Women’s Health: My first time using a Lunette Menstrual Cup

A year ago I never would have written this post.  A year ago I would have ignored/declined the invitation to try a menstrual cup, firmly placing the very notion in the ‘too hard/too hippy’ basket.

So why now?  The only answer I can come up with is simply; why not now?

My monthly period annoys the heck out of me.  It’s never been painful nor irregular, just heavy and inconvenient (a bit like me in the morning before I’ve had a coffee lol).  I’ve been using tampons my whole life, and while better than pads, they still totally suck.  They’re uncomfortable if not quite in the right position, they leak, they aren’t absorbent enough, a heavy flow day means frequent changes, they are expensive and require disposal, plus, they are just something else waking me at night and wanting attention – I’ve already got a husband and a 4-year-old taking up night-time hours #kthanksbyetampons.

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So earlier this week, with Christmas in New Zealand done and dusted and tent-life beckoning (always a PIA when you’ve got your period) I decided to trial a Lunette Menstrual Cup for the first time.  I’d been gifted one just before the holidays and had been planning to give it a whirl before our trip to Japan in January.

What did I think?  Short version; amazing, liberating, life-changing.  Long version; read on.

Lunette Menstrual Cup Review

First tip:  Get ready in advance.  I was all raring to go as soon as my period began but hadn’t opened the box or read the short set of instructions that accompany the Lunette.  In fact, I hadn’t even touched it!  There are two sizes available, I picked size 2 which is recommended for women who experience a heavier flow or who have given birth vaginally.  The silicone is super smooth and soft, but also much firmer than I anticipated.  After sterilizing my cup for 20 minutes in a pot of boiling water I was ready to go.

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The thing that puzzled me most about menstrual cups prior to using one, was placement.  A tampon sits so much higher than a cup and feels awful when it’s inserted wrong/low and feels like it’s going to fall out!  Yet, the Lunette cup sits low and you CAN’T FEEL IT!  It’s amazing, and I’m sure the imperceptibility is due to the flexible silicone moving with your body when you move.

Insertion/application, whatever, was easy, fold it in half and up she goes. A bit of a jiggle and you can feel the cup unfold – that’s it!  I was completely floored by how easy the process is and how completely ‘leak-free’ I feel when wearing the Lunette.  I realise that describing a state of being as ‘leak-free’ is a bit bizarre and a probably a complete misnomer, however, if you’ve experienced that tampon-angsty feeling when you know you could leak at any given time, you’ll totally understand what I mean!

The stem was the only thing I found uncomfortable and as recommended in the instructions I simply trimmed it until I found the optimal length.  I don’t actually use it for removal at all so cut it really short.

Am I converted?

Heck yes I am, I just wished I had been brave and tried a menstrual cup sooner.  The Lunette just makes so much sense; 

  • I feel completely leak free, even at night
  • I can go longer, up to 12 hours, without having to worry about reaching max capacity
  • I don’t feel like I’m going to get ‘caught out’ without another tampon on me when I need one
  • I haven’t yet, but know I’d be able to workout and run wearing a Lunette Menstrual Cup, something that was out of the question for me on heavy flow days with a tampon.
  • Cleaning/sanitizing is easy, there’s heaps of info here

In fact it’s all easy.  The only hard part about using a Lunette is in your head, once you’re over the mental hurdle you will never go back to tampons.  I never will, of this I’m convinced.

I can see how learning how to use a menstrual cup may be slightly more challenging for young girls, but to be honest, no more challenging than learning how to use a tampon.  The benefit of potentially NOT having to change a tampon/pad for the entire school day is incredible and totally worth the very little persistence that’s required to get super comfortable with using a Lunette Menstrual Cup.

There’s heaps of information on the Lunette New Zealand website, so check it out if you have any questions or are keen to make the switch – you won’t regret it!

 

 

 

Beauty Review: Dove Refresh + Care Dry Shampoo

Fact: Dry shampoo is life.  I’m a fan.  Dove asked for my thoughts on their Refresh + Care Dry Shampoo and here they are internet, just for you! Thanks for making this post possible Dove.


