Sunday, May 20, 2018

Vegan Smart Nutritional Shake Sponsored Post

*This post was created in partnership with Moms Meet. All opinions are 100% my own.

When Moms Meet contacted me about trying the Vegan Smart shake mixes, I was at first a little like, hmmm shakes, we've already got our shake routine set in the Propah household but then thought again, because I am always looking for new ways to get some extra vitamins into my kids. Over here, we do afternoon smoothies, full of fruits and veggies (shhh don't tell the kids) because #1 they are fun to make together and #2 again, I need to get nutrition into my kids.


We were lucky enough to try to Vegan Smart All in One Nutrition shake in Chocolate and Vanilla and let's just say that all the health elements aside, the shakes are delicious. Of course, you can find delish shake mixes just about anywhere but since we got that out of the way, let's talk about the health benefits of adding a scoop of Vegan Smart to a shake or smoothie:
  • Complete Protein Blend – Contains 5 different non-GMO plant based proteins providing all the essential amino acids in precise proportions, readily usable by the body, for building and repairing tissue and muscle.*
  • Whole Food Complex – Includes 9 different healthy colorful fruits and vegetables offering naturally occurring polyphenols, antioxidants and flavonoids to support overall wellness.*
  • 22 Vitamins & Minerals – Act as catalysts in thousands of biochemical reactions every day to support normal and healthy cell function.*
  • Fiber & Omega Blend – Provides 6 grams of dietary fiber to help keep you regular. Also contains over 200 mg of Omega-3 to support a healthy brain, heart and circulatory system.*
  • Prebiotics – Contains 150 mg ActivAloe® bioactive polysaccharides that stimulate the growth and maintenance of beneficial intestinal flora.*
  • Digestive Enzymes Blend – Assists in digesting foods more completely for greater absorption of nutrients and the good health that goes with them.*
  • NO ACESULFAME K, NO ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS, NO ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, COLORS, OR PRESERVATIVES, NO MSG, NO SOY, GLUTEN FREE, NO EGG, NO DAIRY, NO YEAST, NUT FREE.


We've used the Vegan Smart for the past couple of weeks and I have taken the adult serving and brought it down a bit because I do share the smoothies with my kids. I am always very careful when introducing new foods to my kids and so far, we haven't encountered any allergies (for which I am thankful!)... but when I am making myself a shake, I use an adult serving and have to say that this is the perfect breakfast before hitting the gym as I have energy and enough to burn after (when I pick my kids up from the childcare lol)

The Vegan Smart mixes are now a part of my routine moving forward because they are easy and add such value to my nutritional values on any given day. I am lucky to have been able to try them and encourage you to as well if you are looking for a non dairy, vegan option for your family. If you've tried them, I would love to hear your thoughts!

Visit Vegan Smart online!

Monday, May 14, 2018

Owning Your Body

It's #OwnYourBodBabe day, y'all (follow the hashtag on social) and in addition to shouting from the rooftops about what we love about ourselves, I have asked a couple of the ladies taking part to impart some of their self love wisdom on us. It's not easy to look in the mirror, see what you perceive as flaws and then be like "but I love it!" and really, every day can't be a love-fest but if we are really committed to loving our bodies for the amazing things they do for us, we can see positive changes in ourselves as well as in the people in our circles!


As someone who has always "struggled" with her weight, it's up to me to change my own mind about how I look. It really isn't about how others view me, it's about how I view myself. I will be the first to tell you how wonderful you look but I won't offer myself the same love. That has started to change as I have been committed to finding positives even when I'm not feeling it. I look in the mirror and I find something that I am happy about, then build on it. Amanda, your hair looks great today or Amanda, your skin is so clear and bright... giving myself compliments, helps me to be more confident in what I have got going on. It's just about consistency!



