Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sunday Currently 3

Well, this is my third edition of the Sunday Currently and I still enjoy the prompt. It really helps to kind of stop and take a moment to think about not just what has been going on throughout the day and week but also to reconnect with what I'm actually working on. You know, rather than going through the motions of just doing things, it's nice to be present with each item. Plus I love lists.

This weekend has been really busy, I decided to make a trip out to Ikea yesterday and note to self: Don't go to Ikea alone or with a small hatchback. Getting things into the car is hell. Getting things out of the car and into the house is hell. And according to Buzzfeed, and it really is true, putting Ikea furniture together is Satan's favorite hobby. Truly. I always jack something up when trying to put that damn cheap and still so addictive furniture together. When it's just a bookshelf or 4 piece table, no problem, I can usually work around the slightly wobbly shelves. But when it comes to the really nice kitchen cart I was actually looking forward to using...not so much. Think anyone will notice if I just glue it together? Also, going to Ikea in a dress, totally fine if you're just picking up a couple of plants, maybe some pots or prints. A dresser and a kitchen cart? Wear pants. Wear pants and bring a friend. Silver lining? I didn't regret the $1 frozen yogurt.

Today was great too. I went to my first bridal show in Baltimore and I LOVE free samples! Also, I think if bakeries are going to provide free tastings they should also give out gym coupons. Just saying. I'm still not sure on ANY of the particulars of the wedding yet, but I loved all of the venues and Rouge Catering's bacon sticks and s'mores on a stick? DELISH! 

Well, I guess it's time to get to the point of this post, without further ado here's what's going on currently:

Reading: I took a trip to the bookstore yesterday and picked up Sadie Jones' "The Uninvited Guests" and Helene Wecker's "The Golem and the Jinni." I started reading the Uninvited Guests last night, it's interesting. Very post-Victorian. I'm not sure if I like it yet, it's almost like the author is trying to hard to be one of the Bronte sisters, but the premise sounds intriguing. I love dinner party mysteries.
Writing: conference post responses for my non-profit marketing and design classes
Listening: I've got the Gilmore Girls on in the background.
Thinking: about all of the things I need to do to get the house in order.
Smelling: nothing at the moment
Wishing: still wishing for magical unpacking fairies.
Hoping: I have a couple of business ventures that I'm hoping come to fruition before the end of 2014, I don't want to jinx anything by sharing it too soon, but hopefully they will be shared on the blog in the coming months.
Wearing: t-shirt, jean capris, and my favorite comfy red cardigan. And my engagement ring that has been successfully resized and cleaned and looks perfect. As well as the "mod square" pink polish by Essie.
Loving: Free cake samples and bottomless mimosas!
Wanting: a new camera.
Needing: A bigger closet, or less clothes. Probably a bigger closet.
Feeling:  A blend of accomplished and overwhelmed. It's a weird feeling. I've gotten a lot done this week, but I still have so much to do! I need a personal assistant just to get through the day to day.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

My Sunday Currently 2

Well this has been quite a hectic week for me. I just moved to a new house and I'm trying not to feel too overwhelmed by all of the boxes and clutter that are currently taking up space in all my rooms. I'm also doing my "anti-snow dance" while looking for the Elsa of the Northeast because I really don't want another snow day tomorrow. As nice as another day of unpacking would be, I can't afford that time off of work. First world problems I suppose. Though I'm stocked up on beer, tunes and some delicious fresh focaccia bread from the local bakery AND I've got a fabulous wraparound deck that is just begging for a warm mug of tea during an early morning snow.

