3 SIMPLE TIPS TO DAILY MINDFULNESS

Happy Mindful Monday! It’s been awhile since I have posted something for mindful Monday, and I miss it!

I do my best to practice mindfulness each day, because it keeps me grounded and is so good for my mental health. It’s also because staying present and mindful can be so hard in this world, and I never want to look back on my life and wish I had been more mindful. BUT I am definitely not perfect at being mindful every moment of every day, but it’s so important to me that I am aware and that it is something I work on!

3 tips to make daily mindfulness easy

  1. Start the day with 1-3 different intentions. These intentions should not be your to-do list. You may have seem my monthly intentions that I post on Instagram, and some of them are tasks I wish to complete. For my daily intentions, I like to write things more like this: take 3 deep breaths every time I remember, meditate before bed, make myself a cup of tea, etc.
  2. Put your phone away. You can’t ever be in the present moment with your phone in your face, not fully. And I am not saying that you need to ditch your phone all day, or forever, or anything. Just a realistic break at least once a day from your phone and other distractions. Take this time to be totally present in whatever is going on in the moment, and soak it all in. It feels so good! Another tip to try with your phone is to follow social media accounts that uplift you, and make you feel good. If ever you see something that makes you feel bad about yourself, or your life, click unfollow!
  3. End each day with 3 things you are grateful for, or that went well that day. This helps you reflect on the day and even start to notice these things throughout the day. I feel like some days are a whirlwind, so this reflection exercise helps bring some mindfulness and gratitude to each night.

I would love to see your intentions, gratitude lists, and everything you are doing to be mindful each day! Tag me in your posts and use the hashtag #mindfulwithchels 
 

 

MENSTRUAL CUPS

First, a true and really funny story. When my husband and I were still only dating, he overheard his mom and sister talking about tampons. I think they were talking about how awful they are, or something along those lines. And my sweet Sam, in all his unawareness to what a menstrual cup was, tells them “oh, Chelsea uses this like glass vial thing instead of tampons.” Insert horrible, shocked, and disgusted face here. I only got to hear about this horrible story after we were married, from his mom and sister (thankfully, they now know what a menstrual cup is and that I am not some crazy person using GLASS VIALS! hahaha!) I was so horrified when they told me what he had said! Menstrual cups are not glass, so fear not! Also, believe me, my husband now knows just about as much about menstrual cups as I do.

Menstrual cups, or period cups, are a great alternative to tampons. I love them and have been using the DivaCup for 10 years! But I am sure so many of you are wondering:ย what in the world is a menstrual cup?!

A menstrual cup is a soft silicone cup used in place of a tampon during your menstrual phase. It’s reusable, sustainable, better for your body, and far more comfortable than any tampon out there.

How does the DivaCup work?

There are two different fold options, and great instructions come with the cup. You can also read about it on their site before you purchase one.

Fold options via DivaCup website

As you can see, the DivaCup has a bell-shape and a “stem” on the bottom for easy removal. I have tried other menstrual cups and no one compares to the Diva.

These are offered in two sizes: model one for women under 30 and have never given birth, and model two for women over 30 or those who have (whether c-section or vaginal, it doesn’t matter. Birth is birth.) given birth. I have used both, because I have been using this brand for 10 years. You can read more about sizing options here.

Washing your DivaCup

Washing is so much easier than it may seem at first. I wash mine with Dr. Bronner’s unscented castile soapย and that works great for me. The DivaCup website has instructions for washing, and they recommend their Diva Wash, or unscented, oil-free soap. It is also recommended to boil it after each cycle for a few minutes, just to keep it sanitized. You can learn more about caring for your cup here.ย 

Is it gross to use or get used to using?

I have heard so often about women being too grossed out to use a menstrual cup. And I can understand that initial icky factor. It can be something you need to get used to doing, but honestly, it’s not bad at all. After trying a menstrual cup, you may be surprised to find how cleanly and easy they are to use.

