Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Natural Remedies: Tea Tree Oil

A new oil I have recently discovered is Tea Tree Oil (also known as Melaleuca Oil)!  I am working on getting it into my normal usage pattern of essential oils and it has so many uses! It is awesome.  So what can Tea Tree Oil help with?  Again, a multitude of things!
  • Acne
  • Antiseptic for cuts and burns, as well as infections
  • Athlete's Foot (antifungal properties)
  • Bad Breath
  • Boils & Inflammations
  • Cleaning
  • Colds and flus (antiviral properties)
  • Dandruff, Dry AND Oily Hair, and Itchy Scalp
  • Immune System Strengthener
  • Laryngitis
  • Nail Fungus
  • Ringworm
  • Warts
  • ....and guess what? Much more!
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 Sounds like another great all-purpose essential oil, doesn't it?  I certainly think so.  One very important thing to remember, however, is NOT to swallow or ingest this oil!  Please bear that in mind as you read of some of this oil's uses! So how are some ways that we can use this oil to treat some of the above issues?  Let's see!

  • Use a dab of tea tree oil on acne to enhance healing.
  • Combine several drops of tea tree oil with jojoba oil. Then massage arthritis- or gout-affected area 2-3 times a day to reduce swelling and pain.
  • To eliminate athlete's foot, thoroughly clean and dry feet, then massage tea tree oil directly onto the skin, focusing between the toes.  Do this once every two weeks until the problem is gone.  Tea tree oil has anti-fungal properties that will kill the athlete's foot.
  • Place a warm wash cloth on boils and inflammations to pull out any infection, and then apply tea tree oil directly on site. Tea tree oil will reduce infection and enhance healing.
  • For dandruff, dry and oily hair alike, and an itchy scalp, massage drops of tea tree oil into scalp as a fast acting remedy.
  • To help eliminate laryngitis, add 3-4 drops of tea tree oil to 1 cup of water...then gargle 2-3 times daily. BE SURE NOT TO SWALLOW!
  • To rid the body of ringworm on the skin, add several drops of tea tree oil with approximately an ounce of jojoba oil and massage into skin twice daily.  Once again, tea tree oil has anti-fungal properties which will rid you of this ailment.
  • For warts, apply full strength tea tree oil directly on the irritating wart. This will not be a quick solution...instead it may take several weeks.  In the end, however, tea tree oil will dissolve the wart.
  • Combine 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil with 2 cups of water in a spray bottle for a strong, all-purpose, anti-fungal, antiseptic, anti-viral cleaning solution.  This spray will also work as a great anti-mold solution.  Tea tree oil can also be place in the washer to make your clothes smell better and work its magic.

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Doesn't it sound like the perfect addition to the essential oils home medicine and cleaning cabinet?  I hope that it encourages you to find more uses for this awesome essential oil!  Happy researching!

PLEASE NOTE: These are only natural home remedies that no professional has reviewed or written.  This is not to take the place of professional medical advice, it is merely to aid you at home.  If you are concerned, it is best to call your doctor and follow instructions given by him/her.

Also, please pay particular attention during use of essential oils in regards to which oils are safe for pregnant women and children.  There are many that should not be used, although some are perfectly safe.  For other important information, please see my May 9th, 2012, post titled "Natural Remedies: Essential Oils."

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Last Days for Photo Challenge!

Don't forget that these are the last days for the photo challenge at Pure Femininity! :)  Be sure to enter, if you wish! :)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Recipe Mondays - Summer Smoothie Time!

Smoothies!  Yes, I love them.  I practically live on them!  I have a smoothie every morning for breakfast.  However, I seem to be stuck in a rut and I make the same kind of smoothie every day! 

 I discovered this website with 10 summer smoothie recipes that will hopefully help me to try something new and I thought that others might enjoy them as well! It's Smoothie Time!

~ Missy

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Saturday Smiles - David's Joy

David's Joy

“I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart!”

Often times, the “Joy of the Lord” can be wrongly thought of as an unhealthy dose of optimism.

