Olay hit the nail on the head with their tag line, "Love the skin you're in." Isn't that something we all want, to not only feel good in our skin but to love it as well?
Gosh, that would be such a nice place to be. I have to admit, it's been somewhat of a struggle for me lately. I've entered my early thirties, and call me insecure, but I've become much more aware of my skin and what it's trying to tell me. I know I need to allow myself some grace, but my body has been though a lot the last few years. I was on a plethora of drugs to help maintain my pregnancy, then add that to the natural occurring hormones of growing a human, AND THEN multiply that by postpartum fluctuations of prolactin and oxytocin .... and shucks, my body AND my skin are feeling pretty schizophrenic of late.
Like a lot of mums out there, having our daughter made me reevaluate what products we were putting on her skin during the day and at bath time. I became obsessed with reading labels, doing research and trying to find the most natural, non-toxic products out there.
Then it hit me.
Shouldn't I be taking the same precautions for myself?
Shouldn't I make myself a priority as well?
But isn't that often the way of it? Women eat the best they've ever eaten when pregnant and use the best of the best for their bubs, even if that means they have to go without.
I not only needed to take more initiative in my own non-toxic skin care routine, but I also needed to carve out more time for myself.
After all, you can't pour from an empty cup.
Non-toxic skin TLC + me time = Cue Kindred Toxin Free Facials. I'd heard of Natalie (owner of Kindred), before I met her while teaching yoga at Inna Bliss in Bulima. People were always singing her praises in the waiting room or while leaving her appointments as I was puttering around cleaning up after my classes. I also knew she was voted best facial in Brisbane and that I should book in for a healthy dose of "treatyoself."
There are a lot of spas and facialists in Brisbane, but how many can promise you a luxurious experience where all the products used are organic, eco-friendly, toxin-free, and kind to animals? Not many.
Yesterday I had the Glow Ritual facial with Lily of Kindred and it was, hands down, the best facial I've ever had. I've had a fair few in my day, but they were usually Endota-esk and a more mainstream spa, cookie cutter experience. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed those facials, but they pail in comparison. I had no idea what else was out there and how comprehensive a facial could be in terms of nurturing the mind, body and spirit.
We opened the facial with a Audra James sleep grounding blend and three deeps breaths. Lily placed one hand on my heart and gave me some direction to focus my breathing and my thoughts. We had a brief chat about my skin and then prepared my skin for diamond-head microdermabrasion, a personal favourite of mine. Each step of the treatment seemed to build to something even more wonderful, and as the serene music played, I let my mind drift off into a deep state of relaxation.
Highlights of my Glow Ritual treatment
The pressure of the cool rose quartz on my face was so soothing and felt outstanding. I had to ask what was being used because it felt so foreign and (surprising) physically stimulating. Later in the treatment she also used a rose quart roller which felt divine. I guess if you're like me and only your own hands as tool when treating your face, it makes for an incredibly unique experience.
► Burning Palo Santo Wood.
After the mask was applied and the eye pillow secured over, Lily burned some Palo Santo. Palo Santo is harvested a few places in the world; Mexico, Central and South America. Palo Santo actually translates to "holy wood," and it derives from the same family as Frankincense and Myrrh. It's been used for centuries for spiritual, religious, and medicinal purposes. Lily burned the wood while walking around the room, and she gave me some breathing cues and an uplifting affirmation before leaving the room. I had the space to myself for a few minutes and I didn't even move. It was as if I were in the ultimate savasana, but on a plush bed instead of a wooden studio floor.
I'm so glad that I finally got to experience Kindred and understand, first hand, how exceptional their services are. What made my time even more special was that all of Kindred's products aligned with my own values.
I practiced a bit of self care, and didn't feel selfish... quite the contrary. I returned home to my family a better version of myself, more whole, more rested and with a healthy, radiant glow.
I am loving the skin I'm in.
Click here to book your next treatment.
Sunday is all about self care. Can I get an AMEN?
Sundays are the BEST. We always make a special breakfast at home, unless we are eating out. It usually involves a more decadent type of breakfast that stands out from the standard M-F toast or oatmeal. I love extravagant brunch... pancakes, grilled halloumi, wilted spinach, just gimme the lot. I want it all. Throw is a fresh squeezed juice and I'm done for.
When I lived in Melbourne, I used to teach a double yoga class on Sunday afternoon. It was 4:45pm Slow Flow followed by a 6pm Restorative class. I thought I'd dislike working on the weekend, but I really enjoyed sharing my sacred Sunday with other like-minded people. I would arrive super early and light the salt lamps, burn incense and put on the perfect playlist that I had hand selected for optimal relaxation. I would be there for a few hours and usually pull into our driveway around 7:30pm. I always felt more restored after teaching those classes, as if I had taken the class myself.
Sunday evening is usually my time. My eventing routine isn't all that different from my weekly routine, but it is a bit more decadent. Firstly, I like to take my time. I have my evening shower and do a deep exfoliation and pumice my feet. Yoga teacher's feet take a bloody pounding I tell you, and I'm always barefoot, so my tootsies can always use a little extra TLC. I floss and brush my teeth and then I prepare my face ritual.
