Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Keurig Up in the Propah House

*This post was brought to you by Keurig and Moms Meet. All opinions are 100% my own.

I was recently gifted the new Keurig® K-Duo Essentials™ Coffee Maker and let's just say that our coffee game is so much stronger (and easier) in this house. I have always wanted a Keurig but we drink enough coffee in the morning that we've always had a full pot of coffee type of coffee maker. But this appliance has really seemed to solve that problem!


We can make a full pot of coffee or on a morning when we're in a hurry, we can pop a K-cup in and be on the go. This has also solved an issue that I have in the afternoon. I might need a pick me up but I never want to make a full pot of coffee and waste a bunch but I can make myself one little cup and get that perk up... what I love is that I can make it strong or lighter just by changing the amount of ounces that I choose to brew. It's really such a perfect little set up. 


It's a great price point too, at just $99, you basically get two coffee makers for one, and it doesn't take up a ton of counter space, really. We're ready to stock up on K-cups, especially reusable ones (to save on trash in the landfills) and keep this caffiene party going. Check out the way you can purchase below and let me know what you think when you snag one of these babies!




Friday, August 30, 2019

Emotional Thoughts on the Spartan Race

So if you have been following me on social media or know me in real life, you probably know that for the better part of 2019, I have been pushing myself physically to, I guess you could call it training, to run the Spartan Sprint, a 3-4 mile trail run basically, with 20 obstacles sprinkled in. I never thought I would or could do something like this but I made friends with a fitness instructor (Hi Fawn!) and in a moment of weakness or rather strenght? I signed up for the Spartan Race. But what I gained in the past few months is more than just the accomplishment of running a race, or muscle mass lol,  I have a lot more to show for it than just that. 


So in 2007 I signed up for the Susan G Komen 3-day, 60 mile walk, raised the money and did it on my own. I made some friends along the way that weekend, one that I actually still sort of keep up with on instagram and what I'll always remember from those couple of days together is that we did something that was physically challenging (walking can be challenging when done in 20 mile chunks yes) and it bonded us together because when you do something that makes you tired and feel like quitting, having support there makes all the difference. We literally cried when we finished the 3-day, probably in part because we were so tired but also that we had done something that we felt was amazing. It will remain a vibrant set of memories in the bank in my brain for those reasons.


The reason I bring up the cancer walk and Spartan in the same blog post is because this first Sprint will have the same lasting effects in my memory. Some members of our team I had been regularly doing classes with at the gym, and we were friendly, talking about our kids and such, but once we started training for this race, we definitley kicked the friendships into high gear. Some members recruited other members, which widened this new friend circle and when it was all said and done, I have a bunch of new friends, who I am so proud of and who inspire me and yes, made me a little teary eyed on race day. When we look back on our lives, it will be the people and experiences that mean the most. Yes, that is cheezy but I am a sucker for some sappy memory making and getting mushy with people I care about... and guess what, this Spartan team is full of women I care about.


Our team effort wasn't without some snags, injuries and bumps in the road, but we supported eachother through the training, the days leading up to it, the race itseldf and now our group text is still all a buzz about the Spartan Fenway and the team we're creating for next June (where we're expanding our circle and some husbands might be hopping on board). We're real bonofide friends now, the hugs after the race were like F*&% Yeah we did this! It was really such an awesome feeling, one that has lasted me the past two weeks. I haven't felt so strong physically in a long time but really, that's just the icing on the cake. Sometimes when I think about the things I have experienced in life, I feel so lucky and you can add this one to the list of lasting impressions that will stand the test of time.


To Fawn, Val, Ali, Courtney, Marietta and Andree, Thank you for being the best and most supportive first Spartan race friends a girl could ever ask for! I look forward to our next adventures and perhaps creating new memories together in the future... and to the red headed man who boosted me over that wall, sir, I will never ever forget you, because you saved me from doing 30 burpees, which is apparently a love language.



*A huge thanks to Marietta's husband Nick who literally followed us as much as he could on the race trail to take more pictures than we could ever have hoped for, so much so that GIFs were able to be created. The memories were documented well and I can't stop being impressed by us!

Want to join our Spartan Teams for either Fenway in November or New England Sprint in June? Shoot me an email primandpropahgirl@gmail.com and I will send you an invite!


Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Once Again Nut Butters Elevating Our Snacking Game

*This post was created in collaboration with Moms Meet and Once Again Nut Butters. All opinions are 100% my own.

Once Again Nut Butters... how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Seriously, these folks sent me the mother load of nut butters and I have been having an absolute blast working them into our routine and my recipes. Let's get it out of the way right now. They are 100% delicious, each and every variety that they sent. We're talking their Almond Spread, we're talking smooth and chunky peanut butters, sunflower seed butter, almond butter, cashew butters and more. 


