Sunday, September 6, 2020

Black Elderberry Power with Sambucol

*This post was created in collaboration with Moms Meet and Sambucol. All opinions are 100% my own. Thank you as always for supporting Prim and Propah and my partners! 



Before being invited to participate in this MomsMeet program, I had already been a daily user of the Sambucol Black Elderberry gummies. I have been taking them for a couple of years now at least. I guess someone had recommended taking them through cold and flu season, and once I did, I just never stopped. I swear that through many a kid's cold, sniffles, and yes even strep throat, I have made it through relatively unscathed. Of course, my blog is in no way a health blog. I am not a doctor. But I can tell you what my experiences has been with black elderberry products, specifically Sambucol.



So, per the Sambucol site:  Elderberries have an extremely high concentration of certain flavonoids called anthocyanins which are responsible for the berry’s signature deep purple color. Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants that work within the immune system to enhance the body’s response and keep it functioning at its best. According to the United States Department of Agriculture the highest concentration of anthocyanins are found in black elderberries, nearly double the amount found in any other fruit. This gives black elderberries twice the natural antioxidant capacity of blueberries and significantly more than cranberries.


I think the thing that first drew me to Elderberry Gummies was the idea of boosting immunity but once I did more research, not just on the Soambucol site, it became clear that added antioxidants is a major plus. "Antioxidants are substances that may protect your cells against free radicals, which may play a role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases. Free radicals are molecules produced when your body breaks down food or when you're exposed to tobacco smoke or radiation." -Mayo Clinic... Especially as we head into a cold and flu season unlike any other, I don't see why we shouldn't be adding elderberry to our daily vitamin or supplement routines.


Sambucol has created multiple ways to get your elderberry! You can use the gummies (my personal favorite), take a syrup by spoon, add tablets to your water, use lozenges and even pop a quick capsule. There are even options for kids as well. You're sure to find the best way for you and your family.


You can find Sambucol online, on Facebook, twitter and Instagram!


Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Priddy Books, Staples on any Child's Bookshelf

 *This post was created in collaboration with MomsMeet and Priddy Books. All opinions are 100% mine. Thanks for supporting Prim and Propah and the brands that help us go and grow!



When I had my first baby shower, we got so many books to fill the little corner bookshelf that we'd built for the nursery. Classic children's stories and colorful little board books filled the little baby library basket during gift time. It was amazing to see so many people wanting to encourage reading to my new little baby. We've read so many over the years but Aamong some of the favorite books that my kids have "read" from even the earliest age have been board books from Priddy Books. You've likely seen these books yourself when looking for kids' gifts or to enrich the lives of your own kids. They're timeless in that they can be passed from kid to kid and then on to other families without losing their value!



These books have always brought a smile to my face because they're wholesome and actually help our kids learn in the most fundamental ways, by viewing shapes, letters, numbers, animals etc. Some of our favorites have even incorporated touch into the equation, giving an added sensory bonus to the reading experience.

As my kids have gotten older, we've seen books come and go but I've had a hard time handing these awesome board books onto other kids. I taught my oldest all about colors and animals every night laying in bed when it was just me and him. Now my oldest works with my little guy on the same things, though they do get into more disagreements than I would. But I love seeing them read together even if it's just talking about what they're seeing.



I've also taken to adding books like this to baby shower gifts heading out to friends having new little ones. These are awesome additions to little collections because you know they're going to be great, even when the babies are only just sitting up and looking at things. The bright colors and familiar objects make for a fun introduction to books that will hopefully encourage a lifelong love of reading. Out of all the Priddy Books, which ones are your favorites?


You can find Priddy Books online, on Facebook and Twitter! Purchase easily on Amazon!



Monday, August 17, 2020

An Update on Comcast's Internet Essentials Program

*This post was created in collaboration with Comcast New England. Any opinions are my own.

I’ve written about Comcast before. I’m sure you’ve even read a post or two. I have loved working with them and continue to be interested in all the things that they are doing entertainment-wise and also within the company. I’m continually impressed with them and the initiatives that they feel are important. Last week, Comcast made announcements about their Internet Essentials program that will most certainly make a huge difference with low-income students and families, especially headed into this new school year where so much is unknown about how our kids are going to be learning.



