Thursday, 13 December 2018

Getting back in the surf

After nearly 6 months out of the water, I got to dust of my surfboard and hit the waves! However, this isn't the first time I have had months out of the surf. In the past, on some occasions, I have had time out due to injury, but this is the first time I have taken a step back from riding waves due to growing a human. This has been by far the most significant change and challenges my body has ever gone through, and it's taken me longer than I hoped to get back in the water, but boy did it feel good to get back in when I did.

I will be completely honest with you all, it took me longer than I expected to get back into the surf, and I felt extremely nervous, overthinking every aspect of which should be a fun experience, not a scary one. Funnily enough, it wasn't the prospect of the cold water or waves that made me feel nervous, it was, in fact, fear of my body failing me. Since having Albee I have felt weak, my stomach muscles feel like they don't exist anymore, my upper body feels broken from all the uncomfortable positions I have to get it while feeding or putting Albee to sleep. I couldn't feel further from fit and healthy if I tried. To be brutally honest this has been one of the hardest things for me. I thought after having Albee I would bounce back to fitness and feel just like I did before. The truth is, it's going to take a while to get back to where I was before, which I am fine with, I will have to make time for the gym, get in the surf as much as I can and on my yoga mat at home, all while trying to juggle being a working mom!

Anyway, I wanted to write this post for anyone who was in the same boat that I was in. Maybe you have gone through childbirth, or you're recovering from an injury, whatever the reason you've taken time out from surfing I am here to tell you  ... DO NOT WORRY. Your first surf back won't be as bad as you expect, take it from me. Here's how I overcame my nerves and got back on my board after having Albee.

Finding the right time

The day I got back into the surf, I felt terrific. I had a great night with Albee and for the first time in a while felt full of energy and lucky the stars aligned, and the Gods of surfing delivered me perfect conditions, the wait was worth it. I had plenty of other chances to get back in the surf, but on those days the waves were either too big, too small, too windy or my head wasn't in the right place. I didn't want to put pressure on myself to get back in too soon. I tried to make surfing fun again, and I knew a fun surf for me would be 2-3ft clean conditions on a weekend so Ben could watch Albee, and that's just what I had.

My advice would be to wait, the patient and surf when you feel ready and when the conditions are right for you. Avoid the days you know you won't enjoy, there's plenty of time to challenge yourself, but now is not the time.

My Pre-surf thoughts 

I felt anxious, which is normal but, it didn't let this stop me getting in the surf when I finally felt ready. The key thing here is "when I finally felt ready." I patiently waited for the right waves, and more importantly the right day for me emotionally, because let's face it, my hormones have been all over the place. I did have a lot of self-doubts flowing through my mind, but I guess this is quite normal. I thought I wouldn't be able to get to my feet, that I'd completely kook every wave and end up getting frustrated. Luckily it was quite the opposite.

My advice would wholeheartedly be, don't over think it. Remove the high expectations and pressure and just go out there and enjoy it. Even if you end up just surfing the white water, just enjoy being back in the surf.

Not as bad as I thought

I managed to get to my feet with ease, cruise along the waves and even attempt a little cutback, which felt so good! It really wasn't as terrible as I thought it would be. The feeling of the ocean on my fingertips, the light salt breeze on my face, I felt so at home. I built it up to something so much bigger than it needed to be, which in turn added extra pressure which was completly unnecessary. The moment I got in the surf and removed all expectations to ride waves like I did pre-baby, was the moment I began to feel excited again. I chose to surf my bigger board, a board I would catch fun waves on and just focus on cruising along the waves rather than trying to do any manoeuvres.

My advice to you would be this, just enjoy being back in the water. You've waited so long for this day, don't ruin it by pilling on the pressure. Just sit back, take it all in and embrace being back on your surfboard again. Surf a board you are comfortable in and in a place that's familiar to you.






I also wanted to end this blog post talking about the kit I am wearing this winter. I get asked all the time which wetsuits I would recommend, and my answer has been the same for over 10 years now. The best wetsuits for our UK waters are C-Skins. This season I have two wetsuits to choose from. 

November - January I will be wearing the C-Skins Solace 5x3 wetsuit, with boots, gloves and a hood. 

