Under the Weather Favorites & Sale Shout

I’ve been a bit under the weather this week, which spurred me on to share some of my favorite seasonal supports and remedies. 
Traditional Medicinals Tea…Breathe Easy, Throat Coat and Gypsy Cold Care. Drink lukewarm for best effect.
Urban Moonshine products… Immune Tonic (daily support) and Immune Zoom (acute support)
Diffusing essential oils…I’ve got lavender and geranium right now for a calm comforting effect
Local honey…Add this to any of the teas above, or warm lemon-ginger tea.
Sambucus Black Elderberry Extract Throat Spray…I always keep this handy when I have a sore throat. The elderberry has great healing properties. 
Zand Elderberry Zinc drops…Take these at the first sign of a cold. They taste great and really work!
I love that I can buy ALL of these items from Vitacost for the best price and one easy shipment (it’s like a “hey you might get sick which is a bummer but these things will help you feel better and it’s a package in the mail so it feels like a present!” thing). I usually stock up at the beginning of the season so everything is within reach when a cold strikes. The Zand drops sell out fast because Vitacost has a FANTASTIC price on them! While I’m shopping, I usually grab a bag of Bob’s Red Mill oats from Vitacost for my winter morning breakfasts. 
Speaking of amazing deals, I just found out about ePantry this week, which is quickly becoming a new favorite. My first order is on its way…the process was fun and easy with the best user interface I’ve seen online in a LONG time to get the best natural products that I actually need and want delivered to me. AND they rescue 25 square feet of rain forest for each order and offset the shipping by buying carbon credits (at no extra cost for you), then ship everything using only 100% recycled materials. I’m in love! I always buy Mrs. Meyer’s dish and hand soaps anyway (and sometimes refill with my own soap) because the match my kitchen perfectly. I’ve heard great things about the Mrs. Meyer’s candles, so I added one of those to this order too, since they are hard to find on store shelves. 
ePantry has a great deal going through Friday only…if you order $30 worth of merchandise, get a $10 instant credit, a FREE Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap AND free shipping. So you get close to $50 worth for only $20. Score! It will be automatically added to your cart. Get started HERE!
Stay well!

Happy Birthday, Prince George!

It is Prince George’s first birthday today!! 
photo by John Stillwell, found here
Happy Birthday handsome prince! 
I love the hint of red in his hair, his chubby cheeks and wide eyes. What a little charmer!

photo by John Stillwell, found here
Such a great family photo!
It is Prince George’s First Birthday! Oh it’s so very exciting because he’s just the most darling little thing ever and Kate with him…I swoon. Couldn’t be any cuter. 

Remember last year when we were all still anxiously waiting and I dressed like “off-duty Kate” in honor of the occasion? Here’s my outfit. I still love Kate’s off-duty/mama duty outfits (and secret footage of her being adorable with George!). I’ve loved following along with the adorable family their first year.
Here he is at 8 months, our first official look at him, stunning in a little monogrammed sweater with his family and Lupo, in a photo taken by Kate’s dad that just doesn’t even look real.
So today I will have a special tea in honor of Prince George and, of course, dress in honor of Duchess Kate again (though I really prefer to call her Princess Kate, I know, I know!) and wear my polka-dot Cath Kidston bracelet that my friend got me while she was in England when Prince George was born!

And of course my other friend who was also in England at the time brought me that beautiful Welcome Baby tin! So pretty. While you enjoy your tea in honor of Prince George today, enjoy reading this fantastic Vanity Fair recap of his first year. 

Rose Tulsi tea with local honey and gluten-free ladyfingers. 
Will you be doing anything fun to celebrate today?

