Caravan Sonnet


15 Amazing Benefits of Ginger

I first heard of ginger from my acupuncturist about a decade ago. I started using ginger (specifically for nausea during times when I would travel) but didn't know all of the amazing health benefits of consuming ginger until I did additional research. Y'all I am so amazed at the health benefits that come with consuming ginger and hope that it will inspire you to add this to your daily life! So what are all of the health benefits that ginger has? Check out these 15 amazing benefits:

1. Ginger contains gingerol which is a powerful substance with medicinal properties. Ginger has been known to not only help aid digestion and reduce nausea but also help fight the flu and common cold (as I mentioned in this post HERE!)

2. Ginger helps prevent motion sickness. As I mentioned above one of the things that I have long used ginger for is to help prevent motion sickness. There was a study done several years ago that showed that ginger was as effective (but without all of the side effects) as Dramamine! [It should be noted that many times it takes a "build up" process with ginger so if you are going to travel I would suggest using ginger for several weeks ahead of time and in addition to the time during your travel.]

3. Ginger helps reduce nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy. There have been many studies that have been done that when ginger is added to an anti nausea regime for chemotherapy that nausea and vomiting was reduced!

4. Ginger helps the body absorb essential nutrients.

5. Severe digestive issues or cramps? Ginger has been known to help digestive issues and cramps! Ginger has been found to be as effective as ibuprofen in help relieve pain from menstrual cramps in women (see #6!). Another benefit to ginger is that it may help prevent stomach ulcers which can be caused by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. 

6. Ginger helps reduce pain. Ginger is anti-inflammatory and recent studies show that ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that may rival non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. In a study done in 2013 on women's athletes it was found that those that took 3 grams of ginger each day had a significant decrease in muscle soreness and muscle cramps. In addition to muscles though ginger has also been found to help with migraine headaches. 

7. Ginger can help reduce nausea from morning sickness. Recent studies have shown that ginger can help reduce pregnancy-related nausea. 

8. Ginger can help Osteoarthritis. 

9. Ginger may help lower blood sugar and improve heart disease risk factors in patients. Although the studies on this are very new (just started in 2015) doctors are now saying that ginger may help diabetes and heart patients. Ginger appears to help with insulin release and insulin action in the body and helps improve lipid metabolism. Another clinical trial done recently shows that those who consumed ginger had a marked difference in many of their levels. It will be exciting to watch in years to come what future studies say about this!

10. Ginger helps improve circulation. 

11. Ginger can help inhibit certain bacteria, including Salmonella. Ginger is a great item to add to your kitchen as it an help prevent sickness due to salmonella!

12. Ginger helps fight Cancer. Due to the anti-inflammatory properties that ginger contains it is beneficial for many chronic illnesses including Cancer. A recent British study shows that Ginger can help in the effective management of certain Cancers, including prostate Cancer. Other studies have shown that it helps promote anti-tumor activity that can help treat even the difficult to treat types of Cancer. In addition to this a study that was performed at the University of Minnesota found that ginger can help slow the growth of colon Cancer cells.

13. Ginger helps reduce vertigo. Studies show that regularly consuming ginger or ginger tea can help reduce vertigo.

14. Ginger helps reduce the chance of a stroke and the damage done due to strokes. Taking ginger may help reduce the effects that a stroke can have on the body.

15. Ginger helps strengthen the immune system. Along with other wonderful foods, ginger can help improve the immune system.

While using fresh ginger is a wonderful idea, ginger can also be used dried, powdered, or even as an oil (or tea). Do you use ginger? In what form have you found it helpful? Have you found any benefits to consuming ginger?

{Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.}


From Hope Valley (Week 26): The Legacy of Love and Suffering

One of the sweet scenes that stood out to me in When Calls the Heart Season 2 was the conversation that took place between the widows lawyer, Samantha, and Abigail. This comment made by Samantha, a single woman to Abigail, who had lost her husband and son in the mining accident reminded me of a timeless truth for all of us to consider... the legacy of love and suffering

This past year as I watched the month of April slowly fade and we approached the month of May I have to admit that I silently groaned as my heart deeply aches. As a lady who has longed to be a mama for years and years I have to grudgingly admit that I view the month of celebrating Mother's Day with heartache. Am I deeply grateful for my precious mama? Absolutely yes. Do I rejoice with my friends who have been blessed with many children? Of course. Do I rejoice with my dear friends who have walked the road of infertility and this year celebrated becoming a mother? Absolutely. But is there a part of me that like many of my hurting friends who long to be a mommy that cries as we approach this date? Yes. Is there a part of me that wonders at how Proverbs 13:22 fits into my life? Yes. 

