13 Jun







I first experienced anxiety, panic attacks, and heart palpitations in my late teens. I guess you could say that since then it has come in spells depending on how busy life is and whether or not I am supporting myself with the nutrition it needs to keep up with the happenings of life.  

We all have genetic weaknesses (some have heart diseases that run in the family, some cancer, some diabetes, etc.) and I happen to have these kind of symptoms that run in my family. I have some family members on medication for heart palpitations, others take nerve pills to calm panic attacks and anxiety. I prefer not to take medication if I can help it because my philosophy is that my body is not lacking in medication but it is crying out for help. It’s letting me know that things are unbalanced and needs vital nutrients. It’s important to research and do all we can to support our bodies in handling these genetic weaknesses. 

I have learned how to heal myself from reading and researching from others, and it is my hope is that if you suffer from any symptoms of anxiety or panic attacks, you can find natural help through some or all of the things that I have found helpful! 

What Causes Anxiety?

In short, the thing that causes anxiety, panic attacks, heart palpitations, and similar problems is that we put too many demands on our adrenal glands and our body produces symptoms to let us know that something is wrong and needs immediate attention. These things can be physical, mental, or emotional demands. When we face busy or stressful times in life and our body is lacking in essential vitamins or minerals, or our intestinal health is not healthy, our body can go haywire. Our body is more quickly using up nutrients and we are not replenishing them as needed.  When I first had anxiety and panic attacks, my symptoms included feeling like I was flying when I drove a vehicle or sat in a room with high ceilings. I was extremely fatigued and had a hard time doing simple tasks such as wash the dishes and clean the house. I had no idea what was wrong with me, and neither did my doctors. You can also feel like you are walking sideways or downhill when walking on a flat surface. Heart palpitations are pretty common, as well as insomnia, excessive worry, and restlessness. Supporting the adrenal glands is one of the most important things in getting your health back on track.

My Natural Arsenal For Keeping Anxiety at Bay

  1. Vitamin B-Complex – B vitamins support the adrenal glands which reduces stress and anxiety. Years ago I began experiencing heart palpitations and started taking a B-complex supplement, and my palpitations stopped overnight! My body was obviously lacking in this, but this is not always the answer. Sometimes I need to take several nourishing things to get back on track. If you have any kind of nerve problem, a good B-Complex is important. 
  2. Adrenal Support – As I mentioned above, the symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks are a sign that the adrenal glands need help. A great way to do this is with herbs that support the herbs such as: 

     I like to keep at least one of these herbs on hand (typically the ashwaghanda) to add to tea mixes for nourishment. You can also buy a tincture form.

  3. Nerve Tea – If I am having a stressful day or am starting to feel anxious, I love drinking what I call Nerve Tea. I fix a quart jar of this and sip on it throughout the day, and it calms my nerves!                                                                                                    Here’s what I do:                                                                                                                                                                                    *Combine equal parts of dried rose petals, chamomile, lavender flowers, and oatstraw in a container for storage (I like to store herbs in jars). Sometimes I add chrysanthemum flowers and I also like to add an adaptogenic herb like ashwagandha to support the adrenals. The adaptogenic herbs should be added in half the amount as the others. So, for instance, if I added 1/4 cup each of the rose petals, chamomile, lavender flowers, oatstraw, and chrysanthemum flowers, I would only put 1/8 cup of one of the adaptogenic herbs in the jar. Mix the herbs in the jar well and add 2 teaspoons of the mix to a cup of boiling water. I almost always make a quart jar, so you would obviously multiply the amount to 8 tsp. of the mix for 4 cups of water if you want to make that much. I find that 3-4 cups in a day is necessary if I’m having any of my symptoms of being too stressed. Remove the pan from heat and cover with a lid. Steep for 30 minutes. Strain the herbs and sip away!
  4. Magnesium – Stress depletes us of vital nutrients like magnesium. Magnesium is highly associated with our stress levels. [1] [2] Supplementing with magnesium is essential when you experience symptoms of stress. I try to take it every night before bed. It nourishes and helps calm the body for bed. You’ll most likely find yourself sleeping better at night! My current favorite is Natural Calm. They have a few flavored options with stevia. I’m currently taking the raspberry lemon flavor. You check out the different flavors here!
  5. Dr. Bach’s Rescue Remedy – this is a flower remedy specifically targeted for emotions. It helps stress, panic attacks, emotional trauma, and shock. You just place a few drops under the tongue as needed. 
  6. Kombucha – Kombucha is a fermented drink that is so good for the adrenals, is full of b vitamins, and helps lower cortisol levels. All of these things are great at reducing stress. If I know I’m going to have a very busy week and possibly not enough sleep, I make sure I’m drinking a bottle of kombucha every day. It supports my adrenals and nervous system to help me stay on my feet and have the energy I need. The difference is like night and day! You can make your own kombucha (see www.culturedfoodlife.com for instructions), or you can buy kombucha at some stores like Wal-Mart. Not all bought kombucha is as good as homemade (as far as being as nutritious), but GT’s Kombucha is one brand that IS as good for you as drinking homemade. It saves a ton of money to make your own, but buying is more convenient, so some prefer that. 
  7. Diet – processed foods and sugar contribute to stress and adrenal problems. Eat as much food to the way it was orginally created as possible!
  8. Sleep – Having enough sleep is essential when experiencing anxiety. The difference in getting 6 hours of sleep and getting 8 hours is huge! I’ve found myself with headaches and a general feeling of heaviness and stress in my head. Making sure I get to bed by 9 or 9:30 when I feel this way makes me feel like a new person. 

You may be wondering which of these you should take and when? I keep all of it on hand the best I can. But here’s how I personally use these natural remedies for keeping anxiety at bay, as well as heart palpitations and panic attacks.

