Last weeks Harvest Health Event

Last week I was lucky enough to score a vendor spot at Harvest Health’s 60th Anniversary Event – what a busy night that was! I even got to see quite a few of you all.

It was also great meeting people and talking about my book. I had a few “snatch and run”, as women quick grab information and leave so as not to get questions from the people their with. Silly nosy people…… !
All set up for Harvest Health's 60th Anniversary Celebration! #gr

Melanie from PeaceLab Yoga was also there – so fun to see her again.

Peace lab yoga- Grandville's only yoga studio!

It’s probably been years since we’ve seen each other and yet we got to be right across from each other all night.

Peacelab yoga's founder. #gr

There were also samples galore…..I even picked up a few! Everything from chocolate (which was divine) to toasted hemp seeds. Boxes and boxes of sample left the building that night!

Tons of free samples here tonight at @Harvest_Health! #gr

Situated behind me was a new tea company, local here to Grand Rapids, and all of their teas are fair trade and sustainably produced. Tealow products can now be found at Harvest Health as well as online. Their table was packed for most of the night as everyone came in from the cold and rainy weather looking for warmth. Their chai may just become a staple in our home!

Yum- love the tea. :-) You might have to fight the crowd though to get a sample! #gr @Harvest_Health

I’m always so impressed by how many people in our area are really interested in living healthier! It makes me feel not so alone when it seems that everything I do goes against conventional thought!

Busy, busy here tonight at @Harvest_Health! #gr

And I even go to see my new friend Margaux Drake, from WOTV4 – their healthy “eats” expert. And then I didn’t feel so alone as I wasn’t the only one walking around instagraming and twittering pictures.

I feel so lucky to live by health food store like this – especially one owned and run by local families!

Did you make it out at all last Thursday?

And if you know of any other events we should get out to – let me know!



All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

This blog is for educational purposes only. The information provided by Donielle, or any contributor, is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition. If you are seeking medical advice, please search out a qualified health practitioner.

Feeling Good Health Expo and 5K {oct. 11}

This Thursday, October 11th, Harvest Health will be celebrating their 60 year anniversary with a Health Expo and 5K run/walk at their Hudsonville location. The event runs from 5-8pm, with the run happening at 6.

Fall fun for everyone…local vendors, samples, veggie burgers, face painting and free electronic recycling with Comprenew!

If you’d like to sign up to run/walk, you’ll need to do so here: www.SignMeUp.com/86097

There will also be lots of vendors set up to showcase their products (hint, hint….samples!!) as well as a bunch of giveaways. I’ll be there too with my book, Naturally Knocked Up, so stop by to say hi if you go!



All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

This blog is for educational purposes only. The information provided by Donielle, or any contributor, is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition. If you are seeking medical advice, please search out a qualified health practitioner.

Local Fork Fest – October 18th!

The Grand Rapids area has become a vibrant local foodie culture over the last several years with multiple locally owned restaurants opening up and serving locally grown foods. I’ve even had the pleasure of eating at a few of these fabulous places (and will get to see more of them this Saturday as I attend the Taste of MI, a day of fun for foodie bloggers) and I never been disappointed. These chefs really know what they’re doing!

Beyond that we also have many local farms that work to grow healthy and delicious foods, providing them to local residents themselves or supplying our local restaurants.

You can even try them out yourself during the Local First Fork Fest!

grand rapids local food

Thursday, October 18th from 5:00-9:00pm

Romence Gardens and Greenhouse 265 Lakeside Dr. Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Tickets are $25.00 (children under 10 are free)

The following restaurants and food vendors that will be there showcasing their foods:

