Archive for the ‘Books and Music Reviews’ Category

Cycling to Grandma’s House Review & Giveaway

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014 by Jennifer

Comment below for the chance to win a copy of Cycling to Grandma’s House, written by Jac Torres-Gomez and illustrated by Erin-Claire Barrow. Contest ends March 18th.

When I first got my period my mother was the only person who knew for at least a year or more. For some reason, I was embarrassed and ashamed. The shame ran so deep I even lied to my closest friends when they all started getting their periods! It just wasn’t a very positive experience for me. Although, I knew all about the why and the how, I was just so embarrassed. It wasn’t for lack of education or even a lack of female influence in my life. A lot has changed since then! Yet, I sometimes think about how my relationship to my period and myself would have been different if I had a book like ‘Cycling to Grandma’s House.’

Cycling to Grandma's House


The Way of the Happy Woman review & giveaway

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014 by Madeleine


I have noticed that the older I get, the more my interests diversify. In the case of my bedside table, this translates to a stack of books that is over 2 feet high (at last count, about 18 books!), not including magazines.

So I don’t feel too badly that it’s taken me just under a year to finish The Way of the Happy Woman: Living the best year of your life by Sara Avant Stover. In a happy coincidence, the book itself charts a year-long path to feminine wellness, so reading it in small morsels throughout the seasons has been perfect for me. And if you happen to be looking for an inspiring way to create a New Year self-care plan, I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

I should admit that when I first heard the title I was a bit suspicious – was there really a definite “way” to happiness for women in general that could fit into one book? Surely happiness is more individual than that? Having had the pleasure of both reading the book and meeting its author (at the Emerging Women Live conference) I can tell you that there is a great deal of detail as well as nuance to Sara’s work.


Emerging Women: Sisterhood is Powerful

Monday, October 21st, 2013 by Madeleine

group1 I am still buzzing from my time in beautiful Boulder CO at last weekend’s stellar Emerging Women Live conference. There have already been a ton of great posts recapping talks and performances by the likes of Ani DiFrancoElizabeth GilbertAlanis Morissette and Brené Brown.

While I did glean incredible takeaways and inspiration from these well-known gals, I’d like to talk about some of the lesser-known women involved with the conference: some presenters I had never previously heard of, other attendees, and the event organizers.

I’ll start with someone close to home: one of my fantastic roommates, Emira Mears (left). You know the bliss of being with a longtime friend/colleague/co-conspirator who totally gets you, and yet you don’t get to see nearly often enough? That. To get to have numerous thoughtful conversations punctuated with spots of dancing and shopping over the period of a few days was pure pleasure, and epitomized for me the spirit of #EWLive13: Sisterhood.

Emira and I shared our room and camaraderie seamlessly with the brilliant and highly entertaining Melody Biringer (right), the serial entrepreneur, CRAVE and Urban Campfire founder and author of Craving Success. Our collective energy was an eclectic mix of entrepreneurial tips, connections and spicy anecdotes, with a side of powerful family & relationship sharing. This pic of us with our beloved shero Eve Ensler pretty much tells the story.

Moving on to a couple of the people who made it all possible in the first place, a deep bow to you, Chantal Pierrat. Emira and I have known Chantal since 2004 when we all attended SVI – Women at Hollyhock. We’ve all come a long way since then and were completely blown away by Chantal’s vision, presence and and flat-out fabulousness as she hosted us. A further deep bow is due to (I am making this title up) Operations Priestess Karna Liv Nau, whose meticulous attention to detail was matched only by the genuine love and care that she brought to attending to I can only imagine how many details and personalities.

Spending time with Tami Simon (founder of Sounds True, Chantal’s former employer, center) was another precious moment. She was also at the 2004 event with Chantal, and Emira and I had the benefit of receiving her deep, heartfelt and highly conscious thoughts on the upcoming 2014 Vancouver SVI – Women conference that we are planning.


Some other particularly meaningful connections for me included the searing soul searcher Sera Beak (check out her books The Red Book and Red, Hot & Holy: a Heretic’s Love Story), the perpetually radiant Amber Krzys (we are massive fans of her BodyHeart program), The Right Brain Business Plan author Jennifer Lee and the lovely Sara Avant Stover, whose extraordinary book the Way of the Happy Woman I am close to finishing reading and will share about at greater length very soon.

I myself was invited to lead a dinner conversation on the topic of “Scaling Your Business” with an incredible group of entrepreneurs. Our conversation rapidly evolved from sharing our respective goals to an extraordinarily powerful and deeply personal connection. I am talking BIG MAGIC.

My final virtual namaste goes to Melinda, a woman I met on the first afternoon at a “power circle”, where we connected with a small group prior to moving into the larger experience. Over dinner she shared with me and another member of the group that she had always had trouble embracing relationships with other women. As we ate, we learned her story, and in turn shared our own experiences in service of her quest to connect. It was another classic Sisterhood moment: women witnessing, supporting and lifting one another up: Emerging together.

