Tiny Tips Tuesday: Self-Care That Isn’t Just For Teachers

Dear Friend,

I am thrilled to announce The Healthy Happy Sane Teacher: Sustainable Self-Care for a Successful School Year Home Study Program.  I wanted to share it with you first because many of you approached me about wanting to take the program last summer when we taught it live and either you weren’t available during our session or (*gasp*) you aren’t a teacher.

You ask and you shall receive, friends! The Home Study Program is the exact self-care program on your timeline. And we aren’t checking for teaching credentials…(so if you non teacher types wanted to sign up…)

What isThe Healthy Happy Sane Teacher you ask?


The Healthy Happy Sane Teacher is a five week self-guided self-care workshop taught by me and Rosie Molinary, author of Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance.

In The Healthy, Happy, Sane Teacher program, we teach educators — from elementary teachers to college professors, support personnel to administrators — the best practices for self-care, how to let go of the pressure for perfection, how to know what adjustments to make when things get tough, how to identify personal boundaries and communicate them, and the power of claiming what you want in your life.

Each week there is a lesson in healthy, a lesson in happy and a lesson in sane – along with a workbook to help you incorporate the week’s lessons into your daily life.  Rosie and I also spend a hour each week talking about the week’s lessons.

The Home Study program includes both the audio recording, the workbooks and a secret Facebook group where we can build a community of people dedicated to making our lives healthier, happier and saner.

If you are interested in The Healthy, Happy, Sane Teacher Home Study program please sign up for our mailing list and if you know anyone who would benefit from some guided self-care instruction, please send this message to them.

coming soon home study programIf you enjoyed this post, get email updates (it’s FREE).

In Case You Missed It Edition! Volume 48

I’ve found some links to posts that made me laugh, cry, think or at least raise an eyebrow. Please click the links and check out the posts. You may find something that rocks your world too.

Leave me some feedback in the form of comments below on what you liked, what you hated and what you’d like to see more of. I’m here to help you find the best of what is online.

2014 links love february


My Best Of…

 Shine II Series from Rosie Molinary – SHINE II: philosophies and practices to nurture and flame your self-acceptance.

Rosie is a master at breaking down things down into manageable and actionable steps. Shine II is another great series from her.

If you need some help setting up the systems in your life so you feel like you have more of a handle on things be sure to check out her Spark Series.


Soup! I’ve been having a months long serious head over heels love affair with soup. Check out these links for some favorites and ones I am making soon.

My current favoritesBroccoli Bisque, Lemony Soup with White Beans, Kale and Pasta, Carrot Coconut Soup.


Hanging By a Thread from Danielle LaPorte via Whoorl – Seriously helped when things were feeling bleak. Related: 19 Tips For Taking Care of Yourself While Also Taking Care of Your Loved Ones.


Looking for a CURVY friendly yoga retreat? I am totally going to this one, so if you want to go and are afraid you won’t know anyone I will be there. I am so excited!


The Incredible Importance of Sleep for Habits and Motivation by Zen Habits.


That is the In Case You Missed It Edition, folks.

If you enjoyed this post, get email updates (it’s FREE).

Remember to click the links and leave some comments. This is a conversation, you know.

In Case You Missed Edition Archives -click it to see them all.

Image Source: Death To Stock Photo


Tiny Tips Tuesdays: Look Back In Order To Look Forward

Happy New Year!

I know it is almost February, but I feel like celebrating.


Because I have learned some seriously powerful exercises I want to share with you!

But first, let me back up a bit.  Despite my best efforts, at the end of the 2013  I felt really spent. I purposefully kept the month of December pared back, and yet, it still felt like a lot – traveling, holidays, multiple birthday celebrations, the short and dark days, planning for a New Year’s Day workshop (my first ever – omg!). I ended up feeling out of sorts and overwhelmed and tired.

Definitely not how I want to feel in 2014.

In an effort to offer myself some kindness and grace, I decided I would spend the whole month of January retreating, reviewing, reflecting and ultimately deciding how I wanted the new year to feel.

In other words, I was going to live what I have been teaching.

But I was feeling unsure about actually taking the time I knew I really needed.

On January 1st I came upon 5 Tips For Choosing Your Word for the Year and Having A Bright, Peaceful and Transformative 2014 – a post from Jen at Inspired Home Office. This post cemented my decision to turn inward and really make the most of the time I had, in my mind,  devoted to reflection.

What resonated most was the idea of using the entire month of January to reflect of the previous year while giving yourself space to set intention for the upcoming year. THIS.

January can be a month of transformation – if you let it.

You can channel your new year excitement toward activities that clarify, nourish, and provide ballast so you can keep your momentum going all year. You’re so worth the effort. Your life and work are worth it…..

(excerpt from 5 Tips For Choosing Your Word of the Year (and Having a Peaceful and Transformative 2014 – Inspired Home Office)

With that in mind, I scheduled myself a personal summit.

First up, child care. My husband arranged to take my shrimp on an adventure leaving me six glorious hours of alone time the first Saturday of the year. In the days leading up to it, I gathered my inspiration and supplies. That morning I set the stage with my new work ritual. For me this means lighting a candle, making sure I have something delicious to sip on and firing up my Coffitivity.

To begin I made a page for each month using loose leaf lined paper and washable markers (you can take the teacher out of the classroom, but never really take the classroom out of the teacher), reviewed each activity in each month of the year (by looking through my Instagram, Cozi, Facebook photos) and reflected on what worked and what didn’t. Then I decided to either change or get rid of each activity for 2014. I added notes on how to improve what I decided to keep and added some new fun stuff because who really has too much fun in their life?

I know it seems like a lot of work, but it wasn’t. Looking back at 2013 was informative. Even though not everything that happened was fun, when I put all the pieces together, it turns out it was a pretty damn good year overall. Certainly a year where I learned a lot and grew a lot – personally and professionally.

