Tag Archives: Reading

Currently | February 2017

February is wrapping up.  And no, it’s not a leap year.  Consider this a friendly PSA that my birthday is basically moments away (March 1st always seems to sneak up on people).  I’m not always so clear on how timezones work, but I think I’m already 35 on the other side of the world.  Meanwhile, Grace keeps asking if I’m 45 yet.  So there’s that.  

But I don’t want to rush February out the door just yet.  Despite the country imploding, I’m grateful we had things like my nephew’s baptism, Valentine’s Day, the Patriots winning the Super Bowl, Hillary’s message to the people and 70 degree weather to celebrate.  We left our jackets at home and walked on the beach.  We spotted the first plants sprouting.  Spring is coming.

CURRENTLY | February 2017

currently february 2017

Currently eating

  • …like summer has already arrived.  Tacos, tomatoes, salads and strawberries.
  • …dinner with Nick most nights after the kids go to bed (as opposed to snacking from the babes’ plates at 5 o’clock).  It’s been such a nice change.

Currently watching

  • So we watched like 5 minutes of a PBS special featuring various spy cameras disguised as animals, both because it sounded cool and it was not about the government.  The idea is that you get to see animals behaving as if they were not being spied on.  Unfortunately we caught the part where the baby monkey spy camera fell, and the real monkeys thought it had died and were, like, mourning.  It was devastating.  Did I mention that I am generally an emotional basket case?
  • Superstore + Homeland (they sort of balance each other out)
  • 900 “how to sew” YouTube videos 

Currently reading

Currently making

  • …plans for a meaningful Lenten exercise.  In the past I’ve given up Diet Coke, snacking, sugar and swearing (but not all in the same year… I’m neither a saint nor a martyr).  Other years, I’ve added more prayer, more intentional acts of kindness and more time away from technology.  For me, Lent is the ultimate lesson in patience.  In waiting.  In remaining hopeful.  Perhaps I’ll simply meditate on that lesson.  While not drinking a Diet Coke. 
  • A set of mini, mono-printed art journals.  It was a random Tuesday night project, but I am thrilled with the results.  I’ll share photos later this week.
  • A “good behavior” jar.  I am semi-mortified and semi-amazed at how well it’s working.  (To clarify: We are rewarding Grace’s good behavior, not mine…)

Currently listening to

  • “Call on Me” (Ryan Riback Remix) by Starley — it’s the perfect windows down in February song
  • Call Your Girlfriend (podcast)
  • This Irish Flute & Tin Whistle playlist on Spotify… baby Nick and I had music class this morning and the teacher broke out his tin whistle (apparently we missed the Irish flute last week).  Nick was mesmerized in class and keeps dancing and clapping along to this lively mix.  I think it’ll do wonders, too, for those times we are nearrrrrrly home and one or both kids is starting to nod off in the car.  

I hope you’re enjoying these last bits of February and looking forward to a lovely March.

Also On Tap for Today:

What was the highlight of your February?

Currently | October 2016

Happy Halloween from a very reluctant lobster (Clark), a “dancey dancey unicorn” (Grace), and a penguin that more than one person mistook for a pigeon (baby Nick).  Oh, and two grown-ups who sort of wish our children came home with a bit more candy.  Sort of.

CURRENTLY OCTOBER 2016

currently october 2016

October has been a very full, happy month.  And not just because I’ve managed to keep my plant friends alive.  

CURRENTLY EATING

fall salad currently october 2016

CURRENTLY ENJOYING

baptism currently october 2016

  • Photos from baby Nick’s beautiful baptism day, spent with our parents and siblings.  The priest took one look at him in his little white jumper and said “Well, aren’t you a surprise?!” I still don’t really know what that means.  But I like saying it to him every now and then.  He didn’t make a peep during the sacrament, but did try to splash in the font a bit.  
  • Grace’s sense of humor. She’s started telling “jokes” lately… which are really just lies.  But hey.
  • Cold weather tea, especially David’s Tea The Spice is Right

beach currently october 2016

CURRENTLY MAKING

  • Progress on the Cape house!  We’ve made a few day trips and had our first little family sleepover down there this month now that the basics are set up (beds, wi-fi, snacks).  I’m looking forward to lots of summer fun on the Cape, but underestimated how much we’d enjoy the off season as well.  
  • A commitment to daily painting
  • Weekly batches of chai and peanut butter protein bites

books currently october 2016

CURRENTLY READING

Toodles, October.  Hello, November.

