An Interview with Pleni Naturals

image of an interview with pleni naturals - Mama Bird Box - gifts for pregnant moms

We were so excited to begin carrying Pleni Naturals in our Mama Bird Boxes and want to introduce you to their company and founder, Allyson. Pleni Naturals’ products are safe and you guessed it… natural! PLUS they’re packed full of nutritious ingredients, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids. So not only do they feel great on mom and baby, but is highly beneficial as well.

Read on to learn more about the company, it’s mission, and what inspires Allyson!

How long did you think about starting Pleni Naturals before launching? Some people have the idea for years while others wake up with a dream from the night before and make it happen. What’s Pleni Naturals story?

I woke up New Years Day in 2014 and just knew that it would be the year I created my own skin care line. Little did I know that New Years day it would take me TWO years of research and development work before I would launch Pleni Naturals! The reason it took so long to launch is simply because it takes a really long time to launch good skin care that is 100% natural and non-toxic! Plus, I wanted to make sure the products were safe for even the most sensitive skin so there was vigorous testing, which also takes a long time. Many ask why we focus on fruits and veggies in the Pleni Naturals products. I believe it makes sense to feed our skin, which is our largest organ, with the same nutrition as we do our body. That is why Pleni Naturals is fruit and vegetable based. Also, fruits and vegetables are wholesome and packed full of nutrients our skin needs such as essential fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants. In addition, we are also on a mission to change the way kids think about fruits and veggies. That is why we have the cute and colorful fruit and vegetable characters on our packaging. We hope the products help connect kids and the nutritious foods they eat on a deeper level.

image of an interview with pleni naturals - Mama Bird Box How did you come up with the name?

It took me FOREVER to come up with the name! Every name was already taken!:) In all seriousness, it was hard to come up with the right name for the brand and it was also important for me to be able to have the name trademarked. I went with Pleni Naturals because the word “PLENI” in Latin means “full” and each Pleni Naturals products is filled with wholesome and nutritious fruit and vegetable ingredients. When customers see the name “Pleni Naturals” I want them to think, “Oh, that is the skin care line with all the fruits and veggies in it”. I really hope that comes across!

Food is obviously a huge value to you. What’s your kids’ favorite meal to cook with you?

My daughter Rhys is six years old and fiercely independent so we don’t cook together anymore! I’m a bit sad about it for me, but I also embrace her independence. She will cook along side me but has to do her own cooking creations. My son Liam, who is four, on the other hand, loves to be in the kitchen with me. Our favorite thing to do together is make pressed juice. We juice every Tuesday (and most Thursdays) together. On Tuesdays each week I usually put up our pressed juice projects on Instagram stories so if you are interested check it out @allysonjoyowens. My son and I also love to bake together. Usually we make healthy muffins with zucchini, apple sauce, banana, almond flour, coconut flour, etc. Also, at times I have to be creative when it comes to adding veggies to my kids day so we do a smoothie every night at dinner with a big heap of spinach in it. Their favorite is orange juice, frozen mango, banana, spinach and flax seed. My kids won’t drink smoothies in the morning but they will at dinner. Us moms have to do what we have to do to make sure our kids get all the important nutrients in!

image of an interview with pleni naturals - Mama Bird Box
Pleni Naturals supports Life Lab. Tell us a little about their mission and how you got connected to them.

Life Lab is an amazing nonprofit located in Santa Cruz, California on the UCSC campus. They pioneered school gardens and established the very first one back in 1979. Today, Life Lab’s work can be felt internationally as schools from all over the world come to Life Lab to learn how to establish their classroom gardens and also are guided with curriculum to help support the gardens. We decided to partner with Life Lab because our values are aligned; we both want to change the way kids think about fruits and veggies! We also feel every child should have access to a classroom garden and hope the classroom garden trend continues to grow so all children have the chance to learn in a natural environment, connect with nature and deepen their relationship with healthy foods.

Tell us about The cucumber + Grape baby oil we include in mama bird box

Have you ever heard of the saying, “What’s good enough for the baby is good enough for me?” It’s true! The Pleni Naturals Cucumber + Grape Baby Oil is fantastic for babies and kids but it also doubles as a pregnancy belly oil and beyond! ​It’s so important to make sure your skin care is super clean during the pregnancy and breastfeeding months and ​​t​he baby oil is certified non-toxic, meaning mama can feel at ease ​when applying the oil on her growing baby belly. Plus the omega 3 essential fatty acids from organic raspberry seed oil and cranberry seed oil are great for keeping the belly area nourished and strengthened, which can be super helpful for preventing stretch marks!

image of an interview with pleni naturals - Mama Bird Box

What’s a 2017 goal you have for yourself and/or your business?

On a personal level, I want to do a better job taking care of ME. To a fault, I take care of others before myself and we all know that doesn’t really work! So more yoga and meditation in 2017! On a professional level, I want to continue to grow the Pleni Naturals baby line and launch new products (which are in the works and I think the mamas are going to like it!).

Thank you, Allyson for spending the time to talk with us. We’ve loved getting to know you, your mission, and your company more!

Find Pleni Naturals online right here and follow along on Instagram here.

