Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!! All of my sisters (I have 4) are flying into LA this weekend to hang out, and I'm so excited to see them! They're the best. 

It's been one hot minute since I've done a Friday Favourites post, so below are some of my absolute favourite things/products. I use all of them regularly, and want to share in hopes that it's helpful!

Have the best weekend!!!

NUK BOTTLE

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I went through A LOT (emphasis on the "LOT") of different types of bottles when Piper transitioned from using a baby bottle to a sippy cup, or a "toddler bottle", or whatever you want to call them haha. She just wouldn't take any of the big kid bottles/cups I bought for her. She would take a sip and then refuse to touch it again. I didn't know this was common until other mums messaged me on Instagram asking if I found a bottle that worked, because they were struggling with the same issue. Who knew haha. 

I seriously bought and tried about 8-10 bottles before finding these NUK bottlesThey are "learner cups", so they are designed to help transition away from a baby bottle. Piper drank from it immediately, and never looked back! I threw away all of our other ones, and bought 4 more. If you're struggling with this problem too, try out the NUK bottles. I got mine on Amazon, but I've seen them at Target, Buy Buy Baby...and pretty much any baby store!

COMOTOMO BOTTLE

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On the topic of bottles, I've been using Comotomo baby bottles with Jack, and he uses them with no issues at all! I'm still exclusively nursing, but I pump as well, and Jordan has occasionally feeds him my breastmilk if he wakes up while I'm at the store, or at our apartment gym or something. I love these bottles because they are designed to mimic breastfeeding, help avoid nipple confusion (Jack has done just fine switching between the two), reduce excess air-intake (which reduces colic), and they are 100% silicone. I'm a fan! I have two 5 ounce bottles, but they also have 8 ounces bottles as well!

SENITA ATHLETICS NURSING BRA

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Okay, I know I've talked about these a few times on Instagram already, but if you are a nursing mama and are looking for a GOOD nursing sports bra - I cannot recommend Senita Athletics nursing bras enough! Seriously. GET.ON.IT! They are cute, supportive, comfy, and the clip is so easy to clip on and off. I have the blush, and stripped one, but they have a couple of other styles too, along with nursing tops to pull over your bra, or workout in. I honestly can't say enough good things about them.

**I recommend ordering a size up from your regular non-nursing size! I am pretty small chested in general, so if you "grow" a lot while nursing, or are bigger chested, maybe even go up 2 sizes.

BLOOMING BATH

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First of all, can we talk about how I want to SPREAD JACK ON A FREAKING CRACKER AND EAT HIM ALIVE!!! I can't handle his tiny little body. He's too much. Second, and more to the point, this is the Blooming Bath and I loooove it! I used the PUJ with Piper, but I have to say that I prefer this brand more, and it's cheaper so...holla! It's this padded lotus that easily folds into any compartment (I bathe him in our bathroom sink), it's suuuuper soft and you just hang it up once you're done and it dries really fast. I love how cozy and supported he is in there! 

WORKING OUT AGAIN

Is it stupid to add being able to workout again as a favourite? Whatever. I'm doin' it. It's strange working out without a bump now. I have a much a wider range of movement, that's for sure, and I don't get so breathless after doing like 2 reps of an exercise haha. I wrote a post HERE about how to properly ease back into exercise postpartum, and I'm still paying close attention to my body and how it feels. Some days I get in awesome workouts, and other days my workouts are pretty "blah" and short, but I'm moving my body and figuring out a schedule that works for us! **I'm doing workouts that are all similar to the ones in my Postpartum Workouts and Pregnancy/Postpartum Workout Subscription!

Health-Related Christmas Gifts

I can't believe Christmas is ONE week away!! I've been so busy getting ready for Jack's arrival that it just snuck up on me. Luckily, I got most of my shopping done a few weeks ago and I'll be getting the last couple of things on Amazon (there's no way I'm braving the crowds with a toddler and a newborn). 

If you're still looking for ideas on what to ask for, or what to get someone, I've compiled a few items that I own and absolutely love! I use them all very frequently and are things I find helpful in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. 

 

BIGGER GIFTS

 

SUDIO SWEDEN HEADPHONES - $84.15

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I can't recommend Sudio Sweden headphones enough! They are 110% worth the investment! I've had mine since the beginning of the year and they have never once fallen off during a workout (even when running, doing burpees, etc). They are SUPER comfy, they cancel out noise around you, and I'm going to be honest, they make me feel pretty cool when I wear them. They carry earbuds and headphones in different colours (I have the white headphones) and they honestly make my workouts more enjoyable because I'm more focused, and I don't have to worry about cords getting in the way or them falling off. I don't make commission off this (haha I wish I did though!!), but you can use "goodfortheswole" to get 15% off (they're originally $99)!

