Winter Wellness Weapons

School has started here in Florida and that means what? 
For those of you who know me, you know that in the Andrew household we try to fight things as naturally as possible. Not to say that we're against medicine, because we're not. Antibiotics and medications definitely have their place, but they are completely overused. We have become a society that is over medicated and over vaccinated! We want to cure everything with a magic pill and the drug industry is making a killing off us! 
I must say (knock on wood) that we aren't nearly as sick as many people I know. I don't run to the doctor at the first sign of a cold or sniffle, and I don't turn to prescription drugs unless they are absolutely necessary.
Every winter, we follow this immune boosting schedule that I wanted to share. 
 Here are our tried and true Winter Wellness Weapons. We have been using them for years around here, and Tommy is now following in our footsteps.
I am NOT a doctor, nor do I claim to be. I am a wife and mother who just wants the best for her family and these are products that I use and I believe in!

~Oscillococcinum This is one of my favorite things on the market! I have no idea what is in these magic little beads but they are just that, MAGIC! Take at the first sign of a cold or chill and you will beat it! I'm telling you it works! My husband swears by these. He's a singer and CAN NOT get sick! They can be pricey, but amazon has good deals on packs of 30. Go get 'em! I've already stocked my medicine cabinet with 60 doses!

~ZARBEE'S Children's cough syrup- When Tommy has a cough, this is the ONLY thing that helps him sleep. Again, it's all natural and it works! They also have a nighttime syrup which we use. Want to read the Zarbee's story? Click HERE.

~Franklin and Friends chewable Vitamin D3- When flu season begins, we take Vitamin D3 every morning. Mike and I take 5,000 IU of Naturewise Vitamin D3, and Tommy takes 800 IU of the Franklin D's. Our pediatrician doesn't believe in Flu shots and studies have proven that Vitamin D can be just as effective as the Flu vaccine. I'm sticking with Vitamin D since the few times I received the vaccine, I GOT the Flu. No thank you!

~Natures Way original Sambucus Standardized Elderberry Syrup for kids- Tommy gets 2 teaspoons of this everyday, during Flu season and another 2 teaspoons at night if he's sick. He LOVES the taste, which makes it easy! Elderberry boosts the immune system, improves heart health, and is used for coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections as well as tonsillitis. Elderberry juice was used to treat a flu epidemic in Panama in 1995. Pretty amazing stuff! I'm making my own elderberry syrup  for Mike and I this year with THIS recipe.

~Standard Process Congaplex- I saved this for last, because this is a new one for us this year. I've heard incredible things about it, and thought we'd give it a shot. They make capsules for adults and also chewable tablets for children. This is something you are only supposed to take short term, when a cold has either started or you feel one coming on. It is NOT to be used for preventative measures. I hear it you take it at the first sign of a cold you will have that cold for two days max. And as many colds as kids get, I am excited and hopeful. Read the Amazon reviews, and read about Congaplex HERE.

So there you have it! 
Wishing everyone a healthy flu season! 
Thanks for reading!


1st Day of Pre K!

There he is! First day of Pre K! 
I am so proud of this little man and thrilled with the school we have chosen for him. He is MORE than ready for school and so excited! He's been asking all week,"Is TODAY my first day of school?"  We found out during orientation that he would be the FIRST to do "show and tell" since his last name starts with an "A," and he couldn't be more thrilled!
Most kids have been in school long before the age of 4 but we chose to keep Tommy home with us until Pre K. We made sure to keep him well socialized with playdates, music classes, art classes and gym classes, but other than that he was with us learning his letters, playing with his toys and learning instruments with his Dad.
There were times I would question if this was the right decision because people put their kids in school so early now, and as a parent you can get swept up in what everyone else is doing, but I would remind myself that this is what most families used to do!
So he's been with US, and it's not always been easy, believe me. Parenting is no joke! There were many days that I wished I could drop him off at some school and head to work, but I'm happy I didn't. I'm happy we had that time with him.
And this morning after seeing him confidently walk into his new classroom with the BIGGEST smile on his face, I KNOW we made the right decision.
I feel at  peace.

Thanks for reading! 💙


Weekend + LINKS

Photo VIA
What are you up to this weekend? 
Mike is in Wichita for a show, and it's Tommy's last weekend before school officially starts (eeeek) so I'm going to try to do something fun with him. Can't believe my little buddy is going to preschool, but I'm also looking forward to having a little bit of "me time."
Other than that, I'm having a good friend over Saturday night for some skinny Margaritas!
Hope you are doing something fun, and If you're in the mood to read some cool links, check these out!

+Anyone else on a CONSTANT search for a great leave in conditioner?

+For my potato chip fans, apparently THESE are the best. Gonna grab a bag this weekend!

+Summer always puts me in a salad mood!

+I'd love this A-frame to take me away from this florida heat!

+Into documentaries like me? Check out these 21 from the 21st century.

+Just bought this halter bikini in navy and I can't wait to wear it.

