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MBC Blog
An Ode to the Season

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Seeing how it is getting mighty close to one of our favorite holidays (gobble gobble!), the team thought it would be nice to reflect on what we are grateful for in this beautiful life. All too often life can begin to shrink into nothing but deadlines and to do lists- this Thanksgiving we are striving to be present and aware of the precious blessings that occur in the ordinary. What we may find mundane in the daily routine can easily be small miracles, if only our hearts and minds were attentive to them. So, out of hearts of humble gratitude, here are few of the countless things we are thankful for:

  • Our big God
  • Freedom
  • Our wonderful Country
  • Our Families
  • Our little Mountain Town
  • This Dream Job
  • Team Prayers
  • Coffee Breaks
  • Twinkle Lights
  • Giggle Fits
  • Siracha Mayo (no judging!)

 

Have a cozy friday!

XO

Lis and Bobbi

 



Stress Management + Berry Smoothie, Olivia Porter
Another week past, and what a beautiful week it was! It's been a busy few days in the office and our whole team has worked their fannies off- Go Team! In-between the deadlines, team meetings, and coffee breaks one can get a little worn out- even good weeks can include stressful moments. That's why I am so glad Olivia came in to share this wonderful recipe and let us in on some tips and tricks of fighting off stress in our daily lives. Words of wisdom never tasted so sweet!
 

Stress and What it does to our bodies: 

Im sure we’ve all heard at this point, that stress is bad for your health, but how many really know exactly HOW bad it is, and why? With the holidays coming up, I thought now would be a good time to discuss some of the far reaching effects of stress, as well as some ways to reduce it. This going to involve a little bit of science, as stress wreaks it’s havoc on the body through the endocrine system, which is our control center for hormone production. I have always been fascinated by the intricate and wide spread function of the endocrine system, ranging from adrenaline production, to mood stability, to metabolic rate, and much more.

Let me first start with a quick explanation of the nervous system. It has two divisions: the sympathetic, and the parasympathetic. The parasympathetic is our involuntary nervous system, which controls functions like the heart beating, digestion, bold flow, etc. This is the state we are in when our body is at rest, and we don't have to think about the functions it performs.

The sympathetic nervous system is the exact opposite. It’s in charge of our “fight or flight” response, which is notified when we perceive a threat. It releases adrenaline and cortisol, heightening our senses, and basically putting us in survival mode. We can see, feel, and hear better,as well as experience an increase in strength and cardiovascular endurance. This is a very good thing, when the situation calls for it, but can be a bad thing, when it is prolonged over periods of time. Unfortunately, many of us tend to live in a mild version of “fight or flight”, mode, due to the fast paced and demanding lives we lead. The reason this is a problem, is because when our bodies feel stress, they increase cortisol production, as i mentioned before, which is supposed to enhance our ability to handle danger, but actually prevents our body from producing other hormones we need, such as testosterone, estrogen, dopamine, and many more.

Now you see why this spike in cortisol is ok for short periods of time, but wreaks havoc when it persists for days, weeks, or months on end. If we go for too long without producing the other hormones we need, it creates a domino effect on the other systems in the body. Living organisms are so complex and intricate, that every organ and hormone in the body is connected in some way, and when we damage one, it is only a matter of time before the rest follow.

If that wasn’t enough motivation to reduce stress, another side effect is stored fat. The reason for this, is that when the body thinks it’s under attack, one of it’s primal instincts is to hold on to nutrients, and store them for future energy, in case it doesn't get them again for a long time. Obviously this is not the case in today’s world, but our bodies don't know the difference between types of stress, they only know how to survive. Our ancestors lived in a completely different world than we do, where maybe they didn’t know when or where the next meal was coming from. Running away from a lion or bear, and then storing whatever food they ate, wasn’t a problem, especially because they would burn it off anyway.

