101 FREE (or Nearly Free) Ways to Take a Little Time for YOU!

101 Ways


Oh, how I’ve missed sharing these weekly posts with you, dear friends! How are you doing? Are you finding little ways to take care of you this week? This is something I’ve struggled with for most of my life. It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve made more of an effort to take better care of myself, and I wish I had started long ago. I feel so much better when I take a little time for myself. I’m a better wife, a better mom, a better friend – when I find little ways to take better care of me.


I can think of plenty of expensive things I’d love to do *wink*,  but it’s difficult to think of things that would be simple and not break the bank. I brainstormed and came up with a list of FREE (or nearly free) ways that you can start taking care of yourself TODAY! Let’s look over the list and find something we can do!  We can start right now!


101 Ways to Take a Little Time for YOU:


Eat a healthy breakfast

Polish your nails

Light a scented candle

Fix yourself a cup of tea

Call a friend to chat and laugh

Turn peaceful music on to calm yourself

Turn upbeat music on and dance

Lie on the floor, close your eyes, and practice relaxing your body

Take a walk to take in the fresh air and sunshine


Sometimes the best thing you can do for your family is take a little time for YOU!


Get up earlier to enjoy a quiet time before the day gets crazy

Curl up in bed earlier than usual at night

Make a list of things you are grateful for

Put on real clothes and avoid only living in comfy sweats


Sunglasses and White Summer Dress


Take a bubble bath or a hot shower

Say something NICE about yourself

Learn to say NO

Ask for help when you need it

Work on creating a routine

Eat less sugar

Stop comparing yourself to others

Take a break from social media

Forgive yourself

Forgive others when they hurt you

When you forgive, you in no way change (1)


Relax and watch a TV show

Or watch less TV

Do something nice for someone else

Write an encouraging letter to someone

Write an encouraging letter to your younger self


to the girl in the mirror


Watch your favorite movie – even if you’ve seen it 100 times already

Wear the perfume you’ve been saving for a special moment

Get a free makeover at a beauty counter at the mall

Put fresh, clean sheets on your bed

Peruse magazines at the library

Doodle or color like you did when you were little

Bake your favorite comfort food

Meet a friend for coffee


Ginger and Crystal


Buy yourself a new nail polish color

Grab a friend and go see a chick flick

Tackle a Pinterest craft you’ve wanted to try

Make an appointment to get your hair cut

Display special photos around you

Take multivitamins each day

Use essential oils

Get a massage

Sign up for a local art class

Go to a thrift store and buy yourself something that is new-to-you

Take 10 deep breaths

Be still and heal.


Organize your desk or workspace

Drink tea from a special mug

Cuddle with a loved one

Give yourself a scalp massage

Rub lotion into your cuticles

Play your favorite board game


Connect 4


Reread your favorite book from childhood

Try your hand at learning a new language

Go swimming

Treat yourself to a pretty potted plant or bouquet of flowers

Join a book club

Visit a counselor

Put on lipstick, even if you’re staying home


Red Lipstick


Go through your closet – organize, donate, and enjoy your new space

Make your own budget and health-friendly lotion

Clean out your purse

Save up for something you want

Host a Girls’ Night at your house

Drink more water

Learn about something you’ve always wanted to study

Use the fancy dishes

Rub lotion on your feet before bed

Make your own body scrub

Delete apps you don’t need from your phone

Visit an art museum

Sit outside and look up at the stars

Try something that scares you a little


my first flight


Rearrange furniture in a room

Tackle an annoying thing that keeps getting put off

Grab a tennis ball and give yourself a foot massage

Put together a jigsaw puzzle

Memorize – Scripture, a poem, a famous quote or speech

Get a pedicure

Write down your thoughts in a journal


African journal


Buy yourself a new (well-fitting) bra

See your doctor for a yearly well-woman exam

Spend time with animals

Sit outside and look for shapes in the clouds

Give yourself grace when you mess up.


