How We’re Celebrating Valentine’s Day At Home

Happy Valentine’s Day, babes!!❤️

I’ll be honest with you, this holiday has always kind of been whatever to me, whether I’m in a relationship for it or not! I think my favorite way to celebrate is probably just to treat myself and whoever I’m spending it with.

It’s also a excuse to indulge a little – get a mani/pedi, maybe a new outfit, get a present for someone I love, bake a rich dessert, or eat a fancy dinner! That being said, my bf and I have never gone out to celebrate Valentine’s Day, just because all the restaurants are so overcrowded and overpriced. I’m also not a big fan of fixed price menus since you don’t get as many choices!

So, instead, here’s a rundown of how I’ll be spending Valentine’s Day at home! And, luckily my bf doesn’t actually read this, so it’ll still be a surprise to him😉

Dancing for Donuts | Recent Eats (February 2018)

A special, home-cooked dinner. Like I said, we love to cook at home! Since I’m now the one with the flexible schedule, I’m planning on making us a pretty full feast, just for fun! In the past, we’ve had risotto and lamb chops, so something a big more indulgent. I think I’ll continue the trend with this Slow Cooker Beef Ragu with Pappardelle or Shrimp and Bacon Risotto!

And dessert! Last year I made this Dark Chocolate Eclipse Cake and it was SO good. I honestly might just make that (’cause if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it), but I’m also think something like these Brownie Layer Cheesecake parfait things could be cute, maybe with some strawberries on top for festivity🍓

Plus Foot Massages… because I’m not very good at giving full body massages and it’s cheaper than the real thing😂 Not to mention it’s more comfortable and fun to just do it at home! I got this foot scrub and lotion from Barefoot Scientist and I think Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to break them out!

Dancing for Donuts | How We're Spending Valentine's Day At Home

And probably a movie. We don’t actually watch movies all that often, especially if we’re too tired on a weeknight to get through the whole thing, but we do like to curl up on the couch and watch something! Lately we’ve been loving The Good Place and the new season of True Detective.

But then a weekend getaway😍 We found out pretty recently that Alex has President’s Day off work, so we were thinking of heading up to a family friend’s cabin in the mountains tomorrow, but then we found out it’s got no power from all the snow! Instead, we’ll be heading up to the Santa Barbara area for wine tasting for just one night, but I’m so excited! I really just wanted to do something special since we’ve been spending so many weekends huddled up at home. Maybe the rainy season will end soon…

Anyway, that’s about it – I hope you guys have a fun night celebrating!! Even if you’re single or honestly just not even doing anything, take this night to show yourself some love. You deserve it!!!💕💕

xo Jordan

How I Stay Sane [Because “Health” is More Than Food + Fitness!]

Do y’all ever feel like, even though you’re eating well and getting your exercise, your mind doesn’t totally feel at ease?

Dancing for Donuts | How I Stay Sane [Because Health Isn't Just Food + Fitness]

The other day I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts by The Healthy Maven, and her guest said something that resonated with me so much that I actually had to stop mid-walk and write it down in the notes app on my phone. Niki, from Healthnut Nutrition said, “Health isn’t just the food you eat, it’s the thoughts you think and the relationships you have.” I mean, I literally could not have said this better myself. How valid is that?!

Dancing for Donuts | How I Stay Sane [Because Health Isn't Just Food + Fitness]

As I get older, I’m starting to realize that, while eating well and sweating it out does make me feel great, that’s not the only thing my body (and soul) may need. Don’t get me wrong, when I’ve had a stressful day or I’m totally freaking out about something, I crave a cardio session or POUND class to let it all out, but I also think that this isn’t the only way to calm down, get some perspective and gain peace of mind. For me, sometimes the last thing I want (or need) is an intense workout, and what really will make me feel better is writing it all down, talking it out with a friend, or even just unplugging from my phone and social media for a bit.

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I don’t exactly meditate, not because I don’t think it has benefits, but because I think I just meditate in other ways than silently and sitting, you know? I think my meditation comes in the form of walking and maybe listening to an uplifting podcast (swear my a roundup of my faves is coming soon!), or writing in my planner. I’m still with my thoughts, and thinking about how I feel, but without having to sit in silence. Does that make sense?

I’m no health expert, as you all know, but I will say this – being happy, in addition to healthy, requires a certain mindset. And running around like a crazy person trying to squeeze in a workout 7 days a week for an hour and a half plus thinking about how you can eat every single superfood in the 15 hours you’re awake, can often do more help than good. I’m working on this myself, and have gotten a lot better at it in the last year or so, but this whole “self-care” thing is more important than I have a feeling most of us think it is.

Dancing for Donuts | How I Stay Sane [Because Health Isn't Just Food + Fitness]

Here are some of the things I do to help de-stress before or after a long day, on a lazy Sunday when I’m not quite ready to get back to Monday, when I’m on vacation hoping to reboot, or even on my lunch break…

Make a to-do list before bed at night or first thing in the morning – I don’t know about you, but sometimes it literally takes me 5 hours to fall asleep (just ask my boyfriend who gets woken up by me asking him if he’s still awake at 3am…). A lot of times this is because I’m thinking about all of the things I have to do the next day, week, month, whenever. I find that writing things down in my planner right before I go to bed not only helps me organize my plans, but also keeps me aware of things that are happening days from now. I do the same thing in the morning at work so that I know how to organize and time-manage my day. It definitely keeps the stress at bay when I have everything written down in front of me that I can check off throughout the day!

