by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa Owner
Yesterday, Homespunspa Mobile Spa was invited to give mini mani’s to new mothers at the MotherFest at Mothering Touch. It was a pre-Mother’s Day mini mani marathon for me and Ranjit and the nail polish was flying!
The most popular colour choice? Good ol’ Lucky Lucky Lavender. See if you can spot the bottle in the photo below.
Homespunspa's collection of nail polish colours.
The new mothers brought their babies to the event and had a choice of treating themselves to all kinds of pampering services from Thai Massage to Belly Painting to a Photoshoot. At one point in the afternoon, there must have been at least 60 babies in the store at once. It was truly an honour and a really joyful experience for me to be so close to so many infants at the same time. One was only three weeks old! So cute!
Anyway, back to the question at hand: Does Being Pregnant Make Your Nails Grow Faster?
As each of the women sat in front of me to get their nails filed and polished, I asked many of them, just out of curiosity, if they’re finding a difference in their nails now that they’re pregnant. The surprising answer was “Yes” and most, if not all of them, had noticed how much stronger their nails were and how much faster they grew while they were pregnant. One woman said, “It must be the prenatal vitamins we’re taking.”
Prenatal vitamins are designed to help ensure better health for fetus and mother. These vitamins and supplements contain high concentrations of folic acid, calcium and iron and low amounts of vitamin A. Some brands also include Omega-3’s and DHA.
As it turns outs, it’s not the prenatal vitamins that make the nails grow stronger and faster — it’s the pregnancy hormones that are key. During pregnancy, the woman’s body starts to produce a bigger batch of hormones than usual and these hormones have a number of tasks and responsibilities. For one, they boost circulation and send a constant deluge of vital nutrients to the skin, which in turn makes nails grow faster.
So that answers that.
If you’re a new mom and can’t keep up with trimming your nails during this special time and want a little treat for yourself, please call me, Maria, at Homespunspa. I’d be happy to come to your home and give you your choice of a manicure, pedicure, facial or massage at your convenience. And the beauty of a mobile spa is…you don’t have to worry about getting a babysitter because you’ll be within earshot of your little ones the whole time. And why not invite some friends over and make it a spa party?
Anyway, I’d like to take this moment to wish all of the moms and mother figures out there and especially my own dear mother, a very happy Mother’s Day. Cheers to you!
by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner
“‘Twas the month of Halloween and all through the house, not a creature was stirring…” until I sprung up from the depths of sleep like a bat out of hell. I saw — and felt — plain as day — a bald man standing over me at the foot of my bed. He made some sort of gesture as if reaching for a pencil behind his right ear and said something like, “Alright then.”
He scared the bejeesus out of me
I…FREAKED…OUT. I screamed so loud I’m surprised I didn’t shatter glass. I frantically turned my bedside light on and the figure disappeared, but I wasn’t sure if I was alone or not. Maybe he dropped to the floor or dodged into the next room? My heartbeat by this time was racing like a runaway train. It felt like my heart was the size of a pumpkin and was protruding from my body, like you see in the cartoons.
I kept on expecting my landlords to call asking me if everything was alright but they didn’t. I couldn’t for the life of me get out of bed. I wanted to check around to see if anyone was there but I was frozen. I sat there scared stiff for the next 10 minutes just trying to catch my breath, my screams still echoing in my ears. The time was 10:30 pm.
Within a few minutes, my black cat, Charlie, who wasn’t in the bedroom when I initially woke up, appeared in the door. He wondered what all of the hubbub was about. I figured, because he’s a bit of a scaredy cat around strangers and likes to hide, no one else was in my apartment with us. What a relief. But then again — it begs the question — if a real person wasn’t standing there, (scary enough), what did I see, (also scary)?
I pulled the covers up to my shoulders and shivered. Somehow I dozed off again and I’ll admit, I slept with the light on until about 2:30 am.
Let me backtrack a little bit. I have been feeling really anxious lately (hard to believe, I know) because I was layed off from my job with the government in September and have been worrying about my finances ever since. How am I going to earn a living and pay my bills now? I’m sure many of you can relate.
I didn’t think I was feeling that stressed about my situation, but now that I think about it, I have been falling back on my old stand-by habits in an effort to cope. I have been eating more, drinking more, shopping more and watching too much tv. (Thank goodness I’m still exercising regularly).
Earlier that evening, I was watching the tv show, “Lie to Me.” I had only seen the show once before. This episode was about some guy taking hostages and pointing a gun at people and I thought to myself, I don’t want to see these kinds of images before I go to bed, so I turned the tv off. Too late. I think they had an influence on my psyche and sleep anyway.
