This week, we’re sharing our self-care routines, including mental health, physical health, skincare stuff, and new things we want to try.
We’re also being kind of random, and I’m sharing all my favorite sparkling seltzer waters and Emma’s sharing her salt float experience!
You can find the podcast posts archive here.
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And, if you’re looking for a specific code you heard on the podcast, you can see a full list on this page!
Read Emma’s blog post about her experience with vascular laser treatment.
Laser treatments we have tried:
- Laser hair removal
- Vascular Laser Treatment
- Microneedling with PRP
Movement + ways we reduce stress:
Emma – group fitness at her local YMCA, yoga, and walking outside
Elsie – walking and a yoga class from theworkoutwitch.com
Therapy, being creative, and having friends
Something new you’ve tried recently:
Emma – challenges
Elsie – focusing on moving
Something you want to try in the near future:
Elsie – swimming every day and a group fitness class
Guilty pleasure treasure:
Elsie – All the BEST seltzer water drinks:
- Aura Bora – Strawberry Basil
- Waterloo – Grape
- Bubly or Lacroix– both Watermelon
- Polar – Orange Vanilla
- Good & Gather- Tropical Cherry
Emma – jewelry making:
Check out Emma’s blog post about shrinky dinks.
Miss an Episode? Get Caught Up!
- Episode #178: Father of the Bride – Comfort Rewatch
- Episode #177: Elsie’s Historic House Mood Board
- Episode #176: Finding Your Personal Style (Deep Dive)
Episode 179 Transcript:
Elsie: You’re listening to The Beautiful Mess Podcast. This week we’re sharing our self-care routines, including mental health, physical health, skincare stuff, and the new things we want to try. We’re also being kind of random and I’m sharing my favorite sparkling seltzer waters, and Emma is sharing her horrific salt float experience. Okay, let’s lead with the salt float. In the outline it says, Emma’s salt float ick. Tell us everything, Emma, start from the beginning because I remember you were excited to try this.
Emma: Yeah, I was and I have no regrets about trying it because it’s fun to try new things. So if you’ve never heard of a salt float before, because I’m kind of new to hearing about it, I had never heard about it till my mother-in-law told me she does them sometimes with friends. She’s done it with her husband, my father-in-law too. So she told me about it. I had never really heard of it, but essentially it’s like a sensory deprivation type tank, that’s the type of thing. The one I went to anyways is this big kind of industrial-looking tank and inside there’s like enough water that it would maybe come up to my knees. I’m 5’4″, but, and there’s a ton, I don’t know how much, but a ton of like epson salt in it or salt, I think it’s epson salt, but there’s salt. Because the idea is you can float in it and you don’t have to try it all. It’s not like a swimming pool is pretty easy to float in. But this is like, no, truly, you couldn’t really sink yourself unless you’re like, flailing around. It makes you weightless.
Elsie: What did it feel like when you first stepped in?
Emma: To me, it felt very slimy because the water is very thick because it has so much salt in it, so I did not like that. My mother-in-law told me about this, and just for the record, she’s actually really awesome at self-care. The first time I ever got a massage was because my mother-in-law bought it for me as a birthday gift, I think. And this was also a birthday gift for my mother-in-law. She was like, would you like a massage or did you wanna try the salt float? Because we had talked about it previously and I was like, oh, I wanna try the salt float. So she got me a gift certificate and it was very sweet, even though I didn’t end up liking it, it was still really, really sweet. Anyway, so she’s really great at self-care and so I thought, oh, this sounds interesting. And the one she bought me, had a little bit of sauna time. I love a sauna. So I was just hanging out in the sauna, chilling out, and then I went to go do the salt float it’s a thing that lots of people enjoy, but I disliked it so much. I left after like 10 minutes. I had like an hour that I could float in there for, but I left after about 10 minutes, and at the place I went, there were two types of salt floats. There’s one where it’s more of like an open space because some people feel claustrophobic, in the tank. I’ve never felt claustrophobic before, so I don’t think that’s a thing for me, lots of people have that they don’t like to be in enclosed spaces. I don’t feel like I have that. I’m more of a fear of heights person, so I was like, I think I’ll be fine in the tank and it didn’t bother me to be in the tank. It’s pitch dark. So you get in there and there’s like a little light and it turns off within like 30 seconds or a minute and there’s music playing at the beginning, and then it slowly fades out and then it’ll slowly fade back in so that you know when your time’s up because you truly, you can’t take your phone in there and the idea is that you completely are in the darkness. You’re floating, you can just completely relax. And a lot of people love it. I just thought it felt slimy and I was kind of trying to float, but you know, you really don’t need to try. But I just didn’t like it, so I left her like 10 minutes, and the gal at the front desk who had helped me like, you know, get ready and go in the room. And she told me like all the things, she was like, ah, so it wasn’t for you? And I was like, no, it wasn’t, I didn’t like it. I was so embarrassed, but I was like, I’m just not gonna stay just because I feel embarrassed to leave, but I was like, I just thought this is it for me.
