Mommy Med Spa Day – A Day Of Pampering and Pedicures

This post has been sponsored by Rejuvenation Clinic Day Spa. All opinions are my own.
Mommy Med Spa Day

You guys want to know a little secret?

I love to be pampered.

Hello?! What girl doesn’t?

When Rejuvenation Clinic Day Spa invited me and a few other bloggers to enjoy a day of pampering, I couldn’t say “Yes!” quick enough.

Single mom. Three kids. Need I say more? 

SingleMommyWarrior and AdukeSchulist
Fellow blogger and single mom, SingleMommyWarrior and I on our way to the clinic.

The Rejuvenation Clinic Day Spa was the first day spa to open in Little Rock and just so happens to be owned and operated by the first aesthetician licensed in Little Rock, Arkansas, Mrs. Mahvash Kamran and her husband Jim. This clinic has been around since the beginning, so they legit know what they are doing.

Not only is it a day spa, they have a complete med spa side too. The med spa includes treatment performed by board certified doctor Bob Young, MD with the help of registered nurse, Sara Molsbee. Combined, they have over 30 years experience working in the med spa industry, making treatments safe and effective.

Med Spa Treatments

Long gone are the days when only those in their late 30s and beyond got med spa treatments. Med spas these days are geared towards men and women of all ages. Some of the treatments include Botox, Hydrafacials, Chemical Peels, Microneedling, and more.

These treatments erase signs of aging, skin damage, acne scars, and make your skin look and feel as fresh as it should.

Pampering Pedicures and a Med Spa Day

I’m counting down the days until I can schedule my Hydrafacial. The process involves shooting a blast of hydration and moisture into your skin all while simultaneously removing impurities within the skin.

Whether hyper-pigmentation, signs of aging, wrinkles, acne scars, or fine lines are your worry, the Rejuvenation Clinic med spa has a treatment that is just right for your needs.

Exclusive Product Lines

On top of the amazing treatments, they have some incredible product lines to choose from. Some of their product lines are exclusive to the Rejuvenation clinic like Ultraluxe. Ultraluxe is a vegan, non-toxic, natural line of skincare products. They have this amazing Eucalyptus Mud Wash that I highly recommend you try. They also have nourishing complexes like this Omega-3 Repair Complex.

Ultraluxe Omega-3 Repair Complex At Rejuvenation Clinic Day Spa in Little Rock

Along with the Ultraluxe line, Rejuvenation Clinic carries other brands like Natura Bisse (only two spas in Little Rock carry this line), Eminence, and more. If you schedule a massage or facial, you even get a piece of chocolate from Eminence in your own, personal locker.

Chocolate - Yes Please
Chocolate? Yes, please!
Pedicure to Pamper my Feet

The day I went, I took advantage of the day spa side and got treated to a fabulous pedicure. Norma, my nail technician made me feel so comfortable and relaxed through the entire process. It was pure bliss.

Getting My Pedicure On At Rejuvenation Clinic Day Spa in Little Rock

I picked out a deep pink color and am happy to say it is still going strong, even two weeks later! I have the cutest feet in town.

Pedicure Courtesy of Rejuvenation Clinic Day Spa in Little Rock
Freshly painted nails and wearing my reusable pedicure sandals available for purchase at the clinic.
Gifts to Share

Now for the fun part… Mother’s Day is coming up and I wanted to invite all of you to give the gift of health and pampering. Rejuvenation Clinic and I have teamed up to share their goodness, in the form of a gift card, with one of you. It could be to your own mother, or just a friend in need. To enter in the drawing for a gift card to Rejuvenation Clinic, comment below with your answer to one of the following questions. Be sure to follow me on social media, because there are other opportunities to enter there:

Aduke Schulist on Facebook
@AdukeSchulist on Twitter
@AdukeSchulist on Instagram

How are you pampering your mother this year? 

Have you ever been to a day spa or med spa? If so, what service did you get?

Visit Rejuvenation Clinic Day Spa’s newly updated website and tell me which treatment you would like to get. 

Fertility Awareness Method Explained and Tracking for Health

Fertility Awareness Method Explained and Tracking for Health

If you cringed when Rupi Kaur posted about her period on Instagram then this post is for you. And if you have ever been caught off guard by your period, then this post is for you. Going along with my last post on my health, I want to talk about something that is taboo for most: Reproductive Health.

