Plant Based Mum Blog

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The Importance of Self-Care in Motherhood

It is so important to fill our own cup in order to be the best parent we can be.

Everybody has their own unique needs when it comes to self-care and “me-time”. Some feel refreshed and re-fueled after a monthly girls catch up, others will crave weekly brunches and chit chats. For some, it’s more about that pampering ‘sesh - getting your hair done each month, an indulgent massage every now and then or having a manicure. Others enjoy time at night once the kids are asleep to curl up with a good book (or Kindle as I prefer!) and a cup of tea for an hour or two, or perhaps a movie and popcorn night-in with your partner. It’s all about what works for you as an individual. 

As a mumma of two, I am always conscious of carving out some time for self care when I can - to ensure I am refreshed and rejuvenated to bring my best self to my ever important role as a parent. Below are some of my fave ways to spend some “Me-Time”:

Exercise 

This is a must for me, and I really feel it if I let this one slide down the priority list. I tend to do a quick 30-45 minute work out every other day, mainly involving a mix of stretching/yoga to start with followed by some higher intensity exercises. I also enjoy a good walk most days, and with two little ones in the double stroller this pretty much doubles as a workout itself when climbing those steep hills! You will know what works best for your body, and what it responds best to...but a bit of exercise personally always helps me feel better!

Podcasts

I love the fact that the podcast world is full of educational opportunities. It’s fantastic that we live in an age where you can listen to some of the best minds/ideas out there all while driving to your next destination or even vacuuming the house. Some of my favourite podcasts include: No Filter, Happy Mamma with Amy Taylor-Kabbaz, Dr. Justin Coulson’s Happy Families Podcast, TED Talks Daily, Background Briefing, Dr. Karl on Triple J Podcast and ABC’s All In The Mind to name but a few. I also enjoy listening to a few podcasts specific to my line of work to keep abreast of issues, trends and initiatives in that space.

Kindle E-Books

After my little ones are asleep I enjoy reading a few chapters of a good novel to relax. I’m currently reading Notes On a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig. Recent reads include; The Mother of All Jobs by Christine Armstrong (as recommended on the No Filter Podcast), Eat Dirt by Dr. Josh Axe and Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. I love discovering new authors and books!

YouTube

When my little guy was still waking at nights and wanting to feed I would usually reach for YouTube to help me stay alert at 3am! I don’t tend to watch much nowadays, however some of the parenting vloggers on YouTube really got me through those sleepless nights and I’ve even picked up some great tips and tricks from the parenting journey’s they share, too.

Relaxing with a Cuppa

This is probably one of my favourite pastimes, whether it is grabbing 15 minutes to myself with a cup of tea and a read through my Twitter feed before the little ones wake up, or having a cuppa to wind down at the end of the day. I was lucky enough to try out some of the new Asha Tea range recently. Asha offers a variety of Australian Certified Organic and Fair-trade teas - from a ‘Morning Time’ blend (Assam and Kenyan Black Tea), a ‘Sleep Time’ blend (consisting of camomile, spearmint, lemon peel and peppermint), a super refreshing Mint blend and a blissful Green and Jasmine Tea blend (my fave!) - these blends are the perfect way to clear your mind and indulge in a little ‘me-time’ before the tasks of the day begin!

What’s your favourite way to indulge in a little relaxation and clear your mind?!

This post is sponsored by Asha Tea - a new range by Twining’s Australia.

The new range of asha tea - perfect to unwind and free your mind this autumn.

The new range of asha tea - perfect to unwind and free your mind this autumn.

What’s in my Make-Up Bag: Cruelty-Free Beauty

March 5-11 is ‘Be Cruelty-Free week’, so what better time to take a look at our favourite cruelty-free beauty products in the lead up to Be Cruelty-Free Week.

Personally, I consider my ‘beauty routine’ (if you can even call it that!) very low maintenance - only opting to wear make-up for events and usually sticking to the simplicity of a good moisturiser, some mascara, a touch of concealer and some sunscreen for my day-to-day mum-life. 

Choosing cruelty-free is an important way to help your own health and wellbeing by using products with natural ingredients - after all your skin is your biggest organ. Using products made from natural oils, plant extracts and minerals helps to ensure you are taking care of your body - inside and out. 

Below are some of our favourite cruelty-free beauty products:

Face 

Natio is a well-known natural Australian skincare and beauty brand. They do a great monitoring sunscreen with SPF 50 for those hot Australian summers, and a nice intensive moisurising day cream - which is perfect for use in the cooler months.

Ere Perez make a lovely nourishing lightweight vegan Quinoa Water foundation, available in three shades. Ere Perez’s full coverage concealer is super easy to use to mask those heavy eyes for when your little ones don’t let you get much sleep! Inika Organic’s blush is the perfect pink tone for your cheeks and Inika Organic can also help you to lengthen those lashes with their award winning ‘long lash vegan mascara’.