Amore Trattoria ltaliana
Bearboy Gourmet
Brann’s Sizzling Steaks & Sports Grille
Brewery Vivant
Dancing Goat Creamery
Derby Station
Doorganics
Earthkeeper Farm
Egg Roll Queens
Essence Restaurant Group
FarmLink
Forest Hills Foods
The Gilmore Collection
Gordon Water
Grassfields Cheese
Graydon’s Crossing
Koeze
Link Love
Logan’s Alley
Lubbers Family Farm
Making Thyme Kitchen
Old World Olive Press
Patricia’s Chocolates
Pietro’s Italian Restaurant
The Silver Spork
The Starving Artist
Tolmans Wholesale Meats
Tree Huggers
Trillium Haven
Twisted Rooster
Uptown Kitchen
Vertical Paradise Farms
The Winchester

And Beverages from:

Brewery Vivant
Vander Mill Cider
Art of the Table

(all food is included in the price of the ticket – beverages are purchased separately)

I hope to see you there – because I am definitely going!

 

*and make sure to let them know that GRNL sent you.



All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

This blog is for educational purposes only. The information provided by Donielle, or any contributor, is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition. If you are seeking medical advice, please search out a qualified health practitioner.

West MI Mom’s Sale {pre-shopping pass GIVEAWAY}

west michigan moms saleHave you ever been bummed that you missed out on some great deals for kids stuff – just because you showed up to late? Well, have I got a great giveaway for you! This week we’ve partnered up with West Michigan Mom’s Sale and will be giving away two pairs of pre-shopping passes.

This year it will be at the DeVos Place, September 15th from 9am-3pm.

The West Michigan Mom’s Sale was organized by a group of local moms who wanted to help other moms in the area have a better way to sell and shop for their growing kids. This sale is, without a doubt, the best place for bargain shopper mothers.

I don’t know about you, but I have a definite love/hate relationship with garage sale-ing. I can find great deals and spend a lot less on my kids clothes, but it’s almost not worth it when you factor in the gas it takes to drive around. Over the last couple of years I’ve decided to only hit up neighborhood sales, which helps, but sometimes I still can’t find the right sizes for the right gender. But with a mom-to-mom sale, I’m guaranteed to be able to find what I’m looking for when there are a ton of other moms selling all in one place.

No driving around, no scouring the online garage sale ads, no scoping out the garages while you drive by. You just go to one place and find a multitude of items that you and your family need.

You’ll be able to find gently used baby/children’s clothing (size 0-16), maternity clothing, toys, nursery furniture, and anything else that is baby, child, or maternity related.

What about Halloween costumes, shoes, quilts, burp cloths, puzzles, car seats, Lego’s, and bedroom accessories?

Yes, you can find it ALL at Michigan’s largest Mom-to-Mom Sale.

TWO of our readers will win a PAIR of passes – so you can bring your BFF to help you grab the best deals. And do all of this BEFORE it opens to the public – these passes will get you in the doors a full two hours beforehand.

To Enter

  • Leave a comment here on this post

Entries will be accepted until Monday, September 10 2012 at 6am.

Make sure you share this giveaway with your friends! (there is an easy FB share button at the bottom of the post-doing so does not increase your chances of winning)

I was given a pre-shopping pass in exchange for this post – I can not wait to go. Hope to see you there!

Giveaway Fine Print

1) giveaway item will be as stated above. 2)Entrants must be over 18 and have a US mailing address and be able to go to the mom-to-mom sale on 9/18/12. 3) Giveaway to run from 9/6/2012 – 9/10/2012 6:00am EST. 4) Entries will be considered when left as a comment, valid e-mail address required. 5) Winner will be chosen via random number by the WP plugin ‘and the winner is….’ and they have 24 hours to claim their prize after I send an email. 6) Duplicate entries will be deleted if found, contest will be extended is site issues come up. 7 ) giveaway sponsored by Kohler Expo 8 ) No purchase necessary to win. 9) Prize not redeemable for cash. 10)Naturally Knocked Up, LLC is not liable for any injury or damage to persons and/or things as a result of the acceptance of the prize offered.



All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

This blog is for educational purposes only. The information provided by Donielle, or any contributor, is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition. If you are seeking medical advice, please search out a qualified health practitioner.