I had never taken the time to really assess how my year went in a holistic way – work, family, social life and I’m glad I did. For the first time I was able to bask in my accomplishments, even just for a moment, and to assess if I’d like to repeat an activity. While looking back, I felt powerful, like I was truly in charge of my life.

Taking time to remember the good, the bad and the ugly inspired my word of 2014.

In other words, taking the time and necessary action to care for and grow my business, relationships with family and friends as well as taking ridiculously good care of myself. Learning to say no when necessary and yes to the things and people that are good for me.

Are you ready to hold your own personal summit and choose a word for the year?

Resources to get you started:

Rosie Molinary’s Guide to Holding a Personal Summit

Rosie Molinary’s SPARK: Practices to Start This New Beginning

Rosie Molinary’s Guide to Choosing A Word of the Year

Inspried Home Office/Jen Hoffman’s 5 Tips For Choosing A Word of The Year (And Having a Bright, Peaceful, and Transformative 2014

Be Your Own Beloved’s/ Vivienne McMaster’s My Word of 2014.

It’s never too late to start this process or to have the life that you want. Take an hour or two this week (even in 15 minute intervals) and hold your own personal summit and choose a word for the year.

I would love to hear from you, so let me know what you think.


If you enjoyed this post, get email updates (it’s FREE).

8 Tips: Self-Care for the Holiday Season

8 tips self care holidays

1. Start now.

I know the holidays – Thanksgiving, Hannukkah, Christmas – are weeks away. Now is the perfect time to start taking really good care of yourself or at least start planning what you are going to do! It is so much easier to do something that already has momentum.

Remember – self-care doesn’t have to be all or nothing. It can be small steps each day depending on what you need.

Let’s start now: What can you do today that will show yourself you care?

It can be as simple as going to bed 15 minutes earlier or eating a piece of fruit instead of a cookie.

2. Prioritize feeling good/taking care of yourself over whether you might disappoint others.

Yes, disappointing others sucks. But here’s a secret, it only lasts a little while. This isn’t to say you should not take other people into consideration, it means you deserve to be considered as well.

Taking care of yourself has lasting effects, well beyond the holiday season.

The 100th holiday celebration will go on without you, I promise. Those extra hours you spent soaking in the tub reading a novel you have had trouble making time to read will live on and on in a feeling of deeply caring for yourself.

3. Make a list of what is your minimum self-care.

Get real with yourself. What is the bare minimum for sleep, movement, food, quiet and fun? Not the kind of fun where you spend days recovering (I am looking at you boozy night out), but the kind where you make it through cold and flu season without really ever getting sick?

I have super high minimums for self-care. I share this with you because until really recently I used to think something was wrong with me because I need all this self- care to stay healthy. Turns out, everyone does. Even you!

My minimum self-care is at least 8 hours of sleep a night, some sort of yoga most days (some days a 90 minute class, other days 15 minutes of reset button or some simple cat/cow) fruits and vegetables at most meals (green smoothies make this tons easier) meditation at least 5 days a week (I still love Headspace) and a friend connection – usually a tea date or a lunch out once a week. Oh, and let’s not forget avoiding all forms of cow dairy and shellfish!

Not sure where to get started on your minimum self-care? Want to write your own wellness prescription?

4. Make a list of maximum self-care.

Just for fun take your self-care a step further and imagine if time and money were not a consideration, what would you do to take care of yourself?

I would have weekly therapy, weekly massage, access to a steam room and sauna, at least quarterly girl friend getaways, twice a year yoga retreats and quarterly yoga workshops. And that is just off the top of my head!

That’s fun, huh?

Now let’s try to make some of that happen. Maybe you do something for your birthday or add a massage gift card to your holiday list.

It’s all in the name of good, so do it.

5. Set yourself up for success.

Don’t buy the chips at the store. Or the cookies. Or whatever is your go-to crap food when you have had a terrible day or stressful meeting.

Not sure if you are an emotional eater?

Take a week and write down every single bit of food that passes your lips and for each thing that is being eaten for something other than actual hunger- write the feeling you are eating or the event the came right before you downed those chips or cinnamon toast.

PS – Sometimes my feelings taste like French fries, burgers and bourbon. 

What about yours?

6. Start a weekly review.

Every Tuesday I sit down with my wellness prescription (part minimum and maximum self-care list) and I schedule my sleep, food (breakfast, lunch and dinner), exercise (yoga, cardio and strength training), meditation,  plus my birthday list and I plan my week.

The simple act of visiting these lists at least once a week helps me actually do more self-care and getting it on my calendar makes it feel important and real.

7. Plan something special just for you during the holidays.

Maybe a vegan cheese making class or a yoga workshop or even an at-home pedicure. Something that makes your heart sing.

8. Make your plan visual.

I keep all my wellness prescription items on individual post-it notes on a price of construction paper. I hang this elementary school masterpiece on my closet door. As I complete each item I move it to the done place. Each night I review ( without judgement!) how my day went and note where I might need extra support or focus in the next few days.

It is simple and for me, it works.

How are you planning to take care of yourself this holiday season?


If you enjoyed this post, get email updates (it’s FREE).


In case you are looking for more holiday self-care ideas,you might like:

How I Overcame the Holiday Humbug in 7 Steps

75 Ways to Show Yourself Some Love Today

The One Thing You MUST Be Ready To Do To Take Care of You This Holiday Season – a must read for anyone wondering how to respond to rude comments we get from those who love us most.

In Case You Missed It Edition! Volume 46

I’ve found some links to posts that made me laugh, cry, think or at least raise an eyebrow. Please click the links and check out the posts. You may find something that rocks your world too.

Leave me some feedback in the form of comments below on what you liked, what you hated and what you’d like to see more of. I’m here to help you find the best of what is online.

reading bench


My Best Of…

 Work Happiness Secret: Track Your Effort, Not Your Accomplishments  <–Holy WOW. Yes. I think my mind is blown in such a good way.

This one is from Sarah Von Bargen (of yes and yes)’s business blog.

