Beautycounter: Safe Products that Perform Beautifully

The EU has banned close to 1,400 harmful cosmetics ingredients. The US has only banned 11. If you're looking for safe, quality personal care and cosmetics, check out Beautycounter.

For several years now I have been trying to use safer products, and I love making my own! But there are certain things I haven’t found the perfect solution for or don’t want to mess with making.

The other night I was at a class and the instructor mentioned that the time in the day we are most exposed to toxins is in the shower and that really hit home for me. It made so much sense, since the hot water opens up our pores, allowing us to be more exposed to whatever products we are using in the shower, and that was what pushed me to decide I really didn’t want to be using products that aren’t safe anymore.

I’ve been using Beautycounter products since last June and absolutely LOVE them. I had been slowly building up my stash as I ran out of other products, but have decided to jump all in now! I love that Beautycounter does the work for me, developing safe and effective products that I can use for myself and my family without worrying. The US has banned only 11 harmful cosmetics ingredients, Beautycounter has banned more than 1,500.

More About Beautycounter:

I would describe Beautycounter as Whole Foods meets Chanel. Beautycounter’s goal is to get safe products into the hands of everyone. They have the most stringent safety screening in the industry, and at the same time are committed to providing products that perform beautifully.

Beautycounter just celebrated their 2nd anniversary and grew 500% last year and are expected to do that again this year.

I could go on and on, but mainly I just wanted to let you in on the latest thing and let you know three ways you can get involved:
1. Here’s my website, you can check out Beautycounter’s awesome products here:
  • The cosmetics are one of the things I’m most excited about because I haven’t found safe cosmetics that work well until I tried Beautycounter. They are made to be universally flattering, so you really can’t go wrong with the colors you select.
  • Also, all Beautycounter products have a 60 day guarantee, so if you try something that doesn’t work for you, you can return it and get your money back. They truly want satisfied customers.
2. If you want to try Beautycounter products, I suggest becoming a Band of Beauty member. You pay a $25 annual membership fee ($10 of which is allocated to one of the nonprofits they support) and you receive free shipping on all orders over $100, $25 in rewards for each $300 you spend, and the opportunity to receive a collection of their best products at a significant discount when you enroll as a member. You can view the collection here.
3. You can also become a consultant, which is what I did. It’s $85 and you get a discount on all products you purchase and can also sell the products you love and spread the word about Beautycounter to your friends and family.

Finally, I have to share a few of my favorite Beautycounter products:

Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions. I’m super excited about Beautycounter, and would love to tell you more!

21 Day Fix Costco Shopping List

A clean eating/21 Day Fix Costco Shopping List to help you keep your pantry and fridge stocked for success!

One of the keys to success with following the 21 Day Fix meal plan is having the right food on hand. It’s hard to eat right when you don’t have the right food easily accessible!  I usually meal plan on Thursday or Friday and do my grocery shopping on the weekend. But I try to limit my Costco trips to just once a month, which usually works out just fine since everything is in bulk.

Here’s a list of some of the items I buy on a regular basis that are 21 Day Fix and clean eating approved. I don’t have prices on everything, but will update as I can. Also, keep in mind that prices may vary from region to region.

If you’re not sure what I’m talking about when I say 21 Day Fix, read my post on how I lost weight in December or feel free to ask me any questions in the comments.

Protein (Red):

Aidell’s Chicken Apple Sausage $13.89 for 3 lbs. (15 sausages)

I love keeping these on hand. I usually cook up a few at the beginning of the week and add them to salads for lunch. I use them in any recipe that calls for sausage since they don’t have sugar, and most other sausage does. These are also great to just grill on their own and serve with a side salad or roasted vegetables for dinner. We also love making Chicken Sausage Fried Rice with them.

Organic Ground Turkey $4.99/lb.

Since starting 21 Day Fix I usually try to cook with ground turkey rather than ground beef, and this is the best price I’ve found for organic ground turkey. Here are some of my favorite recipes that I use ground turkey in:

Fage Greek Yogurt $6.39 for 48 oz.

