Not leaving the house due to the hazardous air quality of the NSW bush fires has been detrimental for my mental health.
My toddler and I do 67.5 crafts per day, on average. We bake, we pretend to bake in her kitchen, we paint, draw, trace our bodies on craft paper, build forts, make book labyrinths, have a bath in the middle of the day, do play dough. The list is endless, my patience is not.
By the time my husband gets home, around 3pm, I’ve already asked him 21 questions before his bag hits the floor.
“What’s it like out there?
How was your day?
What did you eat?
Did you have the recycled air on in the car?
Who did you talk to, and did they tell you any jokes?
What was the podcast about that you listened to your quiet drive home?
Do you think that a zombie apocalypse is imminent?
Should we start building a bunker with food and water since 2019 was the hottest year on record in Australia?
Will Matrix 4 be a total bust, or the best Matrix yet?
Have you seen how clean the house is?
Do these yoga pants give me the illusion of having cakes, or more of a ..... cupcake?”
I’ve witness my slippery slope and came to a resolution this week, quick smart. I went to my local library and got a bunch of snarky, sarcastic non-fiction books.... my favourite genre, don't mind if I do.
I love reading and it's been a while since I've had the luxury of getting lost in a good book! Are there other things I could be doing with my kid-free nap time? 100% !!! But meal prepping or folding laundry doesn't remotely give me the amount of satisfaction as a good book and a little bit of quiet time.
HOT TIP: I'm most excited about Calypso from one of my favourite authors, David Sedaris. If you like memoirs and non-fiction essays, he is your man.
The last two days my kids have actually napped at the same time, which has allowed me to crawl into bed with my book and read while listening to the hum of the air purifier. It's the best use of my time, far better than mindlessly scrolling Instagram or googling if dogs can communicate telepathically.
It's so good to be back with my nose in a book. Comment bellow with your favourite books of all time, pluuuueasseeee!!!
Gimme all the collagen! I'm officially closer to middle age (as of September) and I find myself lusting after my daughter's collagen rich skin more frequently.
All jokes aside, I'm just starting to really look toward, what I call, skin repairing now. I've been on the prevention path for a while, but the time has come for lots of TLC and repair. I think that's part and parcel of becoming a mum and running on less sleep and longer days.
So what two things have I been doing to warrant my latest barrage of complexion compliments?
1. Using Mukti's microneedle derma roller twice a week. The needles create micro channels in the skin which help your skin to absorb the products you already use more efficiently.
2. Using Black Chicken Remedies newest Nocturnalist Night Serum nightly. This new, uniquely formulated serum rejuvenates skin cells during our sleep cycle, so it does all the heavy lifting while you catch up on your much needed Zzz's.
During the day our skin tries to stay hydrated and protected from the elements. However, during the nighttime, our skin goes into recovery mode, much like humans actually. This serum is designed to assist in your skin's recovery, hydrate and reduce oxidation and inflammation.
Directions: Before going to bed, I apply 3-5 drops to clean skin and massage it well into my cheeks, forehead and neckline.
HOT TIP: If I'm doing a little extra for Self Care Sunday, then I Gua Sha immediately after applying the serum.
What are the active ingredients you ask?
Prickly Pear: is rich in amino acids and encourages collagen production and elasticity to brighten + tighten pores
Lemon: is loaded with Vitamin C. It's also one of the best-known anti-aging agents
Frankincense: helps promote healthy circulation and reduces the appearance of sun spots
Geranium Bourbon: helps with cellular regeneration
Neroli: boosts luminosity and helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles
Myrrh: rejuvenates aging skin
Cypress: has antimicrobial properties that help remove toxins from the skin
I love how thick and nourishing the serum is and it smells so bloody good. You can tell they spared no expense sourcing the best of the best ingredients. My favourite part is that this serum is 100% natural, completely free of chemicals, toxins, preservatives and Australian-made. It's totes a necessity in every "30- something year old's" medicine cabinet!
What does your night time routine look like? Tell me in the comments below.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the launch of Selph Health Studios in the up and coming district of Rosebery, NSW.
