Friday, November 2, 2012

Halloween with Hyland's

I know for most people Halloween and Trick or Treat have come but I have to say I have seen some AMAZING costumes on my facebook newsfeed. Our trick or treating was postponed so technically I still have time, but I think this year we are relying on costumes my mom sent down. Last year, we went all out for the yearly Pumpkin Patch Parade and my husband (yes Husband!) made my youngest son's costume.

You are probably like what on earth but baby E was slimer.  My husband and older son were both ghostbusters.

How creative were you this year?  If you are ready to showcase your Halloween Costume making skills? 

Hyland’s is hosting a fun Halloween contest featuring $500 worth of prizes! 

To enter, just head to to upload your photos before November 5. (You will see a tab at the top of the page “Enter Contest”)

After you enter your photo(s), you can view your submission(s) under the “View Entries” tab and vote for your favorites November 6 through November 9. 

The grand prize winner will be determined by votes and receive:
  • $100 VISA gift card
  • Hyland’s Backpack
  • Hyland’s Sore Throat
  • Hyland’s Cold Tablets with Zinc
  • Hyland’s Compete Flu Care
  • Hyland’s Complete Flu Care 4 Kids
  • Hyland’s Nightime Cold n’ Cough 4 Kids
  • Hyland’s DEFEND Nightime Cold & Cough
  • Hyland’s Sniffles ‘n Sneezes 4 Kids
  • Hyland’s Baby Tiny Cold Tablets   
Approximate Value: $200!

Additional Prizes:  Hyland’s will be awarding second place prizes based on three separate categories: Cutest, Most Elaborate and Most Creative.
Each prize includes:
  • Hyland’s Backpack
  •  Hyland’s Sore Throat
  • Hyland’s Cold Tablets with Zinc
  • Hyland’s Compete Flu Care
  • Hyland’s Complete Flu Care 4 Kids
  • Hyland’s Nightime Cold n’ Cough 4 Kids
  • Hyland’s DEFEND Nightime Cold & Cough
  •  Hyland’s Sniffles ‘n Sneezes 4 Kids
  • Hyland’s Baby Tiny Cold Tablets
Approximate Value $100

Good Luck!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I am the Voice of Hyland's

 If you have read my previous blog posts, you probably already know I am a huge fan of Hyland's Homeopathic products.  I was first introduced to Hyland's when my oldest son was 6 months old.  His gums were inflamed and I could see not 1 but 4 teeth on the verge of popping through.  He was MISERABLE!  I kept hearing about Hyland's teething tablets from my friends and finally gave them a try.  They are now my go-to teething relief product.  I have used them with both my boys and have never disappointed. 

When I was approached to be a Hyland's Ambassador, I jumped at the chance.   It was just a great opportunity for our blog but also for you, which I will get back to in a bit so hold tight. You won't be disappointed.

Hyland’s was founded in 1903 as a Los Angeles pharmacy. At that point, homeopathy was standard medical practice in the United States.  I think we are coming full circle, don't you?  Throughout the decades, Hyland’s continue to focus on natural medicines that were strong in relieving symptoms but gentle in the way they worked.  Their products are designed to help aid our body's natural defenses. This is one of the main reasons I was drawn to their products.  

As a nurse, I try very hard to balance conventional medicine with other alternative and natural approaches for both myself and my family.   My family eats a well-balanced real food diet and live active lives.  We help build our body's defenses through diet and use natural products to help give our body's an extra boost when we are sick. There are lots of different homeopathic products out there but I rely on Hyland's because I find the company very trustworthy. They go to great lengths to offer their consumers effective products that are safe.

I know I talk a lot about their teething tablets but my family has used a variety of their products.  The most recent product we have tried was the Hyland's Muscle Therapy Gel with Arnica.  My husband and I both run.  We alternate nights so that someone is always home with the boys.  A couple weeks ago my husband started taking nights off because he had a constant cramp in his calf.  He tried stretching and resting but it just kept coming back.  He started using the muscle therapy and it helped a lot.  He wasn't quite sold on the smell but he was glad to have some relief. 

