Kicking that nagging cough!


Above photo a random grab from Google images.

I will start out by saying I am not a doctor. I am not a nurse. My Mom is a nurse in a complimentary medicine clinic. I do seek out complimentary medicine whenever possible. I’ve heard from SO many of you who are dealing with the same thing as us, no matter when you live in the country: a persistent, nagging , dry cough. My almost 6 year old Son has had it a solid 2 months straight. My 3 year old Daughter has had it, gotten over it, had it again & kicked it again. I tried so many things in the past few months, and I wanted to share what I feel really helped us finally kick this. There is nothing worse than sleepless nights, sick & crabby kids & parents. As always, do your own research, consult a trusted medical professional with any questions/concerns, and follow your gut for what you feel is right for your family.

This is what worked for us:


Essential Oils: I upped the time I was diffusing essential oils. I diffuse Josiah’s Oils Germ Fighting Blend with Fir (safer around youngin’s): In general I run my diffuser 20 or so minutes 2-3 times/day. I upped that to a good 40-min to an hour, on low/med output, a couple times/day & especially before bed in our room. I use this diffuser, I’m on my 3rd winter with it & can’t say enough good things about it. It’s quiet, adjustable (in terms of output) and has never given me a single issue: And finally, I also use their pre-diluted roll-on of the same blend & apply it several times/day to my kids spine. They do it to each other usually, up one side, down the other.

Immune boosting. I had been relying on homemade elderberry syrup on & off over the fall months, and I do believe in it (I use Wellness Mama’s recipe). But like anything, our bodies become used to something so I feel making the switch to Echinacea tea was a good one! We love the Traditional Medicinals line. I bought the last pack my food co-op had & it was going to be 2 weeks before they got more so I grabbed a 6pk from Amazon to stay stocked up for winter. I have their Throat Coat, Cold Care assortment too, but my Son who especially needed an extra boost (he’s fighting Lyme’s as well, a topic for another post) really prefers this over all the others: As with elderberry, from what I understand it’s best to do a few days on, then a few days off, that goes for most remedies. And that’s what we’ve been doing with the tea. We hit it hard for about 3 days when I really ramped up my efforts on all the things listed here. And then took a couple days off. Now we’re back to a couple cups/day for a few days.


Drosera by Boiron. I picked this up at my food co-op, it is labeled for a dry cough that is worse at night, exactly what we had. It was 30C & I gave 3 pellets every 2 hrs (waking hours) to both kids for 2 days. Here’s an Amazon link, but these actually were a better deal at my food co-op as they had a $2 off coupon if you bought any 2 Boiron remedies.

Chestal syrup: This is something I will not be without again. I picked it up at my food co-op for $13/bottle, not cheap, but it worked so, so well. The adult version has a blend of 5 homeopathic remedies, and does have dosage for children 2+ on it (it has honey so should not be used under 2). There is also a Children’s formula, it has a blend of 9 remedies. My Son disliked the children’s blend because he said it was too sweet, but my daughter loved it so I kept both around & both worked great as needed. There were several nights when I failed to give it before bed because they seemed fine, but when they laid down they started coughing & coughing. After a capful of this, they’d be out the rest of the night. It does have sodium benzoate in it, I wish it did not but it is so beneficial otherwise that I give & recommend it without hesitation. I posted about this in my group page & heard from many, many others who’ve had great luck with it as well! You may be able to find it locally, or it is on Amazon of course:

Humidifier! We burn wood & have a very small & tight house. We constantly have a pot of water on the wood stove, and I’m not a fan of the humidifier running constantly. I hadn’t pulled it out for the year yet but once I did, in conjunction with all the above remedies I mentioned, I did feel it helped. Also, getting a good hygrometer can be beneficial too (measures humidity). Dry air can aggravate a cough, and knowing the humidity level in your house helps. This will be our 3rd winter with the following humidifier (we call it our fog machine). Yes, it’s plastic, and made in China, 2 qualities I try to avoid but believe me, for this category there are not many alternatives. It is quiet, very easy to clean, does not leave stuff around it wet & I’ve been very happy with ours!

NAPS! Huge of course. My Son will be 6 in March and has been a very regular napper until the last few months, when we started skipping them most days & going for earlier bed times. Although he’d maintain he was NOT tired, he’d be out within a couple minutes of laying down with me & his Sissy. I knew he needed them!

So, the combo of those things were what finally seemed to kick this cough for our family. Could any 1 remedy alone have worked? Of course. It’s not a controlled study. It’s my life experience & that’s what I share here. I’m sharing in hopes this will help at least 1 other family struggling with kicking this too! Do you have a remedy that has worked well that you’d like to add to this list? Let me know, we can’t have too many options!

