Tired of being tired?

Friday things

This Friday finally gave us some much-needed sunshine. The Mr. came home early from work on Wednesday and stayed home on Thursday, but today he is right back to it. Allergies have been a big issue here in the Willamette Valley of Oregon and we thought the rain we were getting back-to-back would help clear things out, but it stirred a lot of things up in the process and actually made them worse. If you missed my allergy post, check it out here. The cottonwood trees have be a bit of a nuisance too, with their little puffs of cotton floating in the breeze. It's all pretty until you get one in your mouth, or up your nose. Today we have sunny weather and things are starting to dry out a bit. We are ready for the summer here, believe it or not. We had such a hard winter that the summer season is more than wanted here. We are going into strawberry season here and this little town we live in has a huge celebration for the red beauties. The celebration is the first week in June, but for now, here are the things that made this week great.

1. Free items.

Recently we placed the shelves above and the chest below out on the curb and they were gone in less than 20 minutes. We are still slowly downsizing our possessions to things that serve a purpose in our home. I love how open the front area of the house has become. There is only small AM/FM radio/turn table in there and no distractions from TV. It's a great place for us to gather in the evenings and actually just enjoy each other's company. Electronic devices are a no-no during this time too.

2. These friends.

We tried our best to do a photo shoot with the dogs, but things didn't go as planned. PITA sat for a few good ones, but the older dog, Baz, wasn't having it. Out of the 30+, or so we took, these were the best. They are frame-able, but I guess the saying is true, we can' teach an old dog, or a hyperactive dog to sit still long. -I don't know if that's a saying, but it should be. Ha!

3. These cards.

In the last Yogi Surpise box came these Mindful Mandala Cards that you color by hand. I have been loving them lately and coloring they ever chance I get. The Bean and The Mr. have been coloring a few too, and we have really enjoyed the messages on the back of the cards as well. You never know when a saying like, "You may have a million desires to be in other places, doing other things, but you are not there, you are here" will come in handy throughout a tough week. You can get Yogi Surprise here and a set of the Mindful Mandala Cards here.

4. This dill.

The Bean received a Garden-in-a-Can for Easter and we are just now seeing the dill growing strong. We've been clipping a few sprigs here and there to use with various dishes. It's nice to have it sitting on the window sill to use anytime we need some. 

5. These poses.

The Mr. and I have really been on a mission to live better. Not just staying fit, but better all the way around-including mentally. So many negative things can rob your self esteem and positivity on the world. Stay fit helps keep your mind active, but also staying around positive people and positive siutations really does help keep you healthy and on the right track. The last few weeks The Mr. and I have been working on keeping our muscles in shape to be able to ride our bikes for more than five miles, and also help get us moving more. The above poses we've been doing lately and they have really helped keep us going. Try them out for a month and tell me how they work for you.

One last thing:
Have a great weekend!

Taking control of your allergies

Holy cow! This last week was such a buzz-kill with being able to talk a full sentence without sneezing, or coughing. The Mr. and I took a trip to our local food co-op in search of something that would allow us to sleep-mainly me-without waking up to cough, or sneeze, or even blow our nose. I wanted to keep things more to a natural approach, but we had some leftover Nyquil still floating around the house and so I finished off the last dose. It did knock me out so I could sleep, but I woke up with a Nyquil hangover the next morning. This spring's allergies have been some of the worse on the record for us. I don't know if anyone else is suffering as much as our house, but if you happen to be here are some tips that have helped us take back control of our sinuses and breathing.

1. Facial steams: Never under estimate the power of steam, especially when it comes to being able to breathe out of both nostrils. It's ridiculous how much snot our bodies produce and a good, warm steam will help clear them out a bit. Adding a few drops of essential oils like, eucalyptus, rosemary, peppermint, or even menthol will help unclog those poor pipes too. Give some of these oil blends a try. Here, here, here, and for the little ones here, and here.

2. Handkerchiefs at hand: I like to keep a few bandanas handkerchiefs around to blow on if the time should arise. I go to bed with one and I also keep one at my side when I am working. This not only makes blowing your nose a bit more comfortable it also saves on paper waste with tissue, or toilet paper. Adding a few drops of the above mentioned essential oils to the handkerchief can also help give some relief.

3. Cough Syrup that works. The worst part of allergies is finding relief at night to be able to sleep through the night. This cough and bronchial syrup from Boericke & Tafel seems o do the trick, but go lightly with it because it contains 10.5% alcohol. You can pick some of this up at your local co-op, or health food store.

4. Keep cough drops at hand. I can not express how great these are. They are all natural and contain menthold and taste great. Nothing worse than having an allergy cough hit and you have nothing on hand. These are from Herbion Naturals and come in a sugar free variety too.

5. Aloe vera: Adding some aloe vera, or aloe vera-containing lotion to your nose will also help with the redness and drying that blowing and sneezing can cause. I don't recommend putting it on the inside of the nostrils, but applying to the outside and around the nostrils can really help with soreness and pain. Our favorite here.

