10 Ways I’m Practicing Self Care

If you’ve followed me for awhile, then I’m sure you know about the tragedy our family faced last year. Back in March, my youngest son Evan suffered 4 massive strokes. Needless to say it was a year of complete devastation and heartbreak. Nothing can ever prepare you for the life shattering experience that is nearly losing a child, and then trying to gather yourself and face the years of uncertainty and challenges to come. Covid of course made an already difficult time about a million times worse, as we were really alone in trying to navigate this sudden new life with a very medically fragile child. We even reached a point where we were no longer able to attend some of Evan’s therapies in person due to the lax Covid policies of the hospital where we were attending outpatient sessions – which meant I was trying to manage Evan’s daily therapy sessions at home via telehealth. There were no therapy based schools open due to Covid, so I became his homeschool teacher too. And of course still trying to care for my other son, oversee his distance learning, and keep up on household responsibilities. Needless to say…I hit the wall of exhaustion by the end of the year. I knew it was time for some changes and I needed help because Evan’s recovery will take many, many years and I know I can’t continue to do it 100% on my own.

While my story is definitely extreme, I know a lot of moms can relate to the burnout of last year. Suddenly becoming a homeschool teacher and dealing with all the stress and uncertainty of a pandemic definitely made for a hard year for so many. I know that many others also suffered losses of loved ones from Covid (and other tragedies), and for anyone suffering…my heart goes out to you and you are not alone.

I am happy to report that I’m starting 2021 off with finally getting some much needed help which will be wonderful for Evan in his recovery, and also give me a bit of free time. A therapy based school that we had Evan on the list for was finally able to reopen, and he’s now going to school a few days a week. He has been so excited to make some new friends, and his first month of school has been going incredibly well. And with this bit of free time, I’m going to start working on making my own self care a priority. Brain injury recovery is a marathon and this is something we will be working hard on for many years. I know that in order to continue to care for Evan, as well as the rest of my family, I need to take care of myself first. I’ve been horrible about not doing the things I know I need to be doing the keep me fueled and in a good mental space. So this year I’m prioritizing my self care and I am going to make sure that I do the things I need to do for myself so that I have the ability to continue to care for everyone else. I’ve put together this self care checklist to remind myself daily to carve out time for these things, and hopefully it can help you too!

In addition to a daily reminder checklist, I’ve found that creating a self care “toolkit” is also really helpful for me and I have a number of products I use that help promote my personal self care. I put together this list of products to help you create your very own self care toolkit to help give you ideas for ways to practice your own self care.

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One | Journaling is a really effective tool for dealing with stress, and I love that this journaling book contains a lot of prompts to help guide you

Two | I try to read this devotional every day. It’s a quick way to connect with God and make time for spirituality.

Three | Melatonin has been so helpful for me this past year in helping me overcome sleep difficulties

Four | I have and love this sleeping mask. I find that when I’m too tired to do my full skincare routine, a sleeping mask is the quickest way to give my skin a little extra pampering

Five | This sleeping mask contains melatonin and I’m really wanting to try it

Six | Starting your day off with an affirmation is a great way to put you in a positive mindset

Seven | Drinking enough water is a constant work in progress for me. This motivational water bottle that encourages you to keep drinking is sitting in my cart

Eight | Our entire family has weighted blankets, and they really do help with anxiety. When Evan was still in the PICU following his strokes, it greatly helped him in his recovery and there are so many studies showing how beneficial they are.

Nine | A cup of calming tea makes for a great bedtime ritual

Ten | Keeping one of these little stress balls with motivational quotes on it in your purse can help you get through any anxious thoughts that pop up throughout the day

Eleven | We’ve been loving using oils for Evan, and they really helped with calming him during his hospitalization. You could alternatively pick an energizing scent to help perk you up during the day as well.