Nov Buying Club extras

You can email me to claim your items after 9am central on Sunday, 12/11:

I use regional or flat rate shipping via USPS. I will get your order boxed up & send your grand total to you, you pay via check or PayPal, I ship.

Next order is in Feb, I’ll be taking orders 2/1-2/13.

If you have questions about any of the products listed, go to the website of the listed vendor for product description, ingredients, etc. There websites are all linked to from this, the original note for this buy club order:



SIMPLY GUM @$3/pack, order 6pks & get them for $2.50ea

3 mint, 5 coffee, 5 fennel




1 lavender head to toe body wash 9 oz @$11

1 lavender hand soap (label in bad shape, got wet in transit to me) 1/2 price @$4.50

1 Ultra pure Pup shampoo 9 oz @11.99

1 after shave toner @$11.99

Pre-diluted Essential Oil Blend Roll-on’s listed below:

1 focus @$10.99

1 sniffles @$10.99

1 regular germ fight blend @$9.50

1 relax $14.99

1 headache @$14.99




$9.95 ea: 3




mascara @ $20ea: 1 brown, 1 black

Wax melts @$6: Let it Snow



Earth Paste @ $6/tube: 2 spearmint (xylitol-free), 3 peppermint,  1 cinnamon

Earth Paste samples @.25ea: 2 peppermint, 1 cinnamon

Earth Cure foaming hand soap @$3.99 ON SALE!




1# beeswax pastilles @$17

1 4 oz Pu’erh tea (damaged box) @$7.20 (20% off because of box)

1 4 oz yerba mate tea (damaged box) @$3.80 (20% off because of box)




Powder detergent Samples @$1 ea:  2 regular powder




1X organic veggie wash @$6.99 ea

1X ammonia booster @$16.50




Kids brushes @$3.30ea: 4

2X 3 blade razor refills cartridges (4 refills ea)@$8.50ea

4X NEW 5 blade razors@ $12.99ea

4X 5 blade refills (4 cartridges/pack) @$14.99




3 sets of these cloth napkins (1 free set of reusable make-up remover pads to next person to claim a set of napkins!):

Jess’ toothpaste is $.50 off/ jar @$7.50ea, details here:

Jess’ deodorant is also $.50 off/jar @$7.50ea, details here:

Misc album of items here:

salonsolids Review


I want to start out by stating: I love doing what I do. Not a day goes by when someone doesn’t join my group or discover my website for the 1st time. And I never, ever know what that next person has to contribute to my eco-friendly, made in the USA mission. One day, not too long ago, out of the blue, a gal named Sarah commented on a shampoo question in my closed group page: ” I notice that preservatives are something you recognize are worth avoiding if possible. Check out Salonsolids- Hair cleansing/conditioning solids delivered in PCR paper tubes you add water to create product. Because of the waterless delivery products can be preservative free! Just 6 carefully selected ingredients!” Her motto: “Six simple ingredients, no harsh chemicals, and salon quality results in environmentally friendly packaging. Most conventional products sold in the salons contain a long list of unnecessary ingredients many of which are chemicals that are toxic to you and the environment. Simply the effective ingredients that serve a purpose carefully chosen combined with healthful essential oils without the preservatives and synthetic fragrance.”

About Sarah & her mission: “As a stylist and salon owner with over 20 years in the business I’ve used the best products available and was not willing to compromise effectiveness. What I’ve learned is that while salon products may give you temporary satisfaction they are not consciously made to be good for you or your hair long term. You may not realize it but hair loss and scalp and skin issues can show up later and you may not know it is a result of the chemicals in the products you’ve been using. When you know better you can choose better. We hope you choose to join with us in taking back your health and creating change.”

This was the 1st time I’d ever heard from her, but she had me pegged: I hate harsh preservatives & avoid them at all costs.  I also hate plastic & do my best to seek out alternatives. I was in love with the concept of her product, but of course, things can sound great on paper, but do they really work in real life is the question. She sent me a sample of the shampoo & conditioner.

She set my expectations pretty low in terms of how much lather the shampoo would create.“The shampoo I sent you does not contain any lathering agents but does a nice job cleaning. If you would like more lather I do add sodium cocoyl isethionate to some of my clients custom blends who prefer a lather. My favorite method of use is applying conditioner on ends and then apply shampoo to roots.” The ingredients are simple, yet effective: Made from organic quillaja extract(cleansing agent from chilean soapbark tree), sodium cocoyl glycinate(from glycine), organic cocoa butter, guar gum(from guar plant), + essential oil.