Selph is Sydney’s newest holistic wellness boutique which boasts their own dream team consisting of a nutritionist, chiropractor, acupuncturist, and massage therapist. Selph jumps off the curb, you cannot miss it walking, or even driving by. The large glass windows and wooden detailing catch your eye immediately. Upon entering the industrial studio, turned wellness space, one can’t help but notice all the curves and seductive bends, making the room itself an architectural marvel. This came as no surprise when I learned that the owner’s father is in fact an architect and helped to design the space from scratch. It took them 6 weeks to transform the space into what you can see today, and it’s awe inspiringly beautiful.
The icing on the cake, in my ever humble option, is their intimate yoga studio which is tucked away and adorned with crystals, light floor boards and Lululemon custom mats (with props included). When I arrive at a yoga studio with mats and props awaiting my arrival, I feel an immediate sense of freedom that starts from the time I leave my house without my mat. I love arriving light and leaving even lighter after an hour of connecting to breath and body with the help of asana.
We started our morning with tea and introductions to the Selph team. We had a warm greeting from the owner and founders, chiropractor Evan and entrepreneur Myles Sgammotta, who told us about their philosophy revolving around their four pillars of health: structural, emotional, nutritional and movement. At Selph you won’t get a quick fix, or an abrupt “we can fix that shoulder in six visits.” The practitioners here are dedicated to serving the whole self, the whole person. Their goal is to achieve a balance in your mind and body, and that means looking at the big picture, not an isolated injury. I loved how everyone worked together like a well oiled machine. The yoga teacher might see someone in class with an injury and suggest the chiro, who might treat them and then pass them on to the nutritionist because the issue seems to be aggravated by an inflammatory diet. Conversely, the chiro might have a client with shortening fascia, so he might recommend chiropractic treatment as well as yin yoga to assist with a gentle stretching of the fascia.
The time came for our yoga class! I was so excited for it since I haven’t found a space that really resonates with me since our move to Sydney. Amy Giuliano is the Selph yoga curator and yoga teacher that took us through our practice. I loved her calming voice, appropriate playlist and mindful hands-on adjustments. I also appreciated the attention to details in the intimate space, and particularly loved that there were no down lights shining into our eyes when supine. (If you don’t practice yoga, that last sentence won't mean much to you!)
After our blissful yoga class we crossed the hall and met with Jenny Boss, the in-house nutritionist. Jen gave us a quick overview about where she was from, what she studied and how she would tackle meeting a new client. Jen also explained how important the gut-brain axis is and how she would typically treat the whole person rather than discussing proper food choices alone. What this means is that Jen would go so far as to ascertain if you eat in front of the television. Why would that matter you ask? Eating before the stimulus of the television creates a stress response in the body and inhibits your body's ability to digest maifood properly.
After we heard from Jen, Evan told us a bit about the chiropractic side of the business and we had a play around with his neat homeostasis assessment app that showed us where our bodies were out of alignment with a simple iPad picture he snaps! Evan also mentioned that he uses NET (Neuro Emotional Technique) on his patients as well, coupled with the chiropractic treatments. NET is a stress reduction technique, and the idea is to assist the body in letting go of emotions such as fear, anger and grief. Assisting the body to break these emotional patterns can apparently help to alleviate chronic physical problems lingering in the body. Sounds pretty fascinating to me!
We then had a guided meditation with Amy followed by an out of this world catered lunch. It was the perfect morning of education and relaxation for the body and mind. Do yourself a favour and go check these guys out.
I’d venture to say you can find your sense of self at Selph.
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It happens to the best of us! Sometimes we just get run down. Other times we get run down, and then we get run over, and steam rolled. . . resulting in crazy fatigue and what seems like an inability to function in day to day life. Anyone else been there? I sure have.
That was me last week. I was so far gone that I decided to go see the doctor. I got my slips for blood work, and then we chatted about uncomplicated fatigue management for middle aged adults (insert all the wide eyed emojis here- oh, and the one with the lady smacking herself in the face).
While I waited for the blood results to come, I decided to effectively do some research on things to help me get a pep back in my step.
Firstly, fatigue is a symptom, not a condition. It manifests differently for people, but it's typically a result of a combination of factors such as social, lifestyle and general wellbeing issues.
Here are a few things to ask yourself, in the comfort of your own home, to see if you might find the root cause of your tiredness.
