Health & Wellness

  • I Ain’t Doing Sh*t For National Lazy Mom Day, And Neither Should You!

    The moment I discovered National Lazy Mom Day was a thing, I knew I was gonna go balls to the wall to celebrate it. And by balls to the wall I mean,

    I’ve been a mom for almost seven years and this is the first I’m hearing of this holiday. Which is crazy because a holiday of this magnitude surely needs to come with state and federal closures.

    National Lazy Mom Days takes place annually on the first Friday of September. I don’t know who created it but I’m sure it was an overworked underappreciated mom, who no doubt needs a statue erected in her honor. Honestly this holiday should happen the first Friday of EVERY month, but I guess I would be asking for too much. So I’ll be happy with September first.

    Here’s a to-list of things I will be doing in celebration:

    That’s right. I plan to spend the entire day, well most of it, cause with my kids still on summer break they will not allow me to nothing all day long. So I’ll take what I can get at this point.

    So why should moms be able to do nothing tomorrow? The answer is simple,

    We do everything year-round.

    Full stop.

    And, because we do everything here are some guilt free things you can do right from home (preferably from bed) to celebrate National Lazy Mom Day:

    National Lazy Mom Day MommyRandR

    Ditch those chores. You better bust out the paper plates and cups and call it a day, and leave the laundry til the day after. There is no reason why you should be doing anything around the house. This also includes cooking. It’s Friday night, make it a pizza night.

    Binge watch a new show favorite shows. If you’re not watching Game of Thrones then may I suggest getting your life and get to watching. It’s got Jason Momoa which should make watching easy. I’ve also enjoyed The Crown on Netflix, The Affair on Showtime, Queen of The South on USA (season 1 on Netflix) or when all else fails just leave it on I.D Channel all day.

    Take a nap. For those of you with kids still on summer break I know it’s hard but it is possible. Have your partner or sitter take the kids out for the afternoon while you stay home and get some zzz’s. Or take that nap to the next level by getting a room overnight at a local boutique hotel. Take a friend and make it a mommy sleepover.

    Read a book. Here’s your chance to catch up on that book you’ve been reading since the beginning in the year. What’s the point of hoarding all of those books you order off Amazon if you’re not gonna read them.

    Remember you don’t have to overthink celebrating. Just enjoy the day doing the least amount of responsibility. If you don’t have a whole day to spend doing nothing. Here are 30 Self-Care Activities You Can Do In An Hour.

    Have you ever heard of National Lazy Mom Day? How are you celebrating it.

  • MAI Box Delivers Self-Care To Stay At Home Moms

    What happens when you run out of ways to take self-care at home? You order a MAI box. This bi-monthly box helps you relax and reflect. Created by Lenora Woods, MAI box caters to stay at home moms and busy on-the-go moms to help them take better care of themselves.

    MAI box
    MAI Box Creator Lenora Woods

    Recently launched in January, MAI Box is a bi-monthly Christian based self-care subscription box that’s filled with everything a mom of any faith would need to welcome peace and relaxation into her hectic life.

    MAI box
    January MAI Box

    This box came with:

    Grace Planners to help you plan your self-care for the year.
    J.K. Rowling’s ‘Very Good Lives‘ a book filled with wisdom for those entering a turning point in their lives.
    Scrubs and Scrubs Lemon Pound Cake Body Scrub.
    A stack of Topsie Ties. Perfect accessories for your shirt, skirts and scarves.
    Nail polish by Lenora.
    Earrings from TYPENU.
    T-Shirt that says Fearfully and Wonderfully Made from Proverbs 139:14.
    Bino & Fino cartoon for the kiddies. This educational DVD teaches children about Nigerian culture.
    And a magazine – this is my favorite part of the box. The magazine features a new mom every month and in it you can read about what she does for a living, how she manages and what she does to get self-care. I was honored to be chosen for the very first issue and I hope that subscribers can take away tips business and life tips, and know mostly importantly they are not alone.

