Real Deals: This Week’s Sales and Discounts on Natural Products

Real Deals: This Week's Sales and Discounts on Natural Products for the week of 11/4

This week’s top deals:

burt

As low as $5.94-$6.64 Burt’s Bees Fabulously Fresh Peppermint & Rosemary Body Wash, 12 Fluid Ounces is on sale for $6.99.  Save 5-15% with Subscribe & Save. Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order. 

7th 
As low as $21.17-$24.36 ($0.44- $0.51/roll) Seventh Generation Bathroom Tissue, 2-ply, 300 Sheets, 12-Count (Pack of 4) is on sale for $31.96. Save $6 after your coupon is applied to the first delivery of this subscription (you must be logged in). Save an additional 5-15% with Subscribe & Save. Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order.

runa

As low as $12.94-$14.79  Runa Amazon Guayusa Spice Tea, Organic Cinnamon – Lemongrass, 1 Pound is on sale for $18.49.  Save 15% when you clip the coupon below the product description (you must be logged in). Save an additional 5-15% with Subscribe & Save. Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order.

abe's

Up to 25% Off Select Brands of Chocolate at Abe’s Market. Sale ends TODAY (November 4, 2014)

 

Thinking of Christmas gifts…

minecraft

Save $2  Just $32.99  LEGO Minecraft, Micro World.  Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order.

green toys

List price $27.99  Just $18.19  Green Toys Build-a-Bouquet Floral Arrangement Playset.  Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order. 

doodleLowest price to-date!  Crayola Doodle Magic Lap Desk is on sale for $24.42 (reusable art supplies = more eco-friendly art, plus less mess for Mom :).  Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order. 

doll

  List price $33.24 Just $$29.99  HABA Clara Doll.  Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order.   

blend

Lowest Prices Ever!  Certified Refurbished Blendtec Blenders an additional $30 Off + FREE Shipping.  Holiday Promo November 1-December 1, 2014.  While supplies last.  Total Blender Classic Certified Refurbished $279.95 with your additional $30 off get it for just $249.95! (new $399.95)  Or check out the Designer Series Certified Refurbished $379.95 with your additional $30 off get it for just $349.95 (new $479.99).

crock

List price $49.99 Just $29.99  Crock-Pot SCCPVL600S Cook’ N Carry 6-Quart Oval Manual Portable Slow Stainless Steel Cooker.  Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order. juicer 

List price $149.99 On sale for $46.99  Chefs Star Juicer Wide Mouth Fruit & Vegetable Juice Extractor – Stainless Steel.  Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order.

tool belt

List price $90.10 Just $64.95  Milwaukee 49-17-0190 Tool Belt   Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order. (Do a lot of DIY projects? Or have a hubby that does?)

FREE Kindle eBooks:

(Note: Prices can change without notice, so please double check the price before purchasing)

detox teas

The Ultimate Detox Teas – Discover Herbal Teas To Cleanse Your Body, Improve Your Health And Feel Great (Herbal Teas, Detox, Detox Cleanse, Detox Drinks, … Body, Detoxification, Drink, Diet, Recipes) [Kindle Edition]  

secret

The Best Secrets of Natural Remedies 2nd Edition: The Ultimate Guide to Natural Remedies to Prevent and Cure Illnesses, Cold and Flu for Your Family (Herbal … Cures, Prevent Diseases,Natural Remedies) [Kindle Edition] 

7

The 7 Habits That Will Change Your Life Forever [Kindle Edition]

kabob

30 Great Kabob Recipes [Kindle Edition]

penny

Penny to a Million: Junior Entrepreneur Guide [Kindle Edition]

stretch

Keep Calm and Stretch: 44 Stretching Exercises To Increase Flexibility, Relieve Pain, Prevent Injury, And Stay Young! [Kindle Edition]  

This week’s best coupons:


Real Deals: This Week's Sales and Discounts on Natural Products for the week of 11/4

Find a deal you love? Share it! Pin this week’s post, tweet it, or share on Facebook.

Want to get these deals in your inbox each week?

Sign up for our once-a-week “real deals” email. It comes out each Tuesday morning.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. When you buy through our links, we earn a small commission, which helps to keep this site going so that we can continue to offer free and useful content, so thanks!
About prices: Though we do our very best to post only current deals and prices and to let you know when offers expire, companies can and do change their prices and offers at their own discretion, and we have no control over this. If you notice that a deal has changed, please let us know and we’ll change the post to alert other readers that something is no longer available. Thanks for understanding!