Sukin Australian Natural Skincare are (as the name suggests) Australian made, vegan and cruelty free - and they are a very affordable brand. Sukin’s Sensitive Cleansing Gel gently washes away the day leaving your skin smooth and refreshed, while Sand and Sky’s Australian Pink Clay Purifying Face Mask is the perfect fortnightly treat to hydrate your skin before you get your much needed beauty sleep. Dermalogica ‘Barrier Repair’ (free of irritants and cruelty-free) locks in moisture and Lush Enchanted Eye Cream takes care of your delicate eye area with soothing lavender honey water and organic jojoba oil.

Lips 

Hurraw lip balm is a great choice to keep your lips nice and moisturised throughout the day. Hurraw lip products are all natural, organic and vegan! There’s a wide range of ‘flavours’ on offer - from sweet options like banana, raspberry, grapefruit and pineapple through to more subtle options such as vanilla, coconut, earl grey and of course unscented for the ultra-sensitive to name a few.

Nails

Mummy Green always loves Kester Black for her nails. Kester Black is a fantastic Australian cruelty-free vegan beauty brand. There’s a variety of stunning colours to choose from, all with inventive names. There’s beautiful nude tones like ‘coral blush’ (the perfect blush shade), ‘petra’ (rose pink), ‘the future is female’ (baby pink) and ‘in the buff’ (the perfect nude shade). Kester Black stock several lovely darker hues too - perfect for the cooler months - such as ‘nightshade’ (a nice shade of grey), ‘periwinkle’ (dark blue) and ‘pinot nior’ (deep red). And if you’re wanting to turn things up there’s plenty of bolder choices on offer, including ‘pulp fiction’ (a cool red tone), ‘rouge’ (bright red), ‘sorbet’ (candy pink), ‘sugarplum’ (bright purple) and ‘thypoon’ (a moody blue).

To find our more about the fight to end cosmetic animal cruelty visit the Humane Society International at www.hsi.org

crueltyfreebeauty

Essential Oils for Winter Healing

With winter well and truly on our doorstep, we are stocking up on our cold and flu prevention tools. Whilst good food and nutrition is always our main form of defence (keep an eye on the blog for a special post on this in the coming weeks), as a busy Mumma I also use other natural goodies to help keep those germs at bay, and to help me heal faster in the event I do catch something. 

I am a big fan of accupuncture and osteopathy to help my body stay balanced, and I also use essential oils when I feel they can give me a boost. Essential oils make the perfect sidekick in your quest against germs and on your journey to heal. From lifting your mood, to disinfecting your benchtops and clearing your sinuses, essential oils can help keep your household healthy this winter.

Below are some of my favourite essential oils* to use during winter: 

Eucalyptus

One to two drops in your washing machine with a dash of vinegar on a hot full cycle can help freshen things up and sanitize your machine to keep it extra clean - try not to use this mix too much though as it can actually damage your washer if used too much - once a month is perfect. 

Lemon 

Lemon is known for its detoxifying, energising and revitalising properties. Simply add a few drops to your diffuser, and diffuse for just ten minutes while having some much needed Mumma time with a book and a nice cuppa - this can help to clear the mind and give you a good mood boost on a cold winter morning. 

Tea Tree 

Tea tree oil is perfect for cleaning, especially in the bathroom. With its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties it can really help to keep germs at bay. Tea tree oil is extremely strong though, so go easy - two to three drops diluted in a spray bottle with equal parts vinegar and water makes a great shower cleaner. Just one small bottle of tea tree oil will last you many seasons to come!

Orange 

The uplifting scent of orange is a welcome edition to any household. Add a couple of drops in a spray bottle, filled with white vinegar, and you have an easy bench top cleaner for the home.

Lavender  

It’s so important to take extra care of yourself during winter, and it especially helps to get lots of rest to keep your energy up - and your immune function in top form. Lavender is one of the best known oils for promoting relaxation and sleep. After your little ones are tucked in bed and peaceful in dreamland for the night, add 2 to 3 drops of lavender essential oil to your diffuser to help you get your much needed rest (we all know how much Mumma needs a good sleep!), or even better - you can wind down before bed enjoying some Mumma time by having a relaxing in a epsom salt bath with a cup of epsom salts and couple of drops of lavender oil - bliss! 

 [*Disclaimer: Remember, essential oils are very potent - so a little goes a very, very long way! It is important to always store your essential oils securely and well out of reach, as ingestion and/or skin exposure can be harmful - always keep out of reach of children. Consult a health professional before use if pregnant or breastfeeding. Always be careful using essential oils around pets too, especially as some essential oils can be toxic to animals. Essential oils can interact with some medications, so always do your own research before using. Do your own research, and use only as directed.]

Thanks for reading and I wish you good health and happiness this winter!  

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