Friday, September 22, 2017

Own Your Glow with Latham Thomas in Boston

If you hadn't heard, Latham Thomas has a new book out, Own Your Glow. A Soulful Guide to Luminous Living and Crowing the Queen Within.  Latham, is a wellness and lifestyle expert, author and doula. Her previous book Mama Glow, a Hip Guide to your Fabulous Abundant Pregnancy was gifted to me by my good friend Gianne, founder of W.E.L.L. Summit and co-founder of Organic Bath Co... and I LOVED it to the MAX. To say that I am excited about this new book, in this new stage of my life, well, that would be an understatement.

Latham is currently traveling to bring the good news of her book and is making another stop in Boston in early October. On Sunday October 8th, Latham and The W.E.L.L. Summit will be creating an afternoon of self care, to calm your soul, nurture yourself and oh, also snag a copy of Latham's new book and have the opportunity to meet her!

About The Event

We're taking the standard author talk and hitting “refresh” like only the W.E.L.L. Summit can! First, you’ll enjoy circulating among our “Glow Stations” to help you get glowing—including Pure Glow, workout training tips from personal trainers, chair massages, enjoy organic treats, and much more (stay tuned as we announce all the Glow Stations)!

What a perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon! Get your tickets here.

What you will get:

All attendees will leave with a gift bag of carefully curated wellness products and a copy of Latham's new book, "Own Your Glow" so that they can continue to be nourished and pampered at home.

VIP Attendees will also be treated to a gentle, deeply nourishing yoga class with Sara Divello (local yogi and author), two copies of Latham's book, premier seating, front of the line privileges for Latham's post-talk book signing, and a nourishing body butter from the Organic Bath Co.


About the Book:

Own Your Glow is an inspirational, actionable, and wildly enriching companion for change. Celebrity wellness and lifestyle guru, Latham Thomas provides soulful principles that offer an illuminated path for examining life's challenges, helping you curate your path to greatness while embracing your uniquely feminine attributes. Packed with rituals, meditations, and snackable lifestyle tips, Thomas provides a clear framework for harnessing your passion, developing spiritual fitness, and embracing true vulnerability. This guide is for anyone who wants to witness her own life transform and contribute to the positive change of the world around her. Combining spiritual, psychological and self-reflective tools, Thomas offers an antidote to the hustle-hard, make-it-happen mainstream culture and fosters slowing down, intentionality and self-care as a pathway to empowerment.

How much more potent and powerful would we all be if we embraced our inherent talents, strengths, and feminine edge, rather than dwelling in patterns of self-criticism, doubt, and catty competition? Thomas invites you to step into a soulful-fulfilling life of freedom, transcending self- destructive habits and creating a blueprint for a more gratifying, centered, and bountiful way of living. Own Your Glow is an awakening roar for women to mobilize, become the masters of their lives, hold their crowned heads up high, letting their relentless light within shine bright for the world.

So what do you say, won't you join us there?

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Local Lovin: Tiem Athletic

When you see an amazing idea, it totally sticks with you. That's how I felt when I first discovered the spinning shoes from TIEM Athletic. They look like sneakers, can be worn to and from the studio but are built as an innovative click in cycling shoe (with these SPD cleats) with a rigid sole plate perfect for cycling. Pretty amazing right? It's footwear for the modern athlete and the company is based right here in Massachusetts! I had the opportunity to chat with TIEM founder Tracey Mcleod about her line and the exciting things that they're working on for the future!

Give us a little background as to how TIEM Athletic came about. What initially drove you to start your brand?

As an avid indoor and outdoor cyclist, over the years I have noticed a glaring gap in women’s-focused product in the cycling shoe market. The indoor cycling movement has continued to grow, and the boutique athletic-wear market has evolved so much in recent years. So the need for a new kind of cycling shoe which was both functional and fashionable was greater than ever. With TIEM we’re trying to fill that gap for the consumer who demands both.

When creating your products, where do you take inspiration from?

We’ve always referred to our target customer as the Modern Athlete, and that’s really our biggest source of inspiration-- seeing what she wears to these classes and creating footwear that compliments that style aesthetically, while not sacrificing any performance. There has been such a boom in the athleisure and athletic space in terms of footwear and apparel. Everything is pushing towards versatility. I wanted to bring some of the innovative materials and concepts we see in the running category into the cycling world.

