Yeah, September is (almost) over.
For all you newbies, October is my FAVORITE month of the year. There is always something special about entering this time of year and with the crazy mess that is 2020, I need my beautiful favorite month more than anything.
I love the cooler weather that moves in and the way the best drinks (Not looking at you, pumpkin spice.) become available. October is that treat we all deserve. We get to bundle up in cozy clothes and holiday gift shopping is not yet on our doorstep unless we want it. Mother Nature gives us bursts of warm colors and the prettiest scenery to capture.
I’ve kept going back and forth this year over my disdain for the flurry of content people are sharing saying we should be productive this year and then when I settle down into doing less, I’ve felt incredibly lazy. I am the kind of person who knows how to do more so I do more. Compared to last year when I was finishing up my second (and last) graduate degree, this year feels like I’m wasting away my days.
I know this isn’t true, but it is hard for me to slow down.
With this slowing down life, I have tried to indulge in some self-care.
September was a pretty good month for cleaning our personal space. With our floors being done, we had an excuse to downsize and rearrange our furniture. Living and working together has shown some of the inefficiencies in how we set up our home. I previously showed off a little reveal on Instagram of how our space is shaping up but this closet is a little special, too. Our spare bedroom office was a catchall space and that issue needed addressing. I am much happier now that it is home to seasonal clothing and a number of items from our Marine Corps careers plus it made sense to take my wedding dress out of the master bedroom closet and re-home it here.
My oddest self-care project is probably the pantry. I organize and then it gets disorganized with our next big grocery shopping trip. Not everything needs an OXO container but I am onboard with picking up a few more to make finding snacks a whole lot easier. We also tend to have pasta, dried beans, small bags of rice, and quinoa floating around in here, too, so those items also need better organization.
I am also back to accepting dairy products are not my friend. This reality is probably the best facet of self-care I’ve been working on lately. Lactase tablets only help so much; I must accept the fact my body feels terrible from heavy whipping cream, milk, a variety of cheeses, and butter. Now that I am back on track with reducing dairy in my life, I am back to feeling better again. I probably won’t accept a completely dairy-free life as it makes dining out challenging, but I am being more mindful about my food choices.
Now, I won’t say I am forgoing all treats.
I recently picked up a copy of Thrive magazine from the Natural Grocer’s and came across a recipe for chocolate chunk hazelnut blondies. Given what I had in my pantry, I altered the recipe a little with simple replacements (i.e. almond meal replaced the hazelnut meal). I omitted the toasted hazelnuts. We cut our batch into 9 servings which made each blondie about 453 calories. These are delicious. The recipe is available from Crumb & Caramel.
I do plan on making a few substitutions in order to bring down the overall calorie count for those days where I want a treat but a 453 calorie treat is not what I am looking for. If it works, it works.
Self-care isn’t about doing things perfectly.