Sometimes the best thing a mom can do for her family is to give herself grace. ~ justoneoftheboys.com


Practice not saying negative things about yourself

Make your own oil cleansing treatment for your face

Drink a Nighty Night or Sleepytime tea before going to bed


A Happier Healthier December tea


Paint a room in your house a new color – or add color in other ways if you are unable to paint the walls.

Read Boundaries, by Cloud & Townsend to create healthy boundaries in your relationships and life

Use a foam roller or tennis ball to massage sore muscles.

Use a file to shape and care for your nails


Chevron Jamberry Nail Wraps


Look up funny bloopers of your favorite TV comedies for a good laugh

Exercise by getting your heart pumping – The serotonin will follow!

Did you play a musical instrument when you were little? Take it up again!

Eat more vegetables

Read poetry

Make your bed

Treat yourself the way you treat the ones that you love.

AND… Embrace the wonderful person that is YOU! You are perfect, you are enough, and you are loved – just the way you are!



May I ask you to do something for me? Do you know anyone who would enjoy this post? Would you please share it with them? I would be so grateful! I’d love to spread the word and help other women find ways that they can start caring for themselves – even today!


I’d love to hear from YOU! What are a few ways that you’re going to better care of yourself this week?


If there is one thing that I want to leave you with – please know that you are worth it. You are seen. You are loved. And you are enough! Please don’t be afraid to reach out. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. You can also email me at justoneoftheboysblog@gmail.com


Keep reaching forward, friend. I’m on this journey with you! Here’s to taking a little time for us!


~ G

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In Her Shoes ~ I Must Go With Jesus Anywhere…

In Her Shoes is a series written by readers to give us a glimpse into their lives – to see what it is like to walk in their shoes. Today I’m excited to introduce you to my friend Karis Busenitz! My bubbly friend has heart for missions, Nigeria, and rescuing those trapped in human trafficking. Let’s listen to our friend while she shares with us what it is like to walk in her shoes. ~ Love, G

In Her Shoes ~ I Must Go...

“I must go with Jesus anywhere –

No matter the roughness of the road.

I must go. I must go.”

I learned this song in both English and Hausa (Ni Zan Je) from my beautiful friends in Nigeria, West Africa. I had privilege of living there 2009 to 2011 as a missionary with SIM. Just this past January I got to go back and spend 3 weeks catching up with friends- missionaries and Nigerians that I had missed terribly.


 Here’s our giant SIM family reunion! 120 individuals from all over the world, following God and serving in Nigeria!

Karis 1

 They had been missing western style salons, so I set up shop and got the blessing of doing the hair of missionaries.

Karis 2

Oh yes! With a great friend enjoying a favorite meal at one of our favorite restaurants!

Karis 3

 My friend Jacque and I got to enjoy the rich hospitality of the Camiola family. John and Missy Camiola are my heros! I got to be a part of the beginning of starting their ministry, Grace Gardens. It is a safe home for women coming out of prison or prostitution or rescued from human trafficking, and need a place where they can grow to become followers of Jesus Christ!

Karis 4

The ministry of Grace Gardens started with a weekly outreach – walking into the dark halls of brothels in our city, and sharing the Light, Hope, and Redemption found in Jesus Christ! ( feel free to check out their website http://servinginnigeria.com/grace-gardens/)

Karis 5

A lot of tears were sown getting this ministry started. But God has shown up in big ways, showing us that He can do the impossible! Three years ago, when we first opened our Grace Gardens house – God brought us 2 ladies and 3 children. When I visited in January, we had a birthday party there, and I just looked around with tears in my eyes in awe of how God had grown His garden!

Karis 6

 This little boy enthusiastically taught me one of his favorite songs. Tears came to my eyes as he sang, “I’m singing rejoicing since Jesus set me free.”  The last time I saw him, 2 and a half years before, before Grace Gardens opened,  his home was one of the darkest and dirtiest brothels in our city. When I saw him in January, I kept thinking of how awesome God was for giving him a new beautiful home.

