Wednesday, 18 May 2016

beauty: No7 Skin Illuminator


Throughout my pregnancy I have suffered from lack of sleep and, as a result, my skin has looked grey and tired. When No7 sent me their new Skin Illuminator to try I jumped at the chance to give it a go. The Skin Illuminator boasts multi-faceted light reflectors which instantly enhance your complexion, for a natual looking radiance. Yes please!

You can use this lightweight illuminator in one of three ways to enhance your natural radiance and to immediately give gorgeous, luminous skin:

As a primer before applying your foundation;

Mixed in with your regular foundation for added luminosity;

Lightly applied as a highlighter to your cheek and brow bones.

I've been using it mixed in with my Liz Earle tinted moisturiser which makes it much of a lighter look and lifts my skin. I also use it as a highlight on my cheek bones afterwards - to add a little more reflection.

This is definitely one product I'll be repurchasing. Right now Boots have their No7 vouchers available with £3 off make-up and £5 off skincare.

Monday, 16 May 2016

3 things: reflexology has helped with during pregnancy


I've been having reflexology sessions since I was 23 weeks pregnant. I had had a few sessions previously and really enjoyed it. When I first started a couple of months ago, I had read that it can help with SPD, which I was really struggling with. I admit, I was slightly sceptical that it would too much but thought that if nothing else, it would be nice for the foot massage side of the treatment. I was very pleasantly surprised by the positive results it has had.

  1. Eased my SPD. I obviously can't be sure that it was the reflexology alone but after my early sessions I definitely had less pain for a few days.
  2. Helped to promote better sleep. With less pain, also came better sleep. But even now when my SPD seems to have eased a little, I find that for a good week after a reflexology session I sleep much more soundly. Has anyone else noticed that they wake at around 4am and can't get back to sleep for ages? I don't know if it's hormones. Anyway, after reflexology, this 4am wake-up is not an issue for a good 4/5 nights. (I do still wake up and turn over a lot, but I fall back to sleep - and a much deeper sleep - a lot quicker.)
  3. Reduced swelling in my feet. This is a new one but last week my feet were sooooo swollen. And my ankles - was definitely rocking some cankles!! After my last reflexology session, my feet and ankles have gone right down.

Reflexology is based on the notion that areas of the feet and hands are linked to other areas and organs of the body. It is used to treat symptoms in many parts of the body by using fingertip pressure on specific areas on the feet primarily, and sometimes on the hands as well.

As in the case with prenatal massage, some reflexologists prefer to wait until you are out of your first trimester before they will work on you. There are also some complications for which reflexology is specifically not recommended. You should have a chat with your midwife before going for reflexology.

Reflexologists can also work the area between your ankle and heel to stimulate labour and contractions. Obviously you don't want them doing this before you're full term! I've chatted to my reflexologist about trying this in a few weeks time. Both of us are keen to see if it does speed up the process - I'll report back!

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

style: summer maternity maxi dresses


I posted earlier in the week about ways to keep cool in the summer and one of those was to dress in loose clothing. I've found the few maxi dresses I've bought to be a godsend, so I thought I would do a round up of some of the best - and most bargainous - ones I've spotted:

Maternity maxi dresses

Clockwise from top left: Asos halterneck maxi dress; Asos nursing maxi dress; New Look tropical print maxi dress; New Look back bar maxi dress (this is the one I'm wearing in the image above); New Look floral print maxi dress; and Asos bandeau maxi dress.

How do you keep your cool in the summer sun?

Monday, 9 May 2016

top tips: 5 ways to stay cool in the summer when pregnant


Turns out that the summer heat and sunshine can be particularly challenging when you're pregnant. I thought I’d share some tips for staying cool.

Summer definitely arrived this weekend in the UK. What a difference a week makes. Ridiculous to think that I was in huge jumpers and sheepskin boots last weekend and this weekend we were firing up the BBQ!

I love the sunshine and the summer heat – the minute the sun is out I am out in the garden and refusing to leave. Being pregnant in the heat is a totally different matter though. Yesterday I managed a couple of hours outside, before heading in for an epic nap.

With seven weeks still to go, I thought I’d share my tips from the weekend for staying cool in the heat when pregnant:

  1. Find shade or head indoors. A parasol will be your new best friend if you’re pregnant in the summer. Usually I’d happily lie out in the sun for hours but this weekend, I hid under the parasol while we ate lunch and then headed inside to try to keep cool.
  2. Drink lots. I’ve been drinking loads of water already during my pregnancy but when it’s hot outside, it’s even more important to drink more.
  3. Use sunscreen. I always use sunscreen anyway but when you’re pregnancy it’s even more important as your skin is much more sensitive.
  4. Wear loose clothing. If you’re anything like me, you’ll find anything tight around your bump is so uncomfortable in the heat. I’d already bought myself a couple of maxi dresses and was so glad of these at the weekend.
  5. Stick your feet in cold water. When I was outside for our BBQ at the weekend, I managed to stay a little longer with the help of a washing up bowl filled with cold water!

Anyone else got any tips for staying cool in the heat when you’re pregnant?

MaternityMondays