June 9, 2017

Friday things

We have had quite a week here at the SNS House, which is now been renamed "the thicket" by our son-The Bean-that goes by The Deer sometimes. His imagination is amazing! So here at "the thicket" we have been up to some fun and interesting things since summer is coming in slowly here in the valley. The Bean broke out his telescope a few nights ago and we took a look at the night sky for a few hours. Even though we live here around city lights we were able to see a few things, one major sight was Jupiter to the south of us. The Bean was naming constellations left and right to us and we were all just amazed at how clear some stars, moons, and planets were coming in. We had a few other adventures under our belts this week and so glad to see the sun making an appearance. Here are the things that made this week great!

1. This View.

As stated above, we viewed the night sky through the telescope and saw Jupiter and a lot of great constellations around us. Just a side note: There is an app you can get for your smart device (phone, tablet, etc.) that will allow you to view the sky and help pinpoint what's out there. It's called Skyview and it's free to download on iTunes and Google Play.
The images it gives are pretty detailed.
Jupiter and the Virgo.

2. This Trip.

We took a little side trip this week to do a little fishing once the lake was opened and restocked with trout. We didn't get a bite, but there were a lot of people that seemed to have the same idea we did. We did find us a hidden fishing location on the lake, but we all agreed that we would much rather fish the river in the future. Nonetheless, we had a good time enjoying the sunshine and getting out of town for a bit.

3. Summer Road Trips.

We have been kicking around the idea on whether to take a road trip down to San Francisco for birthdays this year, but when it comes right down to it, all three of us just don't really want to go. We are still trying to figure out where to take our big birthday trip, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, check out our hashtag #snsroadtrips to see where we've been and where we go in the future.

4. This Bike.

The Bean has had this for a few weeks and I have been neglecting to mention it. He finally got him a Raleigh bike and he is loving it. He leaves The Mr. and I in the dust when he flies by us. We are so glad he was able to get a new one before summer official hit. Can't wait to break this baby in on some trails soon. Just a heads up, too: The Mr. was struck by a car while we were riding a few days ago. He is healing fine, and after a quick hospital visit we found out that he has no broken bones (thank goodness). I wanted to share this just to bring attention to how dangerous it is for bicyclers on any type of roadway. The Mr. and I have decided to start a bike advocacy group in our town so we can bring awareness to the bicycling community about how important it is to always ride defensively. The Mr. has some bumps and bruises and is otherwise alright, but it could have been a lot worse. If you are an avid bicycler, like us, please always be on your guard no matter where you are. The car that hit The Mr. drove away and left him on the roadway. I think that part hurts us the most. So please be careful out there. If you are interested in joining our group, please check out the Facebook page here.

5. This Old Doggie. 

The old man of the fur family will be getting himself a wagon soon so he can still come on long walks with us. The poor guy is 16-years-old and is starting to show signs of arthritis in his hips. He is so eager to go on walks, but about halfway he starts getting tired and needs to be carried. We think a wagon will be just what he needs. I will share soon.

Have a great weekend!

May 19, 2017

Friday things

This Friday finally gave us some much-needed sunshine. The Mr. came home early from work on Wednesday and stayed home on Thursday, but today he is right back to it. Allergies have been a big issue here in the Willamette Valley of Oregon and we thought the rain we were getting back-to-back would help clear things out, but it stirred a lot of things up in the process and actually made them worse. If you missed my allergy post, check it out here. The cottonwood trees have be a bit of a nuisance too, with their little puffs of cotton floating in the breeze. It's all pretty until you get one in your mouth, or up your nose. Today we have sunny weather and things are starting to dry out a bit. We are ready for the summer here, believe it or not. We had such a hard winter that the summer season is more than wanted here. We are going into strawberry season here and this little town we live in has a huge celebration for the red beauties. The celebration is the first week in June, but for now, here are the things that made this week great.