Karis 7

Karis 8

This little girl is now the daughter of my friends John and Missy! She came from the same place the little boy I just mentioned used to live. I thank God for her life and just cry thinking of all He rescued her from and the great family she now has! She has a crazy story to share one day!

Karis 9

 My little orphans have grown up. They still remember me and all the songs I taught them when I used to disciple them in the village. I love hearing them all call me Aunty! How cool to be their crazy foreign Aunty!

Karis 10

Karis 11

 The icing on the cake of this trip was getting to see my Nigerian Mom and Dad! Here they are with their daughter, and my driver. What a blessing to have dinner with them before I flew home, having Pastor pray for God’s clear direction for my life, and thanking Him  for our friendship!

Instead of goodbye we said see ya later! Cause I don’t know when, but I know I’ll be back!

Karis 12

Three weeks went by so fast! So now I’m back in America reflecting on how God has richly blessed my walk of faith.

God’s heart for people to know His Hope, Light, Love, and Redemption is huge! And the devil’s plan to steal, kill, and destroy is affecting lives all over the world.  I started getting involved in a work God is doing right here in Kansas, to reach women in the commercial sex industry. My friends in Nigeria are praying for the women here, and I want to invite you to pray for the women in Nigeria. Jesus came to set the captives free and He hears and answers prayer!

You can find me doing hair at the salon or helping brides find wedding dresses. But I willingly admit part of my heart is in Nigeria.

I just wanna be obedient to go wherever Jesus leads me, no matter the cost! And I’m so glad His presence is always with us! This alone brings security, peace, and joy!

I wonder what’s next!

I must go with Jesus anywhere!

To read more encouraging stories, or if you are interested in sharing your own story, please go to the In Her Shoes tab near the top of the page. I love learning about the people in this series. Connecting with others seems to make the world feel not quite as big and scary. We’re all in this together. I can’t wait to hear from you, to read your stories, and learn more of what it is like to walk in your shoes.

~ Love, 

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Week #7 ~ A Happier, Healthier You

A Happier Healthier You - justoneoftheboys.com

Happy Monday, Friends! How was your week? Did you find ways to take a little time for yourself over the last few days? I know that I’ve said it before, but I am really enjoying hearing about the ways that you are caring for yourself. This is still very new to me – caring for myself the way that I care for those that I love around me – but I am learning to set my goals and take a little time to mother myself so that I can be a better wife, mother, and friend.

One of my goals from last week was to clean out and organize the junk drawers in the kitchen. I’m really embarrassed to show you how bad it actually was, but here goes…

desk before 1

Yikes! This drawer was my catch-all. It had become a place for anything without a place, and it had been driving me nuts for way too long. I emptied out the drawers, gave it a good dusting, and vowed to not put anything back without putting some thought into our storage needs. This kitchen desk is where I keep our family calendar and where we get our school supplies when we’re studying upstairs.

desk after

I searched and searched, but I finally found something shallow enough that would work as a drawer organizer – shadow boxes! I found these on clearance at Target, and at less than 1.5″ tall, they were the perfect size!

week 7k

I began to put go through the pile of junk drawer, well…junk, and only put back what we need too keep in the desk drawer.


Week #7 - A Happier, Healthier You

This small drawer is where we used to keep our pencils and pens, but it was too much of a mess. We decided to designate this drawer for the gamers in the house. When our boys get home from the weekend, we’ll be adding the other DS systems and games. The kiddos can only get these out after school, homework, and chores are finished, so keeping them in the kitchen will be a great way to make sure that they don’t go wandering off without permission!

week 7h

*Happy sigh* I love an organized space. After putting off this chore for months, this area is making me feel so much better already!

week 7g

I keep a bell on my desk that I ring when I need all three boys to come running. School, dinner, chore instructions, dance break – when I ring the bell, it sounds like a herd of elephants coming up the stairs. I love my little elephants!

