Sass and Spice

Product Review: Aroma Air Humidifier 2.3L Ultrasonic (Crazy Sales)

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Lately I’ve been hearing about the health benefits of humidifiers and decided to trial one for a few weeks to see if it worked for me or my family. I’ve used one before for my kids when they were babies during winter but wanted something more portable which could last longer than half a night.

Humidifiers basically put moisture back in the air and although it’s more typical to use in winter, I find that it can get pretty dry in summer too in Perth.  Also with the warmer weather arriving, a lot of people at work get hit with the cold or flu so I wanted to prevent catching something during my third trimester being pregnant.

The health benefits of humidifiers include:

  1. Reduced risk of infections. Increasing humidity levels reduces the ability of airborne viruses to cause flu infections so viruses and bacteria can’t travel as well in moist air. A humidifier could help prevent catching a flu and reduces the symptoms like coughing and sneezing.
  2. Less dry and moisturised skin.  Lack of moisture can cause dryness, dullness and flaking of the skin which can accelerate aging. A humidifier can help prevent these damaging effects.
  3. Comfortable sinuses.  A humidifier can help keep your throat moist for a more comfortable night’s sleep by providing relief from stale and dry air.
  4. Healthier houseplants. A humidifier can help keep your houseplants healthy, which in turns keep you healthy as well.

I’m using the Aroma Air Humidifier 2.3L Ultrasonic which I received from Crazy Sales. At Crazy Sales you can save anywhere from 30%-80% off retail price on 10,000 products everyday. This humidifier features an operating time of up to 9 hours and also an air purifier (to reduce pollutants which causes allergies).

What I do like about this humidifier:

Delivery was super quick and it wasn’t too expensive. For the price, it also lasted the entire night, which lasted longer than the humidifiers I’ve bought before at a local chemist for the kids. I also like that it has the air purifier and I can use this for aromatherapy too.

What I don’t like about this humidifier:

Instructions weren’t that clear except for it being obviously directly translated from another language. I still can’t work out how to put on the coloured lighting for example! The humidifier also seemed a bit flimsy and awkward as several times the water would leak because I hadn’t screwed it on tight enough which freaks me out because it’s plugged into an electrical outlet.

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So the jury is still out with me as I’ve only been using it for 3 weeks and I don’t really notice the difference except for having a more comfortable night’s sleep. I did catch a bit of cold from someone at work but it didn’t seem to last long but not sure if this was due to the humidifier or luck to tell you the truth.

I am planning to continue using it and even thinking to use this during birth as the humidifier has an aromatherapy diffuser so I can add some calming essential oils since candles are not allowed in hospital.

If I’m convinced of the health benefits, I think I will consider upgrading to something which would be a lot more sturdy and has an even larger capacity.

To find more about this humidifier click here: http://www.crazysales.com.au/online-2-3l-ultrasonic-air-humidifier-purifier-steam-aroma-vaporiser-diffuser-mist-77483.html

Have you used humidifiers before? I would love to hear your experiences!

*Humidifier was gifted for review by Crazy Sales. This is not a paid post and all opinions, words and views are strictly my own.

S x

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Totally Jewel

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I’ve come to discover Totally Jewel recently, which is an online store that does a range of affordable jewellery that not only pleases minimal jewellery wearers like me, but also offers plenty for the statement jewellery wearer too with gorgeous bold pieces too.

My favourite piece is the roman numeral bracelet which I wear almost everyday to work and also versatile to wear at night on the weekend too. For night, the ear cuff is very cool and I also adore that smiley face necklace on Lily. What a perfect stocking or advent calendar gift for young girls!

Today’s post I got to interview the two inspiring woman behind Totally Jewel: Junn and Soon.

1. Describe the pivotal moment for both of you of deciding to start this business together?

After finding the perfect affordable bridal party outfits, for our best friends wedding day from a large choice of suppliers in Sydney, we went on the hunt for great accessories to glam up and individualise the look of the bridal party. Of course the bride wanted everyone to look stunning, and so we went on the search for the perfect jewellery. What we found were great one off or ‘designer’ pieces that were far too expensive for the budget, or mass produced, poor quality pieces, that just cheapened the whole look. It was at this point, after walking around the city for several days in search of affordable quality jewellery that we said to each other, ‘we should do something about this’. We both felt there was huge potential, and so we started to research the market and look at suppliers who could deliver a quality product.

