Thursday, 29 June 2017

↠ My Skin Care Routine


If you know me personally or have witnessed my struggle with acne/adult acne.. You'll know I've spent a small fortune on dermo appointments, skincare products, wasted countless hours orchestrating the daily battle between my concealer and blemishes, cried a lot (true story), and put a ton of unhealthy chemicals on my face — harsh, kill-all-the-acne-causing-bacteria-there-ever-was chemicals. As I learned more about health and nutrition the last couple of years I knew I needed to get these chemicals out of my life but was scared. What about my skin!? Didn’t I need these chemicals? Ironically, doing a full 180 and adopting a very gentle, totally natural skincare and beauty routine (along with a nutrient-dense diet, no doubt) eliminated my acne.

Since I geek out on natural skincare and beauty more than anything else in this whole wide world, it seemed only appropriate to finally put a post together about my natural skincare and beauty routine. My routine is actually very simple and I hope will be helpful to others who are either suffering from acne or simply want to go natural and ditch the nasties. I was originally inspired by my mother in law when she told me about this app called Healhy Living. It is made by the Environmental Working Group where you can look up anything from food to beauty. We are exposed to chemicals every single day of our lives and know little about them! I personally started using the app to look at all the product I owned already and looked for better alternatives. If the app doesnt carry your product you can easily input on the desktop website at Skin Deep Cosmetic Data Base to make up your own report. I have done this multiple times because I really care about what I'm putting on my body & also to make sure anything is safe for baby!


↠ My Skin Care Routine 

CLEANSING




I wash my face just once a day, every evening. I use my Neutrogena Naturals Fresh Cleansing + Makeup Remover. The greenest cleanser in the drugstore arena, this creamy gel lacks a lot of the nasty stuff, including fragrance, chemical sulfates, parabens, petrochemicals, dyes and phthalates. (I also like that the bottle is made of 50% post-consumer recycled content, something that, in my opinion, should be an industry standard.) I also remove even the most stubborn mascara with it!

Another little thing I have been doing a lot recently is just wiping my face with Kirkland baby wipes!
Sound's crazy I know but it keeps my oils at bay and I believe this has really helped my skin over all so I don't break out. Since I am infact pregnant, the oil production is even worse now than it was with just having oily skin as my problematic issue.


EXFOLIATING




To clear dead skin cells and keep pores clear, I exfoliate once a week. Yes just once! Exfoliating your skin more than once a week can cause mini tears in your skin and make it harder for it to repair itself which can create more breakouts! I use Vitascrub by Dr.Zo recommended to me by my dermatologist. This is the only product I use very rarely due to the ingredients. 


TONING



While organic witch hazel makes for a wonderful natural astringent, I like to amp things up by infusing witch hazel with the wonderful healing properties of roses by using rosehip oil! I have suffered from cystic acne that leaves dark spots & uneven skintone so by using Rosehip Oil it has drastically been changing my skin for the better. I not only had faded the spots, corrected my skintone but also LESS BREAKOUTS! The plus side too is if you like English Breakfast tea the oil smells like it.

MOISTURIZING



It’s all about the face oils, baby. Whenever anyone compliments my skin (it still blows my mind when that happens!), I immediately blurt out “ROSEHIP OIL!” and start gushing all about it the way a young child gushes about a day at the beach/their favorite movie/ anything remotely exciting — you know, very quickly and with an intense enthusiasm. While I have experimented with a number of face oils, rosehip is by far my personal favorite. At night after cleansing, exfoliating, I very generously apply my favorite face oil blend as a toner then fo in with REN EverCalm  

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Monday, 26 June 2017

Twenty Weeks & Twenty One Weeks!





Uhm, hello lung capacity WHERE DID YOU GO?! I've noticed these last two weeks it is getting a little harder to do everyday normal exercise. Along with kicks or headbutt's to the bladder so I feel like I need to hit the washroom even though I did 3 minutes ago. These last two weeks have been somewhat uneventful apart from Spencer feeling little one kick for the first time! It was such a cool moment. We've been waiting for this moment ever since I started feeling him kick at 16/17 weeks!