Cinnamon Apple Salad Recipe: A Perfect Holiday Side Dish

 Cinnamon Walnut Apple Salad {KeeperOfTheHome.org} By Emily McClements, Contributing Writer

My mom is a great cook. She grew up on a farm in Northwestern Ohio with vegetables from the garden, fruit from their fruit trees, fresh milk from their cow with real cream and homemade butter, eggs and meat from the neighbors’ chickens, and fresh beef from their cattle. She learned how to cook from her mom, my grandma, who was also an amazing cook, and then she passed her love of fresh, local, and homemade food on to my sisters and me.

I remember a lot of things about the food we ate in our family when I was growing up. When I was younger we had a garden in our backyard, and even after it became too much to keep up, my mom frequented the Farmer’s Market once or twice a week to feed us local, in-season fruits and veggies. I grew up loving beets and lima beans; two things I still can’t get my husband or kids to touch.

Over the past few years, as I try to get a nourishing meal on the table for my family every night, I’ve realized my mom had more than a few tricks up her sleeve for quick and simple meals when I was growing up. One of my favorite memories, breakfast for dinner where my dad cooked the pancake batter into animal shapes for my sisters and me, was actually a night off from cooking for her. Or “pizza boats” were really just an attempt to throw together a quick dinner using leftover buns and spaghetti meat sauce with a sprinkle of cheese on top, and popped into the toaster oven.

Then there was one of my favorites, apple salad, which seemed like a treat to us, but I now realize was just a simple, and delicious, way to serve us fruit in the winter time. Now I serve apple salad to my own family, with a few just a few small changes from my mom’s original “recipe,” to make it a little healthier. It’s still an easy way to serve fruit as a side dish, and this recipe is perfect to include in your upcoming holiday meals too!

Cinnamon Walnut Apple Salad {KeeperOfTheHome.org} 

 

Cinnamon Apple Salad Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4-6 smaller apples, or 3-4 large apples
  • 2 bananas
  • red or green grapes, halved (optional)
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • cinnamon to taste

Cinnamon Walnut Apple Salad {KeeperOfTheHome.org}

Directions

1. Mix yogurt with maple syrup and vanilla in small bowl. Chop walnuts. Set aside.
2. Chop apples and place into a large serving bowl.
3. Sprinkle apples with a few shakes of cinnamon, to taste.
4. Pour yogurt mixture onto apples and stir to combine.
5. Cut up bananas into pieces on top of apples. Add chopped walnuts and grapes, if using, to bowl and stir gently to combine. Serve immediately.

A few notes

You can also use vanilla yogurt in place of the plain yogurt, maple syrup and vanilla mixture.  My mom would add marshmallows as well, and I think that’s why we thought it was a treat. I leave the marshmallows out now, but if you have some homemade ones, it might be fun to add them for a special occasion. The yogurt helps to keep the apples and bananas from turning brown once cut, but it’s still best to serve this as soon as it’s made. It keeps nicely in the fridge if you have leftovers, but it doesn’t look as appealing after sitting for a while. Enjoy! Cinnamon Walnut Apple Salad {KeeperOfTheHome.org}

Did you have a favorite food or meal growing up that you realize now was just a quick trick or a shortcut to serving a healthy meal? Share your favorites with us in the comments!

Weekend Links

141101

Links for this week:

The Ministry of Mums @ (in)courage 

Why Women Don’t Need to Be Ashamed of Needing to Feel Beautiful @ Lisa-Jo Baker

Five-Minute Pumpkin Spice Mug Cake (with Coconut Flour) @ Red and Honey

Does simple living always mean “less”? @ The Art of Simple 

The Art of a Distraction Free Life @ Be More with Less 

Rustic Honey Caramel Apples @ GNOWFGLINS 

The Gift of Skepticism @ Shaun Groves 

3 Creative Ways to Love Kids Through Hard Spots @ A Holy Experience

Also, congratulations to Thomas M. who won our Blendtec giveaway! You can pick up your own Blendtec on their website and be sure to take a look at their certified refurbished models that give a nice discount but don’t compromise on quality!

What does choosing to be happy look like in your life?

5-Ingredient Southwestern Enchiladas

5-Ingredient Southwestern Enchiladas  {KeeperOfTheHome.org}

By Rachel Marie, Contributing Writer

I see a lot of friends asking in social media about dinner ideas – and I, for one, can always use more ideas.

