Remember the Moments

Oh the holidays....my absolute favourite time of the year!

It's so easy to get lost in the season. From attending countless gatherings to sneaking gifts away for your kids and hoping they don't find your secret stash of candy. And then hosting gatherings or maybe traveling out of town!

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When things move fast and life gets busy, it's easy to get overwhelmed. It's easy for things like panic and anxiety to take hold, and when the stress is already high at the holidays, things can spiral out of control really quickly.

Here are some tips for dealing with stress around the holidays:

  1. Find some quiet - just five minutes away with the lights turned off and your hand over your heart. Breathe in and out slowly, for about 10 breaths.
  2. Get to water - whether you're fortunate enough to be around a beach, or you can simply take a bath, there is a tonne of merit to having a healing bath!
  3. Indulge! It's ok to sneak away and hide from the kids with a treat now and then!
  4. Set time limits - set time limits when you are going to family gatherings. Families, while awesome, can be massive triggers for postpartum mental health concerns. Put structure around your visits and set a time limit. Then you'll know what to expect and there will be no surprises!
  5. Hit the gym! It's true that exercise releases happy endorphins and it's a great way to let stress out!

And when in total doubt, give us a call. We are always happy to meet for coffee and give you a sounding board!

Cleo Madison Clothing Review

When Cleo Madison contacted me over the summer about doing a collaboration of some sort, I immediately wanted to get them involved in our Acts of Kindness campaign. The weather, however, had other plans and was a sweltering 34C on September 21st, making it near impossible to wear the gorgeous ruby red Lucy top that they sent me.

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Now that the weather has changed to cooler temperatures, this long sleeved, super soft shirt is perfect.

It hangs so beautifully on the body! I was happy that it hugged my arms and chest, but gently floated away from my tummy...an area that alot of moms struggle with after having a baby or two. I struggle so much with my ever changing body, that I often just don't shop for myself. Putting a quality piece of clothing on your body that fits you perfectly in all the right places will change how you view yourself in the mirror (for the better!)

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So far, I've worn it to teach meditation classes, to business meetings and on a date-night with my husband. It is so versatile! It easily goes from the yoga studio with a pair of athletic leggings, to an evening out with accessories and heels. The colour is perfect for every season, too!

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I cannot recommend this company enough. They are so personable and easy to work with!! They have a gorgeous collection of dresses, tops, skirts and super cute swimwear at affordable prices! Be sure to check out their footwear, too! My personal favourite are the Monaco Ankle Booties!

xo

Shannon

Make Yourself a Priority

So the holidays have come and gone. Have you found you way out from underneath the crumpled wrapping paper, bows, chocolate, rushed schedules and gatherings?

While the holidays are certainly awesome and are a great time to spend moments with those who matter most to us, recovering from three can be a difficult task.

This month in Mindful Motherhood, we encourage you to make yourself a priority.

You.
Are.
Important.

 

Whether you are pregnant, newly postpartum or you have older kids, every mom deserves a break after a busy holiday season.

Start your cycle of self care this month so you start this beautiful new year off on the right foot. Set the intention that this will be a year that you finally make yourself a priority.

Take an art class
Go to yoga
Get a massage

Tell someone you trust about your plans for self care, and if they're a mom - encourage them to do the same! Keep one another accountable and feel good about taking these moments out for yourself!

Make yourself a priority.

You are important.

Mommy Time Out

We have had such a great time with Moms Get Social over the past year - connecting with local moms and their babies in London, Ontario for a weekly social walk at Westmount Mall and Springbank Park.

It seems, though as with most things in life, that the needs of the moms who come to MGS are changing and shifting. Getting out for a walk and chat with babies in tow is awesome, but sometimes....you need a time out.



What can you expect at the new monthly Mommy Time Out events? Well...the biggest change will be that the babies and children will be (when possible) left at home. This is a chance for you to get out, have some space to yourself and do things that you want to do...when you want to do them.

Drink your coffee while it's hot
Go shopping and be able to try things on alone in the dressing room
Catch that movie you've been wanting to see
Eat a meal in peace and quiet
Unwind on your mat in a yoga class

Is Mommy Time Out just for local moms in London, ON? Absolutely not! We encourage you to get involved! Join the facebook group, engage, chat, find your community and something you can call your own. Reach out to local moms in your own area and start your own Time Out evenings! It doesn't have to be anything that breaks the bank or takes a huge amount of time, either! A quick coffee, sitting at the park and chatting, going for a walk.

Keep it easy
Keep it simple

and enjoy your time away. You're worth it!!

xoxo
Shannon

New Summer Programs!

We are absolutely pleased-as-punch with our new programs, which are kicking off this Sunday at North Yoga & Wellness!


Focusing on harnessing your breath, stacking your posture in various poses to experiment and find some discomfort and inquiry, and extended silent pauses, Shannon will be guiding another round of Vipasana Meditation. Let the meditation be the teacher, and she will be the guide...showing you a wonderful world of mindfulness, present moment awareness and heightened consciousness. 


Merging her training in Vipasana and Hypnobirth through The Calm Birth School,  Shannon leads this fantastic four week course that will mentally prepare you for the big day...birth-day! Find comfort in the yoga mats, bolsters, blocks, and blankets. Yoga balls and chairs are available for seated comfort, as well.


Stephanie, Postpartum Doula Extraordinaire, leads this four week Self Care Sunday's session which brings with it amazing weekly activities and accountability. Start with creating your own DIY coconut oil sugar scrub with the essential oils of your choice, learn the importance of self care and quiet, let go of guilt and find accountability throughout the week with our consistent and compassionate communication.

