Monday, November 9, 2015

Why I'm taking Pure Encapsulations Vitamins @PureEncapsulations

  This post has been sponsored by Pure Encapsulations through Collectively. All opinions are my own and are honest.

With so many vitamin and supplement brands around, it is hard to choose which one is best for yourself and for your family.  When you’re dealing with someone with an allergy or other ailment, choosing the perfect supplement can be even harder, or is it?  Lately, I’ve been using a few of the Pure Encapsulations brand of vitamins, which are hypoallergenic and do not contain any hidden fillers or coatings like some other vitamin brands.  They’re clean, organic, and free of: preservatives, gluten, color, and GMO’s.  

Pure Encapsulations vitamins are already sounding like an excellent choice, right? But, do you need to incorporate vitamins into your nutritional regimen? Keep reading.

Vitamin supplementation isn’t for everyone, in fact, there are Dietary Guidelines that recommend specific vitamins for people in various groups or stages of life:
  • Adults over 50 are advised to consider a vitamin B-12 supplement or adding foods fortified with vitamin B-12 to their diet.
  • Seniors and older adults, people with darker skin, and people who get less than 15 minutes of sunlight daily should consider a vitamin D supplement or adding foods fortified with vitamin D to their diet.
  • Women who are planning to have children soon, or who are currently pregnant, are advised to supplement their diet with folic acid, which helps prevent birth defects.
 I, as told by my doctor, needed to incorporate more Vitamin D into my diet, which is why I’ve been using the Pure Encapsulations Vitamin D. I work indoors in an office without windows, and I hardly ever get to venture outside because I get that busy. Plus, the weather is changing, which mean less daylight hours leading to a decrease in sun exposure, which can help increase Vitamin D levels.  Just adding one drop of this clear, tasteless liquid to a drink, smoothie or even yogurt provides the Vitamin D that I need.

Also, since we’re not done having children, it’s important to make sure my body is prepared for conception and pregnancy when the time comes.  There are specific vitamins that help with that.

The Pure Encapsulations O.N.E. Multivitamin contains a slew of vitamins needed when trying to conceive:
  1. Zinc – for ovulation and fertility.
  2. Folic acid – to prevent neural tube defects, which can develop during the first few weeks of pregnancy.  The American Pregnancy Association recommends that all women of childbearing age consume about 400 micrograms of folic acid a day.
  3. Coenzyme Q10 – is great for female and male fertility. There is also evidence that CoQ10 can increase sperm count. According to the Mayo Clinic, CoQ10 is produced by the body and is necessary for the basic functioning of cells. For adults, the recommended daily dosage is 30 - 200 mg in divided doses throughout the day.
  4. Iron - Women’s recommended iron intake is 18 mg a day, but pregnant women need around 27 mg daily. Iron is used to make hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying component of red blood cells. If your body doesn’t have enough iron, your body’s tissues and organs won’t get the oxygen they need to function properly.

O.N.E. Omega 3  - Omega 3's are linked to embryo quality, making it perfect for those going through IVF treatments.

Vitamin B12 - shown to improve sperm quality and production, and may help to boost the endometrium lining in egg fertilization, decreasing the chances of miscarriage. Some studies have found that a deficiency of B12 may increase the chances of irregular ovulation, and in severe cases stop ovulation altogether. The Pure Encapsulations Vitamin B12 contains the methyl form of B12, the bioavailable form our body can metabolize better than a synthetic version.

Remember to always check with your doctor or a registered dietitian about which, if any, vitamin or mineral supplements might be right for you. And remember that while there are circumstances when it may be appropriate to take vitamin/mineral supplements, they are not a replacement for a healthful diet.

Read more about Pure Encapsulations and the many vitamins they offer on their website

This post has been sponsored by Pure Encapsulations through Collectively. All opinions are my own and are honest.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Hotel Review: Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri Residences Abu Dhabi

The Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri Residences, a 21-acre luxury complex situated between the between the Souk (mall/market) and Traders Hotel in Abu Dhabi, is where my husband, daughter and I spent four nights and three days during our visit to the United Arab Emirates.

After a long day of touring Dubai, we drove nearly two hours to Abu Dhabi, arriving around midnight at the Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri Hotel, which was the wrong place for us to check-in since we were staying at the Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri Residences.  The hotel staff was accommodating, however, and had us (and our luggage) driven over to the Al Hur block, which is where we’d officially check into our studio apartment, room 1033, located in the Al Jeer complex.

For our family of three, the studio apartment was perfect.  Honestly, when we walked in we were surprised at how large and beautiful it was.  And not to mention how immaculate was the room. The grounds were just as beautiful with its lush gardens, pools, waterways, and the views of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque as it glowed in the night. Amazing!
Private Beach

Our studio apartment was located on the lower level with a view of the garden and pools.  This location was convenient for us, and any family with small children since we didn’t have to worry about stairs or an elevator with our child, and stroller, and who knows what else.

The studio at the Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri Residences was equipped with a full kitchen, living room, king bed, and a pretty decent-sized bathroom.  The kitchen –I know other travelling parents can relate – was the best feature since it allowed us to cook at times, or re-heat food without calling on room service.  We enjoyed eating our home cooked breakfast as a family sitting at the granite kitchen counter.   Plus, our daughter, no matter what must have warm strawberry milk when she wakes up in the mornings, and being able to accommodate her needs without any mishaps made our lives a lot less stressful.

Talking about making our lives less stressful, the Shangri-La complex has its very own Souk, a traditional Arabian market built in a modern setting offers a variety of shops and restaurants under one roof. There we shopped at the supermarket, picked up Kinder Surprise Eggs, got lattes from Starbucks, and picked up some fragrances from Khaltat Blends of Love.  The Souk was about a 5-minute (or less) walk from our complex; however, hotel staff ‘s available to drive you there in one of the hotel’s club cars. It’s free, and just one call away. There were times I was seen walking the complex, and hotel staff member would stop and insist on driving me to my destination.