Also On Tap for Today:

What were some of your October highlights?

Prioritize sleep.

I missed an entire night of sleep this week (baby Nick were at the hospital– he was having a little respiratory trouble, but is much, much better).  Remember when we were in college and did that on purpose, stay up all night?  I’d like to travel back in time and give 2004 Elizabeth a real talkin’ to.  

And while I’m at it, I might as well travel back even further and tell 1982-ish Elizabeth that staying up all night and skipping naps is just wrong.  Plus, it’s a crime against your sleepy parents. 

34-year-old me cannot hang on no sleep.  And even on a good night, I could stand to catch a few more hours of sleep.  I’m guessing you can relate.

September sunsets are pretty great. So is sleeping for more than 2 hours and 12 minutes per night.

September sunsets in South Boston are pretty great. As is sleeping for more than 2 hours and 12 minutes per night.

So I’ve become obsessed with learning how to prioritize sleep.  How to fall asleep sooner.  How to stay asleep longer.  How sleep affects our brains and our bodies and our moods and how many plates of nachos we want to eat and/or actually eat.

PRIORITIZE SLEEP

A few things that have caught my attention:

prioritize sleep bath

Spoiler alert: If it works for you, do it.  (Slight bummer: It doesn’t work for everyone.)  A good soak definitely seems to help me quiet my mind and relax my body after a long week.  I love this epsom soak, especially after a tough workout.

prioritize sleep book

I really enjoyed this book (and it is little, relatively speaking, perfect for overtired readers).  There’s an entire section devoted to sleep, one of the master keys of health, as Dr. LoGuidice calls it.  

  • Sleep Like a Champion: Sleep Tips for Athletes from Casper

prioritize sleep casper

We’re big fans of Casper (even Clark, who has never missed a minute of sleep in his life and is currently cuddled up on the Casper dog bed Nick recently ordered for him), and I thought this info sleep stages, in particular, was interesting.  I know my fellow Mama Beasts and I are likely years (decades?) away from getting 10 hours of sleep, but I like knowing that any increase in quality sleep could improve our speed, reaction time and overall athletic performance.  And maybe it’s time I learn to nap when the babies nap.

This gentle, nighttime flow is heaven.

prioritize sleep smoothie

Kale, check. Yogurt, check. Banana, check.  Seasonally inappropriate glass, check.

Even better: Most of these are already in my kitchen — tart cherry juice (also great for workout recovery), yogurt, whole grains, kale, bananas… even Cheerios.

This is one my go-to tricks for falling asleep quickly.  It’s sort of like counting sheep, but with, like… breathing.  It seems a little weird, but trust me.  Try it.

On that note… time for a responsibly early bedtime.

Also On Tap for Today:

Do you have a bedtime routine?  

 

August 2016 | Currently

August has been hot, hot, and hot.  

august 2016

I was driving through the city this weekend and saw a man wearing a wool-looking sweater and corduroy pants.  Mind you, it was 80-something degrees out.  I can only imagine two plausible explanations:

  • He was a tourist… visiting from, like… the sun (or somewhere just as warm).
  • He’s ready for fall.

I don’t believe in aliens and I want it to be summer forever.  Also I’m allergic to wool.  So basically, that man is my mortal enemy.  Just kidding.  

AUGUST 2016 | CURRENTLY

EATING

august 2016

  • Salads for breakfast, lunch and dinner – There is just so much incredible summer produce available and I feel personally compelled to eat all of it.  Looking for the perfect summer salad? I’ve got you covered.
  • 80% of all my meals and snacks – This is not some sort of fad diet.  My children and dog (and occasionally, my husband) eat all their food… and then they eat my food.  I am basically the peasant of the family.