As a parent to at least one school aged child, I do not know what we would do without reliable access to the internet. Literally every piece of remote learning is done via an app or through shared drives. Thinking about families struggling to have access to the internet makes me so worried for them. But thanks to programs like Comcast’s Internet Essentials Partnership Program (IEPP), cities, schools and nonprofits can work together to ensure that large numbers of school aged children, grades K-12, are able to access internet service and also be connected to devices like laptops and tablets. When the pandemic hit, Comcast jumped to and they have already signed up more than 70 schools across the country, serving more than 200,000 students. Distance learning may be a reality for a lot of Americans as we head into Fall. Access to essentials should not be an added worry for these families.

“We’ve seen firsthand that low-cost Internet access is an important part of improving digital equity and creating positive opportunities for low-income students and families,” said Dana Strong, President of Xfinity Consumer Services. “Through this new partnership program, we are accelerating the efforts of cities, schools, philanthropies, nonprofits, and private citizens to collaborate and open the doors of Internet access for more families in need.”

 


 

In nearly ten years, Internet Essentials has become the nation’s largest and most successful low-income Internet adoption program and has connected millions of people to the Internet. It offers households low-cost, broadband Internet service for $9.95/month, the option to purchase a heavily subsidized computer, and multiple options for digital literacy training. Comcast continues to offer new Internet Essentials customers two months of free internet access if they sign up before the end of 2020. So here’s where they are making this accessible to so many more people. They are providing a necessary service at an extremely affordable price. The Comcast team is bringing these resources to the communities that need them the most. And I’m here for it.


You can see the cities where Comcast has already secured partnerships here. If you are finding that you think you may need to apply for the Internet Essentials program, you can access that information here. The team over there really does want to expand and provide internet access to as many people as possible and I find that admirable, especially in such an uncertain time when people need to have access to their communities, families, friends and remote education.

 


Monday, July 13, 2020

Lean into Community: Local Farms

We'll see if this actually turns into a series but I wanted to start talking about leaning into community. To me, this pandemic, among other things, has increased my awareness of the importance of community and not just in a fluffy way. We are all so intertwined in our communitites whether we are actively "involved" or purposely try not to get involved. Our actions, our involvement and our dollars spent here (or wherever you are) help to shape the environments in which we live, to some extent.  One of the biggest and impressive steps that our family, and a lot of other families in my area, has taken is to throw our full support behind local farmers and food providers.



Now I am going to be talking specifically about Springdell Farms in Littleton, MA (and a handful of other farms/stands are included in this) but I know that your community has offerings like this as well... you just have to look! In just a matter of months, we have moved to a meat share and a Summer CSA (with a Winter share on the docket). Our family's goal was to see the majority of our food, especially during the Summer, come from a local source. I mean, I still have to buy my Diet Coke (don't judge) and Graham Crackers somewhere but I wanted the majority of our food to be locally sourced if at all possible.

This plan has many reasons. Knowing where your food comes from is a big one. I love seeing the fields full of green, or the tomatoes ripening or my boys picking berries for themselves, sometimes leaving their shoes and masks in their wake lol. It's a really good feeling, to be honest. Knowing your farms and farmers is amazing. Jamie and her team at Springdell might not grow everything themselves but they bring in amazing items from all over New England. Our most recent obsession is the pudding from Echo Farms in Hinsdale, NH that Jamie brings in for our farm. My kids love picking it up weekly with our CSA share and something about that just seems special to me. Like my dream is to have my kids remember annual berry picking and share pickups. Doesn't that just seem nice? I like being able to show them in one of the simplest ways, how we are a part of our local community.




For a family that eats meat, it's also really important to know that our consumption is as healthy for our world as possible. My husband and I had been talking about it for quite some time and we finally jumped in on a year meat share, deciding that it was more important for us to know where our farm animals were living and how they were being cared for... and since May we haven't bought any meat from the grocery store, instead experimenting with what surprises we get in our monthly share. You might think that the meat share is more expensive but with the rising prices in the grocery store, especially due to Covid and meat processing plants,  it actually hasn't been that much more so. And we can feel good about the support/money that is staying local.




Our farm, and many others like it, have created a space that's welcoming to families and their neighbors. When the pandemic "hit" in March, our local spot opened up early and brought in pantry items for people to grab from the open air stand. This felt safer and when a lot of people were afraid to go into grocery stores, Springdell was providing the service our town needed. Since the beginning, solid communication has been coming from Springdell Farms about their offerings, what they're doing for our farming community, what other farmers and vendors are popping up and plans for the future.

