As many of you know, Covid hit our house last week and trying to find tests has been impossible. Thankfully here in our city, the school district has testing facilities for students and staff. We will be masking up and waiting in that line tomorrow morning bright and early to re-test the big kiddo and get him cleared to go back to school.
For the rest of us, starting on Wednesday, you can order Free at-home COVID-19 tests from Covidtests.org.
Every home in the U.S. can soon order 4 free at-home COVID-19 tests. The tests will be completely free—there are no shipping costs and you don’t need to enter a credit card number.
The website is up, but ordering capabilities will not be available until 1/19/2022.
In the meantime, a new federal law mandates that private insurance companies must reimburse covered individuals for over-the-counter COVID-19 tests at up to $12 per test.
Consumers can either purchase the testing kits at no cost or submit receipts for reimbursement from the insurance company. For more information or specific details, contact your insurance company directly.
As always, if you are sick (with anything, not just COVID): Stay home, wash your hands frequently, throw away your used tissues, cover your nose and mouth if you must be around others, stay hydrated, and REST. I know it’s hard to give yourself permission to chill and do nothing, but sleep and rest give your body a chance to recover. Also- Chicken soup. My recipe is here. The more veggies, the better.
My friend Jennie Olson Six is an amazing, nurturing Yogini. She is always sharing her love of yoga and making it accessible to anyone. She sent out an email with some of her upcoming classes for December and January, and I thought I’d share it. For some of us (myself included), it’s hard to get out and “go do” yoga or other classes, especially when kids are out of school. If you want to learn more about Jennie (who she is, what she offers, etc), here is her website.
CLASS SCHEDULE UPDATES Monday Night Gentle Hatha Yoga 5:30-6:30pm PST
This is a more active practice but ends with a guided relaxation.
Great for those that are ending at the office and don’t want to jump in the car and commute. ZOOM LINK
Meeting ID: 894 0930 3345
THURSDAY SLEEP WELL YOGA NO CLASS DECEMBER 23RD. Thursday Night 7:30-8:30pm PST
This class is for those that want a really gentle experience with guided relaxation as the emphasis for the practice.
I’m sure by now everyone has heard the phrase “Hot Girl Summer”, but do you know what it means? The phrase can be traced back to a Megan Thee Stallion song a few years ago.
On Twitter, she explained: “Being a Hot Girl is about being unapologetically YOU, having fun, being confident, living YOUR truth, being the life of the party, etc.”
A couple of my friends have embraced it, and I think that it’s a pretty amazing outlook to have, especially since last summer was, well, Sad Trombone Noise? I know the kids are looking forward to having fun, more adventures, and getting out of the house. Here are a couple ways I’m bringing Hot Girl Summer (and sharing it with the fam).
New Bathing Suits. Kids grow, but what about me? Well after having the same swimsuits for 3 years, it’s time. Especially since we swim daily. I bought a few new suits from Amazon. Since I’m fair-skinned I picked up one with long sleeves, the kids tease me about working at SeaWorld. This is just one of the many suits I’ve got. It’s perfect for prime sun time.
New Pool Bag and New Pool Toys. Every Summer it seems, we need new pool toys and a new pool bag. The Chlorine wrecks our bag (which is mesh- this helps the pool toys dry quickly), and daily use of toys leaves them.. wrecked. Dollar Tree has a great selection of sturdy pool toys, including inflatables for kids (We have a cool cookie ring that has a “bite” taken out of it). For me, I picked up a sweet inflatable float pool chair.
Plans to meet up with friends. Now that most people have access to the vaccine, getting together with friends is a lot more feasible. We are still limiting ourselves and staying away from large gatherings where we don’t know everyone, but dinner and drinks with friends sound amazing. I’m hosting dinners a couple times a month over the summer for a few reasons: 1. To keep all of our costs down (Dinner out with drinks costs $$$ these days), and honestly, I don’t feel super safe going out for dinner all that often, especially now that there are no mask regulations in our state. And I’m having a weekend getaway with some girlfriends in a few weeks. I am really looking forward to a weekend away in a vacation rental doing a whole lot of nothing!
