Tarot Talk: To Whom It May Concern

This post may not be for everybody, but I’ve been reading tarot cards for a little while now, and I think it’s a really useful tool to get a picture of a situation in a way that your natural thought processes don’t allow you to view it. The cards tell a story not from our own conditioned reactions and responses, but of randomness and archetypes and and and and….

I could go on forever but this post isn’t me professing my love for tarot cards or divination in general, but a post interpreting a small spread of cards that I am drawing specifically to send a message to any who read it.

If you’re reading this now, then something I say here is for you.

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Queen of Swords – The Chariot – 5 of Wands

I believe this represents a situation where you are having to really chug along. The grind, you know? Really setting your mind to something and doing the work to get there. But what you may be encountering is a lack of communication to validate your commitment. Not many pats on the back, lots of criticism, not much meaningful discussion. Maybe feeling as though there is a feminine lack of some kind? I want to draw an oracle card for a little more insight on possible solutions for this, (although one can infer that better communication of your needs to your support system is a good first step, but that comes from me, not from the cards)

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The Sage

Wow ok so don’t have any doubt that your hard work is worth much more than you realize as it is part of a greater understanding. Mistakes are just as valid to your learning process and human development as your accomplishments- and on a grander scale, one is not more valuable than the other.

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That was a heavy message but I hope that those who read this are reading something that resonates in one way or another. I would be happy to hear feedback, I really encourage you to say hi! Thanks!

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Where I’ve been, mom guilt and juggling.

As you may have noticed, it’s been a couple months since I last posted a blog entry and I just wanted to say where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to!

I recently started doing hair again. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to start that back up again or maybe wait out a position opening at the non-profit organization I volunteer for.  This was a source of great uncertainty for me. I know I’m skilled enough to make it doing hair, I’ve done it before and excelled. The non-profit, though, is a cause that really speaks to my soul, so choosing one or the other really made me look at what I thought about my capabilities and the logistics of each situation. Ultimately I decided to throw myself back into the working world and do some hair, while still volunteering once a week.

I have some guilt about it, if I’m being honest. I lived a certain lifestyle for the past three years (homemaking, momming, etc) that I got very accustomed to. Maybe it was the familiarity and monotony that urged me to look outside the home for stimulation. What would I be missing by being at work? Who am I, really, outside of my child? Both equally scary questions.

I felt as though I had mastered the sahm-thing and that I needed a new challenge to keep my wheels turning. The challenges of working motherhood have been greater than imagined, but that’s the fun of it, right? Not knowing what you’re doing, flying blind, recognizing patterns, and coming to a new understanding of what it means to live, and to love.

I’ve been just chugging along, I have a fairly regular schedule. I’ve been balancing my time away from the home with utilizing my time while I am in the home to keep things going. My husband watches our daughter while I’m at work, and this is a change for him as well. He is really a saint, that man. I really am grateful for how he has stepped up during this shift in division of household duties. I try not to make his honey-do list too long, and he has his own home improvement projects he is enjoying working on.

Our schedules are the same every 2-week period, so I am able to keep a cleaning/grocery schedule. It gets dicey sometimes and we have to make substitutions often, but I think once we get into the swing of things, we can recognize the patterns that will be helpful in deciding how things will get done.

You can’t quantify everything, life happens and schedules get thrown out the window. Flexibility is a must, I’m realizing, for a household to function. Love, really is the most important thing.

If you have any thoughts or suggestions for managing a healthy work-life balance, I would love to hear it or hear any stories you have to tell.

Thanks for reading! x

Bullet Journal Weekly Layout Inspiration

On a different note than my last post, I’m going to share what has helped me get my thoughts together.

I’m a doodler, I like to just scribble and this is part of the reason that bullet journaling really works for me. It’s not just the fact that I have a place to put my thoughts, but also a place to make my doodles work for me.

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It’s not perfect, but nothing ever really is, and I hardly ever expect it to be. Real and functional is much better than instagram-perfect.

