Lifestyle

My Weekday Morning Routine

I have a little nerdy interest in the morning routines of successful people. There’s even an entire website dedicated to sharing the morning routines of successful people in all areas of life and different career fields. It’s interesting to me the things successful people do whether they are or are not morning people. I am a morning person. I love getting everything out-of-the-way and I make better decisions. It’s a fact morning people make better decisions in the morning rather than the afternoon or early evening. This is likely why going shopping at night is my absolute downfall.

That said, I am a normal every day person. I’m not running my own business (well not really) nor am I some executive or lifestyle expert. I am a student (a bit older than most I’ll admit) and I freelance off and on so I work from home a lot. I’ve carefully crafted a weekday morning routine that gets the most out of my day and allows me to not feel guilty if I can sneak in a midday nap. #blessed

There are 5 specific things I never skip in the morning during the week. Of course I shower, get dressed, put on makeup, etc just like everyone else but that’s a given so I left it out.

StockSnap_34ACZSYTOF

  1. Set Daily Intentions – Right when I wake up, before even looking at my phone (difficult I know), I take a second to set my intention for the day. What do I intend to accomplish and be the most mindful of? Is there a particular task I need to accomplish that will require more energy or am I in a bad moon I shouldn’t spread? It takes only a bit of time to get into a habit of being mindful.
  2. Go to the Gym – Going to the gym early in the morning is hard. If I’ve had a rough night of sleep or just don’t feel motivated it’s difficult to get up and go work out. Sometimes I’ll supplement a trip to the gym with an at home work out, but it just doesn’t feel the same. One perk of heading to the gym early in the AM? It’s mostly elderly people! So when I don’t feel my best, I don’t have to pretend I do. Heading to the gym early also creates a surge of energy for the day.
  3. Have a Cup of Coffee – Okay, cup of coffee is used loosely. Many…cups of coffee surely is more accurate. I typically brew coffee at home and sit quietly while consuming it. That’s not always possible and I’ll find myself checking my email or Twitter feed, and that’s okay. I’m also an advocate of shower coffee when I’m running low on time.
  4. “Breakfast” – I don’t actually eat a regular breakfast and most breakfast foods actually make me want to take a nap. They are too hearty (waffles are just that delicious). Instead, the Nicole Breakfast is eating cereal whilst staring into the closet to find something to wear or packing my bag for the day. #reallife
  5. Prioritize Tasks In My Planner – Sunday night I usually create my schedule for the week, so daily I take a second to look at what I have ahead of me for the day. One thing I learned from successful women is how to prioritize my to-do list for the day. It is often easier to answer emails or begin with easier tasks, but I learned to start with the difficult or time-consuming ones. Unless the email or task has a deadline, working on harder tasks earlier allows for more time and effort rather than rushing or having to work on it again tomorrow.

What’s In My Gym Bag?

Earlier this year I made a goal (more like post) to get my sh*t together by finally buying a gym bag. So have I done it? No. But what I did was repurpose a Victoria’s Secret weekender I got by overspending (on accident) and just never used. It’s now a staple in my life and I’ve officially become the girl that carries too many bags. Hey, they all serve a purpose and contain different things. Would I really put my gym necessities in with my work stuff? No. Plus, the original goal of the gym bag was to remove the random items from the confines of my car to one transportable place. Success.

My gym essentials aren’t that different from most people. I carry spray hand sanitizer and face wipes to make myself fresh and clean. Dry shampoo to refresh my hair and I make sure to carry a pouch filled with first aid supplies as well as random things I may need (tampons, hair ties, etc). I don’t use the showers or change at the gym (just a personal preference), so all the things I carry with me are to freshen myself up a bit so I can enter society in a normal looking fashion once I leave the gym. This means running errands or just not looking like a hot mess. Another function of my gym bag is to collect items I might forget exist. This could be random headphones incase I forget my favorite Beats or a case for my glasses (which is truly a lifesaver).

Other items might seem obvious. Face mist to refresh my skin and a towel to absorb the nasty sweat. I choose a dry shampoo that has a perfume scent so I don’t have to worry about smelling like sweat or looking disheveled. Another necessity: deodorant. Sure, you put some on to begin with but it doesn’t hurt to add a little more….just in case.

Up + Up Cucumber wipesHonest spray hand sanitizerTangle TeezerBurt’s Bees lip balmElizabeth & James dry shampooMilk Makeup face mistHerschel Supply Co. bagContigo water bottleBeats By DreKhataland towels

Treat Yo Self

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow and I know that I’ve said plenty of terrible things about it here on my blog. “For someone who sure dislikes it…you sure write a lot about it!!” – everyone probably. But, really this is a guide for treating the one person in your life that matters most: yourself.

Treat yo self day is the greatest television inspired holiday ever, and while apparently that’s some day in October, I think Valentine’s Day is a pretty fine substitute. As you can see from this guide, it’s everything a girl could need or want to make herself feel special when everything sucks. Well, except the box of chocolates, which every smart girl knows, you buy the day AFTER Valentine’s Day when it’s all on sale. Don’t mind if I do, discounted Godiva chocolates. Another great thing about the day after is not having to navigate the aisles of lost men and screaming children at Target. #blessed

Essie Ballet SlippersThe Graduate dvd*, H&M pjsGolden Heart ice cream bowlCrate & Barrel rose gold spoonAesop face maskLove Stories braleteSlip sleep mask

*Streaming on Netflix too! 

What On Earth Is Hygge?

Towards the end of the holiday season I was bombarded with emails about “hygge” and how I could bring the practice into 2017. I was intrigued by the concept purely by its name and realized it’s an incredibly popular movement I knew nothing about. Suddenly every email about recipes that would get me feeling totally “hygge” or furniture that would make my apartment the ultimate “hygge” retreat made sense. Winter, being so dark and cold, can lead to seasonal depression and overall feeling of wanting to hibernate until the spring comes around.