Take Advantage of the season: What does that mean? Summer has all sorts of fun advantages: Long days, Amazing fruit and veggies are in season, nice weather. Spend time outside (poolside, at the beach, exploring nature), enjoy a big bowl of fruit salad, make a huge salad! Community events are starting to come back (with limited event sizes), and there are lots of free events throughout the summer. EventBrite is a great place to find community events.
Make Time for You: I know… So many blogs and social media tell you to get self-care time and spend time doing things that you love, but as a parent, it can be hard without staying up late or waking up before dawn. Finding a sitter can be tough too. It’s ok to lean on family and friends. The past year has been exponentially tough on parents, and you need time to yourself. Swap child care with friends, or if you want to have a night out, split the cost of a sitter. Your kids can hang out together, while you and your friends get some time away.
Take Care of Yourself: And I don’t mean the stereotypical self-care of putting on a mud mask and drinking water with lemon slices. That’s fun, but I mean the simple acts that we often overlook as caregivers.
Sunscreen for your face and any exposed areas when you’ll be outside for more than 10 minutes during peak sun hours (usually 10am-4pm). Don’t forget the tops of your ears. Being super fair-skinned I also wear a sun hat too. Not super sexy, but I don’t want skin cancer.
Take something to drink with you. I know most of you pack snacks for your kids when you leave home, but take a few extra minutes to make yourself something that you like (bonus if it’s a snack that your kids do not like- No sharing!), and fill your water bottle. This is the water bottle I use. If you like fruit-infused water, bottles like this are great. You can also opt for an infuser to go into your favorite bottle or insulated cup.
Find Something to Keep You Occupied. Besides your kids. Pick up a book, grab a craft kit (I like embroidery- it’s easy and portable), Craftsy has some cool online classes to get you started.
I’d love to hear about how you are bringing Hot Girl Summer. Leave a comment below!
I know that some extra time in the shower, scrubbing with some yummy sugar scrub isn’t going to make all the shenanigans going on in the world melt away. But if I can give myself some grace, chill the fuck out, and have a few extra minutes to myself, I’m going to do it.
Oh, and if you are wondering what kind of hand sanitizer (called hanny-sanny by my daughter) we like- Usually I’d say whatever is on sale, but since there was a recent debacle about some imported Hanny-Sanny being poisonous (WTF?), we’ve got a couple of large bottles of Kundal Fresh Water Hand Sanitizer that are pretty good. And it’s not sticky. Having used many types over the past few months, I’ve come to discover that some types/brands are sticky. EW. Also, I’ve come to realize that most of it smells like cheap vodka, and now I have no desire to drink vodka.
And now for the Giveaway- I want you to splurge and get yourself some awesome self-care goodies too. Leave me a comment on this blog post: What would you buy FOR YOURSELF with a $25 Amazon GC? You can earn a bonus entry by commenting on this Instagram post. I’ll choose a winner on 8/23/2020. I’ll notify the winner via email.
**This post contains affiliate links and I may be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.
If you’ve seen some of my Instagram posts lately you may have noticed my greys. Yeah. I’m sporting almost 2 inches of roots/re-growth, and I’m feeling kinda shabby.
Now that most of us are settling down in our weird “New Norm” and are getting settled into a new (and weird) routine we are starting to notice that our regular personal care rituals have fallen to the wayside. It’s healthy to do self-care in whatever form you prefer: Hair color, painting your nails, doing a cleanse. Whatever you need to do to help yourself feel better in this strange new time.
Madison Reed has come to my rescue! I’ve used their service off and on for the past 5 years, usually when I couldn’t get to Sally Beauty to pick up my favorite Ion hair color. I ordered my kit on last Friday, it should be arriving this week.
Besides selling hair color kits, Madison Reed’s website has some of the best articles and tips on their blog.
If you are a little more in the know or want more of a DIY experience, man Sally Beauty locations are offering curbside pick up. You can order hair color, developer, shampoo, conditioner, spa stuff, nail stuff, even waxing stuff if you are feeling up to it online, and then pick it up at your local Sally Beauty location. Pretty sweet, right?
