Everyone finds different things relaxing, and different things promote their own growth. What does self care look like for you? And not just a temporarily “feel good” self-care. What really boosts you, fills your soul, renews you? Take time. Write down ideas, and when you have narrowed them down pick your favorites. Maybe you stick with your go-tos like me, self-care is going to the gym, spending time with my friends, and taking long, hot baths spending time reading my Bible.
Your self-care may look very different than the next persons.
2. Make a plan.
“The best laid schemes of mice and men Go oft awry.”
Well intentions only get so far. You can “plan” to take care of yourself and never get around to it. Make this a non-negotiable item. Treat it like you would any other appointment, and schedule it regularly. Not only show up for it, but be present. If your phone is a distraction, shut it off. Make this a regular part of your routine and return to your day-to-day worries refreshed and driven to tackle the obstacles you will undoubtedly face.
3. Actually do the self care.
As a new mom, it has been SUPER overwhelming to take care of myself on top of learning to balance all my other priorities. The old saying goes that you cant pour from an empty cup, and thats the truth. If you are constantly running on “E,” it will make all of your other day-to-day tasks more difficult, too. So, prioritize yourself.
Some blogger friends and I have teamed up to share our self care ideas with you! Be sure to click through the links below to check out their self care blogs!
Just kidding, but also I’m not. While I’m going to give you a few date ideas and share a date idea we brought to life- your perfect date night is just that– YOURS.
One of the most important things when it comes to an at home date night is to set expectations and communicate what you want out of the date. These expectations make the night special and keep you in the “date” mood so it doesn’t become a night just like any other.
Date Night Ideas
A Few Tips
Dress up, or dress down for a comfy date, but most importantly change for it. This helps set a date mindset
Put away electronic devices, and focus on your significant other, be present
Do something outside of your normal “night in”
Take turns planning it.
My husband and I rotate months so one night a month we have a designated date night, and we take turns planning or coming up with the ideas
Our Date Night
One of my favorite date nights since COVID started was our night in, date night with our little family. It was one of our last special items we did before we said our goodbye to our sweet German shepherd, Nikita.
Honestly, the date was so easy and simple and after my daughter went to bed my husband and I stayed up and watched a few movies and had some snacks snuggled up.
Talk with your SO and plan your next great, at home date night and check out my friends blogs for some more great tips and ideas!
If you are like me, you love the look of a fully organized fridge, cabinets, or even a pantry.
I mean honestly, I binge watched ALL of the Home Edit series on Netflix in two days during maternity leave. If you haven’t watched it, I am NOT liable for the amount of cleaning, organizing, and purging that will ensue. You can apologize to your significant other for me right now…
So after watching this and completely tearing apart and organizing my kitchen cabinets and my pantry, I decided that I really just hated my pantry set up. I have disliked it since we moved in. So, I took to my handy-dandy Pinterest and began dreaming up ways to redo the pantry that met our needs for storage and was more functional.
Searching for inspiration wasn’t all that easy because sooo many of the “Pinterest perfect pantries” are HUGE. Like, walk in, multiple wall shelves and mine is definitely not that size. So I began to look for qualities that I liked, and the first thing that jumped out at me was APPLIANCE GARAGE.
To make my appliance garage:
First, I made a list of all the appliances that I wanted to go into my garage
Then, I measure out the dimensions of said appliances
Once they were all measured, I organized them functionally factoring in the weight of the appliance and how often I truly use it to stack the order.
As you can see, my bread maker is at the top because it doesn’t get used nearly as much as my mixer or my crockpot.
Once my appliance garage was set I studied the heights of my storage containers, and mapped out the shelf heights that we wanted based on weight of items and again, functionality. If it was an item that I was CONSTANTLY using, I wanted it to be at eye level or just a little bit lower so it was easy to get to. Conversely, if the item is a “special occasion item” it could be stored near the back.
Creating Appliance Garage and Shelves
We ripped down 2×2 sheets to make frames, screwed the frames into the studs in the wall, and the clad the shelves with 1/4″ plywood on the tops, bottom, and side of the appliance garage for a finished look.
