Yup, I just hit you with an egg pun. Watch out for those this time of year. Anyway, we really were excited (there, I resisted it that time) to discover an adorable and very Easter appropriate display of nature that’s actually been living in one of our former DIY projects. Can you tell what’s going on in this picture?
Yes, that’s a nest with two adorable eggs in it. And guess where that nest is located? Why it’s in one of our homemade porch lanterns (learn how we turned cheap bulb covers from Home Depot into sweet candle-lit porch decor right here).
Mr and Mrs Bird just built it right on top of the candle that’s inside of the middle lantern. Isn’t that cute? Even the UPS lady stopped to check it out.
And on the subject of eggs, we wanted to link back to this oldie-but-a-goodie post about all natural egg dying. It could be a fun project to take on this Easter weekend. Speaking of this weekend, we’re set to have a few lovely 80 degree days here in Richmond and we’re oh so happy to welcome the warmer weather after what seemed like a never-ending winter (something about being due in the spring had us jonesing for sunny skies even in October). We hope wherever you are that you’re having some great weather and enjoying whatever your yard has to offer. Ours has been serving up some pretty buds on nearly every tree in sight:
And some sweet blooms on a few of the bushes that surround our house:
Which means my allergies are back with a vengeance. Does anyone have any all natural allergy cures to share? I’ve tried the whole local honey thing along with the Neti Pot with limited success and I have a good air purifier (and am sure to drink lots of water) but I’m still pretty sniffly these days. Oh well, the spring scenery makes it all worth it.
So there you have one egg-tastic discovery and some exterior photos to keep you up to date with the nature situation here at Casa Petersik. Do you guys have any funny bird’s nest locations to share (last year we found one in John’s bike helmet in the garage)? Have any of you been snapping photos of blooms, buds or any other outside eye candy? Do tell.
Aw! That is so cute! When I was growing up, a robin laid eggs in the tiny little window above our front door. It was so cool to see them hatch and grow up!!
I have horrible allergies too…Plus I’m just getting over a cold. I made a vow to not take allergy meds this year, because last year I found out that a lot of them cause and exacerbate depression, anxiety, nightmares, paranoia, etc. If you google claritin and depression, some of the things you find are scary! And I know they’re true because I found myself being uncharacteristically nasty to my sweet fiance, and then also just sad and moody as well.
I was researching allergy stuff this morning because I’m trying to get over a cold, be allergy free, AND I’m supposed to be at an outdoor bbq tomorrow…So on my lunch here in a few min, I’m headed to the vitamin shoppe to try quercetin with bromelain.
I am all about being all natural these days and hope this is going to help me out A LOT. The reviews on WebMD were really positive.
I don’t know how it would be for someone prego though…so good luck!!!
Sherry, have you tried the neti pot? I’ve heard good things about that. Also, Xlear helps my son’s allergies – it’s a saline nasal spray with xylitol in it. You could Google it to find out more.
I don’t know if I did something wrong when I put my comment in?? ooops!! I guess I’ll wait and see if it pops up and then try again??
Such a sweet bird nest with eggs. Once (actually twice!) I had a hummingbird build a nest on top of my roadrunner windchime. You can imagine how tiny a hummingbird nest is and the eggs are so itty bitty!
Netty Pot!! I use it x2 daily and let me tell you, after years of being skeptical, I wish I wasn’t so stubborn! This has really helped me with allergies, sinus infections and migraines! Good luck!
Hey Heather and Ericka,
I actually own and use a Neti Pot quite frequently during allergy season but sadly once I get a full blown allergy attack going on nothing can make breathing out of my nose a possibility. In fact I’ve had the Neti Pot just straight up refuse to flow because I’m 100% blocked. Sad but true. Oh well, maybe this year will somehow be better. Fingers crossed…
Okay…I can’t figure out what I did to my other comment, but I wanted to say that I have been reading alot about a supplement called Quercetin, which has valuable antioxidant properties and is a natural treatment for allergies. The reviews of it on webMD seem really promising. I am headed out to pick some up on my lunch break here in a few.
