Beauty Review – Dermalogica ProSkin 60 Facial

In 2018 there is no shortage of ways to spend your money when it comes to beauty treatments.   In fact, deciding on which treatment is right for you and identifying a professional salon or clinic can easily make the whole exercise fall into the too-hard-basket faster than you can say ‘pass the serum’.

I headed over the bridge last week to Bare Waxing and Skin Centre to experience one of Dermalogica’s latest professional skin therapy treatments, the ProSkin 60 Facial, which launched in salons in May 2018.  This is not a one-size-fits-all experience.  Both of the ProSkin treatments (60 or 30 minutes) are bespoke.  Customised to address individual needs and concerns, this 6 step skin journey is one I highly recommend you take!

As far as I’m concerned, a splurge on a facial is a no-brainer, providing the most bang for your beauty buck.  They have the potential to deliver some powerful results, plus, are inherently relaxing, they usually include some massage and can profoundly affect the way I feel afterwards.  I LOVE how my skin looks after a facial – come at me selfies!

My skin therapist (hereafter referred to as Gemma-with-the-magic-hands) began with a Dermalogica fave – the double cleanse.  This was a timely reminder to reintroduce Precleanse Balm to my daily routine as I’ve been rushing through this important step in the shower.  For me, this is where the magical, relaxing powers of a facial really begin.  Cleansing your skin for minutes, rather than seconds, not only increases efficacy but is also a little meditative, a little time to relax………. every day in your own shower.  We can do that, right mamas?

After an extensive skin analysis, we moved on to step two – resurfacing.  Gemma-with-the-magic-hands added lactic acid to the physical exfoliant which my skin just LOVES.  This is where the bespoke nature of ProSkin treatments is so valuable, my skin is robust and hardy, not thinning at all, so it can handle a fairly extensive exfoliation.  This would definitely not be suitable as a universal application, which is why entrusting your skin to the hands of only a professional skin therapist is SO important!

My skin was under steam this entire time so the deep treatment and masque that was applied next literally sank into my thirsty skin.  Gemma had already identified dehydration as an area of concern in the analysis and I could notice the improvement immediately after treatment.  Lush, hydrated skin instantly!

The final steps are Touch Therapies – beautiful facial, scalp, shoulder and décolleté massage and dermal layering – literally everything your skin needs to head out into the world looking its best.

I LOVED this treatment.  ProSkin 60 was comprehensive, deliciously relaxing and indulgent but most importantly, it was incredibly effective.  My skin looked amazing, more hydrated than I’d ever seen it, soft with improved texture and the most minimised pores ever.  The skin analysis alone, combined with Gemma’s ‘prescription’ at the end was invaluable to me.  I’m a bit of a product junkie and she very quickly identified that one of my faves may not be as beneficial to my skin as I’d been thinking – that’s why it pays to see a skin therapist when you can.

To experience ProSkin 60 or 30 for yourself, head to www.dermalogica.co.nz to find your nearest Platinum Skin Centre.

Fitbit Versa: My Winter #Fitspo

Nevermind how truthful such statements might be, I’ve never been one to live and die by mantras such as;

Summer bodies are made in winter.

The facts are, the gym and I aren’t ever going to be friends and my natural inclination to hibernate during winter is strong so, if there is a season in which all good intentions fall off the wagon – winter is it.

Despite this, the past few months have been revelatory for me, and it all kicked off with a throwaway comment during lunch with a friend.  We were discussing the frustrations of living with our middle-aged-mum bodies and the struggle of deciphering what advice/diets/workout plans we should or shouldn’t be prescribing to.  I’m not running at the moment (more on that later!) but mentioned to my friend that monitoring your heart rate during workouts was a good way to ensure your activity matched whatever goals you might be working towards.  This was a lightbulb moment for me as I remembered the Fitbit functionality that automatically maps your heart rate zones during exercise.  Right now, I want to be burning fat during workouts and maintaining an (almost) daily exercise routine – that means power walking.  6kms per day, around an hour, putting me in the fat burning zone for approx 50 mins and tracking this daily on my Fitbit app.

Put simply, moving and doing it more often are my top priorities.

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Home Decor Fitbit Versa Review
I love checking in with my Fitbit app or the desktop site to see the results of my daily walks – in the zone baby!

