Category Archives: Family

Easy Vegetarian Chili (no soy, no tomatoes)!

So my 7 year old decided a few months ago that she was going to be a vegetarian.  Have you ever driven up the 5 freeway (through central California).  Yeah.  If you have, you know what I’m talking about.  Thousands of poor cows just jammed into stalls and standing in what appears to be their own excrement.  And, of course, we eat that.  Lovely.  So yes, my little 7 year old absorbed that and decided – no more!

So I try to be accommodating.  It’s actually amazing how many kid foods are already vegetarian.  You’ve got Mac N’ Cheese, spaghetti, quesadillas, bean & cheese burritos, just to name a few.

I used to cook a lot with the Deceptively Delicious book.  It’s a great book.  You puree veggies in advance and then hide them in your food.  This works really good for us adults who really don’t like many veggies.  So I started doing this again because if I’m limiting her plate to vegetarian food, I want to make sure she is getting veggies with protein in it, even if she doesn’t tend to like those ones.

Now here’s the hard part.  If you don’t start your kids off as vegetarians, they’ve already got that, “Ew, what is that?” attitude toward a lot of them.  So most cook books really suck.  My kids won’t eat some veggies.  They don’t like “spicy” food, which is what a lot of vegetarian cookbooks do to cover their more flavorless recipes and by-the-way, I’m allergic to soy.  So no tofu as a filler over here. Ok, so now that we have all the challenges listed, I decided to go ahead and try to make chili.  This recipe is a combination from the Deceptively Delicious recipe and one from a vegaterian cookbook.  I think it turned out amazing and with a bit of playing around, it can be even better.  But, here it is in its infancy stage.  I honestly can’t wait to make it again.


Olive oil

1 can red kidney beans

1 can white kidney beans

1 bell pepper, chopped finely (I used yellow)

1/4 white onion, chopped finely

1 butternut squash (or bag of prepared butternut squash)

1/4 cup cornmeal or flour

2 tablespoons flaxseed meal

1 carton (26 ounce) of vegetable broth

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon garlic powder

3 medium carrots or carrot puree


  1. Roast the butternut squash, or if purchase prepared, place in a skillet with a teaspoon over medium-high heat, cook squash until golden (about 10 minutes) along with the carrots.
  2. About 5 minutes into cooking the squash and carrots, add the bell pepper and another teaspoon of olive oil.
  3. About 8 minutes into cooking the squash and carrots, add the onion.  Set all 3 ingredients aside.
  4. In another skillet, pour the broth, add the seasonings, flaxseed, carrot puree (if that is the option you chose), and cornmeal.  Heat over medium-high heat until boiling.  Then reduce heat and simmer, covered 15-20 minutes.
  5. Add in beans and veggies from step 1 until heated through (just a few minutes).

Prep time is about 5 minutes.  Cooking time is about 35.  Serves about 6.

These figures are based on taking the easy way out of everything.  My carrots were pre-pureed, as recommended in the Deceptively Delicious book and my butternut squash was just the pre-packaged kind.  I’m sure this would have tasted even better if I’d rosted my own, but still, I was so happy with this one.  It was a little soupy, but considering my entire family hates tomatoes, I was not going to add tomato paste, like so many recipes call for.  A little soupy = more dipping bread!  So no complaints over here.

If you try this and tweak it, please share.  I’d love to hear the variations.  And, of course, you can always add ground meat as well.



4 realistic ways to find time to read

Over the last year or more, I have been listening to podcasts that have filled my mind with so many ideas, so many possibilities.  But what I have found, is that without my fiction books, I can’t relax.  The nonfiction books get me so would up, so excited.  I need something else to calm me and help me rest at night.

I used to be a one-book-at-a-time person.  Then, for a while, I felt I had no time to read.  With work, kids, dog, exercising, there just didn’t seem to be any time.  But I’ll share with you how I manage to have time for multiple books at one time.  Currently, I tend to have a nonfiction audio book to motivate me to try new things and improve my life.  I also have a fiction book that I read at night or when I’m trying to unwind.  I sometimes have an audio fiction book as well.  These work especially well on family road trips and for family members who get car sick and can’t read while the car is moving.


