All posts by Holly

BEAUTYCOUNTER

If you already love Beautycounter, click here! If not, read on to learn why I do.

beautycounter

I’ve been using natural products for as long as I can remember. The reason? Everything we put on our bodies is absorbed by our skin and enters our bloodstream. Many (MOST!) of the ingredients found in personal care products are toxic and linked to cancer, birth defects, infertility, etc. Very few have been tested for safety and even those that are known to be harmful are allowed to be used.

That simply is not ok.

At one point I was so strict about what I used, my rule was if I couldn’t eat it, I wouldn’t put it on my body. So there were many years of moisturizing with coconut oil, exfoliating with oatmeal, cleansing with honey.

As for cosmetics, while I was working full time as a model I was at the mercy of whatever the make-up artist used. On days off I would go make-up free. I really loved Chanel for the beautiful colors and sleek packaging and their adherence to European skin care guidelines (which are better than ours- In the U.S., only 11 ingredients are restricted or banned from cosmetics. The European Union (EU) bans 1,300 ingredients from cosmetics.) It was hard for me to switch to brands I could find at the health food store for obvious reasons- but I tried.

Enter BEAUTYCOUNTER.

Beautycounter is a line of personal care products- everything from baby care to luxurious skin care and beautifully packaged color cosmetics. They are a company devoted to progress and making the world healthier, by offering safe products we can trust.

I have been supporting The Breast Cancer Fund, Environmental Working Group and Healthy Child, Healthy World for many years and when you sign up to be a consultant with Beautycounter they donate $10 to one of these organizations.

On top of all of this, I’ve heard from many people how gorgeous their skin has become after using Beautycounter.

Safe and effective products, chic (yet recyclable!) packaging, support of meaningful charities. Everybody wins.

I am thrilled to be a consultant for Beautycounter and hope you will click here to browse the products and see for yourself how amazing this company is.

Please contact me with questions you have about any of the products, and stay tuned for a GIVEAWAY!

BEAUTY COUNTER

 

Why I Noonday

Have you seen Poverty, Inc.?

The whole documentary is an eye-opening look at the “business” of giving to poor countries. It is an important film to watch.

There’s an interesting segment on orphans, and how many of them end up in orphanages. Most aren’t orphans at all- many of them have at least one living parent who loves them and even visits them in the orphanage. They are there because the parents can’t provide basic needs for their beloved children, such as food and clothing, mostly because they don’t have jobs. It is a whole cycle of system of poverty and it is heartbreaking.

This is the main reason why I am a Noonday Ambassador and why Noonday is relevant on Integrative Mom.  Noonday provides jobs for artisans in developing countries so they are able to earn a living and keep the children they so love.

If you don’t know about Noonday, please watch this video for an introduction to what we are all about. (Watch for me- I’m wearing a tight fitting black dress that gloriously showcases my last baby bump!)

noonday trunk show

The new fall collection is out now, so check it out. And if you’re in the market for a new bag or any gifts as we head into fall please consider shopping from Noonday!

I also have quite a few items left in my sample sale which you can see here.

The Best Thing I Packed In My Hospital Bag

My labor and delivery went fast.

REALLY FAST.

Like I was still dressed in street clothes, SHOES and giant earrings fast.

So my sister was laughing thinking about all the care I took packing my hospital bag, assuming I had no time to use any of it before the baby came. But two things I used immediately.

The first thing my husband did when they put me in the room was hook up his phone to our Jawbone Mini Jambox Wireless Bluetooth Speaker. I love music and he knows how much that helps me during labor.

And he also put up a string of white Christmas lights for ambient lighting and as a focal point for me. It cast a soft glow in the room and made such a difference. Everything else- the lollipops, lip balm, hair ties, essential oils, everything, went out the window.

Then as I was moved into my recovery room, we set up the lights on the unused IV stand next to the hospital bed, and turned off all the other lights.

ambient light in hospital

Every nurse and doctor who came in commented on what a great idea those lights were, as flipping on the harsh lights to check on me or the baby was comopletely unnecessary.

The first few hours and days are so amazing and sweet, and those lights added to the magic.

What Baby Needs

We have a new baby in the house! And this time, A GIRL!

