uses in treating ailments of all kinds!
So yes…I stand by the grape juice (REAL) and ACV not being a bad thing.
But what I am going to add to that is making you ACV even better.
Always use Bragg’s or an ACV that is fermented!  Get those extra healthy gut bacteria in there.
Why not add a touch of ginger to it and let it sit out for a few days then keep it in the fridge.
If I have fresh ginger I just slice it up and throw it in there…if not I use the cabinet version.
This stuff then taste super yummy…Daryl takes his with seltzer water.
I take mine in several ways.
If I am treating my kidney stones (which I used to get from time to time…but not since going vegetarian) I take a shot with lemon juice (real juice folks) and chase it with a huge glass of water.
Kills the pain FAST and way better than pain killers.
If I am taking it for indigestion I do the grape juice with about 1-2 teaspoons.  Works great for heartburn!!  Tastes yummy too!

Slippery Elm…tummy aches and sore throats!  This one is a must.
Cinnamon and Ginger are great for those as well!
Add them to hot tea or sippy cups.  It puts a lovely coating on throats and tummies.


Let’s talk gross.
Activated Charcoal all the way.  You can break a cap open for the younger set or if your person can take a pill…even easier.  Daryl can vouch.  It works.
Wellness Mama has a great article up on it that I love!
The stuff has a place of glory in my cabinet because nobody HATES the tummy bug as much as I do.  Ok maybe Nancy does…but in her defense she only wins because she had 4 kids (twins to boot!).  That’s alot of puking that can happen.
I seriously have puking PTSD from children with tummy bugs in this house before I discovered this stuff. You haven’t lived until your child vomits on their dinner plate in a Cracker Barrel (not mortifying at all)….or the side of the school parking lot…or all over the back of your car seat…or……
I probably need therapy.

Then there are the bonus things…like hot tea with lemon and honey..
And honey as a cough suppressant and throat care.

I think I have probably overwhelmed you guys enough for a day!
I get at least a call, text or message at least once a day this time of year.
Now I can cheat and just forward this link 😉 I am a slacker like that.
I truly do love helping my folks feel better and don’t feel bad if you still can’t get better and the natural stuff just isn’t working.
At least once a year someone in this house will indeed not get better without a bit of help from the doc.  I for one am thankful that we have lots of options our grandmothers never did.
I think the secret to all health issues is knowing what we are putting in our bodies, why we are and what options we have if something isn’t working.
I am not the mother who says “My child will never take ……”  I am the now the mother who reads up on absolutely everything and trusts doctors not as blindly as I once did.  They are human.
Now I am off to take my regiment because after two weeks of taking care of sick people and traveling into many plague places…I too have the flu.
Yeah me!  LOL!

Oh and yes, I do still take the occasional OTC medication.  I like breathing.
I try to stager anything I take with my vitamins and herbs and truly limit the OTC’s to when I really really really need them.  And drink tons of water.
Back to that whole “gut health” thing.  OTC’s can wreck a gut.
Stay healthy everyone!  It’s plague season out there!
Remember…low grade fevers are your friend.


P.S.  I have way more I need to start posting about as well…I am seriously and herb addict.

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This weekend was beautiful!
You know how I spent it?
Down sizing the storage unit.  In my perfect world I would be totally getting rid of a storage unit BUT that is darn near impossible for us.
See my mom and my dad passed away years ago and I inherited some of their things and well…it’s hard to let that go.  I did manage to let go of some of it yesterday but then you add in my own children’s childhood and we end up still needing a 10’x5′ unit since we have zero attack here at the house.

My goal this year is to really get rid of “the stuff” in our lives as much as possible.
What I am finding out is that this process of getting rid of stuff…is a full time job.
It’s WORK…hard work.  Dusty, musty, yucky work.
As I went digging through the storage unit yesterday I did have a bit of fun finding little treasures though!
Turns out my old rock collections are even still in there…I can remember spending what seemed like hours collecting rocks.  I have always loved rocks!

And then this little box filled with my mom and grandma’s babbles and bits.  I was so excited to find my Great Grandma browns crochets snowflake ornaments…I used to love those so much!
There is even a cassette tape in there of me singing my ABC’s…granted I have no clue how we would ever play it again 🙂

We had a good laugh at “baby Haley” here.  We gave this baby do to Adam when I was pregnant with Haley in hopes that he would possibly NOT kill her when we brought the real deal Haley home from the hospital.
He didn’t kill the real deal Haley (thank God…nothing short of a miracle) but he did pick up the real deal Haley and drop her on the floor once.
Granted he was 23 months old and she survived so we let him off the hook 😉

And I even still had Daryl’s first painting…we didn’t even know he could paint.
But he just picked up a brush one day…and he could.  My people are talented beyond talented  <3

Hey look!  More of my mom’s crafts!
She loved making jewelry and copper work as well.  I taught her how to do the copper work a few years before she died.  Glad I did.  I have some plans for these pieces she made.

Even found my old lovey lamb…from my own childhood.
When my mom first passed I was a bit sad that I didn’t really get too many things from my own childhood.  A few bits and babbles here and there.  Now looking back I am thankful I didn’t.
Because there is something so hard about letting go of those items.  If they are already gone you don’t have to have the debate with yourself on whether you should keep or let go of a 40 year old lamby.
Letting go is HARD y’all.
That is why I am being VERY picky about what I keep from my own kiddos childhoods.  I look at items and think “is THIS item something that they will really need and want one day?  Or is it just going to be something that just sits in a storage unit because they can’t stand to throw it away BUT they don’t really need it?”
I think listening to  RichRoll’s podcast with Joshua Fields Millburn was a huge help in making peace with letting go of some of my parents items that just weren’t adding value to my life.
I am getting into this minimalist stuff…but I will probably never be able to get this house down to being as “minimalist” as I would like since I share my world with 5 other humans who all have their own “stuff”.  But I shall try to bring them over to seeing my side of it.
Until then…I shall be happy with my tiny little storage unit.
Now to sell all the stuff I brought home and stuffed in my garage to go through…selling off, donating and throwing away.
Once the garage is clear then I will move on to clearing out the living room and kitchen for painting later this week.
I am starting with painting the ceiling.  And yes…I am DREADING that.
Painting ceilings is the worst.
But it must be done!

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