Friday, February 8, 2019

Galentine's Day Treats on the Cheap

I don't usually go big for Valentine's Day or Galentine's Day for that matter but this year, for some reason, I am feeling the love. I've got some tricks up my sleeve for some of the ladies that I love and all without spending too much money at all. It doesn't take much to let someone know that you care about them and I do sincerely believe that it is the thought and care put into a gift that counts. Here are some of the things that I did this year and I just wish I had time to do it for every single person I know!

A Magazine Subscription (because they are so fun!) I love getting magazines in the mail. I have slimmed down what I actually have delivered to the house because I simply don't have the time to read them all but I do still have a couple of subscriptions... I think it's such a cool idea to gift someone a magazine subscription because it's a gift that lasts over a course of time. I have grabbed them off of Amazon before and have even snagged a couple on Groupon over the years (hello Yoga Journal, BHG and HGTV Mag). They're super affordable gifts ($4-$10) for a much bigger impact plus it's so simple to cater to your gal's tastes. Easy Peasy.

Handmade Cards (better than store bought imo) You might recall me talking about how into block printing I am lately so I whipped up a heart block which was mildly successful... successful enough to print out some cards to send out this Galentine's Day. It's super easy to pick up a pack of blank cards (these are my faves) and either print on them, do paper crafts, paint, use store bought stamps, the possibilities are endless. I usually write something thoughtful and light hearted to my ladies so that they feel loved and uplifted on Galentine's Day!

Kids Valentines (they're cute, right?) It gives me such joy to know that I am heading into the kids' valentines cards stage of life. Wes is in PreK and headed into Kindergarten next year so I'm assuming they do it for a couple of years at least? In any event, choosing Valentine's Day cards used to be one of m favorite things to do as a kid. Even now, I think some of the kids cards are the best, and I've bought them and given them to my friends. If I think they're cute, then it must be a nice little surprise to get kids card in the mail one day, right? Also, all it costs you is a couple dollars, some envelopes and stamps!

DIY Tees (or DIY anything, the possibilities are endless!) I love to create a statement tee on occasion and had fully intended on making tees for my entire family for Christmas...which sadly did not happen. But it's almost better for Galentine's Day imo. I picked up some white tees on my the cheap (I don't usually recommend Walmart for anything but you can get the best cheap tees there) and used my Silhouette machine to create an iron on transfer. Stencils work great as well or even a block print! Need other ideas? Try my friend Elizabeth's DIY Face Serum, these easy zip pouches from See Kate Sew or Handmade Rosemary Shampoo Bars from Freebie Finding Mom.

A Useful Staple Item (a girl has needs)- I am at this stage in life where I am just as excited to get new socks as I am to get a cute little trinket from someone. I am all for gifting your girls something cute but also something useful. For example, I just snagged some travel sized dry shampoos which, tied with a cute bow, are the perfect companion to a handwritten note about "life hacks" and a personal joke. I don't think you have to choose between being cute, frugal and/or practical. Use your imagination and find ways to make a useful item, a great gift! Other recs? Travel Makeup Bags, Beauty Products, and snacks are always great ideas!

Do you have any Galentine's Day Ideas that I can get on board with?

Monday, February 4, 2019

WOODS Wild Botanicals + Giveaway

*I was provided product for review. All opinions are 100% my own.

You know me and you know that I love a good indie clean beauty brand. It's one of my small joys in life to be able to try and experience the beautiful products that small batch makers are creating... and I am fortunate every time a brand like Woods Wild Botanicals wants me to feature their products on Prim and Propah and talk about what I think!

I think the initial reaction to the products and packaging can be described as "Heart Eyes". When I opened my package, I started privately swooning to myself. I am a sucker for pretty packaging... but what's most important is the quality and effectiveness of a product line themselves. The team at Woods sent me a few of their products to try so I took the Purifying Face Oil, the Purifying Face Oil Uplifting, and the Nourishing Body Mousse out for a spin. First off, I just love this scent driven messaging. I am a lover of scents and am often inspired by smells throughout my day.
So let's start with the Body Mousse. It is absolutely the perfect time of year to discover the benefits of a hydrating cream, body butter or mousse. I've used a lot of different products but what I think makes this mousse stand apart is it's weight. It's not too light but it doesn't leave your skin feeling caked in product. In the Winter and colder months, I want my skin to feel protected but still want to have my moisturizers absorbed fairly quickly because I detest a greasy feeling. After a shower or bath, this is a great product. A little goes a long way and my skin felt sooooooooooooooo soft, which is saying something because my skin is generally some level of dry this time of year. The scent is light lavender and I can tell that they've used coconut oil... that said, I don't think it's overpowering if that's something that you look for in bath and body products. Overall, I really like this body mousse but I would consider it on the higher range price wise ($58) for what I would normally spend on this type of product.

Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter*,  Cocos Nucifera (Virgin Coconut) Oil*, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Seed Oil*, Calophyllum Inophyllum (Tamanu) Oil*, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil*,   Tocopherol (Non-GMO Vitamin E), Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Oil*, Citrus Aurantium (Neroli) Flower Oil*, Boswellia carteri (Frankincense) Resin Oil*.

The Face Oils (purifying grounding and uplifting) are gorgeous. It's not often that I find a face oil that wows me right out of the gate. I have tried so many at this point that it's gotta be something special for me to take notice and consider making a permanent swap in my face routine. The scents come into play here, the uplifting having a citrus-y scent that totally makes me happy and the grounding having a lighter, almost geranium-y scent. Both are light but present enough to really get the benefits of aromatherapy. They apply so light, not greasy at all. They're just lovely, lovely. Priced at $66, these are reasonably priced for such a special oil. I can't wait to use these alternating, morning and night, to see what the long term results look like with these in my routine.

Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil*, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil*, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil*, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Calophyllum Inophyllum (Tamanu) Oil*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil and Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract*, Squalane Oil (Olive Derived), Tocopherol (Non-GMO Vitamin E), Pelargonium Roseum (Rose Geranium) Flower and Leaf Oil*,  Helichrysum italicum (Immortelle) Flower Oil*, Salvia Sclarea (Clary Sage) Flower and Leaf Oil*, Matricaria Recutita (German Blue Chamomile) Flower Oil*.

So now that I've piqued your interest do you want to try Woods Wild Botanicals for yourself? They've so graciously and generously offered one of my readers the opportunity to win a collection of products-- head over to my Instagram to enter to win!

Follow Woods Wild Botanicals on Instagram and Facebook

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Shopping, a Propah Weakness

I have to say that shopping is my weakness and here I am in the midst of everyone talking about "tidying up" and organizing all of their belongings and getting rid of things that don't spark joy... and now I am facing something head on, that I suppose that I've known for a long time. I love to shop and when I am sad, upset, looking for purpose or bored, my first instinct is to pull up a website and shop, or go to a store and shop... and I actually think that now that I am acknowledging it, I can channel this energy better and more mindfully.

This isn't a new venture for me and it's something that I still struggle with. Now I am not saying that I will avoid all those sweet Spring dresses  when it comes time or I won't pick up a men's blazer for my husband but I am going to make an effort to be a better, more thoughtful shopper. Picking up only the items I need, maybe for a special occasion or when the kids are outgrowing the clothes that seem to only fit for a few days before it's too small. I am going to make shopping an experience, not a throw away exercise in spending money and time on things that won't "spark joy". If I am going to spend money, it will be a good use of all of those things.

I have been working on a low spend January, which is going OK, not great but not horrible. December was like a free for all and I sort of felt like I was hemorrhaging money in the goal to make our holiday more excellent. Now curbing those urges is proving to be a challenge. So moving forward this month, I am keeping to that low spend, avoiding places like Target (where I just buy so much we don't need), creating a solid food and household budget and then going no spend for February, much like I did last year. I need to do a detox of sorts, find different ways to fill time and find happiness... I want to make shopping fun again, not a weakness that I have to fight.

Any tips and tricks on curbing a mild shopping urge when the weather is cold and we're all hibernating?

Monday, January 7, 2019

Plant Based in 2019 with Alpha Foods

*This post was created in collaboration with Alpha Foods. All opinions are 100% my own.

I'll be 100% honest. In 2018, my husband and I, well, we might have made runs to a certain taco themed fast food restaurant once or twice (or ten times)... sometimes you have a craving for that yummy handheld food that you just don't want to have to share with your kids. As with a lot of people this time of year, we are vowing to make our meals more nutritious and also our easy food a little bit healthier as well! Enter Alpha Foods. I was just introduced to this brand recently and was able to snag some of their plant based frozen burritos and handheld pies so that we could try... and let's just say we have found an easier and healthier option for our occasional burrito craving!