Sometimes it involves a mask, but typically it involves a deep exfoliation with my Black Chicken Polish, drying with my bamboo face cloths from Kindred Toxin Free Facials, and then a deep hydration using Face Heroor Black Chicken's Love your Face serum. I like to change things up and sometimes I will opt out of a serum and use a facial mist, like Cedar and Stone's insanely amazing Rose Water spritzer.
When I do use a mask, I want it to be a detoxifying one, so this usually means it needs charcoal and bentonite clay. Below are two recipes for you to try if you haven't done a DIY mask before. They are super easy and cost effective, especially with shops like Biome where you can buy what you need by weight.
After all that I like to wear my fancy robe, drink a cup of tea and read a book before bed. I love to light a candle and just have some time to simply be. Sometimes I'll journal if I'm not too tired.
I will be doing an Instagram live today at 3pm AEST (2pm Brisbane time) with my MAMA.... we will be talking about our Sunday rituals, the masks above and just checking in to say hello.
How do you like to practice self care? Share in the comments below.
Christmas has gotten out of control if you ask me.
I'm a firm believer in not spoiling kids. My 10 month old doesn't need lavish gifts she can't even open, couture clothing or designer shoes under the Christmas tree. I also don't like the notion of bribing kids to behave well when they should always behave well twelve months a year.
This is a guide that I like to follow for gift giving in our home for adults and children
"Something you want, something you need, something you love, something to read."
Just how I like it. It isn't over the top or pretentious.
I'm not sure what Riley wants, but I know of a few things she loves, needs and some great books for her ever growing collection. And since making the change to chemical free, I've become more aware of what toys she has and plays with as well. So below I'm sharing with you a few of her non toxic, plastic and chemical free presents, AS WELL AS alternative options for different price points.
Kangaroo Ornament from HomeGoods
It's our daughter's first Christmas, so how appropriate that we start her Christmas ornament collection! I would love to give her eighteen special ornaments on her 18th Christmas for her to have when she moves out. Secretly I'm hoping she lives with us until she is 35, but still.
Plastic free and sentimental, made of ceramic and the perfect heirloom.
* Alternative: You can also get a bargain with these super cute ceramic ornaments which are handmade in Brisbane. Plastic free and made with the intention of keeping in the family and out of landfills.
Beaver Puppet from Target
Set me back a whopping $10 and she lit up like a kid on Christmas (how appropriate) when she saw it. I'm going to clock hours of entrainment with this fuzzy little friend during story time.
* Alternative: Or you can try these adorable puppets from Biome in Brisbane. These puppets are made fairly in Nepal by ethical/sustainable businesses run by Nepalese women. Pretty neat and they will last a lot longer. The wombat puppet is a personal fav.
Headbands from Nordstrom
My daughter has been wearing headbands since she was 7 days old. She is used to wearing them thankfully, and I simply adore her in them. She doesn't have a lot of hair yet, and they make her look super girly which I love. These bows are well made, affordable and last for a long time.
* Alternative: Looking for an Aussie owned and Aussie made company? Check out Little Raya Sunshine. She hand makes gorgeous baby accessories in Melbourne, VIC.
Dr Bronner's Magic Balm
A great stocker stuffer for the little baby who has it all, but just needs a little extra moisture. I love this balm, we all use it in our house. I use it when she has cradle cap, or when she just needs a bit of hydration.
Let's Sign, Baby Board Book
BOOKS! I'm obsessed with children's books and I'm always giving them to other people's kids as presents. They are practical, great for learning and easily passed on to friends or donated when you're done with them.
I wanted to teach our daughter sign langue for a long time, and I finally got the perfect book. It covers the family members, eating, playing and the basic hand gestures alphabet as well.
Santa's Aussie Holiday by Maria Farrer and Anna Walker
Since it's our daughter's first Christmas, I want to start new family traditions for the three of us. One of which is reading a festive book in the lead up to Christmas as well as Christmas jammies. I haven't found any pj's yet, and I would love if you could comment below as to where I could hunt some down.
But back to the book! I have two favourite Australian illustrators, Rod Clement and Anna Walker. I've emailed with both of them and they are, no surprise, fantastic people. Anna is so talented across a variety of mediums. In my opinion, her best work can be seen in her new book, Florette.
You can find her on Instagram if you're a nerd like me and into following authors and illustrators on social media.
Wooden Story Blocks from HomeGoods
(not shown in photo)
Totally plastic free, so one tick in the non toxic column. There is just something about wooden toys that really romanticizes having a wee baby. These colorful blocks are made of wood from certified suppliers, treated with beeswax and botanical oils and packaged in a gorgeous eco friendly canvas bag. This 50 piece set is free from chemicals and handmade in the Beskidy Mountains of Poland. My husband and I lived in Poland for two years, so I think I'll like watching her play with these pieces of Poland and reflect back to a different time, before her, that now seems like a lifetime ago.
* Alternative: I also love the company Noc Noc Wooden Toys if you are looking to support Aussie made. They sell personalized toys (swoon), rattles, tethers, and blocks.
What are you looking forward to this Christmas? What are your go to places to shop for your loved ones?
This little corner of the internet is for non-yoga topics like motherhood, low-tox living and green beauty products I love.