Immune Boosting Gummies

Anyone who knows me, knows that I have some hippy tendencies! I hate taking my kids to the doctor. I mean, I’ll go if I need to. But I try to avoid it at all costs. A) it’s expensive and B) I feel like they’ll contract some other illness while they’re there. So instead, I focus on building their immune systems rather than always being on the defensive and curing the sickness after it’s hit!

The gym we go to has an amazing childcare facility. That being said, there are lots of children and LOTS of colds and viruses going around all the time. The most recent was hand foot and mouth. I heard about kids dropping like flies over a period of two weeks. And after going through it with Turner two years ago, I started having post traumatic stress tics just reliving the terror in my mind. He had the worst case I’d ever seen. Like, the kind you google and cringe when you see the photos. It was more like “Hand Foot Mouth Butt and Entire Body”. This is what he looked like ….

I’m sorry you had to see that. But now you understand my fear! With HFM running rampant, and school starting this week, we have kicked our immune boosting remedies into high gear! These are some of the things we do!

1. Probiotics in the kids’ milk or yogurt every morning.
2. Turmeric and cinnamon in their yogurt. Turmeric has a lot of antibacterial and antiviral properties. It’s actually quite amazing. You should google it! When I start to feel sick I take a tsp of turmeric mixed with a tsp or two of local honey. I’ve started giving that to Turner too (1/2 the dose) now that he’s older and can handle it. I call it his “honey medicine”.
3. Immune Boosting Oils–You can read more about oils HERE. I’ve been using them for a few years now and I just love them! I could talk about them forever and describe every kind I love and why! But for now, I’ll stick to the topic. In this glass roller bottle I combine 10 drops thieves, 10 drops frankincense, 5 drops lemon, 5 drops purification and fill the rest with a carrier oil. I roll it on the bottoms of their feet morning and night, put socks on, and apply pressure for a few seconds. They love it! I also diffuse Thieves during naps and bedtime for an hour or so. Keep in mind, this is when we’re fighting or trying to prevent something! I don’t go this overboard on the daily.
4. And last, but not least, I make these gummies packed with everything but the kitchen sink! They’re delicious and they really work! The kids haven’t been sick in ages. And if they do get a cold, it seems milder compared to how they used to be! I put turmeric, Spinach Powder, Beet Powder, Elderberry Syrup, Gelatin (similar HERE), and local honey in them.

Let me know how you like these! Feel free to comment with your favorite booger busting tricks!

Elderberry Gummies
Yields 115
Immune Boosting Gummies
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Ingredients
  1. 1/3 cup tart cherry juice
  2. 3 Tbsp gelatin
  3. 1 tsp spinach powder
  4. 1 tsp beet powder
  5. 1 tsp turmeric powder
  6. 3 T honey
  7. 1 tsp arrowroot powder
  8. 4 oz elderberry syrup
Instructions
  1. Microwave cherry juice in a large bowl for 30 seconds.
  2. Whisk in the gelatin until completely combined.
  3. Whisk in the rest of the ingredients, in order, one at a time until completely combined.
  4. Pour into molds and refrigerate for at least two hours. Store in the fridge.
Notes
  1. *Molds-I used 100 small gummy bear molds and 15 larger silicone molds that I had on hand. If I give them gummy bears, I'll give them about 5 or 6 as one serving. If I give them the larger gummies, I give them one or two.
  2. *The gelatin is grassfed collagen. It has great health benefits. Most ingredients can be found on Amazon (linked above) or Thrive Market App.
Little Baby Watson http://littlebabywatson.com/

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Total Solar Eclipse

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had the song “Total Eclipse of the Heart” stuck in my head for weeks! Today was the big day! People have been buzzing about it for weeks! Warnings about traffic jams, millions of visitors, and running out of water and milk …. ok maybe not that last part. But, for real, people have been going nuts! Charleston is smack in the path of “totality” and we were the last spot the eclipse would be seen! So on top of being a hot tourist spot to begin with, we had a lot of visitors to witness this once-in-a-lifetime-event! You could imagine that being an owner of a vacation rental company would keep me quite busy for this event, and it has! But today, for about 2 minutes and 40 seconds, I was able to soak this in with the fam!

