moderntwinmom

I'm a mom of twins and I try to do it all. From keeping up with 2 babies to losing the baby weight and staying current with the latest trends… Here's how I approach motherhood without losing my SELF……


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Mother’s Day

This is my 5th Mother’s day and I think my first blog post about Mother’s Day. Can that be right? How can I call myself a “mommy blogger” and not write about Mother’s Day? I thought about it a lot today and then it occurred to me. Maybe it’s because I don’t think Mother’s Day is a big deal. Like, it is. But, it’s not. I love having a day where I can acknowledge my own mom and all my fellow moms, but for me personally, I don’t need a special day to be acknowledged. Or pampered. Or given a break.

Let me explain. And before I start this post I want to add a caveat:I’m only speaking from my own experience here. No offence intended to those who don’t have the same experience as me.

Here’s the thing. I enjoy those mommy blogs as much as the next mom. You know, the ones that have made a living out of complaining about being a mom or making jokes out of the everyday things that irritate us. But, sometimes I feel like they are over the top when it comes to what I call “momplaining”. Mostly, I do laugh at the things I can relate to, and of course, there’s this chick who is just so damn hilarious that anything she says is funny to me, and whom I LOVE, and on many levels I DO relate to many things these mommies say. I really do. But the reality in my world is this: I don’t need a day off from my kids. If I do feel like I need a break, I do something crazy. Are you ready for this? I ask for it. I communicate with  my husband and let him know what I need. And magically, he gives it to me. It’s like reading my mind. But better.

I sometimes wonder if I’m just blessed with the most perfect husband and kids on the planet or if it’s just my perspective? I did start this blog to inspire women not to lose themselves, so maybe I’ve just done a really good job of that myself?

The truth is, my Mother’s Day will probably go something like this: I could sleep in if I wanted to but I probably won’t because we all know that once you have kids, you are physiologically PROGRAMMED to not be able to sleep in anymore. Then, my hubby will probably make me breakfast. Which he does on Sundays anyway. Then we might go out shopping and go for lunch and then we will come home and he’ll make dinner or we will order out, or I may even cook if I’m feeling crafty. All normal. I might get a gift that I pick out myself because my hubby knows I’m picky-so that might be a bit different than the every day, but otherwise, that’s my life. My husband is an equal partner. He works all day and then he comes home and takes over. Every. Day. With twins, you REALLY need the dad around. And it just becomes a normal thing. It shouldn’t feel “special” to have one day where suddenly the dad steps in and does everything. It should be like that every day. We should all be doing whatever we can to raise these little humans.

I don’t know. Maybe I’m out to lunch. Maybe I’m missing something. Maybe it’s because my kids are only 4. I would love to hear your thoughts.  Am I the only mom that thinks these “hallmark” holidays are a bit overrated? Again, not bashing anyone that needs this one day of the year, and man there are some hilarious mommy bloggers out there that tell it like it is, but really? Are we moms THAT deprived? I should also add here that I struggled to get pregnant. And I didn’t know if I would ever even get to BE a mom. So maybe somewhere deep down inside is that woman who doesn’t even let myself get to a place where I may seem like I’m complaining or needing a day off from my kids. Because at one time, I would have given anything to have them. But that is me really going deep now and a topic for another day!

I guess it’s kind of like Valentine’s Day. Like, do we really need one special day of the year where someone reminds us to be romantic and loving? How about we just love and appreciate all year round?

Having said all that, I hope everyone does enjoy their Mother’s Day, and my wish for all of you is that it’s not only a once a year occurrence!

 

 


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The Mummy Tummy

Well, here I am. I haven’t actually posted on my blog for about a year. But for those of you loyal followers on my Instagram and Facebook accounts, you’ll know that I made a promise last week, and I am sticking to it. And I’m not just taking the easy route. I could have posted a quick little paragraph on Facebook about this but I owe my loyal followers a true step by step so here it goes. I have also talked about this topic before ( here and here) but I wanted to put it out there in more detail today. Especially the exercise part.

