My new favorite stroller - the Mockingbird

Y’all, I know I have 3 kids. Do I really need another stroller?!

Yes. The answer is yes.

Here’s why.

We have a single stroller that we used with Carmen - that worked with her carseat. We also kind of used it with PJ. It’s 4 years old and a BIG issue I have is that a lot of our stuff was in the basement and got pretty gross over the last year. (I wish I covered everything with a tarp) The other issue is that this stroller is hella bulky. It’s a PITA to get around the city, in and out of our tiny row home. We also have an umbrella stroller - which is super light and easy to move around, but that doesn’t fit a newborn baby. We ALSO have a 3rd stroller, a double stroller- hand-me-down that is, maybe 9 years old, LOL - and I’m sure you can just use your imagination to picture how gross and dirty it is after being with approximately 6 children over 9 years.

SO. I was definitely thinking I needed a new stroller for the baby. But my original idea was to buy a brand-new $900 double stroller from you-know-what brand. I could use it for Graham, but also for PJ and/or Carmen.

Truly, I was trying to justify spending the money. If I was going to have to spend this amount of money, well, it should be a double, right?!

THEN, my sister-in-law told me she met the creator of a new direct-to-consumer stroller brand called Mockingbird and that I should check it out. I did, and I got it.

I should note that it’s not a double stroller, but that’s okay for us right now!

Here’s why I got the Mockingbird.

COST

First thing: cost. Cost is huge to me when I’m buying things, in general.. Everything is SO expensive these days. It’s crazy… but my Mockingbird stroller was only $350. That is literally half, if not MORE THAN HALF the cost of the strollers I was looking at. And for that $350, you get a free 30-day trial, free shipping and a LIFETIME WARRANTY. I did also get a bassinet for an extra $100 because I wanted to have the option to use that in the newborn days.

Do you want to know why they can do this? They cut out the middle man. By skipping the retail markup and going direct-to-consumer (DTC), they let us save money without sacrificing quality!

IT’S…CUTE

Call me whatever you want, but I like my things to look nice. When I was nesting for the new baby, I threw away a ton of crap. And my friend Gaby trained me to only keep the things that are super functional, super used, and super nice to look at. So anything I buy now - I keep this in mind. I don’t shop just to shop. I go for quality over quantity. I don’t buy a ton of fast-fashion. So, I wanted my stroller to…bring me joy, as Marie Kondo would say.

But seriously, you all know me, I walk to coffee shops for meetings, I walk to the park with my girls, I LOVE to walk around the city! The Mockingbird stroller is sleek and gorgeous.

IT’S EASY TO USE, ESPECIALLY IN THE CITY.

With 3 kids, most of the time, I only have one hand to do things. (Even without kids, I think I only use one hand haha) This stroller is incredibly easy to use with one hand. It can be folded with one hand—with or without the seat attached—and it automatically locks and stands upright when folded.

The frame and seat suspension work together for smoother strolling and a more stable ride, and the handlebar rotates to accommodate parents of different heights. I often find myself having to push the stroller with one hand because I’m holding a coffee, water, or the baby in a wrap because he got fussy.

The Mockingbird folds up to go neatly in my car if I need to take it to another part of town.

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The basket under the stroller seat fits up to 25 lbs. of stuff. I have our backpack diaper bag in there, along with snacks for me, my massive 36 oz. YETI water bottle, and am able to add groceries or other things that I buy while out, with plenty of room.

IT’S SAFE.

Mockingbird strollers exceed the required safety standards across nearly every dimension and have been independently certified by the JPMA. Triple thumbs up.

Want to get your own? Click here to learn more about them. I’m happy to answer any questions you have, and the team at Mockingbird is incredibly responsive as well.

I did receive a gifted stroller in return for an honest review of it. This story is entirely accurate and I reached out to the brand on my own :)

#DestinationHappiness by Swisse @ Wanderlust108

This weekend I had the opportunity to check out the Philly Wanderlust 108. I’ve never been to a Wanderlust event before - it was good to see what’s going on in the wellness-event-world outside of GOOD Fest. Sometimes I am too buried in what we are doing.

To be clear - I don’t run. I injured my back a few years ago (herniated disc) and have been terrified to do anything high-impact ever since. So I didn’t participate in the active-activities - I just went to check out the Kula Market and to see @kate.van.horn.

Swisse is the No.1 supplement brand in Australia and after doing some research, I was super intrigued with by their formulas so I really wanted to check them out and meet their brand reps. If you are reading this, and a Wanderlust 108 is coming to your city - you should 100% go! This entire activation will be present at your event, too (you can even win tickets to go to Wanderlust 108 with Swisse at destinationswisse.com)


First of all - their #DestinationHappiness activation was stunning. We see a lot of nice work at the GOOD Fest, but this was just beautiful and so well-thought-out. They organized their space into a few different areas based on ways to take care of the SELF. First was a Botanical Wall, where I used an iPad to take a quiz, resulting in a personalized recommendation for supplements (looks like I am doing pretty well - just a multi-v for me!)

