Author Archives: Jaime

Be Our Guest!

Be our guest! Be our guest! Be our guest! In case you didn’t notice, I’m just a lil bit excited that my brother, beautiful sister-in-law, adorable niece and precious nephew are on their way. They are headed down from DC to spend a week here with us in Tampa. I love getting a guest room ready to be used and this time I’m super excited to try something with my lavender oil. (I know, I know…more oil talk). It has so many benefits for relaxation and I’m sure you’ve seen it in all the baby lotions and potions that are out. Well my niece is almost 2 years old and my nephew is only 6 months, so if lavender has some kind of soothing and calming effect, I’m all about it. I got the idea when I saw something on Pinterest that said to add some lavender to the rinse cycle of your bed linens. I had every intention of doing that except that I completely missed the rinse cycle when I remembered I had laundry washing. So, I decided to add 3-4 drops of lavender to a small spray bottle of water and spray the bed and sheets as I was making the bed. I may have gotten a little carried away and sprayed the rug, comfy chair, and extra blankets as well. Then I remembered I had a small sachet of lavender that I bought in a cute shop in Marseilles last summer. It doesn’t smell much anymore so I added a few drops of lavender to it and laid it on the nightstand. Here are a few other touches for our guests….

lavender

Little touches like fresh flowers let them know how special they are to you…

flowersHave their fluffy towels and washcloths ready and easy for them to locate by placing them on the foot of the bed. This way they won’t feel like a burden asking you where to find them when they’re ready to freshen up. Go the extra mile by providing water bottles and easy snacks so they don’t have to tiptoe around the house if they’re hungry late at night or early in the morning….

snacks

I’m always sure to have a clock with an alarm, sweet smelling candle (this one from anthropologie), light reading (love this book by Emily Schuman), and ample amount of light…

bookLast but not least, I’ve added a few touches to the reading corner so that our guests don’t have to keep asking us for what they all want…wi-fi! 🙂
beourguest

What do you do to make your guests feel welcome? Would you use any oils?

 

Essential Oils For Great Prices…They Do Exist!

I’m so excited…I just trekked across town (well, not by foot..and technically, I rode along while my friend Aprile did the trekking…but not by foot, got it?) and found unbelievable prices for a huge selection of essential oils. Remember that post about my husband with his allergies and sinus issues? (No? Here’s a refresher) Well, I’ve been talking to so many people about oils and everyone has had an opinion. And then my friend sent me this link of a DIY Shower Decongestant that I decided I HAVE to make for my suffering husband.

DIY-Shower-Decongestant-Drops

 

But don’t be crazy. I refuse to pay $100 for four oils (which remain unnamed) ! Jackpot! How do you use your oils and what recipes are your favorites?

oils

Grammy Party Snacks

fruitcup

Tonight is the night! Grammy night! One day, probably never, I’d L-O-V-E to go to someone’s Grammy party. Just my girlfriends and I, re-wearing a fancy dress that’s hanging in our closet after only being worn once, with our wine and cheese and the TV on the moment the red carpet arrivals begin. . In my mind, we are having a wonderful time, all in love with #Giuliana Rancic (oh! Maybe we’re drinking XO, G wine), and oohing and ahhing over every celebrity she interviews. As the night goes on, that wine is kicking the party into full gear and we need a little more of something in our bellies…but we have to still be able to fit in those dresses!

veggies

This veggie tray (from Gardenview Cottage) is a great display of the vegetables that are filling and yummy at the same time. And Couponcabin.com has a list of 5 recipes that even have cute Grammy inspired names attached to them. Are you attending someone’s party or hosting your own? We’re dying to know “who will you be wearing”?

25 Uses for Tea Tree Oil

Tea-Tree-Oil

Let me tell you about the latest argument in my house. It was this morning. Because of a pimple. Yep. That’s what I said. My oldest son is officially a pre-teen (at least that’s what he tells me) at 11 years old. He plays competitive basketball 7 days a week. He’s sweaty. Every day. He’s wiping the sweat off his face with the collar of his tee shirt. He now has multiple whiteheads all around his nose and chin because he’s rubbing dirt and oil into his open pores. No problem, I said. I can help you, I said. Here’s some tea tree oil for it. But guess what…the testosterone in my house far outweighs the estrogen. They think mom is the crazy lady trying to put tea tree oil on everything from a pimple to a bug bite. (Think about the Windex from My Big Fat Greek Wedding) Of course I got defensive when even my husband called me nuts. I mean…I’ve done the research! Don’t question the knowledge of mom! And I can testify that I use it myself! Why would you doubt me?!! And so the argument went on. But I feel like I won. And I sent them this link from webmd.com to back up my argument. And then I found this list at keeperofthehome.org of 25 Uses of Tea Tree Oil that made me super happy, so I thought I’d share with all of you. And I’ll rest my case. Get your tea tree oil on amazon here and then tell us how you use it…I need more ammunition for next time.

Just A Few Things To Do On Snow Days

kids-playing-in-snow

It’s not just #Superbowl Sunday in Chicago. It’s #snowmageddon or #snowpocolypse or as we used to call it…Snow Day! No School! Yay! Whether you love love love looking outside and feeling like you’re living in a snow globe or hate hate hate being stuck inside trying to figure out what to do with the kids, we have some answers for you. Check out 8 Simple Ways for a Fun Snow Day from handsonaswegrow.com. She has some great ideas to make those negative outside temps a little more bearable while you’re stuck inside. And if you are brave enough to venture out, first and foremost, dress those kiddos appropriately and be ready to warm them up as soon as they come in. Hot chocolate never hurt anyone! Second, have some old fashion fun with snowmen, snow forts, and my favorite of all time, snow angels. These 10 Fun Things To Do In The Snow – Outside are easy enough for older kids to even handle without your help. But if you’re feeling like a kid again and are looking forward to making those perfect family pics that we all envy on Facebook and Pinterest, then here’s a chart from popsugar.com for you to check how many calories you’ve burned out there. Bonus!

