Category Archives: Tips & Tricks

15 Ways To Help Heal a Sore Throat

SoreAs I lay in bed sleeping peacefully, something inside of me must of thought I didn’t have enough crap to deal with.  In dreamless slumber, my body devised a plan to put more on my schedule, help add a little stress before Thanksgiving, where who knows how many people will be visiting.  So, as I woke up, it began it’s plan. My body jumped into action, as it is good at conniving evil plans, the left side of my throat began to swell as I swallowed and my left nostril, not to be outdid, filled itself with mucus so that only half of my nose could be deemed useful.  Aaah, teamwork.  An essential function of any successful team.  And here I was worried that I might actually get my house ready, grocery shopping done and the laundry caught up a few days in advance.  What a fool I must be!  So, in my brilliance I am launching a defense.  At terrible risk of an uprising, of getting caught and having it turned against me in an attempt to sabotage my healing attempt, but I shall stand brave.  It has been 17 minutes since I began writing this and the medicine has started clearing up one nostril, though the other has begun it’s betrayal.  My throat is still killing me on one side and my head has begun to pound.  Oh, how I love the flu.  Such fun this is!

Remedies

Gargle with one of the following:

*Cayenne Pepper: Mix 1/8th of a tsp of cayenne pepper with 1/2 cup warm water.

*Salt: Add 1 tsp of table salt to a cupful of warm water.

*Apple Cider Vinegar: Mix 2 tsp of Apple Cider Vinegar with a cup of warm water.

*Ginger: Make a strong brew with freshly grated ginger (about 3 tsp per cup of boiling water), steep for about 5 minutes then stir in a spoonful of honey and sip.

*Thyme: Brew 1 tablespoon dried thyme in 1 cup boiling water. Strain before using.

*Hydrogen Peroxide: Gargle 3% hydrogen peroxide to fight the infection. If the taste is too much for you, dilute with some water first (about 50/50).

*Raspberry leaf tea: Pour 1 cup boiling water over 2 teaspoons dried leaves. Steep for 10 minutes, then strain. Allow to cool. If you also have a fever, the gargle can be used as a fever-reducing drink, too. Do not drink any liquid you have used as a gargle.

*Sage: Mix 1 teaspoon in 1 cup boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes, then strain. Add 1 teaspoon each cider vinegar and honey, then gargle four times a day.

*Turmeric: Mix together 1 cup hot water, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Gargle with the mixture twice a day. If you’re not good with the gargle, mix 1/2 teaspoon turmeric in 1 cup hot milk and drink. Turmeric stains clothing, so be careful when mixing and gargling.

*Homemade Tea: Mix 8 oz water, 1 Tbsp honey and 1 Tbsp cider vinegar.  Heat and drink while warm.  (Not good for the little ones!)

*Lemon Juice: Mix 1 tablespoon each of honey and lemon juice in 1 cup warm water and sip away.

*Lime Juice: Combine 1 spoonful with a spoonful of honey and take as often as needed for a sore throat.

*Steam Tent — sitting with your face over a bowl of steaming hot water and your head covered with a towel to keep the steam in. Adding 1 to 2 drops eucalyptus oil can be a soothing addition.

*Stay Hydrated: It is recommended that you drink 10 8 oz glasses of water per day.  Drink as much as you can!  You’ll need hydration to fight bacteria!

*Garlic: Peel a fresh clove, slice it in half, and place 1 piece in each cheek. Suck on the garlic like a cough drop. Occasionally, crush your teeth against the garlic, not to bite it in half, but to release its allicin, a chemical that can kill the bacteria that causes strep.

 

 

 

 

Originally posted 2013-11-20 03:45:12.

Are You Exposing Your Children to Predators?

Protecting Your Privacy

The gist of the video is this: if you aren’t careful ANYONE can find you via the geo tagging that is automatically done on the majority of phones!  That means your kid could be found, wherever they are from a snap of a pic!  I love social media, but people being able to hunt down my kids and loved ones is not okay!  There are any number of predators within miles of pretty much any location, not to mention everywhere we go.  This little piece of knowledge could be enough to keep a predator from getting to your child, or to someone else’s.

