My Favorite Things to do When My Husband is Away

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this post is sponsored by ASDM Beverly Hills but all thoughts and opinions are, of course, my own.

i am very grateful that even though my husband does travel quite a bit for his public speaking career, it is typically only for a few days at a time (and that he is not deployed like many spouses). my mom and i refer to this short period of time as “husband vacation!” it’s a ‘vacation’ because you get complete control over what is watched on netflix, you can eat whatever you want and stay up way too late doing both. it only really feels like a “husband vacation” for 2.5 days or less because then i get really sad and mopey after that time period and just want him to come back home.

please note it is only fun to refer to it as a “husband vacation” or “wife vacation” if you are on good terms with your spouse and can both laugh about it. if you find yourself saying “oh thank gooooodness that fool is finally gooooone!” then you might need some couples’ counseling.

things to do when my husband is gone

here are some of my favorite things to do when my husband is away:

1) eat decadent things

for me, ‘decadent’ usually means ‘cheesy’ and those are best eaten when i am alone and don’t mind being in discomfort. i will spare you further details. it should go without saying that just about every dinner is eaten on the couch while watching netflix.

caldron mac n cheesea

2.) talk to the dog

she finds me absolutely enthralling…

dog portland sleep

but for the reals, having her when he travels brings me so much joy! she hangs out with me, listens to everything i have to say (and often responds in a voice very similar to my own) and gets excited about me feeding her the same thing twice a day.

3) become really girly for like 3 hours

sometimes something comes over me and i suddenly find myself wanting to beautify. sometimes that means painting my nails, plucking my eyebrows or pairing a facial mask with wine. the most recent pairing was with ASDM Beverly Hills Charcoal Mask! charcoal on your face? yes.

charcoal maskIMG_6504

it even comes with a fancy brush to apply it!

charcoal detox mask IMG_6516

you leave it on for 2-10 minutes based on skin sensitivity and now i know why. about 1 minute after putting it on my face suddenly felt like someone rubbed menthol all over it and blasted an industrial fan on it – it was a strange feeling. you know when you chew minty gum or have a mint and then drink cold water and you’re like ‘whoa…that’s crazy cold and extra menthol-y?’ that’s what it felt like. oh and that  brush? super fun to use to apply it – more than i expected it to be. maybe that means i should take up painting?


they warn you on the packaging and i will say it again, your face is probably going to turn red and feel sort of hot after you rinse it off. don’t panic (well you can…but know it’s normal) because apparently this is due to increased circulation. it must have really been circulating…

charcoal mask review

after i read the packaging two more times to ensure this was normal, the aftermath of this tingly Charcoal Mask was on point! beore using it, my face felt oily and gross by the end of a long day so i was totally looking forward to using this. unlike most masks i’ve tried in the past, this one didn’t leave my face feeling super tight but rather refreshed and not weighed down. i guess that circulation thing really works! part of why it works is that it uses activated charcoal which is a “powerful active that has been used by physicians to treat poisoning because of its unique ability to trap chemicals and prevent absorption.” begone acne, for this shall trap you.

my skin was still soft and not as oily as normal the next morning too! bonus.

it’s only 2.0 oz so you can travel with it. maybe i’ll bring it with me this weekend to florida so my mother-in-law can try it! you can read more about the ASDM Beverly Hills Charcoal Mask AND be entered to win one – details at the end of the post (US residents only, sorry international friends)! GIVEAWAY OVER 🙂

4) sing really loud all the time

since my husband and i both work from home and we take calls/coach from here, singing loudly is limited to either first thing in the morning or late at night. not during “husband vacation” though! i can belt it out (much to my neighbors and dog’s delight) at all hours and it is amazing how similar taylor swift and i sound. remarkable, really.

oh and dance naked. don’t pretend like you don’t do this more when you have the house to yourself…

5) lady time!

not that i don’t see my favorite friends when he’s in town but it’s extra fun to hang out when it’s just us ladies. some of us can hang better than others (sugar…i’m looking at you). that’s my friend alison, she’s fantastic and helps me be more fashionable while being smart about money! her eyelashes are real and i’m constantly envious. look at those things!

girls night

6) sleep diagonally

…because i can.

even though i find ways to amuse myself when my husband is traveling and i’m home by myself, i definitely notice a void. this void isn’t just because no one is here to make up songs about my breakfast and the only kisses i’m getting are from a dog – it is his energy that i miss.

when we facetime and text, both of us do a great job of saying we miss each other. i think it’s important to express this to your spouse when you are missing him. equally, it is good to know you are being missed too!

for your chance to win the detoxing and renewing Charcoal Mask (you will love it, tingles and all), leave a comment on the blog with some of your favorite things to do when your spouse is away! a winner will be randomly selected on saturday 10/24/15! GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED, CONGRATULATIONS ALI!


