We hope you've been thoroughly enjoying your summer.
How does this happen every year? One day it’s July 4th and the next it’s mid-August. It always blows us away how quickly it all happens. We wanted to touch base before the summer comes to a close to give you some updates and to share some of our tips for enjoying these last few weeks of Summer.
For those of you who aren't on island with us all the time, maybe you've heard by now that we are now serving food at our cafe in Vineyard Haven. That's right, breakfast, lunch, dinner and more! Check out our menu here to see all that we have to offer. If you haven't tried it yet you are SERIOUSLY missing out. We're talking dips, spreads, sandwiches, salads, juices, smoothies, tarts and tons more. If you're here visiting be sure to stop by and see us.
No matter where you live, be sure to soak up the rest of your summer in whatever small ways you can, September is just around the corner. Here are some of the ways we will be savoring the rest of our summer:
-Take the scenic route
Do you always drive home from work the same way? Try taking the longer, more scenic route and soak up some beautiful views.
-Take 10 minutes (or more!) to soak up some Vitamin D
Taking a quick break from your routine to soak up some rays can seriously give you a dose of energy and maybe a much needed mood-boost.
Seriously. When we slow down and sink deeper into the moment by deepening and lengthening each breath, we can slow time down! Although time is still moving at the same pace, when we are more present time won't feel like it's racing by quite as fast.
-Catch a sunset
Break up your nightly routine by going outside after dinner and watching the sun set. Such a great way to put things in perspective. How lucky are we to be on this globe rotating around the sun? What a trip.
Happy Summer everyone, hope to see you all soon.
Always on the hunt for the fun, fresh, & fabulous, here's what we're lovin' lately!
Roy Swimwear: We’re all about supporting the local businesses of our little island! And when it’s as cute as Roy Swim, it’s not hard to show our love! Roy bikinis are handmade on the island by Martha’s Vineyard native Liane and are fabulous for gals of shapes and sizes! The patterns and styles are super unique and will have you standing out from the beach full of basic black ‘kinis!
Meghan Currie’s “Air Your Heart Out” Yoga Program via Cody App: Meghan explains, “this series focuses on using heart-opening postures as a way to air out the hurts and fears that have been collected over the course of one’s life. Lots of emotions can bubble up for people when working on heart-openers, and this series aims to soften, soothe and melt away any barriers that restrict you.” To us, this workout has helped us to relax amongst the excitement of taking Not Your Sugar Mamas to the next level - update coming soon! It’s a great way to remember to JUST BREATHE. Check it out here.
DIY Charcoal Soap: Adding charcoal to your beauty routine is the all the rage. Activated Charcoal is detoxifying and exfoliating and won’t dry out your skin. We experimented with this super easy-to-make DIY charcoal soap recipe and absolutely loved the results! We’re keeping this recipe on the back burner for when the holidays roll around; wrap a bar in a bit of tulle with a ribbon and a sprig of dried lavender and you have a simple yet wonderful gift idea!
Inspirational Podcasts: The 6 o’clock news can be a pretty negative place these days. Luckily, more than ever before, we have the power to curate the content we choose to listen to. At Not Your Sugar Mamas, we are constantly striving for continuous personal growth, and we believe what we consume, whether food or thoughts, makes up who we are. We love this list of podcasts curated by Darling Magazine; it’s is a great place to start if you seeking to up the anty on inspiration and positivity in your life! Do you have any favorite podcasts we should check out?
It’s time to say sayonara to that pre-packed brownie mix full of chemically produced ingredients and preservatives. BYE GIRL.
These fudgey, chocolatey balls are intensely addictive, insanely easy to make, and super satisfying for sugar-affectionados, minus ANY added sugar! They’re all raw, totally vegan, dairy free, gluten free, with no refined sugars.
We swear these will be your new go-to.
> 1 cup dates, pits removed
> ½ cup nuts (We used a blend of raw almonds and cashews.)
