Category Archives: Health + Lifestyle

Style // My Summer Lust List.

I swear people must think I am nuts when I tell them I work in the fashion industry; and especially when I tell them I design prints. You’d probably never guess it by my wardrobe. Simple and basic are the two words that would best describe my style although comfort is a strong selling point. Every time the seasons change I find myself gravitating to a few staples in my closet that are worn to shreds by the next season.

Being a mama doesn’t exactly allow for as much “me” time as it used to, so my hunt for good fashion these days tends to be more work driven than lust listing but here are few of my favorite summer threads that I’m just dying to get my hands on. What’s on your summer wish list?

Hat … Imogene + Willie “Plus Cap” ///  Cami …  Cami NYC “The Racer”  ///  Clutch … Graf + Lantz “Jodi Clutch” /// Jeans …  J Brand “Jake” ///Shoes … Birkenstock “Gizeh”

 

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What Hera Wore // A Gypsy Weekend.

gypsy

No, don’t worry – I’m not bringing Hera to Coachella; but I have been inspired by all the festival fashions and trends lately. With all the hubbub of Coachella this weekend Hera and I are planning to have our own little music festival. The schedule includes: making music on her adorable natural maracas and bongos, picnicking in the park, a little finger painting, and of course, listening to some great music via vinyl. I’m thinking the lineup looks something like the original Alice in Wonderland Soundtrack, the Jungle Book soundtrack, and perhaps a little Fleetwood Mac.

Just because we aren’t making the trek out to Indio doesn’t mean we can’t dress the part this weekend either. I was going through some old boxes of mine yesterday and found this gorgeous floral crown that I wore to the Renaissance festivals when I was a kid. I can’t believe this thing is like 15+ years old! Eek! Anyways, to all of you heading out to the desert this weekend – safe travels + enjoy yourselves! You’ll most likely find Hera and I dancing in the park.

What Hera Wore. Ivory Mesh Dress // Baby Gap. (No longer available but this one is equally adorable!) Amber Beads // Amber Atisans. Floral Crown // It was mine as a kid!. Natural Maracas // Oriental Trading Company. Moccasins // Minnetonka. Llama Stuffy // JellyCat.

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A New You // Sat Nam. {A Giveaway – Now Closed.}

I first fell in yoga 8 years ago when I fell out of love with myself. I was out of shape and in a slump. I had originally taken a yoga class with my mom as an act to shed some weight never guessing it would become a place where I could escape. It has been a constant in my life ever since. Yoga has been my therapist, my physical exercise, my mental exercise, my temple, my enemy, and my friend. I guess you could call me a yogi. I’ve always been a more spiritual person rather than a religious one.

When I became pregnant I realized the importance of yoga in my life. Sure, I had learned ujjayi breaths years ago but it wasn’t until childbirth when I witnessed firsthand, the power of the mind and breath. It has been such an adaptive practice. There was Vinyasa when I needed a sweat, Iyengar when I needed an alignment and Kundalini when I needed to refocus. It seemed like wherever I was in life, yoga was there to ground me. The education I learned from my practice over the years has gotten me through quite some feats; from planning a wedding to raising a child. I have been able to remain grounded (and sane) all thanks to my practice.

While I’m not able to make it to my mat as often as I’d like to lately I still find ways that I am able to incorporate yoga into my life. I have hung onto the mantra “Sat Nam” meaning truth is my name. I find myself repeating this over and over in my head when I need to drown out the outside world and find my breath. I’m overjoyed to see the outcome of a life lived positively through yoga. I’d like to think that my daughter, Hera, is as calm and happy as she is due to my practice – especially my prenatal practice. It fills me with such joy to see her smile. My mom recently bought her a BendiBaby yoga mat and while I’m sure her poses are purely instinctual, her ‘happy baby’, ‘baby cobra’ and the ever popular ‘savasana’ gives me a proud mama moment every time.

I’m going to digress for half a second; isn’t Instagram wonderful? It allows some pretty amazing people to come into your life that would normally never have crossed your path. I connected with Heather about a month ago when I saw her beautiful Mala Beads online. We got to talking and found out that we had quite a bit in common. Heather owns Mama Malas, an amazing line of gorgeous mala beads geared to inspire and remind mamas, like ourselves, to slow down and remain in the present. I used to find myself always looking towards the future. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but ever since I brought Hera into the world I’ve found myself clinging on to time. There is never enough of it. I always tear up a bit when I think to myself that a lifetime with Hera is simply not long enough.