New Blood Book Review

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012 by Guest

Hi everyone, Lisa here! When I read the review posted below, I immediately wished I’d written it myself — so I contacted the writer, and she was gracious enough to let me share it here. Thanks so much, Anna! What do you see for the future of menstrual activism? Tell us!

New Blood: Third Wave Feminism and the Politics of Menstruation

When I first picked up New Blood, I immediately thought about Sarah Haskins, the feminist comedienne who does the segment ‘Target Women’ (on Current TV), in which she uses humour and sarcasm to draw attention to ridiculous media representations of women and female stereotypes. Watch ‘Target Women: Your Garden’—in which she exposes commercials that dare not name ‘lady parts’ and you’ll understand why I thought of her and now, after reading New Blood see in her a great representation of the contemporary feminist movement.

In New Blood, Chris Bobel, an associate professor and chair of women’s studies at the University of Massachusetts and the author of The Paradox of Natural Mothering, shines a timely and important spotlight on the small menstrual activist movement. Borne out of divergent feminist leanings that shape contemporary menstrual activism, it is based on the effort to speak openly about menstruation, the bleeding body, and to rebel against the notion of period as a ‘dirty little secret’ as well as to act against negative campaigns and build an environment in which alternative, environmentally sustainable and body-positive feminine health care is mainstreamed.

Bobel’s research for this book brought her in contact with two strands of menstrual activists: feminist spiritualist who celebrate the inherent female experience of menstruation (think: red-tents, menarche rituals at moonlight); and the radical menstruation activist who, choosing the term ‘menstrator’ to replace ‘woman’ to free themselves of the sex/gender dichotomy and resist the exclusivity of static gender identity. Bobel calls them ‘revolutionary’; (think: radical cheerleaders; anti-corporate rallies, eco-warriors, and dressing up as Tampons to cause stir in campuses across the US).


Are you there, God? It’s me, Madeleine

Friday, February 24th, 2012 by Madeleine

Making this video about my affection for Judy Blume’s classic novel Are you there, God? It’s me, Margaret inspired me to expand on my comments on Hannah’s First Period Story and make a proper post about my own experience.

Like Margaret and her pals (they had a club called PTS, or the Pre-Teen Sensations, an idea emulated by a group of friends and I), I couldn’t wait to start my period and was totally enraptured by the idea of becoming a “woman”. Bras, periods, sex, makeup – all of it fascinated me, and I read endless books and magazines about all of it. My Mom was awesome (she herself had had no preparation for the onset of menarche, and was terrified that she was dreadfully ill when her period started) and tirelessly answered my questions without embarrassment.

I was a late bloomer when it came to puberty, and was 13 and a half by the time my period started. We were away on a summer family vacation at a lake in the BC interior. Summers always made me self-conscious about my persistently uncurvy body, and this holiday was no exception – was there something wrong with me?


A Diva’s Guide to Getting your Period

Friday, January 27th, 2012 by Lunapads Team

A Diva’s Guide to Getting Your Period is the newest book by menstruation expert DeAnna L’am.  Who better to hear it from first than one of the world’s leading experts and pioneers of menstrual empowerment?  This is her first book written for teens and is appealing as it is quite a quick read full of beautiful images by Jessica of Vulva Love Lovely.

As a woman who has embraced her cycle enough to work for a company like Lunapads, I wanted to put myself back into the mindset of when I got my first period while reading.  I remember it being an overwhelming amount of new information to process and despite my mothers enthusiasm and support (she even bought me a book!), I still felt embarrassed about the newness of now being ‘a woman’.


Moon Mysteries Review & Giveaway

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011 by Madeleine

Moon Mysteries

Moon Mysteries Giveaway
Comment below telling us about why you feel like there’s more to our cycles than shedding uterine linings (ie having your period ;-) for a chance to win.


I have just finished reading Moon Mysteries: Reclaiming Women’s Menstrual Wisdom (order here) and despite having my curiosity whetted for the past couple of years by our good friend and longtime Lunapads supporter Nikiah Seeds, was not disappointed. The book is truly a labor of love, written by Nikiah and Nao Sims, and illustrated and designed by Eyan Myers. There is so much that is rich and beautiful about this book and its authors and illustrator that it’s hard to know where to start.

I have read many useful books on the topic of women’s cycles, however none that inspire in quite the way that Moon Mysteries does. Reading it brought me back to a powerful place of reflection over my own menstrual history, leading me to realize how Lunapads itself can be read as a reflection of my own unmet yearning for honoring and connection as a menarchal girl. Moon Mysteries delivers this gift on numerous fronts, inviting meditation, celebration and awareness raising in every phase of the fertility cycle experience.


Make Stuff Together review & giveaway

Monday, July 25th, 2011 by Madeleine

I heard about Make Stuff Together through the marvelous Sarah Juliusson, a longtime Lunapads supporter whose resume in the natural birth/parenting/lifestyle/business department is too long to begin to list here. Suffice to say that when she asked if I’d like to review a book about crafting with kids I jumped at the chance.

