Taking 30 Minutes For Me


Now, more than ever, I’ve found that taking 30 minutes to relax and rejuvenate each day allows me to be the best version of myself. I was told by multiple parents that it’d be hard, especially during these first few months, to find time to do much more than shower each day but, if possible, take 30 minutes to invest in myself. I took this advice to heart, and thanks to Bo’s support, have been able to enjoy at least 30 minutes each day the past few weeks to relax and disconnect. This is the one time each day when I allow myself to be free of a to-do list, any household chores and just indulge in my favorite things.  After seeing a few other people share their self-love or self-care routines, I thought it’d be fun to share mine.

By 9:30 most nights Katie is fast asleep in her bassinet and I am able to transition my mind to relaxation. I head downstairs and pour myself a glass of wine, before going back into our bedroom. I often reach for an oaky Chardonnay or a fruity Pinot Noir and am working my way through the bottles we bought during our Babymoon in California. Once I’m back upstairs, I light my favorite Diptyque candle and then change into something more comfortable. After wearing a nursing bra and clothes that are nursing-friendly but not necessarily the most feminine or flattering, I spend my nights in something a bit more feminine. When Lively offered to send me a pair of set of their matching bra and underwear, I laughed, thinking that there could be no worse time to offer lingerie to a woman. In fact, I dreaded taking them out of the bag, fearing the way my post baby body would feel in the black bra and underwear. Much to my surprise, I’ve started wearing them multiple nights a week as the silky, soft bra and underwear set is feminine but comfortable. The bralette is a perfect sleeping bra while the mesh trim makes it more fun than anything else in my drawer. Want to try Lively? You can use code AMB-healthyhappier to receive $10 off your order! 

The next order of business is trying to get my skin in order with a combination of brightening potions. A few nights a week I apply the Beauty Counter Brightening Face Mask while the other nights I apply the Brightening Facial Oil followed with a night moisturizer and eye cream. While I’d love to use one of the many stronger brightening products (specifically Rodan+Fields Reverse) you all recommended, most of them aren’t recommended for use during breast feeding due to the retinol. If you have another recomendation, please let me know as I’m tired of this pregnancy mask! I have also started using a moisturizing hand cream each night since the daily bottle scrubbing has started to wreak havoc on my hands.

Finally, I squeeze in 15 to 30 minutes of reading before going to sleep. While I initially found myself reading parenting and baby books, I have decided to switch gears and save those for daytime while my evening reading is strictly reading for pleasure. The stack of books next to my bed is embarassing and clearly points to a naive new mom who thought she’d spend all her nursing hours reading, only to realize that her baby currently requires two hands to hold and cuddle while nursing.  These are the books I’ve renewed multiple times at the library and am finally finding time to read now that Katie’s sleep is allowing me this nightly routine.

What books are you loving right now? What is part of your self-care routine?

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Friday Favorites–June 2nd, 2017

2017.06.02_Ash in Bed

Happy Friday! While this was a short week due to the Memorial Day holiday, there was still a lot packed in as I tried to close out a few work projects and personal projects since we know that Baby Girl Diamond could surprise us and arrive any day. I’m thrilled that Bo nor I have any plans Friday night or Saturday. I’m looking forward to lots of relaxation since we’ve finally finished the projects around our house.

Now, let’s dive into this week’s edition of Friday Favorites, including recipes, articles, posts and other things that caught my eye this week.

  • The picture above captures one of my favorite moments this week. As I shared on Instagram this morning, for years I’ve forced myself to wake up for early morning workouts, using negative self talk, shame and guilt to convince myself that a day without a morning workout was a failure. Luckily, during this pregnancy I’ve learned to love myself and give myself the space to love my body and mind. This morning at 5:30 when the alarm went off I felt exhausted and sore. Even though I was booked for an Orangetheory class and knew cancelling would mean getting a “late cancel fee” I cancelled the class and set my alarm for two hours later. Bo was so amazed by this that when he woke up around 7 he snapped this picture as he thought I looked so calm and peaceful.
  • Just in time for Summer, this protein pasta recipe looks like a great, easy option to whip up for dinner or lunch.
  • I wish I had a reason to order this gorgeous dress, especially since it’s on sale for less than $100 right now! It would be perfect with heels and statement earrings for a Summer wedding or paired with gold Jack Rogers for an evening date night.
  • A few people have asked what protein powder I’m using these days in my smoothies during pregnancy. Instead of using an actual protein powder, I’m getting protein via Vital Protein’s Collagen Peptide Powder. The one ingredient powder adds 18 grams of protein to my smoothies and promotes healthy hair, skin, nails, joints, and bones without any artificial flavors or sweeteners.
  • I’ve used Gmail for years but didn’t know many of these shortcuts.
  • Most days I let my hair dry naturally and the Hairstory Hair Balm has helped make the air dry result look SO much nicer. The balm hydrates while minimizing frizz without weighing down my hair or leaving it looking or feeling greasy. In fact, I look like I have beach waves when my hair dries, which is something I never had before! 
  • I treated myself to a few new Diptyque candles this week including my favorite scent, which I often burn on my bedside table before bed or at my desk while I work.
  • In between parenting books, I’ve been reading at least 2-3 other books each month and I can’t wait to dive into a few of the books on How Sweet Eat’s Summer Reading List.
  • Hilary’s Spicy Island dressing is a healthier take on Thousand Island and has a delicious, spicy kick that added flavor to my lunch salads this week. Now that I’ve discovered Hilary’s dressings, I can’t wait to try the rest of their line-up especially the ranch chia and kalamata olive!
  • While I know our Summer is going to look a lot different this year, I still pinned the Infatuation’s Summer Guide to NYC in hopes that we can enjoy at least a few of the spots this Summer.
  • Makeup has been minimal recently but I never leave home without a caot of this mascara, this lip gloss and a swipe of this brow gel.

Your turn – Tell me, what are you loving this week? Favorite new book? Makeup product? Fashion Item?

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored and instead is a list of the things of my favorite things this week. As normal, it includes lots of beauty and fashion items which means there are a few affiliate links via ShopStyle. It takes time and money to maintain a blog so I thank you for the support and few cents that come from clicking through the links!

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2013 Favorite Things Giveaway

This year, more than ever, I am thankful for my blog. This blog has brought new friends into my life in both Geneva and London, which has helped tremendously with the adjustment. In addition, you all have helped me train for one marathon, two half marathon, a 10k race, and a 5k race three of which were personal records. Your emails, comments and interactions on social media have helped me discover new cities, countries, workouts, recipes, and inspire me on a daily basis. Therefore, similar to last year, I want to thank you all through a Favorite Things Giveaway.

2013 Favorite things

This year, there will be 5 lucky winners, each of whom have a chance to win one of the above gifts.  I will use Random Integer to choose a winner number for each prize. This contest is open to US and UK residents.

There are 2 ways to enter:

1) Leave a comment letting me know what you want to see more of on the blog in 2014. More training? Workouts? Fashion? Beauty? Travel?

2) Share via Twitter: I want to win @healthyhappier Favorite Things Giveaway including @yurbuds @kindle @baublebar! http://goo.gl/Zt5Xe4 (Leave a comment letting me know you shared via Twitter)

The giveaway will end at 11pm on Tuesday night. I will contact all winners via email and if I do not have a response within 48 hours I will choose another winner. 

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