How to simplify your morning routine

I will never be the blogger who wakes up early enough to enjoy a cup of tea near a window in a fluffy robe. As an avid tango dancer, most of my “mornings” start after noon. However, on the days I do need to quickly rise and act like a person with a normal sleep/ work schedule I utilize the following methods:

1. Pack everything the night before.

I prepare absolutely everything the night before. I never want to run around late because packing took longer than I thought. This means that:

a. My work bag is prepared with everything I will need during the day.
b. My clothes are picked out and stacked in the order I put them on. Sounds a little crazy, but why not make life easier? You’re probably already leaving your shirt on top of your pants anyways.
c. My makeup is out and ready.
d. My lunch is packed.

2. Prepare your food the night before. Or even earlier.

Meal prepping ahead or just preparing your food the night before you need it helps eliminate guesswork. Your healthy breakfast and lunch are packed so there are no excuses for making bad food choices later in the day.

3. Keep your make up simple. Or don’t wear makeup, even better.

My daytime makeup takes less than 5 minutes. I don’t want to waste anymore of my time than that. I lay out my products in the order they will be used, the night before. I place them back into my makeup case as I apply them. This method maintains a decluttered environment during the day and a quick routine when I wake up. Clear brow gel. Mascara. Eyeliner. Tinted lip balm. Probably more brow gel because my brows have a mind of their own.

4. Maintain your skin.

Even though having an established skincare routine may seem daunting and time consuming, it is worth the trouble. Diet is also a huge factor in skin health. Having clear and bright skin contributes to my confidence in stepping out “barefaced.” There is nothing worse than suffocating your skin in chemicals. Plus applying foundation takes forever. No thanks.

5. Multitask.

I say this with caution. Multitasking often results in poor outcomes, but putting on a kettle for tea while you stretch (or brush your teeth) is fine in my book.

6. Elegant high quality jewelry and a good watch.

I eliminate the guesswork of accessories by always keeping on delicate pieces of gold jewelry. I pay for high quality jewelry (within reason and often when sale items are on sale…) so I’m not afraid of rusting or decoloration from contact with water. I bought one simple, elegant watch that I wear everyday with every outfit. Of course I shake up the jewelry when I have time, but keeping the guesswork out of it eliminates time spent in the morning.

7. Shower the night before.

I’m a “no street clothes near my bed” kind of person so showering before I get into bed is natural for me. This eliminates one step in the morning.

8. Stretch.

Yes, this does add time to your routine. But you’ll feel so much better after! All I ask is that you spend just 2 minutes stretching out your stiff body. You were just relatively still for hours. Get those toes moving.

Bonus points:
9. Wear a silk hair scarf.

For the long-haired ladies out there, brushing and styling hair can take up a huge chunk of your morning routine. I maintain knot free, frizz free hair by wearing a silk hair cap to sleep. Sexy I know. But many nights I’m too lazy or simply don’t want something on my head, so I opt to sweep my hair into a braid and sleep on a satin pillowcase. Cheating for the win.



Sometimes going backwards is better…


“40, 41, 42, 43. Crap. No no no. 1, 2, 3… 40, 41, 42, 43. Ugh. I must have dropped the last stitch somewhere… 1, 2, 3… 40, 41, 42, 43, 44. Yep. There it is. Five rows down.” *sniffle*

-actual conversation in my head.

Crocheting is relaxing. Most of the time. But there is nothing quite as sad as realizing you dropped a stitch somewhere after you just spent 30 minutes working on your project. Except perhaps, if you were knitting and dropped a stitch, because then your project may completely unravel. I tend to crochet because of its forgiving nature. But even when I can continue with a skipped a stitch, I don’t. Yelling in exasperation usually prompts a friend to say “I can’t see the difference anyway, I am sure it’s fine.” cue narrator voice: However, it was not fine.

Go back. Fix your mistakes. Be harder on yourself. Even if someone else won’t notice, find personal satisfaction in knowing you did your absolute best. Find your skipped stitch and breathe. Accept that the time was not wasted creating nor removing the stitches. Your scarf is teaching you to be patient with yourself. Strive to make all of your work representative of your best self.



How I do everything. Ish.

“What gets measured gets managed.”
-Peter Drucker 


You cannot buy a magic bullet for productivity. You can however, buy a planner. My hourly planner which I create myself is the way I constantly stay organized. And post-it notes. Post-its are amazing. Here is how I do it:

1. Monthly spread with major events, important “to do’s” (i.e. not laundry), and major goals.
2. Habit tracker. The categories change every month, but these are what I deemed necessary to record this month. It also helps me keep track of expenses.
3. Hourly weekly spread. This is where the magic happens. Being able to see where my time goes in blocks allows me to maximize productivity.



This is a sample week. This is the first week of the new year. It was “lighter” than normal, which allowed me to clean and organize. I also write daily task lists that aren’t important enough to be recorded (like vacuuming). I don’t write down “brush teeth” but writing out tasks I need to complete helps with my mental clarity.
My planner must be light. I used to use a monthly calendar from Papersource but I would use a post-it to draw out a weekly schedule. Eventually I decided to make my own planner. I now use a Leuchtturm 1917 grid notebook, a pencil, and a ruler. Unfortunately pen shows through the other side of the paper, so I have to use pencil for everything. I often rearrange my weekly schedule so it’s not too much of a problem, although I would have liked to make the monthly spread and habit tracker outline in pen. Hope this helps!




This is not a sponsored post. 


“If you didn’t post it on Instagram did it really happen?” aka Where I have been.

It’s 2018. Yeah, it has been awhile. I think I left off washing my hair.