I almost immediately took the Amore almond spread with cocoa and made a batch of my "nice" cream! Frozen ripe bananas, almond milk, a touch of honey, and a few dollups of almond spread, a shake of ginger and blend away. My kids absolutely loved this new take on my nice cream because it's the most chocolatey version I've made thus far but I know that it was still not full of a disgusting amount of sugar and dairy, which sometimes irritates our stomachs. I might have tossed some dark chocolate chips and peanut butter into the finished product but hey, we're only human! The Once Again nut butters come from an employee owned factory operated on the idea of products created with integrity and our best interest in mind. The results reflect that. Their products are truly so yummy and their company is working on an awesome sustainability program, Honest in Trade.


As a more discerning consumer, it's important to me to find companies like Once Again. To be able to support a company that appreciates its customers, its employees and the environment, well, that's a dream for this mama. They are 100% employee owned, they donate to charities, they help their community, they have a "green team" to push being sustainable and eco-friendly and above all else, their products are the real (and very yummy) deal. We've already blazed through a variety of their products and even though I got this bundle from the brand, I plan to support them with my own money once I've run out. That's how much I appreciate Once Again and their nut butters... that's saying something!




Monday, August 12, 2019

Win a Weekend Getaway from Fatface USA!

*I created this blog post in partnership with FatfaceUSA. We are always partnering. They give me clothes that I love for free and I tell you how much I love their clothes. This post is to talk about a competition they're running! See below.


You know that I love Fatface. I was introduced to them on a blogger brunch shopping trip a couple of years ago and we have partnered, probably seasonally, since then. I was initially drawn to them because of their committment to sustainablility and their overall passion and authenticity as a brand but I've stuck around because I really have become so fond of the brand and the people behind the brand. When they reached out about this really cool competition they're running, I was like heck yeah, let's tell people about it... so let's get the deets, shall we?

Enter to Win!
Fatface has opened a slew of stores in the Northeaster United States and so this contest is for that market. I would most definitely travel to Newport, RI for the weekend getaway that Fatface has put together for one lucky winner- all you have to do? Is sign up for their email list. How easy right?

What you'll get: A weekend Break with Gurney's Resort, Dinner at Clarke Cooke House, a Rail Explorer's Experience and a $500 Fatface gift card to get you outfitted for the weekend away! You aren't going to regret winning this experience, that's for sure.

Me Wearing my newest Fatface duds


Enter to win by the end of August!

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Comcast Expands Internet Essentials!

*This post was created in collaboration with Comcast. All opinions are 100% my own.

I hopped on a conference call this week with Comcast NBCUniversal's Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, David L. Cohen. He wanted to let us know that Comcast is taking it's amazing Internet Essentials program and expanding eligibility for it. I hadn't heardabout this program before but am incredibly imporessed with Comcast's committment to finding ways to ensure that those affected by the digital divide in our country, are able to have reliable access to internet services.


So take for instance, households in Palo Alto of Bethesda, these are low poverty areas, and only about 6% of the population do not have access to broadband at home compared to those linging in Trenton NJ or Flint MI, where there are high pverty rates, nearly 60% of the population do not have consistent access to the internet. That gap of more than 50 points defines the digital divide in this country. The more broadband technology advances, the more the gap widens.  Think of all the things you're doing with the internet, reading this blog post, doing school work, filling out work applications, reading educational articles, searching for healthy recipes, etc and so on. These are things that I personally take for granted because I have a laptop and great internet service that I am able to afford.

To date, Comcast has connected more than 8 million low income Americans in their homes, most connected for the first time in their lives. With the support of schools, teachers, libraries, non profits, government officials and more, the Comcast Internet Essentials program is reaching more and more people each day.

The program's eligibility requirements are expanidng to include many new enhancements that offer more and more Americans the opportunities to get internet and at a good speed. On the call, someone asked about a very specific area of the country and David was extremely keyed into the area and committed to following up on areas that may need to be reached with the program. I was, like I said, incredibly impressed and am going to put info below on how you or someone you know can apply to the Internet Essentials program. Eligible participants receive free digital literacy training, Internet service for $9.95/month and the opportunity to buy a laptop for less than $150. To me, this could make all the difference for families and individuals throughout the country!

You can find everything you need to know on the Internet Essentials website or by calling 1-855-8-INTERNET which is their dedicated hotline. Seriously something to consider because they are really making the internet and technology accessible to those that need it the most.



Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Cultivating Real Relationships with Brands that Care

As I have navigated the ever changing blogosphere and now the influencer environment, I have found it to be more and more important to align myself with brands that want to work with me for the right reasons and brands that help me represent what it is that is important to me as a human being of this Earth. I am a small beans type of blogger but I still get a boatload of emails with people wanting to send things or working with me for some reason or another. I am fairly good at weeding out what won't work for me or doesn't seem like a good fit but I think that I am even better at sustaining relationships with amazing brands that speak to me and appeal to my community of like minded people. There may be different reasons that I choose to work with someone but I always want to feel like it's a good fit for both parties. I am just going to shout out to some of the best and most sustained I've worked with because I can and I want to and they deserve it!

