February 22, 2018

Golden Hour

I've been an acupuncture enthusiast for many years now; often going on a weekly basis. It's one of the only times when I am completely still and can reach a state of total relaxation. It's about as close to a meditative state as I've never gotten and it seems to help with a number of my chronic muscular/joint problems.

While I loved having regular acupuncture, the cost adds up. About a month ago my friend AM and I planned a "mom date" that started with smoothies at Kure and then we went to check out Golden Hour.

In their words..."Golden Hour is unlike anything you have ever experienced.  They are a wellness studio that believes in the power of continuous care.  They are anything but a traditional clinic.

Their unique sessions include acupuncture, massage, aromatherapy and other modalities. They will help you celebrate in mind, body and soul, the daily ceremony of health, beauty and balance."

We went in for the 45 minute chair treatment ($35) during which you receive a head/neck massage, acupuncture (knee and wrist down) and an arm/hand massage at the end.

It's 45 minutes of pure bliss. Despite there being 6 chairs in the space, it's still peaceful and relaxing. Janet, the owner, and her team are warm, inviting and radiate a sense of calm. Liz, the practitioner I've seen on both my visits has been lovely. I bought a 5 pack of the chair treatments which came with a $30 discount from buying them one at a time. Next I'm going to try the 60 minute Stress Relief that includes massage, acupuncture and cupping.

I love that Golden Hour offers a quick and affordable way to get the benefits of acupuncture, R&R and self care. Their approach is not focused on treating a specific ailment but about the overall benefits of the treatments on health and wellness.

I highly recommend that everyone in Portland tries it.

February 20, 2018

New Found Favorites

When I find things I love, it feels like I have a responsibility to share them with you. So this week I'm sharing some of my new found favorites.

First let me introduce you to Hu Chocolate. It's 70% Stone Ground Dark Chocolate that is Organic, made with Fair Trade cocoa and is paleo and vegan. And did I mention it's one of my most favorite chocolates EVER?

I've tried three flavors, the Hazelnut Butter, Almond Butter with Puffed Quinoa and Cashew Butter with Pure Vanilla Bean. I'll warn you, it's expensive, but worth every penny. The best pricing is on Thrive Market. Order some. You won't be sorry.

Next up are some of my new found favorites from Trader Joe's. Let's start with the Trader Joe's rice and Quinoa hot porridge. I sampled this in the store with some bananas and walnuts and was hooked. I've been eating it that way, adding almond milk, and have also had it with berries and nuts as well. It cooks much faster than oatmeal, and I've found needs more water than indicated on the directions, otherwise it's a bit thick for my taste.

These two are my new favorite Trader Joe's "snacks" or sweat treats when I'm trying to avoid eating a REAL sweet treat.
Nothing but Fruit & Nuts. Fig-Walnut
Nothing but Fruit &Nuts. Date-Hazelnut-Cacao

To round out my new TJ's favorites, I bought these unsulfured pear slices, and they are delicious. This is hands down my favorite dried fruit. And, they have no added sugar! 

Lastly, If you live in Portland and haven't been to Virtuous Pie, I highly recommend it. It's not actually all that "new" to me, but I went on Friday and hadn't been in a while, so I was reminded of how much I like it. 

They make plant based, gluten free pizza and ice cream that doesn't make you miss dairy at all (p.s. I still eat dairy and gluten).

February 19, 2018

Ask C&C: Keeping Dry

20 years ago I moved to the Pacific Northwest (PNW) and at that time I purchased my first Goretex rain coat.  Living in the PNW requires proper waterproof "gear" and participating in snow sports in the PNW demands maximum performance.

In my recent social media request for "Ask C&C" questions, one of our readers asked how we keep our winter gear '"dry" during our winter activities. Ask and you shall receive.

What do we use to keep our wet weather gear as dry as possible during wet weather? Nikwax!

I highly recommend it to anyone looking to weatherproof your gear!

February 15, 2018

ASOS Keeping it Real

Last week I saw this Rip Curl bathing suit pop up on my facebook feed.

I clicked on the link, and it took me to Nordstrom where I was able to check out the back of the suit as well.
I like the suit, but 1) there's no way that would cover my a** and 2) there's no way her a** actually looks like that. I showed my friend Taylor and she quickly agreed on both points. Then she told me that ASOS (a C&C favorite as you know) no longer airbrushes their bathing suit photos, so I had to check it out.

