The Power of the 15-Minute Mama Break

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So, I haven’t posted about my new reality around here much. This is partly because I don’t want to inundate all of you design & style loving readers with “mom-blog” stuff and partly because I’ve really only begun to process this whole new job title I’ve taken on. But now that our little Carter is four months old {time is legit FLYING!}, I do feel like I’ve made a few good discoveries about my new role as mama that I want to share with you {is it weird that I just cannot call myself a mom. Cannot.}. I have quickly come to appreciate facts like takeout six nights a week is a-okay, the Amazon app is awesome at 3:00 am and showers are overrated.

But in all seriousness, as I slowly but surely get the hang of life with le bebe, there’s one thing I’ve come to truly appreciate — downtime — no matter how short-lived it might be! See, Carter isn’t much of a napper. He subsists on power naps {just like his papa}, which means I’ve had to learn to subsist on 30 minute chunks of downtime during the day, max. And once you factor in running to pee, getting a drink of water and maybe putting in your contact lenses you’re already down to 15 minutes of quiet time. But hey, I’ll take em and thankfully, I think I’ve figured out how to make the most of them too.

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Once I get Carter down for a nap {that part is actually pretty easy. A little light swaddling, pop in his pacificer and some white noise and he’ll usually drop off quite quickly}, I try to maximize my me-time with something that is truly fulfilling. Sure, in the first few weeks right after Carter was born, I just trolled Instagram or Facebook or maybe returned one email, but I quickly realized that hopping on my phone did not help recharge my batteries, only increased my stress levels and made the time fly by in an instant. So now I make a concerted effort to partake in some old school analog activities that truly help me decompress.

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What To Do with 15 Minutes of Downtime 

> Write a note. It’s a little tough to have a meaningful phone conversation when you’re listening with one ear for your baby’s cries, so I decided to resurrect the art of the hand written note! Everyone loves getting mail right? Jotting down two or three sentence of heartfelt sentiment makes me feel as good, if not better, than the card’s recipient!

> Read. I was warned that I should read as much as possible before Carter was born and it’s true – my brain capacity is so limited right now I cannot make my way through a book. But my backlog of magazines on the otherhand – I can totally indulge in an article, maybe even two, from my favorite glossies. Even just thumbing through some good editorial helps me feel connected to the outside world.

> Jot down memories. I wanted to be one of those mamas who creates an over the top baby book, but alas that just isn’t me. So instead I’m following my own mom’s advice – whenever Carter does something new, I simply write a sentence or two about it in a notebook. The first smile, giggle, funny noise or silly game. It’s not some fancy bound book but it will help me look back and remember all the milestones that happen during these sleep-deprived times.

> Exercise. Yes, you can work out in 15 minutes or less! I had a fellow mama-friend recommend the 7-minute Workout app as the best way to begin to get back in post-baby shape. As you gain strength you can even do it twice a day. I’m totally hooked!

> Absolutely nothing. It’s amazing how refreshing 15 minutes of simple stillness can be. You don’t even have to actually nap. Maybe you meditate a little. Maybe you enjoy a cup of tea. Maybe you simply sit and look out the window. But a little bit of dedicated decompression can do wonders once you hit the witching hour, have no idea how you’re going to get your baby to sleep or any clue how many times you’ll be woken up that night. I’m all for grabbing a slice of serenity anywhere I can find it.

Oh and my favorite thing about the Latch pacifier? I can usually put it back in {it has an adorable little ribbon that attaches to Carter’s clothes so it can’t get lost} and get an extra 15 minutes! On those days I actually shower – score!

I do hope those with wee-ones found this post helpful or at least can relate to my current reality! And for those of you far from having babies, finding 15 minutes in your day to relax is really beneficial to anyone so I hope these tips might prove useful for you too!

first image by michelle drewes, rest of photography taken by me during one of my 15 minutes of downtime! 

 

This post is in partnership with Munchkin and their Latch Pacifiers. Designed with pediatric dentists and moms, Latch Pacifiers are lightweight, easy for a baby to hold in its mouth and one piece so the germs don’t get built up in the tiny cracks. They are available online and at Target. Thoughts & opinions are 100% my own. Thanks for supporting collaborations that keep our doors open!

Color Coded: {Burnt Orange is the New Black}

Now before you go running for the hills, let me just preface that I too was VERY skeptical of this color at first. I mean, the name itself sure isn’t doing the color any favors…Burnt…Orange? Sounds downright repulsive. 

BUT with that being said, I challenge you to set aside your judgement for just a moment and allow me to make a case for this under-appreciated color. Sure, in fairness, perhaps burnt orange will never be “the new black” but it’s certainly worthy of some serious attention.

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See? Not bad, huh? It gives off a 60’s Mod-vibe without feeling too dated or retro. Plus, when it’s in flowy lightweight fabric form it looks ultra-elegant and contemporary. Even when incorporated as a statement color into decor, it offers a healthy dose of character and an inviting sense of warmth.

Are you convinced? What are your thoughts on the color? 

Image 1 via Nanushka // 2 via JCrew // 3 via Dust Jacket Attic // 4 via The D Pages // 5 via Blueberry Modern  // 6 via Nordic Design

Copy written by Ali Hartwell

Our Anniversary Sale Treasure Hunt

Ok, so if you’ve read any blog in the last week, you already know that the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is officially on like Donkey Kong. I realize it’s everywhere. But it’s also overwhelming! Whether you brave the packed stores or sit down to navigate the website, it can be a little hard to know where to start. So I thought we’d help you out! We’ve picked through every category and narrowed down the absolute best deals, on-style trends and covetable designer items we’d scoop up if we were you!

If you didn’t already snag your favorite pieces in the pre-sale, then now is your best chance to score a good deal! Happy Hunting!!

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