Monday, March 28, 2016

I Tried It: Arya Essentials Face Oil

I received a sample of Arya Essentials Face Oil in my WELL Summit gift bag. There was no agreement that I would write a review or any type of stipulation given when I received the sample... it was simply put, SWAG! The fact that I reached out to the brand to write this review should reflect how much I friggin' love the Arya Essentials Face oil. It is truly one of my new favorite beauty products in my ever evolving routine; tweaking and trying new things to find my perfect beauty balance. It is most definitely on the higher end of the types of oils that I would use but that's why I am here to tell you that this is like my "Sexy, Getting Ready" face oil, like when I want to feel luxurious.

Based on the brand research that I have done, Arya Essentials is big on keeping true to Ayurveda, which is a type of alternative and complimentary medicine originating in India. Considered the oldest holistic healing system, Ayurveda is based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body and spirit. I am a firm believer in promoting good health, so a brand that full embraces that must have the right idea but has to have the product to back it up.

I have only had the opportunity to try their face oil but from the second I got a whiff, I knew I was in love. The oil does have natural fragrances so if that is something that deters you normally, you may not like the Arya face oil but I simply love it and the smell. I am not getting any younger so the fact that this oil includes Amla (or Indian Gooseberry) and Brahmi (or Herb of Grace) to boost collagen and make my wrinkles look less like a part of my face, really appeals to me. The oil applies very thinly and absorbs quickly, so you're not waiting around to stack on your other products if that is a part of your routine. I've found in my use, the oil does well on it's own, even in these Winter months but does allow for a moisturizer and even makeup to be applied after, with nice results.  A full size bottle retails for $95 which is a little more than I think I would normally spend but like I said, this is my face oil that makes me feel luminous and not going to be for my every day. Let's say that the hubby gifts it to me, well, then I might be using it more often but part of me likes having that something special to rotate in an out of the routine when I want to treat myself.


Argania Spinosa (Argan) Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis, (Sweet Almond) Oil, Centella Asiatica (Brahmi) Oil, Rosa Rubiginosa (Rose Hip Seed) Oil, Santalum, Album (Sandalwood) Oil, Phyllanthus Emblica (Amla) Extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Ocimum, Sanctum (Tulsi) Oil, Azadirachta Indica (Neem) Oil, Cananga Odorata (Ylang Ylang) Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Oil


You can find Arya Essentials on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Concealing Blemishes Naturally

Nobody on this Earth has clear skin 24/7, 365... it's just a fact. Our faces are imperfect and while there is beauty in our imperfections, take it from me, sometimes I like to cover up those blemishes and uneven skin tones. I follow my normal routine (clean face, oil or serum, followed by moisturizer) but before I apply any foundation/cover up, I do a little spot checking.  I personally love the Dream Tint tinted moisturizer from jane iredale as an everyday but what should I use when my skin is being particularly moody?

It's nice to see natural concealers getting big attention (like RMS "Un" Cover Up on Into the Gloss's recent Best Concealers article) but there are a lot of great green/clean beauty brands that are creating concealers that not only work but are safe to use! Since I haven't tried every brand on the market, I have scoured some of my fave natural beauty sites and asked some green beauty gals to see what they've got to say on the matter.

Tarte Amazonian clay waterproof 12 hour concealer comes highly recommended from green beauty blogger, Kimberly Wallace of

Beauty by Brittany recommends both Suki Correct Coverage Concealer as well the RMS "Un" Cover Up (first choice overall)

I decided to tap some of my beauty crew on Twitter. Alex and Cameron, both Follain educators, swear by W3LL People Bio Correct concealer, while Ru of Short Small Sweet recommends the RMS "Un" Cover Up:

So it looks like to me I have two fan favorites that need to be added to my try list: RMS "Un" Cover Up and the W3LL People Bio Correct concealer. Have you tried either of these yourself? I would love any and all feedback on the subject!

Do you have any recommendations?

