Our mild winter means spring allergies are already tickling your nose and making your eyes itch. Open windows bringing fresh air will also bring with them spring allergens — pollens, molds, spores and more. And just like every year, I've got even more tips for battling spring allergies. First, read these ten easy ways to combat indoor allergens, and this post with some additional ideas.
These are the products that'll help you win the war against spring allergies:
I have an older model Dyson and L-O-V-E it, but this newer one is even better. It boasts a whole-machine HEPA-filter, meaning that when you're cleaning, none of the airborne allergens are blown back out into your home. It traps everything.
My son has the toddler-sized "travel" pillow, but it's what he uses in his bed at home. The pillows help keep dust mites (and therefore, their disgusting poop) at bay, and are fully washable. They're a great way to relieve nighttime allergy symptoms.
We have a rickety old air cleaner that I'm looking to replace, and given my love of Dyson products, this is the model I'll be buying. You know air quality is important, and it's even more imperative for bedrooms. Anything that could reduce snoring sounds like a no-brainer to me.
Forget chemical-laden sprays, just make this natural allergen-reducer and spray around your home to kill dust mites and reduce seasonal sneezes.
Wishing you all a sneeze-free spring!
Image Source: tinafranklindg on Flickr
I'm not exaggerating when I say this loaf is the best thing I've ever baked. It's pure loaf perfection. I've made some epic banana bread before, and I've even tossed in a few bluberries, but this? This is heaven.
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 tsp coarse salt
1/4 cup custard powder
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tbs greek yogurt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk (anything but skim)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3-4 very overripe small bananas, mashed (the browner the better!)
1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries (frozen work better for this)
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350.
In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and custard powder.
In a large bowl, combine sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, yogurt, vanilla extract, milk and butter. Mix well.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir well.
Once combined, add the bananas.
Add blueberries and stir in gently.
Pour batter into a greased loaf pan.
Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle on top of the loaf batter in the loaf pan.
Bake for approximately 1 hour, or until a wooden skewer poked into the centre comes out clean.
The custard powder in this recipe gives the loaf an extra dessert-y flavour, it's just decadent. If you remove that, and the bluberries, what you're left with is a fantastic banana bread, so try that, too!
I remember when I was about five years-old, I woke up completely unable to open my eyes. It was a terrifying Mary Ingalls-esque moment ("Pa, I can't see! I CAN'T SEE!"), and one I'll never forget. Turns out, I could see, once my mom kindly washed the crusty pus off my poor eyelids — I just pink eye. Dreaded pink eye. (And thankfully not blindness from Scarlet Fever or meningoencephalitis like poor Mary Ingalls apparently suffered.)
Pinkeye (or conjunctivitis for you fancy folks) is really common, and it can be viral or bacterial. Pinkeye is basically an infection of the thin layer over the eyeball -- the conjunctiva -- and the symptoms are red, itchy, swollen, watery eyes, with nasty yellowish discharge when things get really serious. Though it's usually a fairly minor illness, you don't want to mess around with it. Certain strains can damage eyesight, so it's always important to see your doctor to make sure you're doing the right things.
To add to its popularity, it's also VERY CONTAGIOUS, which is why it seems to travel like wildfire through daycares and classrooms. The problem is that pinkeye can be caught via indirect contact as well as direct, so it's really hard to keep others in the area from catching it. (Sounds amazing, doesn't it?)
As an infant, my daughter had pinkeye and a doctor at a walk-in clinic prescribed some antibiotic eye drops for her without so much as a sideways glance at her eye. When we saw our family doctor later that week, he said he typically doesn't bother giving antibiotics for mild cases of pinkeye, recommending instead a regime of constant cleaning and diligent hand-washing.
When my kids were older, my daughter came home and complained about an itchy eye after school one day. I examined it, it looked fine to me, but she insisted it was itchy, and she rubbed the heck out of it. Within hours, it went from itchy to watery, bright red, and very, very irritated. The next morning she had a near-Mary Ingalls fit when her eye was crusty, and I flew into action. I stockpiled all our face cloths, and using warm water, bathed her affected eye every couple hours. Both her eyes were swollen and tender to the touch, very red, and watery through the day. And, young kids being the gross little (very germ-ignorant) things they are, she generously shared it with me, her little brother and daddy, too. Let me tell you -- four people with pinkeye is a sad, disgusting sight.
We went through a LOT of face cloths, and I am pretty sure the house was never cleaner once I disinfected all the things. But we beat it without antibiotics, and (knock on wood) haven't had to deal with it ever since.
Here are five ways to stop pinkeye in its tracks: