Happy Hobbit Day, everyone!
[For those of you who don't know Lord of the Rings, today is the birthday of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins.]
I have to get working on our celebratory food, but first I'd like to join The Zelie Group for their weekly link-up! After all, this week's topic is self-care, and I am all about self-care.
What is your mom beverage of choice?
I love coffee. I love the smell of it, I love the peace of making it in my French Press, I love the taste of it. I love it hot, and I love cold brew. I prefer my coffee dolled up with milk or cream, sugar or syrups (I recently made almond syrup for the first time, and I really enjoy it), and I rarely drink it black.
On the days when I do not want to put forth the tiny effort to make coffee, I greatly enjoy drinking tea. I love so many different kinds of tea, but I think one of my favorites is black tea, specifically Earl Grey. Most times, I drink it like an American and put in milk and sugar, but other times (like right now) I toss in a little sugar and lemon juice (I don't have lemon currently, so sprinkled in in a little lime for some citrus-y-ness this time). Other times, I'll drink it black, and it's good then, too. I also really love fruity herbal teas, and those I often prefer cold (I'm looking at you, iced peach tea).
I rarely buy alcohol, but I greatly enjoy wine now and then, especially fruity wines. A few years back, I was gifted with a sampler box of "Made in Oregon" wines, and they were incredible (especially the boysenberry). And the first time I went to Italy in 2011, I sampled some strawberry wine, and it was amazing. I have tried beer before, and I don't really like it. I will take wine-or a fruity cocktail-over beer any day :)
What do you do to relax?
It depends what I'm in the mood for, honestly! If I'm feeling restless, I love taking walks outside while listening to the birds sing and the trees rustle in the wind. If I don't want to leave the apartment, I really enjoy curling up with a good book to read. I process a lot of my thoughts through writing, so blogging is a very relaxing activity for me. I also enjoy relaxing with fibers: knitting, sewing, crocheting, or spinning yarn (my favorite fiber to spin, hands-down, is alpaca) are all fabulous activities for me. Now that I think of it, spinning is probably my favorite way to relax with fibers. It's just so peaceful and rhythmic.
I believe that self-care and relaxation needs to happen every day so that I can re-charge. As I mentioned in my hobbit-monk schedule a while back, I set aside 3:00 p.m. (plus or minus 30 minutes) as my time for afternoon tea or coffee. It provides a way for me to take a deep breath and relax, even if it's just for five minutes. During Peter's lunchtime nap, if there's time after I finish chores or other items I need to do, then I'll often pick up a book for fun. Currently, I'm finishing up A Severe Mercy,by Sheldon Vanauken (this is my second time reading it, and I started crying in the exact same place as I did last time!). And I have a huge pile of library books that I've started diving into. Most of those books are Japanese cookbooks, and as I've been going through them, I've been hit with the desire to only cook Japanese food, because it's all so amazing and flavorful and looks awesome. Of course, in the long term, I wouldn't be able to keep myself from cooking other types of cuisine, but I'd still like to incorporate more Japanese dishes in our meal plan besides sushi.
When was the last time you got away with girlfriends or alone (and the grocery store does NOT count)?
Last night, actually! A bunch of books arrived at my library through inter-library loan, and since my husband was at home, he watched Peter while I took off. Typically, when I go to the library, Peter immediately starts fussing upon my entrance, so I have to scoop up my items, race to the checkout, and head out the door. But last night, I got to leisurely stroll through the aisles and actually stop and talk with a librarian! It was heavenly! When I left the library, I looked at the clock and laughed, because I had only actually been inside the library for about 15 minutes. But, since I was alone, it felt like an eternity, and it was wonderful.
I am very blessed to have some wonderful friends both here in Oklahoma and back in Kansas, where my family lives. So, about once or twice a month, I'm usually able to run to a local coffee shop or tea house to catch up with a friend and talk about books, life, and Faith. And when I visit my family in Kansas, I always make sure to allot time to visit with some of my girlfriends.
While I could probably ramble about self-care for ages, I should probably scurry off to make some fruit tarts for our Hobbit Day celebration. I hope that you all have a very happy and wonderfully hobbit-y day!