Yeah, I’m Stressed Out…

Work, have a side hustle, drink water, look good, do all the things and be happy while doing them. Oh, and don’t forget to practice self care regularly while also making sure that your partner feels valued and wanted. If you’re also fulfilling the role of a student you should probably have really good grades too, while pursuing some type of artsy passion. And, if you’re a Mama? Make sure that your child’s social/emotional/physical health is being addressed as you foster their independence, but also make sure they don’t feel abandoned.

Was that over dramatic and poorly written? Maybe. Was it true? 100% yes. Whenever I talk with my colleagues or friends we all have one thing in common: we’re stressed out, burned out, and tired AF. How do we fix it? And how did we get here in the first place? I’m at a crossroads here. On the one hand, I think my generation needs to do all of the things mentioned above. Take care of ourselves, make sure we’re fulfilling our passions, and having fun. But, I also have a major problem with the fact that “adulting” has been turned into a VERB. Like, there’s a workshop on adulting being offered for my fellow millennials.

Yeah, I’m stressed out. I feel like it’s sometimes impossible to find a balance between working, being a mom, being a wife, and making sure the bills are paid and we still have time for fun. Yes, I’m convinced I’m not always doing the best at one or more of those things. But, I still get up every morning and make sure the things get done. Is this how every generation feels, or are we just finally talking about it and attempting to make a change?

I know I’m not alone in this. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way on an almost-daily basis. I also acknowledge that I create most of the pressure myself. So, do I post a sparkly bubble bath on Insta and add #selfcare and #treatyoself to the description? Or, do I “suck it up” as the generations before us apparently did without complaining? If you have an answer hit me up, because I’m #stressedaf, #notsorryboutit, and being zen is currently #goals.

Cool Stuff That I Want…Like, Now!

I have an ongoing wishlist in my head because I love all the things. I’m constantly someone who wants new gear for whatever peaks my fancy at the time. The past year or so? Self care all the way. I made it a mission especially for 2018 to really place my self care at the forefront of my being in terms of importance. I don’t typically do this. I felt selfish at first. But then? I looked around and realized I can’t pour from an empty cup. So, I’ve really taken pride in my personal time in the early mornings, started my Tone it Up Workouts again (free, ya’ll) and am trying not to lose my ish on the regular. But, because I’m also a firm believer in the “treat yo-self” philosophy, here’s what’s on my self care list this month:

Credit: PacificaBeauty.com

Umm can I please dive into these high vibe creations and live there forever? Please? On the top of my list is the crystal foam sparkling face wash with Rose Quartz and Watermelon. The packaging is gorgeous and the products themselves are nothing short of magical.

  • A Fancy Hydroflask water bottle. I have gone through all the bottles. The only one to survive my serial bottle dating? The Klean Kanteen. BUT! It’s not that pretty. I like having a gorgeous water bottle for photos (yes, truth) and for work and yoga. Hydroflask bottles feel smooth, matte, and come in a ton of colors. My birthday is in May. 🙂
  • A Smokey Quartz Generator. Quartz and I get along really well. But, I’m currently on the hunt for a Smokey Quartz with some inclusions. I want a generator shape so I can use it to charge some of my other crystals while also providing me with the best outlet for my anxious energy. Technically, dark smokey quartz is rare to find and usually blasted with UV (not cool) and artificially colored. I need this in my life…but I don’t want a cheap knock off either.
  • Finally? A black triangle diffuser necklace from Lava Essentials. Diffuser jewelry is so much fun and makes taking along your favorite oil scents and benefits easy. I have a few bracelets, but I’d really like to swap out some of my necklaces for some amazing aromatherapy power!

Do you guys all believe in the self-care lifestyle? What do you do to make sure your cup is full?

How I Set my Intentions for the Day

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!

Currently Reading: February 2018 Picks

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!

Tools for my 2018 Mindfulness Journey

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?

When I’m the Only One Awake…

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!

How I Stay Organized & Somewhat Sane

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!

 

 

Happy First Birthday, Leo Lucius!

