Have a GOOD day (chocolate)!

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Hey y’all... sharing something too "good" to keep all to myself. No, it's not another baby (I keep getting asked) or what show I'm working on this week. But, I do get to reveal that soon! Actually headed in for wardrobe fittings in a few minutes. I'll try to share some hints in my stories if I can. SHHHh;)

This little secret is sweet goodness.

The wellness series is full of a lot of stuff I don't necessarily love doing, but know is good for me to do. Like swallowing huge supplements, downing all my water, working out, etc. I'm learning to love those things, but let's be real. So, I wanted to share a treat with you guys. Y’all asked for some of my favorite items from the Bloom Summit Health and Wellness day. I didn't forget. I've just been using some products and researching to find the ones I love the most. Now, part of what I think is cool about learning and experimenting with new products is two part: 1) I like switching things up occasionally and 2) not everything works for everyone's body. So, it's nice to throw ideas out there and see what might work well for you. 

One of the things I learned about is Good Day Chocolate. The creators are self professed “supplement geeks with a chocolate obsession.” It’s a chocolate vitamin (in the cutest packaging you’ve ever seen). Yes, it might sound confusing….a complete treat that is good for you? But, in the name of chocolate, I simply embraced the concept and have since enjoyed many a good days;) It is really hard for me to get everything I need from just food or one or two supplements. I really appreciate creative ideas to mix it all up!

I tried the “energy” chocolate first and loved the taste and gentle pick-me-up. Then, later that evening, I tired the “sleepy” version. I munched on a couple bite-sized chocolates and downed a large glass of water. I woke up refreshed. Hayden must have gotten the memo ‘cause he’s handing us the sleepy time version in the picture above! lol This mama could use a little extra sleep! He must know!

I'm interested in the turmeric supplement. Do y'all take turmeric? I looked up reasons why it's beneficial and was blown away. So, I would like to integrate these antioxidant bites into my weekly supplements.

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I did a bit more research and….this is why I like this company:

1) They support SmileTrain. (One of the founders is a plastic surgeon). 

2) Hayden and Huck beg for them (check out the kids section). Also, check my stories today on instagram. And for kids, they have a daily multi-vitamin that I love giving the boys. They are highly-tested, non GMO and made with fair trade chocolate. Your kids will remind YOU to give them their vitamins.

3) I can have a little sweet tasting something and know it’s beneficial. My go-to is one probiotic and one vitamin D in the AM. If I take one at night, it’s the sleepy time one. Since I'm trying to eat clean and drink the water right now (er...always!), it's a treat I'm adding that I don't feel guilty about. How fun to get a bite of something sweet that is packed with goodness in more ways than one? Really FUN. Great gift, too. Who wouldn’t want to receive this sweetness!? This variety pack is a fun hostess gift.

Warning for toddler moms: if your child is anything like Hayden, he likes to put any treat in his mouth, then hold it for a while in his hands, then put it back in his mouth. We’re working on this, but in the meantime, the chocolate does rub off on his little hands, so keep an eye. For more great info on this company, please visit: GoodDayChocolate.com where you can purchase (they also can be found here on Amazon and the kids' line can be found at your local Target). I have to give them a thank you shout out for sponsoring this portion of the wellness series! 

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BOTTOMS UP...drink your H2O

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Bottoms up!

However, this post is not about emptying your glass of Rose' all day! I just downed 14 oz of water from my DayBottle. (UPDATE: so many of you asked about this bottle you've seen in stories, I'm linking it here. Created by a kidney cancer survivor who needed to drink more water, this bottle easily helps you track hydration throughout the day.)

THIS POST is too simple. I really should get a big fat 'ol "F" for this. It's too easy, too on-the-nose. Everyone knows they need to drink water

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We’ve heard this our whole lives: DRINK MORE WATER. It’s basically the panacea to many ailments. Most of this wellness reminder series is simply that— great reminders. We know all of this already, but I still like new reminders. I recently overheard someone say in conversation, “Drinking water is a no-brainer, well, it’s 90% of your brain, so it’s more of a BRAINER than we think!” 

