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Boo: The Scary Side of Wedding Makeup

While you may be thinking we’re about to show you a photographic essay of smudged lipstick, mascara-stained cheeks, and a face so bronzed you’d assume the bride was heading to a side gig as a Living Statue after her reception, we actually want to talk about the scary side of wedding makeup that you can’t see.

Did you know that in the US, the FDA has only banned or restricted the use of eleven chemicals in cosmetic products? When you compare this to the over 1,300 chemicals regulated by the EU, it kind of makes your head spin, doesn’t it?

While the state of California recently signed the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act that banned an additional 24 ingredients in products sold there, at this point in time, it’s pretty much up to us as consumers to make sure what we’re putting on our skin is as safe as possible.

Why the concern? A lot of the EU’s 1,300 banned or restricted chemicals are linked to skin and respiratory allergies, and many of them are known endocrine disruptors and/or carcinogenic. (This means they’re going to mess with your hormones and potentially cause cancer.)

To help you find the safest cosmetics for your wedding day (and always), we’ll go over:

  • What chemicals you should avoid in makeup and why
  • How to know if your wedding makeup is safe
  • Where to find clean wedding makeup on the North Shore

Scroll down to learn more!

What Chemicals Should I Avoid In Makeup And Why?

According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, you should avoid the following ingredients because they’ve been linked to endocrine disruption, neurotoxicity, cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity and/or skin, eye and respiratory irritation. There are also concerns for bioaccumulation and ecotoxicity.

Ingredients to Avoid in Makeup

  • BHA & BHT
  • Ethanolamine Compounds (MEA, DEA, TEA AND OTHERS)
  • Formaldehyde & Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (such as Quaternium-15)
  • Lead
  • Parabens
  • Petrochemicals
  • Phthalates
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
  • Synthetic fragrances
  • Talc
  • Triclosan

Click here to learn more about all the known chemicals and contaminants to avoid.

How Do I Know If My Wedding Makeup Is Safe?

Unfortunately, sometimes it’s not as easy as reading an ingredient list because toxic chemicals are really good at lurking under confusing names. Furthermore, sometimes the chemical you’re trying to avoid is actually a contaminate from another chemical, so it won’t be listed… Sneaky, we know.

Don’t fret though! Since 1994, the amazingly wonderful Environmental Working Group (EWG) has been working diligently to shine a spotlight on outdated legislation, harmful agricultural practices and industry loopholes that pose a risk to our health and the health of our environment. While their work certainly covers the use of pesticides in food, the presence of forever chemicals in water and toxins in cleaning products, they also have a huge sector dedicated to finding safe cosmetics and personal care products.

In 2004, they actually launched EWG’s Skin Deep® cosmetic database which not only goes into detail on which chemicals you should be avoiding and why, but they also have a super easy to understand danger-rating system for nearly 70,000 products and 9,000 ingredients on the market.

Further to using their website tto learn more about what could be lurking in your makeup and wreaking havoc on your body, EWG also has a EWG VERIFIED™ certification that a product can hold.

What does the EWG VERIFIED™ mark mean?

“The EWG VERIFIED™ mark on a product indicates that the product meets EWG’s strictest standards for transparency and health.

EWG VERIFIED products cannot contain any ingredients on EWG’s “Unacceptable” list, which includes ingredients with health, ecotoxicity and/or contamination concerns.

EWG VERIFIED products must meet EWG’s standards for ingredient disclosure on the label; products with the VERIFIED mark are made by manufacturers that have been fully transparent with EWG about that product’s ingredients, including fragrance ingredients.

EWG VERIFIED product manufacturers must develop and follow current good manufacturing practices to further ensure the safety of their products.”

Click here to learn more about EWG and Skin Deep ratings here.

Where Can I Find Clean Wedding Makeup in the North Shore?

If you’re getting married on the North Shore and want clean hair and makeup services, you’ve come to the right place. At Bryony & Birch, we’re passionate about only using products that are kind to our bodies both outside and in.

When you book your wedding hair and/or wedding makeup with Bryony & Birch, you’ll get to choose from brands like RPM, Sachajuan, Mr. Smith, Color.Me by Kevin Murphy, and Cezanne.

Click here to learn more about the brands Bryony & Birch carries.

How Does a Year of Pre-wedding Bliss Sound?

Pretty good, right?

Planning a wedding is stressful! From trying to pick a venue to having to select a menu that caters to allergies, intolerances and religious practices, it takes up more headspace than you think!
As a collective of hairstylists, makeup artists, photographers and videographers who’ve been in the North Shore wedding game a long time, we’ve actually put our brains together to create the type of wedding prep package we know we’d want and need before our big day.
The Bryony Bridal Experience includes tailored packages with services like:

  • Health and fitness: yoga, personal training, reiki and crystal healing
  • Hair prep: color correction
  • Wedding party hair: bride, bridesmaids and flower girl
  • Makeup services: upon request
  • Customizable photo & video packages: engagement, ceremony and reception

It doesn’t matter if you live in Amesbury, Newburyport, or Boston, you can easily tailor a Bryony Bridal Experience to suit your needs.

Click here to learn more about how we can give you a year of pre-wedding bliss!

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Introducing Bryony Body: The Exeter, NH Yoga Studio You Want To Know About

Bryony & Birch has expanded and we have a lot of feelings.

For starters, we’re feeling overwhelmed with gratitude for the Amesbury community. For our collective to have experienced the growth that it has in the age of a global pandemic is a testament to just how many incredible humans call the North Shore home. You’ve shown up on our mats for yoga, in our chairs for hair, in our studio for photos and on our porch to celebrate and support local makers and shakers. Thank you.

While we feel like we still have so many more exciting things to come in Amesbury, our next step in evolving happens to do with one of our other favorite places in the world – Exeter, NH. As lovers of this quintessential New Hampshire town that’s just a quick 15 minute drive from the flagship Bryony & Birch studio, we’re thrilled to announce that we have taken over Yogasmith Yoga Studio and are introducing our first brick and mortar space solely dedicated to yoga, fitness and wellness.