1. Free items.

Recently we placed the shelves above and the chest below out on the curb and they were gone in less than 20 minutes. We are still slowly downsizing our possessions to things that serve a purpose in our home. I love how open the front area of the house has become. There is only small AM/FM radio/turn table in there and no distractions from TV. It's a great place for us to gather in the evenings and actually just enjoy each other's company. Electronic devices are a no-no during this time too.

2. These friends.

We tried our best to do a photo shoot with the dogs, but things didn't go as planned. PITA sat for a few good ones, but the older dog, Baz, wasn't having it. Out of the 30+, or so we took, these were the best. They are frame-able, but I guess the saying is true, we can' teach an old dog, or a hyperactive dog to sit still long. -I don't know if that's a saying, but it should be. Ha!

3. These cards.

In the last Yogi Surpise box came these Mindful Mandala Cards that you color by hand. I have been loving them lately and coloring they ever chance I get. The Bean and The Mr. have been coloring a few too, and we have really enjoyed the messages on the back of the cards as well. You never know when a saying like, "You may have a million desires to be in other places, doing other things, but you are not there, you are here" will come in handy throughout a tough week. You can get Yogi Surprise here and a set of the Mindful Mandala Cards here.

4. This dill.

The Bean received a Garden-in-a-Can for Easter and we are just now seeing the dill growing strong. We've been clipping a few sprigs here and there to use with various dishes. It's nice to have it sitting on the window sill to use anytime we need some. 

5. These poses.

The Mr. and I have really been on a mission to live better. Not just staying fit, but better all the way around-including mentally. So many negative things can rob your self esteem and positivity on the world. Stay fit helps keep your mind active, but also staying around positive people and positive siutations really does help keep you healthy and on the right track. The last few weeks The Mr. and I have been working on keeping our muscles in shape to be able to ride our bikes for more than five miles, and also help get us moving more. The above poses we've been doing lately and they have really helped keep us going. Try them out for a month and tell me how they work for you.

One last thing:
Have a great weekend!

May 13, 2017

Taking control of your allergies

Holy cow! This last week was such a buzz-kill with being able to talk a full sentence without sneezing, or coughing. The Mr. and I took a trip to our local food co-op in search of something that would allow us to sleep-mainly me-without waking up to cough, or sneeze, or even blow our nose. I wanted to keep things more to a natural approach, but we had some leftover Nyquil still floating around the house and so I finished off the last dose. It did knock me out so I could sleep, but I woke up with a Nyquil hangover the next morning. This spring's allergies have been some of the worse on the record for us. I don't know if anyone else is suffering as much as our house, but if you happen to be here are some tips that have helped us take back control of our sinuses and breathing.

1. Facial steams: Never under estimate the power of steam, especially when it comes to being able to breathe out of both nostrils. It's ridiculous how much snot our bodies produce and a good, warm steam will help clear them out a bit. Adding a few drops of essential oils like, eucalyptus, rosemary, peppermint, or even menthol will help unclog those poor pipes too. Give some of these oil blends a try. Here, here, here, and for the little ones here, and here.

2. Handkerchiefs at hand: I like to keep a few bandanas handkerchiefs around to blow on if the time should arise. I go to bed with one and I also keep one at my side when I am working. This not only makes blowing your nose a bit more comfortable it also saves on paper waste with tissue, or toilet paper. Adding a few drops of the above mentioned essential oils to the handkerchief can also help give some relief.

3. Cough Syrup that works. The worst part of allergies is finding relief at night to be able to sleep through the night. This cough and bronchial syrup from Boericke & Tafel seems o do the trick, but go lightly with it because it contains 10.5% alcohol. You can pick some of this up at your local co-op, or health food store.

4. Keep cough drops at hand. I can not express how great these are. They are all natural and contain menthold and taste great. Nothing worse than having an allergy cough hit and you have nothing on hand. These are from Herbion Naturals and come in a sugar free variety too.