Recently, I went to Hawaii on a family vacay. I decided to post pics of myself in a different bathing suit every day, and the comments I got made my heart all warm and fuzzy. Because if you have twins, unless you are part of the 1% whose stomach still looks the way it did BEFORE you got pregnant, you know that wearing a bathing suit after having twins takes guts (and in many cases, never happens). And this is not just after twins. Experts say that every baby after the first will exponentially INCREASE your chances of developing a mummy tummy. So what am I exactly referring to when I say mummy tummy? You know. And if you don’t know, you should stop reading this post right now and go buy a midriff baring top for the spring.

I’ll get right down to it. The first thing I did when I found out I was having twins was I started researching how to prevent a diastasis. A WHAT? Well, the amount of googling and reading I did surpasses anything I can cover in a simple blog post so if you want to get into the nitty gritty anatomical details, you can google “diastasis rectii” and you will find there is an overwhelming amount of info out there on it. But if you trust my oversimplified version, I will break it down in simple terms. It is a separation of your abdominal muscles, right down the centre of your six pack. This can happen in men and women and is caused by many things but THE MOST COMMON is pregnancy. Your belly simply protrudes out so far that coupled with the muscle laxity that is caused by pregnancy hormones, the midline muscles on either side of your six pack split. Once your tummy goes back to its original size, that split remains, and causes a pooch. Picture a pea pod. Once you split it open to take the peas out, it loses it’s shape. You can easily bend it and create a “pooch”. Unless you tape that seam back together, you’ll never have a nice stable pea pod again.

If I could do it over, I would start YEARS before I ever got pregnant, and ensure that all my ab muscles were solid. A very strong core will resist the split EVEN if you are having twins. Although I consider myself fairly fit, my core certainly wasn’t rock solid.

I would also add Vitamin C supplements to my supplement regimen. I’ll talk more about that another day, but Vitamin C (in the right dose), helps your body build collagen. You know what that means? Strong skin. You know what that means? Less likelihood of developing twin skin. Ah yes, twin skin. The not so distant cousin of the mummy tummy. The skin that gets stretched out so far, that it can never really bounce back. It loses it’s elasticity and you’re left feeling like a deflated balloon. Anyways, I digress.

So. Now you know what causes the mummy tummy. Do you also know, that if you never knew you had one, you may actually be making it worse? If you have a diastasis and do regular ab exercises, you are probably making it worse. Imagine that empty pea pod again. Imagine it as a person with a head on one end and legs on the other, and now imagine it doing sit ups. What is happening to that split? It is the WORST thing you can do! So, many woman have this little pooch and they tell themselves that diet and exercise will get rid of it, but it never does and then they get discouraged and do MORE ab exercises, and it’s a vicious cycle. So here are the THREE things you need to do if you have a mummy tummy, and NO IT’S NOT TOO LATE!!!! Yes I knew what to look for post delivery so I started these things right away but I have read over and over that it’s never too late. So start NOW. Like, right now.

1.Check yourself to see if you really do have a diastasis (f you don’t, I’m sorry I have nothing in this post that will help you)

2.Start the horizontal elevator exercise (also called the belly scoop in some circles) and start increasing your abdominal muscle engagement in your daily activities and STOP doing any traditional ab exercise that will cause that split to get worse.

3.Get yourself a belly binder (it’s important to really have a good handle on everything in number 2 BEFORE you start wearing the belly binder. You don’t want to rely on it to keep your abs engaged. Train your abs first, and when it becomes a habit-usually about 3 weeks, THEN start the belly binder)

How do you check for a diastasis? I’m sure if you google it and watch a you tube video there will be subtle differences, but basically, lie down, with knees bent and feet flat on the floor, take 2-3 fingers of one hand and place them right above your belly button, facing down toward your toes. Relax your tummy and then lift your head off the ground a few inches until your feel the edges of your ab muscles tighten up and dig your fingers into your belly to see if there is a space between the ridge. If you can fit 2 fingers in there. You have a diastasis. 2 fingers is a small separation. 4 or more would be considered quite large. Some women who have had many kids and never corrected it can stick their whole hand in there. Mine was about 3.5 fingers.

Once you have determined that you have this, you should feel happy. You know why? Because now you can do something about it! YAY!

While you are sitting there, mesmerized about the fact that you have this and didn’t know it, and thinking about all the years you have lost not being able to do something about it, you may as well practice the exercise I’m about to tell you. I had a c section and literally started this exercise the day I got home from the hospital, so if I did it, so can you. You can do it sitting up or laying down, you can do it while you’re driving or watching a movie. No one will know you are doing it (kind of like kegels!).

