Monday, October 10, 2011

Day 10: I Made Some Comfort Food

“Onion soup sustains. The process of making it is somewhat like the process of learning to love. It requires commitment, extraordinary effort, time, and will make you cry.” - Ronni Lundy

Yesterday was a rainy, windy, miserable day here.   Perfect for making soup.   

I love to cook; to try new chop celery  and carrots and onion and pancetta and garlic!  I love the smell of good food cooking on the stove top.     And, I also love to engages all of the me it is just fabulous self care!

If I had more time I would probably start up my food blog again....unfortunately, (or fortunately, if you consider that saying NO to being overwhelmed is just good self care)  I have left my cooking blog long neglected.   I still cook...I just don't write about it. 


You can check out my old blog here:  My Home Cook N Blog



 Did you practice some good self care today (is there such a thing as "bad" self care, really? Hmmm)   Let us know!


Day 9: Self Care Girl Stepped Away From Her Lap Top For The Day...

Unplugged.....Off Line....Out of Office....Away...

Photo borrowed from The Unplugged Learning Project:

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Day 8: I Watched An Entire 80's Top #50 Countdown.

Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons. You will find it is to the soul what a water bath is to the body. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes
Spent the afternoon reliving my teen years.   One of the television music channels was playing an 80's countdown and I couldn't help but get completely roped in.   I love the music of that era!
There are so many memories associated with the songs we grew up with.   I can remember where I was and the various people I was with (who I honestly have not thought of in years) as each music video played.   
My grandmother is one person who I think of fondly during this era.  She was so cool!  I have such great memories of watching MTV with her...we watched Duran Duran, Cyndi Lauper, and Prince together...I remember the first time we saw Boy George and weren't completely sure if he was a He or a She!   I remember my grandmother entertaining us with a very funny Madonna 'like a virgin' impersonation and how wooed she was by the barefoot guitar player in Dire Straits.  
Singing and dancing along to some of this great music is so good for the soul!   My husband and I grew up in different countries (He is English, I am American), but we share a love of the same era of music.   It was interesting to compare notes and hear his perspective and favorites too.
In the words of Don McLean, American Pie "music soothes the mortal soul."  It is just very good self care.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Day 7: We had a Pajama Party

“Oh no! I should do something....but I am already in my pajamas.” - Farnsworth from Futurama

Fabulous Artwork from Blue Yonder (

A pajama party was the theme today in the high-rise flat of Self Care Girl and her Prince Charming, Mr Self Care.    The dashing couple decided to stay in today, curled up on the sofa with a commitment to do nothing in particular, but laze about and eat gelato.


Self Care Girl was stunning in a fabulous pair of soft cotton pajama bottoms of candy striped pinks...topped with an mismatching, but comfy, adidas t-shirt in a heavenly sleeping baby blue.   She topped her look with her favorite worn "house sweater" and a slightly disheveled "bed head" hairstyle.

Mr Self Care looked absolutely dashing too in his white t-shirt and khaki reebok shorts...not one to really wear pajamas (meowwww!), Self Care Girl was pleased to see that he did attempt to dress for the occasion.    (Also she was selfishly aware that Mr Self Care's attire clearly made him a better candidate for making the all-important gelato run)

Mr Self Care (aka SCG's personal barista) kept the coffee brewing, while SCG compromised on her agenda of chick flicks, in favor of a more man- friendly Bourne Identity movie marathon.   "The important thing is that we are spending time together today" she was overheard saying as she popped in the dvd and curled up next to him on the sofa.


The menu of the day was a delivered Pizza and chicken soup (and whatever other munchable faire they could scrounge from their cupboards),  topped off with a delightful scoop(s) of raspberry gelato.

The couple had been feeling a bit puny over the last few days and is hoping that this pajama party will restore them to their good health.

Have you had a pajama party recently?   Let us know!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Day 6: How to Get Your Self Care In on A Very Hectic Day

The best time to take a break is when you don't think you have time for one! - Unknown

Today was just one of those hectic days where I didn't think about self care until it seemed almost too late to do anything about it.  

Some days are like that.     

I had a good think about this after kicking myself for not making myself a priority.   And then I decided that step one should be to not  kick myself.    I felt better immediately.   You have to do the best you can some days and I really believe I did just that!