One night a friend posted that she was having chicken enchiladas so I clicked over to the link, especially since I love Mexican food. The recipe had cream of chicken soup; I don’t normally use that since most of the canned varieties have MSG or even hidden MSG, which gives me terrible headaches.

But I wasn’t going to give up. Surely I could make a real food version. And I tried it!

This recipe only has 5 ingredients and has become one of my go-to’s for a fast dinner or even to bring to a potluck over the years.

5-Ingredient Southwestern Enchiladas

Ingredients

5-Ingredient Southwestern Enchiladas  {KeeperOfTheHome.org}

Method

  1. Gather ingredients, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook chicken. Sometimes I like to put all wet ingredients into the Crock-Pot and let it cook for a couple of hours.
  3. Grease a baking dish and line the bottom with tortillas. (A square dish makes enchiladas thicker, a rectangle dish makes them thinner.)
  4. In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients (except cheddar and tortillas)and place spoonfuls over the first layer of tortillas thoroughly. Top with cheese.
  5. Repeat steps until you have a final layer topped with cheese (should be about 3 to 4 layers).
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden on top.
  7. Enjoy!

5-Ingredient Southwestern Enchiladas  {KeeperOfTheHome.org}

It’s always great when I can find easy dinners, especially if they don’t have a ton of ingredients.

Here’s a list of dinners made with 5 ingredients or less (not counting the salt):

What are your go-to dinners?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. When you buy through our links, we earn a small commission, which helps to keep this site going so that we can continue to offer free and useful content, so thanks!

How I’m Learning to Make Incredible Artisan Bread (and a Giveaway So You Can, Too!)

How I'm Learning to Make Incredible Artisan Bread (and a Giveaway So You Can, Too!)

Of all the foods we ate while on our trip, one that stands out most to me was the bread in France.

It didn’t matter where we were. Rural town or large city, we would seek out a local bakery and get a fresh loaf each day.

Sometimes we chose the large, rounded loaves with a cross etched in the middle. Other times a simple, crusty baguette. There was sourdough, and chewy white loaves, and hearty multigrain breads.

So many options, but what they all had in common was that their traditional baking methods made those few ingredients – flour, water, salt, and maybe yeast – absolutely sing with the richest flavor.

Every nuance of the grain came out, in a sweet and almost nutty, hearty flavor that you just don’t get in regular sandwich loaves from the store. Their flavor comes from the added ingredients, and often from a bit of sweetener. The difference with the bread in France (and really, most of Europe) was that the bakers had learned to coax the bread’s true flavor to come out of hiding.

I’ve been baking bread, on and off, for a long time. And I can make a not-too-shabby loaf. But it doesn’t taste like the artisanal loaves we ate in France.

When I was talking several months back with Craftsy about which courses I’d like to review (you can read my knife skills review here), I was immediately drawn to the Artisan Bread Making course.

As much as I adore a superb, hand-crafted loaf of artisanal bread, I really can’t afford to buy it very often and truthfully, it’s pretty hard to find high quality bread where I live. Which means learning to make it myself was probably my best bet.

Learning to bake Artisan Bread

I began the course several weeks ago, on a slow afternoon where I had time to sit down and really take in the instructions. Lessons 2 and 3 (Supplies, Definitions & Steps, and then Preparing the Dough) were really important for me, because I wanted to deeply understand the science and art behind what makes a bread really great, instead of just good.

The instructor is a professional baker and instructor named Peter Reinhart, and it’s clear that not only is he passionate about the art of bread making, but he understands it inside out. I appreciated his careful and thorough explanations. He demonstrated the tools that would be most helpful in my bread making, but also offered alternative ways to do things if I didn’t have all the right things on hand (which I didn’t).

Screenshot 2014-10-27 22.12.58

Because I really wanted to learn the most basic, foundational techniques first, I started with a Lean or Straight Dough, which is simply flour, water, yeast and salt. This is what you’d use to make your basic baguettes or boules (rounded loaves), as well as a batard (somewhere between the long, skinny baguette and the rounded boule).

It seems common sense to me now, but I had never realized that each of these breads would be made with the same basic dough, but that it was the size and shape of the bread that affected the crust and the softness or chewiness. If you’re all about that crust, you want a baguette. If you really enjoy that lovely, softer texture (the crumb), you’ll want to make a boule so you have more soft interior and less crust. Like both equally? Go for a batard, to get the best of both worlds.

Making the dough was both easier and more complex than I thought. It was easy in that there were so few ingredients to measure and no heavy mixing or kneading required. I loved that.