I found a cup to solve our pencil storage problem. Nate Berkus office supplies on clearance – score! And an office area isn’t complete without a red Swingline stapler.

“Excuse me, I believe you have my stapler…” ~ Name that movie!

Desk collage

Organizing my junk drawers inspired me to start working on the rest of our kitchen. Between the two of us, my Beloved and I have a “yours, mine, and ours” collection of household goods. Every once in a while it’s good to do a State of the Kitchen meeting to see what we have, what we don’t need, and what we’ll keep. We did a little purging, a little reorganizing, and a little shuffling. I think our kitchen is going to work even better from now on! *Another happy sigh*

week 7e

Last Week’s Goals ~

  • Drink at least 64oz. of water each day. Have y’all seen Money Saving Mom’s 12 Months to a Healthier You challenge? This month she is focusing on drinking enough water. It’s been a huge encouragement to me! A tummy bug hit me this week. There was a day when I tried to get small amounts of water in me, but I definitely didn’t get all 64 ounces. 
  • Remember to take my vitamins every morning. Because of the tummy bug, I didn’t even try to take my vitamins when I wasn’t feeling well. 
  • Exercise 4 times this weekI continued working on the stationary bike and elliptical machine at the gym, but I started doing a few yoga moves in the mornings along with my Pilates. Quinn (5) joined me one morning. He’s definitely way more flexible than I am. Nothing’s cuter than a little guy trying to attempt downward-facing dog!
  • Care for my nailsI received so many wonderful pieces of advice from you last week! I went out and bought what I could find – Burt’s Bees cuticle cream, Sally Hansen’s cuticle dissolving gel, and a crystal nail file. I had never heard of such a nail file – and I loved it! I tried several places for one of the top coats that was recommended, but I couldn’t find any of them at the stores that I visited. I’ll go hunting for them on the other side of town this week. 

Week 7b

  • Treat myself to StarbucksSuch a wonderful treat! This was a fun little gift to myself the Monday after Daylight Savings, and a great way to kick off the school day!

Week 7a

  • Finish organizing the kitchen junk drawerYes!
  • Curl up in bed or the Story Chair with a book by 2200 each nightLast week this was the hardest goal for me, but this week was much better! I still left dishes or other things until morning – like washing the pineapple mousse parfait glasses that our home team friends devoured. 

week 7c

By being in bed earlier, I had time to watch a little Mad Men and read a wonderful little story this week!


  • Go for a walk outside. Like I mentioned earlier, I was feeling pretty puny for a few days last week. I’ll get one in for sure this week!
  • Play the piano three times this week. Only twice.
  • Make an appointment for a massage to see if it helps my back pain. I asked my friend Marsha for a recommendation, and she had glowing things to say about a lady that she sees for massages. I called and got her earliest appointment – this coming Thursday. Huzzah!


This Week’s Goals ~

  • Drink at least 64 oz. of water each day.
  • Empty the coins out of my purse and put them into my high-heeled piggy bank to treat myself later on.
  • Remember to take my vitamins every morning.
  • I don’t know how to say this delicately…but there comes a time in every woman’s wardrobe when she needs to get new “foundational” garments. 😉 If I learned anything from watching ten years of What Not to Wear, other than “dress your age,” it would be to make sure that you’re wearing the correct size of bra. I’ve known for quite a while that I need to update that part of my wardrobe, and even though I hate this kind of shopping, it’s something that I need to do.
  • Treat myself to Starbucks. Did I mention that I hate bra shopping? I hate it so much, last time I ended up in tears, that I think I’ll get a chai latté to soften the experience. And maybe some chocolate.
  • Care for my nails and my hands. I’ve noticed how dry my hands are even though I use lotion a couple times each day. How do you care for your hands? Do you love a certain kind of lotion? Do you wear gloves while you clean or wash dishes? (I’m beginning to think that’s a big culprit.) What do you do? I’d love to hear about it!
  • Go for a walk outside.
  • Enjoy my massage on Thursday.
  • Bake cookies for fun.
  • Curl up with a book or a movie in bed or on the Story Chair by 2200 each night. If you want to see what I’m currently reading, we can be buddies on GoodReads!