So times have changed dramatically, yet our body’s tendencies remain the same through generations. What is the answer? Well, as much as I wish I held the secret to eliminating stress in everyday life, I don’t have a fool proof solution for you. I’m still learning new things everyday, and I will always have a long way to go. I do howeverspend lots of time researching, and have several ideas which can help to reduce stress, and restore peace and longevity to life. Here are a few of them:

  

  • Practice gratitude. Easy to do on good days, but not so easy on the bad ones right? Thats ok, choose to think about the things you have to be thankful for, even when you don’t feel it, and over time, you will notice little changes that add up!!
  • Find something that motivates you. Whether it’s a hobby, a person, a career opportunity, or planning for the future, believe me when I say that those who feel passionate about something are able to handle life’s little curve balls better than those who don’t.

  • Exercise!! Seriously. The best stress relief around. Under utilized and it’s free. So whatever you enjoy doing, just get your body moving, get that heart rate up, and try to tell me you don’t feel better afterwards!

  • Take some time for yourself. Each day, you should set aside an hour to do whatever it is that makes you feel at peace. Preferable something that helps you relax, like yoga, playing an instrument, reading, etc. But don't let me tell you what it has to be; you know what works best for you.

  • Surround yourself with positive people. Obviously this is not always in our control, but you can choose who you spend your free time with, so make sure it’s with people who lift you up, and are happy about life. Also remember, you have the ability to be that person for others as well, so even if you spend time with negative people, BE the positive energy in the room, and maybe you’ll be surprised at the effect it has on others.

  • Treat your body like a temple. Even if it doesn't feel like it, your body is an amazing thing. If you want it to feel strong, you have to take care of it. Increase nutrient rich, whole foods, especially proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. Here are a few example of each:

  • -  Proteins: Chicken, turkey, eggs, fish, ground beef, cheese, yogurt (be sure to look for low sugar content), clean protein powder, etc. (Organic is best in all cases).

  • -  Fats: Avocado, nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, cashews, etc., seeds (flaxseeds, chia seeds, seseme seeds, sunflower, pumpkin, etc., coconut oil, and olive oil to name a few, again, go with organic if possible).

  • -  Carbohydrates: Sweet potatoes, yams, quinoa, brown rice, beans, legumes, fruits, and vegetables.

  • -  Herbs and spices like ginger, garlic, tumeric, cumin, curry, cilantro, basil, etc.
    Reduce the bad stuff :( This includes caffeine, alcohol, refined, processed, packaged foods, and most importantly, SUGAR!! Sugar has the worst effect on our stress response because it spikes blood sugar, (much like cortisol does), and then allows it to drop down, even lower than it was before, causing mood swings, irritability, fatigue, and fat storage.
    For additional support, there are many natural supplements you may find helpful. Some of these include: Eluthero root, ashwaghanda, licorice root, rhodiola, maca, and prickly ash bark, to name a few. All of these are plant roots, and can be used in the form of tea, capsules, tinctures, or sprays. You can also find blends with many of them all in one. Try looking under “adrenal support” in any health food store.

I know this was a lot of information, so feel free to contact me with any questions or for more ideas. In closing, I want to leave you with a recipe which is very nourishing and supportive for the nervous system.

 

1/2 cup Green Tea, chilled or room temp. (substitute Nettles Tea) 

1/2 cup Milk (coconut, almond, flax, or organic cows milk)

1/2 Medium Banana 

1/2 cup Blueberries 

1/2 tbsp Maca (add more if acclimated)

1/2 tsp Ginger Spice or fresh Ginger, grated

A dash of Celtic Sea Salt

1/2 tbsp Honey to sweeten (substitute Maple Syrup or Stevia)

 

Have a great weekend!
-Liv
Pumpkin Smoothie, with Olivia Porter
Bonjour! We here at MBC wish all of you wonderfuls a very happy week. Today we are happy to introduce to you a good friend of ours named Olivia Porter who will be sharing with us on the blog every now and then. Liv is a health guru who has made it her mission to share her knowledge of right living with those around her. The importance of health cannot be overstated so we are so excited to have her involved and feel privileged to learn more and more about living a healthy lifestyle. She will be sharing some of her favorite recipes that are all things nutritious and good. So with that, I'm turning it over to our favorite health nut! 
 
