Friday, March 31, 2017

Local Lovin': eu2be Skincare

I first met Charla of Eu2Be at the first ever W.E.L.L. Summit, and I thought she had the best business cards ever; she attached small samples of her eu2be nourish + nurture lotion. I thought that this was so clever and I guess it worked since I haven't forgotten that meeting since. It's been over two years. So guess what... this Local Lovin' piece is about two years overdue! *scrunches her face*. You know that I love to write about local brands, especially eco bath+body brands from New England. Eu2Be is just another great example of a woman owned business with integrity and quality, a brand that cares about the impact they're making and the story they're telling (see Charla's Story here).

Give us a little background as to how Eu2Be came about. What initially drove you to start your brand? 

Two unmet needs. Although there are scores of natural skin care products on the market today, few of them are crafted from unique formulas, and most are designed for the face. That’s why I created Eu2Be—nourishing, luxurious everyday skin care staples for the body, made of rare blends of up to 15 high-functioning, skin-conditioning oils.
Secondly, skin needs a new story—one that is defined beyond makeup and mirrors, one that embodies the belief most of us have about beauty which is that it more than skin deep.

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

From women who are highly discerning, health-minded and passionately fearless about their birthright 2Be beautiful on their own terms, like my Aunt Eugenia for whom Eu2Be is named. These women nurture their beauty by caring for the skin they live in, not just the face they present to the public. I am equally moved by the power of culture to inspire, inform and protect us, which is why Eu2Be products are formulated not with a single, magic ingredient, but with culturally-prized oils that meet the gold standard of being multi-tasking oils handed down from generations of ancestral achievement.

I love that you have shaped your business around being safe and natural . Why is this important to you?

Thanks— I honestly believe that product safety is a concern and requirement of any ethical brand. By the way, a product can be natural, organic and unsafe... I read labels, all labels—food, clothing, skin care, you name it. I grew up in a family that valued farming traditions, where things come from and eating natural foods. So being natural is a way of life for me.

In designing Eu2Be products, product efficacy and experience—how products make you feel and how your skin feels hours after you’ve applied them were primarily important to me.

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

I’m so happy you asked! Not necessarily in this order but nature, the arts and food experiences top my list. We live in a rich landscape that offers us so much diversity of place: beautiful natural, green spaces, an ocean, waterways and historic cemeteries, parks and sites. And I am grateful to live in a city where I can experience world-class art from our symphony and theaters to contemporary art and performances. So I spend time exploring and supporting the arts.

You have certainly found some fantastic early success! Where do you see Eu2Be headed in the future?

Beauty drove me to start Eu2Be and I am trusting beauty to lead our way forward. The revolution will be moisturized! But first we have to define beauty in a larger way. Eu2Be is headed to the front lines where women are empowered to be the guardians of what is precious to us, starting with the care of our skin.

I've had the pleasure of using Charla's Eu2Be products and they live up to the high standards that she's set for herself and her product. They are luxurious without being fussy and they have a certain something that I can't explain but I feel special using them. See the artwork that Charla sent with some information? Special, no doubt about it. All Eu2Be products contain powerful combinations of antioxidants, vitamins and essential fatty acids. There are also no glutens. No parabens. No sulfates. No phthalates. No toxins. No GMOs. No animal testing. No questionable ingredients. You know what that means? No Worries about what you're putting on your skin. I love that. You know I do.

Want to catch up with Eu2Be? Find them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram

Thursday, March 30, 2017

SaltyGirl: Spreading Wellness through Beauty

You know when you come across a story and it just moves you? Enter the sisters behind Kennebunkport's SaltyGirl Boutique, Sarah and Leah. Their shop brings their customers natural, organic and safe skincare products as well as sustainable upcycled, USA made accessories and gifts. Two sisters, working hard to bring their down to Earth style to their New England and online customers... I loved them already... but their story doesn't stop there. In 2015, Sarah was diagnosed with Breast Cancer while 32 weeks pregnant, can you imagine? For obvious reasons, health, balance and family became more important than ever before. What's a girl to do? Well, give back! These two, along with their other siblings, started the Foundation 4 Love, their own non-profit that's like a Make a Wish for Adults!

