Friday, April 29, 2016

The Perfect Treat Yourself Day

Last week, I took the day off from work and booked it outta my house for a day specifically for me! No ifs, ands or buts about it, I needed a day of self care and time by myself to reflect on my business but mostly to treat myself to some services, yummy food and shopping where I don't have a toddler hanging off of me! Thing is, you gotta have a plan so you can make the most of your time away because, eventually, reality beckons and you've got to get back. I have some tips and tricks on how I make the most out of my days off, so what are you waiting for? Treat Yo Self!

Find a spot where you can do a lot at once: I love The Street in Chestnut Hill. You may have seen me post about them before. What I love about this shopping center is that it can be a one stop shop for me and for a day like this, it was the perfect destination. With nail salons, facialists, blow dry bars, makeup, food and shopping it only made sense to plan a day at The Street because I wouldn't need to go anywhere else!

Make a plan: Don't just head out without a plan. Big mistake, lady! If you want the day to go as smoothly as possible, to keep you relaxation level at "total zen" all day, then you have to do the legwork in advance. Make appointments, don't just wing it. Here's an example of my game plan:

830am: Amazing manicure and pedicure at Miniluxe
1100am:  Fabulous Fitskin facial with the team at skoah
1200pm: Lunch break at the delicious Juice Press
1245pm: Post Lunch Stop at Splendid, because you know I gotta shop!
130pm: Wash and Style at Be Styled Blow Dry Bar
2:30pm: Pick up some makeup at Bluemercury
3:00pm: Sipping on Tea at David's Tea

See? It's a plan. I made appointments where necessary but knew that I would have to go with the flow but if you've got an idea of what you want to achieve, then you'll need to map it out or that day off/away, won't be as dreamy as you'd like.

Have fun/ a great attitude: If you're feeling good and exuding good vibes, you'll be happy and you'll be making others around you happy as well! Isn't it scientifically proven that if you smile you'll be happier even if you're not happy right that moment? (stops to try it) Note: BE HAPPY!

Cherish the time: Enjoy each and every piece of your day individually. While getting your nails done, enjoy the process, take in your surrounding, chat with your manicurist. Getting a facial or massage? Let yourself relax and sink into the really special service you're receiving.  Eat your food slowly, appreciate the time you've got in the hair chair, take your sweet time choosing a new tea to try. This is your day to relax and rejuvenate yourself, whatever it is that makes you happy!

What do you do on your days off? What makes you feel special?!

* I worked with The Street on an Instagram takeover. Some services were complimentary while others I paid for myself. All opinions are 100% my own. I just want you to Treat Yo Self!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Earth Day: Starting Your Garden in a Mindful Way

Boom, it's Earth Day! I mean, every day should be Earth Day because we live on this planet and should take care of it each and every day but we can embrace the date on the calendar and use it as a catalyst to make some changes in our every day lives. We've been trying to make small adjustments in the Propah Household, as we go along, to make less of a footprint in our home. (recycling, consuming less, reusing, DIY with what we have instead of buying new, etc). No single family is perfect but we sure are trying! One of my favorite things about the Spring is starting my garden. In the past, I'd bought trays upon trays of the plastic seed starter kits, which #1 are wasteful of resources and #2 don't do that great of a job anyhow... I mean, you have to get those seedlings out and I can never seem to transplant without a few little plants losing their lives. *pours one out* This year, I decided I was going to do things differently. With the help of my little sous gardener, we started our little garden with things I had "hanging" around the house!

Items you can use to start seeds: I prefer items that will break down when planted in their "forever home"

Toilet Paper Tubes
Egg cartons (cardboard)
Stale Ice Cream Cones
Used Ziploc bags and wet paper towels (they started beans like this at daycare, just tape 'em to the window!)
Newspaper, think paper mache!
Egg shells, interested to try though would require me not to break them fully, which would be a challenge.
Old Muffin tins (just slip in cupcake papers!)
Old Ice Cube Tray
Old K-cups, though they won't breakdown, is certainly a way to re-use!