If you want to keep in touch during the week, or if you want to follow my progress, you can find me on Facebook and Instagram. I also recently started a Pinterest group board – Taking Care of Ourselves – where we can share ideas, stories, and inspiration.

Button - A Happier, Healthier You


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The one where she began to twirl once more

She Began to Twirl Once MoreToday I’m honored to be guest posting at my lovely friend Brenda’s blog, Recovered Identity. I’m sharing how I came out came out of a time of darkness and pain, faced the ghosts of my past, and allowed my heart to dance once again.

Here’s how it starts:

“I remember twirling in my fancy dress as a little girl. Time seemed to pause just for me as I spun around and around on my tip-toes. My ruffled dress and I whirled about the room so fast that everything around me simply faded away. That dress transported me to my own little world where I could be a ballerina, a fairy princess, or Cinderella at the Ball. I wanted to dance in my special little place forever…

But what happened to the imaginative little girl that I used to be? Her heart had been bursting with endless hopes. The dreams that she held so dearly knew nothing of limits. Her little world was full of light – a beautifully magical place where good always prevailed over evil, no real harm could befall her, and where Prince Charming was coming to rescue her, dressed in his shining armor…”

I would love it if you joined me here to read more!



A Girl's Just Gotta Twirl


~ Photo credit – Top photo is by NZ Portraits by Joanne, bottom photo is by John Zimmerman

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The one with what I’m into ~ August 2013 edition

Whoa! Has this little blog really been up and running for a whole month? Crazy! I have enjoyed every minute of it – and I am so happy to be linking up again with Leigh and sharing a few things that I have been into over the last month!

Threads ~ I found this cute cowgirl hat, on clearance – of course – and I’ve enjoyed sporting it several times this month! It goes well with a couple of cute sundresses that have made this summer heat a bit more bearable. I love that the hat gives me shade, keeps me cool, and adds a little spunk to my outfit!

New duds for this cowgirl! #theidearoom #dayonehat

A post shared by Ginger (@justoneoftheboys) on

Clearly, I have always had a thing for stylish hats – so I’m wondering why I had never made the leap into this genre before? Never too late to try a new bonnet!

Baby Ginger1 (Small)Baby Ginger 004 (Small)


Beauty ~ I’m all about Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm. I like a bright red lip just as much as the next girl, but most days I’m sporting BBs Red Dahlia lip balm. I’m even wearing it in my profile picture! My lips feel smooth and soft when I wear it, plus I don’t have to worry about leaving goopy or sticky smooch marks on my Beloved when he dips me for a kiss!

Reading ~ Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, by Helen Simonson was a delightful book! The pace was so peaceful and enjoyable, and I eagerly looked forward to curling up with a cup of tea and seeing what the charming Major Pettigrew and Mrs. Ali were up to each evening.

The Blessing of a Skinned Knee: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Children, by Wendy Mogel was an incredibly interesting parenting book! Filled with common sense ideas on raising children by a clinical psychologist, she uses Jewish teachings to show parents how to avoid raising “little attorneys,” honoring parents, and respecting others. One of my favorite quotes: “Your most lasting legacy, the only one that really matters, is how your children will treat their fellow creatures and the world you’re leaving them. It begins and ends with honor.” Even though I borrowed this is  book from the library, I most definitely want to purchase it for my collection!

Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott has to be my favorite book that I’ve ever read on the subject of writing. As with her other works, this book made me laugh and cry all in the same sitting. Anne tells it to you straight – all about bad first drafts, getting to know your characters, dealing with criticism, being published, and everything in between. Even if you never consider a career in writing, her stories resonate with so many people. I loved this book so much that I wanted to underline pretty much the whole thing – but since it was from the library, I refrained. I’ll be adding this to my own personal library very soon – count on it!

