Friday, 18 April 2014

Do babies get jet lag?

The answer to this question is yes, but it's not as bad as you think it might be.

Last week I flew to New York with my 8 month old son Ernest. I was really looking forward to it, but dreading the 7 hour flight and the five hour time difference.

We had an 11:30am UK flight time out there, which was a breeze. I actually received compliments for Ern's good behaviour as we exited the plane. I had packed plenty of snacks which went down well, and breast fed him on demand. He was actually grabbing my mum's water and drinking from her bottle, so be prepared to feed more than usual as the flight can be dehydrating for babies too.

I had an extra bag with me full of toys and a few board books, but he mostly enjoyed playing with the television monitor and remote control - so be sure to bring antibacterial wipes, as you can only imagine how filthy that all is!

He took a nap every couple of hours and I used my feeding cover to blanket him and keep the light out.

When we landed it was early afternoon local time and still very sunny outside. I had fully expected Ernest to be fast asleep as it was approaching his body clock's bedtime, but the exposure to sunlight kept him awake and he didn't go down. I kept him up as long as we both could manage and we feel asleep together shortly after dinner.

For the first couple of days he woke at around 3:30am, which was his 7:30am waking in UK time. The first day I got up with him, played for a while before managing to get him back to sleep. The same thing happened the next morning, but after that it got easier to just feed and comfort him back to sleep by not turning on any lights, or actually getting him out of bed. After this he adjusted fully to the local time, and resumed his natural sleeping hours.

I must say it was all much harder on me as I wasn't getting the naps in the day that he was! The first two days are always going to be tricky, but it all works out eventually before the week ends…

We booked the red-eye for our return flight home. This flight was a bit harder, simply because I was more tired than usual. The baby went down as soon as the pilot turned the lights out, he was pretty upset to be woken up for landing though. He threw a tantrum in the car on the way home as he was so overtired, so I made the decision for us both to get a couple of hours extra sleep when we got in. After that I took him for lunch and to the park to play in the sunshine - from this point onwards his normal nap/bedtime sleep behaviours resumed. Thankfully there's been no wanting to wake up and play at ungodly hours!

So based on my experience my tips and tricks for dealing with baby jet lag are:

1. Where possible put your child to sleep at the new location's bedtime.

2. Feed milk and water on demand, but try and change your meal schedule to adapt to the new time zone.

3. Plan outdoor activities for your first few days. Exposure to sunlight and daylight will help you and your baby adjust to the new environment. This also applies to your return home.

4. Be prepared to wake and play in the first couple of days, but beyond this try and feed/comfort your baby back to sleep without turning on lights or taking them out of their bedroom.

5. Try and book flight times that complement your baby's current routine.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Clear Skin Capsules

I preach a lot about the benefits of Benzoyl Peroxide for keeping my skin clear, for me it's worked wonders, but I am aware that some of you would rather use something natural and deemed safe for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. 

The market is flooded with ineffective creams, lotions, potions, and washes. All promising instant skin solutions, though my experience says that even the best superficial remedies rarely have a long-lasting effect. The truth is for an inherently truly beautiful skin, you need a holistic treatment that works from within.

I can't claim to know a lot about Ayurveda - a 5,000-year-old system of natural healing that has its origins in the Vedic culture of India - but I have been using Tejaswini Ayurvedic Skincare Capsules, and can attest to their greatness. 

A lot of skin trouble can be caused by internal imbalance, take constipation for example, a common symptom of pregnancy. Waste that is not eliminated by your bowels enters your bloodstream. These toxins are then filtered out by your skin, equaling breakouts. It can become a very vicious cycle.

This is where Tejaswini comes in. Tejaswini works from deep within your body to help remove all the impurities present in the blood that cause pimples, blackheads, boils, acne, cysts, spots and other skin problems.  

I suffered with constipation during my pregnancy and it only got worse after giving birth. As soon as I introduced Tejaswini capsules into my diet my problem was solved - in a non aggressive way.

I can't remember ever having such healthy bowel movements - even before my pregnancy,  and my skin looked a lot healthier too.

The recommended dosage is 1-2 capsules with milk, daily at bedtime for 1-3 months to correct pimples, blackheads and other acute skin diseases. 1 capsule daily with milk is recommended for skin fatigue. For chronic skin deceases, take 2 capsules 3 times a day. Avoid chillies and tamarind.

