Saturday, 23 March 2013

How I Prevent Stretchmarks

With pregnancy comes a whole new beauty regime and from the very beginning, before I even had a bump, I started some prevention tactics. It's important to point out that half the battle is your genes, so if your mam got them, then there's a good chance that you will too. However, I believe that even if you do get them, with some changes to your routine you can help the appearance of them!

Third trimester bump
Luckily, my mam has not got a single stretchmark on her so I checked the good genes part! Now here is everything else I did and the products I used!

1. Shower
I've already sung my praises about this product but this is what I've used the majority of the time because it's really creamy and moisturising and I was addicted to the smell of it!

2. Oil
Probably the most important step - special oil made for prevention of stretchmarks. I've been using Burt's Bees Mama Bee Nourishing Body Oil all the way through. It's got a very lemony, zesty, fresh scent and it's divine!

3. Moisturiser
The Sanctuary Spa Body Lotion (L) contains ginger and jojoba which supposedly stimulates your circulation and replenishes your skin, which is why I've been using it the last few months! When I've fancied a change, I've switched to L'Occitane Verbena Body Lotion which smells very similar to the Burt's Bees oil, very lemony and fresh.

4. Fragrance
I've been using fragrances which are moisturising which I know most likely don't make any difference at all but I thought I would include this step as this as how I finish my daily routine. I've either been using a Soap & Glory Spray-On Body Moisturising Mist or Chance by Chanel Sheer Moisture Mist.

Even before I got pregnant I usually adapted to this kind of routine every winter anyway, but I feel this has really helped my skin over the last few months while it's been making room for baby!

Thursday, 14 March 2013

The Ten Day You Challenge - Seven Wants

I've been pondering over this one for a while, wondering whether I should make it a wishlist-y type of post talking about products/clothes/accessories that I want, but I think instead I'm going to make it a general list of what I would like now and in the future. 

1. A Healthy Baby 
I think you all guessed I was going to put this one down first, but it's the #1 thing I want right now! 

2. A House 
We're not in a rush to move yet as we have plenty of space where we are now, but I'm excited to have a house to decorate in the future when we have more kiddywinkles. 

3. My Own Business 
This won't happen for a while but I've done business planning and management as part of my degree, so the business plan is done and ready when I am. 

4. For Everyone to be Healthy & Happy 
I've said before that I usually worry more about other people than I actually worry about myself. I always want the best for those close to me. 

5. Sunshine 
When is it going to be spring already? This has been the longest winter ever! 

6. My Uni Work Done/Motivation 
To be fair I have done most of it ahead of time, but how come motivation always wanes when you are getting so close to the end (or is that just me)?! I wish I could fast forward a month! 

7. Things I'm Not Supposed to Want 
All those things you're not supposed to eat when you're pregnant, I now really miss and want, and I know exactly what I want to eat straight after the birth. It's really sad I know but nine months is a long time to go without certain food that you like!

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Spa Day - Serenity Spa @ Seaham Hall Hotel

Inbetween doing my dissertation, assignments and preparing for exams, and of course tackling the weird and sometimes wonderful side-effects of pregnancy and preparing for a baby, I decided that I needed a day to chill out and switch off. My mam hasn't had a much better time, recovering from surgery on both her feet, after a doctor suspected she had skin cancer. She doesn't, and is back on her feet now. Hurrah! So we decided we needed to treat ourselves to a spa day.

Seaham Hall hotel is a 5* hotel on the cliff tops of the Durham coast. The Serenity Spa is not inside the actual hotel, it is the first building you come to when you enter the grounds. As soon as you go in, you're given a seat to fill in the necessary forms and you're offered drinks and fruit whilst they get your towels, slippers and dressing gowns ready. After the tour, you're free to go wherever you want. I was surprised when they told us that you can even go into the restaurant in your dressing gown if you wanted to! We started off by killing some time by the pool. The hot tubs outside looked amazing, although I was recommended not to use them whilst pregnant so I didn't get to see if it felt as good as it looked. Maybe next time! We had a dip in the 20-metre pool which was lovely and warm, and also has massage stations. I was quite happy just sitting at the massage station not doing very much before laying on one of the many loungers, reading magazines. There were also plenty of staff around to take orders for drinks (cocktails, smoothies, fruit juices and tea and coffee) for you. It really doesn't take very long for you to completely forget whatever stressed you out before you came here!