I love the way that you have shaped your business. Plus it's no secret that I love shoes and fitness and I would assume you do too. What's it like to have shoes be your bread and butter? (as you can see, I'm very, very jealous!)

Prior to launching TIEM, I had worked 20+ years in the children’s footwear business. I was fortunate enough to work with brands like Reebok, Ralph Lauren, Roxy/Quiksilver, and Sam Edelman. Touching on brands that were in both the fashion world and the athletic world was always so much fun for me. Today with TIEM, I get to bring all the footwear knowledge (athletic and fashion) to my other passion, fitness! I feel pretty lucky!

What do you love to do in New England, when you aren't busy running your business?

If I am not spending time with my family, I generally can be found riding my bike on a path at the Cape or in Boston. A 7th year Pan Mass Challenge rider means logging lots of miles on my bike. :)

You have certainly found some fantastic early success! Where do you see TIEM Athletic headed in the future?

Of course we started out in the cycling market and have had tons of success here, so we’d like to continue to push that even further. We have some exciting plans for new, even more innovative designs for cyclists. Once established in the boutique cycling world, we plan to expand into all aspects of boutique fitness (e.g., barre and cardio). This idea of boutique fitness goes beyond the indoor cycle experience, so we want to provide footwear that meets the needs of the modern athlete as she shifts from class to class.

The folks at TIEM have some treats in store for us this holiday season headed into New Year so keep your eyes peeled for new products coming down the line (yay exciting!) plus I'm absolutely loving their Slipstream in Light Peony which sales of will be benefiting breast cancer research in the month of October. You know that I love a good cause and the color is so spot on. I'm excited to see what's in store next for TIEM and would love to hear your thoughts on this innovative shoe. Do you own a pair or have you been toying with purchasing a cycling shoe?

You can find TIEM Athletic on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Find Your Friendly Local Farm

This Summer has been a unique one not only in that I've had the kids home with me but that I've also had the time to visit local farms with them. This may not seem like a big deal, but it has seriously upped our quality of life and the quality of food that we've been consuming. From blueberry picking almost all Summer, subbing in on a friends CSA, we've been really enjoying our time down on the farm. When an old co-worker from my Border's days contacted me about visiting her family farm, Applefield Farm in Stow, we were more than up to the task! Open seasonally April through October, Applefield Farm (724 Great Road, Stow MA) is cultivating about 25 acres of land and running 8 greenhouses. The impressive farm is a hidden gem right on 117 and worth the trip, though it only took me 15 minutes to get there!

The Propah kids and I took a tour around the farm and of course Wes just loved running around like the wild and crazy three year old that he is. We scoped out the amazing collection of house plants as well as the mums, dried flowers, fresh bouquets and the pick your own fields. We talked about propagation (house plant nerds unite!), the farming techniques used on the property (they use all generally accepted organic production standards) and the history of the farm (family owned and operated from the get go). The care and consideration that the folks at Applefield Farm take in bringing all the fresh goodness to our table, is awesome to see. From their roadside store, to the local Whole Foods Markets, to the Farmer's Markets and local restaurants and more, they're working to bring all their fresh goodness to as many spaces as possible.

To me, it's important to find local farms and makers to support. Keeping your business in town or the surrounding towns is not only important to the local economy but it helps to keep your family grounded in something important, the community. There is a time and place to shop the big supermarkets but there's nothing that compares to speaking to a farmer or someone who packs things up for the farmer's market. These are the people of your town, working to bring the good stuff to you, the fresh fruits and veggies, the stories and the warm and fuzzy feeling you get when you're supporting your local farmers!

You can visit Applefield Farm through the end of October or when their season opens again in April. Follow them on Instagram for all the farming snaps you can handle and snag all their info updates on Facebook!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Sizzlin' September

There are so many great events in and around the city this September that I thought I would do a roundup so you can either check them out yourself or meet me there! I'll be out and about at quite a few and would love to see some friendly faces, whether we're old friends or just meeting one another!

Thursday September 14th, FenwaYoga

will you join me? Calling all Yogi's to join us for FenwaYoga at Fenway Park on September 14. The class is for ages 16 and up and will be led by experts from CorePower Yoga. Your ticket package includes a ticket for the 1:35pm Red Sox vs. A's game and admission to the post-game Yoga Class held on the field warning track. A portion of every ticket package will benefit the Red Sox Foundation, so it's feel good in a couple of different ways!