Items you can use as planters:

Milk Cartons or jugs
Soup Cans
Soda Bottles
Plant Sacks
Plastic Water bottles
Pretty much anything, just be sure you account for drainage!

Items you can use that are mindful:

Organic soil: it's a touch more expensive but if you're growing edibles, it's great for the environment and your peace of mind.
Reusable plant sacks and planters. Keep using them for years and years!
Also, When buying plants at your garden center, look for ones that are in recycled container or better yet ones that will break down when planted. You'll find a lot of brands offer this option!

Obviously, these are just a start and there are so many ways that you can make your garden more Earth friendly than it already is, I mean, it's already pretty earthy-crunchy! We love this time we get to spend together and it's a real treat to be able to recycle, re-use and reduce when we're creating our garden!

Kneeling Pad, Garden Tools Caddy, Plant Sack, Gardening Gloves, Garden Twine

Do you have any "hacks" for starting your garden at home that keeps the environment in mind?

Monday, April 18, 2016

Orvis Spring Collection #SpringIntoOrvis

*I received complimentary product from Orvis for this review.

I'd never shopped with Orvis before starting this campaign and to be honest, I sort of thought that they were specifically for fishing gear; I'd only vaguely heard of them. When I had the opportunity to shop their Spring collection, I was actually surprised by how many wearable pieces that they carry. Not only do they have dresses and skirts but they carry active wear as well! I needed something that I could wear on a cool morning jog then not have to worry about a quick transition to running errands or playing with the guys. You see, I may be a bloggin' girl but I'm living my life over here. Planning a photo shoot with my Orvis goods was going to be a struggle with the #PropahToddlah so what I did was just grab my camera on a Saturday morning, ask the hubs to get involved and try to catch some moments with my son and furbaby. What's great about the Orvis Spring Collection is that it's perfect for the type of active lifestyle that I have, even if I'm not fly fishing or hiking everyday, ya know? We had our coffee, took some snaps and that's what I love about my new pullover; it was along for the ride! + Thumbholes!

Besides the sunshield pullover hoody (perfect for the chilly Spring run-jogs!). I grabbed the Striped Knit Tee Shirt Dress and a pair of grey Sperry Seacoast Canvas Sneakers, you know, for a classic nautical look for Summer. I'm actually really drawn to the dresses that they're carrying right now. Super simple but classic and versatile. I've got my eyes on a plaid popover number for this Summer! So now that I've piqued your interest and all that, there's something exciting that Orvis is working on!

Influence Central along with Orvis is hosting a contest for the new spring collection available at Orvis through which Prim and Propah readers can enter to win one of ten $100 gift codes to Orvis. Contest opens on March 28, 2016 and closes May 2, 2016. Readers can enter by choosing a social media sharing option from the social media tool below! Can't wait to shop? Orvis has kindly offered coupon code: ICSPRING for $25 off a purchase of $50 or more (good until September 30th, 2016)... so what are you waiting for? Enter the giveaway and head over to Orvis to check out their Spring Collection!

Refresh Your Wardrobe Giveaway

*Influence Central will randomly select 10 winners from all program entries and will handle fulfillment of the winning prizes.

Friday, April 15, 2016

The Paper Store Blogger Event

Last week, I had the opportunity to hit up The Paper Store at Legacy Place (in Dedham, MA) for a "Cupcakes and Cocktails" event to celebrate TPS's new Spring style collections! I will admit, as a long time Paper Store shopper, I never really venture into the area with apparel and flip flops as I'm usually headed to the greeting cards, wrapping paper and the occasional gift for a wedding or shower of some sort... so when actually introduced to the types of things that they carry, I was surprised by how cute and wearable everything is. I guess my previous thinking was that my Grandma might be smitten with a sweater that they carry but The Paper Store fashion and jewelry buyers (on site for the party) changed the way that I looked at the TPS fashion. They made note that they have staffers at their corporate office, of all different ages, try on the clothes they are looking to carry. If it doesn't resonate with them, then they're likely not going to carry it. It's important for them to meet the needs of many different type of woman, no matter her age. I like that but maybe it's because I like being catered to *winky face*.

