Dear Diary

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We hear it all the time in hashtags and Instagram captions, but my goodness, being pregnant really does show you how crazy mysterious and magical women’s bodies can be. Watching my body shift, stretch and grow in ways I never thought possible over the past 6 months has been a total trip, and understanding how to slow down and listen to its new demands hasn’t been easy for someone as go-go-go as I am.

I also haven’t been the best about following all of the pregnancy “rules”. Turns out the internet will tell you almost anything you can think of is risky when carrying a child – food, spices, herbs, scents, essential oils, if you can name it and there’s a warning about it. My first trimester I was terrified, constantly searching every single ingredient and giving up some of my favourite teas and tinctures. The more I monitored and read, the more nervous I became… it felt like unless I was eating exclusively processed, packaged junk food I was totally doomed.

The thing is, I started to realize the most unhealthy thing I could possibly be full of was fear. I started doing more research, and it turns out the internet warns against a lot of ingredients simply because their effect hasn’t been studied on pregnancy. Kombucha, for example, is often not recommended because it contains a tiny amount of alcohol, but a lot of women believe the healthy bacteria outweighs any potential negative concerns. Still, I wasn’t truly confident in my decisions until I read Nurture by Erica Chidi Cohen.

I haven’t been big on pregnancy reading, but if you’re going to buy one book, this is the one to invest in. Erica is all about trusting your body and using common sense to make decisions instead of being lead by anxiety, and it helped me get comfortable with the idea that I know best for my body and my baby. Sushi for example, is almost always flash frozen now, killing the bacteria pregnant women are warned of, so as long as you pick a busy, popular restaurant that doesn’t leave fish sitting out, you’re probably totally fine. Same with cold pressed juice – buy fresh from a reliable source and there’s very little chance bacteria has had enough time to grow!

With newfound confidence, I started experimenting with different ways to keep calm and carry (baby) on, like adaptogenic smoothie recipes and essential-oil boosted epsom salt baths. Stress has been my number one enemy this pregnancy – I’m so happy to be where I am, but I’m constantly on edge, all too often frustrated with work issues, friend conflicts and disappointment in myself. Hormones can be hard to handle, and I also stopped taking anti-depressants when I conceived which has been more of an adjustment than I expected. All that in mind, being a mother is about adapting, and I’ve worked hard to take care of myself with these potions and rituals that create time and space for my changing body and mind.

*I am not a doctor, and though these products and potions worked great for me, make sure you check in with your midwife/doula/care provider before trying anything new!

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Moodbeli Powders //

Hot chocolate has been my biggest craving by far this pregnancy, and I wanted to find something healthier than Carnation brand powder with mini marshmallows. I came across Moodbeli and instantly fell in love – their tonics are all SO delicious and can be brewed hot or mixed into a smoothie. Like a milky taste? Try adding some of their “Cloud Powder” to your cup – it’s like a plant-based cream. The best part about this brand is every product is rich with vitamins and minerals, for example the Bliss Booster is high in iron + calcium, and tastes like spicy hot chocolate to boot.

My favourites //

Cloud Powder
Bliss Booster
Ceremony Tonic

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Moonbath //

I have yet to find a pregnant lady who didn’t swear by taking baths – it’s a great way to take the weight off of those tired bones and let all that stress go. I’m all about soaking up fancy, indulgent baths, but I love the idea of adding a bit more meaning and healing in the mix. Moonbath checks out on both fronts, with super pretty packaging and aromatherapy-focused ingredients that aim to evoke specific strengths. All natural and thoughtfully crafted, I especially love brewing the Nasty Woman bath tea when I’m feeling a bit too hormone-heavy.

My favourites //

Nasty Woman Bath Tea
New Moon Bath Tea
Milk and Honey Bath Salt
Sacred Smoke Smudge Blend

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Fleurs //

I first found this brand through Hello Mellow, an awesome local wellness shop that sells all sorts of healing products. Yes, the Fleurs brand contains CBD, which has not yet been comprehensively studied on pregnant women, and though the amount absorbed from these creams and teas that actually makes it to baby is minute, I have personally only used them very sparingly since becoming pregnant. A lot of women are medicating with full-on CBD oil for pregnancy nausea and aches nowadays, but to be on the safe side I plan on using these products more regularly after birth. This is a personal choice, and I definitely look forward to more well-researched data about CBD and pregnancy in the future, because it really can be so helpful!