There's truly something for everyone coming in May and June...and extending throughout the summer!

Register today at info@sweetstellas.com

5 Things You Love About YOU

February spells one thing... L-O-V-E! When was the last time that you took some time to list a few things that you truly, abundantly and unapologetically love about yourself?


So, let's play a game.

I want you to take five pieces of paper...they can be any shape or size, it's just important that you have five of them.

Now I want you to write something on each paper that you truly love about yourself. They can be physical things, emotional things, things that you've maybe accomplished lately.

Take time to really let them sink in and choose things that mean the world to you. Here are mine!

  • I love my curls. As much as I hated them growing up and as wild as they would get (to the point that my Mom chopped all of my hair to an inch long for a few years), I love them. They make me who I am and show so much versatility.
  • I love that I am stubborn and challenge the world around me. I tend to not go with the grain, speak up for those who need a voice, and I really love that about myself. It shows courage, it shows determination, and while it may make others feel a bit uneasy, it makes me feel just  fine.
  • I love that I cry. Ha! This may come as a surprise to some of you (if you know me well...it doesn't!) but I cry a lot, specifically at the end of races. Often when I cross that finish line, I am a puddle of tears. It's raw, and it make me vulnerable. 
  • I love my thighs, or as I know them now, my quads. They are such a powerhouse and while growing up I often heard the term thunder thighs, they are pretty badass. They keep me going forward, the are slowly getting define and I see them as a pillar of strength.
  • I love my tattoos! (I bet you saw that one coming!) Each one has a story and a meaning. I have one for our sweet Arrow, one for my Dad, one for Owen, another for a special friend who passed away. The Scottish gaelic word for artist, an angel fish (that badly needs to be redone) and my boys' birthdates. And yes, there will be more. Why? Because they are a part of me and they tell my story. 

So what do you love about yourself? Make it count!!

xoxo
Shannon

Let Go of the Mom Guilt


Are you holding onto some Mom Guilt right now?

It's funny; when I was growing up, I was often told by my Dad to take care of number 1 and I never really fully understood what that meant until I became a mom. I always thought that it meant sticking up for yourself, defining your own path, and to a degree not caring if what is best for you hurts other people.

Now that I'm a mom, I understand it in a totally different way.

One thing that we tell our postpartum clients is that it is important to take care of themselves. Whether that means a 15 minute break in the evening to run out for a coffee (drive-thru's were made for parents, I'm convinced!) without children in the back seat, or a hot shower at the end of a long day. Whatever it means for you, take care of yourself.

You cannot pour water into a cup from an empty pitcher, after all.

The same goes for taking care of your family. There will be sleepless nights, there will be diapers to change, there will be mouths to feed and emotions to soothe.

And if you are run ragged and are stressed and feel like you don't know who you are anymore, how can you do any of those things? How can you be expected to do any of those things?

I find that often when I fail to take care of myself it's because of mom guilt. I feel like I shouldn't be taking that time to decompress. And then, a few days later, I feel like a monster, all wrapped up in my own head because I didn't take that time. It's a rather vicious circle, really.

Take that time. You matter, and the better you are to yourself, the more you are showing those around you that you are worthy, you are valuable and that they too should be taking care of themselves in little ways.

Let the self love flow!!

xoxo
Shannon

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.

5 Ideas for Summer Self Care

Self care is something that we take very seriously here...I mean...we give all of ourselves to our children and our spouse, our employer, the community (and the list goes on and on)...so what is left for us at the end of the day?

Not a whole lot.

If you are struggling to work in some self care this summer, we have a list of 5 Ideas for Summer Self Care that are quick, easy and fun! Things that will make you abundantly happy, which is always a great thing.



1. Get to the water

If you live near a lake or the ocean, I strongly encourage you to get to the water. There is just something so freeing about being near a body of water, walking in the sand with your shoes in your hand. If you don't live near a larger body of water, I'm sure that there is a river or even a little stream near you. Take a book, or a sketch pad and some pencils, and just sit. Enjoy the surroundings and the sounds.

2. Take yourself out for lunch

It's doesn't have to be anywhere extravagant, but take yourself somewhere with a patio. A Sunday works really well for this, as they are usually bustling with activity when the weather is nice. Get a cool drink, indulge in a dessert and enjoy some time alone.

3. Treat yourself to something new

Have your eye on a new pair of sandals, or need a pair of shorts, bathing suit, or tank top? Go get it. I find that the number one thing mom's sacrifice when they have their babies is their individual style. We get the kids new clothes all the time, but what about us? We deserve it too! Find something that makes you feel really great, and don't feel guilty about getting it for yourself!

4. Go out for ice cream

Sounds simple, right? Well...it is. Take the family out for ice cream cones, and have fun sitting at a picnic table or on the grass. Put your sunglasses on, enjoy the sunshine, and feel like a five year old with bubblegum or cotton candy ice cream.

5. S-P-A

I'm not talking about the mani-pedi day, even though those are super nice and relaxing. I'm talking about pools and hot tubs. If you have a pool, have a day lounging in it. Crank your favourite tunes, slather on the sunscreen, and float away in an innertube. Bonus points for inviting other moms over to lounge with you! No pool or hot tub? Grab your girl friends and hit the splash pad. Who says they're just for kids?

Five easy ways to incorporate some fun and self care this summer. Enjoy it. Get outside. Be your and embrace it!

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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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