Scroll down to learn more!

What is Bryony Body?

Bryony Body is where yoga, fitness and wellness intersect. Located at 175 Water Street in Exeter, New Hampshire, our light and airy yoga studio space offers yoga and fitness classes for all levels.

When Bryony & Birch Founder, Katie Cavic, first started conceptualizing Bryony Body, she knew she wanted it to be accessible, restorative, invigorating, and something that helps soothe and strengthen people holistically.

Katie and her fellow Bryony Body yoga and fitness instructors know that the mind, the body and the soul are all interconnected, which is why Bryony Body also offers treatments such as reiki and crystal healing, nutrition coaching and massage therapy. It doesn’t matter if you’re going there to center or sculpt, you’ll leave feeling guided, grounded and grateful.

Meet the Bryony Body Instructors + Therapists

Katie Kavic
Owner & Instructor

 

Jessalyn Hudgins
Studio Manager & Instructor

 

Tayla David
Studio Manager

 

Kiana Morano
Personal Trainer & Instructor

 

Jessica Benedetto
Instructor

 

Jessica Gutstein
Instructor

 

Carolyn Rubin
Instructor

 

Gail Picillo
Instructor

 

Sharon Gordon
Instructor

 

Jennifer Freeman
Instructor

 

Wilhelmina Bradley
Instructor

 

Allison Dugas
Instructor

 

Ankati Day
Instructor

 

Becky Kollmorgen
Instructor

 

Hannah Reed
Instructor

 

Veronica Woodlief
Instructor

 

Stacey Sargent
Instructor

Click here to learn more about Bryony Body’s yoga instructors here.

Where’s the Class Calendar for Bryony Body?

As people who love planning our days, weeks and months well in advance – we’ve got you covered!

Click here to view the Fall/ Winter Bryony Body class calendar.

Your First Bryony Body Class is FREE!

We’d love for you to come say hello and see what we do, which is why we are offering everyone their first class free of charge! Get in touch via yoga@bryonyandbirchstudio.com to book your free spot!

How do I Book Classes at Bryony Body?

The best way to book your Bryony Body class or wellness session is to head to Mindbody. There you’ll find our class calendar as well as payment and membership options for everything from Yoga Sculpt to 101 Personal Training Sessions.

With Bryony Body memberships starting from just $20 a month, we have options to suit those who want to do just in-person classes, just virtual classes or a mixture of both! We also adhere to the ‘try before you buy’ and ‘I’ve changed my mind for a moment’ ways of life, so you’ll find introductory trial memberships too.

3 Tips for Starting a Yoga Practice

We get it. Yoga can be intimidating.

For some people, it’s the quest of trying to reach their toes. For others, it’s the confronting thoughts they fear they’ll hear if they stop to be still throughout their day.

Here are our tips for starting a yoga practice.

#1 START SMALL
You don’t need to dive into a 90 minute power yoga session on Day 1. You don’t need to hold a pose for as long as your instructor said. The beautiful thing about yoga is that it’s your practice, your journey and your choice.

#2 EXPLORE YOUR OPTIONS
Like pretty much everything in life, one size does not fit all when it comes to yoga. Just because you didn’t resonate with breathwork, doesn’t mean a more physical flow won’t accomplish your same wellness goals. Try out different classes and instructors.

#3 CELEBRATE YOUR WINS
Gratitude exercises are a great way to stay positive when it comes to finances, your career and even your relationships. Don’t forget to count your yoga blessings too! For example: give thanks that you simply showed up, even if you didn’t want to.

Continue reading The Bryony & Birch Times:

Getting Married on the North Shore in 2022? Here’s Inspo For Your New England Wedding

With so many historical homes, rustic woodland hideaways and sun-drenched shorelines, it doesn’t matter if your style is beach, barn or bohemian, the North Shore is the perfect backdrop for your dream wedding.

As an Amesbury, MA-based collective of wedding hairstylists, make-up artists, photographers, videographers, and yoga/fitness instructors, we have had the pleasure of working with hundreds of couples looking for their most meaningful way to say I do.

From photographing intimate North Shore elopements to doing bridal hair and makeup for magazine-worthy destination weddings to helping local lovers celebrate their union with all the elements they’re looking for, we’ve witnessed countless ways to achieve authentic, emotive and unforgettable weddings.

We’ve also witnessed that a bride needs more than just some strong-hold hairspray on their big day, which is why we’ve created The Bryony Bridal Experience. Designed to give you a year of pre-wedding bliss, this customizable package covers everything from your health and fitness to your wedding hair to your wedding photography and videography.

If you’re planning a wedding in New England in 2022, you’ve come to the right place. While we’re based in Amesbury, MA (and highly recommend our little village for your wedding), we travel up and down the North Shore all year round to make wedding dreams come true.

Scroll down to learn more about:

  • Our Favorite North Shore Wedding Venues & Destinations
  • North Shore Wedding Hair & Makeup Looks We Love
  • North Shore Wedding Photography & Videography
  • The Bryony Bridal Experience

Our Favorite North Shore Wedding Venues & Destinations

Below are just a few of the New England wedding venues and destinations we are obsessed with.

The Mansion at the Hellenic Center
Wedding venue in Ipswich, MA
Photo Credit: helleniccenter.com

 

Hammond Castle Museum
Wedding venue in Gloucester, MA
Photo Creator and Credit: Scarlet Roots

 

The Oceanview of Nahant
Wedding venue in Nahant, MA
Photo Credit: oceanviewofnahant.com

 

Garrison Inn Boutique Hotel
Wedding venue in Newburyport, MA
Photo Credit: garrisoninn.com

 

Emerson Inn
Wedding venue in Rockport, MA
Photo Credit: emersoninnbythesea.com

 

Briar Barn Inn
Wedding venue in Rowley, MA
Photo Credit: Alicia Ann Photographie

 

White Cliffs Country Club
Wedding venue in Plymouth, MA
Photo Credit: Allegro Photography Inc.