Wearing Liverpool Jeans, FatFace Top and Toms Shoes

When I set out to do my #OwnYourBodBabe day this past May, I wanted to make it special. As someone who has been blogging for over 9 years, I have had my fair share of free stuff but what I always want to do is to share in this journey and the fun stuff involved, whenever possible. I reached out to a few brands and had hopes of doing a couple of cool things but one of the most unexpected surprises was Liverpool Jeans not only hopping on board, but doing so really enthusiastically. For anyone who is out in the blogging world, you know how hard it can be to pitch ideas to potential partners. And if you aren't in the blogging world, I'll just say that you have to be really clear and precise about what you want to achieve when asking a brand to work with you on a project. With Liverpool Jeans, I described the #OwnYourBodBabe movement, and they absolutely loved it. They gave jeans to three OYBB participants (and me too!) with no asks or requirements, they just wanted to be involved! I look fantastic in their jeans and you would too, they offer an expanded size range to serve women of more sizes. Check out Liverpool Jeans today!

Own Your Bod, Babe was also supported by Follain, who donated an amazing set of their branded beauty products. I have worked with Follain in the past off and on and feel like I've had a great relationship with them over the years so to have them support me in OYBB, it was really great! For someone who was just willing to share a piece of themselves, they were able to also add a little selfcare. Again, another brand that jumped on board with a cause with nothing in it but to support me and a project I was working on! There are tons of other small beauty brands that have been amazing to Prim and Propah, so I should probably do a separate post for them but some that come to mind are Thesis Beauty, True Moringa, Erin's Faces, Organic Bath Co. and SaltyGirl Beauty, all of which I have met the owners/creators so feel super connected to them!


Wearing Crane and Lion

Along the same lines of owning your body, Crane and Lion has supported me in the past year or so, ever since I (a little abruptly) told their social media person that I'd like to see more images of people of different sizes. So they suggested that I wear Crane and Lion so I not only got to learn about a new brand, I got to show that this body is not only made to wear athleisure, it can look good in it too. This was the beginning of a great relationship with people from the brand and I am sure it will continue into the future. They are great people who create really quality clothes. I hope that they love working with me as much as I do them. I can't help but connect with people on the other end of emails. It's just in my dna apparently.
Wearing Peach
Peach and I have been committed to one another for two years this holiday season. They are a really great brand that just supports women, uplifts women, and creates amazing clothes for women. For example, I am considered an ambassador and with a lot of brands, I would assume, it's a pretty perfunctory business like relationship but not with Peach. They treat us, and their stylists, like a big family. They have invited us to take part in fashion shows, personal development seminars, Giving Back initiatives and more. Just to let you know, that's not the norm. It's pretty special. They genuinely care and that's the biggest reason I love working with them... and I have to say that all that aside, I wear Peach literally all the time. Comfy but cool, quality clothes will always be my thing.


I often visit a property here in Massachusetts called Marketstreet in Lynnfield, it's a fun place to spend the better part of a day shopping and there are two places that I ALWAYS stop at, Pia's and FatFace. Pia owns the most beautiful little shop with gorgeous decor and the most delightful selection of pretty clothes. The boys and I always stop in for some marshmellows she has on hand for guests and I usually pick something up (like this BB Dakota tee). She is so kind and really, I kid you not, we have become friends and all through blogging! She's an amazingly thoughtful and welcoming spirit. After visiting Pia, I usually hit FatFace, a UK based clothing store that creates really special clothing and cares a TON about making them in an ethical and sustainable way. They like what I do and I certainly like what they do, so we have been working together seasonally for a couple of years now and I love it. I know what I am getting with them and they know that I'll provide quality content that is a return on investment.

When I started this blog post, I was like Oh, I'll just highlight the brands that I really love but once I got started, it became apparent that I really do genuinely enjoy working with a lot the brands that I do. On my end, I am always striving to be professional but friendly, authentic while ensuring that I am trying to help each brand achieve its goals. On their end, a friendly, appreciative attittude always makes me want to continue working with them. As I have said many times over the past few years, it's all about creating a mutally beneficial relationship but moreover, creating something that is really aligned with my values, has become more and more important.


Has this been a fun forray into the blogging world? I feel like to people who don't "influence", it might seem like a foreign environment!


Friday, August 2, 2019

Medterra and Me!

*This post was created in collaboration with MedTerra and Moms Meet. All opinions are my own.

