Lifestyle

Healthy Rustic Chicken and Bean Soup Recipe

Healthy Rustic Chicken and Bean Soup Recipe

Warm your body and soul with this delicious bean and chicken soup recipe. The best way to start your week, or knock out some meal planning. Freeze for later or eat immediately - make in the Instapot or simmer on your stove - enjoy this delicious soup today.

8 Diets You Should Avoid and Why

8 Diets You Should Avoid and Why

Dieting is one of the surest ways the food industry continues to try and convince us of eating things we shouldn't. They claim "healthy, low-carb, ketogenic, gluten-free, fat-free, less sugar, vegan," and the list goes on. 

Easter Table Setting Ideas - Easter Terrarium for The Table

How to create your own unique table decorations for Easter

terrarium ideas fro easter

Easter always sneaks up on me. It must be the change of weather and spring cleaning I get distracted with, but sure enough, I find myself ordering a lamb shank at last minute and running into the forest to scrounge around for an interesting table decorations.

This year, my trusty mother-in-law gave me a beautiful terrarium. Germans are somehow miracle workers when it comes to utilizing their beautiful forests for their table decor during the holidays. It is not only less expensive but brings in a fresh scent of spring into your home.

Easter represents new life, so what better way to acknowledge that than to bring in the first signs of Spring with this beautiful terrarium. That being said, you can make this terrarium with elements from a forest if you live near one, or just stop at your local craft store for the materials.

If you're lazy like me and need to order everything, I will create for you a list that you can purchase everything off of Amazon.

*disclaimer - This article may contain affiliate links. If you click on an image and purchase from Amazon, I will receive a commission with no extra cost to you. I will never recommend a product that I don't stand by and believe to be useful. Thanks for the support!

Materials:

Glass bowl - A fishbowl (first image) would work just fine and is your least expensive option but I also included some more options.

Wood Chips

Moss and Sticks - This include some natural wood which would fit nicely as well.

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White Stones

White Bird Feathers - I bet you anything you have a feather pillow laying around. Pick a few from there and you're all set!

Robin Eggs - I have real ones, but those can run you more money. Here are some plastic guys that look pretty real. Don't go stealing any from nests nearby ;-)

Flowers - This one you will obviously have to go to your local gardening center. The more delicate, the better. you also want something that is growing in its own little pot. Bulbs are probably the most sturdy to work with. I am a little embarrassed because I don't know what these are called in English, but you can get an idea from the picture. 

Music Sheets

I understand that not everyone has this laying around, so you can easily rip out some pages of a book you got from someone that you will never read and burn the edges to make it look vintage.

 

directions

1. add wood chips

2. put in your flower pot

3. arrange moss, sticks, and stones in laters around the pot. 

4. end your layering with moss, and put on your eggs, feathers, and paper strips.

 

Viola! Now you have yourself a beautiful table decoration for Easter! 

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How to Keep Your Blonde Hair From Looking Yellow - Blonde Hair Secrets From a Hairstylist

How to Keep Your Blonde Hair From Looking Yellow - Blonde Hair Secrets From a Hairstylist

If you aren't a natural blonde and need a little help getting that beautiful creamy blonde tone with some highlights, then this article is for you. Do you know that moment about a week after you get your highlight at the salon and you start to realize that gorgeous shade of blonde you left with is slowly turning yellow?

Easter Bunny DIY Decoration - On Natural Wood

DIY Easter Bunny Decoration for your home!

Simple, affordable, and easy Easter decor

I love making something for the holidays that are classic and can be used year after year. This project has even more to offer than that. I turned my Christmas decor into my Easter decor, just by turning it over! Let me show you what I mean.

This was my Christmas project from a few years back. I thought of a way to utilize them for more than once a year. 

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I had a bit of trouble finding a picture of a rabbit that was simple and easy to do, so I ended up just googling "fairytale rabbits" and came up with some ideas. 

Here is the clean slate that I started with on the opposite side of my trees.

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I then drew out my bunny freestyle. I know a lot of you can't do this, so I attached a great stencil you could get beforehand to help make things easier. I wish I would have done mine this way, but I got impatient ;-) If you can't find similar wooden slabs to mine just lying around, I gave a few ideas here for something you could purchase.

