Smart Travel Super Bundle

Get your bundle now!
I’m delighted to share yet another amazing bundle of information from the folks at Ultimate Bundles with you today. From July 15 to July 19, the Smart Travel Super Bundle is available for purchase.

This bundle has 30 products worth $1,286.58 including 13 eBooks, 10 eCourses, 5 printable packs, and 2 workbooks all centered around traveling smarter.

Get your bundle now!

Whether you are hitting the road with your RV, going camping, backpacking, or flying this summer, you’ll find something to help you prepare better for your trip in this bundle. Homeschoolers, road schoolers and wandering families will appreciate the tips for making family travel more affordable.

I was especially interested in the materials that focused on traveling with the right attitude. Take a look at just two of the gems found here:

Women on the Road (eBook) by Leyla Giray Alyanak
This eBook will inspire women over 50 to travel solo, whether it’s your first trip or your tenth, starting with getting you out the door to expert personal tips from a lifelong solo traveler.

A Female Guide to Solo Travel (eBook) by Lisa Imogen Eldridge
The most comprehensive guide book to solo female travel. Whether it is your first time or you have traveled solo before, this book will inspire, empower and prepare you for your solo trip.

Another issue I hadn’t thought about was what to do if you get sick while traveling. This last trip I went on was blissfully illness free, but I did get sick just as I arrived home probably because of not taking proper care of myself on vacation (and the recirculated air on the airplane).

DIY Herbal First Aid Travel Kit: The Herbal Remedies You Need to Pack Before You Leave Home (eCourse) by Chris Dalziel
Fill your travel first aid kit with 10 easy herbal remedies that will make your vacation more comfortable and the inevitable minor discomforts more manageable.

Get your bundle now! And in addition to all the previously mentioned good stuff, there are four bonus offers when you order.
FREE Skin Care Travel Items from MadeOn Skin Care, $16.50 value
FREE pack of travel size items from Puro Co, $15 value
FREE 2oz bottle of Digest-Support Herbal Supplement, $15.99 value
$25 Credit to SaneBox, $25 value

So don’t wait! Start planning your summer travel now with the Smart Super Travel Bundle from Ultimate Bundles.

Get your bundle now!




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Filed under Tourist Sites in Mexico

Shopping Online In Mexico


Since today is Prime Day at Amazon, I thought I’d talk a little about ordering things online from Mexico. I haven’t been very adventurous ordering from many sites online because well, I’m concerned that my Capital One 360 account will be suspended for fraud. It’s happened. In fact, while I was traveling last month, I tried to pay for my son’s exam fee through UVEG online and that 56 pesos transaction triggered a total account shut down. I spent hours on the phone explaining that I was traveling and verifying who I was. Ironically, not one of my transactions in Philadelphia, Chicago or Mexico City airport was denied. 

Anyway, I use both Amazon and Amazon Mexico to order products. I find that Amazon has more selection than their Mexican counterpart and as long as I make sure that the item is eligible to be shipped to Mexico, I have few problems. Amazon calculates the import fees for me. If the import fees turn out to be less than what Amazon estimated, I get a refund on the difference. 

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I get free shipping options when I order from Amazon Mexico. Most orders more than $499 pesos have a free shipping option without needing to enroll in Amazon Prime. I really appreciate that option. It may take me a little longer to receive things, but I’m patient. 

prime membership

If you like to sign up for a 30-day Prime Trial membership–you can do that here and take advantage of the Prime Day offers. 

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I also like to shop at Zulily. I have the option to pay via Paypal there instead of my debit card, so I like that added security. Zulily has closeout items at great prices and ships to Mexico for $120 per order no matter how many packages the order is. And there is free shipping for orders more than $1500 pesos. I like to buy puzzles through Zulily. Again, I have to wait a bit because Zulily doesn’t ship items until the box is full, but I’m good with that.

Both Amazon and Zulily have been great when orders have been lost or items have been wrong. Amazon Mexico hasn’t been as helpful overall which is a shame really. 

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My most recent foray into the online market is EyeBuyDirect, a prescription glasses wholesaler. While we were in the U.S. we managed to get eye appointments. It turns out that my son needs his first pair of glasses and I need to make the transition to bifocals. I’ve never ordered glasses online before, but it was considerably cheaper than buying glasses at the eye doctor’s and they ship to Mexico albeit UPS so we could be waiting awhile. Paypal is a payment option at EyeBuyDirect as well. We are still waiting on our glasses, so I’ll let you know how they are once they arrive.

