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Baby Skincare

Trying to decide what baby skincare products to use for your baby can be overwhelming. When you go to the supermarket or pharmacy you will see countless brands and products.

When I shop for baby products I avoid products that contain chemicals, dyes and fragrances, and choose products with natural ingredients as they tend to be more gentle on a baby’s sensitive skin. I also try to buy most of my baby products from New Zealand companies so I can be sure the product is produced according to our health and safety laws, and also to support NZ made.

Babies have super soft skin, it is an average 30% thinner than adults skin which means it absorbs more of what is applied to it. It has a greater tendency to dryness, is more prone to irritation and allergies and absorbs more water. The blood brain barrier that blocks chemicals from penetrating through brain tissues is not fully developed until a baby is 6 months old. This is why I make an effort to buy baby skincare products that are as natural as possible.

Below, I’ve listed the brands of baby skincare that I’m currently using on Maxwell.

Little Skin food
You are probably familiar with the New Zealand beauty brand Skinfood, this is its first ever range for babies and young children. The products are 100% natural and certified organic. The products are affordable and are available at all good supermarkets across NZ. The range has 6 products which include Little Body Wash, Little Head Shampoo, Little Body Oil, Little Body Lotion, Little Body Powder, and Little Bottom Balm. My 2 favourites are the body wash and the bottom balm.

Dimples
Dimples Organic baby skin care products are all NZ made and are dermatologically tested on humans. The products are 100% natural, certified organic and made with organic ingredients including beeswax, cocoa butter, rosemary leaf extract, chamomile, shea butter, olive oil and Manuka honey. The range includes baby bath soak, shampoo, lotion, nappy cream and soothing balm. The products are gentle and nourishing to baby’s skin and all the products smell delicious.

Weleda
When I first had Max I began using the Weleda Nipple Cream after I had mastitis and it worked a treat. Now that Max has started teething I’m using the Weleda Baby Teething Powder on her which has been amazing, I highly recommend both of these products. I am also using some of the Weleda Calendula skincare products designed for babies, I love them because of how gentle they are on the skin and also the wide range of products. Some of my favourite products from this range include the rash relief cream, baby oil, white mallow face cream and the body lotion. 

Oamaru Apothecary
Oamaru Apothecary have created a range of skincare products called Hoheria Botanicals. This beautiful skin care range is produced by hand in small batches in Oamaru, North Otago, New Zealand. The range uses plant oils, plant extracts and the highest grade essential oils which are blended to maximise the products healing benefits. The products in the baby skincare range include a baby balm, massage oil and pregnancy massage oil for mothers to be.

 Lx 

Best Vegetarian Restaurants in Melbourne

 

Melbourne is a food lover’s paradise, it has the most cafes and restaurants per capita in the world. There are no shortages of places to eat and there are enough options to last a lifetime. It is easy to see why in 2015 Melbourne was voted the most live-able city in the world. I have created my list of my favourite Vegetarian restaurants in Melbourne. To view the full list, visit Expedia.
L x

Vegie Bar
Vegie Bar
Vegie Bar
Sister of Soul
Trippy Taco
Trippy Taco

 

Baby Essentials

One of the most over whelming tasks when you’re expecting, is figuring out what you really need once the baby arrives. There are countless baby products and brands on the market and everyone has a different opinion on what works best for them and their baby.  I thought I’d share a list of products that I couldn’t live without during the first 2 months of having Max. Although the list can get a lot more extensive than this, I wanted to keep it simple and stick with the basics.

Every baby is different and comes with their own set of needs, even though I found these items useful, it’s possible that other mothers had success using other brands. Please share your must-have items for newborns if you have them!

Bugaboo Cameleon
The Bugaboo Cameleon is definitely at the top of my list. After having a c-section, the only exercise I could do for 6 weeks was walk and walking every morning with the baby in this stroller was a lifesaver. Going out for a walk was a great way to get in some exercise but also helped to de stress and get some vitamin D. The Bugaboo Cameleon offers a smooth ride, has so many useful adjustments, the suspension adjusts as baby grows, you can flip the handlebar to use back wheels for terrain, the handlebar height can also be adjusted. The toddler seat can face you or the world after the first 6 months. A car seat adapter can be purchased separately to make trips to and from the car a breeze. Bugaboo provides a 3 year warranty from the original date of purchase. It is one of the pricier strollers on the market, but in my opinion it is worth the investment.