As if that isn't enough, the SaltyGirls are bringing us their own line of lipsticks that, like everything in their shop, a percentage of the proceeds are donated to their foundation. Natural lipstick that empowers and also gives back. I LOVE IT! So do you want to know more about this new line and how you can get involved? Check out the video below on their IndieGoGo live now!

SaltyGirl Lips from LMV Productions on Vimeo.

  • YOU DECIDE THEIR FUTURE:  They have heard from so many people they have met over this last year.  They want to continue to provide excellent customer service, amazing education and now their own products made with the clean nourishing ingredients!
  • BIGGER THAN A PRODUCT:  SaltyGirl Lips is bigger than a natural lipstick.  They are here to empower women to be who they want to be, to express how they are feeling and to go out and be the strong, sassy, and sexy women they are!
  • HELPING CANCER PATIENTS: The SaltyGirl brand gives back a % of all profits back to their non-profit Foundation4Love which in turn gives back to those going through cancer treatment.  Often while going through treatment we can get consumed by our cancer diagnosis.  Through Foundation4Love they give back Spa Days, Dinner out, sporting events….whatever allows the cancer patient to disconnect from cancer and connect with loved ones.  They will continue giving back with every lipstick sold.
If you can't contribute financially, you can still make a big difference and here's how:
  • EDUCATION:  Learn more about the ingredients that are in your skincare, body care and cosmetics!  Remember it is just as important what we put on our bodies as it is what we put in our bodies!
  • CONNECT WITH US! Find them on Facebook and Twitter, and swing by their website to learn more. Also, find us on Instagram @saltygirlboutique
  • SHARE THIS CAMPAIGN! use the following link ( and share on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc! They want everyone to wear clean beautiful cosmetics and feel empowered.  They also want every woman and man going through cancer to be given the opportunity to disconnect from cancer and connect to love!   Please tag us/use our hashtag if you post on social media so they can send some love: @saltygirlboutique , #SaltyGirllips #GiveBackBeauty 

I just jumped in on the IndieGoGo, will you? Lipstick that acts not just in the interest of our beauty and health but helps cancer patients? What's not to love!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

NUK Freemie Cups

*This post was sponsored by NUK as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central, however all opinions expressed are my own. 

Do you remember a couple of weeks back I posted about the Nuk Simply Natural line? Well the folks over there wanted to make sure that my bases were covered by ensuring that my pumping needs were met. Yes, I pump too.

The other morning, I was pumping in the dining room... yeah, it's not the most private of places and I would love my own nursing room but we don't have that luxury. Also, I like to be available for household management questions from the crew, like "what should Wesley eat for breakfast?" 😂 So not being discreet has become a part of my routine. If I want to be able to give the baby a bottle, I've got to pump the milk out of my body. So anyways, I was pumping in the dining room and my oldest son says to me "Mama's a nice girl pumping." While this was super cute, it made me think I should find a better way to pump without my business being on blast. And then like magic, the Nuk Simply Natural Freemie Collection cups entered my life.

I'll give you the low down: It's easy to use and you can pump without your business out; you can pump with your shirt on so that means there's no hanging bottles. It works with a lot of popular pumps. I didn't have to worry, it hooked right up to my Medela Pump in Style (which I love and would recommend btw). It can collect up to 8 oz on each side, which is more than enough for me. Actually, if you can pump more than 16 oz in one sitting, you're my milk supply hero! Have large breasts? Me too. Don't worry, they fit and work just as good as they would on the smaller endowed. Like anything new, you have to get the hang of using the collection cups and moving your milk over to the bottle or freezer bags but if you practice with water first, you'll get the hang of it pretty quickly.