Every day:

When I begin having heart palpitations, anxiety, and/or panic attacks or feel overly stressed, I add the other things to my daily routine until my body balances and symptoms subside. When needed:

  • Dr Bach Rescue Remedy
  • Nerve Tea
  • I make sure I’m getting extra sleep and go on a stricter, whole foods diet.

Resources: 1. Cuciureanu, M. D. (1970, January 01). Magnesium and stress. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507250/

2. Boyle, N. B., Lawton, C., & Dye, L. (2017, April 26). The Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Subjective Anxiety and Stress-A Systematic Review. Retrieved June 12, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5452159/

3. Top 5 Ways Kombucha Relieves Stress. (n.d.). Retrieved June 12, 2019, from https://www.storey.com/article/top-5-ways-kombucha-relieves-stress/

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07 Jun







(Be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of this post!)

I still remember my daughter lying on the couch on Christmas day listening to the rest of the family enjoy the festivities in the other room. A very not-so-merry virus had hit her and she couldn’t enjoy that holiday much at all. And I was right by her side sharing in her misery, because that’s what moms do.

Things could have been worse and I’m a firm believer that we can find something to be thankful for in every situation, BUT I like my children to be well as much as possible, and especially when they are looking forward to an event, such as a holiday!

My children do take vitamins, homemade probiotics, immune herbs, and eat healthy foods to support their system, but I also like to incorporate essential oils!

I’m going to share a simple DIY essential oil rub that you can use especially this holiday time of year when candy and baking are plentiful and your kids need that extra immune boost!

DIY Essential Oil Rub For the Holiday Sniffles

Let’s first talk about the power of these oils!

Clove Essential Oil

Use to relieve nausea, fight germs and bacteria. Buy here

Do not use this oil under age 2.

Lemon Essential Oil

When I think of lemon oil, my first thoughts go to its awesome smell and how great it works in homemade cleaners and room sprays, but this oil is also a good choice for illness! It’s a disinfectant, and it promotes lymphatic drainage, which helps you get over colds faster! Buy here

Cinnamon Essential Oil

Besides smelling like Christmas, cinnamon essential oil is also cleansing, relaxing, and helps support the respiratory system. Buy here

Do not use on children under age 10.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus is a great disinfectant, and also relieves colds and stuffy noses. Buy here

Do not use under age 10.

Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary relieves congestion and coughs, as well as having antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. It is said that judges in the middle ages burned rosemary to ward off any illnesses that people may bring to the place of judging. Using the essential oil has the same benefits! Buy here

Do not use on children under 10.

Tea Tree Essential Oil

This oil contains terpinen, the active ingredient responsible for the antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Tea tree oil is probably the first essential oil I was introduced to years ago. We still use it to protect ourselves from viruses, bacteria, and mold by inhaling it! Buy here



eo rub



Immune Essential Oil Blend

Ingredients

20 drops clove essential oil
15 drops lemon essential oil
10 drops cinnamon essential oil
8 drops eucalyptus essential oil
5 drops rosemary essential oil
5 drops tea tree essential oil
6 oz. carrier oil (such as coconut, olive, jojoba, sweet almond, etc.)

Directions

  1. Blend ingredients in a dark glass container.
  2. Rub on soles of feet to prevent and help heal illnesses.

Immune Essential Oil Blend

2017-11-12 23:31:49

Ingredients

  1. 20 drops clove essential oil
  2. 15 drops lemon essential oil
  3. 10 drops cinnamon essential oil
  4. 8 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  5. 5 drops rosemary essential oil
  6. 5 drops tea tree essential oil
  7. 6 oz. carrier oil (such as coconut, olive, jojoba, sweet almond, etc.)

Instructions

  1. Blend ingredients in a dark glass container. Rub on soles of feet to prevent and help heal illnesses.

Notes

  1. If using on children under the age of 10, omit the essential oils that are not safe on those ages and adjust the carrier oil amount.
  2. To diffuse, omit the carrier oil and add essential oils to diffuser.
  3. For a room spray, add the essential oils to 6 oz. of water.

By Jill’s Home Remedies

Jill’s Home Remedies https://jillshomeremedies.com/



Christmas Blessings Pin_preview



Speaking of the holidays…

The giving season is upon us and I have partnered with 22 other bloggers to give TWO families $500 Paypal cash in the 4th annual Christmas Blessings Giveaway!

Our hope is to bless two families this year by allowing them to fulfill their kids’ Christmas wishes, pay off a bill, or to help build up their nest egg.  Whatever the money ends up being used for, our prayer is that it helps to lessen any financial burden and/or fills a specific need.

You can earn a lot of entries using the Rafflecopter form below. I know it can seem tedious and time consuming to go through all the entries, but isn’t a chance at $500 worth it? I think it is! Plus, if all of these generous bloggers didn’t participate, we wouldn’t have been able to have such big prizes! So I hope you will take the time to go through each entry. Who knows, maybe you will find some new blogs to follow.

The giveaway will run from Monday, November 13th through Wednesday, November 22nd (ends at 11:59pm EST). Winner will be notified by email shortly after the giveaway ends and will have 48 hours to respond to claim the prize or another winner will be drawn. You must have a Paypal account to win. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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07 Jun







Most of us enjoy having a lovely smelling home.

Unfortunately you cannot just run to a local store and grab candles off the shelf and expect to have a toxic-free home.

Thanks to the Federal Hazardous Substances Act, companies that produce products like air fresheners for the home, are not required to put all the ingredients on the bottles and containers.

So that why it’s important to only buy from companies you can trust to be 100% toxin free, or to make air fresheners yourself.