I mostly swore off regular antihistamines because of the things I experienced while taking them, and what I read that backs up what I went through. I was really moody on claritin and just plain mean sometimes to my sweet fiance. Other times I’d have nightmares or just be depressed or anxious for no reason at all. After reading up on it, I found that a lot of people experienced the same side effects.
Plus I’m really trying to be as green and natural as I can, so cutting out meds where they aren’t necessary is always good.
I do a neti pot too…but like you it doesn’t always work for me. It sometimes helps with sinus pressure, but for stuffage, it doesn’t do much.
Was hoping since we had a cold winter here in VA that it would somehow be less polleny, but I guess that was too much to ask!!
Ashley @ Mutschler Family, Dallas Edition says
I don’t know if you’d consider this natural, but I load my water with Emergen-C. I LOVE it, and I always feel a ton better after taking it. I’m super prone to allergy attacks and sinus infections so I am big on the Neti Pot.
Sherry, I feel your pain with the stuffiness, but wanted to send hope that it’ll probably get a whole lot better one your baby arrives. Your mucus membranes are on overdrive with the pregnancy, making an already stuffy time worse. I use Mentholatum constantly. It’s especially helpful at night. Hope you catch your breath soon!
Jessica @ How Sweet says
Everyone recommends the neti-pot to me, but I have yet to try it!
Re: seasonal/airborne allergies . . . I have a book called “Curing Airborne Allergies”, written by a scientist who used to work for Dow chemical. He did a longitudinal study over 17 years on himself, with his wife and children as a control group. He had serious allergies (seasonal/pollen-induced, as well as chemical fumes, etc.), and over the years, discovered that three things completely cured them:
1. Elimination of ALL caffeine (coffee, soft drinks, chocolate, everything).
2. Getting enough rest. (Including taking a nap/going to bed early if he was having an attack.)
3. Drinking enough chlorine- and flouride-free (i.e. pure) water.
Sounds simple enough, right? In our world, though, it’s not so easy. But give it a try . . . caffeine is such a strong stimulant that it’s hard to quit (although it only takes about three days of headaches and shakes, usually), and in our world, enough sleep and water is much easier on our bodies than running them at an artificial high with caffeine.
I’ve definitely found that these three things work like a charm . . . so I hope this helps, and have a GREAT Easter!
hey! i live in charleston, wv and in our eastern panhandle, there is a live web cam of a bald eagles nest – the baby just hatched a week or two ago!! you can watch it feeding the baby or just sitting around – check it out!!
Not allergy related (sorry!), but what a perfect little nest that momma bird made!
I’ve heard that you can overdue using the Neti pot, maybe your stripping your nasal passages of the stuff that needs to be there.
Sherry–there is some research that eating yogurt can help with your allergies as well as helping kids with asthma.
I have a lot of the same troubles as you, Sherry, and I use the neti pot an average of 10 times a week! When I get overly stuffed, I use a simple saline nose spray to open up the passages, and then follow with the N.P. I can’t seem to take ANY allergy medicine without getting either dizzy or extremely sleepy, so if you hear of something…please pass the info on! :) For now I’ll have to settle on carrying tissues around with me everywhere.
Feel better, Snuffleupagus. And thank you for sharing the picture of the wee little eggs in the nest. I don’t know what could be sweeter.
Lara C says
I’ve never used a Neti Pot, but NeilMed makes a very similar bottle style (Sinus Rinse) that you use by spraying the saline water up into your nose. Our doc says it works better than the pot style for some folks due to a little more pressure/volume. I love it! I know VA is a lot more humid than CO, but out here a humidifier is key to sleeping comfortably at night. I also recommend the BreatheRight strips if you have trouble breathing at night…I couldn’t live without them! I don’t know if your throat bothers you too, but there was an amazing herbal gargle rinse I received in a care package awhile back. It came in a small single-use packet (sugar packet size) and worked wonders…it’s called Simply Gargle Allergy and Hayfever. Now if only I could find it in our local stores! Hope you feel better soon…VA’s notorious for its pollen. :(
I don’t know if you have any Sprouts or Sunflowers or Whole Foods in your area but if you visit one and talk to one of their specialists they should be able to help you find some homeopathic options. My oldest son has asthma and his doctor had him on 3 different prescriptions. We were able to find some natural supplements that have eliminated the need for any of his traditional meds. I hope that helps.