Happy Birthday, George! 
Love,
Natalie

Chocolate Chai Oatmeal

I know this doesn’t look like anything special. But the flavor, oh-my-goodness the FLAVOR
Chai + Chocolate = Genius.
I got the idea from Chocolate Covered Katie (love her site) but fiddled with the recipe a bit.
I also had a Chocolate Chai Latte at Starbucks not too long ago so you can bet I’ll be making a version of that for ya’ll soon!
Chocolate Chai Oatmeal for One
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup milk
3/4-1 cup boiling water (depending on how you like your oatmeal)
1 1/2 tsp. loose chai mix or 1 chai teabag
Pinch salt
2 tsp. sugar (adjust to your liking/needs…obviously I wouldn’t recommend this EVERY day…but you might want to lower the cocoa powder amount if you do this because the cocoa can be bitter)
2 tsps. cocoa powder
Steep the chai in the boiling water for 10-15 minutes to get some good flavor in there. Remove the tea mix or bag and add the brewed chai to the rolled oats and milk in a large bowl. Add the pinch of salt and the sugar. Microwave for approximately 3 1/2 minutes. Let stand in microwave for 2 minutes. Stir in the cocoa powder and top with a few chocolate chips if you have them handy. Enjoy! 
xo
Natalie

How to Visit a French Bakery

In light of yesterday’s Parisian post, I just had to share this DARLING video I found! It’s just too much adorableness. My favorite part is the little Citron tart section πŸ™‚ Enjoy!
I’m drinking Tazo Early Gray tea out of my Strawberry mug while wearing a shirt rather like this and a skirt made out of sweatpant material. It feels delicious to cozy up on a slightly chill, gray summer morning instead of sweating my way through another 90-degree day. I’m just not such a fan of the heat. 
I’m thinking: some baking? Some writing? Some antiquing?
Have a great Friday, my loves!
xo!

Good Morning!

Who has the cutest new mug on the block? This girl! Hehe. Love my new strawberry mug, so summer-y! This morning, I’m drinking Tazo “Passion” tea.
It has been a very busy week here, how about you? I can hardly believe it’s Friday already! Feels like the pace of life is picking up again, and I suppose I can’t complain. It’s good to have down-times and it’s good to have busy-times. 
Have a great day, my dears!

Weeknight Project: Tub Teas

It’s almost Mother’s Day! And that means it’s time to whip up a special treat for the beautiful women in our lives. 
This is a quick and fun project that turns out so cute! A relaxing bath is a rare luxury in just about any household, and one that is sure to be savored. Encourage a moment’s peace with these sachets of relaxing herbs for the bath; they are affectionately termed Chamomile-Lavender Tub Teas.

Gather your supplies: Fabric scraps, thread, needle, scissors, parchment tea filters, ribbon, and herbs of your choice. I used chamomile & lavender for a relaxing blend. You could also use mint & lavender, dried lemon peel, dried rose petals, etc. to create your own blend. You should be able to buy these ingredients in the bulk department of a natural foods store.
Fill the tea filters with your herb mixture. Then, carefully fold the top down by pulling the two corners in to create a point. Then tuck the point under, and fold once more, like a tea bag top (keep one out for reference, if you need it!). Quickly hand-sew a long length of ribbon (long enough that it can be tied to the faucet of the bath and be in the water) in place at the top of this fold, securing the fold as well. 
Then, cut out hearts or use your pinking shears to cut little square fabric “tags.” I did some of both. I recommend using cloth as opposed to paper, since it might get wet. Sew this tag to the other end of the ribbon. Voila! 
Time to package them up! I used my favorite little waxed paper bags and washi tape to recreate another ‘tea bag’ feel for the outer packaging. 
I’ll send these along with a few spa goodies: luscious lip balm, cucumber makeup remover wipes, lotion, and a candle. {click the linked words for my suggestions!)
You could also make a tea-themed gift, with tea to drink, a cute tea infuser, and a good book. Why not throw in a Dayspring mug, too? I love Dayspring’s cheerful, encouraging mugs, and they are only $10! 
Make sure to include a note for mom that these teabags are to infuse a lovely, luxurious bath soak. 
Call your mom, pop a letter in the mail (now so you don’t forget!), or craft up a cute little weeknight project to lavish the love on moms! They deserve it.
xo

Weeknight Project: Jar Cozy

This is my Cuppow. Cuppow is an awesome new(ish) product designed and produced in New England by two cool guys. Cuppow turns a canning jar into a travel mug. Now, I had been drinking from my canning jar {thanks, Leigh!} as a travel mug for many months before I came across Cuppow. But Cuppow makes the experience much more fulfilling…you feel like a human drinking from a normal cup instead of trying to slosh the liquid into your mouth minus spills, hippie-style. So it’s kinda a great invention (and cheap, too. and beautifully packaged

 Cuppow solved one of my canning-jar-awesomeness problems. But one more remained–the jar lost heat quickly. My tea was cold before 10am! This was a major no-no for me, since I drink my tea all. day. long. On a whim, I decided to make a cozy for my jar. I started (late at night, as these pictures show) with some fabric, felt, and a favorite old tee shirt from high school, along with a paper pattern I made quickly based on the jar. There’s no real particular pattern for this, I just cut a piece of paper and fitted it around my jar the way I wanted, then added room for a seam allowance. 