Ok so back to the good news for YOU... 

 Hyland's is sponsoring a wonderful giveaway and 1 lucky reader will win approximately $80 worth of products!  The products included in the "I'm the voice of Hyland's" giveaway are...

Hyland’s Baby Vitamin C Tablets
Hyland’s Baby Tiny Cold Tablets
Hyland’s Cold n’ Cough 4 Kids
Hyland’s Complete Allergy 4 Kids
Hyland’s Calms Forte
Hyland’s Leg Cramps
Hyland’s DEFEND Sinus
Hyland’s DEFEND Cold & Cough
Hyland’s Muscle Therapy Gel with Arnica

Hyland's wants to hear from YOU! To enter, you must share why you choose Hyland’s products on Hyland’s Facebook page, Hyland’s website, and/or Amazon by leaving a comment/review.  Once you do that leave a comment or review on one of those pages, come on back and make sure to finish rafflecopter in order to make your entry official and to earn bonus entries. One winner will be chosen at random to win the gift basket.

It is very important to Hyland's to get consumer feedback so please leave comments about their products.  They really want to hear from you!

Good luck!!! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Try it Tuesday: Bug Repellants

It don’t need bug repellants very often.  I love being outside but since I am in the final phase of my schooling, I don’t get outside beyond an evening run or walk with the boys. Early this summer I won two different giveaways (Thanks Natural Product Network and Green Grandma!) and the prizes… bug repellants!  I was sure I would never get to try them out, but boy was I wrong. I know summer is coming to and end but if you are in need of bug spray, check these two products out…

I had the opportunity to use this product on the Fourth of July. As my family was waiting for the fireworks to begin, I started to get attacked by bugs.  I wasn’t sure what was biting me but my arms were itching like crazy.  As always, I was the only one getting bit and my husband just bragged about how he wasn't being bothered.  I knew I couldn’t make it so I ran home and grabbed the Combat-Ready Bug Repellant I had just received.  It is a bug spray made with natural ingredients. 

I wasn’t sure what it was going to smell like but overall, it wasn’t too overpowering. It dries fairly quickly and doesn’t leave any weird residue on your body.  The best part… It helped tremendously.  I still felt like I was getting bit but the frequency was much less.  In addition to the fact that the product works very well, the creator has been donating care packages of combat-ready products to our troops overseas for over five years. 

It costs $16 plus shipping for a 2.7 oz spray bottle.

In mid-July, the company my husband works for held their annual picnic.  It was to be held outside near a park north of where we lived.  Just in case, I packed Wildwood SoapWorks bug spray.  Everything was going well until my boys made their way over to the kickball area, which was pretty much just a grass field.  My legs started itching so before the boys got too involved, I sprayed my legs and theirs. 

The fragrance was actually pleasant.  It didn’t remind of the typical smell of bug sprays.  It applied as well as the combat-ready bug repellant did. It didn’t leave a sticky film and dried quickly.  After applying it, I had absolutely no more trouble.  I didn’t notice bugs at all for the rest of the event.  I was really impressed.

Wildwood SoapWorks bug and tick spray is natural blend of essential oils and a proprietary extract.  The company GUARANTEES it will work or they will give you your money back. 

The cost is a little more, it comes a 2 oz spray bottle and it costs $19.95 plus shipping. I have also had the opportunity to try their gardener soap and pink grapefruit lotion bar, I loved all three of their products!  They are definitely worth trying. 

If you are comparing these products to other bug repellants that you can buy at your local drugstore or superstore, you will notice there is a price difference.  The natural bug sprays are more expensive but if you are worried about what you are putting on your skin or you kids AND you want a natural options, these two good choices.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Foodie Friday: Whole Wheat Pancakes

I make a variety of whole wheat pancakes for my boys.  They love them, I love them so it is a win-win.  I have tried a variety of different recipes because I am pretty picky about some of the ingredients.  Two weeks ago, I think I finally found my favorite recipe. 