Keep a journal – This one sort of goes with my point above in the sense that getting our thoughts down on paper helps get them out of our heads. I used to be a huge journal-er when I was in grade school, but it became less of a priority and more of a time commitment over the years. Instead of writing massive entries like I used to, chronicling every single thing I said and did in a day, I use the 5-minute journal method or the 52 Lists Project (my favorite) to jot down some thoughts and move on. Even though it takes only a few minutes, it puts my head in a better space and re-focuses my thoughts. (I’ve linked my favorite journals/notebooks at the bottom of this post!)

Dancing for Donuts | How I Stay Sane [Because Health Isn't Just Food + Fitness]

Go for a walk – If you know me at all, you know this one’s my go-to. I try to take at least a 30 minute walk every single day in the middle of the day, and sometimes one at night as well, just so that I can get myself away from my desk. I find that if I’m having trouble focusing, a walk helps me re-center myself so that I can come back to my work feeling refreshed. It gets the creative juices flowing and also allows me to step away from my tech, where I often have 8,000 tabs open and get distracted super easily! I also think walking kind of forces you to think/feel since there’s nothing you’re responsible for in that moment except for putting one foot in front of the other.

Call a family member or friend – While I think it’s super important to think through things on your own, I also know how incredible and important it can be to get someone else’s perspective, or even just talk it out without expecting a response. Depending on what’s going on, I’ll call either or both of my parents, my brother, my boyfriend, or my best friends to get their opinions if I’m dealing with a tough situation. Other times, I just like to hear someone else’s voice, listen to how their day is going, and separate myself from my own problems. Not only does this help take your mind off of things that may be bothering you, but it also allows you to be there for someone else if they need it and gives you an opportunity to fortify a relationship or keep in touch with someone far away. After all, Niki did say that health is about relationships, too!

Find a good hardcover or paperback book (not an audiobook!) – As you probably know already, I am a die hard fan of audiobooks and podcasts right now. However, I think unplugging completely, holding a book in your hand and focusing on just that can do wonders for our minds. When an audiobook is on, it’s easier for us to multi-task, and I think part of unwinding should be the opposite of just that! I recently started going back the local library and it’s been amazing. Books are always worth it, but the library makes them so accessible and free for this #BabeOnABudget!

Dancing for Donuts | How I Stay Sane [Because Health Isn't Just Food + Fitness]

Alright y’all, that’s it for now. I hope everyone is having a stress-free week! Don’t forget to make time for the things that make you happy!

xo Jordan

 

Meeting Commitment with Self Care.

Oh, hello! I’m so sorry I’ve been pretty MIA lately. Life and work have been a little nuts and the madness threw me off my game.

Dancing for Donuts | Meeting Commitment with Self Care.

That’s actually why I wanted to write this post, to be honest. I feel like my schedule has gotten a little out of hand (as everyone’s can from time to time) and instead of listening to my mind and body, I’ve focused on fulfilling a billion commitments. If you don’t already know, I’ve always been someone who likes to be busy. I genuinely enjoy filling my time with things that make me feel like I’m progressing as a human, whether that’s physically at the gym, financially by working side hustles, or emotionally by spending time with people I love. And, while I absolutely still enjoy those things, I’m starting to realize the importance of quiet and alone time, doing things that are just for me, and making sure I’m taking care of myself.

Dancing for Donuts | Meeting Commitment with Self Care.

This notion of self care has been really trendy lately, and I know it kind of sounds like some b.s., but it’s not. I’m glad it’s becoming more main-stream, and even more acceptable for us to slow things down, if that makes sense. There’s so much in our society that demands us to just go, go, go and I think social media has a lot to do with that today. We’re inundated with images of people traveling the world, going out to eat, and doing all kinds of activities. I think this is so amazing because it inspires us to go out and see the world, but I also think it makes us feel pressure to do as many of those things as we can right now. But we don’t have to do what everyone else is doing, we can do one thing today and one tomorrow, or no things today at all if that’s how we feel. And the concept of self care let’s us step back from this pressure and just chill for hot second.

Dancing for Donuts | Meeting Commitment with Self Care.Dancing for Donuts | Meeting Commitment with Self Care.

I was listening to my absolute favorite podcast, Soul on Fire by The Balanced Blonde, and in her most recent episode she interviewed Mary Beth LaRue, a health and wellness expert, yogi, and entrepreneur. Jordan and Mary Beth were talking about how they’re both so busy and so productive, but that it’s important to “meet commitment with self care.” This really resonated with me, particularly this morning, because I just got back from a bachelorette party that I planned (which I had a blast at!) and have also been coming off of some really crazy weeks at work. For the past 7 days I’ve actually had some gnarly stomach issues randomly, as well, and for the life of me couldn’t figure out why. Fortunately, my stomach woes have seemingly come to an end, but it’s kind of strange because pretty much the moment I got home from our trip and the 5 and a half hour car ride back, I started to feel better. How weird is that!?

The only thing I can think of, unless my pains come back of course, is that it was anxiety. I’ve never experienced a reaction like that from stress ever before, but I think it was a sign that I need to slow things down. My dad always tells me “don’t burn yourself out, child” and even though I usually laugh it off and tell him I definitely won’t, I may have just done it.

Dancing for Donuts | Meeting Commitment with Self Care.

So, that being said, I’m not entirely sure what the point of this post is, but I do know that taking care of yourself (/myself) needs to be a priority. My advice to you and my future self is to say “yes” to just one less thing, maybe leave half of a day in your planner blank, and don’t be afraid to check out of life for an hour or so every once in awhile.

Have a wonderful week 🙂

xo Jordan