Picture that your belly button is a horizontal elevator. You want to pull your bellybutton, slowly, all the way back towards your spine. Imagine there are 6 floors between your bellybutton and spine and you slowly stop at each one. Once you get to your spine (floor 6) hold for a couple seconds, and release back (also slowly) to starting position. Thats it. How freaking easy is that? It’s like the easiest exercise you will ever do. Now, the trick is, you actually have to do alot of these, and you have to do them every day. I started with  25 every night while I lay in bed, in my c-section recovery misery, with what can only be described as 2 small creatures snorting and grunting in a bassinet beside me. I slowly moved to 100. This is an exercise that puts out what you put in. Do not skimp on it. You don’t have to do 100, you could start with 30. Then go up by 10. I would aim to do 3-4 sets a day of between 50-100. While we are on the topic of abs, start being conscious of how engaged your core is. Right now, are you sitting with your back slouched and your gut hanging out? Actively engaging your core throughout the day will ensure you are using those deep abdominal muscles and not making your problem worse. Check yourself when you’re driving, talking on the phone, watching tv, even lifting your babe or bringing in the groceries. Don’t let your gut hang out! A belly binder will help with this but until you get one, you need to start engaging that core. Think “sucking in”.

And finally, get yourself a belly binder. You’ve probably heard all the rage about belly binding. Kim Kardashian does it. Brooke Burke did it. Who cares about them. Guess what? If you’re East Indian, like me, it’s in your blood to do it. My mom told me that in India, women used to wrap saree fabric tightly around their bellies right after their babies were born and wear day and night for MONTHS. If you think about the science behind this, go back to the pea pod and imagine wrapping a little band aid or splint around it to pull the seam back together. Essentially that is what belly binding does. Since I had a c section, my skin was simply too tender to wear a belly binder for a few months, but I put that sucker on as soon as I could start. And I wore it. Twenty Four. Seven. Only to be taken off for showering. I did this for about 3 or 4 months.

Which belly binder to buy? Ah the million dollar question. The “Squeem” is the one that I ordered based on all the research I had done ahead of time. No one is paying me to talk about it (but hey if you guys are reading this, pony up!). It’s a hook up, corset style binder that comes in different styles and colours. The inside has a rubber lining that keeps the binder in place and prevents it from rolling up or slipping. It feels extremely supportive and really does it’s job. They say to order it in the size you are pre pregnancy, so of course it took me awhile before I could squeeze myself into it (it was discouraging, I almost set it on fire a few times). Until then, I used the various other ones on the market that have more of a one size fits all approach. They tend to be more like wraps, with velcro or buttons to attach it. I found the squeem to be like a second skin, you can literally wear a t shirt under it and still feel good. I’ve never worn spanx but I imagine that’s kind of what it’s like.

So, thats it! That is how I lost my mummy tummy! My pooch! I wish I had taken before and after pictures but here’s the honest to god truth. When I finally got through that initial “new mom of twins” fog and looked at myself in the mirror after a month post delivery, I cried. I didn’t think that there was anything I could ever do, besides surgery, to fix this. It was THAT bad. It was so bad that I didn’t want to take a picture because I thought that is how it would always look. I had heard the success stories about the binding and the exercising but I just didn’t think I could do it. I also had twin skin which added to the problem. And, I still do, but that seems to have gotten better with time. Getting rid of the pooch helped, and I know stretched skin will never bounce back (hashtag this is 40!), but I don’t care about that as much. Unless I choose surgery to stretch that skin out, I have to live with it, so that’s what I’m doing. I do believe the belly binding helped the elasticity of my skin as I used to slather on BioOil or Strivectin or whatever “miracle” lotion I had on hand, BEFORE I put on my binder every day. So maybe that helped. Staying hydrated and taking copious amounts of vitamin C now seems to have helped a bit as well. Or maybe it’s all in my head. But I don’t care, because all that matters is that I feel good. And I do.

And I want you to feel good too. When you look good, you feel good. You just do. I truly hope that this post has helped someone. It worked for me, and I know it can work for you too.