Even though we didn’t stay at the main hotel, the Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri Residences are still catered to by the Shangri-La Hotel staff.  Our room was serviced daily, our rooms were cleaned, the dishes were washed and counters were cleaned, linens were changed, fresh fruits and bottles of water were also provided daily.  In the evenings we had turndown service that included the turning down of our bed linens, placing our slippers at each side of the bed, and having a glass and bottled water placed on the nightstand.

Usually, when booking a hotel room, especially when I travel with our child, I make sure the room has a tub in which to bathe her. The Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri Residences studio where we stayed only had a shower stall. Guess what? It didn’t matter. At this hotel, and during this trip, our daughter took her first shower, which continued throughout the trip.  Boy did she love taking them. She sang and danced, and at times, she didn’t want to get out.

Overall, we enjoyed our stay at the #2-rated family hotel in Abu Dhabi, the Shangri-La Hotel Qaryat Al Beri.  The Residences include 161 spacious serviced apartments ranging from studios to four-bedroom units. It’s the perfect place for families with small children looking for convenience and the comforts of home, all while enjoying living in luxury, even if it’s just for a little while. Whether as a family or on a romantic getaway my husband and I plan on making a return visit to this hotel.
As a matter of fact, the Shangri-La Hotel is also the #2 Romantic Hotel in Abu Dhabi so you may want to consider it for your next trip to Abu Dhabi.

The average nightly rate at the Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri Residences is $267 USD.

Benefits and Services offered at the Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri Residences
  • Housekeeping services
  • Use of the fitness center and four (4) pools
  • Restaurant signing privileges
  • Private parking 
  • Easy access to the Souk
  • Concierge services
  • Security surveillance
  • Room service
  • Free Wi-fi
  • Abras (water taxi) station for ease of access around the complex

Connect with the Shangri-La Hotel on social media

Keep up with Beauty and the Bump while we travel on Instagram, Twitter #BATBTravels

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Hotel Review: JA Ocean View Hotel Dubai

The first half of our trip was spent in the United Arab Emirate of Dubai.  Since our daughter was longing for a beach vacation, I opted for the JA Ocean View Hotel perfectly located next to the beach on The Walk, Jumeirah Beach – the city’s famous seaside promenade. Plus, it was close to the Dubai Mall, and the World’s tallest building – the Burj Khalifa.

The JA Ocean View Hotel is a 25-floor, 4-star hotel with 342 rooms and suites all with balconies offering you sweeping views of the beautiful, and bustling Jumeirah Beach and promenade.  All rooms are also equipped with free wifi.  Upon entering the hotel for check-in, all of the staff was courteous and friendly.  The hotel was immaculately clean.  The d├ęcor was simple, yet elegant – white with hints of silver and turquoise to mimic its oceanic surroundings.

Our room, room 2411, was situated at the far right end of the 24th floor.   A large dark wood door opened up into a spacious room that included a comfy King bed, full-sized bath, large wardrobe, mini fridge, and floor-to-ceiling sliders that opened up to the balcony.

The balcony was one of our favorite parts of the room.  It offered views of the beach and promenade, the Jumeirah Palm, as well as the hotel grounds below including the temperature-controlled swimming pool deck that faces the Arabian Gulf.  Best of all, the balconies are super private. Our neighbors next door, above or below couldn’t see us nor could we see them. That’s a plus for couples traveling. .:wink wink:.  But, we were traveling as a family this time around.

When traveling with small children, two things are important, having a refrigerator and a bathtub.  The JA Ocean View Hotel had both. The bathroom, in fact, was beautiful and clean, and was stocked with Elemis Spa products. It had a large deep tub that also doubled as a shower. There was a vanity large enough for both my husband and I to comfortably use simultaneously.  

Of course, there was a toilet, and bidet.  There was also another apparatus to the right side of the toilet, akin to a showerhead that caught our attention.  Let me tell you, after using that thing, my husband and I are both planning on including one of those bad boys in our bathroom once we have it renovated.

With our reservation came free breakfast. The two days we stayed at the JA Ocean View Hotel we enjoyed the food served. There was an omelet and pancake station along with pre-made buffet items: turkey bacon, sausage, fruits, yogurt, dry cereal, and more.  Best of all, the location of the breakfast was on our floor, which made it easy for us to maneuver back and forth between our room with our temperamental four year old. 

The JA Ocean View Hotel does offer room service, which we took advantage of on two occasions.  Both times it was to order warm milk for our daughter. In this instance, the term "warm" meant piping hot. Imagine dealing with a cranky toddler crying for milk they can't drink. Oh and room service is slooow! We didn't complain, but if you're looking for something quick, I suggest venturing outside to one of the many restaurants in the area, and there’s a Boots pharmacy nearby as well.

The JA Ocean View Hotel has a spa onsite: Calm Spa and Salon (read review here).  Their health club has modern fitness equipment, a sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi. On our last day of our stay, my husband surprised me with a one-hour aromatherapy massage session at the spa while he tended to our daughter. It was a much-needed thoughtful gesture that helped end my stay at the hotel on a good note.

Overall, we enjoyed our stay at the JA Ocean View Hotel.  If you’re looking for a luxury hotel, that’s clean, beautiful with friendly staff to match, and has beach and sea views I’d suggest checking out the JA Ocean View. That is, of course, if you don’t mind being in the middle of all of the hustle and bustle of life in Dubai.

The Walk, Al Mamsha Street, 27 
Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Beach Residence, 
Dubai 26500, United Arab Emirates

Get Social with JA Ocean View Hotel