It's a pretty great idea, to be able to pump while your breasts are covered up and by design. There are some additional valves and tubing but it's worth the little bit of extra work to be able to pump without my child pointing it out to me. Also, this will be great for when my parents are visiting and I don't want everyone to be uncomfortable. There was a need and Nuk has met it. Nuk has these awesome Freemie Cups (available at Walmart and Target) as well as the aforementioned Nuk Simply Natural Line. These are totally easy to find, whether it's in their site or they're also available at Walmart and Target!

Have you tried the Nuk Simply Natural Freemie Collection Cups?

Monday, March 27, 2017

Easter Alert! The Paper Store Pail Sale

If you follow my Instagram stories, you may remember me posting last week about filming a quick video with The Paper Store about their Easter Pail Sale. You know that me, but especially the Propah Toddlah, well, we love The Paper Store. It's a love that has developed over the past couple of years and it's not going anywhere. So obviously, when it comes to the little guy's Easter goodies it made perfect sense for me to hit up my local Paper Store to grab all the things.

If you've never gone to The Paper Store for their Pail Sale, it's sort of Easter themed and it's most definitely fun. Purchase a pail for $3.99 and you get 20% off your entire purchase not just your Easter goodies. We took a spin around the store to fill my pail with the best stuff for the toddler. If I know one thing about my son, it's that his favorite color is green and that he's really into Trolls, Star Wars, the Red Sox and candy. He tells me every day. With my green pail in hand, I took time to snag some classic Easter gets, like a Jellycat bunny and Jelly Belly jelly beans but also some things that I know my guy loves: a Trolls book and keychain, Kylo-Ren bubbles (he most definitely digs the dark side *sigh*) and a lil' Red Sox guy. The Paper Store had a ton of different stuff so I had to pick and choose because I certainly did want it all. I was spying some of their Summer outdoor toys for my next trip in. As soon as the weather gets nicer, I will most certainly need some additional things to do with the boys.

I mean, how cute are the Easter eggs with sports balls designs? I gravitated right to them... I'm all set for Easter and even grabbed some Hallmark cards while I was there because I'm a lover of stocking up and getting those cards out on time. The only thing I have to take care of now is hiding the toddler's Easter pail until Easter day!

Want to get in on The Paper Store's Pail Sale? Head in from March 30th to April 2nd to receive 20% off your order with the purchase of one of their adorable pails ($3.99)! Also, I love what the folks at The Paper Store are up to these days...keep up with them on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Beauty Business: 4 Tips on Takin' it on the Road

*This post was written in collaboration with the wonderful people over at Follain.

Being somewhat of a beauty buff, a lover of trying new things, I've compiled quite the collection of beauty products. I recently upgraded to a fancy caboodle type contraption to house all my cosmetics, oils, creams, dreams etc. The trouble with that suitcase of beauty is that, unless I'm traveling for an extended period of time, it's not really worth lugging around. Having traveled for business or off for weekend conferences, I've gotten really good at packing my beauty goods, only what I need, in an efficient and easy manner. Wanna check out how I take my beauty business on the road?

Pictured: Jane Iredale Mascara (sample size), Jane Iredale shadow in Soft Kiss, W3ll People Bip Brightener Cream (Trial Size), Fitglow Gloss, Vapour Beauty Atmosphere Luminous Foundation, 21 Drops Sleep Blend, A gifted Essential Oil Blend for Abundance  

Downsize for Travel Choose a small pouch or traveling cosmetics case to bring your beauty goods with you. I often opt for the change purse that comes with a tote or something similar that way I can use it for my every day if I want to. If you hold yourself to the smaller pouch, you'll be happier, I promise. Traveling lean and mean will leave you with less to worry about!

