I am a huge advocate of self care and taking care YOU and your health. The following is my top 25 self care activities that I highly recommend trying this summer.
Check out my thriving avocado plants! I planted these babies on March 31st and it is now the end of May.
These plants have taken a lot of patience, but I have absolutely loved watching them grow!
My favorite part of these plants is the roots. It is so cool to be able to see the progress and beauty of the roots through the glass jars.
Now that my plants have sprouted their roots and stems, they will soon be sprouting leaves!
I’ll check back in with you all in a couple weeks to let you know how things are going!
I wrote this post a year ago, and even though some time has passed since I wrote it, I still feel it is even more relevant today. ❤️
It’s Mother’s Day. This is the day we celebrate all the mothers. We celebrate the women In our lives who have raised us, nurtured us and taught us how to be good people in our society. We celebrate the women who showed us unconditional love from the very beginning. This day is meant to be a celebration, but to many… it is a somber holiday.
Being a mother is a very special role. It is one of, if not the hardest jobs there is. That being said not all mothers are the same. When you think of a mother you likely will think of biological moms, step moms, foster moms, moms who have adopted and grandmothers. But what about the other moms in this world? What about the women who hold a mothering role in a child’s life, such as an aunt, cousin, friend, teacher, or mentor. What about the moms who have lost a child, whether it was a pregnancy loss, neonatal loss or loss of a child at an older age?
ALL OF THESE WOMEN ARE JUST AS MUCH MOTHERS, AND HOLD A SPECIAL PLACE IN OUR SOCIETY AND IN A CHILD’S LIFE.
And let’s not forget all the women who want to be mothers. These women may struggle with infertility, illness, are choosing not to have children at this time in their life or suffer from recurrent miscarriages. These women are as much mothers to our society and to children in our world, just in a different way.
This mother’s day is also different as the Covid-19 pandemic has prevented some children from seeing and celebrating their mother’s today. It almost seems as if there is a grief in the air just from the pandemic. I feel that in it self has made this holiday especially somber this year.
Even though this is a holiday to celebrate all the mothers, it is sometimes a somber holiday for those who have lost a child, who are unable to have children, or who have lost their mothers. If you are reading this, and you have lost your mother, lost a child or are unable to have children, I just want to say… I am so sorry for your loss. I’m sorry this holiday brings up emotions of grief, guilt, anger, sadness, anxiety and dread. I’m sorry for the atmosphere of loneliness you feel on this holiday. I want to remind you though that you are not alone. Yes, your experience is yours, but their are so many of us who too have experienced that loss.
THERE ARE SO MANY OF US WHO HAVE FELT THE PAIN THAT CAN BE EXPERIENCED IN THIS LIFE, EVEN THOUGH WE DON’T TALK ABOUT IT.
So today, not only are we celebrating all the traditional mother’s out there, but we are remembering the mothers who have faced loss and heartache as well. I can tell you first hand, this day is not easy, but when the grief and loneliness become too much, remember to take care of you. Don’t have high expectations on yourself. Give yourself grace and love. Order food in, eat some chocolate, take a bubble bath, binge watch a comedy series, or stay in your PJs. Happy or not this day is about you and the love you’ve shared.
Today I will be taking it easy and remembering my babies I’ve lost because even though it hurts, they made me a mom. When the grief gets to be too much today, I will remember that I am not any less a mom because my babies are in Heaven.
I will end with this. It’s Mother’s Day, happy or not this is the day we celebrate and remember all mothers and to all the women who share that role. Thank you for all that you do and love that you’ve shared. I will be thinking of you today.
About three weeks ago, I was on Pinterest, and I stumbled across a video about how to grow an avocado tree from an avocado pit. It looked easy, so I decided to give it a try.
First, I gathered up a few avocado pits I had from an avocado and tuna fish sandwich the day before.
Then I peeled the skin off each pit.
Next, I got a paper towel for each pit and made them very damp. Then I wrapped the paper towel around each pit.
Once they were all wrapped, I placed each pit in a ziplock bag and sealed them tight.
Then, I taped each bag to my sliding door. At this point in the planting process the avocado pits don’t need sunlight. But I still hung them up just so I wouldn’t forget about them and they’d be near my other plants.
Fast forward to 2 and a half weeks later and I checked on my avocado pits.
One pit had finally cracked and sprouted a root! I was beyond excited. It was then time to place it in a full vase of water.