Twelve | We love having our diffuser going so that the entire family can enjoy scented oils

Thirteen | I love using aromatherapy in the shower, and I especially love citrus scents for a bit of extra energy in the morning

Fourteen | I recently bought this pillowcase and absolutely love it! It’s been a game changer in helping reduce my breakouts and just feels lovely to sleep on too

Fifteen | Eye gels really help de-puff my eyes when I’ve had a poor night’s sleep or am just feeling some extra stress

Sixteen | I’m honestly not much of a bath person, but this “emotional detox” bath soak may just change my mind

Seventeen | This supplement is supposed help with stress management by normalizing cortisol levels and it has great reviews

Eighteen | There’s something about a pair of insanely cozy socks that always makes me feel better

Nineteen | I often get into a funk around this time of year due to lack of sunlight. This affordable sun lamp has rave reviews, and can really help those struggling with Seasonal Affective Disorder

Twenty | I’m really intrigued by these finger acupuncture rings which are supposed to help alleviate tension

Twenty One | This sea wool sponge is a great way to give you a little extra pampering during your shower

Twenty Two | This highly reviewed CBD oil provides incredible hydrating and skin softening effects

Twenty Three | I absolutely love facial rolling and find it so incredibly relaxing and de-stressing

Twenty Four | This lavender filled acupressure pillow can help with neck and back pain, as well as headaches

Twenty Five | This weighted sleep mask can help with easing anxiety and promoting sleep

Twenty Six | A comfortable meditation cushion can help you get comfortable during mediation or prayer

A quick update about Evan’s progress in case you are wondering. When we arrived home from the hospital at the end of May, he could only say 4 words without prompting or help. He spoke in a whisper and was difficult to understand. He couldn’t feed himself. It was hard to know what he understood because he couldn’t really answer any questions and struggled following directions. He had zero mobility. His right arm was almost completely paralyzed. Now, nearly one year into his recovery, he is speaking in full sentences. He’s regaining new words every single day and he’s a total chatterbox talking all day long. His speech is very clear and about 95% of what he says is perfectly understandable. His therapy preschool teacher feels that he is absolutely on track to start Kindergarten this fall in a regular classroom with an IEP. He’s feeding himself independently. He’s walking independently in a gait training walker & walking short distances with minimal support (just holding my hands for balance). He is back to playing some of his favorite games like building legos and he navigates the iPad incredibly well (although he’s still slowly relearning how to play some of his favorite games like Minecraft). He has relearned his abcs, counts to 20, can spell and identify the letters of his name, knows the days of the week, and he’s starting to be able to trace simple lines. While his right hand is still significantly impaired, he’s gained a ton of movement in his arm. He has the sweetest, most loving spirit and is always giving compliments to everyone and wanting to brighten everyone’s day. While there’s no doubt we have still have a long ways to go, he continues to work incredibly hard and make progress daily. This journey has been difficult, but with continued hard work, faith, and prayer there is the beauty of hope that our best days are still ahead.

A Cozy Winter Weekend…

This past weekend the kids had a 4 day winter break, which coincided with Valentine’s Day and a huge winter snow storm where we ended up getting over 8 inches of snow. This winter has been incredibly mild here in Boise, so finally getting a big snowfall made for such a fun mini staycation. We had a blast building a snowman, having snowball fights, drinking lots of hot cocoa by the fire, and enjoying Valentine’s Day together with lots of yummy treats.

Sweater (old – similar) | Leggings | Coat | Mittens (similar) | Boots | Similar Hat | Sunglasses
Placemats | Plates | Napkin Rings (similar) | Flatware | Similar Glasses | Similar Vase | Similar Pitcher | Similar Cake Stand | Similar Serving Utensils | Similar Glass Heart Dish
Lounge Set (old – similar) | Similar Headband

Best Of President’s Day Sales

Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you are having a wonderful day with those you love. And if you are looking to enjoy a bit of shopping today, there are some great sales happening this weekend for President’s Day. I wanted to share a few of my favorite picks and best sales.


J Crew – 30% off nearly everything with code SPRING

Madewell – 20% off everything

Nordstrom – up to 50% off sale

Banana Republic – 40% off your purchase

Sephora – Up to 50% off

J Crew Factory – 40 – 60% off everything and additional 60% off clearance with code BIGCOZYSALE

H&M – 20% off sitewide

Anthropologie – Extra 50% off all sale items

Target – 20% off clothing and shoes

Ulta – Up to 50% off sale

Backcountry – Up to 50% off sale

Save Or Splurge…Dark & Moody Accessories

As winter continues to drag on, lately I’ve been finding myself drawn to all things dark and moody. We’re currently hunkered down here in Boise with a winter storm warning and expecting a lot of snow over the coming days. I know it won’t be long before spring will arrive with all of it’s pastels and florals, so I’m trying to embrace these last weeks of winter and looking to add a few dark accessories to my wardrobe. Here’s a little save or splurge accessory inspiration for your Friday.