2. What excites you most about running Totally Jewel?

Our ultimate goal is to send a box of sparkling happiness to all Australian women. So far in our journey we have met some incredible women. We are proud to to be associated with organisations like ‘Women in Focus’ and charity events run by Ronald MacDonald House. The connections we make and the joy our customers get when receiving their jewels, really excites us both. We both work really hard on providing great customer service and when our customers post their pictures on Facebook, Instagram or write a review, we really do both get a real kick out of it. We are about giving back to the community where possible, being based in Sydney and concentrating only on the Australian market, we feel we really do represent Australian women.

3. What are the latest trends with jewellery right now?

The Tassel is huge right now in Hollywood, starting in Europe during their summer season, its coming to Australia and will become the must have accessory for summer. Even Guy Sebastian was wearing a tassel necklace during the X Factor final. Luckily we have just received some great new ‘tassel’ pieces for our summer collections.

4. What are your favourite pieces from Totally Jewel and how would you wear them?

Junn: There are so many gorgeous pieces to choose, but my absolute personal favourite is the Crystal Dove Necklace. I wear it for all sorts of occasions. I pair it with a little black dress for busy days in the office and have also worn it with jeans and a white tee to casual functions, and in the weekends. I always feel feminine and its easily matched with any outfit.

Soon: For me its the Raw beauty of the Badala Stone collection. Each piece is unique, and beautifully hand crafted. They are easily mixed and matched and can be layered to add that extra dimension.

5. Are they are any Christmas specials or any specials which would be available for Sass and Spice readers (e.g. one day discount code or Christmas sales)?

From December onwards we are offering a beautiful selection of mid statement necklaces’ and Earrings for Christmas at the special prices of between $5 – $10 only. Ideal to add Sparkle to that Christmas gift list.

For Sass and Spice readers we are offering even extra sparkle this Christmas with a free gift with every purchase until 24th December. At checkout, simply write in the discount box ‘sassandspice’ and hit apply to receive the extra sparkle!

Thank you Soon and Junn for taking the time to share the story behind Totally Jewel. Shop and find out more about Totally Jewel here: http://www.totallyjewel.com.au

*Jewellery above were gifted for review. This is not a paid post and opinions are my own.

S x

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Pregnancy Massage – Yummy Mummy Day Spa



One of the things I’ve always recommended whilst being pregnant is to have time to spoil yourself with some serious pampering. After all, you have mostly likely gone through morning sickness, heartburn, swelling, cramping, crazy hormones, weight gain…and not forgetting growing a little person inside you! It’s a lot to go through for 9 months right?

Pregnancy can be a joyous and exciting experience. But also, anxiety and stress are at an all time high which leads to both mental and physical discomfort. I personally find that indulging in a relaxing massage to really help.  Pregnancy massage has a range of benefits including pain relief, helping to reduce the swelling of the feet and just having that time to be fully relaxed and calm. I find that time also a great way to really connect with my breath, my body and my baby.

Last weekend I was lucky to make a visit to Yummy Mummy Pregnancy Day Spa to experience the signature third trimester pregnancy massage. It was such a heavenly experience and I thoroughly recommend it!

On arrival, I filled in quite a detailed questionnaire which had questions on specific concerns related to pregnancy like acne so they can customise the treatments especially to you. This was my first time at the Brisbane Street location and I was impressed with the spacious rooms and it instantly felt relaxing with the dimmed lights and candles flicking.

I was then treated with 90 minutes of uninterrupted pure bliss. During this time I didn’t think of anything else except for feeling good and feeling totally relaxed – a rarity these days for me!

Pregnancy safe essential oils which contained a blend of Tangerine, Lemon and Geranium were used as it helps with circulation and reduced swelling. One of the best things about Yummy Mummy is that they use cushions which are specially designed for pregnant bumps. This means I could comfortably and safely lie face down and on my back with the indented cushions providing just the right level of support.

I also requested a firm massage and some special attention to my back (since I’ve experienced some discomfort recently) and was happy they could accommodate. I can also get quite ticklish but was so relaxed that I forgot to laugh!

After the massage, I got to unwind with some small snacks and tea and surprisingly didn’t feel the hot 35 degree heat.

The signature pregnancy massage is $189. Be sure to also take a look at their Christmas bundles as you don’t need to be pregnant to have a massage here. I would recommend ‘A little Love’ which a hot stone back, neck and shoulder massage, and you also get a Sugar Plum Candle and Pink Love Bath Salts as a gift.

Find out more about Yummy Mummy here: http://www.pregnancydayspa.com.au/

*Massage was gifted for review. This is not a paid post and all opinions, words and views are strictly my own.

S x

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Expect in Style Maternity Fashion

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During my third trimester and to cope with the summer heat, I know I have to rely less on hiding behind layers but having my large bump on show in dresses and loose fitting separates. From my experience, it’s a lot easier to just pull something out of your wardrobe which is catered for pregnancy and not try to work with only 5% of your existing wardrobe and it not being the best fit – i.e. like when your midi skirt becomes a mini skirt or your t-shirts become stretched out crop tops!

