Self Care Sunday - Real Self Love

I've been writing Self Care Sundays for a few months now. And I believe we are all ready for this week's self care. It's a doozy.

I was talking with a friend/client yesterday morning and we were talking about how easy it is for us to name off all the things we don't like about our physical appearance. I imagine most of us can easily name of a dozen without thought. But most of us may find it hard to find something we like about ourselves. 

I'm currently reading Michele Theoret's book Empowered Body and in it she talks about how the world of marketing and social media basically sells us stuff based off of the fears of not "being enough" or good enough". We create these images in our heads of how we "should" be, rather then loving and accepting who we actually are. 

Today we aren't focusing on who we are in progress of something. Today we love ourselves for who we are. Period. The end. 

So this week's self care Sunday is uncomfortable. It may be challenging. But it will be worth it. 

We are going to look at ourselves in the mirror and find something we like. Actually two things. Because I guarantee you have at the very very very very minimum two things about you that are worth YOU loving. 

For those that are unsure, maybe it's sitting in front of a mirror staring at your face. Study it while repeating self love words. "I love........ my freckles, dimples, eyes", "I like the way........ my skin does, my hair is, my lips.......". Catching yourself when you start to put words out that do not serve you in self love.

For those maybe a little bolder.... Get undressed. Stand in front of the mirror. Find things you love. "I love.... my toes, my posture, my skin tone, my butt, the way I can wrap my arms around myself in a hug, the way my scar makes me look badass, my belly button......" or "I like...... the way my muscles pop as I flex, my height, my hair, my tattoos, my....." whatever it is. This is obvious deeply personal. 

Be kind to yourself. Show yourself some love. Genuine unfiltered love. 

Love, 

Jen the Bitchin' Housewife

Self Care Sunday - Acupuncture

This week for Self Care Sunday we are talking about acupuncture. A little while back Andrea Wingrave from Acupuncture Edmonton and I put together THIS post, all about acupuncture and what it is.  I thought what a wonderful self care idea. Getting some acupuncture. 

Luckily most benefits cover acupuncture these days up to $500 or $1000 so in reality you aren't out anything if it isn't your thing. But really, it's going to be. 

The needles are sterile one time use needles. I know this is something people have expressed concerned about when I tell them about acupuncture. I was also worried I wouldn't be able to donate blood anymore, but turns out if they are sterile singe use then you still can. (Bonus!)

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At first it seems a little intimidating thinking about the needles going in and/or staying in. But really after they go in and some minor adjusting to your comfort, you don't even feel them.

But here is the best part people..... you get a 30 minute nap. Yeah, the needles go in, adjust as needed and then you get 30 minutes all to yourself to relax on a soft comfy bed and have a heat lamp on your feet. Oh that glorious heat lamp. I need one for home. 

Now whether or not you are sure if you "believe" in acupuncture working or not, the relaxing time spent in the room and you taking time for yourself is a huge step toward tapping into that parasympathetic (rest and digestion) cycle of the body. This is truly self care. Calming down, unwinding and finding time for yourself. 

Oh and before I forget.... you get a head massage at the end.... *drooooool*

So a few tips for heading to the acupuncturist. 

  • Maybe find a referral from a friend. I love friends that tell me about professionals they love and why, that way I sort of know what to expect. 
  • Wear loose fitting clothing. That way pant legs can be rolled up if access is needed to the knees etc. 
  • They will have music but honestly I think this relaxation time would pair perfectly with a mediation podcast or yoga nidra recording on youtube. 
  • Turn off your phone. Not on vibrate, You don't want to hear buzzing and crap as you are trying to relax. 
  • I highly recommend booking an appointment in the evening so you can go to sleep after!

Have you ever seen an acupuncturist? Whats your favourite part?

Love, 

Jen the Bitchin' Housewife

22 Pushups for 22 Days Challenge

I've seen a few friends post about this challenge and finally a good friend said she wanted to do it and well... here we are. I donated my $22 at www.woundedwarriors.ca (you should too) and today I start the challenge. 

