Wednesday, December 31, 2014

10 Ways I am Investing in Myself, Starting Now

You guys, I am like so sick of myself, it's kind of ridiculous... now before you start saying "oh, just love yourself the way you are!", I gotta give you some background as to how I feel and why I feel this way. I wouldn't go as far as to say that I am a shell of my former self but I would wager a bet that I am not the same person I was a year ago today. So much has changed and in the goal to become an excellent mother, I sort of let Amanda's needs fall by the wayside. My husband and I think we pretty much have the baby thing under control at this point so I have decided to hunker down and make a list of the things I plan to do to invest in myself, self care if you will. I make the list for multiple reasons, mostly so I remember but also to keep me honest. Take a look at my "goals" and let me know if you have any trick or tips on any or all of them. These aren't so much resolutions but ways that I can take better care of myself.

Monday, December 22, 2014

P&P Gift Guide: For Those Who Want to Start a Craft

So I am here to tell you that it is not too late put together a last minute gift that someone in your life would appreciate! One of my favorite gifts to give are the ones where I am helping someone kickstart their interest in becoming a "maker" or cultivating their crafty side. Whether you know a soon to be sewer or that knitting Nancy, getting you friends a "kit" is the greatest gift, because it keeps on giving!

Grab some mason jars, decorate them and build a sweet sewing kit. Sewing scissors from the Gingher family are always a good choice and add some Sewing Books so your lucky pal can start teaching themselves or brushing up on their skillz! Pictured: Little Green DressesHome Sewn NurseryHand-Stitched HomeHome Sewn Home

Sunday, December 21, 2014

DIY Pennant Banner, Home for the Holidays Style

Have you ever done DIY decor for the holidays? If not, it' not too late to whip up this DIY pennant banner before the family comes over this week! This is the project that will get you started and feeling confident... I am still so jazzed about how much fun I had at the Home for the Holidays event in early November. Wayfair and Boston Bloggers threw such a fabulous event full of amazing women and awesome DIY/crafting sessions. One that I thought was so great, because it was so easy, was the session where we all whipped out awesome DIY Pennant Banners for your mantle, headboard, wall... ummm well just about anywhere. I thought I would share this with you guys since it's most definitely something that anyone can do and for any holiday, just pick your colors/fabric and you can have this done in not time.

Monday, December 15, 2014

'Tis the Season for Forced Family Outings

So this year, I had some vacation time to burn so I took basically the first week of December off to really clean my house for the first time in 6 months and maybe take a family day with the husband and baby. I ended up feeling under the weather with some of that time but I did make it out to the Yankee Candle Company in Deerfield, MA, husband and baby in tow. Let's start from the very beginning, a very good place to start. I have been wanting to go to Yankee Candle during the holidays for years now... and this was going to be my our year. Our morning could have been better and it would have been very easy to just call the whole thing off but I was going to be damned if I let ANYTHING stand in my way of my pre-planned, forced family outing... and you know what? Once we got rolling, it really couldn't have gone any better.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

P&P Gift Guide: People Who Might Be Nerdy

This week's gift guide is all about buying for the people in your life, who march to the beat of their own drummer and that drummer is sort of a geek. I happen to be married to one of this special breed so I think I can safely say that I am pretty much an expert on the nerd fare... plus, let's face it. I'm kind of a geek too. Of course there are all manner of interests that you could build on but there are some great ideas here. Star Wars, Doctor Who, Star Trek and Harry Potter seem to pop up the most on my radar due to the types of interests my people have. There is sure to be something you can snag for the people in your life who are young at heart.

Monday, December 8, 2014

#ShareJaneLove Campaign

It's the time of year where we are showing those around us that we love and care for them, thankful for their presence in our lives. I know that I show my love through gifts, little trinkets, or making something yummy but sometimes, you just need to put that love into words, expressing it for all to hear. You may remember's Be The Good campaign from earlier this year. They encouraged you to spread the goodness to people around you and encourage them to do the same. It was an awesome campaign and I was able to see it spread throughout social media. For the holidays, has launched the Share Jane Love campaign. Here's the sitch:

Monday, December 1, 2014

Classic Comfort (and Joy) with San Francisco City Lights

Being a mother has made me appreciate one thing above all else in my clothing and that is comfort. Comfort is key for a Mom on the go because being uncomfortable? Ain't nobody got time for that. Plus, I am currently trying to lose the baby weight so when you're not quite in your pre-baby clothes, you look for some inbetweener items...You may remember this past Summer me talking about San Francisco City Lights and the uber comfy Hollywood tee that made being a new mom not seem so frumpy. Well, Winter is coming (ugh) and I need something to feel good about... enter San Francisco City Lights Winter and Holiday collection.

