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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Recent Reads - Health, Happiness, and Babies!

Happy Hump Day!

I hope your hump day is rolling along nicely so far! Mine started off with a kick butt 6 AM Barre class at ToddPilates. I am always so impressed by all the people who get up bright and early to work out week after week. They never cease to amaze me.

After class, I headed home and tried to wake the beast (E is not a morning person). As I sat down to enjoy a cup of hot water with lemon, I saw one of the books I am currently reading sitting on the coffee table and thought I would share. I am actually reading three different great books right now on various subjects. I am usually not a person that reads multiple books at one time, but these three were just too good to wait on.

First up, is Chia Vitality by Janie Hoffman. I was sent this book by the wonderful people over at Mamma Chia. In Chia Vitality, the author, Janie Hoffman, describes her struggles with an autoimmune disease and how incorporating chia seeds into her life helped her overcome it. She discusses in detail how chia seeds can help boost your stamina, help you lose weight, and feel more alive. It is also packed with delicious healthy recipes. I just started reading yesterday, so I promise to report back with a full review and GIVEAWAY soon!

Next up on my reading (well, really listening) list is The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.


I actually downloaded this book using Audible so I could listen to it while I drove to and from Houston this weekend. If you have never listened to a book on tape while driving, I would highly suggest it. Having something interesting to listen to made the trip fly by. I've also been listening to it while taking my daily walks which is nice as well. Plus, I am in love with this book!

This is so not your typical self help book. The story begins with Gretchen riding a bus and thinking about why she isn't happier with her life. She has a loving marriage, two great kiddos, she loves her job, lives in New York City, and just generally has a wonderful life. She decides that there is so much in her life to be thankful for and happy about that it's a shame to let all of that go to waste. As a writer and avid reader, she sets out on a quest to read as much about happiness as she possibly can.

After gathering all of her resources and information, she decides to dedicate a year to finding more happiness in her already great life. Each month she focuses on a different area such as her marriage, parenting, or her job, and sets resolutions to work on for the month. The book tells the story of this year from her point of view. Gretchen actually reads the book herself and her sarcastic, witty personality makes it all that much more entertaining.

I consider myself, like Gretchen, to be blessed with a wonderful life; however, I all to often dwell on what I could be doing better or worry about things that are out of my control. I am only to the month of May in her journey, but I have definitely had a couple of revelations so far and picked up many helpful tips to help me keep in perspective what truly is important. I would highly suggest this book to everyone!

Now what kind of pregnant lady would I be if I wasn't reading some kind of baby book right? Well have no fear! Book #3 on my reading list is The Happiest Baby On The Block by Dr. Harvey Karp, M.D
This book discusses how the 5 S's can help your baby sleep better, be happier, and avoid colic. It actually goes into a lot of great detail on what different doctors theorize cause colic and why they are incorrect. Additionally, it discusses how other cultures have soothed their babies for centuries and why westerners may be missing the mark when it comes to helping our little ones find comfort.

The overall premise of the books is that babies need 5 things to be comforted when they are first born.....
1) Swaddling - They need to be swaddled to feel safe and protected.
2) Side/Stomach Position - They prefer to be on their side or stomach which can aid in digestion.
3) Shushing - A shushing sound imitates what they were used to hearing in the womb and is therefor very comforting.
4) Swinging - Babies are used to constant motion when they are in their mothers womb, so a swinging motion helps to soothe them.
5) Sucking - Sucking actually triggers the calming reflex in babies.

Dr. Harvey Karp describes in detail how each one of these helps to soothe babies in it's own way, but also why doing them all together is the most important (and often most missed) step. It is totally worth the read if you are a mommy-to-be or have a fussy baby at home. Of course, I haven't actually put any of this to use on Annabelle yet, but it's fascinating none the less!

So there you have, the three books that are currently occupying my brain space! Now, it's time for some breakfast.

What are you currently reading?

In health,

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Pregnancy Friendly Beauty Routine

Howdy Friends,

Happy Tuesday! I hope you had a great weekend and your week is going well. This weekend, I headed down to Houston to celebrate two of my amazing friends, Daphne and Patrick's, upcoming wedding. They had a stock the bar shower and it was so much fun. Lots of fun times with good friends! I couldn't be happier for the beautiful couple!

Daphne and her bridesmaids

Sunday we celebrated Easter with a wonderful Easter service at church and some grilling for dinner. It was perfect!

Today, I wanted to talk about some of my favorite pregnancy friendly beauty products. Whenever I found out I was pregnant, I cut out any products with salicylic acid or retinol immediately for the safety of the growing bambino. Luckily, there are some great products out there that I have found and absolutely love!

First up in any good skin care routine is a great cleanser. I really love Simple Moisturizing Face Wash. It leaves my skin feeling clean but not too dry and doesn't have any artificial perfumes, dyes, or harsh irritants. It is also full of vitamin B5 and E which are great for skin! I think I will probably keep using this one even after Annabelle arrives. The best part is you can buy it at the drug store for just a couple of bucks.

Next up is eye cream. Since I teach aerobics for a living, and make a ton of facial expressions while doing so (which involves a lot of smiling and squishing of my eyes), eye cream has always been super important to me. I think I can remember using anti wrinkle eye cream in high school. A little dramatic I'm sure, but I did it. You wouldn't believe how hard it is to find a pregnancy safe and effective eye cream out there. Needless to say, I was over the moon excited when my in laws gave me this one for Christmas!

Mama Mio Eye Know is a protein-rich eye serum formulated with peptides, grape stem cell technology, and antioxidants. It helps combat wrinkles, dark circles, puffiness, and my biggest problem, dryness. I absolutely LOVE it!

Lastly, no skincare routine is complete without an awesome moisturiser. I turned to Mama Mio on this one as well for there Mighty Moisure High Protein Day & Night Moisturiser.

The best part about this moisturiser is it is a one stop show. You can use it day and night and it is actually a combo serum and moisturiser in one! It is packed with 4 moisturisers, 3 firming proteins, 2 peptides, essential amino acids, pre+probiotics, antioxidants, vitamins, and algae extracts. Pretty much it's a miracle in a bottle. It lasts forever too. I am still working on the same bottle I got for Christmas and I use it twice a day!

If you are a mommy-to-be on the look out for other great health and beauty products, you have to check out the amazing giveaway going on over at For Two Fitness right now!

The Grand Prize Giveaway items include:
  • 2 Sarah Haley Fit DVDs Expecting More and Sweat Unlimited — prenatal and postpartum workout DVDs for fit mamas and mamas-to-be.
  • Kind Bars — 25 bar gift box of healthy snacks to fuel your day, with healthy ingredients you can see and pronounce.
  • Maclaren Beginnings care products — generous gift bundle of oils, lotions, shampoos, and nursery/powder room products for both mama and baby.
  • GNC – a three month supply of prenatal vitamins.
  • Happy Family Brands — baby and toddler foods for your little ones.
  • For Two Fitness racerback tank and pair of pants or capris
  • Baby K’tan — stylish carrier to aid in hands-free baby-wearing.
  • Zensah — 2 sets of must-have compression leg sleeves. Relieve leg fatigue, increase circulation, reduce varicose veins, and get fresh legs.
Have you signed up yet?? I'm off to finish dinner. I hope you have a great rest of your day!

What are your go to beauty products?

In health,