Monday, August 14, 2017

In Love with Skincando as always + a Giveaway

I like to call Skincando the gateway brand, as in, this is the best line of products to get your man to start using clean-green-eco beauty products. The Skincando Combat Balm is LITERALLY the best little jar of amazing that you can get your hands on- it's an all purpose salve that I put on every little scrape, burn, scratch, itch and bug bite. It has really served our family well with all manner of irritations as well it should. It was created for soldiers overseas to help with wind burns, sand flea bites and other environmental irritations that you could imagine them experiencing. It's really as good as I'm telling that it is. I recommend it at least once a week, seriously. Even though I received my first jar of Combat Ready Balm for free many years ago, I have bought many jars since, so that should show the passion I have for this product. In addition to the Combat Ready Balm, the line has expanded to lip balm, bar soap, bug spray and new this past week, their shower gel. The Combat Ready family is growing and I am so happy to support Sara and the Skincando team with this growth!

To celebrate the shower gel and it's awesomeness (I should know, I just tried it!), Skincando wants to give one Prim and Propah reader the opportunity to win a Combat Balm starter kit which includes it all! You'll win: a 2 oz. jar of the Combat Ready Balm, the Combat Ready Shower Gel, the Combat Balm Lip Balm, the Combat Ready Bar Soap and the Combat Ready Bug Repellant. It's an awesome set up and you'll be so happy to win, I promise you that! Head over to Instagram to enter right away!

✨GIVEAWAY✨I first discovered @skincando on my very first trip to @follain and it's been one of my best relationships ever since! The Skincano Combat Ready Balm is one of the few "green" beauty items that my husband now views as a trustworthy staple in our bathroom beauty cabinet. He automatically reaches for it when he has dried hands, burns, scratches, bug bites and more (and so do I obvi). We joke it was the gateway product. I receive a lot of samples of things but this is one product that I keep buying over and over, so you know it's something we love. Skincando just released their new Combat Ready Body Wash and to celebrate, Sara and the team want to treat one Prim and Propah reader to everything pictured here:2 oz. jar of the Combat Ready Balm, the Combat Ready Shower Gel, the Combat Balm Lip Balm, the Combat Ready Bar Soap and the Combat Ready Bug Repellant. ✨🙌🏼 To enter: 1. Follow @skincando 2. Follow @primandpropah 3. Tag a friend for good vibes! Giveaway ends Sunday night August 20th. Good Luck my lovelies! #propahbeauty #skincando #greenbeauty #cleanbeauty #makewavesmonday

A post shared by Amanda (@primandpropah) on

You can find Skincando on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Marketstreet Lynnfield Back to School Extravaganza

This post was written in partnership with Marketstreet Lynnfield. As always, thank you for supporting Prim and Propah and the folks who keep it rockin'

Last week I had the opportunity to visit one of my favorite local shopping centers, Marketstreet Lynnfield. It's one of those places where you can literally spend from breakfast through dinner and beyond shopping, eating, sipping and being entertained... this time of year though, parents have one glorious thing on their minds and that's "Back to School". I stopped in to a few of Marketstreet's stores to grab some things for the Propah Preschoolah as well as snap some shots of things that I thought my community would be interested in seeing for their kids. There is truly something for everyone whether your kids like bright colors, fun prints, preppy classics and so much more. Each kid, not matter their personality and sense of style, will find something quality and fun for their back to school wardrobe.

Fatface is one of my new favorites and you know this. Pleased as punch I am that my little guy is just big enough to fit into their kids clothes, though it's a bit bittersweet that he's growing so fast. But alas, he is off to preschool this year. I love stopping in to the Lynnfield location, saying Hi to my new pals and grabbing some cool new duds for my little guy to wear as the weather gets cooler. It doesn't hurt that I can find great stuff for me and my husband as well. What you'll find: khakis, hooded sweatshirts, jeans, great patterns, ethical fashion.

