5 Favorite Self-Care Items for Fall

It’s scary how easy it is to let self-care fall onto the back burner once you become a mom. My days (and let’s face it, my nights too) are filled with taking care for others. It’s a 24/7 job.  

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^^ need to take care of myself so that I can take care of them!

It may have taken me a little over two years, but I’ve realized that when I neglect to put myself first sometimes, I really don’t function at my best. That’s why I’m making a point to spend time taking care of me this fall. 

As much as I wish that this self-care involved a full day at the spa or weekly trips to the nail salon, reality doesn’t permit that. Instead, I’ve got to find ways to take care of myself at home.

I’m sharing my 5 favorite self-care items for fall that are helping me get that much-needed “me” time in hopes that it can inspire some other mamas who are in desperate need of some too.

Our Skin Cares

OUR Skin Cares Anti-Aging Serum. The sweet people over at OUR Skin Cares were gracious enough to send me a bottle of their Anti-Aging Serum recently in exchange for an honest review. I have been using it for a few weeks now and, honestly, I could not be happier with it. I’ll admit, at first I felt a little silly using an anti-aging product because, well, I’m not old 😉 BUT I had been feeling like my face had been looking old lately (i.e. looser skin, larger pores, etc.) and that was starting to bum me out. 

I started noticing a different right away, especially in the fine wrinkles around my eyes but the most noticeable difference to me is in the tone of my skin. The OUR Skin Cares Anti-Aging Serum has started to even out the sun-damaged skin on my face and neck – something that this Hawaii mama is very thankful for! 

Something else that I am thankful for is that this company has put a huge emphasis on giving back to children in need around the world. For each bottle sold, they provide 2 children with a months worth of meals through their partnership with Food for the Poor. Amazing right? I love when good products are backed by an even better cause. 

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^^ two thumbs up for a great product with a great cause

The new addition to my skin care routine is a great daily dose of self-care. Other ways that I’m investing in myself include a new bottle of nail polish (I’ve decided navy blue is my color for fall), a nice blend of “fall” essential oils running through the diffuser, wearing lemon halves on my cracked heels to help get rid of dead skin (got this idea here – the jury is still out on this one), and by listening to encouraging podcasts whenever I have a spare minute (I’ve been loving the archives of Sally Clarkson’s podcast)

How do you make taking care of yourself a priority? I would love to hear your ideas!

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Watercolor Coffee Filter Leaves | Fall Toddler Art Project

I really love Thanksgiving but I have to admit that I am more than ready to move on to Christmas this year. With every day that passes, it takes pretty much all of my self control to not bust out the Christmas decorations.

Last week, Lyla and I found ourselves strolling ever so slowly through the Christmas aisles at Target which did not help lower my Christmas-fever so I decided that we needed to do a fall-ish craft ASAP.

Enter these watercolor coffee filter leaves.

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The set up for this craft is super simple. While bean was taking her nap, I cut out some leaf shapes (alright, one shape over and over) from plain ol’ coffee filters and then drew on some leaf veins (is that what they are called?) with Elmer’s Glue. 

By the time she woke up, the glue was dried and we were ready to paint! I taped the leaves onto a paper folder that I had laying around, gave her some watercolors and a couple of brushes and let her at it! 

toddler-watercolor-artI let them air dry for a few hours (hello, Hawaii humidity levels) before attempting to remove them from the folder. They were still a little bit wet, so I hung them on the clothesline in our laundry room overnight. 

The next morning, they were dry but the tops of the leaves were funky from being clothes-pinned all night so I stuck them under a stack of books for a while. 
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The book-smashing did the trick and the leaves came out nice and flat. 

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The last step was to get those bad boys displayed. To do so, I simply strung a piece of baker’s twine through the top of each leaf and hung them in her play area. 

Quick, simple, and easy – just the way we like our toddler crafts (and as an added bonus, we crossed another thing off of our falloha bucket list!)

 

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DIY Thanksgiving Wreath

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HappyThanksGathering #CollectiveBias

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I love Thanksgiving. The food, the traditions, the nostalgia – all of it. It’s the perfect kick-off to the busy holiday season and something that I look forward to every year.

Since getting married four years ago, I have been telling my husband that I can’t wait to host Thanksgiving dinner. Unfortunately, between not having a big enough space and our traveling to see other family, I haven’t had my chance yet.

This year, I will be much too pregnant to travel off-island and we have a home large enough to host family and friends so it looks like I’m finally getting my chance!

To say that I am excited is an understatement but I’m trying hard not to go overboard with the planning and preparation.