Bring Only What You Need This seems like a given but I know that when I'm packing, I imagine all these scenarios in my head where I'll want to do a smokey eye or rock a red lip. Be honest with yourself. If you really do like to be adventurous with your looks while traveling, even if it's just for the weekend, then by all means, pack those bold lipsticks. But if you're like me and know that you'll stick with your tried and true while you're away, only pack your basics.

Bring Sample/Travel Sizes of Your Favorite Products  Sometimes, bringing all your "must have" makeup, can take up a lot of space. Do a tiny bit of research and you can likely find travel sizes and often, you will find that some of your favorite brands will offer sample sizes of their products. I can snag some from Vapour Beauty, Bottega Organica and W3ll People just thinking off the top of my head. If I'm at Follain or placing an order through the site, I know that I'll likely get some sample sizes of product. I always set these aside for travel. It fits and it's fun to try new things. Think of all the pros. Smaller sizes, you can bring more with you. If you lose a smaller size of a more expensive product or leave it behind by accident, there will be less tears about replacing. Plus, mini things are super cute! Don't forget items that are individually packaged like RMS Coconut Oil Wipes and Ursa Major Essential Face Wipes. If you can't find smaller sizes of your must have products, don't be afraid to grab some travel bottles and jars so you'll have what you need.

Don't Forget the Self Care Especially when you're traveling, it's important not to forget to take a moment for yourself! When I'm on the road, I sometimes like to take the new face mask I've been wanting to try or some bath salts for a soak after a long day. Having products on hand that keep you from stressing are key as well! (Osea Blemish Balm is a must have for keeping skin from irritation or becoming inflamed and Laurel Face Serum will keep skin moisturized) Even if you don't think you'll have the time, you can make the time ... and don't worry, you can always make a little room in your bag for self care, am I right?

What are your tips for bringing beauty on the road?

Psssst. You can use code FOLLAINFRIENDS for 10% off your Follain Order through March 31st, so get shopping folks! 

Monday, March 20, 2017

On Diving Into Hustle and Out of My 9-5

Teddy is three months old today, y'all. I don't know how it happened so fast. Things have been hectic and wild for the past three months and to say that some days, I don't know which way is up, well that would be an understatement. We're loving some parts of life as a family of four, others not so much. Having two kids is no joke and not for the weak of heart but it's a different LOVE ballgame than it was before. It's just the course that my life is taking. Anyone with kids knows that you have to make logistical decisions because having a family isn't just fun and poop, though that is a part of it.

So with a second child, obviously, the cost of things go up. We got one kid out of diapers in time to have another in them. I breast feed which saves money on formula lol but there are some things that you just can't avoid... like CHILDCARE. Any parent out there knows that in order to work, someone has to watch your children. Some people are super lucky to have family help, but for a lot of people, you need childcare and pssst it's hella expensive. To put another kid in daycare, well, that was a cost that we couldn't really absorb. I make a pretty good living as a project manager and have been with my company for 7 years. That being said, we would still be losing money each month by having two kids in daycare. LOSING MONEY. So we made the decision. Amanda is going to be a stay at home mom to two growing boys, effective immediately. Three years ago, this wasn't even in my plan. In case you were wondering, having been with my company so long, I did ask for a raise and a promotion, It's absolutely my right to ask for what I want/deserve and I had been working like a dog up until my delivery date. Unfortunately, what you deserve isn't always the value that an employer might put on you, no matter how hard you work. Such is life... but what my employer really did was to do me a huge favor. I'm very excited about this new adventure... mostly.

I'll tell you a quick story about an experience that I had. Maybe eight years ago, I was out to dinner with some friends. I was still only dating my husband at the time and had no life experience really. A girl we were dining with was talking about being a stay at home mom; she was one. I said very nonchalantly that I would probably be bored being a SAHM. I very much offended her so much so that I haven't talked to her in years. She thought that I was making a comment on her worth, her value, which obviously I was not but I'm sure my delivery could have used some work. I didn't mean to offend and like I said, I didn't have any parenting experience but guess what... just because I have two kids now and some years of marriage under my belt doesn't mean that I feel much differently. I do think that I'll probably be bored sometimes being home with these kids day in and day out but there is more, way more positive about this new chapter that I am embarking on. I'm not just a Mom, I'm a hustler, baby.

