Friday, October 30, 2015

Tasty Tidbits

We've been busy with Fall activities, Halloween and making stuff for special people over here in the Propah household. Some tasty tidbits for you, since I think these are all well worth your time.
  • It's still Breast Cancer awareness month: I;m sure you are used to seeing pink ribbons all over the place, alerting you to the fact. Tips on early detection and reducing your risk of Breast Cancer via Avon. Make sure you are taking your health into your own hands, literally.
  • Been having lots of conversations lately about blogging + sponsored posts + and all of the things and one thing that piqued my interest this week was a post that Wil Wheaton wrote basically, to say, that writers/bloggers/creatives etc should NOT be providing their work for free. It's amazing to me how often someone from a PR firm or brand will contact me and want me to write something up for the "exposure". When I first started blogging, sure, I wrote somethings for the "exposure" but tbh, that exposure rarely did anything for me. If I am going to do the work, I want to be compensated for it. Unless, of course, I totally love you and want to help, then all bets are off. ;-) It's a good article. (via Wil Wheaton)
  • I didn't get a chance to watch this week's GOP debate but I saw enough of the aftermath to know that I have no intention of voting Republican... but this isn't about my political persuasions, this is about my Psychology minor ("Hey, that Psych major  deal, that philosophy major thing, that's great, it's important to have liberal arts... but realize, you're going to be working at Chick-fil-A.") I read many posts today on the "diss" that Jeb Bush threw out at Psychology majors + Philosophy majors.  This post from The Mighty, shows lots of successful Psychology majors fighting back that stereo type that it's a a simple major that people coast through. (via The Mighty)
  • Cold Weather is coming and I need to buff up my fitness gear so that I am actually motivated to keep running + going to yoga but all I want to buy is this Mexican Blanket for my savasana. Does this make me a slacker? How do you keep motivated in the cold weather?
  • Please vote for my girl, Kate's Simply Mixed Berry Frozen Berry-Orange Mimosa in the Better Homes and Gardens Fresh Files. She is super special and I am 110% that the drink is delicious + she promised if she won, she would have a big berry mimosa party, of which I would invite myself to right away. (via BHG)
  • And a fond farewell to America's Next Top Model. I have spent countless hours watching full seasons of ANTM. I feel like I know Tyra and I can also spot a former contestant in bit roles, like a pro. I will miss you ANTM. You have been there for me many a sick day. I will forever be thankful to Hulu for having all seasons on deck for me, even the British v American, which I thought was weak. (via The Cut)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

One of the up and coming, heavy hitters in the Green Beauty realm, Organic Bath Co., has some really exciting things happening + they are based out of Boston so I thought this would be a really great opportunity to share some tasty tidbits about the brand and what they have planned for the future. I, myself, was introduced to Organic Bath less than a year ago, but they have fast become a favorite in my house and with my family + friends. We love that the team at OBC is thoughtful about the ingredients they use to create their products + they WORK! I sat down with co-founder, Gianne Doherty on how the OBC got it's start, what they're cookin' up now and what she sees in their future!

Give us a little detail as to how Organic Bath came about. What initially drove you to start OBC as a brand?

Jay and I were inspired by brands who not only have incredible financial success, but who use their cache to make the world better through their donations to charity. It seems that in the past near decade, especially, the world has been changing: customers care about what they’re buying and where their money is going. We want our customers to know that they’re not only getting incredibly luxurious, safe products, but they’re helping improve the lives of others in the process.

A few year ago, when my daily skincare regimen had me breaking out in hives, we ended up making a pure, unscented, shea butter-based body butter for me that my skin still loves to this day. I turned to Google and fell down the rabbit hole; the lack of regulation in the beauty and skincare industries is astounding. I was determined to make safe products for myself and family and friends. Organic Bath Co. began out of necessity with that shea butter-based body butter (now known as “Drenched”), and we’ve donated a portion of our proceeds to charity since day one!  

When creating your products, where do you take inspiration from? (scents, packaging, etc)

We take inspiration from our daily lives. How we want to feel, how we want people to feel using our products. Take our Stress Less line for instance: is our most popular and we realized more and more people were using Stress Less as part of their nightly routine. So it made sense to expand into a soy candle as well as an Aromatherapy Roller Ball, which will be available this fall.

