Sustainable Living – natural remedies for the flu & common cold

It is that time of year, there’s no avoiding it.  People around the office and dropping like flies, tissues are a coveted commodity and the flu and cold seem nearly impossible to escape.  To help you pull through ExchangeMyPhone is here with a Monday morning edition of flu and cold fighting remedies that are not only effective and natural but, also far and away more inspiring than the ordinary drugstore solutions.  Our sustainable picks are sure to leave your body and your imagination feeling nourished.

Influenza Rx Sorbet
Sick? Why not sorbet your symptoms away? According of Jeni Britton Bauer, the genius behind the Ohio-base company Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, taking your medicine does not have to involve puckered mouths and tortured taste buds.  In fact, according to Jeni sugar shouldn’t just help the medicine when it can be the medicine itself. She drew her inspiration for this now famous sorbet from a heated-up cough syrup concoction of whiskey, honey and lemon juice that her mother and grandmother used to make.

Here are her instructions from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home for 1 generous quart of her famous Influenza Rx Sorbet:

Ingredients
2 cups fresh orange juice (from 5 to 6 oranges)
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup honey
1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
One 3-ounce packet liquid pectin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
2 to 4 tablespoons Maker’s Mark bourbon (optional)

Preparation
Combine the orange and lemon juices, sugar, honey, and ginger in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat.
Add the pectin, cayenne, and bourbon, if using. Pour into a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until cold.
Freeze the sorbet just until it is the consistency of very softly whipped cream. (You can eat it now, if you wish; otherwise, proceed as directed.)
Pack the sorbet into a storage container, press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.

Elderberry Syrup
With high levels of vitamins A, B and C, black elderberries are help to both prevent the flu and speed in recovery.  Elderberry syrup is available at any organic market and can be easily ordered online for about $15 for an 8 ounce bottle (adult dosage is typically around two table spoons.)  It has become particularly popular among parents nursing children with the flu because it is very portable (no need to refrigerate) and has a much better taste than many flu-easing syrups out there.  It is also relatively easy to make in your own kitchen. No wonder Elderberry Syrup has been called nature’s Tamiflu.

Pour boiling water over 1/2 cup of dried elderberries, let liquid steep for 25 min.
Strain the berries
Bring the liquid to a steam not a boil (otherwise it will taste bitter)
Once it has reduced by half, let cool
Add 1/2 cup of honey

The Killer
The juice-cleanse mania may prove to be a passing phase but Liquiteria‘s aptly named cold zapping beverage, The Killer.  Made with fresh green apple, ginger, lemon and a boost of Immunity Now, The Killer works best when consumed at the first signs of a cold, spicy ginger- lemon combo get to work immediately clearing sinuses and letting easy and symptom free.  For those who want to take cold-fighting to the next level there is also The Killer XX, building on the original recipe by adding an double serving of lemon and ginger as well as a helping of cayenne.  And with free delivery you don’t even have to worry about leaving the comfort of your place when you aren’t 100% because The Killer can come to you!

Fresh Garlic & Honey Tea
Vampires are not the only evil things that garlic protects against, the healing herb is also well known for busting the immune system and guarding against contagions especially during the winter months when may of us have comprised defenses. The best way to take advantage of this herbs medicinal and preventative properties is by drinking fresh garlic tea.
Preparation:
Peel 2 to 3 cloves of fresh garlic
Lightly crush them with the side of a knife
Add garlic to 2 cups of water and bring to a boil
Lower the heat and simmer for another 15 minutes
Strain the garlic and allow the tea to cool
Add raw honey, a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper and a dash of lemon juice

Sustainable Living – small homes making a world of difference

The compact housing movement has been a buzz phrase dominating both design and sustainable living literature for years now. There are small house awards, organizations, a documentary, coffee table books and thousands of blog posts. But believe it or not, there is still something different to be said for minimalist structures that doesn’t have to do with hip urbanites on a space diets! Small homes have now moved into the forefront to community rebuilding efforts, most recently in disaster-stricken Haiti.

The types of homes making a mark are known as Earthbags, a name derived from the building blocks of the structures: earth, manure or concrete-filled sandbags that stack securely, essentially like Lego, to make construction an cinch. Though Earthbags have taken on many shapes the original prototype, developed by Iranian-American architect Nader Khalili, has a distinct beehive shape. The houses have become infamous also for their surprising strength. Earthbags are fire, flood and earthquake resistant, they also stand up to violent surroundings (a sad reality common among disaster zones where many struggle to procure bare necessities long after the event itself) and are blast and bullet resistant.

Spearheading the proliferation and production efforts in Barriere Jeudi, Haiti is Konbit Shelter. “A group of artists, builders, architects, and engineers, who, after the January 2010 earthquake, asked ‘how we could use our skills and resources to directly assist another community in a time of crisis?’ Konbit Shelter is a sustainable building project with the objective of sharing knowledge and resources through the creation of homes and community spaces in post earthquake Haiti.”

One of the huge advantages of the project is that it is ongoing and provides secure employment for many locals (as much as a third of the budget goes towards the salaries of the workers) while also equipping them with the construction knowledge to build their own homes at a very low cost yet with quality materials. Thanks to a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign (raising over $30,000!) the organization will be back on the ground this spring to break ground another community building. Keep tabs on the progress at Konbit Shelter’s site and blog.

