Fernanda Interview: Taking care of our skin

Today’s blog post is an interview with Fernanda, a licensed esthetician at Newport Beach Skin Care Center in Newport Beach, CA.

Tell me a little bit about yourself:

I’m a wife, mommy, dog-lover, and esthetician.  I was born in Argentina, raised in Boston and then later San Francisco.  I’ve lived in Orange County for 3 years and L-O-V-E it here!  I’m obsessed with the beach.  I love Jesus, believe in the power of positive mindset, meditation, and prayer. Continue reading “Fernanda Interview: Taking care of our skin”

My daily makeup routine

On any given weekday, I am likely to use the same spread of products for a quick look – and by quick look, I mean “I have 5 minutes to throw all of these items on my face.” And now that my daughter is in school every day, there is so much else to get done that I feel I have even less time than I used to. But I feel that it is important I get myself ready for the day, because it is part of taking care of myself. Continue reading “My daily makeup routine”

Making a Capsule Wardrobe

I recently came across The Every Girl blog post on making a Capsule Wardrobe – and became quickly intrigued. Over the past couple of years, I’ve really scaled back my wardrobe and focused on quality more than quantity. So this seemed right up my alley. The basic premise is that for three straight months you keep only 37 items of clothing (including shoes and outerwear) in your closet for wearing. Each season you rotate some pieces out so that you keep it at the same number. I know that I am guilty of reaching for the same items again and again, so this capsule idea is very appealing. And I adore the idea of opening my closet and loving every single piece staring back at me.

Continue reading “Making a Capsule Wardrobe”

Finding rest

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Rest.  What’s that, you say?  If you’re a mother of small children, chances are, you are exhausted and anything but rested.  My kids are on the go non-stop and keep me on my toes continuously.  And come to find out, my tiredness may not be from child-rearing alone.  There’s a chance it could be caused from post-natal depletion – meaning, it may be much more physical than you think.  Carrying a baby is hard work on the body and the effects can actually last for years.

When I came across this article detailing the physical and mental effects that can linger for up to a decade after giving birth, I almost felt a sense of relief.  I sent it to many of my mom friends saying, “Look – it’s not just mental, there’s a reason we feel this way!”

Dr. Oscar Serrallach, a family practitioner in rural Australia, describes postnatal depletion as “…the common phenomenon of fatigue and exhaustion combined with a feeling of ‘baby brain.’ Baby Brain is a term that encompasses the symptoms of poor concentration, poor memory, and emotional lability. Emotional lability is where one’s emotions change up and down much more easily than they would have in the past, e.g. ‘crying for no reason.’ There is often a feeling of isolation, vulnerability, and of not feeling ‘good enough.’ It is experienced by many mothers, and is an understandable and at times predictable outcome associated with the extremely demanding task of being a mother from the perspective of both childbearing and child raising.”

The article goes on to say:

  1. We live in a society of continual ongoing stress and we literally don’t know how to relax or switch off. This has profound effects on hormones, immune function, brain structure, and gut health.
  2. Woman are having babies later in life. In Australia the average age for a mother having her first baby is 30.9 years.
  3. Women tend to be in a depleted state going into motherhood with careers, demanding social schedules, and the chronic sleep deprivation as the norm in our society.
  4. As a society we tend not to allow mothers to fully recover after childbirth before getting pregnant again. It is not uncommon to see the phenomenon of a mother giving birth to two children from separate pregnancies in the same calendar year. Also with assisted reproduction we are seeing higher rates of twins which will obviously exacerbate any depletion.
  5. Sleep deprivation of having a newborn with some research suggesting that in the first year the average sleep debt is 700 hours! Reduced family and societal support is very common.
  6. Our food is becoming increasingly nutrient poor. We are in many cases having “2 mouthfuls of food for 1 mouthful of nutrition.”
There are more bullet-points in the full article, but for this post, I wanted to focus on the above-mentioned factors.  Many women I know don’t have help from family (either they don’t live local, or they just don’t help, sadly).  Add to it a sleep deficit of 700 hours in the first year of a newborn’s life and crazy work schedules plus the pressure to do it all.  No wonder so many mothers are experiencing burnout.