If you know me, you know that I am very much a believer in the power of CBD products in various forms. I've been using CBD oil for at least a year now and I definitely notice that it helps mitigate some of my base level anxiety. Because of this, I have recommended that friends and family try CBD because, in my opinion, it is a worthwhile suppliment to give a try, especially if you're like me and don't want to have to take something prescribed for anxiety, insomnia or the like. If you want to read a "what is CBD and what it's used for", this article from Harvard Medical School gives a quick overview that is informative and straight forward. I had never tried a tincture before so I used the MedTerra in my normal routine in place of the CBD oil that I usually use.... and I gotta say, the tincture is GREAT!


I find that this suppliment was just as good if not better at calming my tendencies to feel a bit anxious. I don't know if it's easy to explain my anxiety itself, especially to those that don't suffer from it at any level, but to reduce it to one sentence, I suffer an anxiety attack probably once every two-three years but usually, I am a constant worrier, like too much worry. The tincture strength MedTerra sent me was certainly a good one for me (1000mg) but it also comes in a lower and a higher dosage for those wanting to regulate more.

So now you're interested if it's something that could help you with worry or sleepless nights or maybe even joint pain? The Medterra products pass the test for quality as far as CBD products go. Grown and extracted in the USA, the Medterra quality CBD is fully compliant under the Kentucky Department of Agricultural Industrial Hemp Pilot Program and they are certified by the U.S. Hemp Authority. Their whole-plant, CO2 extraction allows them to draw CBD from the plant material and filter out unnatural substances, maximizing pure CBD concentration. Their CBD products are third-party tested, completely legal, contain 0% THC and so they are able to ship them to all 50 states and most international countries.

If you're looking to try CBD products, make sure you do your research and might even want to consult your physician just to ensure that you're in the right health to try a new suppliment. I asked my doctor and she said that it's not approved by the FDA as it's a suppliment but she didn't see any issues with me giving it a try. You want to take your health seriously and make educated decisions. That said, I do like the Medterra products and if you're looking for something for you or even your pets (yes, pets!) then you can use the discount provided below. Let me know what you think!

Use promo code MomsMeet to save 15% off your first Medterra order by clicking here!

Friday, June 28, 2019

Wildscape Meals on the Go with Me!

*I created this blog post in collaboration with Wildscape Meals and Moms Meet. All opinions are 100% mine and as always, thank you for supporting Prim and Propah!

For some reason, it's not in my wheelhouse to start trying all sort of new meal options even though, as you'll soon see, it would behoove me to do so. I was just introduced to Wildscape Food honestly, this is no lie, they have upped my on the go food game, and to be honest, my lunchtime food game as well. Really and truly, I am eating one as I write this blog post.


As a mother to two high energy, somewhat demanding and whiny, young boys, it's a miracle sometimes when I can give them a healthy lunch and manage to give myself one too. It's not out of the realm of possibility that I am the Mom that reheats an old cup of coffee and has that for lunch instead of actual sustenance (I do not recommend this)... what I am trying to say is that I don't often enough prioritize my own  nutritional needs during the day. I was able to pick up all of the options of Wildscape Foods frozen entrees to try over the past couple of weeks. They're different from other frozen food brands, in my opinion, in that they offer meals that are almost as if you made up some meals and froze them to eat in a week or two. They are chock full of big veggies, meat you can actually notice, whole grains and when you heat them up, it's like you're actually having a nice, decent sized meal... like maybe I'm actually taking care of myself lol. Like imagine if you went to a trendy restaurant to get one of their grain bowls? This is what I would imagine the frozen version would and I guess I don't have to imagine because Wildscape Foods is real y'all.


The options are pretty impressive too so if you stock up, you'll likely always have a nice set of choices in your freezer. You can check out all of the varieties and their recipes here, something I find refreshing is that you'll recognize all of the ingredients so you're pretty much guaranteed to be putting delicious and whole foods in your mouth!


OK and this could just be the reduce, reuse, recycle in me but the containers that these meals come in make the best little snack and leftover containers. I have already used these to take grapes to the park and to save some cherry tomatoes off the vine *chef's kiss*. I am really just very impressed with these little Wildscape Meals.



If you're interested in trying Wildscape Meals for yourself, find where they are carried near you!

Find Wildscape Meals on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram



Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Boundless Adventures with my Spartan Race Team!

*Boundless Adventures hosted this sweet group of ladies. All opinions are 100% my own. Thank you to Boundless Adventures for having this adventurous crew on site this weekend!

When I first heard of Boundless Adventures, it was a Hulu commercial and I was like what in the what now? Berlin, Ma is like a hop and a skip from my house and the Spartan race trainer in me was like "WE MUST GO THERE" and when the stars aligned, some of the "Yummie Mummies" made it their business to go on a little adventure with me! and spoiler alert: WE LOVED IT. I think pictures really explain this experience more than anything so I have just put a whole slew of some of my favorites in here so you can see what it looked like for us to do two of the nine courses. I'll just start by saying that the staff there are awesome, joyful, funny and most importantly, they are good at their jobs, helpful and know what they're talking about. We were 100% completely safe, secure and prepped for some awesome obstacles in the trees of Berlin, MA (right around the corner from the Solomon Pond Mall). You can find all the information on ticketing, hours, safety, videos and more on their user friendly website... and now on to the experience!