There are very few beauty/haircare/skincare products that I religiously use every, single day because, at this point in my life, every day is very different.  We are still deep in the thick of under 5 parenting, how much sleep I’m going to get on any given night is a lottery and what time Nix (ergo, I) will wake is anyone’s guess.  Even on the days when I’ve planned ahead, worked backward and calculated what time I’ll need to leave the house, picked my outfit in advance, pre-empted the 2nd breakfast Nixon will request…….there’s still going to be a mad rush for the door.

Which means something has to give.

I’m not one of those multi-talented mavens that are able to drive and apply makeup simultaneously.  Heck, I can barely apply makeup while standing in my bathroom!  I simply can’t hide my sleep deprivation on the run, this kind of magic requires my full attention – or at the very least what’s left over after Nixon rightly clamours for most of it lol.

So what slips through the morning cracks on 9/10 days and settles under the cosy confines of a hat is my hair.  

I tell myself my hair’s thriving under the two-child regime which sees it mostly ignored, never washed more than 3 times per week  – if that – and rarely suffering through the indignity of a hot styling tool.  My hair and I have settled into a friendly routine and rotation of hairstyles as we move through the week, getting further away from the last shampoo and limping ever so slowly towards the next.  Which I can hopefully stretch out for ‘just one more day‘.

One of the true marvels of the modern world –  Dove’s Refresh + Care Dry Shampoo, gives me that extra day between washes, as well as all the lols from dry shampoo memes!  I’m such a fan that I actually use it in two different ways, on both clean hair (I know!) and, not so clean hair.

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Two ways to use Dove’s Refresh + Care Dry ShampooNew Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Dove Dry Shampoo Review

  • The spray and walk away: Obviously the reason for which it was designed, Dove’s Refresh + Care Dry Shampoo is a greasy-gals saviour.  As indispensable to my morning routine as coffee, my dry shampoo helps me avoid the wet-hair kindy drop-off – the tell-tale sign that something went awry in your house that morning!  It’s such a quick pick-me-up as well; I just spray any questionable areas with Refresh + Care (usually around my hairline and centre part), massage into the roots and I’m done.  Excess oil is absorbed and my hair smells super fresh.
  • Clean hair Va-Va-Voom!  Styling my hair when it’s clean, or in fact, just doing anything as simple as pulling it back into a ponytail is a slippery, frizzy, fly-away nightmare.  It’s also very, very flat.  Creating texture is Refresh + Care Dry Shampoo’s superpower.  I swear once you volumise (not sure if that’s a word lol) your clean hair with dry shampoo, you’ll be a changed woman.  Ok, that might be a stretch, but your you hair will look amazing!  I use it exactly the same way as I do when I’m refreshing unwashed hair except I focus a bit more on the length as well as the roots.  This helps with body and grip if I’m trying something fancy lol.

I legit LOVE life hacks that make one of the busiest times in my day a little bit easier and leave me feeling great – bonus points for being able to grab Dove’s Refresh + Care Dry Shampoo at the supermarket too

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Beauty Review – Arbonne Rescue & Renew

Although over 30 years old, US-based Swiss heritage skincare giant Arbonne has only recently become available here in New Zealand.  They got in touch recently and asked if I’d like to review one of their ranges, so,  not one to do things by halves, I willingly went all-in with my first Arbonne New Zealand skincare experience and have been using the Rescue & Renew range exclusively for the past 2 weeks – something I never do.  I’m a bit of a chop ‘n change, mix-it-up girl when it comes to skincare and beauty products so committing to one brand and just one range was quite a novelty!

It totally had its benefits though, particularly with the Rescue & Renew products which have all been formulated with a really holistic ethos in mind. 

Why Rescue & Renew?

Arbonne’s Rescue & Renew range is based on Ayurvedic practices where the focus is traditionally whole body health and wellness, with the goal of achieving a balance between one’s mind, body, and soul. The emphasis and importance of natural ingredients and heroes are evident throughout the Arbonne catalogue but particularly in this range.  Turmeric root, dandelion and ginger root are the botanical mainstays in each Rescue & Renew Detox product, designed to cleanse the skin’s surface of impurities while also protecting our natural moisture barrier. 

This is a skincare range in which the whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts.  I was trying to put my finger on why this was and came up with three elements that prescribed my experience with the Rescue & Renew Detox products; routine, ritual and therapy, all of which play huge roles in my overall wellbeing.