Elsie: Yeah. Okay, so I had agreed with Emma that I would do it also, and there’s like a couple of places that have it where I live. I was meaning to do it and we were gonna talk about it on the podcast and as soon as she texted me and told me she hated it, I was like so relieved that I didn’t have to, I don’t think I realized I like, just didn’t want to. I was putting it off because I don’t know, I just didn’t like the sound of it. So I’m not surprised that, and I have heard other people who hated it, but I’ve also heard people who really like it. So I guess it’s probably just one of those highly personal things like cilantro.
Emma: Yeah, like cilantro is like, I know people who hate massages. They’re like, I just can’t relax, I don’t want someone touching me. I don’t like being naked or mostly naked. And I get that. But I love a massage personally too, so it’s like, you know, people like different things. You gotta find what’s for you. And this was not for me.
Elsie: Well, I think it’s funny though, and I think it’s kind of cool that you just like got up and left, once you knew that it was zero.
Emma: I think younger, Emma wouldn’t have done that because I was like, I’m gonna have to walk past the front desk lady. And I also felt so bad. I was like, oh, I’m gonna have to tell my mother-in-law ’cause she’s gonna ask me how it went. And I don’t want her to feel like I didn’t like her gift, just all these things. And then I was like, Hey, you can just leave and it’s okay, and that’s what I did.
Elsie: No, I think stuff like that it’s interesting to try and that’s part of the fun is like knowing that you might not like it, it’s polarizing. So Cool.
Emma: Yeah. I am happy to have tried it cuz it was definitely an experience and like I said, it’s like this industrial tank. I don’t know, but I feel like I could use that in a story someday. It’s definitely a thing. I mean, it’s kind of in Stranger Things, that’s how she goes upside down like floating in the salt water.
Elsie: Did you ever watch the TV show called The Leftovers because there’s a really weird part where there in little tanks like that in that show, it’s creepy. Yeah, for sure, but I loved that show. I was like one of the only people, I like loved it.
Emma: I haven’t seen it, but I’ve seen the posters for it and stuff and it looked interesting. Not necessarily religious, but something like that.
Elsie: Okay, so in this episode we’re gonna talk all about self-care stuff. Some of the stuff we’re gonna go through is lasers, facials, movement, ways to reduce stress therapy, mental health stuff, something we’ve tried, something we wanna try. So let’s start with the lasers and facials. So last time we talked about anything like this, I remember you shared that you were doing laser hair removal and it was like you just started and I started doing it right after you, so we can both talk about it. It’s such a journey.
Emma: If you told me that you were doing it, I guess I forgot cause I’m like, oh, you’re doing it. Cool.
Elsie: Yeah, I started a really long time ago. Okay, so laser hair removal, I’ll try to say it as openly as I can, but without saying anything that’s gross. I think it’s a little bit of a personal thing.
Emma: Yeah. Don’t wanna turn people off.
Elsie: Skip through this part if you like I don’t wanna hear anything about it at all. But my husband doesn’t wanna hear anything about it at all, like anything, so I just don’t, which is fine. I’ve told lots of my friends about it because I think it’s the type of thing that if you’re even considering doing it, you wanna hear from someone else who’s done it. Like how bad is it? Is it a big deal? And I’ve seen lots of people online say that laser hair removal doesn’t hurt and I think it hurts a lot. So I think it’s very interesting how different people perceive pain and maybe it’s different lasers. I don’t know. I have no idea, but tell us about your experience.
Emma: I just did my bikini area. What areas are you doing?
Elsie: Yeah, so I did the bikini and then I did the armpits so far and then once I’ve kind of been into it, I realized I regret not doing the legs and I’m gonna go back for the legs. So last time I asked which one’s worse and she said, if you can do the bikini, you can do anything, so just do the legs.
Emma: That would be my guess too, if you can do the bikini area, probably you could do anything else. My gal also told me, because I’m also considering legs, but I don’t think I’m gonna do it. But she said that lower legs are actually no big deal at all, it’s more upper legs and thighs. They can be a little more sensitive. But again, everybody’s different. I do not agree with this internet thing that laser hair removal doesn’t hurt at all. Do not agree. So the place I went to, offers a numbing cream that you can purchase and try. I didn’t get that when I started laser hair removal, I was still breastfeeding. I was like kind of on the middle to the tail end of breastfeeding and you can’t use it if you’re breastfeeding. So I just didn’t have the option but if you aren’t breastfeeding, you could try that and I probably would’ve done it if I’d had the option, but my gal also told me, she was like, just take ibuprofen like 30 minutes before you come here, and that will help too. It just kind of takes the edge off. So that’s what I usually do. I think it hurts, I think it feels like someone’s snapping at you with a rubber band. That’s what it feels like to me. So it’s not the greatest pain ever.
Elsie: To me, it’s like stabbing with needles a little bit like stabbing, stabbing, stabbing.
Emma: Yeah, I thought a tattoo was worse, personally, but I also have tattoos on my forearms, which is a very different area than my bikini area, so, I don’t know.