Friday, November 28, 2014

P&P: Top Holiday Party Looks

What do I think you should wear this holiday season? Personally, I will be rocking a sweater or two, maaaybe a Christmas Dinner dress but for those of you still able to snag cocktails and have a rockin' new Year's Eve, these are your top party looks according to me. I'll break it down for you: Family Pictures, Christmas Dinner. Holiday Cocktails and New Year's Eve. Check it.
Family Pictures: No need to make a huge production out of your family pictures. Casual is cute and that is the model I am living by this Holiday season, since I really don't have a choice. I am personally going to wear my reindeer sweater from Loft for pictures and the casual Holiday luncheon we plan to throw. Pictured: Reindeer Jacquard Sweater, Embellished Fair Isle Sweater, Holiday Sweater in FairIsle
Christmas Dinner: I know that some wouldn't think to wear a dress to Christmas dinner since this cans sometimes be a casual affair but these dresses are sweet and comfortable PLUS they are forgiving on the waist line when you eat too many Santa cookies. Pictured: BR Ponte Fit and Flair DressNeedle + Thread Multi Lace Stitch DressOld Navy Floral Shift Dress
Holiday Cocktails: Heading out with the girls to celebrate the holidays with a drink? Having a work outing not in the office but a fancy restaurant? Kick it up a notch with a fancy (but not too fancy) cocktail dress or pantsuit. Pictured: Chic Racerback Jumpsuit, Native Rose Lace Cutwork ShiftASOS Blue Floral Skater Dress 
New Year's Eve: Here is your time to shine, literally. Sequins, metallics, white hot dresses... New Year's is a time to look classy but also look sexay. I am a big fan of leaving a little something to the imagination while still really feeling great about yourself .Pictured: True Decadence Sequin Dress, ASOS Origami Bow DressBA&SH Tiare Dress

What are you most excited to dress up for this season?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

My DIY Faux Fur Vest and Faux Fur Tutorial Roundup

I did not hesitate to grab some faux fur when it was on sale at Joann's Fabrics this Fall. I knew I had a clutch I wanted to whip up and ever since I saw the baby girl faux fur vest on See Kate Sew, I had been dying to make one for the little ladies in my life. Since my cousin's little dreamboat Charlotte was celebrating her first year of life this past weekend, I knew it was my job to bring something that was handmade, in addition to the basket of goodies I had been collecting over the past few months. Well, let's just say that working with faux fur is an acquired taste I would assume and one that I don't know that I'll have again, though who knows... I have forgotten all about child birth and might have another so I may soon forget what a pain in the bum bum that working with fur is... let's just say that things got hairy.

Monday, November 24, 2014

P&P Gift Guide: For People Who Work Out

I think that I am going to do a couple of gift guides this year. I know they can be overdone and most everyone wants to tell you should buy for other people but I think there is value in sharing some specific guides for certain types of gift recipients. So hey, this week's gift guide has everything to do with getting your favorite fit addicts something they will love and cherish this Holiday season. I am into yoga (and more recently adding Koko Fit Club into the mix) so obviously my interests skew towards those cutesy type things but I think that almost any stylin' athletic person will appreciate. Here are some of my favorite picks for that person/people in your life... the People who work out.

Pictured from top left: Pura Vida Camo Hair TiesNaked Elite Inspiration Cuffs, Love Yoga Mug from Funky Yoga, Alo No Sweat Headband, Pura Vida Camo Headband PackCheck Meowt Tank from Enlightened StateTayeka Classic Glass Water BottleKadam MalaNike Vintage Women's Vintage SweatshirtGarmin VivofitHarbinger Speed Jump RopeFunky Yoga OM ToteTerry Cloth Workout Turban

Whether you are looking for cute apparel, headbands, fitness trackers, water bottles, jump ropes and beyond, there is something special for your someone special who finds being fit, fun. I am a big fan of finding something cute, yet useful that one might not buy for themselves but would totally appreciate getting as a gift. Don't forget gift cards. Nothing says I love you like letting your friends make their own decision ;-) My favorite fit finds are from (they have a great gift guide for under $15!), Dick's Sporting Goods, Etsy and Target!