Plain Greek yogurt drizzled with a little maple syrup and some fresh berries is one of my favorite snacks or evening treats. I also use plain Greek yogurt in place of sour cream.

Organic Chicken Breasts $5.99/lb.

Costco also has great prices on organic chicken thighs and whole chickens as well.


I actually don’t eat a ton of eggs because I usually drink my Shakeo for breakfast, but on occasion I will have some scrambled eggs for breakfast and we also use them in our Chicken Sausage Fried Rice.

Vegetables (Green):

Organic Baby Spinach $3.49 for 1 lb.

I go through a ton of spinach. I usually throw a handful in my Shakeology every morning, and I use it in my salads for lunch.

Organic Baby Carrots

Baby carrots with a little peanut butter or almond butter are one of my favorite snacks. I usually prep several containers at the beginning of each week so I can grab one for an on the go snack.

Organic Mixed Greens

Another great option to have on hand if you’re eating lots of salads. I usually just stick with spinach, but if you like more of a mix, this is a great option.

Fruit (Purple):

Organic Triple Berry Blend (frozen berries) $9.99 for 3 lbs.

I love adding frozen berries to my Shakeology. They go well with Vanilla, Chocolate, and Strawberry.

Fresh fruit: bananas, apples, blueberries, etc.

I don’t have specific pricing on the fresh produce since it varies from region to region but Costco always seems to have a great selection at reasonable prices. I love adding 1/2 a banana to my Shakeology. Apples and almond butter are a great snack. And I love using fresh berries in my yogurt.


Organic Maple Syrup

Costco has the best price I’ve found on organic maple syrup. I use maple syrup in my coffee every morning and also love to drizzle a bit on my plain Greek yogurt.

Organic Creamy Peanut Butter $11.99 for (2) 28 oz. jars and Maranatha Almond Butter $9.79 for 26 oz.

I love adding a teaspoon of peanut butter or almond butter to my Shakeo, and I also use it to dip baby carrots or apples in, so I go through a lot!

Organic Chicken Stock $11.99 for (6) 32 oz.

I use chicken stock in a lot of the soups I make, so especially in the fall and winter months I go through lots of chicken stock. I like Costco’s because it doesn’t have sugar. Always make sure to check your labels, you’ll be surprised how often sugar is added to things you’d never expect to find it in.

Nutiva Coconut Oil

I usually use coconut oil any time oil is called for in a recipe. If you use coconut oil frequently, this is a good place to get it.

Crystal Geyser Sparkling Mineral Water

Costco didn’t have these on my most recent trip, but these are a fun little treat I like to get for when I have to pack my lunch on work days. I try to drink 100 oz. of water a day so flavored sparkling water is a fun way to get my water in.

I’ll continue adding to this list as I think of things. What are some of your favorite 21 Day Fix or clean eating Costco buys?

Chicken Sausage Fried Rice

21 Day Fix Chicken Sausage Fried Rice |

One thing you can almost always find in my fridge is Aidells Chicken Apple Sausage. I discovered it when I did the Whole30 and have been in love ever since. It’s hard to find sausage without sugar in it, which is a problem when you’re trying to avoid sugar.

I love cooking up this sausage to throw in my salads for lunches, or just grilling it for dinner and serving it with a side of vegetables. I use it in soups and in breakfast scrambles with eggs and sweet potatoes.

When I started the 21 Day Fix in December I was online searching for recipes and I came across a few different versions of fried rice. I decided that I wanted to make my own version using my favorite chicken apple sausage, and that’s how this recipe was born.

We make this several times a month and it’s a favorite! I love it because it’s easy to throw together and I almost always have all the ingredients on hand. Plus, it’s great for leftovers.

