Pregnant paradise at home; creating your ultimate ‘zen’ retreat….

As much as I love getting away, it isn’t always possible for moms-to-be (especially towards the end of your pregnancy.) However, using some of my favorite products, I have found a way to create a personal retreat right in my home…..

Candles – There is no better atmosphere setter than a candle, and not just any candle. I am very particular about scent and aesthetic in my home. Alixx Candles candles artisanal craftsmanship, European elegance, and a refined sense of calm. Hand poured with delicate and refined French parfums, each scent transcends to the most beautiful and fragrant places in France. The artisanal glass vases in which the candles sit are mouth-blown in Europe and are in themselves pieces of beautiful art that smell and look wonderful.

Natural oils – Everyone has their own version of what oils or creams prevent stretch marks, and while there is no real sure answer, you can help your skin by keeping it supple and hydrated. Opt for the natural route (for you and baby) and pick up some products from Skinny and Company’s chemical free Raw Beauty Line. Raw Beauty will give you everything you need to moisturize, repair, and protect your skin naturally, and leave you smelling better than a tropical vacation!  All of their raw beauty products contain 5 ingredients or less, Chemical Free, and contain 100% virgin Skinny coconut oil.  

Pregnancy pillow – This one I could not live (or rather sleep) without. The Snoogle by LeachCo retails for less than $70 and will literally transform the way you sleep, sit back or relax. If you are like most people, one pillow throughout the night is just not enough. There’s the pillow that goes behind your back for support, the one between your knees for temperature control, the one for your head, and (if you’re pregnant) one more for tummy support. The Snoogle was uniquely designed to support your body from head to toe and make the pillow situation less complicated, and makes sleeping, sitting or curling up to read a book while pregnant, a million times more comfortable.

Essential oils/vaporiser – We do know that many mums-to-be find aromatherapy helpful in easing pregnancy niggles, and calming nerves… especially at a time when your sense of smell is so acute. A vaporizer is a great way to benefit from the affects of aromatherapy in a safe way when pregnant. Oils like lavender and lemongrass are a few of my favorites to set the ‘spa’ mood at home but only use a couple drops of essential oil at a time (they are strong) in your choice of vaporizer….And if you do use them in a bath, dilute the essential oil by mixing the drop with at least a teaspoon (5ml) of a base oil like Grapeseed oil or sweet almond oil.

A prenatal massage – It’s worth treating yourself to at least one of these while your pregnant, as your body and your mind will thank you. Massages are like mini-vacations in themselves but when your pregnant it’s crucial you have one catered to prenatal care, for safety reasons. My local massage spot, Earth and Sky Healing Arts, is the picture of ‘zen’ – not only evoking relaxation and wellness, but also catering specifically to pregnancy needs. Their prenatal catered massages are specifically designed with a focus on the hips, lower back, neck, and shoulders – to help cultivate a centered balanced state in preparation for labor, mentally and physically. Look for a spa location with WELL trained prenatal masseuses, where you can unwind in safe hands.

‘Momma’s to be’ On The Go – tips and tools to aid expectant mothers

As many of you may not know, I am expecting!
Five months into pregnancy, all the comforts become important, especially if you are like me, and always on the go. Many women work and travel right up until they are not medically allowed to, which can start to get tough as you stomach swells and your body changes. There are of course, tips and tools you can use to make any travel experience more comfortable, from your daily commute to jetting off on your ‘baby-moon.’ Below I share a few:

Give yourself time  – It’s not so bad being at the airport early anymore because they’re basically like big malls. Just do a little bit of shopping and go grab a light meal. Then (if you can) plan to take a nap on the flight, which is when comfort is key. GoTravel’s Ultimate Memory Pillow ($34.95) is well worth it and far cheaper than a flight upgrade. 