Do you have a mummy tummy? Are you going to try this? Are you going to keep me posted? Are you someone who used these tips already to get rid of your mom pooch? I wanna hear from you! Let’s support and encourage each other!

 

 


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What I’m up to…

I’ve been gone awhile…I’ve been busy!

And before you guess what im about to say next…yes I’m busy with twins, but I also have a job that has me travelling a lot right now. And by a lot I mean I’m more likely to be on an airplane than my house when you call me. So in the midst of being a travelling, working mom of twins, how am I keeping it together? I’m not. I try to eat healthy (we are working on going vegan), I try to workout (always pack my workout gear!), and I try to get lots of sleep (as much as I can with all the time zone changes), but I am still feeling sluggish these days. My allergies are at an all time high, I’m drinking a little more wine than I should, and the west to east travel actually does deprive me of sleep. Plus the crappy food that sneaks it’s way into my diet when I’m ravenous and eating hotel food. It’s time to reset. I typically do the Master Cleanse (google it) when I want to reset, but with two babies and an insane travel schedule, I just don’t think I could last on spicy lemonade alone for more than a few hours let alone days. But drinking tasty healthy juice all day for three days? That sounds breezy!

Can I do it? Of course I can! I’m excited! I did a little digging and found this company that supplies you with enough juice to kickstart a cleanse of your choice. Not only do I not have to make my own juice, but THEY DELIVER. If you don’t live in the Vancouver lower mainland area this may not mean much to you…but I live about an hour outside of Vancouver- which is the norm for most people here (since living right in Vancouver is ridiculously unaffordable but that’s a whole other blog post!), so having someone deliver these juices right to my doorstep (for FREE!!!!!) is pretty darn cool.

my special delivery!

my special delivery!

I placed my order online a couple of days ago, intentionally setting this up starting today, knowing I’ll be close to home (and a bathroom) for all three days, and last night, a friendly guy dropped off a nice little box full of three days worth of juice for me. I was so darn excited I wanted to drink it right away but I figured I better polish off my wine and enjoy it while it lasts. I put the juices in the fridge and now I’m ready to get started. Follow me on Instagram and/or Facebook to see how it’s going for me! This modern twin mom stops at nothing to stay energetic for her hubby and her kids, and most of all, for her SELF!!!! Here we go!!!!

can't wait to drink it all!

can’t wait to drink it all!


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A few of my FAVORITE things

So, I know it’s been awhile since you heard from me. I won’t play the twin card this time. What’s changed since my last post is that I have changed jobs. Still with the same company, but in a position that I have coveted for a long time. The caveat is that it requires way more travel. And when I say way more I mean 70% more. GASP! But how can you leave your kids? They’re so young? Don’t you miss them! These are the (often judgemental) questions I get. Here’s the thing. If you don’t know me well, you may think I’m this cold hearted career driven woman who decided (too late in life) to have children just so I could prove that I can have it all. Because I started later in life I may have had fertility treatments of some kind to get some help and we all know they often result in twins, and what better way to be an over achiever than to show I can not only have a career but also raise twins! Right?!!? WRONG.
The reality is I always thought that once I had kids I would be a stay at home mom. I truly believed that. Except that somewhere between landing an awesome career and having children I realized I actually need something outside of my family to stimulate me mentally. I need something I can call my own. Having children shouldn’t change the fact that I am a human being with my own needs and wants. This may change in the future but right now I have found a balance between a job I love and being a wife and a mother. I have the luxury of scheduling my “away” time in a way that best fits my life and family. I have an amazingly supportive husband who my boys happen to be ridiculously attached to so if mom is not around, they are perfectly fine because they have dad. I am fortunate to be able to leave my children at home in a comfortable environment with a caregiver who is pretty much like family. And when I AM home, I have the privilege of a home office where I can pop my head out and snuggle them whenever I want. Our time together is always quality time. My boys know that mommy might leave for a few days but she always comes back, and in the meantime, they get to hang out with dad. My husband is just as involved with them as I am, and I don’t know that I can say that about most dads I know. It’s because of this that I am ok with being gone more. It’s because of him that I can pursue my dream of being a working mom. My life has changed in a huge way, but although I travel more, the happiness I feel in a position that truly fulfills me, has no price. The support I have from my husband has no bounds. If I can have a meaningful and fulfilling career with twins, so can any mom.
So having justified my new job that keeps me insanely busy, let me just get to the point to be very Oprah-like this holiday season and share with you MY FAVORITE THINGS. I’m turning 40 next year and you know how I love skincare so I must share my latest finds.

