Tuesday, October 16, 2018

prAna Hemp for a Cozy Fall + Winter

*This post was created in collaboration with prAna. All opinions are 100% mine.

If you've been following along my journey for awhile now, you know that I am a big fan of prAna and using our dollars to purchase from brands who have a mission, a purpose and whose values are as similar to mine as a business can be. When prAna reached out to talk all things hemp, I was of course intrigued because prAna continues to create and also lead the way in the mindful business practices that I value and would love to see other clothing companies, especially, adopt in the very near future.


So you may be wondering what from the hemp line of clothing that I chose. The Pammy Beanie (pictured here in Dusty Evergreen) stood out to me and here's why. I always have an issue wearing Winter hats (the kind meant to keep your head warm in this biting New England cold) because the material may bother my ears. Sometimes my ears itch when something is too wooly. Sometimes my ears are very irritated by the sounds of the fibers from hats made from synthetic materials... you get the picture. So why not try a hemp blend? This hat is created from a recycled blend of polyester and hemp... and it's, no lie, the perfect fabric for my head. It has a cotton feel but it's as heavy as I would hope it'd be. Of course, they are creating more than hats using their hemp sourced from China, grown as organically as possible. Hemp is safer for farmers to grow and preserve the health of the land because the crop requires no chemical pesticides or fertilizers to be sustained.



WHY HEMP MATTERS



The materials that prAna uses to make their clothing will no doubt leave you feeling good about your purchase while also feeling good about how you look. In addition to Hemp, prAna uses Organic cotton, recycled wool, recycled polyester, and responsible down, just some of the notable materials that prAna has lined up to create fair trade, responsible and sustainable made apparel for men and women. Respect for the planet and its people- I'm on board with that.



Want to shop prAna and their hemp line for yourself? The kind and lovely folks over at prAna are offering Prim and Propah readers the opportunity to save 15% off of their order using code: PHAL18... oh, and don't forget to use Ebates to get 4% back on your purchase... what's on your list?!

You can Follow prAna on TwitterFacebookInstagram and Pinterest!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Give a SH*T, Please + a GIVEAWAY

I met Ashlee Piper at WELL Summit last week.To say that I was smitten would be an understatement. She's no doubt funny but more importantly, smart a f$&*ing whip. Her session on Mindfullness and Sustainability had me veeeeeery excited to purchase her book "Give a Sh*t- Do Good. Live Better. Save the Planet" that I did it nearly immediately and off her person. I hadn't even read it yet but I knew that I would want to share it with you guys... so I bought two copies, one for me and one for a Prim and Propah reader (but more on that later). I know that it is up to us as individulal humas to make our personal and collective environments, better ones.

My mother and sister came up this weekend and I couldn't stop talking about the main points of Ashlee's presentation and all the nuggets of wisdom that I had gleaned from the book thus far. I told them it had to be a must read, added to their wishlists immediately. While I won't get too indepth as to our conversations surrounding the political climate, let's just say that we all agreed that channeling our energy into improving our footprint with our daily actions, is a good use of time. I've only gotten about half way through the book, which says a lot because when I sit down to read, I usually start falling asleep (#momlife) but that said, I couldn't wait to give you the opportunity to read it along with me. So to give you a quick rundown of what you're getting (beside real realness), it's a book broken down into chapters, Giving a sh!t in your home, in your kitchen, in your closet, in the mirror and in the wild... and I think that about covers all the areas that I feel I can try to control (barely) in my own little world. But just imagine if everyone gave a shit, right? Talk about the amount of change we could create.


I'm not going to lie, there are some tough topics in this book but to balance that out, these topics are of the utmost importance. There is a lot of humor in this book but with that humor comes some information that may shake the way that you view, the animal processing industry for instance. While I am sure that you are able to use your imagination, actually viewing a chart broken out into how animals are treated is, well, it's eye opening and also horrifying. But I have an open mind, and an open heart... and I believe you have the same, that's why you read my blog at this stage in time! So are you ready to give a sh*t? You can enter this giveaway on the Instagram post below hy just commenting on the one area you are looking to improve on in your life first and foremost... let's get real, then get real serious about fixing our world.