Although I have been quiet digitally, I have been living my life to the fullest, offline. I have finished my undergraduate degree. I continue to enjoy working as a personal chef. I started selling my handmade tango skirts and jewelry, and I am looking forward to the future as plan the next phase of my life. This year was filled with transitions, and here are some of the important lessons I learned:

  • Don’t give up on something before you even try. I didn’t know that I could sew two months ago. But I saw a skirt and thought, “I can make that.” My first skirt was decent enough on the outside. The inside is a mess though. Red pen and two different color threads. So bad that I picked it up out of a pile of cloth recently and thought, “Ew what the heck is thi- OH THAT’S MY FIRST SKIRT.” The second skirt I made using the same pattern looks like a different person made it. I learn so much with every piece, which makes the process enjoyable. Thank you YouTube. If I didn’t believe that I could sew well eventually, or if my first piece discouraged me, I wouldn’t be watching my designs twirl on the dance floor now.
  • Surround yourself with positive people. While I generally try to be my own best cheerleader, doubt always finds a way to creep in. I am so fortunate to be surrounded by amazing people that encourage me to do my best. My decision to sell my skirts really solidified after an hour- long conversation with two friends at a milonga (social event for Argentine tango). These two women practically yelled at me (lovingly) that I could absolutely do it. Nothing is as satisfying as watching my skirts flow around these beautiful women, besides perhaps, their feedback that the skirts make them amazing. Warm fuzzies all over.
  • It’s okay to be the dumbest. As much as I would like to do everything myself, sometimes taking a step back to realize that you can’t be an expert in everything is crucial for your project. My iphone photos cannot compare to those of a professional photographer. My graphic skills are good, but not as good as those of a professional logo designer. Accepting that others may have talents beyond yours in a certain subject is both humbling and amazing for your project.
  • You’re never too good to stop learning. There is nearly nothing you do that you cannot improve upon. No matter how good you think you are, the best teachers are the best because they never stop being students.
  • “I never look back darling, it distracts from the now.” Edna Mode was onto something. You can’t change the past. Your future is not guaranteed. You only have control over your current mindset and actions.
  • When you fully accept yourself you will find happiness. I love myself. This is my body, my home. It is strong and capable (in most scenarios excluding opening heavy doors). But I need to learn to be kinder when I talk to myself sometimes. I am learning to say “Scar on my foot, you may be ugly, but look how far we have come right ankle. I couldn’t stand on you and now we are back, and stronger than ever.” Instead of “Ugh, my foot is so ugly now.”
  • I live each day intentionally trying to make the most of it. An hourly planner really helps with that. But my happiness largely stems from knowing that I tried my best, even if I don’t have anything to show for it. I strive to leave the world a little happier and kinder than it was yesterday.
  • A puppy snoring on your lap, running and wagging his tail in his dream, will absolutely melt your heart.


Some habits and resolutions I have made for this year:

  •  Continue to reduce physical belongings.
  • Maintain a clean digital space (deleting, not ignoring retail emails…).
  • Stretch/ workout every morning. Nothing crazy, at least 5-15 min to get my day started.
  • Talk to myself like I talk to my best friend. No more discouraging self talk, and more finding the silver lining/ lesson.
  • Do at least 5 minutes of language learning a day. This usually ends up being a quick vocabulary session on my phone during my commute.
  • Get back to blogging!!!


What I accomplished in the first week of 2018:

  • Finally parted with garbage bags full of things I didn’t need.
  • Generated several bags of items to donate.
  • Got rid of a twin bed, a wardrobe, a large armchair and a cabinet. Exchanged them for a full bed with storage, and a small table. I feel so much calmer without the clutter around me.
  • Cleared my computer of unnecessary files. Still working on clearing up my phone…
  • Actually stretched every single morning like I planned.
  • Enjoyed the company of friends and family.


Some highlights of the last few months:



Study Apps


As I approach the end of my senior year of college, I have accumulated (and deleted) many study apps. These are a few of my favorites that have stood the test of time.

Price: $1.99 on iPhone, Free on android 
Stay off your phone and plant trees! It’s that simple. Sort of. Set a timer, and with accumulated “coins” that correspond to time spent off of your device, either redeem a new type of tree icon or donate a tree to be planted through Trees For The Future. If you exit from the app (incoming calls excluded) the tree will die. It is quite satisfying to see a little forest of productivity.

I used to use the app “Focus Time” which can help you categorize your study sessions.  Meaning, you will be able to record what you are spending your time working on. For example, reading, writing, studying, etcetera. Since I don’t mind not knowing the categorical breakdown of my study time,  I would prefer that my studying helps to plant trees.

When I study for a few hours at a time, I typically set a 25 minute timer and focus for the full session, then take a 5 minute break. After a few of these rounds I take a longer break. I find that it helps me to be efficient and not get fatigued.
Price: $4.99 iPhone, free on android. With focus time-$7.99
Track your goals! Writing them down will help them manifest. Set reminders and track your progress. Currently I have a blog writing reminder, and I am tracking how many times I do yoga each week.
Price: $9.99, not on android
My favorite app for working with PDFs. Easily allows you to highlight, add text, and add voice notes. Perfect if you are reading a lot of PDFs and you want to highlight them, but do not want to have to carry papers.
Price: free for iPhone/ android. Photo option is $19.99/yr
For creating digital flashcards, text only. Easy to use, and easy to share sets of flashcards. Helpful for language learning as you can listen to pronunciation if you set a language. You can view the flash cards, or quiz yourself several different ways.
Price: free on computer/andriod app, $24.99 on iphone. Worth every penny. 
Next-level quizlet. It is a complex program for making digital flashcards. I am able to make photo flashcards. Great for biology, chemistry, anatomy and more, but has a steep learning curve. Once I got used to the program it was great. I find that if I don’t use it for awhile I need to watch YouTube tutorials for a refresher.




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