Pregnant aside, this local brand is seriously amazing. Each tea bag is carefully dosed to provide non-psychoactive relief, and their pain potion has been a lifesaver in the past when I got stress headaches that nothing else seemed to touch.

My favourites //

CBD pain potion
Stress roll-on
Organic CBD teas

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Herb and Nectar Tea //

If the unknowns of CBD aren’t your thing, I’m also a huge fan of Herb and Nectar Tea. They use a lot of herbs that are on the “risky” list, but their Divine Feminine Blend has been one of my absolute favourites to sip this past 6 months – it’s not only safe for pregnant women but encourages uterine strength and is high in iron and magnesium. I also recommend their high quality, pure Cacao Tea, which basically makes a cup of the most decadent rose cinnamon hot chocolate you can possibly imagine. Make sure you order ahead of time, as each jar is hand blended fresh!

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Some other spirit-boosting favourites //

Tarot cards by Labyrinthos
Lohn Candles
Palo Santo from Cardea Auset
The Strength in our Scars poetry book by Bianca Sparacino

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Dear Diary

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Valentine’s Day is one of those polarizing holidays that tends to make you feel ~really~ alone if you’re alone, and perhaps that’s why so many people both in relationships and single tend to reject the whole thing. Though my feelings towards February 14th have definitely shifted over the years as I become jaded and my heart hardens (KIDDING), I have never really considered NOT celebrating it. I may hate being lonely, but I adore every shade of pink, sweet treats, and LOVE, and if there’s a commercial day invented to focus on those things I’ll be damned if I don’t find a way to celebrate!!!

Since starting RAOP almost 5 Years (!!!) ago we’ve made Valentine’s recipes, styled outfit shoots and created crafts, but this year I wanted to explore a slightly different side. A… sexy self love side.

I have been insisting I love myself for years. I’d get hit again and again with the old “You can’t love someone else until you love yourself” adage and I’d respond in frustration “Oh my GOSH I DO! I am super confident and happy! UGH! Everything in my life is perfect, it’s just missing that other person!!!” (or something similar). Weirdly enough, something *just* clicked this past Christmas Eve – I had a sudden shift in feeling and finally, as if by magic, fully understood what everyone had been saying all along. Self love isn’t about thinking you’re super awesome and demanding someone love you, it’s the realization that you are fulfilled entirely withOUT anyone else even looking twice. I’ve never been so totally content to just hang out alone, to meet up with friends and see cute couples in love and then go home to my own little quiet single life. I’ve been searching frantically for “the one” for as long as I can remember, but this is the first time ever that I can truly say this life with just me is more than enough.

Ok so it’s not all about the sexy, but we did want to celebrate girl power, The Feminine Mystique, independence and killer orgasms too. After all, just because you may not have a partner/someone to mess around with this Wednesday, it doesn’t mean you can’t have some amazing orgasms under candlelight. We also wanted to feature witchy goodies like Tarot Cards by Labyrinthos to soothe the soul and glance into the future, skincare by Pink Light Botanicals to help you love the skin you’re in, and a lucky candle with a hidden piece of jewelry inside because WHO WOULDN’T WANT THAT?!

This was our first time experimenting with using coloured lights (A few “Pink Light District” jokes were made on my part) and we hope you guys love this flirty feature as much as we do!

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Pink Light Botanicals Skincare collection
Unbound Oh! To Go Bag, Plume Feather Pleaser, and Gold Handcuffs
LELO Sona Vibrator and Hex Condoms
Artifact Skin Co. Bath Salts and Milk
Labyrinthos Tarot Deck and Academy App
The Great Eros lingerie
Chakrubs Original Heart Rose Quartz Dildo
LE FEU DE L’EAU lucky charm candle

How do you celebrate Vday and show yourself some love?

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