Ahem, ahem, is anyone there? Well, the last month totally got away from me. Chris traveled to Denver for work for 5 days, was home for 2 days, and then off to Scotland for 10 days; so as you can imagine with 3 kids at home, I just didn’t have any time for blogging. Thankfully, my older two are self-reliant and a huge help with Wilder, but I was pretty much just getting by. I also decided that wine each night was a must, which then led me down the path of not-terrible-but-not-so-great eating habits. This morning, the big kids went back to school, and as much as I enjoyed having them home, I was ready for a change because it is time to start taking better care of myself. Back to school for kids is a great time for back to self care for moms who have neglected their own well-being all summer. (Raising my hand!) Today I wanted to share with you some things that I am focusing on for myself as these two embark on their single shared year of middle school. (Emmy in 6th, Sawyer in 8th). As they headed out the door I told them to be kind and be themselves. Well, it’s also extremely important to be kind to ourselves, to try our best to be our best selves, and to give ourselves grace if we make little missteps. (This post contains some affiliate links.)
- Regular Workouts: If you’ve followed me for a while you know that I’ve been a runner for the last several years. Well, after having Wilder I decided to slow it down and stick with walking. This summer I maintained walking at 6 am each day with my dogs and my neighbor and her dog. Now that school has started, we’re heading out at 5:15, and although it’s early, I feel so much better on the days I go… fresh air, adult conversation, and some kick-butt hills set the mind in the right direction in the beginning of the day. This summer I did the Betty Rocker 30 day challenge which was made up of daily 15 minute workouts. With a baby to take care of, that was pretty much all the time I had. Adding in those workouts helped me lose my last 5 pounds of baby weight. Now I am doing the 90 day challenge, which I began 2 weeks ago. Unfortunately my eating started to slip just before that, so I haven’t seen results, but we’re about to change that. If you’re looking for something to help kick start your workouts, I highly recommend the 30 day challenge for any level. It’s low commitment, challenging, and mixes it up so you don’t get bored. She also includes loads of nutritional and inspirational information. The best part is that it’s free, too! I did have to pay for the 90 day challenge, but I feel that my health and well being are totally worth it. Also, this is in no way sponsored… I am just happy with the program. Initially a friend referred it to me, and I wanted to pass it on to you.
- Healthy Eating: Today marks day 1 of a new round of Whole30 for me. I’ve done this program several times in the past and it always helps reset my eating habits. It is a little strict, but it’s only for 30 days. you can do anything for 30 days! If you aren’t familiar with it, you can read more about it here, but it basically focuses on very clean eating, no sugars, no processed or refined foods, no natural sweeteners (break that sweet tooth habit!). The original Whole30 book is filled with tons of useful information if you are just starting out for the first time. There are also lots of cookbooks available such as the Fast & Easy recipes, and so many websites like Against All Grain that share great Whole30 compliant recipes. Of course, aside from eating, you can’t forget to drink tons of water which is great for your skin and body. I use a 32 oz stainless tumbler and fill it up at least twice a day to help keep me hydrated and on track. The last few weeks, wine has replaced some water and my body and skin show and feel it!
- Skin Care: As I mentioned, with more wine and less water, I can see those wrinkles around my eyes deepen. I’ve just turned 40 and skin care has become so incredibly important to me and I regret that I didn’t care as much sooner when I naturally had nice youthful skin. Aside from how my skin looks and feels, I also care a lot about what actually goes into my pores, so I focus on toxin free cosmetics and skin care. I’ve shared a bit of my story here if you’d like to read it, but I wanted to share my latest favorite products with you here. These are the products that have helped me see a visible difference, some from Beautycounter, and others I have found on Amazon and Grove Collaborative. My morning routine is to wash my face with a gentle Rejuvenating Cleanser, followed by Thayer’s Witch Hazel toner . Once the toner dries, I apply vitamin E serum (for reducing age spots) followed by Grove’s skin superfood coconut oil. Because I am nursing, my skin is really dry, and this moisturizer goes on so smoothly and I feel the difference immediately. It’s not greasy like many coconut oils, but it’s important to remember that a little dab will do ya! Around my eyes I use Rejuvenating Eye Cream– this one is a total must for me! Every 2 to 3 days I also like to follow all of this up with a little Plumping Oil around my eye and forehead area- again only a teeny bit needed. Now lastly, here is the big one that makes all the difference visibly for anyone’s skin from age 15 all the way to 100… Dew Skin moisturizer with SPF. This stuff is incredible and gives you that glowing look! For some, it will be moisturizer enough, but for nursing moms like me, I recommend using another moisturizer underneath. I don’t use any foundation, but I do use this and love it! This unedited photo was taken a couple of weeks ago when I wanted to document my hair as styled by my stylist (I will never be able to recreate it!) and I followed exactly the routine above, plus added a little bronzer and eye makeup. I use this bronzer, this eyeshadow (great palette for light eyes), this eyeliner in black, and this mascara. Come fall, I will be adding under eye concealer back into my routine as well.Also, I wanted to let you know about a little Beautycounter promotion in case you are interested in trying anything that I have mentioned. Today, September 4th, is the last day for a free gift with a purchase of $150 or more!
- READ more books: This summer got away from me completely with reading. I finished only a couple of books and am very close to wrapping up The Alice Network. It was just so hard as I crashed every night into bed. However, now that we’ll be on a more regular schedule, and I have Wilder sleeping from about 8 pm to 8 am each day, I have more time for reading. I can also use nap time on occasion to read (or write, as I am doing now). Reading is a great way to relax, escape into a beautiful or mysterious novel, or open your mind to new ideas and ways of thinking with non-fictional books. I always feel better about myself when I am reading regularly. That being said, I have a giant list of book reviews to share with you, so stay tuned for some great books to add to your reading list!
- Take care of my house: The house has become a bit of a mess, and I know I feel so much more centered when things around me aren’t in utter chaos. I plan to try to organize and purge some areas of our home. I started this weekend with cleaning out my dresser and closet, and brought over an entire SUV full of boxes from the garage as well as bags of clothing. Man, that felt good and I feel so much lighter already!
- Small projects: Small painting projects are all I have time for these days, but they light my creative fires. As a creative individual it’s important to know what sparks you and to make time for that, even if it’s just a little time spent compiling ideas, it will still fuel that fire.
- Spend time with friends: Now that the kids are back in school take time once every couple of weeks to have coffee with a friend, go for a walk or a hike, meet up to hit some thrift shops. It’s so good for our souls to have real face to face human interaction in these days of technology and texting. Make dates with your friends and stick to them. DO NOT cancel because you feel busy; I promise your heart and mid will feel fuller and more at peace afterwards.
Now, if you’ve noticed, these last few paragraphs became a little shorter… because that’s all I have time for! But truly, this was all that was on my list anyhow. Wilder is waking up from his nap, so mom duties call! My now 4 month old already has a tooth and I think the second is close behind, so naps haven’t been the greatest lately. And just because….
Have a great day, and take some time to do something just for you!