Heather, herself, has had quite an amazing journey. When she was 22, she packed up her entire life and made the trek from Winnipeg to Calgary to live with a boy she had only been dating for five months. Everyone thought she was crazy but she knew in her gut that he was “the one”. She had been working as a stylist and one of her clients introduced her to energy healing and meditation. She was encouraged to listen to her “gut” and that’s exactly what she did. She said it’s the best decision she had ever made. It turns out that guy was “the one” and they were married three years later. They welcomed their son, Owen, into the world 2 years after that.

She, too, had been practicing yoga on and off for years; however, she became serious about it right before her wedding. She would often turn to yoga to deal with the stress of wedding planning and was blown away by the change in her attitude. She said, she “fully credits yoga for keeping [her] calm when the bridal salon tore [her] dress and [she] only had 2 weeks to find a replacement!” She also loves how her practice evolved with her through pregnancy and motherhood.

I had asked her what her favorite asana was and she said that after having a baby that pigeon had really helped her to feel light and amazing. Because women tend to hold a lot of tension in their hips, she thanks pigeon for helping her work through that. She finds it “freeing”. She does note that savasana is always where the real magic happens.

She tells me that, “One random day it hit [her] like a ton of bricks, how quickly Owen was growing up, and [she] wanted a tangible reminder to slow down and be present.” It’s so easy to multitask all day, and never give anything your full attention. She wanted to find a way to remind herself of her own spiritual journey; a reminder to take care of herself when she got lost in taking care of others. I couldn’t relate more to her if I tried. She tried wearing her large sandalwood Mala beads but she said they just didn’t feel right. She wanted something beautiful that would make her want to wear her reminder daily. She made herself a pair of Mala beads and added a healing stone to help keep her aligned with her goals. After receiving numerous compliments she started Mama Malas. Don’t fret if you’re not a mama yourself, anyone can wear and benefit from these stunning works of art. She focused on the needs of mamas because that’s where she was in her life and she found it so easy to forget about herself and her personal journey while taking care of her family.

Early this year, in January, she officially launched Mama Malas and Heather is quite the one-woman show. She does everything from designing and producing the malas to packaging and marketing. While it’s been a lot of work, she says it “has been the most rewarding experience and has introduced [her] to so many amazing and inspiring women.” While she does wear many hats she, by far, adores the design aspect the most. She finds that trusting her intuition always leads to the perfect combination of healing and beauty. When she told me of her plans to launch a new line of stackable bracelets in April I had to pick up my tongue off the floor.

She reminds her customers to trust their “gut” when choosing their malas and that their first instinct or “gut feeling” is usually the mala for them. She wears all of her malas but finds herself gravitating toward the Glowing Mama Mala and the Inspirational Mama Mala the most these days. She finds that they help remind herself to stay fully present whether she’s with her family or at work. Her goal for this year is to put an end to her multitasking. With her implementation of “office hours” she finds it easier to be fully present. She says she’s “so much happier on the days that [she's] not trying to multitask and to just let [herself] enjoy what [she's] doing while [she's] doing it.”

Heather gifted me with my own set of gorgeous  Mama Malas; I trusted my gut and went with Glowing Mama Mala. It’s true what she says, not only is it beautiful but I find myself wanting to wear my daily reminder to be present. I love that the stones give meaning to me wearing it. Without sounding too cliche, I do feel empowered when I wear it. It may be the power of White Jasper or the fact that this gorgeous piece of art is the perfect accessory for anything from running errands to grabbing cocktails. I’d love to take a second to thank Heather, it’s like she has given me back time I would have otherwise lost from forgetting to be in the present.

Being the absolute sweetheart that Heather is, she is graciously spreading the love by gifting one of my lucky readers with their own Mama Mala. Check out Mama Malas to see which one best fits you! To enter this giveaway you must:

Follow Heather on Instagram | @mamamalas
Follow Me on Instagram (if you don’t already!) | @kimberhbrown
Repost my “Giveaway Photo” on Instagram with the hashtag #mamamalasgiveaway

*Please contact me if your Instagram is private. The giveaway closes on April 11th at midnight and the winner will be announce on April 12th. Spread the love!

Update. The giveaway is now closed. Thank you to all who entered and the winner is …


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April 7, 2014 - 10:10 pm

Noelle - Love your post! And I entered the giveaway, I’m n_marie on instagram.
Manifesting a win <3 I would love to have one of these :)
Thank you for sharing

Raw Beauty // A Spa Day, at Home.