Create a spa experience – Whether you are arriving home after a long commute or arriving at your travel destination, creating a calm environment is essential when you are pregnant. Scent is particularly important so I suggest taking along some naturally scented travel candles. GoodLight makes a gorgeous range of natural travel size candle Apothecary Jars that you can light by your bedside, starting at just $8.99. Hatch’s Pocket Spa Trio for $68 is also a great way to carry a mini spa of ‘mama to be’ blended oils (ginger, eucalyptus and lavender) that do everything from energize to relax or aid morning sickness.

Bring a book/ download an app – Take along a book or download a meditation app that helps you zone out a little. There are a magnitude of books, e-book and apps on the market for expectant moms but you don’t want anything that causes you any more ‘expectant anxiety’ while you are in transit. One of my favorite books is Deepak Chopra’s Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives, which takes a soothing approach to pregnancy, focusing on the wondrous process of bringing new life into the world, as derived from the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda – with an emphasis on body, mind, and spirit.

Comfort wear – Wanting to be stylish and yet comfortable when you travel is tough for the average person, never-mind pregnant. Luckily Hatch is well ahead of the curve with their maternity wear. One of my favorite travel essentials is their Slouch Dress which not only looks gorgeous but also weighs less than nothing, and takes up no suitcase space. Maybe get one in every color?!

Hydrate your skin – This is super key when you are traveling. The skin around your breasts and belly are especially susceptible as they stretch so be sure to keep these areas supple and hydrated. I love the $12 Belly Mask by Hatch – an all-natural hydrating sheet mask, made to help minimize stretch marks during pregnancy and help soften inflamed scar tissue postpartum. I am also now obsessed with coming home to the the Jua Essentials line of washes and cremes, which not only smell incredible but are free from harsh chemicals, petroleum, parabens, damaging sulfates.

Foot care – All this new baby weight is standing on one thing…. your feet. Aside of getting that regular pedicures and foot rubs there are other ways to make sure your tootsies are cared for. Compression socks are key for pregnant women traveling to prevent blood clots and aid circulation, and luckily Dr Motion makes a gorgeous range to choose from. I am also a big fan of  Down Girl Soothing Leg and Foot Relief $42 by Hatch – an anti-inflammatory gel-based cream that helps reduce swelling and invigorate tired feet and legs (perfect after a long journey or day on your feet.)

Take care of ‘down there’ – Over your pregnancy there is a lot going on ‘down there’ which can be more than uncomfortable, especially when on the go. Love Wellness does PH balancing, perfectly packaged ‘Do It All Wipes’  that fit right in your purse to keep you feeling feeling fresh and healthy wherever you are.

Holiday Travel Season – How To Keep Your Health Up!

Holiday Travel Season – How To Keep Your Health Up!

Whether you are visiting family or heading abroad for a vacation, it’s easy for your health to be compromised when you’re traveling. But is it really is possible to avoid all those travel germs, indulge in the holidays (all that food and fun) and get in some exercise in – without depriving yourself? Here I help solve some usual dilemmas, so you can make it through your holiday travels without compromising your health!

Weight gain – It’s super easy to gain weight several turkey helpings later or after that third piece of pie, but as long as you stay active you should be fine to indulge a little. It may not be easy to reach a gym while you’re away but try fitting in walking, hiking or promoting family outdoor activities (think flag football) that get everyone moving. If you’re on vacation somewhere new, site seeking is also a great way to get those steps in.

Getting sick – Pack Vitamin C and/or a multivitamin and no matter what you’re eating keep a note to drop in fruit and veg where you can. If you’re flying, pop some Neosporin under your nose (an old trick for warding away traveling viruses) and pack hand sanitizer. Also be sure to wash your hands when traveling under hot water for at least 30 seconds, especially before eating or after using the toilet. If you are going abroad somewhere that your doctor recommends getting vaccinated for, then do so. In general, prevention is always better than the cure so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Sunshine/Snow-shine – Ski trips and winter sun trips are popular over the holidays, but sunburn on the beach or the slopes can seriously ruin a good travel experience – so pack on minimum SP15-30. Also stay well hydrated if you are traveling in a country or region with a hot or tropical climate, and cover up with loose clothing or even a hat to prevent heatstroke.