Athleta Girl inside Athleta... boy am I jealous of the ladies who can buy matching active wear with their daughters. If you've got a tween that loves to stay fit with you, be sure to stop at the Athleta location and check out their Athleta Girl duds. Also, if you're interested in events surrounding health and wellness, keep an eye on the Lynnfield calendar for great yoga, meditation and fitness classes with local professionals. What you'll find: great sports bras, yoga pants, running shorts + more.

Vineyard Vines is the best place to hit if you and your family love the preppy, nautical vibe with classic versatile pieces. They've got some great backbacks, lunch bags and planners for your stylish little human who loves Vineyard Vines. Shop the back to school event August 26th and 27th for free gift with purchase as well as the opportunity to have your goods monogrammed. What you'll find: ocean vibes that see your Summer into the school year.

Justice is the place that I wish was around when I was a tween. Colors and glitter and jewelry oh my! Wes and I took the opportunity to pick some things out for his bow loving cousin as well as a pair of kitty headphones that he just had to have. The girls in store told me that they've got some great denim deals coming in the next few weeks as well as great sales on tees and leggings. Picking up basics for your little ladies has never been easier. What you'll find: all the versatile basics plus sassy things to help your girl be an individual.

Hanna Andersson is one of our favorites because not only can I pick up things like tees, pants, underwear and socks that will last the whole school year, the little guy can have his fill of Star Wars. As a mother who knows far too much about Star Wars, it's refreshing to see new prints and items that we don't already own- something new to throw into the rotation! They're currently stocking all the basics, lunch bags, backpacks and even some great dress up clothes for the evening and weekend fun! What you'll find: Colors and quality and oh so cute clothes for your little ones.

Amazon Books is a great place to stop whether you're just looking for your next read or books for the kids school reading lists. They're finishing up their Summer reading program now but are gearing up the school year with a lot of great school supplies, alarm clocks and all the Amazon tech you need. What you'll find: Books for all age levels, bathrooms with changing tables and the ability to use your Amazon Prime account in store.

Whole Foods for all of your lunch needs, because we want to send those kids to school with thoroughly thoughtful foods in their lunch boxes. Check out Whole Foods' tips, tricks, recipes and everything you need for back to school healthy eating for the whole family, on their site. What you'll find: heatlhy and wholesome snacks and meals for the entire family.

Other places to try while you're there? Gap Kids, Claire's, American Rhino and The Paper Store. You're going to find what you need and you're kids are going to look smashing, I promise.

What are your favorite stores to do you back to school shopping at?

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

I Tried It: Bella Aura Skincare

I've been trying a lot of different skincare products this Summer. To me, that's a great thing. Since having the second baby,  my skin has been changing. I have no idea if these are permanent changes or if it's due to the hormones. I do know that I've been working on keeping my skin happy in the heat and humidity, while breast feeding, while also trying to change my diet. All of these have an affect on me and what will work with my skin. I had the opportunity to work with Canadian brand Bella Aura, using an extended line of their skincare products for the past month. Bella Aura operates under the core values- believing in honest beauty, purity of ingredients and proving how they are different in the green/ clean beauty space (which is rapidly expanding)

The folks at Bella Aura sent me a full regimine to follow with their five product line. They called it the 'go with the flow' microcirculation facial, which helps to contour, lift and create a very in shape face. Apparently, the microcirulation facial circulates more blood and oxygen to your skin, repairing damage and building necessary cells. So yeah, I was pretty stoked to supercharge my beauty routine.

What I received: The Antioxidant Booster which helps your skin detox from all the grossness you encounter in a day, Daily Repair Moisturizer which delivers hydration to the skin while supporting the skin's natural collagen,  Instant Under Eye Lifting Cream which helps the sensitive skin around the eye firm up, reducing the signs of aging, puffiness, dark circles etc and so on, the Night Cellular Renewal which not only hydrates but fights the signs of aging by improving firmness, elasticity and retaining moisture and the Gentle Purifying Cleanser, which is what it sounds like but is also the foundation for the go with the flow facial.

So I've mentioned before that I'm not getting any younger. When I'm looking at new beauty products, I want both results and great ingredients... and by results, I mean, please make me look younger or at least stop the signs of aging. I want to promote healthy skin, keep my skin tone even, firm it up and if a have a healthy glow, well, then all the better.

