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I tried Meghan Markle's favorite stretch mark oil (and it's under $40)

The end of my twin pregnancy is around the corner and my skin is being put to the test. I previously shared all the products I use to keep my belly moisturized and (hopefully) stretch mark-free, but I've come across a new oil that happens to be one of Meghan Markle's favorite products from her pregnancy. So of course I had to test it out. I may not be royalty (or former royalty) but my skin deserves the best of the best.

Here's proof that at 35 weeks pregnant—but measuring more like 45 weeks—I'm keeping my belly glowing like a full moon, or so I like to think.


The stretch mark oil is made by Avishi Organics, a company that focuses on ayuverdic therapeutic skin care treatments. Their products are the culmination of years of research and are all made with certified organic ingredients that leave skin radiant and glowing. All of their products are pregnancy and baby safe, which was a key thing for me before I set out to test them.

Here is what I thought of it:

Intensive stretch mark oil

Avishi Organics Intensive Stretch Mark Oil

Compared to other stretch mark oils I've used in the past, this one has a much stronger scent. I thought that was going to put me off, but it's so good I find myself rubbing the leftovers on my hands and sniffing them throughout the day. The oil absorbs super fast and doesn't stain clothes. So far I've been applying once a day, however it's recommended to apply twice daily for 8-12 weeks to help existing stretch marks fade faster, which I'm planning to do when the inevitable happens.

So is it worth it? My skin has been super soft and moisturized since I started applying it regularly. I've also noticed my belly is less itchy than it was a week ago, which I take is all the nourishing products in the oil working their magic on my skin. The bottle is only 4 ounces, which makes the price a bit steep, but I've only needed two pumps of it to cover my entire belly so far, so I think the small bottle will go a long way.

Because I've seen changes in my skin already and also because the smell of it has turned into a pleasant surprise, I highly recommend this to other pregnant people with itchy and tight skin.

$38.50

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If you're already feeling a bit of cabin fever, it's time to get outside for some fresh air, mama. Whether you've planned your days around homeschooling activities or have decided on taking a more laid-back approach, there's always one thing that everyone in the family can agree on: playing outside!

From playhouses to tree swings, we've found 12 of the best outdoor toys to keep your little ones busy in the backyard during the coronavirus pandemic.

1. Gardening tools

kids gardening tools

Even the smallest of gardeners need the right tools to get the job done! These wooden + metal gardening tools look (and work) just like the real thing, and are crafted from natural materials and without toxic paints or finishes. Your little one will love getting their hands dirty while also developing their motor skills.

$27.99

2. Sidewalk chalk

kids washable chalk bucket

Get the kids outside to create sidewalk drawings (and positive messages for neighbors!). This giant bucket is filled with 50 washable chalk sticks, providing hours of outdoor fun.

$11.92

3. Water beads

kids water beads

Simply put, water beads are just so much fun! These smooth, squishy beads create an awesome tactile experience and are prefect for sensory play in a water table or any type of small container. You can even use them to practice color recognition, sorting, counting and so much more.

$10.99

4. Picnic + sensory table

picnic and sensory kids table

Sensory tables are a staple in any preschool classroom—and can be in your own home, too. They're perfect for stimulating your little one's senses and facilitating play, creativity and exploration. This beautiful table has a built-in sandpit that can hold up to 50 lbs of play sand or nearly 3 gallons of water. Plus, it doubles as a place to paint, color or draw.

$116.99

5. Web swing

kids outdoor web swing

This swing will take you back to simpler times and long, warm summer days spent swinging outside. With more than 1,000 great reviews, this is a bestseller for a reason. It holds up to 600 lbs so multiple kids can hop on (even parents can join in!), and the tree straps are built to be durable.

$69.99

6. Pool

mini inflatable pool

There's really not much to say here other than WE COULD NOT BE MORE OBSESSED WITH THIS POOL! Measuring 5.5 feet wide and 1.5 feet tall, it's big enough for you and the kiddos (ummm or just you?) to stay cool. And have we mentioned all the fun designs? Swoon. 😍

$45

7. Scooter

kids radio flyer scooter

Whether you're zipping through city streets or riding up and down your suburban driveway, a good scooter is a must have for outdoor fun. It's a great way for little ones to improve their balance and coordination while also having a blast!