The only thing I would do differently if I had to re-do this layout is I would take friday and move it to the right side. Just because that’s more how my weeks work since my husband will be at work friday, saturday and sunday. You can do it however it works for you!

The little icons in the bottom right hand corners are the focus rooms for my chore schedule. In other words, the little potty doodle means that I have to clean the bathroom today. Bed- bedrooms, stove- kitchen, vacuum and duster- living room, you get the picture!

The little snowflake on wednesday means it may snow, and since that’s a day I volunteer, I want to know what the weather will be like. You can make that more complex if you need to, and I may incorporate that more into my layouts in the future.

I thought about adding more to this but it seems to cover all my bases, I have a pretty empty week so it doesn’t need much else.

This is just one of the little ways I keep my brain together and even just this little bit of creativity has really helped me come out of my slump, so I hope it inspires you!

Bye-bye now!

Getting past a setback.

I preach productivity, routines and motivation… but what happens when you feel you’ve fallen short of your own expectations?

I recently discontinued an SSRI medication, and it has had a major impact on my energy levels. I know it wont last forever and I’m working past this, little by little.

Usually we are our own worst critics, especially where our home and children are concerned. I know that personally, I can be very cruel to myself when I don’t feel I am contributing enough.

I wish I had a top ten list of all the trendiest things to do to put yourself back together after a slump, but I don’t. All I have is a little commiseration and an incredibly supportive saint of a husband.

We had a conversation yesterday where I whined about how crummy I felt, and it occurred to me that not only did I not really feel that bad, but what was keeping me feeling bad was the embarrassment of it all. How could I just turn it all around when I had made such a show of feeling terrible? How do you come back from sleeping for 6 hours in the middle of the day and crying for half an hour straight?

My answer: I HAD to stop dwelling on it. I had to stop beating myself up about it. I had to resolve myself to getting better. To being better. To fixing all the things I thought I was lacking in. I made weird screamy-grunting noises and took a lot of deep breaths. I showered in scalding hot water. I held my middle finger up to the sad little ball of tears I had let myself become.

I have to forgive myself.

I’m still working on it, but I just wanted to let everyone know what has been going on with me. I’m secretly hoping that writing this all out will make me feel a little better and maybe someone else who reads it will feel less alone.

This eclipse energy is kicking my butt, but maybe that’s what I need. A good old-fashioned kick in the pants.

I am enough, you are enough, and we’re all on this big blue spinny ball of magic together.

Talk at ya later, bye!

6-Ingredient Bread Recipe Tutorial – EASY

I’ve made this recipe a million times, I could make it in my sleep. I might be sleeping right now, who knows? I’ve added this and that to transform it, but every bread I’ve made, starts here.

When I was breastfeeding my daughter, we realized she had trouble digesting dairy and soy. We had a hard time fitting special dairy and soy-free pre-made breads into our budget, so I resolved to make my own. I just really love sandwiches!

I had never made anything with yeast in it before this whole dairy-free soy-free ordeal, and I had very little experience baking at all.

I dove right into it, I made 850 million loaves. I ate bread, soy-free hummus, and lunch meat for 18 months straight. Then, all of a sudden she weaned, and I’ve now turned myself a pretty whippy chef. We still buy loaves of cheap regular bread, but sometimes I make a little extra effort and pound this out.

Ingredients:

2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

2 Tbsp sugar

2 1/4 cup warm water

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp salt

5-6 cups unbleached flour

Here we go

First, proof the yeast. 2 ¼ tsp (or one packet) yeast with 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar and 2 ¼ cups 120-130 degree water (just hot enough to hurt your wrist a little when you run water over it)

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After about ten minutes of proofing, add the 2tbsp oil, 1 tablespoon salt and 2 cups of the flour.
Mix until combined.

 

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amount of flour top left to bottom right- 3 cups, four cups, 4.5 cups, 5 cups

Work the rest of the flour in, one cup at a time, until dough is sort of smooth.