Maternity Bras
Maternity bras or nursing bras make life a whole lot easier, they are comfortable, easy to unfasten and make feeding less stressful for you and baby. I’ve made the rookie mistake a couple of times and worn a lace bra out and had both my boobs leak, only to realise once I got home. Not the best look walking around the mall with milk dripping down your top. Two brands of maternity bras I’ve loved are Hot Milk and Caden Shae. Hot Milk bras are super comfortable and they have great designs.
I live in active wear because it’s so comfortable but since having my baby I barely fit into any of my sports bras. I’ve started wearing the Caden Shae sports bras which are designed so you can nurse wearing it.  These bras allow you to still be active but also give you the freedom to feed your baby when you need to.

Haakaa Breast pump
Breastfeeding is hard work and it took me a while to get the hang of it. Something so “natural” can be so damn hard. For the first 6 weeks I was feeding every 90-120 minutes and when I wasn’t feeding, I was pumping. This breast pump cost $29 which is a huge saving compared to some of the electric ones. This pump works on suction and some days I can get up to 150 mls of milk from one let down. I had mastitis for 2 days and this breast pump saved my life. I had extremely sore engorged breasts that needed to be pumped before they exploded and the Haakaa pump got rid of the milk painlessly. Its easy to clean and simple to use.

You Simply Can’t Spoil a Newborn
I’ve mentioned this book before but I’m going to mention it again because it has truly been a lifesaver. ‘You Simply Can’t Spoil a Newborn’ by Dorothy Waide is an essential guide to nurturing your baby in the first three months. She is one of the world’s most sought after sleep consultants. This book has helped me so much! It has information about feeding, sleeping, bathing, burping, childcare, advice on managing time, relationships and emotional demands. If I ever have a “what the hell do I do” moment, I always find the answers in this book. As a first time Mum, there are days when I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing so it’s reassuring to open this book and find helpful info.

Manuka Health Breast Pads
These were recommended to me by several people when I posted about having sore nipples. I have to agree with everyone as they are amazing. These Manuka Health breast pads contain Manuka honey dressing specially made to relieve the discomfort of cracked or irritated nipples. They are reusable and can be kept in the fridge between use for extra cooling. When I had mastitis these made a world of difference. I wear these most days in my maternity bra to also stop milk leaking.

Dimples night gown
These nightgowns have made my life so much easier. When Max started sleeping for longer periods through the night, I started dressing her in these for bedtime. They made the middle of the night nappy changes quick and easy which is a bonus at 3 in the morning.The gown has a drawstring around the bottom that you pull to create a bag like closing which keeps babies feet snug and warm and it can be worm as nightwear or during the day. These night gowns are made in New Zealand from 100% merino wool. Merino has the ability to respond to changes in baby’s body temperature, keeping baby warm when the weather is cold and cool and comfortable when weather is hot. Dimples also make beautiful snuggle-sacs which mimic the snug feeling in the womb. They also allow the baby to be able to move naturally, just like they did in the womb.

Swaddles
I had no idea how many swaddles blankets you needed with a newborn, I thought I was stocked up but within the first 3 weeks I ordered more. My favourite swaddles I purchased were from Early Riser and Bondi Baby, they have a big selection of gorgeous, bright prints and are made using 100% organic cotton. These are used to help your baby feel safe and secure by wrapping them up in them. Swaddles can also be used as a feeding cover, pram cover, burp cloth, tummy time blanket, car seat cover, blanket and changing table cover. Some days I can go through four swaddles so I make sure I have some in my hand bag, baby bag and in the car.

Weleda Nipple Cream
Feeding a baby every 2 hours can leave your nipples feeling sore. The Weleda Nipple Cream helps to heal and soothe nipples. It contains Calendula and Chamomile to support the healthy renewal of tender, cracked skin. It can also be left on before breastfeeding and can be applied during the last 8 weeks of pregnancy to help prepare the nipples for breastfeeding.

Haaka Glass Bottles
Whether you are breastfeeding or forumla-feeding, you need some bottles. Even nursing mums who exclusively breastfeed need bottles. What I love about the Haaka bottles is that it is BPA, PVC, Phthalate and Lead free. They are made of borosilicate glass which is a material that is resistant to shock temperatures. It can also be easily converted to a sip cup, by applying the Haakaa range of interchangeable accessories. It is so easy to clean and it comes with an anti colic nipple which allows baby to drink continuously without gasping for air or drinking bubbles.