The following 4 suggestions give you the tips you need to squeeze in that extra reading time.

  1. Try to go to bed at least 15 minutes earlier than normal.  I read for the last hour of my night (or less if I fall asleep reading!).  This helps me unwind and helps me fall to sleep easier (bonus!).
  2. Listen to audio books or podcasts while commuting, doing chores or exercising.  I do not recommend nonfiction for exercising.  I find that there are often things I want to write down and it distracts me from my exercise (but apparently not from my driving?  Hmmmm……
  3. Once you get used to listening to audiobooks or podcasts, try listening to them at a faster speed.  This gets through some of the dry material at a better pace.  Increased speed is usually a pace where you kinda have to listen closely so, at least for me, I’m more likely to pay attention.  It also gets you through more books.
  4. I read on my phone.  This has increased my read time dramatically in many ways.  First, I can read when I’m waiting in line, or when I’m walking or at the doctor’s office.  I don’t have to remember to bring my book with me.  Also, I can read any type of book, anywhere.  People don’t need to know I’m broke or reading a romance novel or getting a divorce or having major health issues.  I don’t have to wait until I’m at home, hiding those books, to read them!  Second, I can read as I’m falling asleep, in bed, at night.  I know this is not recommended.  Bad on eyes, supposedly viewing electronics at night keeps you awake.  But after years of trying to find good ways to read in bed (head lamps, lighted bookmarks, etc.), I can tell you, this is the answer to my prayers.

Still think you have no time?  I find the hardest part, is starting.  Just start a book.  If it’s a topic you like or need, you will suddenly find the time to read it.  Despite being used to my system, I find that I still sometimes struggle to start the next book.  But once I start, I’m off and running.  Sometimes I’ll download a few books just to keep things moving.  It really is easier the more you do it.  You find you don’t want to watch TV or waste so much time on Facebook when you have a good book to read.


Next week I will be discussing places to get free books to enable this reading habit!

So my challenge to you is to see how many books you can read next month.  All you have to do is just get started!

Life Hack: Free Vacations by Flipping Land

We live in a beautiful country.  We have everything – forests, deserts, mountains, and swamps.  And like many people, I want to see it all.  Not only do I want to see all of it, I also want to see all my family and friends who live all over this nation.  But it’s expensive.  Or is it?

Free Vacations.png

Here is a trip I made up for purposes of this post – from L.A., CA to Houston, TX.  I made it for mid-June, when many people travel.  This pricing includes flights for 2 adults, 2 children and a hotel for the 4 of them for 1 week.  As you can see, the cost is $1680.  That’s $420 per night for 6 nights, for 4 people.


Now if I get just a flight for my family of four, it’s about $1000.


I’m saving about $750 by not getting a hotel.  But $1000 is still a chunk a change.

So what if your trip was free?  What if it was not only free, but what if every single trip you take to every single part of our fine nation, was also free?  Sounds too good to be true, right?  But it’s not.  It’s actually quite simple.

I recently started following The Land Geek.  The Land Geek has a podcast, blog, class, you name it.  He also has a Facebook support group (actually, a few of them).

The Land Geek teaches you how to flip raw land.  Undeveloped land.  You can purchase this land at land auctions, from delinquent tax lists or from wholesalers.  Depending on which of these options you choose, you can get a .25 acre for a few hundred dollars.  And you can sell it for 300% or even 1000% profit.  This is not a gimmick.  I know it sounds crazy but it’s really quite simple.  And I’ll walk through it with you.

By using raw land flipping, you can buy land wherever you want to travel, whether it’s one destination or several.  You can then stay on your land and sell it after your stay.  This gives you a free place to stay (again, it’s raw land so you would be providing your own tent/trailer/something-or-other).  After you stay on the land and, once you sell it, it pays for your trip!  Let’s get into an example using a property I recently purchased.

