1600 Pennsylvania Ave “Make American Great Again” twist

I was a single mother just twenty years ago I nearly had fifty dollars a month extra money. After I paid rent, utilities, car payment and fed my children. The seventy-five dollars a month child support helped pay for after school daycare.
In my community today I see the similar struggles. I see homeless walking on the street, seniors looking for their next meal, the rotating doors of the county jail, and sick people waiting for health care. I like the slogan “make America great again”.

Over the last year I can’t recall a single day without news report of something terrible.

I deserve to know how we are going to inspire hope, peace and love in America. I know these three important things because I’m part of what makes America great.

If each individual is responsible for shaping these important things within themselves and others around them we can save America. I believe our diversity can make us a strong nation if we believe in kindness above all else. Once we begin healing ourselves we can expand to the globe with hope, peace and love producing world peace. President elect I hope and pray this is your mission for our county.

I stand beside my great American brothers and sisters in saying we all want a better life.
An America where all people are treated equal, decency and ethics in leadership, and we seek justice is the midst of injustice, and we uphold the cause of the poor and oppressed. If this is what the slogan “make American great again” means count me in.

Enclosed I am sending a gift of twenty dollars to get hope, peace and love back into our neighborhoods. I know it’s not much President Elect Trump but a billionaire like yourself could invest it or buy the congress some stress balls to use during session.
I am convinced this letter will make it to you.

Sending you much love and light in your presidential journey.

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Enid Author Fest 2017

 

I am honored to be invited as an Oklahoma author to celebrate books at the Enid Public Library on  Rescheduled for March 4, 2017  10 a.m – 4 p.m

 You will be able to meet more than thirty Oklahoma Authors.

I grew up about one mile east of the library. My younger brother and I would stop at the library during the summer to cool off from riding our bikes in the hot mid-west sun. It was our little bit of heaven. A cold water fountain and the clean bathrooms was the first thing on our minds. The business of reading was second. The books let us escape our chaos.

We didn’t have goggle or the internet. We had microfiche machines.

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If you wanted to learn something you read an encyclopedia at home or you went to the local library.

I remember learning about the dewey decimal system and what fiction and non fiction books meant. I felt in control of my learning for the first time in the Enid Public Library. I would walk up to the wooden drawers called card catalogs. If I knew the name of an author or subject I would give the metal holder a tug and finger through the cards. The card would have a numbers. I took a small pencil and a piece of  scratch paper and scribbled the secret code.

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I traveled shelf to shelf  book searching with my younger brother in tow. He was mischievous little kid. He liked animal books of any kind. I would often find him a couple books first and sit him on the rug with the rest of the children. When I felt comfortable he would stay and read. I would search for my books.

The Enid Public Library was always a safe place for me and many other children.

In a world where 2/3 students can’t read proficiently by the end of 4th grade we need libraries.

Reports show that the rate of low literacy in the United States directly costs the healthcare system millions of dollars every year.

For the reasons above, read to your children every day. When they start reading make it a routine in your household to have reading time.

Reading made my life easier as a child and an adult.

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Enid Public Library

120 West Maine St.

Enid, OK

Please visit their website by clicking below

http://www.enid.okpls.org

Here is list of my favorite books as a kid.

  1. Summer of the Monkeys
  2. Where the Red Fern Grows
  3. Sounder
  4. How to Eat Fried Worms
  5. Blubber
  6. Outsiders
  7. Super Fudge
  8. Flowers in the Attic
  9. Jonathan Livingston Seagull
  10. Boxcar Children

I challenge you to make a list of your favorite book when you were young teen.

You are invited to 

Enid Author Fest 2017 is March 4th 10 a.m – 4 p.m

Free Admission

Book Signing, Readings and Selling

I will be signing and selling

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and

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SOULPATH

Big News…
We would love your help in spreading the word SoulPath! We are asking bloggers, readers, friends and family to help promote our new book.
This is the first printing of this book.
SoulPath is a yearlong journal offering monthly practices as a guide for Self discovery and personal growth. This is a yearlong invitation bringing transformation through monthly practice to help unearth and create. You will explore relationships, money, gratitude, communication, dreams, forgiveness and much more. Each month is a new mission to be the architect of your own destiny. This is your invitation to peek inside.