There are few things that we can do to keep our children safe, this is one of those things.  In an ideal world, no child would ever be in danger and predators would cease to exist.  Unfortunately, that’s not the reality.  Take a few moments and do this small thing to help keep the biggest, most priceless pieces of your life a little bit safer.  If you want and can’t find a how to on stopping your phone from geo-tagging, let me know and I will help ya look.  😀  In general, check the settings in the camera app first.  😀  Hopefully the ones below will help you!

Samsung SIII

Apple, Android, Blackberry

Originally posted 2013-08-13 08:05:09.

Wedding Day: 13 Tips For The Perfect Day

Tips to Make Your Wedding Day a Success

We have gathered 13 fabulous wedding day tips to help make your day perfect!  When you are done here, be sure and check out Event Planning 911, stocked full of free resources, tips, custom invitations and more!

 13 Tips for a Fabulous Wedding Day

Weddings in one word: stressful. It’s the most amazing day of your life. You get to marry the person of your dreams, but surprises and roadblocks make it feel like the day will never happen. Everything will seem to be going against you on the days leading up to your wedding day. There will surely be a problem with the cake or the dress or the venue. Just the thought will make you consider eloping.

You have nothing to really fear though. When you take the right steps and are prepared for anything, your perfect day will go off without a hitch. Here are ten tips that you can take to ensure that your walk down the aisle is super smooth.

 

  1. Start Getting Fit and Looking Sharp Months in Advance

It’s only natural that when people get married, they want to look their best. Whether that’s losing weight, getting a brighter smile, or starting a skin care regimen, there are all sorts of ways that you can start planning now so that you’ll be the most splendid version of yourself on the big day.

 

To get fit, and also to keep the stress to a minimum, exercising outdoors is ideal. No matter the season, you can find season-appropriate hiking gear. The exercise will not only help you achieve your fitness goals, but research has shown that being in nature helps to elevate your overall mood and reduce stress.

 

To ensure that you and your soon-to-be life partner have winning smiles in all your wedding photos, you will also want to pick up a set up waterpiks. Use these along with regular brushing to eliminate plaque and get a brighter, whiter smile.

 

  1. Discover Your Dream Dress ASAP

This is for the ladies. You want to make sure that you find the wedding dress of your dreams as soon as you’ve said yes. You would be amazed at how many women put off the dress buying stage for months, thinking they can lose just a few more pounds before getting fitted. But when you go to buy your dress, there will be so many options that it will be a very involved and difficult process to find one that really is perfect for your style and the ideal vision of how you want to look when walking down the aisle. And the fitting? Remember, you can be fitted for the dress right before the wedding, so there’s really no sense in putting it off.

 

  1. Make Sure You’re Organized

No matter how much cash daddy dished out to make your day special, it’ll be a mess without organization. The size of the wedding isn’t a factor in this either. Big or small, if a wedding hasn’t been properly organized there are going to be some nasty bumps along the way.

 

Have a notebook set aside where you jot down the ideas you have for the wedding. Write down the tasks that need to be done in here as well. Organize them into a logical order and determine when you need/want each task to be done. Checking these things off will show you the progress you’ve made as well as make everything feel more manageable. Plus, if you think of something new then you can just write it down.

 

  1. Make Sure You’re on The Same Page

Everyone is told that the wedding day is the bride’s day, but that isn’t true. A marriage is a promise between you and your partner. There shouldn’t be just one day dedicated to what one person wants. You want to incorporate things that you both enjoy so that this day is the most important day for you both.

 

While you both may love your friends, siblings, and parents, they aren’t apart of your marriage, Make sure the person you’re on the same page with is the one you’re marrying and no one else. They’ll have some good intended ideas but you shouldn’t change anything about your wedding just because they said you should. The only two opinions that matter on this issue are yours as a couple.

 

  1. Handle the Big Stuff First

The best way to tackle your “to do” list is tackling the biggest tasks first. These elements include the guest list, venue or venues, and the budget. But in addition to the wedding, the big stuff includes getting the other things that will change after the wedding day settled and out of the way. Many couples move into a new home after they get married, but if that’s something you’re planning, you want to think about those plans right now, not later. The planning for the wedding will be stressful enough, so be prepared ahead of time by looking into homeowner necessities like a home warranty lender months in advance of even purchasing a home.

 

If you don’t live together already, you will also want to think about what kind of mattress to share as a couple. That way, on the day of your wedding when you walk into your dream home, everything including your mattress will be perfect, just the way you planned it.