 

Red Lion Inn
Wedding venue in Cohasset, MA
Photo Credit: redlioninn1704.com

North Shore Wedding Hair & Makeup Looks We Love

While it’s important to think about how you want your hair on your wedding day, don’t forget that getting the color you want and healthy hair can be a journey if you don’t have a good baseline! As part of the Bryony & Birch Bridal Experience, our hairdressers can provide color correction, take you on a gradual color change and provide the right treatments to have you looking your absolute best on your wedding day.

Scroll down to see our Bryony Brides!

Photo by Kate Donovan Photography

Photo by Kate Donovan Photography

Photo by Kate Donovan Photography

Photo by Kate Donovan Photography

Photo by Kate Donovan Photography

Photo by Kate Donovan Photography

North Shore Wedding Photography & Videography

While your wedding day may only last 12 hours, the photos and videos you capture will last a lifetime. Hands down our go-to North Shore wedding photographer is Kate Donovan! Not only does she offer engagement and wedding photography, but she also does family portraits as well as lifestyle and event photography. Needless to say, she’s the girl you want to capture every special moment in your life and we’re very please that she offers exclusive packages as part of the Bryony Bridal Experience!

Scroll down to see some of our favorite Kate Donovan wedding work.

Photo by Kate Donovan Photography

Photo by Kate Donovan Photography

Photo by Kate Donovan Photography

Photo by Kate Donovan Photography

Photo by Kate Donovan Photography

Photo by Kate Donovan Photography

 

The Bryony Bridal Experience

Unless you’re someone who is as cool as a cucumber under high-stress situations, it’s likely that you’re stressed about your upcoming wedding. This is completely normal.

From the fear of offending someone with table seating allocation to wet-weather woes, it’s easy for your head to start spinning, your heart to start racing and your ability to enjoy the actual point of your wedding to dissipate.

The Bryony Bridal Experience is a hodgepodge of all the tried and trusted self-care wedding services in the North Shore we’ve had the pleasure of experiencing and delivering over the years.

It doesn’t matter if you live in Amesbury, Newburyport, or Boston, you can easily tailor a Bryony Bridal Experience to suit your needs.

Click here to learn more about how we can give you a year of pre-wedding bliss!

Continue reading The Bryony & Birch Times:

Reiki + Crystal Healing to Treat Anxiety

On a scale of ‘I want to cancel all of my social plans’ to ‘I could really book an urgent appointment with a therapist. right now’,  how anxious do you feel at this current moment?

Are you stressed about COVID and the douche, Delta, they brought to the party?

Do you feel like you’ve committed yourself to too many work clients?

Is there a particular relationship you’re currently struggling with?

As a collective of people who are quite open about our struggles with anxiety, we’ll go first.

Right now, we’re sitting at about ‘Maybe a 12-minute meditation will help me be able to make it to 5 pm.’

To be completely honest, we’re stressed about a lot of things, but if we had to choose just one, we’d say it’s feeling emotional fatigue.

We are tired.

We’re tired of the roller coaster of emotions we experience every time another horrifying statistic or sad news story pops onto our feed. We’re tired of not being able to freely travel to see loved ones. We’re tired of worrying about how vulnerable a business is in the midst of a global pandemic. (And, of course, we’re tired of debating the need for vaccinations.)

While we might feel a bit stagnate right from time to time, we also know that we have the power to ease our anxiety and ramp up our energy levels! In the past, we’ve shared these 10 things you can do to manage your anxiety, but today we want to focus on reiki and crystal healing.

In this article, we’re sharing:

  • What reiki and crystal healing are.
  • Where to find reiki and crystal healing treatments in Amesbury, MA.
  • Signs you’re experiencing anxiety.

Scroll down to learn more!

What are Reiki and Crystal Healing?

What is Reiki?

According to the International Center for Reiki Training, ‘Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.’

What is Crystal Healing?

According to the School of Health, ​​‘Crystal healing is a holistic, non-invasive, vibrational energy-based system of healing. The technique uses precisely placed crystals either on and/or around the physical body. Crystals may also be laid in precise geometric patterns (grids) within the environment. Crystals absorb, focus, direct, detoxify, shift and diffuse energy as they interact with the electromagnetic forces and subtle vibrations within the subtle human or environmental energy field.’

Even though they’re very much their own therapies, reiki and crystal healing are often used together to help overcome both mental and physical pain. While we’d love to have a bouncer inside of us making sure nothing but ‘good vibes only’ are entering, it’s simply not realistic. We’re not immune to workplace confrontations, miscommunication on a group chat or strain on a romantic relationship. We’re also not immune to injuries, especially as we get older.

When we’re not in an optimal emotional and physical state, it’s hard to think rationally, remain resilient and perform at the level we strive to. Whether we’re aware or not, we absorb so much of the world around us – the good, the bad and the ugly. We like to look at reiki and crystal healing as a bit of a detox and reset. When everything starts to feel a bit too much or we feel stuck, it’s energy work that always helps us find our breath and our flow.

Where to Find Reiki and Crystal Healing in Amesbury, MA

You’re in luck because at Bryony and Birch, we have a wonderful reiki and crystal practitioner, Jaimee Cardella from Wild Tribe Wellness, who is able to stimulate your body’s natural healing abilities.

Jaimee is passionate about helping to relieve pain, anxiety, fatigue and depression. Her work is also intended to enhance your quality of life, boost your mood and may improve some symptoms and conditions such as headache, tension, insomnia and nausea.

7 Signs You’re Experiencing Anxiety

When you’re in the trenches of life, it’s not always easy to pause to reflect on how you’re actually feeling. Below are just seven signs you may be experiencing anxiety.