Do you shop online from Mexico? What sites do you recommend?




Filed under Mail Service and Shipping in Mexico

The Long Trip Home

Well, our month in El Norte had ended and it was time to head home. My brother generously offered to take us to the airport in Philadelphia because although there was a bus from the neighboring town, we’d be cutting it close. 

Our little road trip was blissfully uneventful. My brother and I kept up our running commentary of Remember Whens… and when we passed through Allentown, well nothing doing but to have his neat little car play Billy Joel’s ballad. Hmm, things are pretty much the same since ol’ Billy crooned that song! 

I unwisely decided to drink not one, but two cups of coffee and we had to make an emergency pit stop (or two as this old lady bladder wasn’t cutting me any slack) before we arrived, but arrive we did. 

We had enough time before our flight to grab a bite to eat and get checked in. I had weighed the suitcases before we left, both were under 50 pounds, which was a good thing because no one offered to saran wrap or weigh my bags here. The check-in attendant was a lovely girl from Argentina who asked about how we liked Mexico as she had a friend who moved there. This friend had initially hated everything about Mexico, the food, the music, the people but now 3 months into her new life has fallen in love.

We were flagged by the system and she had to manually enter our information. I showed her our documentation and she said everything looked good to go, so we went. Our bags would be sent on to Mexico, no need to pick up them up in Chicago. Getting through the security checkpoint was a breeze. 

We still had some extra time, so we settled in these comfy chairs next to the window overlooking the tarmac. There were places to charge our phones there and we took advantage of those. I may have dozed a bit because the next thing I knew I woke myself up with a giggle which of course made my son giggle. 

The flight was also blissfully uneventful. We arrived in Chicago even a little ahead of schedule. We were shuttled from the plane to a point past the security checkpoint so we didn’t have to remove our shoes again. We had some horrible McDonald’s food. Ugh! There just weren’t many options. 

We had a 4-hour layover and there weren’t many places to sit, so we made do on the benches outside the bathrooms. Have I mentioned that I was never so pleased as I was using the public bathrooms in the U.S. since moving to Mexico? There wasn’t a turnstile to maneuver or an attendant to pay for a stip of toilet paper at the door. The toilets flushed automatically. The sinks, soap dispensers, and hand dryers turned on with a wave of my hand. Talk about POSH! 

About an hour before our flight was due to depart, we wandered down to our gate and found a good seat by the charging station. We were scheduled to fly out at 7:30 arriving in Mexico City at 11:40 pm. Well, that didn’t happen. 


First, the flight that was coming in was delayed because of storms in the area. That flight was rerouted to Indianapolis. A few hours later, the plane made a second attempt, which failed, and was rerouted to Ohio. 

The day shift crew went home for the day. Substitutes were found, not all of them were Spanish speakers. This caused some angst amongst the half of the passengers that didn’t speak English. One angry man in a red shirt started shouting. I’m surprised he wasn’t approached by security, but maybe they had already gone home too. His gripe was that everything was MENTIRAS (lies) and that everything was in English. 

I understood his frustration however it wasn’t these girls’ fault. There was another incident with a Mexico City fresa (hoity-toity) who was just outright insulting, upset at her inconvenience. She filed a complaint online with the airline. Whatever. We were all inconvenienced.

tired boy

A very tired boy still waiting for the flight to board in Chicago.

Personally, I prefer to wait it out when conditions are unsafe to fly in. So wait it out we did. We finally boarded the plane at 12:30 am. Boy, were we exhausted. I have to admit I slept through most of the flight, awakened twice briefly when the flight attendant passed with a flashlight asking if we wanted water. My son was completely unconscious the entire time, which was for the best. He gets antsy on trips. 

We arrived at 5:30 in the morning and went to go through immigration. I had my paper given to me by the powers that be from when we left. My son, being Mexican, wasn’t given any papers. So I made the executive decision to send him through the Mexican National line while I queued up in the Foreigner Line. 

Just before I was to be attended to, I saw that my son was out of the line with a paper that he was trying to fill out. He said that because his passport was foreign (he has a US passport) that the guy told him he had to fill out that same form I had. Umm, no. That didn’t seem right. He wasn’t entering the country as a visitor at all! 