Chicken Sausage Fried Rice


1 1/2 cups brown rice and 3 cups water, or 5 cups cooked rice
4 eggs
1 teas. sesame oil
2 teas. coconut oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 package Aidells Chicken Apple Sausage, diced
Mixed Veggies (I used Organic Foursome from Trader Joes, but any 16 oz. frozen blend is good)
Tamari or soy sauce (to taste)


Start by cooking the rice following the instructions on the package. I used 1 1/2 cups dry rice and 3 cups water. If you have leftover rice or day old rice, it’s even better because it’s a bit drier.
Whisk the eggs, and scramble them, then remove from pan.
Heat the oils in a large pan or wok over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic and cook until translucent.
Add the diced chicken sausage. Cook until browned and heated through.
Add the veggies and cook until heated through.
Now, add in the brown rice and scrambled eggs and combine thoroughly.
Season with Tamari or soy sauce.

21 day fix: I count a serving (1 cup) of this as 1 yellow, 1 red, 0.5 green and a teaspoon.

Ylang-Ylang and Rose Bath Melts

These ylang-ylang and rose bath melts are a perfect way to enjoy a relaxing and moisturizing bath.

Ylang-Ylang and rose bath melts are the perfect way to treat yourself to a relaxing and moisturizing bath. I whipped these up last weekend and they are super easy to make. I used a heart shaped silicone mold, making this perfect for a special Valentine gift, but you could make these any time of year.

These simple little bath melts only require four ingredients: shea butter, sweet almond oil, ylang-ylang essential oil and dried rose buds or petals. Of course, there are many different options and replacements, so don’t feel limited to just using these specific ingredients. You can switch out the ylang-ylang essential oil for an essential oil of your choice, and the dried rose buds are optional. They do make the bath melts look lovely though, and make you feel like you’re at a fancy spa when they’re floating in your bath. Dried lavender would also work well.

I used shea butter because that’s what I had on hand. Shea butter has wonderful benefits for your skin. It is super moisturizing and nourishing. You can read about the many benefits of shea butter here. However, another great option for bath melts is cocoa butter. Many people use cocoa butter rather than shea butter because it’s a little harder and also has a lovely scent. Here’s more about cocoa butter.

Ylang-ylang essential oil has a floral aroma and is often used in skin care products. It has anti-inflammatory properties and is often used as an aphrodisiac. It is calming and relaxing, making it perfect for a soothing bath.

These ylang-ylang and rose bath melts make for a relaxing spa-like experience. Also make a great gift for someone!

**This post contains affiliate links which means if you make a purchase through one of my links, I’ll receive a small commission. Thanks for supporting More Than Mundane!

2/3 cup shea butter or cocoa butter
1 T. sweet almond oil (coconut oil would also work well)
25 drops ylang-ylang essential oil
dried rose buds/petals
silicone mold or ice cube tray (I used a heart-shaped silicone mold)

In a glass jar add your shea butter and sweet almond oil. Place in pan of water over medium heat until it melts completely. (You can also use a double boiler or melt in the microwave). Use a hot pad to carefully remove from the hot water. Be careful, the jar will be hot! Let cool a bit but not so much that it starts to solidify. Next, add your essential oil and stir well. Place a small amount of dried rose buds in your molds and then pour the shea butter mixture into the mold. Place in your refrigerator to solidify. Once solid, pop out of the molds. I store mine in the fridge so they don’t melt.

To Use:
One bath melt goes a long way. Simply drop in your bath and let melt. Enjoy the lovely scent as well as the extra moisturizing goodness.

Other Amazing Combinations:

  • 15 drops lavender essential oil and 10 drops of roman chamomile would make great bath melts for relaxing right before bedtime, and would be perfect for the kids at bath time!
  • 15 drops wild orange essential oil and 10 drops of frankincense would make an uplifting and calming bath melt, and frankincense is great for preventing aging.
  • 25 drops grapefruit essential oil would make an energizing and uplifting blend, and grapefruit essential oil is great for your skin and helpful for reducing cellulite.
  • 15 drops lavender essential oil and 10 drops sweet orange would make another child-safe relaxing night time blend.

These lovely bath melts would make the perfect gift as well. Simply package a few up, add in a homemade body scrub and you’ve got a lovely gift for someone special.