Many of you will be familiar with coauthor Bernatte Noll as a cofounder of Slow Family Living and Mothering magazine contributor, or her coauthor Kathie Server via her work having been featured in Handmade Nation. What they have created is a warm, thoughtful and accessible guide to a unique collection of mostly textile-based crafts.

As a lifelong sewer, I was immediately drawn to the project ideas and media – fabric is such an inherently kid-friendly material, and it’s so easy to come by: everyone has a collection of old clothes, buttons and linens around the house. That said, a sewing machine would be an asset for many of these projects, as well as some experience with sewing, knitting etc. on behalf of the parent.

Even using just hand-sewing or for newbie machine operators, the instructions and photos are excellent, so I would also recommend the book as a way for parents and kids to learn together. The authors also provide great tips for thinking things through before you start, as well as knowing when (and how) to help without undermining the child’s sense of creative freedom or accomplishment.

My 6 year old daughter is particularly enjoying embroidering pieces of burlap, a suggestion that I picked up from the book.

The authors’ thoughtfulness, experience and values permeate the work. For example, I have seen the usual pot holders and aprons beginner sewing project ideas a hundred times. But have you ever heard of a Blessing and Sharing Pouch, Anticipation Calendar or Appreciation Banner? Neither had I. Not only are these intriguing projects great ways to learn to sew and be creative, they are moreover tools for mindfulness, gratitude and family connection. I was also thrilled to see projects that were specifically outdoors-oriented, encouraging activity and connection with Nature.


I have the good fortune to be able to give away one copy of the book. To enter for a chance to win, please leave a comment below about how you imagine using craft to deepen your family connection beofore July 31, 2011. Oh, and don’t forget to “like” the Make Stuff Together Facebook page while you’re at it. Good luck and happy crafting!

This contest is now closed.


UnMarketing at Lunapads

Friday, January 21st, 2011 by Suzanne

As someone who has dabbled in Twitter for almost two years, a person I started following early on was @unmarketing (aka Scott Stratten). I was particularly attracted to his Twitter name, as it implied someone who was unconventional and forward thinking. His posts did not disappoint me. After meeting Scott in person at a trade show in Las Vegas last October, Madeleine and I quickly realized why Scott is a such a highly regarded social media expert and sought after keynote speaker.

Knowing that Scott was going to be speaking in Vancouver to promote his new book “UnMarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging” (a national best-seller and must read book that we are giving away below!) we invited him to Lunapads HQ to consult with us about our website & conduct an “un-audit”. (As a former auditor of the accounting variety, I was rather nervous but excited to be sitting on the other side of the table and learn what the expert thought about our efforts.)

So, what did he think? Well, this autographed copy of his book sums it up.

UnMarketing Book

Please also check out the impromptu interview I did with Scott and hear what he has to say about social media and some of the new tools and apps he finds interesting. Bonus info: find out what Scott and Justin Beiber have in common!

Scott, thanks for your stamp of approval. We love your motto: “Be Awesome”. (And Scott, I thought you’d appreciate this quote from Jack Black’s Kung Fu Panda character that I over heard while my boys were watching TV… “There is no charge for awesomeness or attractiveness!”)

Our social media endeavors are definitely a team effort here at Lunapads. Morgan and Lisa deserve most of the credit being the voices of Twitter and Facebook on a daily basis. Madeleine and I (aka Luna_gal) tweet about Lunapads and our personal accounts. Our YouTube channel has several thousand views.

Social media is work, for sure — but it’s really never been a chore for us. In fact, we consider ourselves lucky because we get to talk to tons of interesting people who genuinely inspire and challenge us. And, as a way of thanks, we’re giving away an autographed copy of Scott’s book to one of our readers. To enter, simply comment below about where and/or why you enjoy engaging in conversations online (ie: social media!)

PS: A big shout out of thanks to Marc Smith of Amuse Consulting and his team for bringing Scott to Vancouver in December 2010!

This contest is now closed.

A Feminist Education in Feminine Hygiene

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011 by Guest
Cunt: A Declaration of Independence by Inga Muscio

Roughly 1 year ago a friend recommended to me that i read the book Cunt: A Declaration of Independence. I took her advice and proceeded to receive the feminine education of a lifetime. This lovely, lovely book brought to my attention the concept of environmentally conscious replacements for the standard pad and tampon; an idea that had not once crossed my mind in my experience as a menstruating girl/young woman.

Bitch Magazine: A Feminist Response to Pop Culture

Upon first hearing about menstrual cups and washable menstrual pads, I found the idea interesting – but maybe not for me. A year later I picked up an issue of Bitch Magazine and – flipping through the glossy pages – found an ad for Lunapads. Here again was this idea of washable menstrual pads. I opened my laptop, typed in the URL, and was greeted by a fantastic and informational website made for women, by women. Never before had I been so excited about my own period! I decided I would give it a try. If I didn’t like the products then at least i would be supporting a really awesome company, and if I did – well, then I would be able to save hundreds of dollars over the years AND help the environment, too.