Monday, March 30, 2015

Monday, March 23, 2015

Monday, March 16, 2015

Allergy & Sinus Relief

About a week or so ago, the left side of my head became congested.  My ear and my nose.  The right side was perfectly fine.  Go figure!  I wasn't running a fever, but I had a lot of congestion and knew this was a recipe for one humdinger of a sinus infection.  Rather than take an antibiotic as I've done for the past many years, I decided to suffer through it try a more natural way of curing myself.  Also, because I was dealing with the yeast infection from Hades (which I'm still dealing with, by the way), I didn't want to feed the yeast by adding an antibiotic to the mix.

Neti Pot, essential oil diffuser, and Nasonex to the rescue!

I used my Neti Pot daily, once in the morning and once in the evening.  If you've never used a Neti Pot, I highly recommend it.  It looks gross, but it really cleans our your nose like a charm.  It also flushes out all the allergens that have gotten lodged in the cilia in your nose.  (Cilia = nose hairs)  My eye doctor even recommends washing your eyebrows and eyelashes with Johnson's Baby Shampoo each day when you get home from work or doing any work outside to cut down on eye allergy problems.  I digress.

I used my little essential oil diffuser (pictured above) every night when I went to bed.  I set it on my nightstand and diffused the following blend in distilled water:

6 drops Rosemary
2 drops Eucalyptus
2 drops Tea Tree Oil
2 drops Lemon
2 drops Lavender
2 drops Peppermint

This has a very pleasant, relaxing smell. Diffusing this blend really helped me sleep well.  A couple of times I even put this blend in my Neti Pot with a salt packet and used it in my nose. Boy howdy does that clear you out and help you breathe!  Eucalyptus and peppermint are excellent decongestants on their own and combined they really pack a punch.  Lemon, Lavender, and Peppermint are a great combination for warding off allergies, too, by the way.  Two drops of each rubbed into the bottom of your feet twice a day helps decrease allergy symptoms.  You can apply them "neat", which means not diluted in a carrier oil. 

After using the Neti Pot, diffuser, and Nasonex trifecta for about 3 days, I was 90% better.  I was able to breathe and sleep throughout the night and wasn't blowing my nose non-stop at work during the day.  

Meow Monday

Tumbles looking dapper while basking in the sun.
Daisy getting ready to supurrvise the restocking of the cat food shelf.

Emmie being, well...Emmie.


Monday, March 09, 2015

Meow Monday

Hannah Grace


Daisy Mae


Sunday, March 08, 2015

Let's Talk Yeast {Strictly Female Post}


And I'm not talking about the yeast used in baking bread.  I'm talking about the kind that lives in your body and every female has known and hated.  The dreaded yeast infection.  Crazy thing is not only do I have the regular female yeast infection, I also have a yeast infection on my lips, as in on my face!  I had no idea you could get a yeast infection on your lips!! 

About 10 days ago, I felt the beginning itchies of a yeast infection, down there.  UGH!  I've only ever had one other yeast infection in my entire life, but I knew what it was.  Headed to the store to get something to help with the itch.  If you've been there, you know the "my privates are on fire and I want to rub them with a bottle brush to relieve the urge to itch" feeling.  The ointment helped tame the itch monster some and thank goodness I already had an appointment with my doctor this past Monday to reassess the problem with my lips...on my face.  I got fixed up with 2 different medications, Nystatin for my facial lips and Fluconazole pills for the other yeast infection because guess what?  They're caused by 2 different strains of candida!  Joy!

Took my first pill Monday, to be repeated 3 days later.  By Wednesday, I wasn't any better.  My crotch was still on fire, I was uncomfortable, and I was desperate for relief.  I mean, I'd have walked around with an ice pack on my lady parts if I could have!  After perusing Pinterest, I came across this easy remedy.  (Click the linky thing.) And guess what??  I had everything on hand!  I made the suppositories and started using them a couple of hours later.  OH. MY. G!!!  Heavenly relief.  God bless that woman for sharing her remedy!  I did use these as suppositories for two days, but now I'm just using them like a salve to help control the itching on the exterior portions of my body.  Warning, they are messy, but sooooo worth it if you're desperate for relief.

When I was in my mid-20s, I had my first and only other yeast infection.  I went to my OB/GYN, who was as old as the hills (to me).  I mean, she had to have been in her 60s.  I loved her!  She was so down to earth and practical.  And she helped out the young girls in the small town who couldn't afford healthcare for their pregnancies.  She gave me some invaluable tips for preventing yeast infections which I still use to this day.  Obviously, I'd not been following them as religiously as I should've been the past few weeks, though.  Yeast thrives in warm, moist environments in your body. 

To help prevent a yeast infection, follow these easy tips.
  • Wear cotton panties.  I know, granny panties are not the rage, but really whatever you wear should be cotton and not just a cotton insert.  Your body needs to breathe.  And for the love, please wear undies!
  • Wear loose fitting pants. Again, I know that yoga pants and second skin pants are popular nowadays, but be kind to your body and wear something that breathes.  Your lady parts will thank you.
  • Allow yourself to thoroughly dry after bathing. Have a few dedicated (dry) towels on which to sit after you get out of the shower or bath.  Spread 'em and sit for a few minutes. Hand towels work great for this.
  • Sleep without undies.  For some of you that may seem undoable, but again, it helps keep you dry.
  • Wash up before bedtime. You don't have to take a bath, but you should clean up prior to bed.  Also, if you're sexually active, you should clean up after to help prevent an infection.
  • Cut the whites...white flour and white sugar. Yeast feeds on sugar.  White flour converts to sugar in your body (think carbs), and gives the yeast food to feast on. 
  • Cut the refined sugar and processed food. See above comment on the whites.
Now if I can just get the infection on my lips cleared up, I'll be set!  I'm tired of swollen, red, chapped lips that hurt when I open my mouth too wide.  The medication I was prescribed has helped, but I'm thinking of using the suppository recipe and adding some beeswax pellets and making some homemade lip balm.  Coconut oil has healing properties.  I also most likely have a systemic yeast infection that needs to be addressed.  The joys of getting older.

Now that we've covered that tough topic, head on over to my food blog for my Cold Weather Chili Recipe!  

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Snow Day!

When I went to bed last night, it was very, very windy and sleeting.  Sometime during the night, the sleet turned to 4" of snow.  Thankfully, the gray skies that we've had for the past two weeks moved out and Mr. Sunshine arrived.  Roads were slippery and my commute to work is a 26 mile trek, so I opted to stay home today.  It was a nice way to break up my week. 
 The big oak tree in our front yard makes pretty shadows on the snow.  This was fairly early as the street hasn't been driven on much yet.  It soon turned slushy and the sun even dried out parts of the street as the day wore on.

My Savannah Holly tree always looks nice in the snow.  The red berries are nice and bright and provide food for the birds during the cool months.  This tree is also sturdy and tolerates the extremes Texas weather provides.
The sun and rising temperatures helped melt some of the snow and ice off the holly bush.  It was still cold enough to form pretty icicles, though.
The irises are certainly ready for the snow to melt so they can put on their Spring show.  These poor things have taken a beating the past couple of weeks.  We've had ice, snow, ice, sleet, and snow all in the last 2 weeks.

All I can say is I'm ready for Spring!