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Sponsored Craft Redux: Revisiting an Old Craft and Making It New

Back in the early days of Prim and Propah, I knew nothing about crafting the most visually stunning post but I did know something about crafting other things... ummm, like crafts! Since it's National Craft Month (Hooray!), Wayfair tasked me with finding one of my very oldest crafts, sitting at the depth of my blog feed, to do a Redux on! Well, there were some doozies down there, let me tell you but I thought the perfect one for me and the little guy to do together would be to bring new life to this old post right here. I chose this old post for a few reasons. #1 We legit lost or misplaced this star bank. As of sometime since the kid arrived, my husband and I literally have no idea where it went. I firmly believe there was at least $30 in change in there, and possibly a few dollar bills, so as you can imagine, it hurts a little to not know where it went to. #2 My son has these little snack containers that I have a really hard time throwing out (because I love a good container) but also struggle to find new purpose for them. #3 The kid just loves putting things into other things! I thought we could use the previous directions (or lack thereof) as a starting point for this new batch!

Materials Needed in addition to the box snack containers?

Pinking Shears
Fabric Shears
Tacky Glue
1/4 yard of Clearance Fabric
Scrap of matching/complimentary fabric
Embroidery Floss Fabric Paint
Small Razor Blade

I basically used the same method that I did to "whip" up these patchwork initials for the baby's nursery but I used larger pieces for this project to save time when I had a toddler co-worker who is often affected with a short attention span. Even though I didn't do a great job explaining the process in the original post, fabric decoupaging is something I've been doing for years! The idea that I had was to cover the base of the container with our fabrics of choice and I would trim the scraps off the side with a razor blade or scissors (not to be touched by child hands)... for ease of completion, we worked in long strips that wrapped around the snack container. I let Wes play with the glue and he did a hell of a job schmering it.

I spray painted the lids on my own, outside, without the help of a child, because, you know, CHILD. Similarly, the next step is a great childless one as it involves cutting the space where you'll put your change and dollah bills. If they really want to be involved you can do the cutting and let them poke the piece through since that's obvi the funnest part.

This is a place where you could stop if you wanted but I thought it would be cute to make three of these and have a label for each of us: Me, My Husband and the Kid... you know, saving our change for the frivolous things we like to spend money on. I was a little distracted by a child painting/coloring/having fun in the same space but I managed to hand paint some white fleece that I had hanging around. I think they came out sort of cute!

As the Propah Toddlah gets older, we're going to "spoil" him less and less (or so we've decided). We think that this is a great way to show him that he can save for something fun and earn through helping him Mama and Dad out. We're not quite there yet but at least we've got the cute containers to start!

Monday, March 21, 2016

I Tried It: BeautyCounter

A couple of months back, I saw Beautycounter come across one of my social feeds and very shortly thereafter, a girl I went to High School with, knowing that I'm really trying to embrace green and clean beauty, contacted me about the Beautycounter brand. She'd recently became a consultant and seemed really passionate about the brand so I was like, sure, let's talk Beautycounter! She offered me the opportunity to try some of their best selling products so I could see the quality and safe ingredients that they use when making their essentials. How does Beautycounter compare to other brands that I'm currently using? Well, honestly, they're right up there and they're not totally overprices so I think what they've got going, is an excellent way for the green beauty movement to reach more people. Being educated is part of their mission and educating others is why I'm talking green beauty so, I appreciate what they're doing.

I've The Rose Water Uplifting Spray: You may recall that this spray made it into my Winter Skin Must Haves and it's for good reason. I keep this on hand now because my skin is dry and sometimes needs a pickmeup. I KNOW this is going to be clutch come Summer when it's hot and sticky; this will be a cool burst of freshness for this sweaty glistening lady.... and the good news? When I'm spritzing and the toddler comes along, I don't have to worry about giving him a little spray.  Check out BC's ingredient selection process here.

Another item that I tried, and loved, was the Uplifting Day Cream: it does everything you want in a moisturizer. It smooths and softens. It didn't leave my skin feeling greasy and it wore beautifully under makeup and over my face oil. I don't know that I would completely replace my moisturizer for the UDC but it's definitely a quality product, with a pleasant light scent, that would be a great addition to anyone's beauty regimen.