In my post earlier this week, How Air Fresheners May Be Making You Sick, I covered just how toxic basically all traditional air fresheners are.  Whether it be candles, plug-ins, or room sprays, the chemicals in traditional air fresheners can leave you with health problems like allergies, sinus infections, asthma, and even contribute to cancer.

This does not have to be!  You can make your home smell wonderful any time of the year with scents that actually make you HEALTHIER!  

And since Christmas is right around the corner, I’m sharing Christmas scents specifically in this post.

So let’s make your home cozy and smelling like Christmas, shall we?

5 Non-Toxic Ways To Make Your Home Smell Like Christmas

1. Candles

Nothing spells home and coziness like the soft glow of a candle.  Just lighting unscented soy candles is cozy, but why not try some of these candles with a little scent derived from essential oils?  If you would like to add more scent to scented or unscented candles, just drop some essential oils on it before you burn it!

Here are some non-toxic candle options:

2. DIY Room Sprays

Room sprays offer a quick spritz of fresh air.  At this time of year they are a good option to use for spraying the Christmas tree with an oil like Pine Essential Oil to give it that pine smell, whether your tree is real or not.  I always have a real Christmas tree, but after a few days, the tree doesn’t give off its smell like it does at the beginning.

Basic Room Spray Recipe

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol, vodka, or real vanilla extract (You can buy the real stuff or save a ton of money by making your own.)
  • 20-50 drops of essential oil
  • Spray bottle (preferably glass)

Combine all ingredients in spray bottle and use!

Ok, so I know that 20-50 drops of essential oils is a huge range, and that’s because different essential oils have different strengths of smell.  You can really add as much as you wish.  You may want less than 20 or more than 50 when it’s all said and done.  I recommend starting out with 20 and adding more if you want a stronger scent.  You can use single essential oils (like cinnamon or peppermint), or you can use a combination of oils.  See the suggested oils to use and some recipe ideas below!

Note: The alcohol in this recipe is optional, but it does help preserve the spray to last a long time.  Without it, the spray will only be good for a week or so.

3. Wax Warmers

Wax warmers plug-ins like this one can be used with essential oils instead of wax.  Simple pour olive oil or coconut oil in the warmer and add essential oils of choice.  The typical recommendation is 1 drop of essential oil to 1 tsp of olive oil.  You can add more essential oil if you wish since this is not a mixture you are using on the skin.

Please note that heating the essential oils will kill the beneficial components, so you won’t be getting the healthy benefits out of the aroma (use a diffuser for that-details below), but using essential oils instead of wax is a healthier option than the toxic wax that is typical for the plugins.



Christmas EO



4. Diffuser

I absolutely love my diffuser.  Diffusers use only cold air to emit essential oil vapors, which does not damage the molecular structure or the therapeutic properties.  Diffusers can purify the air and send healing to your family.  They can also emit beautiful scents that put you in the mood for Christmas – it all depends on the essential oils you use!  This Breeze Diffuser is one excellent option!

5. DIY Simmering Potpourri

Simmering herbs, citrus peels and essential oils on the stove is another healthy way to fill your home with fragrance.

I have used this homemade Christmas scent on my stove and everyone who walked in the door declared how wonderful it smelled.

Homemade Christmas Scent

  • 3 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 1/8 Cup Whole Cloves
  • 1/8 Cup Peppermint Leaves
  • 1/2 Orange
  • 1/2 Lemon

Combine in a pan and cover with water.  Bring to a boil and simmer on low for as long as desired.  Add more water as needed.

Try these other recipes too!

Christmas Essential Oils

Note: A few of my favorite places to buy essential oils that are of the best quality, and yet are affordable is at Beeyoutiful.

  • Cinnamon
  • Clove
  • Bay
  • Pine
  • Cedarwood
  • Mandarin
  • Orange
  • Tangerine
  • Frankincense
  • Myrrh
  • Cedarwood
  • Cypress
  • Peppermint
  • Sandalwood
  • Geranium
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Cardamom

Christmas Essential Oil Blends

Here are a few essential oil blend ideas from The Complete Book Of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy.
Double or triple these recipes if using for the room spray recipe above:

Pine 4 drops
Mandarin 2 drops
Cinnamon 1 drop

Mandarin 4 drops
Geranium 1 drop
Cinnamon 1 drop

Cinnamon 1 drop
Clove 1 drop
Orange 2 drops
Mandarin 2 drops

Here are a few blends from The Prairie Homestead:

Woodsy Air Freshener

White Fir 7 drops
Cedar Wood 6 drops
Frankincense 5 drops

Cozy Holiday Air Freshener

Wild Orange 6 drops
Cassia 5 drops
Clove 5 drops

You can really blend any of the essential oils together for the fragrance you love!  It’s fun experimenting!



candle



Do you ever use any of these methods for a natural home fragrance?  What is your favorite Christmas scent?

Linked to: A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

This post was originally published on Nov 21, 2015.

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07 Jun







Are you just getting started with essential oils? Have you been using essential oils for a few years, or perhaps for many years? In any case, you likely wonder what to do with them or perhaps would like to start making different things with them. DIY is so much fun, and essential oils are the perfect thing to make homemade products safe and effective. Here are a few basic supplies that I keep on hand to make my DIY essential oil products!