    I really enjoyed this box. The planner was really a great touch because it’s hard to plan time for yourself. You can see I’ve totally fallen off the wagon for my daily self-care challenge. And that’s okay. This will help me get back on track and the religious passages at the top of each week give me the inner peace and the strength to know that I CAN do this!

    I wanted to know more about Lenora and MAI Box so it was my turn to interview her.

    What is MAI box and how did it come to be?

    I caught up with Lenora to chat with her about MAI Box. Here’s how it went down.

    mai boxHey Lenora – it’s so great to chat with you. Congratulations on the launch of MAI box. Tell me about yourself and your family:

    Thank you! I’m originally from Fredericksburg, VA. I’ve lived in Atlanta for 11 years. I moved to ATL after college at East Carolina University in North Carolina. I am married and we have two boys: James (4 years old) and Jasiah (2 years old).

    Where did the idea of starting a self-care subscription box come from?

    When I had my first child (James a.k.a JL) I was trying to figure out another business so that I could stay at home with him and the idea of a subscription box for babies came about but I never moved on it. (LOL) So, I continued working my currently business in PR.

    It wasn’t until after the second child (Jasiah) that the idea resurfaced. This time, I wasn’t necessarily interested in providing moms with items for the baby. I felt like moms need stuff for themselves. At this time, I was acting as a single mom because my husband started driving trucks and was gone for 2-3 weeks at a time. I got a good taste of single motherhood. I had some help from my sisters who live close but it was all on me. Boy was I always tired!! Everything I did was for and centered around my babies.

    My “me time” or my time of rest and relaxation was literally when I was asleep…and that was always cut short! I knew I wasn’t the only mom experiencing this. When you buy something for yourself or want to go out with friends or do something for yourself, you feel guilty. You think, “that money could have paid for diapers and wipes, baby clothes and everything else. I really needed something like MAI Box to  introduce me to new and fun products and to keep me encouraged….and to have something I could be a little selfish about!

    How did you come up with its name?

    I started with The Mom Box. The domains were free, all social handles were free, however I did some extra digging and research and found a small company, based in Chicago, called Mom Box. So I felt it was only right that I changed the name. Your name is everything, when you are starting a business (in my opinion). I did some more research and found that the words “mai” stand for “mom” in Leonese which is a Spanish dialect. It just fit so I ran with it!

    How does the subscription work?

    Right now, we are bi-monthly. When you subscribe you can choose from doing an automatic renewal every two months OR you can choose to pay for the entire year. If you know a mom who can learn to take some time out for herself, you can gift a box also.

    How are the products in the box curated?

    I choose a theme and then source products from there. I’ve found businesses on Instagram, Pintrest and a few Facebook groups that I’ve joined. I love discovering small businesses. It’s a huge plus when they are “mom owned!

    What is your favorite part of the MAI Box?

     My favorite part is curating. I love choosing a theme and discovering products for moms. Each box comes with 5-7 gifts for moms that will help her discover something for herself and have something that is all hers. Great surprises of inspiration, encouragement and love come right to her doorstep. All she has to do is find a quiet place and enjoy!

    What does self-care mean to you?

    To me, self-care is doing whatever it takes to strengthen our mind, body and soul. Each day, we should all do, read, see, think, smell, etc things that helps us grow. Something simple as reading a scripture before you get dressed for the day or before you go to bed; taking a long bubble bath; or reading a book.

    When you’re not providing self-care to others how do you treat yourself to self-care?

    This box is helping me do just that, because I wasn’t doing anything for myself outside of work and kids. I grew up reading and I love to read but I’ve never made the time to do so. Now, I try to read for at least 30 min a day. I start every day with a scripture. I volunteer at church! That is by far one of my favorite things to do because I meet new people each day and I get to serve and make other people feel welcomed.

    When was the last time you took some self-care? What did you do?

    Taking self-care is something I don’t do often. I would love to go to a spa or just stay at a hotel for the weekend.