  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 3 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 3 teaspoons melted butter
  • 1 cup fresh chopped fresh strawberries, raspberry, or blueberries whatever you want
Combine whole wheat pastry flour and baking powder in a bowl.  Mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl.  I usually put my wet ingredients in my mixing bowl then slowly add in the dry.  Once everything is mixed together, add the berries.  The first time I added raspberries, which were good but the second time I added blueberries... delicious!

I let my batter sit for about 15 minutes, which helps to relax the gluten.  I usually scoop about 1/4 cup of batter on to my griddle (usually set between 300-350 degrees) and flip the pancake once the edges have set and you start to see bubble in the batter. 

If you give the recipe a try, let me know what you think!


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Try it Tuesday: Hyland’s Teething Tablets

I’ll admit it I didn’t just stumble upon Hyland’s Teething Tablets, I have used this product at some point with both my boys.  I’m writing about it now because I have a renewed love for this product.

The last couple of weeks have been rough with my little guy.  He has always been on the go.  He started to walk at 9 months and never looked back.  I joke that he can climb like Spiderman but has the temper of the Hulk. 

Don't be fooled by his cute looks

He has always been independent but the last two weeks, he has just been down right stubborn.  Case in point, he was struggling to get up on the bed so I picked him up.  Did I get a hug, a smile, or a kiss for my help? Nope. Instead he screamed at me while getting down so he could struggle to get back up on his own.  Fine little man, have it your way…. Struggle on!

In addition to these wonderful power struggles, Emmett started to wake up at night.  It wasn’t a pleasant, “hey guys I am up and love you”, kind of thing but more like “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH I am up and miserable”.  I initially went in to rock and cuddle with him but those wonderful thoughts vanished as I held my kicking and screaming 18 months old.  My husband had more luck but this continued for about a week. Every night, I prayed that he wouldn't wake his brother because nothing says fun like two kids up in the middle of the night screaming and crying.  I had no clue what was going on. Could it be some sort of 18 month sleep regression, ear infection, or was this going to be his new personality?

One day my husband came home and said “I was going to buy Hyland’s Teething Tabs for Emmett but I forgot”.  It was like a light bulb went off.  Why hadn’t I thought about his teeth?!  When he was young, I would have almost instantly blamed teething but I think because he has almost a full set of chompers, I dismissed it.  I took a look into his mouth and the gums around his cuspids were fairly swollen.  I was going to poke around but I was worried it may result in a finger being sacrificed.

The first night we gave him two teething tabs before bed, they worked like a charm.  He slept quietly.  There was no thrashing, arching, screaming, restlessness, banging on crib rails…just peace. It was wonderful, and I quickly remembered why I fell in love with this product. I'm not the only Greenola Girl who loves them, Michelle also swears by them!

Information about Hyland’s Teething Tablets

Hyland’s Baby Teething Tablets are a homeopathic formula that helps reduce the symptoms baby’s experience in relation to cutting teeth. They help reduce pain, inflammation, fever, and drooling. They contain no benzocaine and have no numbing effect. The tablets dissolve fairly quickly.  They are sold at the majority of drugstores and superstores (Wal-mart, Target).  

You can find the formula and directions for us on Hyland’s website. 

Have you tried Hyland’s Teething Tablets?  What do you think?


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Strawberry Rhubarb Oatmeal Muffins with Whole Wheat Flour

I was ecstatic about my first CSA delivery.  I was trying to guess what I might get based on what would be in season.  I knew I was going to get lots of greens but was surprised when I got rhubarb and strawberries.  The strawberries were ready to pick early this year because of the unusually warm weather. Rhubarb took me by surprised because I thought I checked to box that said “No Rhubarb”.  I’ve never actually eaten rhubarb but I passed on it because I didn’t know what to do with it. 