  The second step after forgiving myself for being human....develop a list of quick, small tasks I could use in the future to get my little self care fix in.  

1) Be gentle with yourself  (no kicking or beating yourself up about it!)
2)  Make a plan for next time you find yourself in the same circumstance
3) Create a "done" list in your head or on paper - give yourself credit for what you have accomplished!
4) Take 10 deep breaths
5) Do only  what needs to be done...and nothing more.  (I like to clean house before I go to bed, but I really  needed to just go to bed)
6) Have a piece of chocolate, a cookie or some little treat.
7) Stop and get yourself something to drink...refocus your eyes and stretch
8) Grab some lotion and massage your hands, arms...feet, legs. 
9) Name 5 things you are thankful for
10) Ask for help.   

Got any other good, quick self care remedies?   Let us know!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Day 5: Booked A Vacation Home

There is no place like home!  - Dorothy, The Wizard of Oz

Yesterday I booked a flight home for a 2 week holiday.   I am quite looking forward to getting home and sleeping in my own bed, cooking in my own kitchen, seeing my friends and family and driving my own car.  

I am blessed to have my current job.  It is allows me to see the world, spend my days doing what I love and meet some really wonderful people.   I have not been home since early June, though.   That is a long time to be away. 

While I was gone, Mr SC had rooms painted, finished a huge renovation to put in french doors out to our back deck and had the exterior trim and garage door touched up.    I missed seeing my roses bloom, blueberry season and the first crop of apples on our little apple tree.  

Going home is going to be great self care!

Did you do something good for you today?   Let us know!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Day 4: I Ate Chocolate...Lots of Chocolate.

Don't wreck a sublime chocolate experience by feeling guilty.  ~Lora Brody
I ate two of these wonderful slices and a chocolate bar.   
Why?  Well....Because they were there.  
And I confess that if there had been more chocolate available to me, I probably would have devoured that too!   I simply could not get enough chocolate in me.     Tell me you've never  had one of those days!

Recently, I read that you can curb your chocolate cravings by eating bell peppers.   When you crave chocolate your body may be lacking in magnesium.    Apparently Bell peppers are a more healthful option for getting that all-important nutrient than chocolate.   

Bell peppers are lower in sugar and calories and higher in Vitamin C.   From a dietary perspective, they are much better for your body than chocolate is (although raw dark chocolate may be a contender here.) 
But in my opinion why in the world would anyone in their right mind choose a bell pepper over a decadent piece of chocolate?   Peppers don't taste as great as chocolate does and they do almost nothing for one's soul.    
The official Self Care Girl position on this:  If Chocolate makes you happy,  don't opt for a stupid bell pepper!  
Being happy is good self care!   

What did you do for Day 4?  (Note:  It is not to late to have a piece of chocolate)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Day 3 - A Hot Bath with a Mani-Pedi

"We start to realize that there are anodynes in life that help us through the day. I don't care if it's a walk in the park, a look out the window, a good bubble bath - whatever. Even a meal you like, or a friend you want to call. That helps us solve all this stuff in our head." - Al Pacino

This is not my first post on bubble baths, nor will it likely be my last.   There is simply nothing more soothing than a good hot soak when you have had a long day using your body and brain muscles. 

I like my bath full and scented with lavender.   I like the lights dimmed, a candle or two lit and the sound of water running gently.    Tub time may very well be the most inexpensive, most simple and most beneficial form of self care available to those of us who possess bath tubs.

For Day 3 of the 31 Days of Self Care Challenge, I had a bath and gave myself a much needed mani-pedi.   I was a nail biter for most of my life.   However a few years ago I remedied that with a proper manicure.  It is like most things in life- a little extra attention to one small thing can make a world of difference.  Smooth nails are less likely to be nibbled.     I love to go to the salon, but I have found that a simple manicure here in Australia is quite a bit more expensive than I would spend in the States.    Fortunately manicures are easily performed at home. 

The best time to give yourself a mani-pedi is after a nice hot bath.    The soak will soften your nail and make them easier to work with.    Clean your nails with a good nail brush then trim and file them.  Gently push back the cuticles, (I learned recently that you should not cut your cuticles!) and moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.   Previous experiences with painting my own nails have not been positive- so I skip that.   I am perfectly happy with clean, neatly trimmed nails and soft, smooth hands. 

