I know everyone you know is probably saying this, but how is it May already? I think April seemed so quick (yet long at the same time) because the first two weeks here in Minnesota it snowed. Like, a lot. Then we were all of a sudden catapulted into spring, and I fell asleep last night listening to the rain and thunder. Not that I’m complaining. It was wonderful.
The start of a new month means it’s time for another The Mindful Mom Blographer favorites post! I started this monthly tradition last month (you can find that here), and had so much fun I plan to continue it going forward. Basically, I just share what things were some of my favorite things (cue Julie Andrews) for that month. I also share what I’m reading, what I’m watching, what I’m doing, and more!
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So let’s get into it!
First, what were YOUR favorites from April? Here are the Top 3 Most Popular Post (with the most popular at the top):
- The Ultimate Zero Waste, Minimalist Friendly, and Mindful Gift Guide (with 97 gift ideas!) (for the third month in a row!)
- 100 Things List
- 8 ways to incorporate hygge into your life for spring
And although not an ‘official’ post, the info page for my free 7-day decluttering course was actually the second most popular post this past month! Check it out here.
A LOT of my items relate to self-care. The first couple of weeks of April were really wearing on me with the cold weather, snow, and my strong draw for spring. I also was/am dealing with some minor health issues and they were starting to take a toll on my morale.
I’ve never been much of a morning routine person, but that isn’t because of a lack of trying. For YEARS I have told myself I’m going to adopt a morning routine. And I’ll try it out for a few weeks, and it always ends up falling by the wayside. Maybe I just haven’t found the right morning routine for me, or maybe I’m just destined to not be a morning routine person. Either way, I am OK with that. My evening routine, on the other hand, has started to become really defined, and something I look forward to each night.
It starts after dinner (we are a family that eats late – yes, I know, you’re not supposed to…but that’s the way it is). Mr. Blographer is in charge of getting Little E ready for bed – PJs, teeth brushed, etc. Then Little E’s off to me to read books cuddled up in mommy and daddy’s bed.
While Mr. Blographer is getting Little E ready, I start the evening routine.
I get in my PJs. I wish I had some super cute PJs to recommend, but to be honest, I’m a really hot sleeper and wear just some plain shorts and an old t-shirt.
After PJs, I turn on my salt lamp. A note on salt lamps: I’ve read so many articles on the benefits of salt lamps, and to be honest, I don’t know if I believe in them or not (as far as health benefits). What I do know, is that I LOVE the ambiance they give off, and I love the look of them. They just give off this beautiful, relaxing, glowing light that is so calming.
I have one similar to this one:
Next, I will turn on a diffuser (I got mine as a gift a couple of years ago, but is similar to this one), or light a candle with a relaxing scent for more calming ambiance. For candles, I am completely biased because my mom and I make our own 100% soy candles, so I exclusively use those. One of my favorite bedtime scents is lavender sage.
Once Little E comes in, we cuddle under the covers and read a few books! Right now, two of his favorites are:
And with all the outside playing we have been doing lately, he is really into:
Let me know what your kiddos favorite books are right now! We are always looking for new ones to enjoy.
After we read a few books (or the same two over and over) I tuck him in, sing a couple songs, and then it’s my time to relax!
I usually start off with doing some journaling. Anyone else have an obsession with journals? Not necessarily journaling, but just journals. Just me? Ok.
I love this eco-friendly journal:
I recently started actively journaling. I never thought it was something that was for me. But, on a whim, I found this great 52-week anxiety journal prompt guide from Rose-Minded (not an affiliate, I just really like it). I decided to purchase it and was completely caught off guard by how much it helped, especially to maintain a calm level and/or help if I was feeling like my anxiety was starting to spiral.
When journaling, sometimes I will focus mainly on anxiety stuff, or sometimes I’ll go off track. But, I ALWAYS include 10 things I’m thankful for. Practicing gratitude has been shown to have so many wonderful benefits – you can read more here. This practice is a great way to ground myself before going to bed.
Additionally – if you are interested in journaling prompts, you can find a ton on my Pinterest board here.
After journaling, I usually end up reading. I read a few books at a time, but one I’m enjoying immensely right now is ‘The Nature Fix’ by Florence Williams (expect a post on it once I’m done).
Once I’m ready for lights out, I turn on some guided meditation. Right now I’m currently enjoying meditations found on Insight Timer (a FREE app). I really love yoga nidra, and Insight Timer has hundreds of them.
Here are three of my current favorites:
If you use Insight Timer and have any meditation recommendations (doesn’t have to be yoga nidra or sleep-related), I’d LOVE to hear them!
The last part of my evening routine isn’t quite as fun as the things mentioned above. However, it is important, and I wanted to share it with you in case you or someone you know struggles with this as well.
At the beginning of the post, I mentioned I have been dealing with some minor health issues. I’ll spare all the long details (this has been going on since the beginning of the year), but basically, I have really bad TMJ; I grind my teeth really bad at night and clench my jaw fairly often during the day and at night. This has caused a myriad of issues and symptoms, and I have undergone tons of testing and treatments the past few months trying to narrow down what it could be (ended with being TMJ).
I decided to try a mouth guard at night to see if that would help with some of the symptoms I was experiencing. I didn’t want to spend $250 on one from my dentist without knowing if it would truly help or not, so I went to Amazon and did some research. I ended up purchasing this one:
I like that you can customize the guards to your teeth (which ended up being very easy) and the fact that it was only $20.
I’ll be honest, it took probably a good week/week and a half to get used to it, but now that I have I do feel like I’m sleeping better, and some of the symptoms I was experiencing have lessened.
If you have any TMJ remedies that have worked for you, I’d love to hear about them! Please, no horror stories!
What I’m Watching
On the nights I do watch some TV (which for me is Netflix), I have been watching Grace and Frankie. I LOVED season one and blew through it quickly. I have to say though, I’m starting to lose interest now that I’m a good chunk through season 2. Those who have watched it – does it pick up again?
I did notice that season 4 of Jane the Virgin was just released, so I will DEFINITELY be watching (binging) that. I LOVE that show. Any other fans out there?
What I’m Listening To
I’m a huge theatre nerd and can’t get enough musicals. The musical ‘Something Rotten’ came to Minneapolis, and one of the Broadway Gods, Adam Pascal (original actor from RENT, Aida, and others) was touring with the cast. He was amazing. It was amazing. And I can’t get enough.
Anyway, I’ve been obsessively listening to the soundtrack since then. If you are a fan of musicals, the soundtrack is super creative, has tons of Broadway references, and is funny!
Any other Broadway/musical fans out there? What is your favorite show?
Have I mentioned that it is finally spring here? Kidding…I know I have about 100 times. What comes with spring? FLOWERS. I LOVE flowers. That is not an overstatement. Flowers are starting to appear across the once white and brown landscape of winter. They make me so happy. I make my friends and family walk in weird routes just so we can walk past pretty flowers so I can take in the color.
I saw dandelions on my way into work this morning, and I almost got out of my car at the stoplight to pick them. Not really, but it was tempting.
I LOVE FLOWERS. And I’m SO excited to see them everywhere I go again.
Phew! That was a lot of favorites for April!
What were some of your favorite things from April? I’d LOVE to hear about them!
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