Tracking effort and not accomplishment is absolutely revolutionary thinking for me. I can see how it can and will help me feel better about my current business work AND how I can apply the same principles should I return to the classroom.

I can also see how I’ve been able to track other people’s effort especially in the classroom, but judge my work by accomplishment. For some reason, I’m now thinking about growth and fixed mindsets and wondering if this is all somehow related.

I might have to print this post and frame it.


8 Steps to a Happier, Less Frenetic Fall by my wonderful friend, Rosie Molinary.

Since I started working with Rosie, I’ve started doing 5 of the 8 steps and I feel like I’ve finally got some control over my life/calendar. I’m looking forward to adding the other 3!


 Try This Tuesday – Solve An Easy Problem NOW – from The Small Change Project.

If you ever find yourself feeling paralyzed from overwhelm, Katie suggests completely solving an easy problem. I love this advice because I have found it works for me.

For instance, when I get stuck, I clean the kitchen. No matter what I’m stuck on, I get myself to the kitchen and make it sparkle. If nothing else happens, at least my kitchen is clean.

9 times out of 10 though, that sense of accomplishment gets me out of the overwhelm mindset and I can go on to accomplish other things on my list.


 How Technology is Making Reading Easier and Life Simpler by Frugal Mama.

Dude, so many of my favorite things in that title alone: technology, reading, easy, simple.

Check it out for lots of tips.


My Love Affair with Oakland by Lisa Congdon.

What she said. Oakland is awesome. I am glad some of my favorite people live there so I get to visit.


 How to Be Amazing At Social Media Without Letting It Consume Your Life. What can I say? I <3 Sarah Von Bargen.


 5 Dumb Ass Things I Learned This Week That Should Have Already Known by Smaggle.

Um, I learned two VERY important things from this post. Brilliant!


That is the In Case You Missed It Edition, folks.

Remember to click the links and leave some comments. This is a conversation, you know.

In Case You Missed Edition Archives -click it to see them all.

Image Source: Reading by Moyan_Brenn on Flickr (cc)


Do you wish you could end the school year feeling as energized as you started it?

Is recovering from the school year going to take most of your summer?

Are you ready to press reset but have no idea where that button is?

The Healthy, Happy, Sane Teacher is the reset button.


Class starts in September – just in time for the new school year. Click here to register

Rosie Molinary of The Healthy, Happy, Sane Teacher: TGBTS Featured Teacher


Don’t you just love them?

I know I do.

There are those that inspire me and those that make me laugh. Some help me solve problems in my classroom and others that help me solve problems in my life.

I’d like to introduce you to some of my favorite teachers here.

Teachers in studios, classrooms and in the world at large. These are the folks you will see featured in my series of teacher interviews here at Teacher Goes Back to School.

I hope you enjoy these teachers as much as I do!


Have you met Rosie yet? She’s the co-creator of The Healthy, Happy, Sane Teacher,  author, speaker and college professor- and a former high school teacher.

featured teacher rosie

1. I know you used to teach high school. What are you currently teaching?

For a long time, I had a very specific idea of what it meant to be a teacher (for me). When I went to graduate school for an MFA (specifically because I wanted to be a more powerful teacher and I felt using writing in the classroom as a tool for self-awareness and empowerment was a natural expression for me), I didn’t attend any of the optional publishing workshops because I had no interest in publishing. I wanted to teach my tail off.

Then, my final advisor confronted me about not attending publishing workshops. I told him that I wasn’t meant to publish, I was meant to teach and he responded that thinking of my teaching as just something that could exist within the four walls of a traditional high school classroom was limiting what I could teach and who I could impact. He encouraged me to think about my writing as a way of teaching and that idea was revolutionary for me.

So, now, when I think about my teaching, I think about the traditional classroom—I primarily teach Body Image for the Women’s and Gender Studies department and Honors College at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte (sometimes I also teach Women in the Media) and I am currently designing a course on Latinos in the US Education system for another local college. And I also think about my less traditional classrooms—I offer workshops for women on authentic, empowered, intentional, self-accepting living and try to write regular columns and blog posts as ways of being a teacher in and student of the world.

2. How did you make the move from high school teacher to self-care advocate/ body image expert? Workshop leader extraordinaire?

Well, they say that you teach what you most need to learn and, in the case of self-care this was absolutely true for me. I fell in love with writing and reading when I was young and really valued knowing how I felt about things. Being self-aware was what brought meaning and grounding to my world, and it still does.

And while that was a really positive experience for me, the other thing I was was incredibly self-sacrificing. I thought it was incredibly selfish to care for yourself and, as a young teacher, I felt that my students needed everything, deserved everything. Who was I to be having fun or taking a break when I had runaways and alcoholics in my classroom who I absolutely adored and felt needed more from me to help them make different choices that took them out of danger.

In my third year of teaching, I got incredibly sick and the doctor who treated me made a remark that I could keep landing myself in the emergency room if I wanted. I was so offended. I worked in a high school riddled with germs; I wasn’t landing myself here. But after a few days on bed rest, I came around to his point that I didn’t intervene on my own behalf- go to the doctor six weeks earlier when the infections were first starting, for example- and that had contributed to my sickness. And so I started very slowly, very self-consciously working on my self-care. But I knew that I couldn’t learn what I needed to learn fast enough to not do this to myself again- and soon- if I stayed in the same work environment and I also knew that I wanted to get an MFA (ultimately in non-fiction and poetry) because reading and writing had been my tools to boost my self-awareness and they were the tools that I wanted to use in helping others.

The book that I wrote during graduate school- a collection of non-fiction essays and linked poetry called Giving Up Beauty- focused on coming of age, ethnic identity, beauty perception, self-awareness, and self-acceptance. Though I never sought to publish it, it ignited a passion in me for empowering women to embrace their authentic selves so they can live their passion and purpose and give their gifts to the world.