6. Humidifier: Oregon, especially here in the Willamette Valley, the drying air is something else. When we lived in Arkansas it was humid and sweating was the worse of the culprits there, but here, on the Pacific Coast, I tell ya, the drying air is incredible. With that, it causes the nasal cavities to dry out constantly and the worst of it is noticeable when you have allergies. Keeping a humidifier going near your bed, or where you are sitting is a great way to bring some of the wetness in the air back. The best humidifier we have found is this one. But if you are looking to get more humidity out of your humidifier, you might consider this one. Even when we don't have allergies being an issue we leave a humidifier going all winter and into the early parts of summer.

Side note: If your allergies tend to wipe you out with energy, rest is the best solution. I can't tell you how much a few days of taking it easy and resting helped a lot with getting rid of some of the "funk" that was clogging my sinuses. The Mr. was a trooper too and allowed me those days to reset and recharge.

Lastly, keep hand sanitizer available. When you are in public don't spread cough or nose germs to others, even with allergies. People hear a cough and immediately assume you're dying. Be kind and kill any germs that come from your mouth or nose right away-it will put others more at ease that you aren't going to turn into a zombie and eat their face. We love this variety from Clean Well. It's alcohol-free and works great with kids.

Five simple things

I am actually really glad it's Friday-Friday night here. Earlier today I wrote a post on combating allergies and I will be posting it tomorrow; So look for that. We have had a time with allergies putting a damper on things this week and we are glad to finally be getting some relief. Not sure if it's the rain that took some of them out of the air the last two days, or if it's just that they ran their course with us. Of course, it always seems like I post this on Saturday, if you're east coast, but actually it's 10:00 p.m. here on the west coast. Here's to night owl bloggers?! The Bean and I are sitting here at the table, listening to Simon and Garfunkel's Greatest Hits on vinyl. I forgot how wonderful the songs The Sound of Silence, The Boxer, and of course, Mrs. Robinson and a few others really are. Paul Simon and Arthur Garfunkel are one of kind and will always remain one of my absolute favorite artists. As far as the rest of the happenings for the week, here they are.

1. This basket.

Finally a picnic basket worth taking places. We have had the worst picnic basket for so long that I hated even taking it anywhere. It was made out the flimsiest wicker that is loosely woven together and it was slowly falling apart. I found this one in an antique shop in Springfield, Oregon, when The Bean was on a hunt for some vintage Star Wars. It is an original Hawkeye basket from Burlington Basket Company, probably circa 1970s. Similar to this one if you are on a search for one. Not sure if I want to leave it the yellow color, or paint it. I almost like the yellow, but we'll see how it grows on us before we make any rash decisions. I can't wait to take this basket full of yum yums on our road trips.

2. These wedding souvenirs.

As we are still working on being more minimal I opened a box this week and discovered some wedding items from my brother's wedding (boutonniere and bubbles), and the bouquet I caught at my sister's wedding. It was great to reminisce  and remember how fun each wedding was. Side note: Both of these weddings took place in the summer heat of Arkansas and what all three of us remembered the most from both of them was sweating like crazy. Good ole' Arkansas summers!

3. This truck.

I would say this truck driver definitely has his priorities in the right order. I love seeing things like this on the back of cars, or on trailers. It's a nice reminder to appreciate the little things in life.

4. This tree.

This is actually one of three Hawthorn trees that sit right in front of the house we live in. They are beautiful this time of year and they really bring the entire street into a different light when they bloom. My father-in-law always reminds us how he wants to chop them down. Unfathomable! I hope he does it after we are gone because we enjoy them a lot.

5. These boxes.

Yogi Surprise is always a nice surprise. The Lifestyle Box and the Jewelry Box really are a pleasure to get in the mail each month. The Lifestyle Box for this month contains a lot of great items that are perfect for mother's day. Loving, absolutely loving he mandala coloring cards. The Bean and I are going to have some fun with these this weekend, for sure! We love to color! The jewelry box contained a wrap bracelet and a tassel necklace that are perfect colors for spring. I can't help but mention the Cocomels though. To die for! Sign up for Yogi Surprise here.

1. Lifestyle Box:
• Scented "Be Happy" with Eco Sleeve ($24):Therapy balm that refreshes and energizes you.
• Lilac & Willow Soy Candle, Smudge ($14): Cleanse the energies in any room.
• Mindful Mandala Cards ($20): Reflect and center oneself.
• Nutrawbar Whole Fig ($3): 3 Organic ingredients, without additives.
• Joco Botanical Yogi Chakra Body Bar ($7): 100% all-natural soap that will open you sacral chakra.
• Tree Fig Greetings ($9): Show how much you care with these greeting cards.
• Yogi Surprise Sequence Card: Creative Devine Mother.

2. Jewelry Box:
• Creative Boho Mala ($65): Vibrant hues for the month of May.
• Creative Wrap Bracelet ($32): Encouraging you to think pink this month.
• Cocomels ($1.49): Something to savor with coconut milk caramel candy

Have a great weekend!