More specifically, fertility awareness.

Fertility Awareness Method of Birth Control

Yes, that means this post may have some “TMI” included. It’s a little long, but worth every word.

How did I get here?!

When I was younger I learned that people could track their temperature and cervical fluids to help them conceive. One day I thought “If they can achieve pregnancy, then I can AVOID it” and thus my search for a new birth control began. I seriously thought I was a genius with this idea.

I wasn’t entirely sure how it worked as I had never been taught such basic things about my body. I knew that periods happened and the gist of them, but beyond that, I was clueless.

I was determined to make it work though. I have PCOS and Endometriosis and periods are no fun. Besides being painful and heavy, they don’t follow the text-book pattern we have been taught, and are irregular.

I’ve tried multiple forms of birth control including shots, pills, and even an IUD. For me, the synthetic chemicals provided by more mainstream forms of birth control were not working for me.

I wanted a more natural method that wouldn’t make me gain so much weight and feel yucky constantly. That’s when I found the fertility awareness method.

What is the Fertility Awareness Method?

It’s a natural form of birth control not to be confused with the rhythm method or natural family planning. The fertility awareness method is in a league all by itself.

First of all, it is not a guessing game (like the rhythm method is). And it doesn’t require that you completely abstain from sex while fertile like the catholic version of family planning. While the fertility awareness method is a “natural family planning” method, it isn’t quite the same.

There are a few different versions of the fertility awareness method, but most follow similar rules. I use the Sympto-Thermal Method which combines a few different methods. The basic idea is to be aware of and track your fertility at any given moment to help you make certain choices.

How is it done?

Upon waking in the morning you take your temperature and record it on a chart. This is called your basal body temperature. Your BBT varies depending on which part of the cycle your body is currently in. It is lower prior to ovulation and increases after ovulation. I set an alarm for 6am every day to do this. This helps me be consistent because I don’t always wake up at the same time on my own. Being consistent with temperatures is important to get a good reading. Taking your temperature at the same time every day is your best option.

Throughout the day, you check your cervical position and fluids and record those too. The most basic types are none or a dry day, sticky, creamy, eggwhite, and watery. When you piece all of this information together you get something that looks like this:

Interpreting a Cycle

Ovulatory Cycle using Kindara for Fertility Awareness Method - Natural Birth Control

This is a real chart of mine. I use the Kindara app to record all of my observations, but there are multiple other apps or even paper printables to use.

The numbers at the top coincide with the cycle day. So day 1 is the first day of a new period. The numbers on the right represent temperatures. I choose to track in fahrenheit. Some days I did not record a temperature.

Cycle day 1-5 was my period with some spotting on cycle day 6. As you can see, the day I start my period, I quit taking my temperature for a few days after. It’s a nice break from the alarm clock. Since my cycles are usually 5-7 days, I start taking my temp again around the 5th day.

Cervical Fluid

Cycle days 8-11 I recorded creamy consistency for cervical fluid. Days 12-17 are eggwhite. 18-20 I recorded watery. 21 was eggwhite, and 22 and 23 were creamy.

Eggwhite and watery cervical fluid are considered super fertile, but at the first sign of any fluid, one is considered fertile. Because sperm can live 7 days inside the vagina, even creamy or sticky fluid can be fertile.

Following the Rules

Because I am tracking for health purposes, this is pretty much all I chart. Depending on the rules you follow you may want to track more or less. I do check my cervical position, but don’t record it.

The P on cycle day 21 stands for Peak. This is the LAST day of fertile fluid. This does NOT mean the peak fertility day. The numbered blue circles are considered “days past ovulation”. Based on this chart above, I ovulated around cycle day 21 or 22. Despite what some may tell you, there is no way to chart WHEN you ovulated, just to confirm that you have.

Temperature Shifts and Ovulation

Remember when I said my cycles don’t follow a text-book pattern? Text-books state ovulation happens on day 14. This has never been true for me. I typically don’t see a shift, indicating ovulation until day 20 or beyond.

You can see two distinct temperature ranges in this chart. On cycle day 23 I had a temp shift. My temperature increased by at least 0.2 degrees above the last 6 temperatures which is what is required for a shift. In order to confirm ovulation, this rise in temperature must be sustained for at least 3 days.

Some people may experience a slow rise in temperature, but mine are usually sudden. After an egg is released, it dies within 24 hours if not fertilized.

