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Art Therapy- Creative Self Care

Over the past month I’ve needed to tap back into my creative side to work through the current energy shift. I heard about art journaling, where you create art to represent your current feelings and I thought I would give it a try. I’m all about creative self care! I bought a mixed media journal and have tried to work on it every day since. Working on layered pages has taught me patience (there’s no instant gratification in art!) and has been perfect to fit in throughout the day instead of trying to sit down an focus on painting a canvas.

I’ve always loved art. When I was in high school my passion was charcoals and pastels. Then in college I painted a lot. After I had E, I got into scrapbooking. But then when she got to the age of using my materials without asking, I stopped buying the good stuff an focused on kid art supplies. So this is the first time in 8 years that I’ve worked with great art supplies- and my how they have changed!

I’ve found several acrylic paints that I am loving- especially a few that come in spray form and markers. I’m also loving PanPastels. I’ve been practicing with layers, stencils, incorporating my poetry and even excerpts from books I’m reading into the piece, and trying new art supplies to see how they work. It has been such a fun experience.

Here are some of my first journal entries:

I’m excited to see how they progress now that I am getting used to the supplies. Have you tried art journaling? What are some of your favorite products?

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Organic Kale Medley and Fruit Smoothie

Two of my kids have sensory processing disorder, which means they don’t eat lots of veggies and in my son’s case, fruits. Smoothies are an easy way to get them to eat the nutrients they need and they are super refreshing in the heat!

My base is always Stonyfield Yogurt. My favorite is their Greek since it isn’t as sweet and has a tartness that is yummy! I prefer the fruit Greek to the Vanilla only because I do like the added flavor- but vanilla or plain work great too.

Taylors Farm offers a variety of organic salad mixes, vegetable mixes, veggie trays and more. Their Kale Medley  has kale, carrots, chard, and spinach which makes an excellent green mix to add to your smoothies. You can also freeze your greens and add to a smoothie at a later date.

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Organic Kale Medley and Fruit Smoothie

  • Stonyfield Greek Yogurt (I love the grassfed blueberry)
  • Taylors Farm Organic Kale Medley
  • Banana
  • Frozen raspberries
  • Frozen strawberries
  • You can also add frozen peaches, blackberries, cherries, blueberries, kiwi

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If you don’t have frozen fruit, you can add a little ice. I like to keep a freezer bag full of fruits so I can just dump into the blender. This recipe is also amazing to put in ice pop molds for popsicles.

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 *I AM PART OF THE STONYFIELD YOGETTERS GROUP OF BLOGGERS AND RECEIVE COMPENSATION AND PRODUCTS AS PART OF THE PROGRAM. MY OPINION IS NOT INFLUENCED IN ANY WAY
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We’ve Got to Do Better

I feel kind of hollow after hearing the news that that the medical examiner is ruling Chris Cornell’s death as a suicide by hanging. He performed just hours before in Detroit. How did it go unnoticed that he was upset and hurting? Are we all so busy and caught up in our own world’s that we don’t notice the pain of others?

In a group chat the other day a mom was saying she finally opened herself up and shared her struggles with some women she thought were close friends. They didn’t acknowledge her pain and basically ignored her- this obviously hurt and made her question if she should be that vulnerable again.

I know in my deep dark days I reached out to my mom and begged her to come help me. She wasn’t feeling well, so she didn’t want to drive the 45 minutes that it takes to get to my house. I was in a bad place and my husband was working a night shift- I didn’t need to be alone. Situations like that have made me think- the people who have left us, did they reach out and it went unnoticed? Are we not listening to people’s cries? Are we not taking mental illness serious enough because the person is able to function most of the time?

We have got to do better.

Instead of sinking further that night I found BetterHelp.com and I got a counselor. But some people aren’t able to do this. They don’t feel like they have something to live for. These people are some of our best friends, relatives, beloved teachers, celebrities- who are very loved. They just have an illness that keeps them from seeing and feeling it.

If your loved one or friend is suffering from depression, take a minute to learn how you can help. What signs you should look for. Talk to them about it. Check in on them. Let them know they are not alone.

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If you are suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts please remember YOU ARE NOT ALONE! You may feel it, but please reach out and talk to someone:
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Thanks Stonyfield!

YoKids announced last month that they are sponsoring AZA’s SAFE program (Saving Animals From Extinction) that will help support conservation efforts for 10 endangered species! As part of a year-long effort, Stonyfield YoKids will not only be contributing funds to field work but will aim to drive kids and their families to see animals and conservation projects first hand at zoos, aquariums, and on the ground where the research is happening.

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When you purchase two specially marked Stonyfield Organic YoKids multipacks from now until September 2017, you can get a FREE kid’s ticket with purchase of an adult ticket to an accredited AZA zoo or aquarium!! There are over 131 accredited zoos and aquariums- you can click here for a list.  Over the next year you will see the African Penguin and the most endangered AZA SAFE species will be on Stonyfield Organic YoKids packaging- so be on the lookout!