READING

august 2016 reading

A bunch of books with pretty covers (and really good insides, too)

And a few articles and posts worth sharing

LISTENING TO

  • Adele on repeat… in anticipation of seeing her perform live next month (insert 100 of the red-dress-dancing-lady emojis, and then a crying emoji, and then the two-hands-in-the-air emoji and then 47 exclamation marks)
  • This fantastic episode of On Being: Running as a Spiritual Practice
  • Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood “Big Feelings” album on Spotify during every, single car trip… while cursing the day I revealed to Grace that this was a thing.
  • Grace and Nick laugh hysterically on the swings.  And in the car.   And in their highchairs.  And in the bath.  It is the best sound ever.
  • A new workout playlist, which I’ll share here in the next few days.  I’ve been enjoying a few Pinterest-inspired home workouts and running at Castle Island during the break between Mama Beasts sessions.

FEELING

august 2016

  • Bittersweet about Grace beginning preschool next month.  She is super excited and I know she will love it.  And I’m looking forward to some one-on-one time with baby Nick, and a bit more structure to our weekdays.  But I also sort of want both kids to stay tiny and young forever.  Which would be very weird and hinder their prospects for becoming healthy, successful adults… I am aware.  Meanwhile, we’ve been painting and making some pretty cool stuff together.  The girl loves her googly eyes.
  • Way less itchy and way less dependent on Benadryl spray than I was two weeks ago… when I somehow got poison ivy all over both feet and like, in between all my toes.  We live in the city.  The only greenery on our property burned down a month ago (True story: someone threw a lit cigarette into one of our hydrangea bushes and it burned to the ground… but not before sending flames six feet into the sky.  We weren’t home at the time, and fortunately everyone in our building was okay.)  I still have no clue how or where or when I got it, but I’m telling you.  Poison ivy is no joke.
  • Excited to sneak in one more quick trip to the Cape this month

WATCHING

  • The Night Of on HBO – We have a couple episodes to catch up on, and I still run out of the room at least twice a show for fear of what’s going to happen next… but I’m hooked.
  • Bad Moms – Watched this hilarious (and surprisingly heartfelt) movie the best way possible, with 34 other moms in one of those fancy movie theaters with the reclining seats and hard cider and french fries and no children… such an awesome Mom’s Night Out with the Mama Beasts.  

LOVING

august 2016 babywearing

For the record, these are not ads, just things I’m obsessed with and feel like everyone should know about them.  Some of these links, however, are referral links.

  • Wearing baby Nick! He quickly outgrew our Baby Bjorn and was starting to feel not-so-secure in our linen ring sling… so we upgraded to the silk Sakura Bloom ring sling and I am completely obsessed.  I also really like the midnight black color way.  The silk grips really well and feels a bit more structured than the linen.  Let me know if you have questions about baby wearing — I could talk about it forever (or at least an hour).  
  • Ebates for “back-to-school” shopping, or more accurately “both kids outgrew all their clothes on the same day” shopping – I hit the BabyGap sale hard (and will get magical cash back from Ebates) earlier this week, saving baby Nick from a lifetime of wearing togas fashioned from swaddling blankets.  It nearly came to that.  But it didn’t.  I also use Ebates for regular purchases like Diapers.com.  It really adds up. 
  • Dollar Shave Club – I decided I was done spending a million dollars on razors and joined Dollar Shave Club on a whim (Nick uses Harry’s, a similar service).  For $6 a month, I get 4 razors delivered to my door.  The handle thing came in my first order, and yes, it’s super plain… but let’s be serious.  We don’t need lady razors.  Just like we don’t need lazy forks.  Or lady pencils.  Or lady steering wheels.  I’m super happy with the blades and for the first time ever, I’m remembering to use a new one every week.  So adult.
  • Instagram stories.  I love seeing everyone’s candid videos and fun photos!  You can find me on IG at @elizabethev and @elizabethevart (for the painting, doodling, making a mess-type stuff). 