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$29.95 Journal + $2.70 sales tax + $3.95 shipping total $36.60


January
Mindfulness and Awareness
“See if you can approach your own practice with a healthy combination of mindfulness, playfulness, precision and curiosity”
Cyndi Lee
“Be Curious not Judgmental”
Walt Whitman

We are all told from a young age to be mindful of what we are doing, where we are going and whom we are around. But what exactly does it mean to be mindful?

We live in a world that glorifies “busy”. Our ‘Go-culture’ makes us forget the importance of slowing down so as to become aware in the present moment. We eat our meals in front of a television, computer or phone, never tasting our food. So often we rush from one moment to the next never stopping to acknowledge how an interaction or event made us feel or how our actions affect the people around us.
Mindfulness is the practice of observing the present moment, without judgment, and without trying to change it.

The practice of mindfulness will allow you to gain insight into your thoughts, feeling and reactions. Awareness of these new insights will create the ability to respond and choose your path, instead of reacting impulsively. Juliet Adams, Director and founder of Mindfulnet.org has developed the simple ABC’s of a mindfulness practice:

A is for awareness – Becoming more aware of what you are thinking and doing- what’s going on in your mind and body.
B is for “just Being” with your experience. Avoiding the tendency to respond on auto-pilot and feed problems by creating your own story.
C is for seeing things and responding more wisely. By creating a gap between the experience and our reaction to it, we can make wiser choices.

This month is about building your inner self as an observer through the practices of curious mindfulness. Pay attention to your world from a nonjudgmental perspective and see what you notice.
Mindfulness requires focus. Meditation is one way to build your ability to witness as you learn to focus your attention. In meditation the mind will wander. The task of meditation is to observe when your mind begins to wander and to bring it back to focus.

Practice Now: Bring your body into a comfortable seated posture. Close your eyes and focus your attention on observing your breath as it moves in and out through your nasal passages. Inhale. Exhale. Breathe In. Breathe Out. Repeat. Simply observe the flow of your breath as it comes in filling the body. Notice how your body expands and contracts as air moves in and out? Notice the pace of your respiration? Notice when you become distracted? Is there mind chatter?

Recorded Meditations by Karen Harris

http://www.karunapd.com/soulpath-journal.php

 

Try this practice for as little as 3 minutes.

As you become more comfortable and at ease with your quiet mind increase the length of your breathing meditation each day.
Meditation is a practice. When you notice your mind wandering, you have experienced the first step of awareness. As Sri K. Pattabhi Jois said, “Do your practice and all is coming.”
If mediation is not your thing, there are fun ways of building awareness by simply observing. Remember mindfulness is merely the practice of acknowledging what you are doing as you are doing it!

WEEKLY PRACTICES
Week one: This first week is a start to understanding how to use your daily life as a point of self-awareness and mindfulness. Every day this week observe your daily self care habits. Log how many hours you sleep, how much water you drink, and daily showering and grooming habits. Note any observation. The questions below are to help you observe.
Are you well-rested when you wake? What does it feel like as you drink water? What do you think about during your morning routine? Are they positive or negative thoughts? How does it feel to shower or run a brush through your hair? Do you take your time or are you rushed?
Take time to journal your observations. There is space provided at the end of the month in the section, Journaling Pages.
Week Two: Challenge yourself to taste every bite of your meal. How many times have you eaten only to look down at your plate and realize there is only one bite left? Notice every detail of the flavors in your food. When do you quit noticing? Do you like what you are eating? The texture? Would you eat it again? List emotions that are attached to the food.
Week Three: Take a walk each day, even a short one, and notice what you hear, what you smell and what you feel. Do you like where you are? Are you comfortable? Can you feel your clothes against your skin? A breeze on your face? The sun soaking into your skin? Are you hot or cold? Write down your observations. Be detailed.
Week Four: For our final week of mindfulness, when in a discussion with the various people in your life, observe yourself and your actions. Do you listen? Or are you waiting for your turn to speak? Do you like talking to them? How does your body respond? Tightness, ease? (Turning away or leaning in?) Do you speak kindly? Do you talk fast or slow? How do you feel once the conversation has ended?
This practice is used to focus the attention with the purpose of observing in a nonjudgmental way. Stay open and kind to yourself in the spirit of exploration and compassion. This may be the first time you have ever had an opportunity to learn about your Self. Your brain will observe and evaluate, notice these observations and evaluations as they happen. Live through and feel your emotional discoveries by inviting curiosity and opening your heart and mind. This is when you are most likely to learn about your internal world.