 

When you have all of these things in order, the more enjoyable part of planning begins.

 

  1. Be Flexible

While the perfect June wedding seems like something to aim for, it will make your search way easier if you have flexible dates. When you don’t have a date set in mind, it becomes easier for the venue you’re interested in to accommodate you. Popular venues are usually booked months in advance. When you don’t have a date in mind, it helps to stop disappointment before you can feel it.

Check out our Wedding Collection! Perfect gifts for the Bride & Groom only at theapollobox.com!

In addition to scheduling, you also want to be flexible in other areas of your life, including your attitude. Many people hear the horror stories of the bridezilla who torments everyone trying to get things her way—don’t become that person, not toward your friends, family, or even your fiancé. Instead, be flexible. So your partner likes to come home and spend the evenings playing high-stakes live casino games. While you might prefer he spend that time with you, don’t try to control every aspect of his life to meet your expectations. Becoming a control freak in the months leading up to the wedding will show in the tension on your wedding day. To avoid all that, stay flexible.

 

  1. Narrow It Down to One Venue

A wedding is an extremely personal thing. It can be either a religious ceremony or a civil ceremony. When it’s a civil ceremony, it makes it easier to combine venues to fit all of your functions. Doing this can save you money on transportation and time.

 

  1. Secure Your Suppliers Early

To avoid disappointments and last-minute cancellations, secure your videographer, photographer, hair stylist, and makeup artist as early as you possibly can. They have schedules to keep too, so you want to think about these things as soon as possible.

 

  1. Make Sure Your Suppliers Are Recommended and Reliable

 

Just like with buying any service, research is key. Spend your time perusing their portfolio to see if their aesthetic matches yours. Set up a meeting with them so that you can gauge your interactions with them. You want them to make you feel comfortable, happy, and confident.

 

  1. Show Your Suppliers What You Want

You got wedding inspiration from somewhere. Show that to those you’re working with. Whether it be pictures from a wedding magazine or photos off of Pinterest, show where you got your ideas, so they know what you expect of them.

 

  1. Pick Up a New Talent

You might feel like you don’t have time to pick up a new talent, but when the wedding day rolls around, you’ll wish you had. Your wedding is your day to shine, and what better time than to astound your friends and family by showing off your new singing skills that you honed through online professional singing lessons? Maybe you can sing your vows, or you and your loved one could partner up and sing a duet for the whole audience.

 

  1. On the Big Day, Delegate Tasks

You don’t want to be running everywhere on your wedding. Assign jobs to your wedding party so that the photographer knows where you want them, the suppliers are paid, and people are gathered where they’re supposed to be. You’re supposed to be carefree on this day so give everything to everyone else.

 

  1. Hire a Planner

If planning seems too much for you, there is one simple solution: a wedding planner. Planning is an underestimated art that is time-consuming. Wedding planners work to ensure you are not stressed. They do everything on the above list for you, so the day isn’t the only day that you’re relaxed.

Event Planning 911: Free Printables, Resources, & Custom Invitations

Event Planning 911: Free Resources for weddings, graduations, announcements & more

Planning an event is fun for me, but I’ve recently seen first hand how stressful it can be for some!  A dear friend is planning her wedding and it seems to be causing some serious anxiety for her.  Of course, I’ll help as much as I can.  There was a twinge of guilt when I had to admit that I didn’t plan my own wedding, My Uncle, whom I’ve worked with in helping other brides with their day, did all of the arranging and planning for our wedding.  I was and still am very grateful!  If you live in Arkansas, or want to have the best for your wedding, check out this wedding & event planner!  I assure you, you would not be disappointed!  What I did do, completely on my own, is our wedding invitations.  This just so happens to be what my friend is battling at the moment.  So, like any good

Event Planning Help: Free Printables, Resources, & Custom Invitationsmatron of honor, I thought I’d do some research for her.  What kind of blogger would I be if I didn’t share with you as well?