Something that I can foresee being a "purchase" for me, would be the Everyday Shampoo and Conditioners. I am a HUGE sucker for anything citrus but more importantly, this clarifying shampoo made my hair feel instantly cleaner after some definite build up had occurred because of my "purple" shampoo (no, I'm not a shampoo purist, yikes!). I don't wash my hair every day but this pair will work it's way into my rotation because I've been looking for a perfect clarifying shampoo and this checks a lot of boxes for me in general.

There are many more products that Beautycounter has to offer, including a new baby line that intrigues me so I might just set up a party for family and friends. No matter how much I talk to my family about natural beauty products, I get the feeling that it might not be completely sticking. I think it might be time to bring in some outside help... tell me, have you tried any of the Beautycounter products?

Friday, March 18, 2016

I Tried It: The Perfect Portion Cookbook

So you may have noticed that I've been trying to cook and bake more around the ol' homestead. Maybe it's because I've outgrown my reputation for burning instant potatoes back in high school or maybe it's because food is a lot healthier when you make it at home instead of eating out all the time, which I admit, is almost always the easiest option. So when I was approached about doing a review of a new cookbook, The Perfect Portion Cookbook,  I didn't immediately say no. I took a peek at what we'd be cooking from and I have to say that I was interested, not because of the portion control, well, yes, I guess because of the portion control!

Here's the sitch: Featuring actor/director Anson Williams from "Happy Days," The Perfect Portion cookbook launches Feb. 7th on QVC. The Perfect Portion Cookbook is written by New York Times best-selling cookbook author, Bob Warden and food and nutrition expert, Mona Dolgov of Natick, Mass. and was just featured on the TODAY show and on The Doctors as a new way to think about portion control and nutrition. The remarkable recipes are all divisible by 100 so readers can eat what they love and enjoy 100, 200 or 300 or 400 calorie portions. Delicious recipes like French toast, chili, chicken pot pie, and lasagna swap out better-for-you ingredients that don’t sacrifice flavor and taste better than the originals.

When I first received the cookbook, I was a little surprised at just how many recipes were included. Each page had a tried and true, easy to make recipe... most importantly, they all look like they tasted yummy! Portion control tips and tricks for each recipe are noted on the pages, so it's super easy to be like OK, I eat this much and it's 100 calories. It's actually a  REALLY easy cookbook to follow. I mean it. Something I have always wanted to do was to wrap something in parchment paper and bake it in the oven. Why have I never done it? I guess I thought it would be too hard/time consuming... but on a lunch hour this week, I grabbed some Tilapia and I made myself a yummy (and healthy) lunch, baked fish packets with dill!

I literally had all the ingredients in my house: tilapia fillets, lemon juice, butter, minced garlic, salt, pepper and dill. See? Totally doable whether you are spontaneous or if you're putting it in your meal planner! My lunch was quick, easy, healthy and tasty... what more could you ask for? 

There are so many other recipes that I am dying to try (eggplant parm casserole, turkey tetrazzini, ratatouille & sausage bake, sweet potato hash and so much more!) that I have been adding them to my meal planner and ensuring that everything is in stock. I really feel like this cookbook has challenged me to make things that have always seemed difficult but really aren't. I know they set out to teach me portion control but to me, this cookbook is more than that. I really do love it, so much that I left a review on Amazon for good measure. I'd like to see this cookbook succeed, that's for sure!

Have I piqued your interest? Grab your copy on Amazon today!

*I received a copy of The Perfect Portion Cookbook for review. All opinions are 100% my own and as always, thanks for supporting the brands that help Prim and Propah every day!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Hello, Beauty with Whole Foods

I have to credit Whole Foods for being the catalyst in my life, encouraging me to be more conscious of the items in our bathroom and in my makeup bag. You may recall that I attended a Hello! Beauty event in Lynnfield, MA this time last year where a few green beauty brands basically opened my eyes to what's lurking in some of even the most commonly used products out there. In the past year, I have done a pretty good job of educating myself and others about the responsibility to be a mindful consumer. Being that the Hello Beauty bag is what started all of this, it should be no surprise that I am wicked excited about this year's!