+Check out these cheap decorating ideas for small spaces.

Thanks for reading!



Hi Friends! How are you enjoying this HOT summer? Florida is certainly hot, but we escaped for a nice week to Wisconsin with the most PERFECT weather to visit family and relax. I don't know if you've ever been to Wisconsin, but it's so beautiful and green! Top that off with LOTS of cousins for Tommy to play with and lots of green grass for Murphy to potty train on. 
We had some nice dinners, and a few great days at the pool. Here are a few pics from our trip. Enjoy and have a great week!

T's cousin Brooke makes these COOL arrowhead necklaces and colorful beaded bracelets! Message me if you want one!

The kids loved Murphy. Here he is patiently riding in a baby carriage!

Snuggling with Grandma.
Thanks for reading! 


Murphy Bear Andrew

Introducing...... Murphy Bear Andrew! 
I mean, is this a stuffed animal, or is this our dog?! 
Murphy came to us quite unexpectedly really. I had been missing Jake so much, that I would scan rescue sights nonstop looking for my next dog, but just couldn't seem to find what I was looking for.
For starters, I need a small dog because I don't believe in kenneling dogs, so I travel with mine, but when I would find a small pup that I was interested in, I would then read that they would not adopt to a family with a child under 8 or 10. I mean really? And they actually come to your home to check. Now, I think the rescues are amazing, and like I said I was totally willing to rescue but having a small child kept me from doing so. 
I kept looking and kept looking but couldn't seem to find MY dog, so one night I prayed to Jake. I said that I wanted him to send me a dog when it was time. I told him it didn't matter how but I would know if a dog appeared it would mean HE sent it to me.
Fast forward to now. 

About a week ago I saw that I had a text from my beautiful friend Kristi, and couldn't believe my eyes. There in the text was a picture of the cutest little face I'd ever seen! It was Murphy and her text read,"Are you interested in this dog?" She had found him and already having two dogs her husband said no to a third dog!
The important part of this story is that Kristi didn't know I was actively looking for a dog!  I could NOT believe it! I said yes, yes, yes I want him! 

She sent me the sellers number and I sent a text letting her know I wanted him, and she sent a text back saying that unfortunately she had been speaking with another family who had JUST committed to him. I thought, okay not meant to be. I told her I understood but to let me know if anything fell through. Not much later she texted back saying I could have him because she just didn't have a good feeling about the family. So the rest is history!

Now, truthfully, Mike was less than enthused about having a new dog, but I think he's adjusted.

And Tommy seems to like him too!

I mean how could you not love that face?!

He has a TON of energy that's for sure, but he's already a smart boy with his house training and he's only 9 weeks old. It's been a while since I've had a puppy, so I'm a bit exhausted, but he is well worth it!

Thank you to my friend Kristi, and of course my buddy Jake for making this happen.
I truly believe Murphy is meant to be, and although he will NEVER replace Jake, I have a feeling he's going to be the perfect new addition to our family!
Thanks for reading.



I know you can't believe it, 2 posts within 3 days! 
We have officially been in our new house 1 year, and although I haven't done a house tour post (we still have so much to do), I couldn't resist showing off our new built-ins that Michael custom built.

This room was used as an office by the precious owner, that we decided to turn into a library. We have so many books and I really feel that there is nothing like built in book cases. The room is rectangular, so Michael took the far back wall and worked his magic and I LOVE how they turned out. I wish these pictures could capture the quality of his workmanship, but you'll just have to take my word for it. We joke that these bookcases are so strong they're like a bunker and if anything happens, the bookcase will protect us. It's that strong!

Michael building the frame.
 I feel SO LUCKY to have a husband that can do all these things!

And the finished product!
That Earmes recliner is the perfect spot to curl up and read a good book!
The picture hanging above the chair will eventually become a long window.  Like I said, we have big plans for this house and although I know it can't all happen in a day, I will eventually have lots of cool "before and afters" to share, so stay tuned!

Thanks for reading!


Tommy- 4 1/2

I haven't blogged OR done a Tommy post in a while, and he's 4 1/2, so here you go!
Tommy starts preschool in the Fall, so when I found out the school he will be attending holds a summer camp, I thought it would be a great introduction for him.  I must admit I was a little worried. For starters, Tommy has never been away from us for a long period of time and camp was from 9-2pm. That's right, 5 hours! I mean...... could he handle it? Would he miss us? What if he had to go to the bathroom in a strange bathroom? Would he cry when we left? Would he think we left him? These were just a few of my worries. You had the option to sign up for 1 or 2 weeks, so I decided to start with one week to see how he did and then possibly extend. We prepped him well. Told him it was going to be SOOOOOOO FUN! Lots of toys and kids and a playground! 
The morning of his first day of camp came, and we headed over.  In the car he told me his heart was beating very fast because he had never been to camp (awwwwwwww)!  I assured him he would have a blast and he said okay. We got to his room and he immediately jumped in. We told him we would be leaving but would pick him up later. He said that would be okay but he needed a hug AND a kiss.  Just like that! I was just so proud of him!
We went home and it was the longest 5 hours of my life! I think I checked my phone oh....... about every second. I had so much time on my hands,  It was crazy!  I showered, shopped, cleaned, you name it, and then it was finally time to pick him up. 
We headed over, and there he was. He was alive! Smiling and alive! He hugged us and said he had fun. He made an owl puppet, and slime, and cooked, learned Spanish and played, played, played!
The next few days were more of the same so I'm happy to report we have extended another week. I'm just so proud of this boy. He is so brave, and adaptable. So, that's about it. All that worry for nothing!