✨GIVEAWAY✨ Happy Monday my loves! Today starts a month worth of book giveaways because I just feel like showering you guys with love and gifts, you know? @ashleepiper's new book "Give a Sh*t: Do Good. Live Better. Save the Planet" was a recent @wellsummit discovery and to say that I am smitten as a kitten would be an understatement. I wrote a quick blog post (link in profile) about meeting Ashlee last weekend (and subsequently girl crushing), about the book, a little teaser and some recent conversations but if you want to save all your reading for the actual book, you can just stay here to enter to win a signed copy for yourself plus a brand new “create calm” journal to start saving the planet in an organized fashion! To enter: Follow @ashleepiper + @primandpropah Good juju and extra entries, tag some booklovin' friends who want to make the world a better place! *This contest is not affiliated with instagram-- your girl bought the book for you herself because I just wanted to share the good stuff with you! I'll choose a winner at random on Friday evening 10/19 #propahreads #wellsummittribe
A post shared by Amanda (@primandpropah) on



Didn't want to wait to win? You can purchase Ashlee Piper's book on Amazon or where other books or sold or maybe if you see her in person out in the wild, she'll have a copy you can buy off of her--- or hey, supporting your local library is awesome too-- see? no excuses!


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Boudreaux's Keeps My Babes Hiney Healthy

*This post is in partnership with Moms Meet and Boudreaux's Butt Paste. All opinions are 100% my own.



I have to say that we are hopefully nearing the end of being in diapers. Teddy will be two in Decemember and I think that Wesley was potty trained around three, OK nevermind, we are going to be in diapers for the next year at least. Something that has happened a lot with Teddy has been diaper rashes and yeast infections. Yes, a glamorous life I lead, let me tell you. It's been tough to find a diaper cream, or in this case butt paste, that really works and lasts through the night. Moms Meet was nice enough to send me a very generous package from the team at Boudreaux's, including the Rash Kicking KitWhen looking at the quality and performance, while also taking into consideration the ingredients, I have been very pleased with the Boudreaux's line of baby care products. The Rash Kicking Kit especially, since they have the applicator in there! Anyone who knows diaper cream knows that it is not something that is fun to apply with your bare hands-- the applicator does the dirty work and the bum still gets covered! This kit is, like the perfect, baby shower gift. Since having small children, I am of the mindset that gifting things that new Moms need is much more practical then giving them cute baby booties that we all know won't stay on the baby's feet. Just call me Practical Patty over here!


There are a lot of different options out there for discerning parents but this brand is not to be looked over. The quality is on point, a little goes a long way and you can buy different sizes (for home and for diaper bag) You can find the entire Boudreaux's product line on Amazon, so that makes it super easy, am I right? I'm thinking baby shower gifts, holiday donations to local shelters, and of course, stocking up in my own home for this sweet little bottom.

Have you tried Boudreaux's for your baby?


Tuesday, October 9, 2018

What's Wowing Me in Wellness: Spray My Face

I didn't realize it until just recently, but Mama is a face spray hoarder. I have various itterations of face sprays from rose water to toners, to hydration sprays and beyond... and I kinda love them all. I have been very fortunate to be able to try a lot of different sprays without having to buy them (grateful for this!) so have built quite the collection, all with their own purpose and place. I thought I would break down some of the reasons you'd want to invest in a toner or hydrating spray (or both!) so that you can begin to make an educated purchase with my opinion in there to boot ha!


Not all facial sprays are created equal nor do they have the same purposes. The difference between Toner & Astringents-- Toners help to remove any traces of oil, perspiration or makeup from your skin. An astringent, however, may be alcohol- or chemically-based and is used to clean the skin and close pores. I don't personally use an astringent unless it's that time of the month and my skin is acting wacky. It helps to clear my skin up in those dark times but in other scenarios will dry me right out so I use astrigents sparingly. Toner however, I use that on the daily. The most important purpose for a toner, and I've been told this by estheticians as well as clean beauty experts, is to restore your skin's pH balance. Using a toner can also prevent in grown hairs and act as an additional layer of protection from the elements. Hydrating mists? I have those around to feel fancy and have something on hand to freshen up on the go and quickly!


