I’ve been really trying to focus on self care for the 2018 year. Most of 2017 was focusing on everyone else, which is fine and good…but not when you neglect yourself. I’ve started really trying to set intentions and manifest my goals and visions. At first the whole idea seemed silly to me. Like I had to plan my day? But, I realized that before I became a Mom I did that stuff all the time. Now, it was time to revisit and come back to that state of mind. So, here is how I set aside some time to make my days intentional, regardless of whether I’m on my way to work or lounging around for the weekend.
- I usually start my morning with a reading from “100 Days of Brave” and reflect on it in my Bullet Journal. It’s a nice way to begin the day reminding myself that whatever comes across my path, I have the tools to handle it. I usually do this right after I feed pupper Myles and set the coffee pot.
- I fill my diffusers with something good like Wild Orange essential oil. Wild Orange happens to be the oil of abundance, so I typically diffuse that during the morning in the living area while I write.
- Before Leo gets up I do a simple card pull with Gabby Bernstein’s deck from “The Universe has Your Back.” These cards are gorgeous.
Sourced from: healthcrush.com – an amazing place for personal development inspo…just FYI!
- On my drive into work I usually do a gratitude prayer of some sort before I even pull out of the driveway. I really tailor it to what I need each day. You can usually find me clutching Citrine while I do this!
And that’s it! I have really simplified my morning rituals so I have time to really focus on what I want for each day. Prayer, meditation, and writing shouldn’t be work…AND THAT, was my major lesson of 2017 (besides, you know…learning that babies don’t follow your schedule, you follow theirs.) Much love and major intentions for 2018. Let me know what you’re planning this year to stay connected!
I set a goal for myself to read 18 books in 2018. It’s not a terrible challenge to do because I read at work a lot, but I’m actually trying to branch out my genres and read more stuff with kick ass women which thankfully, I’m seeing a lot more of. Some of my recent reading has been fun, some has been informative or work based, and some is thrown in between naps and snacks. But, here are my February picks that I think everyone needs to get down with!
The Amulet series is straight fire! Emily is the protagonist who after suffering a terrible tragedy turns up the courage and takes care of business while learning her family are a part of a disappearing sect of people known as Stonekeepers. So, crystals? Mind powers? An awesome female lead? I’m done. The artwork is GORGEOUS and the storyline is on point. I could not stop reading this series. The only downside: the next installment doesn’t come until September of this year.
The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte is my second pick for this month. I really am working on honing in on my mindfulness and intention setting so this book is perfect for “setting goals with soul.” I actually loved the workbook in the back the best. The content itself was somewhat easy to apply to anyone and anything, so don’t expect something tailored just for you, but the workbook is where you put in the practices that make sense to you. I tried to read this all the way through and realized that was causing me grief, so I went to the contents and picked what spoke to me for that day. Read it how you want, but I HIGHLY suggest completing the writing prompts in the back to get the full experience and to actually complete what you set out to do. Side note: this book suggests setting goals based on how you’ll FEEL instead of what you’ll DO which is a refreshing change!
The Essential Life has been a godsend for me since journeying into the realm of essential oils and holistic health. Out of all of the books out there, this one is my absolute favorite. No dry textbook style of writing, gorgeous images, and lots of quick remedies and uses for all of the oils in your arsenal (and probably some you didn’t know you needed. Can I get an amen to that?
I started with a graphic novel with a kick ass lady character and I’m finishing with one. See how the universe is cyclical? Anya’s Ghost was HANDS DOWN one of my favorite books from this last month. Anya falls down a well and meets a ghost who latches on to her. What she doesn’t know is that the powers that be have other plans for her, and plans that might actually cause her demise once she thins the veil of the spirit world. Ghosts smoking cigarettes, cooking snacks, and the constant fear that you’re turning into your mother (and realizing that’s okay) dominate this snarky quick read!
So far I’ve read 7 of my 18 books for the year and am feeling fine! Hopefully I’ll keep this trend going strong!
I swear basic runs in my blood, but I don’t even care. I am obsessed with everything Rose Gold. It’s not pink, but it’s not white, and it’s not brown. It’s not even gold! It’s just gorgeous and matches virtually everything within my black and grey wardrobe. Remember when Disney went viral because they had Rose Gold ears? You better believe I got a pair for myself!
Aren’t they gorgeous? We won’t be going back to Disney until Leo is at least 5 years old, but I’ll be saving them and wearing them around my home like a nerd for the next few years, that’s for sure. But, I digress!