5. Aloe vera: Adding some aloe vera, or aloe vera-containing lotion to your nose will also help with the redness and drying that blowing and sneezing can cause. I don't recommend putting it on the inside of the nostrils, but applying to the outside and around the nostrils can really help with soreness and pain. Our favorite here.

6. Humidifier: Oregon, especially here in the Willamette Valley, the drying air is something else. When we lived in Arkansas it was humid and sweating was the worse of the culprits there, but here, on the Pacific Coast, I tell ya, the drying air is incredible. With that, it causes the nasal cavities to dry out constantly and the worst of it is noticeable when you have allergies. Keeping a humidifier going near your bed, or where you are sitting is a great way to bring some of the wetness in the air back. The best humidifier we have found is this one. But if you are looking to get more humidity out of your humidifier, you might consider this one. Even when we don't have allergies being an issue we leave a humidifier going all winter and into the early parts of summer.

Side note: If your allergies tend to wipe you out with energy, rest is the best solution. I can't tell you how much a few days of taking it easy and resting helped a lot with getting rid of some of the "funk" that was clogging my sinuses. The Mr. was a trooper too and allowed me those days to reset and recharge.

Lastly, keep hand sanitizer available. When you are in public don't spread cough or nose germs to others, even with allergies. People hear a cough and immediately assume you're dying. Be kind and kill any germs that come from your mouth or nose right away-it will put others more at ease that you aren't going to turn into a zombie and eat their face. We love this variety from Clean Well. It's alcohol-free and works great with kids.

May 12, 2017

Friday things

I am actually really glad it's Friday-Friday night here. Earlier today I wrote a post on combating allergies and I will be posting it tomorrow; So look for that. We have had a time with allergies putting a damper on things this week and we are glad to finally be getting some relief. Not sure if it's the rain that took some of them out of the air the last two days, or if it's just that they ran their course with us. Of course, it always seems like I post this on Saturday, if you're east coast, but actually it's 10:00 p.m. here on the west coast. Here's to night owl bloggers?! The Bean and I are sitting here at the table, listening to Simon and Garfunkel's Greatest Hits on vinyl. I forgot how wonderful the songs The Sound of Silence, The Boxer, and of course, Mrs. Robinson and a few others really are. Paul Simon and Arthur Garfunkel are one of kind and will always remain one of my absolute favorite artists. As far as the rest of the happenings for the week, here they are.

1. This basket.

Finally a picnic basket worth taking places. We have had the worst picnic basket for so long that I hated even taking it anywhere. It was made out the flimsiest wicker that is loosely woven together and it was slowly falling apart. I found this one in an antique shop in Springfield, Oregon, when The Bean was on a hunt for some vintage Star Wars. It is an original Hawkeye basket from Burlington Basket Company, probably circa 1970s. Similar to this one if you are on a search for one. Not sure if I want to leave it the yellow color, or paint it. I almost like the yellow, but we'll see how it grows on us before we make any rash decisions. I can't wait to take this basket full of yum yums on our road trips.

2. These wedding souvenirs.

As we are still working on being more minimal I opened a box this week and discovered some wedding items from my brother's wedding (boutonniere and bubbles), and the bouquet I caught at my sister's wedding. It was great to reminisce  and remember how fun each wedding was. Side note: Both of these weddings took place in the summer heat of Arkansas and what all three of us remembered the most from both of them was sweating like crazy. Good ole' Arkansas summers!

3. This truck.

I would say this truck driver definitely has his priorities in the right order. I love seeing things like this on the back of cars, or on trailers. It's a nice reminder to appreciate the little things in life.

4. This tree.

This is actually one of three Hawthorn trees that sit right in front of the house we live in. They are beautiful this time of year and they really bring the entire street into a different light when they bloom. My father-in-law always reminds us how he wants to chop them down. Unfathomable! I hope he does it after we are gone because we enjoy them a lot.