Here, I was also able to speak with Pippa, who was running the event and is based in their new US office in San Diego (jealous). She had the most delightful accent and was super knowledgeable about the formulas (which I will explain below).

Did you know - their entire office meditates DAILY? Talk about living what you preach.

What I find really interesting is that Swisse supplements work to help your body do things on it’s own. Your body is supposed to produce melatonin for sleep, your body is supposed to produce collagen for hair skin and nails. Swisse formulas help your body do these things instead of just skipping those steps completely and supplementing you with them directly.

Also! They are very specific about their standards (Australia...well, the rest of the world, really...is under very strict guidelines for supplement safety which Swisse adheres to). And, they source their ingredients really specifically, with intent. Blood oranges come from Sicily - because they are the best. Artichoke comes from Spain - because it is the best product. Etc.

Anyway, here’s what I learned (or, relearned…) after talking with the brand:

  • SLEEP - so important for every function of wellness, right? - from daily energy, to long-term memory, to radiance of the skin. Swisse has a sleep supplement that is melatonin-free. (I am not saying that melatonin is bad, but it is synthetic). This formula, instead, includes natural herbs and vitamins (like valerian root), which work together to lower cortisol. This means it could help you fall asleep and stay asleep. (NOTE! I’ve seen a small percentage of people who have the opposite effect from valerian root - ie anxiety - so be sure to test it out before you commit)

  • HAIR, SKIN, NAILS - Swisse has a liquid and tablet to help in this area. The liquid, I find especially fascinating. It includes blood orange extract from Sicily (only Sicily) - and the vitamin C in it helps the body naturally produce collagen instead of just supplementing with collagen and skipping this step. Collagen is a key building block for shiny hair, supple skin and strong nails.

  • DETOX - Liver, especially. The liver eliminates toxins from our bodies - diet, pollution, stress, or too many cocktails. Swisse has a Liver Detox supplement containing turmeric, milk thistle, and ARTICHOKE extract (from Spain, again very carefully and thoughtfully sourced). These ingredients have been used for centuries to aid the liver in the detox function but I had NO IDEA that artichoke was a major player! Did you? How cool.

  • There are tons of other options, too - from Children’s Health to Men’s Health to Cranberry extracts - your best bet is to take their quiz and see what you might be lacking. From here, read up on the ingredients and the mission of the company and how it sources, and decide what is best for you!

After I became obsessed with their vitamins, I found the perfect spot to re-center amidst the #Wanderlust108 crowds - the Dream Dome. The last time I was in a dome, I was playing indoor soccer in high school. This one was way different;  SO beautifully appointed, with comfortable chairs, blankets, essential oils diffusing, and floral accessories hanging down. Each headset played a guided 5-minute meditation, which was perfect to jump into and out of (and is actually the max amount I do daily at home). Ideally I could have stayed here all day, but I only had a babysitter for a few hours :-P

There was a yoga teacher present, doing private sessions with attendees. She was showing everyone how to detox and cleanse with specific Ashtanga yoga poses. She told me that a group of people came to do yoga with her instead of the massive 108 session - SMART people.

Were you at Wanderlust? Are you planning to go to any of the upcoming events? Check out #DestinationHappiness for a little reprieve, if so!


FYI This post is sponsored, but all opinions are my own






Your favorite grocery store is now open!

**If you haven’t already, enter to win a $25 gift card in my instagram post today!

The day is finally here! Sprouts in Philly is now open, every day from 7am-10pm. Check out more about Sprouts in my last two posts here and here (what Sprouts is all about and how to $ave the most money when you shop!)

I also have to mention that I went to Expo East (a large tradeshow for natural foods) last weekend and every brand I hadn’t heard of yet, but was super interested in, told me they are in Sprouts! HOW ABOUT THAT.

Now, I had the opportunity to check out the store before they opened, yesterday. Being among the first to walk into a new building is really amazing. In addition to the obvious benefits, like seeing everything first, I’m also a weirdo and love how clean and pristine and less germy new places are (why I needed to renovate our current home - so I could be the first in my kitchen aka no outstanding crumbs, and the first to use toilets…).

A few of us Philly health-people got to see a cooking demo using Sprouts products, and have a tour around the store. Like I said before, it kind of reminds me of a farmer’s market because the products are just so … abundant, and open, and fresh! Yet, you still get the benefits of having a complete grocery store, with bath and body and packaged goods as well.

(also, the building is stunning in itself)

Here are my favorite things / products / moments from the store:

The bulk section. I am so excited to be able to literally buy a tsp of something if that’s all I need. They have over 300 items in bulk including nuts, seeds, and spices.