*disclaimer - This article may contain affiliate links. If you click on an image and purchase from Amazon, I will receive a commission. I will never recommend a product that I don't stand by and believe to be useful. Thanks for the support!

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After I first put the idea down with pencil, I then painted over it with white paint. Depending on the texture of your wood, it can be hard to get straight lines. I didn't mind mine being a little jagged, but if you want straighter lines, you can get these awesome painting pens which will help keep it a bit cleaner. I also added some gold highlights to make it more interesting. 

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There you have it! You can adjust this however you like to make it your own. 

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I did an egg decor DIY project last week, and a wooden candleholder project a month ago, so I combined the three and had myself a nice little Easter fairytale display. All I have to do for Christmas is flip it on over!

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DIY Easter Egg Hanging Decoration

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DIY Easter Egg Hanging Decoration

Simple DIY Easter Decor in a few easy steps!

What I love about this decoration is that it is easily interchangeable. You can make it into whatever you want it to be by hanging little birds, or rabbits on it instead. Just add your creative touch and it will become your own version.  

Supplies Needed

1. Long Wooden Branch

2. Egg Decor of any kind

3. Fishing Line

4. Glue Gun or Super Glue

5. Scissors

6. Flexible Thin Wire

7. Two hooks for hanging

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1. Long wooden branch - You can easily get one at Hobby Lobby or Michaels, as well as in a forest ;-) My son and husband like to carve wood, so we found one in the woods and they carved the bark off. 

2. Egg decor of any kind. I got mine in Germany, but I also found these felt eggs on Amazon as well as these really cute painted wooden eggs. You can really use anything you like, as well as your own homemade blown out eggs.  Click on the link and learn how. 

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3. Fishing Line - I wanted them to be floating, but you could also use yarn or twine to hang the eggs. 

Fasten the string to the eggs. Since mine had twine already attached, I just threaded the fishing line through and cut off the twine. 

4. Glue Gun - Make sure you use extra glue from a glue gun or super glue to glue at the base of the string and the top of the egg. This will ensure the fishing wire doesn't come loose.

5. Scissors- cut off any excess fishing line or twine, but make sure you finish measuring where you want your eggs before this process.

*disclaimer - This article may contain affiliate links. If you click on an image and purchase from Amazon, I will receive a commission. I will never recommend a product that I don't stand by and believe to be useful. Thanks for the support!

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6. Flexible Thin Wire - With your wire tie a knot around each end of the wood. Mold your wire into loops that can hang from your ceiling hooks. There's my cat Bob getting fresh with the eggs.

What I Found in my Belly Button...That Wasn't Lint

Pregnancy Humor 

Being pregnant for the first time can be quite trying. The first trimester you struggle with nausea, hemorrhoids, and mood swings, just to name a few. The second trimester you get a break from most of those things, except you start experiencing more physical struggles with your belly getting bigger and bigger. The third trimester, you get all of the symptoms from both the first and second, with a few added cherries on top. You know exactly what I'm talking about if you've ever been pregnant, unless you're one of those women who take on pregnancy like it's just another normal day in the life of you.

I'm going to tell you a story about a little treasure I found in an unexpected place. This article has no words of advice, but here's what I want to do with it. All of us women have embarrassing, crazy, and weird pregnancy stories. I would LOVE to hear them. So, I will tell you mine, and maybe it will give you a little laugh and encourage you to also share yours in the comments below. Here it goes.

I remember it like it was yesterday. My first pregnancy I was experiencing all kinds of things I never knew or thought could happen to my body. I don't make the most pleasant pregnant woman, and my husband can testify to that. Maybe you are one of those women as well, but you also know that even with all of the symptoms, once you hold your baby in your arms for the first time, it's all forgotten and forgiven. Every single sleepless night trying to soothe your hemorrhoids, peeing a tablespoon of pee every ten minutes, getting zits the size of grapes that never go away. It's all forgotten, and you can say with one hundred percent certainty, with all your heart, that it was all worth it.

Of all the things I experienced during my pregancy, this one was definitely the strangest. 

