New Year, New Me?

I listened to The Lazy Genius podcast as I headed back to work after an extended holiday break. I was thinking about all of the things I wanted to accomplish–stay ahead of emails, get in my steps for the day, cook the healthy meal I had planned. As I was mentally staying on top of my fresh resolutions, the host, Kendra, was talking about seasons. And something she said really struck me: Everything is a season. Be where you are and learn what it has to teach you. 

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I think the beginning of a new year–and a new decade–can feel like a beautiful fresh start. But it can also bombard us with images and sentiments about a new body, a new outlook, a new approach. What if it’s all…not entirely necessary?

I can admit that I have been guilty of struggling to just be content. When I was a young, single person, I desperately pined for the days when I would have a family. When my children were born, despite wholly knowing how quickly time flies, I would still wish for them to reach milestones, to sleep through the night, to be done with bottles. The area where this hurried approach shines brightest? My treatment of myself. I couldn’t wait to grow up, couldn’t wait to have that big baby bump, to lose the baby weight, to have time for the facial, to just become the next thing. 

 

And…spoiler alert: when you’re constantly trying to become a new person, you never get to enjoy the person you are and the people you have right now. It. Is. Exhausting. It’s well intentioned, sure. The pursuit of a better self is certainly an age old noble one. But, our culture has somehow over glorified the transformation. 

Which brings me back to Kendra’s reminder. I am not a person whose livelihood rests on my glowing skin and rock hard abs (LOL, am I right?). I am a person in a season of being a working mother to two small children, shuffling piles of laundry and crockpot meals.I am in a season of trying to date my husband, getting the doc to the vet and registering for soccer.  I have arrived at a place of having what I have always wanted–so why not slow down and enjoy? Learn what it has to teach me. The temptation is to transform but what is wrong with right here?

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Don’t get me wrong, I still plan to work out. It does wonders for my health. I plan to cook healthy meals when I can because it’s good for all of us. But I don’t think it serves me to make some stringent resolution about losing 30 pounds. Instead I am simply resolving to live in the season, learn what it has to teach me, and give myself some grace. 

Here’s to a new year, a new decade, a new perspective–and good ol’ me.  

 

Natural Energy Boosters for Moms on the Go

Maybe it’s the go, go, go pace of summer break or the fact that my baby is up at 5:30 every morning but I have been on the hunt for ways to keep my energy up so we can do all of the fun things, I can keep my house somewhat clean and get dinner on the table. Here are a few ways to get a natural energy boost:

  1. Exercise — I know, I know. Don’t hate me. But it’s true. An early minute walk/run or even chasing the kids around the yard with the sprinkler on is a great way to get your blood pumping, adrenaline running and even burn a few calories. It’s a win/win and the hardest part is usually lacing up your shoes. Try it!
  2. B Vitamins– Most of us mamas are putting our own nutrition behind everyone else’s. Its important to supplement those B vitamins which are integral to turning your food into energy.
  3. Water– Proper hydration boosts your metabolism and in turn combats that sluggish feeling. Pair that with outdoor activities that can leave you feeling drained and getting in those daily ounces is more important than ever.
  4. Essential Oils– They’re all the rage for a reason. A few dabs of peppermint or orange can boost your mood and give you a little energy!
  5. Chocolate–Cocoa contains stimulants that act like caffeine. Break off a small piece of dark chocolate to savor during nap time!
  6. Distractions– A lot of time that afternoon slump comes from ruminating on stressful things. Take 5 minutes to meditate or journal and distract your mind from turning the same problems over and over. You’ll feel refreshed!
  7. Coffee– While this may sound obvious, you may be surprised to know that the specialty drinks we tend to gravitate towards as a “pick-me-up” actually contain less  caffeine than regular drip coffee.

8 Great Summer Reads

I am seeing a ton of talk around the best book to take to the beach this summer. I thought I would compile a list of books I have loved in the past that would make great reads when you are able to make some time for yourself. Any books you would add to the list?

Where the Crawdads Sing

I would argue that this is THE book of the year. I have seen so many people talking about it–and for good reason. I thought it was slow to start but about a quarter of the way in I could not put it down. I devoured the final third of the book over two nights and was genuinely sad it ended. Think: love story, beautiful writing about North Carolina landscapes, mystery. Image result for where the crawdad sings

This Will Only Hurt a Little

Busy Phillips has been a favorite Instagram follow of mine for awhile. She’s funny, refreshing and offers a unique glimpse into her celebrity life–all while seeming like a mom you would be glad to run into at school pickup. Her book is an extension of her instagram persona. Think: behind the scenes celebrity stuff, early 00’s nostalgia, parenting laughs.This Will Only Hurt a Little

The Middle Place

I devoured this book last summer at my parent’s place in Hilton Head. Sometimes being with family can drive you crazy and summer vacations are ripe for the opportunity to be annoyed–but this book gave me such great perspective. I laughed. I cried. I felt grateful. Think: great perspective on motherhood, camaraderie, memoir.Image result for the middle place

Seat Arrangements

Beach reads are supposed to be guilty pleasures: slightly dramatic, indulgent and full of love stories. This one checks all of those boxes. It’s set in New England and takes place as a wedding unfolds. It contains all of the romance, betrayal and family dynamics you need to keep turning the pages. Think: rich people, family dynamics, wedding drama.

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Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar

I love this book. I have purchased and gifted it several times because its one you’ll want to share. Cheryl Strayed has such a way with words and her life experience offers such great perspective on a variety of situations. Think: advice, affirmations, quick read. Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar

Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give

If you’re married or thinking of getting married, this is a fantastic read. It is so real and raw–a telling of Ada Calhoun’s marriage without falling into the trap of being cliche or overly glossy. She tells the good, bad and ugly while somehow reminding how truly wonderful it is to be married. Think: marriage, humor, essays.

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Hanna Who Fell From the Sky

I am a sucker for anything about cults and religions so I was drawn to this novel about a young girl coming of age in a polygamist community. I was rooting for her the entire time and couldn’t wait to find out what happened–and was truly shocked when I did. Think: page turner, coming-of-age, romance

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The Engagements

This is one of my favorite books of all time. It tells the story of a singular engagement ring as it travels through generations of couples. The perfect beach read because its romantic, fun, and engaging. Think: historical fiction, all of the reasons we fall in love. Image result for the engagements