As I watched this scene between Samantha and Abigail I was touched by the way that the writers of the show tenderly approached this topic. I am not sure if it was purposeful or not, but it appeared to me in this scene that Samantha was thinking and referencing her own sadness in longing to be a wife and a mama. 

A few short days before Mother's Day I started thinking more deeply about the idea of "legacy", specifically the legacy that is formed in love and suffering. A dear former student contacted me the day before Mother's Day and said, "Thank you for your mother's heart that during my time in your classroom showed the joy of Christ, and watching your faith in this trial you are currently walking has shown me the steadfast hope and love only found in Christ. Your mother's heart has created a legacy of faith for me." 

To be frank I broke down and wept. My faith seems so incredibly small in this journey and I had never considered the concept before that one could leave a legacy in suffering. I always equated legacy with children, and there is a legacy that is left there to be sure. But there is also a legacy created in other seasons of life... even in suffering where we can and we will leave some kind of legacy. 

"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."
- Romans 8:18-

The reality is that when life is destroyed all around you it is hard to trust the truth of Romans 8. When we are faced with the death of a loved one, the unanswered prayers for healing, the loss of a job, infertility, chronic pain, broken relationships, and the loss of dreams it can literally stop us in our tracks. It catches our breathe. In many ways we expect, as I did before Mother's Day this year to silently groan and cry our tears in private till the moment passes. Like me, we want to turn the pages of the calendar days quickly so that we forget the pain. And in the midst of the "helpful and sage" advice that we are given, most of us just want to dull the crushing pain and move on to "better times". Like me wanting to avoid Mother's Day, we want to "avoid" the painful times of suffering.

But what about the legacy that is found in suffering? Are we showing the world how to lovingly and faithfully walk with Jesus during the difficult days here on earth, or are we showing them that we have Jesus only to quickly make it through the painful times? Are we showing the power and miraculous God that we have despite circumstances on earth? Or are we limiting our God as we box Him in to ways that we want Him to work?

I want to suggest that the legacy of love and suffering is a beautiful thing called joy. Joy in the midst of pain. Joy in the midst of heartache. Joy, not smiles that are on our faces, but true joy found deep in the heart of Hope in a God who promises to never leave us. Sweet friends, as we cry out in our pain, let us take the risk to walk the road of suffering joyfully confident in the one who carries us each day. Be brave friends in hope with your suffering. 

Your sufferings may include a myriad of things that you want to share and discuss or they may be private heartaches that you feel that no one notices or understands. Your life and your story is unique and has purpose. Never think that your story does not have unique and noble callings to it even if it doesn't look like the way that you planned for things to look.

To each of the mamas reading this there is nothing (in my opinion) more noble than being a mama and wife, but I also know that even mamas have their own trials and stresses. To those longing to be a wife and mama your story can leave a legacy of nobility too as you wait and hope for that season in life. In each of our lives God creates a beautiful legacy out of suffering that spreads to those around you and offers redemption to the pain that we all experience here on earth. Our everlasting God who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow is our everlasting hope, which brings joy. There is purpose in it. There is a legacy that will be formed. Your hope and longings will not be disappointed.

"And hope does not disappoint us..."
-Romans 5:5-

"A good man (or woman) leaves a legacy for his children's children."
-Proverbs 13:22-

Looking for past From Hope Valley Devotionals? You can click HERE to find a complete listing of all of the devotionals! 

I receive several emails a week asking where you can watch older episodes of "When Calls the Heart". If you have a Netflix account you can find seasons 1-3 there or you can purchase them on Amazon. You can purchase and watch all of the seasons and episodes by clicking on the links below:

*Please note that the quotes used in these weekly devotionals are the sole intellectual property of Hallmark Channel, WCTH, & Crown Media, LLC. These on-line posts are in no way supported, endorsed or affiliated with WCTH, Hallmark Channel, or Crown Media. They are simply encouragement inspired by Janette Oke and this precious show.*


Summer Boat Ride// Lake Champlain, Vermont

A couple of weeks ago we were able to take our first summer boat ride of the season. It was later than usual but due to all of the rain and weather we hadn't been able to go before then. The wait was worth every second. It was a beautiful day of taking the boat up into Mallotts Bay and enjoying the views.
This summer has been beautiful in so many deep and meaningful ways.
This boat ride was absolutely lovely and once again I am in awe of the beauty that surrounds this area that I love so much.
I am enjoying every moment of these last weeks of this precious summer.
Happy Tuesday friends! I hope that you are having a wonderful day!

