I was thinking this morning how crazy it was that this post, a year ago, was my 2nd blog post after going live. It kind of feels like yesterday. And forever ago all at the same time. Yet here I am again, taking my cue from Anne Bogel, at Modern Miss Darcy, to share what is saving my life right now.
It’s the midpoint of winter. People are complaining of the cold and the gray and the darkness. I can’t say I love it all either. So it’s actually easy for me to come up with this list, the small to big things that are my heroes this season. Some of these might be affiliate links, as always, don’t worry…it doesn’t change the price for you and anything else!
Let’s get started.
What’s Saving My Life Right Now
That’s about the worst intro to a bullet point ever, but I didn’t come up with the name. For the second year in a row, I did the Whole30 in January, and these little guys were my morning tea/coffee lifeline. They are a combination of coconut cream and almond milk. For the record I do not like coconut flavor, and you can’t taste it at all.
They give my hot tea and my iced coffee a great creaminess that tricks my palate into being satisfied without my 2% or half and half. Since I’m trying to keep dairy to a minimum, these are now a pantry staple. I use the french vanilla (unsweetened) for the flavor in my coffee and love the plain for hot tea. They have a hazelnut, but ew. I don’t like that any more than coconut.
Sweet Lord, I never thought in 4 million years this would make any list of mine. I am the quintessential non-morning person. But the need to gain some peace in myself before confronting my day had grown to a fever pitch. Our whole family was suffering. So a few weeks ago I began to get up an hour and fifteen minutes before everyone. And wow. It has been amazing.
I don’t tackle my to do list, I don’t work out, I don’t shower and get ready. I get up, wash my face, make my tea and sit and spend some time in solitude. I journal, read, pray, sit in silence staring out the window. Game changer. More to come on that. But I can tell you that this winter I will survive because of this one small…massively huge…change. You have all had questions so don’t worry, I, of course, have more to share on this one ;-).
This word has a bit of a buzz these days. Basically it means grouping like tasks and only doing those tasks for an amount of time. For example. Writing blog posts. I used to get a large block of time on a weekend and would write, edit, format, image, etc. one whole post. It became very difficult to drum up the energy for that and I also felt immense pressure to get it done for the week. I began to fall behind. Lost more motivation, etc.
Enter batching. On my weekend block, I try to draft 2-4 posts. Then, during my “office hours” I have designated during the week, I have another block for imaging (my least favorite part of building a post), editing, formatting, etc. It has been so helpful, and not only does that initial weekend block feel less pressured, I’m starting to VERY slowly build my content with intentionality. A win, I would say.
Note, this works for many things in life. Not just blogging or work. Think about how you can group like tasks together in chunks of time. Try it and let me know what you think.
4/ Tropical Traditions. Again.
I’m sorry. This made last year’s list, as well. And it’s still saving my life this winter. Try the baby silk creme for hands and feet, and the lotion for all over. Note, the prices look high, but they run sales often. Keep your eye out for those.
Ahh. I need a moment.
This is the most lovely planner I have ever had. My friend Jess sent me a link to a Kickstarter for this cool looking, super customizable planner in the early fall. I kept my tab open on my browser for a month. I finally purchased it with my birthday money, and I can’t tell you how awesome it is. You pick everything about it. You build it from cover to finish. But for me, the coolest part is that you can upload a digital calendar and it will print all your things on not only the monthly view BUT the weekly spreads as well.
For example. Bret’s birthday. In April, on his birthday, it is printed all lovely, “Bret’s Bday.” THEN you go to that week in the weekly format, and it’s there too!!! It’s revolutionary. I just made a google calendar with any events I knew I wanted and uploaded it to the website. So easy.
Never thought I’d need one of these. But our bedroom was an addition to the original house. It is not insulated. No joke. It’s 100 degrees in the summer, and 45 in the winter. It’s like a freezer. We have used space heaters like this one and those have been fine. But I tend to wake up sweaty and hot.
We bought this heated mattress pad for each other for Christmas about 3 years ago and it is such a luxury. Yes. I know it is a luxury. We turn it on preheat, go brush our teeth and when we get back to bed it’s warm and perfect. It’s zoned so I can turn Bret’s side off or I can leave just my feet on low if it’s extra cold. I know some people love heated blankets, but this is better for me. I don’t get too hot. Can’t say enough about this one.
One word. Legos. We have approximately 1.2 million of these and use them for everything from lego sets to memorabilia and school papers to any freaking thing else! They stack great and you can even use this unit to keep them even more organized. We bought the unit and a ton of the boxes at 50% off, for 4.00 at Michaels. Amazon’s price is actually pretty comparable to the sale prices, I think the unit is even cheaper. Great investment.
As a bonus tip, we have also used these other boxes for markers, crayons, all the art supplies, pokemon cards, and whatever current thing my little hoarders are collecting. They are life savers.
8/ Rosehip Oil
Again with the promises of a skincare post. It’s coming. Very soon. But this oil has been my up to date favorite. It nourishes, moisturizes, helps with breakouts, heals breakouts and slowly fades my blemish scars. It’s not heavy and I don’t feel like an oil slick afterwards.
I use it in the morning as a moisturizer and then at night as a standalone moisturizer. In dryer, winter months, I put a light moisturizer on top. I ordered this Rosehip Night Serum from the same company and use it as night. It has a few extra essential oils in it that are great for your face.
9/ Writing the Word
Remember mornings? Well. It’s early. And I can’t get my brain in gear to in depth study anything. So I just open to a passage, currently a Psalm and I just write it. It’s been fresh, new and methodical in a peaceful unique way. Highly recommend trying this if you have struggled to get into reading or studying scripture.
10/ Dish gloves
Yes I’m a woman of the 2000’s not 1950. But I’m also the product of raising and caring for livestock (story for another day) and spending lots of time washing dishes and in the water. My hands do not appreciate this work. I always thought it would be so annoying to put them on all the time. Until I found the right pair. Now it is almost second nature.
The trick is that they have to easily slide on and off with being so big you drop things. The old fashioned Yellow latex ones don’t work for me. I almost have to peel them off. Here is the other pair I keep on rotation with the one above. My hands feel so much better this winter than they have since moving to Kansas over a decade ago.
To end on serious note…
10/ Plantain chips and salsa
So I know one of the big things of Whole30 is learning how to fuel your body so you don’t really even need snacks very often. Healthy fats and proteins are key for energy and feeling full. But sometimes you just need a normal feeling snack. Enter roasted and salted plantain chips with a salsa that doesn’t have sugar in it. Trader Joe’s has them for like 1.99. I would grab a portion and some salsa and it was perfect.
No they do not taste like bananas. Yes, they are still a go to snack for me even though my 30 day sentence is over.
Well. That is my list. Though I’m sure I have some others, these are the ones that get a nod on the daily. Your turn. What is getting you through this cold winter?