on a pleasant break from the insanity of the weather we’ve been experiencing, my husband and i went to the beach to get in some much-needed sunshine and a little walk. it’s one of our favorite things to do. inevitably peter and my eyes move from watching the waves, though always on the lookout for dolphins or a stray sea lion, to the shore where the quest begins to find ever elusive sea glass. some days we have a good run while others prove to be a bit more of a challenge.
as we began our walk down a deserted stretch of sand, i noticed another couple mirroring us a few yards away deep in what was alternately conversation and thought. as they walked peter and i studied the rocks and shells at our feet coming up now and then for a “got one” or “take a look at this blue one” or “is this one even real?”. as we continued our treasure hunt i noticed our new “friends” joining in. none of us paid any real attention to each other save for a smile or nod but i couldn’t help but notice that these four strangers were all now involved in the beauty of doing nothing together.
no idea why but it was strangely comforting.
in the midst of all the crazy we’re living through it’s nice to know we are all in this together. humanity, simplicity, and love, whether it be for nature or each other or both.
"to those whom much is given, much is expected." - john f. kennedy
i was blessed to have been born to parents that were big on giving back. really big. they didn't just talk the talk, they walked the walk. they were true philanthropists and from an early age it was impressed on my brothers and me that giving from the heart was of utmost importance. my parents' altruistic nature shaped me in a way words alone could not and i'm eternally grateful for the life lesson.
we at kai are proud of and take our charitable efforts very seriously. over the years we have donated our time, energy and dollars to more charities than you can imagine, hoping to make a difference. and though i'd like to think we have, it's been pretty piecemeal with our "some for this and some for that" endeavors. discussions with friends as well as those "in the know" from some of these charitable organizations made it clear that our dollars could see a much bigger impact were we to focus our efforts on one or two foundations. that being said, it took us a minute to find a charity that we feel passionately about and it turns out it was right under our nose all along as for years we've donated kai product to the jimmy miller memorial foundation's annual "benefiesta".
the jmmf is a non-profit organization and adaptive surfing program used to assist individuals coping with mental and physical illness in accessing the ocean environment. the purpose of the program is to increase self-efficacy in their participants, through engagement in physical activity in the ocean environment, specifically, the activity of surfing. ocean therapy surf sessions can be a one-time activity or ideally, an ongoing program where growth and healing can be seen and measured. in the past fifteen years, the jmmf ocean therapy program has touched hundreds of children and adults, including at-risk kids, wounded warriors and veterans, often with life changing results.
kai is thrilled to announce we are partnering with the jimmy miller memorial foundation through donating a portion of all sales from kaifragrance.com to the foundation. as well, we are terribly excited to roll up our sleeves and get our feet wet (literally!) by participating in volunteer and fundraising events throughout the year.
from the foundation: "jimmy miller was 'living the dream'. now, through the jimmy miller memorial foundation, we are dedicated to keeping one of his most important dreams alive--helping others learn to love, heal and feel joy from the power of the ocean and the power of loving friends."
the old adage of "it's better to give than to receive" couldn't be more fitting.
i love a good story and nothing beats a good true story. such is the narrative behind elemental superfood seedbars. founder and friend of kai, nicole anderson’s company tagline is “born from necessity, continued with love”. that was all i needed to pique my interest. as a mom of an autistic child with allergies to wheat, dairy and sugar, nicole “became passionate about creating foods that everyone can enjoy and benefit from”. with the yummiest of flavors and something nicole calls crumbles, elemental superfood seed bars are for everyone. from moms on the go to the kids they run after. athletes looking for some fuel to students craving focus. this is your healthy on-the-go snack, a quick breaky with coffee or your go to before/after workout alternative. made with the best of the best ingredients these high protein, high fiber bars have no nasties in them.
as well, a percentage of all proceeds from every elemental bar sold goes to autism research. nothing beats a good ending!
take a look at nicole’s take on our “kai conversations” questionnaire for a bit of insight into her world.
how do you embody kai's breath * life * flow lifestyle?
i try to live one day at a time. when i start to think about things ahead or spend time looking backwards, i remind myself that all we really have is right now, and today is a gift. i do my best to stay present and trust that if i keep living with integrity, stay honest and do the right thing each day, everything always works out for my highest good.
what's the best advice you've ever received?
not to sweat the small stuff.
do you have a mantra you live by?
every day is a gift.
describe your perfect day.
wake up with no alarm. make coffee and a healthy breakfast with my daughter. lay on the couch and read for an hour and then head out for a long walk with my little guy. go out to lunch with a friend, get a massage, then relax at home for a few hours, maybe bake some delicious healthy baked goods, and then dinner with my man.
i love italy, anywhere in italy is where i want to be. last summer we rented a little apartment in rome for a week. we spent everyday walking the streets and seeing the sites, just soaking up the culture. by the end of the week we knew the area and we had all our favorite spots down. we found our favorite breakfast place, gelato, our favorite place for pizza and our favorite pasta place. i would love to spend several months at some point, and experience the different parts of italy, some i have been to before and a few places i have yet to visit.
i love the kai perfume oil. i always have my little guy near me all throughout the day, so i am very conscious of what i am putting on my body that he is exposed to. i do not like wearing any heavy fragrance, kai perfume oil is not overwhelming, it smells beautiful and lasts all day.
ideal way to relax/unwind?
these days if i get a ten-minute shower and get to shave my legs and wash my hair without my 18-month-old banging on the shower door, that's relaxing! haha.
what's the most adventurous thing you've done?
it was probably traveling solo with my daughter to majorca, spain when she was ten months old. i was 24 years old and had never traveled to europe before. i didn't even think twice about it! i had multiple plane rides and a long boat ride from barcelona to get to majorca. we stayed for a month, it was amazing!
i never get tired of...
date stuffed with almond butter!
favorite workout right now?
i just started using the peloton stationary bike. it is great because i obviously do not have to leave the house and i can get a decent workout in 30 minutes. i love going to a good yoga class, but that is a once a week luxury.
what is your favorite word and why?
persistence. it resonates with me because i have had to be persistent through many times in my life. it is positive, uplifting and strong. it's just a great word!
what do you consider your biggest blessing?
my children. no question.
morning person or night owl?
morning person and lately to bed at 8:30 pm, not much of a night owl!
i love food! especially when it is farm to table is the best.
dark chocolate, on repeat.
thank you so much, nicole!
p.s. follow us on instagram and stay tuned for a chance to win nicole's favorite kai products along with a crumble bundle (a kai team fave!) and variety box of elemental superfood bars later today!