As I get bigger I am finding it hard not to reach for my cute summer clothes. I decided to try and incorporate my "old" shirts so I put on a dress and put one of my before pregnancy shirts on over top & tied the side to show off my belly a little more! It's so weird to me to want to show the belly off when prior to pregnancy I'd do anything & everything to hide even a small pouch! One another thing I have noticed was I am SUPER emotional this week. I will cry at anything. Happy or sad. It's so bizarre because I never use to cry! I accidentally made an oppsie on the weekend & switched the wrong breaker and Spence was working.. BIG oppsie and he was obviously a little peeved but I cried and cried because of it and felt awful. I ended up having to go to our room to relax. He was upset because his work was gone and didnt even make a big deal but I made the big deal by crying hahah. we laugh it off though. He understands Im super sensitive right now too so he has been extra tolerable of me recently. heheh


I also decided to grab some memorabilia books even though I have my blog.. I want something more permanent. ( Deja Vu ) side note: while writing this I noticed I was having a moment... I had to text Spencer right away because I told him when I first found out I was pregnant I was writing about buying books to track my pregnancy & baby.. SO CRAZY & COOL.




Babe is the length of naners at week 20! 

This week marks a milestone - Baby has straightened out enough that we can now measure him from head to toe, as opposed to the old “crown to rump” measurement that we previously took, so don’t worry if it sounds like he has grown more than seems possible when you hear his measurements - we’re just measuring more of him now. Because of this, Baby is now about 10 inches tall, the size of an endive, and he weighs about 10 ½ ounces. Babe is a boy so, his testicles are descending from his abdomen into the scrotum.
Inside your uterus, Baby’s skin is still in the process of being covered in a creamy white substance called vernix caseosa that will cover and protect his skin through until birth. Scientists speculate that this coating might play a part in helping Baby adjust to living ‘on land’ instead of in the watery environment inside your uterus.
He is going to keep gulping down that amniotic fluid - he now consumes multiple ounces a day. Baby is also sprouting teeth buds underneath his gums, as well as lips, eyelashes, and eyebrows - the face you’re going to know and love is on its way! Just 20 short weeks until your bun will be fully cooked.


21 weeks


Black tarry substance that makes up her first poop. Her skin is still a bit see-through, and it has developed wrinkles that allow for internal expansion once baby fat starts to set in, so she will fill out into that plump little thing you’ve always hoped for! This baby fat is especially important for Baby’s development, both because the fats in her system directly fuel her brain’s development, and because it’s one of the biggest components of Baby’s ability to regulate her own temperature once born.
Baby is about 10 ½ inches long (26.7 cm), the size of a bok choy, and weighs almost ¾ of a pound (350 g). She really does look like a miniature person at this point, a significant improvement from the microscopic ball of cells that she was merely 20 weeks ago.





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Tuesday, 20 June 2017

❤ Gender Reveal ❤

Are you one of those people who loves a gender reveal party? I have say every since I saw that Gender Reveal parties were a thing on Facebook with all of the pink and blue pictures, the family & friends picking which gender they think the little one will be, and then the reveal video with shocked parents’ faces. I had to do it myself. I feel like it is more of an American thing to do because everyone I told about it and even family didn't know what it was! They've never attended one before! 



While planning out the reveal was a little overwhelming because I am not one who enjoys planning events BUT that being said I tend to take control so I have input as well even if it stresses me a little sometimes. I really wanted to be "extra" & do this since we have decided we only want one kiddo. We wanted to go all out! :) We had around 30 of closest family & friends join us for the surprise. It was beautiful. I loved every moment. I said to Spencer at the end of the night "It felt like a dream" We are SO Happy & excited! 

We made it a potluck style, bring an appy or shareable dish. It was perfect!  We had tons of food and had a BBQ afterwards with whomever wanted to stay. I made some chocolate dipped strawbs & some half covered chocolate pretzels! 


 
We did a name suggestions jar for fun and I said to everyone they can do silly names and serious names. Once we had a full jar Spencer read out all of them and some were hilarious! My uncle decided to be funny and put his name in there a dozen times! our favorites were Spanya (Funny), Issac, Ariel, Maddy, Roman, Lucy. I want to keep the jar so our little one can see what our silly friends & family decided on throwing in there! 



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We had so much fun & are over the moon to know now we are having a little boy! We can`t wait to meet our son in 4 1/2 ish short months! For those who are curious. No we do not have a name chosen, we will not be sharing the name until I give birth. I am due November 2nd, 2017!

love you guys!


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Thursday, 15 June 2017

Nineteen Weeks



Baby is developing a waxy coating that will protect him/her from the amniotic fluid and help her move down the birth canal when you’re both ready to finally meet! You could notice skin changes in your body at this time, just due to hormone changes and temporary extra pigmentation. The sun may exacerbate these, so always wear sunscreen if you are going to be exposed for too long.