What will you get for the fit fanatic in your life?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Home for the Holidays with Wayfair and Boston Bloggers

Earlier this month, I was fortunate enough to attend a day long event with Boston Bloggers and Wayfair, Home for the Holidays (with sweet calligraphy everywhere by Ink Revival) was full of DIY goodness, decor dreamy-ness and lots of great information; this day was just plain fun. Lots of familiar faces greeted me while I also met lots of new friends. It was just such a fab way to get myself into the Holiday spirit! Being a new mother and having this urge to reeeeeally create a fabulous home, this event has sprung into action my decorating and entertaining instincts to the max! I just scheduled a Holiday luncheon and plan to put a lot of what I learned or was inspired by to good use.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Earthing Shoes for Your Sweet Feet

What is an Earthing shoe? I didn't know either so don't feel silly or dumb. Earthing, means walking barefoot on the natural surfaces of the Earth; the grass, sand, dirt and the like. This blog post from the folks at Juil explored the benefits of walking on the "earth". It suggests that as electrical beings, our body responds positively to walking barefoot. It can help with healthier circadian rhythms as well as decrease inflammation among other things. Sounds pretty legit to me. People walked around barefoot long before shoes were a thing (I am so happy shoes are a thing). So what the people at Juil did, was pretty much a great idea. They combined one of my favorite things (SHOES) with the effects of walking barefoot.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Goodness of People

I have been really full of emotion lately. I think I am heading into the next stage of how motherhood has changed me (see earlier reference in How Motherhood Has Made Me Crazy). That nurse from Maine who could have possibly had Ebola made me lose my cool a time or two. Judith on The Walking Dead gives me MAJOR anxiety. I'm talking major anxiety... I love harder. I get angrier at injustice. I feel very strongly about general human suffering. I feel a lot of feelings, you guys. Something that has been on my mind and heart lately, is that there is so much good in people that isn't focused on enough. You can watch the news all day long and see things that make your skin crawl but I am really trying to focus on the good in people. There is so much good. I want to give some examples of things I have seen recently that have made me cry happy tears; legitimate tears down my cheeks and have rated them as such.  I know I am a dork, but you can deal with it, right?

There is the every day kind of goodness that parents show for their children, from helping them tie their shoes to helping them with their learning and developmental struggles. I have quickly realized that parenting is not for the faint of heart and it takes a lot of dang work to keep a positive attitude. I have a perfectly healthy child right now so I really haven't had to face any real parenting hardships... That's why this Dad amazes me. This sweet man turn's his son's wheelchair into fantastic Halloween costumes every year. On top of what I can only imagine is a pretty taxing every day routine for them, this guy spends extra time on top of that to give joy to his son on a holiday that every child enjoys for all the fun it encompasses. Rather than let his son miss out on it, he works overtime to ensure that he gets to experience what other kids do... with a really rad costume. One Happy Touching Tears Face

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Thankful for these Blogger Inspirations!

This post is inspired by something another blogger (but mostly friend) did last week. She did a little Halloween trick or treat with some of her favorite bloggers, simply by picking some things that she really likes about them or their blog or a specific blog post... Check out Kelly's Blog-ger-Treat Gets Me Every Time to see what I am talkin' about. It was because she felt like shouting out some things that she liked about us. Let me tell you that it touched my little blogger heart, on the realz... so I decided to do something almost the same, except obviously not for Halloween (hello, it's November!). I am going to go with a "Thankful" theme, since Thanksgiving is this month... and also, I'm thankful, super thankful to have all manner of inspiration coming from the ladies of the crafty internet community. I am a creative/crafty person but sometimes, I need to look to other creative, like minded people to get the juices flowing and as a bonus, learn some best practices on living life... The following ladies are on my creative and crafty crush list for sure.
See Kate Sew: Can we jump on the faux fur trend please? The fabulous Kate has all manner of faux fur sewing projects on her blog but my absolute faves have to be the adorable cropped jacket for girls and for women. Hello, matching for Mom and Daughter? Amazing. Kate's blog has a pleathera of amazing projects that are great inspiration and aren't out of your skill level, I promise! I "sew" want to be her friend! #Isewloveyou

Domestikated Life:  Here's another Kate who is the cat's pajamas. This girl is like the whiz kid of whipping up a fabulous cocktail or setting the scene for a super stylish gathering. Hello, check out some shots from her Mingle Magazine highlights. She is amazingly talented and cute to boot... I know, because we've met. She happens to be half of the fantastic team that runs Boston Bloggers (shout out to Alison of  Long Distance Loving) #stylishsistah