  • You wake up and feel worried.
  • Throughout the day, you’re nervous or worried about something going wrong.
  • You find it difficult to ‘wind down’ at night.
  • You have trouble sleeping.
  • You worry about past, present and/or future social interactions.
  • You have difficulty breathing when overwhelmed.
  • You feel lightheaded and agitated in certain situations.

Ready to book your reiki and crystal healing session at Bryony and Birch?

Click here to get in touch to book your reiki and crystal healing appointment.

Continue reading The Bryony & Birch Times:

Bryony Bootcamp: Where Yoga & Strength Training Intersect in Amesbury

While some people may prefer a solo run or to pop in earbuds for a weights session, at Bryony & Birch, we’re all about group training.

For starters, we know how hard it is to find the motivation to even show up to a workout when you have a never-ending to-do list as well as the last season of that Netflix show you’ve been binging calling your name… When you commit to a class, you hold yourself accountable, which increases your likelihood of showing up and actually raising your heart rate, which increases your body’s production of happy chemicals like dopamine and serotonin! Yew!

Second, group fitness is a great way to connect with people who are likely to value the same things you do. It doesn’t matter if you’re new to Amesbury or simply looking for people who want to feel stronger and more centered, stepping out of your comfort zone and into a new group of individuals could be the exact energy exchange you’ve been looking for.

And third, there are loads of benefits of doing Bootcamp style classes:

Benefits of Bootcamp Workouts

  • More accountability (You’re more likely to show up AND work harder)
  • More variety in your workout (You’re less likely to get bored or plateau)
  • More bang for your buck (Designed to work your whole body while building muscle and increasing your cardiovascular fitness… basically: two birds, one Bootcamp)
  • More opportunities to socialize with people who encourage you to live a healthier lifestyle
  • More cost-efficient (They require less equipment to run the class.)
  • Can be done both indoors and outdoors (Keeps things exciting all year round!)

Scroll down to learn more about Amesbury’s Bryony Bootcamp and to book your first session!

What is Bryony Bootcamp?

At Bryony & Birch here in Amesbury MA, we’re lucky to have a lot of highly skilled personal trainers and yoga instructors. While we offer loads of yoga classes and personal training, one of our most popular offerings is the Bryony Bootcamp.

Bryony Bootcamp classes are designed for all levels of experience. Together, we focus on strengthening the core so we can more efficiently tone the rest of our bodies while protecting our spine.

As lovers of a full-body workout that mixes traditional calisthenics and bodyweight exercises with interval training and strength training, no class is ever the same and often brings in elements of yoga.

During the warmer months (and when weather permits, all classes are held at the Lower Mill Yard/Heritage Park.

Monday
7am Bryony Boot Camp with Kiana Morano
6pm Vinyasa Flow with Jessalynn Hudgins

Tuesday
6pm Power Yoga with Katie Cavic

Wednesday
7am Bryony Boot Camp with Kiana Morano
6pm Yoga Sculpt with Jessalynn Hudgins

Thursday
6pm Power Yoga with Jess Benedetto

Friday
7am Bryony Boot Camp with Kiana Morano
10am Vinyasa Flow with Jessalynn Hudgins

Saturday
8:30am Bryony Boot Camp with Kiana Morano
10am Vinyasa Flow with Jessalynn Hudgins

Sunday
10am Power Yoga with Jess Benedetto

Click here to book your spot!

Meet Bryony Bootcamp Trainer, Kiana Morano

As soon as Kiana Morano took her first steps, it was clear she was a natural-born athlete. Starting with gymnastics and then eventually gravitating towards lacrosse and volleyball, Kiana had an exciting athletic career right through college.

Today, she specializes in corrective exercises, strength training and most importantly- balance.

Kiana loves working with all people whether they are 8 or 80. By coaching them and showing them what confidence in the gym looks like and how it translates into confidence in life, she’s able not only to change a person’s physique, but also their mindset.

In fact, her favorite cue, which will be ingrained into each student’s head is, “Keep your chin up!”.

When Kiana isn’t in Tree Pose, she’s usually among the trees, hiking with her dogs Nala, Maverick and Ari.

Her goal for herself and others is to connect the mind and body so intimately that each person becomes a stronger, more grounded version of themselves.

Meet all of the Bryony & Birch Trainers

Bryony & Birch Studios Katie Cavic Teacher
Katie Cavic
Her Yoga M.O. – Smoothe, Sweaty & Challenging

Bryony & Birch Studio jessalynn Hudgins teacher
Jessalynn Hudgins
Her Yoga M.O. – Alignment & Posture

Bryony & Birch Jess Benedetto yoga instructor
Jessica Benedetto,
Her Yoga M.O. – Inclusive & Adaptable

Meet all of the Bryony & Birch yoga and wellness instructors here

Porch Fest 2021: Have Fun & Support Local

We officially kicked off our Porch Fest event series and are absolutely pinching ourselves!

Featuring live music, local food and beverages, small business pop-ups, a live art auction and raffle – we were able to raise money and awareness to sponsor local organizations and future artists initiatives!

When’s the next Porch Fest in Amesbury?

Aug. 20th, 2021 (rain date: Aug. 22nd)
Sept. 17th, 2021 (rain date: Sept. 19th)
Oct. 15th, 2021 (rain date: Oct. 17th)

Porch Fest is held right outside Bryony & Birch at 48 Main St. in downtown Amesbury. Click here for more information or to get involved!

Continue reading The Bryony & Birch Times:

Looking for someone to shoot your brand photos, wedding or family portraits? Meet our Go-To Amesbury MA Photographer, Kate Donovan.

Heading to the North Shore for a mother-daughter trip? Here are Amesbury Activities to do with Mom.

Outdoor Yoga, Workouts, Runs & Activities in Amesbury: Summer 2021

It’s official: Summer 2021 is going to be back to (somewhat) normal in the North Shore!