We are overjoyed and have been in a baby bubble for the last three weeks. (We are halfway through our Forty Days at home!) My older boys, who are now 7 and 4, have been amazing helpers. I did not know what to expect, but I definitely have not had any behavioral issues with them even though this has been such a giant adjustment.

what baby needs

My 4 year old slept in the crook of my arm his entire life until 2 days before his sister arrived, and he has taken to his new bed beautifully. I think he was ready, he just needed a reason to move out of our room. But there have been a few tears. My 7 year old told me yesterday- 3 weeks after the baby was born- that he really missed me when I was in the hospital. And my 4 year old has some trouble falling asleep at night and comes and finds me and tells me that he can’t sleep because he can’t stop thinking about me.

So the tears have mostly been mine.

I remember a friend saying when he had a 2nd child that he felt like he’d gone through a breakup with his first. And that is a good way to describe it- that unique bond is different now- though still beautiful, it has changed. I didn’t realize I would have the same emotions when welcoming a third child into our lives, but I do. My four year old grew three sizes before my eyes the day he walked into the hospital to meet his little sister.

One book that we read over and over again while waiting for the baby was “What Baby Needs ” by Dr. Sears.

This book helped my younger son prepare for what was about to happen, with great suggestions for parents also. I love it because it shows the baby being breastfed and held in a sling, and sleeping in a co-sleeper which is the way we parent.

What To Pack in Your Hospital Bag

There is a lot of prep going on over here as we anticipate baby number 3’s arrival.
Some say pack your hospital bag by 35 weeks and have it in the car…I am almost 39 weeks, am packing it now and want to share what I am packing.
what to pack in hospital bag
Here are my absolute must haves for the hospital bag.

  • Music player- we use the jawbone jam box with my favorite music on it to play during labor.
  • Inflated birth ball- if you’re planning on a natural delivery these are great to rock on, get in a comfortable position, etc.
  • Lip balm. You know me? You know I’m addicted to always covering my lips in lip balm, and hospitals and labor have a habit of drying you out so pack some now.
  • Hair bands. I have a new fresh pack so I know there will be no way I will go without. You will want your hair back during labor.
  • Essential oils (I used lavender) to breathe in for the calming properties.
  • Lollipops or hard candy- it’s nice to have something other than ice chips to suck on during labor
  • Rescue Remedy- this worked to keep me calm and peaceful while I was in labor with baby #2.
  • Gum and mints
  • Refillable water bottle so you don’t have to drink out of plastic water bottles and be exposed to xenoestrogens.
  • Dark colored nightgown and robe for after delivery. Dark colored so you don’t have to worry about blood showing if your pad leaks. Nightgown should have easy access for baby to nurse.
  • Breast pads and nursing bra
  • Comfy Socks to keep your feet warm
  • Slippers or flip flops to walk around your hospital room
  • Baby wash if you’d like to use a natural and organic kind instead of the one the hospital provides. Or better yet, avoid the bath altogether!
  • Non-toxic diapers by Honest.com if you’d prefer not use the ones the hospital supplies
  • Organic cotton squares and Organic/non-toxic baby oil. We use these as wipes and to get that first sticky meconium off of baby’s bottom
  • Nursing pillow- this is my hands down favorite one. I’ve tried them all, but the Blessed Nest is the best.
  • Journal and pens
  • Phone charger
  • Camera
  • Selfie stick? hey, why not.
  • Snacks- trail mix, nutrition bars, for middle of the night cravings.
  • Change and small bills for the vending machine
  • Swaddle blanket
  • Hair dryer, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, makeup, other toiletries
  • Going home outfit for baby
  • Going home outfit for you
  • An extra bag- the hospital give you tons of diapers and wipes, pads, disposable undies, etc. and it’s nice to have the extra room. I also took home a few packages of the bed pads. They are so convenient!
    Something else to consider-
    A string of white Christmas lights. That way you don’t have to turn the harsh hospital lights on and off, and can use the warm peaceful light the whole time.

Things you probably won’t need:
Underwear- the hospital gives you these amazing stretchy disposable undies
Pads- unless you want organic cotton ones, then bring your own
Towel- yes, the hospital towels are thin and not super soft, but I would so much rather just leave everything behind after showering for the first time post baby

That’s my must have list!
Continue reading What To Pack in Your Hospital Bag