To say that we were empowered and felt powerful, would be an understatement. It was truly an exercise in mind over matter in some cases, we all encouraged one another (one friend referred to another as a doula helping her get through one of the apparatus) and it was just a really awesome experience for anyone who is looking to challenge themselves physically, mentally and overall to just have a really good time. I was wicked tired after the evening outing but I felt so good about bonding with new friends and old over some good old fashioned zip lining! We all talked about coming back to tackle the courses we didn't do and even bringing our husbands for date nights, that's how much we loved the experience. There were kids and adults of all shapes and sizes taking on the courses which range from beginner to experienced so don't be afraid to try it, there's something for everyone- I don't think you'd regret it!


Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Going with my Gut and Country Life!

*This post was created in collaboration with Country Life and MomsMeet. All opinions are 100% mine and I appreciate your support of Prim and Propah.

When I set about to be healthier in this life (more than just losing weight and all that physical appearance related health business), I have to say that my eyes were opened to a TON of new things that I had never even thought of... for instance, gut health. Now I had to really do some research to see what the heck "fixing your gut" actually meant and did it have any basis in real benefits for me and what I'm looking for and it turns out that it does. So what I learned was that an unbalanced gut may disrupt signals between the gut and brain, causing instability between gut microbiota and the immune system.


Country Life was nice enough to share a collection of their Gut Connection supplements that connect your gut health with issues that matter to you. For the purpose of this review, I started with the Gut Connection Energy Balance and have been taking the supplements each morning with my breakfast. I'll start by just saying that I never thought I had gut issues but I wanted the clean, clear energy and alertness. Gut Connection by Country Life is a whole food fermentate prebiotic that feeds the bacteria in your gut and helps maintain its lining to improve your gut microbiome health. Gut Connection is different because it is probiotic-free, so you can take it alone or with your favorite probiotic, which is great, right?



So I know that some people, my husband included, doesn't think that taking supplements like these will do anything for you, but I have noticed an improvement digestion wise (I'm talking less churning nervous stomach) and have seen an uptick in energy and am sleeping better. As someone who is able to track her anxiety in how her stomach and adjoining systems reacts, tracking this all in the journal that came with my supplements was super helpful (you can download it here). Seeing an improvement in that area is a huge plus for me! I am looking forward to trying some of the other products but am going to continue the journey with the Energy Balance before trying something new, since this seems to be working so far so good! Have you ever tried using something like this? I'd be curious to hear what you think.

You can find Country Life on their site, Facebook, twitter and Instagram!




Thursday, May 30, 2019

My Go To Family Friendly Activities

*This post was created in partnership with Fatface Lynnfield, MA. All content was written and created by me but the topic was prompted by my friends at Fatface. We want to show you the coolest family friendly activities in and around the north shore of Massachusetts!

As a mother who spends a lot of time with her kids, it's usually up to me to find things for us to do together, getting out of the house rather than just plopping them in front of the TV, day in and day out. With my oldest finishing up Pre-K in a couple weeks and my youngest hitting his adventurous stride, it'll be up to me to keep this Summer as interesting and fun as possible for them. I've compiled some of my favorite family friendly activities in and around the North Shore of Massachusetts. While this is just my list, you can be sure to check out local moms groups, the North Shore Patches, the Baystate Parent, and your local libraries and parks and rec departments events calendars!


One Stop Properties

The reason we thought to write this article is because I usually visit FatFace at Marketstreet Lynnfield while also doing some shopping and visiting my favorite kid friendly shops and often while attending an event geared towards kids. I can't tell you how amazing it is to stop, park the car one time and get all the things done. Marketstreet Lynnfield has some of my favorite shops (Fatface, Pia, Amazon Books, LOFT, and Whole Foods), great places to grab kids food (Panera, Boloco, Sweetgreen, JP Licks etc) and has a series of events for kids and family that runs all year on their green area. Just this week, I'll be headed to a Wiggle Worms story time with ice cream for the kids with an after party at Fatface. Both the kids and I will love this day spent out at one place!




We love visiting the Stone Zoo so much that we have a Zoo New England Membership! The zoo is convenient to both Boston and North Shore communities so if your kids love animals, this isn't a far trek whatsoever. They've been working on bringing in new exhibits, animals and events throughout the year. It's not a big, grand, over the top zoo but it's accessible, affordable, clean and usually not overly crowded, which is something I steer clear of when attempting activities with just me and the two tornadoes I call sons!


