How To Cure the Common Cold Fast

Tips From My Facebook Friends

by: Erica Ehm

How To Cure the Common Cold Fast

Everyone needs to know how to cure the common cold, right?

Yesterday I felt it coming. Itchy throat, tight chest and headache. The dreaded end-of-summer cold. There's no way I have time to get sick. Does anyone? So I downed a bunch of Cold-FX pills with a glass of watered down EmergenC. But I wasn't taking any chances. I asked my knowledgeable friends on Facebook about what else I could do to prevent a cold.

I was blown away by their answers and wanted to share them with you. So the next time you feel a cold coming on – here are close to 20 ways to cure a cold fast.

Then I asked my Twitter followers for advice and here's what they recommended to cure a cold fast.

But don't take it from me. Here's what Dr. Kim recommends to prevent colds naturally.

And don't forget this good old-fashioned immune-boosting chicken soup recipe that's been proven to cure the cold. 



How to Drive 2115 kms With Kids

To Orlando in an Orlando

by: Erica Ehm

How to Drive 2115 kms With Kids

Clearly I didn't read the invitation properly. "Would I like to spend a week test driving a Chevy Orlando Crossover in Orlando with my family?" Sure - kids were finished camp, I had caught up on my work, let's go to Florida!

I guess I missed the fine print which said something about driving the entire distance from Toronto to Florida in the car - without a DVD player or Navi. By the time I figured out the amount of time I would be forcing my kids to endure in the back seat of a car, I had already agreed to the trip.

Here's the itinerary Adria at GM had put together for us:

Day One - 8.5 hours to Sutton, Virginia
Day Two - 10.5 hours to Savannah, Georgia
Day Three - 5 hours to Orlando.
Day and a half - having fun in Orlando. Fly home.

We left the house at 8am on Monday morning. We were supposed to leave by 7 but we had to get all wired up. Here's what we brought:

1 loaner iPad for my son with a bunch of rented movies

1 loaner iPad for my daughter with a bunch of different rented movies

1 iPad for me with my book Invisible Bridge

1 laptop for me to work

1 laptop for hubby to work

1 iphone for me

1 iphone for hubby

2 headphones for the kids' iPads

1 MiFi for US roaming (a loaner from GM)

1 mobile multiport power charger

5 charging/connecting wires

And we're off. You may be rolling your eyes at the insane amount of technology we took with us, but let me assure you, it helped us survive the ride. The kids were in movie heaven taking in film after film.

Here's what they watched: Oliver, Soul Surfer (three times), Annie (three times), Princess Diary 1, Princess Diary 2, The Sandlot, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Second Hand Lions, Wizard of Oz, Parent Trap (the original), Goonies (twice).

After a couple of movies, the kids turned off the iPads for a bit of charging and read their books. (We also found a charging usb hidden underneath the radio console so we could charge 2 iPads simultaneously).This was the only time we heard the occasional whine from our intrepid back seat travellers.

We tried to time our rest stops with our pit stops - fuelling up when we peed. And every time we stopped, I made the kids do crazy things like calisthenics and run races to burn a bit of energy. We also ate in the car rather than waste time lounging in restaurants.

Gotta say we were a well oiled machine. The first night we stayed at the Cafe Cimino Country Inn in Sutton, West Virginia where we met up with all the other families on the same crazy test drive as us. No rest for the tired. We were up at the crack of dawn for Day Two of our marathon drive. Did I mention I'm not a morning person?

As we headed for Savannah and another crazy long day of driving, my husband refused to give up the driver's seat. He says it's because the car was surprisingly easy to drive. And I quote, "I feel like I could drive all the way to Alaska. I could close my eyes and feel like I'm driving something sportier than the minivan."

I think he refused to let me drive because of our rule that the person driving gets to pick the station we listen to on XM Radio. Music from The Bridge, The Bruce Springsteen channel and The Spectrum kept us rocking the whole way.

As we cut through the gorgeous mountains of Virginia, Born to Be Wild blasted through the speakers.

While Terry drove, I read my book on my iPad, while switching to Google Maps to watch our progress. I took my job as navigator seriously. I mean really - I didn't want to have to go a mile out of our way if at all possible.

I couldn't believe how patient the kids were back there in the Orlando. The combination of movies, books (ok...and a bunch of junk food) and they were good to go.

When we arrived in Savannah at 4:30 that afternoon, it was super hot. We jumped in the Avia Hotel's pool, showered and had dinner at Paula Dean's restaurant (which was deep fry hell). We didn't have time to explore the city that night, so on Wednesday morning we drove through the old historic town. We saw the mansion where they filmed part of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and visited the third oldest synagogue in America.

With Starbucks in hand, we hit the road headed for the 195 South to Orlando. Only problem was headed in the wrong direction and only discovered our mistake after I checked in with Google Maps. This miscalculation added three hours onto our five hour drive. Frustrated, my husband stepped on the gas to make up for lost time.

Wham! A policeman nabbed him on the highway going 20 miles over the speed limit. We had to follow the cop 10 miles off the interstate to the station where my husband was presented with a $700 bill which had to be paid in cash on the spot. Not sure if this is even legal, but what the heck were we supposed to do? Sounds of Deliverance played in our heads. We had to get to a bank to withdraw the cash. While the coppers held my hubby's licence, I finally got to drive.

An hour later we were back on the road heading for the Sunshine State - four hours behind schedule. I stayed behind the wheel - and tried to keep the car to just above the speed limit, but that darn crossover was surprisingly zippy!

As we approached Orlando with no directions to our final destination, we finally got smart and called OnStar. What an awesome service. We gave the OnStar lady our address and she downloaded step by step directions into our radio. If only we had known about that service before, it would have made our trip waaaay easier.

So, was the drive worth it? Hell, ya! The Chevy Orlando was surprisingly fun to drive, not to mention comfortable, we spent lots of time with our kids in close quarters and we had a blast in Orlando for a couple of days.


A Rock Show Saved Me Money

My Journey to Redemption

by: Erica Ehm

A Rock Show Saved Me Money

I love how a couple of disparate events come together to make something useful happen - like how going to see the band Journey helped me save $502 on my Christmas vacation.

I'm in the process of planning our family holiday for the winter break. It's kind of mind blowing how expensive it is to travel at that time! But, it's the only time the kids aren't in school and my business is in slow mode. I suck it up and fork it out.

As fate would have it, last week I was a guest of American Express at their first year anniversary celebration for their Amex Gold Card. The invite included tickets to see 80's rockers Journey live in concert - a fun chance to check out Arnel Pineda, the hot new leader singer of the band (who was discovered on YouTube).

So I made it a date night with hubby and took my mom along for her first every rock concert!

During the pre-show dinner, there was discussion about Gold Card point redemption. I already know the in's and out's of this card. I even wrote a blog about how I knocked $650 off the cost of our flights to our trip to Cayman Islands with my points. But this dinner reminded me I can still redeem my points retroactively on that same trip.

So, yesterday, I called up Amex to see how many points I've accumulated. I'm proud to say I've chalked up 50,200 points. In less than 5 minutes on the phone with an Amex rep I was credited $502 towards my last year's flights. If I play my cards right, that should cover one of our flights for this holiday vacation.

So, thank you Amex for inviting me to your rock'n roll party and for reminding me to cash in my points. You help make me the rewards whore I'm proud to be.

*This blog was NOT sponsored by Amex. I just like the program. Check out how I sent my sister to China to pick up her baby using points.