Included in the Hello, Beauty bag this year (and for only $15 dollars!):

  • Dr. Hauschka Soothing Cleansing Milk
  • derma e Purifying 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask
  • Acure Pore Minimizing Facial Scrub
  • evanhealy Rose Geranium Toner HydroSoul
  • Trilogy Rosehip Oil Antioxidant+
  • MyChelle Perfect C Serum
  • Mineral Fusion Lash Curling Mineral Mascara in Gravity Black
  • Burt's Bees Sunset Cruise Lip Stick
  • Weleda Skin Food
  • Riji Green Organic Cotton Bag to hold it all!

What a collection, am I right? These will be available in store for one day only on Friday March 18th and each store will have a limited quantity so you'll want to make it your business to get in there before work or on your lunch hour. Priced at $15, the Hello Beauty! bag is an AMAZING deal. Plus, if you're shopping Whole Foods for beauty this weekend, their facial care sale is great, 25% off Friday, Saturday and Sunday! What do ya say? Are you headed to Whole Foods this weekend? Make sure to check your local store's schedule... I know there are some great beauty centered events coming soon!

*Whole Foods provided me with this Hello! Beauty bag but all opinions are 100% my own. Heck, I bought my own last year so you know I love it!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Crane and Lion's MGH Cancer Center Tight

As you know, I am a super big fan of yoga and of yoga apparel. You may also know that I love to support a good cause, because it's charitable people that really do help the world go 'round. When I was at the Crane and Lion event last month, I was introduced to a pair of yoga/fitness tights where the entire proceeds from the sale go directly to the One Hundred and Mass General Cancer Center....the one hundred was created and is supported by the Mass General Cancer Center to raise awareness in the fight against cancer. From purchases of this pant, 100% of the proceeds are donated back to the one hundred. Talk about a treating yourself with some major added benefits. As you may recall from my previous blog post, the C&L apparel quality is spot on so if you are looking to purchase a new pair or fitness leggings, please consider the MGH Cancer Tights because you'll feel good wearing them, literally and figuratively!

You can find Crane and Lion on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Interested in learning more about the one hundred and their efforts? Find them online and Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Budget Friendly Bathroom Refresh

* This Budget Friendly Bathroom Refresh is sponsored by World Market.

We have this bathroom in our finished basement. It's got a toilet and a sink and even a shower so by all definitions, this is a working and functional bathroom. My office space, laundry area and where my husband plays video games are all located close to this bathroom. For a space where we spend so much time, I have yet to "do anything" with it. Sure, I hung up a shower curtain, put out some hand soap and keep it stocked with toilet paper but I've never thought to make any changes until recently. What this bathroom needed was a quick refresh that wouldn't stress us out and wouldn't kill our monthly budget... so I am going to take you on a little Before+After adventure where you will see a really noticeable change for just about $200!

So what does a refresh on a budget entail? Well, we aren't replacing anything major, like no new toilet, shower and definitely not taking out the vanity and redoing any plumbing *shudders*. There are some quick and simple things that we could do that would make an impact and not break the bank. Let's take a look at what we're workin' with!

See? It's not so bad but it could definitely use a little something! Here's what we did to make this bathroom a little more sassy without spending a ton of sweet moola! 

Paint Some Stuff: We repainted the walls from this matte very light blue to a more bathroom friendly, very sunshiney yellow. It did wonders for lighting the room up and of course, makes the space feel different. If your space is small, a coat of paint or two will really make a difference and won't cost a ton of money. Doesn't this color make the water closet "Boom Boom Pow"?! Editor's Note: A coat of paint in a bathroom can be an undertaking and may cause "irritated spouse syndrome" for a brief period of time.

Quick Decor: Little to no work and a few items that pop and your space is Va Va Voom! My bathroom had nothing special to call it's own but I swapped out our very blah shower curtain for this Coral Treetop Shower Curtain and brought in towels especially for this space (these gorgeous Alexandra Linen Flower Bath Towels).  Toss out a classic neutral bath mat, some bathroom accessories, sweet smelling tealights, pretty candles and a new hand soap... and the space really comes together very quickly. Since this is our "guest-ish" bathroom, I set out some soap, lotion, washcloths and towels for them to use! Also, I am a huge fan of trinkets and baubles so if you see 'em and you like 'em, then you buy 'em!

