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31 August 2016

Bath Salts for Cold and Flu Recipe

Make these bath salts for cold and flu before you get sick so you'll have them on hand when you aren't feeling well.

Tis the season for colds and flu. I have been down for over two weeks with bronchitis, and my husband is on week four of pneumonia.

It's not fun to be us right now! I'm still not feeling great, but I am able to get up and do a few things each day.




I made sure to make these bath salts for cold and flu because they are nice to have on hand. When you feel yucky is not the time to start to think about making these. They will sit on the shelf for months, so make them now for when you need them.

This is one recipe from my new book Bath Salts: 30 Easy Recipes for Fun & Profit.

BATH SALTS FOR COLD AND FLU RECIPE

Links in this post may be affiliate links, which means that I earn a small commission from sales.

Unfortunately, life doesn't stop when I'm sick. I tend to be overly sensitive to cold medications, so I don't like to take them. Even non-drowsy formulas make me pass out while sitting. So needless to say, I prefer to use other remedies to help me feel better.

One thing that really helps me when I'm congested is steam. I like to take a hot shower, but a warm bath usually helps ease my aching joints, helps me relax, and helps relieve the congestion.

While you could just take a bath and get a lot of benefits, I wanted to make bath salts for cold and flu for even more benefits.

EPSOM SALTS

You can use either Epsom salt or sea salt in this recipe, but I prefer to use Epsom salts. The magnesium in the Epsom salt can help relieve sore muscles, which are common when you are sick.

If you don't have any Epsom salt though, feel free to use sea salt.

You can also use a combination of sea salt and Epsom salt. Just make sure you have total of one cup of salts if you do use both kinds.
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ESSENTIAL OILS
Eucalyptus essential oil is a great oil to use if you are sick because it is a natural decongestant. As the eucalyptus releases from the salts, you'll breathe it in and help loosen congestion.

The vanilla relaxes you and smells great. You don't have to use the vanilla extract, but it really does smell nice.

I used to use eucalyptus and vanilla, but now I use an essential oil blend called Breathe Easy. It's a blend of:


  • eucalyptus
  • rosemary
  • lavender
  • tea tree
  • cedar leaf
  • clove
  • marjoram
  • peppermint
  • pine
  • spearmint
  • anise

You can get it at Hobby Lobby or on Amazon.

INGREDIENTS





You can also use other essential oils for cold and flu for a custom blend.

DIRECTIONS

Just mix all of the ingredients well and store in a container.  I really like the wide mouth short mason jars.




If you use food coloring, it could stain plastic containers, but it won't stain your tub or your skin.

Use 1/4 to 1/2 cup per bath when you have a cold or flu.

This recipe stores well, so you can double it or triple it. I like to keep several cups of it around when cold and flu season hit so I don't have to make it when I'm sick.

OTHER NATURAL HOME REMEDIES FOR COLD AND FLU








For more Bath Salt recipes to make for fun or profit, check out my book with only bath salt recipes!




If you like making bath salts, you won't want to miss my new book Bath Salts: 30 Easy Recipes for Fun & Profit.

















29 August 2016

Non-Costume Halloween Women's Clothes, Shirts

Halloween is my favorite holiday.  I love the crisp fall air, the fun colors, and getting dressed up.  Some years I wear a costume, but sometimes I want a Halloween shirt or outfit without wearing an actual costume.  These festive Halloween women's clothes and shirts will have you in the spirit of the holiday without having to wear a costume.

Links in this post may be affiliate links, which means that I earn a small commission from sales at no additional cost to you.

non costume Halloween women's clothes, shirts

26 August 2016

How To Make Glycerin Soap Without Lye

If you are new to soap making, glycerin soap is the easiest type of soap to make at home. It is also called melt-and-pour soap because you simply melt the soap base and pour it into a mold. You can make a basic bar of soap, or you can customize the soap with things like color, scent, and additives to make a fun bar of soap.  You can get so creative with this kind of soap, so have some fun with the different melt and pour soap additives!  


How to make glycerin soap without lye

24 August 2016

Fall Beauty Tips

I'm not sure where this summer went.  I don't even remember June, and I'm pretty sure July lasted about 2 days.  August?  Yeah, that flew by and we are in our second week of school now!  At this rate, I think I'll be sipping a pumpkin spice latte whilst wearing Ugg boots next week.  

It's time to start thinking about changing my beauty routine from summer to fall.  My hair and skin both have different needs in the fall, so I usually get a lot of new products.  Here are my top fall beauty tips for your skin, hair, and makeup.

Fall beauty tips

22 August 2016

Save Money on Beauty Treatments with Groupon

This post has been sponsored by Groupon.  As always, all enthusiasm is my own.