Benefits of switching to a menstrual cup:

  • menstrual cups are non toxic, and much safer for your body than tampons
  • they can be worn for up to 12 hours
  • cost saver! Imagine not having to buy tampons every month.
  • better for the environment
  • far more comfortable to wear than a tampon
  • no leaks! (if you do experience a leak, it was probably inserted wrong)
  • menstrual cups are SO safe, there is no chance of toxic shock like there is when using a tampon.

Where to purchase a DivaCup

You can use the DivaCup store finder to locate where to buy one locally, or you can order is online from any place listed here.

Switching to a menstrual cup is well worth it, and something you will be so glad you did. It’s safer for your body, the environment, and so much more comfortable than a tampon! Of course, I highly recommend them ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

(note: this post may contain affiliate links. DivaCup provided this cup for photography purposes, but I was not paid to write this post. All opinions are completely mine own, and I have been using this brand for 10 years and truly trust the brand and company.)

EXPERIBOX










Good morning! You may know that I am mommy to two beautiful little souls. I have a 3 year old daughter and a 1.5 year old son. I love finding fun new activities for them, so when ExperiBox contacted me to try their box, I was so excited!

What is ExperiBox?

It is a monthly subscription box for ages 0-3 filled with safe, developmental activities. For example, our box was full of natural paint, canvas, lavender, essential oil, sea salt, paint brushes, etc.

How was ExperiBox for older toddlers?

My 3 year old loved this box! She didn’t want to finger paint, but she loved using the brushes and even the lavender to paint. The paint was pink, too, which made her SO happy! My 19 month old liked it too, but not as much as his sister! He finger painted a lot, and loved the different textures (we added the sea salt to some and lavender).

Overall, we loved this box, and I was really impressed with the quality and quantity. With subscription prices ranging from $39.95-$29.95, it was MORE than worth it’s price! Ours also came with a high-quality, wooden teething toy. Each month is different, and full of something exciting and fun for that whole age range. There were also some great instructions for even the littlest babies to enjoy the box!

I think it’s a great idea, and something I would definitely recommend. There was plenty of product for my two kids to share, which was awesome!

 

Note: Although ExperiBox sent me this one box complimentary, all opinions are completely my own. I would never recommend something I did not believe in, or see the value in myself. 

CYCLE SYNCING

Cycle syncing is something I have been long interested in. It’s something you have probably seen me talking about on Instagram if you follow me there. But what is it exactly? And why should you be doing it?

Over the years I have gone through hell and back with my cycles. I started learning about cycle syncing when my husband and I were first trying to get pregnant about 4 years ago. I was using natural family planning to get pregnant, and really liked the idea of cycle syncing too, but I was honestly not that good at sticking to any of those practices in the long run.

This year, I heard about the app My Flo and had to try it out. It has helped me learn so much more about cycle syncing, and helped me stick to it. I highly recommend getting the app (and actually getting in the habit of utilizing it!).

So what is cycle syncing?

Cycle syncing is essentially syncing our daily lives with our cycles. Our bodies require different needs at every cycle phase, and it is so important to learn about these phases and practice cycle syncing.

If you think about the phases of your cycle, they are all so different, they change your hormones, how you feel, everything. They are ever-flowing, always continuing, always changing. This is feminine energy. Cycle syncing is all about embracing this in your day-to-day life, rather than fighting it as most of us tend to do.

For example: so many of us make a strict routine for ourselves, and we get upset when we do not or cannot stick to it. Like, exercise. Always doing the same things, working hard, and never tuning in to what your body may actually need that day.

It’s okay, we have all been there.

There are four phases of your cycle:

  • Follicular
  • Ovulation
  • Luteal
  • Menstrual

 

Cycle Syncing in the Follicular Phase

This is a great time for:

  • brainstorming
  • creativity
  • fermented foods
  • new exercise routines!

During this phase, I like to do a lot of my writing. I drink all the kombucha, and I usually end up having a dance party with my toddlers.