I am a person who loves to take nice, hot, long showers. Sure, it's expensive and irresponsibly earth unfriendly, but here's the thing. I don't care. If I can have twenty minutes alone, with hot water embracing me with its liquidy arms, I will take that over any session with a psychiatrist. It keeps me sane. I can think clearly, and when all those bad thoughts come out, they seem to wash away with the water, down the drain. 

To get to the point, showering while pregnant was especially important for me. Even though it did present its difficulties physically, like once I had sat down, I couldn't get up again. This is a picture resembling that problem.

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Even still, it was a daily routine I treasured. This particular evening, little did I know, my shower would bring about something very strange. A diamond in the rough, if you will. 

I walked out of the bathroom, to see my husband laying on the bed. I presented him with a tiny little pebble, the size of a pea, and asked him if he knew what it was all about. He gave me a look that expressed complete bewilderment.

So I said to him, "Do you know where I found this tiny little pebble after I took a shower?"

He said, "No. On the floor?"

"No." I said. "I found this little treasure inside my belly button."

"No way." He replied. 

"Yeah, and it gets weirder. I think it's been in there for who knows how long. Look here, I have a tiny little indent of where it came out. Like my skin formed around it. The only reason it came out is because my belly button is turning inside out. So, at some point in my life, this little pebble found it's way into my belly button, and made its home there for years!" 

He couldn't handle this one. We have never laughed so hard. 

I am guessing at some point when I was a child, I got tossed and turned by the waves on some family vacation, and somehow a pebble got lodged in my belly button. My skin then grew and formed around it, unbenounced to me. After the shower softening my skin in combination with my belly button turning inside out, it couldn't stay it its little home any longer. I wish it had somehow turned into a pearl, but I'm guessing since I don't have the mad skills of a clam, that's impossible. 

So, there you have it. What I found that day I put in a tiny little sample perfume bottle, and I now wear it everyday around my neck. Just kidding. That would be really weird. 

I would love to hear your pregnancy stories! Please, comment away.

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Diva Cup - Why I Will Never Use A Tampon Again

The Diva Cup and its benefits

Friends don't let friends use tampons

This story could quite possibly make you queasy, so if you have a weak stomach, or if you're a man, don't read any further.

This article may contain affiliate links.

One regular morning, a few days after my period I woke up to use the bathroom, but the smell I smelled, made it no longer a regular morning. The smell resembled death, at least what I think death would smell like. Rotten flesh, mixed with freshly risen dough. Was it a yeast infection?

No. What could it be, I wondered. A few days went by and every time I used the bathroom, I was greeted by this unpleasant reminder, causing me to schedule a doctors appointment. I couldn't get into my OBGYN until the next week, so I did a few things to try and figure out what it was.

To no avail, I was left dumbfounded, and started to worry. The smell only got worse. It must have been a miracle from God because I ended up talking my mother-in-law that week, and unusually mentioned what was going on.

She said,

"Maybe you forgot something up there?"

"No way!"

I said, shoving that idea aside until later that night.

Perhaps she had a point, so I checked. Without going into any detail, she was right. I had forgotten a little something up there, and let me just say, it isn't normal that a tampon left to rot inside of someone for a week wouldn't cause Toxic Shock Syndrom (TSS).

I have since read articles of various women who have horror stories, to say the least, of what this can actually do to you. I am fortunate I didn't lose my life, or even my legs, like this poor soul.  I'm only posting this to make you aware of how careful you need to be when it comes to this.

Thankfully, God has given me a second chance, which provoked me to look further into tampons and why I should possibly convert to the Diva Cup. 

A woman's menstrual cycle is no longer a hush-hush subject and rightfully so. You can read other information I have written in this article, encouraging PMS health, written for those of you who suffer from PMDD, linked with depression. There are also great book recommendations for overall PMS health in there.

Once you get over the first initial "ew" of using the Diva Cup, you get used to it. You also need to follow strict procedures in cleaning them. The time has come to get your hands a little dirty and switch on over. These are the benefits I have experienced. 

  • Go all day long without needing to empty the Diva Cup. 

I used to think that when I had my period, I must have bled an entire gas tank's worth for the duration of my cycle. Wrong! You'll actually will be surprised how little we do bleed.

  • Feel comfortable traveling for long periods of time.