Our Enhance Face Oil was created because we were tired of the messages always being marketed to women. Anti-this, Anti-that...the message always seems to be you aren’t enough. But you ARE enough. So am I. So are we all.  We wanted to create a face oil that enhanced your natural beauty.  Some days you wake up and your skin feels great, you feel great, and you want to hang on to that feeling by moisturizing for a healthy glow. That is what Enhance Face Oil is for.

You've created The W.E.L.L. Summit... what is that all about?

The W.E.L.L. Summit was really born from our conversations with our customers, friends and family. We kept getting asked questions that were a bit outside of our scope such as: which natural deodorants do we recommend? Why essential oils and not fragrance? We saw a need to create a space to bring the best in the wellness industry together for a weekend of empowerment and learning.

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

Haha. We love Nantucket! That is definitely a happy place for us that we can enjoy with our friends and family. When we’re in the city, we also love taking our dog Bruschi for a walk along the Charles. The beautiful thing about New England is that in a few hours you can be at the mountains or the beach and just get out and enjoy nature!

You have been super successful so far! Where do you see Organic Bath headed in the future?

Why thank you very much! In more spas and boutique retailers. And if I’m (Gianne) really dreaming, I think an Organic Bath Co. spa would be an amazing thing! We’ve had customers tell us that they bring our body oils or body butters to get massages with! It would be fantastic to have someplace where you know no questionable ingredients are being massaged into your skin.

Interested in learning more about this awesome brand? You can find Organic Bath Co. on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Homemade Yoga Mat Cleaner

What is living on your Yoga mat? I don't want to know but I have a pretty good imagination so I am guessing that those mats, where we find such peace and tranquility, can get pretty gnarly after even just a couple uses. I don't know if you caught a whiff of my new found love of essential oils but I thought it would be neat to make my own yoga mat cleaner, because I can and I will be crafty whenever possible + also like the idea of creating the scent that is perfect for me (and that I don't mind smelling while I am in practice). All I needed was a few ingredients and I had my own little "brand"... and everything was something I had in the house already!

What I Used:
It's as easy as mixing the spray bottle 3/4 full of water and fill the remainder of the bottle with white vinegar. You'll only need a tiny bit of space for the oils and it's sort of up to you how much you put in. I love the clean smell of tea tree oil (and it's a natural disinfectant) but a little goes a long way. The lavender + peppermint oils are one of my favorite combinations for some reason. Maybe the fresh-calming? Dunno, but Mama likes. Then just shake, shake, shake it. I have used it to clean up big baby sized messes on my mats! ;-)

It's OK if you don't want to make your own. There are PLENTY of options that are ready to go when you are. Here are some of my favorites, though if I had to choose, I would tell you to pick up the Herban Essential Towelettes because they are individual, fit in your gym bag or pockets, no problem!
Manduka Yoga Mat Spray, Herban Essentials Towelettes, Hugger Mugger Pure Mat & Gear Spray, Jasmine Seven Fresh Feet Wipes

Friday, October 23, 2015

Thoughts on Blogging for "Pageviews"

I like when my blog makes money. It would be stupid of me if I didn't. I'm not rolling in the sweet moola so a little extra cash flow is always welcomed... It's a pretty sweet reward for something that is mostly considered a labor of love (my blog that is). Sometimes I get free stuff, too; this is also a pretty awesome thing... but to say that I am pouring myself into this blog for total page views and the "analytics" in the hopes of money+stuff, would be saying that this creation of mine, is, well, no longer my online corner of the world where I can write whatever it is that I want to but is rather another job, one that happens to be online. While I respect bloggers who can hustle and bustle, (get it Sandy ala Mode!) snagging opportunities that pay cash money while still looking authentic, to me, that is just too much dang work.

