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Go on, check it out…because your doggy deserves it! :)

Pick Me Up Ideas for Tired Parents

Raise your hand if you’re tired.

Being a parent can be fun and also leave you feeling frazzled and exhausting.  Sooner or later you will need to take some me time for relaxation and pampering.  

Designed for parents you know or for yourself – here are some ideas of a DIY gift basket of goodies to help parents feel better.  (Or you know, if you want to send yours truly something to help me relax ;) )  Thank you.  Or you’re welcome, depending on what you choose to do with this list!


The Body Shop Divine Calm Relaxing Massage Oil, 3.3-Fluid Ounce

The Body Shop Divine Calm Relaxing Massage Oil, 3.3-Fluid Ounce

Um, hello.  Massage oil?  Yes, please!  Designed to help you drift away as you experience total relaxation with an unbeatable, stress-busting, tension-taming massage using this blend of calming oils.  Pure French lavender essential oil relaxes the senses, while camomile promotes a sense of calm and soothes skin. Sesame oil and sweet almond oil moisturize and soften skin.

The Body Shop Divine Calm Relaxing Massage Oil, 3.3-Fluid Ounce – $24.40, Free shipping – Available at Marketplace – Flowers – Fields of Europe for Summer Basket - Flowers - Fields of Europe for Summer Basket

Flowers are so great.  What a pick-me-up!  While I usually just pick flowers from my yard to put in the house, it always feels extra good to be surprised with a delivery like this. – Flowers – Fields of Europe for Summer Basket – $39.99, -1.00 shipping – Available at

Wonka – Chocolate Bars – ORIGINAL: 18-Piece Box

Wonka - Chocolate Bars - ORIGINAL: 18-Piece Box

CHOCOLATE.  I really don’t need to say more, do I?


Wonka – Chocolate Bars – ORIGINAL: 18-Piece Box – $39.60, See Site shipping – Available at CandyWarehouse

EiioX – EiioX Aromatherapy Essential Oil Purifier Diffuser Air Humidifier with 4 Timer Settings & 6 Colors Changing, Black

EiioX - EiioX Aromatherapy Essential Oil Purifier Diffuser Air Humidifier with 4 Timer Settings & 6 Colors Changing, Black

I really like the look of this Essential Oil Diffuser.  I have one that I got somewhere else, but it cost twice as much.  I wish I’d seen this one first!!


EiioX – EiioX Aromatherapy Essential Oil Purifier Diffuser Air Humidifier with 4 Timer Settings & 6 Colors Changing, Black – $53.99, Free shipping – Available at Marketplace

Deep Steep – Organic Lavender Chamomile Bubble Bath-17 oz-Bubble Bath

Deep Steep - Organic Lavender Chamomile Bubble Bath-17 oz-Bubble Bath

Bubble Bath.  So you can sit in the tub filled with hot water, and soak your cares away.  This organic Lavender Chamomile sounds heavenly, doesn’t it? 


Deep Steep – Organic Lavender Chamomile Bubble Bath-17 oz-Bubble Bath – $6.99, Free shipping – Available at Puritans Pride

(2 reviews)

Moroccan Hand Woven Basket, Braid Design Large (Palm Leaf)

Moroccan Hand Woven Basket, Braid Design Large (Palm Leaf)

This is a great basket that is hand woven with palm leaves that be used to present your gift. Afterwards it can be used for a trip to the beach, books, as farmers market bag.

Moroccan Hand Woven Basket, Braid Design Large (Palm Leaf) – $28.00, 11.49 shipping – Available at Marketplace

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links provided by Postpresso.

Woman of Courage by Wanda E. Brunstetter

From New York Times Bestselling Author Wanda E. Brunstetter comes a new novel, Woman of Courage.

About the book:

WomanofCourageAmanda Pearson, a Quaker woman suffering from a broken engagement, leaves her home in New York and travels West to minister to the Nez Perce Indians. Along the way, she encounters many problems, yet she never gives up. Like a true woman of courage, Amanda trusts God to see her through, even when she fights illness, abandonment, misunderstandings, and an unexpected event. Set in 1837, this historical novel has many twists and turns that will take readers from the rugged Rocky Mountains to Oregon Territory and the home of the Spalding Mission, where the Nez Perce Indians were first introduced to Christianity.


My Thoughts:

Prior to reading this novel, I was not familiar with the Amish-themed fictional books.  I have to confess, I don’t really think this genre is my “style”.  I felt like the main character, Amanda, did more praying about her situation than DOING anything, and it bugged me. I much preferred her “co-star”, Yellow Bird, who seemed to have much more depth as a character. That being said, if you like the Amish fiction, you’ll probably really love this book. There is never a dull moment, as Amanda and her new-found friends face challenges of every sort, keeping the reader engaged!  Wanda Brunstetter is a good writer, and she keeps the story moving along at a very good pace.  The book is well written and I can definitely see why the author is a New York Times bestselling author.