A Day in the Life 2015

A Day in the Life

This is my 4th year participating in my friend Rebekah’s Day in the Life link-up. I have fun with this every year and it’s also fun to be able to look back on previous years (2012, 2013, 2014). Every year I’ve done it on a Wednesday, and this year it was Wednesday, January 28th. I almost changed the day I did it on because I thought this particular day would be too boring, but then decided I would stick with it because it shows what an average Wednesday is like for us.

Wednesdays I’m usually working from home, and homeschooling Charlotte. Isaac has preschool in the morning, and that’s pretty much it!

**This post contains affiliate links which means if you make a purchase through one of my links, I’ll receive a small commission. Thanks for supporting More Than Mundane!

A Day in the Life 2015 |

6:30 am Alarm goes off but we’ve already been joined in our bed by the dog, Rory, and Isaac, who is kissing the dog, and singing “It’s my birthday! It’s my birthday!” (It is not in fact his birthday.) I read a day in the 1000 Gifts Devotional, and then get my 30 minute 21 day fix workout in. It’s leg day, which means lots of squats (not my favorite!)

7am coffee

7:30am Time for some coffee, while getting the kids ready for the day, and packing Isaac’s lunch for preschool.

Getting Charlotte started on homeschool

8:30am Getting Charlotte going on homeschool while I respond to some work emails.

enjoying my Shakeo

9:30am Got my shower in and now making my Shakeo. My favorite treat of the day! I put unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1/2 a banana, and some peanut butter and ice in this one. Yum!

11 math

10:30am We’re still working on homeschool, now on to math (not Charlotte’s favorite). And I’m still trying to fit some work in at the same time.

10am water

11:30am Trying to get my water in for the day. I’m only on cup four, so I need to pick up the pace!

Preschool Pickup

12:30 Picking up Isaac from preschool. He always yells “Mommy!” and comes running with a big grin on his face. I love it! As soon as we get in the car I spray his hands with hand sanitizer because I’m a germaphobe. We head home and Charlotte and I get lunch while Isaac gets his much loved 15 min. of game time on the I-pad.

lunch prep

While I’m making lunch, I also prepare my lunch for the following day when I will be working outside the home. It really helps me stick to my healthy eating meal plan if I prep things ahead of time.

1000 books before KN challenge

1:30pm I show Isaac the 1000 books before KN challenge that I picked up the day before. He’s actually excited about it and wants to start reading some books right away, so we sit down to read some before his rest time.

Charlotte reading books to Isaac

2:30pm An hour later and now Charlotte has taken over reading books to Isaac (best thing ever!) and I’m back to getting some work done. She’s using silly voices and making it really fun for Isaac and he keeps cracking up!

3:30pm I didn’t take a photo, but the kids are in rest time, and I’m getting some work done. Isaac is listening to music on headphones and singing along, totally flat and at the top of his lungs. I did record it to play for Rick when he got home.

4 dinner prep

4:30pm Kids are up and I’m working on dinner prep, making a new dish — Butternut Squash and Chicken Sausage Bake, which I hope to share here soon.

Playing Piratak

5:30pm While dinner bakes, we play a game of Piratatak. The kids love this game! Then we eat dinner and start clean up.

6pm pajamas

6:30pm Time for pajamas! Rick’s helping Isaac get ready for bed and I’m reading Little House on the Prairie with Charlotte.

Tucking Charlotte in to bed

7:30pm Now it’s time to tuck Charlotte into bed, a little earlier tonight than some nights so I’m feeling excited about an early bedtime for the kids. They usually go to Wednesday night church, but we decided to take a week off to get them to bed earlier. Isaac’s got a much more complicated bedtime routine than Charlotte and Rick’s working on getting him to bed while I say prayers with Charlotte and tuck her in.

9pm yogurt

8:30pm Isaac’s still not asleep and calls me back in to see if I will sleep with him for “5 more minutes”. I have a hard time saying no to a few minutes of cuddles so I give in. Then I enjoy some plain Greek yogurt with some maple syrup for an evening treat.