And it's true. Stretch marks, skin rolls, dimples, lines, skin discoloration...it's all there. Finally retailers are "Keeping it Real" and showing what women ACTUALLY look like in their bathing suits.

Here are a few of the suits I like on their site (there are lots of really great ones). Yes, most of the women are still very thin, but at least they show a true representation of what these women actually look in the suit, not an air brushed false reality.

February 13, 2018

Keeping it Real: When your 6 year old wears your bra to school!

Last week the Mini Fashionista asked to wear "workout clothes" to school. I've encouraged this before given that she has PE 3 days a week and is extremely active on the playground at recess, so it seems perfectly logical. I inquired as to why the sudden change of heart...her reply "I just want to change things up." This is code for "I don't want to tell you, mom!"

She even let me snap this photo of her on our way out the door.

Fast forward to 5:00 p.m. in the locker room after swimming and she instructs me NOT to take her clothes out of her bag. Well, it was too late. I was already midway through the process when I discovered my sports bra in her bag! And she immediately confessed to wearing it to school (insert giggles from her friend in the background who was already aware of the situation). If you look at the above picture you can see the sports bra bunched up around her.

Channeling my best "Positive Parenting Solutions" self I kept calm. Honestly I felt a mix of emotions...disbelief, irritation (that she took something of mine without asking), laughter, amusement...

My biggest question was "why does my 6 year old want to wear a bra?" Her reply "because _____ has one." Someone in her class has a bra, and she wanted to wear one too.

Much like the makeup situation I posted about recently (here), this was an opportunity to draw upon my best parenting skills. Instead of saying "NO, you can't wear a bra. You don't need a bra. You are 6 years old," I decided to handle it differently and in an more effective way.

It's clear that she's curious about breasts and bras and about being a woman. By denying her interest I will only push her to hide her questions and curiosity from me in the future. She didn't ask me to wear the bra in the first place because she "knew I would say no", which I probably would have.... (lesson learned on my end to say "yes" to these types of things in the future).

So here's what I did. I told her that she can have a sports bra, but that she will have to buy it for herself. Because she doesn't have breasts, she doesn't need a bra, and I am not going to use my money to buy her clothes she doesn't need. We looked at some bras on Target and identified that they cost around $10, which is a big portion of her saved up spending money.

I encouraged her to think about it for a week. I told her that when there is something I really want I often wait a week or so to be sure I really want it. I also pointed out that she would likely wear it once or twice, forget about it, and then grow out of it. So maybe it's not the best use of her money.

This has definitely been one of the more amusing and laughable parenting experiences thus far. These moments serve as little lessons for me and the Mini. She's learning about life and I'm learning about how to let her live hers! :)

February 12, 2018

Copying is a Compliment

Did you watch the Opening Ceremony on Friday night? What did you think about Team USA's Ralph Lauren duds? I thought they looked great! The gloves are definitely a statement piece and made the look. A friend and reader (thanks ML) sent me a link to this article that calls out the similarity of the RL glove design to these gloves by Astis Mittens

After reading the article, it's pretty clear that RL did take "inspiration" from Astis, but I like that they found the positive and are celebrating that it has drawn more attention to this type of glove and to their brand. If you've never seen their beautiful work before, here are a few of my favorites.

They really are a piece of art.

February 9, 2018

Currently Coveting

We all have wish lists...the things you are currently coveting, but haven't bought for one reason or another. Here's what my current wish list looks like.

I recently bought this J Crew Open front sweater-blazer in navy (on sale), and I LOVE IT!

Now I'm waiting for it to go on sale again to justify the purchase in at least one other color...maybe both! If you are looking for a comfy but polished layering piece, this is it! 

Did you know that Baggu now has a gingham print?

My friend and I saw a woman the other day wearing the most fabulous slip on sneakers. Being the shameless extrovert that I am, I walked across the restaurant and asked her where she got her shoes. They were a grey wool version of these Vince sneakers. I love this color too! 

I've had my eye on a new pair of black sunglasses. Unfortunately a few of the styles that I really like are only offered with polarized lenses, which I can't wear....they give me a headache. Here are a few of the styles I'm currently coveting!