A Year Of Self Care Review

So this year, we have challenged you to take time out for the most important person in your world.

You.



At home pedicures and new books to read
Lunches on your own for peace and quiet
Drinks out with the girls
A new outfit
Gardening

It's time that you take for you, because you burn the midnight oil with overnight feedings and diaper changes, taking kids to summer camp and sports, play hostess to events at your home, engage with your spouse in adult conversation and banter.

At the end of the day, what is left for you?

Exhaustion

When we burn the candle at both ends, we are often met with feeling run down, both physically and emotionally. We've all felt it...so let's stop the cycle, and engage in some self care!

I hope that over the past 12 months, you've learned how important you are. I hope that you've taken the time necessary to feed your soul, and recognized the value in taking that time off.

Whenever you're feeling overwhelmed or flustered, you likely need some time and space for yourself. Take it. And don't feel guilty or bad for doing so.

The best gift, afterall, that we can give our families is a well rounded and happy mom!

xoxo
Shannon

Self Care Challenge Rewards!

Happy December!!

My favourite month (next to September) is full of magic and wonder. Bright eyes and sleepy heads.

It's also full of wintery days stuck inside, dark early in the evening and late in the morning. Grey. Snow.


In this final month of our Self Care Challenge, I want you all to take a moment to reward yourself for all of the effort you have put into you.

Do something that makes you abundantly happy. A treat.

Is it a new outfit?
Massage?
Pedicure?

Or just a few moments of quiet, while you take yourself out for lunch?

Whatever it is, reward yourself.

I hope you learned how important you are. You truly are an amazing woman, and you give so very much of yourself to your children, your family, your community. I hope that you learned just how valuable and important you are.

I hope you learned that you need time to recharge those batteries now and then, and that there is no guilt in giving yourself that time and space.

Celebrate that.
Celebrate you.

xoxo
Shannon

Naptime Checkin #selfcare

Hey lady...you right there with the peacefully sleeping newborn. You, with the toddler drawing on your walls, husband working long hours, and not sure what is for dinner.

You, who've just returned to work after a too-short maternity leave.
You.

You.

Did you take a nap this month to recharge your batteries?


If you haven't had the chance to catch up on some sleep, now is your opportunity. Seize it!
Better yet, leave a list of chores or errands that need to be done, so the magical cleaning and do-gooder fairies can get some work done for you! (I'm looking at you...husbands, kids, partners, inlaws!)

Take that nap. Shut off your phone or leave it in another room on silent.
Take care of you.

Nap When the Baby Naps #selfcare

Raise your hand if you're ready for a nap!!

This month, self care takes a turn for comfy pillows, sheets, warm blankets and naptime.


Take a nap.

Being a mom is hard. It's exhausting, and even though there are so many incredible moments of pride, accomplishment, tenderness....it's still exhausting.

You deserve a nap.

A long one at that! Close the door, put in some ear plugs, or even indulge in a sleep inducing meditation.

Sleep, mama. Sleep.

For when you wake, you will move mountains.

Girls Weekend Checkin!

So, ladies....did you get your girls weekend in this month?


I cannot stress to you enough how important these self care challenges are. We are sooooo close to the end of the year and soon the kids will be out of school for winter break, you may have a foot or two of snow leaving you housebound and in need of some stress relief.

That's where self care comes in. Be it a girls weekend away, some online shopping, a bubble bath, or just a simple candlelit dinner with your spouse after the kids are in bed....it all matters.

Be good to yourself, and in turn you will find that you are able to be good to those around you.

If you haven't been able to schedule in a girls weekend, double up on self care in November.

Make it a priority, and make it happen!

Recharge Yourself with a Girls Weekend! #selfcare

Holidays....as in Christmas. I know, I know...it's not even Thanksgiving (Canadian), Halloween or Thanksgiving yet, but soon the busy holiday season will be upon us and that brings one thing with it.

Stress.

And lots of it!


This month, before the weather turns nasty and the bitter cold is knocking at your door, plan a girls weekend away. Do something silly and fun.

Laugh.
Drink wine.
Eat great food.
Laugh some more.

And no kids! Sure...talk about them (because, really, it's inevitable) but no kids allowed! This is an opportunity for you and your girlfriends to detress and recharge.

Self Care Checkin...how did you change?

This month we have heavily embraced change. We have grown, we have evolved, we have opened ourselves up to new possibilities.

The results are pretty incredible from where we stand.

How did you change this month?



Check in with yourself and see if there was something new that you tried. Maybe it was simply giving yourself that dedicated self care time that you had been depriving yourself of previously.

Whatever you changed, embrace it fully with the best intentions. Then try something new next month! Set the course for a constant flow of change in your own world, and open yourself up to new possibilities.

xoxo
Shannon

Self Care Challenge....CHANGES!

This month in self care, we encourage you to try something new. Have you always wanted to take up quilting, but aren't sure where to start? Are you terrified by the looks of crossfit, but intrigued at what your body might be able to do?


