When that little voice in your head is telling you "Mama, you need a break"...

Hey  mamas! I know the inner voice struggle - it goes something like this, right?

What do you mean “take time for myself? What on earth? How would that even be possible? My husband barely knows how to keep the kids alive and he wants to relax on the weekend after a hard week at work. There’s no way I’d be able to get away for a few days to have time for me. That’s selfish and honestly, I signed up for this gig - this parenting thing. I’m a mom and it’s my job. It doesn’t matter if I’m exhausted all the time and I only think in terms of “what do I  need from the store?, “how many hours of sleep will I  get tonight?” and “does anyone else thinks all these crazy thoughts in their heads?” all the time?!

Kelsy here and I thought this same thing, too - that I  would never be able to stop the hamster wheel that is my life because I ’d feel too guilty, I  didn’t deserve it and my family NEEDED me. And trying to find childcare or someone to cover me at work?? Gaaahhh, that’s just too much, right??

Then I  joined Thirty-one Gifts. Now, truly, this is NOT an ad for the company - I’m just telling you how I  came to see why time away for ME is so important. My kids were 3, 9 and 11, attending 3 different schools, in multiple sports and I  was OVER IT. I  knew I  was in need of a break for a long time but If we’re being honest here, I’d taken a couple weekends off when the kids were littler and had always felt so guilty before, during and after that I  finally decided it wasn’t worth the stress. I  also knew heading to Vegas with the girls wasn’t my style anymore - those party weekends were great when I  was single and had no responsibility but after being a happily married mom, I  was looking for MORE. I  hadn’t found the right fit for me - the right getaway that spoke to my heart and made me gleeful and HOPEFUL just thinking about it!


After being invited to a Thirty-one conference where I  was promised a wonderful time in the form of a girl’s weekend, away from my routine, plus I’d be offered motivation AND free goodies, I  was IN! I KNEW I  needed that break and that it would fill me up and I  decided to put myself first, for once. I  told my husband how badly I wanted (needed) to go and I  asked my mother in law, my mom and a few friends to help out with play dates and carpool for our 3 kids and then I  booked my flight and hotel room, all the way across the country! 

Was it hard to ask for those things - the money for the trip, the childcare coverage, the time away? Absolutely! 

Was it worth the stress leading up to it  - making the decision to go and putting myself first, asking for the help, getting on the plane heading to a city I’d never been to where I  had no idea what to expect?


Being part of a group took some of the stress off of leaving and the guilt seemed lighter when shared with the other ladies going with me. Hence the term “girl’s weekend”- having your girls with you makes the stress-load lighter, promise! With 4 women sharing one hotel room to keep the cost down, it’s a built-in slumber party and was just the icing on the cake. 

I’ve since attended 4 of those conferences in 3 different cities - none I’d ever been to. I  roomed with women I  barely knew and some I’d known for years. I’ve ridden in pedicabs, on rental bikes, eaten at a food truck and had drinks at a fancy restaurant, dressed up, slept in, learned to find my confidence (thanks to all the motivational speakers) and held my head high when I  returned home because my CUP WAS FILLED.

I  can’t even begin to tell you how good you’ll feel if you give yourself the chance to get away from your routine so that you can just BE, be the YOU you were before you were changing diapers, doing dishes, homework and deadlines, racking up wrinkles and laundry…let that girl you were BEFORE life got so busy that you put her on hold - let her have a lighthearted, carefree weekend to herself….

I  can tell you that putting yourself first, to just breathe, to honor your hopes, to REST and to spend time with friends, relaxing and trying new things is one of the best gifts you can give yourself as a woman.

But don’t take my word for it - find out for yourself! Carve out your own time away by scheduling something NOW, ahead of time! Don’t wait until you’re so overwhelmed that you’ve lost sight of yourself - book a weekend away now with a friend or two so you all have something to look forward to and anticipate with excitement! And for goodness sake, when you come back - let your family know how much fun you had, how much you enjoyed yourself and show your children that it’s okay to take a break sometimes and not feel guilty about it….your kids will see this and learn from it and your partner will appreciate how refreshed you are when you come back home from an unforgettable time with your friends!


Need ideas for some great getaways? My favorite is obviously our Start Loving You girls’ getaway/women’s conference. It’s our own version of those first conferences I  went to but it’s for ANY woman…there is no multi-level marketing, political party or religion you have to be a part of. You’ll get all the inspiration, celebration and booty-kickin’ motivation you can use to go back home with a spark in your step! Navigating a new city, eating at trendy restaurants, dressing in something other than your Lulus and making new memories with your #girlsquad will be a gift to yourself that you’ll treasure forever. 


