Last February, I shared this post where I focused on self-care rather than the traditional valentines’ fashion post. Just because Valentine’s Day is traditionally associated with romance and spending time with someone special, doesn’t mean you can’t also take time for yourself—making time for yourself, incorporating self-care into your routine, and practicing positive self talk are things that can be done year-round!
You know that person that nods off in the middle of a meeting? Yep, that’s me! I didn’t even realize it until my co-worker mentioned it in passing. I was mortified and knew that my late-night tendencies were starting to take a toll. It’s just so hard to unwind from the hustle and bustle of a busy week!
On the flip side, 2018 is moving faster than a speeding bullet and I know you’re tired of the cold and gloomy weather. To help you beat the winter blues and increase your beauty sleep, I’ve rounded up a list of tips. By the time you’ve mastered these things, you’ll be recharged and ready for the warm sunshine!
Help! I Need My Beauty Sleep
Read a book. Opt for a kindle or an actual book. The blue light from your phone is stimulating and will keep you from getting adequate rest.
PRO-TIP: Steer clear of education or skill-building materials. You don’t want to be reading up on social media strategies when you’re trying to get your mind in a relaxed state. A book light is also helpful if your partner is already sleeping.
Drink something warm and soothing. I like a good sleepytime tea, hot toddy (when sick), or cocoa drink. Did you know that all-natural cocoa has no calories and is fat-free?! You add 2 tablespoons of a plant-based milk (I like unsweetened vanilla almond milk) and heat it in the microwave or on the stove until warm. Add the cocoa, a calorie-free sweetener like Truvia, and you have a delicious and soothing, low-calorie drink that’s also good for the heart.
Aid your sleep. Now, I prefer a natural sleep remedy like melatonin or Emergen-zzzz, but sometimes you need something a bit stronger. Tylenol PM has been my go-to lately and gets the job done.
Get in a dream state of mind. Purchase a diffuser. I just picked up one similar to this and love heating up the lavender melts about 30-60 mins before I go to sleep. It makes the room smell heavenly and the lavender makes you feel relaxed.
Jot down your to-do list and any concerns in a notebook. Clear your mind and know what you need to prioritize the next day or that week. This will also keep you from worrying about forgetting something important.
Get 20-30 mins of fresh air daily. Even on your laziest days, you can benefit from some fresh air. I like to walk around my neighborhood or take a walk during my lunch break. It’s amazing how inspired and calm I feel during and after. On days that I don’t do OrangeTheory, a low impact walk helps me sleep more soundly.
Get up and go to bed at the same time every day (including the weekends). Sounds crazy, but it works! I’ve tried this in the past and was shocked when I began to feel sleepy around the same time every night. This is a great way to reset your biological clock and will most likely help your REM cycle, allowing you to feel like you actually slept.
For more self-care tips read:
- Pause & Reflect: Celebrate Yourself aka Self-Care! 6 Ideas
- Bedtime Ritual with Pixi Beauty
- 6 Tips for Self-Care
Last Winter Outfit
Now that we are midway through March, you probably aren’t going to see too many winter outfits from me so I wanted to share this cute ruffle sweater!
Although this look is great for cold weather, don’t think that the ruffle trend is going away anytime soon. I’ve been seeing a lot of lightweight options popping up all over. It’s a great look for spring and fall, and when the cold front comes around again, just add a blouse or tee underneath. If you’re looking for a cute spring option, check out this one. I definitely need to snatch this up!
What tips do you have for getting your beauty sleep?
Shop the post:
Sweater: J.Crew (here & here)| Blouse: UNIQLO | Denim: J.Crew | Necklace: Lace & Pearl Jewelry | Earrings: J.Crew | Bracelet (old): J.Crew | Boots: Naturalizer (similar) | Purse: Club Monaco (old) | Lipstick: Neutrogena MoistureSmooth color stick (Rich Raisin) c/o
📷’s by Hello Rigby
Valentine’s Day can be a bit of a downer. Either you don’t have someone to spend it with, you want to do something extravagant and end up disappointed, or maybe you’re like myself and don’t really care much about it. Instead of feeling down and out, I want this Valentine’s Day to be your best one yet and make it all about you!