Well, I had him approach the desk with me when it was my turn and explained our situation. The lady stamped my passport again and took my son’s birth certificate. After ascertaining that we lived in Mexico (and that his birth certificate was Mexican) she gave us back everything and sent us on our way. Whew! Needless to say, my son was mighty worried he wasn’t going to be able to get back into Mexico at all!

We picked up our suitcases, which weren’t on the turnstile but lined up alongside. I imagine they had beaten us to Mexico by several hours. We decided we had nothing to declare and bypassed the voluntary x-ray machine completely. 

Upon exiting, several ladies in taxi booths waved us over. I picked one at random and paid $235 pesos for a taxi to the bus station. We left through Salida 9 and our ticket was taken by the attendant there who flagged down a cab for us. The cab driver presented his credentials and our ticket had the cab number written on it. 

Soon enough we were at the bus station. We bought tickets for Moroleon and went to the waiting room to wait. We had missed the 6:30 am bus but were in plenty of time for the 8:40 am bus. We were scheduled to be home by 1 pm. 

That didn’t happen. I must have fallen asleep again because before I knew it, it was 9:30 and we were still in Mexico City. There were several protests of some sort and the roads were closed. Traffic was at a standstill. We waited for 3 hours before we could inch along to a road where we could get off and take an alternate route. 

Then, when we arrived in Celaya, we were told it was the end of the line for that bus. We’d have to wait for another bus and transfer over. That added about 45 minutes to our already tediously long trip.

We didn’t arrive in Moroleon until 6 pm that evening. My husband had taken the day off to pick us up and had been to the bus terminal three times to check for us. So much for planning! We were TIRED and after some quesadillas went to bed.


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Natural Healing — Mesquite

mesquite tree

If you have ever sheltered under the shadow of a mesquite tree on a hot summer afternoon, you will certainly appreciate at least one aspect that this crooked, spiny, unlovely tree has to offer.

Mesquite also spelled mezquite and known as algarroba, belong to the Prosopis species. There are at least 44 clearly defined species and numerous hybrids, making identification difficult.

The word mesquite comes from the Nahuatl word mizquitl. The invading Spanish dubbed this tree algarrobo because of its similarity to the carob tree they were more familiar with.

In Mexico, all parts of this drought-hardy tree are used. The wood is used for cooking, providing an aromatic, slow smoke that flavors the food. The sweet and nutritious pods are used as a quick chewy snack, fodder for animals and processed into flour. The sap, bark, and leaves from the tree have medicinal value including antioxidant hepatoprotective, hemolytic, anticancer, antibacterial, antifungal, antidiabetic, and anti-inflammatory activities

Archeological evidence shows that the pods have been used as a food source as far back as 6,500 BCE in Mexico. These pods, depending on the species, are made up of 41% sugar, 35% fiber, and 22% protein. They contain lysine, potassium, manganese, and zinc as well. My mother-in-law said that chewing these regularly will help increase a mother’s milk production. She would know. She had 11 children. Then again, mesquite pods are high in dietary estrogen. Our dairy goats love them as well!

The pods can be dried or roasted, then ground into a flour. This flour could be used to make cakes that once dry would last long enough to provide essential nutrients during drought. The powdered pods can also be mixed with water to make a sweet drink called añapa or sometimes allowed to ferment into chicha.

Mesquite wood has been so aggressively harvested that it is now illegal to cut down live trees, not that those laws are strictly enforced. Although in some areas, most notably in San Luis Potosi, cutting a mesquite tree that has three branches that form a cross is considered sacrilegious.

To treat an irritated stomach, a weak tea can be made from 50 grams of mesquite bark per liter of water. The bark should only be allowed to steep a few minutes before straining. If the tea was meant to treat dysentery, the dose is doubled. The tea coats the stomach and reduces inflammation.

This same weak tea can be used as a gargle for sore throats, bronchitis or mouth sores. Finely chopped leaves and bark can be used as a soothing astringent.

The sap has traditionally been used topically for lip sores and hemorrhoids. To make treat irritated or infected eyes, the sap is added to distilled water, sealed and shaken. When the gum dissolves, it is used as an eyewash. An infusion of mesquite leaves can also be used to make an eyewash.

Apparently, mesquite sap is used in a treatment for baldness in some areas of Mexico as well. Two types of mesquite grow in our area. The pod on the left is unripe. When it ripens, it is a cream and red mottled color. It’s sweet and chewy. The pod on the left is called vina locally and is a favorite of our goats, especially after a brush fire toasts them to a crisp. 


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Filed under Health, Native fauna and flora, Natural Healing