I was at the drugstore yesterday (getting our rX refills), and I happened down the hair color aisle and it looked picked over. Lots of blues and greens available, but nothing in tamer colors.
The CEO of Walmart has commented that we are Hair Color phase of panic buying (source), and I 100% agree. Cruising the HBA (Health and Beauty Aids) aisles of CVS, it’s pretty barren. Most of the nicer/pricier brands of shampoo and conditioner are sold out, there isn’t much in the way of DIY facial supplies (Secret Tip: Dollar Tree sells name brand skincare masks. I’ve seen the same masks at Walmart for over $3 each).
I haven’t been posting a lot of coupons lately. Either they are low value, or they aren’t for products that I think y’all would like. But, check out what popped up in my inbox this morning: Mucinex $5 OFF Coupon here.
A lot of people are battling the winter ickiness, and that includes mucus (eww). When you join Mucus Fighters Plus, Mucinex® will email you an exclusive $5 coupon and other special offers, plus tips for putting mucus in its place.
Here are a few tips to keep sickness at bay:
Wash your paws! Seriously. Soap, warm water, 30 seconds of vigorous rubbing, rinse, dry. Sing Happy Birthday or count to time yourself.
Throw away your used paper towels, used tissues, and put dirty dishes that have come into contact with your mouth into the sink. Don’t leave your germs around to share. In this case, sharing isn’t caring.
If someone in your home is sick, wipe down surfaces they touch one a day (or more frequently). We use Clorox wipes. you can also use Lysol Spray.
Change out your toothbrush! Bacteria can live on your toothbrush. Change it out once you are feeling better.
If you don’t feel well, it’s ok to take it easy. Skip non-essential obligations. Your friends and family will thank you for not spreading illness.
To piggyback on #5- REST. It helps you get well faster. Sleep. Take a shower. Read a book. Have a low key movie night with the kids and serve a dinner of snacks on a blanket in the living room.
Talkback: What are your tips to recovering from the winter sickies?
Last August, I had my hair professionally colored purple and pink, You can read about it here. As awesome as it was, it really damaged my hair. Bleaching your hair sucks.
I’ve been coloring my hair since I was 13. That’s… a long time. My hair has been pretty much any color you can think of- blonde, brown, red (so many shades of red), black, purple, blue, green….
In the resulting 10 months, I’ve been babying my hair. That means washing my hair twice a week with sulfate free, color safe shampoo, deep conditioning mask, including a weekly overnight leave-in mask, buying a new blow dryer that has a cold setting (which is awesome). And coloring my hair at home with very gentle semi-permanent depositing color in addition to the color (7IR Medium Intense Red Blonde) I’ve been using on my hair for the past few years. The red color blends well with purple and the damaged ends take color a little differently, so it’s usually a surprise what color they turn out- Some sort of purple-y pink most of the time.
I’ve cut off most of the damaged ends- Right now the last 2 inches of my hair are all that remains of the bleached hair from last year. My hair grows fast.
I wasn’t interested in something as dramatic as last years transformation, especially since I am trying to get my hair to grow healthy again.
If you’ve never colored your hair before at home or if you have a job where funny colored hair isn’t allowed, I don’t recommend this at all!
If you’re new to hair color, especially funky colors, I do recommend Overtone. It’s a color depositing conditioner, and you can use it on any color hair. It won’t lighten your hair, but if you have dark hair, it will give you a cool colorful shine in the light. If your hair is lighter, The Overtone will give you a more obvious color.
So when I re-did my hair the other day, I didn’t take pics because my gloved hands were all goopy with hair color, but here’s what you need:
Gloves. I buy latex-free gloves by the box.
Hair color. I use this color (7IR Medium Intense Red Blonde).
Any developer that your color needs.
Plastic spoon (you cannot mix hair color and developer with a metal ANYTHING)
I also use a plastic fork to apply the color (It’s a Dinglehopper!!)
The Splat needs a longer time to process in your hair, so I apply that first.
I apply it to the ends of my hair and then I pour a little into my palm and rub my hands together and run my hands through my hair like I’m applying mousse. That gives me some highlights through my hair.