Elsie: Yeah, I’ll say I think it’s pretty bad, but the pros of it are, it’s really short. It’s less than 10 minutes to do everything I do every time. So it’s very short. I hate it, but it’s like it’s done before you’ve even started it, it’s very quick. And the other thing that’s cool is right after you get it, the hair in that area doesn’t grow for a really long time, so it’s nice. It’s like you get this instant satisfaction. They say you have to go five or six times to get it completely gone. But I just always enjoy it right after I go that it’s like the whole month almost, it’s like nothing, which is nice. It’s like one less thing to think about. So yeah, I would recommend it. I think it’s definitely worth it. The place I went to was not very expensive. I got a better price by paying the whole thing upfront.
Emma: Same. Yep, they were like, there’s a discount if you pay at all. And I was like, sign me up. I like this discount.
Elsie: Yeah. It’s not pleasant, but everyone who has had waxing says that the laser is not as bad, so that’s good.
Emma: Yes, and waxing just doesn’t last as long. I’ve only done waxing once, but I thought it was a little bit worse than laser and it doesn’t last as long. Laser, it lasts somewhat indefinitely. You can grow more hair when you’re older, our bodies change over time, like over years and years, but generally, no. So I think it’s very worth it. I would definitely recommend it to anyone considering, that’s my experience. Obviously, do whatever you want with your body, but I also wanna put it out there for anyone considering it doesn’t work on blonde hair. And it may not work on light red hair either. You have to have dark hair. I forget why they could explain it to you, a technician more than me. But it has something to do with the root of the hair the laser can’t do blonde hair.
Elsie: You have some contrast so that the laser can see. Okay. Let’s talk about other types of lasers and other types of facials. Any kind of med spa stuff that you’ve tried?
Emma: Yeah. So I have a post about my vascular laser experience, so we’ll link that in the show notes if you wanna read about it more.
Elsie: Explain what that is.
Emma: Yeah, basically I learned about it from my laser hair removal technician, and whenever I was pregnant, I got this kind of broken blood vessels on my face. Not tons, but one was like right in the middle of my forehead and I forget where the other ones were. I had one right below my collarbone. A couple of other places, and especially the one right in the middle of my forehead just really bothered me it made me feel like I had to wear makeup or it was just extremely prominent. Pregnancy is so strange it just does all sorts of strange things to your body and I’m so grateful for the experience, but I did not love this broken blood vessel and I learned that I could get rid of it with a vascular laser. So all they do is, it’s just one little zap and they can remove it so they can get rid of broken blood vessels and also cherry moles and a few other little things. It won’t take away everything. If you’re like, I have freckles, I don’t think it works for that. But you know, little things like that. And I’ve actually gone now a couple of times I got things done after I was done being pregnant, so I could get rid of that broken blood vessels from that experience. And I’ve got a few more like cherry molds done since then that are just in places where it’s like, on my boob, but in a place where you see it when I’m wearing a swimsuit and I was like, I just don’t love that this is such a big cherry mole, I’d like to get it removed. It’s my body, my choice. So that’s something that I would and have done and it’s nice. And also just, I know this is all about self-care and it’s a little bit like visual stuff, but I kind of wanna put this out there too. The place I went for the vascular laser was a dermatologist and I also think it’s a really good idea to get checked for skin cancer. Maybe not every year, it depends on your type of skin and how much you’re in the sun, but you should do it if you’ve never done it and you’re an adult listening, you should do it and then see what they recommend. Like how often for you to come in because you just never know. Like we had a grandma who had some skin cancer, and if you catch things like that early on, a lot of times they can remove it and you won’t have big issues. There’s sometimes a spot on your back and you can’t see it, and you don’t always do a great job getting sunscreen there because you can’t reach it. It’s just good to get things checked out, so do that. Make your partners do it. It’s good to do.
Elsie: Yeah, totally. I know we’ve both tried micro-needling. I’ve done micro-needling with P R P, which I think is also called the Vampire Facial, it’s really gross looking. I thought it was pretty fun, I liked it.
Emma: What does it do? Tell people, why is it called Vampire Facial?
Elsie: So first of all, you have to get your blood drawn and then they spin the blood so that it’s only like part of it, some kind of like platelets or something. I actually think you should go on a Med Spas website and read about this and don’t just go by my description of it because I don’t know what I’m talking about. But then they take that liquid and so whenever you get a micro-needling, there has to be some kind of gel or something on your face to microneedle into the skin. So they use that instead, they microneedle that into your skin and it’s supposed to be like a big collagen booster, that’s why people do it. I think it was like the Kardashians did it one time or something. So I think that’s why people call it the vampire facial. I don’t know how it got the nickname. Yeah, I tried that a few times and I thought it was pretty good. I also tried, there’s this laser called BBL that you can do for like age spots and I have tons of sun damage. So I got it on my arms, I got it on my chest, I got it on my face and it’s great. I would definitely do it again. It’s just good to know, like the thing you were saying with the little vein, I have one of those, like in the corner of my nose, I’m gonna go do that now. It’s like some things you don’t even know it’s possible and then it’s like just one appointment, one little time of getting zapped by a laser, no big deal. It’s great. I think that’s one of the good things about living in this day and age. There are just so many interesting things that people can do with lasers that I don’t think probably existed even 20 years ago.
Emma: Yeah, probably not. You probably used to, if you ever got a bad tattoo, your only option was to cover it up instead now they can laser it off if you want.
