Tag Archives: self care

(em)POWER(ment) WALKING

My current fitness line-up involves a healthy mix of yoga, body-weight strength and flexibility training, ballet, and pilates. But my favorite way to get in a little movement has, and will always be, a good ol’ fashioned walk.

Lately, I’ve been thinking of my walks as EMPOWERMENT sessions. Here’s how:

For about the first two-thirds of my outing I listen to a podcast that gets me fired up. It could be about politics, business, or holistic health. (Call Your Girlfriend is one of my faves and I totally recommend it as an empowering walking companion!) Then, for the last third, I pump up the jams and my pace and just STRUT. IT. OUT. Think: Beyonce, Lady Gaga, and Fergie feat. Nicki Minaj. (Go wild, do you, etc.)

What streams through your earbuds when you go for a walk (or jog)? Do you like to get in a little learning with a podcast or do you prefer carefully curated playlists? Leave some recommendations of favorites below!! 

P.S. How to ditch your gym membership and how to make your own fitness challenge (for totally free).

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How to… (one dozen super rad things I think you should do!)

how to do one dozen things

Y’all!

We’re in the dog days of Summer down here in South Florida. Heat index over 100 and daily afternoon thunderstorms that arrive out of nowhere and leave just as quick. It’s pretty bananas. So, Chet and I are escaping to Delray Beach for a few days. I’m going to sit my butt on the beach (with a couple good books + an iPhone full of podcasts), eat conch fritters, drink rosé, and soak in some #saltlife vibes.

I’ll get back to posting ’round these parts next week. But since you’re already here, why not stick around and check out some posts I pulled from the archives! Here’s how to do ONE DOZEN super rad things…

How to start a fascinating conversation with a friend (or stranger).

How to use stickers to stick to your goals. 

How to make a super cute calendar from burlap.

How to use jars for DIY wedding decor.

How to create the perfect care package. 

How to take meaningful breaks during long projects. 

How to give your office a style upgrade.

How to tap into the power of self-care.

How to work on your female friendships.

How to practice styling photos.

How to dance more.

How to pack for a weekend away in the Tom Bihn Synapse 19 + Side Effect.

I hope all of you have a wonderful week and I’ll see you back here soon! 🙂

P.S. If you have any posts (how-to’s or otherwise) you think I should tackle when I get back, LEAVE  YOUR IDEAS BELOW! Thanks. 

14 Ways to Take Meaningful Breaks

how to take meaningful breaks during long projects

As the queen of leaving projects to the last minute, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to settle in for the long haul without losing my mind. I think we’ve all been there. (Especially if you’re someone who enjoys working under pressure.) The rest of life got in the way in the weeks leading up to a deadline, and you find yourself chained to your laptop with a marathon’s worth of work to tackle.

My secret to making it out unscathed? Meaningful breaks.

Choose an amount of time (like 45 minutes to an hour), set a timer, and start ticking things off the to-do list without stopping. Then, when the time is up TAKE A BREAK (like for 15-30 minutes).

Related: A Formula for Perfect Productivity: Work for 52 Minutes, Break for 17 ]

Below, I’ve listed 14 meaningful breaks that I find helpful to cycle through as I hammer away on a project.

Take a shower.

This is especially helpful if you didn’t get a lot of great rest. Showers are like liquid sleep! Use a body wash like this one and breathe in deep. Massage your scalp as you lather up your hair. Get that blood flowing to your brain!

Fill up your water bottle.

Gotta stay hydrated! Fill up your favorite vessel and take time to drink as much as you like as you stare into space. Feelin’ fancy? Add some fruit or cucumbers or herbs and get a lil infusion action going.

Watch a YouTube video.

Sometimes you just need to switch your brain off for a few minutes. But turning on the TV or firing up Netflix may distract to the point of disaster. YouTube to the rescue! There’s a zillion different kinds of content to choose from (Cats! Makeup tutorials! Hydraulic press! Cooking miniature meals!) and most are a reasonable length. Go nuts for 10-15 minutes and then switch that brain back on.

Make a list of the day’s accomplishments.

I’ve mentioned this before, but a “shit I’ve already done list” can sometimes quell the panic of a seemingly insurmountable “shit I still need to do list.”

Eat a snack.

Go fix yourself something healthy to eat!

Love on your pet.