    Aside from subscribing to the MAI Box what three tips can you offer moms about how to achieve self-care?

    1) Read something positive and uplifting daily  2) try a new lip color 3) Have a cocktail or glass of wine just because

    Are there any plans for a daddy self-care box?

    Let’s see what the future holds!

    Your launch box went out in January what can member expect for the next box in March? Any hints?

    March’s theme is “Go Green” — You can expect all natural and chemical-free products. This box features female-owned small businesses and some items you can enjoy in those long bubbles baths you’re going to start taking more often!

    Speaking of the January box, thank you for featuring me. How can other moms be featured in MAI Box Magazine?

    Each month we like to feature a new mom on our cover. We like to do this so that we can learn about the lives of other moms, how they overcome obstacles and how and if they take time for themselves. To be features, send us an email at hello@themaibox.com.

    Thank you so much Lenora for chatting with me today. If you want to get your own MAIbox order is ASAP as the March box will be shipping out soon.

    FYI: As cover mom for January MAIbox gifted me with a complementary box for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  • GUEST POST: DISCOVER WELLNESS & TRAVEL WITH ORGANIC SPA MAGAZINE
    BY ALLAYA COOKS-CAMPBELL

    What do you get when you combine top-of-the-line skin care, high-end luxury spa resorts, and a aromatic greens salad?  The Organic Spa Magazine Media Event, that’s what!

    Held at the Mandarin Oriental New York, a premier New York City destination, the Organic Spa Media Event brought together dozens of brands and hundreds of influencers, united by the goal of creating holistic well-being.  This year marked the fourth such gathering, and attracted media attention from all over the northeast, with companies representing the United States, Europe, South and Central America, and China.

    While larger lines like Aura Cacia were there debuting their new product lineups, newer startups like Plume—Hair and Lash science were present as well, revolutionizing the cosmetics industry with a plant-based, all-natural lash boosting serum.  MyChelle boasted a highly effective, yet baby gentle line of sun care that felt more like a moisturizing treatment than a sunscreen.  Between visiting all the companies, attendees were encouraged to partake of a healthy and delicious lunch, with lush green salads, fresh fruit, sandwiches and hibiscus iced tea.

    organic spa magazine

    organic spa magazine

    organic spa magazine

    organic spa magazine

    organic spa magazine

    The Media Event was a direct embodiment of the mission of Organic Spa Magazine, providing “insight and informed advice on natural beauty and skin care, health and wellness topics, fitness and food, eco fashion and design, green travel and much, much more.”  In addition to being a fantastic opportunity to meet other wellness-minded professionals, try luxurious new products, and scope out the best destinations for a much-needed break, the event was an oasis in and of itself, leaving attendees relaxed, rejuvenated and inspired.

    babydroppingsAllaya Cooks-Campbell is the mother of an adorable newborn and step-mommy to two gorgeous tweens. She works very hard to keep her children from developing her sense of humor. An avid yogi, gamer and novelist, Allaya lives in New York with her husband, Damany. You can find her exploring motherhood at babydroppings.com.

     

    Photo Credit: Damany Campbell of Kanji Photography

  • SPRING CLEANING YOUR MIND BODY AND SPIRIT

    With the arrival of spring comes the need to spring clean. It’s the time of year where we gather all the energy we’ve saved up during winter hibernation to declutter and clean out closets, spare bedrooms and cracks and crevices that haven’t been touched since last spring. Often times we think that’s where the cleaning ends, when in fact our bodies could use a little spring cleaning as well.

    Here are 10 Tips To Spring Cleaning Your Mind, Body and Spirit:

    Positive Daily Affirmations

    be happy

    Starting the say with saying something positive to yourself is a great way to keep the negativity out of your life. Personal little pep talks will not only make you feel great about yourself but to give you the motivation you need to push through any difficult moments you may be experiencing.