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Tips on Cleaning Out Your Closets. Sometimes You Need To Let Things Go.

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Tips on cleaning out your closets.

Cleaning and organizing your closets can be exciting, relieving and stressful.

Do you spend time each morning rummaging through your closets?

Be prepared cleaning out your closet can be an emotional process. Some people have an attachment to clothing. Remember if the clothing makes you feel bad or guilty get rid of it. Remember we have closets all throughout our house. That hallway closet, the extra room, the upstairs and the pantry.

If it’s clothing try on everything. Look in the mirror. Breathe and look again. If you love it, keep it, if you don’t then get rid of it. This can help clean up your life. If you need more space don’t move to a bigger house, own less stuff. Are you ready to make a plan?

Tips on Cleaning out your closet.

  1. Make a date.

Set a goal to get organized and mark it on your calendar.

  1. Set up your favorite music.

Find your happy songs on your playlist.

  1. Take everything out of your closet and put it on your bed. This may seem overwhelming, but try to see the end goal of organization. If this is a pantry put the items on the table.
  2. Try on the clothing if it doesn’t fit it get rid of it. This step takes the longest but is necessary for you to see how much clothing you do not need. Look in the mirror. Breathe. If you are cleaning the hallway or the laundry room. Ask yourself do I really need this item.
  3. Ask yourself have I worn this clothing in the past 6 months. If you don’t reach for this item to wear what makes you think you might wear it again. Have I used this item in the past several months or is it just taking up space?
  4. Is this item in style? Ask yourself if you would buy this item today on a shopping trip?
  5. Do I feel good when I wear this item? Does this item make me confident?
  6. Put items into categories  Sell, Donate , Trash. Miscellaneous items count too. Test is this useful?
  7. Take a break. Breathe. Let it go. Inhale. Exhale. Drink some water and eat a snack.
  8. Organize your closet the way it makes sense to you. Do you need shelves? Do you need a shoe holder? Do you need bins? Think about what kind of hangers you want? How much storage do you need for seasonal items?
  9. Check with your local charity to donate your items. They are often non profits and will give you a tax donation letter. Or call your friends and family to sort through if they might. Organizing your stuff can bring new energy to this space.
  10. Throw out the trash or recycle and repurpose. Old T-shirts make great rags.
  11. Have a garage sale or sell online local facebook groups are great for this. Make money to save for your favorite things. A local overnight trip or a date with your loved one. 464428-get-organized-tech-that-pays-you-to-clean-out-your-closet
  12. Be mindful and reflect on decluttering your life. Letting go is a process.
  13. This may be an emotional process be prepared.

Remember be thankful for what you have and remind yourself it is enough. Enjoy the new energy of your new space. You can start your day with a positive feeling.

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Shop EasyClosets Online

Learn how to design a beautiful reach-in closet with EasyClosets
5% off EasyClosets + Free Shipping with code CLOSETS165

These items have great reviews on amazon.

Full Disclosure Amazon & EasyCloset are affiliate links.

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Review Shark Navigator Deluxe NV42

We put off buying a new vacuum long enough. We have always bought Eureka products. We had been reading reviews on this product and others. We finally made the leap to purchase this vacuum after long discussions on our needs.

This vacuum was shipped to our house.

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Taking it out of the box and putting it together was simple. It has a few attachments. The only thing I don’t like is that the cord is not retractable.

We have tile and carpet. The vacuum glides smoothly across all surfaces.

It is bagless,  lightweight and easy to maneuver.  You press a button to remove the bin. The motorized brush can be turned off and on providing the best clean up on tile and carpet. The vacuum weighs about twenty pounds.  We have four pets. Three dogs and one cat.This vacuum exceeds my expectation on hair collecting.