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Making 9,000 appointments for the fall (check-ups, dentists, dermatologist, GI, vet, hair, and so on…)
  • Looking forward to a little brainstorming session with my fellow HLB ambassadors
  • Walk to the playground

How’s your August shaping up?

 

Happy Weekend

It’s an especially grey day in Boston, and I’ve got plans to get all kinds of housework and errands done… or, um… maybe I’ll just snack on summer tomatoes and watch the Olympics.  

Days like today are perfect for taking a break and recharging a bit.

happy weekend

I’ve got a new book to dive into, a hundred episodes of On Being to listen to, salads to eat, and a blanket fort to build.  

I hope you have a very happy (+ very relaxing) weekend.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Looking for something to do? Check out the 4moms Road Trip tour (Sat + Sun from 11 AM – 4 PM) at the Boston Children’s Museum.  4moms will be exhibiting their new self-installing car seat (like… why didn’t someone invent this sooner?) and giving you the chance to win the ultimate road trip prize pack: a 2016 Honda Pilot AND the full suite of 4moms gear.  You can enter here, but if you show up at their tent this weekend, you can get 5 additional entries, along with other great prizes they’ll be giving away on-site.
  • The O’Donovan brothers and their interviews are my new favorite Olympic thing
  • Making a grocery list with Grace (so far we have: gloves, watermelon, onions, bananas and a “duck toy”…)

What’s On Tap for your weekend?

Today: What I made | 005

So, we know I both fear and loathe Las Vegas going to the dentist, right? And that I semi-accidentally didn’t go for several years?  And that, ironically, I broke a tooth (more accurately: an old filling fell out) while flossing, prompting an emergency visit to that place of fear and loathing?  (If you didn’t know those things, consider yourself fully caught up.)

its a good day to have a good day

Materials used: Pentel brush pen (pink)… and, um… that’s it.

It’s been a year, and I’ve stuck with regular cleaning appointments and approximately 800 other appointments to replace various old dental work and (shame on me) tend to one or two… fine, three cavities.  I have one more visit to go and then I’m done with my treatment plan, which feels mostly good.

The last couple appointments, though, have been especially uncomfortable and annoying.  A temporary crown fell out twice in one day.  Oh, and a dental assistant tried to pull out a permanent tooth instead of the loosening a different temporary crown.  It was all I could do to not flee the office and cry in my car.  Or stress eat an extra gluten-y donut.  I know it’s silly, but I can feel my heart rate quicken even thinking about being in the dentist’s chair.

If you’re wondering what the H the dentist has to do with art-making, welp… Not much. But I did find my mind wandering away from the drill and that annoying suction thing and toward my sketchbook.  I thought about what I would paint or draw or paste if I wasn’t, you know, at the dentist.  Much of what I made in the last week or two was cooked up there.  And that cooking up (along with a pair of noise canceling headphones and some Led Zeppelin) got me through those appointments.

This is a super roundabout way of saying that you don’t need to be sitting before an easel to be creative.   And creative thought can be just as powerful and transformative as the actual act of creating.  You simply need to be open to possibility.  (Dental insurance doesn’t hurt though.)

Anyway…  Here’s what I made.

What I made | 005

rumi quote heartMaterials used: Gifted scrapbook paper, Sakura Gelly Roll pen (white), gel medium (matte), scissors (obvi)

I come back to this poem often.  When Graham (a fellow Get Messy member) sent me a beautiful packet of pink papers, I started snipping and doodling away.  Sometimes pages feel like they make themselves.