A Few Of My Favorite Things from Zulily

Happy Tuesday friends! Today I am so excited to share a bit more about my experiences with shopping and exploring the Zulily website. To be honest I had never spent much time on Zulily before. Years ago I ordered one item off the website and then never did return to try shopping again. My experience at the time was good, but for some reason whenever I go to do some online bargain shopping, I never think immediately of Zulily. Honestly, after these last few days of looking around the website that will forever change in the future!

One of the things that surprised me the most as I browsed the Zulily website was all of the different products that were offered from such a wide variety of brands. There were tons of different brands in all of the categories- from fashion brands to house products to crafting supplies. I am confident that if you are searching for some specific things for any area of your life you could easily find what you are looking for on Zulily at a discounted rate. Each day there are thousands of new items added at 6am and this provides a fun (daily) browsing opportunity!
One my favorite items was this adorable navy dress from ModCloth. This dress originally retails for $99.99 but is available on Zulily for $37.99! I love that it is the perfect dress for the rest of the summer and is the perfect transition piece to fall and would even be perfect for some upcoming holiday parties. You can find it HERE!

It has NEVER been a secret on this blog how much I love the company Joules. So imagine my delight and surprise when I found that Zulily carries many different Joules products at a HUGE discounted rate. These rain boots are some of my favorites (remember my red pair that I love?!?)! But there tare tons of other Joules boots and products too that are available for a huge discount. You can find these rain boots HERE.
Another favorite thing that I found that I loved on the Zulily website was this cute flirty dress from ModCloth. It reminds me of the dress that Kate Middleton wore the day after her wedding as she and Prince William were walking around the palace gardens. It is so cute and I love the Indigo color! I plan on ordering this dress and taking it with me for my upcoming trip to Prince Edward Island! You can find it HERE

Two things that I ordered from the website were these scrapbook paper collections. The price was unbelievable and they will be so helpful for orders and items for the shop. You can find the BoBunny Garden Party Collection Pack HERE and the Echo Park Paper Co Fall and Family Scrapbook Paper Pads HERE. If you love scrapbooking or just have a love affair for pretty paper like I do, then Zulily has tons of crafting options to check out!

There are so many different items on Zulily that I loved and I created a board with lots of different items and some of my favorites. You can check out my board HERE! Keep checking back as I will continue to update my board with new pieces and items that I find that I love as Zulily is constantly making new items available!

What about y'all? Any favorite items from Zulily that you love?

A huge thank you to Mavenx for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own. 


"I'm In Love with Cities I've Never Been to, and the People I've Never Met" Altered Travel Journal

Happy Saturday friends! Today I am so excited to share with you a cute addition to the shop! This adorable altered travel journal is now available for purchase! (You can find it HERE!) 
Ever since I was a young girl, I have always had an obsession with journaling and making things that I own pretty. I love to fill my planners with colorful, unique, whimsical, and pretty ribbons, sweet paraphernalia, and writing that speaks to my heart and that encourages me. 
Since I was a young girl my family has always loved to travel and see the world. In fact one of my earliest memories is visiting the Grand Canyon and traveling to Arizona. Growing up I was definitely inspired by seeing new places- whether they were a new town within driving distance or a new adventure across the world. 
This sense of adventure has only continued throughout my life and it is one of the things that I obviously write the most about on this blog. (You can read more of my travel adventures and stories HERE.) This quote- "I'm In Love with Cities I've Never Been to, and the People I've Never Met" fits me in absolute perfection and is one of the reasons that I have it on my travel page. I will research a new place that I am writing about or visiting and immediately I fall in love with new corners of the world.
So when I saw this journal I knew immediately that I had to create one of the shop. This altered travel journal is the perfect size and also weight- it will easily fit into your luggage or a small purse so that you can carry it with you where ever you go. It is approximately 3x5 and it is extremely lightweight.
This altered travel journal turned out so classic y'all and I loved the combination of the neutral tones of black, ivory, grays, and cream colors. In my opinion it gives a look that is timeless.
If you are interested in purchasing this altered travel journal you can find it HERE. If you are interested in looking at other altered travel journals that are available in the shop you can find them in the altered travel journals section HERE.
Happy Saturday friends! I hope that you have a wonderful day with friends and family!!