Must-Have Supplies For Essential Oil Lovers

Essential Oils

The first thing you need, obviously, is essential oils! My criteria for essential oils is that they be effective, thoroughly tested for purity, and be affordable! I find all these things at Beeyoutiful. All of their essential oils go through GC/MS testing. You can read more here on how I use good quality essential oils without breaking the bank!



https://www.beeyoutiful.com/affiliates/idevaffiliate.php?id=110&url=692



Essential Oil Handbook

This essential oil handbook gives you information on using essential oils, including for babies and children (which is information that is hard to find), plus it has recipes for how to use it to create your own products and skincare. 



https://www.beeyoutiful.com/affiliates/idevaffiliate.php?id=110&url=693



Roller bottles

Roller bottles are a convenient way to blend your own essential oils with a carrier oil so that they are ready to use anytime. I love doing this with peppermint oil so I can easily rub it on the stomach for nausea or on the back of the neck and bottoms of the feet for fevers, and with tea tree oil for bug bites, cuts, and scrapes. These small bottles are perfect for throwing in your purse and having the ready-to-use convenience whenever they are needed.



https://www.gotoilsupplies.com/roller-bottles-for-essential-oils/



 

DIY Cleaning and Personal Care Supplies

If you are into DIY, glass spray bottles are perfect for making your own cleaning supplies! If you do choose plastic, make it a dark plastic so it blocks the light and maintains the quality of the essential oils. Also, you need tins, cream jars and lotion pumps if you desire to make your own personal care items. Labels and stickers are a nice and cute addition too!



spray



 

Essential Oil Bags

Essential oil bags are perfect to keep your oils safe when traveling, or storing at home. You can check out these storage bags as an option.



purse



I LOVE my new essential oil purse sent to me from Got Oil Supplies. Not only does this purse have so much storage and plenty of slots to put essential oils, but it is so fashionable and cute too! So much, in fact, that my sister texted me one morning and asked me where I got my purse that she saw me with the night before at church. It left an impression on her! And I do have to say that it’s the cutest and most practical purse I’ve ever owned. I’ve wanted a purse that stored essential oils for quite a while now! This purse can store roller bottles, 1 oz., and 2 oz. bottles of essential oils.



eo purse



Diffusers

Getting essential oils into the air not only fills your home with a wonderful fragrance, but they can also kill germs, and boost your immune system and mood. Check out this diffuser for your home, as well as all this jewelry to diffuse on the go. I love to wear a diffuser necklace with lavender when I have a headache. I have found it very effective and my headaches are typically gone in 30 minutes.

Other Accessories

Other accessories commonly needed to make essential oil products are beeswax and shea butter. The shea butter makes your creations creamy, and the beeswax turns them from a liquid to a solid.







 What are your favorite essential oil supplies and creations?

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07 Jun

Summer and lemonade go hand in hand. It’s just the way it is. And with the scorching temperatures and humidity here in the Midwest, a glass of cold lemonade is perfect at any time of any day.

Steeping herbs into your homemade lemonade is one great way to enjoy the benefits of herbs. Red Clover is an awesome herb of choice for such an occasion.

Red Clover is an herb that can be drunk freely, and is full of amazing nutrition!  It is a great blood purifier and cancer fighter. Drinking an infusion daily has been said to treat infertility. 



red



Red Clover is high in:

  • Magnesium
  • Chromium
  • Calcium
  • Niacin
  • Potassium
  • Thiamine
  • Phosphorus
  • Vitamin C

We have a pretty good patch of red clover that grows in our garden area.  It grows all summer long, and is far too valuable of an herb to let go to waste. Try foraging for this amazing herb, or grow it yourself!

One delicious, refreshing way to consume red clover is by making this red clover, no sugar lemonade!  I found this recipe and adapted it from New Life On A Homestead.

Red Clover Lemonade

Ingredients

  • 3 cups fresh red clover blooms  or 1 1/2 cups dried red clover blossoms
  • 4 cups water 
  • 1 cup lemon juice 
  • 8 tbsp. raw honey 

Directions 

  1. Boil the blooms in the water for 5 minutes.
  2. Strain.
  3. Add the lemon juice and honey to the hot liquid.  
  4. Stir until the honey is well mixed.  
  5. Chill.

If you don’t have red clover blooming near you, you can purchase dried red clover here. 



red clover 2



Red Clover Lemonade

2018-07-10 23:22:43

Ingredients

  1. 3 Cups Fresh Red Clover Blossoms or 1 1/2 Dried Blossoms
  2. 4 Cups Water
  3. 1 Cup Lemon Juice
  4. 8 Tablespoons Raw Honey

Instructions

  1. Boil the blooms in the water for 5 minutes.
  2. Strain.
  3. Add the lemon juice and honey to the hot liquid.
  4. Stir until the honey is well mixed.
  5. Chill.

By Jill’s Home Remedies

Adapted from New Life On A Homestead

Adapted from New Life On A Homestead

Jill’s Home Remedies https://jillshomeremedies.com/

Note: Avoid using red clover if pregnant or on blood thinning medication.

Linked To:
The Homesteaders Hop    A Mama’s Story    The Better Mom  Time-Warp Wife    Far Above Rubies    A Wise Woman Builds Her Home Raising Homemakers    Deep Roots At Home   Wildcrafting Wednesday
Women Living Well

This post was originally published August 30, 2013. 

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07 Jun
 





 

Sunburns can ruin a vacation and lay a person out of work for days. Not only can a bad sunburn damage the skin, it’s just plain miserable

I don’t burn too often these days because my skin is pretty used to the sun, but sometimes we find ourselves out in the sun for an extended period of time and realize we have a bad burn on our hands!

Here are a few easy home remedies for sunburns that will bring relief and keep the skin from blistering. The key is to apply them often (hourly – depending on how bad the burn is) for the first few days and throughout the day every day after that until the skin is no longer red. If I’m going to be away from the house while dealing with a sunburn, I make sure to carry one of these remedies with me.

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar contains vital trace elements and minerals, plus beneficial enzymes. It is believed to help balance the skin’s ph levels, making it an effective remedy for sunburns. Only the raw vinegar with the “mother” contains these healing properties, so I personally don’t use the processed kind at the stores. I buy this kind of ACV!

