Best Items for Baby, Pampering for New Moms

This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com on behalf of Single Edition Media. Opinions are my own and the adorable baby is all mine. Dear new and soon-to-be moms, It can be difficult to navigate this crazy new season in life called motherhood and finding the perfect items for your baby all while taking Read more

A Meditation Teacher’s 8 Tips for Better Sleep

Since having Ethan last year, and a few months prior to his birth, sleep has eluded me. Before getting pregnant, I would take melatonin or unisom before bed because my insomnia was so bad. Although Ethan is 1, he still doesn't sleep through the night, which means I can't be Read more

Vole Hair System Review

Don't miss the 20% off promo code below!! My hair has not been at its best this summer.  Sun, salt water, humidity and heat, plus constant styling to battle the heat and humidity all tends to strip my hair leaving it looking and feeling dry and dull. This may sound a bit dramatic, Read more

Spa Pedicure at Utopia Salon & Day Spa in Hawley, PA

The best part of living in a tourist area (the Poconos), is that there are a lot of little gems waiting to be discovered. For me, this gem has been right in front of my face for 13 years. I've driven by Utopia Salon & Day Spa countless times, but Read more

Reflekt Facial Exfoliator Review

This luxury facial cleanser makes skin feel amazing! I've been using Reflekt Skincare for the last 6 weeks about 2-3 times per week. In the summer, a regular cleanser alone won't do the trick to thoroughly rid my skin of all the "gunk" that warmer weather brings when wearing makeup, Read more

bath and body

Best Items for Baby, Pampering for New Moms

This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com on behalf of Single Edition Media. Opinions are my own and the adorable baby is all mine.

Best products for baby, pampering for mom via @agirlsgottaspa #babbleboxxmom #sponsored

Dear new and soon-to-be moms,

It can be difficult to navigate this crazy new season in life called motherhood and finding the perfect items for your baby all while taking care of yourself. Trust me, I’ve done it times 5.

It starts with tons of research into the best products for your baby and lots of family and friend’s weighing in with their opinion (sometimes helpful, sometimes not so much.) Then your little one comes along, and taking care of yourself goes on the backburner (oh girl, trust me, you say it won’t, but it does despite your best efforts.)

Being a mom of 5 boys – my oldest being 17 and my youngest just turning 1, I can sincerely say I know a thing or two about some must-have items.

To start, here are my 5 boys. The only way to ever get them in the same picture at the same time is on the first day of school, otherwise, best of luck.

first-day-of-school

Whether this is your first baby or 5th, I hope stumbling upon this list is helpful in your search for your baby and yourself.

For Mom:

@illumai biome hair system for new and expecting moms review via @agirlsgottaspa #babbleboxxmom #sponsored

illumai biome care system: After you have your baby, your hormones go crazy and this wreaks havoc on your hair and scalp. But something you may not know, is that during your pregnancy and after (if you are nursing), you still need to be vigilant about the ingredients in your hair and skin care products and that’s what makes illumai a brand worth looking into.

illumai 3-product system only contains 7 ingredients, and is formulated without sulfates, silicones, parabens, preservatives, and plasticizers. Their products are gluten-free, nut-free, 100% vegan and cruelty-free (PETA certified.) illumai works with every hair type, making it ideal for the whole family. They offer it in travel size (pictured above) and full size.

And while you may associate natural hair care with herbal scents, this one is unlike any other. It has a perfume-like fragrance as you cleanse and condition your hair, which really is a mood-booster in the shower, but the scent dissapates over the course of the day so it is not overwhelming.

This system is so well-designed for new moms, that I’ve asked them to give you a discount. Get 40% off either size of illumai biome care system – just use promocode 44AGIRLSGOTTASPA at checkout. Expires 10/31/2016.

Rainbow Light Prenatals via @agirlsgottaspa #babbleboxxmom #sponsored

Rainbow Light 35+ Mom & Baby Pre and Postnatal Vitamins: When I found out I was pregnant with Ethan, I was 40 years old. There’s a lot to consider when everyone tells you all of the scary statistics and being deemed a high-risk pregnancy. Nutrition to insure the health of my baby was my number one priority. Like, as soon as I peed on that stick and it said I was pregnant, I was out buying prenatals that afternoon. No joke.

Rainbow Light vitamins are made with natural, purity-tested ingredients and NO artificial preservatives, colors, flavors or sweeteners. They’re vegetarian and do not contain gluten, wheat, milk, tree nuts, peanuts, soy, eggs, fish, or shellfish. Why is this important? Because there are a lot of vitamins out there with filler ingredients. (Plus if you have an allergy, this is good info. to know!)