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This is too sticky

It should be juuuuuust barely still sticky. If your hands get sticky, slap that flour pile, and keep working a little flour in at a time.

You can coat with a small amount of oil in a large bowl and cover to let rise for about an hour or until it’s doubled in size. I just let mine rise on the counter with no oil, because I like the crust it kind of makes.

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The amount of added flour depends on a few different things, including the humidity in your house. What’s important is the texture of the dough. I had a lot of flour left over but I didn’t waste it, I made two little tortillas, ha.

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Punch down and divide into two rolled loaves and set in oiled bread pan, and cover to rise an additional 45 minutes.

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I manhandled one of the loaves, but it ended up rising evenly. What a metaphor…

Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for about 35 minutes, when tapped it should sound hollow and the outside should be a golden-y color

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See, the lumpy loaf ended up being totally fine!

Let cool on rack, then you can either freeze it or cut it right then and there for a sandwich or something. If the bread doesn’t come out on its own, you can wiggle a knife around the edges to loosen it, just remember to oil that pan a little more next time.

 

I like to dip mine in soup since I tend to under knead, and sometimes that makes for a more loose texture.

I hope you try this recipe, it may seem like a lot to take on, but you really have only about 20 minutes hands-on time. Even less if you use a stand mixer! I used to use a stand mixer for this, but for some reason cleaning the machine hurts my brain and I end up neglecting it. I knead the bread on a roul-pat, so clean up couldn’t be more simple!

Bread is my favorite food, there’s a million different types of bread and you can eat it with basically any meal. Homemade bread can turn any boring BLT into a masterpiece, or any vegan soup into a belly-filling weekly fav.

You may be able to substitute the ingredients with different types of flour, or even use more sugar for a sweeter bread. Playing with it is half the fun!!

Have you ever made homemade bread before? Did it turn out? What problems did you face? I could ramble about it forever if you’d let me, so feel free to share in the comments!
Thanks so much for reading, have a great day!

19 Self Care Tips for Busy Moms

There’s nothing more true than the statement “You cannot pour from an empty cup”
You can’t care for everyone else and what they need if you are neglecting yourself and your own satisfaction. It can feel selfish and hard to carve out time for yourself, but it is so essential if you truly want to be present with your family and goals.

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I talked about my self-care habits in this post about how, during my kid’s naptime, I do something for myself. Here are a few examples of ways I fill my own cup.