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One of the best things about this appliance is that is is super easy to handle and the filter remove easily.  The noise level is low. One of my dogs is scared of the vacuum and she does not even bark at this one.  The price was reasonable. I highly recommend this product. I have never been happier with a vacuum.

The NV42 features a large 3 quart dirt cup, almost twice as large as the original navigator so you can use this to clean large areas without the need to empty the dirt bin often.

There are two filters that need cleaning.

The primary filter is located right below the dirt cup and a secondary filter is located on the front (right below the shark logo)

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Shark did not sponsor this review in anyway. 

Shark states this vacuum never loses suction. Boy are they right. This thing ready does a good job. I never knew how dirty my house was until I purchased this vacuum. I noticed after a few weeks of having this vacuum my allergies were better. I was not sneezing or coughing as much. If you would like to purchase this Shark Navigator Deluxe please click the links below. Amazon has a reasonable price for this machine.  Pricing is between 119.99 -179.99

Features:

  • Never Loses Suction
  • Lightweight and Maneuverable
  • Superior Carpet & Bare Floor Cleaning
  • Premium Pet Hair Cleaning Tools
  • 25′ Power Cord
  • Never Loses Suction Technology
  • XL Capacity Bottom Empty Bagless Dust Cup

 

Full Disclosure Amazon is an affiliate link

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Review Green Kid Crafts

Green Kid Crafts is a monthly subscription for children ages 3-10 that focuses on eco-consciousness, science, and creativity. Crafting with my grandchildren is fun, but if they can learn about science at the same time, that’s excellent!

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The Cost: $19.95 a month

The Products: 3-4 activity kits centered around a theme each month.

Ships to: US and Canada (Canada is $8 shipping)

Every month a child will receive a new learning theme, with all earth friendly materials needed

to complete up to 8 different. This makes a great gift package for those grandchildren that are out of state or homeschooling.

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Our family tried the sample. The youngest had to have a lot of help with his project. We had a great time exploring and bonding. Our project was based on science. Green Kid Crafts did not sponsor this review in any way.

We sat at the kitchen table and opened the box. The boys were excited to be crafting. We did two of the three projects. I managed fine. They were very curious and asked questions about the project. Clean up was simple.

All the supplies needed were in the box. My review of Green Kids Crafts is that is great for everyone. The projects were easy to complete and were art/learning based.

This would be great for birthday,  homeschooling, or a holiday gift. When I looked on their website. I was pleased to discover that you can add a sibling for $10 or less each month, giving you enough activities to share among siblings. 

You can try it one time or set up a subscription.

Choose your plan. Receive your package. Create and Learn.

The projects are set up to be hands on. They are based on technology, art, math, and engineering. Every month is a new surprise and all the crafts are projects kids and parents love! Included are all the materials needed to complete an eco friendly craft. Projects are composed of non-toxic, natural, and sustainable supplies. Each project is designed and made by hand.

 

Fun, creative and earth-friendly craft projects, delivered each month by GreenKidCrafts

How does a monthly Green Kid Crafts subscription work?

Just sign up and a box full of fun and learning will arrive at your door each month. You will be billed at the same time each month and can cancel at any time.

What will my kids learn with their Discovery Box?

Developed by teachers, crafty moms and STEAM experts (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) to support key developmental skills for kids ages 3-10, each Discovery Box celebrates creativity with craft projects and activates thinking, questioning, inquiring, and original creation children are guided through fun science experiments. Every Discovery Box is designed by our experts to encourage children’s healthy development and learning

When can I expect my first  box?

  • Non-subscription orders will be shipped within 3-4 business days from California via USPS.
  • New subscription orders are sent out twice a month, based on the order date. Orders received between the 4th and the 17th (inclusive) are charged right away and the first box is sent out around the 20th of the month. Orders received between the 18th and the 3rd (inclusive) are charged on the 4th  and the first box is sent out by the 15th of the month.
  • Subsequent monthly subscriptions and gift subscription are shipped by the 15th of every month with an estimated 5-10 business days for delivery.