Beach Visits

Singing Beach in Manchester by the Sea is my favorite beach to visit on the North shore though there are plenty of options. With all the beaches, you'll want to do your due diligence as parking, admission and accessibility will be different for all of them. Singing Beach doesn't have consistent parking close to the beach itself (you might luck into street parking) but there is a lot of two within reasonable walking distance so bring the wagon and pull all your gear back and forth for the day! You can check out the beaches that are part of Massachusetts State Parks (like Nahant Beach and the Lynn Seashore), snagging info and parking passes before you go! There are tons of great beaches up and down Massachusetts, there's no need to go to the Cape every time you need some sand and sea.


Additional Outdoor Options

In addition to the beach, we can't forget about state parks and the Mass Audobon! The Mass Audobon has tons of spaces on the Northshore like the Nahant Thicket Wildlife Sanctuary, Marblehead Neck, Endicott Wildlife SanctuaryEastern Point and more! We love exploring the outdoors in places designed to be enjoyed by families. Learning is a bonus as well so anything they glean from visits to the Mass Audobon is like a nice pat on the back to the mom!


Indoor Options

In addition to your local libraries (which is always a great default for my kids), there are some great indoor activities in and around the north shore.  The Children's Piazza in Beverly is a family favorite which provides enclosed fun (key!) with the options to sip some coffee while the kids play. We also, on a whim, stopped in Vinkari Safari in Woburn, which isn't technically the north shore but it offered TONS of space and new and exciting things for the kids to play with. They loved it! We might hit up Kings at Marketstreet this Summer since my kids love Bowling! Finding options on a cold and rainy day is pretty easy, no matter what you like to do with your kids. Salem, MA offers tons of activities, not just around Halloween! Older kids may enjoy the Peabody Essex Museum, though I visited when Teddy was just a baby and was thrilled to find that they had an extremely nice nursing room there which made the whole trip worth it. I totally enjoyed that day! Check out some other options for Northshore fun whether you're looking for a Witch Museum or an indoor waterpark!


Leave me a comment if you are looking for other spots and recommendations! I have a network of Moms that I hang with, whether through friendship, blogging or both... I would gladly tap another mom for advice or recommendations so that we all have the most successful Summer possible! Let me know what you think of my picks and give me your recs, I love trying new things with the kids!


Thanks to Fatface Lynnfield for prompting me to share my favorite family friendly things to do on the north shore!


Monday, May 20, 2019

Lhamour + a Giveaway

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

Me and my beauty products, right?  Over the past few years, well, really since I had Wesley, I have been very much into trying all the products, and yes, the products that are handcrafted with natural ingredients, move right up to the top of my list! I was recently introduced to Lhamour, a brand with purpose, social impact and a classy cool look. Like a lot of the indie beauty brands that I love, Lhamour was created out of need for products that were natural and wouldn't cause allergic reactions. Created with 100% natural ingredients sourced in Mongolia, the brand not only supports a team of ladies, they are also focused on giving back to their community.



I was able to try the Cool Breeze Body Oil, the Beeswax Lip Balm, the Healing Salve and the Yak's Milk Soap... what a treat!

So I'll start with the Cool Breeze Body Oil. This is now my go to, post work out shower body oil. Let me just tell you that when I played rugby in college, we might as well have taken out stock in icy hot because boy did those muscles get sore. I swear to you that I feel like this oil does that trick for me these days. After my Monday night bootcamp class, I use this after my shower and my muscles just relax and my body says aaaaah. I wouldn't use this as an everyday body oil as the scent is definitely strong, I suspect that it's the peppermint oil, but this is definitely helpful as I have been working out more!  Main Ingredients: Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Oil, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, DL-alpha-Tocopherol (Vitamin E).

The Beeswax Lip Balm is generously sized and has provided a great all purpose lip moisturizer for our house, meaning that it's great for chapped lips but also just to protect them from the elements. It's just the right amount of functional and a bit fancy. Main Ingredients: Cera Alba (Beeswax), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, DL-alpha-Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Tallow (Sheep’s tail fat oil), Lanolin.

The Healing Salve is a special little tin of goodness. I was a little put off by the color at first (it's a kind of grey color) but it's so smooth, light and the scent is killer. I'm hiding this from my kids because I will be heartbroken if they did into this and waste even a smidge of this little power house. I have been using on a skin tag and swear that it's softened and just not nearly as noticeable... and since it's mosquito season here, I am keeping on hand as it touts being great for bug bites, and I believe it! Main Ingredients: Rosa Moschata (Rosehip) Oil, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Oil, Tallow (Beef tallow), Tallow (Sheep’s tail fat oil), Palustris (Pine) Wood Tar, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Cymbopogon Citratus (Lemongrass) Oil, Activated charcoal.

The Yak's Milk Soap is soft scented and gentle, a perfect little bar of soap that's great for dry, sensitive skin. Main Ingredients: Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Yak milk, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Tallow (Beef Tallow), Sodium Hydroxide.