Dana @ House*Tweaking says
I love that little nest photo…I wonder when they’re due? Something must be in the water at Casa Petersik. My lil’ boys and I discovered a nest in the gutter above our sunroom this week. We can see it from my older son’s bedroom window. We spent one whole morning just watching the Mama sit on her eggs while the Daddy brought her food. It was too sweet and my 5-yr-old and 2-yr-old thought it was amazing. I had to pull them away from the window! Mother Nature is pretty cool.
As for crazy allergies, I never had them until my second pregnancy. It seems they progress every season…as in get worse. The worst is the constant cough-inducing tickle in the back of my throat. I’m not sure what other natural options are available for pregnant women other than the NediPot. Sending some easy breathing thoughts your way…
My mom says apple cider vinegar but I’m not sure–the stuff tastes awful!
I’m definitely interested to see what all-natural suggestions everyone has. One little tid bit you may not know about–stuffy noses are actually worse when you’re pregnant because your body produces so much extra fluid (especially in the later part of pregnancy) that it often results in a stuffy nose for no reason at all…sooo you may have to wait for May for some “relief” ;)
That nest is too cute! I guess that means you haven’t used the lights in a while?
Also, what is a neti pot? Sounds like a drug hehe. I’m one of those people who doesn’t get allergies, so I don’t have any advice.
It’s this insane little tea kettle thing that you use to pour saline water into one nostril and flows it out the other (in hopes of flushing out allergens and clearing out your sinuses). Sure it’s gross but apparently it really works for some people. Maybe one day it’ll do the trick for me. I’m still holding onto it just in case…
My allergies are horrible as well. Here’s what’s been helping me:
Check Pollen.com to see a pollen forecast
Outside clothes stay outside the bedroom
Don’t open the windows
Avoid the outdoors in the early morning
Pillow protector – this helps a lot if you’ve also got dust mite allergies
Not-so-natural but oh-so-effective:
Flonase. Works sooooo much better than benadryl (which isn’t so great at relieving stuffy noses) You need an Rx, but it is really worth it. This has made it so that I use Flonase 1x/day instead of Benadryl 6x/day
hey sherry! how long did you do the honey and where did you get it from? my husband does it for a month starting in late february. the first week and a half are worse than with no honey-bc you are basically pumping your body full of pollen. so you have to do it for a while after that to see results. and depending on where you got it, it may have not been local “enough” ya know?
I’ve tried it for about three straight months around allergy season for the past three years (still waiting for a miracle but it’s almost like I have a reaction from the honey itself and feel worse). And of course we get it from a local honey farm (same zip code as us) and it’s 100% natural. Maybe it just works for some people and I’m extra sensitive or something.
Hi, I’m new to your blog, but have been enjoying it! For allergies, you can try probiotics. I use the acidophilus pearls with success. I’m not sure if you are pregnant, but, if you are, I would check with the doc before taking these. Also, I find green tea helps with my allergies too. Good luck to you. I know how miserable it is to live with allergies!
Cindy @ The Flipping Couple says
We were just talking about strange places for bird nests at lunch. My coworker has a pair of birds that keep building a nest in his outdoor grill! Every time he uses the grill he burns the (empty!) nest, but the next day they’ve already rebuilt it. Crazy, huh?
Laura J says
We use local bee pollen to keep our allergies at bay. Just start with a few granules (try them sprinkled onto oatmeal), then work your way up until your allergies go away.
Try Neilmed sinus rinse. It’s 100% natural and prego safe. The idea is similar to the NetiPot but with one big difference, it’s a squeeze bottle so there is positive pressure involved. They sell the kits on Amazon (link below) but you can also just buy it at Target or CVS. I have bad sinus problems and MAJOR allergies and this is WONDERFUL. It’s worth a try!