Event Planning Help: Free Printables, Resources, & Custom InvitationsBasic Invites has a selection worth looking into!  Not only do they have beautiful custom wedding invitations, they also have photo, graduation and party invitations, and for after: collage thank you cards that are out of this world perfect!  I love that they have both foil and non-foil cards as well as SO many different colors and a ton (over 40) of colored envelopes!  They are truly gorgeous and I wish I’d known of them when we got married!  Fortunately, I know of them now and will be using them in the future!  While there won’t be another wedding, there will be plenty of other events!  With graduation coming up, I think they’ll come in handy soon!  I have yet another niece who insists on growing up and graduating soon.  Plus the first will be getting married in the next couple of years.

Continue reading Event Planning 911: Free Printables, Resources, & Custom Invitations

5 Cool Uses for Honey

5CoolUsesForHoney

Hey Everyone!  I thought this week I’d bring you some great new uses for honey!  Check them out below and let me know what you think!  Do you have any ‘alternative’ uses for honey!?!  Well, get to sharing!  😀

Does wonders for your skin and is super easy.  Also it keeps for a while!  I suggest making less than the recipe calls for because it doesn’t take much to do your facial!  😀

2.  Heal wounds, cuts, scrapes and burns!
Yep, you read it correctly!  God knew what he was doing when he gave us those sweet honey bees.  Honey is a natural antiseptic!  😀  Just put some on your ‘boo boo’ and let it do it’s thing!

3.  Energy Shot
Skip the unhealthy stuff and get you a teaspoon of honey before a workout, it will give you the extra boost without the harmful side effects!

4.  Get rid of those Nasty Hangovers
I can say I’m glad to be past that point in my life, but if you know someone who isn’t you can give them a little honey on toast or in tea.  The fructose helps boost the metabolism of alcohol and get rid of it!  Yay!

5.  Lose Weight!
If you use honey instead of sugar you’ll save lots of calories!  Plus, you’ll get that extra metabolism boost to lift you up a bit!  Now, isn’t that sweet!  LOL.

Do you have any more uses for honey???
Any requests for a Friday 5???
Comment below!

Originally posted 2012-09-28 05:00:00.

Red Glitter Floor

 PinterestFail

As part of our remodel, we decided to do the hallway floor in red glitter.  We wanted to have a red carpet look, as we decorate the hall with music posters.  It came out more like Dorothy’s red glitter shoes.  Pretty, but not very manageable…  We’ll discuss that later…  First, here is the how to!

Step 1
Completely, and I mean completely, clean the concrete floor of anything that may be on it.  You want the concrete to be spotless and dry.  Lots of sweeping.  Be prepared.  😀

 

 Step 2
Using a garage floor coating kit, go around the edges first.  After you do the edges, you can go back and do the middle.  Make sure you do a thick coat.
 Waiting and advertising for the glitter company: My Monkey

 

 Step 3
Throw the glitter up in the air, allowing it to land as it may.  Don’t spread it like chicken feed, it needs to spread out.  It will clump if you aren’t careful.
 Here is a close up of the finished product.  Be patient, you’ll get there!
 Step 4
Wait for the glitter to dry.  Give it at least 24 hours.  Sweep off the excess glitter.  There will be a LOT..
Step 5
 Go over the glitter with poly.  It will need lots of thick coats.  Each coat needs a minimum of 4-6 hours to dry before the next coat.

 

The Finished Product:
 The finished product is very pretty, unfortunately after 5 coats of poly it is still rough.  It feels like sandpaper.  I have no idea how to fix it, or how to clean it.  We can sweep it but that doesn’t do much good.  Especially since Chief Zoo Keeper decided he’d try to use a regular mop on it and the floor tore the mop to shreds!  Another warning you may like to heed, if you have a crack in your cement, it WILL show through the glitter…
So, if anyone of you have tried this or decide to do it and have some sort of tip I’ve missed, please let me know!  Until then, I shall enjoy my pretty yet rough floor!  I’m also working on figuring out how to clean it…..

Originally posted 2012-05-02 05:00:00.