Gets Me Every Time: Kelly over at GMET is adorable, sweet and a little quirky (something Mama certainly appreciates). She has a crafty streak (check out her Toyidermy) but is also thoughtful about things in general. Check out her Reasons to Journal, which makes me want to start documenting my thoughts, because so many good ones get away from me, I'm sure of it. #thankyouforbeingyou

Elizabeth Crane Swartz: Besides her dreamy hand painted jewelry, ECS has an inspiring attitude on life. Every time I am in her presence I feel like a "cooler" person just for knowing her. She has an amazing relationship with her children/husband/puggle while also being her own person with her own projects. She also has a pretty awesome personal style that looks effortless and chic. Every.Single.Time. #jealousofyourcoolness

What the Craft: Lexi over at What the Craft is pretty amazing. Her site is a who, what, where, and how on crafty goodness. Kick ass sewing patterns, tutorials and lots more, this site is something I could only dream to achieve. Her level of crafty-ness is the highest. The crafty-ness overflows. I kind of want to make this half apron, to do all the baking I don't have time to do. Just one of many awesome tutes for yous guys to enjoy. Seriously, get lost on this site and you'll be inspired. #inspirationfordays

Crafty Chica: Spreading positivity through creativity. Boom. Kathy Cano-Murillo is kind of a big deal in the crafty world. She is an award winning author, paints like a dream and has great Day of the Dead crafts if you like that sort of thing (I like that sort of thing, A LOT) . Based on my love of puff paint and RIT dye, her Instagram sings to me... who am I kiddin', almost everything she does sings to me. Plus, I think if I were ever to meet her, she seems like she'd be such a genuinely nice lady. #craftpaint4life

Who are you thankful to be able to take creative inspiration from in your every day?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Halloween Decor on the Cheap, Prim and Propah Style

I have never really been into Halloween decor before this year. I don't know what clicked over this year but I knew that I needed to decorate (and make a crafty mess) for the spookiest of holidays.... that being said, I didn't want to spend a crazy amount of money; it's not like I was having a party or anything so it was basically mostly for me. I made some major scores at Dollar Tree, Target's Dollar Spot and Walmart. All said and done, I only spent $20! Want to see what I came up with?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Brrrrrrr, there is a chill in the air... it's the impending doom that is a New England Winter. What is a girl going to do? Well, for one thing, every lady I know, knows that bundling up is almost as important as looking good... because who wants to freeze their buns off? Not me. Enter Salem Style, a handmade line of snuggly, crocheted goodies out of the near and dear Salem, Massachusetts. Owner and Creator Lianna Wattley has been crocheting for years but has only just begun spreading her goodness among the masses. I, personally, have a hat and finger-less mittens from last season as well as one of her new dreamy, over sized cowls that she has just released. The Propah Baby also happens to have worn a Salem Style beanie, pretty much from birth. Her creations have a touch of love in every piece, you can just tell that she puts her heart into her work.  Lianna was sweet enough to answer some questions about her growing brand. Check out her deets after the jump!

Friday, October 24, 2014

My Fall Favorites

There have been a few things I have snagged as the weather has gotten colder, because #1 I needed to keep warm and #2 I just simply love shopping. My new favorite thing to do is shop without breaking the bank and while hitting the amazing sales but there have been some key items that I have bought because they needed to be a part of my Fall wardrobe. My fab four are as follows:

Plaid Shirts- A classic staple, yet every year I see a new design that I need for my collection. Whether you want to spend $15 (Old Navy) or $225 (Hudson), there are so many cool options for any budget! My top pick? This Men's American Rag Frosty Plaid number... hey, a men's cut is comfy and sorta sexy!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sponsored Video: INSPIRED Presented by Moroccanoil #inspiredbywomen

Are you inspired by women around you? I know that I take inspiration from all types of amazing women in this world. If we don't support one another then we really can't call ourselves powerful women. Morocconoil has teamed up with some really innovative and amazing women in their #Inspiredbywomen series. It's a series that discovers beauty through inspiration and I can honestly say that watching the videos on Youtube, makes me want to actually hunker down and do something to make a difference in this world. What am I doing to make a difference? It truly only takes one person to make a difference and why can't that person be me? 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Local Lovin': Java Skincare

I am all about the local lovin' lately. If you are a creator and you happen to live near me, then chances are that I would love to support your business. It's important to shop small and local whenever possible. If you are encouraging small business in your area, isn't that just making it better? Of course. This brings me to the topic of the day, my newest local lovin' shoutout. I was recently introduced to Java Skincare out of good ol' Rhode Island. The owner/creator/coffee infused beauty biz extraordinaire, Stephanie Addition, is a shining example of what a little hard work, an awesome idea and and even more awesome product can take you. I am excited to share with you the Java Skincare line in all it's glory.

