Acupressure Mat

If you've followed me on Instagram (@tiugirlanna) or have been following my blog for awhile, you are probably aware of the fact that I have ongoing back issues...although, I mean, don't we all? I feel like everyone says that - "I have a bad back", etc... But in my case, I have scoliosis. So my back is sore and tight pretty much all of the time. After giving birth to James, my back was waaaayyy out of whack. Pregnancy and childbirth did a number on my already screwed up spine, and I was just a tight little ball of pain and tension. 

So, imagine my joy when I discovered acupressure mats! Oh my goodness, these things are so strange and incredible. Here's what it is, as described on Amazon:

The Acupressure mat and pillow use tiny little sharp plastic acupoints to stimulate the body's pressure points similar to acupuncture but without the use of skin piercing needles. When the pressure points of the body are stimulated, tension in the muscle is released while an increase in blood flow and circulation in the area slowly aids in healing and promotes complete relaxation and well being. In essence, acupressure point stimulation causes the body to heal itself so that it can function optimally.

You basically lay out this mat and the neck pillow that comes with it, and then you lie down on it, shirtless, and let the thing work it's magic for the next 10-45+ minutes. You start out with 10-15 minutes and work your way up to 45+.

How does it feel, one might ask? Well, it hurts. A lot. But only at first! After a few minutes, your back gets warm and tingly and it just relaxes EEEVEEERRYYYTHING. It's amazing. I was on it for over a half hour my first time on it without even realizing how long it had been. If you can make it past the first few minutes (which honestly, the pain isn't THAT bad, more like discomfort) it feels so nice!

I like to lie on the mat while Ben and I watch a show or movie at night. Light a nice candle, pour some kombucha, throw on some eye masks, and get on your mat, and you've got yourself a relaxing evening!

Here is the mat that I have {Click for the mat} and I highly recommend it. But there are A LOT of different brands out there, and they are the same idea, so get whichever you prefer.

Hope your week is going great so far!

Travel Diary: Ocean Shores

For New Year's weekend, Ben, James, my parents, and I went away to Ocean Shores. It was cold, but so so fun! PNW beaches are wildly beautiful, in a dark and mysterious way, and I love walking along, looking for shells and other treasures washed up from the deep.

This was James' first time to a beach, and he seemed in awe of the big waves and the vast expanses of sand. It is so fun to take him new places and give him new experiences!

We spent the weekend relaxing. We didn't have an agenda; We strolled to the beach and back; We read by the fire; We ate tasty food; And we went to bed early. It was lovely! I love little getaways like that! They are the best. It was such great quality time with my family!

Ben and I picked up these rain boots at a local grocery store once we got into town, because, as usual, I packed improper footwear. Typical. I mean, high-heeled suede booties are appropriate for the beach, right? I don't know what I was thinking, but this seriously happens more often than I'd care to admit! For some reason I just never think about what kind of shoes I should bring on a trip until it's too late! These rainboots worked great though and I'm so glad that we got them!

Being at the seashore with the ones that I love was the PERFECT way to end a wonderful year!

How did you spend your New Year's weekend?

Oh! And here's a little quick video from our weekend:

Tomorrow, we jet off on our first adventure of 2017 and I am SO excited!! Although, I'm nervous about flying with a 5 1/2 month old baby!! Any tips from you other mamas would be SO appreciated! :)

Pamper Yourself With An At-Home Spa Night!

It’s been a long week and you’ve been working your booty off. Why not unwind with a nice, peaceful spa night right in the comfort of your own home? You deserve it! Set aside some time one night this weekend and dedicate it to pampering yourself. Here are some ideas to get the relaxation started!

  1. Light Some Candles. Find a soothing, lovely scented candle and light it. This will set the mood for your at home spa experience! Lavender and vanilla are great scents that encourage relaxation.
  2. Take A Bath. Fill up your tub and get ready to sink into bliss. Set up some candles (see number one), and throw in some nice bath salts, bath oils, or a bath bomb. Turn off the lights and turn on some peaceful music. Then, soak your worries away. 
  3. Deep Condition Your Hair. I love to apply a deep conditioning hair mask once a week. Apply a deep conditioning hair mask to give your hair that salon glow!
  4. Put On A Face Mask. Nothing feels more luxurious than a nice face mask. There are so many great ones out there to choose from, whether you want to go with a mud mask, a sheet mask, or a cream mask. Play around with different kinds and find what works best with your skin type. 
  5. Paint Your Nails. How about a little mani/pedi action? Take your time and give your feet and hands some lovin’! Scrub your feet and hands with some homemade sugar scrub, and then massage them with a nice lotion. Trim up your nails and cuticles, and then pick a fun color and paint away!
  6. Get A Massage. Massages are such a great way to soothe tense muscles and ease aches and pains. If you live with a roommate or a significant other, see if you can coax them into rubbing your back, shoulders, and neck for a bit. This will help you to decompress from the stresses of your week. You can even offer to give them a massage in return!

What are your favorite ways to pamper yourself at home? Share in the comments below!

xo, Anna

Review: Frank Coffee Scrub

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Let's be frank about Frank: it's even better than you'd think.

If you are on Instagram, chances are you have heard about Frank Coffee Scrub - pretty much the hottest skin-care product out there right now. Guys and gals alike are absolutely raving about Frank. Instagram is plastered with pictures of customers, covered in coffee scrub, lovingly clutching their pouches of Frank and professing their undying love for the product. Not to mention, Frank's marketing is brilliant, [ just visit frankbody.com to see what I mean.] It got to the point that I couldn't temper my curiosity any longer. I ordered a pouch of the Coconut & Grapeseed coffee scrub and anxiously awaited Frank's arrival.

First of all, the packaging is beautiful and cool. Frank comes in a resealable paper pouch. Frank comes in three scents, original, cacao, and coconut & grapeseed, which is the one that I got. I'm a coconut fan, what can I say? The coconut & grapeseed coffee scrub smells a lot like coconut and a lot like coffee. Put simply, it smells pretty darn amazing. True to the warning on Frank's label, the whole process is super messy. But, it's easy to clean up, and totally worth it.

Here's how it works: Hop in to your empty bath tub or shower, get yourself damp, then scrub your little heart out and  let the scrub sit for about 5-10 minutes before rinsing. Trust me, your skin will have never felt so smooth. It's kind of amazing. Plus, Frank claims to help reduce cellulite, psoriasis, and stretch marks, so there's that too.

My recommendation: Get your Frank on. As soon as possible. 100% worth it.

Best part? The original costs only $14.95, the cacao costs $16.95, and the coconut & grapeseed costs $17.95, so you wont break the bank and you can keep coming back for more. Get yours at frankbody.com