so, as sporadic as my posting has been over the past year, there's a theme i keep coming back to when i sit down to write. it's something i think about a lot. something i talk through often with dear friends. something i find myself gravitating to as i'm reading books and blogs. this effort to be more intentional, to slow down, to take care of things -- that with the speed and pace of our lives, our culture, it takes a sustained effort to go against that tide when it makes you feel frantic or feels inauthentic to how you want to live your life.
for me, that's touched how i think about what we have in our house. the pace of ellie's day. the choices i make about how i spend my time. the food we eat & the way we welcome people into our house. and recently, how i take care of myself.
as i came out of the fog of morning sickness, i realized that getting ready in the morning and winding down at night had become a total task for me. this didn't begin with this pregnancy, it had slowly been creeping in and all of the sudden, i realized how little i was doing to take care of myself.
i could totally take the martyr line of being a mom with little ones -- that ellie was tugging on my leg and so of course i took three minutes to splash water on my face, maybe put on a bit of make up and pull on the yoga pants (again). that at night, i fell numb on the couch after putting ellie to bed, and by the time i dragged myself upstairs, the ritual of ending the day was brushing my teeth and crawling into bed. my skin was a total mess from the hormones and i felt hopeless in dealing with it. that getting dressed, in "real" clothes, had just fallen off my radar screen. this comes at a moment when i'm keenly aware how closely ellie is watching me. every morning when i get dressed she asks me "mommy, when i get bigger, can i wear that?! you save it for me?" she'll peak in as i'm putting on make-up and stand on her tip toes to see what i'm doing. one of the things about raising girls that worries me the most is how they'll come to see themselves, to understand what beautiful means, and to reconcile all of that in a healthy way that makes them feel a strong sense of self worth. even at two and a half, i know oh so well, she's watching -- and for now, she's mostly watching me.
then, as blogs can beautifully do, i realized i wasn't the only one. that other young moms were looking around and saying that this wasn't how they wanted to take care of themselves. that they wanted to find products that worked and were made from natural things. they wanted to get dressed for the day because of the difference it made in how they approached the day (posts i've loved here, here, here, here, here & here!). i read their posts and fell myself nodding along, making mental notes and slowly making small changes in my routine. in case any of you are looking to make small tweaks, here are some things that have worked for me:
i recently discovered lush and the first thing i ever bought there was the love lettuce face mask -- i've been using it about once a month (for several days in a row) for a year and it is by far the most effective reset button when my face is breaking out. it feels amazing and produces huge results. i love that it's cold, i love how it smells (which is saying something with my crazy pregnancy nose!) and love that i can count on it to make a difference.
i also started using their grease lightning to address my break outs. the weird thing about my skin this pregnancy is it has been broken out and really dry. following sydney's advice, i gave pure coconut oil a try as my moisturizer. i use the grease lightening and coconut oil each morning and night and have seen my skin improve with each week.
my skin, in general, has been very dry and i absolutely love lush's dream cream -- for my growing belly especially. it sits on my nightstand as a reminder at the end of the day to slow down for a bit.
when i was so sensitive to smells during my first 20 weeks, i saw this bar of soap at whole foods and decided to give it a try -- well, i'm never going back. it's so simple and so great. i love using it with this cloth from target (make sure you get the one marked gentle).
one other really awful thing about my morning sickness is that brushing my teeth is one of the biggest triggers for my nausea (which is awesome when you're throwing up all the time). i was getting so frustrated and finally realized all the toothpastes i'd tried were mint, and decided to borrow ellie's strawberry toothpaste -- and it worked! hooray!!
i won't go into how i dyed my hair orange (twice) earlier this year and the ridiculous hair situation i created for myself as i tried to save money on highlights (it was a mess) -- the result was i did quite a number on my hair. the good news is it made me more aware that i was washing my hair way too often and how to condition it better. i grabbed this amika hair mask at one point and absolutely love it -- my hair is slowly, slowly getting stronger and this product has made the biggest difference.
clothes is something i still really need to tackle -- i've been totally inspired by this and definitely have just been shopping less. laundry is already out of control at our house, and soon we're going to add a baby (which especially as a newborn, produces an absurd amount!) -- so i'm thinking about how to have less, that's better made, that makes me feel ready for the day & beautiful. this blog has been totally inspiring me as of late on this front.
two disclaimers, this is not a sponsored post (the little blog that could over here folks!) and this also isn't meant to be a pregnancy post -- while i made these choices during this pregnancy, i'm not planning on stopping any of this when the baby comes.
ok, now will you, share your favorites? your rituals? i can't wait to hear!