Here's what's going on with me Currently:


Reading: blog posts and decorating books. I have so many ideas for the new place, I hope I can share a lot of the ideas I use here on the blog.
Writing: I'm not really writing at the moment, too busy unpacking. Where are all my pens?!
Listening: to an episode of the Gilmore Girls. Love that show! And my fiancé has the Clone Wars cartoon on on his side of the FaceTime connection.
Thinking: about the kinds of flowers and plants I want to grow first in my new garden!
Smelling: fresh paint and the shampoo my salon uses since I just got my haircut today
Wishing: no snow!
Hoping: to have everything unpacked and hopefully set up for a housewarming party by the end of the month. My new dining table is getting delivered on the 27th and I can't wait to share this custom piece with friends and family. It's beautiful, unique and just plain cool.
Wearing: jeans and my rocking Mickey Mouse tank top. Unpacking and moving is quite a workout.
Loving: the view from my windows. All trees and seclusion and the occasional deer.
Wanting: packing elves to help me get all my stuff unpacked and put away.
Needing: packing elves to help me get all my stuff unpacked and put away.
Feeling: a little frazzled by the move but still pretty happy.

Hope everyone else is having a fabulous weekend! And if you're in the Maryland/PA/VA area, snow or no? Are you all prepared for what is hopefully the last snow of the season?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

More blogging ideas

As many of you reading this blog can probably tell, I am by no means a blogging expert. In fact I've been blogging for a whole month and a half (consistently) at this point. So who am I to give out blog prompt advice?

Well, I'm just a girl who has always loved blogging. Since the very beginning I have loved reading what other people have to say about their lives, their interests, their passions, careers, homes, what have you. And I know that sometimes it can be a little bit difficult to constantly come up with unique and interesting posts that people might actually WANT to read. I know it's sure as hell hard for me!! And I've got the benefit of tapping into years of other people's experiences with blogging to help. Heh.

One thing that has really helped me this past month to be consistent with my blogging is something that almost every successful blogger uses and expounds at great length. Scheduled posts. Though what does that really mean to us newbie bloggers? I mean at first I thought, ok so they just go through a calendar and write a blog idea for each day? And then as I researched it more I realized that many bloggers pick a day or even a couple of days and plan out their upcoming posts. This is actually pretty easy to do if you have weekly themes to your posts like "Friday Favorites, Meditation Mondays, Tasty (or Travel Tuesdays)," so on and so forth. You kind of get into the habit of thinking about and specifically writing for these daily prompts.

But what if you don't have recurring themes like that? Or if you don't WANT to have a set theme for each day because maybe it will pigeon hole you into ALWAYS having to write the same kinds of posts every week, which can get a bit boring and redundant. Well, I have some posting ideas that might help. If you're interested in travel, you should take a look at my list of 13 Travel Writing prompts to start. And if you don't have a specific interest but are just a renaissance gal or guy, here is a list of 14 Random prompts for ya:

Are You Creative?

1. Write a post about sketching, provide prompts and ideas and sketching know-how
2. How to paint with <insert chosen medium here> 
3. List out some journal, collage, drawing or writing prompts. (Like this post! :D )
4. (Into decorating?) Providing a step-by-step guide for decorating any space


1. Write a how to on sewing your favorite item (skirt, pajama pants, bags, etc)
2. Write and/or show the process in creating a decorative item for your favorite holiday
3. Handy with re-purposing Ikea furniture? Tell us how!

Interested in Psychology?

1. Write about tips for dealing with anxiety (I know I'd read it!)
2. Time management tips and tricks for the chronic procrastinator!
3. Tips for better communication with your spouse or significant other

Talented Chef?

1. What are your top five easy-peasy, favorite recipes?
2. Meal planning for dummies (for reals yo, I still don't get it...)
3. Try a new recipe a day, or week or month!
4. Top ten kitchen must-haves!

Of course, you don't have to use these exact ideas, but maybe they will spark a creative fire in you and help to break through that blogging block if you find yourself stuck and in need of a good blog post! Happy Blogging!