With social distancing restrictions easing and vaccination rates rising, we’re feeling more hopeful than ever and are super excited to get back into the community as well as welcome our much missed tourists!

As Amesbury locals who know just how precious a North Shore summer is, you can bet your bottom that we’re taking advantage of all the amazing outdoor activities! From outdoor yoga in Amesbury to cycle loops that will take you through Newburyport to a monthly pop up Pure Barre class at the iconic Cider Hill Farm, there’s something on for everyone!

Scroll down to see our favorite activities to do in Amesbury (and the surrounding area!)

Outdoor Workouts, Races & Activities in Amesbury This Summer

1. Free Workout Series with Sweat Fixx

Together with the Amesbury Chamber of Commerce, Sweat Fixx is offering a free 45 minute outdoor workout every Thursday evening in June that will have you doing timed circuits using your bodyweight and resistance bands. Worried about your fitness level! Don’t fret! Modifications will be provided for any higher impact moves.

What you need to know:
When: Every Thursday from 6 – 7pm in June 2021
Location: Next to the Amesbury Library (149 Main St)
Please bring your own mat, water and towel.

Book your spot on Mindbody here! (You can also book via Classpass!)

2. Monthly Pop Up: Pure Barre @ Cider Hill Farm

As always, Cider Hill Farm is winning our hearts with a summer Saturday morning Pure Barre class thanks to Pure Barre Newburyport! Scheduled for the first Saturday of the month, you’ll get to strengthen your core, tone your muscles and break a sweat while taking in a beautiful view! And after you’re finished, you can stroll through the farm to buy some of the best coffee, flowers and art in the North Shore!

What you need to know:
When: First Saturday of the month from 9 – 10 am
Location: Cider Hill Farm (45 Fern Ave)
First class is complimentary, registrations required!

Click here to learn more and to book your spot!

3. Stand Up Paddle (SUP) at Lake Gardner

We say SUP, but you can also kayak, canoe or simply swim at Lake Gardner! This is such a great spot to chill out with a book, picnic with friends or get out for a power paddling session! You can also go for a walk or run along the Lake Garnder trail to Battis Farm!

What you need to know:
Parking: 80 High Street
Lifeguards and toilets periodically provided in the summer.
Sadly, not dog-friendly in the summer months.

A note about access:
The Lake Gardner Beach swimming area is accessed by car from an entrance on High Street. The public can launch small boats such as canoes, kayaks, small sail craft, and other car top boats from the northern end of the beach.

Click here to learn more about Lake Gardner.

4. Outdoor Yoga with Bryony & Birch

That’s right! We are totally part of the outdoor yoga scene in Amesbury! While we hold a ton of indoor and virtual yoga classes, we love getting outside for a flow when the weather permits! It doesn’t matter what your level is, we hold a range of restorative yoga classes designed to help you feel calm, centered and balanced.

Bryony & Birch Outdoor Yoga in Amesbury MA Timetable:
Mondays
7am Bryony Boot Camp with Kiana Morano
6pm Vinyasa Flow with Jessalynn Hudgins
Tuesdays
6pm Power Yoga with Katie Cavic
Wednesdays
7am Bryony Boot Camp with Kiana Morano
6pm Yoga Sculpt with Jessalynn Hudgins
Thursdays
6pm Power Yoga with Jess Benedetto
Fridays
7am Bryony Boot Camp with Kiana Morano
10am Vinyasa Flow with Jessalynn Hudgins
Saturdays
8:30am Bryony Boot Camp with Kiana Morano
10am Vinyasa Flow with Jessalynn Hudgins
Sundays
10am Power Yoga with Jess Benedetto

What you need to know:
Our indoor yoga studio, hair loft and boutique is located at 45 Main Street!
We offer a whole lot more than yoga classes!
Pop in and say hello!

Click here to discover the yoga and wellness classes Bryony & Birch offers and to book your spot.

Can’t make it in person? Not to worry! On the Bryony & Birch Yoga App (available on the App Store and Google Play), you’ll find restorative classes you can do from home that focus on mindful movements of the body and breath as well as power sessions designed to intertwine strength, balance and flexibility.

5. Amesbury Trails & Hikes

If you’re looking to get out in nature, we highly recommend planning a nature walk (or run!) in Amesbury. We have multiple options that cater to all ability levels making them super family friendly. While there are walks for every day of the week, our top three recommendations are the Town Forest Boardwalk (which will take you all the way to Woodsom Farm!), Amesbury Riverwalk Trail and the hike to Po Hill!

Learn more via:

Click here to view the full list of Amesbury Trails to explore!

6. Amesbury Runs & Races

If one of your goals this summer is to go from the couch to a 5k, it’s time to sign up for the Amesbury 5k and/or the Yankee Homecoming 5k Road Race! Scenic, fun and full of energy, it’s the perfect way to start your day and achieve your fitness goals! Alternatively, you can opt for one of our go-to 6.5 mile loops. Mapped by a fellow runner, it takes you across state lines to New Hampshire and back!

Learn more via:

Amesbury Days 5K – July 3, 2021
Yankee Homecoming 5K Road Race (Newburyport) – Aug 3, 2021
6.5 Mile Loop – Open all year round

7. Cycling Route – Maudslay State Park 13 Mile Loop

Looking for somewhere to ride your bike in Amesbury or Newburyport? We recommend (as do all of our cycling friends), the Maudslay State Park 13 Mile Loop! You can either power it the whole way or take plenty of stops along the way to take in the scenery. There are some seriously impressive gardens in there so we like to opt for a mid-morning coffee break!

Click here to map your ride!

8. DAM Sprint Triathlon & Duathlon

Are you training for a Tri? Looking for your next challenge? If you answered yes to either, you need to save the date: (July 11, 2021) because the Dam Sprint Triathlon & Duathlon is happening! After having so many great running, swimming and biking events cancelled, we couldn’t be more thrilled to learn that this epic Amesbury Triathlon is going ahead this summer!