  1. Audrey

    October 21, 2015 at 8:34 am

    I love your list 🙂 When K is away I watch SO MUCH REALITY TV. I’m horrible, I know. Last year I accidentally got hooked on The Bachelor during one of his trips. It took time, but I overcame that problem. Now it’s Project Runway!! 😀 I love to make soup, drink wine, snuggled HARD with the dogs (I’m talking 60lbs-dog-becomes-body-pillow-hard), and clean like a madman!
    Audrey recently posted…Dear Kyle || the letter link up

    • chelsea

      October 21, 2015 at 1:54 pm

      ohhhh man, i hear that the bachelor can suck people in like a drug! i watched the first season with my mom and sister however many years ago but haven’t ‘seen it since (though i used to love watching ‘the bad girls club’ and that’s probably worse).

      have you watched ‘call the midwife?’ it’s on netflix and that’s my current go to (though i can’t tell if it’s making me want kids a little more making me want them a little less ha!). i should try that cleaning thing sometime…sounds like you get down with a good time!

      • Audrey

        October 22, 2015 at 5:35 am

        I hadn’t seen Call the Midwife, but a friend and my sister-in-law have both recommended it to me… I think I might dive into it soon!!
        Audrey recently posted…Dear Kyle || the letter link up

  2. Kate

    October 21, 2015 at 8:38 am

    I agree–anything longer than about two days and I start getting mopey as well! I love having our dog to keep me company. When he’s gone, Millie sleeps in the bed with me because there’s more room. We spend some real quality time together! I also take the opportunity to eat a whole pizza and watch all the movies that my husband never wants to watch.
    Kate recently posted…Styling the Bump: Part Two

    • chelsea

      October 21, 2015 at 6:47 pm

      aw glad you have some puppy love when your husband is gone too, kate! your whole pizza is my equivalent to a whole box of mac-n-cheese! and yes…i’m currently finishing ‘pretty little liars’ because he refused to watch that with me ha!
      chelsea recently posted…My Favorite Things to do When My Husband is Away

  3. brittany

    October 21, 2015 at 8:50 am

    When my husband is away, I usually sleep on the couch because I don’t like sleeping in bed alone. Unless I have a ton of clean but unfolded laundry, then I sleep in the bed. Also, I tend to work late as I only go home at a reasonable hour to cook dinner with him; get take out because when I say we cook together I mean I chop things and drink wine and watch him cook; binge watch all the shows he doesn’t like. I agree there is definitely a void when my husband is gone. After reading this back to myself I am concerned with how I would live if I was single :/

    • chelsea

      October 21, 2015 at 6:49 pm

      i used to hate sleep in bed alone too brittany but now i try to coax my dog to stay on it with me (she usually sleeps underneath it) and that helps.

      our cooking skills sound similar but i barely even chop – ha! i’m on day 5 of being alone and it’s not boding well (i have run out of cereal) ha!

  4. Caitlin @ Candyfloss & Persie

    October 21, 2015 at 9:34 am

    my husband travels all of the time too and so I’m often chatting it up with my puppy!!! And no shame in that game. Love eating bad stuff too + I will marathon all my shows he doesn’t like (Sister Wives, here I come!)
    Caitlin @ Candyfloss & Persie recently posted…Paris Adventures| What I Packed

    • chelsea

      October 21, 2015 at 6:50 pm

      i mean…some good conversations can be had between human and dog, caitlin! oh i wish i had access to sister wives, i watched the first season and really liked it! i’m on to ‘pretty little liars’ (i know i know) and now ‘call the midwife’!

  5. Erin @ Very Erin

    October 21, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    Whenever Dave is traveling for work, I fill up on foods he doesn’t like but I love, like sushi!
    Erin @ Very Erin recently posted…6 Blogging and Business Blogs That Have Inspired Me

    • chelsea

      October 21, 2015 at 6:51 pm

      that’s totally what my husband is doing while he’s on the road (he loves sushi too and not so much for me) 🙂

  6. Elyse

    October 21, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    Love your list! This couldn’t have come at a better time since my husband is away for the night so I’m by myself doing all my favourite ‘single lady’ activities…face mask, eating nachos, watching the Toronto Blue Jays and blog reading.
    Elyse recently posted…(Almost) Wordless Weekend

    • chelsea

      October 21, 2015 at 6:51 pm

      ha! ‘single lady activities’ love it. hope you are enjoying your nachos, face mask and sports!