Suicide is a real threat to our Armed Forces personnel, veterans and first responders. Let's show them some love by having some fun and spreading the world. The more people that share what they are doing, the more exposure the people have to it, eventually prompting them to engage! Just like I did. You, as the one single human being you are can always make a difference.

To keep it fun, check out my Facebook page everyday for a new style of push up to try! 

Love, 

Jen The Bitchin' Housewife

Self Care Sunday - Tea Time

 Throughout the centuries tea has been a custom of calm, gathering, relaxation and tradition. 

Chinese tea ceremonies at weddings as an offering to parents and thanking them for raising them.

In Indian, chai tea can be found on every street corner.

In Morocca, mint tea is practically their national drink. 

Classic British afternoon tea time. (I always picture cucumber sandwiches and the Queen)

And in Russia "Zavarka" is tea time with a piece of cake. They called it "naked" if not eaten with cake. 

No matter where in the world, or what tradition, tea time is a time for oneself. A time to sit and enjoy this small pleasure or warmth when it's cool or cooling when it's hot. This is this weeks Self Care Sunday.

Take the time to go a tea store and browse, smell, ask questions about what teas are for different things. Possibly see if a friend sells tea through a direct sales business. (I love supporting local business and friends). Or even take some time in the tea aisle at the grocery store. I like to stand there and read all the interesting flavour mixtures companies have come up with. 

Set aside some time this week and plan it in your calendar. Yes, we are planning 30 minutes of relaxing tea time people. Maybe plan everyday at a certain time you take this 10-20, or 30 minutes to sit down with your tea. 

A few tips for your tea time:

  • Turn off t.v''s or media if you can. Or be in another room if you are using it to distract your kids!
  • Find your favorite mug. Everything is better in your favorite mug.
  • Slow down and pay attention to all the sensations of drinking the tea. Notice the temperature as your mug touches your lips.  
  • Is the tea bitter, sweet, sour? I love mint tea and I like the tingle left on my tounge long after the sip is gone. 
  • Feel the warmth of the tea in the throat and belly. 
  • Pay attention to the aroma.
  • Sit quietly for a little while. Set a time if you are concerned about getting back to your busy day. 

How do you like your tea? sweet with sugar or honey? Smooth with cream or milk? 

My favorite is mint tea, black without sugar or milk. 

Love, 

Jen The Bitchin' Housewife

What's That Barre About?

Every thought about trying out a barre class? Yeah that was me. A friend and I have thought about it for a while and weren't sure. I figured I would try and blog about it so you can see if it's something you wanted to try! I'll experiment on my body for you like that. We cool.

Thursday night my two friends and I went to Xtend Barre in south Edmonton and tried out a class! First of all this brand new studio is super gorgeous and the people that work there are amazingly friendly and inviting! I mean I know I have tried many different things in fitness, but always embarking on a new journey can be a little intimidating and these guys treat you like a best friend the second you walk in the door.

So we walk in and fill out our forms and get ready for class. Fist thing is we grab some equipment. Some straps, mat, ball and choose our size hand weights. Now, let me tell you a bit about my ego. There are 2, 3 and 5 lbs weights. And I'm all like, "I lift weights, where's the 15 lbs weights?" and Cheryl is all like "3 lbs is challenging and 5 lbs is like hard core". I almost grabbed the 5lbs, but last second thought, I'm a newbie I'll go 3. *Insert rolling laughter from everyone ever who has taken a barre class*.

We get all set up and start on some warm up movements. It was pretty good, I felt loosened up and got a grasp of hand placcement and footing. I had concerns about how complicated it was going to be, especially after I saw the equipment we needed, but the moves are simple and easy to follow.

After warming up we grab our weights get to some strength. Yeah so I'm a weightlifter..... I can hip thrust a whopping 270 lbs. These 3 lbs weights kicked my ass. Well shoulders, but you get the idea. I seriously part way through had to put those suckers down and do just bodyweight. Which is a wonderful option for newbies to fitness too. It's totally still a good workout. 

We got to some more bodyweight stuff......

Happy Chris doing her favorite move, tricep dips. With a pointed toe twist of course. 