At first I used tooth picks to support my pit, but the tooth pics just ended up sliding, causing the pit to sink to the bottom of the vase. I then tried a rubber band, and plastic wrap.
About three days later I checked on my other avocado pits. One avocado pit has also opened and sprouted a root. The last pit had shown no growth so I figured it was a dud.
And there ya go, two successful avocado pits have sprouted and have successfully been transferred into water. Stayed tuned for more updates on my planting this season. I will be giving more updates in the coming weeks!
Monday through Friday, work 8 – 5pm. On Saturdays catch up on house work and errands, maybe take a nap if there’s time. Sunday do absolutely nothing if you can besides watch a virtual church service and catch up on your latest drama on Netflix. If you’re like me, this too is what your life looks like in a nutshell, week to week. For me, I am usually feeling the stress and slight dread of Monday by 4pm. I start to think about if my uniform is clean, if I have anything to pack for lunch the next day, if my lesson plans are all set and ready for the week, and if there is anything else I am forgetting. I also consider if there is anything that I can do to wind down and relax so I am ready for Monday. I will be honest with you though… I sometimes push off my selfcare in order to be productive, which I sometimes end up regretting. Regardless, I am here to assist you in how to wind down and rest on a Sunday night, as well as take my own advice; in order to be ready and refreshed for the week ahead.
I know it may sound tedious, but in order to help me wind down on Sunday and actually set aside time for self care, I create a schedule. I get it, I do… it may sound like more work and stress to create a schedule, but it will honestly help in the long run. Orginally, I used to rely on sticking notes that I would use to jot down my to do lists on Saturday evening. But now, I have created a very neat and organized schedule I use for Sundays.
Here is an example of the organized schedule I use. In this schedule I created an area for my to do lists, and I have divided it into morning, afternoon and evening tasks. I also have a section for various self care areas I hope to focus on throughout my Sunday. Sometimes, life is crazy and I’m not always able to devote each area of self care, but I try to focus on at least 3. Lastly, there is an area for a deadline in which I hope to get things done for the day, as well as reflection questions.
I will say that planning and scheduling out each part of the day isn’t for everyone. Some people find it more stressful, while others find it very helpful. Either way, I hope this tool helps in some way. For me personally, I absolutely love seeing everything I need to get done in black and white. As I am able to get them done, I also find it so satisfying to be able to cross things off my check list and keep going throughout my day. Sometimes life gets repetitive and hard. We all need a little reminder now and then that it is okay to stop and take care of you. So please do whatever helps make you feel good, rested and refreshed for the week ahead.
If you are interested in using the My Sunday Schedule template, Click below to Download the PDF. ⬇️⬇️⬇️
In my last semester of college, I was taking a yoga class just for fun. Ironicallly, it was the semester that covid hit the US, so I found it fitting that I was in a course that would help me relax amidst a crazy pandemic.
As the semester continued into the spring, and classes were forced to be taught online, I had the opportunity to practice what I had learned from yoga at home. My instructor posted weekly videos of different yoga practices and a quick reflection we were to complete after each practice.
For my last practice and assignment in yoga, I was to complete a three question reflection that was essentially a letter to myself. When writing this letter, I was asked to answer these questions:
What is something I needed to let go of?
What was something I was ready for?
What did I need to remember from the current time?
At the end of the letter, I asked that my yoga teacher send me the letter in 8 months. On a cold, snowy day in December, I received my letter and honestly enjoyed my thoughts and feelings I wrote to myself.
What was one thing I wanted to let go of? – The Media. At the time, and even now I’m so tired of the media. Everything from opinions and bias, conflicting reports, and over sharing of the same stories is simply exhausting to watch. I hardly ever watch the news anymore. Since, eliminating about 85% of the media in my life, I have found that my mental health is so much more stable. I’m not nearly as anxious as I was when I wrote the letter to myself.
What was something I was ready for? – To embrace a life without school. When I was writing this letter, I was so excited to not be in school anymore. After 6 years of nonstop college, I was ready to just work, be a wife, and start a family.
What was something that I needed to remember from that time? – That I’m a survivor. I’ve been through a lot, especially in the last 6 years. Life has really sucked at times, but I have learned to appreciate the good. I also told myself, that as life gets good, remember to pay it forward, and make others feel good too.
I have decided I am putting this letter on my fridge, as it serves as a good reminder through this year. Who knows what the year will bring, but when it gets hard I’ll remember, I’m a survivor.