Thursday September 14th, Meet the Maker at Follain: Kjaer Weis

Join Follain for a night of thoughtful conversation with Tara Foley and Kirsten Kjaer Weis. Kirsten will speak about her most recent launch - the lip pencils, and the inspiration and the connection between art and beauty. Following the panel Kirsten will host a makeup tutorial and answer all your beauty questions and provide you with tips and tricks on how to achieve a Signature KW Makeup Look. Tickets are $10 to reserve your seat, redeemable in-store.

Trillfit brings to the Boston-area a first-of-its-kind Hip-Hop Fitness Festival on September 16th at University Park Commons in Cambridge. Aptly called Trillfest, this one-day, outdoor festival will feature fitness sessions, DJs, food trucks, lawn games, a wellness market, and a meditation session, followed by a concert series. This is an event that I SO wish that I could go to. It seems like such a fun, fit and interesting day!

On Sunday, September 17th, Practice Positivity with Elissa Garza of Style Wire and me of Prim & Propah at an interactive styling event at Athleta on Newbury St. Elissa will style outfits from Athleta's beautiful fall collection and help you fill out your fall wardrobe with items that empower you to be your best self. Shopped till you dropped? Take moment to reset and craft a DIY Affirmation card with Amanda, so that you leave feeling as good as you look. Enjoy sips, an exclusive 25% discount off of all regular-price items for attendees of this event - and a raffle for an Athleta gift card.

Wednesday September 20th, Ladies Lounge with JUGs

My girls over at JUGs and in conjunction with General Assembly are killin' it with their Ladies Lounge series. This month is focusing on inviting Boston's top health and wellness coaches to get us on track for Fall. We may not be in High School anymore, but as adults, the Fall still represents a proverbial new beginning after a season of relaxation and indulgence (a second New Year, if you will)- making it a great time to refocus on health goals. But between all of the different schools of thought on dieting, advice from blogs, and the countless gyms all over Boston, it can be difficult to navigate what we should really be doing to get healthy - so difficult, in fact, that more and more people are making a living out of guiding us through it all. Meet Boston's health coaches. They'll give you some health inspiration, motivation and share their stories about how they're making careers of being trusted wellness gurus.

Friday September 22nd World Rhino Day with American Rhino

During the month of September, American Rhino will hold a number of events at both their stores at MarketStreet in Lynnfield and the new location on Newbury Street. Additionally, there will be a special grand opening event, which coincides with World Rhino Day at the Newbury Street location on September 22. Fun activities are planned for kids at MarketStreet throughout the day, starting with story time and crafts inside the store at 10am. American Rhino will be on "The Green" from 4 pm - 6 pm, where they'll be playing games such as corn hole and spikeball. Get in on some face painting, pin the horn on the rhino, a "face in the hole" photo-booth area, and a photo scavenger hunt. In honor of World Rhino Day, both locations will be donating 20 percent of net profits, doubling the traditional amount, to the American Rhino Foundation on behalf of their customers.

Thursday September 28th, BostonTalks with WGBH and JUGS

Connect with WGBH, JUGS, local leaders, stories, trends and each other at BostonTalks. This September, it’s all about coming together. Hear from three speakers who are doing just that with their careers. Go behind the blue paint with Lyle Blaker of Blue Man Group, and hear how he connects with his audience without saying a word. Matt Peterson of MIT studies how our brains make connections that allow us to know and understand others instantly through facial recognition. The Farmer’s Daughter restaurant owner and Chef Chandra Gouldrup uses farm to table cooking to bring together flavors and connect people over delicious food.

Weekends through October 22nd, King Richard's Faire

We've been to King Richard's Faire a few times but this the year where we know that we will truly have a blast because the Propah Preschoolah is primed for a fun day like this. He is fun loving and won't know what hit him. We'll partake in turkey legs, jousts, tiger shows, games, shopping and more. If you have a weekend free from now until October 22nd, head down to Carver, MA for a super fun day with the King and his subjects!

So what are you doing this month?

Monday, September 11, 2017

I Tried It: Kelia Skincare + a Giveaway!