Taking care of someone else for a few minutes is a great way to snap out of it if you’re feeling like EVERYTHING IS THE WORST. So if you have a pet, go make sure they have food and fresh water. Take them outside to run or toss around a toy. Get out their brush for a lil grooming sesh. Give them lots of pets.

Head to your closet for a costume change.

I like to capitalize on the surge of productivity I feel as soon as I wake up…which usually means I’m in pj’s and then *whoops* several hours have gone by. So a simple costume change if you’re in my boat is to just go get dressed. But you can also change from your everyday clothes to workout clothes if you plan on working out later. Change from uncomfortable clothes to comfy ones. Or switch it up for a change of pace in the aesthetics department.

Handle a “personal admin” task.

You can’t press pause on life because you’re under a deadline. Reply to an email. Pay your phone bill. Grab groceries. Schedule that dentist appointment. You get the drift.

Work up a sweat.

One time, during a looooong (and boring) day of work-from-home projects, I did 10 push-ups/10 sit-ups/10 squats during every break. Not only did the time FLY by…but I was sore as heck the next day. Ha! For a less crazy approach, go for a jog outside or queue up a 30 min HIIT workout on YouTube. Roll out your yoga mat and stretch out.

Have a solo dance party.

Put on your favorite song and jam like no one’s watching. Because they aren’t. Repeat until you’re sufficiently pumped.

Tidy up a little.

Just like with the “personal admin” tasks, tackling a quick chore or two will feel like you’re accomplishing something…even when your BIG accomplishment for the day is hours away. I like to do the dishes or make my bed. (Which also helps to make your space feel more productive.)

Chat with another human being.

Working on a project solo can start to feel really isolating. Pick up the phone and catch up with a friend or meet a friend for a quick cup of coffee.

Switch up your surroundings.

Usually if I feel like I’ve hit a plateau, it’s time to pack up and head somewhere new. It’s amazing the second wind you can achieve just by heading to a second location!

Go for a walk.

Fresh air! Natural light! Even if you only circle the block, you might just have that break-through “A-HA!” moment once your legs are pumping and your mind is allowed to wander a little.

Over to you! What are your favorite ways to take meaningful breaks in the midst of a marathon work sesh? Share below!! xoxo 

P.S. 4 Career Building Tips for the Newly Hired and Let’s Talk Personality (Tests).

mid-week round-up

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, we ended up spending last week at home instead of in Louisiana. Boo! However, I did manage to get in some solid beach-time, do a little retail therapy, and devour the book Big Little Lies. (Have you watched the HBO adaptation yet? So good!!!) I’ve also been a busy little craftin’ bee! I made a few wreaths for a friend’s upcoming wedding, along with some Easter decor for the apartment. So I guess our cancelled trip wasn’t a total wash! What have y’all been up to? I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday, and here are some links for you to enjoy today (or bookmark for later)…

Equal pay is widely understood to be a feminist issue. So why isn’t the Fight for $15?

Related: The 78 Cents Project is a pro-bono resume consultancy
aimed at eradicating the gender wage gap.

The Pope Francis Laundry for homeless opens at the Vatican.

Stories from the almshouse records — women’s lives in in 1790’s NYC.

Stickers for every season. #obsessed

The place of food security in the battle over healthcare.

Budget freezer meals for the slow-cooker and oven!

Solid April line-up from Book of the Month.

Face massages are like pilates for your cheeks. (I’ve gotta start doing this! I feel like I carry a lot of tension in my face. Is that a thing?)

Related: How to make a baking soda face mask.

17 Spring looks with 12 clothing items you probably already have in your closet.

9 podcast episodes worth discussing.

Related: 8 podcasts to check out on your next road trip.

Curfews, sports, and understanding kids’ brain chemistry have all helped dramatically curb substance abuse in Iceland.

P.S. 2 Finding Delight posts you may have missed — 6 True-Crime Documentaries for Your Inner Detective and For the love of DOWNTON!

mid-week round-up

Good morning my delightful friends! How are you today? We started watching Big Little Lies last night. What an all-star cast! The characters are super compelling but I’m not sure if I’m in love with the format just yet. I’m certainly hooked enough to keep watching though! Tomorrow we’re headed to the aquarium and I CAN’T WAIT! Hope you all have beautiful days, and here are a few things you may enjoy reading…

The politics of conspicuous displays of self-care.