Smartphone holiday gift guide

Posted on December 12, 2012 | Android, cell phone, iPhone, Mac, mobile, money saving, phone, smartphone

Are there any gadget junkies you know who would love a new smartphone under the tree? Whether you’re on a tight budget or fancy splurging on something extra special, check out our list for the best mobiles you can buy:

Budget-friendly

HTC One X

The HTC One X for AT&T combines excellent performance, a fantastic camera and one of the best displays on the market. It is packaged in a stunning handset and is set to get even better with an upgrade to Android 4.

Price: $0.01 (AT&T) or $20 (Sprint) at Amazon Wireless.

HTC One X

Motorola Droid RAZR M

The Droid RAZR M has a speedy dual-core processor, dependable battery life and a fantastic camera. The HD display is a bit sub-premium and there are better video cameras but, for the price, it is an incredibly well-rounded phone.

Price: $0.01 (Verizon) at Amazon Wireless.

Motorola Droid RAZR M

Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G

The Galaxy S Blaze 4G comes 3rd in the budget contenders, but it is excellent value for T-Mobile customers. The phone offers robust performance, long battery life, excellent call quality and a respectable camera.

Price: $20 (T-Mobile) at Wirefly.

Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G

Mid-range

Galaxy S III

The Galaxy S III is an excellent smartphone and has the advantage of being available from all the major national carriers. The phone boasts a spacious display, an excellent camera, fantastic performance and solid battery life. Better yet, like the One X, the Galaxy S III is set to receive an upgrade to Jelly Bean in the near future.

Price: $40 (Sprint), $100 (AT&T) or $60 (Verizon) at Amazon Wireless; $200 (T-Mobile) from Wirefly.

Galaxy S III

Motorola Droid RAZR HD

One of the most anticipated smartphones to debut this season, the Droid RAZR HD for Verizon Wireless is a huge improvement on the original Droid RAZR. It boasts incredible performance, a higher-resolution display and excellent battery life.

Price: $150 at Amazon Wireless.

Motorola Droid RAZR HD

Nokia Lumia 920

The Lumia 920 deserves special consideration for its camera which boasts a floating lens, a sensor that brings unparalleled image stabilization and great low-light performance.

Price: $70 at Amazon Wireless.

Nokia Lumia 920

Splurge-worthy

iPhone 5

Available for AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and a number of regional carriers, Apple’s latest offering ranks among the most sought-after smartphones of the year. Exceptional performance, a top-notch display, good battery life and an excellent camera are all wrapped up in beautiful hardware. If you decide to plump for the 32GB or 64GB model, the lucky recipient will be able to fill it with all their favorite movies, music and photos.

Price: $199 (16GB), $299 (32GB) or $399 (64GB) from Apple.

iPhone 5

Samsung Galaxy Note II

The Note II is among the leaders in terms of sheer performance. It also has a spacious HD display, an amazing camera and the S Pen (which lets you quickly jot down notes and annotate photos).

Price: $230 (Sprint), $250 (AT&T) at Amazon Wireless; $280 (Verizon), $300 (T-Mobile) at Wirefly.

Samsung Galaxy Note II

Nexus 4

For Android fans, it is hard to bet the Nexus 4 whose display and camera are miles ahead of the previous Galaxy Nexus.

Price: $299 (8GB) or $349 (16GB) from Google.

Nexus 4

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5 ways to use your smartphone to get ready for Black Friday

It’s time to prep for Black Friday. I’m not sure about you, but it takes a lot to get me off the sofa and into the stores mere hours after eating far too much pie and turkey. Still Christmas is just around the corner and picking up some gifts for everyone on my list, without breaking my bank balance, seems like a very good idea indeed.

So, at ExchangeMyPhone, we have put together some tips for getting the most of out your Black Friday experience:

1) Sell Your Old Phones

If you have recently upgraded, or are looking to buy a new phone in the Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales, don’t forget about your old phone! You can sell your old and/or broken smartphones at ExchangeMyPhone and pad your pockets in time for some serious holiday shopping.

2) Downland Zoomingo

This innovative shopping app lets you track all the holiday sales right from your smartphone or tablet. The app lists all the Black Friday sales from all the major retailers and lets you create a ‘Watch List’ of items you love so they can notify you as soon as they go on sale.

Zoomingo

3) Download Red Laser

If you are into comparison shopping, this app is perfect. You simply use your phone to scan the barcode and you can find out what the item is going for at other local stores or even online. As a bonus, you can discover similar items you didn’t even know you wanted.

Red Laser app

4) Download Mint.com Personal Finance

Does your generosity sometimes get the better of you? If you are one of those people who splurges on incredible gifts for everyone and then dreads looking at your bank balance once the new year rolls around, Mint’s free app is perfect for you. Before you set off on your Black Friday shopping spree just add your bank accounts, credit cards, loans etc so you can manage your budget and track your spending.

Mint.com Personal Finance app

5) Download FatWallet

Sadly, this app is only available on the iPhone but it is a brilliant tool for planning the ultimate shopping trip. You can use this clean, simple and speedy app to shop by specific categories, items or retailers.

FatWallet app

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