Anyhow, that joke wasn’t very funny. And I’m not trying to be funny here. Just straightforward. And bring your mid(ish)-year reminder about many of our new year’s resolutions. And if memory serves me, we all had several different resolutions, but the consistently ones were: drink more water and weight loss.

So, while typing and doing a bit of research here, I got super thirsty. As I said, I downed water. I think part of my issue is that I forget, then I get tired and and busy and distracted. I need a pick me up.  I instinctively reach for caffeine. And THAT IS MY DOWNFALL.

I appreciate my yoga teachers telling me all the benefits of water and why it's so important for me drink it. As I'm doing my last down dog of the class recently, I hear the lecture coming. I roll my eyes back so far, it's as if gravity is going to make them stick there. But, alas, I rise up once again and it is on my mind. 

For better or worse, the thoughts that get me thinking are more vanity based. Does this happen to you sometimes? I'm thinking, "Duh, we ALL know we need to drink water to make our digestive system work. Are you really saying this OUT LOUD. I mean, we're paying $20 a class to be here, we clearly on the "body-wellness" path, so tell us something I don't hear everyday." And then she did.

She reminded me of things like this:

Calorie control

Water simply helps people feel full, and as a result consume fewer calories. Timing can help, too. Drink 16oz. before meals. And cold water helps metabolism.

Fuels Muscle/Gives us Energy

When the muscles don’t have enough water, they get tired. So for extra energy, try drinking water to push through that final set of squats. And water in general can give us all more energy! If only I had the energy of my two year old! 

Clearer skin

Part of the detoxification benefits of drinking water, it helps flush out toxins that can clog our pores and cause acne. The jury is still out on if it scientifically helps with wrinkles, but I'll tell you this much, it doesn't hurt!

Improves Brain Function

I don't know if it's just from being tired a lot of the time, but I will take all the help I can get to improve my brain function! Like I said earlier, our brain is mainly water and needs enough of it to function properly. I don't know the science behind it, but it makes sense.

Relieves Constipation In Many Cases

Pretty self explanatory, but worth mentioning. If problems persist, see your doctor, but this is a good place to start.

extra credit: 

IT’S FREE!

Even if you splurge for bottled water, it’s cheaper than Starbucks or wine!

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You might remember my post with Dr Oz reminding us all to immediately drink 2 glasses of water upon rising. I do that about 40% of the time if I’m being honest. UGH! Coffee calls my name in the morning. SO Loudly!!!

BUT, bottoms UP. It’s time. If you haven’t been consistent, let’s start this challenge and get ‘er done. If you don’t love the taste—er— non taste of water, there are fun things you can do. Add mint! Add fruit. I add Usana’s Booster C and it gives me just enough flavor (and Vitamin C). This morning, I added the probiotic powder. I’m challenging myself to drink 64 oz every single day this week. I’ll report in my stories. Will you do it with me? Maybe we’ll go longer, but let’s start with a week. WE CAN DO THIS.

Tag me in any stories or posts…. What’s a hashtag we can all use? #bottomsupH2o? too long? thoughts? ha! And once again, if you want the  DAYBOTTLE, it's under $15. I'd love to know if it helps you drink more water.

World of Soaps

I'm collaborating with Carved Solutions on a line of soaps!

I'm excited to finally share this new endeavor with y'all. For a long time, I've wanted to collaborate on a line of products and eventually create my own. It just made sense to start in the soap world;)

Some of you that follow along on social media might remember me asking for favorite quotes. (I can't tell you how fun that was to read them all.) I originally wanted the quotes carved into the soaps. However, even though the bars of soaps are a good size, they are still a bar of soap with limited space. So, the quotes will be used for something else in the future. As for the soaps, I put "words to live by" on them. There's a trust, believe, faith box. And a love, hope and peace box. I'm enjoying the fresh, clean feel and subtle smell. 

Our Eco-Luxury line is revered for its guilt-free pampering. Each bar is made in Vermont, triple-milled, and features a vegetable-based formula with our famous water-based Aqua Mineral fragrance and antique white color. Trusted by connoisseurs for those with allergies, sensitive skin, or delicate noses! I appreciate that I can use these on my children. 