Happy Chris doing her favorite move, tricep dips. With a pointed toe twist of course. 

Then we hit the bar. Where I learned, it doesn't matter how fit you are, you can ALWAYS learn something new. I'm totally proud of my capabilities to perform a very good squat with my butt back and low. But Cheryl had to keep correcting me to tuck my pelvis the other direction. Not a squat but a plie! Let's talk about using new muscles! yowza!

Then my FAVORITE, core work!!!!!

Overall we had a total blast. Chris and Melissa proclaimed to be very sore yesterday. I wasn't as sore since I taught 7 hours of yoga and stretched all day, but I can feel it still in some parts of my body!

My overall take on barre:

  • Great workout, with something available for all levels to get a challenge.
  • Very simple to follow, with easy transitions between exercises. 
  • Fun upbeat music.
  • What I liked best was it was almost like a taste of being a dancer, without the intimidation or seriousness. We were just some friends hanging out and having fun, while learning a new way of fitness. My friend Melissa was actually a dancer as a child and she said it reminded her of her dancing years and she will definitely go back. 

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Grip socks are required. This particular studio offers them for sale, but I see them all the time at Walmart or Shoppers or places like Keylime Athletic Wear.
  • Keep within your limits and rest if needed.

Overall, I'm a fan and will go back for sure! Have you tried a barre class? Will you?

Love, 

Jen

Self Care Sunday - Get Yourself Some New Clothes

Hello again friends. This week for Self Care Sunday we are talking getting ourselves some new clothes. As much as I like to find cheap or inexpensive ways of self care, sometime you also need to spend a little on yourself. You deserve it.

That said, if money is tight you can also host a clothing swap (I will so blog about that soon). Clothing for free while cleaning out your closet. I actually spent the first 6 months of the year without buying any "new" clothes. As in meaning from a store. Only clothing swaps and second hand stores. 

Now as that was fun, this past week I got some new clothes and it feels pretty great. 

I did some online shopping at Belle + Bliss Boutique and got this awesome shirt.....

And this sassy skirt.....

As I said in the Self Care Sunday - Self Primping post, when you're in a rut, when you spend some time on making yourself feel good, something awesome happens. You start to feel good! It's really that simple. A few simple pieces of clothing that make you feel sexy, comfortable, saucy or just plain fresh and new help boost your confidence, starting that chain reaction of positive thought. 

So this week I want you to buy yourself a new piece of clothing. Either actually new from a store (think investment pieces lasting longer than #30wears) or new to you from a thrift store or clothing swap. Not that you likely need tips in shopping but here are a few to avoid maybe some upsetting:

  • Think about what's missing from your wardrobe that would make a difference. For example, I'm actually in particular need of some cute flats that aren't sporty or sandals. Closed toe, non fancy cute flats. Something that every time I leave the house in cute shorts and think "crap I don't have the right shoes for this", so it would help complete my wardrobe and feel better. 
  • Go alone or with girlfriends. DO NOT drag your kids or hubby along. This is time for you. 
  • Plan a few stores (or stores online).
  • Eat a good light meal. No need to be hANGRY  (hungry + angry) and get impatient while waiting for the dressing room, but not to full so you're bloated!
  • When you look at yourself in the mirror each time, say one nice thing to yourself. Even if it's unrelated to the clothing. (This is a bonus tip just to be nice to yourself)

Happy shopping friends! And come back to share with me what you got. Either on here, my Facebook  Page or Instagram

Love, 

Jen the Bitchin' Housewife

 

It Doesn't Have To Be Perfect

My verdict on astrology is still out, but as a Cancer (and a Pitta in the Ayurvedic world) I have a small problem with perfectionism. Sometimes I find myself not even starting a task because I know it will not work out perfectly or know that I don't have the time to do it perfectly.

This evening as I am hand washing some dishes that didn't fit in the dishwasher, I started thinking about the mess that currently is my home and everything that needs to be done to clean it. To perfection no less.

Today, for several reason I do not have the energy for this task. I normally may have even left the dishes in the sink to "catch up" on them tomorrow, because I certainly don't have the time to clean the whole kitchen and then house. I did them though, to make at least a small impact on the mess.

