let’s talk about ginger.

I’m sitting here sipping a delicious cup of tea/bourbon/ginger infused simple syrup, (mainly because I was feeling the tinge of a cold starting, but also because I had made a jar of the syrup last night and needed a good excuse to use it) when I started thinking about how often I turn to ginger for its healing and soothing properties.

fresh.ginger1. fresh ginger can stimulate a lax appetite. snack on a piece right before meals.

2. ginger improves the absorption of essential nutrients in the body.

3. ginger is great at clearing sinuses.

4. feeling airsick or nauseous? chew on ginger, preferably tossed in a little honey.

5. ginger helps reduce gas flare ups.

6. cramping or bloating–munch on ginger.

7. ginger, with its anti-inflammatory properties—can bring relief to joint pain flare ups. mix some ginger essential oil in a roller bottle with a carrier oil (fractionated coconut oil works great) and roll on as needed.

8. chewing ginger can help overcome nausea.Ginger.essoil

9. stir up some ginger tea to get rid of throat and nose congestion.

10. the Ayurvedic texts credit ginger with aphrodisiac properties…so try infusing ginger oil in the bedroom….

so many uses. I feel my *cold* melting away already…..




daily time out.

everyone needs a time out now and then.

I find that even though I spend a lot of time alone, I still need to place myself in some quiet isolation and just think things through. I used to “lock” myself in the bedroom as the kids were collapsing on the other side of the door for




of alone time.

it would work wonders. I’d emerge from that room (slightly) refreshed, and with a tad bit more energy to face the rest of the day.

now I take to the bath tub.

it’s a great place to unwind, calm the mind, and can also be very therapeutic.

having fibromyalgia, and chronic pain in my joints caused from the damage of hemochromatosis, sometimes the tub is the only place that gives me relief.

another benefit is that it fits right in the budget, and by simply changing up what oils I add to the water, I can adjust to my needs.


sore muscles are sore.


the beauty of the ‘at home spa therapy’ is it is so cheap.

and I love cheap.

here’s the breakdown:

.5 ounces of 365 Brand Fragrance Free Shower Gel = .09

10 drops doTerra AromaTouch Essential Oil (.10/drop) = $1.00

1/4cup Epsom Salts = .50

total cost: $1.59

not too bad for a relaxing, therapeutic, calming meditation session right there in your own bathroom.

I highly recommend this as a daily time-out. 

take care,


time for a toddy.

you know that feeling–the scratchy throat, dragging body, droopy eyes feeling. it started hitting me halfway through my shift yesterday.

when I got home, after eating a quick dinner I whipped up one of these hot toddies, piled on the blankets, and turned on the netflix.

(I think I’m due for another dose tonight)

maple bourbon ginger toddy



maple bourbon ginger toddy:

{put the kettle on}

1 shot Bulliet Rye (or bourbon of choice)

1 teaspoon Crown Maple Syrup

1 drop DoTerra Ginger Essential Oil

2 Drops DoTerra Lemon Essential Oil

combine all in a mug while heating the kettle. when water boils, fill mug with desired amount of water.

enjoy, and be well xo






sometimes things don’t go as planned.

so, alas we are moving again. moving; and moving on.

I am ready for peace, and to focus on our goals.  life this past year has been seriously crazy. I means seriously crazy; the stress landed me in the hospital the other night.


but now, I’m ready to attack the next year.


and hope it doesn’t attack back.


snack time.

I’ve been benefiting greatly from the use of essential oils lately, and sharing them with my friends and family to help them has become one of the best benefits. from helping my little nephew find a solution to his tummy aches, to the awesome sight of my brother in law inhaling peppermint oil for the first time and being able to breathe through both nostrils for the first time in years! (priceless)

using oils in cooking is something I’m just starting to experiment with, and this recipe from doTERRA we’ve made several times, in that it’s so easy and delicious. you’d never know there was no refined sugars, gluten or dairy in these tiny pops of power and flavor.

give them a try–and if you’d like to have more information on the benefits of oils for your family, feel free to contact me here with the link above.


the last morning with these two boys, in my tiny studio apartment on the Hudson River, I told them they could only watch a movie if they made my bed.

“we don’t know how to make a bed!”

figure it out, I told them. and you need to do it together, with no fighting.

it was a big bed, a king, with lots of pillows, two blankets and a quilt. they struggled for a few minutes, and then put their heads together and sure enough….they made that bed. I hope they take that lesson with them, and realize that by working together, they can face any challenge, and get things done if they stick by each other, as a team.

Imagenow, here I am in Ohio and making new beds. of the garden variety.

the plan calls for five raised beds (one for herbs, up near the house and the remaining four down near the stream will hold vegetables of all kinds)

as we planned them out; measuring, estimating, researching costs…we realized that the largest expense would be the wood to frame out the beds. finding old wood seemed like the best solution. and just as we asked for it, the Universe (or garbage day) supplied it in the form of a neighbor ridding himself of a picket fence. the pickets were the perfect, pre-cut size and add an adorable home-made re-purposed farm look to the boxes.


we ordered up some good clean dirt and got to filling our herb garden box. my nephew was in his glory. “dirt!”


planting the first plants…. 



the final boxes awaiting their dirt delivery….


and this old guy just enjoying being in the sun (and photo bombing most every shot I seemed to take)….


our team working together to get things done.


that time we packed everything we owned in my car, and got the hell out of new york.

(otherwise known as The Day We Became Minimalists Without Even Trying)packedCar


2013-14 will be the Years of Change.

I’ve moved three times in less than twelve months. from a fourth floor apartment in a building filled with dying old people (literally, dying. when we moved out we were one of only three apartments with viable human life still in them: all previous inhabitants had left feet first).

to an amazing high rise on the shores of my beautiful Lake Erie, waking up feeling like it was vacation every day (until I lost my job, and then it became a glorious prison)

and then on to the mountain top cabin in the Hudson Valley to care for two motherless boys and their lost father….which slowly turned into a prison of a whole different sort as we realized there is no helping those who won’t help themselves.

which brings us to last week. and the sudden, yet well thought out, decision to just throw the towel in on New York and seek refuge in the open arms of my sister and her house full of animals, kids and a blues singer husband.





so this will be the #summerofhealing (yes, we’ve already discussed a hashtag for it).

we’re designing an organic garden, plotting out a wildflower area and chopping firewood. and naps, lots of naps….most of them on the porch, some in the hammock.

the lesson learned from the past year (so far) is that it is time to take care of myself.

(have I said that before?)

well, this time I mean it.




All images © 2013-2019 Jeannie M. Starks / two daisies life