I have never been the maternal kind. I am the first to admit. I am very caring, don´t get me wrong. I guess I just have never been…broody. While all my friends dreamt about weddings and the perfect family I was planning my next trip and writing my next business plan. I was that cold hearted bitch that hated crying babies on planes and rolled my eyes at parents with toddlers in restaurants. Yes. Karma is a bitch too and I know this little one is going to be a hyperactive, irreverent, ball of energy. Just like his/her mom. And I can´t WAIT to meet baby. Although, secretly, I hope it is more like its dad.
I don´t know. Life changes dramatically over night. This pregnancy comes very welcome but it wasn’t really trully planned. Everything just sort of fell into place and if it isn´t the perfect timing, we are going to have to make it so!
As you may know, about two years ago I became tragically allergic to birth control. I just couldn’t tolerate the hormones and began to get ill with migraines and nausea. I broke out with hives and cystic acne and went into depression. After many tests I decided to stop taking birth control all together. I detoxed for a year and went full-out natural. I stopped taking all sorts of medication and processed food. Substituted pills for superfoods and a vitamin rich diet and we monitored birth control with the rythm method. Yes, that old wives trick works like magic.
Matthew, on the other hand, has been wanting babies for the last year. Between you and I, I don´t think he was truly ready but he knew it would take a long time to get me there. He began lobbying persistently about 10 months ago. During my Vietnam trip, I realized I was finally ready. “OK. Lets give it a go. I´m ready to start trying.”. He picked me up from the airport and took me to the St Regis instead of going home. We did it on the right day. I wasn’t expecting anything to happen but to my surprise, I got pregnant that night.
Ladies, timing is EVERYTHING. That, lots of exercise and taking a green shot with maca every morning. And quite honestly, I also think that a bit of luck and being truly OPEN to the possibility helped a lot.
So here we are. 2.5 months into a beautiful pregnancy. One filled with Love, lots of naps and a all-day morning sickness.
Which is why I have not been posting. I also wanted to take a moment to take it all in. To give this baby the energy and attention it deserved so it could grab on properly to my uterus. It just felt like it was too good to be true. To easy. To be honest after what I had been through I was expecting to struggle getting pregnant and even possibly try IVF. So I got scared and took all the precautionary measures. And although the riskiest part is not over, I couldn´t resist and wanted to share as much as my pregnancy with you as I could. So I am back and we cannot wait to make you part of this CREATIVE PROCESS.
You will see this creation infused all over the blog. Because that is what this blessing is to me. My gorgeous first born will be a reminder that we can make something from nothing and use what is around us to create something exceptional. So, no. I will not become a diaper mommy blogger. Most of what you will see here won´t be ABOUT the baby, or my pregnancy (although I will give you updates often). What you will see is a surge of creativity and honesty on this blog. My life is about to change and I hope we can grow something beautiful around it.
Oh – and PS. We am planning to wait until the day I give birth to find if its a boy or girl. Do you think we can wait until then? Would you be able to?. . .
We definitely didn’t take the easy way out on this one.
I would say the hardest thing was to find eco-non toxic things that had great design. Most things out there were just . . .not the quality we wanted, looked too basic or were way too expensive for something that we would use for a few months. We researched and asked around a LOT – and I have to admit that a lot of the the things we actually did get came as recommendations from the JET BLACK momma-team (a shopping consierge service that has me over the moon!). After them suggesting several crib + organic cotton bedding options and delivering a sold out item the same day, we began to trust them blindly with all the “big stuff”. We pretty much went for all the things they recommended because we knew they had been pre-approved by a group of mommas who are as discerning as I am. They also helped with my hospital bag and breastfeeding snacks! So on that end we felt covered.
The decoration was a different story. Not knowing the gender of our baby before she was born sort of helped narrow things down a LOT. And to be honest, we like a minimalistic clean aesthetic so that worked out great. . . but finding the right things was a nightmare. Once I get an idea in my head there is no way you can make me change my mind. I wanted it to look slick and clean. A baby minimalist haven that would have enough storage to hide away all the toys and bits babies require. My first move was to call my brother (you guys know he is a well known industrial designer in Latin America). Luckily he took some time to design a couple of pieces for the nursery, including a version of our meditation chair adapted for breastfeeding! (LOVE). . . But the details were still missing and nothing quite filled our expectations.
Our sofa has hidden drawers, and our closets host endless boxes and smaller drawers for baby clothes. But a Week before my due date, the decoration was still a blank.
