A Day in the Life of a Blogger… September 6, 2017 | I’m so excited that Christy and Amy of 11 Magnolia Lane asked me to be a part of their Operation Organization: Back to School series. They decided to give it a different spin this time and are now asking a fun group of bloggers to share what a day in the life looks like. This is a post that I’ve been wanting to write for some time now and this was the perfect excuse to sit down here and type it out. Let me start by saying that this is definitely not an organizational post…Christy and Amy, I apologize in advance if you guys thought that I was organized, because I’m certainly not…eeek! This is more of a post on how to “fake it ’til you make it” shall we say. A detailed account of how I keep it all pulled together when I am in this most demanding phase of life with a newborn, a pre-schooler, a full time gig as a mommy and a full time job as a blogger. It’s not always pretty, or easy, and things almost always NEVER go as planned, but here are my favorite tips and tricks that I use to make it through the days as productive and happy as possible. Here we go… Morning: 5:15 a.m. Alarm goes off I love love love waking up before everyone else and enjoying an hour or two with a quiet house and my cup of coffee. I use this time to finish up my blog post for the day, craft my newsletter email and catch up on important emails. In the past, I’ve used this time to workout and I do hope to get back to that at least a few mornings a week in the coming months. At this point our little Lawson is still waking anywhere from 6:30-7 and if I’m not nearby to feed her right away it’s not a good situation 😉 I’ll also throw a load of laundry in the wash as soon as I come down stairs. Admittedly, these never get folded or saved…but at least they are clean, right? Right?! #sendhelp 6:30 – 7:00 a.m. Lawson wakes up If you are new here, Lawson is our newest addition and she’s 4 months old. She does sleep through the night, but we are still working towards a full 12 hour sleep. You can read about her full schedule HERE. She likes to leisurely nurse in the mornings and we are usually done by 7. 7 a.m. Landry wakes up Landry is our 4 year old and she’s usually up right around 7. She comes down stairs and we start on breakfast for her. She normally eats any of the following things: -Oatmeal with walnuts + raisins –Waffles with bananas + peanut butter -Trader Joe’s Organic Peanut Butter Cereal with strawberries and walnuts While she’s eating, I pack her lunch and we head back upstairs around 7:30. 7:30 a.m. Getting Ready I get Landry ready for school first. We brush hair + teeth and pick out her outfit. She doesn’t wear a uniform, but to make things much easier, I just buy quite a few of these dresses and these leggings and we kind of mix and match them daily. They are great for the playground, hold up SO well and they are still super cute and fun. I also bought these most adorable sneakers for school. They go with everything and are so stinkin’ cute! After she makes her bed, she’s allowed to head back downstairs and watch TV while I get ready. I’ve never been one of those people who can throw on sweatpants and head out of the door with zero makeup. Not to say there’s ANYthing wrong with that or that I’ve never done it, but honestly it’s not when I feel my best. Part of my self-care routine is allowing myself 30 minutes each morning to really get ready for the day. Typically that starts with a shower and a quick makeup routine. Here’s what I use on a daily basis and it typically takes me about 7-8 minutes to apply (not that I’ve ever timed myself lol #lies). FOUNDATION | CONCEALER | BRONZER | EYELASH CURLER | EYESHADOW | EYELINER | MASCARA | LIPSTICK For my hair, I’ll normally dust it with my favorite dry shampoo and give it a quick blow dry with my round brush for some volume. I’ll throw it up in a half up bun or top knot most days, because I don’t really allow myself the time to curl or straighten it. ((In case you are wondering, Lawson is usually hanging out in the bathroom with me as I get ready. She’s either on her play mat or in her little activity center. Sometimes she gets fussy, because we are approaching her morning nap, so this is definitely something we are trying to work through)) Cannot live without THIS concealer By now it’s about 8:30 and I have at best 10 minutes to get dressed. As hesitant as I was about veering towards a capsule type wardrobe, that’s really what works best for me on the week days. Since I work from home, but am also out and about