Cycle Syncing in the Ovulation Phase

During ovulation it is great to:

  • open up in communication
  • do some high-intensity workouts
  • eat raw veggies

I cycle sync my ovulation by working on collaborations, and if I am feeling up to it I will do some HIIT. Because I have PCOS, my ovulation phases can be really painful and sometimes I don’t feel up for a hard work out. I listen to my body and I will do some yoga or go for a light walk. I also load up on all the raw veggies, usually lots of carrots, celery and hummus. Oh, and salads! I always have a lot of salads!

Cycle Syncing in the Luteal Phase

This is a good phase for:

  • tackling your to-do list
  • strength training
  • leafy greens.

I am always finding myself wanting to do everything I have been thinking of doing in this phase. I always have a lot of motivation to get ish done! I love strength training, and I focus on it a lot during this phase. I loving leafy greens, and I eat them all the time. But eating extra during this time helps keep the sugary cravings at bay, so I eat kale chips, and put spinach/kale/arugula/etc. in everything I make!

Cycle Syncing in the Menstrual Phase

This a good time to:

  • evaluate the past month as a whole. What worked for you, and what did not, and so on.
  • Eat protein
  • It’s perfectly okay to consider a nap or a rest as your exercise for this time! If you feel up for something, I suggest a really gentle (maybe even short) yoga sequence, or a really light walk.

For me, every other menstrual phase is really brutal. During the really rough phase, I rest. I take extra care of my body, and try to keep myself as comfortable as possible. I also allow myself a treat if I want it, and that’s okay. When I am having an easier (easier for me, I should say!) cycle, I will do some yoga, and walking.

Through cycle syncing I have learned so much more about my body and my cycles. It has also helped me not only understand my PCOS more, but also treating it. To help make cycle syncing easy, I use the My Flo app on my phone. It gives me updates, helps me track my cycle, and more. It’s really helped me get in tune with my body this year, and I am so grateful. I highly recommend it! It’s $1.99 in the app store, and I think it is safe to say it’s the best 2 dollars I have spent.

You can also ease into cycle syncing, I did! Start out slow by incorporating some foods into your diet that are specific to your current phase. Then try changing up your workout routine, and so on. You will probably ed up like me: in love with how in tune you become to your body, feeling great, and obsessed with cycle syncing. It eventually becomes second nature.

To help make cycle syncing even easier (seriously the MyFlo app is SO helpful and informative!) you can make these “cycle syncing note cards.” Here are some super simple instructions as well:


  •  Cut a piece of card stock paper into four equal squares
  • Write one phase of each four phases on each paper
  • Write down a few simple reminders to do during that phase (for example: ovulation phase I wrote down HIIT, eat raw veggies and fruits, be communicative)
  • Hang it somewhere you will see it every morning for a reminder to cycle sync your day!


Make sure you are following me on Instagram, where I will be sharing even more about cycle syncing!

I would love to know, do you cycle sync?

 

SQUEASY GEARย 

When choosing products for my kids, I am often frustrated with what is available. I was the highest quality, non-toxic products for them which either comes at ridiculous prices or just difficult to find.

My kids love smoothies, so I was searching for something non-toxic, unbreakable, and easier for them to eat them out of. Everything was plastic, and I was discouraged. But then I found Squeasy Gear bottles and completely fell in love! I was so excited to try them out and once they came, I was even more please with them.


Starting off with the bottle itself, they are made of food grade silicone that’s non toxic and when your kids throw it/drop it, it’s not going to shatter! The name explains it perfectly: it’s squeezy texture is perfect for little hands! They come in several sizes, so you can use them for all ages and needs. We use the largest size (sport) for water bottles, and the 6 oz. snacker for smoothies etc. They also make a smaller snacker size that is perfect for baby food and homemade applesauces!

When my kids were babies, I used these reusable pouches to make baby food for them sometimes, and I wish I had used these! They are amazing and would make the best shower gift.