JAVA BENEFITS (or what Stephanie calls the "Java Effect")

• Super-Hydrates

• Firms and tightens the skin 

• Reduces appearance of wrinkles 

• Slows the appearance of aging & protect from free radicals 

• Repairs sun damage & regenerates healthy cells 

• Restores a youthful glow 

Friday, September 19, 2014

My Review of Kate Hudson's Fabletics Line

I love Kate Hudson, like ever since How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, I've loved Kate Hudson. When she was an ambassador for Almay, I most certainly tried the Intense i-color and still buy it now! Ann Taylor, umm it only solidified my love for the Ann Taylor brands so when I heard about Fabletics, I was not going to let the opportunity to try it pass me by! Fabletics is her newest venture and belongs to the JustFab brand, and is a monthly subscription service for workout gear. Athletic wear is my new jam ever since I have been on a kick to lose the baby weight, which has most recently hit a plateau. I am motivated and with that motivation has come a new love of cute workout clothes... sorry, I'm not sorry that I love to shop!
Ninety Six Windbreaker and Versatile Tee

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Local Lovin': Luxxie Boston, Foundation Wear for Every Woman

I recently stumbled upon Luxxie Boston ( on Twitter. It seems I follow enough savvy Bostonians that it surprised me that I hadn't run across this Boston based/Made in USA brand of women's foundation wear... that happens to also be fabulous. With a little moving and shaking, I was then chatting with Luxxie Boston co-founder Stefanie Mnayarji about the new baby and what sparked her interest in designing this fantastic line. She was willing to share a little about her and her brand with my P&P readers as well as show you a few of her pieces that have me over here swooning.
Luxxie Boston Co-Founder Stefanie Mnayarji

Friday, September 12, 2014

Obsession Alert: Swoonworthy Boots for Fall

The weather just took a turn, a turn for the chilly. Just last weekend, I was walking outside and nearly got heatstroke and this week we dipped down into the 50's ad 60's. While there are many things I will miss about Summer, I am totally looking forward to boots season again. I love my classic riding boots but one thing my shoe closet is seriously lacking are some lower height bootie goodness and before I pulled the trigger on a new pair (or three), I thought I would map them all out from versatile and classic to colorful and interesting. Take a look at my swoonworthy picks for Fall!
Steve Madden Rubin BootieCoconuts Vickie BootieDr. Martens Pascal Metallic BootieH by Hudson Askern Zip Suede BootsDiba Office Dixie Patterned BootieQupid Wyatte Combat BootMinnetonka Classic Fringe Soft Sole BootieCole Haan Halley Crepe Wedge BootieJoie Iago Bootie

What are your favorite boots' style for Fall?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Mani Monday: Modcloth's Nail Klub

You've heard of Modcloth right? Yes, haven't we all. They offer an ecclectic mix of adorable clothes and accessories for the fashionable, stylin' gals out there. They also have an awesome blog where they highlight hair do's, home stuff and even nail art. This nail art I speak of is part of their Modcloth Nail Klub. They recently challenged me to create some sassy nail art to match one of their sassy dresses. My first real challenge was choosing a dress, since Modcloth dresses all adorable but I narrowed it down and eventually landed on a Fall floral that had me swooning from first sight, the Cornucopia of Cute Dress.
Cornucopia of Cute Dress, $99.99

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Emmy Fashion 2014, Black, White and the Between