I weirdly enjoy drawing hearts and regret not being a better student in biology.  Just think what else I would be able to draw if I had spent more time paying attention and less time being grossed out and/or fainting.

wendell berry peace of the wild things

Materials used: Strathmore Artists Tile (black), Sakura Gelly Roll pen (white), magazine pages (Edible Boston), Winsor and Newton professional watercolors, random alphabet stencil, Micron 01 (black)

This is an old work (and one I’ve shared before, I think),  but it feels sort of like a cousin to the one above.  And I get the same comfort from reading Wendell Berry that I do Rumi, so I thought it worth sharing again.  I recently came across this recording of Berry reciting the poem quoted here.  It’s just perfect.

  • Other writers and poets that I constantly return to: Thomas Merton, Mary Oliver, and Hafez.

this too shall pass

Materials used: Starthmore Artigan paper (black), Sakura Gelly Roll pen (white), gel medium (matte), magazine pages (WSJ magazine).

Another collage, and more evidence that I don’t really know what body parts look like.  For the record: that’s a head.  With ears.  And a neck.

Moving on: How divine are these words?  They sort of stop me in my tracks.  And I have a crush on my own handwriting.  

watercolor pattern

Materials used: Winsor and Newton professional watercolors, round brushes (2 and 6, I believe).

Just some good ol’ watercolor doodling while watching The Americans.  (I am convinced Clark, who came to us by way of Russia, is a spy waiting to be activated.)

root down to rise up

grow up

Materials used: [top] Micron 08 (black), acrylic and watercolor paints, colored card stock, glue stick [bottom] Magazine image (Real Simple), black acrylic paint, colored card stock, gel medium (matte), glue stick

I really love how these two turned out.  They’re sort of half flower show, half yoga class inspired.  

P.S. The next Get Messy Art Journal season starts next week — it’s a collaboration with 30Lists and should be really interesting.  A new season is a great time to join Get Messy, especially if you’re looking to jump start your own creative routine.  No emergency trips to the dentist required.

Also On Tap for Today:

What did you make this week?  Which poems or stories or quotes do you keep coming back to?

Today: Library finds.

library finds

Recent library finds:

  • Paper to Petal: 75 Whimsical Flower Ideas to Craft By Hand by Rebecca Thuss // I’m not crafting anything whimsical by hand at the moment… but this book is a great visual reference for a painting class I am taking (Pam Garrison’s Painting Petals class)
  • Cat Says Meow and Other Animalopoea by Michael Arndt // This book is incredibly clever.
  • Fabulous Fishes by Susan Stockdale // Grace really likes the illustrations in this one, and I like the little reference guide at the back.  Apparently the real, common name for pufferfish is… pufferfish.  And they’re poisonous.
  • The Plant Recipe Book by Baylor Chapman // I own the Flower Recipe Book (and love it), so I thought I’d borrow the plant version from the library.  I like this one mostly because I am pretending that a. It’s not winter, and b. I can keep plants alive for more than a week.  Like Paper to Petal, this is a great reference for painting.
  • Anything in the Peas series by Keith Baker // Grace’s cousins got her one of these books for Christmas and we’ve been hooked on the whole series.  Just last week I caught Grace “reading” to Clark, “We are peas!  Alphabet peas!  We work and play in the A-B-Cs!”  
  • I stumbled upon an entire child development section in the children’s library at our local branch in Southie.  It’s skewed a bit older than our children, but I could see it being really helpful in the future (there were a lot of books about helping your children succeed in school, etc.).  
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee // I tried to finish Go Set a Watchman, but I just couldn’t hang.  And I sort of feel like maybe it shouldn’t have been published, especially if it wasn’t intended to be published.  Starting it made me want to re-read To Kill A Mockingbird (one of the very few books I can stand to re-read), though.  So, so good. 

Cleary I don’t read much in the way of normal and grown-up books anymore… but hey.  I know a tiny bit more about pufferfish.  So, there’s that.

Also On Tap for Today:

What are you reading these days?

 

Today: Happy Weekend.

It finally feels like winter in Boston.  Time to trade the flip-flops for boots, and break out the pom-pom hats.