Hydrating Mists: Some of my favorite hydrating mists are very simple in their ingredients but are perfect sprays for a quick pick me up and also for setting your makeup. I have a small travel sized bottle that I'll pop in my purse or the diaper bag to keep on hand for those moments when life has me dried out (which is most of the time) My Top Picks: Kaliks Collective Revive Lavender Hydrosol, Josh Rosebrook's Hydrating Accelerator, Beautycounter Rosewater Mist, OY-L Hydrating Mist,

Toners: Toners are part of the building blocks to a fantastic skincare regimine. I always use a toner right after I've washed my face or left the shower and to be honest, have use a toner once or two by accident when I just wanted a spritz of hydration. I have dabbled in different toners but my favorites come in all shapes, sizes and price points. My Top Picks:  Face/Food Flower Power Healing Toner, Shamanuti Seaweed Toner, Wildcraft Geranium Orange Blossom Toner 

Astringents: I personally don't dabble in different astringents, I just know what works for me and since I use it so infrequently, it doesn't make sense to buy something that I don't need. The Thayer's Witc Hazel Astringent is simple and easy to find, like I'm talking even at Target, CVS and sometimes even Marshall's. It works to cleanse, get rid of grime, and tightens up the skin after I've had a big breakout. My Top Pick: Thayer's Witch Hazel Astringent

No matter what you're spraying on your face, be sure to do ingredient checks. There are some stores and sites where you can be sure that they've done the work for you (Detox Market, Follain, Credo Beauty, Pretty Pure Beauty) but when shopping at Target, CVS, Marshalls etc, you'll have to do your due dilligence. You don't want harmful chemicals being spritzed refreshingly about.

Do you have any recommendations for hydrating sprays, toners or astringents?


Friday, September 28, 2018

Fall Festivities with Wilson Farm, Lexington MA

*This post is in collaboration with Wilson Farm in Lexington, MA

This month, I had the opportunity to take Teddy to Wilson Farm in Lexington, MA for a tour, some Fall goodies and ZOMG the best flowers. I had first heard about Wilson Farm from my friend Elizabeth, who has been visiting for years. She had nothing but nice things to say about them and I was not disappointed by this local destination for everything from Farm fresh vegetables (legit right off their farm), cheese x 100000, baked goods and the upcoming Fall festivities for the whole family.


If you know me, you know that I am a sucker for fresh veggies, for all the things you can get at farm stands and of course, for shopping locally. While taking the tour of Wilson Farm's grounds, I was absolutely blown away by everything that they are doing on property. It's truly awesome what they have built here since the late 1800's. They've got their own chicken coops, goats, massive greenhouses (where they're currently growing poinsettas), garden center, on site bakery and gosh, he cheese selection is what my dreams are made of!


The events that we talked about on the farm all year long sound awesome. They have chefs that work with them on farm to table dinners as well as working locally with restaurants and stores to share their goods. Fall is in full swing so if you dig caramel apples and apple cider donuts then you'll want to stop by any weekend in September and October for all that goodness ... and the Propah family is headed back in October for their well known hay maze.

Details on the hay maze, you ask? --> Free and open to the public, find the exit and you'll be rewarded with an apple! It's open October 6th through October 31st, including Columbus Day and Halloween. They are accepting donations for Make-A-Wish Massachusetts/Rhode Island. Last year, through the generosity of their community, the farm raised over $15,000 and made two wishes come true!

Saturdays and Sundays, Starting October 6th: 11:00am - 5pm
Thursdays, Starting October 11th: 12:30pm - 5pm
Fridays, Starting October 12th: 3pm - 5pm
Columbus Day (Oct 8th): 11am - 5pm
Halloween (Oct 31st) 3pm - 5pm


I think that when the kids are older, they are really going to dig the potato blasters! Open weekends in October, you can launch a spud and try to hit one of the targets in the Wilson Farm field! The Potato Blasters are the exciting way to wrap up a trip to the farm. Just $2.00 for 3 shots! The Potato Blasters are open during HayMaze Hours in October.


I think this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship-- I'm bummed I missed the Spring and Summer growing season as well as their open air nursery but I am looking forward to seeing all the kids at the farm enjoying the hay maze and picking out pumpkins... and I am most certainly looking forward to visiting my little poinsettas to see how they grow up for the holiday season... and of course, I will be back to stock up on some cheese, yes please!

You can follow Wilson Farm on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!


Monday, September 24, 2018

Block Printing Up in Here

I've been really getting serious about my block printing over here. In my (very little) spare time, I have been designing and carving away, trying to create the coolest prints that I can imagine... so far it's some leaves but they aren't half bad looking, right?