I purchased a property in Arizona.  I bought this from a wholesaler.  This means that he probably got a huge group of lots for very cheap, perhaps an average of $500 (maybe less) per lot and then sold them off for about $1100.  He just made 120% profit.  I purchased my lot from him for $1100.  However, the tax assessment shows a value of $2600.  And the lots are selling for about $2500.  I am not making this profit because I held on to the land or did anything to improve it.  I am making this profit because I bought it at below market value.  And the wholesaler is making his profit that way too.

So when I sell, I should make a profit of about $1100, after costs.  That’s a 100% profit.  And that’s if I sell it straight out.  If I finance the buyer, I can add interest.  But if I was visiting Arizona, I would be able to use my lot to stay there.  Or if I was traveling to Texas, as in my example above, I could stay in Arizona and then go on to stay with family in Texas.  The sale of the Arizona land will pay for my vacation (or at least a good chunk of it).

Now if I had purchased the land from a person who was behind on the taxes and was no longer interested in the land, I probably could have obtained the land for a few hundred dollars and then the entire profit would be mine (about 350%) or about $2000.

So if I know I’m going to/through Arizona later this year for vacation, I can buy a lot and then stay on that lot.  I can either drive there and camp or I can fly there and likewise rent a camper.  But I have a place to stay as my own home base.  When I’m home from my trip, I can sell the plot.  In looking at the travel costs listed above, I can pay for some or all of my trip with the purchase and selling of this land.

Alternatively, I can flip the land and never use it; never visit it.  I can just use the profits to pay for my vacation, bills or whatever.

This business really takes little start up costs as the land is so cheap.  The regulations that apply to tenants, do not apply here so flipping raw land is much easier than renting or selling a home.

Just imagine that you own a plot in each state and take a year or so to travel to each  of them.  Always a free place to stay.  And you don’t need a reservation.  Just go when you want and if you don’t plan to return, just sell it.  Make back a part of your vacation cost.

Just keep in mind that raw land flipping does not involve tenants or structures to fix up.  Raw land flipping does not require “holding” or improving.  It does not require a class to learn about it, but if you take the class The Land Geek offers (I am not an affiliate), he does provide preferred counties to purchase land and preferred sites to sell the land.  So he makes it even easier to get started.

So instead of spending a few hundred dollars on vacation (which my above example shows is not enough money anyway), spend it on land.  Save money on that vacation by staying on the land and then, flip it.  Make a few hundred percent in profit and pay for your entire vacation.

If you have any questions about this, please let me know.





The EASIEST way to overcome a BAD mood

25Have you ever walked by Jasmine and suddenly felt rejuvenated?  Have you ever walked into a store because of the smell coming out of it?  Our sense of smell is powerful.  It can bring back memories.  Good memories and bad.  It has the power to change your mood.

Essential oils are one way to get smell into your system to help your mood improve.  And this applies to all moods: grief, anger, disappointment, lethargy.

Most people know their favorite smells, whether it’s citrus or flowers, grass or baked apples.  But what smells will help you when you feel overwhelmed, grumpy, insecure?  Enter the doTERRA App called Determine Your Mood.  The App is free and easy to use.  All you have to do is enter how you feel, on a sliding scale.  The more you feel an emotion, the more you slide the little bar to the right.  They have a total of 18 moods to choose from and you can pick as many of the mood choices as you are feeling.  So no need to worry if you are confused and angry.  Enter both.  They will help you out.

Once you’ve chosen your feelings and “ranked” them, it will tell you what oils will help you with that mood!  The good part is, you don’t have to own all these oils either.  It gives you a few options.  So you can choose the one(s) you have.  Or if you know what oils are in the blend they recommend, you can grab those and mix them up as best you can.  They get you in the ballpark, the rest is really just a matter of matching up the oils you may have to the answers they give you, as best you can.

So let’s get started.  First pic, is what you will see when you enter the Determine Your Mood App.  (By the way, I know there are only 6 emotions listed here, there are 18, but my screen would not show them all to you, sorry!).

For this next picture, I decided to feel discouraged (among other things), so you can see the recommended oils for that.


After I chose the emotions I was feeling, I scrolled to the bottom of the list and hit the

“Show Results” button.