"Just whistle a happy tune and all your troubles will melt away!”
Though I think that a good dose of optimism can be a very good thing, it is not the same as having the joy of the Lord.  I have chosen to write this series of posts out of a very difficult time in my life because I have found that it is though my greatest trials that the Lord’s joy is able to shine at its brightest.  If you have ever read the Psalms, you may have noticed that many of them were written out of David’s most horrible and trying moments.  Many chapters tell of great trials and near death experiences and yet, many of them also finish with a declaration of praise and rejoicing.
“I am afflicted and in pain; let your salvation, O God, set me on high! I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving.”   Psalm 69:29-30 (ESV)
“You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again; from the depths of the earth you will bring me up again.  …..  I will also praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, O My God; I will sing praises to you with they lyre, O Holy One of Israel. My lips with shout for joy, when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed.”  Psalm 71:20, 22-23 (ESV)

In times of great sorrow and pain, David chose to still sing praises to the Lord and honor Him through his great trial.  Did David always feel like praising the Lord during those times?  Well, I can’t ask him, nor can I judge his heart, but considering human nature, it would be my guess that many times he made the choice to praise the Lord despite the things that he was going through.  And so, we too can chose to praise the Lord because He IS faithful and He is in control.  He will work all things out together for good to those who love him and are called according to his purpose.  (Rom 8:28)  I am trusting Him to do that very thing.  Are you?
~ Missy

Need a reason to smile?

           Psalm 5:11  But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you.

Now that is a good reason to smile. :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Just for clarification.....

Just for clarification, Pure Femininity has not gone through any writer changes! :)  You may have noticed that one writer (Lisa) was "removed" from the blog, and another writer (Sarah) was "added."  In reality, they are the same person.  My real name is Sarah, but for years I have felt more comfortable writing online with a pen name.  However, I was getting so confused with referring to myself as "Lisa" that I decided to change my online name back to my real name, "Sarah."  Sorry for any confusion!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Natural Remedies: Lavender Oil

Last week I told you about my favorite, "cure-all" essential oil - peppermint oil.  My second favorite oil is lavender oil.  It can be used for sooo many different things and it smells...well...amazing! If you use it, I doubt you will be disappointed.

So what is lavender oil used for?  Again, like peppermint oil, to me it seems that the usage is limitless!

  • Cleaning and Disinfecting
  • Burns
  • Cuts
  • Depression
  • Earache
  • Fevers
  • Headache
  • Insect Bites
  • Insomnia
  • Menstrual Cramps
  • Muscle & Joint Pain
  • Stress
  • ...and many, many more!
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 What are some ways to use lavender oil for these uses?

My primary way to use lavender oil is in cleaning and disinfecting.  When I clean my bathroom and kitchen I mix water, vinegar, and lavender oil.  The mixture of these three make my house sparkling clean, disinfected, and smell AMAZING without using chemicals of any sort!  I also use lavender oil in my laundry wash cycles, making them smell good and also disinfecting them.  This is also great if you are using cloth diapers (which I am).  If someone is sick, simply spray or wipe doorknobs, phones, countertops, etc. with lavender oil and you have a wonderful smelling disinfectant - without even touching the lysol.  I have just begun mixing lavender in with my dish soap, as I don't have a dishwasher...I figured a little extra protection from lavender oil certainly cannot hurt!

When bitten by a mosquito or another insect, there is often pain or irritation at the site.  Simply apply lavender oil and the symptoms should, at the very least, lessen (if not disappear completely).  But if you want to try a more proactive approach as opposed to reactive, mix 40-50 drops of lavender oil with about 2 cups of water.  Keep this in a spray bottle and apply when going out to mosquito (or other insect) infested is a great working insect repellent.  This same bottle of insect repellent can be sprayed on cuts and wounds to not only diminish the pain, but disinfect the wound.

If you have tired, sore, and aching muscles, drop some lavender oil on the ailing muscles and massage into the skin.  This usually takes away the symptoms.  I find this particularly useful to use on my is so relaxing!  This can also be done to ease headaches.

A sniff of lavender oil may also help relieve depression.  It is not entirely known why, but researchers believe it triggers a change in the brain waves.  An easy way to keep that sniff of lavender near you is to apply it to your temples or to apply to your neck.  Deeply inhale and it will reach its target!