January - March because I really feel the cold and love nothing more than being cosy in the sea I will be wearing the C-Skins Wired 6mm wetsuit with a built in hood. As with the 5x3 I will team this with boots and gloves for extra warmth. 

When buying a new wetsuit, there are a few areas to consider. The fit, the thickness and type of zip fastening. I always favour a chest zip wetsuit, I find the prevent flushing and keep me warm in the surf. I also think where ever possible it's best to try on a wetsuit because the sizing always varies. For example, I wear a dress size 8/10 but wear a UK 6 wetsuit. 

Just make sure you pick the wetsuit that is right for you and the one that fits the best because ultimately that's what will keep you warmer for longer. 



H A P P Y   S U R F I N G

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Sunday, 9 December 2018

My Post Baby Body

Over three months have passed since the birth of my baby boy Albee, and my body doesn't look like it did before, which is to be expected. It took me nine months to grow him, so, I can hardly expect my body to bounce back to how it was pre-pregnancy. I am slightly wider than I was before, certainly a lot less toned and my core strength is pretty none existent. All of which are very normal things to feel postpartum. 

During my pregnancy, I had all of these big ideas of exercising straight away, getting my abs back after a month and feeling amazing in a bikini again. Well, I am sure any new moms will tell you these big ideas are entirely unrealistic. The reality is; I have surfed once, been to the gym twice, had two at home pilates sessions and do not feel great in a bikini. I'm not exercising every day or surfing a few times a week, but guess what ... that is ok! 

Once upon a time, I would beat myself up if I hadn't gone to the gym 3 times a week or feel guilty if I hadn't surfed in a month but now my priorities are very different. Not only because I have Albee in my life but also, because I have removed any pressure that I had before. Pressure to look a certain way, the pressure to be busy exercising and eating clean. For the first time in my life, I am on the go slow, and I love it, doing things on my terms (when Albee allows of course) and telling my number one critic aka myself to shut up. 




Postpartum Exercising 

My first time back in the gym and my first surf filled me with a lot of dread with just a sprinkling of excitement. I had built them both up to something so big that on both occasions I actually had butterflies in my stomach. Silly, I know but anyone who has taken a break away from something they once did every day will understand the feelings. But, I patiently waited until I felt ready to go back to the gym and chose a small, calm day for my first surf. I took my big surfboard out to make it easier to catch waves and set myself a light cardio and interval training session to ease myself back into gym life and much to my joy I caught waves and didn't pass out on the cross-trainer! I was in fact far fitter than I thought. 

Thankfully I had no abdominal separation and didn't have to recover from a c-section meaning my transition back into exercising was in fact relatively easy, all be it took longer than I initially thought it would. It really wasn't such a big deal, and if I have any advice to give any new moms who are eager to get back to the gym, in the surf or doing any form of sport/exercise, it would be this. Don't put pressure on yourself to be able to do what you did before and go at your own pace. Just because one mum on Instagram is smashing daily gym sessions just weeks after having a baby doesn't mean you have to as well. Go at your own pace, set your personal goals and above all listen to your body. We all recovery differently and what one woman may struggle with another may not. Be proud of your body and how far you've come because you're bloody awesome! 

My Tips For Postpartum Excising 

Chat with your doctor 

I had some concerns about my pelvic floor and ended up going to the doctor for an examination. It really put my mind at ease, and they gave the go-ahead to exercise. So, don't put things off, just as a professional and put your mind at ease. 

See a women's health physio 

If you're like me and you've just had or are about to have your first child, then you won't have a clue what your body is supposed to feel or look like, which is where a women's health physio comes in. It was around 6-8 weeks when my friend Jenny Chancellor (Physio and Pilates Instructor) came to my house, to not only see Albee but to also check on my recovery. She was able to confirm that my abdominals had healed meaning I could begin light exercise. I am also booked in for a New Mum MOT in a couple of weeks, to make sure my recovery is going well and to find out what exercises I should be doing. 

Start with light cardio 

Don't put pressure on your self to be at the same level you were pre-baby. Just ease your self back in with light cardio work or even better. Ask your local gym to write you a postpartum programme specific to you. Most gyms offer this service if you are a member. 