After taking a blogging break, I realized how important self-care really is. It can be so transformational! Rarely do people take time to celebrate the small wins or treat themselves just because. This is why corporate America invented vacations and paid time off. If you need a break from your usual gig, then you definitely need a break from everything else.
That’s why, for February, I challenge you to pause and do something thoughtful for yourself. It doesn’t have to be on the 14th, but anytime during the month.
Celebrate Yourself with Self-Care!
Keep in mind that treating yourself doesn’t need to be extravagant or cost a lot of money. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Take a bath. My absolute favorite form of self-care! I run the bath water, add in some Epsom salt, and tell my husband to pretend that I’m not there. If candles and wine are your thing, bring those too and give yourself 30-60 minutes to unwind with no interruptions. I personally like to watch Hulu when I’m in the tub, but closing your eyes and listening to soothing music or even nothing at all can do wonders.
Curl up with your blanket, furry friend, and a good book or show. I love snuggling on the couch with my heated blanket (the best gift ever) and my fur baby! It’s one of my favorite things to do and makes me feel so relaxed and loved. I always try to savor the moment and take a snapshot in my mind of that exact moment.
Pamper yourself at the spa or get a massage. I recently went to the spa and got my eyebrows waxed. They were beyond scary! Taking care of yourself, even when it’s something necessary, can provide an instant pick-me-up. Schedule your mani/pedi or that wax you’ve been neglecting and zone out for a bit.
Shopping date with your bestie or dinner and a movie. If staying in is more your thing (aka me), do a movie night at your place with popcorn and snacks. Party straws anyone?
Go for a walk and jam to your favorite tunes. This is probably my second favorite way to relax. I can’t even tell you the last time I listened to the radio because I’m always listening to a podcast or Spotify. Give your mind a rest and switch from a podcast or entertainment to some mellow tunes. On the flip side, if you’re always listening to music, change things up and find a good podcast. Whatever your interests are, I guarantee there is a podcast out there on the subject.
Learn something new. This one is huge! The primary reason that I stepped away from blogging was for health reasons. During the break, I began meal-prepping and learning how to cook. Eating healthy not only benefits my insides but also gives me a confidence boost. I highly recommend challenging yourself to try something new and get outside of your comfort zone!
If you enjoyed today’s post, leave a comment and let me know how you will be celebrating yourself this month.
Thanks for reading!
Shop the Post:
Cardigan: Madewell (similar) | Blouse: Vince (similar) | Denim: Jag Jeans c/o | Necklace: Ann Taylor (similar) | Ring: Fresh Tangerine | Booties: Report c/o Famous Footwear | Purse: Marshalls (similar) | Lipstick: Marc Jacobs Beauty (color Send Nudes) c/o
📷’s by Hello Rigby
It’s been quite a year (personal and professional). My husband and I bought our first home, adopted two kittens, and we both got promoted. In just a few days 2016 will be over and a new year will begin. There is no better time than now to reflect on and discuss 2016. Keep reading for my year in review.
I am not going to focus on what I didn’t do this year but rather what I did do. I encourage you to do the same. Revisit your previous year’s goals and check if they are still relevant. If you didn’t do everything on your list, don’t beat yourself up. There is nothing you can do about it now. Re-evaluate and determine if you will continue to chase the same goals.
Forget New Year’s Resolutions – Do This Instead
This year, I am choosing a word that represents what I want to do rather than a resolution. My individual list will roll up into that one word, allowing me to reach that goal. My word is Healthy. So much in my life right now revolves around getting healthy. If I have my health, I feel that everything else will fall into place. I recommend that you choose a word that will keep you on track throughout the year, revisiting it whenever you feel challenged. For example, when I get the craving to overindulge in snacks during a Netflix marathon, I’ll think of my goal and opt for a healthier alternative like fruit or tea.
Note that my personal goals are the same as the previous two years, but they still rank highest on my list.
A Year in Review
- Up my workout intensity. I currently take daily walks during my lunch break, but I need to focus on breaking a sweat to see results.
- Get 7.5-8 hours of sleep per night. My husband and I have been getting up early between 5:30-6 am. This is helping with my night owl tendencies.
- Lose 15 pounds. I still need to drop some weight for health purposes. Upping my workout, getting a decent night’s rest, and portion control is the plan.