$22.88

8. Sprinkler

kids giant sprinkler

Nothing says summer like a giant inflatable cactus sprinkler in your backyard 🤣 This playful sprinkler stands almost 6 feet high and is the perfect way for kids to cool off during those hot days. (Shh, we won't tell if you want to join in on the fun, too!)

$58.99

9. Jumper

kids junior jumper

If you're looking for a jumping toy but don't want a full trampoline, this jumper is the perfect solution. It's super bouncy, super safe and really fun! This one is sized perfectly for smaller jumpers, and can handle multiple kiddos at once.

$169.95

10. Wheelbarrow

Radio Flyer kids wheelbarrow

If your kids are going to play outside, they might as well pitch in with the yard work 🤷🏽♀️. This classic wheelbarrow looks just like the real thing—just a lot smaller! Little ones will love filling it up, pushing it around, dumping it out, and then doing it alllll over again and again.

$39.99

11. Oceanbound tide pool set

For the littlest ones, it's easy to keep it simple. Take their bath toys and use them in a new way outside. With this tide pool set, there are so many opportunities for fun sensory play, whether it's in a sandbox, a rice sensory bin or just good old fashioned dirt. We especially love that these toys are made from 100% recycled plastic and that they come in their own adorable storage bag that can also be used for play.

$19.99

12. Wooden playhouse

Kids playhouse

This one is spendy for sure, but a sturdy, beautiful playhouse is an investment that will pay off in years of imaginative play for everyone from young toddlers to school-aged kiddos. This one is large enough for several children yet compact enough to work in even tiny backyard spaces. It's made from 100% cedar wood and features several large built-in windows, flower boxes, a working door + doorbell, and even a chalkboard.

$289

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If you had to only choose one product to toss in your bag, what would it be? Our guess is you're looking for something that's easy-to-use, affordable, clean and multi-tasks for you—something that'll simplify your routine because you have other things to worry about than what beauty product to grab (like making that Zoom meeting in time while you're working from home).

Enter: Arrow Beauty—a clean beauty brand created by Birchbox with products designed to save you time.

I had the chance to try out the entire product line and, let's just say I've made sure to toss one everywhere—in my bag, on my desk, in the bathroom. And during this pandemic, it's made getting ready (okay, looking presentable for video calls) in the mornings so much simpler.

Each product is created to be something you grab and go when you're in a rush. Everything is free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates and mineral oil, vegan and cruelty-free so you can still give your littles all the snuggles and kisses without stressing about transferring any bad ingredients over. And, they're designed to travel well. Birchbox made sure Arrow Beauty featured leak-proof and carry-on friendly items. Did we mention everything is under $25?

Here's what is in their first launch:

Nourishing lip oil

birchbox arrow lip oil

This one might be my favorite from the collection. A lip oil that leaves a high-shine finish that isn't sticky (!!!) and keeps your lips moisturized for hours. It comes in clear, perfect to top off your favorite shade, or color enhancing pink that reacts to the pH level of your skin, making a unique shade for you.

$16

Radiant skin moisturizer

birchbox arrow skin moisturizer

Have no time in the morning? Massage this into your skin for the ultimate pick-me-up. It has a subtle sheen that illuminates and nourishing ingredients—hyaluronic acid and aloe—that hydrates and gives you a glow.

$24

Color enhancing lip balm

birchbox arrow lip balm

The Birchbox team listened to customer feedback to reformulate their OG tinted balm and it's *so* good. There are three shades—berry, coral and blush—that look incredible on all skin tones because it reacts to the pH in your skin to enhance your natural color. Even better? It's buildable!

$15

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This is the #yearofthemother.

And this is the pregnancy book women deserve, from the experts at Motherly.

This is an unprecedented time to embark on the journey of motherhood. You are part of a new generation of women elevating empowerment in all its forms.

Whether this is your first baby or your fourth, whether you're still deciding about pregnancy or already have a baby on the way, becoming mama involves your body, mind, emotions, lifestyle, relationships, schedule, spirituality, worldview—and most of all, your heart.