I am still so compelled and inspired about being in space with people and so I love teaching workshops for groups that cover all these themes but I also love sitting alongside one person and really considering where she is and conceptualizing where she can and so I also love facilitating one on one retreats. I am just at the point where I am beginning to take these experiences and offer them in less conventional forms—away from four walls—whether on Skype, teleconference lines, or, maybe one day soon, e-books.

3. What kinds of stuff do you teach now? Who is your ideal client and what is your ideal work?

Every semester, I teach a course that I just adore on body image that focuses on the things that impact our sense of solves—from parents and peers to race, religion, and social class. This is a university, for credit course.

But away from the university, I facilitate several different workshop experiences from:

  • visionSPARK:  a beginning of the year workshop that guides participants in creating vision boards and choosing a word for the year)

  • Mission::Manifest:  a workshop where participants are guided in penning their own mission statements and manifestos

  • First, Love You:  a self- acceptance retreat for women

  • Beautiful You(th):  a body image workshop designed for moms so they can empower their daughters to have healthy body images

  • Unbridled Authenticity: an equine facilitated learning workshop that I do in partnership with Triple Play Farm and uses the intuition of horses to generate self-awareness and confidence

  • aware: a yoga and self-awareness workshop that I do in partnership with a friend who is an amazing yoga teacher

  • The Healthy, Happy, Sane Teacher: Sustainable Self-Care for a Successful School Year – teaching teachers how to take care of themselves.

I love doing work that inspires self-awareness, hones our vision, motivates us to be intentional, grounds us in our authenticity, and allows us to be vulnerable.

My ideal client is someone who isn’t afraid to do this work, in fact, hungers for this work and is receptive to journeying together.

4. What are your Top 5 self-care must do’s?

Self-Care Tip #1

Right now, I am really into the Magic Hour– an early morning hour to myself that unfolds as I wish in a space of quiet before my boys (the big one that is my partner and the little one that is my teacher) need my help in some way to acclimate to the day.

Self-Care Tip #2

I move my body in some meaningful way at least five times a week.

Self-Care Tip #3

I drink copious amounts of water.

Self-Care Tip #4

I plan with a great awareness of what I can fit into a day and don’t expect too much from myself.

Self-Care Tip #5

I do not ever criticize myself (this is different from giving myself feedback— which I do often, but when I look at the work that I do or the decisions that I made, I consider the challenges as growth opportunities and never a reflection of my worth. It is simply an assessment of how I did in that moment with that thing).

5. How do you manage working from home without driving yourself bonkers?

This is so dependent on what might drive you bonkers.

When I work, I very rarely do any house chores unless they are very brief chores- putting a load of laundry in the machine, for example. Chores are for off time.

I really treasure the time that I have in front of the computer and protect it because my work time is limited to when my son is at preschool or after he goes down at night.

Out of those five days that he is at preschool, one day is my teaching day at the university and then two other days I am usually working away from the home- either in meetings or facilitating a workshop or retreat. That gives me six hours a week to work at my computer.

Put that way, it is fairly easy for me to have a sense of urgency to get my bottom in my chair and get things done. I know some people might miss the interaction with coworkers on those two days where I am sitting in quiet (I don’t even play music or turn on a television), but I am a natural introvert and so my energy is restored by that quiet time. Protecting that quiet time to allow myself to distill ideas and do my work is another way that I practice self-care.

6. Do you have a yoga practice? What about meditation/quiet contemplation?

I do yoga at home during my Magic Hour, sometimes guided by Yogalosophy by Mandy Ingber. I really love being able to go to yoga classes but with, at most, six free hours a week, it is hard to find just the right yoga class for me during the time that I am free and so I have found a way to give myself what I need in that early morning quiet.

I most love journaling as a tool for quiet contemplation and do it whenever I need it—sometimes I get on a daily run and sometimes it might be a few weeks in between paper processing. I’m pretty aware now of when I need to return to the page and get myself there asap.

Aha—another aspect of my self-care practice!

Do you have any questions or comments for Rosie?

Are you a rock star teacher (or know one)? Would you like to be a TGBTS Featured Teacher? Send me a message or leave me comment here.

In Case You Missed It Edition! Volume 44.

best of blogs i read vol 44

I’ve found some links to posts that made me laugh, cry, think or at least raise an eyebrow. Please click the links and check out the posts. You may find something that rocks your world too.

Leave me some feedback in the form of comments below on what you liked, what you hated and what you’d like to see more of. I’m here to help you find the best of what is online.


My Best Of…

Learning to Set Boundaries and Getting Comfortable with Being Less Agreeable. Do you find yourself apologizing and trying to make everything alright for everyone else? Rosie did and boy has she learned a thing or two. I liked this one so much I almost linked to it twice.


The Key to Success? Grit. Love this TED Talk from Angela Lee Duckworth. In it, she mentions Carol Dweck’s (of Mindset) research on the growth mindset. People, I think they are on to something here.


Lemony Orzo Pasta Salad with mint and (sheep) feta – pool food! So easy and so tasty. We had it at the pool the other night and again for lunch the next day. Summer food is the actual best. Well, until fall. And winter. And then spring. Dude, I think I just like to eat.


Holly Would If She Could is Practicing Tolerance in yoga.


Cornflake Marshmallow Cookies. Shutterbean strikes again.


And last, but not least, it is starting to be that time. So rather than deny its existence, let’s Start The School Year the Frugal Way. At least we can all save some money, right?


That is the In Case You Missed It Edition, folks.

Remember to click the links and leave some comments. This is a conversation, you know.

In Case You Missed Edition Archives -click it to see them all.

Image Source: Sam Reading in Badlands by CaptPiper on Flickr (cc)


Do you wish you could end the school year feeling as energized as you started it?

Is recovering from the school year going to take most of your summer?

Are you ready to press reset but have no idea where that button is?

The Healthy, Happy, Sane Teacher is the reset button.