BEE U BEE VENOM CREAM

This stuff is THE BOMB. Late one night while I was googling “botox alternatives” I came across some articles about bee venom and how it is supposed to mimic the effects of Botox. Supposedly, Kate Middleton indulges. Well, if it’s good enough for Kate it’s good enough for me so off I went sourcing the best. I came across this brand which is local for me (find it here)and although I don’t think it quite duplicates the effects of botox, I do think my skin feels amazing after I put it on, and I do feel it is a little tingly and more plump these days. The theory behind it does support the parallel to the numbing effects of Botox-but I can still move my face-however I do get a ton of compliments on my skin these days-If nothing else it just FEELS luxurious. I use it about once or twice a week as an overnight “mask”. Look it up and research it for yourself-i bet you’ll be intrigued! LOVE!

CURE AQUA GEL

Another late night googling find. I think I was looking for an alternative to mechanical gritty exfoliating. As my skin gets older and drier and more sensitive, I find grainy exfoliators hard on my skin. I have had “gommage” during spa facials and wanted an at home version. Well this is it. A clear gel substance that magically “balls” up when rubbed into your skin. I don’t know how it works because the ingredients seem fairly benign, but it exfoliates your skin without being harsh. My face truly feels like a baby’s bottom afterwards. You can only order this stuff from Japan -there are many sites that sell it, I ordered from Amazon-so you’ll have to search online for it-I use it 2 to 3 times a week.

And finally-I’ve saved the best for last…

NEOSTRATA INSTANT INVIGORATING EYE MASK

Once you try these bad boys you will be a believer-I actually don’t have issues with dark under eye circles but again, as I get older I try to be more proactive with the areas that show age first. Of course the delicate skin around the eyes is always the first to tell-I was looking for a special luxurious treat that would hydrate and firm and I just picked these up on a whim (London drugs). They are pricey (3 masks in the package for about $27.00) but I like to try anything interesting at least once. I opened up the package, applied the gel like mask according to directions and relaxed quietly for 15 minutes. When I removed it I was blown away. I actually got much more than I was expecting. Not only did the skin under my eyes look incredibly tight and refreshed, but it was LIGHTER too! I would highly recommend this as a part of your pre party prep routine over the holidays, or alternatively-if you are a sleep deprived mom this will make you look like you don’t have kids. I’m serious. Try it.

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That’s it that’s all! I would love to hear if you get a chance to try any of these things! Happy holidays everyone! Keep it merry!


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Fall Trend Report

Well, once again, I’m a little behind in blogging. Why?  Oh, because I have twins.  There are TWO of them.  They also happen to be two years old.  Definitely the most fun age so far, but also EXHAUSTING.  I thought people said it would get easier???? That’s all I heard for the first year of my boys’ lives. In my barely memorable first year of being a mom, the one phrase I heard the most was “it gets easier”.  Ummmmm….when???  Still waiting!  In fact, I almost feel like it’s gotten harder in some ways.  Remember when I could lay both of them down and they barely moved?  Oh and what about when they slept for like, 20 hours a day?  Sigh.  Those were the days.  I could actually DO stuff.  In fact, I blogged  more then, than I do now!  Oh and I work full-time.  I’m not complaining though.  I’m just giving you an excuse for why you haven’t heard from me in a while.  You know, in case you were waiting on the edge of your seat to see what I wrote about next.