The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama celebrates the wonder of your new baby and honors you through this profound life transformation.Inclusive, holistic, and evidence-based, this book was made for you—a loving and supportive embrace of your unique motherhood journey in all its power, complexity and beauty.

Peek inside here!

the_motherly_guide


Praise for The Motherly Guide

"Mothers around the world deserve the guidance that this book offers: unconditional support and access to expert-backed, non-judgmental information. This book is the first of its kind to support the whole woman through the whole journey from getting pregnant, to birth, postpartum, and beyond. The maternal wellness revolution has arrived." —Christy Turlington Burns, founder, Every Mother Counts

"Motherly is leading the conversation about how pregnancy, birth, and postpartum transforms a woman's world―and The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama is their greatest contribution yet. Women deserve all the support as their bodies, minds, and lives transform, and this book delivers it with so much heart."—Katrina Scott, cofounder, Tone It Up

"The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama is like having an entire birth team on your nightstand...it offers grace, empowerment, and support for however and wherever you find yourself on the becoming mama journey."—Anthonia Akitunde, founder and editor-in-chief, mater mea

"THE essential guide to pregnancy and birth has finally arrived. The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama is the only book you need to get you through this adventure. It's woman-centered, warm, and informative . . . it's the book I wish I would've had, and the one I'm so excited for you to have."—Natalie Gordon, founder and CEO of Babylist

"This epic book is a cross between an encyclopedia and a wise aunt. In this thorough and comprehensive resource, the Motherly team offers equal doses of wisdom, love, and cold hard facts so that each new mother can develop the confidence that she desperately needs on her pregnancy and motherhood journey. A soulful and dependable guide for all women."—Kimberly Ann Johnson, author of The Fourth Trimester

Pre-order your copy ofThe Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama, and join us as we redefine motherhood, together.

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic effect on so many people's lives, and mamas everywhere are feeling it especially hard. The outbreak has been an especially scary time for pregnant women who worry about getting the support they need during this already challenging time.

At Motherly, nothing is more important to us than helping mamas everywhere feel supported and empowered from the very beginning of their motherhood journey. That's why we took two major steps toward helping pregnant women everywhere feel more confident right now:

First, we wrote the pregnancy + birth book you deserve.

The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama provides evidence-based, women-centered support for every stage of your journey, from trying to conceive to caring for your sweet new baby.


We wrote The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama to ensure that every person has access to high-quality, nurturing pregnancy and birth guidance. It is the pregnancy book you deserve. And we would be honored if you would consider pre-ordering it now.

You can pre-order The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama at your favorite retailer, and it will be on its way to you when it releases on April 14th:

During this difficult time, please consider ordering from Barnes and Noble or an independent bookstore as they are greatly impacted by COVID-19. (Also, please note delivery times from various outlets may vary or be delayed due to the virus.)

Second, we're making our Becoming Mama™ Online Birth Class absolutely free.

For the thousands of women who are unable to attend their birth class due to the virus, our class, taught by Diana Spalding, Motherly's Digital Education Editor, certified nurse-midwife, and writer of The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama, is the nurturing, empowering resource you need to have your best, most supported birth no matter what.


This class will prepare you for your birth, while the book is about the entire journey—from trying to conceive, to pregnancy wellness, birth, postpartum and caring for your sweet new baby.

More than 7000 women have joined Motherly's FREE online birth class

Pregnancy and birth are some of the biggest moments of life—it can feel like an emotional roller coaster. Going through this process during a transformative world event—a pandemic—can make it feel so daunting. We want you to know that we are here for you.

You deserve to experience pregnancy, birth and motherhood with confidence and joy—and we are honored to be on this journey with you.

As founder of mater mea, Anthonia Akitunde said, The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama "is like having a whole birth team on your nightstand."Because you deserve to experience it all with confidence and joy—and we are honored to be on this journey with you.


To sign up for our free online class, please fill out this info, and we'll email you access to the class (within 24 hours) and sign you up for our newsletter.


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