Apple Cider Vinegar Soak

There are a couple of different ways you can use apple cider vinegar for sunburns. 1. Add 2 cups of ACV into a bath and soak at least 20 minutes.  Repeat if pain returns.  2.Place vinegar in a spray bottle and spray the sunburned areas as often as needed. Use a washcloth or cotton balls to apply to face.

2. Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint is a cooling essential oil. It also contains menthol, which provides a natural numbness for painful, burned skin. Buy peppermint oil here or here.

  1. Mix 2-3 drops of peppermint essential oil into 1/4 a cup of olive or coconut oil.
  2. Apply as often to the sunburn as needed. This is very cooling and soothing.



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3. Aloe Vera

We’re all familiar with the wonderful aloe vera plant.  If you have a plant, scrape the insides of the leaves and apply, or keep a bottle of aloe vera gel on hand to use as often as needed.

 It’s best, of course, to not be exposed to the sun long enough to burn, but if you know you’ll be in the direct sun for a long time, considering purchasing a natural sunscreen. Find my favorite sunscreen here.

What are your favorite remedies for sunburns?

This is linked to: Feminine Adventures  The Better Mom    A Mama’s Story  Raising Arrows

*This post has been updated from its original publishing on July 12, 2012. 

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07 Jun







If you are a homeschool parent, this post is for you! I realize my blog is focused on natural health (and that’s my favorite thing to write about!), but I know that I have several homeschoolers that read my blog. I also have several people ask me which curricula I use for my girls. So, I thought it might be of interest to some of you to know what I’m using this year.

And hey! I love finding out from others what THEY use because you know what? I have discovered my favorite companies through the recommendations of others, so please feel free to share with me some of your favorite companies (or company if you stick with one) in the comments below! 

I must admit that I’m kind of a curriculum junkie. It absolutely thrills me to search out different companies that I believe work well for our family. I’m one of those moms that uses a different company for just about every subject, because I like to make things difficult like that. ;) On a serious note, though, I have found several different companies that I believe do a great job in one specific subject, so those are the ones I choose. Some companies I started out with 12 years ago and have stuck with them, while others have been replaced by a company that I have learned to prefer over the years.

When choosing a company, these are my credentials:

  • Biblical world view – Since I am a devoted Christian, it is very important to me that my girls have books that promote a biblical worldview. Some subjects (such as math) may not talk about Bible views, but I do strive to find a few subjects that use that viewpoint.
  • Interesting – For the most part, I strive to find books that are interesting to my girls. I believe that if I give them school work that bores them and that they just have to finish and take tests to get it over with, they will NOT remember what they’ve learned. My purpose for homeschooling is not just for my girls to memorize facts, but to prepare them for life. Some books I’ve looked at may have a Christian viewpoint, but they are BORING and I know my girls will not remember a thing they read.
  • Fits their learning style – One thing I love about homeschooling is that I can teach my girls individually in a way that THEY learn best. Not all kids learn the same and sometimes they can all use the same companies, and other times I choose a different company for one of them.
  • Affordable – I know a lot of people spend thousands of dollars on school books, but I simply cannot do that. I always shop Amazon and Ebay to try to find books used, but even if I have to buy a book new, it’s typically reasonably priced, or it’s put together in a way that I can reuse it for each child without having to buy another one.

Homeschool Curriculum Picks for This Year!

Below I’m going to list the grades my girls are in, what books I chose for them this year, and why! I’ll be covering what I’m using specifically for my 4 daughters, but if you are interested in recommendations for other grades, just ask away!

If you are a parent that would prefer to use one company exclusively, I cannot say enough good about MASTERBOOKS. I would for sure use this company exclusively if I desired to do my school that way. These books from Masterbooks are increasingly sneaking their way into our school year (as indicated below). I’m so thrilled with their focus on a biblical worldview, that most of the books are so interesting and fun to use, and that they are very affordable!!



Are you a homeschool parent? Here are my homeschool curriculum picks for this year!



11th Grade

  • Math – Learn Math Fast System. My oldest child really dislikes math. None of my girls seem to love math, but my oldest finds it to be her least favorite. When we had the opportunity to try this math that covers 3 years of math in 2 years, we jumped at the chance! The curriculum starts with very simple math but helps you find any problem areas your child may have so they can be more successful in the harder math. The whole 7-book curriculum brings your child through Algebra 1 & 2, plus Geometry. This curriculum is good for those that struggle with math or simple dislike it! 
  • English- I was planning on using Easy Grammar  for my 11th grader this year- I really like how simple, yet thorough this grammar is! You can buy the student book as well as the test book. However, this year, my 11th grader is using Jensen’s Grammar Bundle Set and Jensen’s Vocabulary by Masterbooks. Jensen’s books are for 9-12th graders, so we are giving these a try this year – I really like the looks of them!
  • Foreign Language – Rosetta Stone – my daughter is taking 2 years of online Spanish, and really liking it!
  • History – Mystery of History IV – The Mystery of History is a 4 volume history curriculum. We really like the way it is written and the strong biblical viewpoint it’s written from. This 4th volume comes with a CD to print worksheets and quizzes off of. I love this savings! (On a side note, next year, she’s using Dave Raymond’s American History set, and I’m super excited about it! If your high schooler needs a good American history course, check it out!)
  • Geography – 50 States Under God  – Geography is something we haven’t done as much of as history, so I’m making sure to add it this year for her! This book looks interesting and I’m looking forward to using it this year. You can view a sample lesson on Hawaii HERE.
  • Science – This year my daughter is studying Physics. She’s doing 2 different curricula: Exploring the World of Physics by John Hudson Tiner, and Physics 101 by Wes Olsen. The Exploring the World of Physics book will take her about 3 months to finish, and then she’ll go through the Physics 101 course. This 101 course series is interesting! She has already gone through the Biology 101 and Chemistry 101 by Wes Olsen, and boy do I wish I had had science this fun in school! This 101 DVD series is put together by a homeschool dad who makes science engaging and easier to understand. You place one of the DVDs into your computer to print the course book and tests off and place it in a 3-ring binder. The book contains the student text, as well as a lesson plan and quizzes. The student watches a lesson on the DVD at the beginning and end of each week, and reads the workbook/activities on the other days of the week. I love that these are a one-time buy! I’ll only need to print off the quizzes for my other girls, so that’s a big savings!
  • Literature – Stobaugh’s American Literature – This literature package is put together by Masterbooks. It’s written from a Christian perspective and will help introduce her to popular American writers and their famous pieces.
  • Bible – Bible First Volume 4 – My oldest 2 girls have been working their way through this series and find it interesting. As you progress through each lesson, you’ll find detailed explanation of major Bible events, enlightening comparisons with New Testament passages, intriguing scientific facts, and stunning archaeological research and more. She’s also doing Words Of Wisdom by Character Concepts. I LOVE these character books written by the Boyer family.  