I don't feel like we summer was much of a break because we were so busy.  As soon as summer died down, homeschooling started, which means that extracurricular activities and sports started.  With such a crazy schedule, I need to schedule in some down time for myself.   Right now, I'd love to schedule a facial or a massage so I can get some time to relax.  

Save Money on Beauty Treatments with Groupon

20 August 2016

Kings Island Kicks Cancer and Other Fall Events

This post is sponsored by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company in conjunction with Blog Meets Brand, and I have been compensated for my participation. As always, all enthusiasm and opinions are my own.

Last week, we took a day off and went to Kings Island to have some fun during their Kings Island Kicks Cancer promotion.  We could not have picked a better day to go.  School had just started in that area and it was pouring down rain in the morning, so the park wasn't that busy.  When the rain stopped shortly after the park opened, it turned in to a beautiful day.  


19 August 2016

Reverse and Prevent Signs of Aging with Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair

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My birthday is next month.  I'll be 36.  In the last year, I've gained some new fine lines and my uneven skin tone is worsening to the point that I need to correct it with new makeup products.  I've been using sunscreen since I was a teenager to help prevent the signs of aging, but I need to step up my beauty routine with anti-aging products like retinol.  I've partnered with Neutrogena for this post to use their Rapid Wrinkle Repair and Ultra Sheer collections for 7 days to show my results.

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair


The Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair collection is unique because it combines anti-aging products and SPF to prevent future signs of aging.  This line has the fastest retinol formula available, so you can see results in just one week!  Retinol is the #1 anti-aging product recommended by dermatologists, and it's clinically proven to reduce the signs of aging.



15 August 2016

How to Make Theraputty

I haven't talked much about autism on this blog, but I've decided to share the DIY autism and therapy tools that we use since I know some of my readers are also autism parents.  My son, who is 10, is currently receiving ABA therapy and occupational therapy.

I prefer to make most of our therapy tools because it's cheaper, which allows us to have tools in our toolbox.  Having a child with autism can create financial strain on the family, so maybe these will help other people too.

Another advantage to making my own is that I don't have to wait for shipping.  We start homeschool tomorrow, and there were a few things that I forgot to purchase for our sensory nook.  Oops!

I learned how to make theraputty with things we had on hand, so we can work into our school day tomorrow instead of waiting.  

How to Make Theraputty

What Is Theraputty?


My son's OT uses theraputty at every session.  It's a stiff putty that really gets his finger muscles working before he starts working on handwriting.

Theraputty helps build strength in the hands, which helps build fine motor skills and handwriting skills.  As a bonus, it provides sensory input that he craves, so it can even help him calm down.

Sometimes I let him play with the putty freely, but I usually hide objects in it.  I hide buttons, beans, or even coins in the putty for him to dig out.

Since the putty is so large, he really has to push and pull it to get to the hidden objects.  Once he finds them, I have him put them back in, pushing them deep in the putty.

HOW TO USE THERAPUTTY


Theraputty should be used by a professional occupational therapist or physical therapist.  If your child's therapist uses theraputty during therapy, ask the therapist how you can use it at home.

GRIP STRENGTHENING


One way to use theraputty is to strengthen grip.  The therapist may have the patient put the putty i the center of their palm.  Then they would bend their fingers over the putty.  The resistance of the putty helps strengthen grip.

To strengthen a hook fist like for carrying something with a handle, hold the putty and bend just the knuckles over the putty while keeping the bottom half of the fingers straight.

THUMB STRENGTHENING

To strengthen the thumb, pinch the putty between your index finger and thumb.  This can help increase skills for buttoning clothes or zipping clothes.  You can also strengthen the thumb by pushing down on the putty while holding it in your hand. 

FINGER STRENGTHENING


To strengthen fingers, squeeze the putty together and pull it apart. 

FINE MOTOR SKILLS


Press beads, buttons, or other small objects into the putty and have the child use their fingers and thumbs to press and pull the putty to find the objects.

THERAPUTTY GAMES AND ACTIVITIES


Try these fun games and activities to help your child have fun while strengthening hands.

Roll out the theraputty like a snake.  Then make shapes with the long strands of putty.  You can print basic shapes for the child to use as a template to learn shapes or even letters.

Practice learning letters or spelling by using stamps to stamp in the putty.  It provides resistance for proprioceptive input. 

Put the putty inside a lid and use your hands to smooth it.  It acts as a fidget and can provide sensory input.

Make "confetti" by tearing off small pieces of theraputty.  Then pick up the confetti with the rest of the theraputty and roll it into a ball.


For kids who don't like to work with theraputty, they can make doll clothes or accessories for their toys. 