Rainbow Light multivitamins can be taken on an empty stomach (yay!) and can be taken during and after pregnancy (if you plan to breastfeed, plan to keep taking your prenatals until you’ve weaned your baby.)

Enjoy this discount code for 20% off on Rainbow Light Prenatals: HappyBaby

For Baby:

@Gerbercw onesies are a must-have for baby via @agirlsgottaspa #babbleboxxmom #sponsored

Gerber® Onesies®: (OMG how freaking adorable does Ethan look for real???) This brand of onesie has been a staple for each of my boys as babies. So you could say that I basically have been in a relationship with Gerber® for 17 years now.

Gerber® Onesies® are sooo soft with 100% knit cotton, so they are perfect for layering or simply to be worn alone on a hot day. Despite the fallen leaves in the photo above, it was 80 degrees when I snapped that pic of my sweet boy in his onesie. On warm nights, he wears his onesie so that he can sleep comfortably without overheating. During the colder weather, I use them for layering for warmth.

Gerber® Onesies® are by far the most durable onesies and I love that they come in both short and long sleeves.

Save on Gerber apparel at your favorite retailer with money-saving coupons to use in-store only: http://goo.gl/RYGA6D or order online at www.GerberChildrenswear.com now through 10/8/16 and receive FREE $6 STANDARD SHIPPING on your order. Use promo code BBOXX16FS at checkout.

FUJIFILM’s INSTAX Mini 70 - new mom must-have via @agirlsgottaspa #babbleboxxmom #sponsored

FUJIFILM INSTAX Mini 70: Be prepared, you will take lots and lots of pictures of your little one. They grow up so fast and they’re only little once. While I’m all about my cell phone camera, I also like instant pictures.

The INSTAX Mini 70 is the perfect size to have in your diaper bag or out at a party. It also offers selfie mode that automatically adjusts settings for perfect selfies of you and your little one.

Ethan knows that when the camera comes out, it’s time to pose. What was amazing to me, is that despite his constant movement, the pictures don’t come out blurry at all.

@bbuttpaste review via @agirlsgottaspa #babbleboxxmom #sponsored

Boudreaux’s Butt Paste: Diaper bag and changing table essential – diaper rash cream. I’m telling you, invest now! I highly recommend Boudreaux’s Butt Paste as it is fast acting without the harsh ingredients. This diaper rash cream is free-from parabens, preservatives, dyes, phthalates and talc and comes in 3 targeted formulas: original (16% zinc oxide), extra strength (40% zinc oxide) and all natural.

So what makes this brand different from the rest? First it’s not thick or sticky, so it won’t stick to your fingers. It looks thick in the tub, but as you apply it, it’s very smooth like a cream. Since it won’t stick to your fingers, it doesn’t stick to baby’s skin either – it simply creates a barrier. Honestly, there is nothing worse than a blowout that also requires you to rub your already irritated baby’s skin because your diaper rash cream is stuck to his body.

happy-baby-boudreauxs-butt-paste

Couldn’t help but show how happy he is… and always moving.

temptraq-reviews

TempTraq®: This wearable Bluetooth enabled temperature monitor is a Godsend. When your baby is sick, he/she won’t be sitting still long enough for you to take their temp, and if they’re sleeping, the last thing you want to do is to wake them up to check if they have a fever.

This thermometer adheres like a bandaid and sends information to the TempTraq® app that you can download to any Apple or Android phone. The patch is one-time use and good for 24 hours. TempTraq® notifies your smartphone when your child has a fever and also makes it very easy to email all of the data collected, directly to your child’s pediatrician.

Have a tribe of children like myself? The app can monitor multiple TempTraq® patches. (Because when one gets sick, they all get sick!)

Very limited time discount – 10% off when you use code BABBLEBOXX10 on their website.Offer Expires Oct 31, 2016.

Discovered something new? Have something to add? Leave a comment and let me know!

Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram and G+. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in bath and body, beauty, Hair Care, Self-Care Leave a comment

Vole Hair System Review

Don’t miss the 20% off promo code below!!
Vole Hair System review via @agirlsgottaspa

My hair has not been at its best this summer.  Sun, salt water, humidity and heat, plus constant styling to battle the heat and humidity all tends to strip my hair leaving it looking and feeling dry and dull.

This may sound a bit dramatic, but when I do not feel good about my hair, it can ruin my outlook on life…not kidding….and like I said, somewhat dramatic.

