Staying Fabulous While Raising Kids

You don’t have to be a Hollywood starlet to stay fabulous while raising kids. While hot celebrity mums like Jessica Alba and Gwyneth Paltrow might have an entire staff of people and at their disposal, they still follow some pretty basic tricks that you can use as well. Here’s how you can remain gorgeous and feminine while  raising kids at the same time.

Take time to pamper

Busy mum Gwyneth Paltrow knows the importance of taking time to pamper yourself, even if you’re juggling work and family. In a recent Goop newsletter, she spills about her favourite DIY spa treatments, which include an oatmeal and honey body scrub and a simple Epsom salt bath. Even if you can’t steal a full 45 minutes away from parenting to take a bath, try taking a quick 10 minute break to apply your favourite body butter or file and buff your nails. It will boost your confidence and reduce your stress level at the same time.

Stay organised

We know it’s seemingly impossible to stay on top of everything when you’re managing children, a partner and a job. But the more organised you are, the less stress you’ll experience, and stress is the fastest way to take your look from fabulous to frumpy. “[It’s] about putting your kid on a schedule instead of letting them run you,” Jessica Alba told Well+Good NYC. “When you put the kids to bed at seven, you get to be a woman with your husband, or go have dinner, or whatever.”

Don’t obsess over the little things

Gwyneth and Jessica might always look flawless, but for every “perfect” celebrity mum, there are one or two who aren’t afraid to admit that motherhood can be a little difficult sometimes. Pop star mums Mariah Carey and Britney Spears have both admitted to feeling a little frazzled while trying to balance bringing up kids and managing their careers. Instead of freaking out about minor mishaps, learn to roll with the punches. Inner peace is definitely the first step to feeling fabulous.

How do you stay fabulous as a mum? Tell us in the comments!

August 27, 2013

What Are The Earliest Signs of Pregnancy?

Any woman who’s concerned that she may or may not be pregnant needs to know how to recognise the earliest signs of pregnancy. While obviously nothing is more certain than the results of a pregnancy test, some of the signs that your body gives you can be very good indicators. Here are some of the most common earliest signs of pregnancy.

Morning sickness

Of all the pregnancy symptoms, this one is probably the most common – and also the most cliche. Indeed, on any television show or in any film, a character’s pregnancy is typically first revealed by scenes of her running to the bathroom to be sick. There’s a reason for this, however. Morning sickness occurs in most pregnant women and is truly one of the most common early indicators.

Missed period

While there can be other reasons that a woman may miss her monthly cycle, a missed period is obviously a universal symptom of pregnancy. While pregnant women may experience some scattered spotting, no woman who is expecting a baby will have a regular cycle during the duration of her pregnancy.

Mood swings and fogginess

The phrase “pregnancy brain” exists for a reason. Because of the hormonal changes that occur when you’re expecting, many pregnant women experience mood swings and fogginess, even very early on. If you’ve felt irritable or forgetful, this can be an indicator that you’re pregnant.

Breast tenderness

Even at the very beginning of pregnancy, women generally experience a tenderness and sometimes a soreness in their breasts. If you’re breasts have felt very tender to the touch as of late, this can be a sign that you are indeed expecting.

What pregnancy symptoms did you experience when you were pregnant? Share in the comments.

August 25, 2013

Parenting Advice You Should Probably Forget

As a mum, you probably feel bombarded daily with tons of parenting advice from magazines, television, friends and family. While some of these parenting tips might be useful, a lot of the pervasive parenting advice is absolute junk. Here are three myths on how to parent that every mum should forget – immediately.

Myth #1: The best way to raise a child is with a vegan, gluten-free, organic, etc. diet

Gwyneth Paltrow famously said that she would rather do drugs than give herself or her kids canned cheese, while vegan mum Alicia Silverstone insists that an animal-free diet is the only proper way to raise children for optimal health. It’s quite trendy these days to keep your kids on a strict healthy eating plan, but the notion that you have to is junk. Plenty of really great mums have been known to occasionally give their kids a bit of fast food or take-away when things are hectic and cooking dinner isn’t an option. However, good mums know that if Wednesday’s dinner was burgers, then Thursday’s dinner should be something more wholesome. The key is overall moderation, not obsessiveness. (Of course, if your child has allergies or dietary restrictions, you absolutely should follow their diet plan religiously.)

