Sass and Spice

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

NIP+FAB

NIP+FAB

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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The Motherhood Project

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All images above courtesy of The Motherhood Project (Photographer: Natalie Purslow)

Ashayla Webster is the President of a Perth based charity called “Fearless Incorporated”. This group have just finished working on a book called  “The Motherhood Project”, in which amazing women share their pregnancy, motherhood, mental health, and body image stories, in the hope that their experiences may help others. All the women involved vary in ages, ethnicity, sexual orientation, backgrounds and body types, but they are all mothers who have volunteered to share their personal heart warming and heart breaking experiences. I’ve asked Ashayla a few questions about this amazing project.

1. Fearless Inc is a non profit organisation dedicated to raising awareness for mental health, body image and gender identity issues by concentrating on the preventative ” and breaking “…down stigmas which create these issues in the first place.” How do you think your most recent project ‘The Motherhood Project’ achieves this?

As the old saying goes, knowledge is power. When we know our bodies and what they’re capable of, what will happen to them and what we can have control over, the shock of these events occurring is greatly diminished. It is my hope that any woman, regardless of where she currently finds herself in life, will find a story in this book that she can relate to, find answers to the questions she seeks or simply learn something new. Sharing stories and opening the doors to conversations that were once thought taboo, are ways to break down stigmas and prevent feelings of loneliness and inadequacy. Everyone wants to know that they are not alone. 

2.  What prompted the idea to start the Motherhood Project? 

The idea for the Motherhood Project came from a personal project I completed a few years ago. When I hit my twenties, social media was blasted with images of “real women”. There was a huge push for “real women” to be represented. This was wonderful, however, it led to the discouragement of other women, women not considered “real” by this new standard. I was shocked and upset to find that my body, a body I had spent years hating and had only just come to like, was considered to be ugly by society. Eventually that hurt became fiery determination and “Proud Member of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee” was born. It was this book, that dived into the body image issues small breasted women face, that funded the creation of Fearless Inc. Whilst creating this book, a few of the women involved were mother’s, the changes their bodies and minds went through was dramatic and I wanted to explore this further. As “Proud Member of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee” was launched, my parents were going through a divorce and my mother’s self-esteem plummeted. It seemed like the perfect time to create this book.

3.  I remember body image being a huge topic when I was growing up in the 90’s. How do you think it has changed now and are we getting better at accepting ourselves as who we are? What are things we can do to help ourselves and our loved ones to have a more positive image about ourselves?

I was a child in the nineties. I developed body image issues in high school, when all the other girls were developing, but I didn’t. I don’t recall their being any support. With the prominence of social media in the 2000’s, I believe there may have been negative impacts on how we perceive our bodies, but that is another discussion entirely. Every day we are bombarded with images of perfect people and perfect lives and this can make accepting ourselves very difficult, but I have also seen a trend of truth emerge. People seem happier to share their desires, secrets and fears via social media. For the fight to accept ourselves, this positive step forward as it opens discussions. My top piece of advice to help oneself and loved ones is to be honest and reserve judgement.

4. Do you think the media portrays a very different view and expectation of an image that mothers should be aspiring to as opposed to the reality? i.e. celebrity culture.  Is this truly aspirational and we should celebrate these images? 

I think we should celebrate every mother. It’s the toughest job in the world. Celebrity mothers are still working mums. The troubles they face may not be the same as a non-celebrity mother, but they still have them, just in a bright spotlight with the world judging them. Comparing self to these women is ridiculous. No woman should compare herself to any other. No woman should feel the right to judge another.

5. There is a quite a diverse range of mothers represented in this book. What was the process of choosing them all and encouraging them to pose naked?

Finding mothers to participate was surprisingly easy. I put my wishes for the book out into the world, and these women applied. There was no process of choosing the women to be involved, if they wanted to be and turned up to their assigned time with the photographer or submitted their story, they were in. I wanted this diversity and the reality of the variety of women out there to be at the very forefront of this book. Every person has a story.

Find out more about The Motherhood Project here:
http://fearlessinc.com.au/
https://www.facebook.com/FearlessIncorporated

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Review: Dyson V6 Absolute Handstick Vacuum

Dyson V6, Dyson V6 Absolute

Dyson V6, Dyson V6 Absolute

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Dyson V6, Dyson V6 Absolute

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You might not know about this about me, but I’m quite lazy and messy in general (just ask my mum – she would be more than happy to tell you stories of how I never cleaned my room as a child!). Cleaning is in fact one of my least favourite tasks.

But having two kids (and my husband), I have to be responsible for cleaning up their mess too and even though I hate it, it’s just something that has to be done. So even though I will never consider myself as a clean freak or OCD organiser, I do think I’m getting a lot better.

My first piece of advice is to get a good quality cordless hand held vacuum. Even better get a sexy, pretty vacuum like the Dyson V6 Absolute! I been very lucky to receive one and why the hell I never got one before I don’t know…but using it for a few weeks I don’t think I can live without one anymore. It makes vacuuming a bit fun too!

Living in a new house with white floorboards, everything is highly visible which can be hassle to clean when my kids are forever bringing in sand from their shoes, leaving crafty items (who else has a problem with glitter and loom bands being left everywhere?) and throwing food and crumbs all over the floor. Oh and having black hair isn’t the best thing with white floorboards either!

With the Dyson V6, I can quickly grab it off off its docking station and quickly zap away and say ‘sayonara’ to all the mess. I’ve found it particularly useful after preparing dinner and getting all the food off the floor and because it’s so lightweight, portable and cordless, it’s also great to use up the stairs and for the car.

Here are some added benefits that the Dyson V6 Absolute specifically has:

  • Handstick – converts to a handheld which is handy when you don’t want to bend over and to get to hard to reach areas
  • Two engineered heads – Versatile to collect large debris and fine dust on both carpet and hard floors
  • Filtration system – The filtration system expels air cleaner than the air you breathe! How cool is that?
  • Hygienic bin empty – Just press the button and everything gets emptied quickly and hygienically without any disassembling.

My only tiny gripe about this handheld is that it won’t be able to replace my proper vacuum as it only has 20 minutes battery life which won’t last for my whole house. Also, you have to constantly press the button to vacuum which can be a pain if you do use it for the full 20 minutes. However, because it’s portable, light, and cordless, I actually use it more than my proper vacuum – easily several times a day (versus once a week with the other vacuum).

You can read more about all of the specs on the Dyson website.

*Dyson  V6 was gifted for review. This is not a paid post and all opinions are my own.

S x

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