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I’ve never had pristine ballerina posture albeit I’m envious of those that do. I’ve been a bit of a sloucher for as long as I can remember but it got MUCH worse when I had my daughter. I was spending hours and hours a day nursing, cradling and tending to a baby. I was constantly hunched over, my shoulders were rounding in and my back began to ache so it was time to do something about it.

Here are the 4 ways I’ve been able to successfully improve my posture (a constant work in progress):

1. Swedish Posture Flexi Shoulder Muscles Support
Literally wearing this as I type, the Swedish Posture brace wraps around your arms/shoulders and pulls you upright. I like to wear it for a couple of hours in the morning to encourage standing up straight for the rest of the day.

2. Upright
Wouldn’t it be nice if something reminded you to stand up straight every time you slouched? That’s exactly what this is! Sync it to the app, put it on your back and it buzzes you all day long with reminders.

3. Strengthening workouts
Besides being reminded not to slouch, it’s equally – if not more – important to work on strengthening your back. I added more back, shoulder and chest exercises to my routine.

4. Stretches
Slouching can really round your shoulders which is where stretching comes into play. Whether it’s in Pilates, yoga or simply at home, stretch out your back, shoulders and chest to really open yourself up. You can also foam roll to loosen up any tightness.

Hope this helps! Now stand up straight!

The post Slouching? Here are 4 Ways To Improve Your Posture appeared first on because im addicted.

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Today’s post is written by contributor Chelsea Becker

As of today, I’m 8 weeks old as a mother or almost a year if we’re counting the time being pregnant. And to be honest, it’s been one of the hardest years of my life – but as it goes, also the most rewarding. I’ve already shared several articles on my pregnancy, from what I’d buy again to secrets to feeling energized to low sex drive, but this is the first post I’ve written since giving birth.

It’s been interesting to look back at the transition into motherhood and see what’s been the most different based on my expectations going in. I actually love reflecting on ANY sort of life transition this way as I find it humbling and a time to check in with myself.

Here’s what I wasn’t expecting about motherhood – and I’d love to hear your own realizations about being a parent if you’d like to share.

The respect

I’ve always had respect for mothers, but it wasn’t until I got pregnant and gave birth that the respect grew tenfold. It’s quite insane what the woman’s body has to go through, both mentally and physically, during pregnancy. Add on pre-labor, labor, the recovery process, and the emotions that go into new motherhood, and whoa. R.e.s.p.e.c.t.

The milk issue

I hope it doesn’t come off as a complaint because I seriously thank the stars daily that I have a healthy baby and that I’m able to breastfeed, but holy shit, breastfeeding is hard. But that’s not my realization – I knew breastfeeding was incredibly difficult going in. What I wasn’t prepared for was the mess of the milk (if you have it coming in). I’m constantly leaking, waking up with soaked breast pads in the middle of the night (or while out in public), and smelling gross.

P.S. Cutting a diaper in half and using each half as a breast pad works the best for soaking up milk in the middle of the night!

The lengths of sleep deprivation

I have sleep anxiety so I knew the lack of sleep would be hard, but it’s unlike anything I could have prepared for. What I’ve found to help is taking short naps when the baby does, putting yourself first – even if that means asking visitors to come another day because you’re about to sleep, and coming up with a sleeping schedule with your partner. Pumping into bottles has also been key for me and passing off some feeds.

The in-between sizes

I actually took a genius tip from Geri who told me to buy a pair of jeans a couple sizes up while pregnant. That pair got me through a lot of my pregnancy (with the rubber band trick) and they were also a godsend the first couple weeks postpartum. But I wish I had more oversized items that weren’t maternity.

Maternity stuff was too big or awkward fitting, but I wasn’t back in my regular clothes either. I wasn’t prepped for the “in between” and ended up ordering a bunch of items in the middle of the night, full price. Next time (if I’m lucky enough), I’ll prep for this in advance and buy more stuff on sale as I see it leading up to birth.

Anything you’d like to share?

 

The post What I Wasn’t Expecting About Motherhood appeared first on because im addicted.

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In a time of Instagram comparison 24/7, gold stars for everyone, and information overload, it’s easy to start living your life on someone else’s terms. Or in a way that pleases everyone but yourself.