An Easy and Healthy Basil and Spinach Pesto Recipe

Happy Thursday friends! A couple of weeks ago I shared about how I have been eating a lot of pesto. I received a ton of emails and messages asking me for the recipe so today I wanted to share it with y'all. It is easy to make and is extremely healthy, especially if you are like me and you are wanting to get more greens into your body. 

1/4 cup organic pine nuts
1/16 cup organic walnuts
1 and 1/2 cups organic basil
1/2 cup organic spinach
2 tablespoons organic olive oil
1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 tablespoon water
1/4 tsp salt (you can add more if you like more salt)
1/4 tsp pepper

Blend together in a food processor and chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving. We have found that letting it sit overnight is the best. We use the Hamilton Beach 12-cup stack and snap food processor that we purchased on Amazon. You can find it HERE. It is wonderful. It is easy to use and easy to clean!

I use this as a dip with veggies, on sandwiches as a substitute for mayo, as a garnish for fish, etc. It takes about 5 minutes to make and is the easiest recipe. 

It is also extremely healthy. There are so many health benefits to pine nuts, walnuts, spinach and basil. You can read about all of the health benefits of basil HERE. I have also substituted in different greens besides spinach including kale and dandelion greens. The recipe is so easy and can be modified for your health needs.

What about y'all? What is your favorite pesto recipe?


44 Tips to Have a Happy Marriage for 48 Years

These kiddos above{aka my parents} are celebrating their 48th wedding anniversary today. In today's society that would be classified as amazing, but to this single gal it is not only amazing, it is inspirational, entirely possible, and beautiful to have witnessed such an amazing love story growing up. 

In honor of their anniversary four years ago I shared a post entitled "44 tips to have a happy marriage for 44 years" that has remained one of my most popular posts. Today, in honor of their anniversary I wanted to re-share these 44 tips with you about having a marriage that will not only go the distance, but will be a beautiful story that I have learned from them.
1. Have a marriage centered on Jesus. 

2. Laugh. A lot.
3. Realize what is important and let everything else go. 

4. If your marriage is in trouble seek help.

5. Go on dates - at least once a week. (Don't have money for a date? My parents don't either and are constantly being creative with what to do. Look for free events in your area (i.e.- events at a local college, high school, church, etc.), pack a picnic lunch or dinner, go for a walk in a new park that you have not explored, etc.)
6. Be creative.

7. Be intentional.
8. Don't ever go to bed angry.

9. Fight fairly (stick to the subject at hand).

10. Listen. Listen. Listen.
11. Put the other person first. 

12. Always remember that life is found in the little moments. 
13. Never give your spouse the chance to wonder if you are cheating. 

14. Do not ever let pornography become a substance in your house. 

15. Never let children divide you and never speak ill of your spouse to your children.

16. Never let the "D" word (divorce) be uttered. The minute that you allow that you start down a road that you do not want to go on. 

17. Pray together.
18. Go to church together. 

19. Have Godly friends who you can encourage you along the way. 

20. Recognize that life (and marriage is hard). 
21. Respect him ladies. 

22. Love her completely gentleman.

23. Celebrate the big moments. 
24. Rejoice with each others successes. 
25. Support each other. 
26. Understand his job. 

27. Love her hearts passions. 

28. Understand security is very important for a woman. 
29. Take time to talk everyday. (Maybe this means shutting off the TV or turning off the internet - do whatever needs to be done to talk everyday!)
30. If you watch TV, watch TV you both enjoy. 

31. Dance in the house
32. Turn off the phone, internet, blackberry, ipad, computer, etc.. 

33. Enjoy each others presence.
34. Kiss often. 

35. Never hang up the phone or leave without saying "I love you".

36. Live life knowing how short it is. 
37. Realize that after you have kids you will still be a couple so don't wait eighteen years to keep falling more in love. 

38. Never stop flirting. 

39. Hold hands whenever possible. 
40. Cook for her, clean up for her, do the wash, etc.- Find something she hates to do and do it for her often without being asked. 

41. Ladies, don't nag. 

42. Find out something he loves to do and encourage it to the fullest. 

43. Cry together, not with your friends, or brushing it off. Face life together. 

44. Remember that life is fleeting and in the end the only thing that matters is love. 
Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! I love you guys so much!