Friday Faves

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Hellooooo! Happy Friday and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!! How are you? I hope you’ve had a great week. The girls were on spring break, so the week was filled with sleepovers, slow mornings, a shopping day, trip to Mini Time Machine Museum, dinner with friends, the trampoline park, and we’re heading to see Taylor Swift tonight. It’s P’s first concert and the girls are pumped!

We’re also headed to a cabin for a night this weekend and a birthday party. Even though we didn’t go out of town for spring break, we managed to pack in a ton of fun events!

How was your week? I’d love to hear what you have going on this weekend. Any fun St. Paddy’s day celebrations ahead? If you’re looking for the best St. Patrick’s Day cocktail, try this one.

It’s time for the weekly Friday Faves party! This is where I share some of my favorite finds from the week and around the web. I always love to hear about your faves, too, so please shout out something you’re loving in the comments section below.

Friday Faves

Read, watch, listen:

Finished this book and having a serious book hangover. It was one of the best historical fiction books I’ve read and I’m having a hard time picking the next one! It was beautifully-written, sucked me in immediately, and while I couldn’t wait to find out what happened, I also didn’t want it to end. It’s mind-boggling that it was based on a true story and this book was completely outside my usual WWII historical fiction picks. If you have anything similar that you loved, please lmk.

Definitely check out this week’s podcast episode with Nicole Jardim. She shares so many amazing tips on how to support your hormones and optimize your cycle.

Loved this post and perfectly articulates how our perception of birthdays can change over time. (I used to love my birthday but now I just enjoy spending it with my little family and eating cake, but hate the pressure I always seem to feel, like I haven’t done *enough* over the past year.)

Fashion + beauty:

More Frownies goodies. I got my usual Frownies but added the undereye gels and the mask. I’ll definitely report back on the new products! Frownies has done wonders for helping with my 11s (aka WTF lines) in between my eyebrows. You have to use them for a while and use them consistently to see a difference but I’m a fan. Botox still freaks me out (never say never but for now, it’s not for me), so this has been a good alternative.

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Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

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Cinnamon coffee cake loaded with layers of buttery cinnamon brown sugar streusel is something that I can not resist whenever it is in the house. Fortunately, it’s irresistible to everyone I know, so it disappears fast any time I make it.

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake stacked on plate

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

Whether it’s early in the morning with a cup of coffee, mid-afternoon, or late at night, this cinnamon coffee cake is a favorite. Heavy on the cinnamon streusel, this cake is literally half streusel.

The sour cream gives a delicious richness and tender, moist crumb without making the cake overly sweet. It really is the perfect treat with a mid-morning cup of coffee or afternoon tea. My kids devour it as an after-school snack.

streusel coffee cake stacked on plate

Simple cakes like this one are some of my favorite treats to share. Whether I’m taking a whole meal to someone, or sharing a dessert just to bring a friend a smile, cinnamon coffee cake with abundant layers of cinnamon streusel is perfect for any reason.

I first shared this recipe in The Weeknight Dinner Cookbook and it’s been on my frequent repeat list ever since. (For those of you counting, that’s a solid 7 years in the favorites rotation!)

I’m happy to tell you that coffee cake freezes quite well. Wrap individual slices tightly and store them in an airtight container or zip-close bags. Frozen cake can be thawed at room temperature or reheated from frozen in the microwave.

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Maternal mental health: What support is available?

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Following research from LSE and the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, we chatted with pregnancy and postpartum psychotherapist, Sophie Harris, to learn more about the support available for new and expectant mums

Maternal mental health: What support is available?

Research conducted last year by the London School of Economics and Political Science, commissioned by the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, revealed the devastating impact that perinatal mental health problems have on women and their families when not effectively treated. What’s more, the former 2014 report calculated that perinatal mental illness costs the UK £8.1 billion annually.

Since 2014, the UK has invested in specialist services provided by the NHS to transform the lives of expectant women with complex mental health problems and their babies. As welcome as these findings may be, more action is now required to see that women and their families receive the quality of care that they need

Whilst improvements have been made, access to perinatal mental health services is still a challenge. The report highlights the long waiting lists for mental health services, including those provided through the NHS Talking Therapies programme (previously known as 'Improving Access to Psychological Therapies' or IAPT). Not only this, but many of the services are unable to meet pregnancy and parenting-specific needs. This means some women don’t accept referrals, miss appointments or are dissatisfied with their treatment.

With more maternal mental health problems being identified as a result of the pandemic, now has never been a more important time to ensure services can respond to increasing demands and are fit for purpose.

The outcomes from the LSE report propose a better integration of perinatal health services, such as maternity and health visiting, with primary mental health services. The collaborative efforts will help address maternal wellbeing and support the early developmental needs of children. This, coupled with identifying women in need and facilitating access to treatment, will have a clinically cost-effective role in society.

We chatted to pregnancy and postpartum cognitive behavioural therapist, Sophie Harris to find out more.

Do you find the findings from the 2014 report surprising?

“Absolutely not,” Sophie says. “Not only are the impacts of maternal mental health difficulties felt by the mother, but also of their child, and potentially even their children. At the moment, there are a lot of unsupported mothers who are struggling. Unfortunately, our children feel our stress. Untreated mental health conditions will have a huge social, emotional and financial impact both on the needs of the mother and child and wider society.”