  7. linda shroyer

    October 21, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    I totally get it! At 57 and a newlywed ( yes, only 6 months!) I miss my husband like I was some silly high school girl with a huge crush. I do love and adore him but, yes, those days ( if there aren’t TOO many!~)are spent on ‘me’ time,….I will do a facial on myself, an at-home microderm, maybe a peel and slather on my ASMD products to totally pamper myself. Maybe make a huge bowl of organic popcorn in white truffle oil, cayenne pepper and parm cheese, then get total control of the remote and catch up on Scandal and The Blacklist! And, when I am feeling creative, get out a 36×36 canvas and paint an abstract art painting. But when I climb in bed, alone, that’s when I feel the void…he’s my hubba bubba hubby!

    • chelsea

      October 21, 2015 at 6:53 pm

      congratulations linda!!! love hearing that you totally miss your husband like a high school girl – i still get that feeling too! glad you take advantage of some good products to pamper yourself and whoa your popcorn sounds amazing! yeah…i always have a very hard time falling asleep because it’s no fun to go to bed without him!

  8. Amberly

    October 21, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    Hahahaha, that first picture of your dog!! Unfortunately, my first real experience of having Joe be away was just a few months after I had Bensen, so I didn’t get to experience all of this really. BUT I think if I do in the future have a husband/kid free weekend/day or week, it will be like I live by myself and it will be so fun!
    Amberly recently posted…The Perks of Being Married to a Green Grocer

    • chelsea

      October 21, 2015 at 6:54 pm

      ha! i’m so glad you liked that. i can’t stop laughing at it. why on earth would that be a comfortable spot?! it is pretty fun to have a whole place to yourself!

  9. Courtney {Alkeks Abroad}

    October 21, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    I’m glad I’m not the only one that stays up way too late when their husband is gone. Also, I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s husband makes up songs about random mundane things.
    Courtney {Alkeks Abroad} recently posted…Hoi An: Lanterns, Tailors and Scuba Dives

    • chelsea

      October 21, 2015 at 6:55 pm

      yeah…i’m staying up waaaay too late because i hate falling asleep alone! perhaps our husband should create an album entitled ‘the mundane things of life’ ha! 🙂

  10. Danielle

    October 21, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    It’s a bit different having my hubby be gone since I share that “husband vacation” with my 3 and a half year old, but there are definitely some things that we do different. I love going spontaneous places with her after I pick her up from school. Nothing greater than seeing the smile on a kid’s face when you tell them you’re going to the park! After the kiddo is in bed, I like to indulge in lots of girly shows and documentaries (things my hubby doesn’t usual watch). I wish I could say I stay up late watching them, but the truth is that I usually pass out on the couch, haha! And once I do crawl in bed, like you I sprawl out and take up the entire thing!!!

    PS: This post couldn’t have been better timed; my hubby goes to Chicago next week for a couple days. Looking forward to having the house to myself (sort of) 🙂

    • chelsea

      October 26, 2015 at 9:26 am

      oh yes, ‘husband vacation’ is slightly different when you add a baby to them 🙂 enjoy your park play dates, girly shows and documentaries while your husband is in chicago, danielle! little ruth is the SWEETEST!

  11. Jessica

    October 21, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    I am in a long distance relationship so “boyfriend vacation” is more frequent than him being home, which SUCKS big time. But… when he’s not here, I am definitely messier and more of a homebody. And then there’s always my Friday night Say Yes To The Dress bingefests…
    Jessica recently posted…One Year Later

    • chelsea

      October 26, 2015 at 9:28 am

      that would be hard jessica! i did a few stints of extended ‘boyfriend vacations’ when we started dating so it’s a different feeling for sure. it’s also amazing how messy i can make our places in a matter of hours once he leaves…it’s a talent really! enjoy those ‘say yes to the dress’ nights though!

  12. Joey

    October 22, 2015 at 3:53 am

    I was a football wife for 5 years so I had a LOT of alone time. We’ve since left that lifestyle, and I actually find myself missing some of that alone time (though I definitely don’t miss the gone for weeks at a time recruiting trips). My alone time looked a lot like yours!

    • chelsea

      October 26, 2015 at 9:29 am

      oh wow joey, being a football wife would totally give you a lot of nights to yourself it sounds like! i know what you mean about missing that alone time, it can be very recharging!

