All-natural Remedies

During the last month of this pregnancy I’ve been dealing with very swollen feet and ankles. Add to that the intense heat and humidity and you get achy, tired feet that need to be elevated constantly. So recently I came across an all natural remedy for swollen feet and thought I would try it out.

For all you moms to be out there, and really anyone dealing with swollen feet, here’s what I did.

Apple cider vinegar wraps:

I added apple cider vinegar to warm water (about half and half) and soaked towels in it. I then wrapped each foot in the towel and elevated my feet for a few minutes. Initially, the article I read said 5 minutes but I did it twice and left it on for about 10 minutes each time.

The first time I did it, I didn’t see a major difference but the second time I saw a big decrease in the swelling of my ankles. The smell isn’t great but hey, I’ll take that over puffy feet any day.

Any other suggestions out there? I’m open to new ones and looking for more.

There are other ones out there that I’m willing to try. I’ll keep y’all posted!

XOXO

***I Just wanted to give an update to this post. The wrapping of my feet with the apple cider vinegar proved to be messy and didn’t work as well as I thought it would. A few years ago, my husband bought me one of those foot bubble bath tubs and I decided to put the apple cider vinegar along with epsom salts in warm water and then put my feet in under the jets. I highly recommend. Its less messy and feels great. Along with that, I’ve been drinking a lot of water with lemon, cucumber and ginger to help alleviate the swelling. All of these have been working but it’s the middle of the summer in the South. An all natural remedy can only do so much to combat the intense heat and humidity!

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Baby Showers: Stick to Tradition vs. New Millenium

As I move further along in my pregnancy, I come to the fork in the road that we must all face as women. The shower. If you’re like most women, it’s a tradition you maintain when you get engaged and have a baby, you accept it and move on. I must not be like most women because I hate showers. I know, I’m weird. But I find that as I meet more and more women and talk to younger age groups across the board, theses women are starting to feel the same way I do. Could it be that we are moving into a generation, where women are changing the way we celebrate wedding and babies? It’s especially hard when you grow up in the south where Southern ideals and traditions are law. Well, I like to do things differently. For starters, I like to plan my own parties. I planned my own bridal shower and I planned my own baby shower. Call me a control freak if you want, but I don’t see a problem with it. I like what I like and when it comes to a party I have very specific ideas (thanks to pinterest!) and I know that no one will make the party look like I want it to look. Add to the mix your in laws and well it could lead to heads butting and miscommunication. If it’s important to you, stick to your guns and it helps if you have backup. Luckily, my husband is super supportive of me and loves my outside the box thinking and my mom, well I couldn’t ask for a better one. Having them stick up for me when people want me to go the traditional route helps tremendously. Now if you’re like me and you like the non-traditional shower idea, I recommend compromising. For my bridal shower, I had an all-white tea party for my friends and family in New Orleans and my mother in law and  sisters-in-law threw me one on the Northshore for their side of the family. For my baby shower, I had a co-ed baby shower with NO games. That’s right. It took a lot of convincing but it worked out perfectly. The guys were happy as long as they didn’t have to play games and had beer and the women were happy because I opened presents and they got to ooh and aah over that. Add some good food and good company and you can’t go wrong. Just see for yourselves. I’ve added some pics to give you inspiration!

The shower was a BBQ theme. This was the invitation (I used Etsy to customize it and printed them out through Vistaprint):

:Shower Invite

Another Pinterest creation!

Fruit carriage

I had to have some sort of game so I had a calendar and people had to guess when the baby would be due as well as the opportunity to write a note: wishes for the baby and advice for mom and dad (what did we do without Pinterest!!)

For the dessert table, I had a friend Rachael Russo Swanson who has a side baking business make cupcakes (she also made my wedding cake and if you’re on Instagram give her a follow @sugar_rush_nola or Sugar Rush Nola on Facebook), another friend made a strawberry shortcake drizzled in Gran Marnier (because you know, not everyone is pregnant at the party!) and then I ordered cookies in the shape of bowties, mustaches, pacifiers and baby bottles from a local bakery (Sugar Love Cakes  www.sugarloveslidell.com). I threw in some colored candy from Party City and there you have it:

I also had indoor and outdoor seating with a water slide for any kids that came. Plus instead of flowers outside to attract bugs, I made all natural citronella mason jars (see my facebook page for how to make them yourself). Below is one of my nephews enjoying the water balloons and slide:

And last but not least, what to wear?! Well it’s a 100 degrees here in Louisiana so I wanted to look cute and be comfortable. Thanks to Pink Blush Maternity (pinkblushmaternity.com), an online site I recently discovered, I can have it both ways. I found the cutest dresses on there and picked this one for my shower. My headband I got from Forever 21 and my sandals (I know you can’t see my feet and it’s probably for the best considering how swollen they are) were from the Gap. I felt cool and comfortable even though I’m huge!!

