Happy New Year and Join Us in 2016

Happy New Year from the entire GirlU team and we hope you will join us in our quest to bring a full line of PMS relief products to the market in 2016!

staceyWe are writing to thank you for your continued support and interest in Magpie LLC and our Girl Uninterrupted PMS relief products.  This past year has been one of learning lessons and overcoming unforeseen obstacles.   However, we have emerged grateful for what we have learned and inspired to push forward and achieve our goals for 2016!

We would like to invite you to join us in that journey.  Magpie is currently seeking to raise $100,000 in capital to launch its tea and supplement products by March of 2016.  And before seeking out angel investors who would need to be introduced to the brand, we thought, why not invite those who have been at our side all along?

And do not be daunted by the size of our goal: a minimum investment is $5,000.

If you are interested in learning more about our plans for 2016 and beyond, including both our fiscal projections and social impact goals, please contacts us at info@GirlU.com for a copy of our CompanyBook, Financial Outlook and Term Sheet.

Best wishes for all things merry and bright over the holiday week and cheers to a fantastic new year.

Kendall Egan, CEO & Mayling Kajiya, Founder

Environmental Impact of Tampons, Pads and Panty Liners

garbage

Tampons were introduced approximately seventy years ago, so it is a relatively new invention, but the environmental impact of tampons has been massive.  When you read a lot about the cotton processing and how long an applicator or a pad lasts in a land fill, it does make you think.  Then, when you read a historical fiction book like The Red Tent or The Other Boleyn Girl, and period management is either sitting on a pile of straw in a tent or reaching for a personal box of literal “rags,” you see why innovation was necessary.  But, in these modern times, have we swung the pendulum too far in the direction of disposable products?

Back to the tampon, the word tampon actually means “plug” in French.  Cotton requires huge amounts of pesticide to grow and then in production cotton is bleached with more chemicals to make it white.  A plug of cotton is mixed with rayon…blah, blah, blah…other scary sounding ingredients are added and then it’s plunged into the vagina without a second thought to manage period flows.

While the farming and production of cotton is troubling, a plastic applicator is actually the worst part of the tampon as it takes “virtually forever” to biodegrade.  Neither part of a tampon is supposed to be flushed down the toilet, but a lot of applicators and cotton parts end up in the flotsam of oceans.  And one statistic said that an average woman uses 10,000 tampons in her lifetime.

Pads and panty liners are made from materials that are pretty much indestructible and do not break down in landfills.  Plus, most brands individually wrap each tampon, pad and liner which adds to the trash in landfills.

For more reading on this topic, click here and here.  We wrote about reusable period management products here and wondered if American women were ready to embrace the “ick” factor of washing out menstrual cups and leak proof underwear. After learning a little bit about the environmental impact of disposable products, does that make you more interested to invest in a menstrual cup and a set of leak proof underwear to manage a cycle?

We’ll look at a cost/benefit analysis next!

Period Management Products

menstrual cup

We are in the midst of an evolution, or maybe a revolution of period management products.  Menstrual cups, like Diva Cup, and leak proof underwear, like Thinx and Dear Kates, present women with a choice of reusable products to deal with a period.

Reusable products prompted two questions for our team. First of all, are women in the US embracing the “ick” factor of washing out a cup and dealing with blood in leak proof underwear in lieu of a panty liner?  Secondly, is it time we seriously understood the environmental impact of our disposable habits?

Founder of Girl Uninterrupted, Mayling Kajiya says she loves her menstrual cup.  “I love the freedom it gives me, 10-12 hours of protection and no carrying around tampons.”  Once you make the initial investment of the cup, the cost savings from not making monthly purchases of pads and tampons is significant.

As for washing out underwear, aren’t we doing it anyway? Nobody gets through a period without at least one episode of leaking…right?  Most of us have a set of grungy period underwear, probably consisting of underwear that has already sustained leaking damage! But maybe we need a set of cycle underwear that has great materials and technology to replace a panty liner? Just think of all the pajamas and pant inseams that would also be spared!

From the day of our first period until the day we are fully in menopause, period management is a monthly issue.  What do you think about embracing reusables?  Are you ready for it as a consumer?  Let us know at info@GirlU.com.  We’ll look at question #2 in our next post!

Journaling for Mental Wellness

BWhat do Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, Anne Frank, the young Jewish girl who hid with her family in an attic during World War II, and Susan Sontag, writer, filmmaker and political activist, all have in common?  Each of these women wrote in a journal, or kept a diary.  Journaling can mean different things to different people.  For some, a journal is more like a to-do list or a food diary.  Others keep a gratitude journal or work out deep thoughts, almost a written therapy of sorts.  And remember the Burn Book from the movie “Mean Girls?”  That was also a journal.