Preserving the multitude of summer’s bounty

{a post by Mel}

Boy, have I gotten myself in over my head!

It’s normal for me to do a ton of canning and this year is no exception. However, I took a bunch of leftover produce from a local farmer’s CSA to preserve, and as a part of those leftovers I got approximately 50 pounds of jalapeños!

Yes, you read that right.

Jalapeñosphoto credit – quazeck

I don’t even like jalapenos and now I am spending HOURS canning and preserving them. I was very nervous as to what I was going to with them all, but thanks to some friends and Google I came up with a bunch of ideas!

My first task was Cowboy Candy, which a friend suggested. I thought it would make great gifts for some of my family members who love hot foods, and I am anxious to see how they turn out. I’ve been told it is best to wait two weeks to try it, so we shall see what my family thinks.

My second recipe was Hot Pepper Jam which I found the idea for online and the directions were right in the package of jam pectin I purchased. (I had a couple different brands and both of them had recipes) I did taste this and it was really good! My husband reminded me that back when we were dating (before I went dairy free) we purchased hot pepper jam at the store and mixed it with cream cheese to make a dip for our crackers. It was SO yummy!

cowboy candy

I have other plans for the other half of my jalapenos, which include drying and grinding some into powder and pickling some of the others.

In addition to the jalapenos I got lots of other produce I am preserving as well. I am trying to take advantage of all the opportunities to store food for winter and have had good luck using Google searches to come up with new recipes. So if you are overwhelmed with a particular veggie or have a new veggie you don’t know what to do with don’t be afraid to Google or ask your
friends for recipes.

I have had so much fun learning new recipes, trying new foods, and filling up my pantry with lots of goodies for the winter!

What are you currently preserving? And what have you done with a multitude of jalapenos?



All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

This blog is for educational purposes only. The information provided by Donielle, or any contributor, is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition. If you are seeking medical advice, please search out a qualified health practitioner.

Back to school deal on shoes

This post brought to you by Famous Footwear. All opinions are 100% mine.

I'm a sucker for shoes, except now a days I buy them more for my kids than for me! It gets tough to keep something on their feet when it seems that every time I turn around they grow an inch.

I also tend to get frusterated buying them shoes – stores don't often have their size in stock, or they last only a few weeks before they begin to fall apart. Or they have only one basic style and very little choices.

Last winter I was reintroduced to Famous Footwear at the Blissdom Conference and again fell in love with the variety of shoes they carry.

And?

They're totally helpful.

If you have little ones, then you know what a hassle shopping can be! By the time I get one of them sitting down and I'm finally helping them put shoes on – the other ones takes off running, hiding in the aisles, and grabbing shoes off the shelf like there's no tomorrow.

I need all the help I can get when we're shopping!

We also need to find my son a couple new pairs of shoes for the fall and winter season, so I'm glad that Famous Footwear is running a 15% off PLUS buy one, get one half off sale. (I may or may not use this to buy myself some shoes…..) The 15% off even becomes 20% off if the customer is a Rewards member! (or signs up to become a Rewards member.)

FF-BiggestVictory-GIF_300x250(1).jpg

This deal can help me keep on budget as I buy new supplies for the coming school year. Plus I know that I can run in and find what I need without the constant bickering and begging as we pass aisles of toys and candy just to find the shoes in a typical store.

You can print this coupon to help you in your own back to school shopping and redeem it in-store from now until August 18th.

BOGO + 15% off Famous Footwear Coupon

And while you're there, you can also sign up for their Rewards Program. You'll earn 1 point for every $1 you spend in-store or online, accumulate points to earn certificates up to $100 a year, get discount offers just for signing up, and get other special inside discounts and perks. (plus you'll get 20% off the BOGO deal instead of 15%!)

Visit Sponsor's Site

See how her garden grows {08.10.12 update}

One month after my first garden update, my plants have grown beyond recognition.