As fun as it is to carve, it wasn't something I was super comfortable doing just by winging it. I wanted to properly as possible train myself and looked to the book that inspired me (I saw a small piece on it in Better Homes and Gardens).

I borrowed Jen Hewitt's new book from the library, Print Pattern Sew, and it's really a great, hands on book for those who are just starting out in the block printing realm. I mostly read the begininng of the book, which was instructions, but for those looking to replicate Jen's awesome patterns, she provides templates for you to follow. It's most defintely a great beginner's book that gives you a great set up to start block printing. I bought my other supplies on Amazon for about $40. I started with a block printing kit and added a barren, more linoleum blocks and screenprinting ink.

I've created a couple of different blocks at this point and I am pretty pleased with the process, especially this split leaf that I modelled after one of my favorite plant babies. I did some modest printing onto cards that I did actually mail to friends this week! I am actually inspired to keep working on this so that I can eventually do all my Christmas cards and maybe even start printing on fabric for some really interesting designs/ messes to make.


What are your thoughts on my beginner block printing?


Thursday, September 13, 2018

A Saturday in Kennebunkport: Away from the Day to Day

I want to start writing on the blog again, just telling the people who still check in, well, tell them what I am up to once in awhile. This past weekend, I took a day trip to Kennebunkport with some of my blogger gal pals, a trip that's been on the books since at least May-- and we made it up there for some weaving, eating and beauty business!


Kerin of Cape Porpoise Trading Co. invited us up to her home studio in Kennebunkport, ME to learn to weave doormats using lobster rope rescued from fishermen along the coast. She set up and adorable brunch for us and her chickens (mostly Big Momma pictured above right before she stole a danish) while we all took turns weaving our very own mats. It was a ton of fun and I love having something tangible to take home from crafty endeavors!


Kerin, pictured below, was very patient with us (mostly me) as we learned the ropes (heyoooo) but it was just so amazing to see this woman, taking an art, a craft and making it a business that works for her and her family. I find this to be utterly crushworthy and therefore, I proclaim that I am now crushing on Kerin of Porpoise Trading Co.


As you can see, we all smiled and did some weaving and made rugs and it was a joy to begin a day that way. We moved on to lunch in Kennebunkport proper. Eating, eating, eating, nom nom nom... The Boathouse was delicious and accomodating, right on the water- would recommend!


Our last stop was with the girls with SaltyGirl out of Biddeford, just a short drive away. These ladies are some of my favorites that I've met through WELL Summit. They are sisters who have not only started a business, but it's a business with a huge heart. They wrote a great recap post on our visit, which should fill you in our silliness, but suffice to say, it was such a lovely and beauty-full way to end our day.



Check out my girl Elizabeth's post for a different take on our day, yo!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

#endofsummer with prAna

*This post was sponsored by prAna. All opinions are 100% my own.


It may be hot as heck here in New England this week but I still am very much planning for Fall. The crisp, cool weather, the apple picking, and the oldest kid is heading to Pre-K, YAY! When it comes to Fall clothing, I am a lover of the things I already own, taking out my sweaters and sweatshirts, boots and such... but if I am going to purchase something new, I want to make sure that I am spending my money wisely, supporting a brand that has a commitment to sustainability and an ethical supply chain. This is my fourth season working with prAna so you already know how I feel about them as a brand. The check off all the boxes when I am looking for new piece for my wardrobe.


The materials that prAna uses to make their clothing will no doubt leave you feeling good about your purchase while also feeling good about how you look. Organic cotton, recycled wool, hemp, recycled polyester, and responsible down are just some of the notable materials that prAna has lined up to create fair trade, responsible and sustainable made apparel for men and women. Respect for the planet and its people- I'm on board with that.


My Top Picks for Fall 2018
Sugar Pine DressTransform CapriMarabelle Softshell Jacket


Shop prAna today and get 15% off with code ESALF18 and don't forget to use ebates to get 4% cash back!


You can Follow prAna on TwitterFacebookInstagram and Pinterest!

Friday, August 24, 2018

We are Wasteful Creatures and it's Unsustainable


I was listening to NPR yesterday. I only caught a small portion of On Point in the car but Meghna Chakrabarti was discussing with various guests, the causes, costs and consequences of  our online shopping habits. The piece piqued my interest so I listened to the the whole show later on during naptime. I am glad that I made the time because it was a matter of fact but approachable conversation about the real issues that have come from our nation's increasing consumerism and online shopping habits.

