kai wetlands

Less Whining, More Shining *2014 Recap

2014 was a year.   I practically preach to my yoga clients that it takes TWO years to recover after a pregnancy. I am still in that period and this year was hard physically. I started with enduring postpartum, low iron issues and then a lingering stress fracture in my foot that is still preventing me from running. I haven’t whined too much but it has kept me physically stagnant.

boot

Like all things there were great things to be learned from this limitation with humility and expectations. I will say tempered expectations is a good way to reflect on the year. Tempered with gentle kindness towards myself. With that in mind here is my TOP TEN of 2014.

petitions1. New Media Manager for Proposition 105 in Colorado. I took this job with its David and Goliath story against big chemical and manufacturing corporations and we got our a$$es handed to us at the polls (36% of the vote). I started as a volunteer but joined the core team once we were on the ballot.  In the process we educated many and got a lot of people talking about our food system with respect to our place within that system. It was an all out number of months and I can reflect knowing I left it all on the proverbial playing field in my efforts in new media, speaking engagements, and contributing to the strategy. Our efforts are not over, we are evolving and as a group we will better determine our direction in a few weeks.

crossfit kids

2. Doing Crossfit together.  My husband is not about gyms but we did a foundation course together and a few workouts after that. I was not physically ready yet and pulled on my c-section surgery site so stopped knowing I would need more recovery and/or more specific coaching for my postpartum body.

beach terry

beach kiabeach us

3. Kayaking while out by Savannah. I took my husband as my assistant for Ignite Fitness at Fitbloggin and we spent the day before the conference started kayaking in South Carolina and having a blast in our swimsuits. We got a workout getting back to shore as the tide returned which made the burgers and beer we guzzled after that much tastier. The less than fun part was being pulled over by Georgia cops for the new Operation Thunder on the way to the hotel. Do not fret, I did not get a ticket. You just need to have your lights on in any rain according to a new state law.

maddiesuzan

leahhogwarts teaany lydia

4. Time with friends. I made it to L.A. a couple of times for the Ragnar Relay and then ShiftCon. Along the way I got to hang with great friends away from conferences or other obligations. I also got a trip in to NYC with my hobbled foot to hang with a girlfriend. Despite the foot we still caught Cabaret and the On The Run Tour. I also have the dear people I rely on here in Colorado. I love my friends. My tribe means the world to me.

glam kia

dapper us

5. 1940s Winter Ball. This was a fun event. I bought a true vintage ball gown on eBay, my man bought a beautiful tux jacket, and I had hair + makeup done at the event. We rarely put this much emphasis on looking glam and it was a magical night kissing around the museum, dancing to big bands, and feeling beautiful with my best guy as we could not take our eyes off of each other.

voodoo yum

6. The Pixies with Suzan, Lar, and Terry. My man f*cked up big time for our anniversary and friends watched it as it happened in real time with their hands tied behind their backs. Suzan and Lar were so sweet to offer me a girls night at The Pixies to make up for it and at the last second a ticket became available for the offending schlub so we let him come along. Start the rotation of Guinness and whiskey and it was a night of dancing, makey-outeys, and laughter. Fun concert and nearby Voodoo Donuts after make for a good Denver evening.

kai water

kia in water7. Water time with family from birthday splash pad to hot springs.  With the hobbled foot me and those around me spent a lot of time hanging around water. On my birthday the family headed to Pirate’s Cove water park then my hubby and I took off for a hot springs with a membership. We returned to that springs a few times after and seemed to hit every spring along our travels as well.

bodhi warrior

kai wetlands

8. Officially becoming a Waldorf-inspired family. We have always been pretty nature-centered with a simple, non-dualistic outlook. It turns out there are education models that support our values to an extent. Our oldest started at a Waldorf-inspired school this year and it seems like a good fit for us. He is non-stop about wearing his kilt for the Ren Faire for his birthday (in more than 6 months) with his wooden sword and shield and knows a beautiful affinity for sunrises and other natural phenomena. We cannot be mad. We are still new to this education model and learning but being a few months in I am less intimidated.

cooking foolscooking food9. Cooking class with Indian Food Rocks. I have been internet-friendly with Manisha for a while now with her even sending spices to me in the past. I was finally able to attend one of her cooking classes and it was a blast. My hubby and I are looking into doing another class with her in 2015. You get to cook, eat after, and have a meal with a delightful, informative woman. This class also inspired my desire for more fun learning.

cold kia

cold family

spa family

10.  Montana and Yellowstone vacation. I will straight up credit Mommy and Partner guilt for being eager to vacation with my family after the GMO labeling campaign. I kind of was absentee for my loved ones for a couple of months. We visited the famous thermal pools in the snow, jumped into the Boiling River at sunrise in the park, soaked at our lodge, drank much Moose Drool, ate heaps of food, and bonded during this mid-November trip.  No one in my family had been to Montana besides me so it was nice to show them the Big Sky country that I love.