You should probably check to make sure it’s okay during pregnancy, but I take nettle capsules to help my allergies. I used to have to switch allergy meds every year or so, because the old ones would stop working, but I finally decided to get off them all together. Nettle has been great. I don’t know if cooking and eating it would have the same results as a dried capsule (probably not) but wild green pesto with nettle is absolutely delicious–just boil the nettles by themselves first, drain, and then cook with the rest of the greens (whatever you can forage up) and blend with oil, almonds, etc. It’s flexible. Also, eating raw, local honey can help with allergies, as it builds up your tolerance to local pollen. I know babies aren’t supposed to have honey, but I would think it should be fine for you to eat it. Good luck on finding a natural cure!
What an adorable nest! I love this time of year. We have have a 1950’s ranch of our own (ours needs a LOT of love). We bought it in the Winter last year and had no idea what was buried under the blanket of snow. When Spring rolled around, things got really exciting outside our house. Flowers were popping up all over the place. We found out that the previous owner was the president of her garden club! So we’re anxiously awaiting the display this year.
Allergy shots are the only things that worked for me once my allergies got bad. You have to go see an allergist and they test you and then make up your serum based on your specific allergies. And you have to commit to getting the shots once a week for about 6 months, as they increase the dosage of the allergen that your body can tolerate. After that, you just have to get a shot once a month. And I’m telling you they really work. I used to have to take Zyrtec, Nasonex and Patanol eyedrops and now I am off all meds and just get my shot once a month!
Heather M says
Last year we found a birds nest on our kitchen door threshold. The good thing is, we have a ranch home with a walk-out basement, so our kitchen door is actually 1 story off the ground, and we’re still saving to build a deck out there. So the momma bird chose a very safe place for her nest. We had a great time looking out the window and watching their progress every day.
Now I’m off to find this neti pot everyone is talking about.
I want to give my vote for the “NeilMed Sinus Rinse” as Carie noted above. It works MIRACLES!!!!! And so mush easier to use and more effective than a NetiPot. Also just uses a saline powder that you add to water so it is completely safe to use.
Try it twice a day – once in the morning and once at night.
Also use saline spray like “Ayr” during the day.
If you (or anyone else!) are really clogged up horribly, with bad sinus headaches, I’ve used a nose spray called “Astepro” a few times. It is by prescription only, but that used in conjunction with the sinus rinse (use just after the rinse) is even better. Use for just a couple of days twice daily it will really clear up everything 100%. Of course this is medicinal but if you are really suffering with a lot of head pain you might want to check with your doctor.
Thanks so much for all the allergy suggestions everyone. You guys are the best!
One more thing (sorry but conversations about allergies really get me going!)
If you have itchy burning eyes – You may want to try a antihistamine eye-drop, like Zaditor, which is over the counter. It does contain some kind of medicine, so you should check with your doctor, but it may be better for you than taking a pill like claritin – and a couple of drops give almost immediate relief that lasts about 24 hours.
The first spring my boyfriend and I spent in our previous apartment, we were very ambitious with planting up our balcony. We’d left a half-used bag of potting soil rolled up under a plastic patio chair. A few weeks later I went out to do some more planting and discovered two eggs (with one or two twigs thrown in for good measure) on top of the bag of soil. We figured out that they belonged to a couple of pigeons, and we were so excited and eager to watch our little eggs hatch. Well… let’s just say we soon learned firsthand why some people dislike pigeons so much. Our balcony was a mess! I’m talking we needed shovels to clean it up. Eew! We let the birds hatch one more set of eggs before gently removing the third set and placing it in a nearby bush. We felt pretty bad about it, but needed to reclaim (and majorly clean) our balcony. Now, if ever we see pigeons even coming near our present balcony, we are sure to chase them away. Our neighbours probably think we’re crazy!
The honey takes a long time to work. It’s pretty much a year round thing, like start eating it daily in the fall to help build up a resistance for the following spring. My dad swears by it, he claims it’s more effective than allergy shots. Unfortunately, my allergies are caused by indoor allergens, so it doesn’t work for me!
I have not heard of this local honey thing—-could you expound? I’m currently using prescription eye drops (Elestat=amazing!)and over the counter stuff but would love additional info. on natural remedies!