You know how I feel about experiences over things and I try to encourage others to think about our footprints, both individually and as family units.  I feel it is something that a lot of people need to be aware of, the habits of each individual, adding up to cause massive damage to our Earth. As someone who has become increasingly more aware that things don't buy happiness and they certainly pile up in the home causing clutter and frustration, it has been a goal of mine to buy less, buy quality, shop secondhand and also be mindful about what I am donating to the Goodwill, Savers and Salvation Army (because our donations require resources). With so many people buying so much, we have fast become a society of consumers who buy just to buy, sometimes things we don't need, sometimes to fill a void, but are often wasting so much, sending it straight to the landfills.

"Things are so cheap that you just buy them and kind of don't think about it," The Atlantic's Alana Semuels said. "You kind of convince yourself that you need them. And you buy them online, they show up on your door two days later and then you have them. And if you don't use them you stick them in a drawer or you give them to Goodwill, and you don't think twice about it."

I really encourage you to listen to this piece. It's really done a great job reminding me to keep my family's footprint as small as possible, to do my best to curb my own urges to just buy crap I don't need. I have tried to think about every purchase I make, whether in person or online, to ensure that I am making the best decision for my family while also trying to make the best decision for our environment. It's a balance for sure but all it takes is a little brain+will power.

The piece hit so many interesting things:

Environmental Impact of Wastefulness
Consumption Rates
Instagram Influencers + Social Media
Shopping Addictions + Compulsive Buying
Higher Level of Donations and the effects at Goodwill
+ More

READ + LISTEN TO THESE:


6 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying
We Are All Accumulating Mountains of Things

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

It's Tick Time Sponsored by Quest Diagnostics

*This post was written in partnership with Quest Diagnostics. All opinions are 100% my own.

If you know me, you know that I love my kids and my animals; wanting what is best for them just comes naturally. There are two times a year when I am on super high alert after letting them play outside, in Spring and Fall… yeah, it’s tick season. Living in New England, I have been familiar with the creatures since I was little. We joked that my Dad was a tick magnet, and to this day, when he comes to visit from North Carolina, he always manages to attract the little suckers. All joking aside, ticks are no laughing matter. An estimated 300,000 people are diagnosed with lyme disease every year but if you’re prepared, you can protect your family from ticks and spot the signs of the illness.


We live on the line of a nature preserve and it is no exaggeration when I say that animals are literally waltzing through our yard on the daily. We love seeing baby deer and gaggles of turkeys in our back yard but we also know that we are likely to see an increase in ticks with the amount of animals we see. We always do our level best to clear grasses and brush, to keep our lawn mowed and clean but it never fails, the ticks seem to always come. We are diligent about checking the dog and kids whenever they come in from playing outside but ultimately, we will always find a tick (or two) on the dog even though he’s been treated. My biggest fear as a parent, when ticks are involved, is finding to find one that’s had the time to bite and/or imbed on my child… what do I do when that happens? When Quest Diagnostics sent me the below video, I was actually really glad. I am a visual learner, especially since having kids, so to be able to get tips and tricks on spotting ticks and the signs of lyme disease, immediately prepares me for the upcoming Fall tick season.



Preparing yourself for ticks and tick bites is imperative for parents living in New England. Whether we like it or not, we will encounter them. They are able to transmit diseases to humans, some of which can be very serious. Know the symptoms: Fever, rash, body aches, fatigue, and headaches… if you are at all concerned that you or anyone in your family has been bitten by a tick, contact your doctor and also consider tick testing. Be diligent and mindful so that you and yours can enjoy a beautiful Fall day without the worry of ticks and their bites.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Yoga Mom Toolbox, A Guest Post from Jenny Ravikumar


I am so happy to welcome Jenny Ravikumar back to the blog for a very special guest post. If you don't know Jenny, she's a North Shore yogi with a beautiful spirit and stories to tell. I am happy to lend her Prim and Propah for the day, to bring some of new writing to life so please let's show her a little love!



As a single mom I often find myself trying to split my personality in two. On the one hand, I am myself: a spiritual badass who owns two businesses, rocks the crap out of having fun at life and has a hugely compassionate and empathetic heart. On side number two, I need to keep this little soul safe for the rest of his life and at times it requires this mama to do things she dislikes.