I've been so fortunate to be able to try all sorts of different skincare products this Summer and as we wind down our warmer days and Fall starts creeping in, I am happy to start tinkering with my skincare routine to ensure that I am taking care as the weather changes. I had the opportunity to work with Kelia Skincare, using The Repair Serum. It's different than the face serums that I've been using all Summer and I'm so excited to work this product into my Fall routine for a few different reasons.

1. The Repair Serum is a lightweight but super effective serum, jam packed with lots of fantastic ingredients. Licorice root, Daisy Flower extract, Wild Yam, Goji Berry, Bamboo stem extracts, Geranium Essential Oil, all encourage your skin to brighten and firm up. As a woman creeping up into her 30's, it's important to me to find products that help me reduce fine lines, combat discoloration and sun damage. I've been using it for a few weeks in the evening and do feel as though my skin has started to look a little more radiant. It also has a light scent that is appealing without being overwhelming- the geranium really does come through.

2. The Repair Serum, along with the other two products from Kelia Skincare (The Night Cream and The Moisturizer) are cruelty-free, never tested on animals, which is a given if it's going to be in my home. There are so many cruelty free options out there that there is no excuse to use something else.

3. Kigelia Africana, a super versatile fruit extract, is used in the line and has a ton of proven benefits like being anti-inflammatory, firming, anti-oxident, and clarifying. Doing a little research on this tree, it's actually pretty neat. Besides the benefits of the extract, the 3 foot long fruits (yep, 3 feet!) can be dried to make beer as well as feed some of my favorite animals (Hi Elephants and Giraffes!)e

4. The Repair Serum makes my face feel good. It goes on smooth, absorbs quickly, and is super luxurious. I have found that if a serum is going to break into my routine these days, it needs to feel luxurious. Applying my face routine is now a ritual and one that I take seriously.

If you don't want to take my word for it, try it yourself! My friends at Kelia are so stoked about what they're doing and want to share. One Prim and Propah reader will get the opportunity to try The Repair Serum (an $85 value) for themselves! Enter on the instagram snap below and Good Luck, my beauties!

You can follow Kelia Skincare on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Zanni, Made in LA

When I first met Suzanne, it was at some sort of blogger get together I'm sure. She's one of the trio behind Just Us Gals Boston and so that obviously means that I've been smitten with her for a very long time. Not so long ago, Suze made the trek across the country to live in Sunny California. Of course we miss her being on the East Coast but the move has spurred something amazing... Suze has started her own line of dresses, Zanni. They are "Dresses for Whatever" and that tagline truly fits these amazingly crafted, unique little technical dresses that you can feel good wearing for so many reasons.

Photo by Sarah Shreves
Zanni grew from the need to have a dress that could be the perfect fit for all of the things a modern woman can do in her day. From work, to the park, bike riding, chasing your kids around, meetings and on to dinner, there should be a dress that checks all the boxes. The fabric is dreamy! It's stretchy and soft and breathable and flattering and we can feel good about how it's made as well. Their fabric is sourced from an Italian factory with high standards for sustainable manufacturing practices. It was one of the first to comply with the Kyoto Protocol standards. And the dresses themselves are designed and made in LA with social responsibiltity as a priority. It's a dress that's made to move with you and that you can be proud to be wearing.

Per Suze, there are 3 main reasons she wanted to make dresses out of performance materials:

1. I knew how great I felt in my workout or "athleisure" apparel
2. I knew how long my workout clothes lasted (I seriously have Under Armour shirts from high school still)
3. I hate constantly changing for my day's activities

I can attest to these dresses being the kind of dress that you can move in. Personally, I am running after a three year old and if I need to do a quick lunge and grab to prevent him from running into traffic, this dress does not keep me from doing it. But in all seriousness, it's almost like you'll have to take my word for it or see it yourself to really, really appreciate how awesome the dress is and how great it moves.

The For Whatever Dress/ Photo by Sarah Surette

The For Whatever Dress/ Photo by Sarah Surette
It's not just the garment, it's the idea, the heart and soul that's put into creating it plus when it's created responsibly and built to last, well you've sold me something I'll love for years... I really do love my For Whatever Dress and while Suze has only just begun, I've seen so many cool, ecclectic women gravitating towards a new take on the little black dress. I can't wait to see how it grows and what the Zanni team has in the works for the future.

You can find Zanni on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Friday, September 1, 2017

The Dinner Daily + a Jaunt to Roche Bros.