Elsie: Okay, so let’s talk about movement and ways to reduce stress. Anything that helps you feel like you’re having a healthier lifestyle.
Emma: Yeah. I think of this a lot as self-care and mental health, but obviously, it is about fitness too, so longevity stuff. But I go to group fitness, I go to Body Pump, which is at the Y M C A, there’s one nearby where I live. It’s like a 10-minute drive.
Elsie: Those are so fun. I love those classes. They like music.
Emma: Yes and I am the person in the class who is constantly a little bit behind. I’m like, do I not have rhythm? What’s wrong with me? And I’ve also tried step aerobics before, I’ve never tried Zumba, but I feel like it would be similar to step aerobics, I could not keep up. I love the idea of having cardio and I love group fitness they just tell you what to do and you just do it. But I just have no rhythm, I guess. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I never wanna line dance because I’m gonna be the person who cannot do it, who’s just like constantly a little behind. But anyway, I do love group fitness, and what I love about my class is there are lots of different ages and it’s lots of different body types. It feels very inclusive. It feels like this is about strength training for you. So whatever that means for you and your level and just being able to, for me it’s like picking up my toddler all the time and not feeling like that’s too hard. So, I love that. And then I’m also, while I was pregnant, I did a lot of yoga and I still do it once in a while now, but I definitely was like in my yoga phase while I was pregnant. And that was really fun and relaxing and definitely challenging at times too because your balance changes in that time. So I think that’s a great thing to do and I just did a lot of that off YouTube. And then I’m a big take walks outside person too, I just love walking, and I get a lot of ideas. I de-stress. I do my gratitude practice. So I think about things I’m grateful for and I think just sunshine makes such a big difference. And there are certain times of the year where there’s just not as much of it and it’s freezing and I don’t wanna walk outside and so sometimes I don’t if it’s pouring rain all week, then yeah, I don’t get to that week and I can tell a difference. So, I make a big effort to do that anytime I can, and then in the warmer months it’s always easier. Fresh air, sunshine, being outside, staring at all your neighbor’s houses and being like, love it, love it. Don’t like that one. It’s fun. Slack it around, judging.
Elsie: Yeah, I am so excited to move to Missouri just for the walking, because the house peeping in this specific neighborhood is so good. But yeah, I’ve been doing walks this year and I think where I live currently, I think my walk is a little bit boring, I’m not gonna lie. The houses aren’t old, I like looking at old houses.
Emma: Yeah, I’ve walked in your neighborhood. It’s okay, it’s a little boring.
Elsie: Yeah, I have been doing the thing, trying to be in the sun for 30 minutes a day is like a thing that every therapist recommends, every self-help book, just like every person who knows anything always says you should try to get a little bit of sunshine every day. So that’s the reason that I’ve been doing that. And I have a big audiobook lifestyle, so it gives me time to do that, which I love. The other thing I’m doing recently is a sort of yoga class. So the website is called The Workout Witch and it is supposed to be a trauma-releasing, like focused yoga thing. So I’m doing that because I like more than anything in the world, I want to get my old trauma. If you believe that trauma can be stored in your body, which I think most people do, it’s like, how do you get it out though? If anyone knows anything, I don’t know, please send it to me. I’m like obsessed with the subject, but this is the first thing that I’ve tried that I felt like did anything. It’s been good so far and I think it’s interesting. It’s an interesting thing to try. I also tried reiki healing and for me, I would definitely do it again with a different practitioner, but it was like a zero out of 10 for me. I didn’t get what I wanted out of the experience.
Emma: Have you tried acupuncture or been to a chiropractor before? I’ve actually never done either of those, and I feel like you need more of a reason or a goal, it’s not just like a massage. So I don’t feel like that’s come up for me yet.
Elsie: I have been to a chiropractor but I think I’m more interested in trying acupuncture in the future. I would love to try that, definitely. Okay, so let’s talk about therapy and anything in the mental health category, even if it’s random, even if it’s small. Just like anything you do that you feel has had a positive effect on your mental health. So for me, like going into regular therapy, it’s something I started I think like three or four years ago, a little bit before the pandemic started. It’s just something that I wanted to do because some of my friends do it ongoing, regular therapy forever, it’s not focused on anything, it’s just a practice that you do consistently. So I became interested in that cause I was just curious what kind of a difference it would make and it’s made a big difference for me. I have had some specific struggles pop up over the past three years that I needed to work through. And then a lot of the time we go into things that are more like ongoing things from childhood. Deep-set fears, like things that I just want and need to work on, but don’t feel like I have the tools on my own. Yeah, I would say the number one best thing I’ve ever done for myself is start going to therapy every two weeks for no reason other than it’s like what I do now.