There are twelve herbs involved in this process formulated to provide a totally safe and natural healing preparation. The key ingredients in Tejaswini are:

Parpataka 25mg - Increases blood circulation.

Vasaka 25mg - Anti-infective, keeps skin condition balanced.

Kantakari 25mg - Anti-allergic, prevents skin rashes and itching.

Guduchi 25mg - Immune-modulator, increases resistance to infection. 

Bhunimba 25mg - Liver stimulant, detoxifies the body. 

Patola 25mg - A time tested remedy in Ayurveda for skin infections. 

Katuki 25mg - Liver corrective, keeps the bowls clean.

Musta 25mg - Alleviates mental fatigue, prevents overgrowth of intestinal bacteria. 

Nimba 25mg - Has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, protects the skin from the after-effects of UV rays. 

Tribhala 25mg - Prevents constipation, which is harmful to the skin.

You're looking at around a  week if not less to see improvements in your digestion and proper body functioning, and 3-4 weeks for skin to clear, revitalise, and glow!

As always it's important to drink plenty of water, eat mindfully and not skip meals, as a healthy body constitutes healthy skin.

I purchase my Tejaswini Ayurvedic skincare capsules from Revital for £10.95 for 30 capsules.

They can also be found at VictoriaHealth.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

American Drugstore Beauty Haul

As you can see from my last post I've been away for a week. I went to New York with family to visit friends, and we had an amazing time. I'm currently fighting jet lag, and am surprised to see that quite a few of you have been visiting the blog in my absence, so it's only fair that I get a post up today.

I developed an unhealthy addiction to Duane Reade stores in NY, I couldn't walk past one without coming out in a cold sweat. It's no secret that I'm a product junkie, and like everything else it seems - Americans do it better.

So, if you're travelling to the U.S soon, here's a snapshot of my favourite purchases. I scoured the shelves multiple times, and these little beauties are what are worth coming home with.

1. Stridex - These are pre-soaked salicylic acid pads that are alcohol free, feathery and refreshing. They won't cause dryness or irritation and are really soft. They can also be used to get smooth legs as described here on Into the gloss.

2. Crest 3D White Mouth Wash - This wasn't the only tooth-whitening product I brought back, but it is my favourite. The whole Crest whitening line is impressive, all american whitening products are more powerful than the UK versions - as their law allows stronger ingredients for home use than ours does. So it's well worth stocking up.

3. Emergen-C - These are a bit like berocca. They come in a wide variety of flavours, and can be purchased by the sachet or by the box load. Simply pour the powdered vitamin/mineral supplement into a glass and add water. These did wonders for my energy levels and helped me cope with a lingering cold and a crawling baby.

4. Visine Eye Drops - Warning - this stuff is addictive! A few drops and the whites of your eyes will look photoshopped. There's obviously something in these that isn't approved for the UK market, and a woman allegedly poisoned her boyfriend by putting Visine eyedrops in his drinks for more than three years, so try not to use them everyday, but for special occasions or red eye emergencies they're great.

5. Loreal Ombre Touch - I wanted to add some extra ombre highlights to my hair so persuaded my friend to apply this stuff to my mid lengths and ends. Sat in her bathroom, with a towel and a plastic bag wrapped around my shoulders took me right back to being a teenager home dying my hair - only this time I love the result. What's new about this kit is the fingertip applicator.

6. Oxy Maximum Action Face Wash - You can't buy BP products over the counter in the UK, and some argue that the benefits of using it in a face wash get washed down the drain, but I like this non-foaming formula, and by leaving it on my skin for a couple of minutes before washing off I feel that you can get results.

7. Smith's Rosebud Salve - I love a cult lip product, and this one doesn't disappoint. It conditions, moisturises, gives a lovely rosy glow,  comes in beautiful packaging and lasts for ages.

8. Freeman Charcoal & Black Sugar Facial Polishing Mask - I actually bought a few Freeman masks, they're cheap and cheerful. This one claims to purify with Activated Charcoal - which helps absorb oil and impurities without over-drying. Then, Black Sugar helps exfoliate away dulling skin cells for softness and clarity. It definitely left my skin looking perkier, and didn't break me out. I like how it heats up upon contact with your skin, and it's an Allure magazine Best of 2013 award winner, so  it's been tested by the very best.