Head over to my Instagram today to enter to win everything that I tried PLUS the Sensitive Skin Body Butter! You'll be in for a treat because this is the ultimate in self care so head over to get in on the action this week! Good luck!


Find Lhamour in the US at Lilly's Bathcarry, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and on Youtube!


Saturday, May 11, 2019

Kick those Allergies Out with Similasan

*This post was created in partnership with Similasan. Opinions are 100% my own. Thank you so much for reading!

Personally, I have never been one to be affected, too much anyway, by allergies. This year though, I was affected, not physically, but through the boys and man who live in my house with me... they have allergies! 😖 Thankfully, Similasan sent some reinforcements just in the nick of time!


The kids and I made the trek from MA to NC and my oldest felt the affect in environment BIG TIME. I have never seen him with such watery, itchy, puffy eyes. The sneezing was epic. The allergies had arrived and were not going anywhere fast. Ugh. Allergies just make life miserable, like "why do we even have noses if we can't breathe out of them?", asks a 4 year old. So our first foray into using Similasan was with their Allergy Eye Relief Drops. Now eye drops are definitely NOT easy to use on my child but we talked about it providing relief and he was eventually on board. I could visibly notice a difference (less watering, less redness and he wasn't constantly rubbing his eyes) and what I love about the Similasan products is that there are no harsh antihistamines or vasoconstrictors. They use natural active ingredients that stimulate the body's natural allergy defenses. I think this is what I love most about the brand, the natural homeopathic ingredients.


The amount of allergy relief options that Similasan offers is really impressive. I know the brand that I can go to when I am looking for Ear Ache Relief, Ear Ringing Remedy, Ear Wax Removal Kit, Dry Eye Easy Mist, Computer Eye Relief, and basically so many different versions of eye and ear relief you think you could need. I can't think of when I would need Stye Eye Relief but I know who I'll go to when I get a stye in my eye... Similasan! Also, I definitely want to check out some of their options for sleep and stress, first aid, and cough and cold

You can find Similasan at lots of different places that you likely shop at! Target, Amazon, Walgreens, CVS, Walmart and more so there's no excuse not to give them a try! 


Monday, April 29, 2019

Cupid and Psyche Beauty + a Giveaway!

*This post was created in partnership with Cupid and Psyche Beauty. All opinions are 100% my own.


Finding a beauty brand that is equally effective and socially conscious is not always an easy task. Being a smart consumer is important and supporting brands that take pride in their product and their place on the planet it something that I both encourage and try to live by. When I was recently introduced to Cupid&Psyche just recently, I was most attracted to their gorgeous hues, of course. I like to take risks with lip color because what's the worst that can happen, you tried and it just didn't look that great. In addition to looking great, Cupid&Psyche cares about giving back to the world that we all love.

All of their products are bee friendly, cruelty free, vegan, plant based and hand poured. A percentage of all the profits from Cupid&Psyche are donated to saving bees and animal non-profits including the Pollinator Partnership, Elephant Nature Park, Humane Society International and David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (a charity some of my blogger pals supported in the past)... the brand sounds like the kind of brand we can get behind right? But what about the product itself?


The lipsticks themselves are bee friendly (made with a beeswax free formula), are handmade in small batches, are vegan, cruelty free, all natural created with plant based oils and waxes with shea butter. They are super smooth when you apply and I would have to describe the texture as a silky lip balm. These lipsticks are definitely a buildable color, meaning that you can wear them somewhat sheer (depending on the shade) and then add more and more to get the desired boldness. The color pigment themselves are made from pure minerals, which is amazing to me, because the colors are genuinely amazing in person.


I was able to try four of the shades and I am so excited to let you know that Cupid&Psyche wants to share the same shades with you guys. The lipsticks are beautiful and as someone who likes to toss a lipstick in her purse now and then, these are great on the go shades, because they are buildable like I mentioned before. I am so pleased with these as an overall product that the winner of this giveaway is one lucky person who will get four shades sent to them: Brigid, Ione, Devi, and Artemis!

Head over to my instagram to enter the giveaway and be sure to check out Cupid&Psyche online, instagram and twitter!

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

My Non-Routine Fitness Routine

If you follow me on Instagram, I am sure you have seen my stories over the past few months to a year in regard to my fitness. I am going to toot my own horn here and just put it in the records that I have been working out very consistently for at least a year now, and I am pretty friggin' proud of how committed I have been. Historically, for me, fitness and physical activity has come in ebbs and flows, depending on the chapter of life that I have been in. I started a bootcamp right before our wedding (a chapter of life) and that was probably the best shape I had been in since playing Rugby in college (another chapter of life). Motivating myself is always the struggle but for some reason, this chapter of life has really made movement a real priority for me.


I have noticed changes in my body; better flexibility and strength... both things I am proud of. The number on the scale hasn't gone down, so it's been a struggle to keep motivating myself without that "difference in weight", an indicator that has historically had the most impact on me and my urge to continue. Retraining my brain to accept other things, like the flexibility and strength, as measures of success is the real challenge, but I'm working on it! How am I keeping things interesting and keeping myself motivated?