Are you a homeschool parent? Here are my homeschool curriculum picks for this year!



8th Grade

The reasons I love these CDs:

  1. They have a lecture before each lesson to explain the concepts being taught/introduced.
  2. The student has 2 chances to get the problem correct.
  3. If the student gets the problem wrong, they have the option to watch how to do it correctly. (I require my girls to watch any problem they get wrong.)
  4. If you buy the newer “self-grading” versions, the program grades and stores each lesson! This makes life so much easier for me!! 
  5. It’s only necessary to buy the CDs, so we save not buying the textbook. I just buy a cheap notebook for them to work the problems in.
  6. While the CDs may be more expensive, I pass them down to each of my girls and never have to buy math more than once for those grades. It actually saves! (Teaching Textbooks currently only has grades 3-12 available. You can also buy an online subscription, which would be less expensive if you only have one child.)
  • English – Easy Grammar 8 – as mentioned above, I really love how simple, yet thorough this grammar is! Make sure to get the Teacher’s Edition so that you have both the answers and the student sheets. You can purchase just a student text in addition to the Teacher’s Edition if you prefer the answers not to be in the book your student uses. My 8th grader is also using Wordly Wise 8 for vocabulary. This book really helps prepare the student for the vocabulary section on the ACT/SAT tests. You can buy a test book as well, but this year I’m only using the student book.
  • History – Mystery of History IV – I’m using the same history for both my 11th and 8th graders. They’ve gone through the whole 4 volume series together!
  • Science – General Science 1: Survey of Earth & Sky (Curriculum Pack) by Masterbooks – Last year this daughter of mine used a science curriculum that was BORING!!! I felt terrible for her but had already spent the money on it, so she trudged through it. I determined to be more careful in my curriculum selections after that, and her and I are both pretty excited about her using this set from Masterbooks this year!
  • Foreign Language – Rosetta Stone – Spanish
  • Bible – Growing In Wisdom by Character Concepts, and Bible First volume 6.
  • Elective – Introduction to Logic by Masterbooks – this teaches your child to refute the untruths of evolution.



Are you a homeschool parent? Here are my homeschool curriculum picks for this year!



6th Grade

  • Math  – Teaching Textbooks 6  (see 8th grade description above of why I love this math!)
  • English – Elementary Bible & Grammar by Masterbooks – my 6th grader cannot WAIT to use this grammar! Next year I’ll most likely use Easy Grammar for her, but I LOVE the looks of this grammar recommended for her age this year.
  • History – The Story of the World 4 – we use the textbook and test book  for this curriculum. There is also an activity book available with crafts and activity suggestions, however, we only use the tests. We have found that my daughter would rather just read and take tests and did not want to do the activities. But if you have a child that loves hands on activities, I would recommend the activity book! Let me say a few things about his curriculum. The author claims to be a Christian and while it does not teach an evolution point of view, I wouldn’t consider the curriculum to be Bible-based. However, this history is written in a very interesting story-telling way and this daughter of mine learns a lot from it! She remembers what she’s learned and finds it interesting. She’s my only one that has used this particular history, and it has fit her well. The textbook does not have colorful photos, but only a few black and white pictures here and there – it’s really just mostly reading – but it’s written like an interesting story and I have really enjoyed learning with her through it. If you have a child that enjoys to read, this may be the perfect elementary/middle school history for you!
  • Science – Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day by Apologia – All of my daughters have used these elementary science books by Aplogia, and they are so interesting! Written from a Christian perspective, they solidify the student’s faith in God and share the most interesting science facts! We use the textbook, as well as the notebooking journal. (On a side note, we don’t care for the Apologia junior high/high school science books. We’ve tried them and they are just not interesting enough for our learning style. For those upper grades we prefer Masterbooks and Wes Olsen 101 DVDs as indicated in the grades above.)
  • Bible – Proverbs People Book 1 by Character Concepts
  • Spelling – Spelling Skills Grade 6  – I am constantly changing spelling curriculum! There’s just not one company I’ve found that I’m sold on, so we seem to try a new one each year. This is an inexpensive spelling I found on Amazon with good reviews, so we are giving it a try.
  • Handwriting – To give my daughter cursive practice, we’ve chosen Pentime 6. It’s inexpensive and looks helpful.
  • Art – Draw Write Now Book 5 – These art books are a fun and easy way to do art!



Are you a homeschool parent? Here are my homeschool curriculum picks for this year!



