AaaaaCHOooo…winter cold? Read here for some remedies, treatments, and just plain treats

I’ve been a little under the weather this week and it’s given my a lot of time to think…and try (although it’s against my always-on-the-go nature) to relax and rest so I can kick this cold. I’ve found myself making a list in my head of my favorite, some new and some old, cold treatments (or shall I say, cold accessories?). These aren’t your typical treatments or remedies…but I thought, since cold season seems to be in full swing, that I’d share:

A good lip scrub and hydrator

  • Coughing and sneezing leads to repeat tissue usage…I try to reach for the extra soft kind, but sometimes they’re not at arms reach. By the end of a long day, both my nose and lips are chapped and red from all the wiping and blowing. Sick. During my latest cold, it got so bad that my lips started to peel, yowza. I needed 2 things…1. Something that would get off the dead skin without hurting my lips more 2. Something that would smooth out my lips and take away the rough appearance. I’ve been using these 2 gems and totally recommend them for complete healing. Hey, you could even use them if your lips just need a good cold weather treatment:
      1. “The Lip Scrub” by Sara Happ: $24 @ Dermstore, I like Vanilla Bean. It’s simple to use, grab a dot from the tub, rub in light circular motions on lips (and I did a little buffing around my mouth too, since skin was chapped above my lips). Buff, buff, buff – then wipe gently with a tissue. On a side note, this stuff tastes lovely as it’s sugar based. This scrub buffs right off those dead skin pieces so you can create a smooth canvas for a good lip treatment!
        • PS: I actually got this scrub as a gift from my friend, Robyn – THANK YOU, BINNY!! Maaaarvelous find

          Sara Happ "the lip scrub" in brown sugar. comes in a bunch of different flavors!

          Sara Happ “the lip scrub” in brown sugar. comes in a bunch of different flavors!

      2. Derma/e Hydrating Lip Repair With Hyaluronic Acid: $14.50 @ Dermstore, also sold at Whole Foods. Seriously, nothing was working…even some heavier balms I had in my beauty drawer of tricks. So, I got this wonderous tube at Whole Foods. I like that I don’t have to reach my finger into a pot for this…and it’s travel friendly. I squeeze a bit of the white cream onto my finger and rub on my lips. It takes a moment or so to sink in. At first, I was skeptical that this was enough to really hydrate. But the hyaluronic acid really helps and seals in the moisture. I found that this REALLY WORKS. And I’ve only had to re-apply a couples times during the day, bravo!

        derma e hydrating lip repair with Hyaluronic acid - a lip saver!

        derma e hydrating lip repair with Hyaluronic acid – a lip saver

Intense face balm (that won’t do anything crazy to my skin)

Oh my red nose, it’s a dead give away that I’m sick. And then, it starts peeling and I look like something out Silence of the Lambs. Sick. I tried a few different things and it just.wasn’t.getting.better. Well, after a reco from someone at a Health Food store in nearby Quincy, MA, I bought a pot of Medicine Mama’s Sweet Bee Magic. I’ve heard of this stuff…I like that it has minimal ingredients. No petroleum. So I put it on. Rubbed it all over my nose and above my lip. It’s shiny, don’t get me wrong. But it sinks in. I’ve found that it moisturizes well – takes away the flakes, calms the redness. I’ve applied it a couple times a day. Ahhh relief…it is really a lovely product. And according to their site and many reviewers, it can be used daily and has many benefits including, healing very dry skin, soothing red/itchy/sunburnt skin, repairs minor cuts/scrapes/burns, and improves skin tone and texture.

  • Medicine Mama’s Sweet Bee Magic: $30 @ (note, I’ve never ordered from this site) or, you can find a some Whole Foods
    • Full list of ingredients: organic extra virgin olive oil, organic beeswax, organic honey, propolis extract, bee pollen, royal jelly
Medicine Mama's Sweet Bee Magic...working wonders on chapped skin

Medicine Mama’s Sweet Bee Magic…working wonders on chapped skin

Tea, and more tea

Of course pushing fluids is key when you’re under the weather…and tea is magic when you’re sick. It’s warm, comforting…the steam helps you breath easier. I’ve been rotating between a couple caffeine-free Yogi teas and this lovely bedtime tea by Pukka Herbs that I found at Whole Foods. I’ve found that my symptoms kick up at night – so this tea has helped me relax a bit and lull off to sleep. And yea, I’ve had to pee during the night, but it’s helped to go and feel like I’m flushing the system. I envision peeing out the sick…is that weird? Whatever makes you feel better, right?!

