Thursday, November 30, 2017

Local Lovin': Wandertruck

I'm shopping smaller and more local with every passing day from the food we're eating, the products we are using in our house and especially, especially the gifts that I am giving this Holiday season. It is one of the easiest ways to make a difference in your local economy and to a local entrepreneur so it's really a no brain-er. When I heard about Wander Truck, I was intrigued and obviously wanted to learn more about what drove (get it?) owner Laura Sylvester to start her mobile business full of wonderful American made wares. She sent me some of her favorite items from the truck and we chatted about what she's doing now and where you can meet up with her this season!

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

Before starting the Wander Truck I worked in marketing for a tableware brand that sold wholesale to specialty retailers nationwide. Through that job I gained a lot of experience working with small boutique owners and though I had always wanted to open my own store, I was very aware of the challenges that come with a traditional brick and mortar location. I thought the mobile boutique concept would be a novel way to bring the shop to the customers, instead of the other way around.

When you curate your products, where do you take inspiration from? What inspires you?

Originally, I started out stocking brands that I knew and loved or found at trade shows. I was focused on the categories of jewelry, accessories and home goods...basically anything you could try on without needing a dressing room. Space on the truck is tight! Now I mainly stock brands of makers I have met at events or through instagram. I also keep an eye on popular trends and then try to find someone who is putting a new or different spin on these trends and producing them on a smaller, handmade scale.

I love the way that you have shaped your business. You're taking shopping small and local and combining the two. What do you love about this? What is a struggle?

I love working with other small business owners who have found a way to do something they love either in place of or alongside their 9-5 job. I love the flexibility the mobile store provides! One weekend you may find me at a music festival, other days I'll be set up near the beach or in Boston proper. The variety and ability to meet customers from all over Massachusetts is fun. Struggles...well there is the obvious one of driving a big delivery truck on narrow city streets! Also the truck drives really slow so I am always hogging the slow lane on the highway when I go somewhere. Another big challenge is the weather. If it rains people won't venture out to most of the events I participate in, because they are outdoor events.

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

My favorite thing to do when I'm not busy with Wander is to head to Peaks Island, Maine, with my family and our two dogs. Ice cream, lobster, bike rides, wooded walking trails, lazy days on the's got everything you need.

Teddy and his Town and Country Play Mat

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

Thank you for saying that! It hasn't been easy. I had a baby a year and a half into starting this business and have had to figure out a whole new way to operate. Being a one woman show and "momprenuer" isn't easy. But the most exciting thing we have on the horizon is the holiday pop up at Boston Winter in City Hall Plaza. We'll be operating out of a chalet in the Christmas village from the day after Thanksgiving through New Year's Eve. The location will be open every single day, except December 25th, so that will be an exciting opportunity and a big change to the way I am currently operating out of the truck.

 You can check out Laura's schedule for the Wander Truck here or you could even book the truck for your girls night out or office party. I'll definitely be on the lookout when we hit Boston Winter, where Laura will be popping up from November 24th through December 31st. (Hours are Monday thru Thursday - 11 am to 8 pm; Friday & Saturday - 11 am to 9 pm; Sunday - 11 am to 6 pm. City Hall Plaza, Boston, MA)... I can't wait to meet Laura and the Wander Truck in person!

You can follow Wander Truck on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and of course, Instagram!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Holiday Wishlist #giftedprAna

*This post was written in partnership with prAna but y'all know that I love them for all the right reasons.

Happy Cyber Monday! It's officially the Holiday shopping season and I'm sort of feeling torn about what kinds of gifts that I'm going to give, if I give physical items at all. I've been thinking more and more about the types of brands that I want to support and of course I feel obligated to give you the reasons behind supporting that brand because you vote with your money, in case you didn't know. Each decision we make with our purchases can either help support a brand with a fantastic mission and great visibility to their supply chain or it won't, which is not OK in my book.

You may remember me talking about prAna before when I was beebopping around with the kids and since I love them so much, I've decided that a holiday wish list is in order, in case you need some great new duds or were looking to grab some feel good gifts for friends and family. I can swear by the comfort and quality so if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!

Top picks for women

Imogen JacketCaldwell DressAnsleigh Sweater 

Top picks for men

Hooded Henley SweaterShowdown JacketDrifter Crew

The materials that prAna uses to make their clothing will no doubt leave you feeling good about your purchase while also feeling good about how you look. Organic cotton, recycled wool, hemp, recycled polyester, and responsible down are just some of the notable materials that prAna has lined up to create fair trade, responsible and sustainable made apparel for men and women. Respect for the planet and its people- I'm on board with that.

Want to shop prAna for yourself? The kind and lovely folks over at prAna are offering Prim and Propah readers the opportunity to save 15% off of their order from today through December using code: CMPP17... oh, and don't forget to use Ebates to get 4% back on your purchase... what's on your list?!

You can Follow prAna on TwitterFacebookInstagram and Pinterest!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Just Add Cooking- New England Based Meal Box

*This post was sponsored by Just Add Cooking. All opinions are my own.