Click here to learn more and to register.

What is Brand Photography?

We’re so glad you asked! Because just like outdoor yoga, we love us some good brand photography!

When we say ‘brand photography’ we mean a suite of professional images that represent your business visually, and fit with your visual identity through their use of colours, tone, props, sets and more. These can include photos of you, your team, your products, your process, your space and other things that make your business unique. BUT most importantly it shows the world what you’re passionate about.

The good news is: we offer this service! Welcome to BRAND WITH BRYONY…

What’s included:

  • Hair and makeup
  • Product shots
  • Headshots
  • Catered lunch
  • Exclusive use of the Bryony + Birch studio space
  • Photos with Kate Donovan Photography

Basically, we want you to picture your favorite made-for-Netflix movie montage scene and that’s what you’ll get when you work with us! We will help you and your brand find your best light. (And hopefully your new community!)

Click here to learn more and to book your branding package today!

 

5 Bride Hairstyles That Won’t Date + 3 Bride Hairstyles You’ve Never Seen Before

If you’re looking for bridal hairstyle inspiration as well as a hair salon in Amesbury, MA, you’ve come to the right place!

My name is Katie Cavic and after spending ten years working at the Judy Jetson Salon in Cambridge, Mass, I made the move to Amesbury to open a collective space for beauty, wellness and entrepreneurship called Bryony & Birch, which is also home to my very own salon, The Hair Loft.

While I can often be found teaching yoga at Bryony & Birch, my longest love affair has been with hair and, in particular, wedding hairstyles.

Finding the perfect bridal up-do, down-do or half-up/half-down-do is not a one-size-fits-all deal. You need to take in your hair color and texture, dress design, face shape and weather when deciding what style is going to work best for your wedding day.

You’ll also want to consider what’s going to stand the test of time because let’s be honest: this isn’t a style anyone still feels good about:

Scroll down to see my top five favorite hairstyles that won’t date (plus 3 that you’ve never seen before!)

5 Bride Hairstyles That Won’t Date

#1. The Half-Up, Half-Down

This half-up, half-down look is perfect for brides with long hair, highlights and who want to make sure their hair is out of their face on the day. It also looks particularly great with both a strapless or backless wedding dress.

While this style is ideal for someone who prefers a loose, wavy curl, it can also work well for someone who wants a sleek and straight look.

#2. The Low Loose Bun

I love how a low loose bun can feel classic and relaxed at the same time. This style is perfect for someone who knows they either get hot with their hair down, have texture that won’t hold a curl or who knows they want to showcase the back of their dress (or has a more traditional dress).

Depending on your vibe, you can have a few wispies framing your face or a sleeker, more refined look with your hair pulled fully back. And of course, adding a floral or jewel piece can add that extra touch you’ve been looking for.

#3. The Wrap Around & Down

If you have long thick hair, come at me!! We can do a stunning loose wrap braid that adds just the right amount of whimsy to your bridal down-do.

Even though this pin shows a bride with long hair, I’ve done a similar look with shoulder-length and short hair. The key is throwing in the perfect wave.

#4. The Flower-Braid Combo

It doesn’t matter if you have long or short hair, adding the perfect amount of flowers can bring a pop of color and personality to your bridal look that you won’t regret.

I’m also always a huge fan of a braid because it is a low-maintenance way to add texture and depth to your bridal hairstyle.

#5. The Braided Up-Do

Equal parts boho and classic, a loose braided updo can work with anyone’s wedding aesthetic. I particularly love this look with blondes because it brings out every highlight and provides depth.

Extra love this look for beach brides who know they can’t have their hair blowing in the wind!

3 Bride Hairstyles You’ve Never Seen Before

#1. The Braided Crown

Cloudy with a chance of BRAIDS. How fabulous is this braid crown? Not only will it frame your loose curls, it will provide the perfect side profile for your photographer to capture that first married kiss!

#2. The Whimsical Hair Vine

If you’re trying to find the perfect way to incorporate a vine of jewels or flowers, this loose and full-of-body bridal up do is the style you’ve been searching for.

Easy and breezy, it’s going to keep your hair up and off your back while providing the perfect backdrop for your hair piece.

#3. The Braids For Days

It’s like an up-do and a down-do had a baby and it was a perfect little bundle of braids! I’m obsessed with this look for a number of reasons, but I mostly love how it works with any wedding dress neckline and adds depth and dimension to your hair color.

Book Your Amesbury Wedding Hair Appointment with Me!

When it comes to wedding hair and beauty, Amesbury is one of the go-to spots for weddings in the North Shore because of its historical charm, central location and access to some of the region’s best eateries and bars.

If you’re getting married in the North Shore and are ready to tick ‘wedding hair plan’ off your list, get in touch to book your trial or find out more information.

Click here to book an appointment with Katie Cavic at Bryony & Birch | Hair Loft.

10 Things You Can Do To Manage Your Anxiety

If you suffer from anxiety, you’re not alone.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year. (And that’s just the ones they know about.)

While there are numerous reasons for someone to feel anxious, it’s safe to say that the last few years have not been a walk in the park. In between a global pandemic and polarizing political climate, people have lost jobs, homes, and their lives. It makes sense that you’re feeling the way you’re feeling.

While it may make sense that your body is going into overdrive to try to cope with uncertainty, trauma or whatever story your thoughts are trying to tell you, it does not need to be this way.

Scroll down to learn 10 things you can do to manage and prevent your anxiety from creeping in.

1. Become aware of triggers

Becoming aware of your body and mind is the first thing that’s going to help you take control and start steering yourself in a better (less anxious) direction. More often than not, many of our daily habits can exacerbate or even cause our anxiety.