50 things you need to eat in Miami before you die.

I NEED this In Omnia Paratus poster in my life!

The true story of the American work force as told by nine folks in the trenches.

How to become an adult. 
“Suddenly realize that you are now older than your parents when they got married, older than your parents when they had a kid, maybe older than your parents when they had you, even. Notice the ages come and go at which you had always told yourself you would have various little boxes checked, see them fading behind you like road signs, and feel a mix of disappointment and empowerment: “No, I am not the person I promised myself. Yes, I actually like this person better.”

French cartoonist Pénélope Bagieu has taken a unique opportunity to correct public misperceptions about the life of Mama Cass.

Related: Adding California Dreamin’: Cass Elliot Before The Mamas and The Papas by Pénélope Bagieu to my Amazon Wishlist.

Also Related: Five Great Graphic Novels!

To the women of America — A warning and a rallying cry from Poland.

Betsy DeVos and the history of homeschooling. 

Never been to Tokyo? Here’s a crib sheet of stuff that is useful for your first trip. #goals

The baby in the plastic bag. #longform

A call to travel abroad…in your own country.
“I was a foreign correspondent for many years, work that involves the shedding of assumptions and absorption in place. To see what’s over here, you have to let go of what’s over there. Scott County, for coastal metropolitan Americans, is a foreign land. In a fissured nation, there are fewer and fewer moments of genuine encounter between rival tribes, each confined in its ideological canyon. So what could bring the country together, usher Brooklyn closer to Scottsburg?”

Working while female. 

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — Carol Rossetti’s Colorful Illustrations of Female Empowerment and Winter Wardrobe Pieces.

mid-week round-up

closeup on flowers

What are you up to this week? My very favorite guilty pleasure, MTV’s The Challenge, started up again with a new season! I don’t have cable but I’m super stoked to watch it online today. I’m probably the last person in the world of my advanced age who still watches this show. (BUT I WILL NOT APOLOGIZE!) This weekend we have plans to check out a new brunch spot and maybe take the drone out for a flight. Hope you have a great day, and here’s some reading material…

I’ll be making these chocolate crescent rolls as soon as humanly possible. (Although I may cheat and use this.)

A checklist for staying in vs. going out on Valentine’s Day.

Would you wear navy pants with tiny dinosaurs on them?

A young Wikipedia editor withstood a decade of online abuse. Now she’s fighting back. “When people get forced off the web, their voices disappear from the internet’s public squares. The ideas and memes that dominate skew even further toward a white male perspective. The web becomes less interesting, less representative, less valuable. We all lose.

A shortage of incubators and a hunch about marsupials inspired a Colombian doctor to try something radical to save premature babies’ lives.

Mysteriously, a large number of Americans believe that the inventor of the cotton gin, Eli Whitney, was black. (Could this be an example of the Mandela effect?)

Mystery of deadly outbreaks in India is solved.

The real Bowling Green Massacre wasn’t even in Kentucky.

I can’t get over how cute these classroom valentines are. Which would you choose?

Modern Etiquette: Handling difficult conversations online.

What is Steve Bannon reading?
“Mr. Bannon was carrying a book, and when an incoming president’s guru is reading a book, you should find out what it is. I walked by and peeked. It was “The Best and the Brightest,” David Halberstam’s 1972 history of the strategic errors and human foibles that birthed the disastrous American involvement in the Vietnam War. It begins with John F. Kennedy’s transition to the White House, in December 1960. Now I really knew it was him.”

How to avoid being psychologically destroyed by your newsfeed.

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — 6 Ways to Find More Free Time and Reading Nostalgia.

10 Ways to Take a Time Out and Practice Self-Care

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Self-care doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming. It’s all well and good to have an arsenal of self-care strats that involve spa-level bubble baths, vacations with your best pals, or trips to the manicurist. But what happens when you need to take care of yourself at the office with a looming deadline or when your very full house is driving you crazy? How can you take time out from the responsibilities of your super busy day-to-day life without getting totally sidetracked? (Or take a time out FROM your time out when you end up in an internet spiral of news stories that kinda freak you out?)

