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?

 

ROASTED VEGGIE BOWLS

One of my favorite things to cook is various types of veggie bowls. They’re easy, quick, and you can use whatever you have on hand. Plus, they’re so delicious and full of veggies (hence, the name!) so there isn’t anything not to love about them!

These veggie bowls are extra delicious because they’re doused with Chosen Foods Avocado oil (insert drool emoji x10). You can switch the veggies and spices up a bit for what you like or already have stocked, so don’t fret it you don’t have the exact ingredients!


Ingredients used:

3 large chopped carrots

1-2 sliced zucchini

Lots of halved mushrooms

1 cup garbanzo beans

2 bunches kale

4 vegan burgers of your choice

4 servings brown rice or quinoa

Chosen Foods avocado oil and spray

Nutritional yeast

Salt and pepper

Smoked paprika

Garlic powder

Coriander

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit

Cook brown rice and/or quinoa for the base of the veggie bowl. When I’m lazy I like to use these packets of these from Costco and cook it on the stove for about 10 minutes. Otherwise, I like to use Chosen Foods Quinoa! Cook on the stove following the instructions on the back. (And if you want to really cook like me, add a scoop or two of bone broth protein and turmeric while it cooks!)

Place sliced carrots on a silicone mat lined baking sheet, spray with Chosen Foods Avocado Oil Spray, sprinkle on salt, pepper, and coriander.

Place in the oven for 10 minutes. Pull them out and add zucchini, mushrooms, and beans. Spray or drizzle a little more avocado oil, season with smoked paprika, and garlic. Put it back in the oven for 15 minutes.

Pull or cut kale leaves off of the stems. Place on a silicone mat lined baking sheet. Coat the leaves in Chosen Foods Avocado or Coconut oil spray and season with salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast. Bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes.

Optional topping choices include but aren’t limited to: Kite Hill chive spread, homemade vegan pesto, Hope Foods Hummus, or hot sauce.

I hope you guys love these bowls as much as we do! I could eat this every night for dinner. Again, use any veggies you have on hand and just use this recipe as an idea. Get creative, and put different things together!

*This post is sponsored by Chosen Foods. I cook with Chosen Foods oils every week, and have been using this brand for a long time. I trust the quality and the brand, and I love that they are non gmo project verified! *This post also contains affiliate links. All  things I have bought, use, and recommend highly.

3 CAFFEINE-FREE LATTE’S

I am going on week 4 without coffee and feeling amazing. I have been having matcha lattes, or chai lattes in place of coffee, but some days I cut the caffeine out entirely. However, I still like to have something in the mornings, so I started making caffeine-free superfood lattes! And let me tell you, they are so delicious and make me feel amazing!

These are great for anyone who doesn’t drink caffeine, or for those of you wanting to cut back or take a caffeine break (I highly recommend it!). I think a lot of the coffee love comes from the routine of making it. I know that personally I love the routine of making a latte in the morning.

Dandelion Root Latte:

1 1/2 t. dandelion root powder

1 T. coconut butter

12 oz homemade hemp milk (you can sub for any nut milk, or boiled water)

1 t. cinnamon

1 t. vanilla

1 t. cacao powder

1 t. ashwaghanda*

1 t. maca powder*

1 t. chaga mushroom powder*

Heat the milk over the stove, but do not boil! Add all ingredients to your blender and blend for 2 minutes!



Herbal “Coffee”:

1 t. roasted chicory root

1/2 c. filtered water

1/2 c. homemade hemp milk

1 t. vanilla

Boil water, and warm milk on to stove. Add everything to your blender, blend 2 minutes and enjoy! You can also brew chicory root like regular coffee. Use 1 t. chicory root to every 1 cup you make. A great coffee alternative that tastes like coffee!


Spirulina Latte:

1 t. spirulina

1/2 t. chlorella

1/2 t cordyceps mushroom powder

1 T. raw local honey

1 T. coconut butter

12 oz. homemade hemp milk

1/2 t. ashwaghanda*

1/2 t. maca powder*

Heat milk on stove. Add everything into a blender, blend 2 minutes!

Why did I stop drinking coffee?

As many of you may know from following me on Instagram, I have stopped drinking my beloved coffee. I stopped for two major reasons: the acidity and the caffiene. Coffee was causing my body a lot of problems like breakouts, bloat, trouble sleeping, and increased stress/anxiety. Suffering postpartum anxiety, adrenal fatigue and severe hormonal imbalances, I got to the point of being done with things not being enough and cut out a lot of things from diet. Coffee was the first! It was a lot easier than I expected it to be, and I noticed major changes by the third day.

*adaptogens:

These all are optional, but highly recommended! I take a lot of different adaptogens. They support adaptation to stress and anxiety, hence the name.

I buy all of my herbs, adaptogens, coconut (to make coconut butter), hemp seeds, etc. from Mountain Rose Herbs. You can buy them in bulk for a great price here. I started taking ashwaghanda about 16 months ago, and discovered this year that it is so much cheaper to but it in bulk from Mountain Rose Herbs! They carry high-quality, organic ingredients that I trust 100%!

*This is a sponsored post, thank you Mountain Rose Herbs for supplying the product used to make these delicious lattes. Although this is a sponsored post, I would never recommend of work with a brand I did not already invest in and completely trust. I love Mountain Rose Herbs, and have for years!

SQUEASY GEAR 

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!