This goes along with not having to switch these suckers out much. 

  • Save money!

Tampons are SO expensive. Diva cups last for a few years!

  • Possibly save your life! And your legs.

Don't lose your legs, lose your tampons! That may be a bit dramatic, but still.

There is one thing to consider as with putting in tampons. Close the door and lock it as to not make your spouse think you just murdered someone if they walk in on you washing blood down the sink. Sorry for the gory details. The closed door will also help with the suction sound creeping anyone out. Trust me, I learned this one the hard way.

Good luck with your new endeavor! It really is a better option in my opinion.

The Period Repair Manual

By the way, here is a great book about PMS Health, and how to lessen your symptoms naturally! These are great tips that have helped me both mentally and physically!

Diva Cup benefits, period awareness.

Fennel Prosciutto and Melon Salad

Fennel Prosciutto and Melon Salad Recipe

When we went on our last trip to Elba, we made a sailing trip provided at the harbor about 10 min from our Airbnb. Included on this all day adventure was a delicious meal, cooked by our very own Captain of the sailboat. 

He was a simple man, from Parma (where Parmesan cheese came from) and cooked us his family recipes, learned from only the best…his Italian mother. It’s not like this was anything complicated or time-consuming, but like all Italian food, it was simple and honestly delicious. It was a fennel salad. In and of itself, fennel has a particular taste that is hard to compliment but paired with the right things; it comes alive.

I am going to show you how to make my version of the salad. His was pretty straightforward, which paired well with our pasta and sauce he made with it. I tried something a little more sustainable as to make it a whole, light, and healthy meal in and of itself.

Fennel Prosciutto and Melon Salad

Fennel Prosciutto and Melon Salad

Fennel Prosciutto and Melon Salad

Inspired by the Captain of the Mediterranean seas.

Ingredients

Serves: 2

Time: 20 min

Salad:

1 fennel stalk

½ green melon, sliced thinly

125 g (about 2 bundles) of Endive salad (This adds a little bitterness to the mix)

150 g Prosciutto

5 sprigs of mint

¼ c walnuts

Creamy Walnut Vinaigrette:

2 tsp walnut oil

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp (or to taste) applew cider vinegar

2 tsp honey

1 tsp dijon mustard

1 tsp horseradish

1 tbsp crème fresh or mayonnaise

salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions 

Slice the fennel, endive, and melon into long thin slices. Layer all the different ingredients on top of one another, and top with walnuts. Drizzle with your vinaigrette and decorate with sprigs of mint. Serve with a dry, crisp white wine. 

The Best Way to Travel Through Colorado and the Rocky Mountains

Traveling the Rocky Mountains - Best tips and tricks

Adventure begins with this baby

I can't tell you enough how incredible this trip was. If you're traveling to Colorado and you want to know a little bit about what to do and where to go, then this is your stop. Colorado is in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, and when it comes to adventure travel, it's your place to go.

Not only because you can hide away and not see a single soul for days, but also because there is just so much to do, while not having to spend money at campgrounds, or go where the tourists are.

It is our dream to live in one of these suckers for a year and explore the Rocky Mountains, even beyond Colorado, but until we can do that, we had to settle for a sweet little taste by renting one for five days. And the best five days it was!

We started by making arrangements at this place in Denver called Adventure Travel Sports Rental. Disclaimer. It's not cheap. You pay for the rigged up monster you can literally climb rocks with, like ours here, but they also have a bit more modest and less expensive options.

We booked about six months in advance, and even that was a bit tricky. I would book as early as you possibly can, especially if it's a summer trip you're planning. You can see all of the amenities on the website for each vehicle, but ours in particular had everything we needed except food, clothes, etc.

Camping, adventure, travel, rocky mountains, pop up tent, colorado.

If you're flying in from out of town, Denver would be the city you fly in to. It wouldn't be difficult to take an uber from the airport to their location in Golden, Colorado. If you're driving in, then talk to them about where a good place to leave your car for the duration of your travels. 

First things first when you go on trips like this. What do you bring?

I found it a bit tricky to know how to pack, so I've made a list here for you so you can plan ahead a bit better than I did. 