Instead of neat little rows, they’ve begun climbing where they will, spreading out and producing a beautiful bounty.

I left a volunteer tomato plant in the middle of my garden. It sat beautifully between my cucumber trellis and the cabbage plants and dill. Except now it’s overtaking the all.

organic gardening

Among my broccoli (which got huge by the way) and trellised cucumbers and tomatoes are a few basil plants, though it takes some doing just to find them.

organic gardening

Speaking of trellised cucumbers, I very much like growing them up our garden fence. It’s much easier to find and harvest the cukes when I can easily see them from both sides. next year I plan on doing much more of this instead of using the trellis we built. (above picture) The fence is sturdy enough when tied to the stakes, and the ‘weave’ of the fence is also large enough to allow me to pull them out from either side.

Thinking about it, we should have used this fencing instead of chicken wire for our foldable trellis.

growing cucumbers on a trellis

We also have a few melons coming along quite nicely, though only one small pumpkin showed up. I’m quite bummed that powdery mildew took out all but one pumpkin plant and has hit my my squash as well. The zucchini plants were sacrificed since they are so close to the cucumbers and well…..we like pickles more than we like zucchini. The mildew is  making a move on my cucumbers, but so far I’m keeping it at bay by pulling diseased leaves and spraying with milk every few days. I’m pretty sure it came from my one nursery purchased pumpkin, as that one got it first and it took off like wildfire. Next year I also need to make sure I plant my vine plants a bit further apart to keep this from happening.

organci gardening

We also started to battle the Japanese beetles, they were destroying my green bean plants even with my go-to natural bug repellant on them. Once I finally found an adult bug on them and figured out what was going on, we purchased those bug bags right away!

I’ll bet we caught a few hundred just in the first day. The chomping of the green bean leaves has greatly diminished and hopefully we get a decent harvest out of the plants we do have. (many seedlings were scorched by the sun)

organic gardening japenese beetles

My other garden nemesis showed up in full force as well a couple of weeks ago – the tomato hornworm. Within a week I had quite a few plants that had areas stripped bare and I couldn’t find the worms! Finally, I noticed that if I went out right away in the morning, they’d still be out eating. (they must head to the inside of the plant during the day…..?) So each morning for a few days my chickens got a breakfast of two to three very large and very gross looking tomato hornworms.

organic gardening tomato worms

All in all, I’m very hopeful for a good harvest this year, though I am worried that if we get too much rain, after having so little, that my tomatoes will start bursting as they ripen…….

How are your gardens coming along? Any major setbacks or accomplishments?



All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

This blog is for educational purposes only. The information provided by Donielle, or any contributor, is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition. If you are seeking medical advice, please search out a qualified health practitioner.

Eat Local Grand Rapids! {day one}

During the month of August I’m taking the Challenge to purchase only local foods for the month of August!

I’m all about trying category one: “Purchase ALL local foods. This includes meat, dairy, eggs, and produce along with any other pantry staples that are available in your area. You can use previously purchased non-local foods, but from here on out source out foods from within 100 miles of your home. Pantry staples (beans, flour, spices, etc) can be purchased only if needed and essential, but buy them from a locally owned store versus a national chain if possible.”

This won’t be easy at all, and already I’m wondering what I’ll do in a couple different circumstances, but I’m going to try my best to spend almost all of my grocery money locally and on farm fresh foods.

This morning we started out by peeling one of our last oranges to finish off the non-local fruits we still have in the house, and paired it with eggs from our own hens, and I had coffee with local cream (no sugar).
Eating up the last if our nonlocal fruit as we begin our #EatLocal challenge!

One issue I noticed with breakfast is that we love cheese. It’s like a food group in and of itself to my kids. And I have yet to find a locally produced cheese that they enjoy eating……So if you know of a great local source, please let me know!

