Sunday, 22 February 2015

Sunday Evening Pamper Time | Liquid Yoga Restorative Bath

Sunday night pamper time calls for a long candlelit soak in the bath... Don't mean to sound like an old lady but since having a baby I've had quite a few aches and pains, for which there is nothing more repairing and relaxing than to have a long soak. I've been looking for the appropriate bathing product for a long time and think I have found the one! Ladies and gentlemen...I give you Mio Liquid Yoga Restorative Bath Soak.

Liquid Yoga Restorative Bath Soak
I'd seen it mentioned in quite a few YouTube videos and on other blog posts before I got it, and was honestly quite skeptical about its healing powers, but from that first soak, I was converted!  It definitely does what it says on the tin. Not only does it make your entire bathroom feel like a steam room (and smell like one!), a little goes a long way. With a heady eucalyptus-y scent, it's a milky blend of essential oils, mineral salts and therapeutic herbs - which all magically combine to pack a serious bathing punch to ease aching bodies and tight muscles.  A good glug of this will help you to ease tension and unwind your mind, body and soul, for a better feeling you! Plus, the potent essential oils leave your skin feeling moisturised not dry and stripped of oils.  Every time I've had a soak with Liquid Yoga, I emerge feeling a thousand times better!

At £26 a bottle, its a little on the pricey side for something that will ultimately disappear down the plughole, however I've yet to find a cheaper dupe that does the job quite so well! (I'm testing out the Space NK version at the moment, so will let you know what the verdict is on that.) You can make each bottle last a while, as you don't need much to really feel its effects!

What are your favourite restorative bathing products for a Sunday evening pamper session?

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Thursday, 19 February 2015

New In... My Shoedrobe | New Balance 410s

There was a time when I would only wear trainers to go to the gym, but for almost a year now trainers have really become the flat shoe of choice to either dress down outfits or simply for the comfort factor. Last year, the statement trainer trend (check out my post on the subject) elevated sneakers to high fashion status, and I was tempted in by a pair of burgundy New Balance 410s. The trend has become the norm now but it seems palette wise, trainers have moved on from last season's muted hues (white Adidas Stan Smiths; burgundy NB 410s) and taken a dive head first into bright colours and prints.

Case in point: my new NB 410s in black leopard, pink and green, with piped green laces (buy them here). I self gifted these bad boys to myself just before Christmas and broke them out in dreary January! They sound scary but they are actually pretty neutral with a pop of colour, and rather easy to wear, not to mention perfect for my current new mummy-on-the-go status!





Neon hues and eye-catching printed sneakers are also the order of the day in New Balance's current and very covetable collaboration with Kate Spade Saturday.



New Balance x Kate Spade Saturday Collection

Some of my favourite ways to wear bright hued statement trainers from Pinterest:






Are you rocking updated statement trainers?
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Tuesday, 3 February 2015

The Bump Edit

This is my first post since having a baby. My darling Aanya Sophia is now three months and it's taken me that amount of time to get sorted and back into writing mode!

So I thought I'd start by writing about something I know plenty about: pregnancy! Specifically some of the things that got me through the nine months. I was pretty lucky and on the whole had a pretty good pregnancy but I definitely had occasional aches, pains and niggles (especially towards the end) coupled with plenty of sartorial crises along the way!


Mama Mio Lucky Legs Gel  (£15, Johnlewis.com)
In the last trimester of my pregnancy I suffered from restless leg syndrome (apparently it's a thing!) At night my legs just wouldn't be still, and would also really ache. This cooling gel from Mama Mio saved them and helped me sleep at night! It's a zesty cocktail of menthol, lemon and spearmint along with soothing lavender, chamomile, arnica and Murumuru butter. Probably my all time favourite and most used pregnancy beauty product!

La Roche Posay Baume Lipikar (£10.65, escentual.com)
In the last month of being pregnant my bump suddenly became very itchy and irritated, according to the docs it was due to my body doing the final growth stretch before the baby was ready to come out. Being restricted to what you can use both topically and via medication, I was at my wit's end! I tried calamine lotion, bump lotion, baby powder, baby lotion, but nothing stopped the dreaded itch! This thick moisturising balm from La Roche Posay was the only thing that managed to penetrate the irritation and soothe it a bit. Plus it's got an anti-scratch complex to prevent future scratch attacks.