Myth #2: Once you have children, you must devote every waking second to them

This is one of those parenting tips that your grandmother might have doled out when you first found out you were pregnant. It’s also a good one to forget. Of course good mums are always there for their kids and devote the majority of their time to mothering, but even the best mums need an occasional night for themselves. Every once in a while, take a night off to either meet up with the girls or have a date with your husband while the kids stay with a grandparent or babysitter. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad mum – it means you’re human, and it will likely save your sanity!  Remember, don’t be a martyr.

Myth #3: Housewives have no place in 2013. Truly “modern mums” must have both a family and a career

The notion that stay-at-home mums are somehow lesser beings than their working counterparts is a huge pile of rubbish. The beauty of being a post-millennium parent is that you and your spouse have the option to parent however works best for you. Whether you want to stay at home while your husband works or even vice versa, there is simply no right or wrong way to manage your family and household. As an added bonus should you choose to stay home: Housewives burn far more calories than their working mum peers.

What mummy rules and parenting tips do you wish you’d never heard? Let us know in the comments.

August 19, 2013

Fit Mum: The Best Pregnancy Exercise DVDs

Every mother-to-be cares deeply about staying in good health while pregnant. Pregnancy exercise isn’t just crucial for the health of your baby, but for your own wellbeing and vitality as well. If you don’t want to join a gym or sign up for any expensive classes, there are plenty of pregnancy workouts that you can do in the comfort of your own home. Here are our favourite pregnancy DVDs.

Prenatal Yoga with Desi Barlett ($16.36, The Nile)

This DVD contains both floor and standing poses that are designed to help women stay healthy and flexible throughout each of their three trimesters. The gentle yoga exercises are meant to help you stay stress-free, flexible and have an easier delivery.

Preggie Bellies ($44.95, BumpStuff)

Billed as Australia’s most successful pregnancy exercise DVD, Preggie Bellies mixes pilates and yoga techniques to give women the perfect workout through the entirety of their pregnancy. This DVD is designed to alleviate common pains associated with pregnancy, like lower back pain.

Davina McCall: My Pre and Post Natal Workouts ($31.64, The Nile)

The Big Brother star is joined by her personal trainer, Jackie Wren, to lead her viewers through her favourite pre and postnatal workouts. The exercises are fantastic for the woman that wants to invest in a program that will not only keep her healthy during her pregnancy, but give her a way to drop the kilos after she gives birth.

Jane Simmons Pregnancy Exercise DVD ($29.95, BumpStuff)

This DVD is led by one of Australia’s leading physiotherapists. Jane Simmons specialises in prenatal workout techniques, and in this fantastic DVD, she borrows from yoga, pilates and physical therapy to provide women with an easy but effective workout that will ease pregnancy aches and pains.

Have you tried any of these DVDs? Tell us your story in the comments!

August 12, 2013

Q&A With YouTube Beauty And Fashion Guru Shaaanxo

When we wanted to talk about the latest fashion trends and beauty must-haves with an expert, we knew the perfect girl for the job. Meet Shannon Harris, a.k.a. Shaaanxo, one of YouTube’s most-watched beauty and fashion gurus. With over 400,000 subscribers, this blonde bombshell, who hails from New Zealand, shares her favourite latest fashion trends and gives us some insight into what it takes to be a YouTube style star.

In your vlogs, you always look totally gorgeous. If you had to sum up your style in one sentence, what would it be?
Why thank you! I would say my style is always changing, but it’s simple and girly most of the time.

What are you loving, fashion-wise, for the winter of 2013?
Infinity/loop scarves! So boring, I know, but I love the way they look. Bright ones (I have a bright coral one) really amp up my boring winter outfits. I usually stick to black skinny jeans and a cute jumper.

When the seasons change, a lot of women decide that it’s time to make a hairstyle change. Your long blonde locks are very pretty, but have you ever rocked a different look? Maybe even one you ended up regretting?
I used to have brown hair, ombre hair, and the one I regret – half-red and half-brown hair. The whole “underneath one colour, and on top another colour” kind of deal. It was awful! I want to go bright Rihanna Red one day, though!

Okay, imagine that you’re going on a ski trip during the coldest week of winter. You can only bring three beauty products. What are your three winter survival beauty must-haves?
I would bring Trilogy Rosehip Oil to hydrate my skin – it’s a lifesaver when my skin looks and feels dull and dry. I would also bring my lip balm – I love Maybelline Baby Lips and Nivea Lip Butters…they’re super hydrating and smell awesome. And mascara so I could look a fraction better! Its a beauty must-have for all seasons, of course.

