Spread the Love & Save Your Brain in Style

It’s no secret we’re head over heels for all our customers and supporters here at LOVE & MOXiE, so in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we’re taking some time to write a long-overdue love letter to an essential aspect of both our life and yours  . . . our brains!

It may seem a bit silly to take the time to express our gratitude for something we all have. However, we at LOVE & MOXiE are constantly looking for ways to both support and spread Alzheimer’s awareness. While we love creating special, one-of-a-kind pieces spiked with moxie, we also love connecting with others by shedding light on the birth of our brand and its mission in hopes of inspiring others.  

After my mother, Renée, was diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer’s, we started LOVE & MOXIE in hopes of spending quality time together and living life on our own terms doing something we both loved. Crafting pieces that told a story was a key element, but we knew early on we wanted to spread hope, awareness, and help however we could. We’re so happy to be partnered with CaringKind and Senior Citizen’s Inc., donating a dollar from every item sold to each of these fantastic organizations that have been key in navigating our own journey with Alzheimer’s. We’re thrilled to say that with your help and support, this past year amounted to our largest donation to date, making our total raised since inception to nearly $8,000.

Something we have always been passionate about sharing with our audience are tips and tools for the prevention of Alzheimer’s, as well as hope that the prevention of progression is very much possible. I think many of us fear that there is nothing we can do when it comes to Alzheimer’s, but it doesn’t have to be your brain's destiny.

What You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer's

lisa genova - neuroscientist & author of, "still alice"

watch here!

Neuroscientist and author of Still Alice, Lisa Genova, does an excellent job at explaining this in her short TED Talk, What You Can do to Prevent Alzheimer’s — it's really worth watching. She shares what each of us can do to build an Alzheimer's resistant brain. I think many of us have heard that good sleep, prioritizing vascular heath — blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, effects of smoking (all the fun stuff) — regular exercise, and eating a Mediterranean diet are beneficial, but what if you haven’t done any of this? Lisa reassures us it’s not too late, and there is one more thing we can do — create new neural connections.

“ Every time we learn something new we are creating and strengthening new neural connections, new synapses. Even if you have Alzheimer’s compromised synapses, you can build backup connections. "

This is done through experiences that utilize sight, sound, and emotions —like learning a new language, reading, or making new friends. What I’ve always found to be the most hopeful and inspiring part of the talk (and yes, it always gets me a little weepy) are Lisa’s three lessons learned from those living with Alzheimer’s :

We echo the sentiment that an Alzheimer’s diagnosis doesn’t mean there is no life left to live and laughs to be had — it just means that you might need to make a few adjustments in doing so. 

I’ve seen first hand how creating new neural pathways can aid in Alzheimer’s symptoms. The creation of these pathways have helped my mother stay in the early stages of Alzheimer’s for a decade, along with medication, sleep, controlling her vascular health, exercise, and diet. She is always learning and connecting with people. As many of you know, my mother was diagnosed in 2013, and she still brings the same amount of sass and smiles to the table per usual. She walks herself to yoga and lecture classes, hosted by our lovely friends at Senior Citizens Inc., enjoys painting and line dancing, and — when time permits a gap in her busy social calendar — helps create our products and proofreads our copy. 

And luckily for us and YOU, our fab donation partners have so much to offer for both caregivers and those with Alzheimer’s . . .

CaringKind The Heart of Alzheimer's Caregiving, CaringKind is New York City’s leading expert on Alzheimer’s and dementia caregiving and the former NYC Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association. However, you don’t need to be a New Yorker to take advantage of their resources — their website is chock full of helpful information and many of their programs are virtual.

CaringKind was an integral part of our early Alzheimer’s journey, and we were ravenous for their programs. Their workshops for caregivers were invaluable to me and the support groups and specialized programs at their Early-Stage Center reassured my mom there was still a lot of quality life ahead to be lived on her own terms.

They offer a vast array of information and programs for every stage and aspect of the disease from life after diagnosis to support and bereavement to legal and financial, but we want to highlight three of their Early-Stage programs, one's for cargivers, that tie back to Lisa's message. These are offered virtually and at no cost! It doesn’t matter where you live, you can still take advantage of these programs.

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Senior Citizens, Inc. - Helping people age successfully since 1959, Savannah, GA's Senior Citizens Inc. has a full spectrum of programs. Offering everything from senior companion programs, meal-delivery services, and adult day health care with an on-site certified nursing staff. Additionally, they run the Learning Center for those 55+, providing intellectually engaging courses on everything from film. music, history, politics and everything in between. We credit their Learning Center and yoga program for mom's continued wellness, keeping her engaged and curious.

You can help support these organizations by buying our creations and donating directly to them:

We hope this helps and sheds light on some amazing and valuable programs, but most of all, brings you HOPE and ignites your moxie. Happy Valentine's Day!

Cheers! Danielle & Renée

BAGS ON A MISSION - saving your brain one bag at a time!