As you can see, they recommended Motivate and Citrus Bliss as the most likely to assist me with my mood.



If you click on the arrow to the right side of the listed oils, your screen will look like the picture below.


Easy and fun!  I LOVE having them give me an easy answer.  Let’s try again.  This time I’m going to be angry instead of gloomy.



And you can see below, the oils are different.  There often is overlap because, for example, Citrus Bliss is very uplifting.  So it can help with a lot of issues.  But, every situation is different.  So let’s try another one!



This time I’m going to have more of an anxious mood.


The recommendations for these moods are more lavender based than the ones above because lavender usually makes people feel calmer.  In this case, we don’t need to be uplifted quite as much as we need to be calmed down.


In this last one, I’m going to be sad in the sense of grieving.


As you can see, this one has a few lavender based oil blends, as mentioned in the last mood.  But Elevation is a citrus blend.  So this answer truly leaves it up to the individual as to what they might need.  Most likely, a calming lavender but possibly, depending on if they need to be uplifted, they might need the citrus.


I love this App because if I’m in a bad mood, once I know why (sometimes it’s just harder to tell than others), I can enter what I’m feeling and it tells me what to try.  And if I don’t have the recommended oil, I look at the second or third choices.  Or, I figure out what the first oil blend is made of.  If it’s citrus based, I grab whatever citrus oils I have and don’t worry about their exact recommendation.  I just need them to get me going in the right direction

While extreme emotions won’t just go away with smelling an oil, it does help.  I will give you an example.  I was very angry at a friend a while back.  The App told me to use the blend called Forgive.  I did.  And while I was still angry, I decided I wasn’t going to kill anyone.  After a few days of using a lot of Forgive (like I said, I was very angry!), I calmed down.  And I made my coworkers happy because they all got to smell my oil that week.  As they said, “It smells like a spa in here!”

If you have any questions about the App, please let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them.  Or, if you give the App a try, and it works for you, I’d love to hear about it.

If you need to buy oils, you can get them here:

If you have questions about the oils, just let me know.  I’m always happy to help.




Easy St. Patrick’s Day Recipes (and a few involved ones too)

img_8653One of the best ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day is to enjoy related foods.  Shamrock sugar cookies to cabbage stew, there are a lot of options out there.  You can aim for green food and drink all day or traditional Irish fare.  I’m posting a lot of links to a lot of blogs with amazing recipes.  But first, a quick list of how to spend your day in the Irish spirit.


Tint your eggs, or pancakes green.  Green food dye or, if you are out of green, yellow and blue make green.  Just a drop or so.  If you are aiming for more Irish, make scones.  Those can be turned green too.


Green apple, kiwi, or those scones I mentioned, green colored popcorn.


Make a stew, bangers and mash (which can be turned greed), shepard’s pie, soda bread.


Green colored cupcakes, cookies, green jello or green colored yogurt.


Green Sprite, Midori Sour, Mint Julep.

appetite-1238323_1920Ok, so those were the quick and easy ideas.  Most of those are from packages or require minimal knowledge to make.  Now that the ideas are flowing, here are links to satisfy any goal for your St. Patrick’s Day, whether you are aiming for authentic fare, green food or shamrocks shaped items.



17 Irish appetizers.


This site has 100 Irish recipes.


This site has over 50 green treats.


This site has 12 St. Paddy Day drinks.

There are so many more but those were great sites that gave several options and got right to the point!  Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


Quick tip: Why you SHOULDN’T go to law school



A lot of students have just graduated from college. They don’t know what to do with themselves.  Some are done with school and some want more.  Some end up in graduate, law or medical school simply because they don’t know what else to do.  They don’t want to have just any job.  They want something amazing.  And so they pick something they think will be amazing.  The problem is, no one will question it.

Graduate school administrators are there to recruit students.  They aren’t going to tell you that spending another $100,000+ on your education is a bad idea.  Family members are so excited that you’re going to be so successful that they aren’t going to tell you no.  And friends are just there to support you.  So they all sit by while you potentially make the worst mistake of your life.  The most expensive mistake ever.