Do your pelvic floor exercises 

The most important thing you can do for your body after a baby is your pelvic floor exercises. I downloaded the Squeezy app which is an NHS approved an app. Giving you five pelvic floor exercises per day. This has been great for me as it's so easy to forget what exercises you have done the day before. This app also reminds you when to do your exercises. 

Drink plenty of water 

As always being hydrated is indeed imported. Even more so if you are breastfeeding or expressing as this dehydrates you quicker than normal. Having a refillable bottle with you will help you keep hydrated when breastfeeding or expressing. 

Ease yourself back in 

It's important to not take on too much or anything too strenuous straight away. So it's best not to jump into a new sport or style of training unless it's specific for postpartum. If you did yoga pre-baby head back but take it easy.  All sports and training work different muscles and muscle groups, some of these will be stronger than other after having a baby. Working new muscles will put extra strain on your body, so stick to what you know. 




During my postpartum recovery, I have been making sure that I have been taking plenty of vitamin and mineral supplements. Anyone with a newborn knows it's not always possible to have 3 nutritious, healthy meals per day.  So taking a selection of vitamin supplements helps keep your energy levels up when you have those nightmare days and can only eat on the go while you attend to your new arrival. 

Heres the ones I use 


Contributes to a normal healthy heart



 Anti-fatigue formula supports the immune system



Contains high levels of Vitamin C contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress and keeps skin looking healthy



Support the immune system and muscle function 


To shop any of these supplements just click on the supplement name and use code CORINNE20 to get up to 35% off. 


To all you new mums out there, or those of you getting back into exercise after having a break. Don't put pressure on your self, go at your own pace, and above all enjoy it. Because exercise is meant to be fun. 














 

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Tuesday, 30 October 2018

My Birth Story

This feels like it's very long overdue but, anyone reading this with children will understand what a whirlwind the first few weeks, months and I am guessing years of parenthood can be, but I have broken the back of 2 months and what a couple of months it has been. I am coming out of the fog; we are clawing our way out of the blur, slowly but surely.

Anyway, I will save my thoughts on parenthood and how the first eight weeks or so have been for another month. In this blog entry, I am here to share my own birth story. Now, if you're an expecting mother and maybe don't want to know the nitty-gritty, maybe don't read much further. However, I would say, I found it quite comforting watching positive birth stories, listening to them and learning about them and I can say that my birth story is real, honest and positive. Every woman's experience is different, but this is mine.

Right, let me begin


Tuesday 28th August at 5:30 am

I woke for one of my usual early morning toilet stops, which became pretty standard during the later stages of my pregnancy. Which is when I had a "show." Which is a sign that the main event isn't far away (if you don't know what a show is and you're pregnant, give it a google!) Anyway, I found this quite exciting and remember waking Ben up to say things were starting. I guess even though I knew it was going to happen within the next few days, I mean he/she had to come out before the 8th September, but knowing that my body and set the wheels in motion filled me with nerves but mainly excitement, we were on the cusp of meeting my baby.

This was, in fact, the 3rd day of my "show" it had gradually started happening, but on Tuesday it was the biggest one and was pretty obvious what it was. I am not afraid to admit, I took a photo and googled what a 'show' looks like because sometimes it's good to have a bit of reassurance, especially when it's all new. Honestly, ladies or men, it's worth knowing what to expect.

As the day went on I began to get what I can only describe as period pains; I wouldn't say they were painful, more uncomfortable. So, I took a bath, went for a walk and caught up on some work. Ben had gone into the office because I didn't feel like anything would happy that day/night. The cramps were on and off and seemed to stop for an hour or so after I had a bath or walked around. However, as soon as the evening hit the dull ache seemed to become more consistent. I remember calling my mom to tell her how I was feeling because Ben had gone surfing and I wanted to give her the heads up that things were progressing. Little did I know I had a long while to go ...

Anyway, that evening I tried to eat, but I felt so sick. I managed a couple of slices of pizza, but that was it. We went to bed early, watching Madagascar on Netflix as a distraction, childish I know, but it put a smile on my face and took my mind off the uncomfortable feeling I couldn't seem to escape. We were both quite exhausted we went to sleep, with the aim to get as much rest as possible.