Frame Sentimental (Free) Artwork: A simple way to dress up the walls in any room you want to "refresh" is to frame sentimental artwork. My husband and toddler worked together on a drawing a couple weeks ago and I think they were both equally surprised when I loved it so much that I wanted to hang it on the wall as artwork. I collaborated on my own piece of toddler art and added it to the mix. This is more affordable than buying an art print and is meaningful too! "Propah Art" framed in these World Market Antique Zinc Metal Vertical Frames for your viewing pleasure!

Add a Houseplant: This is one of my favorite things to do in any room, really. I love plants and think that they add that certain something (living) to any space. Of course, you have to keep them alive, but there are plenty of hardy houseplants that will survive under the most extreme instances of "Forgetful Mom Brain". I added this Live Variegated Ivy in Burlap to the window ledge and it just livens things up, making it a little more personal (along with my previously mentioned trinkets and baubles). A little seasonal flare, like this hyacinth plant not only adds to the looks but smells like a dream in such a small space!

With some simple things, we really made this bathroom and cozy space that is inviting for us and for guests alike. It's not just all "business" now, it's a piece of our home that reflects a little bit of us!

*World Market provided me with a gift card to do this bathroom refresh on a budget. Though we worked together, my opinions are still 100% my own. Know this, with WM fares, a room refresh on a budget is an easy task.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

CVS' Friendly Nudge to Health + Wellness

It's been awhile since I was invited to a tour of a new CVS store concept, and it's been just as long since the #PropahToddlah and I went on an adventure to a CVS store similar, close to where we live... but the message that I want to convey is still here and waiting for me to deliver it. You can live a healthier life and find healthier options more and more places that you go, CVS included. CVS made a remarkable step towards wellness a few years back when they removed cigarettes for sale in their locations. Now, their team is looking to other avenues to provide consumers with those options closer to home and easier to find.

He says, excuse the boogie, but we were there for tissues LOL

CVS has given us guides to follow in store that can help you make better decisions about what you're consuming. Sure, they still have our guilty treats (hello, Doritos, I see you) but they also make it easier to find a healthier option if that is what you are looking for. Something that I am happy to see is that the beauty team is bringing in more natural options for consumers and do highlight the section with signage. If this is something you strive towards, like me in an effort to be conscious of what I am putting on my body and that of my sweet baby man, it's very encouraging that you can find some options here. I do caution that while there are great brands that I would use being sold at CVS, you should still be a mindful consumer, doing research on which ingredients you should avoid (ie anything that says "fragrance"), checking the labels just in case.... but seriously, I think what CVS is doing is kind of amazing. As a brand, they are nudging us to be healthier. They're not putting their agenda on their consumers but yet they are making the options readily available and therefor way more attainable, something that is very important in our busy on the go lifestyles.

I'd love to know what you think about CVS and the offerings that they provide. Do you swear by CVS brand? Do you make a trip in 2 times a week like I do? The ease of finding a lot of the things I need in one spot makes CVS the perfect spot for a quick stop on the way home!

*I was invited to a CVS store tour and provided with some products to try but all opinions are 100% my own.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Recipe: Banana Oatmeal Cookies

I've been loving my new found joy of baking lately, you may recall my Coffee Drop Cookies or the Old Fashioned Sour Cream ones from the McCall's Cookie Collection... these Banana Oatmeal cookies were PERFECT when I had some brown bananas that I just didn't have the heart to throw in the trash. I usually whip up a loaf of banana bread but this easy recipe may just work it's way into my regular banana rotation! 