Hello All!
First of all, I would like to say how excited I am to be working with these amazing women, and to to be involved in their inspiring movement with the Mason Bar Company. I went to school for Holistic Nutrition in 2012, with the assumption that I would use my degree to work exclusively, with clients, one on one, as a nutrition consultant. However, throughout the process, I had the opportunity to do so much more, including teaching classes and workshops, learning about sustainable living, and now, to write for a blog, which allows me to reach so many more people than I ever expected. I discovered new passion in the area of health, which has shaped my belief system on what the word truly means. So I thought it would be fitting to hit on a few key topics, which I believe to cumulatively sum up what we as individuals need in order to thrive. True health encompasses the whole person: body, mind, and soul. So the conclusion I've come to, is that we must have three of the following things.
 Physical Health: This includes proper nutrition, fitness, balance, strength, and endurance. Our bodies have an amazing ability to heal, adapt, and grow, especially when taken care of properly. Think of it as preventative maintenance, because, while it may not seem like a priority now, I promise it will be as you get older. Its your future, so you decide how you want to spend it; healthy and active, or sick and tired. Ok I`ll be done with my rant for now!
Mental Health: This can be different for everyone, but I think its safe to say that most all people need to love, and be loved, unconditionally. Also to feel supported, passionate, capable, and motivated. Being able to accomplish goals, and share life with those you love, is what makes it worth living. This brings me to the third and most important point! Emotional health: This comes down to having faith that there is something more than this life. That there is some method to the madness of this world, and gives you a sense of purpose beyond grinding through each day just to survive. No matter how much we love them, people are just people, and will let us down at some point. Placing your trust solely in another person, is like asking to have your world turned upside down. However, believing in something more than this life, and in a Love that overcomes all, is what creates the passion to love each other in the same way, even though we know we aren't perfect.  Making it a goal to support health in each of these ways, and to share it with others everyday, is what drives my mission in this world. Most of my posts will be more practical and hands on, with daily ideas and tips for incorporating health into busy lifestyles. I just wanted to take this opportunity to explain my belief system. I hope it is helpful!! I also want to leave you with a great recipe for a seasonal smoothie which works perfectly in the mason jars, for easy transport!! I call it “Pumpkin Spice”, it is super easy to make, full of nutritional benefits, and tastes amazing!! Here is what you will need:
1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1 frozen banana

1 cup organic milk (coconut milk or hemp milk can be substituted)!
.
1/2 cup plain organic yogurt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1or 2 packets of stevia

1 tbls. honey 

(Makes 2 servings)  
Nutrition Facts: Calories: 171, Carbohydrates: 25g., Fat: 2g., Protein: 13g.  

Enjoy!!!
  -Liv

F A L L // 2 0 1 4
One of the many reasons why we love living where we do... the four seasons. I'm pretty sure we can't live without them now that we're spoiled. The girls and I have been extremely anxious for the Fall season and now that it's here, we are so very grateful.
The new, chilly MBC mornings start with pour over coffee and oatmeal with a bit of cream, cinnamon and dried fruit from the Sonora Farmers Market... oh my- it's bliss! So, on the note of Fall and all things wonderful that accompany the season, we thought it would be a nice idea to update YOU, our lovely customer, on MBC Fall happenings. Here we go!
First and foremost. You know Lisa, our super amazing graphic designer, creative director, MBC manager who wears a million hats on the job? Well, she said, "I do" to Mr. Brian Siemonsma a few weeks ago! They said their vows underneath a weeping willow tree and were then serenaded by thunder and lightning at their reception... I'd call it wedding perfection and natures beauty at it's finest. The two love birds are now getting settled into the cutest little house and I have to say that I'm really excited to call Bri, "family" ( since Lisa and I are cousins and all ). YAY for LOVE!!  
We have also been working on a new product that could quite possibly blow your mind! The launch date is scheduled for November 14th. Stay tuned for awesomeness!
 
 Annie has been working on the Tiny Vinyl cuffs- have you seen them? They're just the cutest. 100% made in the USA, locally embroidered and crafted in house. Great job, Annie! 
 