Wednesday 29th 2:00 am 

I wake up with contractions. Mild ones but certainly more intense than the period pains I had before. Not wanting to wake Ben, I moved from my bed onto the sofa, where I lay until the sun came up. I couldn't sleep, I couldn't get comfortable, and I felt sick. It was clear that my body was getting ready for birth and I just had to sit back and let it's run its course.

Ben took the day off to stay at home with me, he cleaned around the house, put the washing on and did anything he could to keep busy. I guess looking back it was his way of preparing for the arrival of our little one. But, I remember at the time wanting him to come to sit down and relax with me, but he couldn't sit still.

Heading into the afternoon the contractions got worse and worse, so my mom suggested I try Clary Sage oil in the bath. It's supposedly used to help with contractions. So, there we were, Wednesday afternoon, while in the early stages of labour, driving around trying to find this oil. Luckily we did, and as soon as we got home, I ran a bath and soaked in it for a while. This bath certainly helped my contractions, I just worried it would slow down the contractions like it had done the previous day, but this time it was different, this time they continued to increase in intensity and become closer together.


Wednesday 29th Around 4:00 pm

Late afternoon hit and I was in a lot of pain. I am going to be brutally honest with you all; I HATED the contractions. They hurt, made me feel sick and like nothing I could have prepared myself for. BUT, I dealt with them, and I just tried to keep the thought that it's just my body getting ready for birth at the forefront of my mind.

Pacing the room, unable to sit down, I had to keep moving throughout everyone. Ben sat patiently with his contraction app open, timing each one as they came and went. As they got closer together and the intensity increasing we decided to call the midwives, luckily my midwife was on call and came round before her shift ended. She could see I was in a lot of pain, so examined me to see how my body was progressing. It turns out I was only 1.5cm dilated. Not great for me to hear, I had a long old way to go, so she gave me a stretch and sweep to try and speed things up a little.
As I got myself together, she chatted to Ben, explaining what to do when I progress further, I wasn't in any state to be taking on relevant information.


Wednesday 29th Around 7:00 pm 

Ben calls the midwives; my contractions are increasing with intensity, lasting longer, with little to no break in between. Ben was told to monitor my contractions closely and to come in for 9 pm.


Wednesday 29th 9:30 pm 

With our bags packed and my contractions feeling even closer we arrived at Treliske. I don't remember much of the car journey to be honest; I had my eyes closed, for the most part, trying to focus on breathing through my contractions which felt like they were back to back. With the main reception closed, we headed straight up to the birth centre where we were greeted by a midwife. She checked over my green book and examined me. Much to my dismay, I was now only 2cm dilated; my body wasn't working productively. The lack of food and sleep had really taken its toll.
We were quickly given two options, to go home, try and sleep and eat or have pain relief, go to the ward and sleep. This was a decision I had battled with. I didn't want to go home. I had been at home all day, unable to eat or sleep because of the discomfort, and the level of pain I was in, and it wasn't going to get any better. But, I didn't want to take any pain relief. The midwife left the room to give us time to make the decision but even when she came back a short while after we still hadn't decided what to do. I had so many questions to ask about the pain relief and wanted to weigh up my options, but during this time, my contractions got stronger and stronger. I knew I only had one choice, to take the pain relief.
Luckily for me, the ward was full, and there were no beds, so the midwives ushered us into the St Michaels Mount room to rest. I was given my injection here and soon drifted off into a light sleep. My contractions continued, and I woke every time they passed through my body, but I was able to rest. Up until this point, I had to stand up for every contraction, so it felt nice to relax a little.


Midnight 

The pain relief had worn off, and the contractions were here with a bang! As I stood up and focus on the pain, I noticed I had passed some blood, which turns out was the start of my waters breaking. Ben rushed to get the midwives, who examined me. Now at 6cm, they filled up the birthing pool, and we were on!

Ben set up the playlist, I grabbed a biscuit, shoved it in my mouth, sipped some water and got myself ready. At this point, I couldn't have been more excited.
As I got into the pool, I felt instant relief, pure bliss in fact. The dim lighting, warm water, gas and air I had been given made my contractions pass with ease. However, as soon as I got in the pool, I felt like I need to push. Which is precisely what I did!