 

 

SMOOTHIE ICE POPS

It’s summer, and as hot as ever. So, naturally cold treats are o the brain! I love making homemade treats with my kids, and love that they are always treats I can feel good about feeding them. We love smoothies, but a frozen smoothie popsicle is just too dang good. Plus, alongside fruit, these are filled with veggies and collagen!

I make these close to how I would make a smoothie, but a little sweeter and creamier with the help of Kite Hill Almond Yogurt. 


Make it:

2 containers Kite Hill yogurt (we used peach flavor this time!)

1 banana’

4 frozen strawberries

2 scoops Vital Proteins vanilla and coconut water collagen peptides 

1 large tablespoon coconut shreds

1 cup steamed then frozen cauliflower

1/3 cup nut milk

Blend together and pour into silicone popsicle molds.

FREEZE and enjoy! Fills 8 molds from the link above! My kids ate these up so fast, the consistency was so creamy and delicious thanks to the almond milk yogurt. Can’t wait to make these again using different flavors. It’s just so good and so easy, you guys have to try it! 



Be sure to tag me and use my hashtag #naturallychelsrecipe on Instagram so I can see! 

What’s your favorite summer treat to make? 

*Huge thank you to Kite Hill for sponsoring this post and providing these delicious yogurts! My family and I have been eating Kite Hill for awhile and love their foods. 

 

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!

COCONUT BALLS TWO WAYS

Coconut balls are e v e r y t h i n g. Trust me, you need them in your life. If they aren’t already. I started making these because my kids and I love bars. They are often a go-to snack when we are running errands or while they wait for breakfast to cook. Coconut balls are amazing because they are easy to make, full of healthy fats, high in protein, and delicious af. You need to try them!

I have been making these two different ways, and each is just as delicious as the next.

COCONUT ALMOND BALLS

1 c. desiccated coconut

1/2 c. coconut oil

2/3 c. almonds

1/3 c. cashews

1/2 c. sunflower seeds

1/4 c. coconut butter

1/4 c. cacao nibs

3 pitted dates*

1/4 c. almond or cashew milk

cinnamon

Blend all in a Vitamix or food processor, roll into tablespoon sized balls, and freeze.

COLLAGEN VANILLA COCONUT BALLS

2 scoops vanilla coconut water collagen peptides

1/2 c. almonds

1/3 c. cashews

1/4 c sunflower seeds

1/4 c. cashew or almond milk

1/2 c. coconut shreds

1/4 c. coconut butter

3 pitted dates*

cinnamon

Blend, ball, freeze!

Thaw on the counter for 5-7 minutes before eating. Sometimes I’ll store a few in the fridge at a time for my kids so they are ready to serve.

These will last a long time in the freezer, I would say about a month. But I honestly make them weekly! They’re so delicious and a great snack choice for me and my babes. I also love them post workout or before bed if I’m in need of a snack. They’re great before bed for the babes too!

I really have been trying to move away from the packaged bars (while they may be organic with minimal real food ingredients, homemade is still better for us! And cheaper!) and these balls have been such a great alternative. I love their taste and texture, and they’re really love in sugar which makes me so frickin happy!

Please share if you try either of these recipes, I would love to hear how all of you like them! Be sure to tag me and use #naturallychelsrecipe on Instagram.
*i use and recommend medjool

 

 

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? 

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 😉) to be like someone else.

Do you oil train?

VAPOUR BEAUTY REVIEW

Vapour organic beauty is a green beauty company, made in the USA, that I have loved working with. They are clean and the products really deliver. If you haven’t heard of them out, I think you should definitely check out their website! Here are the products I have been trying out, along with my full review:

Atmosphere Luminous Foundation: This is a foundation stick that is creamy and very concentrated. It spreads on nicely, and feels like you’re applying velvet to your skin it is so smooth! I love the texture. The color I use is number 115, and it matches my skin tone well. The coverage is great, but it does feel pretty thick on your face (maybe I am hyper-sensitive to that because I don’t wear makeup daily) yet it doesn’t look thick or caked on. It leaves a clean, smooth, and natural look that I really love!

Instant Skin Perfector: This is used as the primer before the foundation stick. It’s purpose is to smooth out any lines in your skin and balance the overall texture. I love that it left my skin balanced, glowing, and gave a really good canvas for foundation. I use color 902 and it blended into my skin perfectly. After application, I waited about 5 minutes before applying the foundation to let the primer sit. I love the creamy texture and the dewy glow it gave me.

Eye Liner: I love this taupe-brown color for my green eyes. The pencil is really smooth, and smudge-able to create some really gorgeous eye looks. I love anything that you can use several ways, and this pencil is it. It’s great for so many looks. In these photos, I went with a more subtle eye, lining the top lid and waterline, then gently smudging the line. I love it!

Siren Lipstick: I have the color desire, and love it! The color is a soft petal pink, that looks great for any occasion and daily wear. I love the creamy texture of this lipstick, it’s not super gooey or sticky. Amelia (my 3-year-old) also loved this color and puts it on constantly!

Elixir Lip Gloss: This color is called flutter, and its a classically subtle pink. It’s gorgeous for everyday wear, and my favorite thing to apply when I am wearing no makeup or very neutral makeup look. The gloss isn’t too sticky and also looks killer over the lipstick I mentioned above!

Overall my experience with Vapour has been amazing. The products are clean and high-performing. If you are looking for clean makeup that is similar to high-quality conventional brands, this is it ladies. But now you don’t have to worry about applying toxins to your face just to wear makeup, or breaking out your skin over conventional makeup. Vapour, you have done well my friends!