What is it? Hygge (pronounced hue-gah) is a Danish concept about seeking joy in every day ordinary moments of life. The Danish created the idea to increase their spirits when struck with boredom especially in the cold and dark.

Core Principles? Create a sense of intimacy and togetherness with yourself, your family, your space, and your friends. Evokes a feeling of cozy and warm like Christmas all year round.

How do you practice it? Create stress free atmospheres by de-cluttering. Add warm elements to your decor and increase usage of pillows and blankets. Use candles to create a relaxing environment while taking a bath or having coffee in the morning.

My Verdict: Hygge sounds like my cup of tea. Who doesn’t want to keep the spirit of Christmas alive with them throughout the year? With such fast paced lives, I think we can all use the time to stop and enjoy the every day moments just a bit more. Even just sitting quietly while having coffee and enjoying the moment sounds incredibly pleasing to me (and I wonder why I don’t do it more). The decor seems like every cabin I’ve ever been to, and why wouldn’t I want to live in a quirky little cabin? Okay so maybe my city apartment isn’t conducive to a cabin atmosphere, but candles I can do. And maybe it’s just an excuse to buy some better, Scandinavian furniture…. 

LEARN MORE: Little Book of Hygge

January

January is the Monday of months. It’s cold and dark. There aren’t many movies out that aren’t scraping the bottom of the barrel of ideas. Good new music is hard to come by. I don’t feel like doing anything except hibernating in my bed. The gym is way too full (but will begin to taper out in the next couple weeks). But yet, the illusion is everything will be a fresh new start. A time to hit the reset button and start over.

America is a crazy place to be right now and I find myself angry quite a bit because this isn’t the America I want to live in nor do people remember the foundations of America to begin with. Obviously I want to avoid discussing this further because while it may be the time to say something, this isn’t the space I want to use. I always begin the year feeling like the possibilities are endless and this year finally everything will fall into place. But the truth is just a month in and I’m already feeling defeated.

Since it is my blog and a representation of me and my life, I’ll just say maybe everything I believed about a lot of things isn’t true. How is it that I continue to be hopeful and believe there’s better out there yet I can’t seem to make it happen for myself? I try to contribute the most I can to my universal bank but when I want to cash out and finally get something in return it just never shows up. It just keeps getting harder and more frustrating. I’m tired of feeling like I’m standing at a fork in the road but constantly making the wrong decision. The road just takes me back exactly to the same place as before. I hate to call it an existential crisis, but why does it feel like everything I’ve ever believed in is false? Maybe it’s just the people I choose to put my faith in who keep letting me down…

Enough of the boring stuff. Here’s all the stuff I think you need to check out right now. If you made it this far, congrats. You are a real trooper.

  • Read This: Forgive Yourself for Not Being Perfect. Then Do It Again Tomorrow. an essay by Liz Welle. Given what I said above about the state of my life, maybe it’s time to give this a shot more.
  • Eat This: Steak Tacos with Cilantro Radish Salsa. I made these a couple weeks back and they were delicious even just the steak without the salsa.
  • Try This: Dry Brushing. Reduce the appearance of cellulite and increase the function of the lymphatic system by dry brushing. It’s a quick way to relax before a shower and it makes your skin look and feel healthy.
  • Listen to This: Darling by Real Estate. Real Estate always makes me think of warmer temperatures driving around in my car with the windows down. Something I long for during winter…that is until spring really comes. Plus it’s brand new music! #blessed
  • Buy This: Reformation Anjela top. I’m obsessed with this romantic looking Reformation top. The sheer detail is perfectly on trend for those of us who aren’t really willing to take the full Kendall Jenner route to sheer tops. Not to mention how dainty and feminine it looks.
  • Watch This: Materialism: A Documentary of Important Things. As human beings we accumulate a lot of things and as someone who is utterly fascinated (and slightly annoyed) by the HGTV show about tiny houses, I found this documentary incredibly interesting. It covers the various ways people approach living a minimalist lifestyle in their own ways. Whether that means building a space that caters to their needs, living in a tiny home (or two suitcases), or just having a 33 piece wardrobe, they examine different ways to embrace a simpler way of life. Experiences and live over mass consumption of material goods. It’s streaming now on Netflix, but I’m just not quite sure I’m prepared to give up my closet for just 33 pieces.

Mixtape 05: #Girlboss

“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.” – Abraham Lincoln

Okay maybe Abraham Lincoln didn’t say that, but he was a cool guy right? He probably would have said it. In reality, that’s a quote from Sophia Amoruso’s best-selling book, #GIRLBOSS. I don’t think calling yourself or anyone else a girlboss is offensive. There’s been plenty of debate about it all over the internet. I don’t see being goal driven, determined, and hardworking to be a bad thing no matter what term one uses to describe it.

When I thought about making a monthly themed mix about being a girlboss, I realized there were plenty of songs about female empowerment and the hustle we embark on every day. But then I realized that when I need a little pick me up, motivation, or just to feel like a badass chick, those were not the songs I was turning to. So I decided to combine a couple of them with a few other songs that make me feel like the super cool chick I truly want to be. The girl who walks in the room like she owns it…but in the most respectful manner possible.

Being a girlboss and hustling every day can be hard because it’s so easy to get discouraged by the outside world. Everyone has an opinion and feels they have the platform to voice it no matter what. Those are the times we have to work harder even with no recognition. We have to see the silver linings in everything and know that we are building our worlds and our successes step by step our way. It doesn’t matter how it was done, how anyone thinks it should be done, what it is just do it your way filled with passion and drive. You do you.

mixtape05

Listen on Spotify or Apple Music