5. These boxes.

Yogi Surprise is always a nice surprise. The Lifestyle Box and the Jewelry Box really are a pleasure to get in the mail each month. The Lifestyle Box for this month contains a lot of great items that are perfect for mother's day. Loving, absolutely loving he mandala coloring cards. The Bean and I are going to have some fun with these this weekend, for sure! We love to color! The jewelry box contained a wrap bracelet and a tassel necklace that are perfect colors for spring. I can't help but mention the Cocomels though. To die for! Sign up for Yogi Surprise here.

1. Lifestyle Box:
• Scented "Be Happy" with Eco Sleeve ($24):Therapy balm that refreshes and energizes you.
• Lilac & Willow Soy Candle, Smudge ($14): Cleanse the energies in any room.
• Mindful Mandala Cards ($20): Reflect and center oneself.
• Nutrawbar Whole Fig ($3): 3 Organic ingredients, without additives.
• Joco Botanical Yogi Chakra Body Bar ($7): 100% all-natural soap that will open you sacral chakra.
• Tree Fig Greetings ($9): Show how much you care with these greeting cards.
• Yogi Surprise Sequence Card: Creative Devine Mother.

2. Jewelry Box:
• Creative Boho Mala ($65): Vibrant hues for the month of May.
• Creative Wrap Bracelet ($32): Encouraging you to think pink this month.
• Cocomels ($1.49): Something to savor with coconut milk caramel candy

Have a great weekend!

April 28, 2017

Friday things

Happy Friday. I hope your week has been productive and worthwhile. I've been in recover-mode since last Wednesday and I'm slowly coming back to life, so-to-speak. I witnessed something that has given me a form of PTSD and I'm mentally trying to come back to my own. You can read about this here. As for this week, we had some fun things here and there, and started planning our San Fransico trip in August. I wasn't sure if I still wanted to take the trip after what happened, but I feel, and The Mr. feels it will do a lot of good in the healing process. Of course, August is a ways off, but every bit of positive thoughts right now are helping. The Mr. has been such a rock this week and I can't praise him enough for how well he has been there for me 100%. So here are the things that made this week wonderful.

1. These tulips.

Not to be confused with these tulips, or these, but The Mr. brightened my week by bringing home some of the most beautiful tulips. He paired it with one of my favorite treats of chocolate-covered coffee beans from the local coffee bar.

2. This golf trip.

The Mr. and The Bean took to the golf course to smack a few balls around this week. I opted to stay in the golf cart and enjoy the blanket I was bundled in. With the rain and the wind, it was quite chilly.

3. This march.

We participated in the March for Science in Corvallis this past weekend. It was a great way for us to ride our bikes and help get the message out to he current administration that science is real. 

4. This walk.

The Mr., The Bean, and I really do enjoy our walks and our smaller dog, Hardy, has been coming along with us lately. Unfortunately, the older dog, Baz (he is 16!), he can't seem to keep up like he used to, so we have been leaving him at home when we go. He loves it though because he gets to stay inside near the fireplace while we walk. When we go away from our own neighborhood, say to downtown Eugene, to walk, we take both dogs and do a light stroll instead of a fast-paced walk. 

5. And these.

Might Nest this week sent some Stasher silicone snack bags and my add on this month was the Glad Rags overnight cotton pad. I am pretty excited about both of them and can't wait to have The Mr. give the Stasher bag a try in his lunch box. You can sign up for Might Nest here.

One last note:

This bike.

The Bean finally got a bike upgrade that he's been wanting. He went with a Raleigh Talus in black and red and he is loving it! Paul's Bicycle Way of Life in Eugene, Oregon, put it together for us. We ordered on the Raleigh site and they ship it to the nearest bike dealership that deals in Raleigh and they assemble it for free. The Bean test rode it around the parking lot before we loaded it up and took it home. 