For your feet, I recommend getting a good brush and pumice stone.  Scrub out the rough spots.    Trim and file the nails and then spend some time giving yourself a luxurious foot massage.   I like the invigorating effects of a minty foot lotion.   Coat your feet with lotion and then cover them with a soft pair of cotton socks.   Your body heat will enhance the moisturizing effects of the lotion.
Home spa products can be a great self care treat and a new lotion or potion will definitely inspire a little pampering.    However, you can find lots of beauty recipes on line using products you may already have in your home.  What I have found is that the most important element of the home spa experience is not the products you use, but the actual time and attention you spent on YOU!    

Did you give yourself some quality time today?   Let us know!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Day 2 - Take a Hike!

I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.  ~John Muir

I laughed when I saw this picture.   

I walk a fact, I think I could be a walking "expert"....this picture is the most ridiculous thing I have seen in a long time.  

If you are going to start walking and must look for a pictorial representation related to walking- for crying out loud- search Google for good for charity walks.   The last thing you are going to need is a picture of someone showing you HOW to walk.   If you have reached adulthood and walk from say...your living room to the fridge...your bed to your bathroom...well, you can rest assured that you are more than capable of figuring out this walking-just-about-anywhere thing.   It is not complicated.  

Mr Self Care and I were walking about 5 miles a night when we were both home.    Today, we are just getting settled in to our new temporary home in Melbourne, Australia and really feel the need to get back into that routine.   We love walking!

We have decided to use our car only to get to work.   We live in a very walkable community.   It takes about 20 minutes to walk to our favorite market and less than that to reach 3 different outlet malls.   There are paths all along the waterfront, to parks, to the beach....there is really no reason NOT to walk. 

Day 2 of our 31 days of self care challenge we made this commitment to each other:  we will walk as much as we can.   We grabbed our grocery tote and headed to the market this sunny spring morning.  

Walking is good self care for many reasons:  

  1. It is fabulous low impact exercise. 
  2. It is a great way to think things out
  3. It is one of the best forms of transportation for the environment
  4. It is a great way to connect with someone you love. 
  5. It is a wonderful way to get fresh air and see sites that you might not otherwise see. 

Did you do something healthful today?   Let us know!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Day 1 - Let the Self Care Festivities Begin!

“As a rule, the mind, residing in a body that has become weakened by pampering, is also weak, and where there is no strength of mind there can be no strength of soul.” - Mahatma Gandhi (....who apparently has never experienced the soul enhancing properties of a good hot stone massage!)



Mr Self Care and I started off our 31 Days of Self Care in a big way yesterday.   We had a couple's hot stone massage at Body Freedom Day Spa!

The cold and rainy weather outside was completely miserable, but this is actually PERFECT weather for lying on a massage table all bundled up in warm blankets with a row of hot stones running the length of your spine.

In a hot stone massage, the therapist uses the smooth heated stones to warm and then work the kinks out of your muscles.    For a whole hour and a half, Mr SC and I were pleasantly pummeled into jello-like beings.   I caught myself falling asleep at least 3 times.    It was heavenly!

The worst part of a hot stone massage- and any relaxing spa treatment, really- is the end...when the therapist says in a low whisper..."okay, that is all for today...take your time getting up...stretch a bit...there is a glass of water here for you...." 

I heard our therapists leave the room....and then complete silence.      No movement from Mr SC's table next to me.   And I was thinking "I just want to lay ALL day." and I know that my dear husband was thinking the same thing.   I half expected to hear snoring...but eventually he did stir and I had no choice but to follow suit.

I have seen massages advertised for as low as $50 an hour in the U.S.    You can often find coupons on the internet or get last minute specials when a spa is looking to fill a slot in their calendar.    Check your local massage school too - massage therapists are required to put in a minimum number of hours to get licensed.   You can often get treatments at half price this way.

To get a free massage, I suggest you add this to your wish list for Christmas, Birthday, Valentine's Day, or other important holiday or celebration day and let those people who really care about you know that an hour or so of pampering would be just perfect!

Did you start Day 1 off  in a fabulous way?   Let us know!