So I'm just going to say it, I've never had my groceries delivered. I never really even considered it. I don't know why but maybe I've always felt like I just needed to be in store to see what I needed to grab. Or maybe I just have always felt like I'm not organized enough to put in the order and get everything I need... well, let's face the cold hard facts here... I'm not organized to do it in store, that's for certain. I almost always buy too much and now that I'm on a stricter budget since I have the kids home with me, it's more important than ever to go into grocery shopping and meal planning with, well, a plan! As you can imagine, I was super psyched when I received an invitation from The Dinner Daily and Roche Bros. to check out the options a Mom like me can have in regards to meal planning and grocery deliveries.

We had the opportunity to join the team from Roche Bros and The Dinner Daily on a tour of the store and to see how they fulfill online orders that are then sent out for delivery. It was an excellent chance to ensure that the process would meet the standards set for food, how the team would pick items such as produce and meat and to see how long it takes from start to finish.

After our tour, we were introduced to The Dinner Daily and I swear, it changed it all for me. I've been using the meal planning/shopping companion site for a few weeks now. You can choose your grocery store and they will plan your weekly menu while also ensuring that you're getting the best deal based on what is on sale at the specific store that week. I did my first test run with both the meal planning, shopping and delivery with Roche Bros... and it's a game changer for this Mom who usually has to bribe her three year old just to get through a shopping trip alive. From the plan for the week, TDD helps arrange your groceries into a checklist where you can mark off what you've already got at home and make a list for the store or to order at your favorite store online. The order took me literally 10 minutes to enter and my groceries were at my door the same afternoon of the morning that I placed my order. My kids and dog were excited that there was a delivery man at our door. I was excited to have my groceries and receipt handed to me without having to step foot in the store. The delivery fee was nominal and I will 100% be doing it again.

The Dinner Daily's recipes are extremely accesible in that even if I don't think about dinner until 500pm, I know that as long as I have the ingredients in my fridge, the dinner will get on the table. They give you a "Time to Table" in minutes and very quick + easy directions along with nutrition information. One of my favorite meals, that I'm definitely putting into my rotation is a Curry Scented Pork. I had never cut my own pork tenderloins, maybe because I thought it was daunting? Turns out, it's so easy and so delicious. I have The Dinner Daily to thank for giving me the nudge to try.

I've had the opportunity to inject a little life into my cooking routine, adding some new recipes, getting both my husband and kids to try new things. It's really been so awesome for me since getting my grocery budget and meal planning under control has been on my mind since I took Wes out of daycare and had both boys home with me... that was March and it is now September. Both The Dinner Daily and Roche Bros helped me realize that it can all be so much easier! Seriously, sign up for a free trial of The Dinner Daily. If you're like me and want to cook for your family but don't have a ton of time or sanity, this is the virtual assistant that you need!

You can follow The Dinner Daily on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. You can follow Roche Bros. on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

See Ya Summer with Follain

With the Summer coming to an end, I'm just trying to soak in every last trip to the farm, beach, park and all the outdoor activities I can get my hands on. There's so much that I love about the Summer but I do also love the change of seasons, especially here in New England. As I have mentioned to you guys before, my skin changes as the weather changes. I bet if you made some mental notes, you would realize that your skin reacts differently too. I know that it's only a matter of time before the Summer drifts away and the Fall comes sweeping in. There are a few items from my friends at Follain that I know will most definitely help me savor these last weeks of Summer but will also transition seamlessly into the chilly Autumn.

RMS Beauty Tinted "Un" Powder
- this is such a great powder that I use to both finish my makeup and also keep a little of that sweaty shine at bay. It's tinted but not overly so; it will provide good coverage even as your skin is seeing less sun and for me, growing paler in preparation for a long Winter.

Axiology Lipstick in Attitude -this color is perfect for Summer but also totally appropriate for Fall.

Vered Organic Herb-Infused Toner- this stuff is so pure and gorgeous, it's apparently good enough to drink though I won't be trying that anytime soon. I've not been loyal to a toner but may have found my new favorite to return back to. I broke out on my vacation to the Cape, like for the first time since before I was pregnant with Teddy and this really helped to minimize the redness and bring down some of the irritation. I put it to the test and it passed.

Schmidt's Bergamot and Lime Deodorant Stick- This is my favorite stick deodorant. Period. End of story. There are a lot of great deodorants on the natural beauty market, some more effective for me than others but this is #1 in stick form which is convenient #2 has a great smell and comes in a variety of different scents and #3 it works even on my sweatiest of sweaty days.

