Holiday Season Self-Care Ideas

The holiday season is about comfort, celebration and joy... but it can also be a stressful time of year. Take a moment to step back, and recharge with these holiday season self-care ideas!


Enjoy a hot drink and some quiet time

Find some quiet time at home and make yourself a warm cup of tea, cocoa or spiced cider. ☕️ In the midst of several holiday gatherings, gift shopping, while still balancing work, family and play, you are vulnerable to overload burnout.

So give your tastebuds a treat, take your time and kick it for a bit.

Tis the season to eat nutritious food!

Holiday gatherings are notorious for being the enemy of healthy eating habits, but fear not! Let's change the lens for a minute...

Instead of waiting until New Years to pick up better eating habits, you can start today. During this time of year, put extra focus on eating nutritious daily meals full of protein, and colorful fruits and veggies. It doesn’t mean you have to fend off the cravings during your holiday gatherings, treat yourself! But your body will thank you for nourishing it before and after those hefty food-filled parties. 😋


Create a calm, yet festive space to decompress

Take the initiative to intentionally create a welcoming festive space in your home. Make it cozy with candles, cable knit blankets, warm neutral color palettes and twinkle lights. ✨ Top it off with your favorite holiday playlist. 

Creating this calm and welcoming space is essential for festive at-home comfort, for you and your loved ones to enjoy together. Share the space by playing games, wine night or watching movie marathon.

Take a hot yoga class

Feeling chilly? Warm yourself up and sweat it out with a hot yoga class at a local studio. Yoga in a heated room increases your pulse and metabolism, making it a great way to burn those extra calories around those hefty holiday meals. 

Reconnect with your loved ones

Take this opportunity to catch up with old friends or family that you haven't seen in awhile. Whether this means reaching out to them with a call or text, catching up at a party, or simply sending out holiday your appreciation for your loved ones, no matter how distant they may be nowadays. 💕


End of the year journal reflection

Last but definitely not least, bring those 2017 journaling sessions full circle. Beginning from January, go through each month and reflect on all your memories, milestones and accomplishments. By taking time for a little self-love nostalgia, you will gain a holistic view on how your year went and prepare mentally for a strong new year resolution. 📝

cable knit blankets, puppies and an empowering read

cable knit blankets, puppies and an empowering read

What are some ways you practice self-care during the holiday season? Let me know below! :)

Get Puzzled at EscapeSF

No spoilers ahead... safe to keep reading! 🥃🖤

No spoilers ahead... safe to keep reading! 🥃🖤

If you could live through any other era, what would it be? For me, I'm positive it would be the Roaring 20's. There is something I love about the spirit of the era: the risqué secrets of prohibition, the hidden speakeasys and the glamorous style.

Luckily, Escape SF helped us travel back in time as we solved the Blind Tiger escape room. I gathered a few of my girls, encouraged them to get in their best modern day meets 1920’s inspired attire, and we took the Blind Tiger Room head on.

If you've never done an escape room before, you must know every great escape room has a strong backstory, including this one.

Here's the backstory: 

It’s 1928, the prohibition era. Last week, the biggest bootlegging bosses of the country were arrested in a historic sweep as they were sitting in an underground speakeasy divvying up territories of influence and lucrative rum-running routes.  Now there is nobody left to run the business – unless you can do it, of course. Your job is to obtain the names of the 7 arrested mafioso and gain control of the biggest, baddest money making endeavor of the century.

Out of the 4 themed rooms EscapeSF has to offer, I couldn't deny this one... despite it being the most challenging to solve of them all.

escape sf escape room blind tiger

Why Escape Rooms

In short, escape rooms are hella fun with friends. It wasn't until my good friend Arielle introduced me to them earlier this year, did I realize why they live up to the hype. Escape rooms are meant to get you to think outside the box, solve hard problems and work together as a team to get out before time runs out.

In most cases, you have an hour in a themed room to solve all the puzzles and find the keys to get out. Depending on the company hosting, you may or may not be given hints along the way.

Don't worry, you'll get a full overview of the rules before entering the room. 

escape sf escape room blind tiger
escape sf escape room blind tiger
escape sf escape room blind tiger
escape sf escape room blind tiger

The Best Experience with EscapeSF

We loved it! I'd recommend EscapeSF as a unique way to bond with your friends, family or co-workers. All of their rooms host 2-5 people total, so choose wisely. 😉 You can't solve escape rooms alone, so you'll need a strong diverse thinking team to overcome the puzzles. 🤔

They use prop-production, programmable micro-controllers, and game-design theory to make it one-of-a-kind. By creating an intentional themed experience mixed with their challenging puzzles, those intricate details immerse you right into the storyline

While participating, you'll be monitored and are welcome to ask for hints if you get stuck. There aren’t a limited number on hints, but that's no fun if you rely on them. We definitely needed a few nudges and clues while we were there, but it's more fun and rewarding without the extra guidance. Truthfully, we somehow managed to barely escape with 2 short minutes to spare, but couldn't have done it alone!

we escaped at escape sf

When we finally got the last door unlocked, we were rewarded with bracelets to back up our bragging rights... but damn, without those hints it would've taken some extremely clever minds to get through that. 

escape sf escape room blind tiger

A huge thank you to EscapeSF for inviting me to share this experience.