TRUFLASK - $39.99

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A good water bottle that can hold a lot of water is a must, in my opinion. Drinking lots and lots of water is probably the very best thing you can do for your body! Having a water bottle with me at all times keeps me drinking throughout the day. I never, ever go anywhere without one. There are lots of different brands out there, but I personally like TruFlask because they keep your water cold for 24 hours (or hot for 12 hours), plus they come in all different sizes. I have the 64 oz bottle and love, love it! You can also swap the top if you want a straw, cap, etc.

GYM BAG - $44.95

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I've had my Vooray gym bag for a long time now, and still absolutely love it! It has a separate side compartment for shoes, lots of compartments inside the bag, and isn't too big or bulky. I use it for day-to-day gym trips (for my keys, headphones, water, towel, and resistance bands), but also used it when I thought spin classes in the morning before work, and had to pack my work clothes along with stuff to get ready for the day. The bag always fit everything perfectly!

SENITA ATHLETICS

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I would say Senita Athletics is my favourite brand of workout clothes. I have tons of their stuff and every single piece has been awesome quality (no weird see-through nonsense) and is still in great condition. All their products are great prices too! I wore their workout leggings throughout my whole pregnancy, and when my belly got bigger, I just had them sit right under the bump. It worked great and they always felt super comfortable!

POLAR GLOBAL - $129.99

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I'm not a runner, so if you want something tailored specifically towards that, I would go with a different brand, but I love my Polar Global for everything else! It has the basics of everything you need to easily monitor your heart rate and tailor your workouts towards it. It does track your distance and pace when you go on a run, swim, and bike too! This brand is awesome, especially if you're new to tracking your heart rate! I have THIS one.

DUMBBELLS - $19.98

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If you want to/have to workout from home, I would HIGHLY recommend investing in a pair of dumbbells. It gives you SO many more exercise options, and you will get so much more out of the time you put in if you have some resistance to add. I have a set of 10lb dummbells and a 35lb kettlebell, and I use them for every.single.workout I do. Again, I strongly, strongly recommend getting some dumbbells if you workout from home, especially if you're a mum and are limited on options and time! 

STABILITY BALL - $13.99

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I wrote a whole post HERE about why I strongly recommend investing in a stability ball for pregnancy and postpartum. It is a great tool to SAFELY work the core during both of those stages. This ball on Amazon is a great deal!

FOAM ROLLER - $13.95

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Jordan bought me a foam roller a couple of years ago for Christmas, and we both still use it almost every day! It's been great for releasing tension in overactive muscles, releasing stress, and aiding in recovery. I always use it as part of my cool down. 

DAY DESIGNER - $59.00

I LOVE my Day Designer! I swear I would absolutely lose my mind without it. They have the cutest patterns but, more importantly, they have everything to keep me on track - a monthly calendar, a daily schedule, a place to plan meals for the day, prioritize your top 3 "to-do's" - it's the best! They also have free printables that you can use at first if you just want to try it out!

 

STOCKING STUFFERS

 

RESISTANCE BANDS - $10.95

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I'm sure there are fancier brands out there, but I bought this pack of 4 resistance bands on Amazon for $7.99 over a year ago, and they still work great (I can't find the exact same brand anymore, but THIS is pretty much what I got)! I always use them in my workouts, and always pack them when we travel because there are so many exercises you can do with them! I loved them during late pregnancy too because it was a way to add some resistance without a lot of impact. Highly recommend these!!

DRY BRUSH - $9.95

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I included this in my last Friday Favourites post, and it's something I have grown to love! I dry brush in the mornings to wake myself up (it really does!), but it's great for stimulating the lymphatic system, exfoliating the skin, and increasing blood flow throughout the body. I use it because it feels so good afterwards! Such a simple (and beneficial) self-care practice.

COCOKIND MYMATCH STICK - $6.79

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I also included this in my last Friday Favourites post, but MyMatcha stick would make a great stocking stuffer! I use it under my eyes and on my lips and it works wonders!! My lips don't get dry afterwards, and it prevents puffiness and dark circles under my eyes (which let's face it, I definitely need now I'm not getting any sleep). 

HONEST HAZEL - $12 (pack of 3)

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I mentioned Honest Hazel in my "What To Pack For The Hospital" post, but these are eye gels that refresh and revitalize the eyes. They're packed with collagen, aloe vera, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and arbutin. Just a little somethin, somethin to show yourself some love! 

QALO RING - $19.99

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I haven't worked out in an actual gym for a little bit, but I would always wear a Qalo ring instead of my wedding ring when I did go. Holding weights with my ring on is uncomfortable, plus I don't like damaging it. I also don't like NOT wearing a ring though, so Qalo silicone rings works perfectly! 

PROTEIN BARS

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Is this a lame one? Haha. I guess it depends how much you like food. I get freakishly excited over a new box of protein bars, so I know I would appreciate this little gift! I've mentioned my favourite ones a million times, but they are Square Organics (the crisp bars are INSANE and you can get 20% off any product with "goodfortheswole"), Perfect Bar (I wish I had a discount code for them!), and G2G Bar (use "theswole" for 20% off). Love the ingredients in these bars and the tastes!