When I saw the two ingredients, I immediately thought pie but I knew strawberry rhubarb pie typically has LOTS of sugar.  I wanted something that we could eat everyday without the guilt.  How do you find something like that? Search the internet! 

I found a wholewheat oatmeal rhubarb recipe and set out to make it work for me.  The first change should be obvious; I needed (or wanted) to add strawberries.  I decided to do 1 cup of strawberries and 1 cup of rhubarb.  The next adjustment I made was switching “vegetable oil” for coconut oil.  While coconut oil used to be categorized as a no-no, research is beginning to show that it does have positive benefits.  Finally, I switched out the brown sugar in exchange for honey.   Voila, now you have…

Strawberry Rhubarb Oatmeal Muffins

·       1 cup fresh rhubarb, chopped
·       1 cup fresh strawberries, chopped
·       1 egg
·       1 cup whole milk
·       1 tsp. lemon juice
·       1/2 cup maple syrup
·       1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
·       1/4 cup coconut oil
·       2 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
·       1 tbs. honey
·       1 cup rolled oats *I actually used Old Wessex Organic Irish-Style Oatmeal because I know it was verified GMO-free by the Non-GMO Project
·       1/2 tsp. cinnamon
·       1 tsp. baking soda
·       1/4 tsp. salt


In a bowl or a stand mixer, whisk together the egg, milk, lemon juice, unsweetened apple sauce, honey and coconut oil. 

In a large bowl, mix together the whole wheat flour, rolled oats, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.

Make a “well” in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour the egg mixture in, and stir just until combined. If using a stand mixer, you can slowly pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredient mixture. 

Gently stir in the chopped rhubarb and strawberries. Let batter rest for about 10-15 minutes. Resting the batter allows the flour to absorb some of the liquid in the batter, while allowing the gluten to relax.

Pour batter into paper muffin cups or greased muffin tin.

Bake in center of oven at 350° F for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool muffins in the pan for about 5-10 minutes, and then remove to a cooling rack.

Makes about 16 muffins

Nutritional Information

Calories: 169, Fat: 4.8g, Cholesterol: 12mg, Sodium: 126mg, Carbohydrates: 28.3g, Protein: 3.7g

Sorry for the less then stellar pic, it was from my phone

Monday, June 11, 2012

I'm jamming!

Every Sunday, I start to prepare for the week.  I try to get meals planned, and breakfast options made.  My boys go to daycare three days a week and I like to have muffins ready for those days.  It just makes everything run smoothly.  The boys get a muffin and fresh fruit then we are off and running but this Sunday I mixed things up. 

I had an opportunity to get a flat of strawberries through my CSA with Kretschmann’s Organic Farm last Friday.  They don’t actually grow the strawberries but get them from a local partner farmer.  Unfortunately, they are not organic.  I had done some searching and it is very difficult to find local, organic strawberries.  I took them anyhow and decide to embark on my first canning experience.

I cleaned all the strawberries on Saturday night, made a trip to Wal-mart Sunday morning for supplies, and started my strawberry jam on Sunday afternoon.  I enlisted my husband to cut the strawberries with me.  He did a much neater job then I did.  I was covered in strawberry juice by the time we were done cutting the probably close to 9 lbs of strawberries. 

I used a no refined sugar, pectin-free strawberry jam recipe provided by 100 Days of Real Food.  The process was fairly easy.  The biggest issue I encountered was my stove.  I have a beast of a stove from the 70’s.  It is brown and it is a double oven/stove all in one big monstrous piece. The canning pot I have barely fit on the back burner.  I would have used the front big burner but I had little choice since it doesn’t work… umm did I mention I could use a new stove/oven?

The strawberry jam turned out good.  All 14 of my jars sealed and while I know that doesn’t guarantee everything went well, I was excited.   The jam itself was pretty good, it is a little sweeter then I like but it was definitely a good, easy recipe to start with.  I tested a small drop on a plate and my boys would have licked it clean if I let them.

