A friend of mine recently wrote a blog post that included things she was currently enjoying, especially in an attempt for self-care while being a Stay-at-home mom. I thought it was a fun post and I discovered some new things to enjoy, thanks to her, so I figured I would write my own!
Here are some things that I have been loving lately:
ThredUp. ThredUp is an online consignment store that sells gently used brand name and designer clothes. I love it! It is a way that I can feel good about making ethical purchases, and afford clothes I wouldn’t be able to if they were brand new. I have also sold clothes to ThredUp in exchange for store credit. If you shop my link, you can have $10 to try ThredUp, and for every person who shops my link, I get $10 of store credit! Everyone wins! It makes me feel resourceful, though I wouldn’t normally deem myself a super resourceful person (I try!). Between the credit I get from selling clothes to them and from people shopping my link, I often am able to purchase clothing for myself or my kiddos, without spending money.
Ephiphany Church “Woke” sermon series. In an interview with Lecrae that I recently read (about his struggle with the church in regards to racism in our country and the amount of loss he has encountered), he mentioned this sermon series that he said really impacted him. I have come to realize that it is so important for me to put myself under biblical teaching from non-white preachers and teachers and this has been a great place for that! I am learning so much and I so deeply appreciate the accessibility of resources like this.
This “ranch” salad dressing recipe. This dressing was a saving grace when I did Whole30 back in August and I have been making it ever since. Dairy-free, gluten-free and sugar-free, but definitely NOT flavor-free! It is so good, I make it at least once a week to put on top of salads, roasted veggies, eggs, or BBQ chicken. I’ve made it for guests, family members and Community Group and I always get compliments on it.
Distressed denim. I recently needed to go jean shopping because none of my jeans were fitting me. A friend recommended I try American Eagle because they were doing a “Buy one get one half off” sale, and I came home with two pairs of jeans that looked like they had been through a war. I love them! And let me tell you, the fact that distressed clothing and furniture are a thing right now is very convenient with having little people in my house.
The book “The Life Giving Home”, by Sally Clarkson. My husband bought this book for me back in the spring, as we knew we were finally getting closer to buying our first house (he’s so thoughtful like that!). He wanted me to have the freedom to dream about what I wanted for our home. Reading this book feels like curling up in my flannel slanket (another thing I love!) with a cup of hot coffee. It has really helped me to see our home as a gift not just for us, but to be given to others as well. It has cast vision to me about what it looks like to make your home your ministry. To create a place of rest and refuge for weary souls. Sally Clarkson does a great job describing what this can look like, and I have really enjoyed creating a home with this vision in mind.
Activity Wheel. In an attempt to survive yet ANOTHER sick day recently, I created a flimsy little (not very nice looking) “Wheel of Sick Day Activities” for the kids. Basically I just used computer paper to make a little wheel that the kids could spin and it would land on one of the following actitivities:
Take a bath
Make up stories
Go outside and collect nature items
Read in the book nook
Watch a movie from the Library stack
Write thank you cards
Draw or paint
Honestly these activities are not all that different from what we normally do in a given day but the fact that there was a wheel to turn and the surprise element of not knowing what it would land on was really fun for the kids. And so we have continued to use it every day since, sick or not! It has been so helpful for me because instead of having to come up with an answer to the never ending question, “What can we do now, mama?!” I just say, “Go turn the wheel and pick an activity.”
Tone it Up workouts. OK disclaimer – I super do not love the fact that these girls run around in bikinis all the time. I am not endorsing that. I also do not love the titles of their workouts (“the hiity bitty bikini” or “booty call”). HOWEVER. That being said, I do love the workouts. I find them fun, efficient, and effective. I’ve tried other HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts but I just do not like them as much. For whatever reason, I have found the Tone it Up daily workouts to be the thing that I enjoy and stick to the most when it comes to exercise. I like the fact that I can just click on their daily workout page, and there is a new workout each day already planned for me. I don’t have to think about it, it adds variety, and I kind of like the surprise element of seeing what I’m in for on the next day (although whenever it calls for going on a run or doing additional cardio, I never ever do it). Since it is always somewhere between 15-30 minutes of interval workouts, I can do them with the kids around. I do them sometimes in the morning up in the family room, while the kids play around me; in my own bedroom after the kids are in bed; or I have even done them in the bathroom while the kids are taking a bath (perk of a spacious bathroom!).
I’ve learned that exercise is my one thing. In the all-consuming days of motherhood, I kind of think that each mom has (or should have) their one thing – the thing that helps them breathe and feel like a person and reset. The thing worth fighting to make happen and have the space for. For some people it may be reading, for some it may be getting a nap or writing or decorating or working on house projects. For some it may be gardening. And for some it may be having a morning shower (I’m sure my husband wishes that were mine…ha). I enjoy all of these things and do each of them at different points in time when I can. But exercise is the thing for me that I try to make happen regularly. It helps my mood. It gives me energy. And I once read something about my Myers Briggs personality (INFP) that said physical movement is extremely important to us, so maybe that’s what it is.
I also try make time to read my bible and pray regularly but I don’t consider that a “thing”, I consider it a necessity ;).
Podcasts. I love listening to podcasts. I don’t do it too often but sometimes while I’m cooking or on the rare occasion that I am driving in the car by myself, I put on a podcast and find it so relaxing. “Happy Hour” with Jamie Ivey and “Seminary Dropout” with Shane Blackshear are two of my current favorites, and they are very similar. They both interview different Christian authors, bloggers, artists and speakers. I find them fun, funny, and easy to listen to. I’ve also just started listening to “Pass the Mic” with Jemar Tisby and highly recommend that one, especially if you are looking to learn more about race and the church.
There you have it, a few of my current favorite things! I would love to hear some of yours!