It was a bit more complex in that it required me to set a timer and keep going back to my dough every hour to stretch and roll it for a few minutes before allowing it to sit again. That said, I think that once you get the hang of it, the process wouldn’t feel complex but would just be a quick pause that you take as you go about your day.

My understanding of the why behind this method is that rather than the constant kneading, you very gently pull the dough to work the gluten but without overworking it. You’re allowing the gluten to develop very naturally, and this contributes to the uneven holes that develop, which give it that true artisan look and which also allows the rich flavors to fully develop.

Either way, I made it through these steps and came to the shaping. His instructions were so clear and easy to follow. I don’t think I’ll ever forget how to shape any of these three types of loaves from now on!

We chose to make two small boules, at least for our first attempt (but next time, I’d like to try a batard).

Here’s our finished loaf:

whole boule loave out of oven artisan bread

I know that I made a couple of small mistakes, just by not following along quite carefully enough. I didn’t realize until after that I had mistakenly allowed the loaf to finish rising on my flat surface instead of in the bowl as he showed in the videos, and I think that contributed to a slighter flatter loaf than I might have had otherwise.

Also, I cheated slightly, and instead of using all organic unbleached wheat flour, I used half Einkorn flour (for those who have never heard of it before, Einkorn is an ancient form of wheat). I was curious to see how it would work and if the gluten would develop well since Einkorn has lower gluten levels than regular wheat, but it still seemed to work just fine.

There weren’t specific directions for the exact baking time, only instructions for what to look for (color of loaf, sounding hollow when tapped, and an internal temperature). I don’t own a food thermometer, so I couldn’t check the internal temperature and had to guess based only on the color and sound.

boule loaves artisan bread

We cut into it, to see if we had actually succeeded in our attempt. It was light, moist, and a perfect amount of soft, chewy crumb, with a wonderful flavor.

cut boule loave air holes artisan bread

Peter noted that the sign of a real artisan loaf is uneven air pockets spaced throughout. My air pockets are a bit too uniform, but there are some larger, uneven pockets in there, so that means that (while not perfect) I did get it somewhat right. My next loaf can only get better, right?

Now, reading this post, you might think that I actually have some sort of preexisting knowledge about artisan bread baking, right? But you’d be wrong. I haven’t even made it halfway through this course yet, but pretty much every knowledgeable-sounding thing I’ve spouted off in this post came straight from the course and Peter’s awesome teaching. How cool is that? I sound like I know what I’m talking about, y’all!

(Even better, my bread tasted pretty stinkin’ good. We ate it with homemade turkey vegetable soup and my kids raved about it and devoured a loaf and a half in a single sitting.)

Want to try your hand at making artisan breads?

You can! Head on over to the Craftsy website, where you can sign up for the Artisan Bread Making course.

The generous folks at Craftsy are also giving away a course to one lucky reader, which is a $39.99 value. I hope it’s you!

Enter to win the Artisan Bread Making course HERE.

Please note that the giveaway will only be open for a limited time, closing on 11/5 at 11:59pm MT. The winner will be contacted via email by Craftsy.

Giveaway is open to anyone internationally.

Disclosure: I received this course for the purpose of review. This post has been generously sponsored by Craftsy. 
Top image credit

Real Deals: This Week’s Sales and Discounts on Natural Products You Really Use

This Week's Sales and Discounts on Natural Products You Really Use: Week of 10/28

This week’s top deals:

 

abe's25% Off All Windy City Organics Products at Abe’s Market.  Sale ends today! (October 28, 2014)

bob'sAs low as $11.87-$13.26 ($2.97- $3.32/pack) Bob’s Red Mill Oats Rolled Regular, 32-Ounce (Pack of 4) is on sale for $13.96.  Save an additional 5-15% with Subscribe & Save. Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order. 

nipple butter

Just $5.52 ($2.76/oz)  Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter, 2-Ounce Jar 

seaweed
As low as $8.87-$9.91 ($0.74 – $0.83) GimMe Organic Roasted Seaweed Snacks, Sea Salt, 0.17 Ounce (Pack of 12) for $10.43.  Save 5-15% with Subscribe & Save. Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order. 

clif
As low as $11.89-$13.29 ($0.66-$0.74/each)  Clif Kid Organic ZFruit Ropes, Strawberry, 18 Count, 12.7 oz is on sale for $13.99. Save 5-15% with Subscribe & Save. Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order. 