I am a lawyer.  So I cannot speak in any depth on grad school or med school.  Although some of my thoughts (but not all) can be reapplied to those other schools.


So what is so wrong with law school?  Technically, nothing.  But there are many issues with respect to becoming a lawyer and becoming a happy lawyer, and no one is ever warned.  I often speak to pre-law students about some of these pitfalls so that they can really think about their life and what they want to do with it.  If they want to spend over $100,00o to go to law school, that’s fine.  But they need to look at what is actually important to them.  They then need to research how law school and being a lawyer can change those things.   They should make their decision after being informed of some of the less positive repercussions of going to law school.  Unfortunately, there are many issues they should consider and only a few of these tend to be discussed.  I’ve listed only a few here.  When I talk on-one-one with prospective law students, I cover many other nuances with them.  Often times, their answers to questions they would never think are related, end up influencing them in ways they never thought they would be influenced.

First, lawyers are limited to work for the rest of their lives in the state in which they passed the bar.  When I entered law school, I never, ever thought of living anywhere else.  I love L.A.  But housing prices are ridiculous.  Even ones I can afford, I just don’t want to spend my money that way.  Not when I see that for a fraction of the cost I could buy a mansion in Ohio or Kansas or something.  Sure, I’d make less there, but the cost of living is less.  But that’s not even an option.  I’m stuck in California.  I’m not sure I will ever move.  I know I’m never taking the Bar Exam again.  But that is a major consideration.  You never know what your future will hold.  You don’t know where your future in-laws will be from.  Maybe you’ll want to move there some day.  But you’ll have to retake the Bar Exam or change professions.  If you’re really lucky, you will want to move to a state with reciprocity.  But you have to research that.  And while it’s not difficult, it’s also not automatic that you can just work in a state that honors reciprocity with your Bar-passed state.  Of course, if you had just gone to grad school or worked a regular job, this would not even be an issue.  This is something no one tells you to think about before you spend money on law school.

Second, I wanted to do nonprofit law.  So did a lot of people I know.  But those loans make it really hard.  Those loan forgiveness programs are not so great either.  Mostly they say that you have to first work in the nonprofit field, then apply.  And then you have to compete against others.  So what I’m hearing is – take a big gamble by taking a low paying job, work (probably) below the poverty line, once you subtract out your loan payments, and then hope that you get some forgiveness.  And from what I could tell, they preferred to give that money to people who went to Stanford and Harvard.  Not your ordinary, middle of the road student from the ordinary, middle of the road school.  While I have found joy in other areas of law, the information I’ve obtained from non-profit law job fairs is depressing.

Third, $100,000+ is a lot of money to pay back.  And if you marry someone who also went to an expensive school, good luck.  At one point my husband and I were paying the same amount each month in loans as we were in mortgage – for a house in L.A.!  If you don’t accelerate the payments, you will basically be paying back loans until potentially, your kids are in high school.  Just in time to start saving to help them in college.  So when were you going to save for retirement?  There are lots of jobs out there that pay the same or close to what lawyers make, without the student loans.  It’s no fun throwing out so much money every month.  Just something to think about.

Fourth, with that much debt, your career options are limited.  Sure, there’s lots of options for lawyers.  You can become a real estate broker, politics and lots of other things.  But basically, you will need to guarantee a good income if you’re going to pay off all that debt.  You can’t just decide to be a pre-school teacher.  You can’t just take a job because it sounds nice.  So unlike someone with an undergrad degree, you really do have limited career options, until the debt is paid off.

Fifth, no one ever said you would ever become a lawyer after spending $100,000+ in schooling.  Isn’t that nice?  All that work and money and if you don’t pass the Bar Exam, you don’t get to be a lawyer.  And then how are you supposed to pay back those loans?  The Bar passage rate in California is around 50%.  I know people who took it 5 times before they passed.  That’s 2.5 years of taking the Bar, after you graduate, just so you can be a lawyer.  But in those years, you still have household bills and student loans to pay.


Now don’t get me wrong!  There are lots of happy lawyers out there. I actually love my job. I’m not saying you will be miserable if you go to law school. What I am saying is that life is full of possibilities; why spend so much money without exploring your options first?