Friday Favourites

Happy Friday!! I feel like a broken record, so sorry in advance, but if you are reading this then I am forcing you to celebrate the fact that THIS IS THE LAST WEEKEND BEFORE BABY BOY COMES!! Three more days! We have some friends staying with us this weekend, and my mum is flying in Saturday night, so today I am putting everything aside, and spending the day focusing solely on my little Piper. We'll be hitting up all her favourite spots and doing all her favourite activities, just her and I. I'm sure she won't remember any of it haha, but I will. 

Before the day gets going, I wanted to share a couple of my favourite things to wrap up the week! Some are new finds that I've been loving, and others are ones I've loved for a while and been meaning to share. HAPPY FRIDAY!!!  

FOUR BEARS

FourBears || goodfortheswole.com

If you follow me on Instagram (which I'm sure you do if you are reading this haha), I posted about the FourBears kickstarter a couple of days ago. I actually found them when I asked about good baby/toddler books that people would recommend, because Piper LOVES reading stories together (I posted all the suggestions people gave HERE). They create personalized children's books based on any family member you choose! I created a book about my grandpa, who passed away a little before Piper was born. It's all about his life and is tailored towards children with cute pictures and rhyming sentences. I think it is such a special and sweet idea and I can't wait for it to get here!

LETTERBOARD

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Who hasn't seen these boards all around yet?? They are everywhere, I swear. I got one from LetterFolk last year, and I absolutely LOVE it (totally recommend because they are higher quality), BUT if you're in the market for a little board (cute for baby update pictures, home decor, recipes, etc.) that won't break the bank, I saw someone post about these on Amazon for $25.99! I love my board, so I thought I'd share this deal!

COCOKIND MATCHA STICK

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I have reeeeally sensitive lips, for whatever stupid reason, and 99% of chapsticks, lipglosses, and lipstick make my lips so cracked and dry. Seriously my lips are ALWAYS dry (no matter how hydrated I am)! It's super annoying. I kept seeing the brand Cocokind pop up on Instagram, and I was drawn to the all-over matcha stick because you can use it all-over, duh. I originally decided to buy one and try it out for under my eyes (it's designed to reduce dark circles which is totally does and it's amazing! I've never been one for makeup, mainly because I don't know how to use it haha, and usually just use mascara and a little concealer under my eyes. Now I just do mascara and put this under my eyes and it's SO much more effective!), but it actually also hydrates my lips and keeps them moisturized without drying them out later! The only ingredients are organic virgin coconut oil, organic beeswax, and organic matcha tea powder and I.AM.SOLD on it! If you're looking for a good chapstick, or something to get rid of under eye darkness/puffiness, try this out! **It would make a good stocking stuffer too!

DRY BRUSH

Dry Brush || goodfortheswole.com

I had never in my life heard of dry brushing until about 3 months ago, and then I saw it pop up more and more. I don't know if it's getting more common, or if it's just because I'm aware of it now, but I decided to buy one a couple of months ago (I got this one for under $10 on Amazon) and I love it! I'm not very good at remembering to do it every day, but I've been doing it about 3-4x a week now, and it really has made a difference in how my body feels! 

Dry brushing your skin stimulates the lymph nodes, removes dead skin, invigorates the body, boosts circulation, and is S0 good for digestion! You know that feeling after you got a deep tissue massage, and your body is kind of tingling a bit from all the blood circulation? That's how it feels afterwards! It's really energizing and my body feels so relaxed, yet weirdly more awake. I'm trying to get better at self-care, and doing small things for myself that are also beneficial, and this is a new habit that I love!

FAVOURITE PREGNANCY EXERCISES #3

Favourite Pregnancy Exercises || goodfortheswole.com

I posted some other favourite pregnancy exercises HERE and HERE, and wanted to share a couple more exercises that I have loved incorporating throughout this pregnancy!

Bird Dog + Arm Weights

Bird dog is one of those exercises that is SO beneficial during pregnancy because it activates your inner core muscles (the abdominal muscles that are safe to work during pregnancy) and strengthens the pelvic floor - aka helps prevent diastasis recti, reduces postpartum incontinence, and aids in postpartum core recovery. It seems like such a simple basic move, but it's one I ALWAYS incorporate into my routines. I've liked adding a little extra somethin', somethin' to it though and doing some arm workouts while holding the bird dog position. This not only works your arms as well, but it's adds a little more instability which is great for making the inner abdominals work a little more! Some arm workouts I like adding in are rows, kickbacks, and flys. You can see an example HERE

Wall Sit + Leg Lifts

Wall sits are great for working the lower body, and a great option for pregnant women because it is low impact on the joints but, you guessed it, adding some instability in there will activate the transverse abdominals (those inner core muscles I mentioned). Holding the wall sit position, and alternating leg lifts is a great way to hit those muscles, while also working other areas of your body in a safe way. Win-win! You can see an example HERE