Journaling is the fourth installment of our #GirlUBeWell Blog series because keeping a journal is a great way to organize thoughts, work out problems, encourage personal growth and help sort through emotions, happy or sad.   Consider a journal a safe place for deepest, darkest personal issues or the place to park troubles at night in order to stop the brain from ruminating on problems and disrupting sleep.

On the flip side, a journal can be a place to write about experiences in order to document memories.  A journal can also be a place for ideas and creativity and organizing insights.  Some people have found that by writing down one note of gratitude per day one can refocus a general outlook on life to be positive in nature.

There are a variety of ways to keep a journal as well!  Some people prefer old fashion pen and paper, and the variety of artisan notebooks highlights the popularity of this medium.  There are also apps available to journal on your mobile device since most people have a phone close by 24/7! And there is also the trusty laptop or desktop if fingers fly across the keys more comfortably than holding a pen.

Let a journal be the place for a brain dump!  Once a thought is on paper, or in the journal app, have a conversation with the brain to let this issue go and to stop mulling it obsessively.  If something gets under the skin, complain loudly and use expletives in the journal!  Consider this journal a private place to scream, to face down your fears, to buck yourself up and to voice your dreams, desires and wishes.  A journal is a judgment free medium so it should feel liberating to keep a journal.  Be well!

Get Rid of Cramps with Heat!

Sometimes the best course of action when cramps are ruining your life is to place something warm on your belly and let heat work its magic.   Here is a product roundup of hot water bottles and heating pads to get rid of cramps.

SpaComforts Cozy Comfort Hot Water Bottle, Spa Girl Pink

$9.99, Walgreens.com

SpaComforts Cozy Comfort Hot Water Bottle

 

This old-fashioned hot water bottle has a stylish, plush cover with a little girlfriend reminder to “relax.”  Fill it up with hot water and place it on your belly for hours of heat therapy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Travel Size Heart Warmer Pillow Red

$11.01 on sale, Bucky.com

heartwarmer_flat-hr_765155507230_3_1__38692.1415127403.1280.1280

It is a little heart shaped hug and at 5”x 5” in size, it is discrete enough to use the office kitchen microwave and place on your lap at work.  Whole buckwheat seed is used in spas since it provides a gentle, moist heat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CVS Heatwraps Menstrual Cramp Relief

$5.99 for 3 patches, CVS.com

cvs heat wraps

They are not sexy, but a patch provides 8 hours of heat exactly where you need it and no one will ever be the wiser!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunbeam Moist/Dry Heating Pad

$12.99, Drugstore.com

heating pad

The electric heating pad is great for those days on the couch in sweatpants when long-lasting, steady heat is the only remedy for those cramps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heat is an all natural way to deal with the pain of PMS cramps and the good news is that there are many affordable options for relief.

 

Knit 1, Purl 2…Stress Relief Just 4 You

YThe focus of our #GirlUBeWell blog campaign is to introduce a few analog activities for stress relief and to carve out some “me time” during the week.  Working, exercising, family obligations and overall busyness erode any free time to sit quietly and just be.  These quiet times are important to rejuvenate the mind.

Why knitting?  There are so many reasons but start with “community.”  If you want to meet new people, find a yarn store and purchase your yarn and needles there, take a class and join a knitting circle.  You can ask for help as you get stuck or have an expert available to pick up a dropped stitch, or help you rip a few errant rows.   Grab a few friends and make it a new kind of happy hour.  Sitting around with a bunch of women and the “click-click” of needles working always sparks conversation, and it is nice to talk versus text sometimes.

“Creativity” and “concentration” are second and third on the list of reasons.  As you gain confidence and skill, you will try new things.  It’s ok to make twenty scarves, eventually you will want a hat, socks or maybe some fingerless gloves.  As you learn to more stitches, you might move up to a poncho or a shawl!  Knitting requires reading a pattern and counting things, like stitches and rows, so it is an activity that demands focus.  Checking your newsfeed is not advisable!

Knitting a few rows is a great way to wind down your night, no yarn pun intended!  There is no blue light from a screen that revs up your brain and the tactile feel of soft yarn and the repetitive motion is soothing.  And when you hold a finished product in your hand, even a simple scarf, it is a gratifying sense of accomplishment.  For more on knitting and why it is a great activity to try, check out this Yahoo article or this HuffPost article!