I think this is many people's problem with fitness and/or nutrition. Inner dialogue may sound a little like this: 

"If I am not going to perform the most efficiently in the gym, why should I even go? How can I perform the most efficiently if I don't know what I am  doing? I need to research or read about how to do things perfectly so I can make the most of my time while there. Okay, research first, get a plan and then go."

Days, weeks or even months pass. Waiting for the perfect plan, perfect moment, perfect outfit, perfect timing or whatever. Then it becomes a kitchen full of dishes that never get done. Am I right?

What if we stopped trying to make everything perfect and we just try? What if I learn to accept the mess around me for what it is, but know I can make a small impact right here, right now. A small step in the direction I wish to travel. Soon these small steps turn into these big milestones. These milestones turn into big moments and these big moments turn into the way I live my life?

Maybe at lunch when I have some cheesecake instead of sticking to my salad and egg whites I accept the "mess" and continue on with my plan instead of "well today is shot, may as well go down hill from here."

It doesn't have to be perfect. You don't have to be perfect. You just have to take a small step in the direction you wish to travel. The rest will follow eventually. 

Love, 

Jen

 

Self Care Sunday - Self Primping

This week for Self Care Sunday we are talking about doing a bit of self primping. I'm guilty of putting off coloring my hair, waxing my brows or even shaving my legs until I absolutely have to. By then it's simply because I'm annoyed my hair wont work with me, my eyebrows look like a caterpillar or it's hot outside and I need to put on some shorts.

But this week, I want you to plan some time to do some self primping. What is something that always makes you feel good after you have it done/do it for yourself? When I feel like a hot mess, I sort of become a hot mess. When I'm feeling like i'm in a rut, I like to spend some time on myself and I swear I come out a new woman. Something about feeling good about the way I look, makes me more confident and ready to take on the world.

A few suggestions for some things you can do.: (And make sure to do a couple at least)

  • Color your hair. In my picture below I know I'm at home. I am a licensed hairstylist so I can do this. I do not, I repeat I DO NOT condone box dye and coloring at home. Just my opinion though. (sorry at home box dye people) Find a local salon with childcare like Pamper and Play Salon here in Edmonton if you have to!
  • Waxing your eyebrows. Go to a local salon or I love these pre shaped eyebrow wax strips I get at Shoppers. So easy and inexpensive. 
  • Get your nails done. Again so many options here. Go get those fancy gel nails with designs or cat claws, get a regular ol manicure or do it at home. Find your favourite color and spend some time shaping and painting. 
  • Buy yourself some beauty products. Stroll Shoppers or Mac or support your local community and try out some products from direct sales businesses. This week I've been using the Arbonne Re9 from my friend and the extra 5 minutes I've added to my face washing routine has been nice, spending that time on myself. 
  • Paint your toenails. Sort of same like getting your nails done, at home or in a spa. 
  • Buy a new outfit. Nothing like a new outfit or pair of shoes to add a little stuff to your strut. It doesn't even have to be Armani either. Honestly I feel great with a new outfit from  a thrift store!

What are some of your favourite things you like to do to make yourself feel a little extra special?

 

Love,

Jen

Self Care Sunday - Something For The Soul

Hey guys, I'm back again with Self Care Sunday. I was gone last weekend because of training and being caught up in  a million things at once, so I took my own advice and instead of pressuring myself to write I took some time to relax. 

This weekend I had a post planned for you but I attended the Wellness on Whyte's Fine Tune at Noon event and I was inspired to write something else. My dear friend Chris and I went together and both came out all blissed out on the other side. At first we did the 6 healing sounds (watch their blog for info on these), then was given acupuncture, aromatherapy and tuning forks. While the entire room had to be serviced you were left to hang out in your own mind for a while. A relaxing meditative experience for sure.

So, brings me to today's Self Care post. Doing something for the soul. I like to think that all my self care posts are nurturing for the soul, but realize maybe while doing these things we can still be caught up in our own heads and thoughts. All this chatter about why we can or can not do something, or how we should be doing something else and so on. 