Here are a few more Tommyisms at 4 1/2 years old......

Wants to be: A Machine Maker! A machine maker? Yes! He loves to take apart and build things. It will be interesting to see if he ends up being an engineer or something.
Favorite color: Red!
Favorite food: Hot dogs, with buttered spaghetti noodles and peas.
Favorite Restaurant: Shake Shack
Favorite singer: Bruno Mars! All the way! Oh- and his dad of course!
Obsessed with: Girls! Has been for a long time. LOVES girls!
Favorite TV show: Team Umizoomie, (thankfully it's educational).
Favorite Toy: His kitchen. He loves to cook real and fake food.

 Oh, and the apple does not fall far from the tree. He has already created a few characters like his dad. Here is "Double Glasses Cowboy."

I just can't say enough about this boy!
Thank you for reading.



My Buddy Jake passed away last Thursday.
He was more than a dog. He was my best friend, and he is sorely missed.
I've written about Jake in the past in this post and again in this post. People who know me and knew Jake know the the special bond we shared. I came upon this beautiful poem and it describes the loss I feel for Jake better than I could ever express it myself.
If you have ever loved a pet, you will understand.
This is dedicated to my sweet boy.


"There's something missing in my home,
I feel it day and night,
I know it will take time and strength
Before things feel quite right.

But just for now, I need to mourn,
My heart-- it needs to mend.
Though some may say it's 'just a pet'
I know I've lost a friend.

You've brought such laughter to my home,
and richness to my days...
A constant friend through joy or loss,
 With gentle loving ways.

Companion, pal and confidante,
A friend I won't forget,
You'll live for always in my heart,
My sweet forever pet.."

RIP Jake
(7-18-04 to 3-16-17)


2017 Resolutions

It's time for those New Years resolutions friends!
I was looking back on a few of my past resolution posts to see how well I stuck to them,  and....well.....most I didn't! 
They all have the same general theme. You know, to eat better, read more, less TV, blah, blah, blah and what I am realizing more and more, is that unless you're in the right mindset, you won't accomplish ANY of them.
I've always been into new age/spiritual/self-help/motivational books. I've read them all, and when I say I've read them all,  I mean it! I've never been to a therapist. They ARE my therapist. I have a whole library of those books, and although I have my favorites, they all say the same thing.
Live in the Moment, 
Live Authentically, 
and everything in your life you have created through the Law of Attraction. 

Now,  I'm no spiritual guru, but I try, and when I regularly read these books, my life is just a little bit better. A little bit "brighter." I'm more conscious of how I live my life, treat other people and most importantly treat myself. They remind me to set goals and to have gratitude.
They center my soul....

So, my New Years resolution for 2017 is to get back to those books, and if I try my best,  LIFE will take care of itself.

Have a blessed 2017 everyone, and be safe!


An Andrew Christmas

How was your Christmas? Ours was nice. Gramma Ginny joined us this year and it was our first Christmas in the new house. Tommy is at that magical age (4) which is just so much fun. Ahhhh, the excitement! 
It was just the four of us so we made a turkey (Mike doesn't eat red meat), a big vegetable platter, stuffing, and cranberry and finished it off with a red velvet cake that Tommy helped make. Oh and Martini's. Lots! 

Mike got this ski mask with a beard attached. He's ALWAYS cold. Thought it would be a good/funny stocking stuffer. Great for cold weather, AND to rob a bank! 

We now have a robot monkey in the house thanks to gramma. The toys they make now? Incredible!

Trader Joe's makes a cinnamon bun wreath for the holidays that I was SO excited to bring out for Christmas morning. Side note- you are supposed to let it sit out over night to rise for 8 hours. I didn't read the box and just baked it. It was still good though! Flat, but good!

And the sweetest part of Christmas? 
Mike was in charge of Tommy's advent calendar this year. He made 24 individual boxes with different pictures displayed outside Tommy's room on shelves. It TOTALLY put my last years advent to shame. When Tommy looks back on Christmas someday, I hope the advent calendars are what he remembers the most. You just can't buy something that special. Toys come and go, but family traditions live on and on....

Wishing everyone a happy and blessed 2017.
Stay tuned for my New Years resolution post. You know, the resolutions that I rarely keep!