Saturday, January 31, 2015

How To Cope With The Nasty Flu Bug

Since we last chatted I sincerely hope you haven't been hit with that awful flu bug! According to the most current data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu activity in the United States is at a high level with an increase in hospitalizations and even deaths. It is projected that the influenza outbreak will continue across most of the U.S. for the next several weeks.  If this year's influenza has unfortunately made a visit to your home and invaded your space, some of the symptoms you may be experiencing may include fever and chills, cough, sore throat, fatigue and body aches. In addition, you may also be suffering with bouts of diarrhea and vomiting.
If you believe you have the flu the CDC recommends you stay at home and avoid contact with other people. Your only outside activity should be going to the doctor or hospital for medical care. The CDC also advises staying home from work, school, travel, or public gatherings for at least 24 hours post fever. Resting and drinking plenty of water, clear liquids or sports drinks such as Gatorade to prevent dehydration is also recommended. Over the counter (OTC) drugs can be taken to treat fever and cough. These medications may relieve your symptoms but will not make you less contagious. In addition, a cool damp cloth placed on the forehead, arms, and legs can help reduce the discomfort associated with fever. If your throat is sore, gargling with salt water will often soothe throat pain. And if at all possible it is a good idea to place  a humidifier in your room. A 2009 study by the National Academy of Sciences suggests humidifiers not only help you breather easier but may also stop the spread of flu germs. If you are very ill with the symptoms of influenza and are at high risk for serious complications you may need to contact your primary care doctor or other heath care provider. Your physician may prescribe an "antiviral" drug such as Tamiflu or Relenza. These "antiviral" drugs will lessen the time you are ill and may also prevent further involvement of serious complications. If you are having difficulty breathing or unable to drink enough fluid to prevent dehydration you may need to seek immediate assistance. The CDC has provided a complete list of emergency warning signs on their website to use as a guideline for seeking emergency help.
Finally, if you are the caregiver you must limit your face to face time and avoid any close contact with the person suffering with influenza. You may ask the person you are caring for to wear a face mask to cover coughs and sneezes. When holding a baby or child rest their chin on your shoulder so they don't cough directly in your face. Also, both the patient and the caregiver should wash their hands often with soap and water after direct contact or handling contaminated clothing, bedding, or used tissues to prevent the spread of influenza. Stay in and feel better soon!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Custom Valentine's Day Shirts & Gifts

Valentine's Day Shirts
When I was a young school girl and in the primary grades, our room mothers hosted holiday parties to celebrate Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine's Day. And if our St. Louis Cardinals Baseball team made it to the playoffs or World Series we had game watch parties at school to cheer on our hometown baseball club. The school I attended required the students to wear uniforms. Mine was a green and black plaid jumper with a white pointed collared shirt, either short or long sleeve. The boys wore black belted navy blue pants and also a white pointed collared shirt. The uniform shirt was made of 100% cotton which required ironing before it could be worn in public. So Sunday evenings were set aside for ironing all the shirts that would be needed for the family for the entire week ahead. My mom (and me too!) were so thankful when the cotton blend permanent press shirts made the scene in the local department stores. So luckily for me now that I'm all grown up I rarely have to iron anything! I do, of course, own an ironing board and deluxe steam iron, but they sure get a lot less use than the ones we had when I was a little girl!
On our holiday party days at school we were given an out-of-uniform day. This meant we could wear a special outfit of our choosing. I remember as a child making our party shirts at the kitchen table the weekend before a scheduled holiday party. Mom bought basic white t-shirts and fabric paints and helped us make our very own special creation to wear for the festivities. Hmmm... maybe this was actually the beginning of Zoey's Attic! And yes, now Zoey can help you with adorably designed shirts and bodysuits for your kiddos. At Zoey's Attic you'll find everything from Valentine pregnancy announcement shirts to first Valentine's Day bodysuits and leg warmer sets for your infant. There are even new funny designs that have been recently added to our Valentine's Day collection. The "Single And Loving It" and "Most Eligible Bachelor" shirts are so perfect for your little man's Valentine's Day. The "Kisses 25¢" tee is another cute choice for your little lady. Zoey has even created a sweet conversation candy heart belly print maternity top for Mom to wear this Valentine's Day. And if mom is newly pregnant and not showing yet, the shirt can also be made in a non-maternity style and used for a fun pregnancy announcement! What a sweet surprise! Be sure to order your custom Valentine shirt by February 5th for delivery in plenty of time for all your Valentine's Day activities.