Medicine Bottle Uses

Hello People…Let’s see…  End of the year….  We’re all thinking or hearing people talk about the lies we tell ourselves at the end of each year….My usual:

  • Lose weight…  I know, original…
  • Get organized…  Don’t even get me started….
  • Be more patient….  stupid list takes forever!….  LOL
  • Yep…  that’s all I can remember from years past….
What I can say, is I never kept them so I stopped trying!  LOL.  But, I did come up with some nifty little uses for re-using medicine bottles and thought I would share, just in case you are bored, needed an idea, or can actually keep your New Year’s Resolutions!
I have about a million bottles…. well….  at least it seems that way sometimes!  Thanks to my narcolepsy my bottle collection keeps growing.  I can’t seem to just throw them away, it seems so wasteful!  So, I wash them and find uses!  Not all of them are pictured, but here is the use list so far:
  1. Paper clips, one for small one for big!
  2. Christmas ornament hooks!
  3. pencil erasers
  4. those pesky thumb tacks
  5. nails, each size=different bottle
  6. birthday candles
  7. buttons
  8. glitter
  9. beads
  10. pins
What do you do with your old medicine bottles???  I’d love some new ideas!!!

Pin It

Gayle Page-Robak said…

Great idea segment for meds’ bottles. I hate throwing them away as well. Some uses…keep a batch for loose coin change…one each for nickels, dimes, etc. etc. Another thing, I use the bottle as a base for small floral decorations for the tree…Add a ribbon or wire for a hanger. I put a tiny piece of floral foam inside the base portion of the bottle and then add dry or silk florals. Gets your creative mojo going. Great little gifts as well. I am now a follower of your blog and look forward to return visits. I invite you to join me as well at http://atastefultouch.blogspot.com
Hugs, Gayle.

Originally posted 2011-12-30 04:11:00.

Artificial Christmas Tree Tips

ArtificialTreeDecoratinga Rafflecopter giveaway
We’re running late on that whole decorating thing this year!  Life has been really crazy!  Of course, it usually is!  Anyway, I thought I would post some tree tips for you.  Ours is old.  We got it from someone for free on Craigslist and I’m too cheap, oops, FRUGAL to buy a new one!  So, frugality creates lots of room for creativity!

Tip #1:  Cleaning Your Tree (The Easy Way)

So my brother was cleaning out my garage, being the sweet brother he is, and had his not so wise friend helping him.  Said friend put my tree up in the attic.  What said Friend DIDN’T think anything about the fact that there was loose cotton ALL over the attic!!!  For some reason, they chose to insulate it with cotton!  Anyway, my solution: furniture vacuum extension!!!  Works like a charm!!!

Tip #2: Marking the light strings!

If you have a pre-lit tree, or even if you simply use regular string lights, tying a bright piece of ribbon on the ends of the cords will help you be able to easily find them so that you don’t have to spend hours going through the branches trying to find them!  However, you will see that I used a gold ribbon—  don’t use gold!!!  It was very hard to find!  The orange worked great though!!!

Tip #3: Keep would-be helpers at bay!

 For the four legged friends, bones maybe???
 For the Monkeys, might I suggest busy work?  LOL

Tip #4: Fixing broken branches

 If you have an artificial tree, you know the pains of the infamous broken branches!  Obviously, you put them back in their place and use a screw to hold the branch up but we all know that won’t keep the branch where it needs to be!  So, made a chain with paper clips and hang it from the branch above where it’s supposed to be.  Just remember not to hang heavy ornaments from it!!!
I would love to show you the finished product, but I am waiting on my Monkey to get around to helping me!  She wants to help, but she keeps having to go to bed or do something else (stupid homework!).  So, whenever it gets up, I’ll give ya a peek!  In the meantime, let me know if you have any tips or tricks of your own!!!

This next one would be a great Christmas Gift!

DIY Jewelry Hanger

Originally posted 2011-12-03 14:14:00.