I’m not sure if it’s the weather or my lack of time and energy to pamper myself but my skin has been horrible lately. It’s dry in some patches and oily in others leaving this mama a mess. The other day I thought to myself, I’m going to go get a facial but then I realized I have a 3-month old and no free time. So when Hera went down for her midday nap I snuck into my pantry and whipped up the easiest face mask and toner. I was able to make these, apply the mask for 15 minutes, wash it off, apply the toner and even pluck a few stray eyebrows all before she woke up. It literally felt like I had escaped to a spa for a few hours, it was exactly what this mama needed.

This Indian ‘Mud’ face mask did wonders and it left my skin smelling so good. Organic honey is always a good base for face masks because it’s naturally antibacterial which is perfect for both treatment and prevention of blemishes. It’s also full of antioxidants and is extremely moisturizing, but the best part about honey is that it’s clarifying. It soothes and leaves your skin with a healthy glow. The cinnamon is the secret in this mask because it brings nutrients to surface of your skin. It also has a faux botox quality by bringing blood to the surface and help rid your face of those horrible fine lines and wrinkles. Lastly the nutmeg helps brighten dull looking skin almost instantly. It’s also said that nutmeg helps alleviate acne and reduce to look of scaring. Why wouldn’t you want to rub this magic mixture onto your face!?

After washing off my mask I applied my sea salt toner to help balance the pH levels in my skin. The sea salt toner is a great thing to add to your everyday skin care routine. The tangerine essential oil is completely optional, I’ve been on a huge tangerine oil kick lately. It instantly lifts my mood.

Indian ‘Mud’ Mask
1 Tablespoon of Organic Honey
½ teaspoon of Cinnamon
½ teaspoon of Nutmeg

Method

Mix the honey, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl. I like to warm my mask up a bit before applying, this helps open your pores and feels nice as well. Leave it on your face to dry for about 15 minutes before washing it off with a warm towel.

Sea Salt Toner
1 Cup of Distilled Water, warmed
1 Tablespoon of Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
1 teaspoon of Epsom Salt
2-3 drops of Tangerine Essential Oil (optional)

Method

Add the salts to the warm distilled water and stir until the salts have completely dissolved. Add the drops of essential oils, if doing so, and transfer the spray into a glass jar or spritzer bottle to store. To use, apply the toner to the skin by spraying or dabbing on a cotton pad.

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What Hera Wore // Saturday Blues.

We’re keeping busy this Saturday. We’re off to the zoo! We can’t wait to see Hera’s face when she visits the lions, tigers, bears – oh, my! We’re dropping Hera off at my parents early this evening because Monday is my birthday and my sweet husband is taking me to dinner tonight to celebrate, sans Hera. We’re going to celebrate as a family on Monday.

It’s been pretty warm here the past couple of days, so I put Hera in a flutter sleeve chambray dress that I couldn’t resist from Baby Gap. We put on some striped tights and threw on her my favorite moccasins and headed out the door to greet the day. Of course, no outfit it complete without a little head piece. I hope Hera’s imagination is as big as her mama’s, which is why her closet is already stocked with bunny ears, cat ears, floral head wreaths and of course her gypsy crown which I thought fit perfectly with today’s outfit. Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

What Hera Wore. Chambray Dress // Baby Gap || Striped Tights // Nordstrom Baby || Moccasins // Minnetonka || Floral Crown // A DIY Project

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What Hera Wore // Striped Kitty.

What Hera Wore.

Saturdays for us are either extremely relaxed or utterly packed. Today is one of those relaxed days. She’s accompanying me while we run errands around town today. While I love dressing her up one of the main things I look for in her clothes is comfort which is why today’s outfit is a common go-to for me. If you know me, you know I’m not one for frilly dresses covered in taffeta flowers or headbands with fabric ribbons and bows bigger than the size of her head. I dress her much like I dress myself and I’m going to try and enjoy it as long as I can. Before I know it she’ll be picking out her own outfits – eek!

We have family visiting this week so I’m sure we’ll be busy with dinners and outings but today we’re having a “mommy / daughter” day. I’m going to attempt to take her to the nail salon today, I haven’t had a pedicure in way too long. I think we may try and stop by the Farmer’s Market as well … I have picked up a few amazing roasted veggie recipes that I’ve been dying to try. It’s absolutely beautiful out today. I feel so guilty saying this because of my friends and family on the East Coast (and Midwest!) but it’s supposed to be 84° here this weekend so you’re bound to catch us taking a stroll by the beach at some point. What are your plans for this weekend?

What Hera Wore.
Camouflage Sweatshirt // Peek.
Striped Leggings // DIY. (Thank you Pinterest!)
Ruby Red Slippers // Nordstrom Baby.
Felt Kitty Ears // Daiso (They were under $2.00 … and yes Hera loves them!)

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