Christmas Gift Ideas:

razor

List price $37.00  Just $30.99  Merkur Long Handled Safety Razor. 

veggie crate

List price $32.00  Just $25.95  Organic Veggie Crate 

shape

List price $19.99   Just $17.05 Green Toys Shape Sorter Baby Toy 

haba

List price $25.00  Just $23.74  Haba Bathtub Ball Track Set  Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order.  

plymobil 

List price $29.99  Just $26.11. PLAYMOBIL Rescue Ladder UnitGet FREE Shipping with qualifying order.  

rice

List price $66.66  Just $16.71  Aroma 6-Cup (Cooked) Pot Style Rice Cooker and Food Steamer, Red.  Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order  

blender

List price $49.99  Just $32.99.  Black & Decker FP1600B 8-Cup Food Processor, Black.  Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order  

breadmaker

List price $185.00  Just $99.95  Cuisinart CBK-100 2-Pound Programmable Breadmaker.  Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order   

FREE Kindle ebooks:

(Note: Prices can change without notice, so please double check the price before purchasing)

meals for later

Meals for Later: Freezer Meals

greek

Greek Cooking in 3 Steps: Cook Easy And Healthy Greek Food at Home With Mouth Watering Greek Recipes Cookbook 

65

65 House Cleaning Hacks to Make Your Life WAY Easier: (DIY Hacks, Household Cleaning Hacks, House Cleaning Tips, Natural Cleaning)

Kindle ebooks for Less Than $1:

(Note: Prices can change without notice, so please double check the price before purchasing)

oils 
Essential Oils & Aromatherapy for Beginners 3rd Edition: Secrets to Beauty, Health and Weight Loss Using Proven Essential Oil and Aromatherapy Recipes

This week’s best coupons:

This Week's Sales and Discounts on Natural Products You Really Use: Week of 10/28

Find a deal you love? Share it! Pin this week’s post, tweet it, or share on Facebook.

Want to get these deals in your inbox each week?

Sign up for our once-a-week “real deals” email. It comes out each Tuesday morning.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. When you buy through our links, we earn a small commission, which helps to keep this site going so that we can continue to offer free and useful content, so thanks!
About prices: Though we do our very best to post only current deals and prices and to let you know when offers expire, companies can and do change their prices and offers at their own discretion, and we have no control over this. If you notice that a deal has changed, please let us know and we’ll change the post to alert other readers that something is no longer available. Thanks for understanding!

Soothing Lemon Ginger Drink for Colds and Congestion

 Soothing Lemon Ginger Drink for Colds and Congestion {KeeperOfTheHome.org}

By Stacy Karen, Contributing Writer

When it comes to colds and congestion, ginger and lemon pack a powerful punch. 

Ginger warms the body and is known to help with decongestion. It is also thought to boost circulation and the immune system.

Lemon is high in vitamin C, has antibacterial properties, and is said to aid in breaking fevers and soothing sore throats.

How to Make a Soothing Lemon Ginger Drink to Treat Cold and Flu 

This recipe is adapted from a Ginger Lemon-Aide in Rosemary Gladstar’s, Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide (which is an excellent book).

This drink is best consumed warm or hot.

 Soothing Lemon Ginger Drink for Colds and Congestion {KeeperOfTheHome.org}

Ingredients

4 tablespoons freshly grated ginger root 
1-2 lemons, freshly squeezed 
1 quart water
Honey to taste

Method

 Soothing Lemon Ginger Drink for Colds and Congestion {KeeperOfTheHome.org}

Place grated ginger and one quart of cold water into a saucepan. 

Cover with lid and warm over medium heat until it just comes to a boil.  

Remove from heat immediately and leave to steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Keep the lid on during this time.  

 Soothing Lemon Ginger Drink for Colds and Congestion {KeeperOfTheHome.org}

If you have not yet juiced the lemons, do so while the ginger is steeping. Set aside.  

Strain the ginger out of the water, catching the water in a clean jar or bowl. 

 Soothing Lemon Ginger Drink for Colds and Congestion {KeeperOfTheHome.org}

Add the lemon juice and stir to combine.  

Add honey to taste.  

Sip throughout the day. Let this drink sit on the throat for a few seconds before swallowing to allow the lemon and ginger to target that area.

Store in the fridge for up to three days. 

 Soothing Lemon Ginger Drink for Colds and Congestion {KeeperOfTheHome.org}

What is your favorite drink when sick with a cold or flu?

 Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. When you buy through our links, we earn a small commission, which helps to keep this site going so that we can continue to offer free and useful content, so thanks!

 

PlanToEat-150x150This post is sponsored by Plan To Eat. If you know you need to make strides towards regular meal planning and you’re looking for a tool to make it easier, I highly recommend you check out Plan To Eat’s virtual tour. Sign up for a free 30-day trial to see how it works and then take advantage of their Black Friday sale at the end of November to get 50% off your subscription! Plan To Eat was born from a desire to eat real food — great food — prepared at home, together as a family. Plan to Eat is an online menu planner that uses your recipes, scheduled for the days you want them, automatically generating your grocery list, organized the way you like to shop. Eat well. Eat together.

Weekend Links

141025

Announcing EntreFamily!

Stephanie and her husband, Ryan, have been hard at work and are launching a new website this week called EntreFamily! They offer stories, personal anecdotes and tips on the topic of being entrepreneurs while keeping their focus on their family. They recorded their first podcast with the subject of “Building a debt-free family business and guiding kids towards their talents – with Jonathon and Renee Harris.” Head over and take a tour!

Links for this week:

The Life Not The Lack @ She Loves Magazine

For When You Think You’re Not Enough @ Marathon Mom

Roasted Acorn Squash with Dates, Pumpkin Seeds and Goat Cheese @ Deliciously Organic

Making Memories in the Midst of the Mundane @ The Better Mom

Three kinds of expectations @ The Art of Simple

Zenbelly’s Pan-Roasted Chicken with Bacon and Apples @ Nom Nom Paleo

Pumpkin Spice Room Spray @ Wellness Mama

Why Kids Should Not Be Rewarded with Junk Food @ 100 Days of Real Food

It’s pumpkin season! What are your favorite pumpkin recipes?

3 Easy Ways to Guard Your Health Before You Leave the House

 

3 Easy Ways to Guard Your Health {KeeperoftheHome.org}

Guest post by Nina Nelson

Does your family get sick all the time? It doesn’t just feel like it – you literally say, “we’re sick again” at least twice a month. I’m sorry, friend. I know how it is, really. I used to say the same thing quite frequently.

But not anymore.

Now, illness just isn’t something that happens much in our home. We’re exposed to a lot of it, for sure. My husband is a paramedic and spends a good deal of time taking people to the hospital. And we spend time with other (potentially sick) families at church, our home school co-op and such. Opportunities to pick up the latest bug abound.

So how is it that we only get sick twice a year (maybe) and when we do, we recover very quickly?

Well, a few years ago, my focus shifted from reacting to illness as it came to strengthening our immune systems to prevent illness. This simple shift in mindset has been huge for our family and, over time, has become second nature to us.

One easy way to prevent illness? Make sure you’ve guarded your health before you even leave your house.

Now, there are three main ways we do this and one of them is so ridiculously simple, that you might be quick to dismiss it. Don’t. Instead, consider them all as valid, easy ways to guard your health.

1. Protective essential oils

One of the beautiful things about essential oils is that they contain so many helpful properties. Lemon alone has several, including being antibacterial. (It’s not just used in cleaning recipes for its delightful smell.) Many oils are antiviral and antifungal as well, making them a powerful weapon as bugs circulate.

So what oils should you use and how? Well, there are many choices. But to keep things simple, I’ll tell you about some of my favorites that are mild enough to use on little ones. (And here’s a little tutorial in case you want to know more.)

  • First, frankincense. There’s a saying in the essential oil community – “If in doubt, use frankincense.” Frankincense is a powerful healer, reduces pain and boosts the immune system.
  • Next, lemon. As I mentioned earlier, lemon is antibacterial. It’s also antiviral and makes a great disinfectant.
  • Finally, tea tree. This well-known oil comes with a whole host of microbe-busting properties and boosts the immune system when diffused in the air.

Want to make it even simpler? Pre-blend your oils in a roll-on bottle.  In a 10 mL bottle, put 10 drops each of lemon, frankincense and tea tree essential oil and top it off with a liquid carrier oil. Roll on the arches of everyone’s feet before leaving the house in the morning.

Now, I’m very picky about essential oils, so I encourage you to only use EOs from companies that test their oils to make sure they’re 100% pure so that you’re not rubbing in concentrated doses of harmful contaminants.

2. Herbal concoctions

Herbs provide gentle, effective immune-system boosting properties. I like elderberry syrup and immune-boosting tinctures for their ease of use and longer shelf lives – I don’t have to whip up a new batch each time I use them.