Finally I came across Lorena Canals – a rug label that makes rugs, blankets and decor. Everything is hand made, machine washable, 100% organic (even the dyes they use) and has beautiful collections. FINALLY! Something that could work for us. So, after window shopping around for months we decided to go with Lorena Canals for all the details in the nursery. The hardest part was choosing between their leaf-jungle collection or their Sky themed collection.
In the end, the tummy-time cloud rug won. I cannot wait for Francesca to be a couple of months older so we can do lie on it on it for hours!
We layered this gorgeous cloud rug as an accent over a neutral star-pattern rug to add depth, texture and coziness to an-otherwise monochrome palette. We complimented the room with a couple of cloud and star pillows and a beautiful baby blanket that matched our tummy-time cloud.
We added a hymalayan salt lamp to fight EMF;s (toxic electronic waves) and some handmade candles from Brooklyn Candle Studio.
We could not be happier with the look of the nursery! (and LOVE that the rugs are all non toxic and machine washable. If you are a mom, you will understand). It looks so simple yet well thought out and soothing. The perfect environment for out little baby girl.
Our Nursery – and our little Francesca at ONE WEEK after being born!!
I am sure the nursery will evolve as she grows – and as we move because we are planning to move to southern Manhattan when our lease is over in this place! Let us know your thoughts, what has worked for you and what other pieces you would recommend for new parents!
TIPS ON HOW TO CREATE THE VIBE:
Stick to a neutral color palette (dyes tend to have more toxic chemicals)
Pick a theme and sprinkle it around the room – but don´t over do it. (in our case we chose clouds!)
Pick natural materials like wood, cotton and linen over synthetic materials.
Work around natural lighting to create the right atmosphere. Add soft lights for a night vibe.
Plant a Tree in Kenya – that sounds so far fetched. But a anything can happen these days.
I met my husband in Kenya while working for the United Nations Environmental Program. I have a soft spot for both, the country and the cause. When I found out about PINKO’s latest initiative and they offered to”Plant a tree in Kenya” – I wanted in. Basically we buy a Tshirt, and they plant a tree in Kenya to build a forest. Trust me, after being involved with several NGOs, initiatives and causes, I am quite skeptical to be part of any at all. What I loved about this project is that first of all it comes from PINKO, a company that genuinely cares for the cause and has no alternative agenda for doing it; it is associated with treedom; and you can actually track your tree on their system!
PINKO also launched their Safari collection to go with the cause – and it is stunning! The pants and the trench are my obsession – not to mention their pinko bags!
Isn’t that crazy? You buy a cute Tshirt and you get to plant a Tree in Kenya. Something significant on a completely different part of the world – for years to come. And all this WHILE reducing your Carbon print!
“TO BUILD A FOREST, START WITH A TREE”
That goes for anything. That is why I wanted to dedicate this tree in Kenya to my unborn baby. You have probably read that we want to make his/her footprint as carbon neutral as possible – and this is a great way to start! We are not sure when baby will be born (sometime in the next month), and we don’t know if baby will be a boy or a girl – but s/he already has planted a Mango tree in Kenya!! Score: CO2 -500. #Win.
And I swear this is actually a bit worrying. . . did you ever play that FARM app, where you can build a farm tree by tree? – ok, well treedom is JUST LIKE THAT but in real life. I actually have the shopping cart full of coffee trees in Nepal for when baby is born (Aries has the coffee tree as it’s “birth tree”) – and we are going to need a whole farm to make this baby´s carbon print neutral. Hashtag Goals – but for now, lets start with a tree?
And you? When was the last time you planted a tree? I would love to just go to a field and do it – but living in the city is a bit tricky. Do you know what you Carbon print is? Do you do anything to keep it low? . . .If so, I would love some insights and ideas!! Leave a message!
Every pregnant woman has experienced how hard it is to dress when her body is changing, which is why I wanted to share my secrets on how to dress the bump thought the 3 trimesters and beyond.
During pregnancy our bodies become unfamiliar territories. We want to feel “normal”, comfortable and look great with the least amount of effort as possible – after all we are growing a human inside us! We have so much on and often such little energy that often we give up our style for comfort, ease and just… lack of motivation. Personally I found that by making a bit of an effort and learning how to dress the bump, I felt SO much better. I wanted to look as good as ever without having to devote hours to finding the right outfit or right fit. I wanted to feel like myself and not some blown up version of who I used to be pre-pregnancy. So I started looking for little hacks and tricks that would make it easier for me to dress every morning. I wanted comfort and style. Little by little I came up with these little 7 -secrets that have helped me stay stylish through my 3 trimesters.