These ten ideas can be accomplished in 15 minute intervals. And they’re perfect for those times you’re feeling frustrated or near giving up. The reality is, those moments can pop up at any time. You can’t always pour a glass of wine and settle in to watch 4 straight hours of Grey’s Anatomy. But you can do SOMETHING.

Call a time out. Take care of yourself. You’ve got this!

READ A BOOK

Diving into a good book is OG escapism and I hate to see it fall by the wayside because folks feel like they don’t have “time” to read. I get it. Maybe you don’t have time to chill at a coffee house for hours on end as you blaze through the pages of your favorite sci-fi series. But you’d be amazed how much you can read in 15 minute intervals. And you’d also be amazed how much more nourished your mind will feel than if you’d spent that same time reading Buzzfeed listicles.

Case in point – I just finished this book (highly, HIGHLY recommend) which I devoured over the course of a few days in 10-20 minute chunks. Mostly during breaks while working.

FOCUS ON THE GOOD

When you’re freaking out about what needs to get done, it can be incredibly calming to focus a few moments of time on what already has. (Related: I like this approach for life, too. Check out my REVERSE Bucket List.)

Reflect on your accomplishments from the day so far. How did they make you feel? You could even start a notebook that’s totally reserved for your REVERSE To-Do list. Call it your Shit I Got Done book, if you like.

Feeling extra proud of something? Post on the internet and let the people know! Those “likes” will feel good. However, it will also force you to re-contextualize your accomplishment for an outside audience which I think is a worthwhile exercise in “here’s why what I do is cool.” (See also: Don’t Hide Your Hustle.)

GO OUTSIDE

Even if you don’t plan on racking up steps for your FitBit, popping out for a breath of fresh air and a change of scenery can do a world of good. Of course, if you can squeeze in a walk around the block, go for it!

TAKE A REST

If you’ve ever felt next-level exhausted, with a mountain of tasks still barricading you from peaceful slumber, you know that getting anything done can feel like you’re slamming up against that mountain over and over with no hope of summitting.

So quit slamming and take a second to chill. Give your body a minute to rest. Let your eyes relax (especially if they’ve been glued to a computer screen). If you’re someone who has been blessed with the ability to power nap, take one. If not, simply set your head down for a few minutes. Find a comfy spot away from your tasks and just cuddle up. Or lay on the floor, reach your hands over your head, and take the biggest breath you’ve taken all day.

Warning: You might want to set a timer for this one. Just in case ya actually do knock out.

CHAT WITH A FRIEND

Don’t just fire off a text or hop on What’s App. G-Chat and Facebook messenger don’t count either. Dial that telephone and get a friend on the horn! See what they’ve been up to that day. Maybe they can commiserate with whatever’s going on in your world or maybe you’ll find something they say wildly inspiring. (You probably have one friend who is perfect for the former and one that’s perfect for the latter. You’re probably picturing them right now.)

Maybe your self-love honorin’ self craves a more face-to-face interaction. Snag a friend to run an errand with you or grab a cup of coffee. Pop into someone’s office to run an idea by them instead of shooting them an email. Sometimes it takes being around another human to get back to the best version of ourselves.

MEDITATE

Ok remember when I said books were the OG escapism…well, meditation is even more so. (The OG-est OG!) Lucky for us, there’s literally an app for everything these days, even OG escapism. So if you don’t have a meditation practice or are completely new to the idea, you get a little guidance.

This list of The Best Meditation Apps of 2016 is a fine place to start. Try a few and pick your favorite. Ommmmm.

TAKE A SHOWER

So, unlike all the others on this list, this one may not always be possible. But I thought I’d include it anyways. Here’s why:

  1. Showers are literally liquid sleep. If you’ve ever pulled an all-nighter and then felt strangely refreshed after a shower then YOU KNOW.
  2. You’re more likely to have a creative epiphany when you’re doing something monotonous. 
  3. There are tons of fun products to try (like this one or this one)! Treat yo’self!
  4. Sometimes you start working as soon as you wake up without taking a sec to actually get ready for the day. Shout out to my work-from-home hustlers! You deserve a morning routine…even if it happens at 2 pm.

FEEL CREATIVE

Doodle, color, decorate your planner, write a poem! If you’re feeling uncreative (at work, in your home, regarding a problem), remind yourself that you ARE creative. Activate the parts of your brain you want to tap into by FLEXIN’ ’em!