Do you welcome this research?

“Yes. I believe that any research that highlights the need for maternal mental health support is positive. However, it requires significant action for the impact of these findings to be shown in the outcomes of care for our mothers who are struggling.

“There appears to be a large-scale underestimation of the mental health needs of new mums. For example, the NHS website states that one

129: Fix Your Period with Nicole Jardim

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Hi friends! I’m SO thrilled have Nicole Jardim on the podcast today. I’ve followed her on IG forever and love the information she shares on IG. This episode is packed with helpful tips and info, especially if you’re curious about improving your cycle and hormonal health.

129: Fix Your Period with Nicole Jardim

Here’s what we talk about in today’s episode:

– What does it mean to have a healthy period? How would you describe a healthy cycle and signs you know something is awry?

– What’s a good starting point to work on improving your period?

– Signs of low progesterone and what to do about it

– Super heavy cycles; what does this mean + tips

– her favorite period products and fertility resources

and so.much.more!

Here’s more about Nicole and her background:

 Nicole Jardim is a Certified Women’s Health Coach, writer, speaker, mentor and author of Fix Your Period: 6 Weeks to Banish Bloating, Conquer Cramps, Manage Moodiness, and Ignite Lasting Hormone Balance, a life-changing step-by-step natural protocol to ignite lasting hormone balance and improve everything from PMS, period pain, and heavy periods to irregular and missing periods. She has developed education and offerings that empower women and people who menstruate to reclaim their hormone health using a method that combines evidence-based information with simplicity and sass.

Her work has impacted the lives of tens of thousands of people around the world by addressing the root cause of what’s really going on in their bodies and minds rather than treating just their symptoms. She passionately believes that the fundamentals to healing any hormone imbalance lie in an approach that addresses the unique physiology of every woman. This is essential to reclaiming and maintaining optimal health and vitality at any age.

Nicole is the founder of the Institute for Menstrual Health, which offers training programs, mentorship and resources for an international community of women’s health practitioners and coaches. Through its signature program the Women’s Hormone Health Certification, Nicole teaches other health practitioners and coaches the fundamentals of hormones, menstrual cycles and fertility.

Finally, Nicole is the host of The Period Party, a top-rated podcast on Apple Podcasts, the co-author of The Happy Balance, a recipe book filled with over 80

Do you have tinnitus? Here’s how to recognise your triggers and reclaim control

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Ringing, whistling, humming, buzzing – we often talk about the physical side of the hearing condition tinnitus, but it can take its toll on our wellbeing, too. Here, Emmie Harrison-West reflects on her own story, and explores the management tools that work for her and others

Do you have tinnitus? Here’s how to recognise your triggers and reclaim control

I remember hearing it for the first time, that ringing noise. It came to me in the dark, when I was in my late teens. It sounded like the screeching, erratic tones of dial-up broadband. Or like someone keeping their finger pressed on the doorbell deep inside my head – and there was no way to stop it. It would come and go. Sometimes I’d hear a rush of high-pitched ringing throughout the day, but it was worse at night.

Until my early 20s, I was constantly anxious and on edge before bed. Sometimes, I dreaded going to sleep in case I had a flare-up. When it happened, I’d spend hours staring at the ceiling, wishing for it (whatever it was) to disappear again. I suffered for it during the day. Felt drained, emotional, and tearful.Stress only made it worse; it was a truly vicious cycle.

Turns out that noise, deep in my ears, was tinnitus, and I joined the one in eight adults in the UK who suffer from it.

“Tinnitus is the name for hearing noises in your ears or head that are not caused by an outside source,” Franki Oliver, audiology adviser at the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) told me. “It’s often described as ‘ringing in the ears’, but some people describe it as hissing, humming, buzzing, or whooshing.”

Do you have tinnitus? Here’s how to recognise your triggers and reclaim control

“Imagine hearing an unwanted sound all day,” Carly Sygrove, coach and hearing loss blogger told me. “Perhaps it’s the high-pitched whirring of the fridge, or maybe it’s a noisy neighbour playing music throughout the day. Like these scenarios, tinnitus is an intrusive sound, and there’s no way of turning it off.”

Two years ago, aged 27, I was diagnosed with hearing loss and tinnitus, one of a reported 12 million deaf people in the UK. I realised my hearing wasn’t quite right when I couldn’t understand people who wore masks – it was only then that it dawned on me how much I relied on lip-reading.

“Many people wrongly assume that it is their tinnitus, rather than their hearing loss, that is causing hearing difficulties,” Nic Wray, communications manager at British Tinnitus Association told me. They added that the causes of tinnitus are still ‘not fully understood,’ but could be triggered by exposure to loud noise, ear infections, wax build-up,’ and even Covid-19, or long Covid.

At first, thinking it was a wax build-up, I sought help from an audiologist who soon diagnosed me with mild nerve deafness. It was genetic, but likely exacerbated by listening to loud music through ear buds, or going to loud concerts growing up.

According to Duncan Collet-Fenson, audiologist at Aston Hearing: “We can all experience temporary tinnitus when we spend the evening at a l