L x

Top 5 Big Little Lies told about food

Too often we get carried away believing everything we are told. Inspired by NEON and SoHo’s upcoming show, Big Little Lies – starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Shailene Woodley I’ve picked out five Big Little Lies in health and nutrition to expose for you guys! With all the diet and nutrition information out there, it’s not always clear how to distinguish fact from fiction.

It’s healthier to eat egg whites rather than whole eggs.

For years, experts believed eggs were unhealthy due to their high cholesterol levels, which is found in the yolk.  Dietary cholesterol was once thought to be the cause of unhealthy cholesterol levels so many people stuck to eating egg whites. Research has found that cholesterol in food is not the enemy, and that trans fats have a much greater effect on blood cholesterol. Eggs are a rich source of protein and nutrients including iron, zinc and vitamin D, which are all found in the yolk.

Margarine is better for you than butter.

There has been so much debate about which is better for us, margarine or butter. During the low fat era, experts believed butter was bad for our health and recommended margarine as the healthier alternative.  Since then, it’s been suggested that margarine is less healthier than butter due to it being processed and having a base of vegetable oil, compared to butter which is a dairy based product. Butter and margarine contain almost the same amount of calories and grams of fat per tablespoon. The main difference between the two is the type of fat, which is found in them. Margarine contains trans fats, which has adverse effects on cholesterol and heart health compared to butter, which contains saturated fat. If you do use margarine, look for trans-fat free brands.

Fresh always beats frozen.

Many people believe frozen fruit and vegetables aren’t as nutritious as fresh fruit and vegetables. The truth is that frozen produce has just as many nutrients as fresh produce. Frozen produce is flash frozen shortly after being picked, this means that is retains more nutrients than if it has to travel. Fresh vegetables have often had a long journey from the moment they were picked to the time they arrive in the stores. This means they have lost some of their nutrients.

Buying frozen fruit and vegetables means that you can enjoy these foods all year round and if you’re struggling to get your daily intake of fruit and vegetables, don’t be scared to purchase frozen fruit and vegetables to add to your meals.

Low fat versions are better than the originals.

This is a very common myth and labelling foods “low fat” has found to be a very successful marketing tool. People who want to lose weight often opt for the “low fat” foods, unaware of the damage they are doing to themselves. Fat is flavour and when that is taken out of the food, it needs to be replaced by something else, manufacturers often replace this with extra sugars and sweeteners to make the food tasty. Some low fat products aren’t all bad for you but you should always read the labels when you are buying low fat products. Make sure they aren’t heavily processed or full of additives.

Eating fat will make you fat.

From a caloric standpoint, it makes sense that eating fat will make you fat, however this is not true. Fat contains 9 calories per gram, and carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram.  Many people avoid fat to try and lose weight but recent studies have found that high fat (and low carbohydrate) diets lead to more weight loss than low-fat diets.

Some fats are better for you than others, choose mono-saturated fats and polyunsaturated fats found in olive oil, nuts and fish. The fats to avoid are trans-fat which is found in processed food, fried fast food and packaged goods, these increase the risk of heart disease. if you eat a meal rich in healthy fats such as salmon, eggs and avocado, you will feel fuller faster and longer and won’t overeat. These healthy fats will help absorb vitamins A, D, E and K.

The New Zealand premiere of Big Little Lies is on SoHo on SKY 8.30pm Sunday 26 February, and it’s also available express on NEON from 27 February – if you don’t have NEON already, get started with a 30 day free trial here. 

J&L x

6 things you should never say to a pregnant woman

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Since I’ve had my baby, I can now laugh about some of the comments that people make to pregnant woman. Getting asked if you’re pregnant with twins is bad enough, but when you’re hormonal and not sleeping, the crazy does come out hearing such comments.
Here are a list of things you should never say to a pregnant woman.

Your baby is going to be huge.
One thing that is always going through the minds of every pregnant woman is how the baby is going to evacuate the building. When someone tells you that your baby is going to be huge, your anxiety levels climb! No one wants to imagine giving birth to a three year old with a head the size of a large watermelon.

Sleep now because you won’t get any when the baby gets here.
This one really grinded my gears. Throughout my entire pregnancy I don’t think I had one solid nights sleep. During the first and second trimester I was up during the night with morning sickness and in the last trimester I was up going bathroom, finding something to eat, battling heartburn or finding a comfortable position to sleep in. If we could bank sleep we would, unfortunately we can’t.

Should you be eating that?
Pregnancy cravings are a mysterious thing, no woman is ever really sure why they crave certain things, but when do, you better not get in her way.