I think that I've tried pretty much every meal subscription box in the universe at this point so I know what I'm talking about when it comes to ease of use, freshness of ingredients, recipes and waste (more on that later). This past week, as I was preparing us to travel to both my family's place as well as my in-laws', meal prep, planning and the like was not a priority to me... so I was pretty stoked to have Just Add Cooking send me a box to prepare some family friendly meals all from New England sources! The meal box was delivered on a Sunday by a local driver so I was able to prep some meals for our Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. So many fresh ingredients and the recipes for this week were right up our alley and we even got a brand new one to our family unit, the West African Peanut Stew. It's was the only vegetarian option in our box this week but was definitely my favorite. What I loved about each recipe was that I could really cook them even when multitasking which is pretty much my life past 430pm. The directions were easy, the ingredients simple to prep and the outcome was pretty dang good.

The dish was so good that I started eating and was like Doh! I was supposed to take a picture for my blog post! Let me just tell you that you can take it from me that it was such an interesting dish, using fresh and locally sourced ingredients and I used collard greens which was a first for me. And as if this wasn't enough for me, I have to say that the Just Add Cooking box is the lowest in added waste out of all the boxes that I've even used. In every single other box we've ordered, my husband always comments about all the added stuff that is put in the box to help keep things cold, obviously important when transporting food... but that said, a lot of times the freezer packs aren't ice but that cold gelatinous goo that you know is some sort of chemical that won't break down nicely into the environment. If you make it a habit of ordering meal boxes, you'll be either stockpiling these or throwing them in a landfill, neither of which makes sense for this Mama's life. Just Add Cooking came nicely packed in cardboard with a frozen water bottle to keep things cool. Because this is local to New England, it doesn't need to be packed to travel two days on the road.

I've been trying to shop smaller, shop from more local farms and sources so this meal box really combined my love of those things. I would recommend to try it since it really is a great opportunity to have a low waste, locally sourced and pretty tasty meal box delivered right to your door.

You can find Just Add Cooking online, and can follow them on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram!

Monday, November 13, 2017

"The Performance" by Cost Plus World Market

*This post was created in collaboration with Cost Plus World Market.

It might seem a little early to start talking holidays but seriously, it's already mid-November! I've decided to embrace the oncoming holiday season with cheer and optimism. Speaking of optimism, you guys have got to see the​ ​new​ ​holiday​ ​commercial​ ​from​ ​Cost​ ​Plus​ ​World​ ​Market!​ ​See​ ​the​ ​story​ ​of​ ​a​ ​little​ ​boy​ ​with his​ ​trumpet​ ​who​ ​finds​ ​the​ ​inspiration​ ​he​ ​needs​ ​for​ ​a​ ​Christmas​ ​music​ ​performance​ ​by gathering​ ​the​ ​support​ ​of​ ​friendly​ ​llamas. Llamas, gotta love them. If you've been following anything Cost Plus World Market lately, you know they're all about the llamas this holiday season and I'm not mad about it.

In addition to their adorable video, they have one of their fantastic sweepstakes running through the holidays. You​ ​Could​ ​Wine​ ​One​ ​(1)​ ​of​ ​Seven​ ​(7)​ ​ ​Weekly​ ​$1,000​ ​World​ ​Market​ ​Gift​ ​Cards. Watch​ ​Cost​ ​Plus​ ​World​ ​Market’s​ ​“The​ ​Performance”​ ​holiday​ ​video​ ​and​ ​answer​ ​a​ ​question for​ ​a​ ​chance​ ​to win​ ​a​ ​weekly​ ​prize​ ​of​ ​$1,000.​ ​They’ll​ ​have​ ​a​ ​new​ ​question​ ​each​ ​day, so Enter​ ​Now:​ ​

Seeing all things holiday popping up has me itching to get my Holiday shopping underway. One thing that I love about the holiday season is the ability to make people happy with just a thoughtful little gift. There's no reason to go crazy when it comes to gift giving, especially if you're super busy and a little frazzled like me. I am very blessed in my life and don't need more clutter but something small and meaningful is always welcome to me. I love love love getting those that I love and care about an ornament that suits their personality or interests. It's mindful and thoughtful and all the fulls! I'm not just saying this. CPWM has THE BEST selection of funky, fun ornaments. I got the adorable felt elephants last year and love the new metal elephants that they've released this year (yeah, I have a thing for elephants!)... but we're not talking about shopping for me. Whether you're shopping for close family or for a Secret Santa, I think that a perfectly picked ornament is something anyone can use. I'm excited to pick ornaments out for the new people in our lives this year. Since the preschool teachers are absolute dolls, I think that a new ornament for each would be the perfect teacher gift, right? Check out all my favorite ornaments this year. Cost Plus World Market has made gift giving so fun, once again!

Shop all the fantastic ornaments here:

I always shop at the Framingham, MA location but find your closest store here or heck even check out the selection online if you want to avoid the crowds. Personally, I love shopping in store and online depending on what type of mood I'm in... and remember don't forget to enter the sweepstakes to win big!