No matter if you’re one half of a parenting duo or doing this on your own, being the bad cop isn’t typically fun. When I’ve asked him to pick up his toys for the 100th time that morning, I often wish I had what my friend Rachel calls “the enforcer.” I wish I had a strong father figure who was able to swoop in after his 9-5 job and take over for a few hours so I could go to yoga.

Don’t get my wrong, I have incredible support. I call my brother, at times Rachel acts like an enforcer on the phone and we live with Papa and Mimi, so my son and I have most of the support we could need. But there are days.

And on those days, I use every tool in my box.

Yoga

I would live in an ashram if I didn’t need my son, our dog or my divinely comfortable queen sized bed. Yoga is what brings me back to me, it’s the light of my soul and the practice that keeps on giving. As a practitioner for over a decade and a teacher for most of that time, yoga is there for me even when I’m not in the yoga studio.

Breathing is my go-to. This sounds ridiculous as that’s the very thing keeping us alive, but it’s the practice of breath that keeps me vibrant and alive rather than existing.

When my nugget is throwing a fit, screaming at mama and trying his best to find words that fit his frustration, I breathe. I take a moment before approaching him and use ujjai breathing to calm my body, my mind and my heart. In ujjai, you breathe in through the nose and exhale deeply through the nose. As you exhale, your mouth is closed and you’re activating the whisper muscles at the back of the throat. This produces a Darth Vadar kind of sound. Ujjai quickly calms the nervous system and brings you back to the present moment. Breathing through the screaming moments makes me instantly calmer.

Ziggy is almost three and if I take a step back while we’re in the middle of an argument or upset, I realize that a grown adult and a toddler are screaming over a few trucks left on the floor. In other words; it’s not a big deal and I need to take a deep breath as much as he does.

This is where yoga comes in for him. Once I’m calm(er); it’s his turn. A few weeks ago, while we were enjoying a quiet car ride, I suggested breathing together and he said “Mama, I’m not upset, I don’t need to breathe.” It stopped me dead in my tracks and made me realize that I also need to use breathing practices when we’re calm to show him the balance of why and when we breathe.

Aside from the breathing, the movement of the practice makes me a better mom. Personally, I’m a better mama when I move my body, have healthy food nearby, am in any body of water or if a good book is within reach.

Find what it is that lifts your soul and makes you a better mama. And then lean into it.

Choice

I have the worlds best pediatrician. I may be biased, but he is amazing. At our second birthday appointment he said; “Toddlers can be challenging. It’s not this year, it’s next that will be a bigger attitude adjustment. Give him CHOICES. Always. And it’ll be a bit easier.”

As usual, he was correct. The closer we get to three, the more I’m realizing that the terrible twos are not actually a concept anymore. My son has a loud, vibrant personality (gee, I wonder where he gets it from) and he needs to be heard. Often our bits of tension revolve around me not giving him a choice. “We are going here” doesn’t sit well with my little. However, “we are running errands today, do you want a donut or would you like apples?” We are still arriving at our destination, nothing has changed. However, it gives him the feeling of having some kind of control in his environment.

As a former educator, I often remember the staggering statistic that our children understand around 500 words by the age of two but can only speak approximately 50 of them. How frustrating must that be! He knows exactly what he needs, why and likely even how to obtain it, but cannot explain to me any of this using the limited language he has.

In our house we have choices as often as possible. Red shirt, shark shirt or happy face? Apples or strawberries? Waffles or eggs? Tub or shower?

It makes our lives a bit easier to navigate, gives him a voice and often takes the guess work out of my day.


Conversation

Every fiber in my being wants to be able to create logic in his mind. I want to help him connect the dots and help me to understand his emotions, his body and his day to day thinking. As such, we try and talk as much as possible. I ask him about his emotions, we talk about feelings as much as we talk about shapes, colors and the world around us. I’ve spoken to him this way since before he could communicate back to me. I am constantly talking in order to help him understand his world and continue to express himself and his wants/needs.

This morning was a prime example. He didn’t want to put the blanket away. I put away all our toys, helped him get dressed, made breakfast and cleaned his plate. Some of that is generally his responsibility. I told him that because mama took some of his jobs, it was now his responsibility to pick up the blanket. He flipped out: for an hour.