Monday, March 10, 2014

March Mini Monthly Milestones

Prague, 2011
The image above is where I spent my spring three years ago. Traveling Europe has always been a dream of mine, kind of ongoing since I've already been to 5 European countries in less than 3 years...Yet, I've been daydreaming about Prague a lot lately, I wish I could add it to my travel itinerary for this year as well. Maybe...or maybe I'll just keep dreaming.

Until then I'll just focus on some more immediate dreams and milestones that I would like to reach. At the beginning of the year I set out to accomplish a number of different goals or milestones each month. January I wanted to write more, and I did. Though I didn't keep up with it as much in Feb. However, in February I wanted to work on loving myself more and while that is going to be a very long work in progress, I think I've come a long way in just over a month. I still have my moments, as so many of us do I'm sure. But it ain't nothin' a kick ass song like this one can't fix. (Ok seriously, that song is just the bees knees. And can we resurrect that phrase? I love it.)

So my March milestones are as follows:

1. Keep working on developing a solid morning and evening routine. I have been in desperate need for some routine in my life for quite awhile. I can't keep falling out of bed an hour and a half (*cough*2 hours*cough*) after my alarm goes off just to have barely enough time to brush my teeth, put on semi-decent clothing, feed and walk the dog and then rush off to work. That is seriously what my mornings consist of most days ya'll and it's just...well it's a giant pain in the rear! So...yeah time to work on that.

2. This month I am going to be working on blog and web design more. I have a couple of ideas for how I would like this blog to look and sure, I could work with a professional designer (and I just might at that in the future) but I would really like to try and figure some things out for myself as well, if I can. So that'll be fun.

On a side note, I realized yesterday that I had completely forgotten to update my Bloglovin button when I changed my name around after I first started blogging. (I went through a brainstorming process before landing on "Spotted Sunshine.") It's probably not a huge deal now since I'm so new and have like... 2 followers (I love you guys be tee dubs!) But I imagine it's probably confused and turned off some other would be yeah I am pretty sure/hope that's fixed now.

Also...I need to take more pictures. Because, I've heard, that pictures are good or something. 

3. I'm moving to a new place this Friday. YAY! so my third milestone is to pack, clean, unpack, clean and start DECORATING! I am beyond excited for the new place. It's just...I could gush. I will gush, in another post. It's amazing and I love it. Check out this post for some pictures!

4. More self-love and positivity. With the move and everything else that life throws around, I have been having quite a stress-filled and anxiety riddled time of it lately. So this month, I am going to work on just trying to be positive and calm as much as possible. Especially since next month is my birthday and I want to start the big 2-7 off right! Know what I mean? 

5. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise. (It's emboldened, italicized AND underlined, so you know I'm for serious) One of my fitness goals last year was to be able to dead-lift 300lbs by my 27th birthday. That is NOT going to happen unless I get bitten by a radio active spider in the near future unfortunately. So I plan to start working out a lot more this month. I don't plan on overdoing it (which is I think what burned me out before) but I definitely need to step it up. Plus I have a wedding and a super hunky fiance to prep for. Plus he's all Drill Sergeant, running all the time badass. And I'm just over here like "Man I could eat another Papa John's family sized cookie." womp womp womp. Time for this cookie monster to get back to the gym!!

That about wraps it up for March's goals. What about you guys? Got any milestones you're hoping to achieve this month/year/lifetime?

Sunday, March 9, 2014

My Sunday Currently 1

So I'm totally procrastinating (slash also multitasking? yeah that's a little better..) on my programming final exam in order to join up with the "Sunday Currently" link up.