Last but not least I'm excited to announce that we have a lovely collaboration in the works with our friend Jenn of Garden Apothecary! We are anxious to share the details next week. Stay tuned, friends.
Cheers!
Bobbi
// U G A N D A //

Greetings, Friends!

I had every intention of posting here on the blog each day I was in Uganda but oddly... I had no words. None. Each day was wonderfully exciting and special but there was nothing pressing on my heart to report. Weird, right? I was starting to think something was wrong with me until I was headed home, 35,000 feet above the Atlantic and my brain started processing all that was experienced. Now I have too many words and sorting them all out has been a challenge. So, please forgive me if I bounce around and sound like a crazy person!
 

The first few days home I was an emotional mess. Sorry to those of you who approached me with "Hi! How was your trip?!" and I started crying my eyes out on your shoulder. The culture shock coming home was much, much harder than adjusting to the culture in Jinja. It's like aftershock, folks. So bizarre! As I write this, it's been 2 weeks that my boys and I have been back and I'm (sadly) pretty much readjusted to regular life. But before we get started with the heart of things- here is some back story. See... I told you I'd bounce! 

     

You might be asking, WHY did you go and for what exactly. Well, it's been on my heart for a year and a half to give back via MBC to an organization that provides clean water to those in need... little did I know at the time this desire began stirring that there was a young family in my church that had just started a non-profit called, The Global Belief Project, and their mission was supplying clean water to people across the globe. Perfect!!! Long story short... I met this young couple, Jake and Taylor and adored them from, "hello". Ummm.... they are AMAZING. They are beautiful, compassionate souls that I am proud to call friends. These precious people happened to like me back (hooray!) and invited me to go on their next adventure to Uganda with them. I had NO idea how I was going to pay for such a trip but God is good and He miraculously made a way for not only myself but my two oldest boys to join. Incredible!! My boys are 11 and 8 and had never even been on an airplane before. Adventure at it's finest. 

Finally, the time came for our trip and even though I didn't have a clear idea as to why we were going, I knew deep down that we were meant to be a part of the trip and taking leaps of faith is something I'm starting to grow quite fond of. It truly was a leap for us. We were along for the ride with expectant hearts and open minds.  

We all departed on the 20th of July and after 37+ hours of travel, Jinja became our home for two weeks. We arrived in the middle of the night so when I woke up to the BEAUTIFUL morning, I was elated! Oh. My. Goodness! Our adventure had begun and I was ecstatic to be in Jinja at the "Providence Guest House". Just FYI, the birds there are massive- quite freaky, actually. And there's one common species that sounds like a monkey so that first morning I thought there were monkeys surrounding us by the dozens. 

  

 

Each day the boys and I were happy sidekicks to Jake and Taylor. Breakfast convo's usually went like this, "Hey guys! What's on the agenda... ok, sounds awesome!" type thing. Everyday was truly a wonderful adventure and if you'd like more detailed information about each day, please visit Taylor's blog here. Jake and Taylor (GBP) have been one time already to Jinja last November so they've made several connections which allowed the organization the opportunity to fund several projects. Without local contacts that know the area and speak the language it would be hard to get things done but they did it and it was amazing! Two rain water harvesting systems were set up: one at Graces Kids Nutritional Clinic in Jinja and the other at Our Own Home Orphanage as well as three well repairs in outside villages. The well repairs were on Taylor's wish list for GBP and it was really neat to see not only one (that's how many they were hoping to fix) but three got repaired within just a few days of our visit to the villages. It was in these moments of being among these sweet, sweet people at the well that I was moved. My goodness, I can still hardly wrap my head around what water means to so many across the globe... and I have it freely flowing from my kitchen faucet. Sigh. Great- now I'm crying. 

 

Over the course of our stay, we had the opportunity to understand some of the Ugandan culture, meet wonderful people and fall in LOVE with Jinja. While I was there I said to myself, "oh, we'll be back someday- a few years from now maybe." Yeah right. Now with each day that goes by, my longing to be there grows deeper. After this trip I know that my Creator has not called me to be a missionary but I know without a shadow of a doubt that He has called me to be an ambassador, a supporter and a sender for those who are there doing great works for humanity. Jake and Taylor are those. The difference between them and myself is evident... I desire to have compassion while they have true, deep compassion that is unreal. After seeing their family in the heart of where they will soon be full time, I am SO excited to do all that I can to encourage and support them in their journey. They are following their hearts and choosing bravery- for that I commend them. They are an incredible inspiration! 