- Pay off debt. Our YNAB (You Need A Budget) is set and ready to break ground. For some actionable budget tips, check out 6 Debt Reduction Tips.
- Receive compensation for posts in addition to the product. One of my goals this past year was to begin working with brands. From January on, I accomplished this. In case you missed any of them, you can see them all here.
- Begin pitching to brands. Brands have reached out to collaborate, but I also want to be pitching to them.
- Increase blog traffic. Three words, Search Engine Optimization (SEO). When I started this blog, I had no clue about optimizing post to their full potential. Mid-year, I began optimizing and now my number one traffic referrer is Google. I want to go back through all posts and elevate them so people can better find them.
- Build an email list. This will help me connect with readers on a more personal level and understand what they struggle with when it comes to personal style.
Top 10 Posts From 2016
- How to Collaborate with Other Bloggers
- Drugstore Volume Mascaras: The Good and the Bad
- 6 Essential Ways to Start Dressing Confidently
- Thrift Store Fashion – A Beginner’s Guide
- Tips For Styling a Peplum Top
- How to Stay Motivated + 2 year Blogiversary
- 8 Tips for Defining Your Personal Style
- How to Avoid Blogger Burnout
- The Ultimate Pattern Mixing Guide
- 5 Tips for Achieving Effortless Style
What does your year in review look like? What will your focus word be? Share in the comments.
Thank you for supporting Lace & Pearls. Happy New Year! See you in 2017.
First image by Luba Kochubey Portraits
📷’s by Luba Kochubey Portraits
Jacket: Loft (similar) | Blouse: J.Crew on sale! (another option here) | Jeans: Banana Republic (similar) | Jewelry: Rocksbox (use code laceandpearlsblogxoxo at checkout to receive your first month free) | Sandals: Josef Seibel |Lipstick: Bite Beauty (no longer available but similar)
This past month has been crazy, I guess that is normal for this time of year. I’m finding it hard to remember day-to-day conversations and can barely recall what I’ve done. Now is a better time than ever for some self-care.
You wouldn’t think that taking a break would get you further along, but it does help and I’m here to tell you why. Instead of forcing yourself to be innovative, find inspiration in a non-related task. It’s kinda like procrastinating in a strategic way.
6 Tips for Self-Care
Take a walk. Getting some fresh air and your heart rate up can benefit you in more ways than one, especially when you’re seeking mental clarity. Sometimes when I walk, I go with a coworker and other times I’ll give my mom a call. Having someone to vent to is the best form of therapy. On the flip side, walking in silence and taking in your surroundings can be super rejuvenating.
Listen to a podcast. Sometimes changing things up is just what I need to find motivation on a current project or goal. Getting up early is hard enough since day-light savings; I hate waking in the dark and coming home in the dark. But when I listen to a fun podcast and open my mind to something new I can find motivation. It’s like the equivalent of reading a good book or watching tv. Pick a topic and I guarantee you can find a podcast on the subject.
Hang out with a friend. Good conversation with a close friend can work wonders. Taking your mind off yourself and hearing about someone else’s life for a change can benefit you in multiple ways.
Read a good book. Lately, I haven’t been able to find any books that motivate me. I primarily like fiction but struggled to find something that draws me in. Any good book recommendations? I’d love to hear them. My favorite author is Sophie Kinsella and I also enjoy series like Twilight, Hunger Games, and Fifty Shades of Gray. I’m trying to read Girl on the Train but I am struggling to get through it. I just started reading Heartless by Marissa Meyer, which is pretty fun.
Massage your worries away. I recently started getting a monthly massage (doctors orders). At first, I found that I needed a massage from my massage. The first session was brutal. I hurt for a week. The next time, I requested a feel good massage, rather than working out the knots. This made a world of a difference.
Get a pet/spend time with your furry friend. Having a pet means unconditional love and laughs. Jason and I have had our two kittens for three months now and it has changed our lives in the best ways.
Self-care is so important. It can really make a difference on how you function and interact with others. It will allow you to feel less irritable and be capable of taking on even the most mundane task when you put yourself first. So be more intentional with making time for yourself and I guarantee you’ll be better for it!