While I will still be going to The Paper Store for all manner of greeting card goodness and of course my Hallmark ornaments come Christmas time, I won't be wholly ignoring the fashion and accessories section any longer. Thanks for the introduction The Paper Store, like I needed another reason to buy clothes!

*Thanks for sharing your photos of the event, The Paper Store!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Cycle for Friendship with REV'd and Legacy Place

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Today is one of those days where I'm like, can I be super woman and literally do a morning spin sesh before I head to Yoga Reaches Out? When I heard about the Cycle for Friendship event at Legacy Place, I was immediately like I'M DOING THIS! Then I looked at the date and I deflated like an old balloon... dang it, when am I ever busy? But I digress. What an amazing cause and if you're available and able to get to Legacy Place in Dedham, MA this event looks awesome. You can get your sweat on for a great cause, Best Buddies, which helps fund leadership and educational programs for the intellectually and developmentally disabled.

It will be held on Legacy Place’s newly renovated event space, The Gardens, located directly across from Shake Shack. Each ride is $30 and includes yoga and swag bags from Best Buddies and Legacy Place. Guests are encouraged to sign up online in advance at

Rev’d, Dedham’s leading indoor cycling studio, will provide bikes, high-energy instruction and complimentary cycling shoes for the cycling event while a live DJ will provide an adrenaline-inducing soundtrack. Guests also have the option to bring their own SPD or DELTA clip shoes. Rides will begin at 8am and are offered on the hour through 11am. After 45 minutes of spinning, participants will be treated to a Yoga Cool Down class hosted by Stil Studio as well as swag bags from Best Buddies and Legacy Place. One hundred percent of the Cycle for Friendship proceeds will directly benefit Best Buddies.

Making for a complete celebration, Legacy Place will also host a Block Party for riders and their supporters, from 12-1pm in The Gardens. It will include refreshments, menu sampling from participating restaurants, fitness swag, and games such as oversized tic-tac-toe, connect-4 and cornhole.

Doesn't this sound AMAZING? Do you think I could slip in for that 8am ride and then head to Yoga Reaches Out? Would that be impossible or just very possible? The jury is out on what I'll do but I encourage you all to get your fit on and feel good inside and out about all the awesome things you will have accomplished in just about an hour!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Yoga Reaches Out 2016

You may have heard that I am participating in yet another year of Yoga Reaches Out New England and I can't tell you how excited that I am. Last year was a truly exceptional experience for me, being that I had an infant and was still breast feeding... I'm pretty sure it was the longest I was away from him save a work trip I had been on... but the difference is that it was a day for me to connect with myself doing something that I truly enjoy, practicing yoga with like-minded yogis!

As you may already know, the day isn't just about practicing yoga but it's about giving back and helping organizations that are more than worthy. The mission of Yoga Reaches Out is to create seva (selfless service) by raising funds for organizations that impact the health, education, and well-being of children. This year the funds raised are going toward the Wellness Program at Boston Children's Hospital, an organization that has done amazing things for the Kids of New England. To even stop and think about sick kids and their needs, I could start tearing up, because, well, I'm an ol' mushball now.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Empower Field House
at Gillette Stadium

One Patriot Place
Foxboro, MA 02035

Along with my team, I'll be joining Join Kathryn Budig, Jacqui Bonwell, Rhia Cataldo, Jordan Lashley, Caitlin Marcoux, David Vendetti, Willa Worsfold, musical guests, DJ Mantra, Kevin Paris, and Ida Jo, with returning Master of Ceremonies, Rebecca Pacheco, Media Gal, Sue Brady and Special Half-Time JourneyDance led by Toni Bergins! Not only that, the lovely Sara Divello is instructing and she's just a doll! I'm so excited!