Class starts in September – just in time for the new school year. Click here to register

Blogs I Love: Rosie Molinary

Blog I Love: Rosie Molinary.com

rosie molinary

Who they are: 

blogs i love

Rosie Molinary is a lot of things to a lot of people. She’s my co-creator/facilitator of The Healthy, Happy, Sane Teacher, author of two books – Beautiful You and Hijas Americanas, she’s a body image expert, teacher, board chair of Circle deLuz,  adoptive mama and friend. She’s also a prolific writer, fantasy football nut and cardigan collector.

When asked what work she goes, she invites us to take a peek under the hood and a peek inside her classroom.

Why I love Rosie Molinary.com and what I learn from it:

Rosie is a master at self-care. She wasn’t always. When she started out as a teacher in her early twenties, she ended up in the emergency room twice. In a week.

She learned self-care the hard way. And she writes and teaches what she does, so you don’t have to. I love her for that!

All of her self-care posts show how busy people can make their lives better by taking the time to take care of themselves.

She shows you how to say no so you can say yes to the things most important in your life.

How scheduling a break can help you be more productive in the long run.

Her starter steps to self-acceptance is an absolute must read.

Flipping the switch (from self-hate to self-acceptance).

Quieting the anxiety. The name says it all.

A road map for resilience.

 Posts I find inspiring:

Spark Your Systems is a series of posts which for me are completely awe-inspiring. Rosie outlines how she handles various aspects of her life and she makes organization seem completely reasonable and doable. Some of my favorites are: Menu Planning and Planning for What You Need, Want and Have To Do (my want-to-do list somehow always gets lost).

Giving up The Facade – would you go au natural, even for a day? Rosie challenges her students (and the community at large) go forgo make up and hair products for a day and to let the world see the real person. I’m fascinated by this phenomenon because I grew up in an era where make up was optional for a lot of us. Not so much for this next generation. In the past she has shared photos of her scrubbed clean students and they all look beautiful.

Getting Over A Break Up: A Primer. Who hasn’t been there? Here are real steps to help you feel better.

 If you haven’t already, go check out RosieMolinary.com and then tell me what you think.

What blogs do you love?

Self Care Tip: Schedule Yourself A Break

schedule a break

This time of year is busy, busy, busy. Report cards, field trips, high stakes state testing wrap up, finals, marathon grading sessions, end-of-the-year celebration planning and all those hormonal students with spring fever… it is enough to make anyone want to schedule a mental health holiday.

The end of the school year always reminds me of a championship baseball game that has just gone into extra innings. Everything feels completely necessary and like every second counts.

My friend and author, Rosie Molinary used to think, “Maybe something mildly bad will happen, like a really bad flu or a minor car accident, so that I can take a little bit of time off.”

Sound like something you might say to yourself? Me too.

Let’s face it, even if you don’t work in a school, spring is an extra busy time. Even nature is going a million miles a minute: the birds, the bees, the pollen and the trees.

Stress city!

So rather than trying to keep going and going and going until you completely burn out, why not schedule yourself a break?

Start with an hour for yourself in the next couple of weeks: a restorative yoga class, a nap,  a massage, a manicure or pedicure, a run outside without any distraction.

Then why not schedule a half day? A hike at a nearby river or lake, a picnic by a stream, a good book under a tree, a yoga workshop with your favorite teacher, an afternoon taking pictures of signs of spring, writing in your journal in a café.

Then try a whole day and schedule absolutely nothing and see how the day unfolds. Maybe try a pajama day and see how you feel.

The idea behind these breaks is to give yourself a bit of space and breathing room. You may find you are happier and even more productive than you would have been without the break.

Does the idea of scheduling a break freak you out or are you already grabbing your planner?  Please share in the comments.

Post inspired by Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance by Rosie Molinary. Specifically Day 306: Take a Personal Health Day and Day 57 Schedule Breaks.

Image Source: Serenity Retreat – Early Fall by FreeWine on Flickr (cc)

You Become What You Pay Attention To

In class each week I try to share some nugget of wisdom I’ve picked up along the way. Recently most of what I’m sharing comes from my friend, Rosie’s book, Beautiful You.

Day 23: Realize That You Are What You Pay Attention To

She writes –

Consider this very simple truth. What we pay attention to, what we put our energy into, is a statement about what is important to us. It is a reflection of who we are.

She goes on to challenge the reader to examine and reflect where their attention and energy is spent and to make adjustments if they don’t like what they find.


I’ve been limiting my intake of things that I don’t find helpful or kind (no more Law and Order SVU marathons for me) and I’ve found I’ve felt more at ease as a result.

Here are a few things I have found quite helpful lately.

  • Megan Francis’ The Kitchen Hour podcast. Specifically the episode with Math For Grownups author Laura Laing. In this podcast they talk about how to help your kids with math homework, online resources and how to deal with that pesky “new math”. I was completely riveted and wish I had known about this website and book earlier.
  • Joy the Baker podcast. Good lord, where do I start?  My child sings the theme song. Let’s just say these ladies have made their presence known (and loved) in our household. Can not say enough how much I crack up in every episode. I’ll bet you’ll want to be their best friends too.
  • Body Positive Yoga’s videos have brightened this curvy girl’s day. Amber is super funny and she knows her modifications for the three B’s: booty, belly and boobs. Such a great resource!
  •  How to Be Fascinating – Marie Forleo’s interview with Sally Hogshead. I was lucky enough to get a free deal because I subscribe to Marie’s weekly emails (and I will say I actually look forward to getting them each week because they are so good.) Turns out I’m a trendsetter – I see the future and would like you all to come with me. Sounds exactly right! In a world full of power yoga, I’m asking people to lay down and be quiet.
  • Brene Brown (one of my all time favorites) is sharing her favorite books. This is ridiculously exciting for a book nerd like me.
  • My friend Rosie is a genius (this post is inspired by something in one of her books!) and she has figured out the secret to life: unscheduled days. I know. Brilliant!

What are you putting your energy and attention these days?

Be Your Own Valentine!


February is all about the love, obvs. But rather than focusing on other people’s love and such, I’m inviting you (and me) to be our own Valentines this month.