My Pregnancy Uniform: Laurel Linton

Laurel - My Pregnancy Beauty Uniform - Mama Bird Box - Gifts for Pregnancy

For our second My Beauty Routine installment (missed the first one? you can read it right here) we knew we had to talk with Laurel. Laurel is a speech therapist who lives and loves in Brooklyn. She and her husband are expecting their first child this winter and we just know they’re going to be the most incredible parents.

Continue reading as she tells us how she takes care of herself during these nine months and what she does to feel the most like herself.

*all photography by Bethany Michaela Jones*

What is your daily beauty routine? What products do you use?
I’m sort of a minimalist on the daily routines. I’m pretty blessed with easy skin so I try not to put a lot on my face. I use a natural face wash by neutrogena and great moisturizers by Laura Mercier. One for for day and one for night. Lately I tend to throw on a little makeup as I’m rushing out the door but nothing fancy!
Laurel - My Pregnancy Beauty Uniform - Mama Bird Box - Gifts for Pregnancy
Do you have any beauty rituals you adopted since becoming pregnant?
My most favorite has been a home made coconut sugar scrub infused with lavender and eucalyptus essential oils. I use on it my belly and hips every time I shower. It keeps my skin so smooth and moisturized and so far I haven’t had any stretch marks! Here’s hoping it stays that way 😉
What has been your go-to style during pregnancy? Describe your favorite outfit you’re wearing these days?
I’ll be honest, the transition of style during pregnancy hasn’t been easy at every stage. There’s the weird phase where none of your normal clothes fit, but you’re not quite big enough to be full on “maternity” bump zone. I ended up wearing lots of yoga pants and cute flowy tops during that time. Now that I’m into the 3rd trimester, it’s fun to get dressed and show off my bump. The hard part is bending over and getting my socks and shoes on, haha! My favorite are tunics or dresses with a belt over my tummy and maternity tights or leggings. I’ve also fully embraced the cozy fall sweater and am pretty much living in one that feels like a warm blanket.
Laurel - My Pregnancy Beauty Uniform - Mama Bird Box - Gifts for Pregnancy
Are there any particular food or drinks you love to keep you feel good and glowing?
I drink coconut water almost daily. It’s great for keeping hydrated and getting those electrolytes. I put slices of cucumber and fresh mint in my water bottle to get a fresh twist on the constant need to hydrate.
Laurel - My Pregnancy Beauty Uniform - Mama Bird Box - Gifts for Pregnancy
What wisdom do you hope to pass down to your little one?
When it comes to being a woman, I hope she learns from me that true beauty comes from the inside, and who we are deep down, not just from how we look or what clothes we wear. I also hope she learns to appreciate and love her body and not feel ashamed of it, to accept and care for her body and not idolize a false standard of beauty. I know this is something many women, including myself, struggle with, and I know it will be an ongoing challenge for me to model those ideals I hope to pass on to my daughter.
Laurel - My Pregnancy Beauty Uniform - Mama Bird Box - Gifts for Pregnancy
What advice would you give to other pregnant moms about feeling like themselves and enjoying this time?
There is a lot of pressure, about what you should be doing or shouldn’t be doing, how active you should be, how much rest you should get, what things are essential to buy for baby… it can be really overwhelming. And its easy to compare yourself to other pregnant women, which is a mistake. I think the best advice is to remember that every mama and every pregnancy are unique, and you need to go at your own pace and remain true to yourself. Trust yourself and your body, and shake of those haters (or well-meaning advice givers).
Laurel - My Pregnancy Beauty Uniform - Mama Bird Box - Gifts for Pregnancy
Thank you, Laurel, for sharing your routine with us!
For more from Laurel, follow her on Instagram right here!

Under the Tree: Boxes Packed Perfect for Mama’s Christmas Gift

If you’re like me, wrapping Christmas gifts to place under the tree is one of the best parts of the season. Every year I look forward to picking out my wrapping paper. I like to be creative with wrapping, too. One year I wrapped boxes in old state maps and another year we used empty cigar boxes from a local cigar store. One of our top questions here at Mama Bird Box is, “How can I gift a pregnancy subscription but have it sent to me to wrap and place under the tree?” Here’s our best process (a super easy, 2-step guide) to get the first Mama Bird Box to you to be wrapped with your other Christmas gifts.

If you would like the first box sent to you so it can go under your tree begin here at “Subscribe for Yourself.” Put in your information for the first box. Then send us an email at [email protected] or in our chat box on the website. Let us know that you want to gift your pregnancy subscription as a Christmas gift. We’ll do what we need to do to get the box to you in time.

If you want to send the box straight to the mama-to-be but still as a Christmas surprise, then you also need to order through the Subscribe for Yourself page. Put in the pregnant mom’s address and email us a message that you would like to have include in the box so she knows it’s from you.

After your box is gifted, follow up with us to change the shipping address to the mama-to-be’s address. Also let us know if you want to keep on giving Christmas cheer. When you purchase in the “Subscribe” page, subscriptions auto-renew. We don’t want you to be surprised by that. Let us know if you need to cancel the auto-renew or if you want it to keep going.

Contact us if you have any questions. We’re here to help make your mama-to-be feel cared for during the holidays and all the time in between. Merry Christmas!