Mackenzie Goes to Heaven is a children’s book, created for families who have gone through a pregnancy loss. It is designed to teach siblings and other children about the concept of miscarriage and how it affects a family, in a child friendly way.
Now, I have also created a coloring book to accompany this gentle children’s book.
Mackenzie Goes to Heaven Children’s Book is available for $7.70 + Shipping and Mackenzie Goes to Heaven Coloring Book is $5.00 + Shipping! Digital and Paperback copies are available.
This year has been hard on everyone, and I know I’m not the only one in need of a little self care. Often times my work week is jam packed with endless to-do lists, meetings, daily tasks, and various deadlines that I must meet. That being said, it is no wonder why I am exhausted by the end of the week. Often times I try to reserve my weekends for self care and a chance to recharge. Sometimes that happens, and sometimes it doesn’t.
If I am unable to dedicate my whole weekend to self care, I at least try dedicating my Sundays to self care. This not only helps me to rest from the previous week, but also prepare for the week ahead.
Here are a few tips and tricks on how to have your own Self Care Sunday.
1. Wake up at a reasonable time. I’m not saying get up early, and I’m not saying sleep in as late as possible. What I am saying is, wake up at a time where you are able to sleep in some, but are not sleeping the day away. For example, during the week I usually wake up at 5am and go to bed at 9pm. On the weekends, I try to sleep in until 8am and go to bed at 10pm. This allows me to sleep in some, but not feel like I am missing parts of my Sunday by sleeping.
2. Plan your day. Every morning, I review my planner, rearrange what I need to , and prepare for the day ahead. This allows me to know what I want to accomplish in the day. Often times my weekend to-do lists are things that I neglected throughout the week. Since this happens, I also choose to schedule in things that will allow me to have some self care. For example, I may schedule a nap on Sunday. I may schedule a reminder to write a blog post Sunday night.
3. Wake up slow. Allow yourself to wake up slow. For example, on Sundays I’m in my pjs at least until 11am, unless I have to go somewhere. I also take my time sipping my coffee, watching the sunrise, and catching up on what’s going on in the world.
4. Do something productive before you do something super relaxing. This is a hard one, but it honestly helps. I have found that if I do something productive, before I get comfortable and relax I feel more accomplished. Whereas if I relax and take a nap, or get into a really good tv show, then I will not get what I need to accomplished and feel defeated. So whether it’s those dishes in the sink, the laundry piling up, or the trash that needs to go out, I highly suggest getting it done first before spending the rest of your day relaxing.
5. Lastly, consider doing a relaxing activity before going to bed. Some ideas could be… yoga, prayer time, taking a hot shower, knitting or crocheting, painting, writing, reading, coloring etc.
A longing to be a mom is something I have had for a very long time. I’ve struggled the last couple years with anxiety, depression, hypothyroidism, possible endometriosis and recurrent pregnancy losses. It has been challenging to say the least.
Recently, Charles suggested that I create a vision board… something that displays my many hopes and dreams of being a mom, whether it’s through pregnancy, IVF, surrogacy or adoption.
Today I spent at least three hours creating my vision board. I found it very therapeutic to create an art project that in many ways encompasses the desires of my heart.
This vision board now holds a gentle reminder to keep the faith. Somehow and some way I feel called to be a mom. I believe someday Charles and I will make amazing parents. I don’t know how or when, but I know we will one day raise children of our own.
So for now I am going to focus on my vision, keep the faith God has given me, and hope that there is goodness coming. Good things come to those who wait. ❤️
Hello Friends! I just thought I would take a minute and give you a little update on my plants. If I were to be honest, I would have to say I think I’ve planted roughly 15 plants this year. And due to the weather, and my forgetting to water them sometimes I have had to start over and replant some. So, currently I have 7 plants!
Sandy is my palm tree that I bought on Palm Sunday. She is an indoor/outdoor plant. At the moment she is outdoors because I have a kitten that I don’t trust enough to leave her alone. Anyway, she’s grown at least 4 inches since I got her and is thriving.
Clive the Chive is huge and over grown. I’ve cut chives off him many times but I can’t seem to eat the chives as fast as he can grow them. But overall he is doing well.
Here’s the spice girls. To be honest I thought they were dead for the longest time. I didn’t see anything sprout and was super concerned. But she made it and is doing well.