  • Pukka tea in Nighttime: ~$5 at Whole Foods
    • Ingredients: Oat flower (30%), licorice root, chamomile flower, lavender flower (14%), lime flower (10%), valerian root, tulsi leaf
Pukka night time, yummy, makes you zzzz

Pukka night time tea…organic, yummy, makes you zzzz


Comfy PJs

I really think comfy PJs are an imperative. A couple times this past week, I came home from work and felt so sick I just wanted to fall asleep in my work clothes because it was easier than changing. Sad. Well, instead, I forced myself to take the 3 minutes and change out of my tight and layered work clothes, to comfy PJs. I’ve always loved Victoria’s Secret Afterhours Satin PJs. But, I’ve found a new brand that I’m in love with. A bit on the priceier side, but I splurged on a set over Christmas with some Christmas money I had. Wildfox pants and comfy top. Softest fabric ever. like nothing else I’ve felt. And they also look quite cute…I feel pretty damn fly in them even when my nose is peeling.

Material is 47% polyester, 47% rayon, 6% spandex.

Technically not ‘PJs’ – you can wear them out and about, running errands, to the gym, as a beach cover up etc. Just a few ways to justify the cost. But damn, I can’t dress enough how comfy they are.

big fan of this brand - especially their quirky tops and t's that have fun sayings on the front

big fan of this brand – especially their quirky tops and t’s that have fun sayings on the front

All-natural meds

Another recommendation I got – and I’ve popped a couple a day is for KOLD KARE. I can’t vouch for ingredients. It’s all herbal. But I can say, I’ve used it for the alst 2 days and I’ve noticed improvement in my symptoms. Worth a try.

no frills cold care by Kold Kare

no frills cold care by Kold Kare

A treat

With my appetite all over the place and my temp a’ rising…for some reason, I just wanted a cool treat. My tum doesn’t always appreciate ice cream – so instead, my husband and I opted for the frozen hot chocolate at Coffee Break in Quincy, MA. If there isn’t a place near you that makes this treat – below is a recipe so you can make at home! I opted for soy milk vs. dairy milk in mine. If I made at home, I’d probably use almond milk. Yes, this treat isn’t low in sugar – but dang, it made me feel better. And I wanted a cool treat (even though its cool outside) between my headache and sweats, it was SOOOOTHING


Those are just a couple of my out of the box rememdies. Do you have anything good?? Please share!

Hello Black Friday! 10 Holiday gift ideas

In honor of Black Friday – I thought I’d round up some holiday gift ideas. Although I’m avoiding “real” Black Friday shopping (at least for now while I write this post, watch Mrs. Doubtfire, and eat candy corn in bed) – today is a good day to find a deal. And the beauty of modern day Black Friday is that you don’t have to leave your house to get a deal. Especially with so many retailers offering free shipping! To sniff out online deals, I always suggest checking out prior to making any online purchase – 9 out of 10 times I find a deal through this site.

Below is a list of 10 gift ideas – for spouse, parent, friend, lover, you name it. Price points vary and I tried to put the full price below but I bet you can find a discount, especially this time of year! Hopefully, you catch some gift-spiration below!

  • Silk pillowcase(s) ($150.00 for a set of 2 @ A full set of high quality silk sheets would be expensive – so why not give someone the gift of silk to lay their head on? Not only does silk feel divine to sleep on (ahhh, who doesn’t love a nice cool pillow?)…it also has functional benefits including being easier on your skin than regular fabrics, which can mean reduced facial lines. And, it is easier on your hair. I recommend Lovasilk for high quality (25mm) silk pillow cases. And to read more on the benefits of silk – click here. Perfect gift for the guy or gal who likes to be pampered.
Midge (momentarily) enjoying the silk pillowcase

Midge (momentarily) enjoying a snooze on the silk pillowcase

  • Clarisonic Mia – ($125.00 @ Sephora/but check Amazon too). Oh the Clarisonic (the “electric toothbrush for your face”) – this baby sits on my bathroom counter calling to me each night. This handy beauty tool is a staple in many spas as well. The Clarisonic has been around for some time now – and comes in a smaller travel size, which I love. The Mia is perfect for everyday. You replace the brush every 2-3 months. I go with the “delicate” brush. The Clarisonic does an amazing job cleaning your skin – removing make up and dead skin cells without irritating. It is a handy tool and you can use your normal face cleanser with it. It is also great to travel with and has a long battery life once charged up. Great for someone who likes to spice up their beauty routine OR visit the spa
The handy dandy Clarisonic Mia