Due to sweat and product build-up, I try to use deep cleansing shampoos in the summer, but while they do cleanse my hair, they also strip it of moisture.  What my hair required to battle summer damage was a deep cleansing shampoo that removes product build up and pollutants, but does not strip my hair, followed by a conditioner that is deeply moisturizing and repairing, yet does not weigh my hair down. Read more

Posted on by Gail Lewis in beauty, Hair Care Leave a comment

Customized Nexxus Hair Care at Sam’s Club

Sponsored by Mirum Shopper. All opinions are my own.

nexxus-youth-renewal-elixir

Lately I’ve been on the hunt for products that aim to treat my skin and hair for the issues I’m having as I age (not just things to make me look younger.)

Being in my 40’s comes with a plethora of issues that are both as a result of my actions when I was younger (or inaction in terms of taking care of my skin and hair) and the normal course of getting older. Yay me.

I’ve used Nexxus hair system products in the past and I’ve been really happen with the results. So when I learned that you can get a 3-product full size set from Sam’s Club for just around $26, I was game to check it out. While Sam’s Club may be associated with large bulk items, it’s also a great place to generally save on items that you love. Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in anti-aging, beauty, Hair Care 13 Comments

Coloring Your Hair With Garnier Olia #MyOliaStory #Sponsored

I’m sharing #MyOliaStory as part of a Garnier® sponsored series for Socialstars™. All opinions and hair color are my own.
Coloring your hair with Garnier Olia via @agirlsgottaspa #MyOliaStory #Sponsored

If you’ve been following #MyOliaStory for the past few months, then you know I’ve been dyeing my hair at home with Garnier® Olia every 6 weeks.

This is the most consistent I have been in years, since I had stopped dyeing my hair all together during my pregnancies. For some reason, my hair had become a very dark brunette during that time – which I can tell you is not my natural color, but I’m not entirely sure how it came to be. (Has this happened to anyone else??) I wanted to go back to a much lighter version of brown while retaining the look of it being natural. Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Hair Care Leave a comment

How To Lighten Your Hair #MyOliaStory

I’m sharing #MyOliaStory as part of a Garnier sponsored series for Socialstars™

How to lighten your hair via @agirlsgottaspa #MyOliaStory #sponsored

Taking your hair color from dark to light is a not something that can be done in a day. Well, at least not when you are doing it on your own at home. You want to be really careful with dyeing your hair so as not to over-process it and cause any damage. When done correctly, you can end up with gorgeous hair at a fraction of the cost at the salon.

You just have to follow directions and need a little patience (enjoy the Guns and Roses earworm.)

I have dark brown hair, but I’ve been wanting to go lighter. Not blonde, but a much lighter brown, because I want to stick with something natural looking that won’t contrast with my skin tone in a negative way.

I’ve made that mistake before. I’ve dyed my hair red, I’m dyed my hair so black that it had hues of blue/purple and I’ve “frosted” (OMG so 80s) my hair. Red brought out the ruddiness in my skin. Black made me look goth (not my style, but it may be yours) and frosted looked more like I just randomly threw bleach in my hair (i.e. it looked like straw) and made my skin look sallow. Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in anti-aging, beauty, DIY Beauty, Hair Care 11 Comments

5 Surefire Ways Pampering Helps Boost Your Mood (and Confidence)

Disclosure: I’m sharing #MyOliaStory #ad as part of a Garnier® sponsored series for Socialstars™

You’ve probably experienced this scenario yourself – you’re in a rut and feeling meh when you decide to take a moment to yourself to rejuvenate. Sometimes it’s something simple, like a bath or it’s something a little more dramatic (like chopping your long locks.) Regardless of the act, it suddenly gives you that restoration of spirit you needed and that spring in your step is back.

Happiness and confidence go hand in hand. When I am happy, I feel my most confident and like I can achieve anything. When I’m feeling down, it often feels like my goals are not within reach. We’ve all been there.

So what can you do to give yourself a kick in the pants? You want my honest answer? Self care. Pampering yourself is is the most natural mood booster I know. It’s not selfish by any means, it’s transformative.

Here are 5 tips for pampering yourself to boost your mood (and confidence):

Get a haircut. There’s something therapeutic about cutting off what’s weighing you down while venting to your hairstylist. Other things I love about it – the head massage, the hum of the hair dryer, the eventual amazing hairstyle that I can never duplicate at home.

I recently decided to chop my long hair. It felt like magic and all of the compliments I got just made me feel really, really good. Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in anti-aging, beauty, Hair Care, Health, Self-Care 15 Comments

Getting My Hair Summer-Ready #MyOliaStory #Ad

Disclosure: I’m sharing #MyOliaStory as part of a Garnier® sponsored series for Socialstars™ The fabulous hair color is all mine.