Here's a little bit of what I've got going on Currently:

Reading: Python and various other programming documents. And book-wise: "Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself" an interesting read about changing your mindset to reduce stress and anxiety and you know, all that new-agey *being a better person* stuff. It was hard to get into at first but I'm enjoying it.
Writing: essay answers to my programming final & multiple drafts for various upcoming blogs I'd like to post.
Listening: Dance music. I am really LOVING the BPM station on my Sirius satellite radio. Particularly the song "Ten Feet Tall" by Afrojack. It is an AMAZINGLY uplifting song, and makes me think of Fiance every. single. time. *love*
Thinking: I should really be finishing my exam. And how much I'm looking forward to moving to my new house this week. And wondering if I'll finish packing in time...
Smelling: English Laundry No. 7 For Her. It was in the March Birchbox and holy MOLY does it smell wonderful! Just like spring/summer and all kinds of happiness.
Wishing: I could pull a Jeannie, cross my arms, nod my head and all of my stuff would be magically transported to my new home and unpacked....and for an A on my final exam.
Hoping: that spring has actually sprung and I can start gardening next week!
Wearing: comfy jeans and a tshirt
Loving: warmer weather
Wanting: Actually nothing at the moment...well maybe nachos.
Needing: to finish packing and this final exam...oy
Feeling: Surprisingly calm and ready to be in the new place.

Thanks for reading! I'm going to stop being a slacker now and finish...something....the exam maybe? Hope you all have a lovely Sunday!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Travel Writing Prompts

Hey there dear reader! How are you? If you're located here in the Northeast or anywhere north really, you're probably still "enjoying" the wonderful winter weather...(pure sarcasm there folks.) And if you're like me, then you're also probably already dreaming of all sorts of fantastical future vacations that you hope to someday take. Some day soon, and somewhere warm preferably.

So today I thought I would share with you all some of the travel topic ideas that I've been kicking around for the past couple of days.

First, a little bit about me. I grew up a military brat and we moved at least once every three years from the time I was, well 3. And I continued that trend as an adult, I've lived in... a lot of different places; from Texas to Florida, to as far as Japan and Washington State, California, Georgia and most recently Maryland. I've traveled to Europe, pretty much all over Japan, Korea, Canada, yeah...I love to travel. And there is still so much of the world left to see!

It's a big wide world out there!
And now, thanks to the Internet and so many amazing travel companies and bloggers, there are a bajillion different ways to travel on the cheap (or completely free in some cases) and quite a few different and out of the way places to see and explore as well. So I thought these prompts might help if you're an experienced or even aspiring travel writer to get those creative juices flowing and share with the world how you have seen the world:

13 Travel Writing Prompts:

1. List your top 5 Bucket List Destinations

2. Tell us about your most recent vacation, or even your most recent travel exploit!

3. Where do you want to go next?

4. If you won the lottery, where in the world would you run away to and why?

5. What is your favorite method of transportation?

6. Share a little bit about your favorite travel provider. What are the little touches that set them apart from others?

7. What's the best way to navigate local transport in (insert city here)?

8. What are your best/favorite travel ready snacks?

9. What to pack for a weekend away? (And what might be different if it's work or leisure travel?)

10. What are your favorite travel accessories? (Both high and low tech)

11. Share some little known local customs from your Hometown, or places that you've lived/visited.

12. Expatriated? Share the ins and outs of the process. What would you have done differently? Or what do you wish someone had told you about the process?

13. What are your top tips for travel on the cheap?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

What I learned...February Edition

February was quite a busy month for me. This was most evident by my lack of blogging for pretty much the entire month! I was still trying to be engaged in other forms of social media, Twitter, Instagram and all of that. But I just didn't get around to blogging much. I think that might have something to do with my still not having mastered the "scheduled post" yet. 

Well thank goodness for Snow Days!! I've tried to write out at least a few posts for the coming week, just in case things get too hectic again and I find myself drained of all energy in the evenings to even read a blog, let alone write in one!

Today's post is part of a series that I've been wanting to try out, called "What I'm Learning." Every Tuesday I want to post a list of things that I've been learning, studying or just figuring out about anything and everything. And I would really love it if you guys joined in too! I always love hearing about what other people are reading and studying and learning about, so I think this might be a fun prompt/exercise. Especially if it might also lead to teaching someone something new!