I recently needed reminding that this blog isn't about the things that I get for blogging but is about the things that are important to me. Let me give you an example of a recent, rude awakening. I'm a member of a large, female blogging network, one that I have been with for many years. When I first started off with them, I landed a campaign that was fun, I loved working on and was paid money for it. I thought it was the beginning of a beautiful relationship. That was three years ago and I haven't received a campaign since. So many awesome campaigns have come and go but I only ever apply to things that I think would fit with "me" or resonate with who I believe my readers are... but I never seemed to snag any of the opps that I applied for. One day, feeling frustrated, I emailed back and forth with one of the community leaders and she explained to me, in a very nice way, that it's all about the numbers, baby... so it doesn't matter that I would put my heart + soul into a campaign; it doesn't matter how good a pitch I gave them or how much time I spent crafting it or frankly how good my content is... they are judging me by my analytics. I won't lie. This realization STUNG. Ouch, feelings hurt, hopes and dreams dashed (cue drama queen antics). The community leader gave me some tips and tricks on what I could do to improve traffic and for a week or two, I was really trying to up my game, until one day I was accepted into a small content seeding campaign and I thought I had made a visible improvement to them. I signed the paperwork and was feeling hopeful. Mere minutes after I signed the agreement, the campaign manager came back to say that she accidentally emailed the agreement out to those NOT accepted. Sick burn, Clever Girls Collective, sick burn. Feeling rejected, dejected, neglected and all the other *ecteds, I decided to refocus my energy on something other than being a competitive blogger.

Blogging for the numbers... I am so torn on how I feel on this topic. I know that there are bloggers who have a lot of amazing things to say, and can effortlessly create content that brings the readers in (page views) but there are many more bloggers who are out there hustling for the unique visitors (a lot of which are clogging up my Facebook groups currently) to keep their numbers up so that they can keep sponsored opportunities coming, but at what point do your view points start becoming muddied by sponsored posts and the free things you are gifted and then recommend? I write this post with no one person in mind, but rather about the struggles I feel deciding whether I want to be a "Successful Blogger" or a "Blogger who has Successes", successes being measured in money+stuff+ event invites. I will never be the blog that millions of people read so let's just go from there, Amanda.

I'm not saying that I will not do sponsored posts (I am not wholly stupid, people) because there are brands who know how to help you create content that is original+organic, and I love going to free classes + learning things, and some blogging events are super fun + goodie bags but I'm also not going to let Prim and Propah slide down the slippery slope of workin' hard for the money, so hard for it honey, so hard for it honey that she doesn't do it right (that was a piss poor play on a famous 80's song by the by)... I work hard for my money 50 hours a week in a day job that I don't love and may or may not promote me never. I love P+P and I want to keep it that way so I guess I have to find that sweet spot, the balance of writing for me and taking the awesome opportunities that may come my way because I have a blog that I truly love and want to cultivate.

What are your thoughts on blogging for pageviews?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Excited for the Inaugural W.E.L.L. Summit!

I have been waiting for pretty much 6 months for W.E.L.L. Summit to draw near... and here is it, almost the end of October. In just a few weeks, the team over at W.E.L.L. Summit will be throwing their inaugural event with lots of great breakout sessions, movement classes, farm to table dinners and more all with people who are interested in living well. I am super excited to have organic cocktails and wine with like minded people who I am hoping to call new friends after a couple of days, just hangin', learning to live a healthier life. I'm posting the full info on the summit so that if you just have an inkling to think about going or if you have been waiting to pull the trigger, now is the time my friends! There are a couple different options, surely one will fit your needs! I hope to see you there!

Full Experience
– Farm-To-Table Welcome Dinner
– Lunch on Friday, November 6th & Saturday, November 7th
– Breakfast on Saturday, November 7th
– Brunch on Sunday, November 8th
– 2 days of interactive and educational breakout sessions and access to wellness leaders. All breakout sessions will be capped at 30 people ensuring you will have a chance to connect with the speaker, ask questions and get your questions answered!
– Networking opportunities with wellness professionals and enthusiasts
– Exclusive gift bag filled with wellness goodies
– Exclusive offers from our Sponsors such as a two month membership to Thrive Market + 15% off of your first purchase
Weekender Pass
Here’s what your W.E.L.L.come Weekender Pass will include:
 – Farm-To-Table Welcome Dinner with Keynote Speaker Latham Thomas
– Check-in Gift Bag
– Turn-Down Gift Bag
– Access to your choice of Breakout Sessions (Saturday & Sunday)
– Saturday morning yoga class with Boston Yogi Emily Griffin (optional)
– All inclusive Saturday lunch
– Access to the L.I.V.E. W.E.L.L. Marketplace
– Sunday morning movement class (optional)
– Sunday brunch
 Weekender Pass Price: $350.