Lavender naturally relaxes you, and if you place 3-4 drops of lavender oil on your pillow, it will help lull you to sleep!

If you struggle from menstrual cramps, massage a few drops of the oil into your abdomen.  It will often relieve, if not eliminate, the pain.

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Once again, I am no doctor or expert.  But lavender is another amazing oil that can help replace the medicines in our life.  I am not saying that medicines are bad, but I do believe we use them in excess!  Do your research and you will find even more usages for lavender oil!  It will help you feel better and make you and your house smell amazing!  Happy researching!

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PLEASE NOTE: These are only natural home remedies that no professional has reviewed or written.  This is not to take the place of professional medical advice, it is merely to aid you at home.  If you are concerned, it is best to call your doctor and follow instructions given by him/her.

Also, please pay particular attention during use of essential oils in regards to which oils are safe for pregnant women and children.  There are many that should not be used, although some are perfectly safe.  For other important information, please see my May 9th, 2012, post titled "Natural Remedies: Essential Oils."

Monday, May 21, 2012

Recipe Mondays - Chocolate, Ice Cream Bowls!

        Summer will soon be here along with summer parties and yes, ICE CREAM!!! Make ice cream bowls by using water balloons!  How fun is that?!

Originally Posted:  The Tumtum Tree

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Saturday Smiles - The Theme? Hilarious Dogs

Need something to smile about?
Or how about a big, out loud laugh? 
Here are a few pictures that
I hope will make your day!

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Having a rough day?  I hope that these pictures will help, but more than that, I hope that you will give your stress, pain and worry to Jesus Christ and will find the ultimate joy, strength and peace in Him. :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Natural Remedies: Peppermint Oil

A while back, I did a couple of posts on essential oils.  These oils are amazing natural remedies that can be used individually or combined with many other types.  One of the most popular essential oils is peppermint oil.

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So what is peppermint oil used for? Peppermint oil is used for so many different things including:
  • Headaches (and other places as a similar pain killer)
  • Dermatitis and Eczema
  • Inflammation and itching skin
  • Nausea
  • Parasites
  • Colic
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Pneumonia, Bronchitis, Cough, and Asthma
  • ....and many, many more!
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How can some of these things be cured...or how can some of these symptoms be diminished?  Let me share some common ways that I or others use.

I use it most commonly for my headaches. I place 1-2 drops on my finger and rub it into my temples.  Both my husband and I get almost immediate results! The only issue with this is don't get it in or near the'll regret it! (Trust me, I've done the testing for you!)

For stomach problems, you can use approximately 5 drops of peppermint oil rubbed on the stomach to take away pain and other symptoms.

When an injury is hurting or swollen, you can rub peppermint oil over this area to not only reduce the swelling, but also to reduce the pain.  Do not put on open wounds, however! This will also work for arthritis or tendonitis.

To improve concentration, memory, and alertness, peppermint oil (1-2 drops ONLY) can be applied directly under the nose and some say it can be placed under the tongue.  I have never tried it under my tongue (quite honestly, I am not brave enough to do so) but if you your research and then try it.  And if you do try it, let me know how that goes (I am curious, I'll admit...just not brave).  However, I have tried it under my nose and it works very well!  By placing it under the nose, it also helps reduce congestion and aid my breathing when I am stuffed up or sick.

If you have itchy skin, you can rub peppermint oil on it to stop the itching.  If you do this, however, make sure the skin is not broken ...applying it to broken skin will cause more irritation and some pain. (Once again, I know from experience.)

I have also read that if you apply peppermint oil to the bottoms of a patient's feet when they are sick with the fever, the peppermint oil will help lower or even eliminate the fever.  I have not tried this one yet, but next time I have a fever (or my husband or my son does) then I do plan on trying it!