In truth 2014 was a little disappointing at times but at no point did I lose gratitude for the big picture of our overall health and love for each other.  I went into this past year with the attitude that I would leave it all on the field with my actions and I have no regrets that I did just that.  It was just that some of my actions were tempered with health or a campaign up against giants. It still is a 2014 to be proud of.

 

#SoybuLove Murano style

This past year I have fallen for a local clothing company and was lucky enough to be named as a community leader with Soybu. You may have seen them in my photo streams:

Murano collection: Darling Coat in Dragonfly and Lanai Tunic Top in Murano

Murano collection: Darling Coat in Dragonfly and Lanai Tunic Top in Murano

soybu fun

Goofing off at Soybu’s flagship store to see how the clothes move

soybu pants

It never fails that I get complimented on these Allegro capris

soybu pantss

Even though I am partial to the Killer Caboose Capris, well the Killer Caboose line to be honest.

They have collections for women, girls, and men with seasonal collections every few months. Currently The Murano collection is hallmarked with a Dragonfly teal that looks flattering on every skin tone.  The pieces layer well with each other and I have stacked a pant with a tunic tank with a dress and a coat.  I live in Denver though and our random snow storms lend to layering.

Pictured in the top image are the Darling Coat in Dragonfly ($99), Lanai Tunic Tank in Murano ($46) and Killer Caboose Pant ($78). The other piece I got from the collection was the Elana Dress in Dragonfly Ministripe ($68).

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Visit Soybu to get a jump on looking fly while working out and thanks to your workouts for the New Year.

FTC Disclosure: As an ambassador I am compensated with product to review at my own discretion. Opinions are my own and I choose to work with this company.

ShiftCon: The Swag and Brands

A month ago I was in Los Angeles for the inaugural ShiftCon EcoWellness Conference.  I was a little occupied as the New Media Manager for the Colorado GMO labeling effort so pretty much got home and was back at work. I barely opened my swag suitcase last night (a month later) to unpack and see what was inside.

The hysterical part is that I also worked with ShiftCon as the speaker coordinator so was in L.A. early then found myself working closely with the swag bags to make sure bloggers had three prepared for them and speakers had one prepared for them. I can easily say my hands touched products in every single bag that people took home with them. That is why opening my suitcase last night was so hysterical because it seemed like ages ago.

I actually left a lot of swag in Los Angeles for my bestie who lives there with her family. I even won a basket at the closing party and left that behind too. What I have displayed here are some of the things I cherry-picked to take back to Colorado with me.

ShiftCon Food Swag

Chosen Foods and Traditional Medicines were kind enough to send products to us at home. Organic Valley, Rudi’s, Nancy’s, Earthbound Farms, and Silk sent us off with coupons for free products which my airline appreciated. Patagonia is going into the provisions business. Yes that is fish. I am thrilled to try the Explore Asian and Enjoy Life products. Other than that I already know I love the Nature’s Path, Color Garden, Teecino, Nutiva, and Natural Grocers bulk foods.

shiftcon personal care copy

The Black Soap is fragrant, I remember that smell from loading the bags. My family is Dr. Bronner silly so love these soaps. I learned about Goddess Garden Organic sunscreen this year (they are local. I love the Miessence distributor (see elyorganics.com). I am curious about Healthy Hoo Hoo. Natracare comes in handy. I may try Primal Paste (I currently do not use deodorant). Nordic Naturals products rock. And I have major, major love for Earth Mama Angel Baby and was thrilled to finally meet their reps.

shiftcon supplements copy

I was super excited to see the Floradix in the speaker bags (I rely on this since iron issues with my last pregnancy). I love Nordic Naturals and am happy to have these. Boiron rocks and my kids can use this at some point this winter. Symbiotics went nuts with a lot of sample packets I did not display but want to try for me and my kids. I know nothing about Konk or Bye Bye PMS but am curious.

shiftcon cleaning copy

Dr. Bronners gets listed twice because their soaps can be for body or home. I like the idea of e-cloth and the cleaning stones as an alternative to detergents. The lead check can come in handy and everyone should test their homes if you do not already know. I won the ECOS basket at the party but could not fly with that. Molly suds, Planet, and BioKleen handed off some cool products to test. I am most excited to try the sport laundry liquid as I get my sweat quotient back up after my recent broken foot.

Beyond this there were some stellar vendors in the exhibit hall from organizations to businesses. I was happy to see brands that were supporting the GMO labeling effort in Colorado like Stonyfield, Applegate, Rudi’s, and Dr. Bronners. The Boiron vendors gave me some supplements for my foot (it was in an aircast during the conference) and Stonyfield had their Petit Creme that I had been anxious to try. It was sooooo goooood. I cannot wait to get it in the Colorado market.

There was A LOT of swag which gets a little hard for me. I think the greenest thing you can do is be mindful of your resources and not consume many things. I’ll play with these products I brought back and see if anything new works for our family. I left a lot for my friend who has a different consumer ethos for me so I know everything will be used by someone who really appreciates it.