The handy dandy Clarisonic Mia

  • Electric wine opener ($39.99 @ Macy’s) – we registered for this for our wedding. I never really knew how handy this baby is until I opened my first bottle of wine with it. It comes with a foil cutter which is super fast and easy. The actual wine opener part is FUN to use. It takes the cork out of the bottle in less than 30 seconds and spits the cork out. It makes getting into a bottle of wine easy & fast. Great hostess gift!
Waring Pro Electric wine opener. once-you-use-it-can't-live-without-it-bar-accessory

Waring Pro Electric wine opener. once-you-use-it-can’t-live-without-it-bar-accessory

  • Aromatherapy Diffuser (Sharper Image Aromatherapy Diffuser; $59.99 @ Sharper Image) don’t get me wrong, I love candles. This is a great gift for a candle lover. And the added bonus is it uses essential oils to fragrance the air. You can find great, all natural essential oils at Whole Foods – think eucalyptus, lavender, etc. A couple drops of an essentail oil and some water in this diffuser and the air will be smelling soothing and clean
Sharper Image Aromatherapy Diffuser

Sharper Image Aromatherapy Diffuser

  •  Satin Pajamas ($59.99 @ Victoria Secret) – I LOVE these satin PJs by VS. They are silky soft and although they cover you up, they are still cute. I wear them winter and summer…because they are loose fitting enough for warm weather (no need for sheets!) but also warm up nicely against my skin under the covers in the winter. VS has a lot of different colors and patterns. These might look familiar because The Kardashain’s often sport them on the show! Great for the gal who loves to lounge
Ahh I love this pic. These are my bridesmaids in their VS satin PJs. Love it!

Ahh I love this pic. These are my bridesmaids in their VS satin PJs. Love it!

  • French press (Bonjour Maximus 8-cup French press, $49.95 @ William Sonoma) – I always thought this thing would be too complicated to brew coffee in until we bought one at William Sonoma. A couple scoops of your favorite ground coffee, pour boiling water over, let sit, then drop in the lid/press and BAM delicious coffee. You can control the brew strength. Great gift for the coffee lover. Pair with some nice ground coffee such as Starbuck’s Christmas Blend (they’ll gorund the beans in store for you!)
my first experience with a french press was on our honeymoon. Pairs well with a chocolate croissant ;)

my first experience with a french press was on our honeymoon. Pairs well with a chocolate croissant 😉

  • Travel tea mug/infuser (Bodum Stainless Steal Travel Press/Mug, $34.50 @ DavidsTea) – I’m big into tea lately, the loose leaf kind. I feel like I’m conducting a mini science experiement when I pick out my tea, measure it into my mug, and let it seep to perfection. I try to replace my afternoon coffee with tea to avoid additional caffeine. Also, there are so many yummy tea flavors from fruity to floral…it’s a great treat with no calories. This mug travels well and keeps tea hot. Great for the commuter/tea lover!
Bodum travel tea mug @ DavidsTea

Bodum travel tea mug @ DavidsTea

  • Faux Fur throw blanket (Donna Salyer’s Fabulous Furs, Mahogany Mink Faux Fur Throw starts @ $329.00 – join the email list to get 20% off your first purchase!) – we were given this throw a couple winter’s ago, now, it is a couch staple. It is super soft and luxiorous. Perfect for cuddling under or falling aasleep with. It is such a nice, heavy, super soft blanket – a perfect couch accessory.
the cream of the throw  blanket crop

the cream of the throw blanket crop

  • NutriBullet by Magic Bullet ($99.99 @ Macy’s) I first tried the bullet a couple years ago after getting sick of my full size blender which was a pain to clean. I love this small serving blender. I love that it makes the perfect smoothies and I can take the cup on the road. I throw my protein smoothie ingrendients in this and within 30 seconds, boom, its done and I’m out the door. Clean up is easy! Beyond smoothies, you can make dips, shakes, salsa etc. it’s a great appliance to have around and the size means it takes up minimal counter/cabinet space. Great for the gym-goer, or someone with a smaller kitchen who loves gadgets but might not have the space
Nutribullet by Magic Bullet

Nutribullet by Magic Bullet

  • TRX Home Suspension Training Kit ($199.95 full price) – TRX is a phenomal work out. Now, you can bring it into your house. When it gets cold and harder to get ot the gym – this baby will help give you a great work out without leaving the house. And there are so many YouTube videos showing you how to do different TRX work outs. You can get a true full body work out with this. And it takes up minimal space! Great for stretching as well. Great gift for the work out enthusiast or even someone who travels and wants to have a work out “in a bag” that they can do in their room
Binny and I TRXin' with more than enough space to spare!

Binny and I TRXin’ with more than enough space to spare!