Fancy House Road » Welcome to my life as a mother of 2 on Fancy House Road

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Skipping the Saturday Chores

I’m one of those people who is constantly on the go. From the moment I wake up, until 30 minutes before bed, I stay busy. Since I am a working mom, I spend a lot of time outside of the office doing things for my family: cooking, shopping, cleaning, changing bed sheets, laundry… This past Saturday, instead of filling my day with grocery shopping and laundry, I took time to enjoy my children.

Jo had her best friend (Ali) and her cousin (Leo) over for a little bit. So, I pulled out a bucket of soapy water (and rags), a container of bubbles, and popcorn. Then, I stripped them down to their skives and let them go to town outside. I sat in the shade, snapped pictures of them, and laughed. It was magical.

Jo and Bubbles

Jo and Bubbles

Jo and Bubbles

Jo and Bubbles

Jo and Bubbles

Jo and Bubbles


When I look at these pictures years from now, I hope I remember their little screams and laughs (and Gwyn’s chunk).

5 Ways to Naturally Heal Ear Infections In Children

Josephine has had another ear infection this week.

Over the past 6-8 months, she has had five ear infections. Every time she gets the slightest cold, she comes down with an ear infection the following week. After the first 2 ear infections, I decided there must be a better way to treat ear infections than with antibiotics. In fact, the latest research shows that 1 in 8 ear infections (in children) are caused by viruses so antibiotics isn’t necessary. In the past, I’ve found that most of the pediatricians treating Josephine have been a little prescription happy and passed out antibiotics like they were Pez candy.

So, a few months ago I decided to change pediatricians and take Josephine into a pediatrician that utilizes natural medicine before prescribing antibiotics. When we go to her office, she sits down with me at her desk and asks very detailed questions like: Has Josephine been crying more than usual? What color is the mucus in her nose? What are her bowel movements like? Has Josephine been sleeping well? As she’s asking these questions, she observes Jo while she plays with the toys in her office. During these appointments, she spends anywhere from 30-75 minutes with Josephine and I (For reference, Josephine’s past pediatricians would spend about 5-10 minutes in the room with us).


5 Ways to Naturally Heal Ear Infections In Children

Here are five things I’ve been doing to treat Josephine’s ear infections naturally:

    1. ELIMINATE DAIRY AND SUGAR: I’ve been eliminating almost all dairy and sugar from Josephine’s diet as soon she comes down with a cold because they can increase mucus production.
    2. ALLOW CHILD TO FEVER: When Josephine comes down with a fever, I won’t give her acetaminophen or ibuprofen unless she tells me she’s in pain or if she’s uncomfortable sleeping. Fevers are the body’s natural way of fighting an illness so children need to fever a little bit. Note: I do monitor her temperature to make sure it’s not too high, I make sure she’s not acting lethargic, and I also monitor how much she’s eating/drinking.
    3. UTILIZE NATURAL MEDICINE: In an effort to build Jo’s immune system, I’ve been giving her elderberry syrup, vitamin C, and probiotics on a daily basis. When she comes down with a cold, I immediately increase her dosage of elderberry and vitamin C to help her little body fight it off.
    4. ADMINISTER EAR DROPS: When Josephine comes down with an ear infection, I’ve been soothing the pain with natural ear drops. I really like the Wish Garden Ear Oil. Arizona locals, you can find this at Sprout’s grocery store.
    5. ESSENTIAL OIL MASSAGES: I also help soothe Josephine’s ears by massaging them with essential oils. I dilute the essential oils with coconut oil and rub them on the outside of her ear as well as on her jaw/neck.  I like to use Tea Tree, Lavender, Rosemary, Thyme, Eucalyptus and Basil. I rotate through these different oils. Here is a great article that talks about massaging with oils and ear infections.

The worst part of naturally treating a child with an ear infection is waiting it out. I can confirm, with a little patience, treating them naturally works. Josephine has been able to fight off the ear infections with the aide of natural medicine.

