I love Fall. Although New Orleans doesn’t really have the leaf-changing, hay-riding, cool, jacket, bonfire weather that I grew up with for Fall, October is still a nice month here. The weather starts to cool a little (70s & 80s) and sometimes it dips into the 60s in the evenings, but there is usually a nice breeze, the humidity isn’t too high, and it is really nice to be outside. October is also Drew and I’s anniversary month, so fall time always particularly brings back memories of  the beginning of our relationship.

What I don’t like about October is that it is always midterms time for school and with the weather changing so much, I get more headaches than usual. I also currently have a cold. Yuck. This week has been stopped up head, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, losing my voice, headaches, fever, etc… With it being midterms however, I can’t afford to be sick. Colds have that tendency to drag on for weeks, so I’ve been doing my best to try to get over it as quickly as possible.

It seems like every time I get a cold, I fall into the same routine to get my wellness back on track.

I drink warm green tea with lots and lots of honey. I always buy local honey. I’ve always heard local honey is better for health/allergies, etc..

There are lots of great green teas out there, but this is the one I’ve always stuck to.

I’ve always loved Halls Vitamin C citrus drops and I also like Halls Naturals Honey Lemon Chamomile sore throat drops.

I always take my multi-vitamins daily, but when I’m sick or feel like I might get sick, I always take Echinacea. It is natural, comes from coneflowers and is really good for immune system health. There are other vitamins that are particularly good for your immune system, but my daily multi-vitamin already contains several of those as well.

As always, I also try to eat as healthy as possible, particularly lots of fruits and vegetables to make sure my body is getting lots of added vitamins and minerals so that it can work more easily to fight off my cold.

My favorite soup is also a go-to meal when I’m feeling under the weather.

Chicken/Potato/Vegetable with Rice and Barley. Super simple to make as well. Just chicken stock/broth, salt/pepper/seasonings, chicken, potatoes, onions, carrots, celery, green beans, corn, rice, barley and any other vegetables that I have around. So delicious and full of tasty things! I usually make quite a bit of this and freeze it in small containers so that I can easily take one out and warm it up if I’m not feeling well. (or if I’m just in a soup mood. I could seriously eat this everyday!)

When I have a cold, I try to make sure to open the windows in the house every so often to get the air circulating with fresh air and let the stale air and germs out of the house. I also make sure to frequently wash my clothes, towels, cloth napkins, sheets and anything else that I have my mouth or hands on that could have picked up my coughing germs. The same goes for cleaning and disinfecting any other surfaces around the house. This not only keeps germs from spreading to Drew or whoever else is in the house, but I always feel like getting my own cold germs out of the house helps my own body heal itself better as well. The fresher and cleaner things are the better.

I also try to get a little extra sleep every night. I definitely think that sleep helps almost anything feel better, but is especially needed when your body is working twice as hard as usual to fight off infection.

Do you have a certain recipe for wellness when you are under the weather? Does anybody else drink tea and take lots of vitamins? I feel like a lot of people’s first reaction to not feeling well is to try to take some kind of medication. I rarely do. Is anyone else with me? I’d love to hear your wellness secrets! :)

Lately, my face has been breaking out a lot. I think its been mostly due to the high amount of stress that I’ve had lately with school and all that. I feel like I’m back in middle school! I’ve used Proactiv the past couple years and I just feel like it is full of chemicals that are too harsh for my skin. I’m not a big fan of chemicals. Not using them in products or eating things full of them, etc. I like things natural. So anyway, I’ve been looking out for natural facial products. One day I got on the internet to look up natural cures for acne, most of which listed a combination of vitamins A and E and aloe vera. We have an aloe plant, so I’ve broken off small pieces of it lately and rubbed that directly on my face.

Today we had errands to run so we stopped by to check out some vitamins. I saw some multivitamins that were for hair, skin and nail health. I thought about those, but ended up with this:

I really wanted vitamins or vitamin cremes or something that I could apply directly to my face, since I thought that would be more effective rather than just vitamin supplements. I found this bottle of grapeseed oil that says that it is 100% pure sensitive skin care–a light silky moisturizer for all skin types. It claims to be useful as an all-natural moisturizer aiding in protection from premature aging and in reducing the effects of acne. It also says that it can be used as a base for lotions or even as a conditioner for all hair types. I love the multi-use quality of natural products! This was only $9.99 for a 16 oz. bottle; a whole lot cheaper than any other moisturizer and so much healthier!

I also got some E-ointment which has both vitamin E and Aloe Vera in it. It is good for dry skin, wrinkles, stretch marks and to soften fine lines and scars. My older sister, Blair, used it a few years ago to rub on her foot after she had surgery. I like to use it as chapstick. It is perfect to rub on your lips for a pure lip moisturizer. If you want to make it easier to tote around, just put some in a little tub for make-up or something. I know I have a few little tubs from Bare Essentials that they gave me when I purchased some eye shadow a few years ago. They use them for sample eye shadows. I’m sure you can buy them somewhere too. It was only $5.99 for that 2 oz jar and that will last me quite a while!

As you can see, I also picked up some vitamin A supplements as well. They were only $2.99 and are “essential for normal vision and healthy skin” as the bottle says. Be careful when you go to the store to look at see what the ingredients are in the vitamins and things that you buy. Some aren’t organic and have other things added into them. The more natural and pure, the better.

After leaving there, we went to Borders Bookstore. Both of the ones in the New Orleans area are closing, so they had a big sale going on. We should have gone sooner, because most of the books and furniture were already gone, but we did get a couple books:

Do It Gorgeously was already on my book list! I was actually going to get it for my older sister for Christmas last Christmas, but they didn’t have it at the bookstore when I was Christmas shopping and I had other books that I wanted to get her and got her instead. It says “How to Make Less Toxic, Less Expensive, and More Beautiful Products.” That is totally my style. It has homemade recipes for beauty products and skin care, sewing tips and how-to’s, food recipes, ways to save energy, lifestyle tips, gardening tips, how to be nifty and thrifty, how to get out certain stains and clean certain things and even exercise tips. It is definitely a neat book!

I haven’t had time to look through it a lot, but I was just flipping through and saw some of the skin care section. It has different skincare regimens based on your skin type. It gives natural recipes for cleanser, toner, moisturizer, balancing oil, exfoliators, sunscreens, eye-makeup remover, eye serums, eye gels, skin masks, acne gels, hand sanitizer, lotions and even deodorant and mouthwash! It even gives recipes for insect repellent, PMS reliever, cough syrup, and other natural health remedies. All made with natural vitamins and ingredients! Plus all those were just from a couple pages of the book. It really makes me want to make everything I use!

Drew’s brother’s girlfriend, Trang, has a friend who only eats raw food. It is a whole special diet. More about it, here. Trang has posted several things on her blog that they have made and they look good and it really intrigues me how healthy the raw diet is. I saw this cookbook all about raw desserts and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity for me to give some raw recipes a try. I really want to make the nut flour in this book to use in stuff. If you are skeptical about the raw diet, here are a few pictures from the book:

Don’t these vanilla macaroons look awesome!

Look at these yummy fruit crepes!

Baklava

Even raw brownies!

I definitely have a lot of new recipes to try in here! Yummy desserts that are healthier for you? I’m totally in on that one!

The last book we got was another cookbook all about Southern cooking. As much as the raw diet sounds neat, I couldn’t completely give up all those yummy deep south staples. I’ve already read through quite a bit of this one and the woman who wrote it is so interesting! All these recipes are from her own family collection. They all sound delicious! So delicious in fact, that we just had to make one for dinner since our mouths were watering just looking through it!

We ended up making:

We used her family recipe for fried chicken planks and we made mashed potatoes (the first time I’ve made them this whole semester!), corn and fresh green beans to go along with it. They were amazing! We also followed her recipe to make southern “comeback sauce” which tastes pretty much identical to Louisiana’s Raising Cane’s sauce! (Raising Cane’s makes a big deal about their sauce being a secret recipe) We both really like their sauce and it is great now that we can make it at home! (for those that don’t know, Raising Cane’s is a really good somewhat fast food restaurant that is known in Louisiana for their chicken strips and Cane’s sauce. It started in Baton Rouge and is really good!)

With dinner we used our new cloth napkins that we got yesterday. I’ve been meaning to make some for a while, but we saw these at T.J. Maxx yesterday and I liked the pattern and they were only a few dollars for a pack of four. They match the chartreuse green that we have in some of the accents in our kitchen and they will be much more economical than paper napkins!  I’ve got some other fabrics that I’m going to make some more in the same size to go along with these.

Here is a closer look at part of the pattern.

We’ve only got three daisies left from my flowers that Drew bought me a few weeks ago! They still look pretty though for being out so long.

Lastly, we also got a new bottle for our olive oil yesterday. Drew broke the topper on our old one and we couldn’t get it off to put more olive oil in it. I love the curvy shape of this one! It is from World Market.

Please excuse the dirty stove! Isn’t the oil pretty in this bottle? It goes well with our chartreuse kitchen accents!

Anyway, I’ve been babbling on long enough! Today was a pretty fun day. I also got the research done that I needed to do for my Medieval England History paper. Now I just have to write it. But I think I’m going to go try out my new grapeseed oil moisturizer first. :)

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