So here's what I learned in February:

1. I signed up for a Skillshare membership, and started taking two classes in Hand Lettering and Calligraphy. Have you heard of Skillshare? It's pretty boss awesome and if you haven't checked it out yet, you totally should! I hope that I can eventually get my projects to a place where I feel comfortable sharing them, but for now my sketchbook is covered in the Alphabet and random words and phrases trying to figure out the best way to finish my projects.

2. I'm currently finishing up two college classes. One on Advanced Writing for Business which has been incredibly interesting and eye opening, particularly with regard to persuasive writing and with sending out memos, professional bad news messages and the like. It has definitely been a change of pace from my normal "free-flow" creative writing style. The other class is one that I had to retake (yeesh, yeah not proud of that one), on an introduction to Programming Basics, particularly the Python programming language. The class also covers information on databasing, scripting versus programming languages, user design, etc.

I never thought I'd be interested in programming, and I'm definitely not the next Bill Gates or Guido van Rossum (Python's creator), but I have to say that writing out seemingly silly lines of code and then seeing a WORKING calculator or program pop up in another window is mind-blowingly awesome! Though in all honesty, I actually learned more of the tips and tricks to coding from Youtube... :/

3. I roasted a chicken, for the first time. From scratch. And you's CRAZY EASY!! Seriously, do you have an oven? Do you have spices, oil (and/or butter), something to stuff the chicken with (apples, onions, garlic, orange...get creative!) and oh yeah, a chicken and a roasting pan? Then bam, you can roast a chicken too! Set the oven to 450, remember to remove the gizzards (if you have a good recipe for these, I'd love to hear it!), stuff the chicken. I used an apple and a red onion, quartered both and shoved 'em in. And then I didn't have any fresh herbs so I just combined some thyme, basil, paprika, ancho chile powder, garlic powder and whatever else I had in the cabinet that sounded yummy in a bowl with some olive oil. Stir. Toss some salt and pepper on the bird and then just kind of coat the bird in the oil mixture, and then roast at 450 for about 1.5 hours. I think I had to go a little longer than this, but the skin was this amazingly crispy and delicious golden brown and the bird was tender and juicy.

Check out the skin on this beauty!

Roasting a chicken on Sunday is also a good way to have a ton of yummy meat leftover throughout the week for sandwiches, soup, tacos and even chili.

4. I also learned that snow days are only fun if you don't have to make up the time later. Seriously, working 10-15 hour days (yeah that happened) for one extra day off is NO BUENO!! I love snow, but yeesh.

5. Lastly, I learned that I still really love learning, it all just depends on the topic and how much I'm willing to devote to the process. The knowledge and the skills are all there for the taking, it's just a matter of putting in the effort and a little bit of time. Life-long learning is a process and it takes, well a lifetime. So I'm also learning to try and slow it down, that I don't need to be an expert in a minute, and to just enjoy the process of practice and discovery.

So what have you been learning lately? I'd love for you to share in the comments below!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Weekly Wrap up: Ending February

Ameliorer la Vie

Ok seeing as I've decided to jump back into blogging full force this week, after taking an unplanned break from my whole month of blogging ever...I'd like to join up with the wonderful "Weekly Wrap Up" Link up put on by the lovely ladies Rachel and Lisa from @ therachelway and @ Ameliorer La Vie respectively.

Although this past week had been somewhat uneventful for me, my main highlight was making it an entire week only working my regular schedule rather than trying to cram 10+ hours into the workday! I even had a chance to take a much needed half day on Thursday while still maintaining all of my work. Super Awesome!

I had my second to last Advanced Business Writing class on Tuesday and I also went to the local Casino Friday night with one of my friends to try my hand at poker and blackjack. (Come ooon Mama's got a wedding to plan!) I went in with a set amount of money that I didn't want to go over and while I didn't come out a big winner, I at least left with SOME money still in my pocket! My friend tells me though, that MarylandLive Casino has some of the highest table prices she's ever seen, even higher than Vegas in some instances. So, if you're ever in the Baltimore, Maryland area and want to check out the casino at Arundel Mills, just keep that in mind.