    Set Goals

    Who says that you have to set goals at the start of the new year. You can start a new set of achievable goals anytime you want. And I say achievable because what’s the point of setting a goal with no real plan set forth on how to achieve it. I’ve set goals for myself for the year, and through the use of  journals and vision boards I plan on working toward those goals one step at a time. If you haven’t set any goals yet, whether they be personal or business you can still do so. This is the start of a new month and the start of a new day, so jot some things down that you want to accomplish by the end of the month and aim for it – then keep going.

    Rid Yourself of Toxic People in Your Life

    If there are people in your life who aren’t being supportive of you, or who are causing unnecessary drama and stress in your life then it’s time to cut the strings on that relationship. I know it may be hard because you’ve known that person for so long and have shared so many great memories with them, but if the relationship is clouded in negativity it will plague you and keep you down. You need to wish them well and release them from your life.

    Get Some Sun

    sky-sunny-clouds-cloudy

    With the arrival of daylights saving and spring means the arrival of nice weather. Or, at least it should be. Here in New York City its been pretty cold. But, if you’re fortunate enough to have nicer weather where you are then you need to be taking advantage of it. Getting out to enjoy the sun will give your body a renewed sense of energy and it will allow you to get vitamin D your body needs. You don’t even have to get in your car. You can go for a walk around the neighborhood, or sit in your yard.

    Hit The Gym

    Eating healthy does nothing if you aren’t working out. No one is saying you have to go hardcore at the gym 7 hours a day 7 days a week. But, you should make it a priority to get in a gym. Now if getting to there is too much of a task, there are so many online fitness routines that you can follow from the privacy of your home to get your body in shape, and not just for beach season, but ALL seasons.

    Drink Plenty of Water

    Eating healthier, means you’re also drinking healthier. Say farewell to juices and carbonated drinks that are filled with nothing but sugar, which do nothing but ruin your teeth and shape. When you feel the thirst coming on have a glass of water. Water is a true thirst quencher. Now if plain water is too boring for you then you can infuse your water with fruits or you can drink flavored tea with a few drops of honey for sweetness.

    Eat Healthy

    food-salad-healthy-lunch-largeDitch the processed and fast foods in favor of healthy home prepared meals. Stay away from foods that are pumped with hormones. Choose organic products and produce, and be sure to read the labels on foods you’re purchasing. If it contains  ingredients you can’t pronounce or things that shouldn’t even be included then stay away from it.

    Take Your Vitamins

    As we get older our bodies have a harder time processing the nutrients we need from the food we eat to keep us healthy. Therefore, by taking supplement we are insuring that our bodies are getting everything it needs to allow our insides to age as gracefully as our outsides. Vitamins serve many purposes like improving short-term memory loss, while increasing our overall energy.  Like most people, I’m notorious for forgetting to take my vitamins (see that memory loss), but if we set goals and reminders to take better care of ourselves those reminders will turn into daily routines.

    *Tip – I like taking my vitamins (when I remember to do so), at night just before bed as I feel more energized the next day. The vitamin breaks down while I sleep and when I wake up I’m ready to do the job at hand. 

    Be Grateful

    Be thankful that you’re alive and well to see a new day, and for everything you have in your life. It’s easy to take for granted everything that we have, and we must remember what is here today can be gone tomorrow. To ensure showing gratitude is apart of your daily thoughts you can start a gratitude journal or you can participate in a challenge that’s based on the word of the day. You can pass the gratitude on by share it with your friends and family or you can keep it private, it’s totally up to you.

    Take A Timeout

    woman-spelling-rose

    When I say take a timeout I don’t mean go sit in a corner, well I mean you could…if your corner is considered your happy retreat. You see, timeouts aren’t just for kids, they’re for adults too. It’s all about giving yourself as much time as you can throughout the day to take step back in order to clear your mind so you don’t feel frazzled.

    Those are my 10, can you think of any other ways to help spring clean your mind, body and spirit?

    *This piece currently featured on FitNoire. A health, fitness and wellness website exclusively for women of color.