My Routine

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New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Arbonne Rescu & Renew ReviewI’m definitely a creature of habit.  My routine (where I can find it) is familiar, comforting and welcome as I find working for myself, I don’t generally have any two days the same.  Slotting new, beneficial products in as replacements for existing ‘blah’ products is an easy way to make a positive change in my existing skincare routine.  Using Rescue & Renew Detox Body Lotion and Body Wash daily are perfect examples of how I’ve done this.  Like most women (I imagine), I use a body wash in the shower followed by body lotion each day and have done for years.  The major difference with the Arbonne products is the inclusion of the essential oils – the grapefruit and orange in the Rescue & Renew Body Wash is amazing.  I can have had the worst nights sleep and step out of the shower feeling fully energised and l00% better, I absolutely LOVE this stuff.  Layered with the Detox Lotion which contains orange, lavender, anise and bergamot oil and I’m literally invincible (at least whilst Nix is at kindy lol).  

On a purely functional note, I also love the caps on this range; no flip tops or screw off lids, you simply twist to open and close.  Genius.

Ritual

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Arbonne Rescu & Renew ReviewOnce a week, 99% of the time in the weekend when Dave can be fully ‘on-duty’ for the kids, I generally opt out of whatever family activity is going and simply embrace my inner home-body.  I love being at home, I really, really do.  Taking time to appreciate not having to rush anywhere is such a treat for me that I find it super important to intentionally enjoy the experience – guilt free.  I light a beautiful candle in an effort to banish the smell of sneakers and Lynx that usually permeates every corner of our boy-filled house, and I cleanse my face and follow up with a face mask.  Clay masks are my favourite and always have been.  Arbonne’s Rescue & Renew Detox Mask uses French pink clay that draws out excess oil (very visibly!) as the mask moves from wet to dry.  The first time I used it, I was super tired after the initial, mega-busy first weekend in December and I was legitimately thrilled with the results.  My skin looked and felt hydrated, rested and renewed.

I also love to take a bit more time with after-shower care during the weekend, so the addition of a hydrating oil under my body lotion is a luxe touch that pays dividends when I think about how my skin looks and feels.  The Rescue & Renew Detox oil contains the same essential oils as the lotion so the natural fragrance layers well, plus the key ingredients; Vitamin E, grape seed, sesame and argan oils do such a fab job of providing skin support by firming, moisturising and conditioning.

I LOVE my weekend ritual!

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Therapy

Ok here’s where I’m going to introduce my two FAVE Rescue & Renew products.  New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Arbonne Rescue & Renew ReviewThe whole range definitely has therapeutic benefits, but the essential oils and the straight-up magical Gelée are next level in my opinion.

I’ve been really, really slow to jump onboard with what I considered the essential oil ‘bandwagon’, but the Arbonne oils have changed my mind.  Peppermint and Lemon, how did I even get through the day without you guys?!  Peppermint is my ‘working’ oil.  I’ve been diffusing it whilst writing or tapping a couple of drops onto my temples to help gain/maintain focus.  It’s the most incredible pick-me-up ever, and totally natural for the win.

My friend Lemon.  Such a perfect addition to the Rescue & Renew family; Pure Essential Lemon Oil just makes everything smell clean and fresh plus actually MAKES things clean and fresh!  One of the many ways I’ve been using it is adding around 5 drops to a microwave safe bowl of boiling water, popping it in the microwave for 3 minutes, letting it stand for 2 minutes before wiping clean with a paper towel.  TRY THIS GUYS.  No elbow grease required it’s amazing.

The Rescue & Renew Detox Gelée is such an interesting product, something that’s so awesome you’ll wonder why you’ve never found anything like it before.  I describe it as a mashup between a cooling gel and your fave body lotion.  Heaven on a hot day when typical lotion gets sweaty and slick, Detox Gelée is exactly what you want to apply after a workout or sun exposure, perfect summer skincare. 

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Shop the entire Arbonne range of health, wellness, skincare and beauty products online here, or via an Arbonne consultant.

Summer Bedroom Refresh

Oh my lord it’s HOT!  Seriously, these temps in December are crazy, but crazy good for sure.  Being able to throw open the bedroom windows and freshen things up is so therapeutic for me.  Both of the boy’s rooms have had a big spring clean that included purchasing fresh, new linen for their beds.  Over the weekend, I finally had the time to do the same in our master bedroom.