Ok!  Shall we get on with it, then?  Although this blog is about being a modern twin mom and all things related to it, lately all I feel like doing is talking about fashion.  In fact, I watched “the Devil Wears Prada” again the other day and I kept thinking how cool it would be to just be immersed in it all day long.  A job where it was my JOB to dress up!  A job where I HAD to talk about fashion all day long!  I could wear the most fashion forward clothing and not get weird looks from my husband.  And what if I didn’t have kids yet?  I could carry my Chanel bag without worrying that my diapers and wipes don’t fit.  I could wear my Louboutins without wondering if my knees would give out once I was carrying two kids or trying to put together a double stroller.  I could wear my McQueen scarf without worrying about someone spitting up on it.  Sigh.  Ok, back to reality.  Alas, I do not have a job in fashion, or anything even close, but I do get to dress up a little bit.  And I DO have kids, so when I’m with them, practicality usually wins over fashion sense.  Although, I have to admit, I typically try to meld practicality WITH fashion when I can.  What I DO have though, is this blog.  Which is an outlet for me in so many ways, and so, if I feel like talking about fashion…gosh darn it I’m going to!  So now that you’ve read 2 paragraphs that have NOTHING to do with Fall trends, and shown me what a loyal follower you are, I’ll get down to business.  Drum roll please, it’s that time of year again, to list the hottest trends coming for Fall 2014, which happens to be my favourite fashion time of the year.  And yes, I know, it’s barely summer and maybe I should save this until September is closer, but the Runway shows happened in March, so technically, I’m extremely late getting this out already, and if I’m being honest, my mommy brain isn’t quite what it used to be so by September I may completely forget that I ever even had favourite Fall fashions to begin with.

I guess you’ll just have to bookmark it and re-read in a few months!

 

My top 5 picks for all you hot mommies, mommies to be, and not so mommies are:

 

1)Pastels

We saw a bit of this last fall, with baby pinks thrown in with the typical rich fall colours we usually see.  Last year, I went out and got myself a baby pink winter coat.  It was by far my favourite Fall find for last year, and happily, I get to wear it again this year because there were pastels all over the runway this year. Baby pinks, blues and greens.  So refreshing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2)the 60s

If you watch Mad Men for the fashion (like me), then you will love this trend! Think Twiggy, A-line skirts, structured shift dresses, geometric prints and mini skirts, and of course, 60s fashion is nicely encompassing of the number one 2014 fall trend, pastels.

60s-2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3)Fur, Feathers and Knits

Nothing says cozy fall fashion better than great knits but this fall, fur is HUGE too.  And if you want to add a little whimsy, feathers are showing up in unexpected places! If you’re up for a new splurge, definitely invest in something furry or feathery, otherwise, it’s nice to see our tried, tested, and true knit trend remains strong for fall and winter.  Knits were seen head to toe on the runways, so if you can pull it off, the more the better!

Knit2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4)Plaid

I don’t own a lot of plaid, but I am so nostalgic for it.  It reminds me of my childhood.  When it wasn’t fashionable and was just something my mom told me I had to wear.  But I came to love something about it.  The various colours, the textures and the general association with Fall.  This year, plaid is back in a big way.  Coats, shirts, pants, even scarves, you can pretty much add this trend to your wardrobe with minimum hassle.

Plaid2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5)Fairytale Inspired clothing

As I mentioned before, I don’t work in fashion.  I don’t get to attend fancy shows and dinners and I don’t really have anywhere I can wear whimsical clothing without getting laughed at (although that won’t stop me from trying).  So this last trend, although one of my top 5, is probably more of a fairytale for me, but I still love it.  Tulle, lace, velvet, embroidery, all things fancy and flowy and intricate, you name it and it can have a place in your wardrobe this fall.  Think “Little Red Riding Hood” or “Snow White”.  In fact, I recently saw a trailer for a new Angelina Jolie movie, called “Maleficent” that I think may also be inspiring this trend for fall, and it happens to be coming out in a couple of days.  It may not be everyday practical, but hey, fashion never really is!  It’s about taking some things you love each season, and making them your own.  If you’re a busy mom like me, all it takes is a well put together outfit and some great lipstick to go from feeling blah to BOOYA!

fairytale-2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I always say, this blog is meant to inspire women in many different ways, but especially moms.  There is no reason you have to be last.  Take time for your SELF, even if it’s for something as “vain” as fashion.  Fashion for me is a way to express myself.   How I’m feeling, what I love, and my creativity.  Looking good means feeling good and when you feel good, your whole family feels it too!  Right now, fashion is more unstructured than it has ever been.  Anything goes!  That’s what’s so great about it!  So take advantage of it and use it to express yourself!

 

 

Happy Monday Everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Love the Skin You’re In!

