I’m a little bit obsessed with gift baskets. There’s the endless theme possibilities, the convenience of it all being in a basket (or jar, or box, or bag), and of course the sheer “adorable-ness” of the finished product. Gift baskets work great for all occasions, and they’re especially fun when it’s a “just because” sort of gift. While I could go on and on with all of the various gift basket themes I’ve seen, I’ll save that for a different post and instead launch right into a “Flu Fighter” gift basket.
Flu season is upon us. Coworkers coughing up a lung at the desk next to you and your kids giving you the lay down on how many kids have thrown up at their school this week…
Someone around you is bound to get sick unfortunately, and I have the perfect “Get Better Soon” basket filler ideas so that you can be the favorite friend or family member after gifting it. This basket can be as expensive or inexpensive as you’d like, just pick and choose which options you want to find, and use this list to inspire you to add some of your own favorites as well. (Maybe your grandma has the best soup recipe that she swears cures the common cold? Print it out and include it in the basket!)
Here are some of my favorite things to include in my “Flu Fighter” basket:
Canned Chicken Noodle Soup
Bottle(s) of Sprite or Ginger Ale
Packets of Tea (Lemon Ginger is perfect for an upset stomach)
Mints (Altoids also help upset stomachs)
Ice Pack or Heating Pad
A Book or Magazine
Coloring Book or Puzzle Book (Sudoku is my favorite)
Warm Fuzzy Socks
Vitamin C Drops or Emergen-C Packets (I love Emergen-C!)
Medications (if you know what kind they prefer)
Boxes of Tissues
Lotion (Stay away from heavily scented if they have a cold; it could trigger symptoms)
Reusable Water Bottle
Those are just a few ideas out of the many out there! You can really include anything you’d like, and your friend or family member will really appreciate the time and effort you put into it for them.
I was just recently introduced to sugar scrubs a couple of years ago, and after using one on my feet and legs I couldn’t believe that I’d gone so long with out trying it! The way the sugar exfoliated my skin and the oil moisturized it, I had the silkiest skin ever! But when shopping for a scrub in the store, I was astounded at how expensive they can be! Since it’s really just oil and sugar, there’s no need to buy one; you can easily make it yourself and customize it to the scent you want!
This “recipe” is one of my favorites. It’s for a brown sugar vanilla kind, and it’s so easy. You just mix everything together and tweak it by adding more oil if it’s too dry or more sugar if it’s too soupy. That’s it! And since you’re using ingredients from your own pantry you know that it’s all going to be safe and there are no impossible-to-pronounce chemicals.
Be careful with this one, though. The brown sugar and vanilla will make it smell heavenly so you’ll have to resist the urge to taste it. (Though it’s obviously all food safe the oil will probably make it taste pretty nasty…)
All You Need:
1 Cup Oil (Sunflower, Olive… Whatever you prefer)
1 1/2 Cups Brown Sugar
1 Cup White Sugar
1 Tbsp Pure Vanilla Extract
All You Do:
Put the oil, sugars and vanilla in a bowl and mix them all together! That’s it, you’re all ready to pamper your skin with the sugary goodness!
Now that 2017 is here it’s time to be “in with the new, and out with the old.” If you’ve got clutter stacking up around your house (which is likely for everyone after the holidays) it’s time for you to get started on being organized. While the process of organization often isn’t all that complicated, the idea alone can be very daunting and may keep you from getting started. Here are a few tips that I’ve found helpful during my organizational adventures.
Know Where to Start
This is one of the biggest hurdles people face before getting going. They spend so much time dwelling on where to begin, and end up wasting so much time. All you need to do is choose a cluttered area. Just one! Start with something relatively simple so that you can build up your confidence from the beginning so that you don’t get burned out and quit early in the game. Maybe the shoe rack has shoes that don’t fit anyone any more? Or the shelf in the living room has somehow accumulated too many random trinkets? Put your mind to one specific area and do not move on until you’ve completed it.
Don’t Be Afraid to Let Things Go
If you haven’t worn that blouse in 6 months, you probably won’t ever wear it. There is obviously something about it that you don’t particularly like, so let it go. Pack it up in a box and take it to your local Good Will or Charity. Or, if you’re looking to make a little extra cash, take it along with a bunch of your gently-used clothes to a store that will buy them from you so that they can re-sell them!
Stick with it
De-cluttering is a constant process, especially with kids around to get things all cluttered back up again. Setting a schedule can really help to keep the clutter under control. Make it a plan to go through the fridge and pantry before each grocery shopping trip; organize the closets the first week of each month, and do a play-room run through every Monday to keep things under wraps. It’s much easier to take a few minutes here and there to tidy up and toss out old or unused items than to have to do a full clean-out.
Happy New Year, here’s to being organized and tidy in 2017!
Just about everyone has had a time when they desperately needed a heating pad to ease sore muscles or cramps. And the absolute worst thing ever is to go searching for a heating pad when you’re already so sore only to come up empty handed. Instead of forking up money for one, you can truly just use things you likely already have in your home! And if you think that trying to make your own would be too much work let me tell you, it absolutely is not. It’s actually really simple and all you need is a sock and some uncooked rice or beans!
Simply take a tube sock (a clean one, preferably) and fill it up with a cup or two of rice or beans. Then tie off the top of the sock off where you want it. How full you want the sock to be is totally up to you. I like to have a little extra room after I’ve tied the end just so that the heat pad can bend more easily. And remember, you can always add more rice or beans later on, or take some out if you want. That’s really the beauty of this; it’s so simple to customize to your needs along with being so easy to make!
To actually make the filled sock help your muscles just place it in the microwave for 30 second intervals until it is at your desired temperature. So easy!
I’ve also heard of people adding a couple drops of essential oils to the sock as well, which I think is a brilliant idea!
Have you made one of these before? How did it work for you?
I’m not quite sure what boxed Mac & Cheese is infused with that causes such an intense liking among children and adults alike, but whatever it is, it’s delicious. Macaroni and Cheese was the food of my childhood. I would choose the Kraft box over a serving of the homemade stuff in a heart beat.
The tastiness of the Macaroni isn’t the only thing that makes the meal so dang awesome; the fact that it can be also made in about 10 minutes tops is enough to get very excited about. All in all, it’s a great dish. But sometimes you just have to mix things up a little bit! I’ve found 5 different additions that you can mix into your Mac and Cheese that will add to the tastiness but not much to the preparation time, making the dish a little more unique on days when you’re feeling a bit fancier.
Feta Cheese + Sun-dried Tomatoes + Garlic Powder = Mediterranean Style Mac
Canned Chili + Pinch of Chili Powder = Chili Mac (my favorite. We used to eat this bi-weekly when I was growing up).
Cherry tomatoes + Mozzarella Chunks + Fresh Basil = Margarita Macaroni Heaven
Frozen Peas + Bacon + Breadcrumbs = Comfort Food Style Mac
Have you tried any of these? What are some of your favorite Macaroni Mix-ins?