You can always buy tinctures pre-made or learn how to make your own. Either way, take a dose before you leave the house for immune system protection.

Which brings me to my last easy way to support your immune system before you leave the house …

3. Good night’s sleep

Our culture seems proud of how little sleep we get. Sure we complain, but it’s almost like we try to out-do each other with our lack of slumber.

But getting 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night is optimal for our health. While we sleep, our bodies take some much-needed time to repair after a long day.

According to WebMD, losing out on much-needed sleep makes us more prone to getting sick, particularly in cold and flu season. So even if you’re doing everything else right, you may still be increasing your chances of getting sick by not getting enough sleep, whether that’s because you’ve got a new baby, or just like to stay up after the kids go to bed for some peace and quiet.

3 Easy Ways to Guard Your Health {KeeperoftheHome.org}

This one single factor makes a big impact on your overall health. But you know what? That’s great news! Because it means you can fix it, often with some simple lifestyle changes:

  • Herbal tea. Not always necessary, but I know when I need it. I make this herbal blend to help with stress throughout the day and as a sleep aid at night.
  • No computer/screen after 9. Screens work to reset your brain, waking you up when you should be winding down. Turn off the computer or TV and put away the cell phone.
  • Essential oils. Yes, I love essential oils. Because they work. If I’m having a hard time getting to sleep, I rub on a blend of lavender, vetiver and wild orange, diluted in coconut oil. It helps me sleep great and wake up feeling rested.

Now, there’s definitely more you can do to keep your family healthy year-round, but these 3 easy tips are a great start and can soon become sustainable habits in your healthy living journey.

How do you try to guard your health before you leave the house?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. When you buy through our links, we earn a small commission, which helps to keep this site going so that we can continue to offer free and useful content, so thanks!

Elegant Rose Boutique Review (Natural Beauty, Hair & Skincare for the DIY Challenged)

Elegant Rose Boutique Review (Natural Beauty, Hair & Skincare for the DIY Challenged)

Many of our Keeper of the Home readers are big on DIY, and I can understand why.

You can create your own products, customized just the way you like them, with ingredients you know are safe and pure, for much less than you can buy them for.

But, it’s not for everyone. Many of you want the home-crafted quality in your beauty products, but you’re overwhelmed at just the thought of making them yourself. 

I do really enjoy tinkering around in my kitchen, creating skin and beauty products for both myself and to give as gifts. Something, though, I really don’t have the time or energy. I already make my own cleaning supplies and basically all of our family’s food from scratch, which I love to do, but it takes precious time.

In recent years, I’ve found myself moving away from making as many of my beauty products, but also away from buying them from the larger “natural” brand name products as well. Although those products can be a better alternative to most conventional products, they frequently still include less savory ingredients.

The alternative to DIY?

To buy home-crafted quality, from small businesses that care. You get purer ingredients, while saving yourself the time and effort to source it all out and make it yourself, while also supporting ethical businesses in the process. Win-win, right?

This past month I’ve been trying out products from one such company, Elegant Rose. Owned by Melissa, and based out of Michigan, they have both a website as well as an Etsy store, for those who prefer to shop through Etsy. 

The thing that has impressed me most about Melissa’s products is that they use exactly the sort of ingredients that I would use if I was making them myself (except that she does a far nicer job of making them than I would do!). It’s for that reason that I feel so comfortable using them for myself and for my family.

Some of the products I’ve been reviewing include:

Elegant Rose Boutique Review (Natural Beauty, Hair & Skincare for the DIY Challenged)

Activated Charcoal Soap

Ingredients: olive oil, coconut oil, organic palm oil, organic unrefined shea butter, water, sodium hydroxide, activated charcoal, essential oils

Intriguing, right? I’m a huge fan of activated charcoal as a supplement, to use on infections, for bug bites, for food poisoning or stomach upsets, and for detoxification. But in soap? I would never have thought of it.

I was so curious what it would be like, especially when I saw the dark black shade. Would it be black on my skin? Would it lather black? I was surprised to find out the answer is no, not at all. It’s really just like using any other soap, except it’s extremely purifying and detoxifying for the skin. It feels great, actually. I can see why it’s one of her best sellers.

Elegant Rose Boutique Review (Natural Beauty, Hair & Skincare for the DIY Challenged)

Lavender Vanilla Bath Bombs

Ingredients: sodium bicarbonate, corn starch, epsom salt, citric acid, almond oil, water, essential oils    
These are lovely. Perfect for a relaxing, treat-yourself spa evening at home. 