The past 6 weeks have seen me create space in my day that I didn’t think I had, and dedicate that time to myself.  Exercising has to be a non-negotiable part of my routine and I think I’ve finally arrived at that sweet spot where the habit is sticking, yay!

I’m a total magpie and LOVE my gadgets so no surprises that the latest Fitbit iteration, Versa (RRP $349.95) caught my eye – as they always do – and I was excited to review it.  There’s a lot to be said for the persuasive power of measurement and accountability and as I’ve been a Fitbit user for years now I know first hand how effective wearable tech can be when it comes to keeping you on track.  I definitely lean towards Fitbit’s fully functional range, loving the multitude of features in the Ionic (built in GPS) and now the Versa.

What I LOVE about the New Fitbit VersaNew Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Home Decor Fitbit Versa Review

  • The battery life is awesome.  Specs say ‘over 4 days of battery life’ and this is legit.  Plus, the new charger is the best Fitbit charger yet, secure and FAST.
  • Slim profile.  Guys, let’s face it if you don’t need a built-in GPS then why pay for one or make room for one in your watch?  When I’m running (soon, baby!), I love the accuracy of the Ionic, but, you pay for this in size.  The Versa is gorgeous, no joke.  It’s all slim and curvy and is super comfy to wear.  10/10 for design.
  • Water-resistant to 50m!!! yus.  I’m no swimmer but Mum life dictates I’m washing dishes, laundry, dogs and children multiple times per day and as a Rugby mum (and Rugby Club Captain) I’m out in the weather a LOT.  I’ve always been a little bit precious about my Fitbits getting wet so love that my faves, Versa and ionic are both water resistant.
  • Improved sync:  I’m not sure if it’s because I don’t use one of the big 2 phone brands (currently Huawei Mate 10 Pro),  but sometimes syncing was a bit iffy with previous Fitbit products.  The Versa syncs easily and quickly with my on-phone app which makes me soooo happy as my Fitbit dashboard is life!  
  • It’s just SO pretty.  This is a BABE watch team, that just so happens to look equally good on both men and ladies.
  • Fitbit app.  I’ve been using this for years and it just gets better and better.  I’m loving the addition of the Female Health module, which is helping me track my period – and associated moods (gasp!), plus I’m becoming more and more aware of how important it is for me to consciously increase the amount of sleep I’m getting each night.  The Fitbit app tracks sleep beautifully and provides such great feedback and info that you seriously can’t help but want to do better for your body and your life in general.

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Home Decor Fitbit Versa Review

How I’m staying motivated this winter

  • Using my Fitbit Versa as my support team and my coach.  Gyms don’t work for me, being personally accountable DOES.
  • Podcasts are GO.  I can easily smash out my hour-long walk by zoning out and listening to some awesome content.  I use Podcast Player on my android phone and some of my faves are; Death in Ice Valley, Fat Mascara, Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations, The Minimalists, This Sounds Serious.
  • Doing less gives you time for more.  I’ve stopped saying YES to other peoples demands so I have more time for what I need to do – which is scheduling exercise for my mental and physical health.  Blocking off 1 hour per day for me is NOT a sacrifice, it’s something that positively impacts my life and has a flow on effect on my family.
  • Embrace the weather and prepare for it.  Winter sucks, winter in Auckland sucks more.  Walking in wild, winter weather is kinda liberating.  Embrace it, wear a hat so the rain stays out of your eyes, put a jacket on and go for it.  Letting go of excuses is priming me for great things I can feel it!

I’m so pumped on my daily walks right now, I’d love to know how you’re pushing through during this awful weather and getting your workouts in,  leave me a comment below if you’d like to share!

PS – Versa also has on-screen workouts so if dodging hail isn’t your thing, squeeze in a 10-minute ab workout while you’re hibernating with Netflix!  

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Home Decor Fitbit Versa Review

 

A Series of Unpleasant Challenges.

I went to the doctor today as I was literally unable to breathe without gasping with my mouth wide open, which, looks odd but also induces bouts of coughing that make me feel like little pieces of my lungs are flying up my oesophagus and out of my mouth.

I’m sick of being sick.  I didn’t leave with the antibiotics I was hoping for (apparently this is just a virus, a snotty, green, feel-like-death-warmed-up virus), curse my luck.  Antibiotics make me feel cured!  Like, I’m assassinating all the sick things, they bring me a light at the end of my squinty-eyed, sick-mama tunnel.  Obvs the placebo effect alone is worth it in my instance.  But, instead today, I left with a prescription for pseudoephedrine.