Photo credit for the last one of “totality” goes to my amazing friend and photographer Judy Fairchild!

It was breathtaking to say the least. Experiencing it live was amazing! A hush came over us as the day quickly went from dusk to dawn to daylight in a matter of minutes! Hard to explain. It was AWEsome! We hung out with our neighbors and awaited the big moment! Turner was especially into it (yellow shirt).

Turner couldn’t keep his eyes off it! He was entranced. He screamed with updates every three minutes to make sure we all knew the moon was still moving. He just told me before bed that it was his favorite part of the day. Sweet boy! It was mine too! There was something so humbling and special about it! I’m so glad we got to witness it!

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NJ Visit

We’re back from our whirlwind of a trip to NJ. We took two days to drive to and from and had 3 full days there. The first day, we drove 8 hours and then stayed at a hotel just below DC. We actually did pretty well! We wanted to get a majority of the driving over with on day one. The kids were really good! In the beginning of the trip we gave them a bunch of books to read.

We had tons of snacks being passed around the car, which helped distract when they started getting antsy! And then, of course they would nod off at one point or another.

We saved our secret weapon for last….the Portable DVD Player! My girlfriend let us borrow hers, and it was a lifesaver! About 6 hours in, they were so ready to be done. But just about that time, we popped in Beauty and the Beast and they totally forgot that they wanted to get out of the car! I don’t know how our parents did this when we were kids!

After a long day of driving, we got a nice big supper somewhere close to our hotel. This time it was Cracker Barrel. And of course, the kids loved this! Pancakes for supper!! CHEEEEESE!

On day two of driving, we got up at 5am and left the hotel by 5:30 so we could beat DC traffic. We zipped to NJ in under 4 hours. It was great! The return trip was similar. Except 8 hours landed us in NC instead of DC. We love getting the hard leg of the trip over with on day one!

Our time there was wonderful and, as always, too short. Being with our family makes us realize how much we miss them! We got to do all of our favorite things in that short amount of time.

A day trip to Princeton…



A pool day and BBQ with my Big Italian Family where everyone laughs constantly, talks loudly, and there are at least 4 conversations happening at once. The night always ends by singing hymns with about 50 different harmonies going on. Did I mention everyone is a musician at this table? There’s nothing better!

And lots of time at Pop-Pop’s house for snuggles, reading, and playing…


It’s always hard to leave. We love our routine at home, but we can’t get enough of our family! The trip really isn’t bad, so we will just have to find little windows throughout the year to make the trip! But, for now, we’re home and settled and ready to get back into our school year routine!

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Summer Bucket List

I can NOT believe it’s August! What happened to this summer!? Turner was in camp pretty much all summer, which he loved, but it left me missing him! I definitely had some quality time with Gracie which was wonderful! But now that we have less than a month before school starts, I want to soak up the last few weeks of summer with our babies! Here’s our bucket list of what we MUST do before school starts!

We already got a jump start on our list since we don’t have much time! AND, we’re taking a trip to NJ next week to visit our family and friends! It was a last minute decision. We’re feeling extra spontaneous these days! We can certainly hit some things on our list while we’re visiting the fam. That will be all the more fun! Can’t wait to share our adventures!

 

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4th of July and Self Control

I don’t know whose idea it was to do Whole 30 over 4th of July! We literally had three days of BBQ’s. We contemplated starting over on the fifth, but we were already 3 days in, and I kinda wanted to prove to myself that I could do it, even with 7 layer dip, crescent roll wrapped hot dogs, and deviled eggs staring me in the face.

Guess what! We did it! We made food for our friends and had a little separate dish of grilled lemon chicken for us. We also ate and drank our body weight in watermelon and LaCroix. If I was more prepared I could have made a Whole 30 feast for everyone! But my impulsive decision to start on July 1st left me lacking a plan, so alas, I stuck to our original menu!

We had a blast! And having three separate occasions to dress Turner and Gracie in the festive outfits my mother in law sent was the icing on the cake!