There are also many other ways to enjoy time for you…find a friend who has a winter cabin or summer place and make a weekend of it with her! Or - one of the easiest is a staycation in your own city - I  just did this with friends to celebrate our winter birthdays and it was a blast! Ten of us split 3 hotel rooms at the nicest hotel in town and shopped, ate out, took pictures with Santa and stayed up until way too late in matching Old Navy PJs and giggling! It doesn’t matter how or what you do to give yourself time away from your normal routine - it just matters that you care enough about yourself to do so! 

Happy Trails, girlfriends! XO Kelsy 

Start Loving You San Diego Recap


I'm beyond grateful that on May 17th, so many ladies embarked on a moms' getaway to Start Loving You in San Diego!

Women came from all over the country and Canada (15 states, to be exact - the same amount of states as our first conference in Portland 2017 - how cool is that?!) to be celebrated, inspired and motivated. Many local SoCal moms were also there and honestly, several of them were instrumental in sharing our event and showing us love and support before we even showed up to their hometown! That's what it's all about - women helping women! It's been phenomenal to connect with the ladies who took part in our event, whether it was as a guest, speaker or a sponsor. That's my favorite part - connecting with others but also watching the relationships made at our events that will continue to grow! 

While life is whizzing by and kids are growing like weeds, moms tend to take the backseat to self-care and self-love. In San Diego, our speakers were able to share stories of how they've grown as women and moms and perservered, failed, given up, started over, stayed strong, etc - all while keeping their family at the top of their list. It really reminded me, and lots of our guests, that moms don't have to quit our daydreams just because we have the title of MOM.

We kicked off Thursday evening at The Marriott Marquis at the Marina with a Welcome Reception under the palm trees! All the gorgeous styling for our event was provided by Soiree by Ria; Photography by the talented Alex Paige Clark.


Friday morning was a rush of excitement as we welcomed everyone to breakfast (courtesy of Umpqua Oats and SD Toyota Dealers "start your engines" coffee bar!) and continued to hand out our premium swag bags at registration! Our guests went crazy over our sponsors and their products inside the bags!


Our emcee, Meredith Masony of That's Inappropriate, was back for her 2nd time to host our event and lead the way in laughs! The morning started off with Keynote Jordan Page of FunCheaporFree, urging us to "own it" - own who you are and embrace it! Heroic mom, Angel Fiorini, and Sportscaster/Blogger Kristen Hewitt both shared their personal stories of inspiration (cue the Kleenex!). Author/Entrepreneur Kristy Dickerson and LadyBossMama Founder Laura Kyttanen took the stage with some serious motivation to hustle and "unfreeze" where you're stuck at in life!

We toasted with surprise mimosas to welcome Cat & Nat and enjoyed some down to earth chit chat with these BFFs who've come a long way from posting funny #momtruths in their minivan!


But first, let me take a selfie!

Lunch time was the perfect break to shop our Sponsor Marketplace and meet some of our presenters, including authors Kristy and Shasta.


Our Title Sponsor

A huge THANK YOU to STARTplanner - we are so grateful! 

We started the afternoon session with our GIVEBACK to the local community. Tamara Keefe & Misty Miller of Live Love Works were instrumental in bringing this heartfelt project together and each guest was able to package several "blessing bags" for needy families through Operation Hope - always one of our favorite parts of the day!

We were wowed by Chatbooks Co-founder Vanessa Quigley and her 4 sisters (Rikki, Leah, Shelley and Kara) - they left us laughing & crying! Lifestyle Blogger Rachel Pitzel then shared her story of being a mompreneur through the different stages of social media and her own personal journey. Then it was the perfect time to go on a quick adventure outside in the warm San Diego sun to enjoy a Pixsweet Icepop on the boardwalk! Our afternoon was capped off by the beautiful Shasta Nelson, author and friendship expert, who left us all knowing that it is OKAY and actually healthy to go have fun with your girlfriends, even when you're a busy mama and that we are entitled to take that time for ourselves. We couldn't have dreamed up a more perfect keynote presenter to end our 2nd annual conference! 

Speaking of dreaming, the whole weekend was pretty dreamy!

No cooking or cleaning, no laundry, dirty diapers, chores, deadlines or being a chauffeur - instead we got to trade our normal routine in for some well-deserved me time. Walks in the fresh sea air, dinner out (and how could I forget to mention our amazing VIP dinner at Seasons 52 on Friday night?!), sleeping in, hunting for sand dollars on the beach, shopping at the marina (for the kids, of course!) and quality girl-time with my friends, new and old. I already can't wait to go next year!

Stay connected to find out where we're headed in 2019! Announcement coming this summer!