Rose Gold looks amazing on everyone. I find it hard to rock pastels without looking washed out with my tan skin and dark hair. Worried about rocking something a little lighter? Do it like I do: accessories. This rose gold bangle (which I have) and water bottle make it easy to jump on the trend without gold-washing your entire wardrobe. Even a pendant (extra points if it’s a crystal) makes a cute statement without being extra. 🙂
This year I’m making an effort to write down ideas ASAP so I can stay organized and inspired. I snagged some adorable rose gold notebooks and pens that match my personal style and fit easily into a small bag or back pocket. I’m totally set for a work from home dream session or a meeting after work.
Finally, 2018 was the year I started to be more intentional with my crystals and prayer in general after taking a break when Leo was born. Rose Quartz is perfect for channeling my creative energy and honing on on self love which is a practice we can all stand do do more of! Until next time…get those rose colored glasses on, ya’ll!
Welcome to 10 Happy Things: the monthly feature on my blog where I get to think about all of the amazing things that happened to me this month. Right now, I’ve been feeling some stress, so taking these tiny blessings into consideration helps me with my own mindfulness and to move out of the “blocks” that we all focus on from time to time.
- Leo started walking! Technically his first steps were on December 30, but this month it’s been all about how he can get from point A to point B as quickly as possible. I love watching him toddle about.
- Regular pants are comfy and they’re a single digit size. Yes, this matters to me.
- My husband built a plywood boxspring for Leo’s full size bed so no paying thousands of dollars!
- Last weekend it was WARM, like 50 degrees which in JANUARY?? That’s pretty awesome!
- I got to reorganize my desk & declutter some old clothes, makeup, pens, and notebooks I no longer had use for.
- I have a builder for my doTERRA team and a potential second builder! Looking for number 3 (is it you??)
- Work is staying at work most days and this was extremely hard for me to practice.
- My son age our homemade veggie burgers and loved them!
- “Stranger Things” Season Two has finally made it into my life.
- I actually made a business call after bedtime without waking the babes.
What are you happy about this month? Week? Day? Share it with me!
I’ve been really thinking about mindfulness and self care as my two major goals for the new year. That means a few things for me: putting down the phone, being more present, trying to stress less, and to write every day. Work has been stressful, and I’m really trying to focus my mind and leave work at work. It’s not as easy as I thought it would be (since who really only has ONE job nowadays? Side hustles are what millennial basically do, right?) But, I’m finding that amidst all the noise from momming, wifing, teaching, and writing I can use some tools to help me get where I need to be.
- A blank journal – oh MAN! Yeah, ok, I spend money on notebooks like I’ve got money to spend. But this one was a gift. Keith got it for me when I was three weeks postpartum and having some serious baby blues. I almost threw it at him. I resented that I had just pushed a baby out of my body and he got me a JOURNAL? Fast forward to over a year later? I picked up this journal and felt…something. So, it’s mine now! I’ve been bullet journaling my side projects, meditations, and writing prompts.
- 100 Days of Brave by Annie F. Downs – I needed some prompting with my writing, and now that I’m 23 days in I’m actually looking forward to reading her devotions and reflections on them briefly. This is a God-based book, but it’s not a weird preachy type book. It offers some readings, thoughts, and a good sense of humor. Annie F. Downs is just as neurotic as I am and I’m digging that about her.
- Gabby Bernstein “The Universe Has Got Your Back Deck” – I’m such a weird worshipper and I don’t really care. I love Jesus and God and the Universe as a whole. That’s what feels great to me, which is why I’m obsessed with Gabby B’s cards! I love her books and have used them many times in the past, but her deck of cards gives me a positive affirmation each morning before work. I usually pair it with some type of oil blend on my temples (a citrus usually does the trick.)
- Practice You by Elena Brower – This journal is so exciting to me! My bullet journal is really something for my daily STUFF. This journal is all about ME, so after a year I’ll basically have written a book about myself. The art is gorgeous and the vibe peaceful. Elena Brower is also the mind behind the doTERRA Yoga Collection which is pure magic.
- Crystals – Last up? My “rocks” as Keith calls them. I’ve been really into my saints and my crystals lately. I keep a Green Calcite in my work bag to ward off negative energy with my Saint Theresa medal and calming crystals like Celestite in my bedroom for pleasant dreams. I also keep Leo’s stone, Topaz, close by alone with Citrine, and a few more!
MINDFULNESS IS SO IN! I am OBSESSED with the fact that self care is no longer selfish. I’m going to be prioritizing it this year so I can be the best for my fam. How about you?
Any good practice has to become a habit and a routine. Working out, eating well, and of course for me using my essential oils. You’re a normal person you say? Yeah, me too, on Mondays. Seriously though, using essential oils on the daily doesn’t have to be super dramatic. In the beginning I was confused: how the heck do I use these things? But after three years of regular use here’s how I use them in my every day life.