The areas in the brain that control each sense are becoming further constructed, and Baby is beginning to sprout tiny little hairs from his/her tiny little head. Baby’s coordination is growing every day as neurons make connections with her muscles, giving her better and better control over her arms and legs. Those arms and legs are pretty much in proportion with his/her body by now, just in time to start to become covered from head to toe in a waxy, almost cheesy-textured coating called the vernix caseosa. The vernix moisturizes skin while in the womb, protects skin from the amniotic fluid, and facilitates travel down the birth canal when it’s the time to deliver. Baby is now measuring in at six inches long, about the size of a zucchini, and weighs about 8 ½ ounces. Things sure are moving along! 
Credit to Ovuline








This has been one of the best weeks I think as far as symptoms go! Everything is very manageable. I have more energy, so does baby LOL. He or She keeps rolling around and kicking and loves to put their head right by my bladder and get lodged in between my bladder & the sac. We have had two ultrasounds in the last week. The first was a 3D ultrasound we paid for and received a bear with babes heartbeat recorded into it, USB with all the photos & video of our session and also two printouts in 3D. We went right at 19 weeks and so our lovely tech asked us to come back at 28 weeks for another session for free! 


Our next ultrasound appointment was for the full anatomy scan. I drank so many fluids throughout the day that I had to actually empty my bladder a bit prior to the appointment as we were waiting in the waiting room. Once we got into the ultrasound room I was on the bed all jelly'd up already and the student tech was so sweet. Babe however really likes to be close to my bladder! We were maybe 15 minutes into the scan and the tech was having a hard time measuring or finding a certain part of babes brain. She said it out loud by accident and of course, the red flags went up! I was so worried!
My eyes didn't leave the screen as they were reporting everything apart from the gender. Our whole appointment took over an hour because babe was facing my back & I had to empty my bladder three times and dance around like a seal.. I was happy to have a private room for that!  I felt hilarious and looked even worse.

Although we had one gender reveal envelope I was hoping to get another one from our doctor's office but unfortunately, my go-to gal needed the envelope Tuesday so I had Spencer drop it off. I called my doctor office yesterday and they have the report! The receptionist was really great and asked what I wanted to know and I said everything BUT the gender. She let me know baby is healthy & on point with how far along I am. No abnormalities. I CAN BREATHE AGAIN. Phew.



Spencer & I have been on a roll with meal prepping at home & also taking advantage of the nice weather! We decided to go for a bike ride downtown & grab some lunch at Red Fish, Blue Fish and we waited 45 mins or so.. Well, he waited 45 minutes in line chatting with a man from Missouri. Found out he owns a clothing company unbranded and sells to other brands and he was on vacation with his wife and decided to also wait 45 minutes in line! I mean, with Spencer being a chatterbox who wouldn't be occupied with multiple subjects. The time probably went by so quickly. We had our delicious tacones & deep fried pickles (Heheh) and biked back towards Uptown to pick up a couple of items. I was nervous at the beginning of out bike trip because of my bike accident on the trail last year.. This year I'm carrying precious cargo so I was EXTRA cautious. I love biking so much! I can't wait until our little one is big enough to bike with us.  


In other news, our gender reveal is this Sunday and I couldn't be more excited! I can't wait to start getting treats ready and decorate! Our family & close friends will be there to find out with us. I never thought I would be doing this and being that extra extra couple but heck! We only want one kiddo. Might as well go all out!

Hope you enjoyed my little update. This week was uneventful as far as symptoms go. Babe is just moving like a gymnast & we're both doing great! 




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Tuesday, 13 June 2017

↠ My Favourite Cook Books ↞



I’ve loved to cook ever since I was little, but let's be real.. I never really LEARNED how to cook! Asa young adult, I go through seasons of creatively experimenting with cooking, and seasons of cooking. I've really adopted the love for baking & cooking for my mother in law Julie. Prior to seeing her creations I wasn't very interested in it! I will never forget when Spencer & I started dating and Julie made a chicken pot pie. Thankfully she had one extra made so I was invited to stay for dinner! It was so yum. I think that's really what sparked my interest for cooking & baking. However, when Spencer & I were friends prior to being together he thought of a cute idea to pick me up after my cousins prom & we would go back to his place (he lived with his parents) and we would late night bake some oatmeal cookies... Let's just say Spencer was a little nervous around me and instead of 2 tablespoons of oil for the recipe... HE DID 2 CUPS. 