Organic Bath Stress Less Scrub- I have got to say that everything that Organic Bath puts out there, I usually fall in love with but the Stress Less/Peace Full Lavender line is the best imo. To combat the dry skin that is enevitably coming my way, this scrub is on hand and ready for those pre-bedtime showers and of course, I follow it up with the body butter because Yaaas queen!

What are your favorite beauty items that help you savor the Summer but help you ease into Fall?

*This post was written in collaboration with my friends at Follain.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Refreshing Strawberry Lemondade Ice Cubes for Upcoming BBQ's

*This post was created in partnership with Nothing But the Fruit. All opinions are mine and I super appreciate you supporting businesses that help keep Prim and Propah moving.

I had seen Nothing but the Fruit at Starbucks but had never grabbed them for me and the kiddo to snack on but now that we've been formally introduced, I don't think that we can ever go back! The gals from their team had sent us some samples earlier this Summer and to say that we became instant fans would not be an exagerration. I thought I would take some of our favorite fruit snacks and put a little bit of a late Summer twist on something for this coming Labor Day weekend! 

I did a little tinkering until I found the best combination of ingredients to create tasty ice cubes to toss into water, lemonade or even a ice cold glass of vodka... it gives new meaning to "on the rocks". With just a couple simple ingredients, a cute ice cube tray and a freezer, this is a great addition to any tasty Summer drinks that may be whipping up to celebrate the last days of Summer.

What you'll need:

  • One package of Nothing But the Fruit Strawberry Bites
  • 3-4 Fresh Strawberries, extra for garnish if desired
  • 1 tablespoon of simple syrup
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • Juice of one lemon

It's so simple, really. Dice up your strawberries and put them into your ice cube tray. They will sit and wait for the liquid component. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring your simple syrup, water, lemon juice and fruit bites to a simmer, constantly stirring so that your mixture doesn't burn. You should start to see your fruit bites dissolving as you stir. There's really no way to screw this up so feel free to take a taste here or there (after cooling a bit) and feel free to add a little more simple syrup or lemon juice depending on which direction you want to go, sweet or tart. Your mixture can be completely dissolved (much like the consistency of a thick syrup) or you can leave bits and pieces of the fruit bites. At the end of the day, you cannot escape the deliciousness that awaits you. 

Once you've reached the perfect ratio, very gently pour your mixture over the strawberries in your ice cube tray making sure not to overflow. I used a silicon version which worked great for this special project. Pop in the freezer and give it a couple of hours to firm up. I added our ice cubes to a pitcher of lemonaide that I whipped up but we also saved a couple (from my second batch) for some mixed drinks we planned to make after the kids went to bed. If you give them a couple minutes to start melting into the drink... well, that's when the flavors start spreading- Mmmmm, mmmmmm! I've quickly realized that these little 100% fruit snacks, made with all natural ingredients, are more versatile that I initially gave them credit for. I used the strawberry bites this time but I'm thinking that I may need to figure out an inventive way to use the Concord Grape flavor next. Have you used something out of the ordinary to create a new treat? I'd love to hear in the comments!

If you want to know more about Nothing But the Fruit, be sure to check them out online, Facebook, and Instagram!

Friday, August 25, 2017

I Tried It: COOLA Eco Suncare

“I received this product for free from Moms Meet ( to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided.

Have you noticed that the Propah Family is very fair skinned? Well, we are. And sensitive skinned, did I mention that? When it comes to being outside, I have to make sure that my kids (and myself obvi) are covered in sunscreen and hats and everything in between because it's so super important to protect our skin. That said, I kind of have an aversion to the smells and feel of common sunscreens/blocks. Of course, I use them, but when other options come along, I'm here for it. COOLA was awesome enough to send us a great package of some of their best sun products and to say that I am pleased, would be an understatement. The natural line of products that also touts some amazing organic ingredients has me really excited about protecting our skin with something that I actually love. No more "tolerating", I'm loving.