I’ve been using natural shampoos for years, so am pretty used to the lather they create. My expectations were blown away. After mixing one capful of the dry powder (which smells soooo good) with hot water to fill the rest of the glass bottle & then shaking, I had myself a shampoo that was the same consistency of my other natural shampoos, and lathered just as good as them. I honestly could not believe it. My hair is just past my shoulders but super thick, check out the little amount I needed to thoroughly wash my hair in the photo below. I was able to get 5 thorough washings out of that tiny jar, and there are 4-5 refills/ cardboard container so that’s 20-25 washings which will last me several months. Again, no plastic. It says to use within 2 weeks. One thing I do just to make sure I’m not pushing anything is just mix up enough for 1-2 washings instead of 5, since I only wash my hair a couple of times/week.


On the conditioner: I did like the 1st batch she sent, I thought it worked pretty well. It’s best to mix it up & let it sit an hour or so, it thickens up nicely & looks like a normal conditioner we’re all used to. But she let me know she was still tweaking it & would send me a new batch to try shortly. About a week later I received that. She advised using boiling water as the conditioner sample was a pretty solid, waxy chunk. I thought: oh, I’ll just let my tap water get really hot & see how that works (it does get really hot), but I should’ve listened to her. It didn’t dissolve well. A week later I had batch #3 in my hands & it is perfect. The granules dissolve nicely in hot water, and it treated my hair well. It felt conditioned but not greasy. Like the shampoo, it smells WONDERFUL!! Another plus of being a dry powder is it can ship for quite a bit cheaper than its liquid counterparts. The conditioner ingredients: amla extract, brassica isoleucinate essylate & brassica alcohol (conditioning agent from brassica plant),amino acids, + essential oils. She also makes a styler that at least 1 Mama I know has tried, she LOVES it for her curly hair, ingredients: Made from dehydroxanthan gum(from non-gmo xanthan gum), glycine betaine(beet sugar extract), organic cocoa butter, bamboo extract.

My dry head of hair: it feels healthy, light, not greasy or waxy at all. I really, really like it! But do note, my hair has long since went through the detox phase from conventional products. There can definitely be a transitional period, results will vary for all of us depending on what we’re coming from, our hair & water type, etc.


There are currently 5 fabulous scent options for the shampoo & conditioner: orange peel, peppermint, lavender, frankincense, or forest (Douglas fir). She does have it so you have to select a subscription plan, you can select monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly. You can cancel at any time with no penalty. Since this is a product used on a regular basis, she wants to make sure you don’t run out! But, you can also buy it from your quarterly buying club order in the future, via me! Yes, that’s right, she will be a new vendor on Feb Eco-friendly USA One-Stop Shop list. In the meantime, you can contact her for a free sample!   It means so much to her to get this product into the hands of others who value what it has to offer.  So, she’s happy to send samples out to those who want to try it, contact her & tell her I sent you, she’ll send you a sample!

This product has been 9 years in the making for Sarah. I seriously applaud her for thinking outside of the box, having that ‘ah ha’ moment & following through with it. It is not easy to spend a decade of your life thinking about anything, and this is her thing.

You can check out her website here:

And her Fb page here:

A recent pic (01/17) , I just LOVE this stuff!!



15% off Poofy Organics Black Friday-Cyber Monday Sale Extravaganza


Poofy Organics sales are rare. And when they do happen they’re almost always 10% off. So this 15% off, coupled with my personal offering of 1/2 price-free shipping on qualifying orders is too good to pass up! There will be many gift sets available too, something for everyone on your shopping list! ANY questions, just ask! Here are all the details:


I was featured on Wisconsin Life

One of the greatest pleasures of my life to date, it’s going to be hard to top this 🙂

The Real Pantry Review


Review of The Real Pantry, based in Tampa, FL.  When asking for new vendors to add to my November order of the Eco-friendly USA One-Stop Shop, someone recommended The Real Pantry to me & I was thrilled when Loriel, the owner, agreed to both send me some samples & be my newest vendor! With the Holidays right around the corner I thought this would be a perfect addition. About the products: The products are free from: preservatives, additives, artificial flavors and colors, “natural” flavors, genetically modified ingredients (GMOs), soy, and highly processed salt and sugar. Basically, if you can’t find it in your pantry, you won’t find it in our products.  All baking mixes are creating with an aluminum-FREE baking powder and our garlic powder is sourced from the United States instead of China.