Drop me a line if you're going; I'd love to connect!

Monday, October 19, 2015

We are Faire-Weather Fans

Before the cold weather snapped us in the butt, we made our way, as a little family, down to King Richard's Faire in Carver, MA. We met up with some other couples and their little ones for what we hoped would be a fantastic day out for both the kids and the adults. We'd been a couple of years ago, sans children, and it was a good time but let's just say that it was an experiment taking children ranging in age from 16 months to 4 years old to a Ren Faire... and it seems that it was a successful one.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Being Kind as a Way of Life

Me and The Propah Toddlah in our Littlest Warrior tees

I've been working so much lately that it's been hard for me to even feel like I am "living" a life. I know, it sounds dramatic, but I have been traveling for business, been on the go, working as soon as the baby leaves for daycare and right after he goes to bed... I've barely had time to stop and think about anything but just getting through the day and then on to the next. Add in the mix that the kid has been having nasty coughing fits in the middle of the night that wake him up screaming, yeah, well, things are just dandy over here in the Propah household.

Last night, I went to bed "early" in the hopes of getting some much needed sleep but instead fell into the vortex of the 'nets on my iPad that I now know is too tempting to have on the bedside table. I started reading about gun violence, viewing people's responses to tweets, landing myself on the NRA's page. An hour and a half later, I was reading articles on why Ending Gun Violence does not start with gun control but by stopping "crazy" people. I don't know if it is the stress that I have been feeling due to work or the fact that I read an article about toddler gun deaths just this year, but I started feeling really hopeless + helpless + all those sad feelings you don't want to feel let alone right before going to sleep. It's hard for me to put into words but I don't know how I can start making a difference and I am feeling a little frustrated...

But then the baby woke up in an amazing mood today and the fact that he was so happy helped me get a little happy back. He just had a way of lifting my mood/releasing a little stress that was weighing on me and I thought about it... One thing I know that I can do every day of ma damn life, is try to Be Kind to people. It's a great rule of thumb, right? I don't know and you don't know if someone is suffering inside... your act of kindness or words of encouragement can and will go a long way. From personal experience, this week, my stress levels have peaked and therefore I have been much more sensitive + susceptible to negativity. The ability for someone else to affect my mood is tangible. I am not saying that being nice to someone has any direct correlation to ending violence (not just specifically gun violence) but at the same time, does anyone know what a little kindness could do for someone in a negative head space?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Easy (and Delicious) DIY Natural Lip Balm

Have you ever considered about making your own beauty products but stopped short because you thought it would be too difficult? Well, I'm hear to tell you that with a little time and a touch of motivation, you can make some pretty awesome stuff. A little recipe that I have tried (and really love) is one for a natural lip balm. I especially love this recipe because it can be tweaked to suit your taste and scent desires because using essential oils and extracts, you make little adjustments here and there. If you are an online savvy shopper, you can find all your ingredients on the nets but be sure to make sure you are purchasing from a reputable site, since this business is going on your sweet bod. 

What You Will Need:

·    1/8 cup Coconut Oil 
·    1/4 cup Beeswax 
·    1/8 cup Shea Butter 
·    1 tsp Coconut Extract (you can use Vanilla or Almond too)
·    1/4 cup fresh or dried herbs of your choice, rose petals works too!(I used fresh spearmint from my herb garden)
·    1 tsp Sweet Almond Oil 
·    Optional: a drop or two of  your favorite essential oil (I added two drops of spearmint essential oil)
*This concoction makes enough for about 6 small containers

Put it all together:
  1. Measure all of the ingredients  into a small saucepan. I would suggest using something that you're OK not cooking food in again. I use an old sauce pan for this + my candle making.
  2. Heat on low until everything is melted. Do not be tempted to crank up the heat. Patience is a virtue and since we're using so many oils, things will start sizzlin' at high heat.
  3. Strain out the biggest pieces of your herbs. You can leave them in for added sumpin' if you want. Totally your choice!
  4. Pour into sanitized containers that you want to use to store.
  5. Let cool completely (only a couple of hours) and they’re ready to use and share with your friends who will be completely impressed that you made your own lip balm!

