Living Well

Don’t Forget Yourself

November is well underway at this point. Halloween has come and gone, Thanksgiving is just around the corner with other winter holidays following close behind. It’s a busy time of year, which for many of us will only get busier. While you’re running around gifting and giving this holiday season, don’t forget yourself.

I say this because I’ve noticed that in my own life, the self-care rituals I really enjoy are the first things that drop off when my schedule picks up. We all have responsibilities and must be flexible at times; it’s part of adulting. But we usually sacrifice those little things that bring us joy when we need them the most. Head’s up-I have one way to ensure you get yourself a little TLC before the holidays, (and at 15% off too) but you’ll have to read on for that.

When the tasks pile up, I feel like I don’t have time to take care of myself. How can I possibly go to yoga when I have so much to do? I can’t spend an hour cooking when I’m already behind on this project…Sounds familiar, yah? I think many of us have felt this conundrum. FELT being the key word. 

If only I had more…Subconsciously I believe if I can require less energy/time/food/sleep/whatever I can have more energy to channel elsewhere. While it would be cool, this logic doesn’t say much for common sense. The truth is that we have to take care of our needs if we’re going to be of any use to the world. And speaking of the world, it will continue to turn regardless, so you may as well make yourself a priority.

Simply put, we cannot get something from nothing. I think it was a third grade science lesson that I first learned that matter can neither be created or destroyed. It can be transformed though and embody different states. I like to think about human energy in the same way. Our energy can ebb and flow but it is present at all times.

Self-care is one way we can transform our energy. Spending time generating good feelings can help us feel rejuvenated and refreshed. A few months ago I had an opportunity to recharge my energy at a local yoga retreat hosted by my dear friends Lauren and Cici. It was the perfect way to reconnect with myself and my yoga practice in a playful and friendly atmosphere. Here’s a little recap of my Day Pass experience.

The retreat was located nearby at The Eco-Institute at Pickards Mountain in Chapel Hill which is about 40 minutes outside of Raleigh. I couldn’t go for the whole weekend, but I was able to purchase a Day Pass to attend the Saturday sessions. This was perfect because it allowed me to enjoy a TON of great activities like multiple yoga classes, workshops AND yummy snacks, at a great price.

Photos courtesy of JME Photography

Photos courtesy of JME Photography

I arrived at the farm and was greeted by the sweetest little goats just in time to gather with the group for a quick cup of tea. We said hellos and headed upstairs for an energetic morning vinyasa lead by Lauren. About 75 ass-kicking minutes later, I was roused from Savasana by the scent of roasted sweet potatoes. Magically, there was a delicious brunch spread waiting for us after class. It thoughtfully included every possible dietary option with labels to help clarify… very nice touch!

After brunch, we had a couple of hours to explore the farm before we resumed our afternoon activities. I took a walk down to the adorable Honeysuckle Tea House to get a cuppa and chat with some of the other retreat goers. To my surprise, everyone had the same story. We chose to attend the retreat because it was perfect for a last-minute Treat YoSelf activity. 

We reconvened in the afternoon for a workshop focused on demystifying the “bandhas” which of course, lead to an upside-down yogi recess. Even with many different levels of experience, Cici was able to get everyone playing with the concept of arm balancing. SO FUN!

Photos courtesy of JME Photography

Photos courtesy of JME Photography

After this empowering but exhausting hour, Emilee from Healer’s Hemp Co gave us a crash course in all things Cannabis. She offered some insight on dosing and what to look for as you shop. Raleigh Raw came through with a create-your-own poke bar which was a huge highlight for me. I just LOVE Raleigh Raw and I got extra cashew sauce this time. 

Our evening yoga class was inspired by Yin and Thai massage and was a perfect way to conclude such a physical day. We partnered up for some assisted stretches, which contrary to my expectation, was not weird at all. (By that point in the day, we were all very close friends, ha!) The class was gentle and relaxing and it left me feeling restored but still alert…I had to drive home after all. 

Photos courtesy of JME Photography

Photos courtesy of JME Photography

After a fireside s’more, I hugged everybody–literally everybody at the retreat, goodbye and headed home. I was so blissed out, I don’t even think I turned on the radio.