A zig-zag stitch around the edge of my clever slogan tee secured it to the main fabric and mimicked the background design. Then I cut a piece of felt and fit that inside the layers for added warmth.

And sewed all the layers together. Then I made two tabs from ribbon, and sewed velcro on the tabs and other end of the fabric. This way my cozy comes off and is easily washable in the event of spills.

Since the glass jar is slippery, and I didn’t want the cozy to potentially slip and cause me to drop the jar, I cut a piece of pink shelf-liner that I just  put on with my cozy. This makes it totally secure, and I never feel that the cozy is slipping. I thought about attaching the shelf-gripper to the cozy itself, but then it wouldn’t be washable. The two generally peel off together, and I just roll them up for next time! Perf! 
Also, of course, when I’m travelling, I use the metal canning jar insert lid, and then just switch it out for my Cuppow when I’m actually drinking. This makes it so easy to throw the jar in my bag without worrying about spills.
And CUPPOW!
 It’s done! 
Your jar is now super eco-friendly, super-awesome, super-easily-drinkable, and super-awesomely labelled with the quirky “MissPerfect” sleeve. 
Happy sewing, and happy coffee/tea drinking!

Friday Morning


Good morning! No sleeping in for me today–none at all. It’s a sunshiney, wonderful morning, and I’m enjoying it to the fullest with some Tazo Focus tea (which, by the way, goes incredibly amazingly well with Nutella). This tea is my new “can’t-get-enough” favorite (and it’s on sale at Target!).


For this lovely Friday morning, a wonderful little song, by a friend of a friend. This girl is so adorable, talented, and I love her vibe! And the set is soooooo amazing πŸ™‚ (and take a look at the cute owl necklace she’s wearing with one of her outfits! Actually, all of her outfits are super cute!)


My favorite moment is when she turns on the light to that perfect musical cue and it’s suddenly night. Love it, girl! 
“I will think of you and wonder if you fell for me in Autumn.”


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Reading God’s word in the morning light is such a beautiful thing.
Psalm 69 is such a good one. Wow. But these two verses really stuck out to me today:

But as for me, afflicted and in painβ€”
 May your salvation, God, protect me. 
I will praise God’s name in song and glorify Him with thanksgiving.”
Psalm 69: 29, 30

Afflicted and in pain…but still praising.
He is still worthy. 
He is always worthy, despite our pain. 
No–not even ‘despite’ our pain. 
The word despite somehow takes away from the unconditional love, and the utter Goodness of our God, who lets nothing touch us without drawing us nearer His side (if we let it).
He is worthy in light of our pain–He knows our pain. His mighty right hand is always there to uphold us. 


Friday Morning Musings

It’s a quiet Friday morning here–my favorite kind. I awoke late, and turned on my pretty little reading lamp. Stumbled to the kitchen, arranged a cup of tea, a buttered piece of toast, and some strawberry yogurt. Brought the meal back to the bedroom, fighting the urge to snuggle back in bed with it, and instead hunted down some museums and recipes and such online. With just the light in the corner from my little bedside lamp, it feels rather wonderfully old-fashioned in here; as though I were going to sit in the corner with my quill and write a letter, or a great American novel. Instead, I click-clack away on my laptop, creating a blog post. And now, I shall return to my bed with my second cup of tea and my book! Wake me upon lunch time should I snooze πŸ˜‰
(I am currently reading The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, which I have been completely enamored with since I saw the HBO series a year or two ago. I have since bought the DVDs and the books, and turned many people into fans of the series. It is only too bad it seems to be on an interminable hiatus πŸ™ I HIGHLY recommend it! Go get it now. It is so soothing, and beautiful, truly being filmed in Botswana. Let me know if you want more details!)