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Zarbee’s Naturals Seasonal Relief

Zarbees Naturals Seasonal Relief

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Zarbee’s Naturals. I received a promotional item and a product sample as a thank you for participating.

To say that we have had a long winter here in Wisconsin is probably a bit of an understatement. Between the copious amounts of snow that fell and the well-below-zero temperatures, we began to wonder if any living thing would ever emerge from the frozen ground again.  But, just as predicted, we are starting to see daffodil leaves, green grass and tree buds.  While all of those things are  beautiful and welcome signs of spring and the warm days to come, they are also harbingers of a much less loved springtime visitor – seasonal congestion.

LJ and I both experience seasonal congestion and I am always looking for a natural option to help me make it through the tougher times (like when the trees first begin to bud).  I’ve tried a variety of things including adjusting my diet and trying to be more careful about washing my hair and clothes after being outside.  Recently, I’ve added Zarbee’s Seasonal Relief to my arsenal as well.  (We have been Zarbee’s fans here ever since we discovered their cough syrup a while back.)

I’ll admit to be being a bit skeptical of all natural remedies. (Chalk that up to being burned a few times in the past by products that did not deliver as advertised.)  There is nothing worse that heading out for a day of fun and realizing not too far into it that whatever you took is not cutting it!  Luckily, I have had a great experience with Zarbee’s Naturals Seasonal Relief!  I’ve been able to go about my regular activities with little to no interruption and love that I’m not adding yet another medication to my list.

In addition to being really happy with the product, I also love that Zarbee’s has launched the Seasonal Relief Project.  

The Zarbee’s Seasonal Relief Project website is a great place to go to get coupons or samples, find tips on how to deal with seasonal congestion, and report back on how Zarbee’s Seasonal Relief is working for you.  A really cool thing is that, when you report back, Zarbee’s will make a donation to a cause of your choice that supports and promotes the protection of clean air including the Fresh Air FundChildren & Nature Network, and Moms Clean Air Force, and Healthy Child Healthy World.

Zarbee’s Naturals’ Seasonal Relief is available over the counter at CVS and Target and is intended for children 12 years of age and over

Please keep in mind that I am NOT a doctor, in fact I tend to pass out at the sight of needles or blood. Also,  these statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is a natural supplement and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.



Build Your Own Elevated Raised Garden Bed

How to build an elevated garden bed. #gardening #DIYWhile I love the fresh veggies we get from our garden every year, I was not thrilled about the amount we were losing to rabbits, deer, and other critters who were helping themselves to the fruits of my hard work!  I began looking at my local garden supply stores for a solution and came across a great idea – an elevated garden bed.  This takes the idea of a raised bed garden one step further and puts it at waist level.  Not only does this deter rabbits, deer, and the like, it also makes weeding a snap as you don’t have to bend over.

I found this VegTrug elevated bed at a local store and fell in love. When I showed Jay, he winced at the price and assured me he could build me a bigger one for a fraction of the cost.

expensive vegtrug elevated bed

We headed to Home Depot where we bought everything we needed for the project.  We got:

Twenty 2″x 4″x 8′ cedar boards

One 1″ x 2″ x 8′ cedar board

A box of 2 1/2″ screws

We had the following already at home:

A miter saw (If you are not able to cut your wood, a Home Depot employee will be able to cut them to the needed sizes)

A drill and drill bits

A tape measure

build your own elevated garden 1

Here is how Jay went about building the elevated bed:

1) Cut the 2′ x 4′ pieces (or have them cut) to the following sizes

  • 8 pieces cut to 3 feet, 11.75 inches (long side bed pieces)
  • 8 pieces cut to 3 feet, 4 inches (short side bed pieces)
  • 4 pieces cut to 36 inches (long leg pieces)
  • 4 pieces cut to 23 inches (top short leg pieces)
  • 4 pieces cut to 9.25 inches (bottom short leg pieces)
  • 2 pieces cut to 36.75 inches (leg supports)

Jay stacked the boards according to size to keep them straight.

build your own elevated garden 2

2) Begin with the legs of the bed.  Screw together the long leg pieces and short leg pieces so that they are flush on one end.  You should end up with four legs.

build your own elevated garden 4


3) Take two of the completed legs and fasten them to one of the support leg boards.  Repeat with the other two legs.