First you need some stuff: essential oils (obviously), a diffuser, and a carrier oil. Carrier oil is SO IMPORTANT. Regardless of the brand, mine is doTERRA, you must dilute, dilute, dilute. I use Fractionated Coconut Oil or Jojoba. Even Olive Oil is a great carrier oil. Diluting oils makes them safe for use on babes, dogs, and your friends and family and helps them absorb better while saving you some cash! Don’t use oils neat on the body. Just don’t! /endrant. Now…on to the routine!
Morning: We start our day anywhere between 4-6 a.m. We are up early as Keith and I have to be at work by 7-7:30. Every day we:
- Roll On Guard protective blend on our feet for immune support.
- Roll Lemon and Frankincense on Leo’s feet for immune support (check out my recipe post for littles).
- Wild Orange in the diffuser for about an hour to wake up the house and get us energized: 2-3 drops.
- Balance Grounding Blend or my Mood Support blend on wrists and over heart before leaving for work (Frankincense, Console Blend, Wild Orange).
Throughout the day or depending on what the fam needs I use:
- On Guard in the diffuser for an hour when I get home to clear nasties out of the air.
- Lavender or Lime in the laundry on wool dryer balls.
- Leo’s teething blend if he needs pain relief or tummy blend if needed!
- Serenity Restful blend in the diffuser for our nap times.
We all go to bed pretty early, so we make sure to have a solid relaxation routine in place. At night:
- Leo gets his lullaby blend & immune blend from the morning in the diffuser for an hour and rolled on his feet.
- Keith and I roll Vetiver and Serenity on our feet and on the back of our neck.
- Diffuser pumps 2-3 drops of Serenity or Copaiba if we need respiratory support without eucalyptus!
For cleaning I use the following on the daily: 10 drops On Guard in a spray bottle with 1c. white vinegar, Lemon Oil to remove grease or other crud from electronics or counters.
Overall? Getting into the swing of using them is easy and can be fun. I love making my own blends and recipes for my family’s needs. What recipes or blends would you like to see more of?
The hours of 4-6 a.m. have become mine. It started when I went back to work last February. Leo was 3 months old (thanks, U.S.A.), and I was exhausted. Breastfeeding and bedsharing gave me some sleep, but I was missing myself. I wasn’t writing, I wasn’t meditating. Then, when I returned to work I started pumping and the hours of 4-6 became mine.
I was determined (and succeeded) in Leo having exclusive breastmilk once we were home from the hospital which means adding in pumping sessions. I’d sit with my coffee and my pump and wait for “my time” to be up. I hated it at first. Then Keith said, “why not make the time yours too? Blog, eat, have coffee.” I just had to be ready to “Mom” by 6am so Keith could go to work. And thus, the early morning became the hours in which I found myself again
Finding yourself as a Mom is hard. I was starting to feel lost. Yoga took a back seat, workouts weren’t happening, I couldn’t even read a book because I was exhausted. I was never resentful, but I was upset. I wanted to be able to balance it all like the magazines said and like other bloggers made it seem: easy. It’s not, and that’s okay.
So, I started owning that time. It wasn’t easy. I was attached to a pump while my baby and husband slept soundly in bed. But then my body got used to it. And then, I stopped pumping at 13 months and nurse directly–so that was one less thing to deal with. I ate breakfast without someone grabbing at me. I soaked up the silence of a dark house. It was cozy, even in the summer.
I started journaling again. I started blogging! I started replying to e-mails and accepting projects. I shaved my legs and took my time in the shower! Something magical happened between the hours of 4-6am and it was where I found myself again.
Everyone says after the kids go to bed is when you should have “your time.” But that wasn’t working for me or my family, so we flipped it and reversed it. Before everyone wakes up it’s my domain and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Whether you’re a Mom or not: how do you make sure you prioritize your self care? It’s something I’ll be working on in 2018 for sure! Let’s try it out together!
Before you say to me “I don’t get snow days…” STOP! Snow days can be any day you’re stuck home. If you live in the North East like I do, that tends to happen more often than not. I used to hate snow days when I lived home. I wanted to see my friends, go to school, and not be stuck with my parents. Now? I’ll take any excuse to stay in my PJ’s, get things done, and hang out with my baby boy and pup. Looking for something productive to do with your time? Here’s what I love doing on my snow days!
- Try a new recipe! When I’m stuck home, I get this weird innate desire to cook. Yeah, me, cook. I know it’s funny. I hate cooking under normal circumstances. But, a snow day gets me inspired to cook something that has a feel good stick to your ribs vibe. I’ve also been known to make a loaf of bread upon the first snow fall. My next crockpot adventure? This delicious and amazing risotto that claims to be easy, cheesy, and all around heavenly. Find a recipe that makes enough for leftovers for the week and lunches are also taken care of. Done, and done!