9:30pm Rick and I watch some T.V. together, and I didn’t remember to keep taking my notes for this post, so I have no idea what we watched. Some of our favorite shows right now are Parenthood (so sad it’s over!), Downton Abbey, and The Good Wife.

10:30pm We’re headed to bed!

Thanks for taking a glimpse at a day in my life. Be sure to head over to Simply Rebekah for more Day in the Life posts.

Non-Candy Valentines {Pinterest Finds}

Non-Candy Valentines {Pinterest Finds}  | Weekly Pinterest Finds at More Than Mundane

I love the weekend links that many bloggers share, and I’ve done my own weekend links posts in the past. I love Pinterest, so I’m going to try my own, similar version based on awesome Pinterest finds. Each weekend I’ll share one of my recent searches and what I’ve found.

This week I’m thinking Valentine’s Day! It’s right around the corner and I need to decide what I want to do this year. So I’ve been searching Pinterest and adding what I find to my Holiday board. Here’s a list of some of my favorites, including some we’ve used in past years.

**This post contains affiliate links which means if you make a purchase through one of my links, I’ll receive a small commission. Thanks for supporting More Than Mundane!

10 of my favorite Non-Candy Valentines found on Pinterest:

1. Sip, Sip Hooray Silly Straw via | printable to use with silly straws

2. Valentine You’re my Main Squeeze via funkypolkadotgiraffe | printable to use with Gogo Squeeze applesauce

3. Yoda Best Valentine via | printable to use with glow sticks

4. Valentine Bookmarks via | printable, all you need is cardstock and ribbon. We did these a couple years ago and they turned out great.

5. You Color my World via | printable to use with crayons

cutie valentine

6. You’re a Real Cutie Valentine! via | printable to use with Cuties. We did these last year and I thought they were easy and cute.

7. Mad Libs Valentines via | printable to use with Mad Libs

8. Whoopee! It’s Valentine’s Day via | printable to use with whoopee cushions

9. Glow Stick Valentine via | printable to use with glow stick bracelets

10. Valentine You Make my Heart Bounce via | printable to use with bouncy balls

I still haven’t decided on what to do for this year, but I’m leaning towards the silly straws or one of the glow sticks options. So fun!

Are you a fellow Pinterest lover? Be sure to leave your Pinterest link so I can follow you!

How I lost weight in December

How I lost weight in December |
{Image Credit}

December is usually a month where the scale inches up a bit, at least for me. All of the extra goodies, holiday parties, and Christmas cookies are not so great for weight control. So I was pretty excited when this past December I actually lost weight, instead of gained. I have always struggled with my weight and have tried many things over the years – joining a gym, Whole30, and many other healthy eating or exercising programs. All good things, but nothing I could maintain on a consistent basis.

I’ve also done a lot of giving up over the years as well, and just deciding to not really work at it at all. At the beginning of December, I decided to make some changes and started to develop some new and healthy habits.

I don’t think any of the steps I took are anything shocking. In fact, they are tried and true, and they work. Unfortunately, there is no magic pill. Believe me, I wish there was. I’ve never really loved working out, and I have a major love of ice cream, but I knew I needed to make a change. I wanted to feel healthy and strong, and I wanted to set a good example for my kids. In the past, I have focused on 1 or 2 of these steps at a time, but the key is doing all of them consistently. If you’re willing to implement these steps in your daily life, I know you will see results!

5 Steps to Weight Loss:

5 steps to weight loss |
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1. Exercise: I started an exercise program that I could do from my home, that only takes 30 min. a day. It works for me. But my biggest piece of advice regarding exercise is finding something that works for you that you can be consistent with. If you love running, commit to doing that. If you love going to the gym, make a schedule to get yourself to the gym on a consistent basis.

2. Clean Eating: This means eating food that is as close to its natural form as possible. You want to avoid overly processed food, sugar, and foods with additives. The focus is on eating whole foods or “real” foods. For more about clean eating, check out this article.