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We got to visit a local AZA zoo- Riverbanks and the kids had a blast! They have my son’s favorite AZA SAFE species- the western lowlands gorilla, so he was stoked. We also loved the anaconda, penguins, sea lions, otters, meerkats, lemurs and more! This was our first time seeing the new sea lion exhibit and it didn’t disappoint! The baby loved being to see them swim up close.

I wish the zoo had more information about their involvement with AZA but I wasn’t able to find any and it was a very busy day for the staff. We did learn that Riverbanks is solar powered, they have a recycling program, a water conservation program, and other practices in place to save energy, water, waste reduction, pollution prevention and more.

Be sure to purchase two specially marked Stonyfield Organic YoKids multipacks from so you can get a FREE kid’s ticket with purchase of an adult ticket to an accredited AZA zoo or aquarium!

Stonyfield is the leading organic yogurt maker and is dedicated to conservation and sustainability. Each year they keep over 185,000 pounds of toxic pesticides out of the environment, helping to safeguard species and their eco-systems. So it made sense for them to sponsor a mission that is helping to save endangered species!

 *I AM PART OF THE STONYFIELD YOGETTERS GROUP OF BLOGGERS AND RECEIVE COMPENSATION AND PRODUCTS AS PART OF THE PROGRAM. MY OPINION IS NOT INFLUENCED IN ANY WAY

 

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Finn + Emma

When my son was an infant I loved Finn + Emma clothing. The details of their clothes were incomparable. Their natural wooden buttons, soft organic cotton, eco friendly dyes, whimsical designs- all produced in fair trade settings- you couldn’t ask for a better clothing company! Luckily I kept a lot of his unisex clothes and baby girl got to wear them.

Then I had the opportunity to review some their Fairytale collection and I fell in love all over again!

 

_DSC0083Baby girl LOVES the lily the pika Rattle Buddy. It is made with organic cotton yarn and eco friendly dyes, stuffed with sheep’s wool and a rattle, and was hand knit in Peru. When you shake the pika it has a gentle rattle, so if it moves while your kiddo is sleeping it’s not loud enough to wake them up. But when they shake it, they get the cause and effect. The soft gentle colors of the rattle buddy match their pajamas and other clothing from the line!

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We also got the wood rattle feather teether that has truly come in handy! Baby girl had 6 teeth coming in at once and loved gnawing on the smooth feather in between shaking. The feather design is adorable and I love the small carved details!! The wood rattle feather teether is made with untreated Indian hardwood with a non-toxic vegetable seed wax finish and filled with Indian cooking beans.

 

My favorite is the Fairytale Dream Catcher pajamas. The pajama bottoms were so comfy and soft, baby girl has worn them with several outfits. I love the soft colors and they match her personality so well. The pajamas run in sizes 12-18 months-4T. They are G.O.T.S. certified 100% organic cotton with non-toxic eco friendly dyes made in India. The pants have a wide waist band and are tight fitting. The pajamas are very true to size, so if you are like me and like them a little less snug, I would size up.

Finn + Emma have a large selection of gowns, coveralls, footies, kimonos, bodysuits, pants, hats, headbands, toys, rattles, teethers, play gyms and more. Their clothing goes up to 12-18 months with the exception of the pajamas. I sooo wish the shorts, pants and rompers were in larger sizes- they are adorable!! You can purchase online at Finn + Emma, Amazon and other retailers near you.

SAMPLE DISCLOSURE: THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED ABOVE ARE HONEST, ACCURATE, AND NOT ENCOURAGED ANYWAY BY MONETARY DONATIONS. A SAMPLE FREE OF CHARGE WAS RECEIVED FROM SAID COMPANY, AS STATED WITHIN THE EDITORIAL
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Celebrate You

Do you ever get so overwhelmed at reading labels and articles about chemical safety that you just want to curl up in a ball and give up everything? That was me several years ago. The more I read, the more I felt everything was going to kill the planet (and my family!) in some way. Not a fun way to live life! Then I started learning more about sustainable companies and I found my favorites. It is nice to not have to think about what’s in a product and it has made shopping fun again.

Over the past couple of months I’ve been on a path of self discovery and wholeness. After having a baby, being diagnosed with PPD and hypothyroidism my body has completely gone out of wack- spiritually and physically. I’m larger than I have ever been which is affecting my self confidence and worth. So I started going to this AMAZING yoga class. Having to shop for this amazing yoga class was hard.

Luckily I know I trust prAna. You might remember them from a campaign I did with them in 2015- Just Be You. prAna inspires healthy, active, and free-spirited living. They use organic cotton, recycled wool, hemp and recycled polyester. prAna goes out of their way to make sure the impact they make on the world is mostly confined to their aesthetic. They use materials and partner with companies and factories that adhere to strict guidelines for safety and efficacy. You can find Women’s and Men’s clothing ranging from tops, bras, bathing suits, dresses, skirts, jackets, sweaters, hoodies, pants, vests and more! Their yoga line is wonderful and I love the fit.