The produce is CHEAPER than I am used to. I bought massive blueberries the size of grapes and I’m so excited to share them with the kids.

Speaking of - they have a kids section with food, diapers, wipes - and the brands I like too - like Earth’s Best, Honest and Little Duck. I picked up some quinoa crackers that looked interesting for PJ.

The frozen section rivals Trader Joe’s. Except it is way better. I picked up two Caulipower pizzas (margherita and vegetable). (They also have a few plain gluten-free crusts that looked interesting) I also got gluten-free waffles made from cassava flour (fun!) and chicken tenders for Carmen. Also, this is like…an entire section of cauliflower rice and other veggie noodles.

Oh wow - look at those crab legs. Their meat and seafood department is abundant! And the meat is never frozen - always fresh. They have an entire section for cheese, prepared foods, and rotisserie chickens are $6.99.

They also have almond milk, oat milk and a cooler made just for fermented foods. Also around this area, I found a better-for-you snickers bar and mounds bar. Had to get.

They have a massive pumpkin display outside. I asked if they will be locked away at night and was told “no”. I am curious to see how many are left in the days to come. Lol

Look at this supplement aisle. I am pretty sure anything you need can be found here. You can also ask an associate to crack open ANY of these to see them or try them. Wild.

Key things to remember, if I have explained anything well over the last 3 weeks:

  1. Read my past posts here and here for full run-downs on what to expect and how to save money

  2. Be sure to download the Sprouts app for exclusive mobile coupons and to see what’s on sale each week.  

  3. If you are ever curious about a product - the team at Sprouts is trained to be top-notch to help you find what you need (like, they are actually interested) - and you can even sample products right on the spot!

  4. This is not just a raw, or gluten-free, or vegan store - they offer a FULL grocery store for all of your needs, no matter your diet (including The Butcher Shop, The Fish Market, a full-service deli with convenient and high-quality prepared foods, bulk foods where you can purchase as little as you need or as much as you want, an extensive selection of vitamins and supplements, dairy, tons of raw/organic/vegan/gluten-free items, bakery, beer and wine and more)

  5. This is THE place to shop if you want to live an affordable healthy lifestyle. They deeply discount their products, create their own private label offerings for less, have a massive bulk section, and offer products you often can’t find in other stores!

FYI This post is sponsored, but all opinions are my own.










Your new favorite grocery store - Sprouts Farmers market

There are two reasons my grocery life feels (almost) complete. One - I used to live right down the street from the construction at Broad and Washington. I wanted to wait to sell our house there, in fact, until the construction was done - so the value of our sale would be higher (ha! We didn’t wait...). I had been wondering for years what would go in there!

Two - Through my GOOD Fest, and Health Coach Philly work - I am constantly meeting new people. A lot of the time, the conversations have something to do with an aspect of wellness, and within the last year I’ve heard a lot about Sprouts.

“You don’t have a Sprouts in Philly?!”

We have WF’s, we have TJ’s, we have specialty health-focused stores, but what is Sprouts? I kid you not, as soon as I started hearing about it (which felt like weekly at this point), I saw the sign pop up on Broad Street.

Huh - we are getting one! So of course I started looking into it. It basically looks like a farmer’s market (fresh! abundant! open! colorful!) within a beautiful, clean space...with registers and usual grocery-store stuff.  

OK, so. I am guilty of spending most of my money on food. I don’t really buy clothes (I wear yoga pants), nor vacations (I have 2 kids), so I get my kicks from healthy fresh food.

The thing I love most about Sprouts Farmers Market is that the prices are reasonable. You aren’t going to spend all of your money here, and you are still going to get organic, raw, farm-fresh, whatever you want - food. I feel like I am going to save a good chunk of cash each week and still get all of the specialty food I want.

Some KEY things to know about this healthy grocery store:

  1. They offer fresh, natural and organic foods at GOOD PRICES

  2. It has everything you would get at the grocery store - fresh produce, meat and seafood, bulk foods, vitamins and supplements, packaged groceries, baked goods, dairy products, frozen foods, natural body care and household items

  3. An average store stocks about 4,000 gluten-free, 3,000 organic, 3,000 non-GMO and 500 raw items, just to name a few.  

OK, maybe the most exciting thing for me is that they have Caulipowered pizza in the frozen section and we literally survived on this during our last retreat in the Berkshires while we were cooking for our guests. It is SO GOOD and I haven’t found it / had it since!

Have you been to a Sprouts? Are you looking forward to it? Check them out here, or on IG @sprouts.

They open on September 19th (2018) at 1100 South Broad Street. I will keep you posted as I continue to cover the opening!

 

 

FYI This post is sponsored, but all opinions are my own.