Much love to these brands with so many faves including Earth Mama Angel Baby, Organic Valley, Floradix, Patagonia, Teecino, Boiron and more.

yo gabba gabba tour

YO GABBA GABBA 2014 Tour #Denver Giveaway

YO! Want to get your family and/or friends together because you like to DANCE?!? This Saturday Denver – Yo Gabba Gabba Live! comes to the Paramount Theater and we have FOUR TICKETS to giveaway.

yo gabba gabba tour

 

Now I have to admit that the biggest Gabba fan in our home is my husband. Actually at the last tour date we went to we brought a singleton friend who is into national and local music scenes. She had a blast. It seems like a lot of adults we know have a keen understanding of how awesome the music is at these shows.

yo-gabba456

We will be bringing our two boys this time though. I was still pregnant with our second during the last scheduled tour date but he is kind of a rager at live shows so this will be perfect for his 19-month old sensibilities.  Well that I can see him getting silly when Biz Markie takes the stage.

Tickets are still available at Altitude Tickets for the 1:30 and 4:30 shows for this Saturday 15 November. Or you can win a pair here though the form below.  A winner will be drawn Thursday night at midnight and must respond by noon on Friday or another winner will be drawn.  Good luck!!  See you at the show. MUSIC IS AWESOME!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

FTC Disclosure: My family and I are being comped tickets to attend the show in exchange for hosting this giveaway. No other compensation is being exchanged for this post. All opinions are my own.

 

#EarthMama in the Home

I did this NonToxic Household Cleaning Guide a couple of years ago and love how seamlessly Earth Mama Angel Baby Soaps fit into this guide where castile soaps are listed.  The best part is the scent with the saponified oils!  One of the major complaints with cleaning with vinegar is the scent and need for essential oils, the Earth Mama Angel Baby Shampoo and Body Washes have beautiful scents so the need for oils does not have to occur.  See my Ignite Denver video for cleaning with vinegar that I did a couple of years ago if you need more convincing about vinegar.

If you are wondering why you should consider non-toxic cleaning then consider reading this synergistic effects piece I wrote that talks about the unknown effects of all the chemicals we come into contact with in our homes.

Here are a couple of cleaners you can use from my guide with Earth Mama Angel Baby Products

Laundry Detergent
**I do not use this on BRIGHT colors or fine thread fabric
1 cup Earth Mama Angel Baby Soap
1 cup baking soda
1/3 cup salt
1 gallon hot water
Mix and use 1/4 cup per small load

The All-Purpose Cleaner

4 cups hot water
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup Earth Mama Angel Baby Shampoo and Soap

And a demonstration of how easy making these cleaners can be

Thanks for viewing and thank you Earth Mama Angel Baby for letting me part of this campaign with you!

emab

FTC Disclosure:

I am compensated for this campaign and was given product. However all opinions and true love for this brand is my own.

#EarthMama On the Road

I am very, very lucky that my kids are really great when it comes to traveling.  They are great on planes, they are great on the road.  Just because we leave home is no reason to sacrifice high-quality personal products for any of us.  I love Earth Mama Angel Baby when I leave home with or without them because their products multitask as much as I do.

The whole family is accompanying me this long weekend as I am a course manager for about 50 miles of a relay race.  I have a big van of supplies to help my volunteers and runners as well as needing to keep our suite at elevation (8500′-9500′) stocked for my family.

Here is a pretty standard set of goods I am using to travel with the whole family.  When it is just me and I am flying it is usually the Angel Baby Oil (I use this as a facial moisturizer, body moisturizer, and a hair oil if I need some softness and control) and some of their lip balm.  The baby oil is available in 1 oz. size which is easy for TSA carryon convenience. For everyone on this trip it is Nipple Butter, Angel Oil, Body Wash, and Bottom Spray.   When I am in my van cruising the course I will have the Nipple Butter and Bottom Spray on hand for runners who get too much sun or encounter plants on the trails that they may have reactions too. These products multitask for me with beauty routines, my kids and family with their needs, and for endurance athletes who need an extra hand on the course.

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The Shampoo & Body Wash is so crucial on the road for the boys because of its distinctive scent.   As a standard the boys and I are used to using the Natural Orange Vanilla Scent.  Even though we are not at home this familiar scent helps to keep them in their usual rhythm of nighttime steps and as a cue for when to go to bed.

photo 1

 

I hope to add some images of athletes on the course getting a little EMAB TLC.  I use it with my endurance training so why not introduce it to others?  To get a feel of alternative uses of Earth Mama Angel Baby products please visit this summary.

FTC disclosure: This is a compensated campaign I am part of with monetary compensation and products provided.  However all opinions are my own. I am a longtime fan of Earth Mama Angel Baby so it may seem hard to find me criticizing their products.

Mindful, Wellness, Green – Musings from Kia