1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup soft butter or margarine
1 cup of sugar
1 egg
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup raw quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Sift Flour with salt, baking soda, nutmeg and cinnamon; set aside. In a large bowl, mix  butter, sugar and with handheld mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in bananas and vanilla extract until smooth. Gradually stir in the flour mixture and oats until well combined. Stir in nuts and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and grease your cookie sheet. Drop batter by the round teaspoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto the cookie sheets. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden. Let cool before enjoying!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Local Lovin': Bash Studio and The Everyday Napkin

HAPPY MARCH! MEET THE EVERYDAY NAPKIN AND LIVE A LITTLE MORE SIMPLY. I can't exactly remember when it was that I first discovered Kathryn Yee's brainchild, The Everyday Napkin but I do know that over the last year, I have seen her local presence + creations grow and her offerings become more robust. Her team has really worked hard to create a "brand" that is both stylish and sustainable! I can't wait to see what Kathryn and her team are up to in the future; by the way it's shaping up, there are great things to come!

Credit Photographer: Arielle Doneson
Give us a little background as to how The Everyday Napkin and Bash Studio came about. What initially drove you to start?

Prior to starting Bash Studio, I had spent almost 10 years in graphic design and brand strategy. I found that planning and styling events was a natural transition from creating brand experiences. After making cloth cocktail napkins for an event, I started to think about the usability and functionality of a cloth napkin. Growing up, traditional cloth napkins were only used on special occasions. So, I thought if these cloth cocktail-sized napkins were just a little larger and sized to a paper napkin, they would be perfect for using every day. Added bonus: using smaller sized cloth napkins would be much more efficient and take up significantly less space (especially in small city living spaces like ours!) than our traditional dinner napkins. My mom and I explored the size, construction and started to sew. Developing The Everyday Napkin has allowed me to build my own brand and create a product I am truly passionate about. It’s something everyone can use every day. Looking back, it was critical that I took the risk and give myself the opportunity to get to this moment. My background was key in starting The Everyday Napkin.

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

I pull inspiration from fashion, home finishes, textiles, and color trends. Online blogs and magazines like Remodelista, Domino, and Rue magazine are constant sources of inspiration. Behind any beautiful product needs a strong business so reading Fast Company and Inc. magazine have been helpful tools as well. It’s important that we develop products that become a part of your lifestyle, feel good in your home when you’re enjoying your favorite meal, and are reminiscent of making memories with family and friends. I’m constantly inspired by my customers and the lives they are living. Learning from and looking at brands that have come before us who do it really well is something we are doing constantly. Having virtual mentors and companies that I look up to in the industry keeps me focused on the dream of growing The Everyday Co. and the direction that I have always envisioned.

I admire that affecting your environment was one of the driving forces in your business. Reusable and Re-purposed napkins handmade with love. What is it about "simple living" that you love so much?

Living more simply is something I have been personally trying to practice and I admire those who are doing it among everything going on around us. Living simple means clearing out the clutter in your life or home, creating a healthy space and being more aware of the “stuff” that creates waste. Living simple means going back to your roots, enjoying the simple things in life like good company, conversation and valuing your relationship with not only those around you but yourself and your impact on this planet. The Everyday Napkin is inspired by simple living but more importantly I hope it inspires others to find what it means to do the same.

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

Capturing time when I’m not running The Everyday Co. is pretty limited but when I get a moment or two I’m headed to a yoga or barre class, maybe a run with my husband, Jake (an avid runner!), or getting a good walk in with a cold-pressed juice in-hand! But most of all, Jake and I really enjoy using our time to visit family and friends, indulge in a good meal and great conversation whether it’s at a new restaurant, local favorite or at home with friends. Quality time is the best time you have. If we’re lucky, taking a day trip to discover new places and finding beautiful spots in New England is always an adventure. You can also find me searching for the best homemade ice cream—I love ice cream! There is no doubt, the balance is tough but you have to do your best to find it.

Credit Photographer: Arielle Doneson
You have certainly found some fantastic early success! Where do you see The Everyday Napkin headed in the future?