Its not complicated, you don’t HAVE to spend a fortune on maternity clothes that will last you less than a year – and above all – you won’t have to look like a stereotypical pregnant mom-to be.It is really all about knowing the hacks to how to dress the bump.YES. We can still look hot and stylish.
So, pop over to my Youtube channel and learn more about these seven secrets – and let me walk you through my pregnancy fashion haul!
As part of my DETOX Series and attempt to have a “cleaner” lifestyle” I asked Non-Toxic-Living Expert, Sophia Ruan Gusheé How to Detox your Beauty Routine. She gave us the secret to Detox your Beauty Cabinet:
Detox what you don´t love.
I want this to be my life motto. Apply it to EVERYTHING. From beauty products, to food…to relationships! Whatever is not essential to us can be replaced for better, more wholesome substitutes that can enhance our life rather than harm or keep it stale. Why not?!
YES!! Thank you Sophia!! Cannot wait to learn more and finish reading your book!!! Guys stay tuned for more non-toxic posts.
Until then, on my end I have been doing some serious research. Being pregnant, I want to be as clean as possible with my beauty products but well, I am infront of the camera and (like most of us) too vain to let go completely – so I want products that do not harm my baby in the slightest – but still work for me. These are some of my top findings.
How to Detox your Beauty Routine : My suggestions.
THE CLEAN PRODUCTS I AM LOVING RIGHT NOW
Like Sophia suggests, some of the first products I replaced right away were the ones I use every day. Next to the sink (both in kitchen and bathroom, I keep two things:
KNEIPP HAND SOAP
EWG rating: N/A but most soap products form the brand are 2-3
My Opinion: I wanted something non-toxic that still killed bacteria and did not dry my hands & body.
KORRES GUAVA BODY BUTTER
EWG rating: N/A most korres butter products have a rating of 1
My Opinion: I wanted something as non-toxic as possible, thick and super hydrating for my hands. It is winter, I use it a lot. I loved this body butter and stuck to it. When in a rush I also rub some on my belly to avoid pregnancy skin-strech itching.
LA VANILLA DEODORANT
EWG rating: 1. ANd it is aluminum free which can affect the mammary glands and contribute to breast cancer.
My Opinion: LOVE IT. Only non-toxic deodorant I can wear to the gym, have a hard workout and be certain it works. Have been using it for over a year now. Other smells available.
TOMS TOOTHPASTE (with flour)
EWG rating: 2. You can get a 1 if it doesn´t have fouride.
My Opinion: Love the fresh flavor. Few non-toxic toothpastes give me a “clean” feeling. I need the flouride – if I go without it I immediately start getting cavities and issues. This is a toxin that is non negotiable for me.
DR BRONNERS SOAP (lavander)**
EWG rating: 1.
My Opinion:Amazing. Love the scent (essential oils). It cleans and leaves my skin feeling soft and hydrated.This soap is fantastic!
CLEAN SKINCARE FOR THE FACE
EWG rating: 2
My Opinion: Very gentle on the skin. Great smell. Love it for the mornings.
EWG rating: N/A all natural.
My Opinion: I love using a few drops to remove make up and massage into the skin for a deeper cleanse before using soapier products.
ELEMIS SUPERFOOD WASH**
EWG rating: NA / natural ingredients
My Opinion: I recently discovered this new SUPERFOOD line by ELEMIS and I LOVE it! The wash feels like it cleans deep into my pores in a gentle but effective way. It does not dry my skin, makes it feel fresh and soft and smells delicious! Love. Addicted. I am using it specially at night before my full beauty routine and I really recommend you ALSO TRY THE ELEMIS SUPERFOOD DAY AND NIGHT CREAMS. Best natural-based system I have found so far. Go to their website to see their ingredients. These products have avocado oil, wheatgrass extract, broccoli seed organic pumpkin seed and a few other natural ingredients.
ELEMIS SUPERFOOD HYDRATING DAY CREAM
EWG rating: 1.
My Opinion: Fantastic! Also using the night cream and face wash. Super effective, non toxic. One of the best systems around.
KARYNG NIGHT CREAM
EWG rating: 2
My Opinion: I want as clean as possible (i sleep with this cream on and it stays on my skin all night) but also wanted effectiveness! Being pregnant I want to avoid any toxic products but don´t want to loose skin elasticity or get wrinkles. This cream is really working for me!
TATA HARPER HYDRATING ESSENCE
EWG rating: 1
My Opinion: Great for after the gym or as a refresher in my purse. It makes my skin feel hydrated and plump. Very fresh consistency. Not greasy or heavy.
EWG rating: N/A – just entering the US market but it has a base of natural ingredients and is mostly water.
