3 quick DOABLE steps to create a mini spa right at home and Feel more human while raising a baby - Chicago Baby Photographers
Being a busy full-time (breastfeeding) Mama to 2 toddlers, an artist, a loving partner, and a creative assistant for Chicago Birth and babies - Maggie Cuprisn Photography, leaves me with very little time for spa days, mani/pedis, ladies brunches or any real social interactions unless you count me nervously and weirdly trying to engage other moms at the park while my son shouts : “ mama you have a big culo” behind me! Haha
I used to love going to King Spa. I lived for the steam, the scalding hot baths, the amethyst and crystal rooms that cleared your head and helped you connect to the universe, or whatever. I’d breathe deep the salt rooms and feel so relaxed. Those days are long gone in a puff of baby powder and dollop of nipple cream now. I am lucky if I can go pee without 2 babies throwing toys into the toilet. hahaha Like literally! My 2.5 year old recently bathed himself in baby powder when he was alone for 60 seconds.
During the never ending whirlwind of daily tasks when taking care of kiddos, I am lucky to have a spare 15 minutes when the universe throws me a bone.Or the rare and elusive; household nap-where everyone sleeps at the same time...ahhh. For those times I catch a small break, I like to have a quick refresher . I love to do quick spa/beauty routines. It helps me to feel relaxed and beautiful. It gives my body a moment to feel good, connect with myself and get a jump start on the chaos of the day .
I REALIZED THAT TO KEEP THIS GOING I NEED TO BE ORGANIZED WITH GO TO PRODUCTS.
So, I put together a little beauty box in my bathroom that is my go-to for when I have a spare moment. It is full of cheap, natural and quick to do products OR herbs I pick in my garden or kitchen.
Instead of wasting precious time trying to decide what to do with all that “ me time” (15 minutes) hahah ... I have my little mini spa ready to go. I grab it and get to a body treat, fast and hard before I hear a baby cry !
So to get started here are some super easy and doable steps to start your at home spa:
1. Find a beautiful, unique container
Make your own: Cover an old box with broken jewelry or take a walk to your favorite Brown Elephant Store and find a treasure box, or Reuse or Upcycle something you already have at home.
I love collecting from second-hand shops and making up stories about where the item came from. Any container will work,
PRO TIP: choose a spot for it that is accessible and visible.
2. Keep an eye out for sales and products
I collect luxurious and inexpensive beauty products from Target, sales racks on the Mag MIle. I mostly buy things on sale because Mom guilt is REAL and I like to keep my box stacked. I also get lots of gifts from my babe sisters and my Amazing Mother. I collect them all and put them in my little Self Care box.
Here is what is in my little spa box this month:
-A spoon. Yes, a spoon. I pop it in the freezer , then slather it with coconut oil and mint from my garden. I put it on my tired swollen eyes, and Voila!!! 10 years younger.
-Rose Hip Oil. I dilute it with clean water and use it as a quick spritzer or toner on my face. It does an amazing job hydrating and brightening the skin. I also put pure Rose Oil on my hair to tame fly-aways. The red Rose is my favorite flower and I love to come up smelling like one. I get compliments on my skin a lot, it's the Rose Oil, I tell ya.
-SAY YES TO TOMATOES Charcoal Face Mask. It's a detoxifying mask to clear up skin. Get the dirt out of those pores! I love to put this one on , set a timer for 15 minutes, then go scare the children. Haha Actually they love it. If you really want to make a statement, try charcoal toothpaste.
-Color Street Nails. Easy Peel and Stick. This product was made for busy women on the go. They are 11$ for a set that actually can do 2 full set manis. They are so EASY to apply, I like to do it while I am breastfeeding my daughter.
I have TWO tiny humans in diapers. I get my hands dirty in the garden everyday, I build fairy castles for the kids, I love to work and create with my hands, so I need something that lasts and doesn’t require a lot of time. These nails last for like 2 weeks. Also they are gorgeous and make me feel like a boss babe. Check them out here: Rani’s Nailed It
-Cool Cucumber Cleansing Facial wipes. These are great for if i want to cool down my skin, or place on the back of my neck. I carry these out with us on our adventure days where we hit our 20.000 steps exploring the city; just wipe away the sweat. It is also perfect for boob sweat, You’re welcome ladies.
-A pumice stone. I love removing all the dead skin and with it my worries. It's a cathartic experience, so has double benefits. I top it off with some DEEP STEEP , Pure, NATURAL body butter in Strawberry Fields. Makes my feet delicious.
-Coffee Bean Eye Cream by Beauty by EArth. (Bring me Youth) the label says, like some kind of incantation to the gods. hahah . Using only your ring finger, gently blot under and above eyes, for a brightening effect that wakes up those ‘ tired Mama up all night with babies’ swollen eyes.
- Tarte Eye and cheek cake. I always take a q-tip of the whitest white sparkle eye cake and dab into the inner and outer corners of my eyes. It gives them a dewy, water sprite look, makes the eyes pop. I love lipstick in the red and wine color families and right now I’ loving Burnt Bees -- lip color ‘ Scarlet Soaked’ (no.520) . It's a matte finish. You could have zero makeup on your face but if you got a pop of red on the lips and a hint of sparkle at the eyes, you’re looking good, Mama.
TIP: Using products that are not tested on animals is one more way to feel good in the moment.
LASTLY, SET THE MOOD and PLAY your favorite tunes
I love to light some candles, burn deliciously smelling incense, or even turn off all the lights for a little sensory deprivation, because….Silence is just so nice.
I play some music that makes me feel relaxed or happy. Right now my current go-to artists are TORI AMOS, NINA SIMONE, MARISSA NADLER AND KAREN ELSON. Sometimes if the mood strikes, some Doom Metal, like the band Sleep. I also love Wolves in the Throne Room on dreary days.
If there is time to spare, I can curl up with a book or finish a drawing.
And there you go, a simple routine that even busy parents and moms can do to feel better and reconnect.
So remember, take care of yourself. Its hard when you care for others all day and night, you sometimes forget to feed yourself or take a break. Be kind to yourself. Your body deserves to feel beautiful and healthy. I remember when I was pregnant with my first , other women told me, you will NEVER TAKE A HOT BATH WITH OILS AGAIN, YOU WILL NEVER HAVE TIME TO DO MAKEUP OR A FACIAL. Well, they were right, but I am stubborn and I found a way to do it. So give it a try.
What are your quick , fun beauty routines? What do you do to feel good? Share your tips with us, we love new ideas.
Written by Sarah Grana ,
Creative Assistant @ Chicago Birth and Baby Photos
Mother of 2 Living on Chicago’s Southside.