GET THE BLOOD FLOWING

If you’ve been sitting for hours – Stand up and move around to get the blood flowing in your legs and feet. Do a forward fold to get the blood flowing to your brain! I used to have a co-worker who took breaks to forward fold all the time and no one ever thought anything of it. In fact, she started converting people to the powers of hanging out upside down!

If you wanna really go for it, do a handstand!

If you’ve been standing for hours – Put your feet up for a few minutes. If you have the option, get your legs up the wall. You want the blood flowing in the opposite direction. Rotating your feet/ankles, small squats/plies, and hamstring stretches will also feel amazing.

PLAY MUSIC

Solo dance party, anyone? Yes please!

(Need inspiration? The Best Songs For A Solo Dance Party. With categories like “When you wanna get your diva on” and “when you’re feeling down and you need a reminder that you kick ass.” Obsessed.)

Do you call a time out to love on yourself when you’re feeling over-whelmed or frustrated? How do you practice self care? Let me know! 

P.S. How to invest in yourself and how I practiced self care after the election.

Planner Tip: Prioritize Your Passions

planner

I’m totally obsessed with my Target Dollar Spot planner. While I keep a daily To-Do list, planning in this adorable binder has become more of a hobby (I can decorate it with washi and stickers! Weeee!) and a way to plan out my personal, less work-focused time. I plan on doing a more in-depth post about this planner in the future, but today I thought I’d share a little tip I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of! Here goes…

So, here’s the deal! If left to my own devices, I can waste a LOT of time on my computer. I love to read blogs, watch YouTube videos, and scroll endlessly through Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. When a pocket of free-time opens up I can have the best of intentions and then find myself, 2 hours later, still sitting with my laptop open. This habit is especially frustrating if you sit at a computer all day for work!

Recently, I did a little soul searching about ways I could encourage myself to turn off the screen and prioritize my passions instead. I came up with three areas of focus…

  • I’m passionate about exercising my mind through books.
  • I’m passionate about exercising my body through yoga.
  • I’m passionate about exercising my creativity through paper crafts.

Next, I took a look at my typical day. When was I getting unnecessarily sucked into the internet? When would it be easy to indulge in a little self-care instead? For me, it was occurring between dinner and later in the evening when Chet and I spend time together (usually watching TV, unwinding, etc).

So I started scheduling my “me-time” activities in my planner! I write in “Read” or “Yoga” or some sort of craft or planner spread….

planner inside

It may sound simple…but it works for me! Instead of staring at a screen into the night (when I’ve already stared at it for so long during the day), I pick up a book or make a pocket letter. I roll out my mat or I decorate my planner. Sometimes I might throw in a long walk with a podcast or a class of some sort.

Do I HAVE to stick to the schedule? Absolutely not. But I’ve found that, when mapping out my week to come, if I give my “future self” a little nudge in the right direction I’m less likely to take the easy way out. (You also may recall that I’m all about eliminating decision fatigue! Why not make the decision about how to spend your “me-time” ONCE A WEEK instead of every single day.)

Wanna implement this TIP? Here are some easy steps: 

  1. Reflect on your daily life and identify a common “time suck” activity that you’d like to eliminate.
  2. Brainstorm 2-4 passions or areas of your life you’d like to grow. Really dig deep about what makes you happy. Do you wish you spent more time outdoors? Maybe you would benefit from a weekly bike ride. Are you looking to grow your writing? Perhaps you need to set aside time for daily journaling.
  3. Next, figure out where your “me time” best fits into your schedule. This could be different each day or the same time throughout the week. I’ve found the best way to identify when you have the time is to look to Step #1. Is there a pocket of time when you typically sit staring at your phone for 30 minutes straight double tapping random IG pics? Or do you find yourself waking up early just to end up channel surfing for an hour?
  4. When you do your weekly planning, PRIORITIZE YOUR PASSIONS! Plan for those moments of free-time with a little ME-TIME!

What do you think? Do you keep a planner? Would you consider scheduling specific activities for your free-time? Or do you prefer a more free flowing approach? I’d love to know your thoughts! xoxo 

Santa Monica

Invest in Yourself!