As far as the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) mentioned above, this is something that can't be controlled from happening, or be ignored. If you or someone you know is suffering from PTSD, allow them to talk, and be there for them when they need someone. Someone with PTSD needs to talk and be given the chance to be heard, and know that they are loved. The most crucial time is when they actually open up and want to speak, but most of the time a PTSD sufferer will remain silent and slowly be processing in their own head. The worst part of having PTSD is being so hard on ourselves. PTSD is something in this country that gets overlooked and a lot of people tell the person it is all in their head, but the time to heal that mental thought needs to happen. Don't ignore, criticize, or belittle a person suffering from post-traumatic stress. You will only hinder the healing process. Remember, the emotional toll of a traumatic event can cause all sorts of emotions to come out. Don't be afraid to address each emotion individually. And most of all, don't be ashamed in having PTSD. It is very common and just know, you aren't alone, and you are going to be okay.

Here are a some articles that helped me and hey may help further your recovery too:

Have a great weekend!

April 21, 2017

Friday things

Two Fridays ago was quite windy and rainy here and for most of the day/weekend we had little to no power. We went almost two hours with no power during one heavy bout of heavy winds. The wind got up to about 60 miles an hour at one point and I was worried about our gazebo top and the cherry tree behind our house. It finally calmed down about 3:00 p.m. and we just had rain showers the rest of the day. The weather was a bit confusing though because it would be windy, dark, and raining and 10 minutes later the sun would come out and the wind would be calm. It was off and on like that from about 4:00 a.m. on until the early Sunday evening. We were lucky here in the base of the Cascades because in the Portland area the winds took down power lines and trees. Here at the SNS house we only have some minor damage. A few limbs here and there and some things blown down in the yard, but nothing we couldn't clean up over the course of this past week. Unfortunately, the poor daffodils took quite a beating.

Last Friday was a bit rainy, but nothing major and Easter Sunday was sunny and clear. However, we spend the entire weekend helping some friends move and it too about four days of moving to get them completely shifted over to their new home. Four days isn't too bad, but it was exhausting. Thank goodness we all finally were able to take a much needed break Sunday evening. We all woke up Monday morning with sore muscles and sore backs. Moving-it's a great workout.

Here are the things that made this week great.

1. This moment.

The Mr. and The Bean have been casting into the waters here lately. The Bean has really started taking a liking to fishing, but we always teach a catch and release method with him. He hasn't caught anything as of yet, but his hopes are high.

2. This walkway.

Really liking how these came together. They look really nice in the daylight and at night they give off just enough light to create a glow onto the walkway. 

3. Easter.

With or current shift in being more minimal we kept the Easter "basket" simple. 

We gave The Bean a simple basket with a few organic chocolate eggs and a locally-made peanut butter rabbit. The basket was made of  a biodegradable basket and recycled brown paper for the grass. The Easter Bunny brought him some Annie's snacks, a Seattle Chocolates candy bar, TruJoy Fruit Chews, Eco-Eggs egg coloring and grass-growing kit, the movie Rogue One, and a Garden-in-a-Can - Dill. 

4. This change.

I've kept a blog for The Bean since before he was born and this week he took it over. I started the blog when I found out I was pregnant with him and have had it going now for about 13 years. Having him take over and start blogging makes me so proud. You can follow his blog posts here.

5. These goodies.

Yogi Surprise, never a letdown. 

Mighty Nest sent reusable bamboo utensils for this month's Mighty Fix. The Mr. promptly added them to his lunch box for work each day. And we also added on some Bee's Wrap sandwich wrap to help him keep a zero waste lunch each day. You can get Mighty Nest here.

And I have to mention the gifts I received from Pilot. Since I participated in the Back 2 School VoxBox through Influenster, Pilot decided they wanted to keep the gifts coming. This small package from Pilot contained two sets of pens, a Target gift card, and a postcard that allows you to write a note to your future self. Totally unexpected, but greatly appreciated!

A few other things:

April's book selection:
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. Find out more here.

• Guess what, Arkansas! You got a Go Green Box now!

• Minimal Monday recap:

• Waste-Free                           
• Donating