Alpha Foods has created delicious, plant based, protein packed options for those of us wanting to find easier options to eat healthier. No GMOs, no cholesterol, no hormones, corn syrup, artificial flavors, preservatives or animal products without sacrificing any flavor. After the gym on Saturday, I had no desire to pick up lunch out so we just made a couple of burritos and pot pies and the whole family shared a couple of different flavors. We all have our favorites but I'll be working on the Philly Sandwich if you're wondering.

Seriously, I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner. What an amazing way for us to save money, calories, and the gas to drive by stocking up on Alpha Foods while I'm at Stop 'n Shop or Shaw's (find your nearest store here). With amazing flavors like Mexicali, Pizza, Philly Sandwich and Chick'n Fajita, we can consume less meat (one of my personal 2019 goals) while also getting the flavors that we crave on any given lunch, dinner or even weekend snack!

Want to try Alpha Foods yourself or get recipe inspo? Follow Alpha Foods on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Monday, December 31, 2018

My 2019 Vibes

I am not into New Year's resolutions but rather setting intentions for a coming year or finding ways that I want to live better or in more words, find ways to adjust my lifestyle that will help myself and my family thrive. Some people will choose a word while others will make resolutions. Any way you slice it, I think it's an admirable thing to make an effort to improve your life, no matter what time, place or motivation.

A couple of weeks ago, I did a silly little thing on instagram, decorating a Christmas tree with gifs and I somehow landed on a bunch that seemed to set a vibe... so why not, right? I already try to live a life set by moral principles and kindness but trying to bring a couple other things into the mix is a noble intention set by a mother of two young male tornadoes set on bringing in da noise and da funk!

I want to live the following:

Educate Myself to Be a Better Human (especially to marginalized communities)

Paying attention to what's happening around us isn't a choice, it's our duty. If you're not educating yourself on what is going on in the world, well, that disappoints me. I am not intending to take on all of the world's problems (I've been known to take on more than I can emotionally handle) but I do know that I have lived a life of privilege, wherein I have benefited from being white and from a family that was not poverty stricken. I have been doing some spiritual activism workshops, am planning to see Rachel Cargle in February and am looking forward to doing some hard work helping to be a better human and raise better humans. I don't know 100% what this looks like for my year but I know that it's at the top of my list to achieve.

Spend Less, Reduce, Recycle, Reuse, Mindful Shopping

I've been working on this for a few years now but it seems like every year, around the holidays, I fall into the trap of gifting my love. I know that I should be able to do this within reason but when I get festive, boy do I get festive. This year I am kicking off this goal anew by doing a low spend January and a no spend February. My end goal is to spend A LOT less this year, keep to our budget, recycle, reuse and just think before I shop- do I or someone in my family need this? Will this add value to my life (make me happy)? Am I contributing to pollution or negative effects to the environment? I am going to be taking much into account as I spend my money (in all areas) more mindfully than ever.

Be Kind

This should go without saying but truly, this reminder is always a good one. There have been many instances in this past year where someone has shown me kindness and it's meant a great deal to me. I plan to (try) bring kindness into all of my exchanges, as best I can. We never know what someone is going through and what a nice word or two can do for them. Be kind, it's important.

Make the Time to Create

Something I thought about every single day in 2018 was to work on creating something, specifically, whipping out my sewing machine and crafting something... something I was not good at in 2018 was making the time for all these ideas that I had. Looking back, I spent far too much time putting around on the internet, checking my phone or working on other people's projects. I am prioritizing my own stuff this year... so let's see what I can make!

Focus on Fitness and Movement

I really kicked it into high gear this year, going consistently to the gym multiple times a week, finding classes that I really enjoy and making it a part of our routine. I want to continue this into 2019 but perhaps focus it more on what could work to make specific changes in my body. I have plans to perhaps do a couple 5Ks and maybe even a trail run with friends. All I know is that I want to continue moving and shaking and getting stronger!

What a list am I right? It's not so much a list but ways that I want to bringing changes into my every day. I am looking forward to 2019 and seeing what comes my way. I'd love to hear what you've got planned for the upcoming year- leave me an old fashioned comment below!