The Right Bra for Sore Breasts

braDuring those PMS days of the month, breasts may become sore, swollen and tender and a bra that fits correctly goes a long way to keeping “the girls” comfortable. Have you had a proper fitting for a bra? If you answered “no,” you are like most women who guess their bra size by trial and error. However, most women pick out the wrong size and that can have consequences!

Department stores and lingerie stores have employees who are trained to measure and fit a bra properly. Everything about getting fitted, buying one bra at that store and paying a higher price for the right size, is worth it. Most of the support from a bra comes from the band and the right cup size will prevent squishing, spillage and extra movement.

Here are a couple of key tips for wearing the most comfortable bra every day, but especially on PMS days.

The Band – The band should rest on the top of your rib cage. This is especially important if you are wearing an underwire bra. If the wire or band is digging into breast tissue, this can be very painful on PMS days.

The Cup – Breasts not only move up and down, but also side to side during normal everyday activity. A cup that is too big allows a larger range of motion, which can be painful during PMS. A too small cup will squish breast tissue, which is also uncomfortable when breasts are swollen and tender.

The Support- Breasts don’t have a lot of built in support, "Cooper’s Ligaments" hold your breasts up. This tissue is responsible for the “shape and lift” of your breasts, so excessive bouncing can damage the tissue.

We have written extensively about how exercise is good for combating PMS, like here and here, but if your boobs hurt that could really make exercise unappealing. So sports bras need to fit well too! A good sports bra will restrict bouncing which is important on PMS days. A good rule of thumb is to replace a sports bra when you replace your sneakers since the elastic wears out with frequent wear and washing!

If your breasts are sensitive to the touch during PMS, pick a bra with a soft lining versus a lace bra. Even a layer of padding will be helpful if your breasts are really sensitive.

One last note, the band and the shoulder straps should not leave visible marks on your body when you remove your bra. Use this as a quick check to see if you are wearing the correct bra size. If the straps dig into your shoulders and you have an imprint of the band around your chest, then do yourself a huge favor and get properly fitted for a bra as soon as possible!

12 Days of Period Health

Christmas fruit, nuts, and cookies covered in snow

In honor of the 12 days of Christmas: 12 tips for period health!
Image: Shutterstock

Did you know the 12 days of Christmas actually start on Christmas? That means after the usual festivities, you’ve got another set of days to celebrate! In the spirit of the traditional song, here are 12 tips for optimal period health as we see the year out.

On the first day of Christmas, I gave myself…the gift of movement. Sitting for long periods of time can be bad for your back, not to mention your overall health. And if you’re already feeling down that time of month, why make things harder on yourself? Take a break and move!

On the second day of Christmas, I gave myself…the gift of hydration. It’s no joke trying to get in the recommended 8 cups a day, but optimal water intake is essential for your health, not to mention curbing the worst PMS and period symptoms.

On the third day of Christmas, I gave myself…the gift of looking fabulous while exercising. You know exercise is important for alleviating cramps and other symptoms, but why not look fantastic while you’re at it?

On the fourth day of Christmas, I gave myself…the gift of cutting back on caffeine and sweets. We’re not saying you have to give them up entirely—especially around the holidays!—but you’ll definitely have fewer PMS symptoms if you make a special effort to keep to the carrots rather than the cake during that time of the month.

On the fifth day of Christmas, I gave myself…the gift of plenty of sleep. Being on your period can make you extra sleepy, so make sure you go to bed and get up at the same time every day to regulate your circadian rhythm.

On the sixth day of Christmas, I gave myself…the gift of motivation. This one can be especially tough during winter, so make sure you reach out and get the support you need to keep up those healthy habits and keep away the PMS symptoms!

On the seventh day of Christmas, I gave myself…the gift of a healthy breakfast. Don’t skip it! Starting the day with a healthy meal will keep your metabolism in gear and give you energy for the rest of the day—especially important during that time of the month.

On the eighth day of Christmas, I gave myself…the gift of Love Uninterrupted. Check in with yourself and your partner about expectations hopes for your relationship so you’re starting off the year in a great place to weather the inevitable ups and downs. Don’t have a partner? Make sure your friends, family, and other loved ones know how you feel!

On the ninth day of Christmas, I gave myself…the gift of a walk outside. Get in a solid dose of daily sunlight and exercise, and watch your mood soar!

On the tenth day of Christmas, I gave myself…the gift of a soothing yoga session. Relax and alleviate period cramps and other symptoms at the same time with a gentle yoga routine.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, I gave myself…the gift of a supportive bra. Nothing beats sore breasts like a bra that’s well-fitted and meant to last!

On the twelfth day of Christmas, I gave myself…the gift of a month’s supply of GirlU! The compact is super chic, but the best part is beating the PMS symptoms…for good!