A little something like this but all over the pan. 




In creative times and dead-practical ones, these terrific cookbooks have been by my side. When I’m in survival mode (in the kitchen, at least) my favorite cookbooks hold sure-fire recipes that will get breakfast, lunch & dinner on the table, somewhat fast. When I’m in experimentation mode, these same books are an invitation to explore. I really want to try to make my own fudge pops. I will share the recipe in a moment from ThugKitchen. Today I’m sharing my favorite cookbooks. A caveat: I’m really looking forward to the summer dishes in my cookbooks to accompany the warmer weather, and that may have influenced one of my choices here. If you've read my other posts & pregnancy updates you'll see we got a new BBQ and have been using it as a staple the past couple of weeks for our meals including meal prep for work during the week. We love the new BBQ and plan to use it as a staple throughout the summer even for the recipes in these cookbooks! We found a super easy meal to make. Hoisin sauce chicken stir fry but made on the BBQ instead of a Wok! 

Quick Recipe:


Seasonal Veggies, sauté them in a vegetable griller on the Q. Cook up your chicken and cut into small pieces, add the Hoisin sauce to the chicken and mix in a big bowl and add a little more Hoisin sauce if you would like it super saucy! While you are cooking the vegetables & chicken don't forget to throw on some Basmati rice! To make the perfect rice add 1 tablespoon of oil, 2 cups of water, a pinch of salt & 1 cup of rice. Perfection.

♥♥♥


Chrissy Teigen is hands down one of my favorite celebrities. She is HILARIOUS & I love how intense she is on Twitter and her replies to some of the troll are hands down hilarious. I was lucky enough to win her cookbook through Chapters Indigo and was immediately drawn in from her delicious food photos & the cute ones with her & John like below! Couple Goals. I'm sure she hears that a lot of reads it a lot anyways.

Those breakfast sandwiches look soo delicious! 




I haven't tried many recipes in Chrissy's cookbook yet but the one below is one of the more basic ones my other half & I have tried. It's super similar to our freestyle hoisin sauce chicken stirfry above.



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The next is Thug Kitchen: Eat like you give a f*ck. I originally bought Thug Kitchen for my spouse thinking he would get a good laugh at the vulgar writing and I thought it had meat involved in the recipes but it doesn't! It is 100% vegan. I really like the soups in the book & soups are the easiest to make since we purchased a stockpot and also have a crockpot if we pull it out!


The Minestrone soup one of my favorites but instead of pasta I use quinoa. I also like to add in kidney beans. Mmm yummy! Soup has been a staple in our diets even in the warmer months because it is super easy to make & great for meal prepping during the work week. We really like to also use some pre measured out soups and add in the broth and vegetables. Since we have been changing out diet from eating out a lot to more home made meals we have been eating tons of veggies from The Root Cellar The cool thing about their website is that it is constantly updated & actually really nice to look at unlike your generic grocery stores that carry the E-flyer and boring layout. The Root Cellar also updates their veggie count and what is organic, BC grow & local. :)



I really want to attempt making these this summer. We like the organic fudge pops from Costco but it would be nice to make them from scratch! Scroll below the Fudge Pops to watch the book trailer forThug Kitchen. It is what sold me in the first place! I watched before the book came out and then waited a year to purchase so I forgot it was 100% vegan! 



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Last but not least. Vitamix! I bought Spencer a Vitamix for Christmas two years ago because he was adamant about his new year's resolutions. It was on sale at the Hudson’s Bay & for a limited time so I said "Merry Christmas" while I was on a business trip at the beginning of December and he got it! It came with a $30 voucher I believe too so he purchased this book. I personally got more use out of the book and blender than he has! I guess it's Merry Christmas to me. ¯\_()_/¯ Spencer made one smoothie called the green hulk he found on Redit.com and it was AWFUL I even tried it... It turned him off of green smoothies forever.. Unless I made him my replicated Jugo Juice Clean Kick Smoothie. Noms!

Jugo Juice 'Clean Kick' Replication Recipe
2 table spoons of Lemon Juice
1 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
1 cup or orange juice
1 cup of pineapple
1 medium banana
small chunk of ginger
1-2 cups of fresh spinach or 3 tablets of frozen spinach


I hope you enjoyed this blog post! I had so much fun creating it & love sharing with you guys! Thank you for the support & coming back to read each week on whats new!



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