The folks at COOLA aren't just creating your average sunscreen, they're curating a useful but crushworthy line of products for the whole family. Discerning mothers (and fathers) know what is quality when they see it. When I tried the Eco-Lux (SPF50) Guava Mango Sunscreen Spray, I was a touch skeptical at first because, man does it smell good and my brain had trained me to only trust sunscreens that made me go "meh". I was so very pleasantly surprised though. Over 70% of the ingredients are organic and all of them are super safe. This is now our go to sport spray when we hit the Cape last week, prepping for the Red Sox game and when I'm packing a bag for the park or walking trail because I can use it on all of us. Even when I've run out of the baby specific goods, this works in a pinch for Teddy too.

I also got to try the Mineral Sport SPF 50 Tinted Sunscreen Stick, Face SPF 30 Makeup Setting Spray and the Liplux SPF 15 in Peppermint Vanilla... and all of the products do not disappoint. I may have received these items for free to try but I am already scoping out some of their makeup because I love what I've seen so far. Their makeup setting spray itself is a great way to make sure that you're protecting your face from UV rays. Even if none of your makeup itself has an SPF, this is the best stuff to create a matte finish. My only qualm is that as a Mom of two young children, I wish there was an option to get this spray in a bottle that isn't glass... I've had a few scares in the past week and would be heartbroken if my spray broke. But really? It's fancy and I love that too.

I'm a new fan of COOLA and am super excited that I was introduced to them. They may not be the least expensive option to protect your skin from harmful UV rays but they are most certainly one of my favorites. Quality is key for me and I like to support brands that are looking to keep harmful ingredients out of their formulas while providing products that you can truly fall in love with.

Do you want to try COOLA yourself? You can use COOLA code: Light20 to receive 20% off your order until September 30th!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Propah Edaville Adventure

File under: #PropahAdventures
*Edaville hosted the Propah family and friends but this is a 100% accurate dipiction of our super fun day there!

While we were down on the Cape last week we had the opportunity to head off the Cape (I know, I know) to take in a day at Edaville. Every morning when Wesley is watching Curious George, he sees the commercial for Edaville and promptly says " I want to go there!" in the cutest little three year old voice... so being the best Mom ever, I made it happen! Edaville, for those who don't know, is a family theme park in Carver, MA with lots of attractions including Thomas and Friends "land" and also a train that goes around the property, a Dino attraction "Dino Land", carousel and other traditional rides, and lots of cute details along the way.

Wesley has only just recently been getting into Thomas and Friends but let me tell you, he knows his characters. When we hit property, the kid was stoked as soon as he saw the train, complete with Thomas the Tank Engine leading the way. If you're not familiar, basically, he is the lead engine, our hero and all around nice guy.  To be honest though. my kid is more a fan of Emily... he likes what he likes! We took the leisurely train ride around the property and Wes took out his "noculars" to take in some of the sweet views on a beautiful day. It was a breezy twenty minute ride (rest) from an otherwise busy day of exploring on foot!

The kids were getting tired but still just had to explore the misty prehistoric forest that allows visitors to take a dino loop and visit all the kids favorite dinosaurs. Our little guys enjoyed running from creature to creature so as you can imagine, I got my excersise running after them. Pro tip: put red shorts on your children to allow for optimal fog visibility! 

We covered what seemed like every corner of the park with a couple differnt breaks in between attractions. They offer picnic tables in a few different areas of the park so you can bring your own lunches or they also have some cafe's where you can purchase yummy eats. There's plenty of shade and even on a hot day like the one of our visit, they offered spritzing fans around the park, which is one of my favorite things they could do for this sweaty mom. We finished our day on the carousel which just seemed like the perfect way to ease the kids out since they were spent from all the adventure-ing we did.

We really enjoyed ourselves and all agreed that the kids had a real blast. Seeing things from their little eyes and trying to really experience the little stuff with them is one of my favorite ways to win at Mom-ing. I would recommend a trip to Edaville especially if you've got a train lover on your hands- you'll be the best parent evah! PS. Mass/RI/NH residents get $10 off their tickets.

You can find Edaville Family Theme Park on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017


File Under: #RedSoxParents #Yoga

This year, I have been so happy to be involved with the Red Sox and their Red Sox Parents program. I've been supporting their initiatives all Summer but when I got the information on FenwaYoga, well, you can imagine how excited I was about that. I haven't had the chance to practice at Fenway but am so stoked be headed there on September 14th to catch a ballgame then Namaste on the field to stretch and meditate on a win (hopefully). Yoga really is one of my favorite ways to be grounded and really (re)find my center after a long or maybe horrible day. Practicing at Fenway? Well, that's going to be something else...