I’m totally guilty of this and it’s something I have to check every so often using questions like this: Am I doing this activity because it feels good or because I read that it’s a ‘good way’ to relax? Am I doing this to please someone else and not myself? Am I going to X event out of obligation? Am I trying to be someone I’m not? Would I be acting this way if no one was around?

If I find that most of my answers show that I’m not ‘doing me,’ I know it’s time to focus on myself. Not in a selfish way, but think of it more like living your most genuine, authentic life. Or to make sure you’re doing things that bring YOUR life joy or fulfillment, no matter what popular opinion might be.

If you find that you’re asking yourself the same questions, read on for 10 ways to ‘do you’:

1. Go a season without buying anything marketed to you. Instead, use the clothes in your closet to come up with outfits that feel good to you – even if it’s a classic combo. A classic for a reason, no?

2. Spend a whole weekend without consumption (TV, social media, podcasts) and see where you end up when your ideas remain your own.

3. Look at your calendar for the next month and circle the items you’re not looking forward to. Can you get out of them? At least one?

4. Check yourself before you say ‘sorry’ out of habit. Use it sparingly.

5. Go ahead and let your husband handle bedtime solo – he’s got it. Or let that other coworker plan the next happy hour. Instead, use that brain space and time to plan something for yourself.

6. Pay attention to the next urge you get to take a photo of something. Are you doing it because you want to remember the moment? Or because it’ll make a cute Instagram? If it’s the latter, attempt to savor the moment for yourself instead.

7. Speak up on something that’s important to you or support a cause close to your heart.

8. Give up on the 6 a.m. cycle class if you truly hate it. There’s gotta be a more enjoyable way to move your body!

9. Next time you go to buy something (whether for your house, a wellness product, skincare, whatever), stop for a moment. Are you buying this because someone says you need it? Or because you truly want it/like it/are interested in trying it?

10. If you’re reading a book that you’re not into, stop reading it. Same goes for shows, podcasts, etc. Even if the whole world claims it’s amazing, it might not be your thing – and that’s OK! No need to waste your time on it.

Any other ways to ‘do you’ when you need it?

The post 10 Ways to ‘Do You’ appeared first on because im addicted.

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Happy Monday! There’s something about summer Mondays that make them a liiiittle bit easier right? Thank you, sunshine!

If you’re looking to keep the good vibes going throughout the week, here are 16 other things to try:

Have a great week!

The post 16 Ways to Make This Week a Good One appeared first on because im addicted.

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If you were to ask me the hardest part about parenthood the first month, it wouldn’t be the lack of sleep or exhaustion. Yes, those things suck, but I had the hardest adjustment when it came to time – or a lack of it. It seemed like each day blurred together and rarely did I have more than 10 minutes to myself here and there. Add in the need to shower, do laundry, etc., and those 10 minutes aren’t really even yours.

Eventually, my husband and I realized that we both needed a dedicated hour to ourselves daily, no matter what. We are both very independent people and do well with alone time – something that wasn’t happening with a newborn. But eventually we both got that hour?

How? It was all about each of us leaving the house with the baby once a day, for at least an hour.

Whether we took the baby on a walk or a drive, we left the other person to an hour of quiet solitude a day. An hour not to look at the monitor waiting for the baby to wake, an hour to do whatever the hell we wanted with the peace of mind that the hour was ours. And we made a rule that neither of us could do baby/house stuff during that hour – we had to spend it on ourselves (sleeping, reading, getting coffee with a friend, whatever).

It was incredible what a mental weight lifted off me when I knew I had that hour each day. And I actually loved the hour I had to spend outside of the house too, as it kinda forced me to get fresh air, exercise, or get used to leaving with the baby.

Tell me, how do you make time for yourself with a bebe or child?

The post A Secret to Finding You Time as a New Parent appeared first on because im addicted.

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This post was written by BIA contributor Ashley Rubell

We’ve seen a lot of lists when it comes to what to avoid in our hair products. Seeing hair products advertised as “sulfate free” or “paraben free” has become as trendy as grocery shopping for foods labeled gluten-free or organic. It’s a new norm for those of us trying to make the transition to cleaner hair care products. I’ve noticed there isn’t as much empowerment around what we should be looking for as there is what ingredients to stray from, though.