Emma: Yep. Same, I go to therapy currently I go once a month, and every time I’m there I’d like to book my next one. And yeah, kind of the same, I don’t feel like I’ll necessarily go my whole life, but I also don’t feel like, oh, that would be bad if I did that. I think that having time, making appointments, and also it costs a certain amount of money, are factors. I’ve heard friends before say, well, I don’t wanna go to therapy ongoing because I’ll feel this pressure to have something wrong all the time. I only will go to therapy if there’s something wrong, so I’ll start making things a bigger deal than they really are or something like that. That hasn’t been my experience. I feel like it’s a great place if there is something wrong, quote-unquote, then you can obviously talk about it and it’s a safe space where they’re not gonna share anything. My town’s kind of a small town, so it’s nice to just have a place where you can talk about things really openly. So I do appreciate that, but I sometimes share things that I’m really happy about. It makes me feel like I have a place where, you know, you never want to feel like you’re bragging or being unrelatable to other people. And of course, I do have close friends and I share positive things with people. But I like having a place where I can go in and I could say something about a money figure. I could say something about, just how I’m like really proud of something and I don’t have to worry about like I’m bragging. I’m like, this is my therapist. I could just say, I’m really happy about this thing. I do this thing where sometimes I replay conversations. I’m like, here’s this little moment I had with my friend or my sister, or my partner, whatever. I feel like when I do that on my own, sometimes I can kind of dig my heels in on if I thought I was right. They didn’t handle it right or whatever. I feel like it’s nice to have another person with whom you can replay a conversation and as long as you’re honest, they can kind of help you see where maybe you could have handled that a little differently. Maybe you could change your communication style a little bit or maybe narrowly look at this thing, and you could look at it in a broader way and it would change things. I think my therapist helps me with that a lot, and I realize like, oh yeah, I was wrong. Or just like, oh, that’s only one way of looking at it. There are a bunch of other ways I could look at it too. And I find that really helpful too. So yeah, I don’t know. I just kinda wanted to put that out there if anyone’s like, well, there’s nothing wrong, so I don’t wanna go to therapy. And it’s like, Hey if you don’t wanna do the appointment, or like the money doesn’t fit your budget, I get that.
But I don’t think something has to be wrong in order for you to go, I think you can just try to become a better person. And it’s one tool out there.
Elsie: I strongly agree. I’ve never had an experience where I felt like I was making up problems or making things worse than they already were, just because I needed something to talk about. It’s really just a safe space where I can admit things that I wouldn’t admit in other situations, which is nice to have. It’s important I think, to have, no matter how great your friends are, your partner, there’s gonna be some things that you don’t talk about. There’s always gonna be something, something that’s just not comfortable or whatever, I think it’s wonderful. I think if you haven’t tried it, don’t judge it. I’m planning to let my kids start soon and be in ongoing therapy. I want them to experience it, for it to just be normal. That’s my goal is that therapy is just so normal that it’s boring and not that it’s like some big thing that means that there’s like a big problem or something in any way to be ashamed of, which is more like, I think a thing from the past that is hopefully going away.
Emma: Yeah. I think making things normal is good. I think also going back to movement, encouraging your kid, letting them see that movement’s a part of your life and that fitness is fun and it doesn’t have to be a chore and it doesn’t have to be only gym people, quote unquote gym people do that. It’s like, no, this is normal. And you find something you like. And I think normalizing that is really good and in the same way, I think normalizing therapy sounds really good too. And then it’s like they can figure out how it fits in their life when they’re older and it could be a lot of different things and that’s great.
Elsie: Okay. I have one more thing that’s in the what helps in the mental health category. So for me, one of my biggest goals for myself, but also just as a parent, is that I want to always be learning and I don’t always be making things. So I think making more time in my life for both of those things since I’ve become an avid reader that has really changed my life. And I think pottery has really changed my life because just having things that aren’t work-related, I do so many creative things for our work, but that’s not the same thing as making stuff just for fun, and in fact, they’re very different. The stakes are different, the pressure’s different. The amount that I can relax and enjoy is very differently. So I think just making more space for things I enjoy, as small as that might sound, it’s a thing that was a missing puzzle piece for a long time and now it’s become an essential mental health savior for me.
Emma: Yep. I could not agree more. That’s why I have my weird jewelry-making hobby.
Elsie: Yes. I love that. If you guys follow Emma’s Instagram, she posts new necklaces that she’s making all the time it’s so cute and it makes me so happy and it makes me wanna make something. So, yeah, I think if you’re not making time for yourself, especially if you’re a mom with young kids because that’s where we’ve been, just try it. Just make time for one thing that’s just for you, just start.
Emma: The only other thing I wanted to add in this section is having friends, having close friends, and I’ll just put this out there. There were many years of my life where basically Elsie and Trey were my only friends. I was just like building my business and just looking back, I’m like, I didn’t really have friends. I only had my family, which is great, and I’m grateful I had that. But now I’m in a phase of my life, especially the last three to five years where I have a really great group of friends. They’re mostly in this book club that I go to, and I’m just really grateful for it. And I also realize I think for a long time I didn’t realize that I was kind of asking too much of those relationships, of my friendship with you, Elsie, and also my relationship with my husband. You can’t really expect your partner to be everything for you. That’s just so much. And so now I feel like I have this group of friends that is a source of comfort and love, and they challenge me on things. They make me think about things differently. We don’t all believe exactly the same way or have the exact same political views, and I actually really like that. Yeah, we read books together that are kind of in the personal development category, but also mostly we’re just there for each other. And when someone’s going through something hard, they can talk about it. And I’m just really grateful to have friendships. And I think when you’re an adult, it can be kind of challenging to make. friends but I think having this group has made me a lot more confident in reaching out to other people who aren’t even in this book club, just to be like, I wanna have a friend and that means that if I need to book something with you like three weeks out, I guess I used to feel like, oh, that’s kind of dorky, I’m trying too hard and people are gonna think I’m kind of dorky. And the truth is, I am kind of dorky and I don’t care. I would like to see you and I will try to book a time with you, and it could be a month from now and it can be a play date or it could be whatever, and I will probably make you a necklace and that is who I am. And I am fine with it because if you decide that I’m too dorky for you, I have this friend group I can fall back on.