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prAna sent me (and an awesome group of Stonyfield bloggers) a Dreaming Tankini so I could celebrate #TheWholeYou and take a minute to be present and enjoy a tasty snack while wearing comfortable, sustainable clothing.

 

prAna and Stonyfield believe your time is better spent relaxing and being the authentic YOU rather than having to do endless research on what’s in your outfit or snack. #TheWholeYou is being intentional but doing so without the stress.

I’ve found authenticity in yoga, playing in nature with my kids, yard work, reading, meditating, and art journaling. The Dreaming Tankini offers enough support so that you can wear it outside while doing yard work, playing on the beach, or chasing after your kiddos at the pool. It is a great swim and outdoor activity top!

And what better way to cool down from the heat than by a nice bowl of  Whole Milk Stonyfield Organic Greek Yogurt? I love adding a little bit of granola and chia to add flavor. Stonyfield’s Organic Greek Yogurt is great on pancakes, waffles, and in dips- especially guacamole (you can get my recipe here). Greek yogurt goes great with savory as well as sweet. My favorite is the Whole Milk Greek Blueberry but it is sold out everywhere close to me! Yes it is that good.

Love what you see? Use the COUPON CODE: WHOLES17MEM Discount: 15% off at prAna.com Not valid on Gift Certificates or with any other offers Valid May 9-31, 2017

 *I AM PART OF THE STONYFIELD YOGETTERS GROUP OF BLOGGERS AND RECEIVE COMPENSATION AND PRODUCTS AS PART OF THE PROGRAM. MY OPINION IS NOT INFLUENCED IN ANY WAY
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Creative Play Kits for Toddlers!

My kids love to dress up and have ever since they were toddlers. It is hard to find non-character dress up that fits the littles. When my oldest was 18 months the only thing I could find was Disney dress up or old Halloween costumes. Then reports of some of the costumes containing flame retardants, lead, cadmium, and other heavy metals came in- so when my son was at the dress up stage I had to find alternatives.

Now my littlest is 16 months and LOVES to dress up with her siblings. So when Seedling announced their new Littles collection, I got really excited! Seedling’s Littles are creative play kits for toddlers which include: Magical Hero Dress Up Cape, Galaxy Rocket Adventure Cape, Farmers Market Playtime Kit, Let’s Roll! I Love Sushi Kit, Under The Sea Puppet Playtime Kit, Dress Up and Play Animal Ears Headband, and Royally Cute Kitty.

The kits are for ages 2-4 but the Magical Hero Dress Up Cape fits my 16 month and she is in love being a super hero!

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The awesome thing about this kit is that the lightning bolt, rainbow, cloud and star-shaped patches are all attached to the cape and arm bands with velcro and can be moved! So each time the child dresses up they can customize to their mood. My daughter loves moving the pieces around and it is helping develop her fine motor skills.

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The Magical Hero Dress Up Cape is also reversible- so brothers and sisters can both enjoy! My son, who is 4, is obsessed with the arm bands and is always taking off with them. My daughter’s room is unicorn themed, so he associates unicorns with girls- but when I showed him he could flip the cape around, he got pretty excited.

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I love gender neutral toys that inspire the imagination- and especially love that the cape can appeal to both sexes- because what little girl doesn’t love unicorns and what little boy doesn’t love super heroes?? The Magical Hero Dress Up Cape retails for $29.99 and can be purchased online at Seedling, Amazon, and in select Neiman Marcus stores.

Seedling also has a Galaxy Rocket Adventure Cape that is similar to the Magical Hero Dress Up Cape. The Galaxy Rocket Adventure Cape has a cotton rocket ship, planetary patches and felt rocket flames that attach to the reversible cotton cape with elastic straps.

The Galaxy Rocket Adventure Cape retails for $29.99 and can be purchased online at Seedling, Amazon, and in select Neiman Marcus stores.

You can see more of the Seedling Littles collection here. The collection features soft, portable, play kits that empower toddlers with a fantastic range of experiences from becoming their own superhero to preparing sushi, or even exploring the galaxy in a customizable rocket-launching cape.

A Little More Magic for You!

Download the free Littles app for more exciting discoveries! Elements in your Seedling Littles kit will come to life with the magic of augmented reality. Hold your tablet or phone up to certain areas on the kit and drawings on the box to reveal the surprise! Plus, each kit has its own mini-game!
SAMPLE DISCLOSURE: THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED ABOVE ARE HONEST, ACCURATE, AND NOT ENCOURAGED ANYWAY BY MONETARY DONATIONS. A SAMPLE FREE OF CHARGE WAS RECEIVED FROM SAID COMPANY, AS STATED WITHIN THE EDITORIAL.