PSEUDOEPHEDRINE!!!

Even better than antibiotics!  Now I can be sick, get ALL the things done, without feeling like I need to rest.  What a bloody mummy-miracle.

At least I’m now able to breathe so that’s something.

Back to the GP.  I had a particularly nasty thought and decided to act on it, the lack of antibiotic prescribing hadn’t deterred me from broaching an even pricklier subject. “Melissa”, I thought, “while you’re here, with your Doc as an audience………..why not bring up the really fun topic about those pesky 10+ kgs that have piled on over the past 10 years hmmmmmm?”

You see, I’m sick of being sick but I’m even more sick of being overweight.  A pre-big-fuck-off milestone birthday slipped through the cracks last month, reminding me that next year, I will turn 40.  And 40 needs to be svelte I’m thinking.

So,  a g a i  n …….. no magic pill was prescribed (not that I’m complaining about the legal meth, I mean, I’M WRITING A BLOG so you know that shit is good!), but, Good Doc gave me some suggestions or what I like to call, A Series of Unpleasant Challenges;

  • Get at least 8 hours of sleep.  The fuck?  What even is that and please, let me introduce you to my son Nixon.
  • Zero alcohol for 6 weeks.  I can’t even…….
  • Find a different exercise that I enjoy.  Apparently simply ‘paying for’ a gym membership doesn’t count?
  • Check thyroid – blood test complete!
  • Take zinc to help with immunity – check!
  • Look at further reducing my antidepressant medication citalopram.  Oh boy.  Over the past 6 months I have HALVED my daily dose (Yay me!) and now I have to be brave and think about cutting it out altogether.  Which I will probably do, but very, very slowly as brain zaps are just one of the very real and awful side effect of messing with SSRI meds.

So.  See what I mean about the Unpleasant Challenges?  Total cracker of a day.  But I did write this post so that is definitely worth celebrating………by crawling into bed for 8 hours sleep.

LOLLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

 

Kid’s Books: A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies by Kate Hursthouse

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Book reviewThere are some books where everything comes together in a gorgeous package that you just want to hold and touch and look at before you’ve even turned the first page.  A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies and other such collective nouns by New Zealand artist Kate Hursthouse is definitively, one stunning book.

Nixon, our 4-year-old is obsessed with Kate’s first, beautiful book.  This is no one-time read guys.  We sit on the couch and pour over each page, counting creatures and soaking up the riot of colour and fun that is each of the 25 animal groupings.

And then we go back and read it again lol.

A simple literary concept has resulted in a delightful marriage of art and language.  Discovering the collective nouns for animals and insects is as enjoyable for me the adult reader as it is for Nixon.  A tangle of octopuses!  A conspiracy of lemurs?!  It’s all freaking gorgeous and a fun read.

Beautifully bound and presented, A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies is a book to keep, pass on and enjoy again and again.

A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies and other such collective nouns by Kate Hursthouse, RRP $30 Available online from Kate’s website here.

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Book review

Home – Easy Eco-Friendly Product Switches

Reduce, reuse, recycle.  Who would ever have imagined that Bob the Builder – a beloved children’s show – would be so ahead of its time?  With sustainability and environmental issues ramping up in importance and public awareness every day, the onus on individuals to increase responsibility as both consumers and caretakers of the land is becoming a more widely accepted proposition.  

Taking action on a micro, personal level, and claiming responsibility for the generation and disposal of waste in our own households is the first step in the much bigger picture of building long-term, sustainable communities.  I’m sooooo not a traditional ‘green’ early adopter – anyone who knows me can tell you that – but, I do love products and brands that make sense, make my life easier and combine ethical integrity and environmental concern with common-sense practicality.

So, here are some brands and products that tick all of these boxes and that we’re using daily in our home or out and about;

6 Green ‘n Easy options for reducing household waste

Ecopack Compostable Plastic Free Bags and Bin Liners

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Biodegradable Bags

I going to be honest here – I’ve never once considered ditching bin liners and using layered newspaper.

Never once.  I mean who even HAS newspaper any more to start with, and secondly, ew.