There are many other ways to use peppermint oil, and I am sure I don't even know a quarter of this amazing oil's uses!  However, even with my very limited knowledge in peppermint oil, my husband calls it my "cure all."  If someone is hurt or not feeling well, my first question often is "Have you tried peppermint oil?"  Most of the time it works, too!  So next time you are reaching for tylenol or some other form common medicine, think again, and maybe look into the usage of peppermint oil!  I am no expert, nor do I claim to be, so do your research and do not take my word as a "medical professional" - I am not one by any means! But the use of peppermint oil has really made my life closer to medicine-free while still eliminating some of the pain and ailments that I had. Happy researching!

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PLEASE NOTE: These are only natural home remedies that no professional has reviewed or written.  This is not to take the place of professional medical advice, it is merely to aid you at home.  If you are concerned, it is best to call your doctor and follow instructions given by him/her.

Also, please pay particular attention during use of essential oils in regards to which oils are safe for pregnant women and children.  There are many that should not be used, although some are perfectly safe.  For other important information, please see my May 9th, 2012, post titled "Natural Remedies: Essential Oils."

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Important Request from My Family

          Several of you know that over the past two years my family and I have been dealing with some very difficult circumstances in our home, but only a few of you know the reason.  My mom is suffering from a very serious condition that is caused by severe abuse and trauma from earlier in her life.  In the past two years, this condition has really taken its toll on her and the rest of us as well.  In September 2011, we discovered that the problem was far worse than we had originally thought, but we did not begin to really understand it until over the holiday season.  I prefer not to mention the name of this condition, but very few people even know that it exists.  We have kept very silent about this and have been doing everything that we can to find a solution, but now we are really in need of help.  Many of you have been praying for the unknown needs of my family, and for that I am grateful, but now I ask that you would consider going a step farther.  There are many Biblical accounts of problems that cannot be solved except through prayer AND fasting.  This has been pressing on my heart for sometime now and I humbly ask that you would pray about doing this for my family.  If you decide to fast for us, please try to keep it a secret, as according to Matthew chapter 6, so that your reward may be stored up in Heaven.  There is no need for you to comment on this post, I do not need to know who is praying and fasting - the Lord will know and that is what matters.  It would be marvelous if this message could be passed along in churches, meetings, and Bible studies because for a situation as serious as ours, we can use as much help as we can get.  For those of you who do not know her, my mom’s name is Brenda.  Thank you to everyone who is praying, and more thanks to those of you who decide to fast for us.  I am excited to someday be able to share with you the great miracle that the Lord will do through this act of faith.  

Lord bless,  


Monday, May 14, 2012

Recipe Mondays - Cilantro Salsa

          This Cilantro Salsa is truly amazing.  We often makes it for our family but it never stays around very long!  We most commonly use it as a salad topping and it is so delicious!  We make it slightly different than this recipe by adding pepper, cumin, and oregano.  I hope you try it, and enjoy it!

~ Missy

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Saturday Smiles - Spring Gardening for the Soul

          I recently came home to find that my mom had posted this little gardening list on our refrigerator.  I don’t know who the author is but I thought that it was quite worth sharing and the perfect thing for springtime planting!

~ Missy

A Merry Heart - Spring Gardening for the Soul

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Plant three rows of Squash:
Squash gossip
Squash criticism
Squash indifference

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Plant seven rows of peas:

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Plant seven heads of lettuce:  
Let us pray
Let us be unselfish and loyal
Let us be faithful to duty
Let us search the scriptures
Let us be truthful
Let us be obedient in all things
Let us love one another

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No garden is complete without turnips:
Turn up for church
Turn up for prayer meeting and Bible study
Turn up with a smile, even when things are difficult
Turn up with determination to do your best in God’s service

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Natural Remedies: Essential Oils

Starting next week (well, really this week with this post), I plan on starting to write about the natural remedies of essential oils.  However, before starting out on some details of a few specific essential oils, it is important to understand the basics of all essential oils.  There really is a ton of information out there, so it is impossible to recap it all in one post.  Because of this, I am linking up to many different articles that teach the basics of essential oils.  If you use essential oils and are interested in them, it is very important to understand these basics.

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When going about this series, please know I am no expert and am quite the amateur in learning how to work with these myself.  This is just a little bit of knowledge that I have gleaned through reading and researching.  I hope that you will enjoy the research and learn about these wonderful healing oils, as well.  :)  I hope these links are helpful to you and can be used by you as a reference for essential oils. Happy reading!