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My Favorite Beauty Products For Battling Winter Dryness

Dr Dennis Gross Clinical Grade Resurfacing Liquid Peel Regular exfoliation is key to getting rid of dry flaky skin and allowing your moisturizers to penetrate the skin. This exfoliation treatment manages to be gentle on my dry, irritated skin while eliminating any dry patches.

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 This is an Allure Best of Beauty winner for a reason. Hyaluronic acid is a must have daily product for moisturizing skin and this affordable option does an amazing job.

Mario Badescu Protein Night Crème In the harshest winter months I find that very few moisturizers can adequately moisturize my dry skin. This moisturizer is incredibly hydrating and rich and leaves my skin plumped and glowing.

The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil I’ve tried a multitude of oils and always come back to this one. Rose hip oil is amazing for not only moisturizing but also for calming irritated skin.

LANEIGE Water Sleeping Mask For when even a great moisturizer isn’t quite enough for battling winter dryness, this mask is an amazing addition to my skincare routine. You simply put this sleeping mask on top of all of your other skincare as a final step in your nighttime routine, and wake up to impossibly soft skin in the morning.

LANEIGE Lip Sleeping Mask Chapped lips are always a big struggle for me in the winter, and this lip mask has been a game changer for me. It is by far the most hydrating lip balm I’ve ever used and keeps my lips soft all winter long.

L’Occitane Shea Butter Foot Cream My feet are always a dry, flaky mess in the winter and this rich cream is the only thing that works for moisturizing them.

Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve With all of the extra hand washing and hand sanitizer this year, my hands have taken a beating. I keep a tube of this in my purse to moisturize my hands throughout the day.

Keihl’s Crème de Corps The holy grail of body moisturizers. I stock up on this in the jumbo sizes every year at the Nordstrom anniversary sale and my whole family uses it. It is so rich and I also love that it is unscented for the most sensitive of skin.

L’Oréal Elvive 8 Second Wonder Water I’m constantly battling dry, staticky hair in the winter months. I discovered this product over the summer, and this has been a game changer for me especially in the winter. It leaves my hair so silky, soft, and tangle free.

Valentines Books To Read With Your Little Sweetheart

Evan’s Sweater (J Crew – similar) | Evan’s Pants (H&M – similar) | My Sweater (Nordstrom, old – similar) | My Jeans | Book

One of my favorite Valentine’s Day traditions with my kids is gifting them a small gift basket while we have a special family dinner. Some of the gifts I typically give in their basket are things like candies, favorite snacks, a tee shirt or pajamas, small toys or games, and almost always – a book or two. Books truly are the best gift for any occasion, and I especially love giving my kids holiday themed books for each holiday. Evan will definitely be getting a Valentine’s book in his little gift basket, and today I wanted to share some Valentine’s themed books to share with your littlest sweethearts.

Valentines Finds For Around The House

I love celebrating every holiday and trying to make each holiday feel a bit special for my family. While I don’t go all out with decorating for smaller holidays like Valentine’s Day, I still like to add a few festive touches around the house. Today I wanted to share a few fun finds to add to your home decor this holiday.

One | These sweet wooden bowls don’t scream Valentines Day and could be used year round

Two | I love the blush color of this throw pillow

Three | Make your morning coffee a little sweeter

Four | This tiered serving tray is perfect for serving Valentines treats

Five | Such a sweet doormat

Six | I love this darling little gold heart frame

Seven | A pretty serving tray for your Valentines dinner

Eight | This little “love” trivet is so fun

Nine | A heart throw pillow is a great way to add a little festive touch to any space

Ten | Barefoot dreams makes the coziest blankets, and this blush colored one is on sale!

Eleven | Would be so cute for displaying some Valentines candies

Twelve | A heart shaped wreath is always a simple and fun way to add a little festive touch

Thirteen | I love this ruffled pie dish

Fourteen | I just ordered these rose napkin rings which are on major sale

Fifteen | I also just bought these melamine heart plates! I’ve been looking for heart shaped blush plates for ages and these are perfect.

Sixteen | A candle is one of the easiest ways to add a festive touch

Seventeen | These watercolor heart prints are so pretty

Eighteen | Festive dish towels are another super simple way to add a little Valentines fun to your kitchen

Mommy And Me Valentines Pajamas

In spite of the pandemic, our Valentine’s Day won’t look much different than it usually does. After nearly 13 years of marriage and two kids, I have to admit I’m past the point of celebrating a “romantic” Valentine’s Day. The holiday has become a family affair over the years and we typically celebrate with a few small gifts and a family dinner. Valentine’s Day lands on a Sunday this year, so I foresee a lazy day in our jammies watching Disney movies and having some sweet treats! Today I wanted to round up some cute Valentine’s Day pajamas for you and your little valentines to cozy up in together.


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One | Two | Three | Four | Five (matching mom set available too!)| Six | Seven | Eight

The $4 Top I Can’t Stop Wearing

Top | Jeans | Similar Boots | Similar Trench | Bag | Headband

J Crew has been having some really killer post holiday sales and one of my favorite things I snapped up (and have been wearing constantly) is this leopard print tissue turtleneck. It can be worn about a million different ways and literally goes with anything. It is currently on sale for $4.49 with code SHOPSALE and there are still quite a few sizes left.

Here’s a few other ways I’m styling this versatile top…

Top | Jeans | Similar Coatigan | Sneakers | Bag

And here’s a few other additional 50% off sale (with code SHOPSALE) items I’m loving at J Crew right now…

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One | This gorgeous cashmere blend coat is marked down to $178.49

Two | The perfect winter white pompom beanie and its marked down to $11.99

Three | I already own this parka in red and black, and I just added the heather acorn color to my collection. This gray color is nearly fully stocked and all colors are marked down to $168.99

Four | This pretty sweater comes in a few other colors as well and is marked down to $16.49

Five | Such a pretty beaded shift dress marked down to $48.99

Six | These colorful earrings would be so pretty for spring and are marked down to $7.49

Seven | Another great piece for spring marked down to $24.99 with lots of sizes available

Eight | The perfect silky top for Valentine’s Day (also comes in red!) marked down to $28.99

Nine | This is such a great classic coat and while there are a lot of other colors available, this green is gorgeous and nearly fully stocked in all sizes. Marked down to $146.49

Ten | This soft yarn sweater also comes in some other colors, but this periwinkle blue is so pretty and nearly fully stocked in all sizes. Marked down to $31.99

Essentials For A Good Night’s Sleep

This past year hasn’t exactly been a low stress year for me, and it’s safe to say my sleep has suffered this year. Evan’s strokes and Covid have certainly wreaked havoc on my life and when I’m dealing with anxiety, I have a very hard time falling asleep at night. One of my big goals this year is to try to have better sleep hygiene and really try to get eight hours of sleep every night. I’ve found that getting into a routine really does help my body wind down and give it cues that it’s time to sleep. I’ve also discovered a few items and tools that really do help me relax at night and have an easier time falling asleep, and today I wanted to share them with you.

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One | A few months ago I purchased this silk pillowcase and I don’t know why I didn’t buy one sooner. It has helped diminish breakouts, I wake up with smooth hair, and it feels so luxurious. There are certainly pricier versions out there, but this one is fantastic for the price.

Two | Any light peeking in really disturbs my sleep, and a mask ensures total darkness. And of course, another luxurious silk option.

Three | I’m really particular about pajamas and I don’t sleep well in anything that isn’t comfortable and breathable. These are my absolute favorite pajamas and have several pairs.

Four | This sleep spray really helps me relax, and it just takes a small spritz on my pillows along with some deep breathing to help me fully wind down.

Five | This might sound a little weird, but one thing that really helps me relax is doing some jade rolling in bed. After I’ve applied all of my skincare I like to lay down and close my eyes and do a little facial massage/jade rolling. It really helps me relax and calm my mind.

Six | A warm bath with relaxing bath bombs is a great way to prepare my body for sleep.

Seven | I started taking melatonin recently and it’s done wonders for my sleep. I find that 10mg is the perfect dose for me.

Eight | I cannot sleep at all without white noise and a noise machine. It filters out all of the other noise in the house and helps calm my mind.

Nine | My weighted blanket is wonderful for easing my anxiety and promoting relaxation.

Ten | I’ve not tried this lotion yet, but it’s on my list to order. It has melatonin and lavender in it, has rave reviews, and it’s under $5.