We can create some self-love by practicing extreme self-care this month. I’ll be posting some ideas during the month and I’ll keep you posted how I’m doing as well.

My first self-love/self-care challenge comes from Rosie Molinary‘s book, Beautiful You:

Day 223: Listen to Your Body and Respond

We spend a whole lot of time berating our bodies and not nearly enough time caring for them. It’s time to start focusing on being responsive to our body’s needs.

Challenge: Every hour stop and ask yourself “What am I feeling right now? What do I need?”

If you discover you need water, get some and drink. If you need to stretch your legs, take a short walk. If you need some connection, reach out to a friend. Whatever the need, take a few minutes to take care of it. Your body will thank you.

How are you planning to love yourself this month?

If you’d like to spend some time taking it easy and deeply relaxing in the company of others, come join me at It’s All Yoga on Sunday afternoons for restorative yoga.

Image Source: Pinterest

Summer of Intentionality — Part One: To Read

Last summer I came up with an ambitious list of activities which fell into three categories: To Read, To Learn, and To Do. The original reason behind all the summer planning came about because, quite honestly, I had a tendency to waste a lot of time on the internet and not have much to show for it.

So when I read about Rosie’s Summer of Intentionality, I knew this would be a way for me to best use my time away from the responsibilities of work.

Now that I’m home with Ruby, it’s still about making the best use of my summer time with my family and of my me time. Over the next few posts I’ll be revealing my To Read, To Learn and To Do lists.


2012 Summer of Intentionality

To Read:

Clearly I am a non-fiction reader, so if you could suggest your do-not-miss fiction titles, I would greatly appreciate it.

What is on your summer reading list?

In Case You Missed It Edition! Volume 37

{photo credit: Etsy – click image for source – PS I would not be sad to hang this in my house}

I’ve found some links to posts that made me laugh, cry, think or at least raise an eyebrow. Please click the links and check out the posts. You may find something that rocks your world too.

Leave me some feedback in the form of comments below on what you liked, what you hated and what you’d like to see more of. I’m here to help you find the best of what is online.


My Best Of…

Where is the Mommy War For the Motherless Child? from Rage Against the Minivan – Kristen says it like it is and I like it. –

When it comes to issues of motherhood, there is one issue I care about: some kids don’t have one. All of these petty wars about the choices of capable, loving mothers is just a lot of white noise to me, Quite honestly, I’m often astonished at the non-essential parenting issues I see moms getting their panties in a wad about. Particularly when there are so many kids in this world not being parented at all.


Chardonnay, Pantyhose, and Other Advice From My Mother from Aunt Peaches (via Small Notebook’s link post) – Just good advice.

My favorites:

…on kids with weird names
Make a special effort to be nice to kids with weird names. It’s not their fault their parents are idiots.

…on teachers
Expect 20% of your teachers to be bad at their job. This does not mean they are bad people, it just means they chose the wrong profession. Why should you suffer for their mistake?Learn to spot them and avoid them. For the other 80%, treat them as though they are the most important person you will ever meet. They probably are.

Be sure to click over and leave a comment about your favorite or the best advice you got from your mother.


Reason #73 Why We Need Curvy Yoga – Anna pretty much sums it up with this:

– well-meaning teachers who shame students because they haven’t thought through the meaning of their words.

If you teach anything, especially yoga, please read this post.


If I Had A Million Dollars from Amy at Coffee and Sunshine (formerly Just A Titch). Click over to see how I’d spend mine and leave a comment about how you’d spend yours. I found it more difficult than I thought it would be.


I Spy from Rosie Molinary. Have you ever wondered if the photo you are looking at and comparing yourself to has been digitally altered? Most likely it has and the biggest tell is in the hands. Go check out Rosie’s post for more details and images. The Ralph Lauren model? WTF? Also see: stop comparing yourself to models who don’t even look like their pictures.


That is the In Case You Missed It Edition, folks.

Remember to click the links and leave some comments. This is a conversation, you know.

In Case You Missed Edition Archives -click it to see them all.

Things I’m Afraid To Tell You: My Thoughts On Adoption and Birth Mothers

As Mother’s Day draws nearer, I find myself getting unexpectedly weepy.

First off, now I’m a mom. A role I wasn’t sure I was ever going to have, certainly one I came to later in life. It’s all now really sinking in.

I’m someone’s mom.

Here’s the part where my experience is different from other mothers and where some deep sadness fills my heart.

In addition to being over the moon about our baby, I can’t help but think about Ruby’s birth mom. And how her loss has been the biggest gift we’ve ever received.

Our precious girl.

Talk about a double-edged sword. Someone else’s loss being your gain? Let’s not even talk about what the kids have lost. Totally does my head in.

A number of people have written so eloquently about what adoption has taught them , about how the adoptive parents (NOT the children) are the lucky ones and honoring their son’s birth mother, that I ask you grab your favorite beverage and read their posts. All these posts brought me to tears and made me want to add my thoughts about adoption and birth mothers which at this point are not very eloquent.

I do have to say that not all of our experiences are the same, however I feel a deep kinship with other adoptive parents. I wanted to highlight some of the ways adoption is heartbreakingly beautiful, with an emphasis on heartbreaking.

Since I’m having some trouble putting together my thoughts on adoption and birth mothers in an eloquent way, I’ll just list them in no particular order. I bring these topics up now because I’ve been an adoptive mama for a while now and believe it or not these have come up. In the spirit of transparency on the internet, many brave bloggers are sharing what they are afraid of. 

I do fear people are going to take offense to what I’m about to say. Some want to tell me our experience as mothers is exactly the same and while there are many commonalities, there are a few huge differences. Some will find out they’ve accidentally stepped on toes because they’ve been curious. Some will find my thoughts presumptuous. So be it.

I’m filing this post under: Things I’m Afraid To Tell You.


While I do not know my daughter’s birth mother, we are connected and I am forever in her debt. Ruby is a gift. She’s changed me in totally wonderfully unexpected ways.