I was also successful in making my neighbor hungry and reminiscent.  My neighbor to the right asked my husband if we were making strawberry jam because she could smell strawberries all afternoon while she was working in her garden.  She also said it brought back memories of making jam with her mom as a child.  

I’ve got the itch to do more canning.  Do you have any tried and true recipes you love?

Monday, June 4, 2012

The best shampoo you'll never find in a store

I'm here to let you in on an amazing deal for a fantastic shampoo that leaves your hair moisturized and feeling squeaky clean. It's also very safe to use, but you can't search for it on the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep database. The best part of all, it is super inexpensive!

This is a very, VERY exclusive opportunity. It's only available to you because it's actually made by you, in your home, with ingredients that you've likely already got in your pantry (or can find easily in most grocery stores).

I made the commitment to green up my shower routine a few months ago and have experimented with umpteen different combinations - baking soda paste dry washes (icky chalky mess), apple cider vinegar rinses (tolerable, but never made my hair feel absolutely clean), coconut oil treatments (hello greasy, stringy hair), "safe" shampoos from natural foods stores (buh-bye money and easily combed hair). I wasn't totally satisfied with any of those, but I wasn't ready to give up. Enter pinterest.

I can't express how much I heart pinterest. From ideas for gardening that I will likely never successfully implement in my yard to elaborate recipes that are intimidating yet enticing, you can find everything on that site. It is an especially good resource when researching ways to live clean and green. I've made a ton of homemade cleaners thanks to strangers pinning ridiculously easy "recipes". So, I was beyond excited when I came across a pinned photo of the back of a woman's head...her hair looked healthy, smooth, and beautiful. The pin promised access to the best homemade shampoo EVER or something to that extent. SOLD.

I would try to convince you that this is my beautiful head of hair, but I have no time for styling.

I originally intended to use my homemade coconut milk for this recipe, but I wasn't thinking straight and added vanilla to it for my kids to drink. Oh, well...Native Forest canned coconut milk is thick and creamy (while my homemade was not), plus their products are organic and BPA-free. This was so easy to mix together and I decided an unused, cute hand soap pump dispenser was perfect for this use.

Here's the recipe (adapted from
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup liquid castille soap (I used Dr. Bronner's almond)
  • several drops of vitamin E oil
  • Lots and lots of the essential oil(s) of your choice (I decided to rip off Aveda and do rosemary and peppermint oils)
Place all ingredients in the dispenser and shake.

You will need to shake the dispenser before each use. I use about two palms full of the shampoo each time because I have very thick and pretty long hair. This will lather up a little, which I like. Natural shampoos tend to not lather at all and conventional (read: chemical soup) shampoos lather a ton...this is somewhere in the middle. I make sure I rinse very well to prevent any build-up because I have extremely hard water. Occasionally, I'll follow a normal shampoo routine with an apple cider vinegar rinse just to be sure that everything has been totally cleaned out.

Since I started to use this shampoo, my hair has been much more manageable. I can run a brush through it without encountering tangles and my hair looks and feels great once it's completely air dried.

Give it a try and let us know how it worked out for you!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Foodie Friday Meal Plan 6/4-6/11

Red meat lovers rejoice! I've got two - TWO - beef recipes to share this week! Additionally, I've got some seriously delicious meatless recipes that will satisfy all the picky eaters in your house (well...they satisfied mine, at least). Obviously, I was on some sort of Italian kick which is always appreciated at our dinner table.  
As usual, the recipes can be found here.

Zucchini, Tomato, and Fresh Herb Fettucine
I substituted yellow squash for the zucchini since it was readily available.

Sausage and Kale Mock Lasagna
Cauliflower Pizza Bites

Noodle-free lasagna! I used a combination of Swiss chard and kale - DELISH!



I've never been a fan of green beans, but my CSA basket has had a pound each week this month, so I've had to get creative.