Often, the really awesome stuff happens when we step out of our comfort zones and we challenge ourselves to something new. We are so much more open to possibility when we are uncomfortable and vulnerable, so try something new this month.

Run
Crochet
Hike
Quilt
Paint
Box
Crossfit

Whatever it is that makes you go Hmm...that might be fun...stop hmmming and start doing!


xoxo
Shannon

Self Care Checkin....did you take your quiet time?

If you haven't had a few moments of peace and quiet yet this month, now is your last chance before we turn a new page in the Self Care Challenge for September!


This month we found peace and quiet in a variety of places.

In the car on the way home from an early morning birth
At Starbucks, with an iced coffee in hand
In my home studio office, with head phones on and calm birth techniques in my ears
In the still of the night while meditating

Each and every single day, make sure you take at least five minutes of quiet time for yourself. Close your eyes if you need to, imagine that beach you so badly want to sit on with a handsome cabana boy delivering you drinks per your request.

If you have a home office, or favourite reading chair, go there. Close the door. Put your feet up. And just sit.

You don't even have to do anything. Just be quiet. Enjoy the quiet.

August Self Care Challenge: Quiet Time

Happy August, mama's!

Around here, that means long weekends and loads of sunshine, so be sure to soak it up! Get outside, enjoy a water gun fight with your kiddos, read a good book, and don't forget the sunscreen!

For August's self care element....



This month is about peace and quiet. With the kids on summer break, endless parties and long weekends to attend, celebrations and then the wind down before school kicks back into gear, it's easy to get overwhelmed and feel like you don't know where the time went.

Head to your local Starbucks, Tims, Dunkin or bookstore and grab your beverage of choice. Take a book with you, grab a magazine or really...just sit and enjoy the quiet.

Bonus points if your location has a patio, and you can enjoy the sunshine at the same time!

xoxo
Shannon

Hill Sprints and Hikes...July Self Care Challenge

So the kiddos are on summer break....who wants to pull their hair out already? Is there wine in your coffee cup at 10am?

Just me? Oh, it can't be!!

I never realized how stressful it would be to be a fulltime business owner and a fulltime mom, especially in the summer with a very busy 5 year old who needs his sponge of a brain stimulated at.all.times.

So how do I take care of myself when life is at its busiest?


This month, I want you to get outside. I want you to run. I want you to bike. I want you to do hill sprints.

As a good friend of mine said on a training run back in March, be an active participant in life. Put your headphones on, crank your favourite music, or ask a good friend to go for a hike! (Jen, I'm looking at you, lady!)

Set the example for the rest of your family and tell them that you're going out for a while to run, walk, hike, or do sprints and see how proud they are of you when you get home. It's honestly, the best feeling ever!

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July Self Care Challenge, Get Active!

Ah the first month of summer vacation. Who's going crazy with me already? No? Just me? Surely there's another mom out there who is marking off the days on the calendar until the first day of school...

In any event! Here is this month's self care challenge.


The summer for moms typically means shuttling kids from camp to camp, playdates to the soccer field, beach days and so much more. It's exhausting and can be overwhelming even for the most super of supermoms.

This month, I encourage you to take some time out for yourself and do something active.

Alone.

For me, going for a run is my sacred me time. An hour and a half of just me, my music, the pavement and some space to breathe. I may think about everything, I may think about nothing. It's entirely up to me and it forces me to take a step back and do something really positive for myself.

Usually, I end up sprinting home, so I bust through the front door panting. In that moment, I feel a huge rush of accomplishment and my son, Owen, races over to me asking how my run was. He tells me that I did a good job, and that he either missed me or was worried about me (he worries about everything).

In that moment, I feel free. I feel a sense of clarity. I feel that I've shown my family that I can put myself first, and I feel proud of what I've accomplished.

Get out there. Get active!

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Fingers and Toes! June Monthly SelfCare Challenge Checkin

It's that time of the month where I hold you (yes, you!) accountable for taking time out for yourself! Whether you took a trip to the spa or locked yourself in your bathroom for a soak and to paint your nails, I certainly hope that you took time to rejuvenate yourself!


Show of hands...who went to the spa?
No?
There's still time to book yourself an appointment, and many spas have express manicure options if you are running short on time.
Would you rather stay at home?
Grab your polish or jamberry wraps, and head to the bathroom. Crank up your favorite music and dance around all silly.

Remember, the point of these monthly challenges is to inspire you to take time for yourself. Let go of the mom guilt, and treat yourself to something, whether it's a pedicure or a set of Jamberries that you've had your eye on. You deserve it!

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June Monthly Self Care Challenge

A few months ago, my bff came over and introduced me to the wide world of Jamberry nail wraps. I was absolutely fascinated by the process, and it was so nice to just spend the morning together chatting away while we did our nails. Our kids were playing in the background, chasing each other around and being crazy, but it was really nice to take some time out for ourselves.

This month, I challenge you to give yourself that self care time and do and at-home pedicure.