Substances that can make you feel anxious:

  • Alcohol – #hangxiety
  • Caffeine – #jitters
  • Sugar – #sugarblues

Alcohol, caffeine and sugar are all notorious for triggering anxiety because of the way they interact with our central nervous system. While they may give us a dopamine hit that rewards us in the short-term, they can cause your cortisol levels to rise and ultimately disrupt sleep.

2. Protect Your Sleep

Sleep is when your body & mind repair, you process emotions and ensure that your systems can complete their cycles and start fresh. It is incredibly important to get between 6 and 8 hours every night.

Our circadian rhythm, which is our body’s production of cortisol to be alert and melatonin to sleep, cannot function properly if your body is strung out on caffeine, working to digest red wine or is rapidly producing cortisol because you’ve been staring at blue light wavelengths on your phone.

Tips for saving your sleep:

  • Don’t drink coffee after 12 pm.
  • Avoid consuming more than 2 alcoholic beverages.
  • Look into blue light blocking glasses to wear indoors once the sun has gone down.
  • Leave your phone out of your room.
  • Drink a cup of chamomile tea

3. Move Your Body

While food is the most over utilized tool for medicating when stressed, exercise is the most underutilized. By raising our heart rates and strengthening muscles, we are stimulating our brains, building endorphins and providing ourselves with an outlet to exert anxious energy.

If you’re feeling anxious:

  • Go for a walk
  • Swim laps
  • Take a group fitness class
  • Head to the gym
  • Practice yoga (more on this soon!)

4. Build Your Energy

While exercise is a brilliant way to trigger the release of endorphins, which help alleviate the symptoms of anxiety, there is only so much the body can give if you don’t have enough energy and oxygen in the tank. (Raise your hand if you’ve experienced the afternoon energy crash and need coffee or a beer to keep you powering through.)

Equally as important as moving your body, is taking time to do slow breath work, energy-building exercises from Qigong (pronounced chee-gong) or Tai Chi. An integral part of Chinese medicine, the concept of purposefully building energy has been practiced for hundreds of years.

Two treatments we really like are reiki and crystal work. Bryony and Birch has a reiki and crystal practitioner who is able to stimulate your body’s natural healing abilities by moving her hands directly above your body. She also places crystals on different areas of your body to cleanse and regenerate new energy. These sessions help relieve pain, anxiety, fatigue and depression. They also enhance your quality of life, boost your mood and may improve some symptoms and conditions such as headache, tension, insomnia and nausea.

Click here to book your reiki and crystal healing appointment.

5. Practice Mindfulness & Meditation

Mindfulness and meditation go hand in hand and can be a fantastic way for you to gain awareness about your thoughts without judgement. While mindfulness is something you’ll do while talking, walking, eating or crafting, meditation is a practice done independently.

Sometimes guided, sometimes not – you can use meditation to overcome the noise inside and outside of your head. Arguably harder than going for a run, taking time to sit or lie with your eyes shut down can help you become greater than your thoughts and ultimately transcend into a higher level of consciousness.
At Bryony and Birch, our yoga instructors incorporate their own personal touches of meditation throughout class with inspirational quotes, some of their own words, some of favorite poets or something that resonates with them and connects to their class. While in Savasana pose, some of our teachers wind you down in a deep guided meditation.

Click here to learn more about Bryony and Birch’s in-person and virtual yoga classes.

6. Practice Yoga

When it comes to managing anxiety, yoga can be a fantastic tool to help you feel centered, grounded and in-control of your mind and body. We personally love starting our days with a yoga flow because it allows both our bodies and minds to set an intention for the day. Instead of facing the day in a reactive manner, our practice allows us to be proactive.

At Bryony & Birch, we offer all levels and numerous styles of yoga designed to help you untense your muscles, shut down your brain and finish feeling revitalized.

Click here to view the Bryony and Birch Yoga class schedule.

7. Tap Into Your Resilience

Resilience is essentially your ability to recover from or adjust easily to change or a negative event. But what happens when the changes and negative events keep coming and coming and coming? How far can we be pushed?

The good news is: thanks to all of the lovely scientists who have studied neuroplasticity, we have the power to change our minds and thinking.
Tips for building resilience:

  • Adopt a Growth Mindset (we recommend reading Mindset: Changing the Way You Think to Fulfill Your Potential by Dr Carol S Dweck.)
  • Recognize when you need to take time out to do breath work, take a walk or have a nap.
  • Reframe your thoughts. (Tony Robbins once said: “Life isn’t happening to you, it’s happening for you.”)
  • Put time between your initial reaction and your actual action.
  • Be clear on your values and goals. (If you’re not making value-based decisions, you’re more likely to find yourself in unenjoyable situations.)

8. Do a Digital Detox

We thought about putting your phone/ social media under #1, but really digital triggers are in a league of their own!

Even if you haven’t directly been affected by the hurt in the world, it’s common to experience compassion fatigue. It’s okay to take a break, re-center and come back when you’re ready and more equipped to do something positive with what you’re reading and seeing.

As for social media – it’s so easy to let these apps suck our time, make ourselves compare what we have to others and get caught up in an overly-filtered world.

Tips for unplugging:

  • Delete your social media apps from your phone
  • Delete your news app
  • If possible, delete your emails from your phone
  • During the workday, put your phone on airplane mode when focusing on a task
  • Avoid having the TV or radio on as background noise.

9. Speak to a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a great way to find the mindfulness tools you need to help build your resilience and get objective advice regarding a particularly difficult situation.

While it may be difficult to find someone to see in person these days, there are plenty of people offering Zoom sessions.

10. Speak to an Integrative Medicine Practitioner About Your Gut Health

Your gut and brain are interconnected, which means when your gut isn’t happy, your brain isn’t happy. Do you feel your anxiety in your stomach? What are your bowel movements like? There’s a chance that inflammation in your gut could be making your anxiety symptoms worse.