- Clean out your closet! Anytime I’m stuck inside I get the urge to purge. FORGET about your regular cleaning routine. You can cram that in any other day like you normally do. Or, forget about it and ignore what’s happening in the bathroom. Today is for productive cleaning and downsizing. Take anything out of your closet that you haven’t touched in a year. Donate it. Get it out of the house. Do the same thing for your kid’s room. Toys they haven’t played with? Gone! When you go back to work, drop it off at a donation center and feel ten times lighter!
- Smudge the house: This is something that is productive for ME, so do with it what you will. My house gets heavy sometimes. My husband and I both work, my Mom is here with Leo, and we have company often. So, a lot of energy gets passed through the doors. Sometimes it gets “stuck” and that can change the entire vibe of the home. Grab some white sage, light it, and go through the corners and rooms of your home. I focus on places that hold a lot of electronics in the home as well while saying something positive like, “I release any stagnant energy and welcome fresh light.” Do what speaks to you!
- Grocery Shop: New online places for groceries are popping up all. the. time. I’m obsessed with Amazon Fresh! Their produce is awesome and it’s delivered by USPS. You pick the time and leave the bags on your porch for your mail carrier to pick up. Less waste, less plastic, and no lines.
- Take a Nap: I am my best self when I am well rested. I nap with Leo when I feel like I need it. Have a bunch of kids? My friend builds a giant fort in the living room teepee style and they all nap or rest in it. I don’t care what anyone says; you’re never too old for a nap.
I’m so excited to start this feature on Bliss and Blessings! I think it’ll give me a chance to stay mindful, grateful, and on point with within my own inner reflection. I’ve seen other bloggers do this and loved it; now I’m adding to the circle of gratitude and happiness. Let’s keep it going!
- Seeing Leo enjoy holiday happenings like baking cookies. Watching him explore cookie dough with my Mom has been so fun!
- Sharing my love for essential oils with others and helping people become more mindfully considering their health and wellness.
- Snow falling: this year I’m actually enjoying it!
- Moana – I was a little late to the party, but listening to this soundtrack gets me pumped for the day!
- Graphic novels, more specifically the Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi. I never thought I’d be so hooked, but these are a great escape from the world!
- Organizing and purging from my closet and clearing clutter from some otherwise ah-hem, crowded storage spaces in our home.
- Enjoying some time with Keith after Leo goes to bed.
- Co-sleeping for the rest of the night: let’s face it, he’s not going to want to snuggle with Mom forever!
- Blogging–it’s good to be back!
- A new year approaching–some side projects and other good vibes are at the forefront. I’m stoked!
I am no stranger to feeling like a hot mess 97% of the time. I’ve gone back and forth with planners, apps, and journals. I love writing things down, but I also have to manage my kid, husband, and dog’s schedules as well. I’m rarely in my office at my home except for a few minutes here or there to churn out a blog post. So, a pretty planner with washi and stickers? Awesome, except I never look at it again…nor do I have the time for that! I’ve been going back and forth between systems for a year now and finally figured out a system that works. Here’s what I do:
- Fantastical 2 for iPhone – This app is $4.99 but WORTH. EVERY. PENNY. It combines your default Calendar app with Reminders in a gorgeous and simple layout. I use this app for daily reminders, gifts I need to by, bills to be paid, and other engagements. I color code for each person in the fam. Weekly, monthly, and daily layouts are at your fingertips for less scrolling drama. I WANT to be a planner girl. I really do. I WAS a planner girl with my 365 & Erin Condren, until spending upwards of $50.00 on a giant planner became a burden & until I had a kid and stopped sitting for more than 5 minutes at a time.
- Bullet Journaling – I’m not totally paper free. But, I can’t have sticky notes all over the place and I still need somewhere for my blog todo’s, ideas, inspiration, and other business ventures. I run my doTERRA business and my husband and I also have side projects. Enter the wonderful world of the bullet journal. It’s quick, easy, and I’ve modified mine to be a little less artsy. I love bullet journaling because there isn’t a hard and fast format and you can make it as elaborate or as simple (YAS) as you want! I used Mikaela Hunt‘s as a model:
- Dry Erase Community Board: Ok, so only two of us know how to write in this house. BUT! One day Leo will, so we have a community board on our fridge that shows a monthly spread and meals. We love this style (this model is from Home Depot), but you can get one just as cheap at Target (less than 20.00!).
Are you a die hard planner? More of just a fly by the seat of your pants person? If so, you’ll probably outlive my high-strung self, haha! Happy planning!