Current product offerings include: a ranch & French onion mix, Italian seasoning, lemon herb, pumpkin pie spice, taco seasoning, a sampler pack, moist maple cornbread, chewy brownies, fluffy waffles. She plans to add more herbs & spices soon!

I was sent a ranch dip mix & a cornbread mix to try out. My family thoroughly enjoyed both! My kiddos are huge ranch lovers, I can get them to eat just about anything if there is ranch on the plate to dip it in, and I’m ok with that. If a little bit of ranch drizzled on top of an avocado does the trick, I’m all for it! You just mix the 1 oz packet with a 16oz container of sour cream for a nice dip for carrot sticks etc. or for a salad dressing Simply start with a small amount of sour cream, add whole milk or buttermilk to get your desired consistency, and then add Ranch season to flavor. Top it with a squeeze or two of fresh lemon juice you have a delicious dressing. She has this recipe for a 5 minute Ranch Dressing on her website:

Here’s what’s in it:

  • Organic parsley
  • Organic garlic powder
  • Organic minced onion
  • Organic onion powder
  • Organic dill
  • Unrefined sea salt
  • Organic black pepper

Available in a 1 oz packet for $5.25 or 2 oz for $10.

The cornbread is DELICIOUS! Here’s a description from her website: Not your typical cornbread, our Moist Maple Cornbread is fluffy and cake-like with a nice crisp golden top. Sweetened with real maple syrup and butter, it’s decadent, delicious, and makes you go back for more.

We use only 4 simple ingredients in our Moist Maple Cornbread mix: organic einkorn flour, organic corn meal, aluminum-free baking powder, and unrefined sea salt.

Simply add 2 eggs, some melted butter, milk & maple syrup & you have a very delicious corn bread. My whole family really enjoyed this with a bowl of chicken noodle soup for dinner last night. It is  currently on sale for $7.  We only ate 1/2 of the cornbread for dinner that night & I’ve been snacking on it for 2 days since, it’s still moist & delicious 2 days later! I enjoyed learning about einkorn flour, she has a whole blog post devoted to why she uses it. This is one thing I learned about it: What really caught my attention about einkorn was that it was completely unhybridized and one of the most ancient forms of wheat! Learn more here:

I think these products could make excellent gifts (especially that sampler pack) for that hard to shop for person on your list, who doesn’t love the gift of wholesome food? Here’s the link to the website to purchase products:

Here is a link to her blog with many recipes:

Review of Essential Oils Use & Safety Guide by Ninette Jackson


Although only 89 pages long (with blank pages in back for notes), this little book packs in a ton of practical information for the average user of essential oils. I recently gave away my copy of Modern Essentials as it was just more info than I needed. I don’t need an encyclopedia covering every possible oil out there & all potential uses, I need to know the basics & not be overwhelmed with too much additional info. This book is perfect for my needs, and many of yours as well I do believe!


I first reviewed products from Josiah’s Oils way back in June of ’13 (will link to that below) and have offered the products via my quarterly buying club order for each of the 13 orders we’ve done now. So, we go way back! I’ve developed a deep trust & respect for Ninette’s advice, she is my go-to for any essential oil questions & I’m so happy to have her in my closed group where I can tag her for advice as needed. It is true that even amongst professionals you’ll get a variety of opinions as to what oils are safe for what age, etc, but for me, Ninette is the final word.


About the author:   Ninette is a wife, mother of five (including her special son, Josiah), retired lawyer, and a Certified Clinical Aromatherapist who has been working with essential oils for over 10 years and has undergone approximately 860 hours of study & testing to obtain her certifications.  Her Aromatherapy shop, Josiah’s Oils, has been in business since 2011 serving her customers with the highest quality essential oils and therapeutic blends, as well as diffusers, lotions, shampoos, conditioners, salves and more – ALL hand-made with Ninette’s own recipes.  


Her book covers the following topics:

  • Which oils are safe for kids
  • Which oils are safe in pregnancy
  • Safe dilution ratios
  • Why drinking your oils isn’t safe
  • Blending Made Easy (with recipes!)
  • Which oils help with which issues
  • Research studies
  • And MUCH more!


It is available via their website for $14.99:

Amazon for $19.99 (some used ones for cheaper):

And you could pick up a copy along with some of the very fine Josiah’s Oils products via your quarterly buying club order. They happen in Feb, May, Aug, Nov:

My original review of Josiah’s Oils products, I could/should/will update this as I’ve tried many more products & her line has really grown in the 3+ years since I’ve written this:

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