Using the framing allows for good support and concealed hardware.
To attached the plywood we used a variety of adhesive and small screws if needed.
Once the shelves were clad, I decided I really liked the raw shelf look and left that part natural while only painting the frame white.
One huge space saving idea is to take the cabinet divider organizers and stand up all your bakeware, which I did behind baskets and bins that pull out for easy access to the bakeware behind them.
After my shelves were fully put together, I tried to group the snacks together as well as the “protein items.” I picked up most of my organization bins from Menards, and Amazon.
Of course, my items will always be moved around so stay tuned in a few months I’m sure I will once again rearrange.
I want to leave you with 5 simple tips to get your pantry straightened up and organized.
1. Pull all the items out of your pantry and group together like items
2. Use clear containers with labels to cut down on boxes (and please recycle them!). Clip expiration, cooking instructions, or nutrition information and tape to the underside of the container
3. Organize based on functionality, meaning most used items should be at easy grabbing height and easily accessible
4. Designate an “overstock area” if you buy items in bulk so you don’t have 25 jars of tomatoes taking up space in your main area
5. PUT. THINGS. BACK. WHERE. YOU. GOT. THEM. Immediately. Seriously–this will save you time. As you are cooking and baking, put the items back as you finish using THAT item, it makes for less cleanup and its much easier to stay organized.
I’ve teamed up with some other bloggers to bring you more organizing tips, tricks and hacks! Be sure to head to each of their blogs to find out what kind of organizing tips they have for you!
With our daughter, Carolynn Rose, I have been incredibly apprehensive to introduce peanuts and other major allergens due to Shane’s history of food allergies, but decided it was time to give it a try.
We use the Baby Led Weaning method, where you do not offer baby purees but instead allow them to eat what you are having, in safe and approved sizes. There are lots of great resources about Baby Led Weaning, and as always be sure to do your research and discuss with your child’s doctor before adding new items.
You can also use chicken breast instead of thighs, but dark meat is easier for Carolynn to eat with no teeth since it is softer.
Our meal of choice to introduce peanuts was homemade chicken pad thai. I usually make this meal every few months and it is a fast and delicious weeknight dinner. Because it is just Shane, Carolynn, and I, we always have leftovers from this meal.
Homemade Chicken Pad Thai
This quick and easy recipe is a delicious addition to your regular meal rotation. With fresh ingredients and easy steps it is sure to be a crowd pleasurer. If you are here for baby led weaning meals- I skipped the toppings on her meal, and picked out any onion slices that were not BLW approved. If you want to make it a lower carb version, you can substitute spaghetti squash or black bean noodles for the stir-fry rice noodles. I like to use a lime-infused olive oil or a garlic to bring out a little extra flavor in the dish.**contains peanuts**
The holidays are a lot of fun for some, but for others they can be a source of a lot of stress and anxiety.
Below are three tips that may help to mitigate some stress that you might feel during holidays.
Its okay to set boundaries with people in your life. Create clear expectations of what you want. The boundaries can be about conversation topics, time spent with certain individuals, or even people allowed at your house.
Boundaries keep you safe and comfortable whether that person is family or not.
This year your holidays might look a little different. Allow yourself the time to grieve the different. Your kids and your family don’t need to always see you pretending to be happy. Its okay that sometimes its hard to be thankful, even when you still have many blessings.
Its also okay to grieve if you are missing someone new, or even someone who has been gone a while. Acknowledging that you miss them can help others in your family expression their emotions and feel more comfortable in their grief, as well.
2020 has been tough on everyone. Maybe you lost loved ones, maybe you lost your job or a large part of your income. Maybe you haven’t experienced these, but you are struggling with the shut downs and mental effects of COVID 19. Honestly, the reason that you are struggling isn’t super important.
What you deserve to know is your struggle is valid. Your feelings matter. One small thing to work on for Christmas and New Years is to be thankful for even the small things.
Do you have COVID? Be thankful for the extra time with your family.
Even the smallest of things can be big wins with 2020.
Have a wonderful, hopefully less stressful, holiday season.