It’s been over three months since I’ve posted! Wow that’s the longest I’ve ever gone. I’ve been busy! I’m trying to make things happen in other areas of my life…so the blog had to take a backseat but I’m back! I’m just going to get right to the point, talking about something I am extremely passionate about. Skin.

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I’ve always been extremely passionate about skin care but in the last few years it has hit me harder than ever. Probably because I’m not a young mom. In fact, my boys were born the year I turned 37. I know many women in their 40s who are sending their kids off to college or at least complaining about the teenage years. You know what I’ll be doing in my 40s? Just figuring out what it’s like to have them in school. If you need motivation to keep looking young..have a kid (or 2) in your late 30s. The last thing I want is to be mistaken as my kids’ grandma.

The truth is, I’ve actually had problem skin my whole life. So I attribute the skin I have today to the diligence I have had to have with my skin since I was very young. In my early teens, I suffered from bad acne in junior high and high school. I was so desperate to make it better that I got to work researching ingredients, drugs, and skin care that could help. At that time, fruit acids were JUST starting to come onto the skin care scene. I was on them like a hot potato. You name it, I tried it. I had read over and over that these fruit acids sped up exfoliation and unveiled new skin much more quickly, and supposedly, my problem skin would benefit. I have been obsessed with skin care ever since. Fast forward 25 years..  I truly believe my skin care has played a big role in keeping me looking young. Now, more than ever, I am absolutely religious about skin care.  If you have any desire to slow down the aging process and affect how you LOOK (and hence, how you FEEL)… Keep reading for my “stay young” skin care routine!

Cleanser: It’s not out of the realm of possibility that I would spend 50 dollars or more on face wash at one time in my life.  But what I’ve learned over the years is that this is the one product you can skimp on. No matter how fancy or powerful the ingredients, they stay on your skin for mere seconds and eventually wash down the drain. Save your money in this department. A good face wash will be geared towards your skin type (foamy gel if you are oily and more of a soothing cream texture if you are dry), and will remove dirt, oil, and makeup. I use CERAVE.

Moisturizer: Again…this one is simple…don’t spend a ton of money here. If you have dry skin get something thicker and creamier, and oily skin can do with a basic lotion. If you are really oily, skip moisturizer in the morning and only use at night. If I feel really parched and absolutely must moisturize, I use CERAVE or CETAPHIL, and for extra hydration, DORMER. Lightweight serums can be good too.

The bells and whistles:

Here we go… If you’ve been snoozing up to this point, snap out of it and start taking notes. Cleansing and moisturizing are the basics. In order to get that glow and keep you your skin looking and feeling young, you need to do more than cleanse and moisturize.

1.Sunscreen.

I don’t care if you are black, white, or purple. Invest in a good sunscreen for your face and wear it EVERY DAY. Every DAY. Got it? I use neo strata anti aging sunscreen SPF 30. I live in BC, WHERE IT RAINS ALL.THE. TIME. But I still wear sunscreen. Every day.

2.Peptide Serum

Peptides are building blocks for collagen and the latest technology allows them to penetrate your skin. I use Olay Regenerist.

3.Vitamin C Serum

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that not only protects your skin from the environment but corrects any environmental damage as well. I use Obagi c 15.

4.Gylcolic Acid

A fruit acid that speeds up exfoliation and skin renewal to reveal the fresher, younger skin underneath much more quickly, this should be a staple in your skin care regimen. I use Neo Strata night repair cream with glycolic acid 6%

5.Exfoliator: we are constantly shedding and renewing skin cells, and it’s important to help the process by mechanically removing the sloughed off skin. Glycolic Acid does this but liquid and mechanical exfoliants are great too.  Whether we do it manually with a grainy scrub or use a liquid with exfoliating properties, it is important to incorporate some type of exfoliation into your routine. I like Exfoliant by Aveda. It is a very weak solution of fruit acids that acts as a toner after cleansing. For a once or twice weekly mechanical exfoliation, I keep Kate Somerville’s “Exfolikate” on hand for that extra glow on special occasions.

AND FINALLY….

6.last but certainly not least, The piece de resistance, the belle of the ball, the who’s who of skincare….drumroll please…..

RETINOL.