We were then met by our therapists who showed us to our room where we would be having treatments. The rooms are dimly lit (without being too dark) with candles. All products used on us were from Elemis. I'm usually a bit of a chatterbox when I'm getting treatments but it was game over before we started as I sunk into the heated massage bed, I was so relaxed I barely said two words. My baby kicked all the way through so I think the heated bed had his seal of approval too. After a foot rub, she gave me a neck and shoulder massage and moved onto the facial, which took about half an hour. I did not want to get off that bed when we were done! We were then taken to the 'relaxation station' (I'm not sure if that's what they actually called it or if I just made that up), which is just a room with lots of loungers facing the scenery outside and plenty of water and fruit available. We continued using the facilities for a while longer before having a lovely shower, blow-dry and getting dressed. Everything you need is available, including the shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, and a bag to put your swimsuit in after you've finished using it.

Other features that the spa offers are:

- Sanarium with crystal-light therapy
- Sauna with quartz crystal
- Snail showers
- Hydrotherapy pool
- Ice fountain
- Plunge pools
- Black granite steam room with amethyst crystal
- Fitness suite
- Aerobic studio
- Roof garden

Now the best part of all, the food!

Thai fishcakes
Usually when you book a spa package, it includes a two-course meal in the O-Zone restaurant, which serves Asian food. The staff are very friendly and our food came really quickly. The views from the restaurant are lovely too, and there's a terrace to eat your food on when the weather improves. We both really liked our food and by this point we were definitely ready to go home and go to bed! I was out like a light when I went to bed that night and Craig even commented on my skin the next day saying how nice it looked and how soft it was. If a man notices, then that's a big deal haha. The treatments must have worked. Find out more about The Serenity Spa on their website, including the range of treatments that they do, their spa packages and the price list.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Dancing Pony

Just something to make you smile this Monday..

This week I finally realised the importance of continuing to go on dates with my fiance. I'm just about to enter the third and final trimester of my pregnancy (where did the time go?), and apparently I'm about to experience crippling exhaustion like I did in my first trimester. I'm already getting out of breath walking up the stairs and can't waddle to my next lecture fast enough so if I get even bigger I'm guessing that this will be true. So, I've been dedicating most of my time to my final pieces of work for university. My work still isn't due in for a while, so it's not like I have a looming deadline forcing me to devote all of my time to my work. It's just that if I'm anything like I was before, I won't want to do any work and I'd rather it all be done ahead of time while I still feel pretty good. It came to the point though where I was doing it every single day and wasn't spending any real time with Craig. We live together so we do see each other a lot (obviously) but we weren't really doing anything together.

I think what I've noticed is that when you live together it is very easy to let dates and actually doing things together fall down your list of priorities. You don't have to make any effort to go out and see each other anymore so you don't have to think of things to do. We used to have so much fun when we were dating, we did all sorts. I know this is really my fault as he always asks me to go out with him but I've been so wrapped up in my work I've declined most of the time! Finally, I've taken pity on him and realised I probably should make more time to do things with him, so yesterday we spent the whole day together, going for a walk, having a Sunday dinner, watching a film together, it was lovely and the break actually made me a whole lot more productive today anyway. Especially as it's not going to be just us two in the house for much longer, we really should make the effort to spend more time together.

Is anybody else guilty of letting date nights fall down the list of things to do? If you live with your boyfriend/husband and can't remember the last time you went on a real date, why not surprise him this week!