Hello weekend! Happy to be here to breathe in some inspiration with you after another fast and furious week. Our kids’ schedules have us out the door before sunrise and home pretty late, and we’ve been traveling the last few weekends for their sporting events and ballet auditions. That being said, I’ve really been trying to honor some serious unwind time each night before going to bed. Thought I’d share a few things I’ve been doing lately to recharge before lights are out.
1. Reading. Last year I decided to drastically reduce my screen time and dive more into books. I asked friends for tips on some good reads and ended up reading 3-4 pretty good books. This was such a nice way to relax late in the evening. Reading really calms the mind and quiets the spirit. I’ve noticed books or stories from the past feel more relaxing and escape-like to me than ones set in our current time period. One of the books I enjoyed last year was Daisy Goodwin’s American Heiress. The characters weren’t as interesting to me as the ones in The Help (still a fave) but it was pleasant, interesting, easy reading.
It takes me a while to read a book because I usually get drowsy within five pages. The past couple of months I’ve been reading Fortune Hunter, which is nice but I found the story drags a little more than American Heiress. Still trying to get to the end. Also started reading (but didn’t finish) Madame Tussaud, the story of the famous wax sculptress, Marie Grosholtz. Book info here. It’s a great read for anyone interested in the French Revolution. Wow, what a gruesome period of time filled with radical change, brutality, poverty, pretentiousness, and material excess all in one. The story is compelling but gets a little too dry/detailed for me, so I haven’t finished it yet.
2. Period documentaries. My husband and I are period drama junkies. I have BADLY missed my weekly Downton fix, which I knew would happen. Happy to have found another show, Victoria by Masterpiece. I was surprised to discover that the script was written by the author of the books I’ve been reading, Daisy Goodwin.
The story is really interesting, the set and costumes are beautiful, and the acting is great. For me it’s not quite as gripping/visually inspiring as Downton, but what show could ever be?
Really love Jenna Coleman – she’s a talented actress and so stunning. She reminds me of a British Tiffini Thiessen.
And speaking of look a-likes, I get so distracted with her husband, Prince Albert, played by Tom Hughes, because he looks so much like Prince (minus the teased hair and eye-liner). It’s as if he stepped right out of a Purple Rain video. I mean, the guy looks so much like Prince – his mouth, his face, his build, his vibe. It’s not only his look, but his character’s artistic and sullen energy. It makes me crazy when I watch the scenes with him – the whole time I’m thinking things like, “did the stylist and casting director do this on purpose? Was this a subtle nod to the legendary 80’s singer??” I really have to focus on him as Prince Albert, not as the 21st century Prince, ha.
Prince. Not to be confused.
Well if that isn’t a digression.
3. Home spa. Since I’ve been back to exercise/PT five days a week and drive so much every day, I find that a hot bath is really good for sore muscles and a stiff back or neck. Anyone who’s a dancer knows Epsom salt is the secret to soothing tight, sore muscles. I never take a bath without Epsom salt and am newly obsessed with this one I found at Walmart of all places. This probably sounds like an ad but it’s not!
I’m officially hooked. The fragrance smells amazing and totally relaxes me – can’t tell you how much this wipes out my sore hips and legs from ballet. I get into the tub hurting and stiff and get out a whole new person. I love this stuff so much that I’ve started giving it as a gift in a “spa ready” basket.
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Over time I’ve learned that taking care of yourself and getting quality down time, even if only a little each day, helps keep you strong. It also prevents burnout. I no longer power through my days/nights trying to do everything for everybody and wonder why I collapse later. Life is like a marathon – it’s all about going at a good, steady pace and enjoying the journey along the way.
Hope this weekend brings you some rest and rejuvenation!