4) Attach the bottom short leg pieces just below the support board and screw into place on both sets of your own elevated garden 5

5) Stand the legs up so that they form H’s with the cross piece toward the top.  Take a long side bed piece and use it to connect the legs together as shown in the picture.  Repeat all the way around the bed.

build your own elevated garden 6

6) Continue building the sides of the bed by placing the remaining side pieces around the outside of the bed.

build your own elevated garden 7


build your own elevated garden 9

7) Once the sides are built, screw the 1″ x 2″ piece along the inside, bottom of the sides to form a lip which will act as a base for the bottom.

8) Cut the remaining pieces to fit inside the bed and form the floor.  The measurements do not have to be exact – small gaps will allow water to flow through.

build your own elevated garden 91


build your own elevated garden 93

And voila!! You now have an elevated garden.

How would you like to win enough to cover the cost of this project, all of your gardening supplies or whatever other projects you have planned?  From today, April 21st through Wednesday, April 23rd, is giving out $3,000 in Home Depot gift cards.

Five Ways to Stay Healthy This Winter (Doctor Recommended Tips)

Collective Bias Social Fabric


stay healthy this winter insync probiotics #shopWith yet another Polar Vortex bearing down on us and the flu showing up in more and more communities, staying healthy is definitely on the forefront of many people’s minds right now.  Getting sick means not only the discomfort of the illness’s symptoms, but missed work or school, childcare issues, and sometimes a somewhat minor  illness can progress into a more serious condition.  There are a number of doctor recommended steps you can take to build up your immune system to try and fight off any of the nasty bugs circulating around.  (Thanks to #CollectiveBias for allowing me to share these tips including a #NaturalProbiotic.)



Wash your hands often.  While this seems like something that should go without saying, based on what goes on in many of the public restrooms I’ve been in, it apparently DOES need to be said.  (I know my kiddo in particular needs frequent reminders – especially before snacks or when he first comes home from school.)  Doctors agree that warm water and soap are still the best way to combat illness.  Hand sanitizer is great for when you are in a pinch, but should not replace good old fashioned hand washing!

stay healthy this winter #shop

Get plenty of sleep.  I know that I am often guilty of not taking my own advice on this one – there’s always so much to do! I do notice that most of the time when I come down with a cold or other bug, it is when I am already run down and definitely not getting enough sleep.  I am trying really hard this year to make sure that I am in bed at a decent hour and getting the most restful sleep possible.

stay healthy this winter sleep #shop

Eat a balanced diet.  I’m convinced that part of the reason why I almost always get sick right after the holidays is a combination of that last tip and this one.  I definitely feel better when I am making sure that I am not loading up on sweets and am getting lots of natural vitamins through fruits and vegetables.  I also supplement with a vitamin D capsule as I tested deficient and I have noticed improved immunity since I started taking it.  Heaven knows I’m not getting any vitamin D from the sun right right now – the few times I am outside, I barely have any skin showing lest it freeze!

stay healthy this winter food #shop

Relax.  Stress can compromise your immune system and make you more likely to catch whatever is making the rounds.  Seriously – I’m not kidding!  One study found that people who has just experienced a major stressful event were twice as likely to come down with the common cold.  I’m sure you can think of some anecdotal examples of this as well.  Maybe that has something to do with my post holiday illnesses as well….hmmmm.

Keep your gut healthy.  I’m a HUGE believer in the power of probiotics not just in digestive health, but in immunity as well.  I started investigating probiotics after LJ had some health issues following a long period on antibiotics.  He was experiencing not only digestive issues, but heartburn as well.  When the doctor wanted him to start taking an antacid at age four, I looked for another solution.

My research led me to begin taking probiotics along with LJ and I’ve been thrilled with the results for both of us.  While foods like yogurt and kefir are great sources of these healthy bugs, I like to take a supplement myself as I know that not all probiotics can survive the acidic trip through my stomach.  Right now, I am using insync™ Probiotic which contains  GI Guard™, a gradual release caplet that protects those helpful probiotics from heat, moisture and stomach acids.  I also love that insync™ Probiotic  contains six strains of  probiotics to provide the maximum benefit, including the gastroenterologist-recommended B. infantis strain.  Since I am on the go a lot, I love the fact that it does not have to be refrigerated.

stay healthy this winter probiotics #shop

I was able to find insync™ at my local Hy-Vee Grocery store. (Quick tip – I was searching for it in the vitamin aisle with no luck when one of their friendly employees directed me over to the digestive health aisle and there it was!) You can find more information by connecting with them via their Facebook page or on Twitter.

insync probiotics at hy-vee #shop



What are your tips for staying healthy during this extremely long winter??