Penne with Balsamic Sweet Potato, Arugual, and Parmesan
Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms


Steak (I'm a steak purist - simply season with salt and pepper, then sear it on the stove for a couple of minutes each side, then finish off in a hot oven)
Slow-Cooked Bacon and Cheese Potatoes
Wilted Spinach with Garlic and Red Wine Vinegar
Sauteed Green Beans with Creamy Garlic Sauce (simply trim, saute with garlic and add some heavy cream)

Italian Stuffed Patty Pan Squash
Whole Wheat Israeli Couscous
Sauteed Broccoli with Garlic

Patty pans have very little flesh on the inside, but they make a cute vessel for stuffing!

Eggplant Parmesan Soup (I was able to modify the recipe to make it in the crock pot!)
Easy Spicy Garlic Bread
Mixed Greens Salad with Peaches and Plums 


Clean Eating Sloppy Joes
Homemade Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns
Crispy Oven-Fried Green Beans
Mixed Greens Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Onions

Culinary Lessons
Fruity Freezer Pops

P and I combined Greek yogurt, fresh strawberries, and frozen raspberries in the food processor. Then we filled these cute pop molds and froze them for about three hours. They were perfect for our Memorial Day BBQ and pool party!

Homemade Natural Peanut Butter


Simply throw a bunch of raw peanuts into a food processor and GO! Let it run for a few minutes then drizzle in some of your go-to oil (I've tried coconut and olive, both work well). Voila! Peanut butter!!

Hooray for healthy eating!!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Foodie Friday Meal Plan 5/28-6/3

Normally, we enjoy at least three nights of meatless meals, but this week you will notice that there are only two meatless dinners and one seafood. I felt like we needed some fish fats and got a little carried away when planning my meat lover meals, so alas...this is what resulted. The salmon dish was still light and healthy, so I'm happy with the plan overall. How often do you eat meat, fish, and vegetarian meals? 

A personal note - if ever you see things like sugar, margarine, white flour, "lowfat," or "nonfat" in any of the recipes I link, please be assured that I only use the REAL FOOD equivalents, meaning non-processed, unrefined, whole wheat, and full fat.  

As usual, the recipes can be found here.

Turkey Pesto Meatloaf (my husband, who typically doesn't like pesto, loved every bit of this meal)
Green and Clean Pesto Lentil Patties
Fennel Gratin

Vegetarian Gumbo in the Crock Pot (who doesn't love a set-it-and-forget-it meal?)
Steamed Brown Rice
Savory Southern Collard Greens with Turnips


BBQ Baked Beans with Sausage (I used a delicious rabbit, pork, and ginger sausage made by D'Artagnan that I picked up during the Go France Week at HEB Central Market)
Zucchini Squash and Broccoli Bake
Homemade Whole Wheat Bread with Garlic and Parmesan 


Seared Salmon with Smoky Kale and White Beans (Can you tell I've recently discovered how to do effects on my smart phone camera? They make my food look extra purdy)
Artichokes with Spaghetti


Whole Chicken in a Crock Pot (I made the chicken the day before and just shredded up some of the meat for this meal...make sure to save the bones for future stock!)
Brussel Sprouts with Sherry Asiago Cream Sauce
Portabello Mushroom Cap Stuffed with Spinach and Goat Cheese



Squash, Chickpea, and Red Lentil Stew (again, who doesn't love a good crock pot meal??)
Crispy Brussels Sprouts


Pork Steaks with Roasted Squash Salsa
Cheesy Butternut Squash and Cauliflower Casserole (the recipe linked is vegan, but I have a fear - some say irrational - of vegan cheese, so I used the real stuff...a combo of cheddar and parm with heavy cream)
Potato Parmesan Bites
Endive Salad

Breakfasts/Culinary Lessons

Hooray for killing two birds with one stone...

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pecan Chocolate Chip Muffins

Summer Squash and Berry Bread (squash is aplenty this time of year, so we used a combo of yellow, zucchini, and magda squashes)