first-tulip-spring Spring has supposedly arrived but I’m not buying it. We’ve had snow or hail more times than I can count over the past few weeks. It’s cold, windy and dreary. Basically, it’s been a typical Western Washington March. We have had a few days of sun, enough to encourage some of my bulbs to send out colorful pastel flowers. And enough for me to get started on some of my outdoor spring preparations.

Our first task to prepare for spring was cutting down the trees damaged by winter storms. diana-chainsaw-vertical This unfortunately led to our next, ongoing, task of dealing with all the trees and branches all over our yard!!! A more fun, ongoing outdoor project has been building a chicken coop. diana-building-chicken-coop

My dream of getting chickens allowed in our city limits has been realized, and we’d love to get some chicks this spring. Knowing how hectic our schedule can get, I decided that even though the chicks will stay indoors a few weeks, we needed to wait until our coop was actually ready to get the little babies. It’s the only way to be certain they’ll have a home when they need it.

Indoors, I’ve started over 200 seeds for my edible garden plan. More on this later but you can check out what gardening resources I’m using to get an idea of what I’m trying this year. cucumber-seedlings We’re also in the midst of exchanging exchange students! Usually after a quarter or two, they decide they’re ready to try living on their own with friends, and we happily let them out of the nest to help them grow in their independence.

It’s always a little hectic because there’s lots to do, cleaning and prepping the rooms for the new students, and of course helping them get past culture shock when they first arrive.

Spring is always full of new things going on, but unfortunately it’s also usually the time I get so overtaken by allergies I can barely function.

I saw an allergy specialist who told me that though I didn’t actually test positive for any of the 64 shots they gave me (30 pinpricks and 34 injections, I kid you not!), I’m what they call sensitive and probably have chronic sinusitis.

That basically means anything people might have allergies to (dust, mold, pollen, etc), I react to with fits of sneezing, runny nose, post nasal drip and all the other not fun allergic symptoms.

I remember his words sounded like a cell door slamming shut on my body as he said, “You’ll just have to take medication for the rest of your life.”

So every night before bed I’ve been taking a little pink pill and a little white pill to help keep me from melting into a big ball of sneeze driven goo the next day. It’s not that taking the pills is difficult or even that expensive. It’s become a part of my routine.

The problem is this just grates on the side of me that wants to live a natural and chemical free life. I’m not against medicine, but after years of childhood illnesses and health issues, my little body was so stuffed to the brim with medications that I really try to focus on healthy living now and turn to medication only when absolutely necessary.

I’ve just started exploring homeopathic remedies and was really excited when BlogHer contacted me about reviewing an allergy relief nasal mist from Similasan. I was sitting on my couch, literally surrounded by a pile of tissues because I had decided to try going off my allergy medication a few days earlier and was reaping the consequences.

“YES!!!” I shouted in a sinus pressure induced daze at their offer of a homeopathic way to relieve my allergy symptoms, then sheepishly typed a response realizing they couldn’t actually hear my answer.

When I got the little bottle of Similasan Nasal Allergy Relief, I eagerly read all about how the nasal mist stimulates the body’s natural ability to relieve symptoms associated with nasal allergies like runny, itchy noses, sneezing and congestion, acute and chronic rhinitis, post nasal drip and sinus pressure.

Then I started researching all the ingredients online and calling my pharmacist to make sure it really was chemical and preservative free (it was!). Once I decided this was really worth trying, I used a couple sprays in each side and lay down on the couch to try and catch a nap between sneezes. While I won’t pretend I immediately felt like a million bucks, I did see results pretty quickly. I wasn’t actually able to fall asleep but got a little rest and noticed within an hour that it no longer felt like a giant man was digging his thumbs into my cheekbones, oh blessed relief!

In addition to the sinus pressure reducing, my sneezing (which had been pretty much constant) was down to just one or two sneezes every few hours.

Intrigued, I decided I’d use the mist for a week before actually reviewing it. By the end of the week, my symptoms were completely manageable.

The most exciting was that my post nasal drip was no longer bothering me! I won’t go into details, but if you’ve had a post nasal drip, you know what I’m talking about here.


I used the mist twice a day for six days and absolutely felt a huge relief of my allergy symptoms. I’m going to start using the mist once a day now to see how that works, and have already checked that my local Walgreens does carry it (at an affordable price!) so I can get more whenever I need it. Now I’m starting to love spring! first-flowers-2012 Well, that’s how I’m getting ready for Spring, how about you? Let me know in the comments below for your chance to win a $100 Visa gift card!

Rules: No duplicate comments. This sweepstakes runs from 4/16/12 – 5/13/12. You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods: a) Leave a comment (see question above in bold) b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry. This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected. The Official Rules are available here. Also, check out the Similasan page on for more blogger reviews and chances to win!

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