5 Ways to Pamper Yourself at Home

Real Style on 10.12.11
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Photo: L'Occitane

When was the last time you did something really self-indulgent? Something more than eating cookies in the pantry when the kids weren't looking or pretending that you didn't hear the baby crying at 2 am because you knew your husband was also awake. If you're starting to look back on the 48 hours you spend in the hospital after giving birth with nostalgia (because it was two days of laying around in bed being waited on and when does that ever happen?) then it might be time to bring a little spa indulgence into your everyday life. Here are five ways to pamper yourself, on a daily or almost-daily basis, without breaking the bank.

Make bedtime more indulgent. We craft careful, elaborate bedtime routines and rituals for our children -- and then fall into bed, exhausted, ourselves, without any kind of lead up or wind down. Make a point of creating your own bedtime rituals, to help you unwind and relax at the end of each day. Take five minutes at bedtime and treat yourself to a delicious hand and body cream; slather it on when you wash your face for an easy bit of pampering. Choose a lotion that is lightweight and non-greasy, and that has a simple, pleasant scent. We like L'Occitane's Pivoine Flora Beauty Cream, with it's delicate aroma of peonies and it's pretty pink color.

Tree Hut Sugar Scrub

Photo: Tree Hut

Turn your shower into a spa. Once the baby arrives, it seems like showering becomes a luxury -- which is unfortunate, because it's an easy place to pamper yourself. You may only get a few minutes to shower, but that doesn't mean you can't use that time to refresh your skin (and your attitude). A quick scrub revives your muscles and gets your skin glowing. Tree Hut's Shea Sugar Scrubs are just the boost you need; rub a couple of tablespoons on your arms, legs, chest and back to exfoliate and refresh tired skin. The Brazilian Nut scrub smells like the most delicious combination of coffee and chocolate, while the Almond and Honey smells like a fresh-baked pastry -- a nice way to start the day. 

My Custom Yoga Mat

Photo: My Custom Yoga Mat

Take time to stretch. Being the mom is hard work -- and we don't mean that metaphorically. Hauling a toddler and a diaper bag can strain your muscles. Take time, every day, to stretch -- you only need a few minutes to losen up stiff muscles and relax tight tendons. But don't just squeeze your stretches in whenever and wherever -- make this a daily ritual. If you have toddlers or preschoolers, you can get them involved, too, but be sure to focus on you and not on them -- this is your time to relax those tired muscles. A yoga mat from My Custom Yoga Mats is the perfect way to create space for your stretching; this soft mat works equally well on carpet or hard floors, and rolls up easily to store. Have an inspirational word embroidered on it for even more inspiration.

Petit Elefant

Photo: Allison Czarnecki, Petit Elefant

DIY a beautiful manicure. A manicure is such an indulgence for busy moms, particularly when you think about the fact that most of us will ding the polish before we've even gotten home from the nail salon, no to mention the fact that moms wash their hands approximately 3,204 times each day (ok we made that up, but you know what we mean). Instead of declaring that you don't have the time or money for a salon manicure and you can just live with those ratty nails, learn to DIY your own manicure at home. Allison Czarnecki of Petit Elefant shows you how to give yourself the perfect salon manicure -- right in your own kitchen. The best part: if you chip a nail, you'll know exactly how to fix it. Perfect.

Real Simple

Photo: via Real Simple

Revive your brain. We all joke about "mom brain," that phenomena where we can remember exactly when the baby's last five diaper changes were (and what was in them) but we cannot carry on a conversation about politics or current events or the latest hot television show. Create a place where you can curl up with a magazine or newspaper or book -- a special chair in your home, for example, or the coffee shop down the block. There's something so indulgent about sipping a hot cup of tea or coffee and flipping through the latest Real Simple; set aside time and space to do this on a regular basis and your Mom Brain will start to feel less fuzzy. We promise.

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