The lids have a no spill insert you can put in or take out for older kids. My 1.5 year old uses the no spill and it works pretty good! I honestly didn’t expect it to work as well as it does. My 3 year old uses hers without the insert so she can squeeze water out, or tip it back.

Overall, I am very satisfied with these products. Since we got them, we have used them daily!

I also wanted to share one of my kids favorite smoothies we make to put in the snacker bottles!


Coconut Gingerbread Smoothie:

1 frozen banana

1/2 c. steamed then frozen cauliflower

1/4 c. frozen butternut squash

1 heaping T. shredded coconut

1 T. molasses

1 t. ground ginger

1 t. cinnamon

1 scoop Vital Proteins vanilla and coconut water peptides

1 1/2 c. filtered water or nut milk

Blend until smooth, and pour into Squeasy Gear bottles! I also like using these to store leftover smoothies and turmeric lattes for my kids. They save well in them.

*I use all organic items!

 

 

NON TOXIC SWAP OUTS


The bathroom is one place we don’t always think of that’s lurking with toxins. Convtional beauty and hygiene products are full of harmful ingredients, so if you haven’t swapped them out already, I’m challenging you to clean out your bathrooms today. Toss out all of the products that aren’t truly clean (watch out for those green washed items! They’re unfortunately everywhere) and replace them with something so much better for you and the environment!

  • Toothpaste. You can read my post here that goes into all the chemical ingredients in conventional toothpaste. I recommend a swap out for Davids or Dr. Bronners. For a baby toothpaste, we really like Jack and Jill.
  • Deodorant. I like making my own (recipe here) but if you’re not into that I recommend Pachi. They have men’s and women’s, they smell amazing and they actually work great!
  • Sunscreen. Just like many things, conventional sunscreen is chock-full or harmful toxins. I love BRAND and it works really well too. I would also recommend Badger’s. They both perform amazing and are very clean.
  • Lotion. I think here are a lot of non toxic lotions easily available, but I really like Acure and Dr. Bronners.
  • Shampoo. Read my post about oil training, and then swap out that toxic shampoo for Wild Willow (local company!) or Griffin.
  • Hand soap. There are quite a few decent hand soaps at regular stores now, but if you want something super-clean that smells amazing, works amazing, and lasts awhile I highly recommend Kosmotology.
  • Dry shampoo. Not many people know that there is a clean version of dry shampoo out there! I have good news for you, this one from Green and Gorgeous not only works incredibly well, but for me it doubles as finishing powder (for those rare times I wear makeup) and one thing lasts a really long time!
  • Eye makeup remover. I love this little kit from BRAND. It’s a great swap out choice for a clean product and the cloth is so soft it feels like clouds are washing your mascara off.
  • Skin care. You guys know my deep love (possibly obsession) with Cocokind Skincare. If you’re using a conventional cleanser on your face, swap it out for this brand. Their cleansers are oil based which is ideal for all skin types, yes even oily! If you are already using a natural oil cleanser, I still would recommend trying out Cocokind. They’re organic, well-sourced, high performing, and every item is priced so amazing!
  • Makeup. Head over to tour closest natural grocery store and pick up some cacao powder. This is now your eyebrow powder and bronzer. I also really like the makeup made by 100% Pure and BRAND.

There are so many non toxic choices out there, and many of them are great. Do what works for you. These are purely my recommendations for products I know and use.

These products are also SUPER easy to find. I like to purchase my stuff from The Choosy Chick because they carry all the brands I love in one place, making purchases simple and quick.

Here’s to getting all the toxic products out of your bathrooms, and a wonderful Thursday.

If you want to see the video from Good Things Utah that goes with this post, you can watch it here!

OIL TRAINING YOUR HAIR

So many people have been asking me about oil training lately, that I thought I would just write a post on it! I have been oil training my hair for quite a long time. I have made a lot of mistakes and learned so much about my hair along the way. I think I have a pretty good understanding know of what works and what really doesn’t work!

