The Journey of The Great Song Cycle: Interview with Joanna Wallfisch

Playful and poetic British vocalist and composer Joanna Wallfisch shirked the bus aspect of her latest West Coast tour in favor of a bike. The tour was aptly named The Great Song Cycle.

Joanna pushed through challenge and triumph while traversing the coast with only her body and two thin wheels propelling her forward; what transpired was a tour full of music made richer by the beautiful struggle Joanna intentionally created.

As you’ll discover in the following interview with this unique songstress, her journey was not passed through without contemplation and growth; it birthed it.

Why did you decide to pass on “traditional transport” in favor of a bike for this portion of your tour?

J: The main reason was freedom. Life on a bicycle is to be completely self-reliant and self-sufficient. I carried all that I needed for my multi-faceted month; my instruments, my home, my clothes, food, water, and myself. When traveling by car, train or plane one can easily forget that you have to carry yourself with you wherever you go. On a bike, you become so attuned to the body you live in and how mind, spirit and flesh can actually exist simultaneously together and also as separate entities. It was a complete thrill to know that the only way I was going to get from A to B was by the strength of my own body and mind…. Read more on Huff Post!

My New Go-To Mama-Baby Product Site: Lilly Pilly Baby Review

The site Lilly Pilly Baby has curated all the organic mama and baby goodies I spend hours searching for on the bottomless pit of the Internet. They offer goods for the interior and exterior of mother and baby’s body and have a simple website for you to navigate.

I was sent the Organic Shue Bug for Baby, Woman’s Balance Wellness Tea and Labor Ease Pain Relieving Massage Oil and have spent the last few months draining my supply because they’re so good.

Here are my thoughts on each.

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Organic Shue Bug for Baby

This spray has created an organic barrier between my self and son and the Zika infested mosquitos of Nicaragua, the insanely annoying flies in California and more skeeters in Central Texas. The barrier lasts about an hour before we need a new coat and smells better than the blend of essential oils I use as perfume- probably because it’s full of essential oils. I resisted taking my son to “buggy” locations when he was a baby because I had no desire to slather him in chemical-full bug repellent. But, baby number two will be going all the places, now that I’m armed with Shue Bug.

Woman’s Balance Wellness Tea

My uterus and immune system be trippin’ lately. Periods have been a rare form of torture since my son stopped breastfeeding, and I’ve been an eventual vessel of a majority of the germs that have passed through his preschool classroom- yay! This tea has helped on both fronts, creating a warm and soothing sensation in my nether regions when that egg is shedding, and a “good stuff” boost in my bod when the germs are marching through.

Labor Ease Pain Relieving Labor Massage Oil

While I have yet to use this oil on my own laboring body, I have used it on the backs, boobs and beyond of three birthing ladies and the feedback was good- real good. One woman reported the oil, in conjunction with pressure on two points in her lower back, replaced intense pressure with a pleasant tingling, another said she noticed her breathing deepen each time the oil was used, serving to release endorphins in her body and soften her cervix, and the last woman claimed, “That oil was the only f*ckin’ thing that made any difference during labor.” So yeah, good stuff!

Avanchy Bamboo Stay Put Suction Bowl + Baby Spoon

Bless this bowl for preventing our almost daily occurrence of my son’s cereal slopping everywhere. The suction cup prevents the bowl from being pushed off the table with the thrust of an enthusiastic spoon, and the bamboo offers a great (and safe!) alternative to the “plastic kid bowl.”

To get 20% off products and free shipping, use coupon code Welcome

Get some 🙂

I Found the Unicorn of Water Shoes: A Bzees Review

Water shoes are notoriously ugly- so ugly, I’m fearful the fish I’m trying to spot as I wade through the water will glide away in horror as they lay eyes on my clunky footwear. No more little fishies- no more.

I’ve found a pair so non-water-shoe-y I can wear them to drop-off and pick-up at my son’s school, where mom-style is on point.

These unicorns of the water shoe world were birthed by the brand Bzees. These shoes look like sleek sneakers, offer a bevy of colors offering an option for every type of shoe-wearer, and are insanely light and comfortable- oh, and they can be worn in water.

I wear these suckers to water my garden, navigate waterfall hikes in Costa Rica, trod up natural water slides in Sequoia National Park or just walk around town feeling fly- and ready to step into a puddle.

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My faves are the Wink Water shoes, but click here to view all the options.

Happy water walking!

*I was sent a free pair of these shoes, but waited three months to write the review, to ensure I could offer my honest opinion. I receive nothing if you buy these shoes- besides the satisfaction of knowing I improved the lives of your tootsies.

How to Take Your Camping Cuisine to The Next Level

Food prep has always been the metaphorical poison oak rubbing on my leg when I go camping- my main criteria being “what will be the least fussy food to make?” After spending half a day using my mad-Tetris skills packing my car with half my house, I have no desire to be a short order cook of crappy food when I get to the camp site.

But, what if campfire food could be both easy and delicious? (I would go camping more.)

I spoke with Shane Hammett, avid camper and chef de cuisine at the Lone Eagle Grille in the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, to get the (beefed-up) skinny on how to make campout eating a (easy) fine dining experience- albeit fine dining a la fold out chairs, dust and bug spray.

Here’s how to jazz up your campfire cuisine without having to skip the hike because you need to clean up after lunch and start prepping dinner.

1. Build the Right Kind of Fire.

Trying to cook on a campfire without the right kind of fire is like trying to scale a mountain trail in heels- you can do it, but it will take a long time- and it will suck.

Read more on Huffington Post!

9 Insider Tips for Family Camping on the California Coast

There’s a rare form of magic in the crisp air along the California Coast, which is why it’s best enjoyed outdoors. Camping along these beaches rich with ancient trees, active sea life and a bounty of activities (for all ages!) will support you in creating the ideal vacation for your entire family. To ensure it’s more fun than frustrating, follow these tips.

1. Find the Perfect Spot.

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It’s hard to go wrong when finding a site to camp along the West Coast, but depending on your family’s specific needs, some locations will suit your family better than others. Take your preferences for sites (e.g., not near cliffs, activities for young children and a beach with a mellow break) and find a few spots that meet your needs.

Read more on Discount My Flights

Review: GOgroove Mood Light/ Speaker- Camping Hack for Parents!

k2-_cb170036-dafc-4915-beb9-e04d587bb751.v2Hey campers! (Wait- you hate camping? Maybe living room camping?)

My son is not into the whole dark aspect of camping. When the sun goes to sleep he loses his… He also relies on a nifty sound machine filled with faux raindrops and ocean waves to lull him to sleep. Camping with him is hard.

The GOgroove has granted me sweet slumber when I’m sleeping under flimsy fabric outside. It’s portable (a camping must- they have yet to install AC outlets in trees), gently changes colors and will play the “ocean waves” track on repeat I have on my phone (it’s a speaker!) A light-speaker, and a good camper.

If you’ve been trying to convince your kids to camp, bribe them with this.

My Worst Fear Came True

IMG_5649I have a recurring nightmare of a tornado ripping through my house and sucking me up into its bowels.

I grew up in Austin, Texas where the threat of tornadoes was present, but not looming — we have a lot of hills.

Memorial Day 2015 my family camped at our property by the Pedernales River, outside of Austin. The Super El Nino had begun to make itself known, and it had been raining in Austin the entire month of May — but no severe storms.

Our first day camping was dry until dark clouds pushed in around 2:00 p.m. The rain began and the adults hunkered down under tarps with Cards Against Humanity and jumbo bottles of wine, while the kids played soccer in a progressively expanding mud pit.

Read more on Huff Post!