Moment 2 Moment Masterpiece Parenting Blog


by: Elizabeth Thorndike

Did you know that September was National Self-care month? Ha Ha! Neither did I until a few weeks ago. The thing about the phrase “self-care” is that it hits me like the phrase “date night.” It is an emotional mix of longing and sarcasm. As a special-needs parent, I find it hard to find the time, support, and finances for either of them. How about you?

There have been times when I have been happy to see other mamas at school with their nails perfectly done, and beautiful long lashes in place. I smile. I admire.

Then there are those days that I feel a wee bit sorry for myself, wanting the time and the budget to do those things. I pause. I pray.

Now, I know that not all special-needs parents and caregivers are in this position, and for this I am grateful. However, I have just found, by talking to people at therapies, school drop off, and church, that most of these mamas and papas do not have the time nor the finances for self-care. They have gotten into a rhythm of less of them more of kiddo. Also, while in these places, I see a beautiful posture of peace in this position. What really speaks to my heart are those parents that thrive with less and still celebrate others. I am transformed by these fellow friends. They have found contentment in any circumstance. They grow me…

So, in honor of these people, I have created a list of 5-minute self-care moments that I use when needing a lift! Now, some of them are so basic, and may cause you to roll your eyes, however, they do have value, and a little can go a long way emotionally and spiritually.


5 quick “Spa” moments for the busy mama that will leave you refreshed:

Now, as I mentioned before, none of these are complicated. You have probably done more than one on my list. However, these are my “go-to” activities and never let me down.


1] Lip scrub moment: Ladies, I am not sure about you, but since moving to Arizona and leaving the moist air Of Washington State, my lips are always dry! So, to take a breath, I often run down to the kitchen and make a quick lip scrub.

Directions – in the palm of your hand, or a tiny ramekin, pour 1 tsp of olive or avocado oil. Mix in enough sugar to make a paste. Apply to the lips generously and lightly rub away the dry skin. Take a deep breath, then wipe off with warm water, or a damp warm cloth. Voila! Smooth polished lips and an inexpensive spa moment.

2} Cool cucumber mask: I visited this cool Asian spa once with a friend. We were all basically naked with just a shower cap on. [sexy!] Anyways, we were laying on cushioned tables, and they mashed up cold, fresh cucumbers right in front of us and lightly placed them on our faces. IT WAS DIVINE!!! After 20 minutes, they wiped the cucumber mask off with a warm towel, and my face was tingling! Now, since I cannot visit a spa, I make these at home.

Directions– Cut up 1 small cucumber, peeled or unpeeled. [Sometimes, I put mine in the freezer for a few minutes for extra coolness]. Use a small mixer, but only pulse a bit. You want it to be chunky. You can also cut them small and mash them by hand. Place the concoction on your face for however long you can, up to 20 minutes. Breathe slow, deep breaths and tell yourself you are rockin this mom thing!

cucumber mask resized


3] Dollar store head massager– Okay, y’all know what I am talking about. That metal octopus looking thing in the shape of a large egg. Seriously, this thing can transport you for 10 seconds to another place and time. It will send shivers down your spine and make your whole body relax. [Kegels ladies so there is no spontaneous pee!]


4] Closet Breaths– since the beginning of our adoption/special-needs journey, our closet has become a place of refuge for me. I find myself there often, and when I do, it is because I need a 5-minute refresher. I either sit or lay down. After 2 deep breaths, I tense my whole body up for 10 seconds, then let go. It sounds simple, but it works! I then let my mind wander where it wants and slowly breathe in and out for 3 to 4 seconds each way. [If you need soaking music, try “rest” by the Upper Room. It is my favorite.]


5] Exercise ball stretches– This one requires the purchase of an exercise ball, but it will be the best $15.00 you will ever spend! [I am 5’11” and use a 65cm ball] I use this as a home gym and there are so many exercises you can perform with this baby, but today, we are focusing on its ability to RELAX you. I do four stretches when stressed and hold them each for a full minute…while breathing.

(4 stretches: back bend, front bend, and bends to both sides.)

self care body resized


6) Store bought face masks – Ok, now these are my go-to if there are no cucumbers in the house. I love these little envelopes of love. I usually put one on then plop down in the center of my king size bed under the ceiling fan. The cooling is so refreshing…and wrapping in a warm blanket for 5 to 10 minutes is luxurious.

spa final picresized

5 Spa Moments Printable

about us

Meet the Thorndikes - Moment to Moment Family

Hi there! We are the crazy cool parents to 5 amazing and crazy cool kiddos. But, first, we are Dan and Elizabeth Thorndike – married 15 years and living this life one moment at a time. We have a full and blessed life, but we are clumsily tackling a journey we never foresaw ourselves living.

Read our story of how this journey all started in our blog post titled:
“The Beginning. Our Special Needs Journey”


Elizabeth Thorndike

Introverted extrovert – that’s how I describe myself. I absolutely love being a mama but never knew how hard it would be, nor how deeply I could love.



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