Having this blog, it's allowed me to have a side hustle and has created an avenue that I want to put more time into. It has opened me up to meeting new people, engaging and building professional relationships outside of my 9-5. With those relationships have come great opportunities, friendships and sometimes the two collide. It's an amazing feeling knowing that I can stay home and watch my kids grow, take them on adventures (which I'm sure I'll document here) but at the same time, I can bring some money on the scene, which whether you like it or not, is always a helpful thing to have. I'm creative and thrifty. I'm fun loving and adventurous. Even though the career identity that I've related to since I graduated college (some manner of project manager) is now changing, I'm taking on a new role and that is the manager of my household, the creator of our life, without that pesky 9-5 stressing me out all the time. I feel extremely relieved and also a feeling of release. It's hard to explain. I feel lucky. I know that much.

I'm sure there will be some tough days, some days where my patience is tested, where I'm "mean mommy". I'm sure you'll see me complaining about being tired or needed "me" time. What I do know is that despite these inevitable days of frowning, I will be a much happier person now that I can cultivate not only this space but tinker around my creating and look for opportunities that actually interest me, not just ones that pay the bills. Also, I mean, I get to snuggle my little boys daily. That's the biggest bonus out of all of this, hands down.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Nuk Naturals When You Can't Nurse All Day

*This post was sponsored by NUK as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central, however all opinions are my own.

This post has to do with breastfeeding (it's normal, people!) and nipples and such, so just putting that out there now. Truth time, with my first baby (now a toddler), breast feeding was a STRUGGLE. Seriously, those who know me and who have talked to me about my kids, know that when Wesley went to daycare at 3 months, when I went back to work, he went on nursing strike and then never really came back to me. It was a really emotional experience because I felt really strongly that he should be breastfeeding when he was home with me but alas, even the best efforts were not in the cards for us. He must have like the efficiency and ease of a bottle, I don't know, he was a baby and I forgave him. I pumped for 10 months so that he could have the liquid gold... I vowed not to put myself through it this time. Thankfully, the new baby is a much better nursing buddy and we're actually quite successfully navigating it this time around. That being said, I simply can't nurse all day and sometimes I want my husband to take the duty so that I can get some other things done. Enter Nuk Simply Natural.

Nuk Simply Natural sent me some of their new bottles to try. They're actually pretty great in that they are as close to nursing as a bottle can get and I love that. A lot of doctors and lactation consultants will tell you that there is the chance that if you introduce a bottle or pacifier somewhat early on, you risk the chance of your baby having nipple confusion. So what happens when the nipple you're using is as much like a real nipple as possible? Well, it actually works out quite nicely, it turns out.

I'm the type of girl who is ready and willing to breastfeed in public, like let's say in a Target dressing room or in the front seat of my car or at a friends house. But when I'm out out to lunch with my other son and husband or even if I have to run out and leave a bottle with the man, these Simply Natural nipples are as close to providing the best possible latch and "breast like" experience. They're modeled after a breast shape and have up to nine nipple holes to release milk... did you know that a woman's breast has multiple nipple holes that milk can come out of? Yeah, me neither until I had a baby and milk started coming out haha! These bottles are great, there are different flow rates so as baby gets more efficient in feeding, you can feed him much faster. Superb! I like to nurse if at all possible, and I think Teddy does too but if I'm in a pinch or need something more convenient, these are a fantastic option for Moms looking to keep that breastfeeding bond as close as possible.