So do you really want to go and grow? Well guess what my friends, there is still time I promise you! The fundraising minimum is $250 and I know that with a thoughtful email here and a friendly call there, you could raise that money in the next two weeks with time to spare! Register today and if you need a team to join, Revolution Community Yoga (my team) is super stoked that we have the largest team to date for the studio, which is exciting that we have so much engagement!

I'll certainly be updating you all the week after the yogathon to tell you all about this year's experience as well as to let you know who won the lululemon X posh and prep yoga mats. There's still time to donate to a great cause and enter for your chance to win one of three gorgeous mats. Won't you consider a tax deductible contribution?

*This post was written as a part of the Yoga Reaches Out Street Team!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Local Lovin': The Optimist Co.

I met Devin of The Optimist Co last Fall at The WELL Summit and was immediately smitten with her brand. "Recognizable is the new natural and our ingredients make it easy to identify our products are safe. No chemistry degree required." Her story is one that I'm sure many can relate to; if you want to see change, make it happen yourself. I found her attitude to be positive (hello, Optimist!) and she really has built her business from the ground up. Her session at the WELL Summit wasn't one that was "hocking" her cleaning products but rather she taught us how we could make our own. That shows a true love for her mission. She wants us to be healthy and happy, our homes clean but not to our detriment. I had the chance to ask Devin a little bit about The Optimist Co. and what they've got going on...

Give us a little background as to how The Optimist Co. came about. What initially drove you to start?

After the birth of my first child I put a great deal of effort into finding safe, organic and green products for my home, including my cleaning products. It was during my second pregnancy that I suffered an asthma attack using one of these leading “green” cleaning sprays. After looking at the label, I realized I would practically need a chemistry degree to read and understand the ingredients. This sent me on a new mission to make my own cleaning products with ingredients I could both recognize and trust as safe. No Chemistry degree required!

My friends and family were amazed at how well these handcrafted cleaning products worked and how incredible the pure essential oils I used smelled. Their feedback is what sparked my idea I could turn my cleaning produces passion into a business.

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

I believe that you should use produces that make you feel good. We are way to accustomed to using harsh products to clean that give us headaches, skin irritation and burn our eyes. I wanted to inspire chemical free cleaning in a really positive way as I know how much information we are bombarded with daily as we try to make better choices for our families. I did not want to make switching your cleaning products to safe option to be a stressful task but one that makes you feel excited and happy! This inspiring spirit is what lead to the name The Optimist Co.

When I formulate new products I stick to a simple system. Are these ingredients I can recognize? Are they safe? Do they work? We have a DIY Kit that teaches our customers how to handcraft their own cleaning products so ingredients must be easy to access and are usually found in your pantry or refrigerator.

Tell us a little bit more about your "GreenUps”.

I love to get face time with our customers, hear their stories and use their feedback to develop new products. A GreenUp is a great way to learn about our products and how to clean without chemicals in a fun, relaxed environment. We are all at different stages in our green awareness and journeys so I keep the conversation very open and supportive. It is always helpful to see a product you are new too in action as well and see how great they clean and smell.

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

I am from Michigan originally so living here and exploring New England has been a fun adventure. I am so lucky to call Cape Cod home and my daughters and are are going to make a Cape summer beach and bucket list. After 4 pm you can park at most beaches for free so we like to pack a dinner picnic and explore new areas outside of our beach sticker reach. We are working on planning our first camping trip to Maine this summer as well.

You have certainly found some fantastic early success! Where do you see The Optimist Co. headed in the future?

Our Bright Side glass cleaner was just named a top Cleaning Product of 2016 by Family Circle Magazine and featured on the Today Show. We are grateful for this national recognition and business is growing quickly!

We are adding a new recurring order feature to our website so our customers can get their favorite cleaning and laundry products even easier and faster. We are also adding new stores who carry our products weekly and updating our map. Most of our store accounts come from the recommendation of our customers who tell us their favorite places to shop.