  1. Drink water- It’s so important and almost self explanatory that I know I have to put it first on the list. You NEED water, literally. Half my bodyweight in ounces is my goal but I usually end up drinking a little bit more than that. I bought myself a cute little tumbler cup to help and because I know it’s a 16 oz. cup, it’s easy to add it all up.
  2. Yoga- I’ve never been to a yoga class, but I watch videos on youtube. Yoga with Adriene is great for just about any type of yoga you’re into. Sometimes I lay in child’s pose until my legs fall asleep, but just being mindful and present in my own body is great for me to reconnect with myself.
  3. Painting nails- I can never get away with painting my nails when my daughter is awake, I always end up scuffing the polish or interrupting myself for this or that. I never took care of my nails when I worked, and now I have the time to properly care for my cuticles, and I’m better off for it.
  4. Bath- At the end of a long day, or the night before a busy week starts, I like to throw some epsom salt into a bath and light my candles and bathe in the dark with some headphones in. I ignore the rattling handle and pleas for MOMMA and let my husband handle it. Feels good!
  5. Face mask- Usually during the bath, I slap a mask on my face just to rejuvinate my skin. I like to mix up special sugar scrubs for my lips or legs too.
  6. Writing- Feelings, fiction, mantras, whatever, just putting the “a;skdfhj;asdkf” out of my head and onto the page is very cathartic to me.
  7. Painting- When my daughter was little, I would lock myself in my bedroom while my husband watched the baby and I would listen to Lana Del Rey and watercolor paint flowers or vaginas or whatever. It was a neat outlet for me. I wasn’t particularly good, but it felt good.
  8. Coloring- I taught my daughter to hold a crayon very early, and we love to color together. I use colored pencils and mandala coloring books, and just let the scribbling flow.
  9. Crocheting- This helps for a nervous energy day, when I need something to keep my hands busy. I LOVE making little animal characters out of yarn. Scarves and pot holders are nice but I can make some pretty cute doggies and the like. (Amigurumi)
  10. Tea- When I drink green tea, I feel like I’m doing something good for my body. My favorite though, is a vanilla chai tea with some dandelion root tea. It’s a good way to flush your system out and always makes me feel better when I haven’t been particularly kind to my digestive system.
  11. Candles- I light candles when I pray or need particular guidance about something or wish to connect with the universe. Sounds cheesy but whatev.
  12. Incense- Not much is better than opening up the windows and light some good incense. I don’t like to have the smoke around my kid, but naptime near an open window lets the good air in and the incense smell tends to linger.
  13. Dye your hair- I was a hairdresser a million years ago, so I know more than most how life-changing a new hair do can be for someone. Either changing up the color or just refreshing those roots always gives me a new round of confidence.
  14. Makeup- Some days I feel like I wasted my makeup by not going anywhere or taking any selfies, but sometimes it just feels good to catch yourself in the mirror and go “oh, damn” because you forgot you had eyeliner on.
  15. Pick some flowers- Many days of laziness and apathy have been cured by taking a walk around my property and picking the weeds and flowers that speak to me, and honor them with a little sugar water in a mason jar on my mantle. Flowers are a great way to revamp the mood of a room.
  16. Long poops- maybe TMI but my husband would spend the rest of his life in the bathroom if I would let him. I’m the opposite, always so worried about spending too much time in there because you never know what catastrophe could occur while you’re indisposed. But sometimes, I load up a good long article, shut the door, and just chill.
  17. Massage- I got a gift certificate for a massage last christmas and took until august to get around to using it, but man when I did… I felt like a new person for like an entire week afterwards. So worth it, I wish I could make it a regular habit.
  18. Tarot- I pull cards for new and full moons consistently, but sometimes I just pull a card for the day and use it as a point of focus for the day. Like devotionals, but a little more interpretative. This may not be for everyone.
  19. Meditation- Noon is about the time when some good sunshine comes through my front window, so sometimes I lay on the floor with my face in the sun and just meditate. I’ve done guided meditations on youtube but mostly I just lay there in silence.

Are you noticing a trend with these? The point is to just get some time for yourself and make your own happiness a priority. Maybe you have to schedule in your planner some time for self care but JUST DO IT. You can’t keep up with every else if you don’t even know where you are. Being a martyr is noble, but when you aren’t connected to the why of what you do and love the efforts you make, you’re going to find yourself feeling dissatisfied.

What are your favorite ways to take care of yourself? Do you find it hard to relax?

I want everyone to live their best life and feel as empowered as possible. 2019 is the year of getting it together and together starts with YOU!

My routines explained

A parent’s work is never done. I break up my cleaning into morning, naptime, and before-bedtime routines. This is separate from my regular to-dos which comes more on an as needed basis. Other things I commit to doing them weekly, monthly or seasonally.

You can use the basic outline of this routine to shape your own and organize the tasks important to your home and get them all done!

The ‘structure’ to my routine has greatly boosted my morale and has helped me identify my goals in a clear and concise way.

Morning-

Play candy crush and drink coffee– I’m on a 306 day streak on candy crush and it’s just a silly way to spend time inside my own brain before my child wakes up. I’m on level 1552ish!

Make bed– While making the bed, I clean the room from last nights water glasses and clothes. I take this time to open the curtains even if the sun isn’t up yet. I love sunshine!

Wrangle dishes– Gather dishes from all rooms and put in dishwasher or prepare to do so

Clean coffee pot– after I dump the rest of it in my cup

Sort laundry and load in- Usually I can gather a load of laundry just by doing a lap around the house with a basket

Wash face– Sometimes with cleanser, sometimes just a wet towel. I need to wipe the sleep off my face somehow.

