R+R In The New Year

December 30, 2016

It's time...to make that list of resolutions for the new year. I've got a few things I plan on taking on in 2017 but the biggest thing is prepping for the arrival of my sweet baby. So much to look forward to (designing the nursery, researching the best equipment and must-haves, nesting and getting life organized, etc.) but I'm still feeling so exhausted and just thinking about the "to-do's" makes me feel slightly overwhelmed and very sleepy. I've been told that I'll get an amazing burst of energy soon (honestly can't wait) but till that happens, I want the start of 2017 to be about rest & relaxation...charging my batteries and indulging in a little bit more "me" time while I can!

For me, rest means lots of naps (I've become a champion at taking them over the past 22 weeks) and relaxation means treating myself to some soothing activities. I've never been a huge bath-taking person but lately I've been craving spending lots of time in the tub and really into slathering myself with various products that make me feel like I'm treating my changing body. Over the past few months I've acquired some new beauty goods from Nordstrom that are natural, organic (they have a great selection in this category!), and super great for helping me feel relaxed and pampered. Since I know I'm not the only one who might be wanting to make relaxation a focus of 2017, I thought I would share some of my new favorite products. And hey, only two of the 12 are specifically for pregnant bumps - the rest can be enjoyed by all!


.Aveda ‘Comforting’ Tea Bags ($19): I’ve been trying to keep my caffeine intake to a minimum (which doesn’t necessarily help with the constant fatigue I feel) but I’ve really been craving tea. Iced tea and a bagel have become my morning go-to and in the evening I like to have a cup of this Comforting Tea by Aveda. It’s super calming and the flavor (licorice root and peppermint) make me feel like I’m at the spa and not in bed or on my couch.

.8G Greens Dietary Supplement ($12.50): One of the most alarming parts of my first trimester was how terrible all food sounded to me. Except for anything bread based. Bagels (so many bagels), toast, croissants, cereal, Saltine crackers (so many Saltines), etc. I’ve just recently started to want more fruits, veggies, and proteins but I still feel like I need more nutrients. I discovered the 8G Essential Greens Booster tablets and was amazed by all the vitamins and super vegetables packed into the dissolving tablets. I checked with my OB and was given the green-light for using them and it’s given me a little piece of mind that I’m getting “as much vitamin C as five oranges, as much vitamin B5 as 20 cups of broccoli, as much vitamin B3 as 18 cups of carrots, as much B6 as seven cups of lima beans, as much B12 as nine cups of milk and as much zinc as 10 cups of asparagus” each day while I continue to reach for the bread.

.Mullein & Sparrow ‘Rose Blossom’ Mini Bath Salts ($19 on sale!): To make my baths to the next level, I’ve been trying out various bath salts and soaks. This Rose Blossom Salts from Mullein & Sparrow is really nice because the crystals dissolve quickly and have a great natural aroma that’s not too overpowering. I’m not sure if adding the salts has created a placebo effect or if they’re really working like they should, but I feel like they do help relieve my muscles and give an extra calming effect. Plus I think the bottle is really pretty in my bathroom, ha!

.Whish Almond Body Wash ($16): When I mentioned croissants earlier I should have specified almond croissants. I’m obsessed with all things almond, including beauty products. It just smells so good to me and not in a sugary way (like vanilla-scented products). I picked up the Almond Body Wash by Whish on a whim really recently and using it has been a serious treat. It’s super moisturizing and leaves my skin incredibly soft. And obviously, the scent is divine. I’m wanting to try so many more of the all-organic products from Whish now…people seem to love the Body Butter.