Or if I’m feeling crazy, I’ll dip the fork into the color and comb it through in a few places. I channel in inner Ariel.
Put my hair up in a shower cap and dance around the house, embarrassing my kids for 20 minutes.
While it’s processing, I mix together the other hair color and developer. Once the 20 minutes is up, I pull off the shower cap, and apply the dye to the rest of my hair, making sure to blend the areas where the colors touch.
Slap the shower cap back on and hang out until the second color processes (it depends on the color, what color your hair was to start with, etc. The instructions will tell you how long to let the color process (in my case, it was 45 minutes).
The Splat hair color is supposed to last 30 washes, but I find after about 15-20 washes it’s faded enough where I need to reapply. If you use Overtone, you can re-do it in the shower whenever you need to (it’s a lot less messy, but requires more frequent touch-ups. It’s a trade-off).
Most mainstream/drug store box hair color brands make more interesting colors these days, including Garnier, Schwarzkopf, and L’oreal.
It’s all about being you- If having funky colored hair speaks to your soul- DO IT. If having tattoos or piercing is your self-expression, do whatever makes you happy! As long as your happiness doesn’t infringe on someone else- DO IT. The past year has been really hard on me, emotionally, but I’ve been able to express myself more, and in the end, I am a lot happier than I have been in years. I finished college, met new people, and I’ve been able to better care for myself and my kids.
My take away for this post is: Engage in Self-care that speaks to you!
Hey all! I’ve been busy, busy, busy lately and I wanted to let everyone know what’s going on. Two weeks ago, I went to Moms Meet Wow Summit, and this last weekend I went to Mommycon. Both weekends were full of learning, fun, and meeting so many new moms and brands. Mommycon was a great time to meet moms, and learn all about momm-ing, baby wearing, and women’s health. If you missed it this year, they’ll be back next year!
I’ll be celebrating the upcoming holidays with giveaways over the next few months, make sure to follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter so you can keep up to date on the next giveaways.
We’ve also been doing the super fun Mall Stars monthly crafts at our local Starwood Branded Mall. Every month there is a fun craft for the kids, sponsored by a local business/childcare center, and snacks provided by one of the food establishments in the mall. This month it was decoupage candle lanterns, with mini-bons and lemonade from Cinnabon.
Besides that, I recently helped style a Marty McFly costume for the New Children’s Museum Gala. It was tons of fun to do, and the best part was it cost less than $30 out of pocket! I spent a few days combing through thrift stores and looking online, but I found a puffy vest and jean jacket for a steal! Sears is a great place to find lots of new costume staples that may be harder to source in thrift shops- That’s where the puffy vest came from!
If you’d like to learn more about costuming on the cheap, check out my articles here and here.
I haven’t shared my favorite things with you in a while, and I’ve got a batch of them!
Everything Bagel Seasoning. It’s soooo good on avocado, poached eggs, cream cheese on top of a plain bagel. I’m pretty sure that this stuff is good on damn near anything. You can also get Everything Bagel Seasoning at your local Costco on the seasoning aisle.
Plus CBDoil – CBD Spray (in Peppermint). I have friends who use CBD oil for a lot of reasons and I was interested in trying it, but I wanted to learn more without a hard sell, so while I was at the Wow Summit, I took a class all about CBD- How it works, what it can be used for, and even how to gauge dosing. If you follow my on Instagram, you know that Bitty broke my bottle this morning. I’m bummed, especially since it was really helping me with the anxiety I’ve been feeling that my prescription meds haven’t been able to touch. Thank fully I have some gummies to tide me over until I can order more.
True Lemon I love True lemon- It’s a great way to make all the water I drink taste like something without adding calories or weird faux sweetness. I was worried about all of the waste from the packets. I found this big 10.6 ounce bottle on Amazon. And the bottle is recyclable!
The Field Agent App– Ok, so this isn’t a tangible “thing”, but I’ve been doing a lot of audits and secret shops with Field agent over the past month. I’ve earned a few hundred dollars with less than 2 hour work. I time the work to line up with my errands and other trips out of the hose, so no additional gas is wasted. You can learn more about Field Agent here.