So is law school right for you?  That’s a tough question.  One that many people don’t truly ask themselves.  And definitely not one posed to the prospective student.  These are just some of the things that should be considered before going to law school.  Unfortunately, many law students find themselves questioning these things after their first year; after they feel trapped by the debt they’ve already incurred.

If you are interested in a one-on-one counseling session, please let me know.  I offer a personalized consultation in which we discuss all the factors that really go into determining whether attending law school is the correct decision for you, whether the timing is right for you and whether you’ve chosen  (are looking at) the right school. I’ve helped students completely change their choice of law school based on my advice and report that it was the best decision they ever made.  I’ve mentored many students to help them feel secure in their decisions. To sign up, visit








Bullet Journal Fails!

Bullet Journal Fails!

You may have heard of this new fad, the bullet journal.  They are essentially daily journals/calendars that are flexible.  So instead of buying a pre-made calendar, you use a blank slate and cater it to your life.  You aren’t really supposed to go ahead in time.  It’s a day by day calendar (give or take).  You make up your to-do’s as you go.  But it’s also a long term goal-maker.  So you can list movies you want to watch, books you want to read, projects for the house, crafts for the kids, etc.  And there is no timeline.  Just a list that moves along with life.

The problem is, they really aren’t just lists.  They are beautiful, multi-colored, coloring pages.  Instead of listing books to read, you draw a bookshelf with books and write the titles on the books.  And your daily/weekly/monthly chores are in little charts with highlighters for the different chores, their status and so forth.  For example…..

Seriously, I don’t know how these people have the time to draw the birds, stars, dogs and whatever else I’m seeing on these things.  The point of a calendar or to do list is to get things done!  How are these people getting anything done when they are drawing so much?!  And how is it that they are all such good illustrators?  Now I have seen some people using stickers.  But again, who spends all this money on stickers just so they don’t have to write the words, “chore list”.  Another one….

What’s funny is this apparently was not at all the original idea.  People have just gone off the deep end with this.  Here’s a link so you can see just how simple the original idea really was.

So little did I know that I kinda created a bullet journal last year.  I had a blank journal and I decided to use it to list all these different projects I wanted to do and ideas I had.  I had no idea about the bullet journal craze.  This year I learned about the bullet journal and decided to start one (again, not realizing I already started one).

Here is what I learned:

  1. I can’t draw.  OK, I already knew that.  But seriously, I can’t.
  2. I have horrible writing.  Yeah, I already knew that too.  But I’m working on that, kinda.
  3. I am not going to invest in colored pencils and all that jazz.  I have some colored pens.  That’s where that ends.
  4. I am not going to invest in stickers.  It will take me 10x longer to look at stickers, buy them, and use them, than to just write the words!

But then, my journal isn’t pretty.  So here’s a few pics of my journal.  As you can see, it really is not pretty at all.

Do you see the difference in my chart and the ones above????  Um…yeah….

This is what I call a successful day.  Pretty, isn’t it?  (Don’t comment).

And this is the reality.  Apparently I don’t know what year it is.  How can a person be expected to make pretty tables when they don’t even know what year it is?

So all I’m going to say is that if you see millions of these articles and pictures telling you that it’s so great and all you have to do is blah, blah, blah….. well, the idea is great.  The execution is fine and can be adjusted, as needed.  But, the beauty is not practical, quick or easy.  It is a whole different ball of wax.  So definitely, if you have a lot of ongoing projects or to-do’s, give it a try, but don’t necessarily expect your pages to look like those exploding all over the internet.  And even if you try for that lofty goal but fail, cheer up, mine is probably way worse.

Of course, if you are worse than me, I would LOVE to see it!  And if you have a quick and easy way for me to improve, please let me know!  I’m loving how efficient and easy this idea is, but it is NOT pretty!




2 Mammogram Alternatives 

Whether male or female, as we age, there are annual or semi-annual exams we should get. A few years ago I heard about an alternative to a mammogram. While it’s taken a few years, I finally did the research. I was rewarded with not one, but two alternatives. 