Zoey's Attic Personalized Valentine's Day Shirts and Gifts

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Flu Prevention Tips

Did you get your flu shot this year? The CDC lists it as its #1 recommendation for influenza prevention, but got I sick anyway! Influenza is a respiratory illness and it's also extremely contagious. It spreads in droplets when persons infected with the virus cough, sneeze, or even talk. You can also catch the flu by touching an object that has the virus on it and then transferring the germs to your mouth or eyes via your hands. Young children, pregnant women, and the elderly are at greatest risk for developing serious complications if they become infected with influenza.
I guess I should have paid closer attention to all the other suggestions from the medical community for preventing a bout with this year's flu bug. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the nation's health protection agency. Its main charge is to save lives and protect people from health threats. The CDC has proclaimed the best method of influenza prevention is to get vaccinated. Check, I did that! It's best to not only be vaccinated but to also adhere to the additional prevention tips outlined by the CDC. The agency suggests measures such as good hand washing technique with soap and water to lessen the spread of germs. If soap and water are not available an alcohol based hand rub is a good substitute. Hospitals and many other public locations such as schools, pharmacies, banks, and grocery stores have systems set up in the entryway to purify your hands. In addition, you'll want to clean with soap and water and also disinfect frequently touched areas in your home and place of employment. (This could be a real chore as you know how I totally love cleaning day and night. NOT!). Another good habit to prevent becoming ill with the flu is to avoid close contact with anyone whom is sick. This, however, may not be so easy if you have little ones around!
Although it is best to get the vaccine early before the flu season begins, the good news is you can still be protected if you are vaccinated during the time when the flu is active in your community. However, it does take approximately two weeks after being vaccinated for the antibodies to develop in the body to provide protection for you. If you are unable to visit with your personal physician for the influenza vaccine, there are several pharmacies and community health centers which offer the protection at reasonable cost to you. Many of these sites also will accept your personal insurance if your policy covers the flu vaccine. I went to our local Walgreens pharmacy and was seen and vaccinated within a few minutes of my arrival. Some locations also offer the nasal spray vaccine for children and eligible adults. The CDC has additional information on their website regarding guidelines for candidates for this method of vaccination. Also, if you are trying to locate a flu shot provider in your area, the HealthMap Vaccine Finder is a helpful tool. So just keep calm and get your flu shot now!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Thank You Rev. Dr. King!

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Courtesy of
Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with Zoey's Attic! In case you missed it on our Facebook page... Zoey's Attic is offering a coupon code this weekend in honor of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for 15% off your purchased items from Zoey's Attic Personalized Gifts. The code to use at checkout is MLK2015 and it expires at 11:59 p.m. CST on Monday, January 19, 2015. Be sure to check out all our sweet Valentine's Day shirts and other adorable items for Birthdays, St. Patrick's Day, and Easter too! Happy Shopping!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Super Bowl Fun!