Eventually, I sat down on the floor and stared into his teary eyes. I got him to slowly begin to explain that he didn’t want to put it away because he didn’t want to leave the house. It was painstaking and exhausting, but after we took some breaths together, I realized he just wanted to be heard. By me continuing to scream “put the blanket away” - he was further enraged. All he needed in that moment was to be heard.

Knowing Their Love Language 


These little beams of light we brought into the world are a bucket of feelings. They have wants, needs, desires and questions just the same as all of us. And it is our job to listen.

One of my favorite things to do with him is when we both take an essential oil and place it over our belly or our hearts. And then we cuddle.

Each child has a love language, just the same as any adult. I know his is quality time and physical touch. He would love nothing more than to sit next to me and watch TV as we talk about the episode or simply breathe together.

Being in yoga makes me a better mom, but it doesn’t mean that’s where your strength lies. Perhaps it’s reading, working out, a single glass of red wine, a good book, dark chocolate, alone time, time alone with your spouse or time spent in nature. Find what it is that fills your cup and continue to rely on those tools.

Lean into them and then remember : You are already an amazing mama; don’t ever forget that.

~

Jenny Ravikumar is an e-500 hour RYT with yoga alliance. She is a single mama, studio owner and non-profit founder who runs multiple yoga teacher trainings and mentorships each year. Join her online at www.jennyravikumar.com or in person at Barefoot Yoga Shala in Middleton, MA.



Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Our Choices Matter, Plan Against Pain

*This post was created in partnership with Moms Meet and Plan Against Pain. All opinions are my own.

Our choices matter. Of course they do. As a Mom, what I do day in and day out, affects both my life and the lives of my family, the people that I support in my role as “household manager”. As a daughter of nurses, I have always been keenly aware of how important it is to take our health into our own hands and be proactive. I have strived to instill that in my husband as well as take my young children for the checkups, explaining the importance of being healthy. Something that I had not thought about up until recently, was the best way to manage pain for myself or how to appropriately encourage others to do the same. I was just introduced to Plan Against Pain and boy, I wish I had created a pain management plan before both of my births because truly, we were just winging it. In retrospect, I am extremely fortunate that my pain management solutions worked for me and my growing family. Moving forward, I will have a plan in place.


Every human experiences pain differently. We are all genetically different, have different cultural beliefs as well as different perspectives of pain in our minds-- simply put, we’re different. When we think about pain control, it’s important to note that it’s not just for your comfort but also to speed up healing, avoid complications and  to keep any post-op pain from becoming a more serious, long-term issue. With the seriousness of the opioid epidemic across the country, I find the Plan Against Pain site to be a valuable tool in being prepared for pain and then perhaps not taking as many opioid pills to manage it if possible. I have had multiple surgeries in my day (I played a lot of rugby in college and broke almost as many bones) and with each one, I didn’t discuss pain management, I just sort of let my doctor decide what was best. I think it’s important to empower ourselves and others to be active in our healthcare choices, right down to what we’re being prescribed (or not prescribed) for proper management of postsurgical pain or any pain for that matter.

As a woman, it is especially important to me that we encourage one another to speak to medical professionals without guilt and to ask the questions that we have, whether we view them as stupid or worry about being judged. Did you know that 44% of mothers who had C-sections were not satisfied with how their pain was managed after childbirth? That’s a pretty high percentage and, having been a new mom, pain and caring for a newborn are not the best mix. Imagine if while giving advice to our pregnant friends and family about which bottles and strollers are the best, we also offer advice on the best way to approach the topic of pain management after a planned or emergency C-section? I’m pretty sure that I could most certainly bring it up at a girls brunch out!


Pain shouldn’t just be “here’s a pill”- there should be a plan and per Plan Against Pain, pain management should be multimodal, using different types of treatments to alleviate pain. Of course, treatment plans are going to be different for everyone but just starting the conversation with your doctor is a super important step. I think the most important thing I want to convey is that asking your doctor questions is not a waste of their time. Asking your doctor to explain things in more detail is not a waste of their time. Your health and well being are of the utmost importance. Having a plan to keep you well is always a good choice.

Find great information on pain management, tool kits, statistics and more on Plan Against Pain.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Discover the Caribbean Coast at Stone Zoo- Sponsored

*This post was created in collaboration with Zoo New England, specifically Stone Zoo's new Caribbean Coast Exhibit.