How to Buy Essential Oils

The Beginner's Guide to Essential Oils (includes dosage amounts)

Aromatherapy Tips for Beginners: The Dos and Don'ts

Essential Oil Care for Children & Babies

Different opinions on the top essential oils to begin with:
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PLEASE NOTE: These are only natural home remedies that no professional has reviewed or written.  This is not to take the place of professional medical advice, it is merely to aid you at home.  If you are concerned, it is best to call your doctor and follow instructions given by him/her.

Also, please pay particular attention during use of essential oils in regards to which oils are safe for pregnant women and children.  There are many that should not be used, although some are perfectly safe. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

It's Spring, and the Kittens are here!!!

It's finally spring, and our neighbor's cat decided to have her kittens on our hay!  What makes you think of Spring? Kittens? Flowers? Green grass?  Take a picture of it and enter it in our May Photo Challenge!  This challenge is for any girl who can turn on a camera and snap a picture.  You don't have to be a professional to enter! 
(See page to view details and prizes)

The mother cat (We call her Queeny)  has unique paws with six toes!  Sadly, only one of her kittens have the same unique paws - but at least one does!

Do you have any cute kitten/cat stories? I would love to hear them!

~ Missy

Monday, May 7, 2012

Recipe Mondays - Any Nutella Fans Out There?

Hello Nutella fans!  If you are like me, you love Nutella!  I recently discovered this recipe for home made Nutella and though I have not tried it yet, I thought perhaps some of you might like to!

~ Missy

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Saturday Smiles - The Power of a Smile II

The Power of a Smile :)

If you have read any of my previous posts, you may have noticed that I live in a much smaller community where it is very common to run into familiar people.  But what if you don’t live in a small community and it is very unlikely that you will ever run into the same stranger twice?  Can a smile really make a difference to a stranger’s life in that kind of a setting? Absolutely! Here is a story to prove it.

Once upon a time, while on a dangerous mission in Tanzania… (Ok, so it really wasn’t very dangerous.)

“Excuse me?” Said a lady to me as she approached.  “We’ve never met, but I remember seeing you before.  You smiled at me from across the room while at the missions conference in South Carolina.  That’s why I remember you, because of your smile.”

There I was, on the other side of the world from South Carolina, and because of my smile this lady remembered me from a very large conference that we had both attended three moths previous!  That’s how powerful a simple smile can be.  Small town or big city, I encourage you to get out there and SMILE!

~ Missy
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In need of a reason to smile?

Psalm 103:1-4  
"Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies"

Now that is something to smile about. :)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Digging for Truth

A few months ago a dear older sister in Christ wrote this to me in an email when I was having a hard time.  It was just the encouragement I needed, and I thought I would share it with you all.  It begins with her discussing a study...and just gets better from there.  May you be just as encouraged as I was.
"It [this study] is about the early and Latter Rains of scripture and Digging Ditches in the Desert. The Old Testament talks about Streams in the Desert....places that were once parched and had not enjoyed the early or latter rains for quite some time. They are not wastelands, but places of deep, buried and abandoned value. The whole picture thread throughout this study is the purpose of those discouraging dry times of life as we are digging truth out of the word without that truth seeming to be a blessing to us or anyone else at the time. The times when things don't make sense and we feel alone in the things we learn and cannot share them with like-minded Believers without reaction or argument against the truth. It is like they could be saying....'don't dig there, there is no current value there.'
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 "You will encounter this throughout your entire life. One of the beauties of our Lord is that He perfectly possesses grace and truth at the same time. But His grace never graces-the-truth out of truth. I have to keep that motto

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Natural Remedies: The Use of Probiotics

 We’ve all had those times where we don’t feel well from a yeast infection, stomach bug, or eczema.  Maybe those issues go away quickly…other times they just stick around for what seems like, well…forever.

I am not big into taking medicines, but there have been a few times I have really needed antibiotics or strong medicines to get me over an illness.  These are always great because I get better from my first ailment…but I have found that taking such strong medicines mess up my system.  In particular, my digestive system.