I hate that name.
One thing I learned the hard way was to never tell anyone what baby names you like. Chances are, that person will say something to you to put you off the name such as “Ohhh I used to date a guy with that name and he ended up cheating on me, you can’t name your baby that”.  UGH!

Are you sure you’re not having twins?
This is one of the most common questions pregnant women are asked. I remember I went to get my eyebrows done when I was 5 months pregnant, my bump wasn’t even that big (from what I thought). The eyebrow lady asked me if I was pregnant with twins, when I replied “no”, she asked me if I was sure. If a woman were carrying twins, she would obviously know that information.

Haven’t you had that baby yet?
The last few weeks of pregnancy feel like a lifetime. She probably can’t sleep, her back hurts, her feet are swollen and she wants the baby here more than anything. Do you really think she wants sarcastic comments from others asking if she’s still pregnant? No! If you haven’t received word that her baby’s been born, then chances are that she is not holding out any information.

Is there anything I have missed? Have you ever been on the receiving end of a pregnancy faux-pas, or made one?

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Lx

Our favourite Auckland Spas

From facials and waxing to pregnancy massages, we’ve selected seven of our top spas in Auckland for the ultimate pampering session as we are often asked where our favourite places are to get beauty treatments

To read our full list of Auckland Spa’s, visit Expedia.

L x

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Spring Spa
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East Day Spa
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Caci Clinic
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Dry & Tea
Loft Beauty Boutique
Loft Beauty Boutique
Haven
Haven

Should parents post photos of their kids online?

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As I approach the end of my pregnancy, something I’ve been asked a lot is whether I will include my baby in my social media posts.

Often, when a baby arrives, we post pictures for the whole world to see. In fact, this generation of kids are the first in history to have their lives shared on social media before they’re old enough to even have a say.

Would love to hear your opinion on why or why not you chose to share photos of your kids online.

Read the full article here.

L x

 

 

NZfulvic – The Best You

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Trialing health products are what I could describe as being a hobby. Studying Nutrition and Naturopathy has opened me up to a world of information that I feel privileged to know, and also a responsibility to educate others on – I am lucky to do so through Julia & Libby. Libby and I get the chance to try lots of products and when NZfulvic turned up on my doorstep and I read it could help with the gut, I knew I had to try. Having battled with leaky gut a few times it is always in the back of my mind to consume nutrients that help with gut health.

So what is fulvic?  

Fulvic is extracted from nutrient rich soil in the South Island of New Zealand. Our soils used to be rich in fulvic acid but over time it has been stripped due to over farming and pollution. As a result, we are not getting the nutrients we need from the plants we eat. Scary huh?  When fulvic acid is present in soil, the plants absorb nutrients and minerals optimally. Fulvic acid is full of nutrients including trace minerals, electrolytes, silica and pre and pro biotic.

It is also a nutrient booster that helps to improve gut health, energy levels, nutrient absorption, detoxification, and lower free radical damage and inflammation. When we take this as a supplement, it helps to boost the good bacteria in the gut, which has many health benefits.

The health of our gut is directly linked to the health of the whole body. The health of your gut determines what nutrients are absorbed and what toxins, allergens, and microbes are kept out. There are bugs in your gut that form a diverse and interdependent ecosystem, like a rainforest. In fact, there are 500 species and 3 pounds of bacteria in your gut which form a chemical factory that help you digest your food, regulate hormones, excrete toxins, and produce vitamins and other healing compounds that keep your gut and your body healthy.

This ecosystem of friendly bacteria must be in balance for you to be healthy.  Too many of the wrong bacteria, like parasites and yeasts, or not enough of the good ones, can seriously damage your health. So keeping a healthy balance of bugs in your intestines is one factor to good gut health, which is why a product that contains both pre and probiotics is so important for our health.

When fulvic acid is taken regularly some are able to notice an improvement in their health, mental well-being and performance in as little as 3 weeks due to the improvement it makes on the gut. Other benefits people notice are healthier hair, skin and nails, increased energy and metabolism leading to weight loss and an improvement in memory and focus.

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What are my thoughts on fulvic?

I liken the taste to diluted apple cider vinegar.  Easy to take on it’s own, it’s quite tart and after a few daily doses I was used to the taste. I found it easy to incorporate into my daily routine as when I drank my lemon water in the morning or made a smoothie I would take fulvic at the same time. Many athletes take fulvic acid to increase energy levels and shorten recovery time.

My partner is an athlete so I started him on fulvic when I started.  As he doesn’t take many supplements to help with the gut he noticed a difference in a short space of time. Little to no bloating after meals and clearer skin.