When in doubt, read a book
The next day I grabbed the book, Sleep, by Dr. Carlos H. Schenck (Penguin Group 2007) off the shelf. Dr. Schenck is a senior staff psychiatrist at the Hennepin County Medical Center and Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center. I learned about him when he appeared on Oprah.
I flipped to Chapter 10, Sleep Terrors, The Night the Ghost Got Scared. The jury is still out though on whether or not I had an actual sleep terror episode because:
- I woke up with a scream;
- It happened in the first hour of sleep, during slow-wave, NREM sleep rather than toward the end of sleep during the REM cycle, like nightmares;
- My heartrate (tachycardia) and breathing (tachypnea) increased;
- I have been under stress which may have triggered a sleep terror episode;
- I vaguely remember hearing a thump-thump noise right before waking up which may have been just loud enough to jar me awake;
- I suspect this event will have happened in conjunction with the days leading up to my period (sorry about the TMI) which can be a contributing factor;
- I saw a ghost and/or a robber in the house which are common sleep-terror images.
- I do remember having had the experience which is not characteristic of sleep terrors;
- I recognized my surroundings (my cat for example);
- I did not experience super-human strength;
- I did not have the fight or flight response in the sense that I did not blindly try to attack anything, protect anything or try to escape;
- I do not have a history of sleepwalking which often goes hand in hand with sleep terrors;
- I did not drink any alcohol that evening which is often a variable in the mix;
- It could have been a nocturnal panic attack where there is memory of the event, increased heart rate and an awareness of surroundings but there are no screams or hallucinations.
Regardless of what you call it, a nightmare, a sleep terror, a nocturnal panic attack or a ghost sighting, I need to turn up the dial on my relaxation routine. For a start, I’m glad I went to my yoga class the next day because that really helps. I’m also going to stick to my regular sleep routine as best I can. I’m also going to try to practice some self-hypnosis, visualization and breathing techniques more regularly before bedtime but that’s a post for another day.
If you would like to get a copy of Sleep, please visit Amazon.com, your local bookstore or your library.
And if you’re having trouble relaxing, managing stress or sleeping, please contact me and tell me your situation. Maybe I can help because this is a interest of mine and I can relate.
by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa Sleep Concierge
Hi. My name is Maria and I am the owner of Homespunspa, a service that specializes in teaching people how to create their own home spa treatments to relax and improve the quality of their lives. My main focus is on stress management, self-care and sleep.
Homespunspa is a services that teaches recipes for sleep and beauty.
The concepts of sleep and relaxation have always interested me. As a child, I worried a lot and slept little and have spent my life looking for ways to calm my nerves and sleep through the night.
On my quest to relax, I’ve also learned that establishing a regular sleep pattern in your life is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself. Alternatively, the consequences of sleep deprivation can show up in your appearance, quality of life and relationships and be very ugly.
The worst bout of insomnia I had was back in 1996-1997 while I was living in downtown Toronto. I was house-sitting for some people for several months and somehow acquired a terrible mouse problem. It really grossed me out to the point where I was on red alert for any signs or sounds of mice throughout the night. I won’t go into the gory details because I don’t care to think about them. Let’s just say it was awful and I was running ragged. I would even go to work several hours early just to get out of the house.
So I can relate to anyone out there who is experiencing some problem with their sleep. And even though I’m writing this several years later and am living in a different province and I have a cat to protect me from anything rodent, I can still clearly remember the agony I went through during that time in my life.
But I guess everything happens for a reason and maybe, just maybe I had to experience that episode to plant the seeds for Homespunspa. And now I think I have the listening skills and the compassion to help people get through their own insomnia trials.
So, with that said, I am opening up a new category in my blog called, Dear Homespunspa. You can ask me any questions that you might have in regards to getting a better night’s sleep. Just like 5-star hotels have a sleep concierges on duty to help you find the perfect pillow, I can draw on my own (non-medical) expertise to get you back on track to sleeping through the night.
To ask me a question about sleeping, snoozing, slumbering, dozing, catching your zzz’s, or whatever you like to call it, you can contact me in several ways.
- Checking out the rest of my website is a good place to start at: http://www.homespunspa.com;
- You can also read through the archives of this blog for tips: http://www.homespunspa.com/blog/;
- You can leave a comment anywhere in the blog;
- You can buy a copy of my book, How to throw a home spa pajama party the Homespunspa Way ($24 CAD plus shipping) for unique, sweet-smelling home spa treatment recipes; and
- You can email me at homespunspa at shaw dot ca.
There’s no reason for you to toss and turn another night. You owe it to yourself to get some answers. Please contact me and maybe we can sort this out. I’m on Pacific Time.
Sweet dreams and sleep tight.