Are there any other natural techniques you like to use?


Also, here is a great article about natural remedies for ear infections.

February 12, 2014 - 3:28 pm

Brenna - Welcome back to blogging and congrats on the new baby girl. They are both so sweet! Interesting advice about treating ear infections. My little guy is 15 months and I’ve been lucky. He’s only had two small colds. But I will definitely keep this in mind.

How did you go about finding your pediatrician that’s not prescription happy? Its so hard finding a doctor that you can feel confident in.

Glad to see you’re back to blogging!


February 20, 2014 - 12:53 am

AUDREY COOPER - You’re blogging again. Yay. I love this post.

Recipe: Simple Tomato Salad

Wow, I haven’t posted a recipe to this blog in almost a year.

As I mentioned before, Josephine and I spent some time in Spain over the summer with Spanish friends. Luckily for me, while I was in Spain we ate almost all of our meals at home, so this saved me a ton of money (home = Jo’s Spanish Abuela’s casa.). I learned that Spanish people love to cook simple food. Most of their food has potatoes, pasta or rice in it and it is almost always served with a fresh loaf of bread from the neighborhood market. Since Spanish people go to the grocery store every day, and buy what they need for that day’s meals, they don’t waste much food. I feel like I struggle with this on a weekly basis. I’m constantly throwing out produce, meat, bread, and cheese that has gone bad. Recently, I’ve been trying to be better at this. So I’ve been writing out my meal plans and sticking to them. This way I don’t buy anything I’m not going to get around to eating before it decays.

One night in Spain, my friends made us Tortillas de Patatas (this is a traditional Spanish potato and egg dish). They served it with bread, garlic aioli and a simple tomato salad. This is one of the meals I remember most from this trip. I don’t know if it is because of how delicious the food was, or if it is because of the beautiful night sky we sat out under, or if it is because I was there with people I love and admire. I just know, this meal has stuck out in my mind and I hope I never forget this evening.

Since I’ve been home from Spain, I have filled my life with more tomato salads (I think it’s because it reminds me of being there). I love to put my tomato salads on top of chicken, pasta or even bread. Last Sunday, I whipped one up and took it to my Mom’s house for family dinner.

Simple Tomato SaladSimple Tomato SaladSimple Tomato Salad

 Here’s the recipe. I don’t really measure what I toss into my tomato salads, so I’ll try my best to give you good directions.


  • 3-4 cups cherry, grape or mini heirloom tomatoes (for this salad I mixed grape and mini heirloom tomatoes)
  • 1/4 of a white onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 1-2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-2 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon red whine vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


Mix ingredients in a bowl. Let ingredients sit in the fridge for a few hours (stirring occasionally). This step is important. The salad needs to sit for a few hours so the flavors can infuse into the tomato. Serve over chicken, pasta, bread, or eat it by itself.


Someday I’ll post pics from our trip to Spain.


Jo turns 2


And just like that, Jo is two year old. Last weekend we had a small family celebration at our house. She’s finally at that age where she’s starting to understand what birthdays are, so it made celebrating her birthday much more fun. Josephine happened to be sleeping when the party started. Eventually we woke her up and she kicked in to full steam party mode. She wouldn’t even let me do her post-nap hair (Aunt Keighley has been referring to her hair-do in this photos as Brigham Young hair. Ha!)


Right now, Josephine’s favorite character is Elmo and she put a special request in for Elmo cupcakes. Luckily, Grandma and Aunt Poo (Kiersten) pitched in to make her Elmo cupcake fantasy come true. I think they turned out amazing. They used a box of Strawberry cake mix, oreo cookies for his mouth, peanut m&m’s for his nose, and marshmallows and candy eyes for his eyes.

Easy Elmo Cupcakes

Now that I’m reflecting back on her party, I wish I would have snapped more pictures of Josephine by herself. Next time, right?