It can be difficult in the midst of all life’s many commitments to find meaningful ways to invest in yourself and the things you love. Life is busy. How can we utilize the little pockets of time – tucked-in between work, relationships, and keeping dirty dishes from piling up – to their greatest effect? How do we know what will truly make us happy? What sorts of things are worth it? Worth giving of our time and of ourselves? The answers to these questions are highly personal but with a bit of reflection you can start to identify some areas. Once you do, COMMIT. Invest in yourself!

do something today

We do all sorts of things over the course of 365 days. But what did you do last year that you look back on with fondness? Maybe you recall knitting a gorgeous scarf for your sister or throwing a really rocking party. Whatever it was, the fact that you can remember it a year later and it STILL brings you joy means it’s probably a pursuit worth repeating. When I look back on the past 52 weeks, a lot of my fond memories involve outdoor adventures. Not anything complex or super planned. Just afternoon trips to nearby hiking trails, laying on a blanket in a park, walking through city streets casually stopping to admire architecture, and splashing out into the ocean. To invest in myself I need to play outside. 

Action – Start brainstorming some memories from last year and make a list of those things you remember doing that still bring you joy.

life is tricky

Sometimes your path leads you down unexpected detours you must traverse with extra caution and care. When this happens, and times get tough, what sort of magic do you cloak yourself with to see yourself through to the light at the end of the tunnel? Whether you’re the sort of person who needs cheering up or relaxing or full-out distractions…what are the things that make you feel like YOU, that give you the tiniest sense of stability on those rocky detours? My journey has certainly veered a time or two. I’ve found walking to be the greatest compass to lead me back. Just the right mix of motion, introspection, and endorphins. I also love throwing myself into projects that require a lot of research. Solving lots of little mysteries to put together a bigger picture makes me feel useful and makes me feel like ME. To invest in myself I need to move my feet and move my mind. 

Action – Journal about a tough time in your life and what sorts of things you turned to see yourself through. How did you stay in your magic?

the secret society

Everyone has most likely uttered something to the effect of, “You wouldn’t understand unless you were ….”. Something that feels like a “Secret Society” because it is so unique to those involved in it. Maybe it sounds like you’re speaking a second language when you talk about it. Random story: The other day Chet borrowed my camera to take pictures of his new computer keyboard with custom keycaps. When I scrolled through his images I noticed there was a shot of his keyboard next to a shoe. Puzzled, he explained to me that it was common in the “keyboard community” to post pictures of your most used keyboard next to your most used shoes. LOL WHUT? ….but I love it! Just the fact that he knows that…and then DID it means he’s in a secret society that’s worth it for him. Secret societies let you see the big picture. One of my favorite secret societies is competitive forensics. I competed in speech & debate for 11 years and coached full-time for 3. I still love so many aspects of this world because these are my people and they speak my language. To invest in myself I need to spend time with my secret societies. 

Action – Chat with a fellow secret society member about all the ways other people just wouldn’t understand.

if i had a flower

My mind wanders to the most random things. I’m sure yours does, too. We’re dreamers after-all. It’s when patterns start to emerge in these thoughts that you should start taking note! Are you constantly thinking about a certain comedian? Art supplies? Clever hashtags for your Instgram? Are your thoughts drifting to hiking trails, dance routines, your favorite store, your favorite band, your next meal? Maybe there’s a reason. Maybe these thoughts are your flowers! I have a few go-to’s when it comes to day-dreaming and random Googling: capsule wardrobes, historical medical practices, tiny homes, backpacking, and obscure subcultures. An over-whelming need to DO something with these thoughts was one of the main reasons I started this blog. To invest in myself I need to spend time in my garden and pick a few flowers to share with others along the way. 

Action – Identify three ways you can get recurring thoughts out of your head-space and into REAL space and then FOLLOW THROUGH! How can you spend time in your garden and share it’s beauty with others?

out of the mouths of babes

One of my favorite pieces of advice about finding ways to BE HAPPY is to look to your childhood. Looking at yourself as a child through adult eyes can be truly inspiring when it comes to where you should invest. What made you happy when you were little? How did you love spending your time when responsibilities were at a minimum and time seemed to stretch out into infinity? I loved making things out of cast-offs (I even told my parents I wanted to be a recycling lady when I grew up because I thought that meant turning trash into art), traveling (I was fortunate to see a LOT of places before my 18th birthday), dancing ballet, and reading lots and lots and LOTS of books. So what does that mean for me now? I like doing little DIY projects(like Pocket Letters) and exploring new-to-me places. I don’t go en pointe any more but an almost daily yoga practice makes me feel stretched and strong in much the same ways as ballet. And I read as much as I possibly can. To invest in myself I need to pay tribute to my child-self. 