This weekend I also got a chance to see some more progress on the new place I'm moving into (check back for a future post on that awesomeness!) The owners have been repainting everything and re-doing the entire basement, including adding a new door and walkway. Every time I think about this place and look at pictures I am beyond giddy about the prospect of a deck, a garden and the fact that I don't have to share a wall with my neighbors! (Seriously, that's a huge deal.) The downside is the kitchen is kind of so-so and I'm a little nervous about the dog getting up and down the spiral staircase into the basement but...oh yeah, it has a spiral staircase! I can't wait to start showing you guys how I plan to decorate the place!

Here are some of the pictures that I took while I was out there this past Saturday:

ZOMG you guys! A wood burning stove!!
So yeah, these are definitely some of the "before" pictures for the place. I'm still not exactly sure how I'm planning to utilize all of the space, and that yard people! It's wonderful! The landlord said I am totally free to put in a garden as well, as long as I maintain it. And those exposed beams! I'm squealing inside. Not a huge fan of that's ok. Maybe they will be ok with me changing out the light fixtures?

As soon as the snow clears I'll have to show an updated picture of the deck and the rest of the outside. I can't wait to see what it looks like in the spring!

Fun fact, that door and walkway did not even EXIST a month ago! 
I'm looking forward to reading everyone else's week! :)

Monday Meditation #4

Thoughts on procrastination....

Image Source
 I have been trying to write this post for two days now, funnily enough, it's not getting written not because of procrastination, but because I'm just not quite sure how to start. Which for me, isn't the same thing as just putting it off. Does that make sense? I know for many of you out there who might also struggle with procrastination, it's because there's no clear starting line. You know WHAT you need to do, but that first step getting you to the HOW of doing it, just eludes you. Right?

Sometimes that's why I procrastinate on little things, like doing my laundry (do I separate the clothes? do I want to do sheets or towels or clothing first? Who needs this many pairs of pants?!) or even paying my bills (I should send a check, I'll do it tomorrow, do I have checks? where are my stamps? what the bill's due today?!). But when it comes to the big things, I don't really procrastinate because I don't know where to start, I procrastinate because I'm not sure how it's going to end.

This blog post has fallen somewhere into that latter category, I thought it would be a simple post to write, you know one of those posts that just sort of writes itself? I mean: "Procrastination, it's bad, are you afraid of success or failure? Just get to it!" That sort of thing. Turns out, it's way more complicated than all of that. There are so many revolving factors that might drive someone to procrastinate, some of them I've already mentioned, and others are a bit more insidious, like the fear of not being good enough, or that no one is going to notice, care about or like what you've taken the time to create, so you might as well put it off until the last minute and rush the job.

But don't you always feel better when you get something done and out of the way as soon as possible, or when you actually put time, thought and effort into a project? So why do we choose the instant gratification of delay over the long term satisfaction of just getting the job done?

I really wish I knew. I mean I know that I love being lazy. I will almost choose being lazy over doing things. But I also know that I fear living my whole life without ever having accomplished any of my major goals just as much as I love doing nothing. Quite the conundrum, no?

I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject. So I'll leave you with these 3 questions to ponder:

1. If you do procrastinate, what is the driving force behind putting things off? Is it fear, boredom or just plain laziness?

2. What are some of the tools you use to motivate yourself into action? Do you get pumped up by music, exercise, inspirational quotes or just a long stint of doing nothing that leaves you feeling "recharged" and maybe just a little bit restless?

3. What is one major project that you're currently putting off, and what is one thing you could do to get started and maybe create a snowball effect to actually get that project done?

Bonus question: If you were invited to a dinner party attended by the President, the Queen of England and any of your role models (Business, music, fashion, etc.) What is one project that you would be most proud to tell them about that you're either working on or have recently completed?