This is the newest member to the plant family. This is a spinach plant that I guess I will name Ralph. I planted Ralph on Saturday and I am optimistic he will grow and thrive.
This is my green pepper plant. To be honest I thought this plant was dead too. When I first got this plant it was shriveled up and thirsty. It also didn’t help that I kept forgetting to plant it in a pot. None the less, when I finally planted this plant, she flourished. She currently has 4 green peppers growing on her. It also occurred to me that I haven’t given her a name yet. Let’s call her Penny.
Here’s Chester the mosquito plant. He’s huge and doing well. He’s does a great job at repelling mosquitoes.
And last but certainly not least, here is my tomato plant. I think it’s a cherry tomato plant but I can’t entirely remember. My Sunshine flowers didn’t make it, along Harry and Henry the tomato plants. So, I decided to try with this tomato plant instead. Let’s call this one Sylvester. Sylvester is doing super well. He has quite a few little green tomatoes on him. I can’t wait to eat them once they turn red.
Well there you go. That’s an update on my plants. How are your plants doing?
What’s my why? What’s the reason I get up everyday? What’s the reason I go to work and teach my preschoolers Monday through Friday? What’s the reason I spend hours writing my books, writing blog posts, and making a point to help others who are struggling. Why do I do what I do? What’s my why?
I get up everyday to help others. It’s what I’m meant to do. It’s my purpose. But often times, I forget about myself. I forget that I need to be taken care of too. I forget that as much as I open my heart to so many children, mommas and people, that I usually forget about my own heart and that it too needs to be nurtured.
Many years ago I developed a passion, a divine destiny, and longing to work with children. Throughout the years I have studied, and learned how to love, teach and admire each individual child that enters my life. Each child has their challenges, their own strengths, and their own story. And though I don’t always know how long each child will be in my life, it is my job as a teacher and as a person to show them love because that is the best gift I can give them.
My job can be so incredibly rewarding. I have built long lasting relationships with families, children I have taught, coworkers and other fellow teachers. Many of these people have seen me at my best and my worst. All of these people hold a special place in my heart.
Through my job as a teacher and as someone who loves kids, it can be very rewarding. It can also be very challenging.
Working with children is no easy task. It can be exhausting and emotionally draining. My patience is tested daily and sometimes hourly. I am constantly making decisions, considering choices, choosing my words, and considering how my actions can best teach and set a positive example for my kiddos. It’s not easy, but certainly not impossible.
Teaching has always emotionally affected me, as I am taking care of someone else’s kids when I so desperately desire to have my own. After suffering two miscarriages and reentering the education field, I am even more aware and emotionally affected by the reminder that I still don’t have my own healthy children.
I’m not going to sugar coat it. It sucks. It really really sucks. It’s not fair. It hurts. It’s hard. But I deal with it. Somehow I find the strength to get through it. Everyday, I ask the question, why? Why don’t I have kids yet? Why did we have to lose two babies? Why have we had to go through this? I wish I knew the answers, but I don’t think I ever will.
Through a lot of time, reflection, and healing I have seen how much of my grief, and frustration was turned into something good and used to help others. I started a blog. I’ve shared my story in person and in a magazine. I wrote a children’s book. I have connected with many women around the world who have gone through the same thing. My grief did not happen in vain, it was used to help others.
So you see, the reason I get up everyday to teach children, write blog posts, and bond with other women, is because it’s my purpose in life. It’s what I was made to do. Because of what I have went through, I am able to love and appreciate the children in my life probably more than I ever would have if I hadn’t experienced what I have. Without going through the trauma and loss I did, I wouldn’t have started a blog. I wouldn’t have felt so inspired to write and share my story. Without the bad things happening in my life, I wouldn’t appreciate the good things.
I do what I do because I love and want to help people.
I want to help moms, women, children and families. I want to help all of you. I want to support you, encourage you, guide you and strengthen you. I want to be there for you. That also means I need to be there for myself. I need to take care of me and be kind to myself while I also help others.
Again, it’s not always easy…. and it still really hurts that I am not a mom to babies here on earth. But I take it day by day, and know that my work on this earth is not going unnoticed. I love you all and I am here if you need anything. That is why I do this.
That is my why.
Have you ever heard of Ipsy? A friend of mine introduced me to Ipsy and it is truly amazing. No, this post isn’t sponsored and I’m not trying to sell you anything. This truly is just a cool company that I wanted to share with you.