What is oil training?ย 

Oil training is teaching your hair to go longer between washes. The more we shampoo our hair, the more oil it produces. Conventional shampoos strip the oil from your hair and scalp, which causes the over-production. In turn this causes us to shampoo more often, therefore using more product. You see the cycle?

This is a hard thing to break, too, because most of us have been shampooing our hair this way since childhood.

Why should you oil train?

Training your hair to live off less shampoos is not only a huge time-saver, especially for those washing daily, but it’s healthier for your hair and scalp. Not stripping your hair of oils will leave your hair stronger, longer, and healthier. It can also help with itchy/dry scalps.

Pro-tips for oil training:

-Start slow. If you are washing daily, start doing every other day, then every third day. See what schedule works for you, everyone is different!

-Wear your hair up. When your hair is down, you are likely touching it more, creating more oil and leaving you feeling (and looking) like you need a washer sooner than you would otherwise. This is not a forever thing, your hair will learn to stop the over-production of oils no matter how you wear it. I love braiding my hair for this purpose.

-Switch to an all natural shampoo that won’t strip your hair. I use stuff from a local company, or make my own. (I will share this in another post!)

-Between actual shampoo’s, do an ACV rinse on your hair. I soak my whole scalp in my concoction (again, will post soon!) and rinse it well with water.

My experience with oil training:

As I mentioned earlier, I have been oil training my hair for a long time. When I started having kids, I didn’t always have the time to wash my hair so that is how it essentially began. I wanted to share with you guys some of the things I have learned, because I have been doing this for awhile.

-Use dry shampoo is rarely as you can. When I first started skipping a wash, I would go to dry shampoo. I was using SO MUCH of this stuff that it caused a massive build up and me having to start the oil training process all over again. I use dry shampoo in serious moderation now, and I recommend this all natural, organic dry shampoo.

-Do a coconut oil hair mask before you use the acv rinse. You can do this the entire day before, the night before, or even just an hour before.

-If your hair smells, or your scalp is itchy it is time to wash. When you get going and you are trying to build up more days between washing, these are the signs that it is time to wash your hair! Gross, I know, but even at this point it probably doesn’t look as bad as you think!

-DON’T do a rinse with water alone between washes. I promise it’ll come out looking worse than before.

-Be patient and give yourself grace. In all things, we are all so different. I know women who go 2 weeks between washes and others who go 3-4 days. Don’t push yourself (or your hair ๐Ÿ˜‰) to be like someone else.

Do you oil train?

DIY: ALL PURPOSE (ALL NATURAL) CLEANER

Walking through the cleaning isle, reading all those ingredients. Toxins, chemicals, things you don’t even know how to pronounce. Cleaning products are so rarely “clean” themselves, leaving us all wondering: “what in the hell am I putting on my counter top?”

If you have ever been there, I have a solution for you. While there are many natural cleaning solution products (this one is what I would recommend for store-bought), making your own all-purpose cleaner is not only more affordable, but also you know exactly what is in it, and can customize the scent.

There are a few different ways to make your own cleaner, but this is my personal favorite, because it is really simple and really fast to throw together when you have procrastinated making a new batch. I don’t love to set aside a lot of time for making my own products,so the easier the better. I also really believe that less is more, and this recipe uses only 4 simple ingredients you might even have on hand already!

Recipe:

-1/2 c. apple cider vinegarย 

-2 T. castile soap

-10 drops essential oil (of your choice, I like to go with things that are naturally disinfecting: tea tree, peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus, etc.)

-1/2 c. water

Instructions:

Add all items into a spray bottle using a funnel (pro tip: use an old ACV bottle to be plastic free, and really sustainable! A standard spray bottle top will fit on it. You can also re-use a bottle from old cleaner, etc.).

Gently shake the bottle (after putting the lid on) to mix everything together.