As consumers, we now understand that sulfates and parabens can strip the natural oils from our hair and scalp, and there’s research showing their toxicity can lead to numerous health issues affecting our hormones and allergies, along with inhibiting the health of our hair. In an effort to not operate solely out of fear and avoidance, I think it’s important to understand what ingredients are there to benefit us – and the healthy substitutes offered to give us the results we yearn for.

Shea Butter
One of the hair woes we want to avoid is dry, brittle strands. In the past, we’ve been fooled by shampoos and conditioners that carried silicones in them. Silicones are a plastic-y substance that coat the hair and work as a sealant that keeps out beneficial properties. This disables what we need from penetrating into our hair and instead gives us a waxy finish that falsely fools us for shine. Shea Butter is a sealant but it actually lets the hair penetrate moisture and helps us keep frizz at bay without blocking out the nutrients we need. It’s one of the main ingredients in this hair mask from Josh Rosebrook and is such a treat to use a couple times a week if your hair is in need of moisture and repair.

Seed Oils
Seed oils have a multitude of benefits. Sunflower oil provides UV protection. Kiwi seed oil hydrates without adding extra weight to the hair the way that a silicone would. Red raspberry seed oil has been seen in a lot of skin care products these days. Mainly because it has a variety of benefits for acne, like managing our oil levels, which serves our strands by preventing a loss of moisture and protecting our ends from breakage. It also carries antioxidant properties that can help with any pre-existing damage. One of my favorite lines utilizing these seed oil benefits are the products from EVOLVh.

Natural Herbs
Herbs carry a ton of benefits when it comes to our beauty products. Basil Leaf has anti-fungal properties which can help to remove any impurities, and it’s also anti-bacterial which can reduce any dryness or irritation at the scalp. Rosemary has also been seen as a stimulating agent that can help improve circulation and promote hair growth. The benefits of these herbs plus many others can be found in products Act and Acre, a line of hair care products developed by stylist Helen Reavey that focuses on health at the scalp.

Coconut
Coconut has a great deal of benefits. I know I’ve used straight coconut oil on my hair before as a hydrating mask, so it’s no surprise to me that it’s been on the scene of hair care for a while now. Coconut oil’s moisturizing properties help soften our strands and help to remove dirt and debris. One way I hadn’t seen it used until recently is by way of coconut water, which naturally detoxifies. Playa’s Everyday Shampoo illustrates the use of coconut water, which along with other unique moisturizing agents like Sugar Beet extract, make shampoo so moisturizing that conditioner becomes optional for us to pick up maybe every other time we rinse, depending on our hair type.

Aloe and Amino Acids
Aloe is known to be a healing agent most commonly used on sun-damaged skin, but it also helps to repair the hair. Aloe naturally carries strands of protein enzymes that turn into amino acids. Amino acids assist in rebuilding and strengthening strands from the inside out, and in turn, can boost our elasticity. Aloe will also help our scalp recover from dandruff or flaking. Considering what we’ve known aloe to do for our skin, it’s no surprise that it can offer us similar benefits with our hair, right? Rahua carries a handful of products with aloe in them.

Sea Salt and Seaweed Extract
These ingredients are most often found in the coveted surf sprays we all know and love. Sea salts are also making an appearance in scalp (and body) scrubs because they are a natural exfoliant that detoxifies from any impurities. Salt can also be derived from seaweed extract, and the result we get is a no-slip or static texture for a tousled look with added hold. Seaweed has also been said to be a “protein shake for your locks” because of all the vitamins and minerals it carries. When it comes to texturizing beach sprays, Herbivore makes one of my favorites. And as for scalp scrubs, I’d suggest trying the G. Tox Himalayan Salt Scrub from Goop.

Other beneficial ingredients to be on the lookout for when shopping for clean hair care: essential oils, charcoal, argan oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, avocado, mango, sugar cane, castor oil, gooseberry or alma oil.

Have you tried any other natural ingredients that have helped you manage your hair? Share with us in the comments below!