If you are not using retinol, where the hell have you been for the last 10 years? Retinol is THE NUMBER ONE anti aging ingredient, proven time and again in clinical trials, pretty much the only skin care ingredient, that actually works to build collagen and reverse the signs of aging. You’re never too young or too old to include retinol in some capacity, in your skin care routine. If you need a soft intro or don’t have access to a dermatologist, Roc carries great over the counter products that contain retinol and will give you a gentle  introduction. If you’re like me and are only satisfied with the “get down to business” hardcore appeal of prescription strength retinol, get your butt to the dr and ask for a prescription of a retin A product.  Start low and go slow.  Once a week is good to start, then twice a week, then every other day…as you build tolerance you can increase your usage.  Your skin will flake, peel, maybe even burn, but a year from now, you will thank me. This is also where a heavier moisturizer like Dormer 211 comes in handy, it will help with the dryness and peeling that can often happen when you first start retinol.

Last but not least….I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the most important part of antiaging skincare,treating and protecting the eyes. I don’t care how old you are, you should have started yesterday. The eyes have the most delicate and fragile skin around them and tend to take alot of abuse. Squinting, rubbing, crying, washing. I  use a day eye cream to smooth lines and protect, and a night eye cream to repair. I like dermalogica “total eye care” for day and roc “retinol eye correction” for night.

Regimen…the above products are in no particular order, but the rule of thumb is you want to use repairing products at night and protective ones during the day, after cleansing, you apply in order of consistency, thinnest first. Also, if you are going to give your whole routine a makeover, add/change one product at a time so you can pinpoint any breakouts/reactions etc.

Here’s my regimen:

AM:I don’t use soap, just rinse with a washcloth

Vitamin c serum

Sunscreen

Dermalogica eye cream

Makeup

PM:wash face to remove all makeup

Tone with aveda Exfoliant

Peptide serum

Retinol or glycolic cream (I alternate nights, and in the winter, if the retinol is too drying, I stick to glycolic acid)

Night eye cream

And finally, wrinkles are caused by repetitive expressions. That’s why Botox works so well, it paralyses your muscles and prevents you from making those expressions. If you have it in you..a little conscious effort goes a long way…avoid too much frowning, raising eyebrows, and squinting. Try to keep a poker face and you’ll be doing exactly what Botox does!

Just a disclaimer here that I have oily skin. All products listed here are products that I have come to find over the years, that work for ME.  Always speak to a dermatologist about your own skin concerns and especially serious skin conditions and remember that all skin types have different needs. When in doubt, go to a reputable spa and get a skin analysis before you get started on a routine. Also, remember that many of these products contain minerals and chemicals-ESPECIALLY RETINOL and even glycolic acid.  Always use with caution, and avoid when pregnant or nursing!!!

I’d love to hear about your sin care routine!

Thanks for popping by!


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Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2013-My Inspiration!

Well, it is that time of year again. If you have been following my blog from the beginning, you will know that I just LOVE the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Before my boys were born I looked forward to it because it excited and inspired me. Now that I’m a mom…nothing has changed. I’ve always been into fashion and makeup and every year, late November, early December, I look forward to sitting down and watching the gorgeous angels strut their stuff. Why? Because they truly do inspire me. The styling, the hair, the makeup, and the bodies. Some people complain that they are too skinny and unattainable. Not me. I use them as my “vision board”. These girls might be genetically gifted with height and small bones, but I assure you, they work hard to maintain that body that will represent their brand. This year, the musical guests were UH-MAY-ZING (mostly). I am a big Taylor Swift fan, and she did not disappoint. She looked absolutely gorgeous (could have been one of the models) and her singing was perfection. Fall Out Boy was a nice edgy addition to the show and my favourite of the night, A Great Big World, gave a heartfelt and perfect performance. A little disappointing, was Neon Jungle…I didn’t think much of their styling and makeup and I suspect they were lip synching, but they brought a nice funkiness to the whole production. The whole show was an eclectic mix of punk, rock, and innocence, and I liked how it was all put together.

Here are my fave moments and looks of the night:

I just love me some thigh high boots and wings. The top hat and red jacket ensemble inspires my next night on the town, and that hand hold and eye gaze that Taylor and Lily Aldridge shared was so sweet. And finally, the turquoise feathers on those shoes??!!! LOVE! Do you watch the VS Fashion Show? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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