My Opinion: AMAZING!!! I am obsessed with asian beauty products because they give incredible results and always feel so LIGHT on the skin! . . .but until now I had not found too many “clean” products that felt like this. I am literally bathing in this stuff. IT feels like thick water and absorbs beautifully. Love the way makeup glides after using this essence. It is a MUST for me.
BURT BEES LIP TREATMENT & SCRUB
EWG rating: 1-2
My Opinion: I LOVE buts Bees. It is all honey based and as natural as they can make it. For my lips I always look for something special. I tend to bite my lip a lot when I am working without noticing and as a result I am always that girl with chapped lips. I need constant exfoliation and hydration. . . but since I will be literally swallowing these products I want them to absolutely be as non-toxic as possible. For years I used coconut and olive oil. Recently found this set that I use in the bathroom
BUT BEES LIP MASK
EWG rating: N/A most products of the brand range 1-3
My Opinion: LOVE this lip mask. I don´t use it often but it is great to use before big nights out and if I will be wearing colorful lipstick.
CLEAN SKINCARE FOR THE BODY
YUNI BODY CLEANSING CREME
EWG rating: N/A all natural
My Opinion: I had never really tried a creme in the shower. It smells delicious and feels super lux. It is great for a slow shower of bath – a great alternative to the soap bars I have been using!
LA VANILLA UNDERARM DETOX MASK
EWG rating: N/A most of this brand has rating 1-2 (some 3)
My Opinion: Have you ever detoxed your underarm? I hadn’t!! our glands are there and we store a lot of toxins, so I figured I gave it a try long before I started to breast feed. Very unusual product but I really liked it! I felt fresh and it was really nice to treat a part of my body that tends to go ignored. I would probably add this to my monthly beauty regime!
YUNI BODY SCRUB
EWG rating: N/A all natural
My Opinion: I really like this – specially for my hands. It is soft, not abrasive and leaves me feeling hydrated.
ART NATURALS HYMALAYAN SALT SCRUB*
EWG rating: 1
My Opinion: LOVE!! It is saving me. I love using it in the shower to stimulate leg circulation.I love its smell and I love that it feels like it goes in deep into my skin. Addicted!
KLAIRS RICH MOIST CREAM*
EWG rating: N/A but the ingredients seem pretty solid. No perfumes, no crazy toxins.
My Opinion:Also one of the products I got at the Korea Glam store. I am keeping it i my purse. It is super thick and hydrating. A little goes a LONG way. I love using it before shooting closeups of my hands. It smells between fresh and baby powder. I don’t want it to run out!! LOVE.
I am not a big makeup girl to be honest. My daily routine consists mostly on skin care followed by a CC cream that acts as extra hydration, SPF AND foundation all at once. I add blush. Lips and . . .mascara if I am not wearing eyelash extensions. Highlighter if I am going to shoot or go out at night. Thats it. And although my routine is not very comprehensive – I AM very picky about the make up I wear.. . . but I did want to find a cleaner alternative for some of the products I was using and so far, this is what I have come to love.
JOSIE MARAN BROW PENCIL
EWG rating: N/A – the brand’s overall rating is 1.
My Opinion: I LOVE JOSIE MARAN products. Most of them are based with argan oil and In have used her creams in the past (I go right through them!) Her products are always rich and efficient. I loved this brow pencil. It does not pull my little hairs out when I use it, The shade is easy to brush in after application. I want to try more of her cosmetics!!
BARE MINERALS BLUSH
EWG rating: 1
My Opinion: Very strong pigment for a natural blush! I was impressed. I need very little. also dab a bit in eyelid folds for depth.
BARE MINERALS LIPSTICK
EWG rating: 5!!
My Opinion: I thought all Bare Mineral products were non-toxic and to be honest I did not check the lipstick until I wrote this post. To my surprise, it is pretty toxic (as most lip products) . . . I am going to discontinue using it because I am pregnant but I have to say – I LOVE the shade and love how it looks on my lips. It also lasts longer than most of my other glosses.
EWG rating: N/A all natural
My Opinion: I don’t usually wear primer underneath my foundation, but I found this one and LOVED it. It claims to be all natural and it glides onto the skin beautifully! I tested it a couple of times and the make up does last longer and I get a bit of a glow. I like it!
So that is it guys!! I have tested a LOT more products but not all made the list!! Let me know if this explains How to Detox your Beauty Routine and if you want more information to help you!
When looking for clean products, what do you look for? Do you prefer organic or simply non-toxic? Would you like to see more products like this or maybe some homemade masks? Let me know!!
Leave any questions you have for Sophia here or contact us on our media!!
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more non-toxic posts next month.