Integrative medicine practitioners look at your diet, lifestyle and medical conditions to help treat the cause of your ailments, not just the symptoms.

Yoga in Amesbury and around the world

While we offer in person group and private yoga classes at Bryony and Birch in Amesbury, we also have a virtual yoga app that gets you a spot no matter where you are in the world.

Designed to make mindfulness and exercise convenient and accessible, the Bryony & Birch Virtual Yoga app is available in both the App Store and Google Play.

What you get for only $29.99/month

  • Unlimited live virtual yoga classes
  • 24/7 access to on-demand library of classes
  • In-studio classes (Subject to availability)
  • Outdoor classes (Weather permitting)
  • 10% off one salon service per month at the Bryony & Birch Hair Loft (located downtown Amesbury, MA)

 


App Store | Google Play

Virtual Yoga: Find Your Flow In Amesbury

If you’re looking for something that is going to help you feel more flexible, less anxious and a lot stronger, you’ve come to the right place.

Many of us have been teaching and practicing yoga in surrounding areas for years, but as Bryony & Birch found a home in Amesbury, our yoga practices have settled here too.

And thanks to the kick in the butt Covid gave us, we now have our own yoga app to give you a front row seat to all of our virtual yoga classes no matter where you are in the world (or the global health crisis is preventing you from attending a class in person!)

Amesbury Virtual Yoga Classes For All Levels & Flows

The thing we love most about yoga is that there is a level and flow for everyone.

It doesn’t matter if you’re rehabbing an injury and need a practice that allows you to feel calm and centered or you’re interested in building long lean muscles to help you run your next marathon, or you desperately need a way to manage your stress & anxiety, this ancient practice has something for you.

On the Bryony & Birch Yoga App (available on the App Store and Google Play), you’ll find restorative classes that focus on mindful movements of the body and breath as well as power sessions designed to intertwine strength, balance and flexibility.

Meet your yoga teachers:

Bryony & Birch Studios Katie Cavic TeacherKatie Cavic
Her Yoga M.O. – Smoothe, Sweaty & Challenging

 

Bryony & Birch Studio jessalynn Hudgins teacherJessalynn Hudgins
Her Yoga M.O. – Alignment & Posture

 

Bryony & Birch Jess Benedetto yoga instructorJessica Benedetto
Her Yoga M.O. – Inclusive & Adaptable

 

Bryony & Birch Studio Tayla David yoga teacher
Tayla David
Her Yoga M.O – Mind, Body & Breath

Meet all of the Bryony & Birch yoga and wellness instructors here.

 How To Get The Bryony & Birch Virtual Yoga App

Designed to make mindfulness and exercise convenient and accessible, the Bryony & Birch Virtual Yoga app is available in both the App Store and Google Play.

What you get for only $29.99/month

  • Unlimited live virtual yoga classes
  • 24/7 access to on-demand library of classes
  • In-studio classes (Subject to availability)
  • Outdoor classes (Weather permitting)
  • 10% off one salon service per month at the Bryony & Birch Hair Loft (located downtown Amesbury, MA)

Want to know the best part?

When you sign up before March 1st, you get 50% off your first month! (That’s a month of unlimited yoga classes for less than $15!)

Get 50% Off Your First Month

Scroll down to learn more about the benefits of yoga, tips for getting started as well as our upcoming challenge!

The Benefits of Yoga

A calm heart and mind. Need we say more? (Don’t worry, we will!)

  • Yoga’s mindfulness and breathing techniques can be used to help alleviate stress and anxiety
  • Yoga can strengthen your core and pelvic floor muscles
  • Yoga can improve flexibility and help with injury prevention
  • Yoga can help improve your body’s circulatory system
  • Yoga can be an effective low-impact way to lose fat and gain muscle

 

3 Tips for Starting a Yoga Practice

We get it. Yoga can be intimidating.

For some people, it’s the quest of trying to reach their toes. For others, it’s the confronting thoughts they fear they’ll hear if they stop to be still throughout their day.

Here are our tips for starting a yoga practice.

#1 Start small

You don’t need to dive into a 90 minute power yoga session on Day 1. You don’t need to hold a pose for as long as your instructor said. The beautiful thing about yoga is that it’s your practice, your journey and your choice.

#2 Explore your options

Like pretty much everything in life, one size does not fit all when it comes to yoga. Just because you didn’t resonate with breath work, doesn’t mean a more physical flow won’t accomplish your same wellness goals. Try out different classes and instructors.

#3 Celebrate your wins

Gratitude exercises are a great way to stay positive when it comes to finances, your career and even your relationships. Don’t forget to count your yoga blessings too! For example: give thanks that you simply showed up, even if you didn’t want to.

Join our upcoming personal accountability Bryony March Challenge: Yoga Every Damn Day

With warmer weather just around the corner, we want to take the month of March to come together with like-minded people to get our bodies out of hibernation mode and to create a new healthy habit that’s going to stick.

For 31 days, join us in our commitment to get to our mats every. damn. day. This could be for a flow class on the app or it could be you sitting with your eyes shut down for a moment of silence in your own time.

This challenge is about creating accountability and community. Since simply getting to your mat can be the hardest part of your practice, let’s take this time to find strength from within and from others to make our health and wellness a priority.

Ready to get started?

All you have to do is:

  1. Make sure you download the Bryony & Birch Yoga App (App Store or Google Play) so you can access yoga classes anywhere in the world!
  2. Click here to opt in with your email so you receive our daily habit tracker, teacher encouragement and access to our social community.

After months (and by months we mean A YEAR) of having to stay inside, we’re hopeful that the opportunity to venture outdoors, reconnect with family and friends and get back to our favorite pastimes comes with the seasonal change. We’re also hopeful that we will face the rest of 2021 with strong bodies and calm minds.

Get the Bryony & Birch Yoga App in the App Store or Google Play (Don’t forget your mat!)