IMG_1734

How many of you out there like the non-traditional shower? I’d love to hear from you!

Be Well!
XOXO

I’m With The Band!

Technology has come a long way and so has fitness. With the two combined, it’s almost impossible to not be held accountable to your workouts or at the very least staying moderately active. But it can be done! Just today, I realized I hadn’t worn my Nike FuelBand in over 4 months! Not a good look. I figured since I’m pregnant and not doing my normal workouts, why bother? Well, I should have been using it my whole pregnancy because on those days where I don’t feel like doing anything, it would have reminded me to get up and get moving, for at least a few minutes anyway.

So if you’ve been on the fence about whether or not it’s worth your money, I’m here to tell you it is. No matter what fitness level you may be, a beginner that just wants to track their steps, someone who likes to be told to get up and get moving throughout the day as a remind or the advanced workout aficionado that sets and tries to beat past goals, an activity band can only help your fitness needs.

I personally have a Nike FuelBand because I got a good deal on one at the Nike outlet but there are several on the market to chose from. I know a lot of people who have the Fitbit and the Garmin but there’s also the Jawbone (which I know nothing about!) and the Apple watch. And those are just the ones I’ve heard of. Do some research and see which one is the best fit for you.

The FuelBand was awesome when I first got it because it connected to a bunch of other fitness apps on my phone such as My Fitness Pal (which totally saved me when I was getting in shape for my wedding), the Nike Training app, Nike running app and more. It kept track of my steps, calories and what Nike calls “fuel”. The “fuel” is their universal metric of tracking activity that is the same for everyone regardless of age, gender, or weight. The more you move, the more fuel points you get. You can surpass your goal set, or up it or lower it depending on what you want. For me, this was my only con to the FuelBand. What do I care about fuel points?? I want to know how many calories I’m losing per workout session. The only thing it told me during my sessions was how long I worked out for, how many fuel points I would receive and how many fuel points per minute I acquired. I started to want more. Now I’m sure there are more advanced ones on the market but at the time, it served it’s purpose and I will continue to use it until after my pregnancy when I’ll get back to my normal workout routine and then I’ll want to step it up a bit.

The one that I might try next is the newest Fitbit. The Fitbit Blaze retails for $199.95 (but I’m sure you can find it at Walmart or Target or even online for cheaper) and has features such as touchscreen, calories burned, heart rate, on screen workouts, GPS, call, texts, and calendar alerts as well as sleep control, just to name a few. If these are things you want to know about and track then this might be the one for you. I’m not super high-tech but I’m a step up from the basics. There are so many more to choose from and some that might be better than the 2 I described. It all depends on the individual.

As far as using one for pregnancy, why not? If you’re not on bed rest and you’re having a normal pregnancy, a fitness tracker is perfect to keep you motivated to stay active so you can continue to stay healthy. Adjust it to your comfort level and remember that you are carrying added weight and another human being so don’t over do it!

**Fitbit Blaze                                      **Nike FuelBand

I would love to hear your thoughts on fitness trackers!

Be Well!

XOXO

The struggle is real…

As I end my second trimester, I realize the real end is almost near. Am I ready? Well, I don’t really have a choice! My baby is coming in August no matter if I’m ready or not.

Things are getting very real for me: my feet are swelling, the numbers on the scale are getting higher and I haven’t finished the baby’s room yet. And as always, the struggle to stay on track with my workouts is still very much….well, a struggle. However, I have to admit that I wouldn’t be able to do anything if I didn’t have support. My husband has been amazing. Through all my mood swings and aches and pains, he’s been there with compliments (even when I don’t believe them myself), motivation to keep it together and the occasional foot rub.

Just today, we worked out together. We alternated walking on the treadmill and strength training. I mean, we have a workout room in our house! How difficult can it be to workout everyday? Well apparently, very, right now but working out with him, it didn’t seem so daunting. It was such a simple thing to do and something we both need to do as well, but it meant so much. So we’ve decided to do it more often. Like I said, it’s the little things. And when you have love and support, well the struggle becomes less and less of a struggle and more like real life.

Here I am trying not to look out of breath 😉

Me on treadmill

Be well

XOXO