Ipsy is a company that basically allows you to try different makeup samples each month. You first create an account, take a makeup quiz, find out what choices Ipsy has chosen for you and have it shipped right to your home.
It’s super neat. I am not a big makeup person and I like to drag my feet when it comes to buying makeup. But Ipsy gives me a chance to try different makeup products for a cheap price of $12. It’s awesome and I’m so glad I tried it. Go check out Ipsy friends!!!
Today has been a really rough day, and to be honest, I can’t even explain what made it so tough. You know how they say jealousy is a big ugly monster? Well, I would say grief can be a big ugly monster too. Grief seems to creep in when you least expect it and can linger and stay as long as it wants to. It can and is many times quite awful. Some days I can manage my grief of my past losses and muster up the strength and self talk just enough to feel better. But then there are other days, that the grief is so great… I can’t even get out of bed.
Today was one of those days. Today I had so much on my to do list. I was supposed to catch up on laundry, meal prep for the week, wash dishes, etc. and did I do those things? Absolutely not. I laid around, felt like crying, binged watched 7th Heaven, and cuddled my cat.
After realizing that the day had gone by, I started putting myself down, and feeling guilty because I hardly got anything done. But you know what? It doesn’t matter! My to do list that I didn’t get done was simply expectations I put on myself this weekend, and due to grief and exhaustion I just didn’t get to it, and that’s okay.
I guess my point in saying all of this is, it’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay that this weekend I didn’t do much but rest because in the end that’s exactly what I needed. The dishes, the laundry, it will all get done. So instead of putting myself down, I’m going to try to just live in the moment. I’m going to try to appreciate having time on the weekends to rest. I’m going to enjoy being a fur mama, until someday I can be mama to a baby of my own. And though my heart often aches and wishes for what is just not meant to be right now, I am going to just appreciate and be thankful for what I have instead of dwelling on what I don’t and what I simply can’t do right now.
This past weekend I was blessed to not only be given a three day weekend, but also to be able to go with my bestie Alli to a cabin.
Our trip was fun, relaxing and well needed. We not only spent some relaxing time at the cabin, but we also went shopping, stocked up on snacks, drinks and chocolate; and spent some time in the sun on the beach.
I didn’t realize it until after we came back, but going to the lake shore was on my bucket list, so now I am able to check this item off my list.
One of the best moments of the trip was probably Alli’s dog Tessa. Tessa is a shy, cute and curious puppy. She was very brave on this trip as she tried going in the lake and the creek for the very first time. She loved walking through the woods, walking through town and playing at the cabin.
One of the funniest moments of this trip was Tessa practically gassing us out of the car. On the way to the cabin and on the way back, Tessa kept tooting in the back and it was pretty terrible. In fact, we had to roll the windows down a couple of times. Regardless, it made for some good laughs and great memories.
Back in the beginning of April I planted some plants. Unfortunately none of them made it due to cold Michigan mornings, lack of sunlight and extra water. So, this past weekend I decided to try again.
This is my mosquito plant, and I shall call him Chester. I have Chester right near my door to hopefully keep the mosquitoes away. Bonus, Chester gives off a lemon-like fragrance that smells oh so fresh.
This is Lilly Lettuce. Lily will hopefully grow up and produce some yummy lettuce for salads and tacos!
This is Harry the cherry tomato plant. Harry is thriving in his watering can pot. I can’t wait to see your yummy tomatoes Harry!
These are my lovely radishes who have already started to sprout. I shall call them the Rebels because they took no time at all to reach their milestones.
These are the Spice Girl peppers new and improved! Let’s see if we can grow some spicy peppers!
This is Henry my BIG tomato plant. Henry has already grown an inch! I’m so proud of you Henry. Can’t wait to see your tomatoes!
This is Clive the Chive. Clive is pretty chill, just growing and smelling like onion.
Albert is back and cooler than ever! Albert is my cilantro plant and I can’t wait until you sprout little buddy!
This is Sandy. I didn’t plant Sandy. I actually found her in a store… and it was love at first sight. Sandy is thriving and she loves the heat!
And here are my flowers, and I will call them Sunshine. I was slightly nervous to plant flowers as I am not a huge fan of bees. But I think having flowers will be a nice touch to our balcony.
Well, there you have it. Those are all my plant babies! Can’t wait to see them grow, grow, GROW!