What to bring for one week- The necessities

Food and Drink

Thanks to all of the quaint little mountain towns along our trip, we were able to stop at various grocery stores along the way, so we weren't too worried about stocking up on every single thing. 

Our sports vehicle had a fridge, but a small one, so we brought a big cooler to compensate. If you need to make a refreshments stop before you head out towards the mountains, try our one-stop liquor shop, Tipsy's Liquor World.

It's quite an attraction with every single version of local beers your heart could desire as well as every other kind of wine or spirit you might want. Water would also be among the important things to get.

Now for the food. We wanted to make our culinary situation as simple as possible, but at the same time, we were trying a vegan diet, so it made things a bit more complicated.

We ended up deferring to Hobo meals, aka, various veggies, beans, and whatever you like (even meat and cheese if you're not vegan) wrapped in tin foil and thrown into the hot coals of your campfire to cook. Now, before you plan on having a fire, make sure you check the fire dangers for whatever county you travel to here. 

With Colorado being as fickle with weather changes as it is, it's likely that something can change from one day to the next. Just be prepared food-wise for something like that.

Thankfully we were safe to have fires and made variations of these bad boys the entire trip. I'm going to list off some yummy things you can throw in them to give you a head start.

Hobo Meals for camping

  • potatoes- reg. or sweet

  • red onions

  • zucchini

  • corn

  • eggs

  • italian sausage

  • cheese

  • red/green peppers

  • tomatoes

  • broccoli

  • rice (something you can bring pre-cooked

  • quinoa

  • bulgar (my favorite)

The list could go on. We season with olive or veggie oil, salt, and pepper, then wrap in two layers of tin foil and cook for about 30 min. You can get as fancy or as simple as you want. We loaded all of our cooked ingredients in a giant tortilla, poured some hot sauce on it, and had ourselves an easy and healthy meal along with an ice cold local brewed beer. What is better than that!?

Campfire Breakfasts - Courtesy of our dear friends

  • oatmeal bulk mix (prepared beforehand) - rolled oats, chia seeds, flax seeds, shaved almonds

  • peanut butter

  • honey

  • boiling water

Add all ingredients together in a bowl and let sit for 5 minutes. Add milk if desired.

On this rigged up vehicle, they have everything you need for a fully loaded kitchen, so you can pretty much cook whatever. We also had meals like pasta and sauce or baked potatoes. 

 

Where we went - Our mapped out tour

Our first stop was Mc Cullough Gulch Rd., near Quandary Peak. Quandary Peak is a fourteener, so if you're feeling fit, there is that. We set up camp there for the following two nights. The first day we ventured out to do a hike called McCollough Gulch Trail.

It was beautiful but full of tourists. I would say it's worth it if you don't mind other friendly hikers around. This location, in general, was a lot more polulated then we had hoped for. It's just a preference thing, but just so you know the details.

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Our second day in this area, we headed towards Quandary Peak to this sweet spot but weren't quite fit enough to take on that high altitude fourteener. We settled for a smaller hike called Monte Cristo Gulch, where we saw these guys.

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Apparently, there are minerals in the dirt they just can't get enough of. It was entertaining, to say the least, watching goats lick dirt for about two hours while we ate our leftover hobo meals from the night before. I'm not being sarcastic either.

From there we said goodbye to our friends who came along for the first two nights and continued down South through Fairplay, and a little deeper West into the mountains on County Road 22. There was literally NO ONE there (which is what we were looking for) except a bear running at full speed down the road in front of our SUV.

Yep, watch out for bears! It's important in Colorado to follow procedures with keeping food up at night, etc. You can find all the information you need on it here. They are typically more afraid of you then you are of them. No grizzlies, thank goodness! Just black and brown bears which are considered fairly safe.

Here is a picture of where we stopped for the night, right by a little creek. If we had known about these amazing little hideaway camping spots, we would have probably come here the first two nights and stayed along County Road 22. No one there, and much more to explore, as well as great four-wheeling spots to utilize with the massive rock climber you paid a pretty penny for. 

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From there we decided to do a lot of driving since we wanted to see the mountain ranges down south, into the infamous Sand Dunes. It was quite the trip but was accompanied by an amazing view making up for it. We stopped for a few hours at the Sand Dunes, where we took a little hike and ate some food. It was breathtaking. 