 Full disclosure here: Green Kid Crafts links are affiliate links.

 

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The Tree of Happiness Book Giveaway on Goodreads

Enter to win one of five signed copies of my book The Tree of Happiness. These are times of struggle in our nation. I want to give back to my community.

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Enter for a chance to win The Tree of Happiness.

This book giveaway is open to members in the following countries: US.

Entry period begins on Sep 11, 2016 and ends on Dec 07, 2016

The author or publisher listing the giveaway is the sponsor, and if you win, they will receive your shipping address and they are responsible for shipping you the book. Goodreads is not a sponsor of the giveaway.

This book offers personal stories. I hope it inspires others to find their purpose and expand their potential. This book highlights the fundamental strategies for a successful recovery. There are tools for the reader. Mental illness can strike anyone. It knows no age limits, economic status, race, creed, or color. The Tree of Happiness unites human spirit and the mental health crisis in our country today. It uncovers the secret that mental disorders can be treated, managed and recovery is possible. The book examines the stigma and discrimination faced by many Americans today. 

These stages are identified in The Tree of Happiness.

  • Part 1: The Suffering

Find comfort that they are not alone. We all experienced setbacks, failures, and hardships. Take time to share your story. Statistics show one in five Americans struggle with some kind of mental health issues. The best news is ninety percent are treatable. Mental illness can strike anyone. It knows no age limit, economic status, race, creed, or color.

  • Part 2: The Recovery Plan

I am happy to tell you there are ways to manage and maintain a healthier lifestyle. There are several reasons for beginning a life change. This is the time for preparation. You are supporting someone to make healthy choices. Improves understanding of different struggles, and inspires to do better and be accountable. It builds relationships and trust. Unearth the freedom from stigma and prejudice. Introduce the plan of Sleep, Nutrition, Activity and People (S.N.AP.)

  • Part 3: The Healing

When we are living our lives with mental illness the road may not be easy however we can find a way to thrive by planning ahead. Mental illness can’t be cured however it can be managed. Make a Wellness plan. Put your plan into action. It is that simple.  Every day is a different opportunity for choices. Life presents us with new challenges every day. Now that you are a beautiful butterfly, begin to see your reflection. Begin to see your transformation. Begin a gratitude journal. You might find you are part of something bigger than yourself. Count your achievements and repeat them to friends and family.

  • Part 4: The Impact

People don’t often look sick. Some individuals hide behind closed doors and use alcohol and drugs to medicate the disorder. This is why it’s often called the invisible disease. We can impact others by sharing our stories.  Every day is an opportunity to share. You see everyone has a story. If you just take the time to listen, share, and be supportive.

 

If you can’t wait and you would like to purchase a book now. There are three ways: Kindle, Paperback or Hardback. Click here for amazon. You can also read inside for the first chapter.

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Tree of Happiness by Cynthia Stevison

The Tree of Happiness

by Cynthia Stevison

Giveaway ends December 07, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

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Why I Blog.

I am happy to announce I have been chosen to be blogger of the month by Oklahoma Women Bloggers.

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http://www.oklahomawomenbloggers.com/

Click here to connect with them.

The MISSION of Oklahoma Women Bloggers:

To be an Oklahoma-based blogger community dedicated to growing women by gathering them into a common space with common objectives and by connecting and empowering them for the greater good.

The VISION of Oklahoma Women Bloggers:

  • Gather: provide a gathering place, a sense of community and sisterhood and connections that yield results.
  • Grow: offer education, tools, resources and connections delivered in a balanced manner to allow every woman to grow her blog and her voice.
  • Connect: supply opportunities, professional connections, platforms and networking to help our bloggers build their personal brands.

By joining Oklahoma Women Bloggers, you help us to increase our connection power with individuals and companies around the state of Oklahoma. This enables us to connect you to cool deals and opportunities. Joining will also help you to become connected with like-minded women and bloggers in your region and the entire state. We will be planning meetups, get-togethers, conferences and lots of fun activities. By joining, you are also eligible to guest post for us which can help drive more traffic to your own blog. Oklahoma Women Bloggers is a place for you to Gather, Grow and Connect!