2nd Grade

  • Math – Beta by Math U See – Last year I tried a story-telling math for my little girl that I thought she would love. It turns out that she just wants simple numbers and facts and nothing fancy. LOL! So this year we are using Math U See and next year I’ll start her on the Teaching Texbooks CDs. 
  • Science – Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day by Apologia – These elementary science books can be used for any elementary grade, so I’m having my younger 2 use the same text book. I believe it will be fun for them to talk about what they are learning. For this youngest girl, I’m using the JUNIOR notebooking journal instead of the regular one. This junior notebook has less writing and a couple of pictures to color for each lesson.
  • Language Arts – Language Lessons for the Elementary Child – I have this unused book on hand so I’m being frugal and using it. Otherwise I would be using Language Lessons for a Living Education 2 by Masterbooks. :)
  • History – My Story and The World Around Me by Masterbooks – this Social Studies book looks so FUN to use! I can’t wait for my daughter to dig into it.
  • Geography – My State History Funbook – this geography book is for young kids and looks fun and informative.
  • Bible – Kids of Character by Character Concepts
  • Handwriting – Learn Cursive! -I’m introducing my 2nd grader to cursive this year, so we are just using this inexpensive book with good reviews.
  • Spelling – 10 Minutes A Day: Spelling, Second Grade – Once again, this is a spelling book I found on Amazon with good reviews. :)
  • Art – Draw Write Now Book 1

Each family is unique with different learning/teaching styles and schedules, but it is my hope that perhaps I have offered some insight into some of the best curriculum companies out there to help a family find a something that they learn to adore as we have!

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06 Jun







A few weeks ago I got mauled by the dentist. Or actually the dental assistant. At one point I thought my jaw was dislocated, but thankfully it wasn’t. That was quite an experience! I felt like I was either being mauled by a bear or the dental assistant was letting out some major frustrations. Thankfully I’m alive to tell about it. 🙂 

I have not been to the dentist in several years. And boy have I paid for it these past few weeks. I’ve known for a long, long time that I had teeth that needed dental attention, but I have been the biggest procrastinator about it. I make sure my girls have their regular visits, but who has time to take care of mom? Anyone else have that problem?

So a few weeks ago I finally made an appointment to hear just how bad things were, hoping I could at least save my teeth. I ended up having minor laser surgery on 3 of my teeth because the decay was so deep. The laser surgery did a number on my gums and needless to say, my gums were incredibly raw, extremely sore, and throbbing by the time it was over. The only way I know to describe them was that they looked like white shredded meat. The dentist said that it was like having a scab in the mouth. 

Well this “scab” was very painful and put me on a liquid diet for a little while. It was at least 3 days before I thought of how herbs might help. Why I forgot to use herbs right away when I have shelves of dried herbs readily available, I do not know. I suddenly had one of those light bulb moments that perhaps I had some herbs on hand that could speed up the healing process.

And they did just that!

I woke up one morning after using this herbal mouthwash recipe (below) a few times and found that my gums were much less white and were improved greatly. No longer did they look like shredded meat, but were just a solid white and the inflammation was greatly reduced. I did not at all expect to see results so quickly. Each morning after using the mouth wash, my gums were so greatly improved and the white was completely gone in just a few days. I have every confidence that this mouthwash greatly sped up the healing process.

So which herbs did I use? I rummaged through my shelves, and these are the herbs I chose for this mouth wash:

  • Calendula – fights inflammation and bacteria; soothes tender gums (Buy here on Amazon)
  • Rose Petals – has astringent properties that help mouth sores (Buy here on Amazon)
  • Echinacea – antibacterial (Buy here on Amazon)
  • Chamomile – reduces inflammation and soothes the nerves (Buy here on Amazon)
  • Cloves – kills bacteria and reduces pain (Buy here on Amazon)

DIY Herbal Mouthwash to Heal The Gums

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Mix herbs together in container.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of herbs per cup of water to pan of boiling water.
  3. Cover with a lid, remove from heat.
  4. Steep herbs for 10 minutes.
  5. Strain
  6. Swish mouth for a minute or so and spit.

If you wish to only use one herb, I would recommend calendula. 

DIY Herbal Mouthwash to Heal The Gums

2018-08-19 22:52:11

Ingredients

  1. 1 part Calendula
  2. 1 part Rose Petals
  3. 1 part Chamomile
  4. 1/2 part Echinacea
  5. 1/4 part Cloves

Instructions

  1. Mix herbs together in container.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of herbs per cup of water to pan of boiling water.
  3. Cover with a lid, remove from heat.
  4. Steep herbs for 10 minutes.
  5. Strain
  6. Swish mouth for a minute or so and spit.
  7. Use it 3 times a day until healed.

By Jill’s Home Remedies

Jill’s Home Remedies https://jillshomeremedies.com/

 
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06 Jun







 What makes it feel like Christmas time to you?

For me it is falling snow, the crisp cold air, Christmas songs on the radio, cutting down a tree in the woods, reading as a family the account of Christ’s birth in Luke chapter 2, hot chocolate, to name a few.

Depending on where you live in the world and what your family’s traditions are, your answers will vary from mine.

One thing we may all have in common are the scents of Christmas.  I don’t like to fill my home with toxic artificial fragrances, so grabbing some herbs from the cabinet and a few fruits from the counter are more my cup of tea.

The smell of the pine tree sitting in my living room is my all-time favorite Christmas scent, but there are a few other herbs and spices that put me in the Christmas spirit!  This recipe I’m about to share includes cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves, star anise and orange.