There are so many stories, thoughts and words swirling around in my head but I just don't know how to put it all in to words yet. Maybe I'll do some gradual posting over the next few months. For now, I have a few last words:

No matter where you are at this very moment, I hope you know that you have a grand purpose. You are designed for greatness and although we are all very human, we are all equipped with love, compassion and courage that can change the world! When other lives are bettered because of our own- that's true fulfillment and a life worth living. I encourage you to be sensitive to that still, small voice inside that says, "Pay for that nice ladies coffee today" or "call that old friend just to say hi". That instinctive voice will bring you much joy if you listen.

Thank you for following the journey, friends! Thank you for reading this- please don't judge my writing abilities too harshly!  : ) 

 With Sincere Gratefulness,

Bobbi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

// C O L D - B R E W //
Goodbye Spring, hello Summer! The days are growing longer and the California sun has finally shown it’s true colors- it is officially steaming hot! With that being said us girls at the warehouse are taking every possible precaution to beat the heat. Since coffee is one of our main food groups around here (but really) I thought it would be a good idea to try our hand at some cold brew. Could there be a better solution? I think not!
Through my many wanderings on our ever loved Instagram, I came across Seaworth Coffee Co.- an all natural, american made coffee company based in Costa Mesa, California. Each cold brew is hand-crafted, they use fair trade organic coffee beans, AND they repp the golden state. In short, we love them! Seaworth was kind enough to send us over a care package of their amazing product so that we could try it ourselves- I only have one word for you- SOLD!
Bobbi, Meg, and I selected our usual favorites to pair with Seaworth's Single Fin Sludge cold brew and the results were soooo yummy! We thought we would give you guys a few ideas if you need some cold brew inspiration so here are our top picks!
Bobbi's Choice (served in a wide 16oz)
- 6oz Seaworth Single Fin Sludge
- 6oz Unflavored Coconut Milk
- 1tsp. Sweet Beet (all natural locally made sweetener)
- Just a pinch of cinnamon
It was too amazing for words.
My pick: (served in 24oz)
- 8oz Seaworth Single Fin Sludge 
- 8oz Coconut Milk
- 1/2 oz Seaworth Coconut Simple Syrup
If you're looking for a punch of amazing flavor without the fuss of anything too sweet, this little recipe is the one for you.
Last but not least, Meg's Cold Brew: (served in regular mouth 16oz)
- 6oz Single Fin Sludge
- 6oz Coconut Milk
- 1tbsp. Raw Honey (locally made by Gold Country Honey Farms)
 Honey is always a good idea. Always.
All three of our brewskies were so so good. Seriously, we wished we had more to go around! A giant thank you to Seaworth Coffee Co. for obliging us with such an amazing cold brew. Be sure to check these guys out- they're going places!
"When there is no other solution- just choose coffee." -Yours truly
xo - Lis
// W H O L E - F O O D S //

For all of our Whole Foods Market junkies, we wanted to give you an update on new locations and cities in the Northern California region that now carry MBC products! We are so pleased and excited about our relationship with WFM and love seeing new places and new customers finding our goods on their shelves. 

Here are a few new locations for you to get your hands on some MBC goodness! 

Whole Foods Market- Oakland

Whole Foods Market- Ocean St. San Francisco

Whole Foods Market Castro- Market St. San Francisco

Whole Foods Market Noe Valley- 24th St. San Francisco

Whole Foods Market- Walnut Creek

Whole Foods Market- Los Altos

Whole Foods Market- Petaluma

Whole Foods Market- Roseville

Whole Foods Market- Reno

Whole Foods Market- Mill Valley

Whole Foods Market- San Mateo

Whole Foods Market- Napa

Whole Foods Market- Fremont

Whole Foods Market- Santa Rosa

Whole Foods Market- Sebastopol

Whole Foods Market- Fresno

Whole Foods Market- Cupertino

Whole Foods Market- Sacramento

Whole Foods Market- Oakland

Whole Foods Market- San Ramon

Whole Foods Market- Sonoma

All stores stock our 24oz tumblers, wide and regular mouth lids as well as lid and straw sets. Thank you all for being part of our crazy, amazing journey. We wouldn't be where we are without our loyal customers and friends! 