Brush hair- Some days I’ve gotten all the way gto 5pm realizing I hadn’t brushed my hair at all that day, so I moved this to my morning routine just to keep tabs on myself.

Change clothes- I could just wear my jammies all day, and sometimes I just change into different jammies, but day 3 with oatmeal on your shirt can catch up to your self esteem real quick.

Check schedule and order priorities- I glance at my top to-do’s or appointments, and figure out how it will all look, then execute!

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Naptime-

I don’t like to clean while my kid naps, it seems like I’m doing myself a disservice. I could be napping too y’know!

Toys picked up- Before she heads to bed, get all the little pieces at least back into the bin

Dishes in dishwasher- Snack plates, breakfast dishes etc out of the sink

Wipe counters- They are always gross by naptime.

Journal/yoga/self care- When she’s finally asleep and I’ve set myself up comfy on the couch, I do something for myself. Sometimes I need to write my feelings, work my body or do something relaxing (napping) or painting my nails. Nap time is MY time!

Set up wake-up activity for daughter- She’s sometimes grouchy, so having something for her to focus on when she first wakes up really helps the grump. Could be chicken nuggets, or a learning activity. It could even be an episode of Storybots while I finish whatever I was doing. Every day is different!

Before bed-

Food cleaned off dishes/put in dishwasher- I can’t go to bed when there’s food sitting out, I lay awake picturing that scene from creepshow with the cockroaches and I just can’t relax. The dishes don’t have to be done, just food scraped off is fine.

Make sure husbands clothes are in place for morning and lunch is ready to grab- I like easy mornings and a grumpy husband who can’t find his socks isn’t a fun start to the day

Coffee maker reset for morning- We have a timer set so it goes off at 5 and it’s ready when we wake up

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Weekly-

Each day has a focus room, and I do a deep cleaning chore per the room of the day. I alternate wednesdays and tuesdays because I’m typically out of the house volunteering, so I don’t commit to much cleaning those days.
Change sheets- Comforter too, also toddler’s bedclothes

Dust- We have lots of knick-knacks so I dust them and rearrange them. It’s sort of therapeutic.

Vacuum baseboards- Getting the attachment in there and getting all the stale cheerios

Deep mop kitchen and bathroom- I spot mop during the week with my homemade swiffer pads, but once a week I get the real mop out and do the rooms that have tile. Kitchen first!

Go through toys- There’s always fridge magnets or tupperware or something hiding in my kids toybox. While I love the Montessori aspect of kids playing with household stuff, I also need my mixing spoons back.

Scrub toilet and shower- Set the toilet bowl cleaner in to do the work, spray the shower and wipe off any weird soap spots, then swish the toilet. We have hard well water, so we get that weird ring in the toilet and it drives me nuts. TIP: I learned to let the scrubber dry by wedging it between the toilet seats, and it changes the yuck factor BIG TIME

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Monthly-

Wash throw blankets- I’m forever huddled with a blanket no matter the temperature, so I get spaghetti stains out about once a month or whenever they get weird.

Wash windows- My husband has a glass cleaner recipe that we swear by, so once a month we pop the windows down and get the inside and outside and all the cobwebs out.

Spot treat carpet- Whether it’s milk spills or someone stepped on a strawberry, there’s always something to get up from the carpet. I currently have some paint in my carpet I’m doing some experiments on.

Sage the house- I do this with the new moon, which is basically once a month. I also will do it after we host an event or something. Clear all that yuck out of here!

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I’m sure I’m forgetting something but I just wanted to show a more in depth look at how I keep things going. I keep my routine sustainable and realistic and I’m rocking it! I hope this gave you some inspiration on how to make your own routines that work perfectly for your own home.

Do you already have a routine that is important to you? How do you keep your life running hot? I’d love to discuss it with you! Talk at ya later ❤