The post How to Shop Clean for Hair Care appeared first on because im addicted.

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You probably know by now that I’m addicted to podcasts (see here and here if not), and one where I get some of my favorite advice is Jenna Kutcher’s Goal Digger Podcast. For those of you that don’t know, Jenna is a successful creative entrepreneur and her advice is killer – whether focusing on business, productivity, or life hacks. But her episode that I think about daily? How Being Decisive Leads to More Success.

I’m not indecisive in every aspect of my life, but I definitely overthink decisions. After listening to this episode, though, I can absolutely say I’ve become more decisive. I’ve been using her suggestions daily to make decisions – from what to eat to career choices – and they’re soooo helpful. Here’s what she suggests for making better decisions and how to use each tip:

1. Get really clear on your big picture

Jenna suggests thinking about your life vision (something I hadn’t actually done!). Basically, once you know how you want to feel or what you want to accomplish (whether it’s this year or in your life), it’s a lot easier to make a decision. All you have to do is take X decision and compare it to your vision. If it fits within it, it’s a yes. If it takes away from it, it’s a no.

For example, if you know your vision includes family time on the weekends, it’s a lot easier to say no to work that takes you away on a Saturday or Sunday. Or if you want a strong body for life, you know you need to workout X days a week – no question.

Take time to think about what you want your life to look like – from the big picture of the next 30 years to the small picture of what that means each day. Write it down and come back to it often. Then simply base decisions on whether they sync with that picture or not.

2. Create a list

This is my favorite step. It’s kind of black + white but that’s why it’s so helpful for taking the questioning out of questions.

Here’s what Jenna says about it:

Take a piece of paper, divide it down the middle and have a YES side and a NO side. Think of the past 6 months: what did you commit to that excited you, that moved you closer to that bigger vision and then think about the things that you said “yes” to that you dreaded, that sucked your energy, that held you back or distracted you from the bigger work?

I did this and I actually keep the list on my phone so that I can add to it whenever I make a decision that feels great or shitty. The list may change as you change, but it’s a nice structured way of thinking of your decisions. And obviously not everything is so black and white, but you’d be surprised how many things you can quickly commit to or eliminate with this list.

3. Decide and move on

Not much to say here but another great tip from this show. Once you follow the first two steps, you’ll feel more confident in your ability to make decisions to begin with, so hopefully, this part comes naturally. But essentially, don’t lose sleep over whatever you decided. If you chose to eat a cheeseburger, don’t beat yourself up about making an unhealthy decision. If you committed to your friend’s party because you know it’s going to mean the world to her, show up and enjoy!

If this step is hard for you emotionally, Jenna also has further tips for leaving emotions out of decisions which you can read or listen to here.

Are you a decisive or indecisive person? If the latter, let me know if these tips help!

The post If You’re Indecisive, You Need to Learn This appeared first on because im addicted.

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We are in the thick of the week of 4th of July and I am loving it! It’s hot, swimsuits are on, and cold drinks are being served. I personally am dying for a cold beer or a glass of chilled rose right about now and if I weren’t sitting here six months pregnant this post probably would have been a cocktail roundup BUT I am, so smoothies it is! Whether you’re having a smoothie for breakfast or by the pool (hiiii – me!), these are a few of my favorite smoothies for summer. They’re all delicious and refreshing:

Watermelon + Cucumber Smoothie
Decompress with this spa-inspired blend, filled with supremely hydrating ingredients like watermelon, cucumber and coconut water. Sweetened with organic raspberries and lime juice, and then a hearty dose of Omega-3s and chia seeds, it helps prevent inflammation and destruction from free radicals. Sip by sip, let tranquility take over as you embrace the Ohm.

Pitaya Antioxidant Smoothie
Acai, collagen, mango, oh my! This antioxidant-packed pitaya-based smoothie is as gorgeous as it is yummy.

Strawberry & Mango Coconut Water Smoothie
Between the hydration of the coconut water, sugar spike from the fruit and power in the superfoods, this one is wildly energizing!

The Green Dream
This tropical, green-packed smoothie is light, tight, and an ideal way to start the day off on a healthy note. Warning, it may become your new favorite.

And if you want to make a pretty smoothie bowl, check out this recipe.