 

Be courageous. Look under every stone. Trudge on. Accept that your life is a miracle and live accordingly.

 

XO Lis

 

 

 

// M B C - B I O // Our Meg

Greetings, all! Happy happy June! Can you believe summer is upon us already?! Lots of fun things happening in the shop lately- new business, new products, and new people! We have brought in a couple new girls to be a part of this amazing journey with us and we couldn't be more thrilled to have them! So with that I figured it would be nice to introduce you to a woman we have been lucky enough to add to our crew of amazing individuals that make MBC so special to us. 

This is our Meg. I want to just start by apologizing for my obvious bias for this blonde haired bombshell- she is in fact my big sister (by 16 months- lest I ever forget!) and pretty much in my top three favorite humans of all time. Meg is extremely talented, GENEROUS, and hard-working. She is our gypsy princess who blazes her own trail and dances her way through life. What more can I say? She's just the best.

Her duties here at MBC consist of making sure all our goods are going out on time, being filled correctly, and packaged accordingly. She's taken to it like a fish to water and I can't fathom MBC without her! She takes care of things with no fuss and always knows when a Shakira dance party is necessary. She has become an essential part of the team and we're hoping we get to keep her for a very long time =)

 I'll end with this beauty's favorite quote- have a lovely week everyone! 

"You can't wander without love beside you."

-Nevada by Deer Tick

 

XO Lis

// G L O B A L - B E L I E F //

 

  Happy Friday! As some of you may already know- we have teamed up with a local non-profit organization called Global Belief Project to give you our "Believe in Change" totes. This amazing organization founded by our dear friends, Jake and Taylor Radovich, provides water filtration systems to the people of Uganda. How did we get involved? Well, a short time ago, Bobbi felt an overwhelming desire to travel- but not just to travel for personal pleasure. She felt the need to help- to give something back and build new life. No more than a week went by when Taylor decided to introduce herself to Bobbi at their Sunday church service. All that I can say is there is a reason for hearts stirring and there is purpose in everything. Bobbi and Taylor knew that their meeting was no accident and since then we (The Mason Bar Company) have been strong supporters of the Global Belief Project and will be joining them this July in Uganda to help supply those in need with clean water. 40% of every "Believe in Change" tote purchased goes towards this amazing organization so be sure to grab yours and help support the cause!  

Global Belief Project mission statement: to provide clean drinking water, improved sanitation facilities, support, and emergency assistance to those in need throughout the world, while sharing the powerful love of Jesus.

 

Please feel free to visit the Global Belief Project website for more information and other ways to support this wonderful organization.

http://globalbeliefproject.org/

 

 

XO- Lis

M B C // L E A T H E R

 Today I thought I would take a moment to share some bits about our amazing new leather cuffs and the beauty behind them! This is our girl, Annie- she is a mother, a reclaimer, a leather worker and just about the sweetest woman you will ever meet. She hails from southern California but we have claimed her as one of our own! Annie joined our team a few months back and we don't know what we ever did without her. So yeah, we like her a lot!

It has taken many a trial and error in order for our cuff to finally reveal itself but it was worth the wait! We couldn't be more pleased with the outcome! For all you leather lovers out there- this little guy was made just for you! It's clean, simple, and made with a whole lot of love.

      It is so rewarding to see all of the strengths and qualities in each one of the Mason Bar girls. I love that this company can be a source of innovation and creativity for everyone included. There's nothing that a little hard work and some gumption can't accomplish =)

 

gumption (ˈɡʌmpʃən) — n
1. ( Brit ) common sense or resourcefulness
2. initiative or courage: you must have the gumption to try.

 

XO- Lis