Our neighbors across the street set off the loudest, most obnoxious fireworks! Up until this year, Turner would wake up hysterically crying because the noise scared him beyond words. I’m thinking he might be able to handle some firework action this year. So our plan is to keep Turner up and watch them! Hey, if you can’t beat ’em join ’em! Can’t wait to mix up a mocktail and party it up! Happy 4th!!

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The Day I Became A Boy Mom

I’ve been the mother of a boy for approximately 4 1/2 years. But I just became a “boy mom” yesterday. When I went to pick Turner up from camp, it had been drizzling all day. We saw hundreds of tiny little frogs jumping around on the sidewalk. When I say tiny, these were about the size of my pinky fingernail. Turner was so excited about them that he just had to have one. Of course one turned into three. But that’s beside the point. I obliged as they were pretty stinkin’ cute. So we scooped them up into a plastic bag with an air hole and we drove straight to Petsmart to get what we needed to make them a home.
I searched for someone who could help me, as I am not a frog expert. I mean I grew up with frogs, lizards, and snakes as pets because my brother was quite the nature boy. But I didn’t actually do any of the work. So I found a little critter keeper for five dollars just so I could get the frogs into something other than a plastic bag.

The exact transformation to “boy mom “status happened next. As I stood there holding a critter keeper full of three tiny frogs, I listened to the sweet Petsmart worker tell me that I would need moss to line the cage, and that I would need to spray it to make sure it stayed moist. And they are too small for crickets at this size, so what they need for food is wingless fruit flies. At that point she picked up a tiny tube of fruit flies crawling all over each other. I nearly dropped dead in my tracks. But at this point what was I going to do? Sneak outside and let the frogs go free? I won’t lie to you, I entertained the thought. But we’d already gotten this far, so I figured let’s just give it a try. So we got home and created a home for our frogs. We lined the cage with moss, dirt, and a tiny cup of water.

So, as I feed our new frogs wingless fruit flies and spray their moss as to ensure optimum moistness, I breathe in and I breathe out and I mark the day that I became a “boy mom”.

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Dream Stay-cation

Stew and I just got home from the most amazing stay-cation of all time. Hands down. BEST. EVER! We celebrate our 8th anniversary on the 20th, so we wanted a quick getaway but couldn’t go too far because of our work schedule. So we snuck away to The Restoration in downtown Charleston for two nights. My words can’t even describe how incredible it was. So I will use photos, a lot of them, to help me describe it.

This hotel is a boutique style hotel right in the heart of the city. There is not only a hotel, but a rooftop restaurant, bar, and pool. There is a coffee shop on the ground level that serves incredible coffee. This is coming from a self-proclaimed coffeeholic.

Our room had the perfect mix of rustic, meets modern, meets southern charm. There was a full kitchen with gorgeous stainless appliances (although who would use them because the restaurants in Charleston are incredible). The kitchen, living room, and bedroom each had a set of double doors that opened up to our terrace.

There is a room called “The Library” that is set up as a meet and mingle type of space. Every afternoon they serve complimentary wine and cheese for their guests. Then at night, they have homemade cookies out as a little after dinner treat!

In the mornings they deliver breakfast served in a picnic basket right to your door! You choose what you want from their menu the night before, and it’s sitting at the door with the daily newspaper when you wake up! I couldn’t even believe the attention to detail! I jumped up and down, literally.

Our nights out on the town were equally as incredible. But the blog-worthy moment was our supper at R. Kitchen. This place is quite literally a hole in the wall! It’s a tiny building on Rutlege Avenue with no signs! They only advertise by word of mouth. My sister in law told me about them, and Stew magically got us in! It takes months to get a reservation! But, you want to know why? They can only seat 16 people at a time. And you’re actually in the open kitchen with the chefs while they prepare the meal. It’s not the type of place where you walk in and get seated and choose from a menu. They have set dinner times, and they let guests in only at their reserved time. They get a delivery of local, fresh groceries each morning and create the menu that day! It changes daily and you don’t know what you’re going to eat until you show up. The chef sets a four course menu and it’s a flat $30/person. It was one of the best meals I’ve ever had.