It's a luxurious present I hope you'd be pleased to give or receive. These make perfect hostess gifts! I will be looking forward to your thoughts. For Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday, get 20% off with code 'Ashley.'  

xoxox

GROW OLD GRACEFULLY, with a little help from modern tech!

Being a new mom, my priorities haven't exactly been focused on preventative care or anti-aging products. I have a feeling some of you, new mom or not, understand. It's hard for me to schedule self care, be it a manicure, a workout, a facial or getting my roots done. But, the better care I take of myself, the better I feel in the long run. 

I've had questions about preventative, non-invasive techniques for anti-aging. I was able to meet and chat with Zara Harutyunyan MSN, AGNP, one of the leading clinicians in Los Angeles for cosmetic rejuvenation at CRMCLaser. I enjoyed our chat so much that I decided to make a series of them and share them with you. So, in a way, Zara is like a guest blogger! This was a spontaneous idea to video Zara, so forgive the camera work by yours truly! Next time will be better. 

Our first sit-down, I asked her about a few pressing issues I have and I hear over and over from people:

  • Lines on my Neck...I've had them forever. My mom calls them cell phone/computer lines. I bet she's correct. Years of looking down at my screens big or small have not been neck friendly.
  • Pore size... is there anything I can do to make them smaller or prevent them from getting worse.
  • Wrinkles, duh.

I appreciate how she gives ideas for all price points! She also give ideas for people that could make it into a skincare facility like hers, or those that don't have access to a medical clinic. 

 

Below are the treatments Zara discussed in the video. 

IN OFFICE TREATMENTS

Ultherapy: Completely non-surgical way to lift and tighten the skin on your face, neck, and décolletage. Ultherapy addresses the same tissues as a surgical facelift. The rejuvenating treatment stimulates new collagen and restores skin elasticity without downtime.

BTL Exilis Ultra: noninvasive face and body tightening and contouring treatment. Breakthrough combinations of radio frequency and ultrasound energy to effectively tighten, tone, smooth and sculpt. Great results, but less expensive option to Ultherapy.

Aquagold: a customized  treatment that uses a device with microneedles to deliver botox, hylaronic acid, vitamins, antioxidants and growth factors to your face. This treatment will help with:

-minimizing pores

-smoothing and plumping your skin

-improving superficial acne scars

-brighten the skin


AT HOME PROACTIVE CARE:

HA5: provides smoothing in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and supports the skin's natural ability to replenish its own hyaluronic acid skin health. I've also been told it's a great primer under makeup and (ONLY if your doctor agrees) can be used during pregnancy. Check it out on CRMC's website HERE. I will be starting this tonight.

DERMAROLLER: I am so happy Zara mentioned this. It reminded me that I needed to be using a dermaroller again. Rolling titanium microneedles over the skin creates tiny punctures, stimulating your body to produce collagen. These tissue-building blocks give skin strength and elasticity and (what I've been told) help your skincare products work more efficiently due to deeper penetration in the skin. There are different size needles for different issues. Please consult your doctor and do your own research before using anything! I am only sharing knowledge I've learned or things that have worked for me.

 

At the end of the video, Zara reminds us that quality products and consistency are incredibly important. Good to remember that the little things we do everyday will pay off in the long run.


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I'm going to have another visit with her next week, so please send me your questions about anything discussed above or other questions you have.  I'd love to address them. And while I'm here, I have to thank you all for your patience. I do have a post coming about work and the recipes soon!! Hopefully by tomorrow. They aren't finished yet! And I promised Huck we could go to the Pumpkin Patch, so.... guess who gets my attention for the next few hours. 

Oh and ps- for any nursing moms-- the dress I'm wearing was from my nursing days. (It also reminds me of Charlie Brown from Peanuts! ha!)  The dress has hidden zippers that make for discreet nursing a little easier and is now on sale! Anyway, I still wear it and love it with booties for fall. And I'll pair it with a long sleeve black t-shirt and tights for winter. Here are other styles of the same dress (also maternity). If you're interested, here's the post from last year about it.

DISCLAIMER: Once again, please consult with your doctor before doing any procedures or using any products discussed in this post or on this site.