I will admit that I did not watch the Emmy's... I have a 3 month old that requires me to go to bed somewhat earlier than I did pre-baby... but that didn't stop me from watching the red carpet and ooohing and aaaahing at some of the looks I loved. A lot of the coverage called the color of the night, RED, but I'm sorry, January Jones' red Prabal Gurung number was NOT a favorite of mine (but everyone else loves it?). What I loved more than any pops of color were the successes in the form of black, white and the somewhat in between! Checkout what I am talking about.
Michelle Monaghan in Giambattista Valli Couture, Anna Chlumsky in Zac Posen, Sofia Vergara in Roberto Cavalli, Kristen Wiig in Vera Wang, Camila Alves in Zuhair Murad, Kate Mara in J. Mendel, Kiernan Shipka in Antonio Berardi, Gwen Stefani in Versace, Hayden Pannettiere in Lorena Sarbu, Amy Poehler in Theia, Ariel Winter in Halo Eve, Lizzy Caplan in Donna Karan, Julia Roberts in Elie Saab, Debra Messing in Angel Sanchez, Jessica Pare in Lanvin, Lena Heady in Rubin Singer
What were your favorites from the night?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Keeping it Casual with San Francisco City Lights

I was recently introduced to San Francisco City Lights clothing and the sheer comfy-ness that I had been missing out of was not lost on me. They are such sweet folks and sent along the Hollywood tee for me to take for a ride, and it is now my new favorite tee from packaging to the wear. The story behind their garments is kinda up my alley too. If you could be BFFs with a clothing brand, SFCL would be a great candidate ;-)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

H&M Home Launches in Boston

This past week, I had the opportunity to hit up the Grand Re-Opening of the H&M location on Newbury Street in Boston. Not only was it a super fun event but the new Home section (one of four in the country) is AMAZING. I mean, if I had more space, I would be decorating my entire home from the affordable wares in the HM Home arena. I was sure to take some snaps of the awesome new store as well as the Grand Re-opening celebration, including the blogger breakfast, staff dance off and sneak peek before the store opened! It was a fantastic time and certainly piqued my home decor shopping interest!
The H&M staff gearing up for the Grand Re-Opening!

Take a look at some of the awesome home decor and some of my fave blogging buddies too! Let me know what you think, of all the fantastic goodies... whether you like modern decor or something a little more romantic, H&M's Home collection has got you covered. I even grabbed a lil' something for the lil' man's nursery in the form of a deer pillow... hello, it fit right in with our woodlands theme!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Yoga Week, Day Five: Aurorae Yoga and a Sweet Giveaway!

It's Day Five and what a fantastic week it's been. I feel so inspired to get back to my (new) normal routine and am happy to have new motivation in the new roommate that I have living in my house ;-). The #propahbaby has me all sorts of motivated to keep active and fit for his sake. A Mom who can keep up with him is a Mom who is winning. In any event, here we are at day 5 and I am so excited to introduce a fantastic yoga line called Aurorae Yoga.
Aurorae is a family business founded in 2009 by yoga student and cancer survivor, Dennis Ingui. Cancer-free for more than 10 years, Ingui started Aurorae as an outlet in his life to help build his body and develop inner peace of mind. Aurorae considers all customers, supporters, partners and employees a part of its Aurorae family and treats everyone with the same respect, kindness and love that each deserves.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Yoga Week, Day Four: Body Acceptance Blue Print with Anna of Curvy Yoga


I came to yoga because I wanted to change my body in many ways – in most ways, actually. Losing weight and being free from the chronic pain of my migraines were at the top of the list, though.
And, I’m not alone. Physical body concerns bring many people to yoga – probably most, particularly in the West.


What happened over time, though (and by time I mean years) is that both my awareness and my interest dropped down deeper.
I began to be less interested in how flexi (or not) I was in particular poses and started noticing things I hadn’t expected (and probably wouldn’t have said I cared much about before I started yoga): things like deeper, slower breath; increased awareness of my mental chatter; gut feelings I’d ignored before; and so much more.
If I’d known all this was coming, I’m not sure I would have signed up.
Good thing that’s how yoga works on us: this is just the path it takes us on.


One of the things we talk about in yoga are the koshas, or the five sheaths/layers of the body. These are often represented as concentric circles or like nesting dolls inside your body. (Don’t worry; this blog post won’t get any more sci fi than that.)
Here’s what they are:
Annamaya kosha: This is our physical body, the outer layer. It’s often the first door in to this journey, and then we continue on from there — not that we stop working with this one, though; that’s part of the beauty of how this all works. It’s a very reciprocal process.
Pranamaya kosha: This is our energy body (prana translates as energy). The easiest way for us to connect with this is usually through our breath, which can be a bridge that helps us connect mind and body (as we’ll see in just a sec!).
Manamaya kosha: This is our mental/emotional body. It’s here that our practice is increased awareness of our thoughts and also shifts in our thought patterns.
Vijnanamaya kosha: This is our subtle body or intuition. As we continue through the koshas, using the ones that came before to clear the way, we can receive these messages more and more clearly. 
Anandamaya kosha: This is the bliss body. How great is that?! This isn’t necessarily the happy bliss state we think of, but more a sense of oneness. I like to think of it as wholeness or integration.