3. Portion Control: I’m not a big fan of counting calories and having to track everything I eat, but the reality is that portion control matters. You can eat clean, but if you’re taking in more calories than you burn, you won’t lose weight.

4. Water: If you’re not drinking enough water, this can also prevent you from losing weight. Being properly hydrated helps boost your metabolism by up to 30%. Make it a goal to drink between 1/2 an ounce to an ounce per pound you weigh each day.  {Source}

5. Accountability: This is huge for me personally. I joined a month long challenge group that started at the beginning of December and I can’t recommend it enough! If I know that I’m “in” something with other people and I’m checking in daily, it makes a big difference for me. It really helps for those moments when you’re tempted to skip a workout.

On a More Personal Note:

For those of you interested in specifics, the program I’ve been doing since the beginning of December is called 21 Day Fix and I love it! It provides 7 different workout videos (one for each day of the week) and I love the variety. The workouts are only 30 min. each so I’m able to fit them in each day and I don’t even have to leave the house. The program also includes a clean eating meal plan with portion control tailored to you. No counting calories though! Why 21 days? Because it takes 21 days to form a habit.

I am just at the beginning of my journey to get in shape, and I have a long way to go. I went back and forth about whether or not to share about this in such a public way. In the end I decided to go for it! For one, if I can inspire or encourage just one person to start taking better care of themselves through clean eating and exercise, then it’s worth it, even if it is a little hard for me to put myself out here.

Secondly, putting myself out here is one more way for me to have more accountability. Also, I’m just really excited about 21 Day Fix. It truly is such a fantastic program, and I just have to share!

If you’re interested in learning more about 21 Day Fix or joining in my next challenge group, complete the form below and I’ll be in touch.

I am so excited about this journey I’m on and am working up the courage to share before and after photos soon. When I do, it will be in my newsletter, so sign up for my newsletter if you’re interested in hearing more about my progress.

Please visit my Health & Fitness facebook page for motivation, encouragement, tips and more!

2015 at More than Mundane: a desire for community

2015 at More than Mundane: a desire for community

{Image credit}

A friend asked me recently what my plan is for More than Mundane. I shared with her that I’ve been struggling with that question for the past 6 months or more.

I love blogging. It is a place for me to share and a place for me to be creative. And it’s fun!

But, I do have a full time job, two kids (one that I am currently homeschooling,) and all the other demands of life. I don’t always have time or space for blogging.

I’ve really struggled with wondering if I even should blog. If I should even take any time at all away from my other responsibilities in order to blog.

I tend to have an all or nothing mentality. So I’ve had a hard time with the fact that I can’t post here on a consistent basis and wondered if since I can’t be an all in, full time blogger maybe I shouldn’t blog at all.

I’m working hard to let go of my all or nothing mentality in several areas of my life, and that’s where I’m at with blogging too.

Since blogging is something I so thoroughly enjoy, I’m going to continue to do it, when I can. I’m going to blog when I can and not worry about it when I can’t.


Because blogging is something I enjoy!

But most of all, I have a desire for community. A community I can share with. Whether it’s a new recipe I’ve tried, a home remedy I’ve found useful, information on essential oils, or how I lost 15 pounds in December (more on that soon), I want a place I can share my ideas, struggles, successes, and dreams.

I’d love to have you join me. Whether you’re a regular reader or this is your first time here, it would mean so much for me to hear from you.

4 Easy Ways to Connect:

Sign up for my newsletter. This is where I will share things I don’t always share here on the blog. I can’t promise it will be weekly, or even monthly, but when I have something that’s a little more personal, my newsletter is where I’ll share it.

Subscribe to the newsletter

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Join me over on Facebook. I think Facebook is the perfect place for online community and would love to have more conversations over there. Please come by and say hi!

Email meFeel free to shoot me an email and tell me more about you!

Leave a comment on this post. Let me know what you’d like me to share more of here.