It truly lives up to it's reputation as one of the best escape room experiences in San Francisco. 

Thanksgiving Brunch at International Smoke

Things have been heating up under the Millennium Tower, and I don't mean the fact the building is apparently sinking. (Don't worry, It's earthquake safe ya'll).

Ayesha Curry and Chef Michael Mina have opened the doors to International Smoke. The menu is a collaborative dream of their individual heritages and also gather inspiration from the places they've traveled. All those international flavors come together for quite the cozy eating experience at their newly opened restaurant on Mission St. in San Francisco. 

Make reservations to taste the food and enjoy this warm, welcoming, and intimate dining experience for yourself! 

international smoke restaurant san francisco

Out here, we do things a little different

On Thanksgiving, my family and I keep things pretty small. Meet my mom and dad! It's an annual tradition to go out and enjoy our Thanksgiving feast. 🦃 Say goodbye to the worries of prep, cook and clean up! 👋🏽 If it seems strange or unfamiliar, know this is quite common in California.

My mom visited International Smoke on opening night earlier this month and has made it widely known she got to talk to Ayesha Curry lol. She loved it so much that she wanted Curtis and myself to experience it too, making it the perfect place for our annual Thanksgiving meal.

thanksgiving brunch international smoke

International Smoke's Thanksgiving Buffet

Finally, what you've been waiting for! Please don't blame me if you're hungry after this part! 🙈

Though the daily menu is already on it's own level, let's just say International Smoke's Thanksgiving Buffet set the bar for going out on this day of gratitude. After this meal, I damn sure had a lot to be thankful for. 

ribs international smoke restaurant san francisco

The Ribs

When we arrived Ayesha had already gone back home for her family plans, but she had been at the restaurant all morning cooking ribs! Happy to say, I got some and didn't regret it one bit. When offered, we quickly said "yes please!" and the chefs sprinkled brown sugar and glaze over the ribs. Then they torched it, creating just the right crispy top layer. 

international smoke restaurant san francisco

The Steak

At each station of the buffet, you are served with plentiful portions. The steak was no exception, served to perfection and topped with Chimichurri.

brussel sprouts san francisco international smoke

The Brussel Sprouts 

International Smoke's brussel sprouts are flavored with soy caramel and peanuts. I could tell by those around me, that everyone that ate them loved them because the flavor packs a punch. 

thanksgiving stuffing san francisco international smoke

The Stuffing

My holiday weakness... the carb overload of all carb overloads... stuffing. My sweet tooth was happy when I took the first bite and realized it had a sweet undertone. Definitely went back for seconds... okay fine, you got me. Thirds!

international smoke san francisco cheese charcuterie
charcuterie at international smoke san francisco

The Charcuterie Table

At this point your plate is probably full, and you scoot over what you can to make room. I'll let your eyes gander and enjoy at the choices. 

cider cheers international smoke san francisco

The overall experience

Cheers to the holidays! We took our server's recommendation to try the spiced cider bourbon cocktail. 👌🏽 In addition to some great serving selections, the staff was as warm and welcoming as the ambiance of their restaurant. Not once did we feel rushed during our reservation, even when the restaurant started to fill up. 

We enjoyed our food to our hearts content, shared great conversation and the staff sometimes joined in our conversation as well!

Ayesha is very hands on at her restaurant and comes in to both cook and serve, so if you're lucky she'll be there during your visit! Make reservations before going. Since it's meant to be an intimate environment the restaurant keeps it cozy at 80 person capacity.

Before heading out, they handed us gift bags from Ayesha Curry. We all went home with one of the loaf pans from Ayesha Curry's cookware line with Target! Truly, that hospitality was the cherry on top for a great holiday experience. 

wood international smoke restaurant san francisco

Quick Outfits Deets

JORD watches thanksgiving style outfit details san francisco
thanksgiving brunch international smoke san francisco

Nail color: Butternut Squash gel by DNC
Little Dipper Ring: Katie Dean Jewelry
Frankie Zebrawood Watch: JORD Watches
Necklace: Target
Crossback Knit Sweater: Charlotte's Russe