So, with the Day Pass I got way more than I paid for…multiple yoga classes, knowledge, delicious foods, fellowship with awesome yogis AND I was home before 11pm! It was amazing and I highly encourage you to join Lauren and Cici for a day at their upcoming Winter Immersion Nov 21-24. For 15% off, use the code DAYPASS15 when you check out. Visit the retreat website to sign up; the discount is valid until Saturday 11/16.

As the holidays draw near and you’re giving everything to everyone, don’t forget yourself. You deserve TLC as much as the next guy or gal on your list. When things get crazy double down on the joy mongering. Make time for fun so you can smile your way through these wild times. 

Whether you commit to your weekly fitness class, family dinners or spending a day (or maybe the whole weekend) at an amazing local retreat, DO NOT forget yourself this holiday season.

in love and light,


taking care

five minutes may be changing my mind

As you read last week, I have a modified goal of trying to follow our old 5 minutes may change your mind challenge. I have routinely struggled with making exercise a priority. I work full-time, I am the mom of a toddler and a four year old, I have a side hustle, and I’m on the go A LOT for work. Can I do this challenge? I’m not sure, but five minutes may be changing my mind…

Day One: I was determined to start the month off the right way. My kids wanted to get outside, so who was I to say no? We set out on a walk, knowing we would get at least 5 minutes in. To make the job harder on myself I had both kids get in the stroller, which meant I was pushing at least 60 pounds of “kid”. Then my oldest decided she needed to get out of the stroller about seven minutes in. With her walking in jelly sandals I knew this wasn’t going to last long so we began to head back. We made it a total of fourteen minutes. I’ll call this a success!

Day Two:

This day was destined to be a sh*tshow. I had four separate appointments for work, along with an evening event as well. In between the normal workday and the evening event, I needed to pick up my friends daughter from preschool. Afterwards, I needed to pick up my daughters and trade off of kids and vehicles with the Hubs. Turns out he had his work car, which meant there was no room for an extra kiddos…This also meant I wasn’t going to make my evening event. I stayed at dance with all three girls, wearing the toddler on my back in the Ergo carrier. I walked all over the studio, trying to keep all of them entertained while we waited on pictures to happen. Needless to say I did not intentionally exercise, but I’ll count the frantic running everywhere and babywearing as a workout. At least, it felt like one!

Day Three:

I managed to squeeze in a short walk outside in between things at work. Was it much of a walk? No, but it was better than day two.

Day Four:

At 5:33 am I received a text from a friend asking if I wanted to meet up before dinner to squeeze in a walk. She knew about this challenge and wanted to help me stay on track before our dinner with friends. I arrived early for dinner, got the toddler all wrapped on my back, and had the four year old ready to head out with us. Next thing I know everyone starts showing up and beergaritas are getting passed out. I kept the heavy toddler on my back for at least a half hour then, and again for 45 minutes later. I failed to get my walk in, but i’m counting this toddler hauling as my workout.

Day Five:

Today was a FULL day. I had breakfast with my family, met up with some Richmond area moms to dream about Mama Tribe RVA. After that I was off to Bloom, which was hosted by the Richmond Moms Blog. As one of their new contributors and social media manager, I was there the whole time walking around and helping with clean up. For over four hours, I was here, there, and everywhere. All this walking and lifting and clean was absolutely a workout. After it was done, all I wanted was rest and time with my babies.

Day Six:

I don’t know what happened. Church, restless kids, a little housework and an evening meal later…Suddenly, it was 9pm! Day six came and went without a workout, but I found myself missing it. I knew I didn’t get it in and was frustrated. That’s something, right?

IMG_8382.PNGDay Seven:

It is the final day of week one, and I got a solid twenty minute wal in. This may be my best day of the challenge thus far. I kept both kids in the stroller, which meant I was walking and pushing that almost 60 pounds. I actually looked forward to AND enjoyed my workout today. so I’m calling this a win.


So, did I complete my 5 minute workout streak for the first week of May? No, I had one day that was barely passable and another where I didn’t complete my workout at all. Technically this may have been a fail, BUT it was a learning experience. I’ve realized that I enjoy taking time each day to get up and be active, BUT it’s hard to make this a priority.  The good news is that I’m going to stick with it and see if I can’t make week 2 a little better. Am I going to beat myself up over how week one went? Hell NO! Am I aiming to do better during week two? HELLS YES! Stay tuned!