Thank you! We had a great first year at The Everyday Napkin and we certainly don’t take any of it for granted. We will be launching The Everyday Handkerchief and debuting them at special event at Urban Grape on April 3rd. Tickets are available here! I’ve invited Natalie Pinney from Whim Events to join us to help event hosts and brides with ideas on how to personalize their event or wedding with custom details that become long-lasting keepsakes. Our Everyday Handkerchiefs are cut and sewn to order and hand-embroidered with a single monogram or full initials. They are simply unique, beautiful and one-of-a-kind. We think it’s the perfect gift and keepsake for a bride, maid of honor, bridesmaids, groom, groomsmen, parent and anyone who has supported the couple in the planning process. With over 30 thread colors, you can customize your Everyday Handkerchiefs and our full line of dinner napkins and cocktail napkins that are customizable for any event or wedding!

For any small business with a dream, there is always work to be done. The Everyday Napkin will soon be The Everyday Co. and launching soon! This will allow us to grow company into a home goods and lifestyle brand with more products from us, and possibly fellow local makers, who all share the same vision as us. The Everyday Napkin will always be our original and signature product. I hope to grow the team, scale and be more efficient. You have to think about all the aspect of a successful business!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Beginner Tips on Shopping Ethically w/ Ethica

You'll be hearing me talk more about the W.E.L.L. Summit in more detail this year but I still have to tell you about some of the things that I have been learning about more in the past few months. The WS was one of those unique situations where you don't have a clear picture (completely) of what to expect but whatever expectations that you had were blown out of the water! You may remember my Sleep Well post a month or two back so it may surprise you me taking this next WS sponsor post in a little bit different direction. There was a team of people at the WELL Summit from Ethica. Their goal is to take some of the guess work out of ethical shopping and bring both mindful consumers and thoughtful brands together. They do a great job of curating pieces that are both stylish and take sustainability into consideration while highlighting the very real impacts of our collective consumption choices. I asked Melissa Cantor, founder of Ethica, to sort of just tell us how to start. It can be daunting to want to make your life more sustainable in every area so she's here to take us by the hand, tell us it will be OK and to just get started.

The first piece of advice that I give to people who are new to ethical and sustainable fashion is to start asking questions – where something was made, and what it's made of. Country of origin and material composition are shorthands and not guarantees by any means, but generally speaking, labor standards are better in the developed world, and natural or recycled materials have a lesser environmental impact than synthetics. (Polyester is basically petroleum!) Beyond that, it's not always easy to know whether a brand is greenwashing or selectively highlighting some facts for marketing purposes, but in my experience, the more thought that a company puts into its decisions, the more it's willing to engage in a conversation about them. If you have a question about a product, write the company who makes it! Their answer may or may not be what you hoped to hear, but it will definitely tell you a lot.

Another piece of advice I frequently offer is not to let perfect be the enemy of the good, in two senses: One, shopping ethically is a process that gets easier with time. I wouldn't make a vow to transform my shopping habits overnight anymore than I would promise to work out 6 times a week without building up to it. Sustainable fashion is a new, evolving field that is completely reshaping existing business models. Things are changing, quickly, and there's new information and more to learn more every day, so it can all feel overwhelming. Do your best, within your budget. If you have devoted careful thought to a purchase, I'd call that a successful exercise in mindful shopping.

Two, there's no such thing as the perfect product. If you're looking for something that's 100% animal-free, you will likely make a different decision than someone who is looking for the most natural material available. If you want to support local brands, you'll end up with something different than someone who wants her purchase to support artisans abroad. The important thing is for you to know the backstory behind an item or brand, be confident that you'll get good use out of it, and feel that the values behind it align with yours.

See? It's all about putting thought into your purchases. This goes for everything into your life. Be educated and make yourself aware. Knowledge is (purchasing) power and know that you can't make these changes overnight. It's a process and one that you can start today.

Pictured: Pima Doll topPashen Collection Fringed Alpaca ScarfBahva Vegan Open Toe Boots

You can find Ethica on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and of course, on their website!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Girls Night Out with Jenny Johnson of NESN

I love a good Girls Night Out, especially because they don't happen all that often for me these days. I recently received a press release for the Girls Night Out event which also doubles as a fundraiser. You know how much I love a good cause so if you're local, grab your best gal pal and join us for an evening of flirty fun. All event proceeds benefit the Ellie Fund, a Boston local charity helping those affected by breast cancer, so I mean, you can feel good about it!


