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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.
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Save the Animals With Cows

Did you know that today is World Penguin Day?? Penguins are one of my favorite animals and we love seeing them at the Columbia Riverbanks Zoo- an AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) accredited zoo in SC. We are going to visit Riverbanks (hopefully this weekend!) so I will be back with more info about them and their efforts with AZA.

Stonyfield made a huge announcement today that YoKids is sponsoring AZA’s SAFE program (Saving Animals From Extinction) that will help support conservation efforts for 10 endangered species, including the African Penguin! Click here to find out the other 10!

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In honor of World Penguin Day, you can go to the Stonyfield Facebook page and learn more about the African Penguin from an awesome live video from the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut. Plus you can see more about their fun announcement!

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!

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. This is the really cool part!

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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!

Grab your kids and head on over to the Stonyfield YoKids AZA page and see all of the great info about the 10 AZA SAFE endangered species along with a bunch of games, quizzes, coloring sheets, word searches, mazes and more. You can also learn how you can get involved by joining the #imagineHow video series!

More Exciting New From Stonyfield YoKids:

  • Now there’s even more reason for parents and kids to love Stonyfield YoKids. Stonyfield recently announced a sugar reduction across its yogurt portfolio – and that includes YoKids.
  • Always made with USDA organic, non-GMO ingredients, Stonyfield YoKids yogurt now features as much as 40% less sugar than the leading low-fat kids’ yogurt.
  • Stonyfield’s efforts and advances in sugar reduction provide a better yogurt option for the entire family, starting where it matters most – with yogurt for kids.
  • Stonyfield YoKids is available in cups, squeezers and smoothies.
 *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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And Sometimes We Fall

A month ago today we had snow on the ground. It didn’t last long, but it was the last hoo-rah of the winter. It killed some of my plants, some of my tulips didn’t bloom, but some were saved. The trees are now coming back to life with many shades of green, flowers are blooming, colors are all over the place. Spring is the perfect reminder that beauty comes from the darkest days and it is all part of life’s cycle.

After being on my thyroid medication for 3 months I thought I was good to get off of the antidepressants. Even though I know the Dr. I saw was completely wrong in his judgment (you can read about that here) it still has stuck with me and I do not want to be on them while breastfeeding. So I started to wean myself.

Well, I was wrong- I still have the disease and I crashed hard.

Postpartum depression sucks. It’s unfair to all those involved. I hope one day my kids can read this and know that I did the best that I could- even though it might not have seemed like enough at the time. How do you explain to teachers that you can’t keep up with your child’s homework because you are struggling to get out of bed? That putting on real clothes was too hard of a task- so you dropped your preschooler off in pjs? Or tell your boss that you made that mistake because you’ve been crying for no reason for hours? What kills me the most is when I’ve yelled at the kids. I had some ugly days.

I was only off of the meds fully for about a week and on my darkest day I knew I had to get help asap. I immediately got back on the meds and found a counselor online- BEST THING EVER! I started reading Sacred Motherhood to get back to my soul. I started reading DailyOM, doing yoga, and reading spiritual things. I decided it was time to gather a tribe and find my soul sisters. It is time to get back to me!

My darkest day has led me back to finding myself again. It is so easy to get lost as ones mother, as ones wife, as ones daughter. But I’m finding more clarity in myself and life than ever before. Everything seems a bit greener, a bit brighter. I know it will take some time to really get back to me, but for now, I’m enjoying smelling the roses.

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DockATot- the product I never knew I couldn’t live without

I have to admit that the first time I saw a DockATot on Instagram I was super judgmental and (wrongly) thought it was a suffocation hazard. From the image, it didn’t look very breathable and the baby’s face was smushed against the side. I swiped on and didn’t think about it again until I received an email about them. I then decided to click on the link and read a little bit more- and I couldn’t be more thankful that I did!

I started on the DockATot safety page. The first thing that jumped out at me is that the whole product is Oeko-Tex Certified. That means it has passed rigorous testing and has been proven to be free of any toxic or harmful chemicals. So that baby that I saw in the picture with his face in the pillow was not breathing in any harmful chemicals.

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The DockATot also complies with British standard BS4578, which means it has great air-permeability and can be used confidently in cots and perambulators. The pod is designed for a baby to sleep on his back. The sides are lower than the baby’s face should be, so he is breathing open air and not breathing carbon dioxide from “trapped breathing” like in bassinets or moses baskets. However, the pod was developed for when a baby reaches the age that they roll over in their sleep that they can safely sleep on their bellies.