 

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Mercury Retrograde August 30 to September 22

Mercury Retrograde

We are all influenced when Mercury is in retrograde.

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What DOES this mean? Sometimes the other planets appear to be traveling backward through the zodiac; this is an illusion. We call this illusion retrograde motion.

Several times a year, it appears as if Mercury is going backwards. This time was traditionally associated with confusions, delay, and frustration.

Perhaps Mercury’s retrograde periods can cause our plans to go awry. However, this is an excellent time to reflect on the past. Intuition is high during these periods, and coincidences can be extraordinary.

What to Do When Mercury is Retrograde

The planet Mercury rules communication, travel, contracts, automobiles, and such. So,when Mercury is retrograde, remain flexible, allow time for extra travel, and avoid signing contracts. Review projects and plans at these times, but wait until Mercury is direct again to make any final decisions.

About a week or two before Mercury retrogrades, finish any tasks or projects at hand. You can’t stop your life, but plan ahead, have back-up plans, and be prepared for angrier people and miscommunication.

Some people blame Mercury retrograde for “bad” things that happen in their lives. Instead, take this time to sit back and review where you put your energy in your life. For example, if family and faith are important to you, are you putting your energies there or just overextended in other areas? Take a moment to reflect.

2016 Mercury Retrograde Dates

  • August 30 to September 22
  • December 19 to 31

Mercury and You

The type of influence depends on which of the 12 zodiac signs the planet is in when Mercury goes retrograde. Find your sign in the chart below.

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7  Keys to a smooth Mercury Retrograde.

  1. Avoid signing major contracts, leases, marriage certificates.
  2. Avoid making major purchases.
  3. Avoid getting haircuts.
  4. Avoid heated debates
  5. Do buy travel insurance extended warranties
  6. Do start a diet or exercise
  7. Do clear out your closets.

Here is a link to the Framer’s Almanac.

 

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Home Remedies For a Cold

You can get a cold year round. There are more than 200 different strains of “cold” viruses, mainly made up of rhinoviruses. The average adult in the US will get 2-4 colds per year. The average child will get 6-8. These types of viruses usually are associated with mild symptoms. Up to 25% of infected people won’t show any symptoms at all.

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When a cold strikes, you may have symptoms like:

Scratchy or sore throat
Sneezing
Stuffy nose
Watery eyes
Mucus draining from your nose into your throat

More severe symptoms, such as high fever or muscle aches, may be a sign that you have the flu rather than a cold.

Steps to protect yourself.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Stay away from people who are sick

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Prevent spreading your cold.

  • Avoid close contact with others, such as hugging, kissing, or shaking hands
  • Move away from people before coughing or sneezing
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue then throw it away, or cough and sneeze into your upper shirt sleeve, completely covering your mouth and nose
  • Wash your hands after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose

How to feel better with Home Remedies.

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Sore Throat use this recipe.

  • Mix hot water with 2 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons apple vinegar, some cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Mix well and drink

Cough , Cold, Flu try this.

  • 3 teaspoons of lemon juice, 3 teaspoons of Ginger powder, 3 teaspoons of Turmeric power, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/4 cup of honey. Mix well store in cool place. Take one teaspoon in the morning and 1 teaspoon at night for a week

BRAT natural Remedies for the stomach bug.

  • Bananna
  • Rice
  • Apple
  • Toast

Constipation use these.

  • Prune juice
  • Honey
  • Spinach
  • Olive oil
  • Apple cider Vinegar

There is no cure for a cold. To feel better, you should get lots of rest and drink plenty of fluids. Drink as much water as possible. Talk to your doctor before giving your child nonprescription cold medicines, since some medicines contain ingredients that are not recommended for children.

Also try these :

  • Chicken Soup.
  • Echinacea.
  • Vitamin C.
  • Gargling with salt water reduces and loosens mucus, which contains bacteria and allergens.
  • Vapor rub

Being sick, even when you’re home in bed, isn’t fun. The combination of body aches, fever, chills, and nasal congestion can be enough to make anyone miserable. I hope you and your family fast recoveries this cold season.