A few things to check out if you’re staying in this weekend:

Wishing you and yours a cozy, happy weekend.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Shopping for a new (non-maternity) winter jacket
  • Ignoring the laundry
  • Sharing the January love

What are you up to this weekend?

Today: Currently | December, 2015

Needless to say, the highlight of the month year has been welcoming our baby boy.

The last two weeks have been an exhausting, but blissful blur of newborn snuggling, diaper changing, toddler chasing, and trying to remember if I took a shower or not.  I feel like we’re starting to find our rhythm (which basically means nothing, because one thing I do remember from Grace’s early days is that as soon as we got comfortable, things changed — her sleeping schedule, her eating schedule, the weather, you get the point).

currently december double stroller

This may be the Universe’s way of sending a message, but the things that are totally beyond my control (and therefore, the things that I am constantly worrying about) are going beautifully.  Grace is the most gentle, sweet and curious older sister.  We went out for a little ride earlier this week (in nearly 60 degree weather… not normal) and she kept whispering, “Look, baby Nick, more Christmas lights.”  And it made me so happy that I cried and ruined the moment.  

On that note… here’s what else I’ve been up to this month.

Currently | December, 2015

Currently enjoying

  • Newborn baby smell — I’d be a billionaire if I could bottle this smell.
  • Grace’s excitement for all things Christmas
  • Ridiculously warm weather

Currently listening to

  • “Spirituality of Imagination,”  last week’s episode of On Being with Krista Tippett, featuring Martin Sheen—  I love this podcast.  It’s smart, compelling, and thought-provoking and this episode might be one of my favorites.  I loved hearing the actor talk about his return to Catholicism and his commitment to activism.  I laughed, I may have cried (just kidding… I did cry… I cry about any and everything these days), I tried to convince everyone I know to listen.  
  • Season 2 of Serial — Nick and I have listened to the first two episodes together on Thursday nights.  It’s both nice and sort of weird to sit around listening to audio in the same way we might watch television… like, what should I be looking at?  This season is quite different from the first, but I’m already hooked.
  • Adele’s 21 on repeat (still)
  • Christmas music (obvi)

Currently watching

  • The West Wing — I don’t know why I didn’t watch this when it was actually airing (my whole family was obsessed), but after listening to the Martin Sheen interview mentioned above, I had to give it a try.  Blessed be Netflix… we have found our next streaming addiction.
  • This peaceful Santa video on YouTube that my mom shared (Grace loves it)
  • And this version of my favorite Christmas jam, O Holy Night, performed by Berklee students

Currently reading

currently december magazines

Currently loving

currently december bamr bands

  • My new BAMR bands — I am thrilled to be an ambassador for this fabulous brand.  Each quarter, BAMR Bands donates 10% of their proceeds to a selected charitable organization benefitting women and children (past recipients have included Every Mother Counts, a favorite of mine).  To receive a 10% discount on these adorable, non-slip headbands, use the code OnTap10 online.
  • This month’s Nature Box delivery — We’ve had a NatureBox subscription for a while, but this month’s box is an especially good one.  I tried to select items that would appeal to Nick (Spicy Sriracha Popcorn), Grace (Peanut Butter Graham Jam) and me (Guacamole Bites)… but mostly… I’ve been snacking on them all. For 50% off your first delivery, click here (this is a referral link, albeit a tasty one)

Currently making

currently december sparkling cranberries

  • Piles of laundry everywhere — I forgot how many outfits newborns whip through in a day.  Yikes.
  • A painting here, a drawing there —  My current m.o. is “fit in it when you can.” (And try not to make too much of a mess in the process.)
  • Plans for the new year — I’m oddly excited for 2016.  So much changed in 2015 that I felt more reactive and less intentional.  I’m looking forward to being a bit more thoughtfully engaged in the coming twelve months.
  • A few holiday treats, including sparkling cranberries and “happy cakes,” as Grace calls them

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your December currently like?

 

Today: Being responsibly indulgent.