What advice do you have any advice for aspiring YouTube style and beauty gurus?
Be yourself and don’t give up. Your own personality will bring you out from amongst the crowd. Don’t expect your views to blow up in a week, month, or even a year. Persistence is key! I went for months without more than 50 people watching me. And lastly, only do it if you have the passion for it! Seems silly I know – but if your heart and soul is with the topic you are talking about, people will see that and connect with you!

Would you take Shannon’s advice and take a stab at YouTube glory? Tell us in the comments!

Image: Shaaanxo

July 29, 2013

5 Best Fashion Bloggers

From street style to killer couture, the best fashion blogs keep us coming back for more. Here are the 5 best fashion bloggers from Australia, New York, London and beyond – and secretly, we’d love to be BFFs with them for the closet-raiding privileges alone!

Karla’s Closet
You know how Sex and the City was fictional and Carrie Bradshaw wasn’t a real person? Well, that might not be true. If there was ever a real life Carrie, it would be Karla Deras. On Karla’s Closet, Karla showcases her stunningly fashion forward style. Much like Carrie before her, Karla mixes high-end pieces with vintage and high street buys. When Teen Vogue asked her about her favourite places to shop, she named Goodwill, Saks and H&M. If that’s not fashion diversity, then we don’t know what is.

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…Love Maegan
Maegen Tintari screams L.A. – she’s adorable, bubbly, with awesome hair and a gorgeous glow. But her fashion blog is more than just killer outfits (and they seriously are incredible). Maegan shares beauty and home decor tips, as well as writing honestly about marriage and her struggle to conceive. Her beautiful smile alone will have you hooked. Maegan’s Pinterest boards are some of our favourites too.

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Styled By Phillips
Aussie model and media personality Nikki Phillips is one of Australia’s best fashion bloggers, with a constantly updated stream of bright colours and stunning locations – from Bondi to Bali. Nikki’s style is mostly Australian designers so her blog is a great way to follow what’s happening in local fashion. Follow her Instagram feed for fun behind-the-scenes snaps.

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Ring My Bell
If personal style blogging doesn’t work out, Ashley Madekwe has a second career to fall back on. After all, this London fashionista living in L.A. is a full-time actress, starring in shows like Secret Diary of a Call Girl and Revenge. Ashley blogs about her style, which is a mixture of London cool and boho chic. Why we heart her even more is that she blogs as if she were just any other girl rifling through the racks at a cool vintage store.

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The Man Repeller
We’ve been following the very witty New York fashion blogger Leandra Medine a.k.a. The Man Repeller since what feels like the beginning of the internet (ok, about two years). Her refreshing attitude to fashion can be summed up by: don’t dress to impress, wear what YOU love. Make sure you follow The Man Repeller on Instagram for hilarious daily snapshots into her life.

Do you have a favourite fashion blog? Share it in the comments below!

July 19, 2013

Latest DVD Releases For A Girl’s Night In

Planning a girl’s night in with a movie and some nibbles? With so many new DVD releases, we feel like we’re adding a new DVD to our queue just about every day.We’ve paired our favourite new DVD releases with the perfect snacks and drinks.

Identity Thief

We just about died of laughter when we caught this one in theaters. You and your girlfriends will do the same if you pick this gem for your girls’ night in. Jason Bateman stars as an everyman who finds himself in a world of trouble when an identity thief – played here by the hilarious Melissa McCarthy – steals his info and goes on a shopping spree.

Best Paired With: A raucous comedy demands nothing more than junk food and beer. Pick up a twelve pack of brew and your favourite salty snacks and sweets.

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Side Effects

This dark thriller had us on the edge of our seats. Starring Rooney Mara and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Side Effects tells the story of a woman who commits a heinous act after taking a prescription antidepressant. However, not everything is what it seems. If you’re not sold yet, this might seal the deal: it also stars Jude Law and Channing Tatum. Sorry, but there isn’t a good shirtless dance-off scene. Maybe next time?

Best Paired With: Pick up some quality wines and cheeses. An intellectual flick like this needs a grown-up spread to match.

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Oz: The Great and Powerful

This one isn’t just for kids. With a star-filled cast (Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, and the always dreamy James Franco), this Wizard of Oz origin story is as visually appealing as it is enthralling.

Best Paired With: A movie this colourful needs cocktails and fun snacks to match. Try crudités and fruity martinis if you want to serve a spread that’s as vibrant as the land of Oz.

What’s your favourite DVD for a girls’ night in? Tell us in the comments!

June 18, 2013
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