Taking Care

I’ve been really trying to take care of my body. Beyond the usual eat better, work out more (which I’m still working on…), I’ve found three ways to take care of myself that have really made a difference in my everyday life.
ONE // Massage
So I hold a lot of stress in my shoulders and back. More specifically, my right shoulder. When I’m stressed about something or focusing really intently, you’ll likely find me with my shoulders shrugged up. Sometimes I don’t even realize how tense I am until my shoulders touch my ears. (Literally, they can touch my ears when I’m sitting!) I frequently find myself with a sore, tight back and tense shoulders to the point where I’m in pain. Not comfortable!
I found a great massage place around the corner from my apartment about a year ago. It got great reviews on Yelp and is a hole-in-the-wall (blink and you’ll miss it). I always felt like getting a massage was such a luxury and a splurge and I would feel guilty for going. I’m not going to a fancy spa, it’s $30 for 30 minutes and I’ve been going every two weeks. It hurts so bad (in a good way) that I tend to tear up through the whole thing. However, the difference is incredible.
I leave feeling two inches taller and about 175% more relaxed. It’s so worth it as far as I’m concerned. The guy I go to narrows in on problem areas (always that right shoulder) and goes to town getting out the knots. 
TWO // Moisturizing
I’ve become a crazy person about moisturizers. No really. It’s a game changer though. Definitely worth the extra six minutes of getting ready every morning and every night. Over the past year, I’ve noticed a few more wrinkles around my eyes and forehead. Being in the city, I also find that my skin is just not as youthful, which I assume is from the everyday dirt and grime I pick up throughout the day.
I take my makeup off every night before bed– it doesn’t matter how tired I am! And sometimes I feel lazy about just wanting to cleanse and not moisturize. I always regret it in the morning because my skin feels dry! And for a while I was using a hodge-podge of products, but I’ve converted completely to Fresh.
While it could totally be a placebo effect, I swear my skin already feels younger and happier!
THREE // Facials
In the same vein as the moisturizing, I’ve committed to getting a facial every month. It’s like the massage and the moisturizing in one times 400. I don’t have perfect skin and I don’t think I’ll ever be that girl who looks flawless without an ounce of makeup, but I do know that the city grime makes my skin worse than it would be naturally! Stress is a huge huge huge trigger for breakouts for my skin. A few extractions (gross) and a layer or two of lotions and positions (yay) and then I feel like a brand new girl.
It sounds like the three things are on the vane side of things, but I actually think it’s more about taking care of myself. The massage is 30 minutes, the moisturizing is 12 minutes a day, and the facial is an hour… taking that time for myself and my body (feeling and looking great afterward) is what it’s all about. I also really look forward to the little luxuries so much! 

Do you have any special luxuries you do for yourself?

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Alyssa J Freitas

I don't think it's vain to want to take a little extra care of yourself! I mostly try to do things like that at home (or rather, in my dorm room) to save money. Exfoliating my feet and giving myself a pedicure are my favorite ways of pampering myself.

Alyssa J Freitas

Diana [Collegiate Chic]

Please, please share this massage place! It sounds like a godsend. I just moved to the city and I carry serious tension in my back muscles. A $30 massage sounds like a dream. (Seriously, I'm going to email you about this place! Ha.)

Han K

I'm totally going to have to email you for this massage place! I just moved to the UES and I've been looking for a place to ease the "in graduate school" stress from my shoulders.

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Where do you get your massages? I live on the UES too and have been looking for an inexpensive (but good) place to get all the knots out of my back!


Thanks for reminding me about the gift certificate for a massage I have 🙂 Totally cashing that in this week. Massages are my savior and I wish there was a place that cheap near me so I could get them more often. My favorite place typically has to use bio-freeze on my shoulders/neck when they're done because they get in so deep.

Anne Loggins

It takes you 6 minutes to moisturize?! I honestly cannot even imagine what is involved in that process to make it take longer than one minute. Either you are grossly overestimating time or you are slathering on multiple products (which isn't always the best thing to do for sensitive skin). Please describe this beauty routine in more detail.


Why is this such a big deal? Maybe she meant moisturizing her body as well. Either way it's her six minutes and not yours, no need to get so prickly!

Mana Smith

I don't think you sound vain at all. Taking care of your skin is extremely important. Since you use fresh I recommend their Umbrian Clay Mask. It's easily my favorite mask I've ever used and having acne prone skin, I've tried them all.
Anything that focuses on you can sound vain, but when you're as busy as you are it's incredibly important to take care of yourself and put yourself first. If you weren't getting massages, then that shoulder could one day turn into a serious injury, and if you aren't taking care of your skin, then it will age you.
I do most of these things at home myself, because as a stay at home mom, I have the time but not the funds to pay someone else to do it. I love that you did this post and I'd love to see more like it in the future.

Fashion and Happy Things

Vi Nguyen

Getting massages always seemed like a luxury to me but now that I'm older I feel like massages are necessary to keep stress and shoulder tension in check! One of my goals is to get monthly massages, have to start soon 🙂


I have been working really hard on two health things lately. 1. Taking really good care of my teeth (flossing regularly, and doing oil pulling) and 2. Moisturizing my skin – I have been moisturizing after ever shower and in the morning when I wake up and using under eye cream. Both things have been really improving my health but also my confidence. Making small changes makes a big difference.


Chloe Logan

I don't know why it took me forever to comment on this, I had it flagged, so here we go! I'm almost 22 and recently noticed my first wrinkle? fine line? not sure what to call it, so I've been attacking my face with the Kiehl's anti-wrinkle line. And moisturizing like crazy. I thought I was the only one, so it's very refreshing to hear that other young women out there are beginning the aging process, too! I just adore your honesty, and it really shows. Also…I NEED a massage…I'm type A like you and have TMJ from tensing up so much!

Chloe | Wanderlust in the Midwest


you may not see this since it's so delayed (i always get so backed up in my blog reading) but you should definitely check out the yoga tuneup balls ( We recently started having addon 10 minute classes at the barre/pilates studio i go to and they are a game changer! they really work to get into all the knots and kinks you have and there are some places that i find they get to that even a massage doesn't! plus they cost less than one massage and you can take them on vacation to release muscles after flights etc!

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