Cajun Chicken Pasta
Courtesy of
Super Bowl XLIX is less than three weeks away! I have no idea which teams will be competing for the championship, but I do know for sure that the St. Louis Rams won't be playing on February 1st at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona! However, I do know there will be many parties and festive celebrations that day! In the past, I have either hosted or attended an annual Super Bowl Sunday Bash, well since I can't even remember when! Typically, as a Super Bowl party host I prefer to select a food theme characteristic of the city of the team I have chosen as my favorite to win the game. So for example, when the NFC Champion New Orleans Saints were my pick against the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV we chose to feature a variety of traditional Cajun foods of New Orleans. Hot Cajun Crab Dip is the perfect appetizer to serve before the main event and you will find a delicious recipe courtesy of Paula Deen and It's served hot with toast or crackers and is simply divine! I especially like Emeril Lagasse's recipe for Cajun Jambalaya. He is one of my favorite chefs and I was so disappointed when the Food Network dropped his cooking show! I miss his signature catchphrase BAM!, but the good news is you can still find his recipes online at His Cajun Jamabalya is one you'd definitely want to include on your menu for a New Orleans Cajun themed dinner party. Cajun Chicken Pasta is also a fan favorite. has a fairly easy recipe and it's very tasty too! When our St. Louis Rams played for the the Super Bowl Championship about a million years ago we served foods that are well know to midwesterners such as barbecue beef steaks, pork steaks, and hamburgers for the kiddos. Toasted ravioli is unique to the St. Louis area so it was the feature appetizer of the day. St. Louis is also known for its mouth watering Gooey Butter Cake making for an awesome celebratory dessert! The Green Bay Packers may actually be a Super Bowl contender this year and it would be so much fun to repeat the menu from Super Bowl Sunday 2011. The Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers that day at Cowboys AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Being a cheesehead fan made for an easy menu! A variety of savory cheese dips were served for the appetizers and, of course, bratwurst were barbecued and smothered in cheese for the main entree. There's a super website called Packers Everywhere that shares a multitude of Packer fan recipes. It has everything from Brat Bruschetta to a "Green" Bay Veggie tray and so much more! Now we're just sitting on the sidelines waiting to see which teams will be battling for the Super Bowl Championship on February 1st. As of today there are four possible contenders. This weekend the New England Patriots will play the Indianapolis Colts for the American Football Conference Championship and the Green Bay Packers will play the defending Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks for the National Football Conference Championship. Next week when we know the Super Bowl XLIX teams we will pick our favorite and begin planning the menu. I would love for you to stop by and let me know your favorite team and your favorite recipes for Super Bowl Sunday 2015!

Veggie Tray and Brat Bruschetta
Courtesy of

Monday, January 05, 2015

It's Party Time!

When I was a little girl it was my parents rule to only host one birthday party in which we could invite friends, and that was our 5th birthday. I can still remember just about every detail from that day oh so long ago! I wore a beautiful light blue dotted Swiss party dress, white socks with a small lace ruffle, T-strap shiny black patent leather shoes, and a light blue ribbon in my hair.  On the guest list were my neighborhood friends including Joan, Libby, Jimmy, and Donny. My siblings also celebrated with me. The parties back then were very simple and no one had a theme for the day. Everyone's birthday party was as if it had been molded from the very same cookie cutter. We always played pin the tail on the donkey, opened gifts, sang to the birthday boy or girl, and ate birthday cake and my favorite chocolate ice cream. Then we played for a while with the new birthday toys until it was time to say our goodbyes. It was the perfect day! After all this time it still makes me happy when I think of my very special 5th birthday! Over the years I've given my share of themed parties running the gamut from "The Poky Little Puppy" to a dress up party at our local and very fun Magic House! Now birthday parties have become big business. Everyone has a theme and everything is color coordinated to match including the paper products, decorations, and party favors. Even the birthday shirts are custom made to match the party theme! And this is where Zoey's Attic can help! There are so many shirt designs to match the age and theme of your party and if you can't find exactly what you had in mind, well Zoey can custom make a design with your exact details. Here are a few party themes some of our reviewers have used: Michelle at Mama's Baby Cupcakes has had several birthday parties for her four precious daughters and these have included a polka dot cupcake second birthday and chevron first birthday party themes.

Mama's Baby Cupcakes Polka Dot Theme Party

Mama's Baby Cupcakes Chevron Theme Party

And Julie at Director Jewels had a firetruck themed birthday party for her little boy's 3rd birthday. He looked so adorable in his matching firetruck raglan style shirt!

Director Jewels Firetruck Party

Brittany from Lady and Her Gents chose a rockstar party theme since her birthday boy loves music. The colors on her sweet little rockstar's shirt were customized to complement the party colors. She even had guitar cupcake wrappers and rock and roll labels for the water bottles.

Lady and Her Gents Rockstar Party

And our friend Danielle from Happenings of the Harper Household had a princess party for two of her four girls. They had birthday princess shirts that went perfectly with their oh so sweet tutus! And the tiaras totally complete the look for these beautiful birthday girls!

Happenings of the Harper Household Princess Party

These parties look like so much fun! I think maybe I should throw myself a special birthday party later this year! Hmmm...wonder what theme I will choose?