food, travel, lifestyle, and a hearty serving of motherhood

Fill Your Cup

We all know that we should take care of ourselves, right?

However, most of us struggle to grasp the difference between “self-care” and “indulgence”.

Self-care: noun, care of the self without medical or professional consultation.
Indulgence: noun, the act or practice of indulging; gratification of desire.

For me, both of these nouns are necessary when paving a road toward a fulfilled life. The phrase “You can’t pour from an empty cup” means to put yourself first. Literally. You have to take care of YOU. How can I be a good friend / wife / sister / daughter / mother if I cannot first find a sense of peace and stability in my own life? I’m not much use to anybody if I’m feeling worn out or overworked.

With our little guy’s arrival only 11 short weeks away (wait, what?), it’s time to make self-care a habit so that I can be the best mom that I can possibly be.

After reading countless blogs about healthy habits, self-care, and little indulgences, here’s a list of things that I vow to work on:

Read an actual book — Not an iPad. As per recommendation, I’ve started reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. I can already tell that this book is going to prove incredibly useful as Richard and I prepare for our baby boy to arrive.

Keep the calendar up-to-date — Richard and I share a Google Calendar. We can both add (and edit) events and appointments, so that we are constantly in the know. This helps us avoid “surprises”.

Drink tea — Yep. It’s that simple. When you really sit down to enjoy a cup of tea (or coffee), you are able to practice complete mindfulness. You aren’t thinking about what comes next or what task you still need to work on… you’re just enjoying life in that very moment. And to me, that’s big.

Create a haven — Make your bedroom your happy place. We have new bedroom furniture coming (which I’m SO excited about), and this is going help move our bedroom in the direction of being a peaceful place. Right now, we have a miss-match smorgasbord of furniture from before Richard and I met!

Hug someone — This sounds stupid, I know. But when I come home after a long day on my feet, a big hug from Richard seems to melt any lingering stress away. Hugs are awesome. Don’t underestimate their power.

Drink water — And lots of it. I feel infinitely better on days that I drink 10+ cups of water. Ask anyone who knows me, I LOVE water. I drink it constantly. It helps my mood, I swear. Plus, it’s just good for you.

Get a massage — My brother recently gave me a Groupon for a prenatal massage at a nearby spa. What an amazing gift. I was able to indulge AND experience something that actually helped me recharge. I’ve decided to make massage a regular part of my life. After all, I’m not spending money on craft beers lately… So that calls for a “treat yo self”! If massage isn’t your thing, get a manicure or pedicure. Get your hair done. Buy a new outfit. Sometimes these little things can change our outlook on an entire week.

Carry snacks with you — I’ve been a fan of boxes for about a year and a half now. (Thanks, Mom and Kara!) I throw them in my lunchbox and my purse, I pack them on trips (sometimes pretzels on an airplane just doesn’t cut it), and I most certainly bring them to the gym. It’s nice to feel prepared when that afternoon hunger pang strikes!

Travel — This is a must. Richard and I have a few places that are very special to us, and it’s important for us to get away from everyday life every once in a little while. So, get out there and see it all.

As my 91-year-old grandfather so often (and so wisely) says,

“Just do everything.”

Acadia 2

Acadia National Park, October 2015

Our trip to Acadia National Park, October 2015

How do you feel when making time for you? Does it come easily, or do you feel a bit selfish from time to time? What does self-care mean to you? I’d love to hear your tips and thoughts!

xo Cassie


  1. Cassie, I hope more people read this as it’s really an excellent (and well written) post!

    I totally agree with EVERYTHING you’ve written here. Kudos to Richard giving you hugs each day when you get home–all so very important.

    The difference with self care and indulgence is the measure of it. Like anything, we can over indulge and get fat on too much but that is not to say we can’t eat AND enjoy what we consume too, ideally. Taking time out to take care of yourself, esp when preggers and with children at home is crucial. It will create a more peaceful nurturing environment for yourself and the family.

    Well, if you haven’t read my comments on Mary’s blog post on “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” then please do so, saving myself retyping everything again! Suffice it to say though, I LOVE this book and have the sequel, “Spark Joy” now to read too. (One of those things I am trying to do also–read actual books more!)

    Both Alexandra and I found AMrie Kondo’s book transforming. Yes, she may go a bit overboard but I think only someone like that could have written such a book, let alone come up with such a successful system that truly is life changing. We have never have much clutter and both having gone through some hard financial stuff still nevertheless had more than we needed in clutter. I am so glad we followed everything she said. It truly makes our home more peaceful and our minds less cluttered too trying to keep track of everything. I only hope you get a chance to get through the book before your son arrives! You won’t regret it.

    And yes, time for tea is always a good thing. For now, I suspect you must avoid caffeine in the afternoons but soon you will need it. 🙂 Enjoy this magical time of making a home for your son and for each other. Thrilling, no end.

    • Cassandra

      February 16, 2016 at 7:33 am

      Thank you so much for your comment, Michael! I am really enjoying Marie’s book, though I will need to kick the tidying into high gear if I hope to accomplish anything before our little boy makes his big debut! I, too, purchased “Spark Joy” — obviously haven’t gotten to that one yet! Richard and I aren’t too bad when it comes to having overwhelming amounts of “stuff”, but I do tend to let craft supplies (etc) accumulate before realizing that I don’t use much of it but every so often… so that issue simply seems to call for a better organization system.

      And yes, enjoying a cup of coffee now, and likely another one later this morning… but yes, I cut back around 1pm, as my nights have become a bit more restless, what with trying to get comfortable and frequent bathroom trips!!

  2. BTw, my pregnant co worker is also loving her pre-natal massages! Wonders never cease. They did not offer such things when we were expecting. Another thing to savour.

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