Even though this is a sponsored post, you can see that I've already used these with lil' Ted on our trip out as a family this past week. I had hoped we would have time to nurse before we left but as Moms (and Dads) out there know, being on time with kids is most often a miracle. I would recommend giving these bottles a shot, especially if you're looking to switch back and forth between bottle and breast. Who knows, had we sent these bottles to daycare with Wes, we may not have had such a problem! These are totally easy to find, whether it's in their site or they're also available at Walmart and Target . Nuk also has Freemie Cups (available at Walmart and Target) that I'll be talking about next week!

What are your tips for breast to bottle and back to breast?

Monday, March 13, 2017

So Cozy Natural Haircare for Kids

I have two children, one with hair and one with barely any but to find products that I can use on both, especially a sensitive infant head, well that is one of my new challenges. You know me, I'm all about the clean bath+body products and that goes 150% for my littles. When SoCozy was like Amanda,  you've got to try these hair care products for your babes and don't worry, there are "No Nasties"... well, I said let's do this! SoCozy is a brand born of the idea that kids hair care is important and really does require it's own attention.

When I grabbed the new Hush Sensitivity line at Target and when I brought them home, Wesley was beyond excited to have his own products. As a blogger and eco-beauty junkie, he's pretty used to seeing Mommy with tons of products that we sometimes play with together... but this is his own "thing" and he loved it immediately. The soft bristle brush on his shampoo was something he showed to Daddy during bath time and besides being practical, it was a lot of fun for him. He adores getting his haircut now and I think the next step is to let him play around with styling. Obviously, I'm not going to give him a can of aerosol hairspray and let him go to town. A safe hair care styling product for sensitive kids is a fantastic get. I know, a three year old doesn't need to style his hair but I like to give the kid options! What I love about the Hush collection is that we can have shampoo, scalp treatments and styling products that I don't have to worry about putting on a toddler's or my tiny little baby's head. Actually, Teddy's head is pretty dry and flaky so the sensitive scalp treatment might get a little action to sooth his irritated scalp. Sensitive baby skin is no joke. The SoCozy line gives me one less thing to worry about.

SoCozy is So Smart, So Safe, So Easy and So Cool:

So Smart: Genius is more like it. SoCozy believes knowledge is power, which is why education is at its core—the pulse of the brand—so you’ll always find the latest advice, solutions, tips, and trends.

So Safe: No nasties in there; just good, clean, honest formulations with ingredients that perform at the highest level. SoCozy is always safe and effective, and completely non-toxic.

So Easy: Because being a parent isn’t always easy, SoCozy makes hair care that is. These simple, fun, multi-functional products streamline tub time to make styling a snap.

So Cool: Take a strand. SoCozy encourages and supports individuality. For all kids and any hair type—SoCozy’s mission is to build confidence and inspire originality.

The folks over at SoCozy want you to be able to shop their collections yourself so are going to be giving one Prim and Propah reader $50 Target gift card to shop for themselves! I'm excited for you guys to try this amazing brand's great products for our littles' hair. You won't regret giving them a try whether you are looking for products for sensitive heads, curly hair, swimmers or even (shhhhh) lice. They've got a good thing going over there so be sure to check out SoCozy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*This post was sponsored by SoCozy through Brandbacker but all opinions are 100% my own. I love to spit the truth. Thank you as always for supporting Prim and Propah and the brands that make this space possible.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Yoga Reaches Out 2017

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. This year, not only did I join my team again (Revolution Community Yoga, What What?!) but I am a part of the planning committee! Teddy and I got in the car last week to help send information to all the yoga studios in New England, because we're committed to the cause! We're working to get 1000 yogis to join us for what will be an uplifting and wonderful day!

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 have a small infant and a toddler, both of which are healthy and happy. I have to count myself as so super lucky every day that that is out status quo. Another worthy cause this year is Off the Mat Into the World. There will be so many good vibes that I just can't wait!

Sunday, April 30th, 2017

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

Empower Field House
at Gillette Stadium

One Patriot Place
Foxboro, MA 02035

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 because there is plenty of time before April! 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! Even if you're not able to make it, if you'd like to donate to me, obviously I would love that too!