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My husband's main reason for renting this bad boy was to find some key four-wheeling spots and scare the shit out of me while having a little "American adventure." You see, in Germany, that sort of thing is VERBOTEN! In fact, a lot of fun in general, when it comes to adventuring is not allowed there. In essence, this was my husband's way of experiencing a little freedom when it comes to adventure in nature.

Following the Sand Dunes, there is a four-wheeling spot that leads you right back up East into the mountains, and it is terrifying. In fact, my husband was even freaked out by certain situations he put us in, not knowing if we would be stuck on our sides in a ditch somewhere no one knew we were.

Okay, maybe I'm dramatizing it a bit, but still. This is where we set up camp, again in the middle of nowhere, about one hour up this terrifying trail. That's me clanking wood sticks together to keep the mountain lions away. If you've seen The Parent Trap you will know that I just made a really lame joke.

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That's my "Are you kidding me, I just woke up," face.

The next day we made our way back down, and this was the last obstacle we encountered before swearing to never go up that psychotic four-wheeling trail again. 

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That concludes our amazing adventure in the wild and rugged Rocky Mountains. From here, we headed back to Golden to return the truck! 

This was truly one of the best travel adventures we have ever had. It enabled us to relax at campsites, but at the same time explore, find amazing hiking spots created by an amazing Creator, see new creatures (thankfully not be eaten by them,) and adventure in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Unforgettable.

 

the best places to visit in colorado - a rocky mountain adventure guide
best locations fro adventure in colorado.

Thyme to Beat the Flu! 5 Natural Remedies from a German Pharmacist

5 Natural remedies for beating the flu

5 natural inflammatory, and antiviral remedies to beat the flu

If you're a person who always resorts to cold and flu medicine, then you'll want to read this. I was just like that, but now that I know that there are remedies out there to lessen your symptoms without drugging you or your children Breaking Bad style, I am a believer. 

I used to think that natural remedies didn't work, and even if they did, wouldn't last long. One thing I love about Germans and Europeans, in general, is that the absolute last resort of Tamiflu or antibiotics is just that, the last resort. We moved to Germany two years ago, and my desperate attempts to try and convince these doctors that we needed drugs to live through the night, just made me look even more American than I already do. Bribing didn't work, so I just had to accept it. Not once in these past two years have we been given any sort of antibiotic or Tamiflu, no matter how bad the fever got. It forced me to join the other hippie moms in dealing with this crap. 

I'm no scientist or doctor, but I know for a fact that when my husband (who was born and raised in Germany) gets sick, he maybe has the flu for two days tops. Me, two weeks.

The difference between us? I have had a lot more antibiotics and Tamiflu in my lifetime than he has. I can't tell you how many times I've taken them. I'm not gonna lie, it was great!

But I can't help but think that maybe, even if only a few times, I need to let things ride out while keeping the symptoms at a bearable level. Again, I'm no doctor, but I'm pretty sure it's good for your immune system to learn to fight sickness in order to get over it faster or fight it all together the next time. 

Almost two weeks ago, for the first time, I got the flu while being pregnant. Not fun. My husband got it, and of course, he was better after two days. Obviously, being pregnant, the only thing I could take was Tylenol, for comfort from the aches and shakes, and as a fever reducer.

I have never in my life experienced what the actual flu really feels like because I've always resorted to Mucinex to dry up the sludge, or Nyquil to knock myself out. Man, let me tell you, it's awful! So if you're a hippie mom, or just pregnant and not allowed to take the good stuff, this article is for you.

1. Boost your immune system

Facebook and Pinterest are a moms best friend when it comes to these things. I haven't looked to see whether these tips are up there, so I'm not claiming them as my own secret recipes. I just know them from word of mouth or the lovely ladies who know their stuff at the German pharmacies. 

Ginger and honey booster 

1 tsp Ginger (antiviral, anti-inflammatory)

1 tsp honey (antibiotic qualities)

Juice of 1 lemon (reduces phlegm and has vitamin c)

1 tsp turmeric root (anti-inflammatory for your swollen glands, throat, sinuses, etc.)