Push the putty into an ice cube tray or other mold to make shapes.  Then pull it out and use to make a scene or play with other toys.


INGREDIENTS

1.  Mix white glue and 1 cup water in a medium sized bowl.  


Don't mix in the warm water just yet; you'll need it in the next step.  Use a plastic spoon to stir it, but don't worry if it doesn't mix completely.  If you want your DIY theraputty to have a color, add your food coloring now.

2.  Mix 1/2 cup warm water and 1 teaspoon borax in a separate bowl.  


Mix this with a plastic spoon until the borax is dissolved.  Ours didn't dissolve completely, but we were able to work it in during the next step.  

3.  Slowly pour the borax mixture in to the glue mixture.


We stirred with the plastic spoon as we poured, but we soon realized that it's best to just get messy.  My son didn't really mind mixing it by himself; in fact he loved it!  We didn't have all of the borax mixed with the water, but it didn't matter.  It quickly incorporated and made putty.

how to make theraputty

If you need more resistance, use less water during either step.  

Learning how to make theraputty means that now we can have two or more containers in different colors without a big investment.

Theraputty costs a little less than $2 per ounce if you buy it premade, but this recipe cost me just $1 for the glue since it's on sale for back to school.

Theraputty is fun on its own, but I like to hide things in it so he has to dig for them.  Our favorites are beads, charms, and buttons.  He also likes to stamp in the putty, which is a great way to practice spelling words.  Obviously, only do this with adult supervision.

If your child loves noises too, this doubles as a noise maker.  When you press it down it to the container, it makes a noise that most little boys find to be quite humorous.



print recipe

Theraputty
This theraputty is a great way for kids to exercise their hands.
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces white glue
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon borax
  • optional food coloring
Instructions
1. Mix white glue and 1 cup water in a medium sized bowl. Use a plastic spoon to stir it, but don't worry if it doesn't mix completely. If you want your DIY theraputty to have a color, add your food coloring now. 2. Mix 1/2 cup warm water and 1 teaspoon borax in a separate bowl. Mix this with a plastic spoon until the borax is dissolved. Ours didn't dissolve completely, but we were able to work it in during the next step. 3. Slowly pour the borax mixture in to the glue mixture. We stirred with the plastic spoon as we poured, but we soon realized that it's best to just get messy. My son didn't really mind mixing it by himself; in fact he loved it! We didn't have all of the borax mixed with the water, but it didn't matter. It quickly incorporated and made putty.If you need more resistance, use less water during either step.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield:
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If you are interested in autism therapy tools and DIY recipes, feel free to leave a comment.  I have several that I can post if there's some interest in them.



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12 August 2016

How much money can you save with Dryel?

Thank you to Dryel for sponsoring this discussion.  As always, all enthusiasm is my own.  

When I introduced you to Dryel back in March, I mentioned that I love it because it saves time and money.  I've been using it for so long that I didn't even realize how much money we were saving.  I haven't had to drop a single thing off at the dry cleaners in over 10 years, so I was a little out of touch with the current prices.  When I did see a price list, I was shocked.  I knew we were saving money, but I didn't realize just how much we were saving.  

How much money can you save with Dryel?

How much money can you save with Dryel?


At the dry cleaners, you can expect to pay:
  • $4 per shirt
  • $14 per men's suit
  • $6 per pair of pants
  • $6 per sweater

The Dryel starter kit retails for about $10 and cleans 4 loads.  It also includes the bag that you put the clothes in, but you can reuse this with the refill kits.  The refill kits clean 8 loads for about $10. You can add 1 to 5 garments in each load, so the price per garment will vary depending on what you are cleaning.  

Let's keep the math simple and calculate for the refill kit at 8 loads for $10, so it would cost you $1.25 per load.  The cost per item is just $.25 to $1.25 per item, depending on how many items you clean at a time.

This doesn't include the gas you'll use to go to the cleaners twice.  For me, I would have to drive 10 miles each way, so I would use about 2 gallons of gas.  

Dryel offers significant savings for us because I clean about 2 shirts, 4 pairs of men's pants, and usually 1 suit a month for a total of $100.  In the winter, I would add 2 sweaters for a grand total of $112.  

With Dryel, I spend $3.75 a month.  And I don't have to drive anywhere.

Dryel On the Spot Stain Remover



Dryel just released their new stain remover that's safe for most fabrics, including dry clean only fabrics.  I'm a bit of a klutz, so I have one in my bag that travels with me everywhere.  It's easy to use; just squeeze and use the scrubber to erase the stains.  I've already saved two shirts with these pens!


Have you used Dryel on your clothes before?

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