I’m looking forward in sharing with you this year!

7 Ways to Stop a Cold in its Tracks

7 Ways to Stop a Cold in its Tracks |

I can usually tell when a cold is on its way by the scratchy feeling in the back of my throat. This is usually followed by a headache and general achiness. Then the sneezing and runny nose kicks in. It’s never fun, and so as soon as I feel that tell tale sign in my throat, there are 7 things I try to do to stop a cold in its tracks.

Sometimes I’ve been able to completely stop a cold before it hits me full on. Sometimes I still get sick and feel miserable for a day, but I’m usually able to bounce back much more quickly than usual. Experiment with these and see what works best for you. I’m always trying new remedies, but these are my tried and true cold stoppers.

**This post contains affiliate links which means if you make a purchase through one of my links, I’ll receive a small commission. Thanks for supporting More Than Mundane!

7 Ways to Stop a Cold (in no particular order):

1. Umcka

This stuff is amazing. I always keep some of the drops on hand, and I also get the chewables for the kids to take when they’re sick. The chewables are also more convienent for travelling.

2. Garlic

Garlic is one of nature’s best medicines. Ideally, raw garlic is best and there are a couple ways to make it a bit more palatable.

  • Chop the garlic, cover it in honey and swallow it.
  • Spread a piece of toast with honey, and add chopped, raw garlic. It really doesn’t taste too bad this way!
  • Make some fresh salsa with lots of garlic.
  • Add it to soup (but don’t cook it, just add it in right before eating the soup).

If you really can’t stomach eating raw garlic, you can also try garlic supplements. You can make a garlic poultice, which is a good option for kids.

3. Elderberry Syrup

This is what I find myself most commonly recommending to friends when they ask for an immune booster or remedy for colds. I always have some of this on hand during the fall and winter months, and I have my kids take a tsp. a day as a preventative measure. When I start to feel a cold coming on, I take it 3-6 times a day. There are tons of elderberry syrup recipes out there, but I usually use this one.

7 Ways to Stop a Cold in its Tracks |

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4. Tea

Drinking lots of fluids is important when you’re sick. I think of it as flushing the body of all the bad toxins. Tea is so comforting when you’re not feeling well.

I love the Traditional Medicinals teas for when I’m sick. Cold Care is great for general colds, Throat Coat is amazing for sore throats and coughs, and Breathe Easy is great for when you’re congested. I also like to keep the Echinacea Plus on hand to drink as a preventative measure if others in the family are sick. I love to buy the Seasonal Herb Tea Sampler because it has some of each of them.

Any hot drink is comforting for a sore throat. You can even add some lemon slices and ginger to some hot water and honey for some healing power.

5. Water

Again, flushing the body of toxins is a great way to help your body fight off illness. If you’re not a big tea fan or need a break from tea, drink as much water as you can when you feel a cold coming on. Staying hydrated also helps loosen congestion.

6. Sleep

Giving yourself some rest is a great way to allow your body to fight off illness. In our society it is so hard to stop and rest, but if you can, you may save yourself from getting even sicker. If you have trouble sleeping, try one of my methods for getting more sleep.

7. On Guard Essential Oil

I love On Guard essential oil so much, I wrote an entire post about all the ways I use it to prevent illness and help speed recovery time when sick. This is definitely one of my most used essential oils and I always have some on hand.

My favorite way to use essential oils is in my diffuser, and On Guard is great to diffuse during the cold and flu season.

These are the methods that have worked for me consistently. The key is to start in on these remedies the minute you feel a cold coming on. My husband usually likes to try to deny that he’s getting sick, and so he doesn’t start in with the remedies until he’s really feeling bad, and then it’s too late to prevent the cold completely.

However, even if you do end up getting sick, these remedies are also great for shortening the duration of the cold.

So, here’s to a healthy winter, and please do share your best remedies with me as well.

The Great Big List of Fun (yet useful) Stocking Stuffers

fun yet useful stocking stuffers for kids |
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I have a thing for stocking stuffers. For some reason it’s more fun for me to buy a bunch of little gifts, rather than one big gift.

