Monday, November 20, 2017

Just Add Cooking- New England Based Meal Box

*This post was sponsored by Just Add Cooking. All opinions are my own.

I think that I've tried pretty much every meal subscription box in the universe at this point so I know what I'm talking about when it comes to ease of use, freshness of ingredients, recipes and waste (more on that later). This past week, as I was preparing us to travel to both my family's place as well as my in-laws', meal prep, planning and the like was not a priority to me... so I was pretty stoked to have Just Add Cooking send me a box to prepare some family friendly meals all from New England sources! The meal box was delivered on a Sunday by a local driver so I was able to prep some meals for our Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. So many fresh ingredients and the recipes for this week were right up our alley and we even got a brand new one to our family unit, the West African Peanut Stew. It's was the only vegetarian option in our box this week but was definitely my favorite. What I loved about each recipe was that I could really cook them even when multitasking which is pretty much my life past 430pm. The directions were easy, the ingredients simple to prep and the outcome was pretty dang good.

The dish was so good that I started eating and was like Doh! I was supposed to take a picture for my blog post! Let me just tell you that you can take it from me that it was such an interesting dish, using fresh and locally sourced ingredients and I used collard greens which was a first for me. And as if this wasn't enough for me, I have to say that the Just Add Cooking box is the lowest in added waste out of all the boxes that I've even used. In every single other box we've ordered, my husband always comments about all the added stuff that is put in the box to help keep things cold, obviously important when transporting food... but that said, a lot of times the freezer packs aren't ice but that cold gelatinous goo that you know is some sort of chemical that won't break down nicely into the environment. If you make it a habit of ordering meal boxes, you'll be either stockpiling these or throwing them in a landfill, neither of which makes sense for this Mama's life. Just Add Cooking came nicely packed in cardboard with a frozen water bottle to keep things cool. Because this is local to New England, it doesn't need to be packed to travel two days on the road.

I've been trying to shop smaller, shop from more local farms and sources so this meal box really combined my love of those things. I would recommend to try it since it really is a great opportunity to have a low waste, locally sourced and pretty tasty meal box delivered right to your door.

You can find Just Add Cooking online, and can follow them on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram!

Monday, November 13, 2017

"The Performance" by Cost Plus World Market

*This post was created in collaboration with Cost Plus World Market.

It might seem a little early to start talking holidays but seriously, it's already mid-November! I've decided to embrace the oncoming holiday season with cheer and optimism. Speaking of optimism, you guys have got to see the​ ​new​ ​holiday​ ​commercial​ ​from​ ​Cost​ ​Plus​ ​World​ ​Market!​ ​See​ ​the​ ​story​ ​of​ ​a​ ​little​ ​boy​ ​with his​ ​trumpet​ ​who​ ​finds​ ​the​ ​inspiration​ ​he​ ​needs​ ​for​ ​a​ ​Christmas​ ​music​ ​performance​ ​by gathering​ ​the​ ​support​ ​of​ ​friendly​ ​llamas. Llamas, gotta love them. If you've been following anything Cost Plus World Market lately, you know they're all about the llamas this holiday season and I'm not mad about it.

In addition to their adorable video, they have one of their fantastic sweepstakes running through the holidays. You​ ​Could​ ​Wine​ ​One​ ​(1)​ ​of​ ​Seven​ ​(7)​ ​ ​Weekly​ ​$1,000​ ​World​ ​Market​ ​Gift​ ​Cards. Watch​ ​Cost​ ​Plus​ ​World​ ​Market’s​ ​“The​ ​Performance”​ ​holiday​ ​video​ ​and​ ​answer​ ​a​ ​question for​ ​a​ ​chance​ ​to win​ ​a​ ​weekly​ ​prize​ ​of​ ​$1,000.​ ​They’ll​ ​have​ ​a​ ​new​ ​question​ ​each​ ​day, so Enter​ ​Now:​ ​