What color will you pick for your toes? I tend to go with darker tones, but since I have been experimenting with Jamberry wraps, I've been more likely to use lighter polishes like nude, mint and lavender.

Thinking that you just don't have time, or that the atmosphere at your house isn't tranquil enough to really relax and give yourself that down time that you so deserve? Book yourself an appointment at the spa. Leave your phone in your purse, and just enjoy the quiet!

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DIY Project Self Care Challenge Checkin

Time to post about those DIY projects that you chose to create as your self care challenge this month!


My big project over the past few months was rearranging my art studio to be a more productive office space. What started out as a hot mess is now a really lovely space. I have my art supplies mostly stored in the closet, but some out to inspire creativity and remind me to not forget my artistic roots.
On one side of the room, I have a reading chair and side table, where I can snuggle up with one of my birth or postpartum books and continue to grow my knowledge.

I have a desk area for getting down to business, with a bookcase on each side. In the cubbies I have books, promotional materials, thank you cards, client files, and even one bin full of samples and little gifts for my clients.

I framed photos of those that are near and dear to my heart....husband, Dad, Shizz, BFF's, kiddos. And have my WDW10k medal on display.

It feels like home, and I am so happy that it is finally the space that my heart has been craving.

The DIY element, aside from gutting my supplies and boxing up donations for my son's school, was the beautiful desk that my friend Lainie gave me. I gave it new life and a new purpose by making it over with Americana Chalky Paint. It's beautiful and I love it.

Start.
Create.
Finish.

I'd love to see your projects! Post them in the comments!

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Use DIY Projects as an Opportunity for Self Care

This month, the self care challenge takes a bit of a turn. It's spring..time to breathe in fresh air and start a project!


I have a whole board on Pinterest dedicated to crafty projects. There are some that I have completed, some that I have created and others that are just too awesome for me to even comprehend where to start.

Pick a project that you really love. One that jumps out off the screen and says I have to make this! Then, get crafty with your bad self and create it.

Start
Finish

The point of this months exercise in self care is to start and finish a project. Often, we start things and then discard them when something else comes along, we run out of time, or we get bored. Even if you have to work on your project five minutes here, a half an hour there...you have the entire month to take it...start it...create it...finish it.

Report back at the end of the month with your projects! I can't wait to see them!


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April Self Care Challenge

I'm really hoping that the old addage of April showers bring May flowers isn't true this month, but on the off chance that this post meets you with rain, look forward to the coming of Spring.

Rebirth
Breath
Growth

Hold that dear as we get to our April self care challenge exercise!


Turning over the soil and breathing new life into your garden is your activity for this month. Clean out the debris that fall and winter has left, and see the green again.

There's alot to be said for getting your hands dirty, and a certain sense of accomplishment when you get out there and beautify the space that you live in. Your soul is replenished, there is new breath...new life.

And, what's even better is that you get to wash off all of that dirt and grime after you're done tilling the earth. Make it an extra long hot shower, and sing your little heart out!

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Self Care Challenge Check-in

Time for an accountability check!


If you haven't taken time to have a girls night out, even just for a drink or a coffee, today is your last chance. Well...at least for the month. I strongly encourage you to seek the comfort and conversation of your girlfriends at least once a month. It may just be a quick lunch when everyone has an hour to spare (my bff's and I try to shoot for one Tuesday a month) or it may be going mall walking and catching up while the baby's sleep in their strollers. Whatever the case, make it happen.

So! Let's here it! Where did you go? Did you try a fancy new drink?

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Self Care Challenge: March

Can you smell it? Feel it?

Spring.

It's right around the corner. If you still have snow on the ground, I bet the tiny crocus have popped out to show their beauty. Spring is almost here...you can almost touch it!

This month for self care, we are focusing on fun.


I bet your haven't put yourself first in a long while and had a simple night of fun, out with your friends.

No dirty diapers to change
No babies to feed
No midnight murmurings on the baby monitor

Book a night with your girlfriends, and spend some time getting ready. Have a long, hot shower (when was the last time that you had one of those?!), complete with singing at the top of your lungs. Put on your fancy heels, a bit of bling and an extra layer of lipgloss.

Oh! And double check for spit up stains on your way out the door! If you have one, a baby wipe should clean it off pretty easily!
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February Self Care Challenge Checkin #selfcare

Even though February is a short month, I do hope that you were able to work in a few minutes for self care, especially since it is the month so closely associated with romance and love.


How did you love yourself this month? Your challenge was to look in the mirror and for five minutes, appreciate every wrinkle, line, and flaw.

With every line, there is a story. I have a scar on my neck from a cyst that needed to be removed when I was in high school. I remember, fondly, that my Dad got a real kick out of moving the light for our doctor and paraded around all day saying he assisted with my surgery.

I have a scar over my eye from pulling on my dogs whiskers when I was three
I have stretch marks on my belly from carrying three precious babes
I have stretch marks on my hips and arms from weight loss
I have lines on my forehead from worry and stress

But they are all mine and they tell my story, and for that...I love them.

Do you love yours?
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