Starting on my knees, then turning around with my back against the side of the pool I used every contraction to push with all my might. I remember the midwives commenting on how agile I was in the pool, which made me laugh.

As the birth progressed, I started to get tired, again the lack of food and sleep was taking its toll, but I was so determined to meet my baby that I didn't let either factor get in the way.
I pushed harder and harder, and soon the head was out. All I had to do was wait till the next contraction to birth the body. The wait felt like a lifetime. Knowing the head was out, and all I had to do was push one last time to meet my baby felt so wonderful. Pushing with every ounce of strength left in my body I finally got to meet my beautiful little Albee.


Thursday 30th August 1:11 am

Grabbing him and holding him up to my chest, my body felt instant relief and my heart full with love for my son. I held him tight, staring down at his big eyes, we were both seeing each other for the first time.

It was a moment I would never forget. I had become a mother.








My Thoughts

In a nutshell, I hated the contractions but loved the birth. I found it such an empowering experience. When I think about it now, it fills my heart with joy.

The midwives who supported me were unbelievable, going above and beyond to make the birth as positive as possible. They made me feel in control and never let me doubt my ability to have the birth I wanted.


What I did

Before the birth, I completed the Postive Birth Company Hypnobirthing online program. This helped me prepare for the birth, understanding what may happen. It taught me how to breathe through the contractions and learn how to breathe during active labour.

I was kindly gifted a session with Cornwall Hypnobirthing, which I loved and cannot recommend enough if you live in Cornwall. Within this session, I visualised the birth, relaxed my mind, body and practiced my breathing. It allowed me to prepare my mind for the task ahead.

I honestly think both Hypnobirthing experiences helped keep me calm throughout it all. Before I completed my Hypnobirthing course, I had no idea what to expect. I thought it might be a little out of my comfort zone and unable to relate to it, but that couldn't be further from the truth. It helped put my mind at ease about birth and made me excited about the experience. 


My advice 

To anyone preparing for the birth of their first child, I want to give you some advice! 

1. Don't fear birth. Your body is built for this, and you're going to be able to deal with whatever it throws at you. 

2. Relax as much as you can before the baby arrives. Give yourself time to mentally prepare without overthinking. 

3. Be ready to adapt. Your birth plan may not go to "plan", and that's something I wanted to prepare for. Keeping your options open is always good, and knowledge is power. Knowing what you want to do if you have to have an emergency c-section, for example, will give you comfort in what can feel like quite a stressful time. If you have to have more pain relief that you initially didn't want (like I did), then that's ok. You have to do whatever is best not only for the baby but also for yourself. 

4. Watch positive birth videos. I had no idea what happened in a waterbirth and watching one allowed me to have a better understanding of what to expect. I had so many questions, all of which were answered by watching a variety of different videos on YouTube. 

5. Enjoy it. Try to embrace every moment, your first contraction, the first time you push, the tea and toast after. Embrace and embody it all because it may feel like it takes for every to birth your baby but it will be over in a flash and those 9 months or so you have spend growing your little one will fly by. 


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Sunday, 30 September 2018

No Stretch Mark Pregnancy

As you all should know by now, I had my beautiful little boy Albee on 30th August, after the most beautiful pregnancy. It's had its highs and lows as with most things but I thoroughly enjoyed carrying Albee and now looking back, I really miss the time I had with him, bonding, growing and developing. It was also nice to have a little more time to myself haha, which any parent will know is few and far between with a newborn.

Anyway, the point of this blog post is as the title suggestions, my no stretch mark pregnancy. I don't have a single mark, not one! Which I am amazed by because I actually have stretch marks already, from growing as a young teenager. I didn't have the biggest of bumps, but my skin certainly stretched beyond ordinary. It wasn't something I would have been overly bothered about, as I already have stretch marks but if I could try to prevent getting any more, then I was keen to do so. Which is what I did, twice a day and I swear by two products, which are Coconut Oil and Living Sea Therapy Body Butter. I used the oil first then followed by the butter, and on some occasions, I just used one or the other to save time. I think both products are packed full of skin loving ingredients and extremely rich, which my bump loved! With the body butter containing Sea Spaghetti which is packed full of vitamins which help the skin restore its moisture levels.

