In the tradition of eastern medicine, the seasons play a role in understanding not only our environment, but as a template for understanding our...
3 Steps to the Perfect DIY Mother's Day - in 1 Hour or Less
I don’t remember the details of my first Mother’s Day, but I’m pretty sure it involved a card, and a happy hour trip to the neighborhood bistro where we’d order an appetizer, a glass of wine to split, and a complimentary bread basket. We used to do this a lot for special occasions. We were super-short on money, my husband and I, (I mean, everyone wants more, right, but we’re talking pregnant and no health insurance short.) but we also liked the high life a bit, so we’d get creative on how to indulge ourselves and not break the non-existent bank. It was a cash-only system.
Some close friends of ours (and parents to two adorable girls) remember too their first years -- with $8 in the bank at times, and trying to start their own magazine (they succeeded by the way); they had to get creative. They’d watch bargain movies and discuss them in the park for hours. When you’re broke and courting, (or broke and married!) you really get to know each other when all the trimmings are stripped away. You get creative, you figure out how to keep the pampering and indulgence alive. I may be talking to some of you who know this far better than I. I would never say the broke years were the best in my life (I love travel, philanthropy and the freedom of choice that money can bring), but I will say they weren’t the worst either. My brilliant designer friend talks about how you need boundaries on a room or project to get the most creative. Our boundary for the first years with our first son was money, and I’ll never take money for granted as a result.
Our limiting factor with our second son is time. I don’t remember the first year of life with my older son Aidan being much more than slow and overwhelming. This time around, it’s flying by. The time seems to have no logic. I haven’t quit working this time either. I work from home and nurse on demand, but its a workday nonetheless. While I used to say that a real Mother’s Day is a day without the kids (and I’m not the first or last to say this, I know), this Mother’s Day I’m nursing, and it’s not realistic to think that I’m going to be able to go for a Spa Day -- or that my also busy husband would have time or inclination to plan any such thing.
The bottom line is, this Mother’s Day, I need a DIY solution -- a solution that ensures that I’m pampered and left feeling relaxed, energized and appreciated -- and I need to create this miracle moment by myself -- leaving time for the breakfast-in-bed projects and whatnot that the family will inevitably think up -- for me to later clean up. Conservatively I’d say I’ve got an hour.
Here’s what I’ve come up with dear reader, if you, like me, would like or need a Mother’s Day celebration that is budget and time conscious, leaving you the rest of the day to spend with the blessed beings that enable us to celebrate this day in the first place. I’ve taken one for the team and tested this out -- I know, it’s hard, someone had to ensure quality control -- and I promise you that this 3-Step Mother’s Day Celebration will leave you feeling happier & healthier than when you started, in one hour or less.
Before You Begin:
Block the time with your family in advance. Above all, no cell phones, no interruptions, no cheating! Have papa take the kids to the park or somewhere outside the house for your refreshment time.
Suggestion: Make the mousse for Step 3 first, for optimal relaxation -- that way, you’ll get straight out of the bath-turned-spa, and indulge!
Step 1: Relax in a detoxifying bath (approximate time: 20 minutes)
This suggestion is entirely inspired by Earthsavers Rejuvenating bath salts -- my complete obsession. (Coincidentally, my first Earthsavers bath salts were a Mother’s Day gift.They smell so good to me, I keep a jar by my sink just to sniff, like grown-up glue.) The epsom salt - dead sea salt - baking soda combination is what I often use for kids’ detoxification... The peppermint, eucalyptus, and rosemary is just for you.:)
This combination softens skin and relaxes muscles, relieving minor aches, pains, and strains. This combination of essential oils uplifts and invigorates. Feel free to create an essential oil blend that you prefer, such as 5-10 drops of relaxing lavender, or the beautiful-smelling, funny-sounding ylang-ylang.
- 2 Cup Epsom Salt (or dead sea salt, or a 1/2-1/2 combination)
- 1 Cup baking soda
- 10 drops peppermint essential oil (optional)
- 6 drops rosemary essential oil (optional)
- 3-4 drops eucalyptus essential oil (optional)
Mix ingredients together before adding to bath. Fill your tub with water, adding 1 Cup for every 6 inches of water. Sit in this bath for 20 minutes (or however long you’d like!) After the bath is over, be sure to rinse off with a glycerin soap, to remove any impurities from the skin.
Step 2: Give yourself an energizing foot scrub (approximate time: 5-10 minutes)
This recipe was inspired by both The Idea Room and Sprout Wellness -- (a Goop favorite, amazing organic skincare line that gives out a very similar body scrub recipe -- and let me know how easy it really is...)
- 1/2 Cup Natural raw brown sugar
- 1 Tblsp. Coconut oil
- 1-2 tsp. Coconut flakes
- 3-5 drops Peppermint essential oil
Over low heat, mix coconut oil into sugar and coconut flakes until sugar just begins to dissolve -- very quickly. Take off heat, add peppermint essential oil drops and stir. Take up to bathroom, lay down plush towel on the edge of tub if you have one, and massage away, in gentle, circular motion -- for as long as you’d like. Rinse away with warm water.
Finish with this homemade lotion if you’re lucky enough to have some on hand, or use whatever natural favorite you have available). Put on socks -- to keep your footsies pampered and moisturized -- and to keep you from slip-sliding your way on to Step 3...
Step 3: Eat guiltless chocolate: my recipe for Healthy Chocolate Mousse (approximate time to make: 5 minutes; time to eat: 5 luxuriously long minutes, small slow bites required:))
This chocolate mousse is raw, vegan, a fabulous source of antioxidants, and totally indulgent
Jen’s Best Ever Healthy Raw Chocolate Mousse:
Makes one decadent cup...‘cuz it’s just for you. (Feel free to bookmark this recipe and double, triple, quadruple it as you wish.)
- 3 pitted dates (placed in water for 3-5 minutes to soften)
- 3 Tblsp. maple syrup
- 1 Tblsp. coconut oil
- 2 Tblsp. raw cacao powder
- 1/2 Cup coconut water
- 1 small avocado
- 1 pinch sea salt (I use pink Himalayan salt for added beneficial minerals)
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 pinch cinnamon
- 1 pinch nutmeg
Combine dates, maple syrup, coconut oil, raw cacao and coconut water in a food processor or blender. Add avocado, one scoop at a time until mixture reaches your desired consistency (no more than one full avocado). Add salt, cayenne, cinnamon, and nutmeg to taste. Don’t be afraid - these give it a mild kick that makes the flavor complicated and delicious.
Final step: return to your family utterly refreshed -- with a radiant glow, a happy disposition, and yummy-smelling feet. :)
Happy Mother’s Day, Mama!
You might also like...
Dear other pregos-on-the-go out there (or preggie mamas who used to be on the go, but whose babies are now telling them to stay put):
(Plus a Couple of Critiques from my Ever-Patient Husband)
Okay, so I’m loving the...
Dear readers, I’m pregnant again. I wish I were saying this to elicit congratulations and by way of launching a new column about pregnancy -- and I am, at least, doing the latter, but the...
Summer is nearly upon us – and with it, a lot of changes, excitement, and challenges for our little (and too rapidly, I fear, not-so-little) ones. Some of the changes in temperature,...
We’ve all been listening to and reading the news about Swine Flu (especially if, like me, you live in Austin, just an hour from San Antonio, and bordering Mexico.) And , if you’re also...
When a dear friend calls and says that her angelic little baby boy, now four months old has turned into a slightly less angelic version of himself, a little drooling fussy version who...
Bedwetting rarely represents a problem requiring medical intervention; it is, however, one of the major reasons that parents will explore natural remedies and complementary medicines for their...