You know those dumping grounds that ‘some’ of us have throughout the house?  I have two; one is our dining room table and the other is our bedroom.  It’s so odd that I despise clutter and mess yet the very place that should be somewhat of a peaceful sanctuary for Dave and I, has become the epicenter of chaos in our home.

Organising and decluttering our bedroom is a work in progress, so I’ll update you on that as I get to it in the future, but, as focusing on both the quality and quantity of hours spent asleep is a big priority for me heading into 2018 (thanks Fitbit lol), I decided to begin with a bed linen makeover.

Our prior duvet set was cozy, grey cotton jersey.  Lovely and snuggly and perfect for winter but it didn’t invoke any ‘light and bright” summery feelings whatsoever.  Despite my reservations (those reservations being a very sticky four-year-old and two dogs that love to sneak on the bed!) I knew I wouldn’t be happy with anything but 100% crisp white < insert sighing husband here.

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I flipped the bed’s colour palette inside out, opting for grey linen sheets this season and that fresh, white goodness for the duvet cover.  Texture was also a consideration, and I’m loving how our new bed linen provides lots of depth and variation, considering the very neutral colours I chose to work with.

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What do you guys think?  I’m loving how it came together.  The muted trio of white, natural and charcoal is exactly what I was looking for to draw the eye out of the room via our large windows, to the garden beyond – which is super lush and green right now.

That’s the fun part over, now to declutter, cull and organize!

Shop this look from Logan & Mason here;

Duvet Covers and European PillowcasesLangley Linen Knitted Throw $159.95, Solaris White Square Cushion $69.95, Cove Natural Square Cushion $89.95

The items above were all sourced from the extensive linen range at Logan & Mason with whom I collaborated on this post.

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Kids Parties: Garden Glamping + Movie Night

Ethan turned the BIG 13 at the end of November and though we celebrated at the time with a Breaker’s game and burgers with his friends, we really wanted to do something a little more special at home to mark the occasion.  The end of the school year is a super busy time for everyone with summer quickly approaching here in New Zealand and Christmas around the corner so, we waited a couple of weeks until Ethan’s two basketball leagues had finished and planned a wee surprise.

Ethan loves sleepovers but sleepovers do not love him back.  The child basically can’t deal with lack of sleep, plus his sport schedule is so ridic with rugby over the winter and basketball taking up six days per week recently, opportune weekend nights to have friends stay over are few and far between.  Saturday night was  w i d e  open however, and happened to coincide with a rare, vacant booking for the awesome husband and wife team at www.partyinabox.nz.  So, we locked it in, called it a Movie Night and I (secretly) gathered the troops.

I think when I (and Ethan) were younger, I wanted complete control over his birthday parties and spent days and weeks meticulously planning and agonizing over every detail.  One year I handmade fish-shaped chocolates to decorate his homemade cheesecake birthday cake after I had hand stamped the goody bags with a beautiful fish-shaped motif I carved from a freaking potato!

I honestly don’t even know who that person was lol.  Suffice to say, these days I’m all about outsourcing and simplifying birthday parties.  I say HELLO to $5 Pizza Hut pizzas (1 each!) and YES to a tub of Tip Top ice cream for dessert.  And, if the outsourcing results in the 5 teenaged boys (and his girl bestie) sleeping in the front yard, then a birthday blessing was just bestowed upon ME.

Party in a Box Glamping Packages

We decided on a Night Out Package for Ethan and 5 friends which included setup and overnight hire of a gorgeous bell tent, 6 x mattresses, bunting, fairy lights, rugs, floor cushions, tray tables, super cool decor items, popcorn, huge tv and DVD/BluRay player.  All delivered set-up and then packed away again the following day. 

It was spectacular, roomy and totally picture perfect.  Dave and I loved it so much we almost considered handing the house over to the 13-year-olds and treating ourselves to a night glamping in the garden!

 The best way to describe how utterly amazing the bell tent and set-up was on Saturday night is to let the pictures speak for themselves.

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The kids had a blast, we had a quiet (ish) night and a clean (ish) house thanks to the kids being in the tent lol and I know we celebrated Ethan’s very special birthday with an event to remember.

Get in touch with husband and wife team Christian and Wencke at Party in a Box to make a booking enquiry.  They have a range of options and themes available – if they can make a glamping experience work perfectly as a Movie Night for a 13-year-old boy and his mates, then trust me, you will be blown away by how stunning this experience is!