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Homemade Christmas Simmering Pot Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 TBS organic whole cloves (buy here)
  • 2 organic cinnamon sticks (buy here)
  • 2 organic bay leaves (buy here)
  • 2 orange peels or 3 tablespoons organic dried orange peel (buy here)
  • 3 star anise (optional)

Directions 

  1. Add herbs to a pot with 3 cups of water.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer on low as desired.
  4. Keep an eye on the pan to make sure the water does not boil out.
  5. Can also combine water and herbs in a crockpot and cook on low. 

If you don’t like the smell of cloves {like my brother-in-law :) } or one of the other ingredients, just leave it out or substitute it with another scent that you love!

This post is linked to: A Mama’s Story    What Joy Is Mine    The Modest Mom    Raising Homemakers    A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

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06 Jun



How To Make Dr. Christopher's Strep Blend | Jills Home Remedies | Learn how to treat strep throat naturally with Dr. Christopher's Strep Blend remedy!



Strep throat can be a very painful condition. In fact, some would rather have any other sickness because of how miserable it typically is. Today I’m going to share a strep blend using ingredients you likely already have in your cabinet that will help you feel better fast. This formula was created and used by Dr. Christopher himself and has proved to be a great healer for many. [4]

One  of my daughters woke up with a scratchy throat recently. It was the kind that made me think it may just be allergies or sinus drainage so I kept an eye on her but didn’t worry much about it. On day three, however, she woke up with her throat hurting so badly that she could hardly swallow and didn’t want breakfast because it hurt too bad to eat. I realized I needed to get the big guns out and start her on Dr. Christopher’s Strep Blend!

Strep throat is one of those things that you can’t diagnose for sure without a test at the doctor’s office. There are other infections that can cause the throat to hurt so baldy that you think it must be strep and yet it isn’t. So no, I didn’t know for sure that my daughter had strep throat, but I knew we had recently come into contact with people that came down with strep, so it was a possibility. The good news is that natural remedies are safe to use no matter what the condition may be – you don’t have to have a specific diagnosis to treat it. This Strep Blend can be used to boost the immune system and kill infections and viruses of all kinds.

Take note that strep throat is one of those illnesses that CAN be dangerous if you don’t treat it. If left untreated, there is a possibility of rheumatic fever developing. Treat your children immediately when they are sick, and it’s always a good idea to get them checked out at the doctor if you suspect strep to make sure your home remedy successfully treated it. 



How To Make Dr. Christopher's Strep Blend | Jills Home Remedies | Learn how to treat strep throat naturally with Dr. Christopher's Strep Blend remedy!



Strep Blend Ingredients

Garlic

This strep throat blend contains garlic, which is a powerful natural antibiotic! It has broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity against bacteria and fungi. [1] [2] It’s important to use fresh garlic – the kind in the jar isn’t as potent as freshly crushed.

Raw Honey

According to Dr. Axe, raw honey has vitamins, 22 amino acids, 27 minerals, 5,000 enzymes, [3] making it not only a tasty reason to use it in herbal preparations, but a healthy reason as well. Honey that is not raw, however, cannot boast of all of this nutrition. Heating the honey kills beneficial nutrients. In a pinch I would use any honey on hand, but I keep raw honey in my cabinets for regular use. Buy raw honey here.

Cayenne

Cayenne is the last herb in this easy formula. Cayenne is a great catalyst herb in any herbal formula, meaning that it opens up your receptors to absorb vital nutrients. In other words, it helps the other herbs work even better than they would on their own. That is exactly what cayenne does in the formula. Plus it really helps the throat to heal quicker. Buy organic cayenne here.



How To Make Dr. Christopher's Strep Blend | Jills Home Remedies | Learn how to treat strep throat naturally with Dr. Christopher's Strep Blend remedy!



How To Make Dr. Christopher’s Strep Blend

Ingredients

4 cloves fresh garlic
1 tablespoon raw honey (buy here)
1/4 tsp. powdered cayenne (buy here)

Directions

  1. Mince garlic.
  2. Stir in honey and cayenne.
  3. Chew 1/2 tsp. every 30-60 minutes, allowing the mixture to coat the throat, and then swallow.
  4. Take this mixture at this frequent dose for 24 hours (during waking hours), and then take it every 1-2 hours for at least 2 days more. 

It’s very important that you take this mixture as indicated to ensure that the strep is actually completely gone.

Dr. Christopher’s Strep Blend

2017-01-31 20:54:12

Ingredients

  1. 4 cloves fresh garlic
  2. 1 tablespoon raw honey (buy here)
  3. 1/4 tsp. cayenne (buy here)

Instructions

  1. Mince garlic.
  2. Stir in honey and cayenne.
  3. Chew 1/2 tsp. every 30-60 minutes, allowing the mixture to coat the throat, and then swallow.
  4. Take this mixture at this frequent dose for 24 hours (during waking hours), and then take it every 1-2 hours for at least 2 days more.

By Jills Home Remedies

Adapted from Herbal Legacy

Adapted from Herbal Legacy

Jill’s Home Remedies https://jillshomeremedies.com/

 References

  1. Allium sativum (garlic)–a natural antibiotic. (n.d.). Retrieved January 28, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6366484
  2. Garlic: A natural antibiotic. (n.d.). Retrieved January 28, 2017, from http://pubs.acs.org/subscribe/journals/mdd/v05/i04/html/04news4.html
  3. H. (2016, September 19). Raw Honey: Get More Energy (Just Like Ancient Greek Athletes Did!). Retrieved January 29, 2017, from https://draxe.com/the-many-health-benefits-of-raw-honey/
  4. Herbal Legacy Articles. (n.d.). Retrieved January 31, 2017, from http://articles.herballegacy.com/herbal-remedies-for-strep-throat-or-sore-throat/

Originally published 2/01/2017

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