6 Home Remedies for Bug Bites

Help! A mosquito bit my arm. Twice! And the red bumps left behind itch like the dickens! What to do? Here are some home remedies for bug bites.

1. Baking soda – Mix a bit of baking soda with water and coat the bite. Sodium bicarbonate will relieve itching. (I have some smeared on my bites right now!)

2. Toothpaste – Yes, toothpaste! Most brands of toothpaste contain menthol which alleviates itch and swelling. Toothpaste also contains astringent ingredients that draw out fluid from beneath the skin which helps with swelling.

3. Basil – Mince up some fresh basil and rub it on the mosquito bites. Basil contains eugenol which relieves itchy skin. Don’t have fresh basil? Simmer some dried basil in water (as if you were making tea). Let the basil water cool, and then dip a cloth in the water and apply to the bites.

4. Ice – Apply ice to the bites to help relieve itching and swelling. Only apply ice for about 10 minutes at a time. And never fall asleep with ice on your skin.

5. Garlic – There are compounds in garlic that relieve itching and swelling. Place a slice of garlic and put it on the bite. This might not be the best remedy to use with children as garlic can sting.

6. Aloe – Keep a bottle of aloe vera gel in your fridge. The gel will cool and help heal red, itchy skin.

Did you know you can make your own mosquito repellent? It’s easy!

Insect Repellent

2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoon rubbing alcohol
2 Tablespoon water
25 drops citronella oil
25 drops eucalyptus oil
40 drops peppermint oil

Pour all ingredients into a small spray bottle and shake. Make sure you shake before each application.

What’s your best home remedy for bug bites?

A Reason To Believe is now available! #Kindle #Nook @Kobo @iBooks Google

New Release! A Family Forever, Book 3

Ready For A Real Fairy Tale?

It seems like a grand idea, temporarily trading her pixie wings for a womanly form to help handsome widower Paul Roland with his baby girl. And the moment she holds the precious bairn in her arms, Fern knows true happiness for the first time.

But Fern never anticipates the dizzying emotions she feels for the man who not only needs her as a nanny, but as a woman whose passion can heal his wounded heart. Suddenly the forbidden fairy rule she gently bends because of the baby is in danger of being irrevocably broken.

Some things are meant to be…

Find this New Release:

US Kindle        UK Kindle

Also in paperback

Many people say family is everything. There is nothing more beautiful than two people coming together for the sake of a child, finding love, and forming A Family Forever. Look for other titles in the series:

A Reason to Believe

Texas Charm by @JeanBrashear ~ Never Forever by @EricGDove

My friend and colleague, Jean Brashear, is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author. The newest book in her much-loved Sweetgrass Springs series, TEXAS CHARM, is now available. She had quite an experience with this book and I invited her to here to tell you about it. Take it away, Jean.
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I've had the most fun adventure! I had a crazy idea and thanks to the kindness of the very talented narrator of my Texas Heroes audiobooks, Eric Dove, it's become a reality.

My newest book, TEXAS CHARM, has a hero who's a country superstar and who has made cameo appearances in several of my books. Well, it just so happens that the very talented narrator of my Texas Heroes audiobooks, Eric Dove, is also a gifted country singer himself. He's been a songwriter in Nashville and opened for acts such as Jason Aldean, Sugarland, Little Big Town and Josh Turner.

So I had this crazy idea: wonder if Eric would consider writing a song for Walker and would he sing it in the audiobook version of the story?

TEXAS CHARM centers around Jeanette Carson, who has been a fixture as a waitress in Ruby’s CafĂ© ever since high school, and Walker Roundtree, country music’s brightest star, known by all for his laid-back charm and irresistible appeal to the opposite sex. Ever since his first visit to Sweetgrass Springs, there have been verbal fireworks between him and Jeanette as she proved to be the only woman immune to his charm.

Now their paths have crossed in the outside world, and they’re seeing each other in a new light. Fireworks of a very different sort are sparking the sky—but then Walker’s world is upended by a tragedy, and the only one who steps in to help him is the very woman who swore never to put herself at his mercy. For a few days, they have only each other to rely upon, and these two lonely hearts find refuge in each other.

But all too soon, the real world demands its due, and their refuge is no longer private. The days of dreaming, the nights of yearning and hope face the harsh light of reality, and the only question is: Whose heart will be the one to break?

To my great delight, Eric was intrigued and took on the challenge—and boy, did he deliver! I wanted the song to reflect the poignancy of two hearts from opposite worlds drawn together, knowing they cannot have a future.

The result is Never Forever, Track 6 on Eric's newest album, All Kinds of Reckless, available on iTunes, Amazon and CDbaby. When I wrote the scene in which Walker sings Never Forever to Jeanette during a concert, I got teary. I'm now every bit as moved hearing the song that accompanies it. I am deeply grateful to Eric for giving the yearning of these two hearts such a gorgeous melody, and I am tickled pink to be able to share it with readers—especially those who've waited so long for Jeanette to have her story!

Here's the YouTube video trailer for TEXAS CHARM that has a sample of Never Forever as its sound track:

To order the book, TEXAS CHARM:

US Kindle        UK Kindle

Also available in paperback    

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Donna here again. Jean, thank you for sharing your unforgettable experience. I can't wait to read TEXAS CHARM, and I hope all my blog followers will check out the whole Sweetgrass Springs Series.

White Bean Spread with Pita Chips #Recipe #Foodies

Beans are cheap. And they’re an excellent source of protein. Beans are full of good, healthy things: complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. Furthermore, research shows that people who eat beans live longer than those who do not. This white bean spread is delicious and filling. And there’s something about the textures—creamy spread on crisp pita—that is so satisfying. I almost always have a bowl of this in my fridge.

White Bean Spread with Pita Chips

For the spread:
1 15-ounce can cannelloni bean, rinsed and drained
2 cloves garlic, minced fine
2 Tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup (packed) fresh parsley, minced fine (after measuring)
Salt and pepper to taste

For the chips:
1 package of store-bought pita rounds
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

To make the spread: Place the beans, garlic, lemon juice, rind, 1/4 cup olive oil, and minced parsley into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the blade until the ingredients are smooth and creamy. Add a little water if necessary (up to 3 tablespoons, adding only 1 tablespoon at a time). Store covered in refrigerator. Will keep up to 5 days.

To make the pita chips: Cut each pita round in half. Cut each half into 8 triangles. Place triangles in a large bowl. Sprinkle with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and Italian seasoning, tossing to coat. Spread the pita bread on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 8 to 15 minutes, or until toasted and golden brown, turning halfway through.
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Did you know that I've put out a cookbook that includes 75 delicious recipes? Did you know that you can get it for just 99¢? It's available for 

Kindle     Nook     Kobo     iBooks    Google

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