Which brings me to my first eco-friendly find; 100% compostable, plastic-free and biodegradable bags and bin liners from Ecobagsnz.  Single-use plastic presents a major environmental concern around the world.  Determined to make a change here in New Zealand is locally owned and operated Ecobagsnz.  They produce a range of ethically produced bags suitable for both retail lines and personal use.

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Biodegradable Bags

The Ecopack Compostable range eliminates the need to reconsider my stance on drippy newspaper (thank goodness!).

Available at leading supermarkets and health food stores nationwide, the Ecopack Compostable range is available in 6 different sizes and only takes around 90 days to break down in your compost!

ECOPACK COMPOSTABLE KITCHEN LINER 27L (20) RRP $7.99
ECOPACK COMPOSTABLE KITCHEN LINER 36L (15) RRP $7.99
ECOPACK COMPOSTABLE BIN LINER 60L (5) RRP $6.90
ECOPACK COMPOSTABLE BIN LINER 80L (10) RRP $8.99
ECOPACK COMPOSTABLE WHEELIE BIN LINER 140L (5) RRP $6.50
ECOPACK COMPOSTABLE WHEELIE BIN LINER 240L (5) RRP $8.80

Reusable Produce Bags from The Rubbish Whisperer

Another kiwi company determined to reduce single-use plastic bags is The Rubbish Whisperer.

Most of us care about the environment but don’t realise the scale of the pollution our disposable lifestyles are creating. The Rubbish Whisperer shows people how easy it is to have a huge positive impact on the environment by making small and simple changes. www.rubbishwhisperer.co.nz/pages/aboutus

I’m loving the super-cute Reusable Produce Bags, RRP $22.49 per 5 pack.  NZ made from strong and lightweight polyester tulle, these beautifully bright bags are a fun visual reminder to by-pass the plastic bag roll next time you’re in the fruit and vege aisle.  An added timesaving bonus of the quick-dry fabric is that you can wash produce directly in the bag!

Noteworthy: 1% of all Rubbish Whisperer sales are donated to local conservation projects!

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Reusable Produce Bags

Put your money where your mouth is: Shop The Source

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Zero Waste ShoppingFinding retailers that are supportive of your zero-waste efforts can be tough.  Cutting through the layers and layers of packaging that almost every retail product is subject to can be disheartening and in my case, a massive workout for my recycle bin.  Shopping at the most established zero waste grocery store in Australasia is now easy if you live in Auckland.  The Source has two beautiful locations in Milford and Kumeu and is stocked to the rafters with delicious ways to say YES to healthy, nutrient-dense food.  They also supply kefir, kombucha, apple cider vinegar, and maple syrup on tap, you can make your own nut-butters, shop for home cleaning supplies……and take everything home in your own reusable containers, use paper bags or purchase your zero-waste supplies in store.

Genius!

Online shopping will be all systems go in the next 8 weeks so everyone in New Zealand can get a taste of this awesome shopping experience. 

Follow The Source Kumeu here > Instagram, Facebook and The Source Milford here > Instagram, Facebook

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Zero Waste Shopping

Drink SMART and ditch the disposables

It sounds dire but plastic straws have to be one of the greatest ecological follies ever unleashed upon the world by the industrial age.  Trust me, once you go stainless you never go back, they deliver a really lovely drinking experience especially with smoothies!

My faves are these beauties from CaliWoods, available in cocktail, smoothie, drinking, tall and bubble tea options plus each four pack comes with a cleaner brush!

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Zero Waste Stainless Steel Straws

Another Melissa Must-Have is my New Zealand made CuppaCoffeeCup.  These beauties are lightweight, durable and 100% recyclable, plus they showcase NZ artists in a range of designs.  Released just in time for Mother’s Day is the new ‘Miromiro & Manuka design by Janine Millington – I’ll be hosting a giveaway at the end of the month so keep your eyes peeled!

You can find the CuppaCoffeeCup range in Farmers, Whitcoulls and selected gift and kitchen stores for around $16.50 each.