Leo, how are you almost one year old already? I can remember the piercingly cold day you were born. We had just put our Christmas lights up and I stared at them as I slowly walked down the stairs, breathing through the contractions. The air was biting, it almost hurt when I breathed in, but I knew what I needed to do. I’ll always remind you of how I was 8cm when we got to the hospital, how your little shoulder got caught, and how you came out sunny side up which resulted in some MAJOR back labor, but through it all I felt so connected to you. I trusted you and you trusted me. I knew we would work together as a team.

Some of my favorite days with you are the ones where we snuggle for extra moments in bed together, when you rest your head on my chest at 6am on the couch. You are such an early bird, but I wouldn’t have it any other way! You are the reason why I look forward to each day. Now that you’re one, you are so, so busy! You love to chase the dog around the house, you love to dance to the music in “Moana”, and you love having dinner with Mama and Dada. Your favorite foods are Cheerios, Grilled Cheese, Pancakes, Waffles, Prunes, Apples, Pears, and Beans! But, I still think you love booby the best. 🙂

You love watching “Baby Einstein” with Grandma Gallo in the mornings. You love playing on the floor with Dada after dinner, and playing with your friends Dominic, Gia, Richard, and Rowan. You love toys, and all things musical, but you’d be happy with a tennis ball to roll back and forth. When I’m working at home, you pull on my sleeves to get my attention and it works 100% of the time.

You’re pulling up, crawling, talking, and trying so hard to stand. It won’t be long now! Weighing in at approximately 20lbs and over 30 inches long, that vegetarian diet is doing good by you (and mama, too–I’m gonna raise a little hippie as long as possible). You can clap, point, and you always smile when we say your name.

Happy first birthday, Leo Lucius! Dada and I love you more than you’ll ever know. I cannot wait to see what’s in store for you during this next year and beyond. I love you Bumble Baby

What I’d Tell Myself as a New Mom

No one really talks about that, do they? When you feel isolated in your own home and despite being head over heels in love with your new baby you feel like you lost a little part of yourself, too. Now that I’m coming up on Leo’s first birthday (cue the ugly crying), I’ve been reflecting back on the past year a lot, especially since some of my friends are joining the mom club. In short, it’s the world’s best sorority with the cruelest, most grueling hazing you’ve ever experienced. When you have no idea what you’re doing, and a little person who depends on you also has no idea what they’re doing things can get overwhelming quickly. I still put a lot of pressure on myself to “do it all,” but here’s what I’d tell myself a year ago with what I know now:

  • Get off the damn couch (for sleeping that is!). No one should be sleeping sitting up.
  • Get in bed. With your baby. Cribs are stupid and overrated.
  • Spend the money on the nursing bras. You’ll be happy you did!
  • Put that baby on the boob and let everyone else wait on you.
  • Stop with the schedules! When baby needs to eat, they need to eat!
  • Everyone will give you advice. Accept it graciously and then do what you want.
  • Stop trying to cook dinner until they are at least 6 months old and can sit in a high chair.
  • Cleaning? Cool. Ok.
  • Pajamas are pants for the fourth trimester.
  • Anything you or your husband/baby daddy/partner say to each other between the hours of 2-4am does not count.

I’m probably forgetting a few things, but the most important thing I’d tell new Mom me is to do what feels right for your family regardless of what anyone says. If everyone is safe, happy, fed, and loved tell the haters where they can go.

Surprised? I am, too!

If you’ve followed me here from Curls.nu, then you know I was having some major blog issues lately. I love blogging and I love talking about all things lifestyle, but something was missing. It was turning into work, lacked a common brand, and I just wanted something that had a real name. If you know me well, you know I am a yoga loving vegetarian mama who just wants to find more ways to live compassionately. I’m still into makeup, skincare, and beauty as much as any other #bblogger out there, but I missed being stuck in the niche. I needed room to expand, and I needed to feel like this wasn’t WORK! I work enough as it is between teaching, momming, and wifing. I needed this to be a break. So without further ado, welcome to what is going to be the artist formerly known as Curls (heh). To start kick it off? I’ll announce the winner from my Curls.nu giveaway (the last post from my former blog). I did not forget about you!

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So this blog is going to be for those of you who want a more authentic, useful discussion about mom life, plant based living, essential oils, crazy yoga poses, recipes, reflections, and shopping lists. Are you ready? Because I KNOW I am!