Use to clean your kitchen, floors, bathroom, windows, door nobs, car, kid’s toys, literally anything! I find that this cleaner works really well for disinfecting, and I use it daily for regular clean-up in the house, but when I am needing to deep clean the shower/tubs/toilets, I use something a little more powerful.

Have you made the swap to safer and “greener” cleaning products?

 

MODERN TWIST


Good morning! I have been loving on a brand lately that I want to share with you guys. I know most of us have heard of Stasher, their sister company Modern Twist has some of the cutest products for kids!

The first one is the tiny tote which has been so perfect for snacks at home, and on the go. My kids love it so much. I love that it’s re-usable, completely toxic-free, and easy to clean. This bag zips closed really easily, and my toddlers can open it on their own too. I love having a great option to put their snacks in when we leave the house!

We have the garden play mark-mat too that we love! It’s such a fun idea, and something my 3 year old has really enjoyed coloring on. Heck, even I love coloring on it! It’s so cute and for some reason coloring on silicone is way more fun than anything else. I love that we can use this as a place mat as well, and that it’s dishwasher safe! It’s amazing! I am looking at getting this one and this one next! They are all so cute.

They also have stuff for younger toddlers and babies, too. We have been using the bucket bib (on backorder in this print but the others are SO cute too!) for out 1 year old and he actually likes it! The silicone makes it a lot more comfortable, and its super easy to clean after (my favorite part!).

Like Stasher, Modern-Twist is out the make the planet plastic-free, which is something we should all be getting behind. I also love that with these high quality, easy to clean products, I don’t need a ton of them to get us through each day.

Have you tried them out yet? If you have, what is your favorite product?

xx, Chels

HOW I AM NATURALLY TREATING MY POSTPARTUM ANXIETY

Good morning babes! Hope everyone has had a great week, and that you are ready to take on Friday! I have been getting a TON of emails and DM’s asking about my postpartum anxiety and how I am treating it. I knew I needed to address it all in one post, because there is a lot that goes into this subject, at least for me! I want to mention first of all thatย I am not a medical professional and everything I do works best for me personally. That might not be the case for you. We are all so different and the biggest thing is to do what works best for you and your family!ย I have tried so many things before I got to this point where I finally know what works and what does not for me.

I share a little bit of my backstory on postpartum anxiety and depression here. I also shared in this post the things I did when I first noticed that I was suffering from postpartum anxiety. Our baby is now 15 months, and things have changed in how I address these things. Here iI share mindfulns what I am doing now:

  • Ashwaghandaย I take two capsules daily, and if I am feeling off or having a hard day, I take more.
  • Macaย I add 1-2 t toย a latteย or smoothie that I have throughout the day.
  • Collagenย You can read more about collagen here. I take 1 serving of it daily, usually in a smoothie or oatmeal.
  • I limit my caffeine more than I used to. I will have 1-2 cups of coffee a day, on a good day. On a day I am feeling stressed or off, I will stick with a cup of matcha. Try swiss water method decaf,ย matcha, orย Four Sigmatic mushroom coffee.
  • I track my sleep, and stick to a consistent schedule. I use the “bedtime” feature on my iPhone to keep myself on track to go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday. I allow myself time to be up before my kids, too so I have time to start my day with mindfulness, exercise, writing, or whatever it is I need that day.
  • Mindfulness has played a huge role, too. I share mindfulness tips on Mondays, either here or on my Instagram. One of my favorite tools has beenย my Purposeful Planner. It is my space where I log all my to-do lists, keep my life organized, meal plan, brain storm, all that. It’s really been helpful with my anxiety because it’s an easy way for me to keep track of everything and make sure I am giving myself what I need. I start each morning in my planner and it gives me a great start to the day.

So these are the things I am doing now, at 15 months postpartum, and I am feeling really good! I am also going to be trying out hypnotherapy soon too, and will keep you guys updated there.

Thanks so much for reading,

xx, Chels