Meditate on these questions, comment if you want and I'll do the same! :)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

A desire for routine

Hello dear reader! (If you're still out there...who knew February would be a month filled with "radio silence?")

Lately, especially after the start of the new year and thinks to me renewed love of all things Pinterest, I have been craving routine. I know that might seem like a weird connection for some, but really have you typed "routine" or even "morning routine" into Pinterest? Good grief, so many great options!!

And I especially crave it in the mornings when I'm rushing to get out of the door in the mornings but I still want my morning coffee, some breakfast and maybe a little time to breathe and read before jumping into the hectic-ness that is my day-job. And oh yes, there's that. Work can be so stressful sometimes when I'm not sure what to do from one moment to the next and somehow it's lunchtime and then it's time to go and did I ever even start that big project that was my only real goal for today?!

I think that for all that I like to consider myself a creative free spirit, I need a good routine. And especially now that I'm getting older (closer to 30 than I am to 20 these days...) I should probably start taking better care of my skin, a good beauty routine is a must!

And seriously, with my planner obsession I should be way better at routine than I am!

The other reason I need routine is for this blog, I have so much going on in this little life of mine that I have been horribly inconsistent in posting this past month. As in, I haven't posted at all. And for a brand new blogger like me, that's a pretty big no-no. I mean readers want consistency, and heck if they actually enjoy what they're reading (which I hope happens here), then they want CONTENT! And often!

So how does one establish a good routine? Like I said, I've been thinking about this for some time and while I'm still no master at it, here are some tips that I think might help:

1. Figure out what you want in your routine. Make sure it's the important stuff, the things you want and are willing to stick with on a regular basis. Because remember, a good routine needs to be done pretty much every day.

2. Start in the evening. I know most people want "waking up earlier" to be part of their everyday routines, you definitely get more done when you have more hours available to you in the day...that you're awake for. However, sleep is still important too, so don't underestimate the importance of a good bedtime routine if you want a good morning routine as well! I'd suggest going to bed at or around the same time everyday, and make sure you're getting the right amount of sleep for you. I need at least 7.5 hours to function properly and look my best.

3. Be consistent, even on the weekends. This means if you're trying to wake up for work by 6am, you should be waking up at 6am on the weekends too. (I know for those of us that "get weekends" this seems like torture, but really it's necessary.) Waking up early on the weekends also gives you time to recharge and maybe add a few other things to your morning routine that you might feel too rushed to include when you're getting ready for work. I like to try and add a new workout or a new breakfast recipe on the weekends instead of trying it out and not knowing the timing during the week.

4. Have a calming, happy activity as part of your routine. Especially right before you jump into work and/or the busiest part of your day. For me, this is my coffee ritual. And I actually don't do this until I get to work during the week. I have a small French Press that I keep at my desk and then on Mondays I usually bring in enough freshly ground coffee for the week. I keep some coffee creamer in the communal fridge and take advantage of the office water heater. This gives me time to either meditate or do some yoga at home, since I try not to drink coffee too early. And since I use the French press method, it can be a bit more labor intensive. As an added bonus, this also gives me a few minutes when first getting into work to take some more of a breather before jumping into the email storm and all of the projects lined up for me for the day, also I love being able to enjoy an actual CUP of coffee out of a real mug even when I'm at work. And it's my coffee that I don't have to share with anyone else...(that's not rude is it?)

5. Finally, write it all down. If you're like me then you love lists. A lot. And will probably make multiple lists about the same thing until you find the exact perfect combo of things in list form. So I do this, in my planner and in my notebooks, I write out my ideal morning, day and evening. I even write out my ideal weekends and try and incorporate those routines into my life as much and as often as possible until they stick.

Well, those are the tips I've been using lately. I'd love to hear your thoughts about routine and what you do to keep everything scheduled and orderly in your life. Feel free to comment below. :)