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Zero Waste Reusable Coffee Cup

Go Green with Personal Care

Four months in and I’m still raving about my Lunette Menstrual Cup.  Yes, the whole concept is a bit weird at first when you’ve been using tampons or pads for over 20 YEARS!  But ladies all I can say is, change is good and this change is one you will NOT regret.  Read more about my personal experience here > Lunette Menstrual Cup

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Lunette Menstrual Cup Review

Weleda Skincare

Skin care is BIG news when it comes to living your best sustainable, eco-friendly life.  The brands you choose to spend money on should reflect your own personal values and help support your retail decision making.  You are applying these products to you skin, the largest organ in your body as well as the precious skin of your little people so, a considered choice made by any consumer one is to be respected.

A firm fave in our home for years now, is the huge range from Weleda.  With ethical and sustainable standards that are so aspirational (read about them here), it’s easy to find yourself in the midst of a guilt-free bathroom cabinet makeover!

Three of our faves are; Pomegranate Regenerating Body Oil, After Shave Balm and KIDS 2in1 Shampoo & Body Washes.

Look at those beautiful glass bottles!!!

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Zero Waste Weleda Skincare

Book Review: The Second Child by Caroline Bond

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Book Review The Second Child

I read The Second Child a couple of months ago over summer and deliberately waited until I had finished work for 2017 before I picked it up as I had an inkling that I’d loathe to put it down once I began reading.  

And I was right.

This complex tale of two families is told by switching point of view between four family members, a technique that can annoy and confuse readers in a fast-moving tale, but that’s not the case here.  The Second Child describes an unimaginable discovery that could shake everything two teenage girls hold dear to them, but, in an exquisitely slow, familiar way that almost leaves you feeling like the whole novel is playing out in your kitchen.

The (almost mundane) intricacies of family life are at the core of this debut novel, and I think those are what endeared me to this tale almost immediately.  Sarah and Anne, both mothers, must navigate their families being thrust together out of circumstance (and a mean plot twist!) and decide how both their own futures and those of their daughters will take shape.

There are so many great discussion points introduced by Bond in this novel; how we define what it means to be ‘family’, our unwavering trust in the institutions that serve our first world society, the complexities of mother/daughter relationships, the far-reaching effects of the pursuit of perfection, particularly when using your family as the vehicle for this, and most notably, the discussion around organic human imperfections, particularly when they manifest as life-long disabilities.

The Second Child is an excellent read, a perfect Book Club addition as it’s characters are all so relatable yet full of the simmering, deep-seated emotions that are always present in any family.

I will be looking forward to future novels from Caroline Bond as I thouroughly enjoyed The Second Child.

 

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.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Lunette Menstrual Cup Review

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.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Lunette Menstrual Cup Review

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 – 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

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Arbonne Rescu & Renew Review

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!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Arbonne Rescu & Renew Review

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. 

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Arbonne Rescue & Renew Review

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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Parenting – Bright Ideas for Young Minds

A couple of weeks ago I attended an event that was a little bit different from those I normally go to each week.  It wasn’t a cosmetic/foodie/makeup event, it wasn’t a glamorous, heels and frock, dress-to-the-nines occasion (thank god!).  It was a book launch.  A beautiful thought-provoking, inspiring book launch that gave me all the feels and left me with an innate desire to be a better mother.

Cripes that’s pretty heavy!

Bright Ideas for Young Minds is a book that screams for your attention as soon as you lay eyes on it.  It’s big, robust and beautifully designed, printed and bound, with fun and exciting content to match.  But what is it?  It’s an activity book brought to life by New Zealand’s largest early learning provider, BestStart and written by kiwi educators with contributions from Plunket, Heart Foundation NZ and Jumping Beans.

In short, it’s amazing.

As well as providing parents and caregivers with a resource chocka-block full of 70 step-by-step activities that cost little or nothing, what Bright Ideas for Young Minds does so well (for me at least!) is remind me how easy it is to bring great joy to my kids.  Showing love through mindful, yet incredibly simple play is the very best education every child deserves.  The great part is, creating positive interactions such as those included in the book, are play options accessible to every New Zealand caregiver.  Sometimes all you need is a little inspiration, a gentle reminder that the currency most cherished by children is our time.

Bright Ideas for Young Minds (Mary Egan Publishers $39.95) is an amazing resource for anyone caring for kiwi kids age 0-6 years and is available now from all leading bookstores.

Win a copy of Bright Ideas for Young Minds!

Tell me how you’d benefit from this beautiful book, or, who you’d gift it to in the comments below.  I’ll draw the winner drawn 11/12/17, NZ residents only.

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