Elsie: Yeah. I don’t think anyone’s ever thinking that, but I understand it’s very normal to book something a month away in my friend group.
Emma: It just wasn’t in our twenties though, so I feel like all of a sudden you’re in this phase of life where you have to be so much more intentional rather than just like everybody was free every weekend and was like already out, so you would bump into. And now it’s like, no if I’m gonna see you, we’ve gotta make a plan. And it might be squeezed in between nap times and different times and it feels a lot more try hard I don’t mind that I like living an intentional life, but I guess I always felt nervous that people were gonna interpret it. Like, oh wow, you’re gonna book this a month out. You’re not chill and I’m like, yeah, I guess I’m not, I just wanna see you.
Elsie: That makes sense. There’s a very, very big difference from like, oh, we’re at this place, come over here when you’re in your twenties, and like, let’s have lunch next month. So I get it. I’m very acclimated to that lifestyle though, I don’t have any friends who think that we can plan something the day of. Yeah, but I think that that’s really, really good. I’m glad you have that group of friends. That sounds really, really healthy and like a big support system.
Emma: Yeah, and it’s also nice when you have friends who have kids a similar age or older, you can get advice about these new phases or you can play dates. It’s just all that stuff. That’s nice too.
Elsie: That’s important for sure. Okay, so anything new you’ve tried recently? I know you tried the salt float.
Emma: Yeah, I’m actually doing this thing so far this year. I hadn’t planned it out, it’s just been happening, but I do some kind of challenge every month, like a small thing. Basically what I’m doing is making sure that my habits are still serving me. So what I did last month was I did a screen time challenge. So each week I would like, I have a folder on my phone that’s I would screenshot my screen time and what I was trying to do was kind of gamify it where I’m trying to spend less time on my phone and specifically less time on social media and obviously I spend some time there for work. Also like keeping up with friends, it wasn’t like a, Oh, I can’t, this is terrible, everything is bad. I’m just looking at this habit, making sure it’s serving me, making sure the amount of time I’m spending on there, I’m happy with, and if not changing it. And that was really positive, last month was great. This month what I’m doing is a TV challenge. So basically I’m not watching tv in the evening. I don’t watch TV during the day, but in the evenings, Monday through Thursday. And I still do on the weekends and I’ll still watch something with Oscar, like watching 20 minutes of cars before he goes to bed, that doesn’t count, TV for me. I still want some of it cuz that is definitely a time when my husband and I hang out and just kind of like cuddle on the couch and chill. So I didn’t wanna do no TV because I feel like I would miss that. But I also have noticed that I have a lot of books I wanna read. I have all these puzzles that I wanna do, and I haven’t gotten to them yet. I have my little jewelry-making thing, but I have other hobbies. I have this blank canvas sitting on an easel in my office and I haven’t painted something since we moved in. I just have all these things that I’m like, I want to make a little more time in my week for activities that I just want to do. And I think if I watch less tv, cuz what happens is we’ll make dinner and we sit down to watch something and then we just stay there. And that’s fine sometimes, but I wanna intentionally change this up this month and just see how I’m feeling about that. So that’s what I’m doing this month and it kind of plays into your making a really great self-care cuz I love hobbies that are not for work. They’re not for anything, I’m not selling them. I have no plans for it. I just wanna paint something. Painting’s, just one of ’em, but yeah, I have a little list on my phone of things I’m gonna do this month and some of them are making, some of them are still consuming, like reading books.
Elsie: I honestly don’t have anything I’ve tried recently besides the stuff I already shared. I think I’m in a survival season as we’re about move. Remodeling a new house and I’m barely getting by. Yeah, I feel excited to try more things in the future. Okay, so is something new that you wanna try. Is there anything you haven’t gotten to yet in the self-care world that you want to try?
Emma: I didn’t really have anything for this. Do you have anything new you’re wanting to try?
