Homemade Cold Remedy: Orange, Lemon and Honey Juice

I had a cold during a recent trip to my acupuncturist. While most people recommend to fill up on orange juice, she said the store bought brands are made of too much sugar, and suggested this mixed drink instead. I was pleasantly surprised how good it tasted! Your body does not absorb vitamin C, it basically leaves your body every time you urinate, so it’s important to drink this throughout the day (not just once) when you begin to feel the signs of a cold coming on.

  • 1 glass of water, slightly warm so that the honey will melt in it.
  • 1 teaspoon honey (Manuka honey preferred)
  • 1 orange, slice off two slices and put to the side. Then squeeze the remainder of the orange into the glass.
  • 1 lemon, slice off two slices and put to the side. Then squeeze the remainder of the lemon into the glass.

Place the remaining two slices of orange and two slices of lemon into them and muddle them into the mixture.

DIY Kids Mickey Mouse Birthday Themed Banner

My son LOVES Mickey Mouse, so of course his 2nd birthday party was themed with the iconic character. I made this printable banner, printed on cardstock and cut out with scissors. Then use a thin red ribbon to string it together. The printable version here is not customized with a name, so that it can be used for any child. Enjoy!

Toddler Painting Project

behappy3I loved arts and crafts as a child, and couldn’t wait to share that passion with my son as soon as he was old enough. At about 1 1/2 years old I thought I’d give it a try! I put together this easy painting project that would double as a keepsake, and we could give to his grandparents as Christmas gifts.

What you’ll need:

  • Paint Brush Set
  • Paint Set
  • Printable Cardstock
  • Tape
  • Scissors

You may have these things around the house already. If not, you can get most items at your local craft store.

behappy1Step 1: Printing – In Microsoft Word, or whatever publishing software you have access to, type out a phrase that is meaningful to your child, and select a font that you like. I used the font Bromello, if you’d like to use it, you can get a free download here. I displayed the saying, “Be happy”, because it is something my son just happens to say a lot. If you want to go with the same phrase, feel free to download the pdf of the document I created.

For each final art piece you want to make, print out two copies on 8.5×11 letter sized cardstock. So if you want to make 1 painting, print 2 copies; if you want to make 2 paintings, print 4 copies, and so fourth. It is better to print out on thicker paper so the paint doesn’t leak through or cause the paper to curl.

behappy2Step 2: Cut out and layer. Cut out the wording on one sheet of your printouts. Then place a piece of tape on the bottom and layer it on top of your other 8.5×11 sheet, right over the wording.This will protect the words from getting painted over and covered completely.

Step 3: Set up the paint area – you will want to line the table with something to protect it from any spills. I use a roll of wrapping paper and just spread it on the surface and tape the edges down to the table. Some tips for mom (I learned the hard way): Put a portion of paint onto the palette and have everything set up before sitting your toddler down. If you start opening the paints and setting up with him there, he may want to open it himself, spill it, dump it out – you know how opinionated our little independent toddlers are!

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Step 4: Have fun! At this point let them explore the colors and how the brush feels pushing the paint around. Try to back off and let them experiment creatively. Note on the photo here: Some days my son can’t do anything without his buddy Mickey Mouse.

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behappy6Step 5: Frame it! If you are making these into gifts or just framing for home, you can get simple frames at your local craft store.

Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookies

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This is the all time best recipe for melt-in-your-mouth homemade chocolate chip cookies. Have the ingredients on hand to bake throughout the holiday season for home and for sharing with others.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vailla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (12-oz pkg.) Nestle Toll House Semi Sweet Chocolate chips

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375° F

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto uncreased baking sheets.

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes, remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Homemade Shaving Cream

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I just love making my own beauty products! It thrills me to learn about different ingredients and play with combinations. I was trying to think of something I could put together for my husband… shaving cream of course! This recipe, inspired by The Garlic Diaries, is simple and easy to follow.

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup of coconut oil (4 oz)

1/2 cup shea butter (4 oz) – break up into smaller pieces.

1/4 cup olive oil

Eucalyptus essential oil – 20 drops

Instructions:

Create a double boiler on stove: Fill a medium pot with a two inches of water, and then place a glass bowl on top of it, making sure it does not touch the water below it. Heat on the stove over high heat, bringing the water to a simmer.

Add in the coconut oil and shea butter to the upper glass bowl. The double boiler will gently melt the ingredients.

Once everything is melted, transfer to a large bowl and stir in the olive oil.

Place in the fridge and leave there until everything has solidified to the consistency of softened butter, about two hours.

Transfer to the stand mixer bowl and whip for about three minutes, while stirring in the essential oils.

Store in an airtight container.

Note: Due to the nature of it’s natural ingredients, this shaving cream will melt as you rub it onto your skin and become clear. It may seem different to you, but the effects are top notch. Try it for yourself!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

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Carving pumpkins is a fun fall activity, but don’t let those delicious pumpkin seeds go to waste! Using a large spoon, scoop out the insides out and put them in a bowl of water to separate the seeds from the pulp. Pull out the seeds and place them in a colander, rinse under cold water and shake dry.

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  • Toss pumpkin seeds lightly in oil and a pinch of salt to taste.
  • Place seeds in a single layer on baking sheet.
  • Bake for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.

Include the kids! This is a great way to teach children about cooking, and how fruits grow from and produce seeds.

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Spooky Halloween Party

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Trick or Treat? This Halloween decor is sure to make your guests gasp with delight. Lots of candles to set the ambiance are a must! Try white tapered candles in empty wine bottles for an elegant tablescape.

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We love this severed finger invitation from Martha Stewart, what a way to announce the evening! Find full instructions here.

Halloween-2Halloween inspired paper products like menus and labels help tie the event together. We love this Macbeth themed party by Loralee Lewis.

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It wouldn’t be fall without caramel apples. Bring it up a notch with this delectable caramel apple cake by Half Baked Harvest. Find the full recipe here.

Halloween-3Make your appetizers festive with Halloween inspired food. Get this witch finger recipe here.

Trick or treat? Have a spooky Halloween!

Fabulous Fall Centerpiece

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Why not bring Autumn indoors with a gorgeous centerpiece. This collection of mums, roses and greenery celebrates the warm colors and abundant spirit of Fall. It is a great centerpiece to compliment your Thanksgiving table, or an easy way to brighten up your space for everyday.

Gelatin: Better than Botox! Cranberry Jello Recipe

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Nutritional deficiencies can contribute to early aging, and adding gelatin to your diet can help increase collagen production for youthful skin.

Jello is an easy way to incorporate gelatin, and this healthy recipe is without added sugar or artificial ingredients – like the kind you buy in the store.

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Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a small saucepan set over low heat, whisk gelatin with 1 cup cranberry juice and 3 tablespoons honey until there are no lumps.
  • Pour mixture into a medium bowl and whisk together with the remaining cup of cranberry juice, add lemon oil if desired.
  • Pour into molds and refrigerate until firm.