A breast ultrasound is probably more comfortable than a mammogram. It is often recommended for women with finerous or dense tissue breasts as it can help to avoid misunderstanding dense matter that would show up on a mammogram.  However, it is not useful for detecting the microcalcifications seen in early breast cancer. 

Ultimately, women, unless told otherwise by their doctor, should simply get a mammogram. And some of those women may need an ultrasound thereafter. 


It appears thermography would also be another, more comfortable alternative to a mammogram. I found these amazing quotes that said thermography, “has 99% accuracy in identifying breast cancer in women in the 30 to 55 age group.” “Thermography can detect abnormalities from 8 to 10 years before mammography can detect a mass”. 

However, it appears this is incorrect. The FDA has not approved this method for breast cancer detection and there are cancer patients out there trying to warn others to not use this method as the only detection system. 

Thermography is a color image of your body. The colors help detect denser mass in your body. But it seems there are issues with the accuracy. So until the science behind this is more concrete, it appears women just need to get a mammogram if they want the highest accuracy and earliest detection for breast cancer. 

If you know of any other alternative, let me know!  I love learning more. 

The above info was obtained from the following sites:

How to avoid the Valentine Day gift rut

So when I was searching for the most popular Valentine’s Day gifts, you know, to get ideas, I was informed that the U.S. is full of very dull people.  The most popular gifts, according to the below site, are cards and flowers, followed by candy and a night out.  Below that is jewelry, clothing and gift cards, in that order.  Boring.

After seeing that list, I don’t feel so bad about my lack of ideas.  But I refuse to give in to that list!  So I’ve complied a list of websites and stores that might help you, if you don’t want to give in to that list either.

Okay, so they usually give lots of ideas and none of them make me happy.  So good luck.

I love this site.  Whether your significant other is into Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter or even just dinosaurs, there are shirts, desk sets, toys, mugs, whatever.  Sadly, in my case, this website applies more to me than my hubby.  He’s not really obsessed with any one “thing”.   Despite that,  I have found things for him here anyway.  It really does have a lot of fun stuff.

This site has a wide variety of tools, fun stuff, gadgets, etc.  They even have a Valentine’s Day article for you.

This site also has a lot of different ideas.  Including this $15 squirrel feeder that I just had to share.  And of course, the gadgets are not just for guys.

This is all about homemade, personalized, unique gifts.  Purses, shoes, toys and of course, those things I’m trying to avoid – clothing, jewelry, etc.  At least here, the jewelry is custom made and therefore unique.  If you are going to do typical, why do mass produced?  For example, here is a ring that is inexpensive, dainty and made with a stone you don’t see every day.

Even if the gift is late, I say, it’s better to be late and awesome, than on time and falling into the traditional, every year, Valentine’s Day rut.

If you have websites that you think should be added to this list, let me know!

The 4 Best Essential Oils for the Sick

So I’ve barely been posting this month. I’ve been so sick. I’ve been multiple types of sick too. I used to think that essential oil users never got sick. Wasn’t that the point?  Apparently not. Oil users are not super humans.  

So considering I’ve been sick for 3 weekends in a row (3 different issues), here’s a list of the oils I used and how I used them. 


This is great for fever reduction and helping with headaches. I rub a drop on my temples or sniff it. 


This blend is an immune system booster. I rub this on as much as every 15 minutes. It doesn’t leave my bedside, unless I leave my bedside. I also gargle with it. It can help clean out that junk in the throat. If I feel a post-nasal drip, a gargle of this can sometimes stop its progression. 


I will heat water in a mug, put a drop of this into it, and inhale.  This opens up the passageways. I recommend the water be warm, not hot. 


This is a blend often used to aid digestion. But if you rub it on your chest, it can help with breaking up mucus. I rub it from stomach to collarbone. It really is amazing. 

The main argument I see for not trying the oils, is the cost. But if you buy over the counter meds, 1-2 types per sickness, the cost is at least $10 per med.  The oils don’t expire like OTC meds. They will cost more up front. But they will last you through many illnesses.  And most importantly, they work!

For more information on oils, message me or visit