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The DockATot was designed for safe co-sleeping and to help the transition to a toddler bed. It can also be used for a changing station, tummy time, snuggle time, lounger… There are 2 sizes of the pod- the DockATot Deluxe and DockATot Grand. The Deluxe is for infants 0-8 months and the Grand is 9-36 months. The DockATot  is not intended for use in cribs or bassinets, but the Grand is ok for a toddler bed or big kid size beds. From what I can see, the safety issue with putting the Grand in a crib is the child being able to stand up on the sides of the pod and then falling from the crib.

 

We were sent the DockATot Grand to review and it has truly been my life saver and I cannot recommend enough. My 14 month old has been sleeping with us since day 1 and LOVES to snuggle. While I love this, I need some space during the afternoon while she naps and a few hours before I go to bed. We have her toddler bed pushed next to our bed, but she only likes playing in it while I snooze in the mornings. Since we got the DockATot Grand she has finally slept in her bed during naps and even for 4-8 hours at night. Which is HUGE!

Baby girl still nurses throughout the night, which is mainly why I haven’t pushed getting her into her own bed. My previous thought process was that we get enough sleep- why mess up a good thing? She typically goes to sleep between 7-8 and is up by midnight to nurse. Since I’ve been putting her to sleep in her DockATot Grand she has been sleeping until at least 2 a.m. and the other night she slept until 4:30 a.m.! The best part is that she has gone to sleep on her own in the  DockATot and will sleep on it when we have a babysitter. So it has made going out easier for everyone.

The transition to the DockATot wasn’t a battle and she loves being in it. My oldest didn’t transition to her bed until she was 5. We never found anything that made her feel safe sleeping on her own. My son was the same way and still gets in bed with us every night. I wish I had a DockATot when he was little- it could have done wonders! I feel confident that baby girl will be in her room much sooner than the others and I have DockATot to thank.

The DockATot cover is machine washable and is even preshrunk so you don’t have to worry about it not fitting. You can travel with the DockATot and it is great for when staying in hotels so your baby feels safe at home.

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The DockATot box makes an excellent hiding spot for preschoolers 😉

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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B Corp Companies- Congrats Stonyfield

Congrats to Stonyfield for becoming B-Corp certified

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As you know, I’ve been working with Stonyfield for the past 5 years and have loved getting to know the company. They are passionate about healthy food, healthy people, and a healthy planet- so becoming B Corp certified totally made sense with their mission.

What does that mean exactly to be B Corp Certified?

B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. It is about creating better business practices and being held accountable. It is about being the change.

A company must maintain a score of over 80 to keep their B Corp certification. This is what B Lab looks at when determining the score:

This is Stonyfield’s highlights of their score:

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Currently there are over 1,600 B Corp Certified companies. Stonyfield was recently added to the list alongside many of their friends- including Preserve, King Arthur, Purely Elizabeth, Method, pukka, Pete & Gerry’s Organics.

To celebrate their achievement, Yo-Getters were sent a box of goodies from fellow B Corp Companies!

And Stonyfield sent their NEW Grassfed Greek Yogurt that is OMG!

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Especially paired with Purely Elizabeth’s ancient grain granola! You can learn more about B Certified Companies here.

 *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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Lorena Canals

Since baby girl has been sleeping in our room for the past year, I’ve slowly been decorating her room so it has the perfect little touches. She is our last baby, so I really wanted a “Pinterest worthy” room. I love planning and decorating, so this has been a lot of fun piecing together!

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A rug can make a room. But so many rugs are scratchy, bulky, they aren’t machine washable, and lots have chemicals in them that I wouldn’t want next to my baby’s skin.  I was recently introduced to Lorena Canals and I can’t wait to order a few more for around the house!

Lorena Canals manufactures rugs and accessories including throws, pillows, and baskets. All of their products are made using natural dyes, natural fabrics, are ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 18001 and AITEX certified, and the best part is that they are machine washable!!

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All child items should be machine washable. Accidents happen, potty training happens, kids color out of the lines, you get pets…  I avoided rugs in my older kids rooms for that very reason. We did have a throw rug once, but it moved around too much and was more of a pain. I’m happy to report that our Lorena Canals sky rug does really well with 3 active kiddos!

 

Besides being washable, I really love how soft and snuggly the rug feels. The kids love laying on the rug playing with their toys or reading a book. I feel at ease knowing they are laying on safe, natural fabrics.

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All of Lorena Canals rugs have gone through extensive quality controls to check for needles and other metals. They are handmade in India and have some awesome videos on their site if you’d like to see the process! With every Lorena Canals rug purchase, you help a child attend school in India. In 2008, Lorena Canals built a Nursery in Haryana, the North of India, in order to attend children who are in the streets without protection and security, have a place to be, receive one meal a day and the education they need. Currently there are have 104 kids. You can read more here.

You can purchase Lorena Canals rugs online for $109-$299.

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.