Body Acceptance Blueprint

While none of the koshas are destinations or clear demarcations (“Oh, today I finally accessed myanandamaya kosha!”), they do give us another way to understand the process that’s unfolding when we find that yoga has become a tool of body acceptance for us.
The practice has been helping us to move through these layers bit by little bit, with small shifts that sometimes may not feel like much (or anything) over time but that do certainly add up.
In my experience, these increasing levels of awareness, quiet and subtlety have lead me towards body acceptance because the more I know my body, hear its requests and meet its needs, the more I can’t help but be friendlier towards it.
Is it a perfect friendship every day? Of course not.
But what friendship is, right? In the long run, the ones that last are the ones that adapt and come to support each other, quirks and annoyances and all.

Anna Guest-Jelley, founder and CEO (Curvy Executive Officer) of Curvy Yoga — a training & inspiration portal for yoga students and teachers of all shapes and sizes who want a body positive practice that supports them in exploring what body acceptance means to them.
As a writer, educator & lifelong champion for women’s empowerment & body acceptance, she's there to encourage people of every size, shape age, experience level & ability to grab life by the curves.
And never let go.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Yoga Week, Day Three: My Fave Yoga Finds on Etsy

Dear Etsy, how do I love thee, let me count the ways.. Etsy is literally my favorite place to peruse just about anything when I am bored (which is not often these days) or when I am looking for something that not everyone else has. This certainly goes for yoga related goodies as well. Some of the clothing you'll see on Etsy is absolutely adorable and/or so creative and beautiful. It's a wonderful place to dream of that gorgeous workout wardrobe with some funky, fun pieces. Also? There are lots of yoga related gifts and accouterments as well! Here are some of my absolute faves!

I'm Just Here for the Savasana TeeEkadasa Backless Yoga TankHamsa Longsleeve ShirtHow's my downdog? tank   

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Yoga Week, Day Two: My Quick and Easy DIY Yoga Bag

Up until just a month or so ago... oh who am I kidding... more like 3 months ago, I was still flexible enough to hit up a yoga class or roll out my yoga mat, maybe perhaps thinking about stretching... but eh, lately, putting my feet up has been more my thing... and unfortunately with a new baby in the house, putting up my feet isn't really an option. That being said, one thing I have been meaning to do for a long time, is to make a way to store my yoga mat... so it knows that I care about it and that I will be back soon ;-) Why not do it now before I don't really have the time any more? ;-) It really was such an easy process with only beginner sewing skills needed in order to make a pretty decent yoga mat bag. This is a quick and easy project that will leave you feeling accomplished. I know it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Yoga Week, Day One: Tips for Starting Yoga with Jenny Ravikumar

This morning one of my favorite companies, Tiny Devotions, asked me what my favorite mantra was on Facebook. Sometimes I comment on people’s photos and other times I scroll right through. THIS was one of the photos and questions that made me stop and think for just a moment.

It is actually one of my easiest questions and if it came up in an interview of any kind I would know the answer immediately. Isvara Pranidhana which means the belief in God or blind faith. It’s a surrendering and understanding that wherever you are right now is EXACTLY where you’re supposed to be and it’s perfect.

In yoga this is my favorite concept to teach but also one of the most difficult concepts to understand. We need to surrender to what is and accept ourselves where we are right now. As a teacher I welcome in anyone who is interested in learning about yoga. Yoga to me is not about shape or size or physical ability – it’s about the desire to learn and the ability to arrive. Simply put. The hardest part of attending any yoga class is walking through the front door.

If you’re interested in learning about yoga but are afraid you can’t touch your toes, I have news for you: not everyone can and it’s okay. In fact half of the reason you arrive on the mat is to find more flexibility and more acceptance in your body. To help you ease the “pain” of arriving on the mat for the first time I have created a few tips for your arrival!

1) Arrive EARLY!