Your PMS Survival Kit

Tea, teapot, sweaters, cinnamon sticks, and a daffodil

Sometimes you just need a PMS survival kit for some extra TLC during that time of the month.
Image: Shutterstock

Let’s admit it: Sometimes the PMS symptoms are so bad, you just want to curl up and wait it out. That’s when you need a PMS survival kit--a collection of soft, cozy, comfortable things that will help you pamper yourself a bit until you’re ready to get back to the daily grind.

What goes into the perfect PMS survival kit? We took a stab at it with our GirlU Pampering Gift Basket Giveaway (enter now, and be sure to check out the rules and regs!), which includes things like gourmet chocolate, a Hot Cherry Therapeutic Pillow, Eos Lip Balm, and so much more! Here are some more ideas for the perfect self-pampering, PMS-symptom-fighting survival kit:

  • A journal. The size, color, pattern, and type of paper don’t matter—get whatever delights you…and USE IT! For the times when your emotions are going haywire, or you just need a bit of time to yourself, take a moment to write down what you’re thinking and feeling. Getting things down on paper that you know you don’t have to share with anyone can be a great way to let out the bad mojo and get back to feeling better.
  • A huge, plush uterus. Okay, maybe it’s not absolutely necessary, but come on, who doesn’t want a cute plush to cuddle the stuffing out of when you’re feeling down? And if it happens to be shaped like the organ that’s currently causing you woes…well, that’s just an added bonus.
  • A giant glass of water. Staying hydrated is particularly important during PMS, so you definitely want to keep the water handy. And why not use a colorful glass or tumbler to cheer you up?
  • A collection of favorite movies, music, and books. This will vary by person, of course, but what better way to treat yourself than to take some time with the stories you love? Watching a favorite movie, listening to soothing music, or reading a good book can go a long way toward making you feel better.
  • A compact with your supply of GirlUninterrupted! GirlU is the all-natural way to fight PMS symptoms and make sure they stay gone.

So those are our ideas—now what about yours? Do you have go-to snacks or yoga poses just for that time of the month? How about a craft or a particular pair of fuzzy socks that cheers you right up? Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or G+!

Girl Uninterrupted Pampering Gift Basket Giveaway Terms and Conditions

Girl Uninterrupted Pampering Gift Basket Giveaway

These goodies could be yours!

Winter has made its arrival with a polar vortex and a foot of snow in some parts of the country!  For those nights when you would just rather put on sweat pants and get cozy, Girl Uninterrupted has a goody basket filled with items to pamper yourself.  Pop your Hot Cherry Therapeutic Pillow into the microwave for a minute or two for long-lasting heat and make yourself a cup of herbal tea.  Put on fabulously soft, warm, and cozy socks, give yourself a manicure, nibble on a gourmet chocolate bar and start marathoning a new show!

Also in the basket is a month’s supply of the Girl Uninterrupted PMS Relief Supplement, a trio of Eos Lip Balm, some luxurious body wash, and more!   And, just to get help reboot that healthy lifestyle tomorrow, Health Goddess has included a Slim & Tone workout plan…download it today!  This gift basket is great for those PMS days that will occur over the hectic holiday season when you might not have time for a pampering evening at home.

To get started, go to the GirlU Contest Facebook page, like it, and hit “continue.” You’ll be prompted to enter your email address so we can contact you if you win.

The Girl Uninterrupted Pampering Gift Basket Giveaway begins Friday, November 15, 2014 at 12:00pm PDT and closes on Thursday, November 20, 2014, at 11:59am PDT. The winner will be contacted on Friday, November 21st.

Complete Contest Terms and Conditions:

Valid entries are likes on Girl Uninterrupted’s Facebook contest page.  To be eligible, entrants must be (i) at least 18 years of age and (ii) live in the United States. Only one entry per Facebook account is allowed. Profanity or inappropriate language, as determined by Girl Uninterrupted, in its sole discretion, will be disqualified and deleted. The winning user will be contacted via email for delivery purposes only. Contest begins at 12:00 PM PDT on Friday, November 15, 2014, and ends at 11:59 AM, PDT on Thursday, November 20, 2014. The winner will be selected by Girl Uninterrupted, in its sole discretion, and announced via Girl Uninterrupted’s Facebook page on Friday, November 21, 2014.  This promotional offer is not intended to create a partnership, joint venture, co-ownership or other association between Girl Uninterrupted and the participant. This promotion does not have a connection with Facebook in any way and is not sponsored, endorsed, or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. By entering the contest, participants agree to fully release Facebook from any and all liability.