Anovulatory Cycles

Sometimes I don’t have a temp shift at all, even though I experience fertile fluid. This means that I did not ovulate despite my body trying. This is a result of my PCOS, but anovulatory cycles can happen to anybody. This chart below is an example of an anovulatory chart. You can see that I observed fertile fluid, but nothing came out of it.

(Side note: The peak day is not marked correctly on this chart below. It should be day 41.)

Anovulatory cycle using Kindara and the Fertility Awareness Method of Natural Birth Control

On cycle day 44 of this chart I started bleeding. A bleed that happens after an anovulatory cycle is not a true period. If you are following rules like the Doering rule, you must remember that you are still considered fertile after this bleed and rules like the 5 day rule don’t apply. You can only use those rules if you confirmed ovulation in the pervious chart, along with some other requirements. Jennifer breaks it down in The Rules of the Sympto-Thermal Method.

Unprotected vs Protected Sex

When using this method to avoid pregnancy, you can have unprotected sex as long as you follow the rules. Because the egg dies within 24 hours after ovulation, once you have confirmed ovulation with a temperature shift of at least 3 temperatures 0.2 degrees above the last 6, you can have unprotected sex without risk of pregnancy.

For example, in the first chart above I could have had unprotected sex on cycle day 26, after ovulation was confirmed. In the second chart, since ovulation was not confirmed, unprotected sex on the 26th cycle day would have been risky.

In the first chart I also could have had unprotected sex on cycle days 1-5, 7, and from 26-34. The other days, protection would be needed to avoid pregnancy. Some of these days are based off of the dry day rule and Doering rule mentioned above and may not apply to you. Be sure you meet all criteria in order to use these rules.

Benefits of Fertility Awareness Method

Because I have charted for many many cycles, I am very in tune with my body. I know how long my luteal phase is and I can pinpoint the day I will start my period as soon as I have confirmed ovulation. Anovulatory cycles don’t apply.

Charting can also give you insight into problems such as low progesterone, anovulatory cycles (remember, bleeding doesn’t always mean you ovulated), thyroid function, and more.

In Conclusion

This method takes some work. If you can’t remember to take a pill every day, then you probably won’t be good at this. And just like a birth control pill, you can’t blame it’s effectiveness on a user that doesn’t follow directions. If you miss a pill, you could get pregnant. That isn’t the birth control pill’s fault. The same is true for this method. In this method, if you don’t follow the rules, you can have an unintended pregnancy. That is a USER error and not a result of ineffectiveness of the method.

If you are using this as a method of birth control, it is imperative that you follow ALL of the rules. I recommend the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility. This book goes in depth and teaches you way more than this post could.

You can get it on Amazon using my affiliate link below:

Taking Charge of Your Fertility

Have you heard of this method before? 
Do you have any questions about it?
Do you use it or know somebody who does? 

Health Update and Habit Tracker Freebie

Health Update and Habit Tracker Freebie

At the beginning of the month, my daughter had an appointment at a Weight Loss Management Clinic. They recommended I start tracking her calories to reduce her intake.

I did.

And as a family, we made a choice to get healthier together, so I also started tracking my own.

I already know that I do better when I track my calories, so I asked for recommendations for calorie counting apps from my friends. The majority of people recommended My Fitness Pal. I had previously used another app, but went with their recommendations. The first couple days I tracked my calories just to see how much I was eating, but I was also aware of how much they recommended I take each day and definitely ate less than I would have. I think that simply by knowing how many calories they wanted me to take, I was subconsciously eating less.

Amount of calories consumed since I began tracking

According to their calculations using my weight, height, activity level, and desired weight loss, they gave me 1,550 calories per day. 1,550 calories sounds like a big number, but when you are eating crap food, it goes fast!

Weight Loss

As you can see in the image above, I started keeping track on the 13th of March. I went way over the recommended calories those first two days, but did better the next day. Also, make note that I kept going over.. by like 300-500 calories each day! Some days I went even beyond that. Some days it was less.

The crazy thing? I’ve already lost 7 pounds!

SEVEN POUNDS!

That may not seem like much, but when you have 40+ pounds to lose, 7 is a lot!

And I’ve done it only by keeping track of my calories. One day I walked on the treadmill for 30 minutes, but have done nothing else.