9. Neutrogena Clear Face SPF - We all know we should wear sunscreen on our face everyday, but finding one that sits well under makeup, doesn't clog pores, or cost a fortune is difficult. So I was pleased to finally pick this one up. It has a super lightweight silky texture, and a non greasy semi-matte finish. It comes in Broadspectrum SPF 30 or 55 and is approved by Dan of Acneorg - so you know it's OK for acne-prone skin. He advises mixing 1/4 to 1/3 teaspoon into your usual non-SPF moisturiser.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

We're off to NYC in the morning, so there won't be much action on the blog this week, but rest assured there'll be lots to share on our return.

Recipe of the day: Miranda's Muffins

These were a big hit in my household. I've been meaning to make them for ages. They are my favourite model Miranda Kerr's Apple and Banana Gluten-Free Oat Muffins. Totally guilt free and delicious. I've been snacking on them all week. Making these has inspired me to look for more flour-less and sugar free recipes. The original recipe was from Self magazine via Miranda, I think some of the steps must have gotten lost in translation, so I've added a bit more info for you here.

Makes about 15 muffins


2 cups oatmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1/4 cup goats milk yogurt
1/2 cup apple juice
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 egg white
4 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
2 large green bramley apples
2 ripe bananas
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preparation method

Preheat the oven to 175°

1. In a food processor, grind the oats into a flour-like consistency. Add walnuts and grind. 

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine ground oats and walnuts, chia seeds, baking powder and baking soda.

3. In a separate small bowl, lightly beat eggs and egg white. Mix in yogurt and apple juice. 

4. In a small pan, mix coconut oil, cinnamon, vanilla and honey over low heat until it becomes syrupy and combine with egg mixture. 

5. Mash bananas, peel and chop apple into small peices.

5. Add wet mixture to dry mixture, and slowly fold in apple and bananas. Line a muffin pan with paper liners and fill 3/4 full. Bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted in the center off the muffin and comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with cinnamon before serving.

Such a goddess

Friday, 4 April 2014

March favourites

Simple Refreshing Facial Wash Gel and Hydrating Light Moisturiser

When you have combination skin and suffer from breakouts it's really easy to fall into the trap of using harsh foaming products. Over-washing your face destroys the acid mantle that protects your skin, makes an alkaline environment, which makes your skin worse and a breeding ground for acne. I've switched to using this Simple cleanser as it's non foaming, doesn't contain soap, and is well... simple. Skincare doesn't have to be fancy to be effective. Same goes for the moisturiser; it's hydrating, you can pile it on and it won't clogs pores and give you whiteheads.

By Terry Terrybly Densiliss

I can't believe I'm recommending a £75 foundation, but OMFG this stuff is good. To justify the price you have to understand that this product is both a foundation and a serum, so for that price you can replace two items in your makeup bag, and a little goes a long way. I apply this after my moisturiser, for such a light formulation it gives fantastic coverage, and provides a matte finnish. I honestly don't think I've ever found a foundation that gives a skin finish as good as this, and as for the anti ageing benefits, well only time will tell.

Bourjois Colour Boost Lip Crayon - Peach on the beach

I'd been looking for a lip colour that was a good dupe for A Dose of Colors lipstick in shade 'Play Date.' They're an American brand, and that colour has been sold out on their website for months. I spotted this Bourjois Lip Crayon in my local Sainsburys and had to have it; it's a pretty good substitute. Granted it will look better once I get a suntan, but in the meantime I'm rocking it with my holy grail Burberry bronzer - Warm Glow No.4.

Dr Bronner's Magic Soap - Baby

This stuff is addictive. I honestly don't think I can ever go back to washing with shower gel. I'm someone who exfoliates regularly, but the first time I used this soap it removed a layer of dead skin from my body I had no idea was there. TMI maybe, but I was impressed. If you like feeling squeaky clean you'll love this, and the best part? It's safe for sensitive baby skin too. I could rave all day about it.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Recipe of the day: Smoked Mackerel Salad

I love smoked fish and this salad is so easy to make. I eat a lot of smoked mackerel, there's so much you can do with it - I love the robust flavour. Mackerel is part of the oily fish family; these contain the good type of essential fat called Omega 3. Our bodies can't make this type of fatty acid, so we need to include it in our diet. There are many health benefits to eating Omega 3 fats and new ones are being found all the time. I am a huge fan!


Serves 2 - 3 people

A bag of salad of your choice

3 smoked mackerel fillets

Half a cucumber chopped

7 baby plum tomatoes diced

A handful of mixed olives

A handful of feta

1 tablespoon Virgin Olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic

Preparation method

1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss gently together. Pile on two plates and serve.