When it comes to gut health it cannot hurt trying products to see if they work for you. Remember we are all so different and what works for someone may not work for you and vice versa.  I would recommend fulvic to everyone, especially those who do have gut issues.

Dig deeper at NZfulvic.com to find out more!

Jx

This post was sponsored by NZfulvic. All thoughts and opinions are our own

Travelling on a budget

For the last three months I have been using Westpac’s new app CashNav to help me keep an eye on my spending habits. CashNav is linked to your Westpac bank account and every time you make a purchase, it automatically categorises your spending into things like health, eating out, groceries and shopping so you can really see what you’re spending your money on!

During these three months, I’ve had all my purchases broken down for me, which has given an insight into what my money is being spent on and what I perhaps should not be spending so much money on.  It turns out that my money is mainly being spent on food, fitness and travel, so I know that I need to make more of an effort to save in these areas. Summer is just around the corner, and that means a lot more people are going to be travelling during this time. Travelling can get expensive when it really doesn’t have to (unless you want to go down that route), so I have put together some helpful tips on ways to save money on travel.

Research accommodation deals:
One of the biggest expenses for a traveler is accommodation, so it’s important to research the best deals. Sharing a room in a hostel divides the cost but if you’re travelling alone, or don’t want to share a room, you can book a private room at a hostel which will also save you money. Hostels usually offer the cheapest accommodation, but in some countries you will find that hotels are cheaper and nicer.
Booking.com is a website that guarantees the best discounts and prices on hotel rooms around the world. It also includes bed and breakfast accommodation, apartments and luxury suites. You don’t get charged any extra fees when booking through this site opposed to booking directly on hotel sites.
Airbnb is a website that allows you to rent accommodation all around the world. Through their website or app you can view available spaces according to your budget, location and amenities. Most apartments or houses advertised on Airbnb are slightly cheaper to rent when compared to making a reservation in a hotel.
I’ve had a really good experience using both of these sites and have always found something within my price range.
Expedia is a fantastic website to find deals on hotels, flights, bundle deals, cruises, things to do, vacation rentals and places to eat.

Pack wisely:
When travelling, it is so easy to over pack but this can mean paying extra in baggage fees. Many airlines cut ticket prices by charging for checked baggage by weight. If you don’t pre pay for your luggage, or if you exceed the limit you paid for, it could end up being costly. When packing, it is important to bring everything you need so you don’t have to shop while you’re away. Some of the basic essentials can be expensive in some countries. Another great tip is to pack a spare change of clothes in your hand luggage. If your suitcase goes missing, you’ll be able to survive for a few days!

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Plan flights in advance:
Booking flights in advance is going to save you money compared with booking flights last minute when the prices have usually increased. The cheapest time to fly is during the week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with Friday and Sunday being the most expensive days. Be mindful of booking flights during holiday season as the prices will always be increased and, if you are flying during this time, remember to book well in advance. Skyscanner is a great website to find deals on flights.

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Don’t eat away your money:
Food can get expensive when travelling and the last thing you want to be doing is spending all your money on food. Pack your own snacks when flying as food at airports is overpriced and usually not that healthy. It is much cheaper to do a shop at a supermarket when travelling as opposed to buying food from hotels, cafes and restaurants. Packing a reusable water bottle can save you money on drinks too (just be careful where you fill it up from!). Certain tourist areas inflate food prices, it could pay to ask locals where the best place is to grab an affordable bite.

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Book travel insurance:
Always remember to book travel insurance, it’s not worth risking it. If you end up in hospital overseas, you can end up paying thousands of dollars on medical fees which could easily be covered by travel insurance. If your luggage is lost, you have anything stolen or end up with a cancelled flight, your travel insurance will cover all of this.

So there are my tips, I’d love to hear any other tips you have to save money on travel! L x

If you’re already a Westpac customer, you can download the CashNav app now. If not, click here to find out more about Westpac and CashNav and how it can help you. It only takes a few minutes to sign up online for an account to start tracking your spending with CashNav.

Why Im not finding out the gender of my baby

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Surprise! Why I decided to not find out the gender of my baby.

These days with social media, smart phones and the internet, surprises in life are rare and most of the time we know a surprise before it happens. Not finding out your baby’s gender is one of the rare moments in life where you get to be surprised.

Would love to hear whether you found out or waited for the surprise, and why. Lx

Link to the full article> http://bit.ly/2gs5xMC

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