You may remember last year's trip to Franklin Park Zoo to check out what was new, well this year, the team over at Zoo New England wanted to send the Propah kids to check out the Caribbean Coast exhibit that just opened this Spring. My kids were super excited to hit the road and meet some friends to take in some of the sights and sounds at Stone Zoo. We started our journey to the Caribbean in our walk-through aviary, Flamingo Flats, which is exactly what it sounds like... lots and lots of flamingos. We were greeted by friendly staff and a beautiful flock of flamingos, and are excited to come back because I hear it through the grapevine, we may be able to feed them in the near future!This exhibit also features scarlet ibis and colorful macaws (pictured). We also had the rare opportunity to see the critically-endangered Jamaican iguana, the island's largest terrestrial vertebrate which was thought to be extinct for decades.


One child was interested in the beautiful birds (and dressed to match) and the other child was all about the calypso drums that allowed him to make more noise than usual. This area of the zoo has definitely changed since I had last been there (when Wes was a baby) and I have to say for the better, for sure. The kids really enjoyed seeing the birds, the bush dogs, running along the "calypso trail" and onward towards the rest of the zoo. The way that it's set up, you can enter the Stone Zoo, and go directly into the Caribbean Coast exhibit, while the kids are still in a good, patient mood lol. As a mother, I like to plan to hit the animals and exhibits I most want to see, right out of the gate, to ensure that no meltdown has ensued before I see my bush dogs!


We were able to see a lot of the animals on our visit and I think that besides the Caribbean coast, we were really enthralled by the reindeer on this visit, don't ask me why but we came back to them a few times before calling it a day. The bears were hanging out, the company was great and I marked this off as another great visit to the Stone Zoo. I hear from my friends at The Boston Day Book that the Franklin Park Zoo has some great new exhibits as well, so we'll definitely be making use of our membership this Summer and took a map to plan our next trek!



Have you been to the new Caribbean Coast Exhibit at the Stone Zoo? 


Desert Essence Haircare

* This post was written in collaboration with Moms Meet and Desert Essence Haircare. All opinions are 100% my own as with every blog post that I write.


I've been afforded the opportunity to try a lot of bath and body products since starting this blog 8 years ago. A lot of them I've loved, some not as much and I have always been honest about my thoughts because when it comes to the products we are putting on our bodies, it's serious business for me. Moms Meet sent me a goodie box from Desert Essence and I was excited to try some haircare products because they aren't always a priority for me to ensure are 100% clean and effective. Desert Essence was founded in 1978 around a simple concept: beauty is natural, and nature is beautiful. By bringing the best of nature’s offerings to personal care regimens everywhere, they strive to strengthen the bonds between our planet and all the beings that call it home. Creating that they do. They believe in being responsible to others, honest, and forward-thinking to create and preserve a better future for us all. <--- Their words not mine... I dig it, Desert Essence, I dig it.

They sent a set of their smoothing shampoo and conditioner, their anti-breakage shampoo and conditioner, their smoothing primer, anti breakage hair mask and samples of all (which I promptly tossed in my gym bag) so I got to do a little testing on my colored strands in hot hot humid heat.


What's in my bath and body products is important to me. This you know about me. I don't want unnecessary chemicals, additives, preservatives and so on, especially because it's becoming easier and easier to find products that are better for us and for our environment. Taking a look at the Dessert Essence products, you'll be pleased to see that there is quite the care and consideration taken into what the team there has been using for years. Their ingredient list is extensive but nothing is foreign. It's all easy to understand so you know what you're putting on your body and your family's body (since I'm the one supplying everything for my household, the responsibility falls on me.) The products themselves, ingredients aside, do the work they are tasked to do. I love the way my hair looks after using the Smoothing shampoo and conditioner but if you have an aversion to the way that tea tree oil smells (it can be a touch strong), it may not be the best option for you. The Anti-breakage is welcomed in my routine as my hair has been colored more times in my life than I can count. I don't wash my hair every day so at less than $8 a bottle, this brand is bringing me value that will last for awhile. Dessert Essence brings in the product at a price point that you can try without feeling guilty if it doesn't work out... but I think it will; they've got a good thing going.


Want to try these products yourself? Get 20% off Anti-Breakage and Smoothing Hair Care Products on desertessence.com with the promo code DELovesMomsMeet