My main goal when doing any kind of hosting is comfort. No matter how great your kitchen and decorating skills are, your guests will eventually forget what you served them to eat, but they will always remember how you made them feel. That’s why creating an authentically warm, relaxing, and comfortable environment is key.

I feel most at peace in my own home when things are tidied up. I know that my guests will feed off of my energy, so I will be spending some time sprucing up the main living areas of our home before the big day to make sure that I am able to relax.  The last time I was at Walmart, I picked up a few of my clean-house essentials: Scrubbing Bubbles® Toilet Cleaning Gel, Scrubbing Bubbles® Disinfectant Bathroom Cleaner and Windex® Original Glass Wipes. (Bonus: there is an awesome rebate going on right now which saves you $5 on your holiday photos)

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Cleaning up the house, especially when you have a meal to plan/cook is a big job but with the right cleaning products and some holiday tunes turned up nice and loud it’s a big, fun job.

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^My brother kindly demonstrating how easy and fun cleaning the bathroom with the Windex® Original Glass Wipes is. Isn’t he the best?

After the house is clean, and before I get to cooking, I’ll make sure that our house is decorated festively for the occasion with some traditional items and a special Thanksgiving wreath.

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We all know to expect the “what are you thankful for” activity at the Thanksgiving dinner table but none of us likes to be put on the spot, right? I know I don’t. I think this is especially true when sitting around the table with strangers or a new group of people. (think your first Thanksgiving with your significant other’s family or maybe a group of your parent’s colleagues) but also applies to those dining with family and loved ones that they see all of the time.

Even though I have SO much to be thankful for, and love spending time reflecting on them, my naturally introverted self sometimes cringes at situations like these. To combat that awkwardness, and to make sure that all of my guests feel comfortable this Thanksgiving, I created this wreath that we will incorporate during dinner time.

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The wreath is already hanging above our piano. Underneath, I have a box with pre-cut “thanks” circles and some pieces of leather cord. The idea is that from now until Thanksgiving, anyone who comes into my house can write down what they are thankful for and tie it onto the wreath. Guests who are here only for the day will have their opportunity to write down what they are thankful for while they are mingling and waiting for our meal.

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During dinner, I will remove all of the circles from the wreath, divide them equally amongst our guests and we will take turns reading off what we are all thankful for. Of course, anybody can share more if they are so inclined but I believe that by having this anonymous way of sharing what we are thankful for will ensure that all of my guests feel comfortable, welcomed and pressure-free.

Sounds great, right? If you want to make a Thanksgiving wreath of your own, please feel free to download this free printable which gives you twelve “thanks” circles per page. Once you have the circles printed and cut out, punch a single hole into the top of the circle, cut some string and lay those items out with some pens.

I have so much to be thankful for this year – our wreath is going to be pretty full by the time Thanksgiving rolls around. I’m looking forward to it! That and, of course, the food. You can find more #HappyThanksgathering inspiration here. 

 

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Halloween Snack Fail

With it being Halloween week and all, I thought I would switch up our lunch routine a little bit and make some of those cute banana ghosts. You know, the ones that have chocolate chip faces? Lyla loves bananas and chocolate [ I mean…I’m assuming she does, I wouldn’t know that my toddler loves chocolate from experience or anything 😉 ] so I figured that they would be a home run.

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After she woke up from her nap, I sat Lyla on the kitchen counter we built them together. We peeled the banana, sliced it in half and then stuck some chocolate chips inside. Easy peasy. 

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She seemed to think it was cute at first. 

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But then decided that chocolate chips don’t belong inside of her bananas. 

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So she put her serious face on and helped me pick the chocolate chips out. 

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Chocolate chip removal is serious business. 

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I think it’s safe to say that this Halloween snack was a fail.

Maybe next year.

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Halloween Carnival

Last weekend, the preschool in our neighborhood put on a Halloween carnival. Our little garden gnome had the best time checking out all the costumes, dancing to the music and petting the farm animals. 

The carnival was down by the lagoon where there just happens to be a playground so, of course, that is where we ended up. Lyla loves a slide. 

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It’s hard to believe that our outings as a family of three are numbered. Can’t wait to meet our little guy soon. 

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Pumpkin Painting: Toddler Edition

Painting pumpkins is something that was pretty high on my fall bucket list this year. Carved pumpkins and Hawaii don’t really mix (hello, mold) but I didn’t want Lyla to miss out on a bit of Halloween fun so yesterday I whipped out some paint and a couple of tiny pumpkins and we got to painting. 

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, right? Well then, this post is worth…err…a lot of words. (math is not my strong point)

For the record: I insisted on the overalls, she insisted on the upside down hair bow. You win some, you lose some. 

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