You can view a trailer for the book as well – cool, right?

I’m going to give the book 3 stars. The only reason it’s not 4 or more is simply personal taste.  Again, if you enjoy Amish fiction, you’ll like this!

Many thanks to Handlebar Publishing for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my HONEST opinion.  The thoughts expressed are mine, and mine alone.

Salmon with Mango-Avocado Salsa – Anti Inflammatory (Allergen Free)

This Anti-Inflammatory Diet I’ve been on (as part of a treatment plan my doctor put together for me) has forced me to think outside the box when it comes to meals….which, if I’m honest, is probably a good thing!

What is the anti-inflammatory diet?  It’s basically a diet designed to cut any foods that are known to cause inflammation out.  My diet has been personalized based on my test results and right now I am NOT allowed to eat any of the following foods, or any foods with these ingredients in them:

  • Dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, margarine, shortening)

  • Eggs

  • Gluten (wheat, oats, rye, barley)

  • Tomatoes

  • Dehydrated Fruit

  • Rice, corn, potatoes (white, red, yellow) – this is to help me with my blood sugar level, as I was found to have pre-diabetes.

  • alcohol

  • Coffee, black tea, and soda

  • Fruit juices

  • Iodized (table) salt

  • Sugar and natural and artificial sweeteners – no sweeteners of ANY kind are allowed

  • Soy products

  • Peanuts

  • Beef, pork, shellfish, cold cuts, bacon, hot dogs, canned meat, sausage

So…today I ate a saSalmon and Salad with Mango-Avocado "Salsa" - AIPlad (like every other day, ha ha), but decided I wanted to try something new with the salmon.



SO very easy, fast, and I loved it!  Gluten, dairy, soy, peanut, egg, sugar free!

Salmon with Mango-Avocado Salsa

 4-oz salmon fillet, de-boned
1 tsp coconut oil
pinch of oregano
1/4 avocado
1/4 mango
pinch of sea salt

In a skillet over medium heat, heat up the coconut oil and add the salmon.  Sprinkle with the oregano, and cover with a tight-fitting lid.  Cook until flaky, about 5-7 minutes.

Meanwhile, dice up the avocado and mango.  Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt.  Plate the salmon and put the mango-avocado “salsa” over the top.  Serve with a salad on the side.



P&G Everyday – Have You Joined Yet?

As a busy mom, you always want the best for your family. Now, P&G Everyday is here to help. With tons of great coupons for the best P&G products, we’re making it easier than ever to get the quality that you want from brands like: Pampers, Tide, Bounty, Crest, Always, Mr. Clean, Cascade, DAWN, Charmin, Gillette, DURACELL, Swiffer, OldSpice, Febreze, and IAMS.


I personally LOVE P&G Everyday.  I love getting their samples regularly!

Menu? Monday and Weekly Goals

Folks, I have a confession.

I didn’t follow the meal plan last week.  At all.  The kids either weren’t in the mood for the food I had planned or I didn’t feel up to making it, and so the whole thing flew out the window.

We did NOT go out to eat instead, so I’m grateful for that.  We just ate what was easy and available, making choices at the last minute.  We also had a lot of fun doing back to school shopping – who needs food when you can shop?! ;)

PicMonkey CollageThis week will probably be much the same.  I’m having a hard enough time coming up with meal ideas for myself, following an anti-inflammatory diet, and to come up with more meals on top of that is something I admit I’m struggling with.

Ah, well.  We all have those weeks, right?  (that’s what I’m telling myself to avoid too much guilt. :) )Here’s a very loose meal plan for the week (for the kids) anyway. My personal meal plan will look different:


Scrambled Eggs
Fresh Fruit (all we’ve got right now are apples and one mango, so we’ll need to shop soon)Waffles (made from our freezer session)


Leftover crockpot chicken
Fresh and canned fruit
Fresh veggies (we have carrots, lettuce, avocado and cucumbers on hand)
Grilled cheese sandwiches
Cheese quesadillas

Dinners (to be served with fresh fruit and veggies on the side):

Breakfast for dinner
Crockpot baked potatoes
Homemade Pizza
Mac and Cheese

As for me, I will be adding in a few new foods this week.  I’m so excited, and so scared!  The foods I get to add back in are brown rice, eggs, and lean beef.  I will introduce one at a time for two days, and if all goes well I’ll add another.  If it doesn’t go well, I’ll cut back down to the original diet until I reach my baseline and try a different food again.  These foods I’ll be eating for breakfast only, so my lunches and dinners will still mostly be salads and beans/chicken.

I did accomplish my two goals for last week, so I did get SOMETHING done.  This week I’m hoping to be more productive:


  • Repaint trim on the front of the house

  • Calk the baseboards in the bathroom to finally have the job complete!

  • Finish up budget plan for August

  • Reorganize bathroom drawers


*Hope you all have a great week!