Tell me, what are you going to snag for the special people in your life?

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

DIY Versatile Holiday Succulent Centerpiece

Something that I enjoy doing is tending to my little plants. This is obviously a more difficult hobby in the Winter because, well, it's colder and things just don't survive as well without the warmth and with less sunlight. One of the exceptions to this are hardy plants, my favorite being all manner of succulents. Succulents come in all shapes and sizes but one thing is for sure, they're hard to kill, even in the cold weather. Something I wanted to try this holiday season was to create a centerpiece for the table that would travel from Thanksgiving, through Christmas and onto New Years without having to be swapped out.

Finding succulents in the colder weather isn't as hard as you think. Home Depot's house plant section is stocked. We have a small farm store near our house that has a greenhouse and has plants all year round. Just search your area and you'll likely find the same for you! The toddler and I had a day date last weekend and we stopped at Home Depot to pick up everything we'd need for a centerpiece that could sit on the table through every holiday and occasion you can imagine!

It's really easy to plant succulents and create a long lasting centerpiece as long as you build your planter on great drainage and proper potting soil. You can use a lot of different things for drainage and while a lot of planters have holes in the bottom, this isn't ideal for a tablescape centerpiece due to leakage. I like to reuse things like plastic bottles or in this case, the small plastic containers that seedlings can be purchased in. Think of your plants roots. Can they have space to grow and breathe without drowning when you water them? Then you've got good drainage.

Don't be afraid to snuggle those plants up next to each other to find the perfect positioning for your new babies. The beauty of this centerpiece is that it's a great "blank palette" for any manner of holiday decorations like acorns, pine cones, snowflakes, ornaments, and the list goes on. I plan to build my table scapes around this piece since literally all of my dinnerware, napkins and decor for each and every holiday, will compliment this planter that will be here, for months and months to come. Here are some tips and tricks on caring for succulents and I would love it if you shared you favorite succulent planters with me on twitter: @primandpropah!

Join some of the other bloggers taking part in a little holiday decor goodness today! There are SO many great blog posts, I hope that you'll consider visiting each and every one this week! Plus check out the amazing giveaway we're working on together as well!

Monday, November 6, 2017

I Tried it: Sahajan Skincare + a Giveaway!

I've actually had this Sahajan Skincare duo since this Summer but have been waiting to post about it because I truly, truly feel like it is my Fall favorite (and could be yours too). Derived from the Hindi word for "intuitive", Sahajan brings you the evidence to follow your intuition and choose clean beauty. Lisa Mattam started her clean skincare journey much like I began mine, with my/our children. While I don't create my own products, I did become more concerned with what I was putting on my children's skin then wondered why I was so discerning with theirs but not with mine. Thus brought my on my natural skincare journey which is now a sort of passion. Finding the best and then telling those I care for about the brands that mean something to me.

Sahajan uses only natural and organic ingredients but also ayurvedic. If you're not familiar with the term ayurvedic it means a system of medicine with historical roots in the Indian continent. It's based on a belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body and spirit. I am completely on board with that. I know that personally, I am always trying to find balance in all areas in my life, in order to be at peace, be happy, and be somewhat sane for everyone in my family.

So I tell you all this because sometimes it's not just the ingredients or the scent of a product, or even how well it works (and yes, these are all important things)... it can be the reason why a product line was started or why ingredients were sourced from a sacred lineage. It's almost or should be a ritual to take care of your skin, and I am beginning to think of it more that way, since I do value my time in the bathroom, in front of my beauty cabinet.

The protective face serum (now the radiance face serum) and the ritual body oil are the really real deal. The scents invoke a sense of meditation, of self care. The oils are fast absorbing and leave the skin so soft and feeling loved. The body oil especially, is something that I use when I want to treat myself to something that feels so special. I don't use these Sahajan oils every day though I want to. It's almost hard to describe but they are precious to me. I want you to experience these for yourself and the brand does too! They've so kindly and generously offered one Prim and Propah reader the opportunity to win a bottle of each for themselves. Isn't that awesome? Enter on the instagram photo below!

You can follow Sahajan Skincare on twitterInstagram and Facebook!

✨GIVEAWAY✨ Learn all about this sweet @sahajanskincare duo on the blog today (link in profile). They are my Fall favorites to be sure. The scents invoke a feeling of meditation, one of self care + love. The oils are fast absorbing and leave the skin so soft and feeling cared for. The body oil especially is something that I use when I want to treat myself to something that feels so special. I don't use these Sahajan oils every day though I want to. I want to keep them special, precious to me. I want you to experience these for yourself and the brand does too! Sahajan is offering you the chance to win this duo for yourself. Isn't that so generous? ✨ To enter: 1. Follow @sahajanskincare 2. Follow @primandpropah 3. Tag a friend who needs to feel the love today and add an emoji! #greenbeauty #sahajan #cleanbeauty #makewavesmonday #womeninwellness This giveaway ends Sunday 11/12 and is not affiliated with Instagram, Good Luck!✨
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