Indulge in hors d’ouevres, swag bag giveaways, beauty treatments, and enjoy Champagne On The Rocks with Emcee Jenny Johnson, Emmy-Award Winning Producer + Co-host of NESN’s Dining Playbook + Founder of ChampyTickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. This is a 21+ event. Ticket price includes one swag bag, one glass of Champy, and access to all interactive activities including hors d'ouevres, floral arrangement tutorials, fashion vignettes and much more! FUN!
Showcase Cinema de Lux Legacy Place - 690 Legacy Place Dedham, MA 02026
So if you're free, the ticket price is very manageable for any girl in your squad and the outcome will likely be FUN FOR ALL, so why not send out an email and get the girls together for a fun night outside of Boston where the parking is free and the activities will be plentiful!
Doesn't this sound like a fun evening?!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Curated Spa Day Gift Bags

You may have seen some of my instagram snaps all about the #When2BecomeWard Bridal shower/bachelorette bonanza from this past weekend but I thought I would share a little more about the actual spa day + what we did for my Sister's Bachelorette weekend! We had a blast together getting to know all the ladies who are involved with making my lil's sis' big day a spectacular one and a part of that was all about making people feel special. I spent some of the weeks leading up to the weekend making zip pouches and working with some natural beauty brands to put together some curated spa day gift bags, which were a COMPLETE HIT! I used this quick tutorial from See Kate Sew to make the gift bags a little more personal... I then filled those little loves with some green beauty business so I could help educate my new friends about how great it really is!

The curated items for the Spa Day gift bags are ones that I chose myself and are consistent with what I would use and do use in my every day life. This was a great opportunity to introduce some ladies and even a yogi to some natural brands so that they now know that Natural and Green Beauty is very approachable + attainable with just a little bit of knowledge.

Arya Essentials Face Oil: This brand was first introduced to me at the WELL Summit last November and boy, did I ever love this Face Oil. It is luxurious, smells like Heaven and really leaves your skin feeling soft, supple and deeply hydrated using all natural essential oils + herbs. You can see my full review here but suffice to say that this was one product that I wanted the girls to try. I know there is a stigma around oils being, well, oily but I want to change that viewpoint! My direction: Use after your shower on a damp face then follow with your moisturizer. 

Skincando: I was at Follain in Boston at one point last year and received a sample of the Skincando Combat balm which was pretty much the best thing that ever happened to my cracked New England hands. We've found that it's great for chapped lips and minor burns too. After trying the Miracle Cream, I came to fully appreciate the efforts of the Skincando team to provide natural skincare products that won't break the bank. You can see my full review here: My direction: Apply combat-balm to any number of issues including dry, chapped skin and minor burns+skin irritations. Apply miracle cream and eye balm over your face oil, under your sunscreen.

Thesis Beauty Lavender Body Oil: Thesis Beauty was one of my first "green beauty" loves. They were a gateway in some ways to my introduction to natural and conscientious beauty products. Thought I have tried many products since, Thesis still maintains it's spot in my beauty regimen because they're just that good! The Lavender body oil is a gorgeously scented and highly luxurious. My direction: Apply after a nice shower or a long bath to keep your skin moisturized while also treating yourself to a little self care.

Zoya Nail Polish: Five Free, Vegan Friendly and one of the brands with the most variety of toxin free polishes, why wouldn't I recommend this to my ladies? Painting your nails while still being natural was never so fashionable. My direction: paint your nails and be sure to let them dry before trying to put your keys in the ignition or going to bed.

21 Drops Calm, Focus and Sleep Blends: I've been using the 21 Drops sleep blend for over 6 months now and I love it. Every single drop. I find it to be calming, soothing and really does a great job of assisting in the "getting to sleep" process. I wanted the girls to know that there are ways to help focus + calm ourselves while using essential oil blends. You can read my full thoughts on 21 Drops here. My direction: We used Focus before yoga, we used Calm after yoga and before our spa services and let them know that about 1/2 hour before bedtime, Sleep would be fantastic. I can't wait to hear their thoughts.