Sometimes I find myself sobbing because I missed the first nine months with Ruby. She was so well cared for which is a relief, however I ache for that lost time.

Please don’t ask to know the details of a birth mother’s circumstances – it isn’t your business. I am nosy by nature, so I get it. But really, not your (or my) business. It is an awkward moment for everyone involved. That story truly does belong to the adoptive child and when they are old enough may or may not wish to share those intimate details of their past with you.

I know I’ve already over-shared some of Ruby’s history with people because I have been caught off guard. I feel awful about this because it’s not my story to tell. If I’ve shared anything about this history, please do not share with anyone. If I haven’t, please don’t ask.

Please don’t make assumptions about birth mothers. There is no typical story. There is no archetype. They are women just like us, making difficult choices. And for god’s sake, please don’t make comments about how “some” people are “breeding” and are “crackheads” who just irresponsibly give birth multiple times.

Really? sounds like right-wing anti-woman propaganda from the 80s. 

Just stop it.

For all we know, the woman standing next to us in line at the grocery store has an adoption story. For some, it is a secret. I imagine, a painful one. Even without your judgement.

Please don’t judge birth mothers. They may or may not have different life styles than us.  Comments about how you could never give up a child aren’t helpful either. Under certain circumstances, we’d all make tough choices to hopefully better the life of our child.

Please don’t say adoptive parents are lucky or saintly for adopting a child – we really are the lucky ones. We are the ones gaining a child to love.

Please don’t give parenting advice until you are also parenting an adoptive child – some things are just different when you are starting your life from a loss. Also, we lean toward Attachment Parenting and would probably be parenting this way even with a biological child.


What are you afraid to tell people? Please share in the comments or write a post of your own and link back.

Please know that comment kindness is greatly appreciated.

Thanks to EZ at Creature Comforts for the challenge. And Jess for getting it all started.

Self Acceptance Through Yoga: aka Back Off Beeotch

image: WeHeartIt

Today you’ll find me guest posting on Rosie Molinary’s blog. Please check it out and be sure to leave a comment to let me know you stopped by. Yes, it’s a reprint…one worth repeating if you ask me.

While you’re there please be sure to poke around in Rosie’s archives. She’s got a bunch of excellent work on self-worth, beauty, self-acceptance and adoption.

A Challenge: Claim Your Care and A Wellness Prescription

I’ve always had trouble with the holidays. Even as a child, I wasn’t that enthusiastic about them. Yes, I liked the presents part and some of the traditions and routines, but given I am such a creature of comfort and regularity, they tended to take their toll on me.

The rich food made it hard to sleep.

All the people made it hard to sleep.

Are you noticing a theme here?

Generally the loss of routine care got lost in the excitement.

As an adult, I’ve tended to be quite ill during the holidays. Colds, flu, respiratory infections.

Too much stress?

Too much food?

Not enough self-care?

I’m not quite sure of the answer, but I’ve made changes the last couple years to make the month of December more enjoyable {or at least more tolerable}.

This year, I will live with intention to truly take care of myself.

Starting in December, I’m following Rosie’s lead and making myself a wellness prescription and claiming my care.

Specifically I will:

  • Attend every session of Madeleine’s Yoga for Holiday Stress – translation: yoga class FOUR times in December!
  • First thing in the morning, a walk with Ruby – at least 30 minutes
  • Using Madeleine’s Manuel as a guide, I’ll consult my book of me when I’m out of sorts and try to solve my problem.
  • Back to the weight room twice a week – 20 minutes is all I need.
  • Soak, steam, sauna at least once a week – the Church of Quiet awaits.
  • Water, Emergen-C, multivitamin and vitamin D daily.
  • Listen to music – such a pleasure in my life and yet I need a reminder to do this.
  • Connect with my spouse – even if for just a 5 minute hug {Do you do this? If not, try it}.
  • A fruit and a veggie at every meal – remembering if I’m not hungry enough for an apple, I’m not really that hungry.
  • Minimize processed foods.
  • Keeping dairy out of my body – that means no cookies, no cake, no desserts unless they are vegan. {ps – I’m not saying you, dear reader, must say dairy-free, I must}.
  • Reading for pleasure – from a book or magazine – every day.
  • Schedule a massage {or two} before the end of the year.
  • Sleeping at least 7 hours at night – even if that means missing a turn or two in Words With Friends and going to sleep before 10.
  • Being with friends – in person, if possible – seriously, if we don’t have a date already let’s get something scheduled STAT.

What would be on your prescription for wellness? How would you claim your care?

43 Things Before 43


For months I’ve been reading about other people’s Life Lists and wondering if I could ever make one without driving myself crazy with all the achieving and in-my-head competition.

Would my list be cool enough?

Would I really do everything I said I would?

What huge adventures await?

Inspired by Rosie’s birthday list, Sarah’s try new things before her birthday list and Amy’s Life List, I’ve decided to put together a list of things I would like to do before I turn 43.

Why 43 instead of 42?

My birthday is in 4 months and I don’t want to hurt myself getting it all done before then. My list is l-o-n-g, makes me think I needed to start this  thing in my 20s.