"My road to body positivity was akin to pretty much any other trek I've taken in life- bumpy and filled with twists and turns, but with a heck of lot of scenic views and beauty to be appreciated along the way, too. And it's a journey I'm still on. There are days I feel like I could carry the weight of the world on my shoulders, and there are days where I feel like I fall short. But the most important thing I try to remember is that it's a journey- a day at a time, step at a time experience that my body, in all its perfections and flaws and beauty and strength, is carrying me on. I am the decisive element on how successful this adventure will be. My body and my mind and my spirit are the vessels that are going to carry me there. And that's a positive, beautiful thing." - Natalie of Wear You are Now



"For me, practicing what I preach is so important. I am a registered nurse that works in a residential treatment center for women with eating disorders. Every day, I educate my patients on gratitude and daily practices to implement that can help one to love and embrace their body. The more I practice this, the better I get at it and the easier it becomes. Yes, I still have body-negative moments. Yes, I still look at pictures and think "Ugh, if only I had ___" BUT, there are plenty of things I really like about myself so when I start to feel upset about my body I bring myself back to all the lessons I teach others and practice them for myself." - Olivia of Style by Liv



"I’ve recently made a promise to myself to spend more time celebrating my body than trying to “fix” it. I really believe our bodies hear everything we say, and feel everything we do. Our positive thoughts, words and action hold so much power." - Elizabeth of On Tap for Today


Do you have any advice on remaining body positive? I'd love to hear it!


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Join Us: #OwnYourBodBabe

So I decided to put the story I've been sharing in a blog post so it's easier for people to refer to if need be... It's all about the body positivity, yo! I've been having a lot of conversations lately about body positivity. I posted an instagram story the weekend before last about a crop top (as in I was wearing one) and in all honesty, I have never had so many people respond so positively while also admitting that they don't give themselves enough love. In talking with close friends and even ladies that I only know online, one thing rings true... we can all build one another up, but we aren't the best at giving ourselves the love we deserve. I had an idea and it's really quite simple. We embrace what we have and we own it, because it's awesome no matter the jiggle or the wrinkles or our height or the perception that we have of our flaws. I want to encourage myself and also encourage every lady in our lives to do the same because we are all perfectly imperfect and beautiful and so so worthy!


THE IDEA! 

I am coordinating a day (May 14th, a Monday) to coordinate a campaign to spread self love, because I am sick of shaming myself because I don't feel like I'm "enough" or when I look in the mirror and see my age showing thinking "bleck". Where do you come in? Post a picture (wherever you want Instagram, facebook, twitter, text or email) on this same day using the hashtag #OwnYourBodBabe and talk about what you love about YOU. I'm thinking white shirts and jeans, the most basic palette of you (but also, I totally want us to be matchy matchy). It can be a professional shot, a selfie, a snap of you running (for exercise or after your kids), a video of you dancing, ANYTHING!... but what I think is most important is the messaging, what example you're setting, who you might encourage by being proud of what your Mama gave ya. Two out of Two Elizabeth's I polled agreed this was a good idea!

If you are interested, I will totally remind you a few days before. Fill out this veeeeery short survey. Survey monkey says this survey will take you one minute. It is basically "yes I'm interested" and "here's a good email address to remind me when May 14th is nearing": https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MQ553VS


Let me know if you have any questions. This is for fun but also for encouragement, for ourselves and the people around us. No pressure if this isn't for you but obviously you know I would LOVE LOVE to have you involved- this is my community and I love the support I've received so far!

Comment with any feedback or questions below!



Sunday, April 22, 2018

Earth Day Every Day Sponsored by Wayfair


Boom, all of a sudden it's Earth Day then it's not! I mean, every day should be Earth Day because we live on this planet and should take care of it each and every day. We can embrace the date on the calendar and use it as a catalyst to make some changes in our every day lives. We've been trying to make small adjustments in the Propah Household, as we go along, to make less of a footprint in our home. (recycling, consuming less, reusing, DIY with what we have instead of buying new, etc). No single family is perfect but we sure are trying! One thing that absolutely makes me feel close to the Earth is gardening. Every year, I get excited to start my seeds, buy flowers, really take my space up a notch. Plants in almost every shape and size, make me happy and I want to help preserve the Earth for my children and their children, am I right?

It has been something that I take pride in, using eco-friendly items to create a garden space that will last the whole Summer and into the Fall but doesn't create unnecessary waste in the process.


Items you can use to start seeds: 

I prefer items that will break down when planted in their "forever home" but reusing is also a good option when the alternative is ending up in a landfill.