I used these products nearly every day and would highly recommend any pregnant ladies out there to give them a go. You don't need to use a lot, and both products are safe to use on your skin when pregnant and can also be used everywhere, even your face.

If you want to chat with me in more detail about the products or my pregnancy, then feel free to get in touch via Instagram or email me directly at corinnevans@gmail.com




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Monday, 27 August 2018

Bath Time And Pregnancy



Making time to relax is so important during pregnancy. Unlike what most people told me, my pregnancy went and is going very quickly. I have been working, renovating a house (not alone I might add) but still, I have had a lot on my plate and finding the time to sit, unwind and relax has been a real saviour for me.


I didn't need to be a big song and dance, with an elaborate ritual which takes time to prepare. For me, I found I was happiest with a bath filled with healing sea salts, a mug of herbal tea and either music or a Netflix series on my laptop. Yes, I do sometimes watch Netflix while in the bath, but don't worry my laptop is well away from the water. For additional relaxation I add a few drops of lavender to the bath, I find it helps me relax even more, and the oils keep my skin feeling soft even after the bath. TOP TIP: add oils to your bath if you're in a rush and cannot moisturise after!

The simplest pleasures are often the ones I treasure the most and the time I spend in the bath, alone, without any distractions allow my mind and body to unwind fully. Which I know will be hard to come by when the baby does arrive, and then they soon turn into toddlers, who want to bath with you with an abundance of toys, which will be awesome don't get me wrong, but not quite the candlelit, self-healing baths I am currently used to.

As, I am now in the later stages of pregnancy - 40 weeks and four days to exact and I write this blog post early in the morning, after waking up with mild stomach cramps it's made me realise how thankful I am to have had such a beautiful, relaxing pregnancy. I have surrounded myself with only positives and have taken time for myself when I have felt like I need it. My self-care has never been more critical, and every inch of my body has been nourished in preparation for the little one to arrive.

For pregnancy bath time I cannot recommend the Living Sea Therapy Calming Bath Salts at night and in the day or the morning the Living Sea Energise Bath Salts

Both products are rich in the Living Sea Complex which is exclusive the Living Sea Therapy, here's a little more about what makes this complex extra special!


LIVING SEA COMPLEX®

Living Sea Complex® combines the unique geology of the Lizard peninsula with powerful, distilled Cornish Sea Salt Minerals and a trio of wild Cornish Atlantic seaweeds from the Cornish Seaweed company. Read on below to find out a little more about the key components.




Bladderwrack

Cornish bladderwrack is chosen for its powerful properties, nutrient-rich, abundant in vitamins, minerals and amino acids are known to help increase hydration and improve skin elasticity, helping to reduce the signs of ageing. This fantastic seaweed is also known to help reduce redness and irritation in inflamed skin and known to support the skins natural detoxification.




KOMBU/KELP

Grown wild and sustainably harvested from the uniquely pure Cornish waters, these seaweeds absorb a vast array of nutrients, offering a rich source of minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, iodine, potassium to name a few and vitamins A, D, E, B3 and B7.




SEA SPAGHETTI

Our wild Sea Spaghetti is harvested and used in our trio of Cornish seaweed extract for its high levels of the vitamins, A, C, E, B7 and B9 (Folic Acid), to help the skin restore its moisture levels. It is also known to have antimicrobial and anti-oxidative properties.



CORNISH SEA SALT MINERALS

Cornish Sea Salt Co. uses a sustainable salt extraction process in the pure waters off the Cornish coast at the Lizard Peninsula, a designated area of outstanding natural beauty, marine conservation zone and site of special scientific interest. At the Salt House, just a few metres from the translucent waters of the Cornish Atlantic, seawater is filtered and purified, removing only 0.5% of salt from the ocean, using only ultraviolet lights and a benign ion osmosis process.




CORNISH SEA SALT FLAKES

Beautiful pure white delicate Cornish Sea Salt Flakes, mineral-rich, with over 60 minerals including Sodium, Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium and Sulphur, known for their therapeutic benefits to skin and used in our Salt Scrubs and mineral-rich Bath salts.