You can catch The Optimist Co on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest!

Friday, April 8, 2016

W.E.L.L. Summit Early Bird Tickets On Sale Today

I am so excited today, you guys, for a couple of reasons! #1 I wanted to tell you all that WELL Summit Early bird tickets go on sale TODAY AT 10AM! Aren't you stoked? Planning for The W.E.L.L. Summit is well underway and this year, we’re taking a bite out of the (organic) Big Apple on Friday, October 21 and Saturday, October 22! I say "we're" because #2 I'm excited to tell you that I am a WELL Summit Brand Ambassador this year. So cool, right? You'll be hearing me talk more about the WELL Summit from now until October because I truly don't want you to miss out on this amazing wellness weekend. So let's get to the brass tacks! 

The Early Bird Ticket Holder Gets the Worm

Early bird ticket sales open today, Friday, April 8th at 10:00 a.m. EST!
Space is limited and attendance to The W.E.L.L. Summit is on a first come, first served basis. You don’t want to miss this!

What Can You Expect from The W.E.L.L. Summit?

Breakout Sessions. We’re known (and loved) for our intimate breakout sessions, led by wellness thought leaders. This year’s lineup will include such inspiring women as Brandie Gilliam of Thoughtfully Magazine and Siobhan O’Connor of Time Magazine. Capped at 35 attendees, our breakout sessions ensure that each you’ll enjoy an interactive experience with session leaders and fellow attendees. This is where Wellness, Empowerment, Learning & Luxury come to life!

Thoughtful Partnerships. As always, we seek to partner with innovators, game changers and trailblazers in the wellness industry. The W.E.L.L. Summit partners work closely with us to create the most memorable W.E.L.L. Summit experience possible! Petit Vour, Birch Benders, Owl’s Brew & Prairie Organics were just some of our incredible partners at last year’s The W.E.L.L. Summit. Join us this year to experience first hand how good living W.E.L.L. can be!

A Chance to Refresh Your Spirit. This year, we’ll have a dedicated meditation lounge available for you to escape the pace of NYC. We invite you to relax, recharge and refresh your spirit. Stretch, breathe and bring yourself back to center. This is The W.E.L.L. Summit! All you have to do is just be.

VIP Tickets. This year, we’re offering the opportunity to enhance your wellness weekend experience. The VIP Ticket includes:
  • VIP Lunch on 10/21. Meet and greet wellness leaders + get your nourishment on!
  • Access to all breakout sessions & panels on 10/22, plus unlimited refreshments.
  • Access to the L.I.V.E. W.E.L.L. Kickoff Party and Tea Time Chats.
  • Mentor Brunch. Mingle with Summit Mentors and only 7 of your fellow attendees!
  • An extra-special swag bag--filled to the brim with VIP-only goodies--just for you.
  • We are adding to our list of speakers based on your feedback and needs! If you haven’t yet, please fill out our Attendee Questionnaire here.

We can’t wait to meet you in October!

The W.E.L.L. Summit Team

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

I Tried It: derma e Psorzema Line

*This post is sponsored by derma e and Brandbacker

Big on natural beauty over here, you know that much... I'm always looking to highlight brands that speak to me and what I need for my family. I have used derma e products before; I received their microdermabrasion goodness in last year's Whole Foods Hello Beauty bag. When Brandbacker launched a campaign for their Psorzema line, I'll admit I was interested... I know I'm not the only one who struggles with extremely dry skin (especially in the Winter months) but my bigger issue has always been with my scalp and finding a shampoo/conditioner that could relieve the CRAZY itching that happens when my hormones change (I can track it, it's been happening awhile now). If you're a reader then you know that over the past year or so, I've really tried to make sure that I'm bringing only the best/healthiest products into my home for our family. It's not always easy, especially if you're looking for a product that might require the medicinal benefits (of say, a dandruff shampoo)...