Shiny, healthy hair with Garnier Olia via @agirlsgottaspa #MyOliaStory #sponsored

Keeping my hair color vibrant, healthy looking… and most of all, covering the grays, is important to me. It feels like post-pregnancy that the gray hair is coming out in full force. I don’t want to look older than I am, so I have no shame in dying my hair.

4 weeks ago I gave Garnier Olia® a try in 6.0 Light Brown, as my goal is to start stepping down to a lighter color by Summer. A few years ago I frosted my hair blonde. Yes, you heard that right – frosted. So 80’s. And my hair totally looked the part. It was unnatural looking and I couldn’t wait for it to grow out.

This time I’m doing it right and taking it slowly instead of just diving in. My 14 year old had to learn the hard way recently when he wanted to dye his hair blue. He has dark brown hair like me and thought he’d be blonde in a matter of 30 minutes. That was a whole lot of nope. His hair turned an orangey yellow and once he added the blue… he was green.

Love my hair color with Garnier Olia via @agirlsgottaspa #MyOliaStory #sponsored

My hair color has held up well, as has the shine. It’s still a nice shade for the Spring and something I can step myself up to for Fall once I’ve gotten as close to a light golden brown as I can get without being too brassy for Summer. With 100% gray coverage, my grays are still nicely concealed. My hair doesn’t feel dry and is still soft to the touch.100% gray coverage with Garnier Olia via @agirlsgottaspa #MyOliaStory #sponsored

In a few weeks it will be time to color my hair again with Garnier® Olia® and I’ll be trying to take it a shade lighter. I’m thinking I might also chop my locks for some added effect. Maybe an angled bob or lob. I’ve had both, and to be honest I prefer to have long hair. But I just keep can’t seem to make it work and my hair tends to always be in a ponytail. One thing I can say, is that since coloring my hair, I’ve been curling my hair more often to show off how great my hair looks.

Best hair color to cover gray via @agirlsgottaspa #MyOliaStory #sponsored

Please check out my Garnier® Olia® review – I’d love to hear if you’ve used Olia® and/or if you’ll be changing up your hair color now that Summer is almost here!

Be sure to also follow Garnier® on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in anti-aging, beauty, Hair Care Leave a comment

Spa-Like Hair with Pai-Shau

Spa-like hair care from Pai-Shau - love it! via @agirlsgottaspa

This is likely the only time where you hear me rave about tea. I’m your coffee-obsessed kind of girl, but this hair care line by Pai-Shau based on a proprietary blend of concentrated steeped teas, is making my life right now.

Pai-Shau is a vegan and cruelty free hair care line that marries an ancient bathing ritual from Vietnam with modern day science. I received Pai-Shau’s Replenishing Hair Cleanser and Supreme Revitalizing Mask (from their Hydrating Ritual) and Biphasic Infusion (from their Enhance Ritual) to review.

Having never heard of this brand, I held no expectations – which honestly, is the best thing to have, because I was totally WOWED. Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Hair Care 4 Comments

Garnier Olia® Hair Color Review #Spon

I’m sharing #MyOliaStory as part of a Garnier® sponsored series for Socialstars™. All opinions and hair color are my own (well… the hair color is Garnier®.)

Garnier® Olia® Hair Color #review via @agirlsgottaspa #MyOliaStory #spon

Looking to lighten, brighten or darken your natural hair color without the eye-burning smell of the chemicals involved?

That’s a common theme among at-home hair coloring kits that we all cringe about – literally. That toxic smell while coloring your hair.

I haven’t colored my hair in about 2 years due to pregnancies and I’ve been tired of looking at the strands of gray and dullness of my hair. (Sometimes I wear the tired mom look like a pro.) With an 8 month old as my sidekick these days, getting out to the salon isn’t easy. Using an DIY hair color is a good option, but my #1 MUST – I did not want that ammonia smell for Ethan and myself to take in.

Enter Garnier Olia®. Olia has 60% oils, no ammonia, and natural flower oils, and there is ZERO eye-stinging smell – I mean there is literally none. Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Hair Care 2 Comments

Mitch Stone Essentials Giveaway

@mitchstonehair #giveaway via @agirlsgottaspa

Remember how much I raved about Mitch Stone Essentials Texturizing Spray for beachy waves and volume? Well now you have the opportunity to try to win it, along with Mitch Stone Essentials Lustre Drops and Session Spray! (2 other products I really love!)

Dates of entry are February 23, 2016 at 12am EST until  March 1, 2016 at 11:59pm EST. ARV is $56. Please read the fine print at the bottom because that’s important too.

Check out Mitch Stone Essentials social media:

Twitter
Instagram
YouTube
Facebook Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Celebrity Beauty, giveaway, Hair Care Leave a comment