Little, unexpected, fun, and yet useful things. It’s a way to get items for my kids that they need anyway, while making it into a fun gift at the same time. I usually do a mix of some fun and some useful items, and some are both!

I was talking with some friends at the park the other day and I happened to mention my love of stocking stuffers. They didn’t quite share my enthusiasm at first, but once I started to list some of my favorite stocking stuffers, they got on board. So, in case stocking stuffers are not your thing, I’ve compiled a list to make your life easier.


I usually throw a fun book or two into my kids’ stockings. This year I’m thinking a magazine subscription would also be fun, and I can tuck the first issue into their stocking. Here are a few book and magazine ideas:

National Geographic Kids
Knock Knock Jokes for Kids (I got this one for my daughter last year and she loves it, and this year I’m getting her Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes for Kids)
Pocket Genius Books – since my daughter loves all things dogs, she’s getting the one on dogs this year.
Sticker books – I love these Dover Sticker Books
Board Books – for the little ones

 Art Supplies

Melissa & Doug Paint with Water Books
Colored Pencils
Sketch Pad
Do a Dot Paint
Rainbow Loom Bands
Gel Pens

 To Wear

the great big list of fun & useful stocking stuffers |

Underwear – Yes, I’m the mom that gets my kids underwear for Christmas, but I do try to pick out some type of Character Underwear that they will think is fun.
Socks – these ones are going in Charlotte’s stocking this year
Scarfs, Mittens, Hats – this is a cute set for girls
Wallet/Change Purse – this one is cute for a little girl
Watch – my kids love these Lego Watches and they also come with a minifigure


Bananagrams – for kids that can spell
Spot it! – there’s all kinds of fun versions of this game, and it’s the perfect size to tuck into a stocking.
Sleeping Queens
Set of 4 Classic Children’s Card Games – I love the look of these
Rory’s Story Cubes


Some of our favorites are Frozen, the Lego Movie, and Toy Story.

 More Fun

Lego Minifigures – for your Lego lover, these are fun little surprise minifigures
Hot Wheels cars – if you buy this 9 car gift pack, these are less than a dollar each.
Nerf football – this is a pocket sized football, perfect for stockings and going in my son’s stocking this year.
Nail Polish – I got this Piggy Paint for Charlotte a couple years ago. It’s perfect for a little girl!
Hair clips or headbands
Finger Puppets
Jump Rope
Shadow Puppets
Mini Microscope
Yo-yo – grab one for your husband too, while you’re at it!

 More Practical

Band-aids-not sure if my kids are the only ones that get excited about fun band-aids, but they really do! Here are some fun ones: Frozen, Toy Story
Flashlight-my kids love having their very own flashlights. Here’s one for your Disney Princess, and here’s one for your Disney Cars lover.
Toothbrush-although a toothbrush is not very exciting, I got my daughter this one last year and she loves it so much she’s asking for a new one!
Hair brush – we love the Wet Brush.
Water Bottle or a Sippy Cup for the younger kids.

 A Few Ideas For Mom, Sister, Aunt, Grandma

All Out Of … Notepad
Rosebud Lip Balm
Nail Polish – I love my Jamberry Nail Lacquers because they’re free of harmful chemicals.
Gift Card to a Coffee Shop
Kitchen Utensils – some of my favorites are this palm peeler, Microplane zester, and silicone baking mat.
Perfume Oil – this one is my absolute favorite.

 Homemade Stocking Stuffers

Hand Lotion
Body Scrub – here’s my list of 101 DIY scrubs, so you can find the perfect one!
Lip Balm
Bath Bombs
Hard Lotion Bars

 A Few Ideas For Dad, Brother, Uncle, Grandpa

Shave Cream or you can make your own.
Swiss Army Knife
Gift Card to a Coffee Shop

I’ll continue adding to this list as I think of more fun and practical stocking stuffers, so be sure to pin this post so you can check back later for more ideas.