This week seek out something that sets fire to your soul. Find one thing to do that makes you feel good inside. Without restrictions or limitations. Don't worry if people will stare or what others might think of you. Something you are interested in, always wanted to do and/or you have forgotten you love. This is about you going deep inside and finding something that makes your heart sing.

Gene Kelly living it up in the rain. 

Gene Kelly living it up in the rain. 

A few ideas: 

  • Coloring or painting. At home or find a paint night.
  • Singing your favorite song at the top of your lungs. In the car, shower or random farmers field.
  • Attending a meditation class/workshop.
  • Dancing in the rain. You're Gene Kelly in the movie Dancing In The Rain.
  • Rolling down a hill.
  • Skinny dipping in the lake.
  • Writing a story.
  • Taking a city class. Learn to cook Indian food or knit or karate chop!
  • Plan a girls night and laugh until your cheeks hurt. 
A fond memory with my oldest, playing and laughing until our cheeks hurt. 

A fond memory with my oldest, playing and laughing until our cheeks hurt. 

What is something you love to do? Whats something that sets fire to your soul?

 

Love,

Jen

Self Care Sunday - Taking Yourself On A Date

Welcome back to Self Care Sunday. This week we are talking about taking ourselves on a date. I am all about a girls night out every once and a while for sure, but sometime I find it even more stressful trying to plan them. Every one is busy and finding a date that works can sometimes feel impossible. 

This week my husband was in a course and I had to teach yoga at a place without childcare. My daughters went off to our trusted occasional dayhome so I could teach. Rather then them being there only the hour or so I would be gone I dropped them off an hour and a half before. With no plan to grocery shop or run errands before hand I took myself on a sort of mini date. I went and got an iced coffee, read a bit and even had a mini nap in car from listening to a mediation! (luckily I set an alarm in case that happened!)

So this week, plan to spend some time alone. Same as every week, schedule the time (and keep it), turn off your phone and enjoy this time to yourself. The world will not end, the emails will not vanish and the problems will all still exist when you are done. This time is for you to enjoy. 

A few ideas for self dates:

  • Coffee and a book at a local coffee shop.
  • Take yourself to a movie.
  • Take yourself for dinner. Check out that local restaurant you've been wanting to try. 
  • A night at a hotel. A bubble bath, room service and making a mess without having to clean it up. 
  • A day of shopping. Real shopping for yourself, not your kids or husband or friends birthday party. If funds are low you can always go to a thrift store. I actually recommend it instead. Save the planet a bit and you never know what you are really going to find. I've found Lululemons for $6!
  • Book a photo shoot. You could do Boudoir or some headshots for your Linked In profile. 
  • Look up a paint class. Those guided paint classes with wine and snacks are awesome with friends, but totally doable by yourself! I like the Paint Nites
  • A long drive. Nowhere to go or "stop by" on the way. Here in Alberta we actually have some interesting back roads and sites to see. 
  • Book a city community class. Learn pottery or how to knit!

I encourage you to try and find something maybe you wouldn't normally do on your own. Such as a movie or dinner. Remember you are taking yourself on a date. Spending the time falling in love with yourself a little. 

Love, 

Jen

An Evening With Michael Spinks

As a lover of everything fitness, and working with athletes, I love the chance to meet top level athletes. Oh to be able to chat with the greats in the world and discover what it is that makes them different from the rest of us weekend warrior types! 

Do you have a man in  your life that loves Boxing? In Edmonton on July 22nd is an event you don't want them to miss! Boxing legend Michael Spinks is coming to Edmonton for a meet and greet dinner. Now is your chance to get a great gift for Father's Day for the boxing lover in your life. Exclusive to BitchinHousewife.com readers is a special discount code for 50%!

Every attendee will have the all-inclusive experience of:

  • Lavish European Dinner Buffet
  • Complimentary Champagne
  • Meet&Greet, Photo Op and Personally Autographed Memorabilia
  • Cash Bar
  • DJ and 80s dance party

Head on over to Safecom to Buy Your Tickets, using the code "friend" to receive 50% of this event. Offer is only available until June 30th.