Keep your immunity high – Getting enough sleep is key when traveling. If you are flying longer distances, comfort is essential so it’s worth investing in a good travel neck pillow. Be sure to adjust to the time zone if there is a change in your geography, and don’t overdo the booze (especially if you have to fly a long distance) which automatically knocks your immunity. Finally, keep your stress levels down, no matter how much holiday hustle and bustle there is, and you should be a much healthier and happier person altogether!

I need a vacation from my vacation’ – Self-restoration and travel

‘I need a vacation from my vacation’ – Self-restoration and travel

We’ve all been there. Long trip, maybe a delay, jet lag, dehydration….travel can be glamorous but it can also take a toll on your body. Ever heard of vthe phrase ‘I need a vacation after this vacation?’ Its a thing. So what can we do the other side of our trip or even in preparation for our journey to aid the above? Whether preventative or restorative here are some great options to aid your travel aches, pains and fatigues. 

HEAL YOUR BODY:

Hours in any position, never mind in an uncomfortable or unusual position can cause our bodies to cramp and muscles to pinch. Aside of hydration (mentioned below) a GREAT way to end your journey is with a massage. This will help relieve toxins, re-energize you and prep you for whatever lies ahead on your trip away or on returning home from your trip. A great option in NYC is Exhale Spa. Try a deep tissue which focuses on those overworked muscles living well below the surface with this intensely therapeutic massage. Designed to relieve pain associated with muscle knots, heavy physical activity, and everyday stress, this therapy is deliberate and customized, targeting specific areas in need of relief. Starting at $120 and WELL WORTH IT See exhalespa.com/

FIX YOUR LOOK:

You can do everything but no amount of makeup can hide a post travel-groggy feeling. However, there is one part of your look that can really change everything – your hair. Scrap the foundation and trying to put makeup on in an airplane toilet. Instead, buy some great sunglasses and get a blowout before your journey or on arrival the other end. It might sound crazy, but it will completely change how you feel about yourself traveling, and no matter what anything else looks like, your hair will be stellar and ready to go! A great NYC option is DreamDry where for as little as $45 and in 30 minutes you can choose from a selection of easy breezy blowouts. See dreamdry.com/


HYDRATE YOURSELF AND YOUR SKIN:

It goes without saying – hydrate hydrate hydrate. It will completely change how your feel the other side of your journey. Air travel in particular causes havoc on skin as it dries it out faster. Drink plenty of water throughout your journey, limit alcohol, or don’t drink at all, and carry some cleansing wipes to freshen up on arrival at your destination. A good, natural all-in-one cream for your hands, face or body is a great tool to carry along. Essentiel by Adele, is a new all-in-one moisturizer that can help you stay fresh-faced, radiant, and completely hydrated with essential oils to tone, balance, relax, cleanse and invigorate the skin, even at 32,000 feet. TSA approved travel  bottles starting at just $13 can be purchased at EssentielByAdele.com

All natural beauty bargains under $50 for the holiday traveler

All natural beauty bargains under $50 for the holiday traveler

As we sink into to the thick of the holiday season, our lifestyle becomes one ‘on the go’ from parties to gift shopping and travel plans. Keeping up our beauty routine in the mayhem can be taxing – never mind lugging around products in purses, travel bags and desk drawers (we’ve all done that work-to-drinks party fix in an office toilet.) When it comes to traveling we also have an additional problem with baggage and liquid allowances. So how do we keep our holiday look clean, convenient and stress free? Below I list some of my favorite natural beauty products that fit perfectly into any ‘on the go’ lifestyle.