You see, our bodies get sick when we get too much bad bacteria…but our healthy bodies have a balance between good and bad bacteria naturally living within us.  The trouble with antibiotics is that it kills the bad bacteria AND the good bacteria.  When this good bacteria is killed off, it leaves our bodies off balance and then we don’t feel well and have a new type of “sickness.”  

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I found the one of the ways to help my body recuperate from this loss of good bacteria is the use of probiotics.  There are many things which probiotics can help remedy including:
  • Diarrhea
  • Urinary Tract Infections
  • Any type of Yeast Infection
  • Muscle Pain
  • Fatigue
  • Autoimmune Disorders
  • Allergies
  • Inflammation
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Eczema (especially in infants and children)
  • Colds and flus
Probiotics can be found in foods, but are usually easiest found in pill form.  However, if you are looking to eat those probiotics through your diet, check out these food items:
  • Yogurt:  Look for live-cultured yogurt, particularly those that are made from goat’s milk.  In your average grocery store you can find “Activia” brand yogurt that has probiotics in it.
  • Dark Chocolate: Yes, ladies, you just found an excuse for eating dark chocolate.  Believe it or not, dark chocolate is high in probiotics.  Make sure it is a high-quality form of dark chocolate, however, or you may be getting the low end of the deal.
  • Sauerkraut: Sauerkraut is rich in live cultures and also high in vitamins A, B, C, and E.  Sauerkraut is also thought to help reduce allergies and allergy symptoms.
  • Kefir: A popular health drink in Europe, this drink comes in dairy and non-dairy forms.  It is high in probiotics and can be used as a healthy milk alternative in smoothies, sauces, and any recipes calling for milk!
  • Pickles: Surprisingly, pickles are said to have plenty of probiotics.  Supposedly, if you make your own pickles they will have an increased number of probiotics in them.
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There are many other places to find probiotics within a diet (although many of the foods are considered very unusual to our culture) but that gives you an idea that you CAN find them through eating food. 

You can also find probiotics in pill, or powder, form.  There are dozens of probiotics…all for slightly different purposes.  Just to name a few (and these are the ones I currently am taking) there are:
  • Acidophilus
  • Kyodophilus
  • Jarrowdophilus (A combination mix…similar to a multivitamin, yet with probiotics.)
  • Zymex (Also a combination mix)
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 When I am actively trying to combat getting my “good bacteria” back inside my normal flora, I take 2-3 of each type of pill every day.  When I am “stable” (or simply maintaining the healthy balance) I take 1 of each daily.  I just make sure that I have those pills with my normal vitamins in the morning!  It is really a simple process.

Have I made you curious yet?  I hope so.  There is much information out on probiotics, so it is really impossible to give you the full picture of the use of probiotics.  However, I hope this post will make you curious and that you will be able to find a place for the healthy use of probiotics in your life!  Happy researching!

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PLEASE NOTE: These are only natural home remedies that no professional has reviewed or written.  This is not to take the place of professional medical advice, it is merely to aid you at home.  If you are concerned, it is best to call your doctor and follow instructions given by him/her.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May Photo Challenge!

          May is finally here and so is our May Photo Challenge!  Our challenge theme is, "Springtime." (As voted by our followers. Thank you!)

Our 1st place winner will receive:  "Come What May," on DVD.

          "Come What May" is an amazing movie that was produced by a large number of home school families.  I really enjoyed watching this movie and was very impressed by the message that is presented.  If you would like to read more about this movie, you can visit:

Our 2nd place winner will receive:  A really cool, make it yourself "Calendar Kit!"  (See below pictures for details)

          Are you ready to take on the challenge?  Ok then!  Grab your camera or locate a picture that you have taken in the past and then come back and link up to your blog post, flicker, or other public online album.  

          To "Link Up," just copy and paste the link to your blog or album into the link tool below.  Simply submit your name, and there you have it!  You're in the contest!

          Please include our blog button in your post or beneath your photo and give the link to this challenge so that others can join in on the fun as well!

          This challenge ends May 31st, 2012. (Midnight) Finalists will be announced as soon as possible!