Talk Back: I’d love to hear about what you are up to lately, or what your new favorite discovery has been!
Uh, yeah… This is INCREDIBLE NEWS! I love Moms Meet, and the Wow Summit was a blast when I went 3 years ago- which is the last time it was in San Diego.
It’s coming back to So Cal, in Anaheim, November 2-3, 2018. I couldn’t be more excited, and now tickets are 60% off this weekend only!
Friday is bloggers only- There are networking opportunities, workshops, meeting with brands, plus lunch from Table5 Pizza, and an evening cocktail party.
Saturday is for everyone! Get ready for a full day of learning and connecting! Moms in attendance will hear from guest speakers, attend educational workshops, and sample tons of free products in the exhibitor room. At the end of the day, you’ll walk away with an amazing goody bag!
There are some amazing sponsors that I can’t wait to meet and learn more about: Table5, Solgar, CV Science, Lindsay, Don’t go Nuts, and True Made Foods, just to name a few.
If you want to buy tickets, here is the link. at 60% off with code: LABORDAY. Honestly if you live in OC/LA, it is worth the goody bag to go. Tickets for Saturday only are $39 before the 60% off!
And if you aren’t able to come, don’t worry, you can live vicariously through me, as I’ll be posting a ton of photos on Instagram!
There are tons of articles about Self-Care on Pinterest and mommy blogs. Having read a bunch of them, I’m lead to believe that all of these people have kids that go to bed on time, never wake up for water, cry out in the night, or may possibly be robots. Why? Because facials, manicures, pedicures, private yoga sessions, and taking a long quiet bath are usually recommended. I can seldom do any of these after my kids are in bed.
Remember, self-care is more than slapping on a mud masque and shotgunning wine from a can (yes, it exists) on Sunday night while you hide in the bathroom and pray the kids stay in bed. My top ten list is stuff that is practical that will help “refill your cup”- and not with wine from a can.
Go to bed early. Like 9:30pm instead of 11:30pm. It’s all about baby steps.
Drink a glass of water in the morning. Yeah, you are supposed to drink 7 more after that, but, you’ve got at least 10 more waking hours to get that accomplished.
Take your vitamins. They are doing no good in your medicine cabinet. To remind yourself, get an “old person pill case“. My husband and I each have one, and so does Henry. I refill them on Saturday night. I’m such the party animal.
When you are alone in the car each day, do some deep breathing. I like the Alternate Nostril Breathing (I learned it in yoga- pre-kids). It’s easy to do and just two minutes of it can really help you relax. Bonus: It’s free.
Indulge in a guilty pleasure. Take 30 minutes and do something that you wouldn’t Facebook about- Take a couple Buzzfeed Quizzes, Watch Dr. Pimplepopper videos on YouTube, watch the Kardashians on Hulu. Just disconnect and do something mindless.
Color! I have a bunch of coloring books for adults, but I also like to print off coloring pages too. I have some pinned on my 100 Days of Art Pinterest Board. Color with what you’ve got on-hand. Crayons, markers, colored pencils. Heck, it’s ok to steal your kids coloring books.
Do a Social Media Purge. I did this at the beginning of January. I unfollowed/unfriended anyone that caused me stress, pain, anxiety, or jealousy. You don’t need to be surrounded with Keeping Up with the Joneses all the time. Your time and family are great the way they are. Removing these emotions from your daily life will give you relief. It’s liberating.
Enjoy something to eat or drink that brings you joy or is nostalgic. Bonus if it’s something that your kids don’t like/won’t eat. Then there will be no sharing.
Go for a ten minute walk. Outside is best, but a few laps around your office building is ok too. If you are home, grab the kids, the dog, and go outside. Investigate your neighborhood. It doesn’t have to be an Instagram-worthy sunset walk, just get out and stretch your legs!
Power Down- Put down your phone, tablet, turn off the computer for an hour and take a break/nap/shower/bath.
Most of these things can be done with little to no cost. Anyone can do them. How do you make sure that you get enough self-care?