Bio Oil (currently half price at lloydspharmacy.com, from £4.49 for 60ml)
I used to slather this onto my bump, thigh and tummy area every day and for the most part it has managed to keep stretch marks at bay. It also kept my bump nice and moisturised, at least until the dreaded itch attack (see above).

Seraphine Seamless Over Bump Leggings, Maxi Dress and Isabella Oliver Maxi Dress (pics below)
I bought these  Seamless over bump leggings (£14) about midway through and lived in them for the rest of the pregnancy. They are so comfortable and as they aren't see through, are perfect worn as trousers. My standard uniform consisted of the leggings, a long top and a long-line blazer - got me through work meetings and do's and all-sorts of occasions.  My favourite blazers are from Oasis and Zara.
During my pregnancy I had a number of wedding events to attend which had black tie dress codes - these took place in the summer months when I was between six to seven and a half months pregnant, so it was quite tricky to accommodate my bump and still look (and feel) stylish!  This is where the Seraphine knotted maxi dress (a total bargain at £59, available in a beautiful emerald green and navy blue hues) and Isabella Oliver gathered detail maxi dress (in a beautiful cobalt blue, currently on sale for £64) served me well, ticking the dress code box and giving my bump the support it needed!

Seraphine Seamless Over Bump Leggings

Seraphine Emerald Knot Front Maxi Dress
Isabella Oliver Gathered Detail Cobalt Maxi Dress
Topshop Maternity Wear
On the vein of maternity fashion, I was able to get away with not having to purchase much maternity wear, as my normal style is of the over sized COS variety anyway - so these ended up seeing me right through till the end! I did end up buying some bits from Topshop's maternity department - mainly work wear and holiday wear.  They have some lovely pieces in bright colours and vivid prints - things that can be dressed up or down. I didn't get on with their maternity jeans though - they just didn't stay up!

J Crew Tee's
Continuing on the subject of fashion, a special shout out goes to J Crew's t-shirts - they have a huge variety in the softest materials, often featuring fun slogans and best of all they were long enough to cover my growing bump! They were accompanied perfectly with the leggings and blazer mention above. Take a look at the current range here and here.

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray (£16) & In Transit Muscle Therapy (£18)
For the nights where I was getting bigger, becoming more and more uncomfortable and unable to nod off, a few sprays of this pillow spray definitely helped me get to the land of nod. It's got a lovely, soothing lavender-y fragrance.
In line with the above, when I had aches and pains (mostly the legs and back), this spicy smelling muscle gel was a saviour to roll on to sore, achy muscles and joints, especially when I wanted to avoid painkillers.

4Head Stick (£4.69, Boots.com)
The 4head stick is a staple in my handbag anyway but during pregnancy I had more frequent migraine-ish headache, so a couple of swipes of this cooling stick to the forehead instantly used to calm things down a bit. The active ingredient is levomenthol (a kind of peppermint) so seek advice before using in case of allergies or reactions.

Antenatal Pilates
It's definitely worth exercising during pregnancy even if it's the last thing you feel like doing! It keeps you supple, energised and just generally feeling good! I chose to do pregnancy pilates - and really enjoyed it - it definitely helped me sleep better and feel better. Plus the breathing technique helped me during labour (but that's another story!) I went to a great class in Eastcote, details here.  The exercises are so simple you can do them at home, as well as after baby comes along (one you've had your six week all clear from the midwife/doctor).

Nine in the mirror
Nine in the mirror was a website that launched last year during my pregnancy. It's part magazine, part shopping destination, which features beauty tips, sartorial guides for navigating the mine months in style, celebrity interviews with chic expectants plus a hand-picked selection of fashion ready outfits organised into trimesters - so you can shop from the comfort of your sofa! Take a look!

What are some your tips and must haves for getting through pregnancy in style and comfort?
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