Fitness Apps and Challenges

I started the year with Asics Studio 21 Day Challenge and posted about it on social as a way to keep myself motivated/held accountable and to be honest, this did wonders for me and getting into a groove. I find that I am able to motivate myself when I have one or all of the following: an accountability partner/structure, a good challenge, possible friendly competition and above all else, something enjoyable (read: not grueling or boring) to do. The apps and challenges are also great when you are kind of like meh about your current workout schedule because they can introduce new exercises into your routine without having to be face to face with an instructor... but on the flip side, sometimes I benefit from being in front on an instructor lol.

Different Classes

This one is key for me because if I don't keep things interesting, I will get bored and will be more likely to slack off. I try to make everything fun and of course, drop into classes that I have never tried before. Yes there are classes I don't go back to (I'm sorry, I just don't really like barre!) but I love spinning (I got new TIEM spin shoes just for classes!), Fight class (think martial arts inspired cardio), weight lifting, bootcamp, HIIT and then I do try to run at least once a week even though, guys, I really just will never love running. I don't think I'm built for it or have it in my genes. But what I am trying to say here is that when I keep things interesting, I am more likely to make it to my workouts and also, I'm less likely to hurt myself by focusing on only one type of class or exercise. Keep things interesting and you might just have more fun!



At Home Workouts

Even when I am short on time or really not in the mood, I try to at the very least, make a go of something fitness related at home. Whether this is doing some weights or core work in the basement or a little bit of yoga just to get my body moving, there are always options for me to "move", even when I'm really, and I mean really, not feeling like making the time. Every day is different and we have to be kind to ourselves.

Making Friends

This has been a big one for me in the past year. I was once the woman who shuffled into the gym with her kids and her bags in tow, ignoring everyone then doing the same on the way out. Now I have made such lovely friends at the gym, people that I can scowl at jokingly during a hard workout, people who have advice on different things to do, people who have kids and understand the daily struggles. There are a number of boxes being ticked with these new friends I have made at the gym. Human (adult) interaction is extremely important and these ladies have my back! When I am excited to see people, you guessed it, I am more motivated to get my butt to the gym, especially when I've already told someone I would be there lol. Be warned though, if you make friends at the gym, they will probably be able to talk you into a Spartan Race. doh!



This isn't so much a "how to be fit" blog post but rather a "this is how I am managing it in this season of life" blog post. Every day is different for me and I have to talk myself into driving to the gym at least twice a week but once I am done my workouts, I'm usually very tired but I also feel very proud of myself for working on my physical health and well being. I'd love to hear what you do to keep interesting in your life, because I'm sure I'll be looking to switch things up in 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1!

Friday, March 15, 2019

Season Change and So Has my Craft Area Sponsored by Wayfair


Something tragic happened a couple of weeks back. Well, tragic is a bit dramatic but in my world, this was quite devastating. My husband came upstairs to tell me that my craft desk had broken and my sewing machines and some supplies had been a part of whatever storm occurred down there. I would be lying to you if I said that I didn't cry... oh I cried.  I went to the gym and cried a little there too. My husband cleaned it all up for me, we made sure that the machines were still in working order (phew! they were!) but then where was I going to put them? You may remember that I did a craft area refresh a few years back with Wayfair... I didn't think they'd come to my rescue once again... but they did! The craft room season is a changing and I am actually so psyched because I needed, you guessed it, more space to put craft supplies (and plants!).


When looking for a craft table or desk, I knew that I had to make sure it ticked specific boxes. I chose this desk with built in storage, but also I needed sturdy because I didn't want to experience the pain that was my previous desk busting. My machines are expensive and I definitely want them protected. This desk has a great weight capacity and room to tuck craft supplies, books and of course, a plant or two. I might have picked out a sweet new little plant pot as well. (shhh don't tell my husband lol). The chair survived the previous craft room (similar here) but was from Wayfair as well!


I couldn't be more thrilled with how my workspace has changed. I was very upset when my whole work area went through a state of upheaval but in the end, this craft nook is so much better than it was before... so sometimes with the change of season, there may be a bit of a bumpy shift but if you go with it, you might just end up much happier on the other side. I know that's a funny way at looking at a craft room refresh but this space is very special to me and my creative outlet. I have a feeling that once I start really working in this space, it will take on the "Amanda Mess of Love"... but I wouldn't have it any other way!


In addition to all of the great organizational things that I have gotten from Wayfair recently, they're offering some really coll promotions surrounding the Wayfair Credit Card. To learn more about Wayfair's Credit Card and all the great Big Time Deals, visit their site for all the details!



Visit Wayfair today for excellent desks and storage as well as their exciting credit card opportunities!