Action – Make a plan. What childhood favorite can you do daily? Weekly? Monthly? Set up a schedule and stick to it. Make your child-self proud!

What are you doing to invest in yourself TODAY? Is making time for yourself something you’re striving for in 2016? Leave a comment and let me know! 

How to Create the Perfect Care Package

Care Package Essentials
I truly believe that, as ladies, we’re all in this together. Which is why I think we should take great care to lift each other up in times of trial as well as triumph. To come to each other’s rescue when stuff gets tough and sing each other’s praises during every victory. I know a lot of women who kick serious butt….but everyone needs a helping hand from time to time. A smile, weekly Skype dates, a hand-written note with words of encouragement, an offer to hold the baby, hot cups of coffee in the midst of a busy finals week…these small gestures can make a world of difference when hurdles seem insurmountable. If you’re looking to cheer-on a fellow sister with a little box of love and goodies, I’ve got some ideas! Perhaps your cousin recently brought a human into the world (!), maybe your best friend is hunkering down in the trenches to finish her dissertation (!!) or your old room-mate moved to Taiwan to teach English without knowing a single soul (!!!). Whatever the case may be, here are a few tried and true items you could mix-and-match to create a glorious care package. Just a few well thought out, little pieces to remind her of the light at the end of the tunnel, to take sweet and gentle care of herself, and that you’re thinking of her…
one. a little bit of pampering goes a long way.
#TreatYoself purchases have probably taken a back seat while your gal pal traverses some winding roads. Help her make a quick pamper a priority. I love these Say Yes products and they’re super affordable from Target. The cucumber wipes are awesome for those evenings she’s too exhausted to run a tap and the tomato mask is down right spa-like.
two. so fresh and so clean, clean.
If showering is the only moment of blissful me-time she’s getting, than help it be a good one! A delicious smelling shower gel and a pouf will have her feeling like a new woman in no time.
three. hydration station.
I don’t know about you but I just can’t resist a fun specialty drink once and awhile. A can of IZZE or a few bottles of bai5 are perfect to bring a bit of bubbly, while a coconut water will offer maximum hydration.
four. immune system of steel. 
Germs are gross. And when you’re busy trying to save the world/shape the minds of our future/write the Great American novel/care for a loved one – ain’t NOBODY got time for germs. Make sure she’s taking care of herself with a vitamin (gummies make me smile) and that she’s got emergen-c on deck for when the ookies start to sneak in.
five. most important meal of the day.
Even if breakfast is consumed while running out the door or while balancing a babe or HECK, in the afternoon; it’s the best way to start the day! Lara bars are awesome for on-the-go (and make good study snacks too) and some Bear Naked Granola would dress up a bowl of yogurt quite nicely.
six. warm feet, warm heart.
Especially as we move into colder months, make sure she’s staying extra cozy! Nothing ups your “comfies” game like a pair of floofy sock slippers. This polka dot pair is freakin’ adorable and these look SO soft.
seven. something to gaze upon.
A little love for her wall is a really sweet (and affordable) addition to your care package. Have a scroll through Etsy to find something to her taste. There are cute animals, lovely landscapes, calming colors, and inspirational quotes. If you’re purchasing just the print you can find tons for under $10. There are even some where you can pay just a buck or two to download and  print yourself. I love the cheerful pop of color on this print and the gentle reminder on this one.
eight. a cup of joe on the house. 
This is just a no-brainer. NO ONE is mad about a Starbucks gift card. Trust.
nine. sugar and spice and everything nice. 
Why are sweet and salty snacks so gosh durn delicious??? An easy way to finish off your package is with your sweet friend’s favorite snack food…which you will know far better than I! But if you’re not sure, you could always go with one of MY favorites like these Justin’s snack packs or the Trader Joe’s chocolate covered almonds.
I hope this helps you send off some goodies to someone who needs their spirits lifted! Spread the love, my loves!!! ❤
What care package items would put a smile on your face? Have you ever received a care package? Ever sent one? Let me know the deets below!