Elsie: I wanna try swimming every day. I have never really done that and I’m only gonna my swimming pool for like two more months right now and it’s just now we could turn the heater on, but we haven’t done that yet. So I could probably start soon and I just wanna experience like whenever we first lived here, Colin was working for me still and I was always like, I should swim while my kids are at school. But it’s too embarrassing basically, it’s just too embarrassing. So I just never did it. So that’s something I’d like to do. I’m out there with my kids and stuff, but I don’t ever do it just by myself. Even if it’s just a little bit, that’s something I wanna try because I don’t know, it just, it looks really relaxing, and in just a very different experience than playing with kids to do something alone as an adult. So that’s something I think would be fun. And then, yeah, when you were talking about group fitness, I was thinking about that a little bit. This is one of the saddest things, but the whole time we lived at our old house in Nashville, we were really, really far from a Y M C A, any kind of group class. It was just kind of not anything near us at all. It was like a 30-minute drive or a 20-minute drive, so I couldn’t wait to move here. We moved here to Brentwood and the first weekend that we were here, we joined the Y M C A and took our kids swimming in the pool. And I was looking at all the classes I was gonna do and the following week was like the week of March 14th, 2020 and yeah, we canceled our membership after a few months and we never went again. So I guess I just didn’t really consider, I got my little exercise bike, and a lot of other things along the way, but I haven’t really thought about doing a group class. So when you were saying that, I was like, maybe I should try going to Body Pump with Emma when I moved. That sounds kind of fun, we used to do that when we were in our twenties and I loved it cause it was like Nirvana music and pop music and you just lift these tiny little weights with a bunch of really diversely aged people and I think it’s fun.
Emma: Yep. It’s awesome.
Elsie: Anyway, so yeah, I think maybe a group class would be a fun thing to try sometime this year. What about you?
Emma: No, I don’t have anything new for the future. I think I’m just on my path for now.
Elsie: Perfect. You’re doing great. Yeah, and I definitely feel like I could be doing better, but I think I’m proud of myself for getting through what I’ve been getting through recently. It has been more of a challenging time than usual.
Emma: Yeah, there is never any need to beat yourself up about not doing enough self-care. There is just looking at your life and deciding if you need some changes. That is all No need for any regrets. Yeah, no need for any guilt.
Elsie: Totally. Okay, so our next segment is a guilty pleasure, treasure, which I don’t think we’ve done once in a while and I took, I don’t know the time to round up all of my favorite seltzer. So anything in the LaCroix category put down all my favorite ones. So I’m gonna link them all in the show notes because I kind of think that’s a part of it is you need to see the packaging so you’re in the store. First of all, I’ve always loved seltzer drinks, but some of them are way better than others and I do think it’s an opinion thing. So these are just my favorites, but I think that you should get the ones that you really like, and if you haven’t tried a whole bunch, I think that’s an important part of finding the best ones for you. So my number one favorite one is this brand called Aura Bora, and it’s the cutest, it’s like the tall, skinny cans. It’s the cutest packaging. And I tried a bunch of flavors that weren’t good a couple of years ago and then recently I saw it at the store again and I grabbed some. And the flavor that I’m obsessed with is strawberry basil and it honestly might as well just be called plain basil because it just tastes like basil. But for some reason, for me, it’s a 10 out of 10. I love basil soda, it’s so good. So if you see it, get it. And if you like basil, if you don’t like basil, definitely don’t get it. I like it and it’s interesting to me. So out of the ones that you commonly see at the grocery store or Target, my favorite one by a lot is Waterloo brand Grape, and it has to be grape. I think that the cherry one is okay too, but the grape one for some reason just has more flavor and it’s really, really good. It’s like a soda.
Emma: Yeah, and I guess I didn’t try it for a long time because I was like grape, that’s a kid grape soda thing, and then I was like grape soda is amazing.
Elsie: But this is Selzer, it’s different.
Emma: Yeah, it is different anyway, it’s delicious.
Elsie: Yeah. Okay, so in Bubbly or La Croix? I honestly think that those are both just, okay, the brand, but the best flavor in my opinion is watermelon or cherry every time. Those are usually pretty good in most types, in my opinion. Yeah. I stay away from the Leroy ones that are like really, really common. My husband really likes the pompom moose one and the lime one, and those are like my least favorites.
Emma: That’s Trey’s favorite too. Him and Jeremy have the same sparkly water taste.
Elsie: Okay, so there’s this brand called Polar that I see every once in a while. And they have a flavor that is orange vanilla, also Kroger. If you have Kroger in your area they have a Kroger brand that has orange vanilla and this one is really polarizing, but I love it. For me, it’s a 10 out of 10. It is like a creamsicle type of flavor but obviously, there’s no sugar in any of these at all. It’s just the essence of sparkling water. So yeah, I think if you like Creamsicle and you see one of those, definitely try it cuz it sounds bad but for me, it was really good. And then, okay I put a good and gather one just because I feel like you have to, it’s the target brand, I put tropical cherry. I think it’s the best one out of everything they have, and it’s kind of like the one I usually get. So that’s my whole list. Are there any other seltzers that you think are so good that you wanna mention?
Emma: I actually really like the LaCroix one that’s like cola, which I don’t see it very often, but I actually really like that one. I don’t know why because I don’t really drink like Coke or Pepsi when I get a soda, like with sugar in it, I usually get like Sprite because to me that’s like the childhood soda, I don’t know. But yeah, I kinda like the cola one, but I am curious, I just wanna know what is your number one least favorite because I have one sparkling water that I won’t even drink, it’s so bad to me. And it’s also a LaCroix.
Elsie: I personally don’t like Spin Drift, the ones that have a little bit of juice in them and I’ve tried every single kind and I can’t remember there was one that was a little bit tolerable to me, but I just personally don’t prefer those.