Decoded, by Jay-Z is the most surprising book on my list this month. This book was fascinating! After getting it home from the library, I realized by flipping through it that I couldn’t leave it out on the coffee table with my other library books. Let’s just say that there are quite a few new vocabulary words that I don’t feel quite up to explaining to our little guys just yet. I grew up about as far away from the Hip-hop genre as you can get – out in rural Kansas with milo fields, combines, tumbleweeds, and Mennonite churches. The mean streets of Brooklyn, it was not. Jay-Z is an amazing storyteller. He begins by taking us back to his childhood in New York, where he was first introduced to rap as a kid. He began writing his rhymes in a notebook, and studying the dictionary – building his vocabulary for rap battles. He goes on to explain of many of his songs. I had no idea about all the work, double-meanings, and stories that go into this style of music. I enjoy a little Hip-hop every now and then, but now I have a greater understanding of the stories behind the music. Fascinating, I tell you!

On my nightstand for August ~ It’s All Good, by Gwyneth Paltrow

MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend, by Rachel Bertsche

The Girl You Left Behind, by Jojo Moyes – The author is coming to do a signing in our town this month! Woohoo! I absolutely loved, (curled up in the fetal position and bawled my way through), her book Me Before You.

Someday, Someday, Maybe, by Lauren Graham – Yes, THAT Lauren Graham from Gilmore Girls! I can’t wait to experience her as an author!

Screen time ~ We went to see the movie The Heat recently. Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy made for a hilarious team! I also watched Freakonomics on Netflix during July. I found the short film on Sumo wrestlers very interesting! During August I also discovered that one of my favorite actresses (Chummy!) from Call the Midwife has her very own BBC show – Miranda! Hysterical, witty, charming – I can’t wait to watch more on Hulu!

Music ~ Am I the only one playing the new Civil Wars album on a constant loop? J’adore. I love their growth, their haunting melodies, the incredible harmonies…Such good stuff! I’m also loving my favorite movie scores that I recently put on my phone – Mask of Zorro, Chocolat, and Meet Joe Black are all serenading us at home and in the car!

In the blogging world~ My friend Emily shared a wonderful post about loving on teachers. She was so inspiring that I went right out that afternoon and took Camden’s 4th grade teacher a Route 44 Sonic drink! I hope to make this a regular event – we can’t love on them enough! Whether it’s your child’s teacher, a homeschooling mom (I guarantee you that she doesn’t have lots of people bringing her a cherry limeade!), a hardworking nurse, your pharmacist, a mailman (or lady), or your trash guys – I hope that we can all find a way to pay it forward. Love on someone this month!

Another dear friend wrote a beautiful post on exchanging our beauty standards for standards of grace. I printed them out for myself as a daily reminder to look at myself through the eyes of grace.

The chic gals at Trailer Trash Glam gave 20 awesome date ideas for under $20! Way to go! I can’t wait to try these out with my Beloved! Date night, here we come!

On my little blog this month ~ The most viewed post was Chapter Two of Our Story ~ A Letter to the Other Woman. I can’t wait to share Chapter Six of Our Story with y’all very soon! I also wrote about painting our living room black. I poured out my heart and shared about the time that I yelled at God – co-parenting and interacting with exes after the divorce.

A big thank you to everyone who stopped by this month, “liked,” or took a second to tell me that they enjoyed reading something here in my little corner of the world! What a great first month of blogging that this has been! I’m very excited about the coming month – more of Our Story, before and afters, and reviews! I hope that you’ll stay tuned! Have a great weekend!


For more “What I’m Into” goodness, please check out Leigh Kramer’s fabulous site – I’m off to check them out myself!

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I’m Ginger ~

I'm a wife to my Beloved, mom of three boys, bookworm, survivor of a broken heart, and Kansas Girl. It is my desire to encourage you. No matter what storm you're going through right now, you are not alone. I promise.

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