How to Boost Your Childs Learning

How to Boost Your Childs LearningAdults and children alike struggle with learning and memory.  We are constantly attempting to find new ways to boost learning which inspired me to find some lessons on it.  So, enjoy the fruits of my curiosity and learn how to boost your child’s memory in the process!
Children and adults alike are fascinated with magic. You simply have to look around some sort of magic, whether it be in books on television or in the imagination. Sleight of hand and tricks of the eye fascinate everyone in the audience.
I remember when my son was small how bad he wanted a magic kit and how much fun he had to do his tricks fool his parents, sisters, family, and friends. It was easy to captivate his attention while hands were moving and magic was happening. Let the Little Children Come has figured this out created a little piece of magic to further the word of God. Continuing with their meaningful colors, this Gospel Magic Bag magically changes as one teaches the most valuable lesson a child will ever learn. One thing we all struggle with is memory, learning and getting information to sink in.
When I was a young teenager I remember a lesson I learned at church camp using visual aids to this day I have remembered the lesson that I learned in that. I learned at that moment, that it wasn’t about appearance or size or what color but what was inside that truly mattered. Even though I was only I still remember that over 20 years later.  Point being, the visual aid had a huge impact on my memory.
There are many benefits to utilizing visual aids while teaching a lesson. Not only does our brain learn better but it enables us to utilize more than one portion of our brain as we are learning therefore the lesson sticks deeper then words might alone.  There are studies that clearly demonstrate a difference between auditory and visual learning where visual learning was proven to be a much more effective way to retain information. A clear example of this are company logos.  We don’t need those white letters to know the ‘golden arches’ are a very large popular fast food chain.  Almost any child in the US only needs to see that to start asking for a kids meal from their establishment!  I love this study published by the University of Alabama School of Medicine that clearly shows how much participants remembered from 3 hours to 3 days with verbal only versus visual aids and a combination of the two.  All of this and there are tons more to back up the same, so why would not use visual aids to teach the most important lesson our children will ever learn?

5 Great Lessons from Optical Illusions

Should you Hug the Children?

The New You #Divatress #beauty #ad

The New YouSo to get this out the way, this is a sponsored post. Since my opinion is not for sale, all are my own! Enjoy.
Ever noticed how an actress can look so different in real life versus on screen that she is difficult to recognize? Even when it’s in the tabloids, we have to do a double take because the difference is so huge! Granted, I’m sure they can easily tell and so can their personal friends and families but the average person can’t always tell. A good friend of mine is a celebrity nut for whatever reason and she can spot people like crazy! We both like to bicker, so I frequently argue with her but she is typically right but it is always entertaining to do anyway. That topic really made me start thinking about how I could alter my appearance for fun. I have to admit, sometimes I’m envious of that easy difference that my beautiful black friends and family members can make with wigs and weaves and what not. Many of them have made comments on my hair being so straight and ‘easy’ (it is, but I can do nothing with it).


For all of you black women out there, know this white chick is jealous of your hair. I absolutely love braids but dreads are not meant for white people hair, seriously not, and our braids must be taken out after a day or two to be able to wash or else we get this look that is just nasty. Our hair must be washed frequently to keep from looking disgusting, yours however is best when not constantly washed. If you want dreads and you aren’t black, get a wig, otherwise it’s just gross. Outside of your general group of friends, no one thinks that looks good. Unless you are that one chick, Bo Derrick, she pulled it off. Quite possibly due to the fact that she had a ton of professionals to make it happen. Some things are better left undone.

1. Get a New Look

I was totally amazed at how a different outfit can alter ones appearance. Especially if it’s not their typical style! It only takes a few key pieces of clothing to go from one style to a totally different one. You don’t have to go overboard shopping, hit up local thrift stores and find 2-3 key pieces for a look you don’t typically sport. The difference when put together with the other tips is astounding.

The New You 5 Ways to create, re-create, or just mix up the outward you!
Photos Courtesy of Divatress.com Vivica A Fox Handmade Collection

2. Accessorize

Accessories make a huge difference. Purses, jewelry, hats, wigs, hair pieces and others coordinated with that new look you are going for really pulls it together and completely alters the way we look. It can take us from one person to another simply and easily!

3. Step out of your comfort zone

It’s not always easy to try something new, especially something like a new look. Don’t let it stop you. If it helps, go into your mind and pretend you are playing a role like they do on stage. You are beautiful, no matter what’s on the outside so flaunt it!

4. Change your make-up style

I know I tend to use the same colors all the time and I put it on the same way every time. Youtube is full of new ways to expand your make-up regimen. Explore and experiment!

5. Change your hair

Finally, and this one can be the most drastic of all, change your hair! Play with wigs, hair styles, colors, the sky is the limit!  There are even temporary colors now that make everything seem incredibly different!

By the way, if a wig is a way you want to go you should check out Divatress!  They have a ton to choose from!  There are so many that I just love!  Definitely planning on using their site to change up my outward me soon.  I think it will be a fun thing to play with.

Remember this:
However you change up your style, whether it’s little things or a total appearance change, always remember that you are beautiful, special and it’s the inside that counts. No amount of outside change could ever change what’s deep down on the inside. So step out, check yourself and enjoy life to the fullest!