The Bella Aura products themselves are above the standard as far as the ingredients are concerned. Using neroli, argan, fig de barbary and nigella oils, the Bella Aura Kamilah blend is tested and sourced from nature while also taking into consideration how the products can be used with one another to create emulsions (combination of serums and creams). So I can check this off the requirements.

The results part, well, at first I was a little taken aback at how much I had to remember when applying my skin care routine. My brain is fried come the end of the day because two kids... but once I got into the routine, it was really easy to dip and dap as I needed to. The products all have a very light but lovely scent and apply very smoothly. There was not a single one that I applied and left me feeling greasy- so they definitely absorb quickly. After using the products for a couple of weeks now, I couldn't tell you which wrinkles it attacked or where I specifically felt my skin had improved but I look at my face and see a healthy one. My skin is glowing people and feels soft and oh so healthy. And smooth, did I mention smooth? I should really do the regimine then post a selfie because I look that good, even with no makeup. It's a 5 product line that works and will last me because each step is regimented and precise. Want to see what the regimine was all about? Check it out below.

Tips from Bella Aura "go with the flow" microcirculation facial
- 1-2 minutes daily in AM and PM - use upward lifting motion
By using this technique you maximize the absorption of the vitamins K1 & K2 (which promote blood vessel elasticity), vitamin P (which reduces capillary fragility and increases microcirculation), Omegas 3,6,9 (improves blood circulation), vitamin B3 aka Niacinamide (which increases fatty acid ceramide levels in the skin to help the skin retain hydration) contained in our products.

1) Cleanse skin with Gentle Purifying Cleanser for 30 sec to 1 min
2) Mix Daily Repair, 4 drops, with Antioxidant Booster, 3 drops, in palm of hand
3) Dot mixture onto the 5 points of face: forehand, cheeks, nose, and chin
4) Using index and middle finger, gently massage upward along your jawline. Focus on where you want to lift - i.e. jawline and below cheekbones
5) Focus also on lymphatic drainage: Massage upward along jawline towards ears, around and behind ears, and then down the sides of your neck and outward to your shoulders
6) For laugh lines: Pull outward with same fingers to smooth away lines
7) Forehead lines, if any: Zigzag motion with index and middle fingers. If no lines: massage upward and outward
8) Eye contour: light swipe 1 pump under each eye and gently tap with 2 fingers to stimulate circulation

You can follow Bella Aura on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Monday, August 7, 2017

Yoga + Relaxation w/ Your Kids Sponsored by Wayfair

This post is in collaboration with my friends at Wayfair

I love to do yoga, you know this very well by now. There's nothing more relaxing to me than leaving my home, by myself and heading to the yoga studio where I will have time to myself without a little person on me (which is the majority of my day). Unfortunately, I don't get to do that as often as I would like to and in order to get a yoga practice in, I have to make space and time for it at home, which is easier said than done with two kids. So I thought to myself, self, I gotta get the toddler/almost preschooler into stretching with me. So we started our search for things that would make at home yoga with a kid fun and relaxing. We started with his own yoga mat, which he obviously chose himself... and he took right to it!

There's something so sweet about seeing my child roll out his yoga mat excitedly... but then there's no structure lol. He just waves his legs around like a wild little person. It's cute for a minute but how am I ever supposed to practice with a wiggle worm? Enter these awesome Body Poetry Yoga Flash Cards that I found on Wayfair- they show the little guy how he can bend and pose just like other fun things. Now, these cards obviously don't cover the moves that I'm hoping to achieve but I need to start the toddlah off slow, and we'll eventually get to a point where I can put on a yoga video and he might try to keep up with me or at least let me practice without climbing on me while I'm in down dog.

Even the baby is all like, how can I get in on this bendy action? I want to be patient and kind and I also want my kids to be patient and kind. I think that if I take the time to create spaces and ways for us to relax and even practice yoga, that we'll have a way to bond and keep bendy together! I worked with Wayfair to pick some of my favorite things from the site to make your space perfect for relaxation whether you have kids or not. These are live on the site as "Blogger Picks" so be sure to check them out.
Yoga Flash Cards

Body Poetry Yoga Flash Cards
We love taking these cards out and doing gentle stretches. Being a parent can be stressful so finding something relaxing to do with your kids is great for everyone. They're super big (and sturdy) which makes it great fun for your little yogis!