.Herbivore Botanicals ‘Coco Rose’ Coconut Body Oil Polish ($36): I’ve been dying to get my hands on a product or two by Herbivore Botanicals…if only because the packing is so beautiful and the all-natural ingredients are right up my beauty-loving alley. I’m really good at exfoliating my face but realized I had been neglecting the rest of my bod once the fall chill hit Dallas and my skin wasn’t absorbing all the lotions I was slathering on it. I wanted to try the ‘Coco Rose’ Coconut Body Oil Polish because it sounded like the ideal scrub to gently slough off any dead, rough skin but wouldn’t dry me out since it has coconut oil. Love that the rose ingredients are good for sensitive skin (which mine tends to be in the colder months).

.Farmaesthetics Hand to Heel Softening Salve ($30): Speaking of slathering, in addition to all the lotion I use, I have been giving my hands and feel extra special attention with this organic Softening Salve by Farmaesthetics. It’s not super fancy – just a nice thick balm – and it is a little pricy for it’s size but it has been healing my ultra-dry hand and feel like no other. I keep it by my bed and load up before I go to sleep.

.RMS Beauty Raw Coconut Cream ($18): I’ve been using this Raw Coconut Cream for years now. It’s what I use to dissolve my makeup before I cleanse (literally just rub some all over my face and eyes) and often times wear a thick layer as a mask when in the tub for added intense moisture. It’s 100% coconut oil but unlike the stuff you can buy from the shelves at the grocery store, this is made made with a modern cold-pressing processing technique that makes it superior and ideal for the face and body. The other RMS Beauty item I can’t live without? The Lip & Skin Balm.

.COSMOS Lavender & Witch Hazel Toner ($28): One major habit I have when doing my makeup is using a setting spray before I walk out of the house. I had been using the All Nighter Setting Spray by Urban Decay and I loved it – but I really wanted to find an all-natural alternative. I found the Lavender & Witch Hazel Toner by COSMOS as part of Nordstrom’s “Love Pop-In Shop” and liked that it can work as a daily toner, makeup setter, after-sun spray and base moisturizer. Talk about multi-tasking! Excited to see how it matches up to by other stuff.

.Caudalíe Grape Water ($13): Another facial spray? I know…but this is different from the Lavender & Witch Hazel Toner because grape water is amazing for adding hydration and reducing sensitivity. When used, it has the ability to retain water within the skin’s corneous layer and hydro-lipid film. Cool, right? I use it after cleansing and swiping on my toner, before I apply oils and serums for an extra boost of moisture and love, love it! All the products by Caudalíe are amazing.

.Mason Pearson ‘Popular Mixture’ Nylon & Boar Bristle Brush ($205): This hair brush has such a silly price tag but it really is the best thing I’ve found for untangling the horrible knots my hair is prone to (friends with thin and fine hair, you know my pain). And this sounds weird, but I’m obsessed with how it feels on my scalp. It’s like I get an awesome head scratch every time. My husband likes to say, “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha,” when he catches me brushing for more than 10 minutes. Can’t help it, the brush works magic and makes my hair shinier.

.Noodle & Boo ‘nectar’ Elasticity Oil ($18) and The Honest Company Organic Belly Balm ($16): When I found out I was pregnant I dove head first into Googling so many things and spent a significant amount  of time researching what other expectant moms found to be the best products for combating stretch marks. Let me tell you, the recommendations are all over the place and there’s just as many good reviews as bad…and many more products with potentially harmful ingredients than good. I couldn’t determine if an oil or balm-based product was going to be best for me so I didn’t want any concerned pregnant lady would do and went for both. My choices: the ‘nectar’ Elasticity Oil by Noodle & Boo and Organic Belly Balm from The Honest Company. I knew of both brands as being awesome organic lines for baby and children’s products and was surprised and excited to see that they had a few products specific to the mamas. Both products have all the good stuff recommended for expanding bellies (improving elasticity, relieving itchiness, soothing dryness, helping reduce and protect against the dreaded stretch marks) and I basically just massage in the oil, follow up with the balm, then say a bunch of prayers each day.

Whew! That was a lot! But more is more when it comes to kicking back and relaxing, right? Hope you all have a safe and happy time celebrating the New Year!

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