> 2 tbsp of raw cacao
> ½ tsp of coconut oil
> ½ tsp of vanilla extract
> ⅛ tsp of sea salt
> ¼ c. unsweetened coconut flakes, chopped
> ½ of our Coconut Crunch Chocolate Bar, finely chopped
Yields 10 one inch balls.
Blend all ingredients - except coconut flakes and NYSM chocolate - in food processor (we used a Magic Bullet) until a sticky dough forms. In a bowl, knead coconut flakes and chopped chocolate bar into the mixture. Roll into balls. And presto, finito!
Tip: We like to keep these babies in the freezer. The dates keeps them soft and the coolness makes these treats even more satisfying!
If you try this recipe, feel free to have a little fun and use your creativity! Try oats, sunflower seeds, bits of chopped dried mango or ginger. Take your favorite flavors and run with it. We’d love to hear what worked for you!
This magical frozen treat is the complete opposite of Breakfast in Bed. It's full of the things that make dads into superheros!
Chocolate! BANG! Espresso! KAPOW! Cashews! BOOM!
Easy to make and free of refined sugar, dairy, and gluten, this treat is sure to get Dad movin' & groovin', zippin' & zoomin' all weekend long!
> 1.5 cups raw cashews
> 1/4 cup cacao butter (Do not substitute!)
> 4 shots of good espresso (We used Chillmark Coffee Co. Organic Espresso Roast. Alternatively, you could use 1/2 cup of coffee.)
> 1 tsp fine espresso grind
> 1 tsp vanilla
> 1/2 cup maple syrup
> 1/4 cup olive oil
> 1/2 cup cacao nibs (optional)
> 2 oz raw chocolate (We used Pure & Simple Chocolate Bar.)
1. Soak the cashews in hot water for 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, melt cacao butter on low.
3. Make the 4 shots of espresso.
4. Combine cashews, cacao butter, espresso shots, vanilla, maple syrup, and olive oil in blender. Blend on high speed.
5. Mix in the 1 tsp of espresso grinds. If using cacao nibs mix in as well.
5. Pour into molds and freeze for 4-6 hours.
6. When ready to serve, melt Pure & Simple chocolate on low. Drizzle with spoon over the frozen coffee pops.
7. Enjoy your superhero strength!
A couple new discoveries and a couple classics, here’s what we’re lovin’ lately!
BEAUTY: Essential oil as fragrance. High end perfumes can cost up to $60 per oz! Instead try an essential oil like Rose, Lavender, or Eucalyptus. A few drops on your your neck and wrists will last all day. It’s all natural and much less expensive than traditional perfume. Plus, essential oil scents are very soothing and relaxing. Available at your local health food store!
BOOK: “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. Marie Kondo, organization expert, shares her strategies on de-cluttering your home and how it will change your life. The premise is simple: keep only the things that spark joy!
NOT-SO-GUILTY PLEASURE: NYSM Ginger Pomegranate Chocolate. Not to toot our own horn but… actually, let’s toot it. This stuff is kind of blowing our minds it's so yummy. So many magical ingredients that will have you brain and body buzzing. We can't get enough!
NEW START-UP: Art of Organics is BirchBox NOT on steroids. All-natural beauty products delivered to your door with a monthly subscription. DREAMY. And founded by a woman? Even dreamier!
We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Nicole Ferraro, 28, who is the definition of a “NOT YOUR SUGAR MAMA”. This girl doesn’t stop! She is committed to her community, working as a wellness coordinator with Boston Public Health Commission, and is currently enrolled in an intensive yoga teacher certification course. She’s traveled all over and dreams big - and can’t help but inspire those around her to do the same!
What keeps you busy Monday through Friday?
Encouraging people to live active lifestyles and creating/implementing systems and programs to support healthy living in Boston, lots of communication, yoga, cooking and catching up with friends, usually over food.