I’ve been lucky to trial a new Perth based maternity label called ‘Expect in Style’. The label is the vision of Leanne and Laura who are both are friends, mothers and entrepreneurial women with a passion to create a collection of stylish and affordable maternity wear for today’s busy mum. Their philosophy is to provide quality and comfort without compromising on style.

Their collection is centred around fashion wardrobe basics (think stripes and grey marle) designed to take you from day to night or from the workplace to a relaxed catch-up with friends. They have sourced beautiful soft fabrics which are also easy to care for and also versatile to wear after pregnancy. I’ve been very impressed with the quality I also love that I’m supporting a local small business too.

Check out the website at www.expectinstyle.com.au.

Above I’m wearing (at 30 weeks):

Outfit 1 – The Luxe Dress Black
Outfit 2 – The Bliss Grey Marle Dress
Outfit 3 – The Striped Midi Skirt

*Expect in Style outfits above were gifted for review. This is not a paid post and all opinions are my own.

S x

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Perinatal Depression & Anxiety Awareness Week

PNDA Awareness Week

Pregnancy and early parenthood can be both an exciting yet challenging time. Each year for over 100,000 Australian expecting and new parents, this period is often clouded with anxiety and/or depression.

In Australia 1 in 10 mums and 1 in 20 dads struggle with anxiety or depression during pregnancy. This rises to 1 in 7 mums and 1 in 10 dads after birth, and sadly many parents suffer in silence.

PANDA (Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia) is the only national organisation in Australia dedicated to this cause. This week is  Perinatal Depression and Anxiety Awareness Week (Nov 15-21) which brings attention parents face challenges and struggles at any stage during pregnancy and after birth – it’s not all black and white.

Alischa Flux was kind enough to share her personal experience:

My name is Alischa and life into parenthood was a bumpy road for my husband and I. We experienced IVF and all of its surprises and finally, we were pregnant!

Unfortunately I missed that precious moment of welcoming my daughter into the world due to an emergency general anaesthetic c-section.

After three months or so I still felt as though I was in a haze. Crying for no reason, snappy and just not myself.  I thought I had to just suck it up a little more.  But when my husband said to me that I’m not myself I thought I would ask the local health care nurse at my daughter’s next check.  She referred me to the mental health nurse where I was diagnosed with PND.  We chatted about babies, birth stories, parenthood and life in general.  I laughed and cried a lot but I slowly came out of the haze and started to feel normal and I really started bonding with my beautiful daughter.  I’m naturally a bubbly, happy person so I guess it’s hard for people to believe things just weren’t great.

I’ve also discovered that I’m expecting again.  A real miracle baby!  Please just remember, it’s ok to ask for help or just chat to someone if you feel things are not quite right.  You’re not weak.  If anything, you’re stronger!!”

I think it’s important for us parents and parents-to-be to support each other and know that even in the joyous and exciting moments that there are likely to be negative emotions and fear still…and that we should always ask for help and support when needed.

For more information please visit www.panda.org.au or ring the national helpline on 1300 726 306.

 

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Lily turns 5

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Lily is now 5! It’s astonishing to think it was really that long ago when our little bundle of joy first came into our lives. Her birthday is also special to me since it was the beginning of my life as a mother.

Here are some of the things I love about Lily at this age:

  • Gone are the baby and toddler days as she is now independent and capable of doing most things on her own.  She can easily have a conversation with you and thankfully constant tantrums and potty training is a thing of the past.
  • She loves drawing and happily spends most of her free time scribbling and doodling. It creates a huge mess in the house but we rather her do that than screen time.
  • She is pretty tall for her age so loves playing on the monkey bars knowing she can do it totally unassisted.
  • I was quite a lonely child at her age so it makes me happy to see her socialise well with other kids and making friends at school.
  • She is very affectionate and there are more smiles during the day than tears.

I can’t believe the next 5 years she will be 10! These years really do fly by so quickly and I hope the next 5 years are even more fun.

S x

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Nip + Fab Review

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Nip + Fab is a skincare and body range created by Maria Hatzistefanis who also founded Rodial. Loved my celebrities such as Kylie Jenner and Jessica Hart, each product is targeted specifically to improve the skin or body with innovative and advanced ingredients at everyday price points.