Good Food Made Simple Makes It Easier to #EatClean

good food made simpleYou hear a lot of people taking about clean eating these days.  Based on the amount of buzz around these words lately, you would think that mainstream America was being pretty careful about what we are putting in our mouths on a daily basis.  Sadly, not so much.

A recent survey revealed that only about 35% of the people asked even look at the labels of the food they are consuming.  Despite 87% of respondents stating that clean food products are important to them, 57% of these same respondents report having purchased a leading macaroni and cheese product in the past 2 years, which is filled with preservatives and additives.   The fact is that a lot of labels are just downright confusing!  Add in the fact that the reason so many of us are reaching for convenience foods is that we are already crazy busy, and you have the perfect recipe (I know, bad pun!) for unintentionally feeding our families food with some pretty funky stuff in it.  (Oh – and add in a picky eater like my boy!  I swear he would only eat hot dogs and mac & cheese if I let him!)

So what is a mom to do if she really wants to make an effort to eat clean?

I was asking myself that very question when I was asked to participate in the Eat Simple, Eat Clean campaign.  I immediately agreed, not because I am an expert on the subject, but because I am a busy mom who wants to learn more about it – just like you.  I was thrilled to learn that the whole campaign would be sponsored by Good Food Made Simple (which means they sent me some wholesome convenient food to try and compensated me for my time and effort).  Here is what what I have identified as the most important steps in moving toward a cleaner. healthier 2014:

1. Read the labels.  Yes, I know this is tedious and not even a little fun.  But it is a tiny bit easier if you go grocery shopping by yourself.

2. Avoid ingredients you can’t pronounce, identify, or have more than six syllables. My experience is that most natural ingredients have pretty easy names, like eggs or milk. (Okay, Quinoa did throw me for a while!)

3. Stock up on foods that are convenient but still healthy. Good Food Made Simple sent me a variety of their easy-to-prepare-yet-good-for-you frozen selections to try.  Everything from their breakfast burritos, to their steal cut oatmeal, to my new favorite – jack mac ‘n cheese, were easy to make in minutes, but did not containing any funky chemicals or preservatives.  Best of all, they were delicious!

4. Educate yourself.  Hey, knowledge is power.  Learn as much as you can about how to make the best choices you are able.  One great place to go is  There you will find:

  • An unacceptable Ingredient glossary – a resource for you as you read those labels
  • Eat Clean, Eat Simple food myth of the week
  • An ingredient quiz
  • Coupons and a chance to win a “Clean Supermarket Sweep” – a grocery-shopping spree with a food expert to guide label reading and clean food purchasing.


Good Food Made Simple Breakfast Burrito

Good Food Made Simple Breakfast Burrito

Little Remedies Pledge to “Say Yes to Less” #sponsored #MC #SayYes2Less

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Little Remedies. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

I feel like the last few years especially has been a journey for my family to make do with less.  I’m not talking about cutting budgets or getting rid of stuff (although we have actually done both of those things as well) but more about what we put into our bodies.  I’m sure you’ve seen me post about my attempt at growing a vegetable garden as well as my ever growing education about how additives and GMO’s affect our bodies.

I absolutely do NOT claim to be an expert at any of this nor our we perfect about avoiding all the things that are bad for us.  But we are learning and taking baby steps to eliminate them where we can for now.  Even way back when LJ was first born, I was uncomfortable with giving him things with artificial colors and the like in them.  I tried to avoid giving him medications unless it was absolutely necessary, and even then wanted choices without red-dye-number-whatever. (Beyond the possible concerns about additives, who on earth thought it was a good idea to give nauseous babies something red? Can we say cleaning nightmare?)

When LJ was little, I discovered Little Remedies while hunting around for something effective but free of unnecessarily additives. I love that their infant fever medication (for instance) is free of artificial flavors and colors, free of saccharin and alcohol, and doesn’t have parabens, dyes, or even gluten!  What is does contain is the stuff you child needs to make them feel better – and nothing more.

The Little Remedies line has products to help with colds, stuffy noses (LOVE their stuffy nose kits!), fevers, and tummys.  You can connect with Little Remedies on their website (be sure to check out their flu tracker) or on their Facebook page .  And if you are free, be sure to pop into the #SayYes2Less Twitter Party on Wednesday, December 11th from 1:00-2:00PM EST!

As part of this campaign, I am sharing a quick snippet on what I am pledging to “Say Yes to Less” of.  You might be a little surprised by what it is…or if you know me well, maybe not!  You can make your own pledge on the Say Yes to Less page.