Emma: Same. I don’t like any of the brands but the spin drifts are the ones we see the most often. That has actual juice in it, I don’t tend to like those ones. I don’t know why my husband likes it, but yeah, it’s not for me. But no, for me it is the Coconut LaCroix. Have you ever heard of that one? I have friends it’s like their favorite. But it’s just a polarizing one, in my opinion, because I feel like I bought a case for a party once and it was like, people were like, oh my gosh, my favorite. Or they’re like, oh my gosh, no, it tastes like sunscreen.
Elsie: Funny. I think my eyes just skip over that one because I can’t even remember the last time I bought that one. I will say I can drink any of them if I have to, if it’s the last one in the fridge, I will drink it no matter what.
Emma: Except for coconut, I wouldn’t drink it, but that’s the only one that I would be like, nah, I’m just gonna drink tap water.
Elsie: Well, I’m glad I got that off my chest because I’ve been wanting to do that list for like, 10 years.
Emma: No, I see you’re going through it and I like, this could be like half an episode if we wanted to, I could talk about this for a while.
Elsie: Okay. Tell me your guilty pleasure, treasure.
Emma: Yes, so I mentioned jewelry making, so that’s kind of my guilty pleasure thing. I probably spend too much money on beads and other jewelry-making supplies. I bought myself a caboodle that has all my stuff in it, but it’s already full and now I have to have another box. So it’s that kind of thing. We’ll link this in the show notes. But I recently shared this necklace, I was working on a post that’s shrinky dink’s ultimate guide and it just goes through how to make your own DIY ones, what papers and kits I like and think work well, and the project that I made to kind of showcase because I wanted to show a project on there obviously not just like papers and things. Was this book covers necklace I made where it has, I took like some of my favorite books and I just got the images off the internet of the cover, I made them in shrinky dinks and I really wanna make them, it’s just like random favorite books. And then I also wanna make a Harry Potter one that’s like all the Harry Potter book covers, so I’m gonna make that. But anyway, I was talking with my friend, so I mentioned my book club and all my friends, some of us, we’re gonna go to Taylor Swift later this summer. We’re gonna see the Taylor Swift concert, we’re really excited about that and they were like, let’s do a jewelry-making party and make friendship bracelets and it could be kind of Taylor Swifty, like do some lyrics or whatever. In my mind I was like, oh, I’m gonna do make my shrinky dinks and I’m gonna make album covers and then they can be like charms that we put on our bracelets. So I guess my guilty pleasure is shrinky dinks.
Elsie: Okay, we’ll link Emma’s new blog post about shrinky inks because it’s really good. I love that idea for the concert, I think that’s so cute.
Emma: Yeah, it’s just like fun and random, and I actually was just making that necklace purely for pleasure, but then I was like, oh, I’ve been wanting to write about shrinky dings, I guess I could make this into a blog post. A lot of times our hobbies do turn into work a little bit, which I don’t mind if I actually just love our job too. I’m grateful for the whole thing but there are times I try not to blend the two just so I can keep things. But this one ended up blended, which is fine. It doesn’t matter, but it’s still gonna be my guilty pleasure for this episode.
Elsie: I love that. That’s a funny one.
Emma: Shrinky. Dinks.
Elsie: Yes. Fun. All right. It is time for a joke or a fact with Marigold. Marigold, do you have a joke for us?
Marigold: Yes. What does a rose eat for lunch? A chicken salad.
Elsie: Good job. Good job, girl. Okay, well thank you so much for listening. We really care about making our podcast something that is useful for you, fun to listen to, and just enjoyable. So send us your topic request anytime big or small. It can be serious, like the smallest question or like, please talk more about your sparkling waters or a topic for a whole episode that you wanna hear. Our email is podcast beautiful mess.com, and yeah, we see all of your emails every single week. So thank you so much for listening and we’ll be back next week with selling our home fully furnished
Hello! For Elsie, I thought you would appreciate journey_to_wellness_ on Instagram (https://www.journeytowellness.online/), a somatic therapist out of New Zealand. She has some really great somatic psychology practices on free on ig and you can join as a member on her website. I am a member and it is very helpful!
Look into tapping (not the dance form, haha) for trauma release. I’ve only done it once but it was absolutely transformative. It’s a way to redirect the parasympathetic nervous system in regards to those traumatic events.
a great topic and i love to hear how others self-care! i love making jewelry too, emma 🙂
i shared a list of 25 free ways to self care a while back, ideas here: https://tps-steph.blogspot.com/2019/05/0037-25-ways-to-treat-yo-self.html
I’m 41 years old and still struggling with the fact that I have to plan weeks in advance if I want to hang out with anyone. I always wonder, is everyone else really that busy? We have two young kids so I’m busy with them, but it’s usually just doing things like going to the playground or grocery shopping- not exactly big unbreakable plans.
Loved this episode! On the topic of releasing past trauma, you HAVE to look into Bella Lively (formerly Jess Lively) and The Beauty of Life series on The Lively Show. She calls physically releasing emotions in the body “bean bag release” and she walks guests through the process on her recent podcast series. Otherwise, I believe there are free guided bean bag releases in her website library.