Elegant Rose Boutique Review (Natural Beauty, Hair & Skincare for the DIY Challenged)

Renew Facial Cleanser

Ingredients: organic castille soap, mineral water, organic aloe gel, sea buckthorn oil, helichrysum essential oil, cucumber & mango extracts

This has been my favorite product, hands down. In fact, my 9 year old really likes it and asked if she could have it and I had to tell her no such luck. It’s mine, honey. 

It cleans perfectly, without stripping my skin. I have combination skin, and it has just the right amount of moisturizing in it. I feel like it genuinely nourishes my skin and leaves it a little softer and brighter. I really love this cleanser.

Elegant Rose Boutique Review (Natural Beauty, Hair & Skincare for the DIY Challenged)

Mineral Toothpaste

Ingredients: Mineral water, coconut oil, baking soda, xylitol, calcium carbonate, bentonite clay, essential oils.

This was really fun to get to try. I make my own toothpaste sometimes, and our most popular post ever on KOTH is a homemade mineral toothpaste.

If you’re looking for the same benefits, but are not up for mixing it yourself, this is just the thing for you. The flavor is very mild, but tastes just fine. It’s not going to foam like your typical toothpaste, because it doesn’t contain foaming agents (you don’t want those anyway).

It also doesn’t have glycerin, another ingredient to avoid, since it coats the teeth and can impede the mineralization process. This is a good, basic toothpaste for a clean and healthy mouth, with some added minerals for stronger teeth. 

Elegant Rose Boutique Review (Natural Beauty, Hair & Skincare for the DIY Challenged)

Rose Clay Mask

Ingredients: rose kaolin clay, white kaolin clay, rose powder, organic marshmallow root, organic cocoa powder.

I try to do a facial mask once per week, while I’m getting ready for bed or before I take my morning shower, to try to keep my pores minimized (I have larger pores) and keep my skin toned and tightened.

Melissa sent me two options to try - the Rose Clay and the Detox Masks. I liked both, but especially the Rose Clay Mask. It left my skin feeling deeply cleansed, but was soft and not dried out. 

Elegant Rose Boutique Review (Natural Beauty, Hair & Skincare for the DIY Challenged)

Hair Shampoo Bars 

These are such a wonderful alternative to shampoo and when you find the right one for your hair, they’re deeply nourishing. I’ve used shampoo bars on and off for several years and I think they’re great. 

Elegant Rose has some that sound so intriguing – Hemp Herbal, Marshmallow Silk, Dead Sea Mud, Lavender Spice, and Charcoal Shampoo, among others. 

Not to mention, they carry regular soap bars like  Winter Calm Sea Salt, Spicy Apple, Chocolate Coconut Cream, and Ginger Citrus (or at least, those are the ones that sounded scrumptious to me). 

Of course, I didn’t try everything that Elegant Rose carries.

Among these goodies I’ve already mentioned they also sell:

  • Lip balm (Rose Mint, Coconut Lime, Creamsicle, Licorice)
  • Tinted lip balm (Burnt Sienna, Peach Blush, Cherry Blossom)
  • Salt and Sugar Scrubs (Chocolate Mint, French Vanilla Coffee, Almond Vanilla Brown Sugar)
  • Body Butter (Patchouli Orange, Ginger Blood Orange, Lavender Mint Splash, or a huge variety of other choose-your-own-scents)
  • Herbal Salve
  • Reusable Dryer Sheets
  • and still more!

Now that it’s late October, it’s definitely time to start thinking about the holidays and gift buying.

I think that any woman would be thrilled with a lovely basket of Elegant Rose products.

You could do a skin care basket, with facial cleanser, a detox mask, coconut cream moisturizer, tinted lip balm or foaming facial scrub.

Or maybe a spa-themed gift… bath bombs, spa-quality salt soaps, moisturizing sugar scrub or foot scrub, and scented massage oil. 

Or what about a gift for the man in your life? Shaving soap bars, True Grit soap, Bay Spice deodorant, and or natural beard oil. 

In fact, here’s a coupon code just for KOTH readers, so that you can get a great deal on your first order from Elegant Rose. Just use code Keeper15 to get 15% off of your entire order when you checkout. Tell her Stephanie sent you. ☺ 

Disclosure: This post was generously sponsored by Elegant Rose Boutique, and I received products for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed are my own.