We also went to the Hudsonville Farmers Market to pick up our loot for the week.
Stocked up on some local foods from the Hudsonville farmers market today! #eatlocal

  • beef and pepperoni from Creswick Farms,
  • potatoes, lettuce, carrots, peaches, and green beans from Larry’s farm market,
  • sweet corn and watermelon from Zanstra Farms, and
  • multi-colored peppers from Crossroad Farms

One veggie I didn’t pick up was broccoli, because I knew ours was starting to ripen in the backyard garden. And you know you’re up close and personal with your food when you find a worm in the wash water. Always wash your food before you eat it, even if it’s from your own organic garden.

Why you wash broccoli before you eat it. #extraprotein #eatlocal

Dinner tonight was a huge success, and deliciously tasty.

An all local dinner! #eatlocal #GR

Do you try to purchase a lot of local foods?

I hope you’ll join me in the challenge! You can choose from all local, mostly local, or local produce – but whether you take the challenge yourself or not, let’s support our local farmers (who have been working twice as hard due to our drought) and buy local.



All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

This blog is for educational purposes only. The information provided by Donielle, or any contributor, is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition. If you are seeking medical advice, please search out a qualified health practitioner.

The importance of time

My husband and I took our kids on their first camping trip last month.

It’s something we have always wanted to do, but it never made priority in our budget.  Medical bills, student loans, and our dream of owning a hobby farm someday have always made financial priority.  But this spring it dawned on me that my children only get one childhood and I wanted to make the absolute most of it!

We couldn’t wait another year to start making memories; it needed to start now! 

spending time with family

So I planned a 4 day trip with some friends of ours and it was amazing, to say the least.

Yes, the first night we got so much rain that it destroyed our used tent and we had to drive to town to put a new one on a credit card.

Yes, our hobo pie makers got melted in the fire (they were made of aluminum; be sure to buy the cast iron ones).

No camping trip is going to go by without mishaps, which always lead to great stories.

We left our iPods and cell phones in the car.  We had no electricity, no running water, and nothing stopping us from being engulfed by the nature that surrounded us.  We had amazing, secluded, rustic camping sites on the river and it was gorgeous.  We spent time with our children building memories to last a lifetime.

It was wonderful to take a break from the distractions around us to enjoy quality time together enjoying nature and you can bet that we will be camping regularly – even planning to go on a trip to the Upper Peninsula later this summer.

So take some time off, buy a tent, and start making some memories with your children or grandchildren. I can guarantee that it will be a good investment. 

 

New Tent: $150
Camping: $30/night
Spending undisturbed time with those I love: Priceless

 

Do you camp regularly with your family? If not, how to you spend undisturbed time with them in the big outdoors?

 

Mel has a Bachelors Degree in Business Management from Cornerstone University and is just about finished with a Family Herbalist Certification from Vintage Remedies. She enjoys studying nutrition and herbs in her spare time. As a stay-at-home mother of two she spends her days reading, homeschooling, cleaning, and cooking nutritious meals. Eventually her and her husband hope to buy a property to homestead.




All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

This blog is for educational purposes only. The information provided by Donielle, or any contributor, is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition. If you are seeking medical advice, please search out a qualified health practitioner.

Fun with fruit

With all of this warm weather we’ve been having lately, I’ve been trying to keep my family hydrated. But my little ones balk at drinking plain water unless they are super hot and have been outside.

Outside all day or not, I still want to make sure that they have the hydration they need.

And what tastier way to get it than with fruit? Especially a water rich fruit like melon.

Last week we had some fun making “watermelon cookies”.




The best part, was that because it was something “fun” and “different”, my kids thought these were real treats – begging for Watermelon Cookies for dessert. We’ve also brought them camping and to the beach, nicely packed in coolers for a bit of refreshment in the hot sun.

Have you ever made cookie cutter fruit?



All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

This blog is for educational purposes only. The information provided by Donielle, or any contributor, is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition. If you are seeking medical advice, please search out a qualified health practitioner.