Yoga Blanket

Premium Mexican Beach Yoga Blanket
Having a dedicated yoga blanket for your home practice makes a big difference! You've got your space to relax, recharge and renew with this blanket that can be folded for a bolster or draped over for your well deserved savasana.

Relax Pillow

Relax Cotton Throw Pillow
Sometimes you need a little reminder to slow down and just relax. This pillow is cotton (my fave) and comes in three colors so you'll be sure to find a combo for your yoga and meditation space!

Sheet Set

Biggsville 1200 Thread Count Cotton Sheet Set
Sleep is an important part of taking care of yourself- the sheets you use can make a big difference in the comfort and quality of your sleep. These sheets are high thread count yet sill affordable plus cotton is my favorite!

Yellow Floor Pillow

Dedmon Lotus Floor Pillow
Adding accent pillows like these to a kids play area can add a fun twist and extra padding plus can double as bolsters and meditation pillows. This print is so light and fun!

Yoga Figurine

Handcrafted Wood Yoga Figurine
What a perfect gift for the yogi in your life. This little piece would make any zen lover happy plus it's very versatile and would fit with different decor.

Area Rug

Peyton Multi-Colored Area Rug
Adding a very funky area rug to a kids playroom can help keep your aesthetic in place while also making the space fun. This rug is perfect for kids because it will hide those spills and stains, which will inevitably happen!

Adult Coloring Book

Adult C&A Mandalas to Color
Zen comes in a lot of forms! We love to color in our house so the kids have their coloring pages and Mom has hers. This coloring book can help you disconnect from tech and quiet your mind by focusing on a relaxing task!

Table Lamp

Tiffany Lotus Flower Arched Table LampHow gorgeous is this lamp? It's magical and fun! This would be the perfect lighting element for a quiet meditation corner, a yoga studio or your own personal quiet space. Illuminating while illuminating!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Michal Golan: Made in the USA with Heart and Soul and Magic + a Giveaway!

A couple of Summers ago, I entered a giveaway on Instagram, I can't even remember how I found it-- but it was that day that I discovered Michal Golan and the interesting, unique and beautiful jewelry that's made in NYC with heart, passion and creativity. I ended up winning that Hamsa bracelet and ever since then, we've sort of developed a little online relationship- which I love. When Ariel over there wanted to work on something together, I jumped at the opportunity to share with you some of my favorite pieces and MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE piece, the Mojave Flower Necklace.

Mojave Flower Necklace
Something about the way the jewelry is made, in NYC, by an accomplished and dedicated designer really appeals to me. The Michal Golan brand has been around since the '80's but as long as they have been in business, I don't think they're getting the attention they deserve. Something about the way that the pieces are made with funky stones, colors and shapes is very recognizable to me now, since I have grown to love everything I see from them.

I think rather than buying fast jewelry or trinkets that are of no real value to us, it would be much better for our purchases to be mindful and really focused on something that speaks to us. If you choose a piece that you are really drawn to, made from really quality materials, then it will stand the test of time in your collection. That's how I feel about the Mojave Flower Necklace. I also crush on a lot of the jewelry that Michal Golan and team have created. There's a funky feminity that I really dig.

Pretty in Pink Hoop NecklaceMulti Bright Sharp EarringsAtlantis Diamond Cuff

I don't need anything, I really don't but if I am feeling like I need some new jewelry, rather than just grabbing anything,  I want to support a true maker. Finding quality and something that resonates with my spirit is a rarity these days, so I will embrace my funky femininity with a little of Michal Golan's. Do you want a little piece of this action for yourself? The team at Michal Golan have very generously offered to make a Mojave Flower Necklace for one Prim and Propah reader for their very own! So awesome, right? Just enter on the instagram post below, it's as easy as that!

A post shared by Amanda (@primandpropah) on

You can follow Michal Golan on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google +