Here are the products I’ve tried so far:

DEEP CLEANSING FIX ($17.95):

So easy to use as you just apply to dry skin, rub and then rinse with water. I found my skin really hydrated afterwards. This cleanser is multi-functional as it can be used as an intensive moisturising mask, exfoliation treatment (when used with a muslin cloth), or left overnight on blemishes.

For the price, I’ll be definitely buying this again.

BEE STING FIX DELUXE CREAM ($44.95)

This anti-aging moisturiser contains bee venom which apparently controls the facial muscles,  and increases blood circulation gently plumping out and firming the skin. Along with nourishing ingredients such as Hyaluronic acid, Vitamin E and Shea butter, it has all the right ingredients to really plump and moisturise the skin.

Since I’ve only been using it for a few days I can’t really provide an honest review at its anti-aging benefits but it certainly does it’s job as a moisturiser. I have to wait to see the full benefits though as the price point isn’t something I can just add to my normal grocery bill.

WORKOUT FIX ($23.95)

Now I haven’t had time to use this product but I sneakily gave it to my dear husband (DH) to use since he is lucky to go to the gym everyday. According to DH he says he would love a warm bath after all his workouts but seriously who has time? This serum warms and relieves tired muscles and improves the skin’s tone to treat muscles.

DH said the warming sensation was a bit strange at first but was impressed that that it lasted a good 45 mins – 1 hour after application.

Check out their website: http://www.nipandfab.com.au/ if you are keen on these products and to learn about their other products too. You can also buy these products at Target and at Priceline.

*All products above were sent to me for review.  All words, opinions and views are strictly my own (and my husband’s!).

S x

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AWESOME Arts Festival 2015

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Lily and Nyla have been busy girls these school holidays as they attended the AWESOME International Arts Festival during the opening weekend. The AWESOME festival is running at the Perth Cultural Centre from the 3rd-16th October and features creative experiences ranging from visual art displays, concerts, theatre and interactive activities.

We attended the concert with Play School’s Jay Laga’aia performing – which was great for preschoolers as there was plenty of jumping around (i.e dancing according to toddlers!). Lily then had some fun in the Lego tent afterwards before seeing Jay again who together with Dame Lynley Dodd (author of the ‘Hairy Maclary’ series) performed some animated readings over the famous books. We then ended the day with some ice cream which Nyla ended up fighting for Lily’s despite having eaten hers first!

Shows are extra but there are various tents around the place which you can go and join in the activities  for $15 per each child (parents are free) which is valid for the whole time the festival is running.

For more information about the festival: http://www.awesomearts.com

S x

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Little Big Shots Film Festival 2015

On Tuesday, I took my girls to the Little Big Shots Festival – Australia’s premier film festival showcasing international and Australian short films for kids. Sessions are being held at the Fremantle Arts Centre during the October school holidays. Each session is an hour long and include a selection of different short films which have been organised together for suitable age groups. The films are a mixture of animation, live films and even movies made by kids.

For Lily and Nyla we attended the Little Tikes session which was aimed for 3-7 years. Funnily enough, Nyla at 2 probably enjoyed it more than Lily as she was mesmerised by all the animation and actually stayed in her seat the whole time – but that probably had to do also with the popcorn she was munching on during the whole session! Lily did enjoy it too but her expectations for animated movies would be anything by Pixar or Disney. I actually heard a similar aged boy behind me talk about how he loved the Minions so much and wanted to know if they would be making an appearance!

Highlights for the girls were two films: ‘A Girl’s Best Friend’ (they loved the story about the worm befriending a little girl) and the ‘Little Blue Tapir’ (they were both enchanted by the lovely music).

Afterwards we all went to the courtyard where the Buster the Fun Bus had set up quite a variety of toys and a drawing table for the kids. They both had a blast playing in the beautiful gardens and sunshine, and I even got to get some nice lemon drizzle cake and coffee (decaf of course!) from the café.

Little Big Shots will be held from Tues 6 – Thurs 8 Oct 2015 at the Fremantle Arts Centre. See the full programme here: https://fac.org.au/little-big-shots

S x

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Building a house which won’t be your dream home

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It might come as a surprise to some people, but the house we’ve just built is not our forever or dream house.  We actually bought a small character cottage house on a big block (and busy street) and had planned to subdivide and sell…thinking we won’t be here for that long anyway.

So fast forward 5 years, a marriage and 2 kids later, we are still here but have now built and moved into a bigger house at the back and although it’s been a long process ( 2 years – you can see the difference in Nyla in the pictures above) we have really grown to love the area which is adorned with Jacaranda trees, white picket fences and close distance to a thriving cafe and small bar scene. It’s also handy that we aren’t too far from the CBD (where we both work) and thus convenient in terms of catching public transport and not having to fork over a huge Uber bill.

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