Just google “local honey allergies” to learn more. Basically bees are exposed to local pollen and then they make honey (which contains trace amounts of this pollen) so if you can hunt down some local honey and slowly expose yourself to a bit of it each day, you should theoretically build an immunity to the pollen (just like allergy shots). After a few years of trying this method for months on end it hasn’t worked for me as I’d hoped, but many other people have had luck with it. Hope it helps!
I’ve heard that bee pollen can do amazing things for allergies ( our local Meijer grocery store carries it). You are supposed to start taking just a few granules a day then build up to a teaspoon a day. It’s supposed to work the same way as allergy shots do- by building up your immune system against it. I know that people who are super super allergic to bee pollen could have a bad reaction though, so I wouldn’t recommend trying it while pregnant!
I love the first signs of spring…at our house, that means daffodils everywhere and a family of ducks in our pool (they come back every year!)
I just took my “flowers around the yard pics today too” :o) I love your site!
Try the Nasal Sinus Rinse instead of Neti Pot – much more effective and not as much trouble!
We had a few birds nests on our porches every year when I was growing up.
My parents would save them once the baby birds grew up and nestle them in the boughs of our Christmas tree every year.
We actually have had a bird nest on our air conditioner, which hangs over our apartment balcony, for the last two years. That isn’t exactly a funny location. However, our two cats spend hours looking at the part of the air conditioner that is inside because they think there is something inside it that they will be able to play with.
First of all, annoying as it may be, you gotta keep using the Neti Pot – even if nothing is coming out. The saline solution is getting in and working, so give it time and keep going!
Second of all, you need to call Dr. Perlman at Virginia ENT. He is the best. They have offices all over Richmond (St. Mary’s, Midlo, etc.). He treated me for my allergy/sinus problems and eventually performed surgery, and – get this – I haven’t taken allergy medication a single day of my life since the surgery! AMAZING! Have you seen him yet? I feel like I suggested this to you before, but maybe I’m imagining…
Thanks so much for all the suggestions everyone! So many good leads…
My husband is an allergy nurse (and allergy/asthma sufferer). Neti-pots and the like are good to use when you’re sick. However, new data shows they are NOT good to use every day because they wash out beneficial bacteria and can make things worse. After trying every medication under the sun, including allergy shots that did nothing, my husband is doing well under the care of a naturopath. She gives him some liquids he takes once a day, and he’s now able to breathe freely. Good luck, allergies are awful!
I feel your pain! I have had the flu and can’t get over it because of all the oak pollen here. I have had a fever for over a week now! Hope you feel better. :) By the way, my doc says nasal spray is safe during pregnancy but I would ask yours just to be safe. It provides me (little, but some) relief.
how about some aromatherapy? add some peppermint oil to your bath (or my fav, just use dr. bronners peppermint castile soap) and breathe deeply for congestion. lavender and chamomile are both good for allergy prevention. a warm washcloth with a few drops of lavender held over your nose is really nice at the end of the day. you can even rig a spoon to stand over your humidifier to diffuse the oil through the night, too. oh and dont be afraid to mix the oils, too! and if all else fails, benadryl- its safe in pregnancy.
oh yeah! and see if you have a good acupuncturist in your area. they have some tricks up their sleeves as well.
Beautiful flower! What kind is it? I’m super jealous, only bulbs are starting to bloom here in Utah (the greatest snow on earth just keeps on comin’).
We have no idea! We have a large shrub in front of our house that gets covered with those blooms every spring. Anyone recognize it?
Another vote for quercitin with bromelain! I have had great success with it (about 3 pills, 3x a day) and it is safe for pregnancy. As another reader mentioned nettles can also help and are actually an herb that my midwife is having me take anyway. It’s a great source of amino acids, calcium, iron and protein. (It can be a uterine stimulant though so start with less and if you notice any cramping, stop).
Liz B @ VSP says
During sunny allergy season, sunglasses are a great way to protect your eyes from pollen and sun alike. Even when it’s dim out, sunglasses will keep pollen from blowing into your eyes. One of our doctors recently blogged on preventing itchy allergy eyes this season, check it out – http://bit.ly/bSz7mk