This, friends, is why self-care is an essential part of motherhood.  And to be honest with you, some days I feel like even the greatest amount of self-care there is couldn’t help me feel rested or ready to tackle what each day brings.  Having small kids is exhausting no matter how you spin it.

And so, I have to merge self-care into my daily routine and try my hardest to schedule out breaks in order to rest and rejuvenate.  Rest is good for the body, and maybe even better for the soul.

I’ve posted numerous times on how I incorporate self-care into my routine – click here for my Self-care 101 post.  I’ve also written on ways to incorporate self-care into your daily life, if a break is not always possible – click here for that post.

And finally, below are some not-so-obvious ways to avoid burnout as a mom:

  • Take a break from social media and focus on your personal relationships
  • Try your best to keep a positive mindset – trust me, this one makes a world of difference
  • Make it a practice to not compare yourself to others.  Motherhood is tough enough as it is
  • In your “quiet” time, try to have some true silence where you can be alone with your thoughts
  • Incorporate contemplative practices like meditation or prayer into your days
  • Eat whole, unrefined foods and fit some exercise into your routine
All of these are ways to pour back into yourself so that you can pour into your children.  It isn’t easy, but the investment is well worth it.

The challenges of staying at home

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A mother staying at home with her children is not revolutionary.  This, I know.  There is nothing unusual or particularly interesting about it.  But what I didn’t know when I decided to quit my job to stay at home full-time is how incredibly challenging and long my days would be.  What I want you to know is that staying at home with my children does not always feel like “enough” for me as I had always envisioned it would.

Continue reading “The challenges of staying at home”

Tuesday Favorites

A little Tuesday roundup of some of my faves and on my list to grab:

  • MKZara Body Curve jeggings – the best part about these jeans is how comfortable they are and the second best part is the price.  At $39.95 you can’t go wrong.
  • Michael Kors ‘Josephine’ wedge – I own other Michael Kors shoes and absolutely adore them.  I hear this wedge is the most comfortable one around.
  • Alex and Ani stackable charm bangle.  I own two of these (starfish and butterfly), and they are my go-to for day and night.  Hopefully, I’ll be adding this feather bangle to my collection soon.

Continue reading “Tuesday Favorites”

The other side of fear

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Fear…most of us have it.  We all face it at some time or another.  Fear of the unknown, fear of a new experience, you name it.  Some fears are irrational.  Some are healthy and rational, I suppose.

But what I have found is that since I became a mother, my fears and worries have grown exponentially. Continue reading “The other side of fear”

Finding your self-care rhythm

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{image c/o Modify Ink}

Finding a new rhythm for anything is tricky.  Whenever life changes, it throws me for a loop.  It always takes time to work out the kinks, and it is no different for starting a new self-care regimen.

These are just some of the things that have helped me get back into the swing of things after becoming a mother.  Now, if you just had a baby, do NOT expect to embrace several new things at once.  Be gentle with yourself.  I have a nearly 5-year-old and a 2 1/2-year-old, and it’s taken me a long time to add these routines back into my life.  Slow and steady wins the race though. Continue reading “Finding your self-care rhythm”

Self-Care Redefined

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The term ‘self-care’ has been used all over lately – I see it hash-tagged on Instagram, in quotes on the Internet, and in so many other places.  I think for some, it can have negative connotations – especially in the parenting world.  For me, though, self-care was a term in my vocabulary years before I became a mother.  But it means something totally different to me now. Continue reading “Self-Care Redefined”

Looking and Feeling Your Best

IMG_4844For me, part of self-care has been spending time on myself each day to look and feel my best – which can be quite challenging with little ones!  Somewhere along the way in my motherhood journey, I stopped caring quite as much about hair, makeup, fashion and working out.  It wasn’t that I let myself go, but I just couldn’t muster up the time or energy once my second baby arrived.  I found myself in my ‘mom uniform’ of yoga pants and a tee pretty much every day with little to no makeup. Continue reading “Looking and Feeling Your Best”