I learned that 1.5 MILLION Australians head into the doctor's office for fatigue annually. 1 in 5 people typically feel tired, while 1 in 10 seem to have prolonged fatigue. The best news is that most of the time fatigue can get better with a few simple lifestyle changes.
Here's a short list that I compiled to help you if you're feeling "flat" or struggling with fatigue:
2. Move ya body:
Exercising regularly can help to improve energy levels and lessen feelings of mental and physical fatigue. True story. Boosting endorphins if easy to do, free and will help to carry you through your day. Try walking to work or skipping that Uber if possible. Ask someone in HR at work if they would be interested in offering their employees some corporate yoga during lunch or after work.
If you need some guidance to get your sweat on, look up local studios nearby that you can visit right before, or immediately after work. If you're struggling with fatigue, you'll most likely get home from work and then talk yourself out of leaving the house again. If time is of the essence, there are fantastic websites such as YogaGlo that offer free trails and you can do the classes from the comfort of your own living room.
3. Social media detox:
Take time away from social media. Have you ever noticed how often you check your phone when you're bored, lonely or depressed? It's scary to think that we've been hardwired by apps to look for positive affirmation from a screen the size of our palm. Even the way in which Instagram pushes notifications is strategic to make you feel a certain way, building an addiction to the little red bubble. I try to limit my social media time because I find that it's really easy to get caught up in the game of comparisons. I wrote more about this in a blog post here, touching on how checking social media first thing in the morning was a sure fire way for me to start the day feeling flat and unmotivated. Just like with the 3pm coffee craving, try to put the phone down when you feel the urge to check your number of likes or scroll mindlessly while at work or on your commute.
4. Head out to go in:
Head outside, to heal within. Try mediation, earthing, floating or yoga. There is a lot to be said for getting out in nature, listening to the birds or letting your toes kiss the sand. Plan your week and spread out your tasks, being realistic about what you can achieve each day. Be sure to include some of this "you" time. It might be as simple as eating your lunch outside on a bench during your lunch break.
5. Bye - Bye blue light:
Blue light (like that of your phone screen), inhibits the production of the hormone melatonin which helps facilitate sleep. During the day, blue wavelengths are beneficial because they help to boost attention, mood and reaction times. However, at night exposure to this blue light will throw off your circadian rhythm, which is your body's biological clock.
Try to make your bedtime routine sacred. Aim to have no screen time 30 minutes before bed, working your way up to an hour or more. If you think this sounds impossible, try to fill in this time as effortlessly as you can. For instance, after you turn off the tele or put your phone away for the night, start your evening ritual. I take shower, brush my hair, floss and brush my teeth, moisturize, wash my face and gua sha which takes about 30 minutes. Then I crawl into bed and read a book to help get my eyes tired and help me to wind down. Getting more sleep is the best way to help fight fatigue.
Hope this helps you guys. Fighting that flat feeling is no fun, but these little tweeks to my routine helped to make a difference.
DIY Coconut Coffee Body Scrub
(makes 3- 4 full body scrubs)
1/4 cup organic coconut sugar
1 Tbsp of coconut flesh
1 Tbsp of organic coffee grounds
3 Tbsp of organic coconut oil, liquid or room temp
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Mix dry ingredients together in a small bowl.
Carefully add the wet ingredients, and then stir slowly.
Store in an airtight glass jar and keep in the shower or in your bathroom. If you saw my insta story, it also makes a great hand scrub too, so you can keep it next to your sink if you suffer from dry hands that need some extra nourishment.
Keep it out of the sun and try to use it within three months. I do a deep exfoliation every Sunday as part of my self care routine, but even twice a week would be fine!
TIP: This also makes a super cute gift! Just add a tag and some ribbon and you're all set with a super sweet, non-toxic present for a friend or loved one.
I love this scrub so much! It was inspired by a recipe that I found in the DIY beauty bar book at Biome. The coconut oil and olive oil leave your skin feeling super smooth after sloughing off all that dead skin.
I would not recommend using it on your face as it's quite course and abrasive. I intended it to be a body scrub only. If you're looking for a face polish, look no further than Black Chicken's face polish. It's much smoother and more appropriate for the delicate skin on our face.
Have a wonderful weekend!
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.
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