Seeing all things holiday popping up has me itching to get my Holiday shopping underway. One thing that I love about the holiday season is the ability to make people happy with just a thoughtful little gift. There's no reason to go crazy when it comes to gift giving, especially if you're super busy and a little frazzled like me. I am very blessed in my life and don't need more clutter but something small and meaningful is always welcome to me. I love love love getting those that I love and care about an ornament that suits their personality or interests. It's mindful and thoughtful and all the fulls! I'm not just saying this. CPWM has THE BEST selection of funky, fun ornaments. I got the adorable felt elephants last year and love the new metal elephants that they've released this year (yeah, I have a thing for elephants!)... but we're not talking about shopping for me. Whether you're shopping for close family or for a Secret Santa, I think that a perfectly picked ornament is something anyone can use. I'm excited to pick ornaments out for the new people in our lives this year. Since the preschool teachers are absolute dolls, I think that a new ornament for each would be the perfect teacher gift, right? Check out all my favorite ornaments this year. Cost Plus World Market has made gift giving so fun, once again!

Shop all the fantastic ornaments here:

I always shop at the Framingham, MA location but find your closest store here or heck even check out the selection online if you want to avoid the crowds. Personally, I love shopping in store and online depending on what type of mood I'm in... and remember don't forget to enter the sweepstakes to win big!

Tell me, what are you going to snag for the special people in your life?

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

DIY Versatile Holiday Succulent Centerpiece

Something that I enjoy doing is tending to my little plants. This is obviously a more difficult hobby in the Winter because, well, it's colder and things just don't survive as well without the warmth and with less sunlight. One of the exceptions to this are hardy plants, my favorite being all manner of succulents. Succulents come in all shapes and sizes but one thing is for sure, they're hard to kill, even in the cold weather. Something I wanted to try this holiday season was to create a centerpiece for the table that would travel from Thanksgiving, through Christmas and onto New Years without having to be swapped out.

Finding succulents in the colder weather isn't as hard as you think. Home Depot's house plant section is stocked. We have a small farm store near our house that has a greenhouse and has plants all year round. Just search your area and you'll likely find the same for you! The toddler and I had a day date last weekend and we stopped at Home Depot to pick up everything we'd need for a centerpiece that could sit on the table through every holiday and occasion you can imagine!

It's really easy to plant succulents and create a long lasting centerpiece as long as you build your planter on great drainage and proper potting soil. You can use a lot of different things for drainage and while a lot of planters have holes in the bottom, this isn't ideal for a tablescape centerpiece due to leakage. I like to reuse things like plastic bottles or in this case, the small plastic containers that seedlings can be purchased in. Think of your plants roots. Can they have space to grow and breathe without drowning when you water them? Then you've got good drainage.

Don't be afraid to snuggle those plants up next to each other to find the perfect positioning for your new babies. The beauty of this centerpiece is that it's a great "blank palette" for any manner of holiday decorations like acorns, pine cones, snowflakes, ornaments, and the list goes on. I plan to build my table scapes around this piece since literally all of my dinnerware, napkins and decor for each and every holiday, will compliment this planter that will be here, for months and months to come. Here are some tips and tricks on caring for succulents and I would love it if you shared you favorite succulent planters with me on twitter: @primandpropah!

Join some of the other bloggers taking part in a little holiday decor goodness today! There are SO many great blog posts, I hope that you'll consider visiting each and every one this week! Plus check out the amazing giveaway we're working on together as well!

Monday, November 6, 2017

I Tried it: Sahajan Skincare + a Giveaway!

I've actually had this Sahajan Skincare duo since this Summer but have been waiting to post about it because I truly, truly feel like it is my Fall favorite (and could be yours too). Derived from the Hindi word for "intuitive", Sahajan brings you the evidence to follow your intuition and choose clean beauty. Lisa Mattam started her clean skincare journey much like I began mine, with my/our children. While I don't create my own products, I did become more concerned with what I was putting on my children's skin then wondered why I was so discerning with theirs but not with mine. Thus brought my on my natural skincare journey which is now a sort of passion. Finding the best and then telling those I care for about the brands that mean something to me.

Sahajan uses only natural and organic ingredients but also ayurvedic. If you're not familiar with the term ayurvedic it means a system of medicine with historical roots in the Indian continent. It's based on a belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body and spirit. I am completely on board with that. I know that personally, I am always trying to find balance in all areas in my life, in order to be at peace, be happy, and be somewhat sane for everyone in my family.

So I tell you all this because sometimes it's not just the ingredients or the scent of a product, or even how well it works (and yes, these are all important things)... it can be the reason why a product line was started or why ingredients were sourced from a sacred lineage. It's almost or should be a ritual to take care of your skin, and I am beginning to think of it more that way, since I do value my time in the bathroom, in front of my beauty cabinet.

