mama brain

I was working on a bunch of projects with my nieces and as we needed to learn information I was opening new tabs in my internet browser.  We had about 7-10 open when my teenage niece says to me, “that many open tabs gives me anxiety!”. I turned to her and said, “that’s what my brain feels like all the time.” I may have done a wild eyed slow turn and half whispered this at her as I was realizing this.

I feel like I have 10 tabs open at all times.

“What am I going to make for dinner?”
“I need to change the clothes to the dryer.”
“I need to fold and put away all the clothes.”
“But first the dog will need to be walked.”
“Almost lunch and nap, have to make sure I do all the lunch and nap things”
“While they nap I should probably shower.  Or should I fold and put away the clothes?”
“The kitchen floor looks gross! Maybe I should vacuum and mop instead of the clothes or the shower. But when did I shower last?”
“I need to fill out the school paperwork.”
“I need to sign the little guy up for his class.”
“Oh, its August, I need to get the car inspected this month.  What does my calendar look like?”
“Should I turn off the fan? I don’t remember the last time I dusted it and it’s probably just spewing dust everywhere.”

It was the perfect example of what my brain feels like at times.  It feels like there are too many tabs open and maybe you can’t even see all of them anymore, you just see those little arrows that tell you there’s more hidden.  But you don’t see those arrows right away, they’ve been there and then all of a sudden you see the arrows and you sorta freak out for a second when you notice them.

Luckily making lists helps me focus on what open tabs I need to focus on so that my brain can start to close some out.  But even that sometimes is one of the tabs – “make list of things I need to accomplish today” – which is why it is important to focus on our mama selves.  In reality it doesn’t take too long to come up with that list, even though it can feel like it will.  If I take 5 minutes to do something for myself I will be better off the rest of the day.

In 5 minutes I could accomplish one of these helpful for me things:

  • meditate
  • make a list
  • pray
  • shower (although, I’m not a fan of the 5 minute shower, I like the loooong hot showers of yore, okay maybe they didn’t have hot water in “yore” but you get the idea)
  • pick out an intentional oil blend to put in my diffuser (Peace & Calming perhaps?)
  • sit in a quiet space
  • read a chapter of a book
  • read one of the many open browsers on my cellphone that I’ve been meaning to read for the past 6 months
  • put some lotion on my hands (especially in winter)
  • do squats (maybe not good for my mind, but my bum wouldn’t mind)

Instead I tend to pick up my phone for those 5 minutes and check my email, texts, and social media, further fragmenting my mind.  I find that making the choice to take care of myself is actually the biggest hurdle.  It comes more naturally to choose something automatic and motion filled.

I know what I’d like my kids to do though, I know what I’d want them to choose.  So I will aim to improve this habit of mine.  I will choose the 5 minutes of self care to be an example for them.  So strange how I have to trick myself into doing what I know is a good, but this mama brain is full and sometimes we have to trick it to work with us.

What are some 5 minute self care ideas that help you?

almost no prep – fried rice

Guys, if you are looking for a dinner your kids can gobble up that is full of veggies and requires very little effort – this is it. If you are looking for an incredibly gourmet and detailed recipe for fried rice, this is not it.

We love this and eat it just about every week. What I love is how easy it is to sub in different things based on what’s in the fridge/freezer. You can use any frozen veggie mix out there so go for things your kids tend to like. I usually throw in a few different types so the kids can stretch those taste buds a bit. And it always tastes good. It’s basic, sure. But it’s an easy meal the kids devour without me bribing them with dessert so yeah, it’s amazing.

I usually make the rice in the rice cooker while walking the dog or letting the kids play so then it’s only dumping frozen veggies in a pot and making scrambled eggs. So here it is! Fried rice the almost no prep way.

  • 1-2 bags mixed frozen veggies (if you have super picky kiddos maybe just do the veggie they like and slowly build up to stretch the taste buds)
  • 3 cups rice (for a big batch with leftovers)
  • 5 eggs (again do more or less depending on what works for you)
  • Soy sauce and/or coconut aminos
  • Sesame oil (optional)
  • Ginger (optional)
  • Olive oil or whatever cooking oil you like
  • Make rice your preferred way (I love my rice cooker). In a large pan over medium/high heat pour some oil and pour the bag(s) of frozen veggies. Once defrosted push them to one side of the pan and in the now empty side, add a bit more oil and add your eggs and scramble (saving you another dirty pan). Once the egg is scrambled, mix it all up with the veggies and add the ginger. Mix in cooked rice. Pour soy sauce and/or coconut aminos and sesame oil. Mix and serve! Serves 4 easily.
  • some of my favorite oil resources

    I love my oily DIY because it helps me save so much money on my wellness journey.  There are lots and lots of awesome healthy alternatives but they tend to be pricey.  So I do a lot of diy (it is much easier than it seems) to help me have the quality ingredients I want, but at a price point that I am happy with at this stage.

    I have lots of blogs and sites I love to reference. I wanted to share some of these and make it a one stop shop for everyone.