The change in seasons, the end of Daylight Saving Time, and the final weeks of my pregnancy have combined forces to make me, basically, an exhausted grouch.  I had a routine appointment with our midwife last week (and am headed to see our ob-gyn this morning) and while everything is still going great, she told me in no uncertain terms that it’s time to slow down.  

There are going to be days when Grace doesn’t nap (payback, perhaps, for my own unwillingness to nap as a baby) or when my car needs to have its actuator replaced (and don’t worry, I called it an actuary… like the person who provides actuarial services… when speaking with the mechanic #whyme), and slowing down is just not in the cards.

But I’m quickly seeing just how many opportunities I do have to take it easy (or easier).  And while this often feels a lot like being indulgent, I also know it’s downright important.  I’d like to avoid getting sick or overly run down or more grouchy during these last few weeks, and ensure that I’m enjoying as much time as possible playing and reading and dancing and drawing with my silly, precocious, thoughtful and fun only child.  While she’s still our only child.

Ideally, I’d nap when Grace naps… but not only is her nap schedule unreliable, I can rarely sleep during the day.  I can, however, curl up on the sofa with Clark (and leave the dishes and laundry and writing projects and whatever else until later) and the baby monitor.  And that’s got to count for something.  I like to think of this hour or so (and any other chance I have to put my feet up) as being responsibly indulgent.  Here are few other ways I am indulging.

Being responsibly indulgent

Rethinking what constitutes exercise: I finished up my last outdoor bootcamp class last week and did not renew my membership or by a class pass for the new season.  While I absolutely loved the workouts and getting together with the other women and their kids, I just had the sense it was time.  One thing that has been different (and I am so grateful for this) the second time around, is that I am less inclined to compare myself to other pregnant women.  I’m much better at trusting my own instincts.

Instead of going to class, I’ve been making sure to get out of the house for walks (albeit, slow ones — and I’ve stopped wearing my fitbit, for now, because… welp, my weekly step count was getting depressing) with Grace.  We’ve made two trips to the Trailside Museum in the last week.  We’re getting plenty of fresh air, plus bonus points for improving our mental health by walking in nature.

Poodle doodles Being playful: We’ve got enough serious business to attend to as adults.  I try to draw or paint every day, which is usually very restorative, but sometimes I take even that too seriously.  I was recently inspired by one of Grace’s favorite books (it’s so, so good)– Gaston, written by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Christian Robinson— and cracked open a new sketchbook and doodled some poodles.  And Frenchies.   Happy, playful, and not at all serious.

Making “down time” appointments: This is more of a big indulgence, but sometimes we just need to treat ourselves.  The spa inside Whole Foods Market South End recently rebranded and when I saw they were offering prenatal massages, I jumped at the chance to book an appointment.  They were offering a 10% discount during the spa’s relaunch, but their prices are really reasonable… plus, you can get your grocery shopping done while you’re there.  Multi-tasking is (usually) responsible and (definitely) indulgent when a massage is involved.  The massage with LaToya was absolutely blissful and I am definitely looking forward to going back.  I wish scheduling in down time came as easily as scheduling in the necessary stuff (like last week’s dental cleaning… woof).  

Reading more, watching less:  Our midwife had all kinds of suggestions for (attempting) to get more sleep.  Unfortunately, I’ve been super uncomfortable at night and barely logged two hours the night before my appointment.  We’ve heard it all before, but when the woman you’ve entrusted with nine months of care for you and your child speaks up, you listen: limit screen time, don’t watch murder shows, don’t watch the news, don’t read anything upsetting, ease into bed and let your brain know you’re winding down.  Old habits die hard.  I sleep with my phone next to my head, the baby monitor cranked up to “can be heard on Mars” level, and you know I love a good true crime story (which is not to say that I love when crimes happen…).  But with the help of some new reading material, I’m making progress.  I’ve been watching less TV and crawling into bed as early as I can.  I’m currently working through Food Gift Love, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, and the current issue of Yoga Journal.

I could get used to this whole being indulgent thing.

Also On Tap for Today:

How do you (responsibly or irresponsibly) indulge?