PURE ESSENTIAL OILS

Relax into a warm, soothing, refreshing blend of sage, chamomile and lavender pure essential oils. These sweet, spicy, floral oils strengthen the senses, help boost energy and balance the mind and body, triggering ultimate relaxation.

TO SHOP ANY OF THE LIVING SEA THERAPY PRODUCTS

CLICK HERE - www.livingseatherapy.co.uk

USE CODE LST Ambassador Code: CE10 for a discount on your orders 


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Monday, 13 August 2018

Pregnancy Skincare Essentials


Hormones during pregnancy can do wonders for your hair and skin, and I think I have been one of the lucky ones. My hair has never felt or looked better, and my skin apart from the pigmentation feels radiant and hydrated. However, with this being said I don't know how much of this is baby related or the fact that I have been more conscious than ever to look after my hair and skin. I have been religiously applying oils and creams to my body twice a day, which before pregnancy I probably didn't do as much. I have stopped using heat on my hair and just let it dry naturally every time it's washed. I guess I believe it's a combination of the two, but surely I cannot hurt to take a little extra care of my skin and hair during this beautiful time, because after all my body is under a lot of strain and is working harder than ever to grow this bundle of joy, it deserves some extra indulgence.

Since announcing my pregnancy all those months I go, I have had the chance to test out a variety of different stretch mark and skin loving products. All of which I have really loved and would recommend. Before I go into more detail about the products I must stress, some of these items have been gifted but at no point have I been paid to tell you how beautiful they are. These thoughts and views are my own and have been developed through product testing.

In no particular order, here are the products I have been using throughout my nearly 9 months of pregnancy, my thoughts and also a little description of the product. I have also linked them all so you can shop them if you wish to! Also, if anyone wants to know more, just get in touch via my Instagram!





I had used the Tan Organic tanning products before and loved them and that the dry oil didn't disappoint. The oil has a lovely citrus fragrance to it, due to the orange peel extract it contains. It didn't leave my skin feeling greasy, so it this was a great product to use before getting dressed. I applied it all over my body and face. I didn't have any breakouts or feel like my pores were clogged. Just a lovely hydrating feel and quite the refreshing smell!  





If you haven't heard of My Expert Midwife, you need to go check them out right now! Well, continue reading this blog, then go check them out. So, ladies, it's not just our bumps we may want to take care of, it's also our lady regions. They need a little TLC and some much-needed prep before the big day arrives. Now, I am not going to go into too much detail because the wonderful ladies at My Expert Midwife have got that covered and have written a blog on how to carry out a Perineal Massage - READ HERE.

I would hight recommend investing in the Peri Prep Your Bits Oil for before birth and the Spritz For Bits for after birth, again check out their website for more information about how their Spritz can help with recovery.

Another product I have been using recently has been the Fantastic Skin Elastic, which has pleasantly surprised me. It's a rich, oil but thick like cream. It's unlike anything I have ever used before. I would recommend using this product in the evening, or if you're not in a rush to get dressed. It has a very light fragrance, again with a light citrus tone but very subtle. I really felt like this product can prevent stretch marks, it's so creamy and hydrating it almost seems impossible for it not to have some benefits. 

I am yet to try the Spritz For Bits or  No Harm Nipple Balm, so I will come back to you all with my thoughts on this one. 





This is a brand I had never actually heard of, but Science Of Skin reached out to me over social media, and I thought I'd give their products a go. I found their brand very exciting after doing some research, knowing they specialised in healing scars and stretch mark preventions intrigued me. 

I have been using two of their products, the first one being the Stretch Mark Defence which is, in fact, a spray on oil. Really quick and easy to use, just spray over the area you wish to protect and rub in. It absorbs into the skin quite quickly but be sure to give it a few minutes before getting dressed, you don't want to get oil on your clothes. 

The other product I have been using is the Solution For Stretch Marks, now I haven't actually got any stretch marks on my stomach at the moment, but I do have some on my thighs from when I had a growth spurt all those years ago. So, I have been using this product not only on my bump but also in these areas. It's too early to say if they have made a difference but it certainly leaves my skin feeling soft and hydrated. Both products are relatively fragrance-free which is nice if you're feeling queasy and cannot deal with any strong smells. 






