Five Tips for Planning Intentional Self-Care

I’m sitting here listening to the hold music at my doctor’s office on speaker phone while I drink a big cup of coffee and draw up a lazy grocery list for this weekend. I want to make sure we get a lot of fresh veggies in our systems so I’m thinking a big salad for lunch… grilled chicken and veggies for dinner, and I’m wondering if peaches will satisfy our after dinner sweet teeth or if we should just admit it and get some cookies. And when are we going to get some movement in? If we can’t go to the water park, maybe we can take a park-tour or walk up and down main street. Or maybe even both… My best friend is coming to spend the night and I want to make sure that I’m at my very best while she’s here.

This planning ahead is something pretty new for me. Sort of. I’ve always been the type who likes to know what to expect but this is different. I’ve learned, recently, that if I plan certain things ahead, I’m more in control—not in control of what happens but more in control of how I feel. I’ve started seriously planning my self-care. And it has made all the difference. I’m not going to say that I feel like a whole new person… but I can tell you that I feel more in control of myself, these days.
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Announcing the #XOXOSummerSelfie challenge!

“Now maybe there’s a lesson I’ve been given
Or some wisdom from the stories that I need to tell.
And everybody’s hoping and scraping and wishing
They could be something outside themselves.
If I can be me, then you can be yourself.”
Tunde Olaniran

We’re only half way through 2016 and I feel like we’re due for a pick-me-up. I feel like we’re beyond due. World—what are you doing to yourself?

So I think to myself, what’s one thing that almost always perks up my mood? And you know what it is? It’s when I’m feeling bored or feeling sad and I’m scrolling through my Instagram feed and I see a photo of one of my dear friends. Endorphins just start shooting all over the place. It’s magnificent! Don’t you love it? Image(31)


Anyway, so how’s about another Selfie Challenge?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I believe in selfies as a form of radical self-love. I think it’s crucial to proper self-development to get used to seeing yourself and sharing yourself. It can sometimes be really brave and it can sometimes be fishing for compliments and sometimes you’re just feeling yourself. And all of those reasons and so many more are very, very okay!



We did a Selfie Challenge back in February and we had 725 participating photographs on Instagram! My goal is to go for over a thousand this time. Do you think we can make it happen? I mean, the fact that July is longer than February will help. And readership has grown since then (hi new people!!). And you love to share posts on social media and get your friends involved—I see you! So I think a thousand is a perfectly attainable goal. The more the merrier is not only a cliché—it’s also a solid truth. In this instance.

Rules: Starting Friday, July 1st, anyone who wants to contribute can! You don’t have to do it every day—though that IS the challenge of it. You don’t even have to follow the list of themes. You make this into whatever works for you. But in the end, I want our community to come together over celebration of ourselves and each other because that’s the way that we make this weird world a better place to exist.
The only real rule is that you take a photo that contains at least a little bit of yourself in it and then upload that photo to Instagram with the hashtag:
#xoxosummerselfie .

Here’s a calendar that I made with some suggested themes for each day—for those of us who like a little direction.

Save this to your phone and refer back to it every day.

Last time we did this, I left you with a song to get you pumped up for the month ahead of us. Don’t think that I left you song-less this time.

I hope you already know about Tunde Olaniran but just in case you don’t, I give you his mind blowing song, “Namesake” which has become my fight song lately.

“Now maybe there’s a lesson I’ve been given
Or some wisdom from the stories that I need to tell
And everybody’s hoping and scraping and wishing
They could be something outside themselves
If I can be me, then you can be yourself
Might not be easy, it’s like we’re never satisfied

See you on Friday!

Page 91: Feminist Friday Feat. Sarai + GIVEAWAY

I debated about offering a trigger warning on this post because, while it does not go into explicit content, we do gently go into the subject of sexual assault. But I want to respect the autonomy of my readers and and give you the opportunity to make an informed decision for yourself about whether or not to read on. I hope you all have a lovely day.

My friends—do yourself a favor. Get up, go get a cup of coffee—maybe put on a pot of tea. Kick off your shoes and get yourself into a comfortable state because what we have for you is a big, juicy edition of Feminist Friday and I just know that you’ll be able to absorb more if you’re feeling really good and unhurried. Oh! We’ve got a giveaway happening, too! But just hold on. Put on your cozy socks and come on back.

We’ll wait.
Continue reading “Page 91: Feminist Friday Feat. Sarai + GIVEAWAY”

Page 73: Fake it ‘Till You Make It

The topic for today’s #xoxoselfie challenge is Fake It Till You Make It. And at first I couldn’t think of anything to post. I had whatever the Instagram version of writer’s block is. My main thought was, “I can’t afford to fake anything right now.”


Truth is that I’m feeling a little bit low. A few weeks ago, I was talking to a friend about how when we go through something exciting, once we’re on the other end of it we can tend to get kind of inexplicably sad feeling despite how happy we really are in the long run. I don’t think that happens to everyone but it definitely happens to me. There’s been a ton of prep and now that it’s over—woosh… feelings come in. It happened after our wedding. For a few weeks after we came back to real life, I felt very low. Very sad. And that’s when I think I really learned that feelings aren’t very trustworthy. They’re valid—don’t get me wrong. But they wax and wane. And they roll in and out like the tide. So I want to tell you why I can’t afford to fake it till I make it, today. Not today.

Continue reading “Page 73: Fake it ‘Till You Make It”