The protective face serum (now the radiance face serum) and the ritual body oil are the really real deal. The scents invoke a sense of meditation, of self care. The oils are fast absorbing and leave the skin so soft and feeling loved. The body oil especially, is something that I use when I want to treat myself to something that feels so special. I don't use these Sahajan oils every day though I want to. It's almost hard to describe but they are precious to me. I want you to experience these for yourself and the brand does too! They've so kindly and generously offered one Prim and Propah reader the opportunity to win a bottle of each for themselves. Isn't that awesome? Enter on the instagram photo below!

You can follow Sahajan Skincare on twitterInstagram and Facebook!

✨GIVEAWAY✨ Learn all about this sweet @sahajanskincare duo on the blog today (link in profile). They are my Fall favorites to be sure. The scents invoke a feeling of meditation, one of self care + love. The oils are fast absorbing and leave the skin so soft and feeling cared for. The body oil especially is something that I use when I want to treat myself to something that feels so special. I don't use these Sahajan oils every day though I want to. I want to keep them special, precious to me. I want you to experience these for yourself and the brand does too! Sahajan is offering you the chance to win this duo for yourself. Isn't that so generous? ✨ To enter: 1. Follow @sahajanskincare 2. Follow @primandpropah 3. Tag a friend who needs to feel the love today and add an emoji! #greenbeauty #sahajan #cleanbeauty #makewavesmonday #womeninwellness This giveaway ends Sunday 11/12 and is not affiliated with Instagram, Good Luck!✨
A post shared by Amanda (@primandpropah) on

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Farmers To You

*This post was a collaboration in partnership with Farmers to You. I was provided with a credit to shop in exchange for my honest opinions about the process, the food, the pickup and quality. Farmers To You is a growing partnership of gifted farmers and producers creating the future of food production and committed families gracing their tables with life-giving foods.

In my never ending quest to be the most mindful Mama, it should be no surprise that finding the best and most direct farm fresh ingredients is something that gets this lady excited. I was recently introduced to Farmers to You and was blown away by how very easy it is to place an order for seasonal and local ingredients from farms in and around my region. The site brings together farmers and communities, where we all work together to get the freshest foods delivered to pick up locations right in our towns. Ordering from a wide selection of fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, dairy, bakery items, and nuts is super easy and really fun for me, because as nerdy as it sounds, finding amazing ingredients makes cooking less of a chore and more of a pleasure. My local pickup site is literally 7 minutes from house so I knew this was going to be convenient in the very least.

I placed a modest order at first, some fresh herbs, Hake from Red's Best, organic sweet potatoes, Cultured Butter from Ploughgate Creamery at Bragg Farm, rainbow chard, carrots, brussels sprouts, fennel, a couple of rib eye steaks... OK so maybe my first order wasn't modest! I even ordered some Raspberry Blueberry Rhubarb Jam from Norris Berry Farm for my little guy's weekend morning toast, to switch things up a bit! I sort of can't help myself when it comes to fresh produce though my crisper has been known to be the place where good intentions go to perish. So far we've had a couple of delicious dinners just based on what I grabbed from Farmers to You and I've even made some baby food as well. I can feel good about feeding my family the freshest food with local ties.

Farmers to You blog
In addition to the ordering experience, the folks at Farmers to You also have a blog with articles, weekly menus and recipes, that can be broken down by food item. For instance, let's say that I've never cooked with turnips or leeks before and I wanted to be a little adventurous, you can search by turnips (or leeks) and recipes will populate for you, and more than likely, they've been curated by some of the farmers themselves or a local author, someone with a connection to this community. I love it! I think my next order, I am going to pick up some dairy items as well as some homemade pasta and grains for my pantry. My site host, Sarah, also recommended the organic tempeh from Rhapsody Natural Foods, so I might just take that for a spin! I'm so very interested in how I can supplement my grocery store trips with this weekly order. I've got the time to make even these little things, like meal prep and shopping, a more mindful experience. How do you best shop for fresh and local ingredients?

Follow Farmers to You on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and 

Do you want to try a Farmers to You order yourself? Use discount code PP15 for 15% off of your order. Good until 12.17.17!