Jamie hasn't been shy about posting about the offers to buy her land and the farm. I would assume that her situation isn't special and that other farmers are getting similar offers. Developers all over New England are looking at local farms and wondering how much they could build, sell and turn a profit on that very land... and it makes me sad. If we don't support our local farms (and other small businesses), they will no longer be, it's just as simple as that. I don't want to live in a world where we value factory farms, especially for meat, and let our world become more developed and environmentally unstable in the process. It's just not something I want, and you shouldn't either. But I'm not here to scold you. I'm here to encourage you.



When we talking about leaning into community, there can be so many ways to do this. Visiting your local farms and farmer's markets, is one amazing (and quick) way to send a jolt of support right into your local economy and community. I encourage you to find a farm stand in your area right now because we are in one of the best seasons of the year for amazing produce, veggies, homemade items and fresh offerings. You'll thank me when your dinner table has amazing corn, friggin' delish squash, tomatoes and blueberries that won't last two days in your house. Plus, you'll just feel good about it, too. I promise.

How else can I talk about leaning into community that makes sense right now?




Thursday, June 25, 2020

What's the Latest with Comcast New England?

*This post was created in collaboration with Comcast New England and Xfinity. All opinions are my own and as always, thank you for supporting Prim and Propah and my partners.

Last week, as I could hear my husband struggling to get our kids to bed, I poured myself a glass of wine and hopped on a virtual call with the team from Comcast New England. In the past, I have attended in person events with this team, but obviously due to COVID-19, we had to do the thang over the internets… which I suppose is fitting because Xfinity provides stellar, strong internet services? OK ok, I am getting off track quickly here. We sat down for a call with the team and some other local bloggers to learn about what they’re doing in the face of COVID and Racial Inequality, and let me just say that I was impressed to learn about Comcast’s efforts moving forward.

There were some of my favorite familiar faces on the call, so I pulled out all the stops and brushed my hair because I knew I’d be seeing them! It sort of feels like being with some good friends, even though we are definitely at a blogger event. We started off getting intros out of the way but quickly turned to talking about Comcast’s work, given the current landscape of our world.


I’ll start by sharing Comcast’s Press Release, announcing a $100 million multi year plan to advance social justice and equality. They’re literally putting their money where their mouth is. There will be $75 million in cash and $25 million in media that will be distributed over the next three years, in addition to the existing commitments their company currently makes to thousands of organizations supporting underrepresented communities through the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation and social impact programs. I haven’t researched all of these programs but making this statement and this commitment is a great first step in showing that they are taking this issue seriously. I am asking this of all of the companies that I work closely with to ensure that we are all operating with integrity and the greater good in mind.

We heard from Jackie Gadsden, VP of Diversity & Inclusion and Customer Experience for Comcast’s Greater Boston Region. She was super knowledgeable but also a straight talker. She knows that this more than a moment, it’s a movement. Other Comcast team members were talking about the difference that Jackie has made within the company to not only educate their peers but to actually help them learn too. They were singing her praises in a true and sincere way. You love to see it.



In addition to learning about what Comcast is doing in the current climate, we also got some cool product updates, most specifically the Peacock TV Xfinity partnership. Peacock (available since April 15th as a preview for Xfinity X1 and Flex customers) will launch nationally across multiple platforms on July 15th. However, advantage Xfinity customers as X1 and Flex customers will continue to get Peacock Premium ($4.99/m value) included at no additional cost! The programming is killer and I personally can’t wait for the Saved by the Bell and Punky Brewster reboots, I know, I’m dating myself haha but as I have gotten older, who cares, I enjoy what I enjoy… which is currently watching The Office for the 5th or 6th time through, I can’t remember. Learn more about all the offerings and content on Peacock here and let me know in the comments what you’re watching right now!

Comcast is continually impressing me with their commitment to providing the best service possible, not by reacting to the needs of the market but looking to the future in anticipation of what their market might need. Between the Internet Essentials program I covered last, to the new commitments made to advance equality, Comcast is not shying away from tough convos and doing the work. Just last week, Comcast announced that they once again extended the 60 day free Internet Essentials offer to any new, eligible customer who qualifies! I’ll be watching Comcast’s moves and helping them amplify voices now and in the future. That’s what teammates do!