As well as all of the above I have also continued using my old faithful Living Sea Body Butter. I have used this on top of the oils and balms or just as little extra hydration when at home or on the beach. This is a product I swear by and isn't just incredible on your body, it's also amazing for your face. 

Last but by no means least the Kit & Kin Stretch Mark Oil. Now, Kit & Kin are famous for their Earth-friendly nappies and baby wipes, which I love but I didn't know they also had a Stretch Mark Oil, designed for mums to be! You can really smell the Neroli Oil in this product which I loved! A little really does go along way, and it's small enough you can even take it with you in your handbag or beach bag. It's creamy but not greasy. 





Hopefully, this has helped any stretch mark product concerns you may have had. There's a variety of products to choose from, and I will be back to blog with my updates on the products after birth. As I said before if you wish to ask some more detailed questions just drop me a message on my Instagram 
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Wednesday, 8 August 2018

The Nursery



For those of you that follow my Instagram, you'll have seen that my husband and I recently brought our first home in Newquay and have been spending the past few months renovating the coastal bungalow in preparation for the arrival of our first child.  The nursery was, in fact, the last room for us to finish, apart from the kitchen which we have decided to not touch for a few months.

Anyway, our nursery was an inspiring project to have mainly because we don't know the gender it's made it all the more enjoyable to put together. I have sourced ethically produced items, upcycled a lot and thrown in a few vintage pieces for good measure. I wanted to find the balance between a colourful, childlike room and a relaxing space for me to also spend my time and I am happy to say I feel like I have found just that.

With soft, snuggly fabrics and colour pops to stimulate the imagination I am over the moon with how it's all come together. I wanted the room to have character and not just look like I'd gone to the baby section of a department store. It needed to fit in with the style of our home as much as anything, and our house has quite an eclectic mix of styles, but all with a fresh homely feel.

As well as having all the basics that any nursery needs, like storage, somewhere for me to nap and room for cuddly toys and delightful artwork, I also wanted to make sure that I had the right baby essentials. I am lucky enough to have a lot of friends with kids, who have helped me out with my nursery must-have list. So I invited a good friend and photographer Sarah Clarke from Checkered Photography to come round and shoot some elements of the nursery.

I have linked the products shown and explained in detail why I have chosen them.

Moses Basket by Bosie Baby - This is the Meerkat design. They are all handmade and gorgeous. I ordered my stand from Clair De Lune and went for the Deluxe White Moses Basket Rocking Stand. It fits perfect. The basket also comes with a mattress and an organic cotton mattress cover. 
The blanket was handmade by my aunt, who actually dyes her own yarns. It was given as a gift at my baby shower, and I couldn't be happier. Boy or Girl, it's going to look lovely snuggled up around them. You can shop her items through her shop - Perran Yarns.



This cupboard was actually in my nursery as a child. It needed a little bit of a makeover so I gave it a lick of paint and upcycled a vintage mirror to match. As you can see, there are a fair few cuddly toys dotted around and some greenery! I love plants around the home, and it only seemed right to get one in the nursery too!


According to my friends, Sleepyheads of Sweden are an absolute must! For someone who is going to have to continue working from home, I think this little tropical little beauty will come in very handy. I opted for the tropical print because even during the winter months it's always lovely to keep that tropical vibes going. 



We currently have a wardrobe nearly full of baby grows, muslins and mini hats and boots for the new arrival but these pairs are my absolute favourite! I am lucky enough to be good friends with the owner of Lottie and Leash, and in fact, my Mum is a seamstress for them, meaning my little one is going to have the loveliest threads to wear! 



Baby skincare and nappy products are essential to me. With most nappies can take between 200-500 years to biodegrade which is unbelievable. As well as investing in a few reusable nappies I will also be using the Kit & Kin products because they are Earth-friendly and a better option to use if I need someone while on the go. 



Another product which is going to amazing when on the go is my Ergo Baby 360 Carrier. Great for on the go and can be used from newborn. I went for the grey colour because this will be something both myself and husband use and I love a neutral colourway. 



Lastly, a little something for the baby to sleep in. From the lovely Ergo Pouch, I chose the cloud design because I loved how fresh it looked. All organic cotton and allows you to unzip to change the nappy and they can also sleep with their arms in or out. 




Photos by Checkered Photography 
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