Stay cool out there!

The post Summer Smoothie Roundup appeared first on because im addicted.

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My grandmother always had the most beautiful hands. Her nails well manicured, fingers long and beautiful, and a diamond ‘G’ ring adorned her pinky. They were covered in brown spots which I would examine and admire as a little girl. I called them ‘beauty marks’ and counted them one at a time while she’d laugh assuring me that they weren’t beauty marks and, in fact, were aging spots. My little brain didn’t comprehend what that meant because, to me, they were beautiful.

Now that I’m in my 30s, and my hands are aging, I can’t help but laugh at that little bit we had. Those beauty marks were, in fact, aging spots and since I know they run in my genes, I want to be mindful of taking good care of my hands. Truth is, hands are an easy giveaway when it comes to age – especially in a world where it seems everyone’s faces are aging backward.

The reason being, the skin is thinner on our hands causing wrinkles, deep lines, visible veins, etc. So, it’s best to protect, nourish and care for them before it’s too late. Here’s a few things I’m doing for my aging hands.

1. Sun protection on your car windows

Dermatologists have reported greater sun damage on the left arm than the right which they attribute to driving and having one arm more visible to the sun. You can protect your skin while driving by getting UV protection added to your windows. You can do it with or without tints (I did it with tints) and it’s an excellent way to reduce sun exposure – especially if you spend a lot of time driving (ehhh hemmm Los Angeles locals). I would recommend having this professionally done but you can DIY by purchasing them off amazon – avail here.

2. SPF

Day to day, I apply moisturizer with SPF to my face. After I apply it, I rub the excess over the tops of my hands. And on days when I’m in the sun for an extended period of time, I use a mineral sunscreen and make sure to reapply it throughout the day.

3. Hand masks

Mmmhmmm, they exist! And they’re made by SIO. The SIO HandLift patches are made of medical grade silicone, and they hydrate, firm, tighten, and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. You simply apply them to the top of your clean and dry hands and can wear them for a few hours or overnight (my preference).

4. Moisturize

This feels like an obvious one but I’d be remiss not to mention it. It’s a must! Whether you moisturize throughout the day (I keep hand lotion next to our handsoaps in the kitchen and bathrooms) or just at night – whatever it is, you have got to hydrate. My personal favorite lotion at the moment is by Grown Alchemist in either sweet almond and sage, persian rose and argan or vanilla and orange peel.

And lastly, I don’t do this but am going to start, my aunt has always told me that her mom taught her to wear gloves when doing the dishes so that your hands aren’t touching super hot water and drying them out every day. Good tip, right?

The post My Hands Are Aging, Here’s What I’m Doing About It appeared first on because im addicted.

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It’s here, one of my favorite weeks of the year! I LOVE LOVE LOVE 4th of July week. Packed with fun in the sun, togetherness, bbq’s, watermelon, rose (sadly not for me this year but you know what I mean) and warm balmy nights – it’s summer break for adults (unless you take time off sometime else in the summer).

Before the week arrives, here’s everything you may want in your life:

1. Don’t miss your 2019 guide to sunscreen! This includes only the best and highest rated mineral sunscreens for all of your outdoor activities.

2. Need a tan from a can but aren’t into the toxins? Here are the two best organic self-tanners.

3. Looking for a good book to read on the beach or by the pool? Check out this post, this post or this post. OR scoop up Howard Stern’s new book (if you’re a fan, I’m loving it) and if you’re a toddler mom, I’m really enjoying The Montessori Toddler. Not into reading but want to zone out and listen to something? Fave podcasts here and here.

4. If you need a little outfit inspiration including bathing suits, hats and dresses, here you go! And if you’re pregnant and need a swimsuit, don’t miss this.

5. Traveling? Here are ways to simplify your travels. If you’re traveling with an infant, here are my tips. GOOD LUCK!

6. Plan on drinking but want to make your cocktails a little bit healthier? Read this.

7. Looking to elevate your summer in general? Don’t miss this summer bucket list.

8. And to end the week on a high note, read this for our tips on recouping after travel.

Happy summer!

The post Read This for the Ultimate 4th of July Week appeared first on because im addicted.

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