25 Superbowl Sunday Snacks

superbowl

This is the first Superbowl Sunday that I’ll be able to watch in real time since 2010. I’ll be honest. I don’t love football enough to watch the entire game when I’m here on the East Coast, so I certainly didn’t love it enough to stay up and watch it at 12:30am while in Germany. But there are three things I do L-O-V-E about Superbowl Sunday and that I missed so much while living abroad. One is the halftime show…usually some kind of “unexpected” drama, right? Two is the commercials…puppies and horses? Who doesn’t love that? And three is the food. The food!!! But the big question is “How can I eat until I’m stuffed but not feel guilty about it?” Well…not AS guilty about it. Thecouponproject.com has compiled a list from several sites (like naturallyella.com, voraciousvander.com, tasty-yummies.com, and glutenfreegirl.com to name a few) of  great snacks. Check out the list here and let us know which ones you try and which ones are your favorite. Go Seahawks! I mean Go Patriots! I mean..wait..who’s playing?

We Need Coffee…You Need Coffee…Try Organic

coffee

In Tampa, we don’t have the snow, but we do have a wonderful way for you to stay warm while snuggling under a blanket in front of the fire. Coffee!! Coffee is the reason I crawl out of bed with my bleary eyes and bed head. Well, coffee and the fact that I have to get two boys off to elementary school. But for all of you…you can have it while enjoying a snow day at home, right?

Check out Tampa Bay’s finest organic coffee roaster, Java Planet. They say that “Java Planet is a labor of love. A love of a good cup of coffee. A love of the environment. A love of life.” Well, we love that! Coffee has potential health benefits due to its antioxidant content. And organic coffee is even better because it isn’t treated with pesticides or chemicals and the soil is natural. If you’re not in the Tampa area, you can still try their delicious coffee by ordering on their site or click here to order on Amazon.com.

20 Post Workout Foods That Are The Most Beneficial (And Easy!)

Would you judge me if I told you that I’m trying to be healthy(er) but I HATE exercising…really really hate it…like more than anything? I don’t know why. Everyone keeps telling me that once I’m doing it, I’ll feel great. I’ll have so much energy after my workout is done and I’ll want to eat better foods because I’ll be motivated. Nobody works out and then goes and eats ice cream, right? Wrong. For me, that is just wrong. I go to an 8:15am spin class after dropping off my boys at school and after I’m done, all I want to do is eat pizza and take a nap. I’m exhausted the entire day after that hour. What am I missing? Maybe this list of 20 Post Workout Foods from runeatplayblog.com will help boost my energy and keep me satisfied. Here’s hoping…

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Things You Probably Didn’t Know about Herbs and Oils

herbalsteams

I’ve been married for almost 16 years and ever since I’ve known my husband, he’s suffered with the ongoing cycle of stuffy nose that leads to a stuffy head that leads to headaches and a sinus infection. He lives for days without sleep because he can’t stop blowing his nose all night…which means this girl doesn’t get any sleep either. He’s had surgery on his sinus cavities to connect them all together and visited multiple allergists that tell him he doesn’t have allergies. At this point, we don’t know what to do and can only do our best to help him treat the symptoms when these flare-ups happen, which is usually once a week (lasting 2-3 days, if he’s lucky). He’s tried everything that anyone has ever told us but suffers anyway. The swollen bags under his eyes make me feel so bad for him. Recently, I’ve seen A LOT of stuff on social media about essential oils but I just dismissed them as one more thing I need to catch up on. Then the other day, a mom at school was chatting with me on our way to get the kids and brought up the topic again. Hmmm…maybe there’s something to this.

In Germany, Americans are known for our crazy approach to pumping our kids full of medicine at the first sign of something. But there, they definitely used a more holistic approach to medicine before prescribing an antibiotic. And I must admit, it took awhile to get used to the fact that even if I took my boys to the doctor, they would probably just tell me something similar to what my grandma used to. Go home, turn on the hot shower and let them sit in the steam, put wet washcloths on the radiators while they sleep, and keep the window cracked for the cold, fresh air to come in. Oh, and once, the pediatrician told me to just give him “more cuddles”. True story.

Anyway, I started searching online for more information about these essential oils and what can I do to 1) help my husband with his ongoing suffering and 2) how can they help when the inevitable cold creeps into this house via the school kids. Theprairiehomestead.com listed a few great methods on how to steam the herbs and essential oils through a shower and diffuser. Oh, and Bonus! There’s all you need to know about which herb treats which ailment. I really need to get that herb garden going, I guess. Or maybe I’ll start with these essential oils that I found on amazon.com. What a great starter set! We’d love to hear how you use your herbs and oils 🙂

essentialoils

Cute Ideas for Indoor Herbs

indoorherbs

I really want fresh herbs in my kitchen but I’d also really like to just pay someone to come set it all up for me. What can I say? I’m just not a green thumbed girl. The idea seems so overwhelming but when I found these cute setups from The Garden Glove, I thought “Yes”! I can do this AND make it look cute? Here are several ideas for growing indoor herbs and pretty much everything you need to know about how and when to plant them from seed to plate (visual.ly).

herbs