    If you have ever tried a Face Oil you know how amazingly luxurious it is.  It can sound counter intuitive to use oil on your face if you’ve always been weary of breakouts but oil dissolves oil.  And stripping your body of its natural oils will only teach it to create more.  It makes some, you take it all away and it says, “oh, guys we need to make MORE oil”.  Face oil feels wonderful and it really helps my skin feel amazing.  The beauty of DIY is that you can customize it to YOUR needs.  My favorite site for guiding me through what I’ll need while keeping it simple is:

    Crunchy Betty

    Under eye cream is one of the few things I’ve been splurging on for years because my skin there is extra dry and I have dark eye circles.  I’ve always spent about $40-$50 for a little tub and that lasts for a long while so it didn’t feel like a huge deal.  BUT now I can make my own without the nasty toxins.  Using only a few good for me ingredients.  It’s amazing once you start to research that Shea Butter is actually great for under eyes because it smooths skin and reduces inflammation.  This is a nice simple recipe that I love:

    Dr. Axe

    I did leave out the aloe because I didn’t have any.

    I also love this site for so many things that I can’t quite pick one.  She has great DIY recipes and a really good knowledge base for a natural home.

    Wellness Mama

    I’m about to make her bug spray!

    If you have any other favorite resources for healthy living, please send them my way!

    easy popsicles

    My kiddos love their desserts as much as anyone else but in trying to make sure they eat minimal sugar I don’t want to deprive them of all the things their friends eat a lot of.  So we try to make something equally delicious, just more wholesome.

    One of our favorites have become watermelon popsicles!  Usually when we buy a whole watermelon I can barely find enough space in the fridge to store it, so this also helps me reduce waste, double win!

    You’ll need:

    • Watermelon
    • Lime(s)

    Cut up your watermelon and put it in the blender.  Depending on your love of lime add the juice of 1 or 2 limes and blend.  Put in popsicle molds.  THAT IS IT!

    We love these Zoku molds and ended up with two sets because one is ADORABLE and the other is perfectly sized for really little ones.  The kiddo doesn’t end up covered in melted popsicle because it is just a great size for him.  These molds are SO easy to get the frozen popsicle out of too.  I’m a huge fan and happy I got them.  We also will put leftover smoothies in there for a quick easy “dessert”.  Its a win for me and a win for the kids!

    so you’ve found a tick…


    We found an embedded tick on my little.  blarg.  It is pretty common and we have this amazing modern medicine now so everything is pretty treatable.  I say this but I may have spazzed a little.

    First we removed the gross bugger with tweezers.  I’ve heard too many conflicting things about all the other ways and just went with old faithful.  I put the creature, which was about the size of a sesame seed, into a ziploc bag and washed my hands.  Cleaned the spot on my little.  Called the pediatrician who is AMAZING (thank God for doctors and people who have devoted themselves to taking care of others!)!

    I looked into my essential oil books and applied some lavender and tea tree oil on the site. Then decided I should crowd source from friends on what to do next.  There’s allllll sorts of information, antibiotics, tests, no tests, rashes, has to be embedded for x amount of time, only needs to be embedded for a minute, etc.  And I knew I wasn’t the first one to deal with this.  I’m really really happy I did and friends because I got all sorts of information and it was all pretty amazing. It was varied which I appreciate because it lets you explore your options for what gives you peace of mind.  So, I’m writing this because some of the things were so incredibly wonderfully helpful that I hope someone else can find it useful.

    1. First, save the tick.  Put it in a ziploc bag.  Wash your hands and maybe throw something like neosporin or essential oils or alcohol on the site. Take a picture of the creature.  Then put that ziploc bag in ANOTHER ziploc bag and put that in the freezer.
    2. Call your doctor to verify correct steps and precautions because things change all the time and I’m writing this blog right now in 2018.
    3. Submit the picture of the gross thing to They will respond in a couple days with what type of tick it is, how long they think it was embedded for, and the probability of it having an infection and the likelihood of you getting said infection.  ALL FROM A PICTURE!  And they sent us our report on a Sunday, so they are clearly working everyday to try to help give people some knowledge.  They also explain how they are able to tell, which is helpful.
    4. Take the frozen tick and put it in a padded envelope and mail it to  Well don’t mail it to the website, but go to that site and follow their instructions.  You pay $50 and they’ll test the tick to see if it has any infections.  They’re amazing too.
      • They answer the phone and talk down freaked out moms (not me of course, I’m always super chill).
      • They will text you when your tick (something I never wanted as my own) arrives to them and just keep you in the general loop.
      • Your report is updated real-time so you can click on a link and see where they are with it.
      • You get results within 3 business days.
      • They apparently have all the ticks they’ve ever tested and keep them indefinitely in case you ever need to do more tests.

    All of that is insane to me, and I’m so thankful that there are people out there devoted to this because it helps us evaluate further steps.  We are still in the waiting process for that report, but I wanted to share this because having outlined steps might help someone else.

    What we do from here – antibiotics, blood testing, or nothing – will all depend on the report + doctor recommendations + mama taking care of her baby.  But these are first steps and some useful links.  I hope you are reading this for fun and not because you’ve just found a tick on your precious baby, but alas, here are steps to take if you need them.