Not only will this help clear up that mucus in the back of your throat, but also boost your immune system. I used to add Tumeric until I read an article that debunked any powdered version as helpful. If you happen to have turmeric root in its true form lying around (probably those hippie mommy's do) then go ahead and add that. Just make sure you research how much you're allowed to have during pregnancy.

*disclaimer - This article may contain affiliate links. If you click on an image and purchase from Amazon, I will receive a commission at no extra cost to you. I will never recommend a product that I don't stand by and believe to be useful. Thanks for the support!

 

2. Thyme steam bath

2 tbsp dried thyme, or 3 bags of thyme tea

Thyme is known as an antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial herb. So no matter what sickness you have, it fights it! It is used to treat various conditions having to do with the respiratory tract.

Put in a pot of boiling water and let steep for a few minutes. Drape a towel over your head and breath in the thyme steam for about 10 minutes. That annoying cough you've had for the past week will dissipate. It also encourages you to cough up all that mucus that needs to come out. Drinking thyme tea, in addition, will dry it up even more. This is seriously the best method I've used for clearing up all that nasty mucus. It works just as good as Mucinex, but it doesn't last quite as long. I do it about three times a day.

 

3. Eucalyptus Bath

Not only does this feel amazing, relax and detoxify, it will clear out your sinuses. 

 

4. Warm Foot Soak

Even if you have a fever, making your feet warm will keep your body from trying to warm them up and your fever getting even higher.  Soak your feet in warm water for about 10 minutes. 

5. Stay Hydrated and eat salty foods!

Eat Ramen or chicken noodle soup!

The sodium from the broth will help you retain electrolytes and keep you hydrated. It also feels great on your throat. I know it's hard to keep things down during the flu, but ramen for me is somehow manageable. 

 

5 natural remedies to beat the flu FAST!

Where to go in Italy - Elba, an Island worth exploring

deciding where to go on your trip to italy? read about my experience at one of the most beautiful islands of ital. its affordable, breathtaking, and full of wonder. #italy #italytravels #travel #europeantour #list #elba #whattodo #howto #italians #favoriteplaces #uncharted #adventuretravel #adventure

ITALY - simply put, it’s the best place in Europe

Where to go, what to see

I have had many experiences in Italy, and not one of them has been bad. Okay, except that one time I had to sleep in a strange man’s room (don’t worry, he wasn’t there with me) because they ran out of rooms at the hostile. His sheets smelled like…okay, I’m getting off topic.

Italy has so much to offer that it’s stupid if you didn’t go there while on your European travels. Italy is the place I discovered what food should taste like. Let me give you a little tour of my favorite place on earth…ELBA.

Italy, Elba, vacation, beach vacation. Italy is worth visiting when you travel to europe.

Elba

Italy has always held a special place in my heart. There's something about it that I can't put my finger on. It doesn't apologize for what it is and that's what makes it so genuine and real. When I'm there, I seem to forget that there is another life waiting for me when I return. I cook and drink wine like an Italian. I relax like an Italian. In a small way, I sort of become Italian, even if I'm only there for a week.

The past ten years I have discovered many places in Italy, but Elba is by far my favorite, which is why I’m dedicating one special post in its honor.

When we were figuring out where to go, we happened upon an amazing airbnb, located in Marciana, Elba. With abundant vegetation and breathtaking beaches, it is my top place to go during the offseason. I haven't been there in high season, but I heard it's hot, crowded, but of course, still fantastic.

Our Airbnb was just a 5-minute drive into the hills outside of Marciana Marina, and another 10-minute walk from your car to the house. The hike down to the beach from our place took about 15-minutes and is definitely not for older people or kids under 5. If you're willing to be a little more active on your vacation, it's well worth it.

For me, I got my work out in, hiking early mornings on the path ride outside or house, and this little extra journey to the beach helped me justify that giant serving of Gelato and Aperol Spritz I had every night. Here are some pictures of our adventures.

go sailing in italy

Take the day and go sailing. The Captain was also a learned cook from Parma, who made us simple pasta and sauce dish with Parmesan, (from Parma of course) a fennel salad, and gave us all the wine we wanted, right on their boat! Another great adventure we have had on a previous trip there was snorkeling with Stefano. A forewarning on this, you won't see an abundance of fish due to, well, lack of fish from over fished seas. The experience was still worth it for me, though.