One of my biggest pet peeves as a teacher is when someone who has never been to the Shala arrives 2 minutes before I lock the front door. Without a few moments to introduce yourself, I have no idea if you have any injuries or what your experience with yoga is. I also need time to enter in your information into our system and if you don’t arrive early this may interfere with starting on time. Starting on time is essential, which is why in some studios you may find yourself locked out if you arrive at 9:31 for a 9:30 am class.

2) Answer questions truthfully

I always like to know about past experience and injuries in your body. This helps me to create a class for every student, offer out modifications and be sure to push you without pushing you over the edge. I like to know a little bit about you: where do you work (do you sit at a desk all day and need shoulder openers?), do you have children (are you here looking for quiet and peace?). I appreciate the ability to learn about you as it creates a better student/teacher relationship and significantly better classes.

3) Be prepared with proper attire and equipment

All you need to attend a yoga class is a yoga mat, a bottle of water and yourself (in proper yoga clothes). This does NOT mean you need to go to Lululemon and spend $100 before you even arrive at the studio {save that for a few months down the line}. It does mean you arrive in a workout outfit (no jeans), bare feet and proper body hygiene. Make sure you put on a little deodorant or wash those piggy toes before hoping on the mat and sharing energy with the others in class.

4) Give it time

You will not be perfect your first class. The teacher is not a yoga goddess that knows the secrets of the world, she is a normal person. The class may not be right for you: too fast, too slow or the teacher’s voice was just annoying. This does NOT mean you should avoid yoga. This means you should keep trying. Look at the schedule to read about other class descriptions or ask the teacher after class of any other styles that you may benefit from. Keep trying until you find the perfect mixture of YOUR brand of yoga. Some people like music, some like reading while others like hot power yoga with no spirituality attached. YOU get to choose what works best for your mind, body & soul so stick with it and keep searching!

I hope you enjoy your first time on the mat! Remember, yoga is for EVERY body. There will be a perfect class for you if you take that leap of faith and surrender to knowing you are exactly where you need to be!

Sending you lots of yogi love and light!


Jenny Ravikumar is a yoga instructor in the greater Boston area. You can check out her studio, Barefoot Yoga Shala or be sure to follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and her website!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Yoga for One, Yoga for All

This week on the blog, I have some fantastic yoga themed posts for you all. It's a little out of my wheelhouse but also not so much. I have always been a lover of yoga since I bought a book on it in 9th grade. I remember bringing it with me to my grandparents 30th wedding anniversary party and us all looking at it like, Ooooh yoga, so exotic ha! From there, I have tried many different kinds of yoga and have visited many different yoga studios, mostly thanks to Groupon. One thing that I have always appreciated, even after a really tough class, is how good I feel afterward. I have recently returned to yoga at a great studio near my house. It had been almost a year since I had been to a normal yoga class since I consider pre-natal yoga to be glorified stretching (but great in it's own way). Let's just say that my abs were hurting for days afterwards... and damn if that didn't make me want to go more. That first class back was hard, I'm not going to lie. Lots of positions that I used to nail flawlessly left me struggling for balance and feeling like a blob. It was the instructor who, at the right moments, reminded the class to do what they could and make the stretches their own, with modifications. I could have taken that as her singling me out, but I chose not to and made it through the 90 minutes. The concentration that it took to practice yoga in this class, pushed any worry about the baby or thoughts of frustrations out of my head. It did the trick and I was me again, not just the Mommy Moo Cow that has been caring for a baby for the past two months. I have been to three classes since starting back last week and I am feeling a little stronger every time. I am looking forward to rocking my plank like I used to and getting back into shape, well, shape for me. I am going to be patient with myself but also be consistent. I am really excited about not just fitting yoga in when I can but making it a part of my scheduled for me.

I am excited for some great guest posts, a giveaway and even a yoga related DIY for you guys this week. I hope you enjoy!

Friday, August 1, 2014

H&M Newbury Street Grand Re-Opening August 7th!

Hey Bostonians, you may have already heard by now but the H&M Newbury Street has undergone some mage renovations and will be reopening with the usual amazing and affordable finds with a dash of their new home collection. If you are a lover of all things H&M, much like me, you will want to get in on the grand re-opening happening August 7th from 10am-noon and guess what? You're invited! Not only are you welcomed into the new space with the dreams of all things H&M, you are also getting the opportunity to win some goodies! They've teamed up with The Boston Fashionista and are also offering an exclusive, secret discount code to those attending the Grand re-opening event! Check out all the details after the jump!
Umm the #PropahBaby SO needs this entire collection!