Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Self Care During Pregnancy

Self care and self love are two terms that you see used almost interchangeably. I could go into the differences between the two words but that's really a post for another day. Instead, I'm going to reflect a bit on pregnancy and how I practiced self care during all three trimesters. Not pregnant? No worries - these are still ideas you can use in your life. In fact, I plan to continue with many of these even after baby boy is born.

Loving myself means practicing self care on a regular basis. I've always been a fan of self care as a form of self love. In fact, I have my favorite go to self care routines that I try to incorporate as often as possible - wine, baths, and cardio dance workouts.

When I found out I was pregnant, I was faced with a new question though - how do I show myself love during pregnancy? My old favorites - a glass of wine, a weekly detox bath, and working out were no longer the best ideas. Pregnancy came with a list of things you should avoid and many of my favorite forms of self care were on the list. So, I set out to try new ideas - some of which will be sticking around for quite some time!

Develop a reading routine.
I have fallen in love with my reading routine - it's the perfect way to wind down before bed. There are nights when I skip reading, but I try to include it as often as possible. I highly recommend setting a limit on how much you read each night though or you'll find yourself sacrificing sleep for reading and that's not helpful!

Get enough sleep.
This one is very important - whether pregnant or not. Being well rested makes us happier and more productive. The one difference I have found with pregnancy and sleep is that they don't always agree. As a result, I gave myself permission to take naps when needed in order to get in my sleep quota.

Cuddle your furbabies.
Some of my favorite moments have been the ones with my dogs. They love laying in my lap and cuddling in the evenings. I'm not sure why but there's something soothing about petting a dog who's loving up to your baby bump.

Try out new products.
There were several beauty products and chemicals that were on lists to avoid. While I wasn't overly obsessive about this fact, I did use it as an excuse to try out new natural products, including a few homemade ones. I now have a favorite sugar scrub and facial toner that I will continue to make even after the baby is born.

Treat yourself to new clothes.
This one is almost a necessity as you're going to outgrow most of your clothes. I say most of them because there's quite a few pre-pregnancy stretchy tops that do fit over my baby bump. I don't recommend going overboard though - a few pieces that you can mix and match is more than enough. You can add more style and variety with accessories.

Get up and moving.
It's not always easy to convince yourself to move when you're carrying around extra weight, but it is very helpful. I've found that walking and yoga have helped ease some of the pregnancy pains during all of the trimesters.

Get crafty.
Use this time to revisit an old hobby or to make new things for your home or the nursery. Painting, sewing, scrapbooking - there are so many ways that you can get crafty and make things that you'll love for a while.

Enlist help.
This one may not seem like self care, but it really is when you're pregnant. Don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I'm a very independent person and this has been a difficult area for me. It's taken a while but I did eventually learn to say "Can you help me..." as a form of self care. Taking care of my body and minding the restrictions that come with pregnancy is definitely a form of self care.

Focus on you and your priorities.
People will be throwing you advice and opinions from every angle. A lot of this advice is going to be unsolicited and may make you question your decisions. Remember that everyone is different and therefore everyone has different opinions. It's important to remember what you value while you're planning your family's future.

These are just a few ways that you can show yourself self care and self love. We've been sharing lots of ideas and activities in Hodge Podge Moments: The Community and Shield Sister Sanctuary this month. Why not hop on over and join the groups (for free!) for your all access pass to self love?

#LovingMyselfMeans Linking Up!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Moments that Matter: Enduring Difficult Moments

If you're looking for an inspiring story, then you've come to the right place. This week's Moments that Matter post is a great reminder that even our difficult moments should be cherished for what they teach us. This week, I have Kristie of CEO Mom joining us with an incredibly raw story. 

She came into the world without a sound, but now I can’t get her to stop talking. My daughter, my first born, is my shining light. When she was born, I was nineteen, hadn’t finished college, and involved with a man who didn’t know or care about my worth. When she looked at me with her gorgeous, brown eyes, I knew I wanted to be better and give her better.

Her father, my fiancĂ© at the time, was very distant when she was born. We barely spoke and many nights, he was not home. Needless to say, there were a lot of moments that I would cry and wonder what the problem was with me. “It had to be something I did, or said,” I would tell myself.

Then came the turning point. It was his birthday, but my daughter had a doctor’s appointment that day. She was six months old. He drove us to the doctor around 9am because her appointment was at 9:30 that morning. When we arrived, I checked her in and we sat in the lobby area. I remember him looking over at me and saying, “It’s not fair I have to be here on my birthday, I’m going somewhere and I’ll be back later.” At that time, I didn’t have my own cellphone or a car. When he left, I thought he’d be back in an hour or two at the most. I was sitting at the office door at almost 6pm when he returned. My daughter had run out of formula and diapers. I was an emotional mess and all he said to me was, “Are you ready to go?”

It was a real life decision-making moment in my life.

I could have stayed, let my life continue down a inevitable destructive path. But I didn’t.

I thought about my daughter, my shining light, and decided this was not the life either of us deserved.

I appreciate that moment, even though it was a very difficult one to endure. But it taught me three things:

I am worthy of love.

Life does not end after a relationship does.

My children are my most precious priority.

If it were not for this moment, I am not sure where I would be. I have grown so much as a woman, as a mother, and as a person. My life has not been perfect, I faced many challenges, but I overcame them and have so much to be grateful for because of it.

About the Author

Kristie is a work at home mom of three amazing kiddos and wife to a gaming nerd from Okinawa. She loves all things pink and sparkly. She is a social media strategist and blogs at and  Feel free to stalk her on Twitter @ceomomblogs!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Bloggy Brunch - Week 8

How has your weekend been? I hope it's been a great one! I'm also hoping that you have a great post to link up with us this weekend! I enjoy seeing what everyone has been up to each week at our link up.

If you're seeing this message, then life has clearly been too busy and I haven't gotten a chance to update this post before it gets published! Don't forget to check Instagram for updates of how I'm spending my time. I guarantee you I'm sharing updates of baby boy and his arrival!

Every week, we do our best to feature at least one post that stood out. Each host picks a post on their own and then features it on their blog. Some weeks, the choice is too hard and we end up featuring more than one post. Let's see who made the spotlight this week!

Since I'm busy spending time with my family this month, why not visit the cohosts and see who they featured?


And's time to link up below!