RMS Beauty’s Living Luminizer – $38: This little pot of organic goodness is your holiday glow in a perfectly sized jar, that is both portable and compact. The Luminizer is the ultimate illuminator for creating a sensuous, sheer glow that enhances the skin’s natural youthfulness without being sticky, greasy or glittery. With a translucent, satin-pearl finish, this highlighter works great on all skin tones, making this a must have beauty product for the holiday season.


Captain Blackenship’s Dry Shampoo
 – $24.00
: There’s nothing worse than trying to revamp day old hair for a night out or maintain your locks after traveling. A miracle worker, this chemical free, talc-free dry shampoo (made with organic arrowroot, white clay and scented with essential oils) is the perfect solution to lifeless, unwashed hair. A powerful combination of powders absorbs oil, adds volume and gives life to your hair, plus it smells like the beach. Sprinkle a little in whenever your hair needs an instant pick me up. The best part is, because its powder form, this dry shampoo is both light in weight and safe to travel with…bring on fresh hair – without the wash!

Meow Meow Tweet’s Migrator Kit – $48: An all-in-one kind of deal this natural and organic travel size kit comes with everything you need this season, including a complete facial and body care regime to cleanse, moisturize and nourish your skin. Available in Citrus and Lavender, indulge in products from the geranium palmarosa toner to the lavender and lemongrass body oil or bergamont deodorant stick. Complete with a little exfoliator pack and a whole lot of natural aroma, this travel pack is the perfect mini spa for you or a loved one (if you can bare to gift it away.)

Vapour Beauty’s Atmosphere Luminous Foundation $49 and Aura Multi Use Classic Stick $36: Vapour’s luxury natural and organic makeup line produces some of the best pocket friendly products around. Their Atmosphere Foundation’s Luminous formula in a compact precision stick is an Allure Best of Beauty Award winner – it perfects texture, smooths the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and delivers moisture. Made with organic and wildcrafted antioxidant-rich ingredients (including Frankincense, Tulsi and Lotus) this liquid free, no hassle, foundation is the perfect travel companion. Finish your look off with Vapour’s Aura tool to create fresh pop of color anywhere from you cheeks to your lips, and you’re ready to rock your holiday look.

Super-Flyer Tips….the go to tick list

The Best Flight Tips

This summer, many of you will be doing your fare share of flying. While flying doesn’t come however without its fare share of stresses and strifes, there are great ways to make the most of your transport time, and hey, even enjoy it! So here are some tips to help you get from A to B at your best.

DRINK BEFORE YOU GO

The humidity on planes is only around 10% and this dry air can cause headaches and groggyness, so down at least 10 ounces of H20 preflight. In flight consider some seltzer water with a splash of ginger ale to keep you hydrated and and travel sickness at bay.

CREATE A CATNIP KIT

Stow in your carry on a neck pillow, noise-cancelling headphones, and eye mask and a (lightweight) microfibre blanket. You will use them all at one stage, trust me.

EXERSIZE

Flying can cause feet to swell and the body to ache, so every hour walk the length of the cabin to rev circulation. Once at your destination, see what your hotel/accommodation has to offer fitness wise, rent a city bike to explore or utilize a national gym chain if applicable. Keeping healthy and fit when traveling keeps your immune system going and your mood positive.

SNACK SMART

Cut out the carbs which can make you bloated during pressure changes, and instead opt for nuts, dried fruits or cheese. If you do get a sandwich, pull out the meat and veggies for energizing protein without the drowsy causing refined carbs. Equally when drinking steer clear of the sugary drinks that will leave you tired on arrival.

MEDITATE

It can be tempting to watch your favorite series re-runs but flying can provide you time to do what you might normally put off or don’t have time for at home. Jot in your journal, go over your monthly calendar, or take some time to meditate (download tranquil music and from toes to head imagine each part of your body relaxing one by one.)

STAY COOL

Yes flying can be stressful but have perspective. Cancellations and delays can happen, but the most important thing is that you are SAFELY. Focus on extending love to other travelers even in the midst of small agitations or annoyances and offer assistance; it will leave both you and them with a smile and good sense of well being.