Kicking Colds and Flu

Kicking Colds and Flu
With the holidays upon us, no one wants to be left out of the fun because of a cold or flu.  Luckily, there are many things that we can do to protect ourselves during this season.

Exercise.  Many of us get so busy during the holidays that our exercise routines suffer.  But people who exercise for at least 20 minutes five days a week suffer from half as many colds as those who get moving just one or two days a week.  Even if you don't get formal exercise in, remember any movement is good -- including fast walking with your arms loaded with shopping bags or cleaning your house before guests arrive.

Don't be touchy.  Be conscious of how often you touch your face and try to stop doing it.  Flu germs enter the body through the nose, mouth, and eyes, so even a quick rub of the eyes can cause a week of the sniffles.

Less sweets.  With all the holiday goodies around, this may be a tough one, but a diet low in refined sugar strengthens the immune system.  When baking yourself, opt for natural sweeteners such as stevia.

Get your rest.  Skimp on sleep and you are three times more likely to catch a cold.  Aim for at least seven hours a night.  If you find yourself with an unavoidable late night or two, try catching up on the weekends.

Wash, wash, wash!  The single most important preventative measure you can take to stave off colds and flu is to wash your hands often.  Skip the hot water and lather up with lukewarm.  It works just as well for killing bacteria and won't dry your skin, which can cause skin to crack and leave you more susceptible to infections.

Try this:  Make your own foaming anti-bacterial hand wash.  Purchase or reuse a plastic foamer bottle (I bought mine at  Add about a teaspoon of dish washing liquid or regular hand soap.  Add five drops of OnGuard blend essential oil.  Fill with water.  Shake to mix.  Enjoy the fresh scent and feel confident you are doing what you can to protect yourself and your family from germs.


Quick Cranberry Drops

You may be swapping out fall colors for Christmas lights this weekend -- but do you still have some Thanksgiving leftovers?  Get in the Christmas spirit by turning your leftover cranberry relish into holiday cookies.

Quick Cranberry Drops

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg, room temperature
2 Tbsp. milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup cranberry relish


1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
2 Tbsp milk
3 Tbsp. dried cranberries, snipped

1.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment; set aside.
2.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
3.  In a large mixing bowl, beat butter at medium-low speed until smooth and creamy.  Add sugar.  Beat for 2 minutes or until well blended.  Reduce speed to low.  Add egg.  Beat for 1 minute.  Add milk and vanilla and beat for 1 minute more.
4.  With mixer at lowest speed, steadily add flour mixture until flour is incorporated and soft dough forms.  Beat in relish until evenly incorporated.
5.  Drop dough by the spoonful (about 2 tsp.) 2 inches apart onto cookie sheet.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes until slightly firm and golden brown on bottoms.  Cool on cooling racks.
6.  For icing, in a medium bowl, combine powdered sugar and milk.  Stir until smooth.  If needed, add milk in droplets to reach desired consistency.  Stir in snippets of cranberries.  Top each cookie with 1/2 tsp. of icing, and let stand until set.  Makes 45.

Alternatively, freeze cookies after they have cooled.  Thaw and dust with powdered sugar when ready to serve.

Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens


Giving Thanks

A friend of mine shared this poem with me, and I had to pass it along.  Housework is never-ending and can get wearisome.  I loved the different perspective this gives.

Thank You Lord!
Thursday, 18 March 2010 08:07 | Written by Unknown | | |

Lord, thank you for this sink of dirty dishes;
We have plenty of food to eat.
Thank you for this pile of dirty, stinky laundry;
We have plenty of nice clothes to wear.
And I would like to thank you, Lord, for those unmade beds;
They were so warm and comfortable last night.
I know that many have no bed.
My thanks to you, Lord, for this bathroom,
Complete with all the splattered mirrors, soggy, grimy towels and dirty lavatory;
They are so convenient.
Thank you for this finger-smudged refrigerator that needs defrosting so badly;
It has served us faithfully for many years.
It is full of cold drinks and enough leftovers for two or three meals.
Thank you, Lord, for this oven that absolutely must be cleaned today.
It has baked so many things over the years.
The whole family is grateful for that tall grass that needs mowing,
The lawn that needs raking;
We all enjoy the yard.
Thank you, Lord, even for that slamming screen door.
My kids are healthy and able to run and play.
Lord, the presence of all these chores awaiting me says
You have richly blessed my family.
I shall do them cheerfully and I shall do them gratefully.

Housework Rules
And, might I add, since I'm a Super Mom, I think I'll teach my children to help with those chores and appreciate the blessings, as well.

Fun Friday -- Snowman Donuts

Thank you to Family Fun Friday for this easy-to-make treat.

Bag of powdered sugar donuts
Candy corn
Chocolate chips
Mini-chocolate chips.

Insert candy corn into the donut hole.  Add chocolate chip eyes and mini-chocolate chip smiles.  With the cooler weather, I think they'd be best served with hot chocolate.  :)  Enjoy!


Sick Day

“Mom, I don't feel so good,” said my Little Monkey, just seconds before he started to throw up on the floor. He looked up at me apologetically, and I think if I hadn't stopped him, he would have started cleaning up. But I could tell he wasn't done, so I whisked him into the bathroom.

While my poor little guy retched, I rubbed his back and smoothed his hair, trying my best to comfort him. In between heaves, he said, “I love you, Mom!” I don't think he has ever meant it more.

In bed with the flu
When he finished, I cleaned him up and made a bed for him on the couch in front of the TV. I rubbed some DigestZen essential oil blend on his stomach, then rubbed some OnGuard blend on his feet. He had a bit of a fever, so I took a cool wet washcloth and added a drop of lavender oil. It seemed to soothe him.

I have spent many, many nights tending one child after another as the stomach flu swept through our family. This time, I planned on nipping it in the bud. I ordered everyone in the house to use the OnGuard, too, and I had it running in the diffuser. I returned to give my son a couple more treatments. By dinner, he felt well enough for a little chicken soup.

I kept him home from school the next day, which annoyed him, because it messed up his perfect attendance. He was back to normal within twenty-four hours – and no one else in the family got sick!

I think that's what I love most about having essential oils in the house. Sure, we still get sick from time to time, but with early intervention, it is short-lived and never very severe. It sure makes being a mom a little bit easier.