dermae e has just made me a very happy woman. To find a line of products, Plant Powered “Non-Prescriptions”, that works but is also natural, is a fine achievement indeed. The first day that I washed my hair, I could feel the shampoo in action, tingling it's way down to my scalp, doing its business. It cleanses, nourishes, soothes and de-flakes! The line is sulfate free- tar free- steroid free... all the things you may find in the name brand that had been previously used to calm my scalp down for a hot minute. Used along with the conditioner, my hair was clean and shiny and healthy looking and all the things that you want to see when trying something new. I'm truly excited that I was given the opportunity to try this line because I might not have otherwise picked it up, perhaps thinking that because its natural, it might not work... let me tell you, it does!

Even though the shampoo and conditioner were my main jam, I know that both the body wash and creme will be clutch at different stages of the game. When I was pregnant, my skin was the driest/itchiest it had ever been and there was no amount of lotion that could make it go away completely. Since a woman's body is ever changing, there is not doubt in my mind that whether it's another pregnancy or a hormonal change, I will likely need to sooth some majorly dry skin. 

I have a friend who does calligraphy for work, you know, using her hands... she doesn't have time for the dry, cracked hands that come from eczema and since I know/love her, I'm definitely going to send the Psorzema creme her way. She can keep it at her desk for when she's got to work and there won't be anything standing in her way.

In my humble opinion, if you suffer from rough skin conditions like Psoriasis and Eczema, but you don't want to put all sorts of chemicals on your body, I would most definitely recommend the derma e line; at least try it. You know it's 100% vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, mineral oil-free, lanolin-free, gluten free, GMO-free. That's quite a stack of "free"s to put your mind at ease.

derma e® can be found in over 16,500 retail outlets across the U.S. such as Whole Foods Markets, ULTA Beauty, CVS and more!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Swap It Like It's Hot Craft Swap

Squeeeee this is my first craft swap! What is a craft swap, you say? Well, here's the sitch: Everyone runs around and shops their favorite thrift store/ flea market/ yard sale. Once you’ve found a cart load of stuff for yourself (hypothetically), find a few items (spend no more than $10) that have real makeover potential. Shipping’s on you so… a $10 papasan chair might be tricky. Readers really enjoy the true makeovers vs. something that’s just styled pretty. So put your thinking caps on! I eagerly awaited my package to come...

Jillian of I am a Homemaker sent me a prize pack full of interesting items! At first I was like, ummm what do I do? Then I was like, I have to use the gazelles! I had these delusions of grandeur that I would saw them in half and create a little stand for my desk using the vintage red tin. Well, I don't own the right kind of saw that could get through the VERY solid wood that those stags were made of... so being the spontaneous crafter that I am (not always a good thing) I took a hammer to them... I know, how stupid. Their heads cracked right off and I felt like it was taking such a creepy turn. Basically, I had to scrap my plans to use ONLY the items that Jillian sent me. I grabbed one of my many mini mason jars and decided to make it into what I thought would be a really cool screw off tray for sewing supplies while holding all my push pins (bonus: keeping them out of toddler hands). Enter black spray paint and then things just got dark, both literally and figuratively. Buuut in a craft swap, you can't just quit, you gotta power through. Enter gorilla glue and the pictures tell the rest.

When I showed my husband what I'd made, his first response was "That's weird". He thought I was sending this along to someone else but when I told him that it was for me, he seemed to think it was less weird, maybe because I'm so weird? It's of no matter haha. I actually think it's super cute and will definitely have it alongside my sewing machine because it will come in handy in my work space. I loved this experiment and it was definitely a challenge, but one that I loved.

What do you think? Is it cool or is it creepy or is it both?

So do you want to see what I sent along? Jeanie at Create and Babble received something that spun around (that was a selling point for me) and had lots of slots like a toothbrush holder. Her husband figured out that it might have been for pipes in it's past but I am stoked to see what she came up with! So head on over to see her creation:

Also if you want to check out the other gals rocking it out today and the rest of the week, here ya go!