Probably spending a year in Juneau, Alaska. In addition to being absolutely breathtaking, it was a very new, unfamiliar place that gave me exactly what I needed at that phase of life. I had the opportunity to figure out who I was outside of the system and structure of life in my hometown and in college. I learned (was forced) to slow down and appreciate the beauty in simplicity, that is so apparent if you take the time to look for it. I caught and filleted salmon, hiked to glaciers and inside ice caves, had encounters with bears, whales and lots of porcupines and most importantly, made some really great friends and felt supported and encouraged by the warm, close-knit, quirky Juneau community.
One of my AmeriCorps years as a recess coach at a Boston elementary school. It was long hours that required me to be very high energy and "on" the whole time. Nine year olds can be pretty mean, and I had a hard time not taking all of the kids "stuff" home with me at night. That being said, it was one of the greatest learning experiences and one of the most rewarding and fun jobs I've ever had.
What do you do to give back?
I'm pretty involved in my community through my job, working in Community Health. I work for the city government and am learning more and more each day how small of a world this city really is. For the last few years I've volunteered my time to work at a week long camp for kids with disabilities in Western NY and to lead High School Sophomores in MA through a weekend long leadership conference called MassSTAR. They are both super life giving experiences that I look forward to all year long.
Favorite healthy snack?
Avocado mashed up with a hard boiled egg on toast.
Favorite healthy meal?
Brussel sprout, apple & leek veggie burger from howsweeteats.org. I make them every couple weeks and keep them in the freezer for really exciting lunches. Exciting lunches are a real game changer.
Most cherished possession?
This is a tough one... my most sentimental possession is probably the tie dyed sweatshirt blanket that I got at camp in 9th grade. It lived on the end of my bed in high school, and has since came on many trips and adventures with me. It was my "comforter" for the air mattress I slept on during my year in Juneau and is currently my favorite blanket to cuddle up on the couch with in my apartment in Boston. It's a great reminder of different phases of life that led me to where I am today. I also really cherish my food processor and my camera "tripod" that screws onto a wine bottle.
Favorite beauty product?
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind under eye stick. I don't wear a ton of makeup so it's perfect for those inevitable bags under the eyes when you're on the go. And coconut oil, I put it in my hair overnight every few weeks and use it as lotion daily.
Yoga teacher training. And some Kate Spade Saturday/New Balance sneakers.
How do you ‘treat yourself’?
I take the time to find a new recipe, go to the grocery store and spend hours in the kitchen with Van Morrison Pandora station in the background and glass of red wine.
What do you do for fun?
All things food related (cooking, eating, reading food blogs, cooking club that meets once a month), long city walks or hikes, quality time with family and adventures to see new places and/or catch up with old friends.
How do you keep fit?
Yoga, lots of walking and always taking the stairs.
Advice to young women?
Find a practice. Any practice. Whether it be yoga, writing, knitting, juggling... anything! Something that you do regularly, that you can grow in and that grounds you and makes you happier, healthier version of yourself.
"You can do anything" has been my life mantra for most of my adult life. I appreciate its positivity and simplicity. Recently the following quote has become a powerful daily reminder: "Unclench your fists, unlock your knees and also the door to your heart, take a deep breath, and begin to swim. Begin to let the waves do their work in you." -Shauna Neiquist
Unclench my fists (see above), do less (say no to more things/have less on the schedule so I can be a better version of myself when doing the things that matter most), do a handstand & bake bread!
A yoga teacher once shared a quote with me and it changed my life:
“For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin — real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way. Something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.” [Alfred D. Souza]
Up until that point, I had looked at my life in terms of milestones... Once I finish college, I’ll really be an adult. Once I get promoted, my real career will begin. Once I pay off my loans, then I can start doing the things I love.
Then I realized that it’s all real life and it’s all worthy of being loved.
Having long term goals is an important way to keep life in perspective and to make sure you’re on track to achieving your dreams. But having small daily goals is just as important to keep you motivated and moving forward. By achieving small goals on a daily basis, you instill in yourself sense of accomplishment that makes it easier to take on the big stuff.
Here a some easy ways to love your life every day: