beet&baguette

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

Tag: relax

Tranquility

I’m sitting at the bar in our kitchen, typing this post, with the baby monitor on my right and a cold cup of coffee on my left.

Colin is taking his morning nap.

A few of the windows are open, and I can hear birds chirping and gathering old seeds that have fallen from the dregs of our empty feeder out back. I can also hear Merlin (one of our cats) snoring. He’s asleep on the bar stool next to mine. A sense of calm filled the air as soon as Colin fell asleep. It’s a moment of peace and renewal between the bouts of laughter, crumbs, wriggles, dirty diapers, stories, and overall chaos that is my life as a stay-at-home-mom. I love every bit of it, I really do.

But I also love these quiet moments.

These moments of tranquility are like little gifts when my sleep was sporadic or yesterday was particularly trying.

Today’s Scribble Picnic theme is “Cabin”. I actually sketched this cozy A-frame cabin in bed last night – and doing so brought me a little bit of tranquility when I was having trouble falling asleep last night. I drew a place that I would want to be. I’d love to be reading a book in this little cabin, preferably by a warm fireplace, with soft blankets, and coffee that’s actually hot! Oh, and there absolutely must be snow on the ground outside!

But my little house in Chapel Hill, in my messy kitchen, with my cold cuppa will do just fine for me today.

xo Cassie

PS – I hope you’ll join in on next week’s Scribble Picnic challenge – the theme is “Umbrella”.

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 Graze.com 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

Mental note: Time to relax

relax

Lately, I find myself struggling with relaxing. I don’t often think of myself as a stressed-out individual, nor do I think I have “too much on my plate”, so what’s going on?! Given the long weekend we just had, I was hoping to kick-back, enjoy some good ol’ family time, and mentally sail far, far away from the real world. For some reason, I never quite got there. UGH.

Here’s a little of what we got into this weekend…

On Friday, we celebrated my best friend’s 25th birthday with her family (visiting from PA), a few close friends, and a number of cold pints (okay, you caught me… a couple of shots, too). Happy birthday, Rachel! For the rest of the weekend, Rich and I drove down to Topsail Island to stay with my parents and my sister Kara. Don’t get me wrong, we had a great time, and the weather was (for the most part) amazing. Beach walks, reading, a little sunbathing, a shrimp boil, plenty of cold drinks to go around (not to make us all out to be lushes or anything…) – I mean, I must be a lunatic to not feel at ease, right?

I’m working on planning/scheduling (yeah, I know those are not relaxation words) more down-time into the evenings of my work week, in hopes of getting more comfortable with the idea that IT IS OKAY to do nothing. I will admit— I like to feel productive. Sometimes the idea of “doing nothing” actually makes me anxious. Am I wasting time? Isn’t there something I should be doing? What needs to be done? Should I plan something to do?

It’s exhausting how often I ask myself these questions.

I know, I’m a freak.

Hell, I am likely stressing YOU out now…

Does anyone else have trouble relaxing on vacation, or even just on a weekend? I’d love to hear your tips and tricks for “checking-out” of the real world, feeling at-ease, and just being okay with being lazy!

Image via About Design USA

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