Out of the 16 days picture, I was only under my calorie limit 4 days. A few days I didn’t go over by much.

Habit Tracker

Doing this, I have learned that simply by tracking, I am making a difference. I got to wondering what else would change if I started tracking my habits? I created this habit tracking printable to help give me insight into some areas of my life.

The cool thing is that this habit tracking worksheet can track anything you want. There are enough spots to track a habit for 30 days.. and they say it only takes 21 days to form a habit.

I’ve made these habit tracking worksheets available for free download by clicking on one of the links below. You can choose from pink, green, blue, or black and white.

Habit Track for Tracking Habits (Blue)

Habit Track for Tracking Habits (BW)

Habit Track for Tracking Habits (Green)

Habit Track for Tracking Habits (Pink)

What habits would you track to form, or break?

Health, Heartbreak, and Weight Management Clinic

I would give anything to be fat again. You know, as fat as I once was when I thought I was fat. I’d love to be that fat again. I’ve been thinking about my weight a lot lately and I’ve gained a LOT of it in the past 5 years. I am the heaviest I have ever been and it doesn’t feel good.

I used to think this was fat
I used to think this was fat.

I don’t have many clothes that fit me. And by fit, I mean wearable in general. I literally have 3 pairs of jeans that will button and a handful of shirts that fit. None of my clothes are flattering, but I refuse to buy “fat” clothes.

I keep telling myself that once I get down a few sizes I will buy myself some new clothes, but so far that hasn’t happened. I don’t feel great about myself, but I don’t feel completely unattractive either. What I do feel is unhealthy. And that concerns me.

Health

Not only am I concerned about my own health, I am concerned about my children’s health too. My daughter recently had some lab work done and the results were not what I expected. Her fasting labs indicated out of control diabetes, but a more recent check showed everything to be just fine. While we try to figure out exactly what is going on and why such big discrepancies, we started seeing a weight management clinic.

Weight Management Clinic at Arkansas Children's Hospital

I feel like this is the equivalent to fat camp. Just how overweight do you have to be to get sent to a weight management clinic? For my daughter it is 42 pounds. With a birth weight of only 1 pound and 9 ounces, many would find this alarming. Her doctor has been monitoring her since birth and we have discussed her weight and other markers previously. Her doctor told me that because of her low birth weight, her body was probably shocked and thus holding onto every bit of weight it can.

Heartbreak…

That brings me to the heartbreak part of this post. I’ve always made it a point to tell my children positive things about themselves. I know firsthand how devastating comments can be, especially regarding your physical appearance and things that can’t be changed within 10 seconds.

We’ve discussed healthy habits and what we need to do to be healthy, but we have never actually discussed losing weight. I never want to make my kids feel like they aren’t good enough or that they are flawed in any way. I tell them they are perfect exactly how they are.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

It breaks my heart that I have to tell my daughter that she has to change. I know that she understands it is to be healthy, but the mom part of me feels like I am telling my daughter she isn’t good enough as she is. And it isn’t even her fault. I feel like I have failed as a parent. But, she isn’t going to be making the changes alone. The weight management clinic will help our whole family.

Weight Management Clinic

So, this weight management clinic hosts kids with all sorts of issues ranging from obesity to diabetes to metabolic concerns. The kids go for the length of a program which lasts 6 or more visits depending on the needs of the kids. Aybra is expected to go for 6 visits, but it all depends on her future lab work and how well she does in the program.

We had our first visit this week where we met with a doctor and talked about some of our concerns. They wanted me to start restricting her calories, so I’ve begun tracking what she eats which has lead me to tracking my own. I don’t know about y’all but I always do better when I track what I eat. We will meet with a nutritionist at the next visit and discuss things like portion control and the five food groups. (Yeah, I’m not kidding!)

While I’m thankful that clinics like this exist to help, I almost feel like I am being treated as if I’m uneducated or just letting her sit around eating Cheetos and drinking Coke all day. I feel like asking for help with my concerns leads me to being treated like a bad parent at times.

Do you know how many overweight children have parents who have NEVER asked for help?

I know that we don’t always make the healthiest of choices and I know that there are things we need to change, but with the help of this weight management clinic, we will get to where we need to be to get healthy together, because it really is all about getting healthy. And while I wish for myself to no longer be as fat as I am now, I wish to be as fat as I once was.

What is your favorite way to track calories?