Winter Cold Tip

Four Thieves is a must have in your medicine cabinet. I diffuse it in our house and put it on our feet, and have seen a significant decrease in colds in our home and in recovery time from any illness. 

This link takes you to the one I purchase on Amazon.

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The first time I smelled Four Thieves essential oil blend, I was transported to my dad’s dental office because it smells exactly like what he would swab in people’s mouths (often said to be the dirtiest place on our bodies). Well it turns out I was right! Every company’s Four Thieves is slightly different, but they all have clove, cinnamon and a citrus oil in them.
It’s called four thieves because it was used by thieves who pillaged graves during the Bubonic Plague and (apparently) protected then from said plague!

There are lots of brands on Amazon, but this is the one I purchase. 

http://amzn.to/1UGvGVQ

And here is my favorite ultrasonic diffuser. It can run for 10-hours straight and has an ultra fine mist so the surrounding furniture never feels damp. The colored light has about 15-options including OFF which is my favorite. 

  
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Google Solar Power Project

Google has a cool new service called PROJECT SUNROOF https://www.google.com/get/sunroof#p=0 that can give you a great quick and dirty estimate of what size photovoltaic system you require (based on your average monthly electricity bill) and what it would cost to lease, take out a loan or purchase outright. This should ABSOLUTELY be your first stop if you are thinking about getting solar panels for your house.  If you hurry, you may be able to take advantage of the 30% federal tax credit on your 2015 taxes (ask your tax advisor about this.) Below is a screen-grab based on my average monthly electric bill.  Be a spark in the world!

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GoogleProjectSunroof

DIY Upcycled Holiday Decor

Every year I like to craft something for our home for the holidays. Last year I made an easy and magnificent magnolia leaf wreath that looks so pretty dry (pics below), I was able to reuse it this year. So this year I had a new project: gift-wrapped presents for the front porch.

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  This project was SO easy. I literally spent $0 on it. All I did was take some wooden wine crates and painted them with a high gloss (very important because wrapping paper is shiny) acrylic craft paint (purchased at Michael’s). My 5yo helped me with the painting. We did need to use 2-coats of paint to get full coverage on the wood. I then reused some pieces of ribbon collected from past present-giving/receiving and VOILA, beautiful statement-making decor for the front porch. ONE KEY TIP: you have to make at least 3-of these to create a nice presentation. This is a general principle of design. If your porch is larger than mine you might want to do 5 or 7, but keep the numbers odd, it will give your display a more natural look.

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 One caveat: if you live somewhere with a lot of precipitation, make sure decor like this is covered by an overhang!! 

To find empty wine crates, call a wine store near you. Where I live they can be found for free or for a few dollars apiece. I have about 10 in my garage left over from my days of owning a store, and wine crates are up there with duct tape and binder clips in terms of my belief that you can do just abuot anything with them. I’ve used them for everything from gift boxes (throw in a bottle of wine and some glasses for a chic housewarming gift), to book shelves, to stools to speaker boxes. 

Enjoy and be a spark in the world!

BTW here are pics of the magnolia leaf wreath when it was fresh and this year dry. 

   
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