  13. Rachel G

    October 22, 2015 at 6:54 am

    Angel has gone away all of once in our marriage–it’s always me who’s doing the traveling. In 2013 I went away for three weeks to go to DisneyWorld and other cool vacation places with my relatives while he stayed home and worked. Not sorry. haha! My dad, on the other hand, travels a total of 3 months out of every year for work. Mom and my sisters still living at home respond by marathoning Korean dramas and not cooking any meals until he comes back–basically, the things you can’t get away with when he’s around!
    Rachel G recently posted…“Bad Monkey Island”

    • chelsea

      October 26, 2015 at 9:31 am

      oh wow, that is so interesting since recently either me or my husband have been traveling quite a bit these past few years! hope you had an epic time for those 3 weeks while you were in disneyworld! sounds like your mom and siblings have quite the fun time while your dad travels (but 3 months would be hard, that’s a while!)

  14. Kristyn Childress

    October 22, 2015 at 8:45 am

    Ohh circulation mask with a fancy brush to put it on. Fancy!!

    And sleep diagonally absolute favorite part!!

    I will add watch trashy tv. I don’t usually keep up on gossip or reality shows, but when the bf is gone… Idk what comes over me!

    • chelsea

      October 26, 2015 at 9:32 am

      totally fancy, right?! yeah…i know that if i had cable i would totally get hooked on some of those reality TV shows! it’s a sudden sense of freedom and non-judgement is what i think comes over us ha!

  15. Anita

    October 22, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    hi Chelsea,
    I enjoyed reading your blog and wanted to say hello! I also liked your images and thought it was pretty funny in general. That mask sounds interesting! Thanks for sharing your writing with us all, it’s fun to read and reminds me how much fun writing is to share right? Xx have a great day!

    • chelsea

      October 26, 2015 at 9:33 am

      hi anita! so glad you commented – yay! the mask was definitely interesting but i liked it. you are right also, it is fun to share our writing 🙂 sometimes i don’t think of it in that way but you are right – it is! hope you are doing well 🙂

  16. Em

    October 22, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    I love to spend time with my son when my husbands gone- we like watching Zoo and going on outdoor adventures in the country. Hope all is well Chelsea!

    • chelsea

      October 26, 2015 at 9:34 am

      ohhh outdoor adventures in the country?! that sounds amazing, em 🙂 thanks for your comment and hope you are doing well too!

  17. Sissy

    October 22, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    I love alone time when hubbys away with listening to music and extra time on the puter. I am always happy when he gets home! I also have 3 chihuahuas who keep me company too! I found your blog in an email from ASDM.

    • chelsea

      October 26, 2015 at 9:35 am

      thanks so much for stopping by, sissy and for your comment! there is such a good feeling when the hubby comes back 🙂 yay puppies to keep you company too!

  18. Ali

    October 23, 2015 at 9:54 am

    Hi Chelsea! Don’t know if you remember me from Charlie & my visit out to Portland for the Donovan’s wedding a few years ago… We took some hilarious staged ‘family photo’ style photos at Vince’s house, and it was glorious. I distinctly remember you teaching me the ways of the southern hip jut for the photos, hahaha.

    I want to congratulate you on creating such a positive space for young married women – such as myself! As a 29 year old with a solid career in environmental science, a love for playing sports, and a very undecided stance on having children, I too have been frustrated with the tone and rhetoric generally aimed at my demographic.

    Love those times when you get the house to yourself for a bit! Personally, my list includes: making a delicious maple salmon dinner (ze husband, he hates ze salmon), blasting country music or oldies and singing along at the top of my lungs, stealing his pillow in the middle of the night (for the coldness!), and going on totally unplanned excursions at any hour of the day or night. Sort of just revelling in being on only my timetable for a bit, without the (understandable and respectful) need to communicate plans or timelines to anyone.

    • chelsea

      October 26, 2015 at 9:39 am

      hi ali! i totally remember you and hillllarious night of our ‘family photos’ haha i’m cracking up thinking about that! oh that souther hip… 🙂

      i really appreciate your comment and your kind words about this space ali! i feel you on many of the things you listed about feeling frustrated with the tone and rhetoric (maybe you need to do a ‘new wifestyle profile’ for this here blog)!

      ryan just made us salmon last night (usually he does that on his own when i’m out of town!) totally get what you mean about being on your own timetable…such freeeeeedom!

      ALSO – YOU TOTALLY WON THE MASK! you can thank for selecting your comment number 🙂 i’m emailing you now 🙂