This vacation was one for the books. Really amazing. I can’t believe it’s over already! But we cherished our time together and our freedoooooooom!!! Happy almost anniversary to the love of my life and the best baby daddy out there!

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The Children’s Museum

I’m happy to report that our days have gotten much better since my last post! It seems that kids push you to the brink and then totally redeem themselves with snuggles and sweetness! I enjoy the back end of that scenario much more than the front ;o)

It’s been raining for a few days, and we’ve been passing our time with puddle jumping, cookie baking, fort building, and movie watching. But this morning, I decided to take the kids downtown for a morning at The Children’s Museum. We have one of the best I’ve seen! Each room is set up for a different activity. There’s a grocery store, a pirate ship, a stage with puppets and costumes, a water room, a building section with real tools, and an art room. Of course, we did them all!

The last time we went, Stew was with me. So he was on Gracie and I was on Turner (or vice versa). I had a talk with Turner before we got there that since they were just with me, he couldn’t run off into another room without me. He did a GREAT job of staying with me and waiting patiently as Gracie dilly dallied from room to room. They loved it and had so much fun! Turner wanted to stay longer and paint, and my way of getting him out of there without a fight was to promise we’d eat chocolate chip cookies and paint when we got home. So that’s exactly what we did!

Not a bad way to spend the morning!

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Permission Granted

This photo sums up my life lately…

As I look at that face, I laugh. But the truth is, I’m spent! It’s a combination of being completely exhausted and dealing with my children who are in an impossible stage of life. Gracie is entering the oh-so-frustrating phase of toddlerhood. You know… the refusing to listen, throwing food on the floor, hitting Turner, etc. She’s probably had more time-outs by 20 months than Turner’s had in a lifetime. And to add fuel to the fire, whatever Turner does makes Gracie cry or scream and I end up reprimanding him because he’s the older one and “should know better”. But on the other hand, he’s so tender-hearted and innocent and it makes me feel so guilty. They are so stinkin’ cute but so irritating all at the same time! What a phenomenon.

I’ve had little to no time to myself, and when that happens my priorities are majorly out of wack. No wonder I’ve had an overwhelming sensation to re-organize and deep clean my entire house the past week! You know what makes a girl feel better when her world is spiraling around her? Steam cleaning the carpets! So that’s what I did. On top of that, Stew and I emptied every single basket of toys in the whole house and threw out broken pieces and things the kids haven’t played with in years and de-cluttered my life. What an amazing feeling. 

After internalizing my feelings for the past week, Stew and I laid in bed after putting the kids down the other night and I talked about everything going through my mind. He said all the right things, and I immediately felt better. I felt comforted by the fact that I have a supporting husband who will be strong when I am weak, patient when I’m not, and pick up the pieces when I can’t.

I’ve given myself permission to not be perfect. I can’t do it all! I will make time for myself to sit in the quiet and process, because when that piece is missing, nothing else seems to make sense. Today will be a day to soak up time with my wacky bunch and not sweat the small stuff! Wherever we are in life, we need to give ourselves permission to accept what is here and now and to not add unnecessary guilt to our already hard job of raising little humans! Happy Memorial Day, Friends!

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Happy Mother’s Day

It’s hard to believe I’ve only been a mom for 4 years! I barely remember a time that I wasn’t a mom! I feel everything more deeply, I cry more often, and I have more moments in the day where I need a deep breath! But I love it! There’s nothing more challenging and rewarding!

Being a mom to Turner has been amazing! But adding Gracie to the mix has made my heart even bigger and softer! I love seeing them interact with each other. Watching Turner love and teach Gracie so patiently is beautiful. He has a heart of gold. Their personalities are so different, and they certainly have their moments of insane bickering, but at the core they are just so sweet!

Mother’s Day is one of those bittersweet holidays! I have friends who have lost mothers and children. And I’m sure this holiday brings up feelings of sadness! But I love what today represents, because it’s a celebration of ALL mothers, no matter how long or how short. Mothers impact our lives in a huge way. What a great and awesome responsibility we have! I’m thankful that God blessed me with these two angels. I feel honored to raise them!

 

 

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