We shared the boat with a few other travelers, and the small family of the Captain. Our day consisted of stopping at different bays throughout the day to take a dip in the ocean, as we circled the Island. 

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We had our own private beach

Even the rocks were comfortable

It wasn't actually a private beach, but the entirety of our stay we didn't see a single soul, except other boats that would sometimes come in and port for an hour or so. This happened twice.

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We pretended we were Swiss Family Robinson for the week and built ourselves shelter form the sun.

The best thing about the mediterranean is there hasn't been a shark attack since 1964. No sharks, but plenty of jelly fish! Not deadly. At least the ones we saw. 

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There was a hiking path right outside our door. I discovered all kind of treasures, beaches, and absolutely NO PEOPLE. It was wonderful.

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I love this, only because we did the tourist thing made friends with a few wild cats. I do agree, though. Cats are NOT trustworthy, but I still love them.

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I do recommend bringing  your own wine if you drive there. It's quite expensive on the Island. Local made pasta and sauce, however, is quite affordable and easy to just bring home and make yourself. We stopped at this little gem where the owner makes everything himself.

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We did splurge a little. If you want to call it splurging. An amazing meal for a great price. Bar Monilli was inland, on the top of a slope in Marciana. When you get to this there, don't stop at the first restaurant you see. It will be full of tourists. Keep going deeper and see what you can find. It's worth it! 

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Elba was the Island where Napoleon was exiled, which makes it only proper to have a beer named after him. 

The freshest gnocchi you will ever eat. I kid you not. Italians don't have to try very hard to make something that is out of this world. 

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The most relaxed you will ever see me. Go to Marciana, Elba! You won't ever forget it.

Natural Wooden Branch DIY Hanging Planter

DIY Hanging Planter

Materials include - wood, metal wiring, Ikea pots, some kind of hanging plant, gold paint, hooks, and a little bit of time.

Hanging Planter on Natural Wooden Branch. Simple. Elegant. Decoration. Easy. Affordable.

This hanging planter on a natural wooden branch is simple, easy and affordable project will add that wow factor to any room, corner, balcony or pretty much anywhere you want to put it! Here's how I did it.

diy hanging planter on a wooden branch - easy, affordable, and simple.

How to make this DIY hanging planter on a natural wood branch in no time flat!

Supplies:

1. 3 Pots that you are able to fasten metal wiring on. I got mine at Ikea a while back. I wanted to add a something to it to make it more exciting, so I decided to put a gold accent on it.

2. 3 hanging plants - I decided to go with Ivy's. I like that they hang down.

3. A natural wooden branch - 3 in. diameter, or large enough to hold your three pots without giving or snapping. I found mine in the good old fashioned woods. You can save $20 by finding it and not buying it!

4. Gold Paint if you wish to add an accent color. Any color works, but I love the combination of the metallic gold and the natural wood.

5. Gold flexible wiring. I just made a simple loop, attaching to two sides of the pot and hung it over the piece of wood. 

6.  Pliable thick wiring for making your attachment holding the wood. 

7. Two ceiling hooks. Here is a picture of how I used the flexible wiring to make a holster for the wood to attach to the hook.

8. Wire cutters.

A natural wooden branch 

3 in. diameter, or large enough to hold your three pots without giving or snapping. I found mine in the good old fashioned woods. You can save $20 by finding it and not buying it!

3 hanging plants

 I decided to go with Ivy's. I like that they hang down.

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3 Pots

Ones that you are able to fasten metal wiring on. I got mine at Ikea a while back. I wanted to add a something to it to make it more exciting, so I decided to put a gold accent on it.

Which turned out like this!

diy hanging planter - simple, easy, affordable.

Gold Paint

If you wish to add an accent color. Any color works, but I love the combination of the metallic gold and the natural wood.

Gold flexible wiring 

I just made a simple loop, attaching to two sides of the pot and hung it over the piece of wood. 

diy hanging planter - simple easy and affordable
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Pliable thick wiring

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Two ceiling hooks

Here is a picture of how I used the flexible wiring to make a holster for the wood to attatch to the hook.

Wire cutters

The finished product!

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