Have you ever made your own beauty products?

Monday, October 5, 2015

A New Shopping Experience + Bonus Recipe

This past week I joined a bunch of awesome Boston Bloggers at the new Cost Plus World Market in Framingham, MA... and it was a new shopping experience for me. The store is fantastic and certainly a feast for the eyes... but being the sophisticated and experienced shopper that I am, I intended to make this particular evening an efficient and successful shopping event, like I always do. What I didn't expect was so many different departments with so many eclectic wares from around the globe...  we each commented at one point during the evening, that we just didn't know where to start.

L-R: Noelle of Rue le Chat, Me, Becky of Pop and Circumstance, Shauna of Like so Pretty

Any and all "game plans" went out the window and I just started meandering around the store. Of course, I had to stop for the wine tasting, which then led to the wine, which then led to the beer and then of course, I had to ditch the basket and get a cart. The selection in a World Market is truly pleasing to any wine or craft beer connoisseur. I knew I had to grab my husband some seasonal brews since he was staying home to put the baby to bed. Plus, building a six pack for my husband happens to be one of the simple joys in my life, so I built one. After making many laps around the store, stopping to chat with some "old" friends (Hi Alana, Bev, Quiana, Karen, Jenna + photo booth gals) and some new ones (Hi Maiah, Kim and Nancy!), I set my sights on updating some of my kitchen gadgets. Among other things, I snagged some absolutely adorable ceramic measuring spoons +  bowls, that will make baking + cooking all the more tres chic in my home.  As you can see below, I just had to whip up a batch of my chili seasoning to test them out (my chili is delicious by the way so I am including my seasoning recipe!)

Floral Measuring Spoons
My Chili Seasoning Recipe:

1 tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground oregano
1 tbsp. seasoned salt 
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp. dried minced onion 
1/4 tsp. garlic salt

1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt

Combine all ingredients and store to make delicious chili whenever the mood strikes you! I make mine in a huge batch so it's ready for action like Shakira says whenever, wherever. *shakes hips in celebration*

Floral Measuring Set (similar)

The prices are on point so I'll certainly be making a trip back in the very near future. There were some larger items that I just couldn't bring home without checking my spaces (area rugs, chairs, lamps etc) but I know that I can be a good (no, great!) home to many an item from World Market. It seems like the kind of place that will be different every time you go in... and that is the kind of shopping adventure that I like to go on!

Have you shopped at a World Market store? What did you think?

*This content was created in partnership with Cost Plus World Market. All opinions are 100% my own and as always, thank you for supporting Prim and Propah!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Best Beauty Products + an Exciting Giveaway

I really want you to consider making some really easy switches to natural beauty options. At first, I found this to be a daunting task. I have had some really hard core brand loyalty in the past and I didn't know how I would be able to give it up... but once you start making yourself aware of the ingredients that are in even your most "trusted brands", you'll find it easier to start acting. I teamed up with 9 amazing eco, green beauty brands to bring you a giveaway of some of my favorite products out there right now. I can recommend these products because I have used them before; I want to share them with you. Check out why I love each and every one of these products and once you are through, jump to the end of the post to enter to win all of them! Pretty sweet deal, am I right?

What you'll win: $200 worth of my favorite Good for You Beauty products!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*All items were donated to this giveaway by each of these beautiful people driven brands to help raise awareness of what we are putting on our bodies. The products that we choose to use are a decision that we shouldn't take lightly.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Greening Your Beauty Routine? KimberlyLoc Has You Covered

Ready to make the switch to natural beauty products, but feeling a little overwhelmed? You’re not alone.

I’m Kim, and I write the natural beauty blog Since starting this blog in 2010, I’ve been fascinated by how quickly exceptional green beauty products have made their way onto the market today.

While it’s amazing to have options, it can also make switching to cleaner beauty even more daunting. 

  • Where do I start?
  • How much is all this going to cost?
  • Does this stuff really work?
In my daily interactions with readers, friends, family and coworkers, my first piece of advice is always the same: Start small, and think about the products you use on a regular basis.

Most likely, those products are your daily skincare needs. This is an area where green beauty shines. Plant-based skincare that’s nourishing, gentle and targeted to whatever your skin needs exists, and it doesn’t have to be expensive.