Toilet Paper Tubes
Egg cartons (cardboard)
Stale Ice Cream Cones
Used Ziploc bags and wet paper towels (they started beans like this at daycare, just tape 'em to the window!)
Newspaper, think paper mache!
Egg shells, interested to try though would require me not to break them fully, which would be a challenge.
Old Muffin tins (just slip in cupcake papers!)
Old Ice Cube Tray
Old K-cups, though they won't breakdown, is certainly a way to re-use!


Items you can use as planters:

Milk Cartons or jugs
Soup Cans
Soda Bottles
Plant Sacks
Plastic Water bottles
Pretty much anything, just be sure you account for drainage!

Items you can use that are mindful:

Organic soil: it's a touch more expensive but if you're growing edibles, it's great for the environment and your peace of mind.
Reusable plant sacks and planters. Keep using them for years and years!
Also, When buying plants at your garden center, look for ones that are in recycled container or better yet ones that will break down when planted. You'll find a lot of brands offer this option!
Planters made from recycled materials
Natural Wood Stakes


My favorite gardening items that help me keep my business in order can be used year after year with proper care and increase my enjoyment in said activities:



Obviously, these are just a start and there are so many ways that you can make your garden more Earth friendly than it already is, I mean, it's already pretty earthy-crunchy! I can't wait to build my new potting bench that Wayfair sent (check out their potting benches here)We love this time we get to spend together and it's a real treat to be able to recycle, re-use and reduce when we're creating our garden! How do YOU celebrate Earth Day everyday?

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Xfinity's Work for Accessibility, Sponsored by Xfinity

*I was invited to an event with Xfinity to celebrate Autism Awareness Month. All opinions are my own.

Last week, I attended an event with my friends at Xfinity, this time for Autism Awareness Month and I gotta say, this wasn't just fun, it was also moving. I am not personally affected by autism but as a mother of two young boys, I know how hard it can be to raise children. It's hard to raise kids, let alone children who have developmental delays, communication challenges and sensory sensitivities. With help, families living with autism can certainly increase the quality of life for everyone- parents, kids and other family members so that everyone is able to live happier lives... so you're probably thinking, what does Xfinity have to do with families living with autism? Well, more than you'd think! Xfinity is working on a lot of great things to help families have access to technology that enriches their lives. Have a look at Anne, an Xfinity Product Market Manager, and her son Jake's story. 


Did that give you the feels? It gave me the feels. At the end of the day, I just want to see everyone living happy and fulfilled lives, not matter what they're doing. Anne, along with the Xfinity team, as well as representatives from the New England Center for Children were on hand to show us in person, the great new technologies and features that Xfinity has created to help their customers. Using the Xfinity Home Camera and her cell phone+Ipad, Anne was able to have more freedom while also giving Jake more independence... and those aren't the only things that Xfinity has to offer those looking for more accessibility in their home. Looking for more security? Xfinity's Home security system will keep you connected and protected. Their completely customizable smart home devices are a game changer for parents looking for security and peace of mind... and speaking as a parent, those things are of the utmost importance.


You know Xfinity's trusted X1Voice remote? It's been a game changer for those living with disabilities and illnesses. I didn't know that and it's something that I take for granted but to think that something as simple as a remote, is giving someone more accessible entertainment, well, it's pretty amazing. In April, simply say “Autism” in your X1Voice Remote and select Autism Awareness Month to see a variety of curated content specifically for this event. They're really offering customers the robust experience that is not just about our entertainment but also about adding value to our homes in ways that we need, curated to our needs.


You can learn more about what Xfinity is doing for home entertainment as well as mobile, home security and more on their website. They really do such a great job marrying all of their different technologies so that you're able to be connected to your home through your phone and tablets, even while on the go. Be sure to keep updated on their new offerings to ensure that you're learning about exciting new features that can make your life easier! Thanks again to the folks at Xfinity for hosting me, and teaching me all about the awesome things you're doing!

PS. Right now is #Watchathon (Xfinity's annual weeklong bingefest). Xfinity customers can enjoy access to the top shows from Netflix, HBO, STARZ, NBC and more — for free with Xfinity On Demand on Xfinity TV or the Xfinity Stream app through April 22nd... looks like we have some TV to catch up, am I right?