The Beauty of Early Mornings

I have never “naturally” been a morning person. I say “naturally” because even so, there have been many periods in my life where I have been in a particular occupational appointment (i.e. job) that has required me to be up and out of the door early in the morning. Many times, I have struggled with those mornings, slugging down various caffeinated beverages and skipping breakfast in order to hasten my arrival.

I hate mornings like that, rushed and disorganized, accompanied by that feeling that I’m forgetting something (probably something important). I’m typically starved and jittery by the time I arrive at my workplace, and feel as though I’m being thrown into my morning without my own consent. It took a long time for me to break this habit.

It didn’t happen until a few years after I had my son that I had my epiphany. I think most parents will probably understand the idea of getting up early (before your child) so that you have time to perform self-care and get prepared for the day. I applied this concept when my son was very young (and still sometimes today) and began to understand the benefits of collecting my thoughts, having my coffee, and getting dressed and ready before my son awoke. It took a little time for me to realize that I could employ this strategy before work as well.


morning coffee

That first cup of coffee, the best one of the day!


Step 1: Get Up Earlier

It’s probably not great for your body or your mind to try to claim a new hour in the morning all at once. When I have to adjust my schedule, I usually try to do so in 15 minute increments and wait a few days or week before adding another 15 minutes.

Step 2: Plan Your Approach

With technology EVERYWHERE it’s so easy to get distracted. I find it’s especially easy for me to get distracted in the morning before I’ve had my coffee; my phone calls to me with various (time-wasting) apps that could lull me into a techno-coma until, at last, I would lose all the time I had planned to gain and be back to my rushed, jittery, disorganized morning.

Plan what you will do with each new 15 minute increment, this will save you wasted time later.

Step 3: Make Sure You Have Covered the Basics

What I mean by this is plan for the things that are basic self-care items first. These include things like showering, breakfast, brushing your teeth, etc. Guesstimate how much time you need for each task and make sure that time is allotted for in your morning schedule.

Step 4: Include Something Fun

I find that nothing helps motivate me to plan my mornings and get up earlier than having something enjoyable to look forward to (aside from that first cup of coffee). For me lately, it has been getting a chance to write in the morning. I enjoy it so much that I often go to bed pondering what I will write about in the morning. After I write and get ready for my day in the morning, I feel as though I have already accomplished something and got some enjoyment out of my day.

Having something enjoyable to start your day will not only give you motivation to get out of bed in the morning, but it can also lead to better day for yourself overall. The options can include writing, reading, exercising, art, etcetera, but pick something you love.

Step 5: Add 15 More Minutes

It seems to me that sometimes, time just evaporates into thin air. Whether it’s the transition from one morning activity to the next or I just missed watching the clock, occasionally, time still gets away from me. Adding an extra 15 minutes to my morning means that I  get to approach my day in a calm, relaxed manner, and accounts for any inefficiencies in my morning schedule.


These tips have definitely helped my mornings become calmer and more organized. This in turn, has helped my days become less stressful and more enjoyable.

Hope this was helpful! Stay cozy.

How to Take Better Care of Your Feet (Easily and Quickly)

*Don’t worry, I won’t be posting any pictures of my tootsies on here, I promise.

My feet carry me through my months, transporting me along in all my adventures. I walk a lot during the day and my feet usually conform without much fuss. Occasionally they get a little tired and sore, but that usually means that I’m ready for a break anyway.

I’m sure it seems rudimentary, but I value my ability to move and what my feet allow me to do. In order to show appreciation for my “paws”, I have developed a quick and simple weekly pedicure routine.

Step 1

While in the bath (or more awkwardly, the shower) I use a pumice stone or fine foot file to gently remove the dead skin cells from the bottom of my feet. Because I do this routinely, there’s no need to be rough, a light exfoliation does it.

Step 2

Right after bathing I trim and shape my toenails. I then apply a coat of either a clear or lightly colored nail polish. This means that even if I don’t apply my polish perfectly (as it is a bit awkward painting one’s own toes), it won’t be strikingly obvious should I opt to wear sandals during the week. My long time favorites have been Essie’s Mademoiselle and Dior’s Nail Glow.

pedi polishes

Dior Nail Glow and Essie Mademoiselle

Step 3

After the polish dries (I only use one coat so that I can get out the door quickly), I apply and massage a bit of either a cuticle oil or a vitamin E oil into my cuticles. I never, ever cut them…just can’t, personally.

Step 4

I apply lotion to my feet and lower legs. If it’s nighttime I’ll usually use Aquaphor and if it’s daytime I’ll use a lighter lotion. I ALWAYS put socks on right after; too easy to slip on linoleum if I’m wandering the house afterwards. Cotton or cotton blend socks seem to work best as I find that polyester socks can make my feet feel kind of gross after this regimen.

And that’s it!

I feel fresher and more put together when I keep up with this routine; add a candle and a cup of tea and it makes for a little pampering time as well.

Hope this is helpful. Stay cozy!




Bad Day…

Today was a bad day, a really bad day. Today was the kind of day that defined the term “put through a meat grinder.” By the time I got home my feet were sore and my head was both throbbing and exhausted. I had one of those rare moments when I began to question what I was doing with my professional life and considering a job change (which there is absolutely nothing wrong with, if you have the right reasons).

I work in a small office. We work very closely in an intense environment for sometimes 12 hours a day. Dealing with life and death, really.

Today was a day when things were going wrong personally and/or professionally for almost all of my coworkers. The day was filled with tragedies, both real and imagined. A mood crept over us all, one of desperation and hopelessness. I understand how dramatic this description sounds, but some of these people are going through really terrible things.

After I got home and tried to ready myself for the transition from work life to family life, I realized something. Nothing terrible was happening to me. Not to say that I haven’t had my fair share of despair in life, boy oh boy. But today, nothing was going terribly wrong for me, personally.

Except for maybe the fact that I am what some people refer to as a “highly sensitive person”, or “HSP” for short. I’m not going to go into particulars here, but I will tell you that the reason I think MY day turned out so awful was because I tend to empathize rather than sympathize. Mind you, I do not at all believe that we can EVER really know how someone else experiences anything. But for whatever reason, other peoples’ sadness can be quite contagious for me. Am I the only one like this? Maybe, maybe not.

Below is a short list of things I have found to be helpful when the world just seems wrong.


Just for a moment if you can, give yourself a break. I find that simply being able to stop doing a task for a short time allows me to feel that I have some control.


No really, this has got to be one of the most highly underrated coping strategies ever. Take a big, long, deep breath. Feel your lungs fill with air, straighten your back, and let your shoulders fall.

Learn to Sympathize

Unfortunately, there are dreadful things that happen in the world. It’s easy (especially for some of us) to feel like the world is hopeless, especially when interacting with individuals who are facing life’s biggest and baddest obstacles. Learn to give the appropriate condolence and help each other where you can, but try not to “absorb” other people’s sorrow. If you need justification, know that people who are experiencing terrible things often need strong people around them. You can’t be strong when you’re feeling their misery for them.

Take Care of Yourself

It sounds trite, but it’s true. It’s a great deal more possible for anyone (HSP or not) to lose control of their emotions and mood when their basic needs aren’t being met. Water, food, rest, and a safe environment for yourself should be high on your priority list.

Hope this is helpful. Stay cozy.