with the kids during the day I need functional, cute and comfortable outfits that are easy to pull together. A few weeks back I put together a Fall Capsule Wardrobe post for busy mamas and it’s been one of the most popular posts yet, so make sure to check it out if you haven’t already. In the post, I bought and styled only 25 pieces tons and tons of different ways. Here are a few of my favorite outfits that I could see myself throwing on: Grey Knot Front Sweater | High Waisted Jeans | Mules | Army Green Crossbody Ivory Tunic | Black Swing Sweater | High Waisted Jeans | Mules| Army Green Crossbody High Waisted Leggings | Blush Tunic | Sneakers Black Tank | Black Skinny Jeans | Wedge Sneaker 8:50 Leave for School Landry’s pre-school is only about 1.5 miles from our house so we can easily get there within 5 minutes. The reality of it is that we usually roll up there on two wheels at 9:10, but for timing’s sake we are going to act like we get there at 8:55 and have her in class by 9:00 a.m…which we all know isn’t true. Regardless, I get her to school and then I rush home to get Lawsom down for her nap. She nurses and then conks out for her long morning nap. 9:15 Lawson’s Morning Nap Once she’s down I can think about what I want for breakfast and dive back in to work. Since time is of the essence, I usually opt for this smoothie since it’s so delicious and filling (and caffeinated!). See the recipe HERE. If I have some time to cook, I usually choose a Whole30 breakfast of sausage, scrambled eggs, salsa and avocado. See all of my Whole30 favorites HERE. 9:45 – 11 a.m. Work I use this nap time to start on the next day’s blog post. Typically one post takes me about 5-6 hours from start to finish. I begin by editing, resizing and renaming all of the photos that will be included. Then I import them into my blog and write the content. Next I link to all of the products in a fashion post or detail the DIY project. Then I will create a pinnable graphic in Photoshop. After that, I tweak the post to optimize the SEO value and make sure that all of the back end stuff is lined up for publishing. Finally, I’ll schedule the post to publish, try to plan the social media posts for that specific post and then create an email newsletter to notify you guys that it’s been sent out. Obviously, I don’t get even half of this done during this short nap time window and, if I’m being honest, it’s one of my biggest struggles. I’m considering hiring a nanny to come into our home to watch Lawson 3 days a week during the 9-1 time frame that Landry’s in school so that I can get some productive work done. I’m so unsure of how I feel about it, but my husband and I agree that it might be necessary if I’m going to continue blogging full time. Have you struggled with this before? I’d love love to hear your advice. Here’s the little office space that I carved out of our playroom, so that I could work alongside the gals while they play. See all of the details (+ their play space) in THIS post. Office + Playroom Reveal While I wish that I could report that I worked from my glam little corner, most of my work happens from my laptop on our breakfast room table. Floral Vase + Mug 11:00 a.m. Lawson Wakes Up My sweet girl is typically up around this time. She usually likes to nurse again here and we like to follow that with some playtime. If I have any quick errands to run, I try to squeeze them in between 11:30-1. Thankfully, we have a pretty comprehensive shopping center very close to our house so I am able to get a lot of things done without running all over town. I’ll try to make myself lunch around 12:30, but most days I don’t eat until after pre-school pick up. I also try to prep dinner during this time…or in my case throw it into the crock pot. At home lunches are almost ALWAYS salads and I’ll just mix up the ingredients. I also have a few go-to pre-made salads from Trader Joe’s that I really like. This taco salad is one of my favorites and it’s beyond delicious. I season and brown about 1lb of ground meat on Sundays and will use it in salads like this all week. 1:00 p.m. Pick Up Landry We head back down the road to pick up big sis! There’s a playground at school that the kids are allowed to play on for about 20 minutes after school. I’ll typically let her hang with her friends and play to get some energy out and ensure a nap 😉 1:30 Afternoon Naps Landry will head upstairs for a nap and I’m working to get Lawson down at the same time. Both with typically nap until 3:30-4 p.m. I pour myself an afternoon cup of coffee (definitely cold brew in the Summer) and sit down to work again. I use this time to continue working on my upcoming post and also prioritize responding to emails. I flag important emails as soon as I receive them and usually carve out about 15-20 minutes in the afternoon to respond to those. If I have any calls to take, I usually schedule them during this time as well. Door Mat 4:30 – 6:30 Play time, afternoon walk, dinner I like to get outside during this most “witching hour.” We like to go for walks, visit the neighbors and play outside. I really try to put my phone down and begin disconnecting for the day during this time. Easier said than done. I’ll then head inside to finish dinner around 5:45 and try to feed Landry by 6. Like I said, if I’m cooking, it’s typically a crockpot meal or something that takes very little time to prepare. I’ll list some favorites below. 6:30 My Workout Since I started Pilates (read about that HERE), I’m normally only able to make their 6:35 class in the evenings. It’s 100% challenging to make it happen because my husband is rushing to get home to allow me to leave….but I’m always so glad that I figure out a way. I’d love to move this back to the mornings, but right now that doesn’t work for Lawson’s schedule. Stay tuned. 7:30 p.m. Lights Out for the Littles While I’m working out, my hubby steps in and finishes dinner with the girls, bathes them and has them both ready for bed when I get home around 7:30. We both put them down and try to eat dinner together no later than 8:00 p.m. 8:00 – 11:00 p.m. Dinner, Shower, Work I shower (yep, if you’re keeping up I shower twice a day…non-negotiable. My favorite.) and then head back downstairs around 8:45 to finish up work for the day. We both sit on the sofa with our laptops and try to watch some TV together as we work. I’m usually tapped out around 11:00 p.m. and we head up to bed for the night. EASY (like, really easy) Dinner Idea: Taco Bowls Brown + Season 1lb ground Beef Prepare Rice (I actually use the bags of rice that you simply steam in the microwave), so that these can be cooking as I prepare the meat. Saute Veggies (I use the frozen grilled veggies from Trader Joes and pop them in a skillet for a few minutes to heat up) Serve with salsa, corn, black beans, cherry tomatoes, cilantro and a squeeze of lime. This takes me about 20 minutes to pull together and is always a HUGE hit! There you have it…a typical day here at our house! I have a feeling this new school year (and baby Lawson) will bring some changes to this routine, but all for the better I’m sure. Here are some other secrets that I use to keep myself sane. Shipt for Grocery Delivery + Harris Teeter Express Lane Pick up I use these two services interchangeably. Shipt actually delivers to your door, and the Express Lane is something that I pick up. I choose which method I’m going to go with based on the delivery or pick up windows available and or what I need. I love that I can use my phone to place both orders and usually grocery shop as I’m nursing in the mornings. House Cleaning I splurge on a deep house cleaning every 3 weeks. It took me a while to drop the guilt and give in to this one, but I absolutely need the help. Postmates or Doordash I have no shame in my dinner delivery game… Dropbox Dropbox is a great tool for both my business and personal life. I use it to store all of my photos so that I can access them from any device. YouTube If I’m unable to get to pilates, I usually search YouTube for a quick 20-30 minute HIT workout that will get my heart pumping. Emily Ley’s Simplified Planner I couldn’t live without this thing. I use it to plan out my blog posts, plan meals and keep things running for our family. Siri Yep, my girl Siri and I are best friends. I use Siri when I’m on the go to set reminders for myself (even things as silly as “put laundry in the dryer”) during the day, update my calendar and keep me on top of things. She’s a pretty cool gal, that Siri. Now, make sure to check out the other amazing gals who are taking you through their days today! Here’s the line-up: Amy –11 Magnolia Lane Sam – Simply Organized Erin – Sunny Side Up Mallory — Style Your Senses (You’re HERE 🙂 Julie — Less Than Perfect Life of Bliss Haneen – Haneen’s Haven Megan — Honey We’re Home Last Week’s Crew: Christy — 11 Magnolia Lane Amanda — Dixie Delights Rebekah — A Blissful Nest Jennifer—Dimples & Tangles Thanks again, Christy and Am for having me! I’ve learned so much from reading through everyone else’s posts! *This post contains affiliate links.