My intention with this list is to remind myself to have more fun, take care of myself and to do things out of the ordinary.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

The List:

1. Take my birthday (March 20th) off – no work, no obligations – just fun.

2. Take an anti-gravity yoga class.

3. Road trip to Portland with Ruby.

4. Take Ruby to see live music.

5. Read 43 books.

6. Put my feet in the ocean with Ruby.

7. Pick berries.

8. Go on retreat.

9. Teach an active yoga class.

10. Go to the movies by myself. {Yep, I’ve never done this. I have, however, gone to a rock show on my own so don’t feel too sorry for me.}

11. Attend a service at a Universal Unitarian church.

12. Explore the Taiwanese culture in Sacramento.

13. Learn 10 words/phrases in Mandarin.

14. Run a 5K.

15. Write a fan letter.

16. Rent a house at the coast or in the mountains.

17. Teach a class on social media and blogging to teachers.

18. Sleep outside.

19. Do a swim workout.

20. Watch my first students graduate from high school.

21. Spend a week away from the Internet.

22. See a play.

23. Go to a sing along at the Crest.

24. Take a photography class.

25. Take a cooking class.

26. Take a private yoga class.

27. Actually make something I’ve pinned on Pinterest.

28. Go to the ballet.

29. Have a family portrait taken.

30. Watch a movie outside in the backyard.

31. Take Ruby on a hike.

32. Help a friend start a blog.

33. Build an outdoor shower.

34. Make a wall of bookshelves in the dining room.

35. Redesign the entryway and make it pretty and useful.

36. Start a mom/play group in Midtown.

37. Teach a class at my gym.

38. Organize the pantry.

39. Get rid of all the shoes I don’t wear because they are uncomfortable.

40. Take a nap in a hammock.

41. Host a baby shower.

42. Take a photo every day.

43. Make the Book of Me into a book.


Do you make yearly plans? A Life List? Would you like to?

I’d love to hear about yours.

And I’d love for you to join me in making my list a reality. Please let me know if you’d like to do any of my 43 with me.

Summer of Intentionality Part One: What I Want to Learn


Thinking back over the summers since becoming a teacher I’ve noticed a pattern. International travel every other year and lots of hanging out not doing much the other years.

Not a bad gig, if you can get it.

But this summer is different. This summer is the summer before we become parents.

We’ve got baby things to prepare for and house projects galore. The travels of  past summers were exciting and gave me lots of cool things to talk about, but if I’m honest, a lot of that time wasn’t time spent on purpose.

The hanging out doing nothing much? Clearly, not so mindful.

This summer shall be different. This summer shall be full of intention and mindfulness.

And FUN!

Let’s not forget the FUN!

I declare summer 2011 the Summer of Intentionality.

Thanks to my Twitter friend, author Rosie Molinary, for inspiring this project.

Here’s her summer list.

What I Want to Learn:

1. How to edit photos.

I’ve downloaded Picasa and my new photos of the old 97’s show last weekend. Sounds like a match made in heaven.

2. How to Skype.

This was a Winter Break intention and yet still no webcam. I will join the 21st century this summer!

3. How to knit.

Recently I saw some women knitting at the airport looking so peaceful, I decided in that moment I wanted to become one of them. Knitting looks like quiet activity that keeps me busy, but doesn’t involve a screen.

4. How to use the weight room at the gym.

So many interesting machines and I have no idea how to use them. My thinking is I’ll better mix up my workouts and keep it fresh.

5. How to be a traveler in my own backyard.

Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area was great, except for the part I never went to any of the attractions because I grew up there. This summer I plan to make a bunch of day trips back to the Bay Area to see the sights and escape the Sacramento heat.


Ferry to San Francisco

Brush up on my science and get inspired for next school year at the Academy of Sciences.

See some of Picasso’s pieces at the DeYoung.

Take in some modern art at SFMOMA.

Stick my toes in the sand and swim in the ocean at Stinson Beach.

What is your must see/do in San Francisco?


Stay tuned for more Summer of Intentionality goals: What I Want to Read and What I Want to Do.

Feel free to join in the fun.

Would you like to teach me how to do my stuff or learn along side me?

Would you like to come up with a list of your own?

I’d love to hear how you are spending your summer.  Leave your plans in the comments.

Saturday Senses

A way to capture the spirit of each week…

i took that photo!

{photo credit: me}

tasting :: strawberry lemonade popsicle from fat face inside bows and arrows. it’s going to be a delicious summer.

hearing ::  mine has returned to normal after the amazing old 97’s show at harlow’s last saturday night.

smelling :: cookies, cakes and muffins – oh my! my students loved sweet treats at their end of the year celebration.

seeing :: twenty + resting yogis this week. we’re starting a resting revolution, friends!

feeling ::  grateful for the few minutes of conversation with rhett after the show. topics: twitter, kids, a cheer squad meet up in the middle of the country – {he suggested chicago} and the glamour of life on the road.

wishing/hoping :: for the sweet balance between complete freedom and intentionality with my precious time off.

What about you?

What are your senses this Saturday?

Looking back, how was your week?

Leave a comment and tell me all about it. I’d seriously love to hear about your week. Now’s not the time to be shy.

This weekly tradition inspired by Pink of Perfection’s Five Sense Friday.

Don’t forget to click the links!

In Case You Missed It Edition! Volume 31


Each week I’ll give you links to posts that made me laugh, cry, think or at least raise an eyebrow. Please click the links and check out the posts. You may find something that rocks your world too.

Leave me some feedback in the form of comments below on what you liked, what you hated and what you’d like to see more of. I’m here to help you find the best of what is online.


A completely insane week. I can’t believe I was just in Texas last week. Nutty.


My Best Of…

Do you ever feel like you are living a double life? A work you and a you you? My life is definitely much more integrated than ever before and yet Summer Tams still exists. Check out Madeleine’s post about bringing yourselves back together: Code Names and Living A Double Life

Interested in learning to meditate and aren’t sure where to start? Check out The Open Heart Project.

We Are What We Do – kinda says it all, huh? via Charlotte’s Fancy.

What are you doing this summer? My new favorite blogger, Rosie Molinary’s, post Summer of Intentionality got my wheels churning.

Jenna from This Is My Happiness (formerly Adventures of a 21st Century Family) did an awesome post about an upcoming Picasso exhibit straight from Musée National Picasso, Paris. I’m adding it to my summer today list right now, what about you?

Speaking of this summer…. have you read Good Enough is the New Perfect yet? If not, get yourself a copy and start thinking about what you’d say to the author is you got to meet her because Hollee Schwartz Temple will be in Sacramento at It’s All Yoga in late June. Details to follow.


That is the In Case You Missed It Edition for this week, folks.

Remember to click the links and leave some comments. This is a conversation, you know.

In Case You Missed Edition Archives -click it to see them all.