So will you join me? Calling all Yogi's to join us for FenwaYoga at Fenway Park on September 14. The class is for ages 16 and up and will be led by experts from CorePower Yoga. Your ticket package includes a ticket for the 1:35pm Red Sox vs. A's game and admission to the post-game Yoga Class held on the field warning track. A portion of every ticket package will benefit the Red Sox Foundation, so it's feel good in a couple of different ways!

Baseball and Yoga, here we come!

Monday, August 21, 2017

I Tried It: Malaya Organics + a Giveaway

This has been a Summer full of amazing beauty products, well, new to me beauty products. I have been really enjoying introducing myself and you guys to brands that I can honestly recommend. Malaya Organics is one of those brands. Malaya is handcrafted in small batches and those batches are filled with whole-plant extracts that make them restorative, nourishing and known to boost elasticity (which is my new favorite thing). As I get older, it's these types of products that really pique my interest. I want them to work, I want my skin to respond positively and I want to be using quality products in my regimine. Malaya Organics checks all those boxes. I had the opportunity to try some of their most popular oils and I'll cut to the chase: I truly adore them.

Malaya Organics Body Oil in Woods- It's organic and wildcrafted- This particular scent is great because I feel like it's something my husband could use and not feel like he smelled too feminine even though I'm not trying to place specific smells on specific genders if you get what I'm saying. It's great as a bath oil and I would definitely use in the shower, though the bottle is glass so obviously, you'd want to be careful. This has mostly been my after shower body oil that I apply while I'm damp and it's made me so silky smooth Summertime ready. Ingredients: Jojoba Oil*, Sweet Almond Oil*, Sunflower Oil*, Safflower Oil*, Argan Oil*, Avocado Oil*, Rosehips Oil*, Herbal extracts – [Arnica Flower*, Plantain Leaf*, Calendula Flower*, Chamomile Flower*, Yarrow Leaf and Flower*, Lavender Flower*, Elder Flower*], Proprietary blend of Essential Oils and Absolutes *^ including - Bergamot Oil*+, Bulgarian Rose Oil*, Sandalwood Oil*, Vetiver Oil*, Patchouli Oil*, Vitamin E Tocopherols (GMO Free).

Malaya Organics Rejuvinating Face Serum-  It's organic and wildcrafted- silky smooth, absorbs quickly and smells amazing but not overpowering. This face serum feels luxurious as far as quaility face oils are concerned, this is a top notch option. This stuff is the bomb and the bottle is super cute too! Ingredients: Jojoba Oil*, Sweet Almond Oil*, Camellia Oil*, Sunflower Oil*, Meadowfoam Oil*, Argan Oil*, Siberian Pine Nut Oil^, Rosehip Oil*, Borage Oil*, Avocado Oil*, Pumpkin Seed Oil*, Herbal extracts - [Elder Flower*, Marshmallow Root*, Burdock Root*, Plantain Leaf*, Rose Petals*, Calendula Flower*, Chamomile Flower*, Yarrow Leaf and Flower*, Lavender Flower*], Proprietary blend of Essential Oils and Absolutes*^ including - Gardenia Absolute^, Bulgarian Rose Oil*, Jasmine Absolute*^, Neroli Oil*, Seabuckthorn Oil*, Sandalwood Oil*, Rosewood Oil^, Mixed tocopherols (vitamin E – GMO Free).

Malaya Organics Lavender Lip SaviorIt's organic, wildcrafted and sun whitened This lip balm is the stuff that dreams are made of, well, my dreams anyway. Lavender is one of my favorites and this lip savior is just that, a savior! It's SO silky and leaves your lips super moisturized and a little glossy. This is going to be my chapped lip, Winter go to, I just know it! Ingredients: Cacao Butter^, Beeswax+, Castor Oil*, Sweet Almond Oil*, Jojoba Oil*, Herbal extracts - [Lavender flower*, Chamomile Flower*], Lavender Oil*, Peppermint Oil*, Vitamin E Tocopherols (GMO Free).

Malaya Organic is definitely a brand that created gorgeous products with gorgeous ingredients. The blends are so my style and I will definitely put this on my top shelf, as in the products that I will come back to time and time again.

You can follow Malaya on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest

So do you want to win all the products that I tried? Check out how to enter in the Instagram below:

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

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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