There is much to be said of a good morning routine. And lately it seems that there is, in fact, a lot being said. As a flurry of books on Habits seem to have been released in the last year and likely twice as many on the power of routines and time management, I’ve certainly given developing my own solid morning and daily routines a LOT of thought. Back in August I wrote a little bit about the morning routine I had developed throughout the summer. I loved that routine. Then WINTER happened! And, as we’re all acutely aware, it was a particularly brutal one at that. Winter swooped in, dimmed all the sunshine, fortified my home in snow, and caused me to go into a major hibernation mode. Waking up early with the sunshine? What sunshine?! Kicking the blankets off, feeling the morning breeze through the window and smelling the summer scents it carries in with it? Not so much. More like, black out curtains closed, wrapped like a cocoon within an inch of my life in down comforters and afgans made with love in front of fireplaces by grandmothers now passed. In the winter…I want to stay in that place. I have no sense of what delights I may miss if I waste another moment away in bed….no. Give me my book. Perhaps a warm cup of coffee, those are the only delights of my day. Or so it feels like at 7:30am in the thick of Winter. As quickly as the good habits slip away in Winter (for me), it’s rather surprising and impressive (if I may say so) how eager I am to resume the summer routines upon the first promise of Spring. It was warm today. It was sunny today. This is unusual. There was a blizzard only 3 days ago. But, as it’s the first day of April and it was warm and sunny, I started to believe it, trust it. I woke up early. I meditated for 12 minutes with Ariana Huffington (not exactly with her per se, but check it out here!) I took Bucci for a 2 mile walk. I drank the juice of carrots, apples, ginger and spinach (and I finished my annual March juice cleanse a week ago! This juice wasn’t even mandated!!!). I juiced, and I walked simply because they seemed the right things to do on a nice day. old habits… In anticipation of Spring officially being here and the hope that it’s arrival will become more obvious soon, I’ve put together a checklist to help ensure that I don’t forget any of the daily rituals and habits that I have hoped to add back into my life after this long cold Winter. A note on creating habits: When I read this book, one of the things that stuck with me the most was the idea that we only have a finite amount of discipline we can practice in any given day. But, if you create a HABIT out of something that would otherwise require discipline then you’ve freed up that much discipline to apply elsewhere. I don’t know about you….but turning as much as I can into a habit seems like the way to go to me! I feel my discipline dissipate at some point throughout the day. However, what I need to practice discipline with unfortunately exceeds my daily amount of given discipline. So, I will try to turn as many of these items as I can in to habits instead. While there are more than a couple dozen items I want to incorporate into my daily life, I felt like I needed to start more reasonably. So, I created my own checklist of items that I think are reasonable to integrate into my life now and turn into habits. The idea is that once these items have in fact turned into habits I can then, layer in some new checklist items. I tried the iPhone app LIFT, last summer which is pretty much all about creating new habits and I have to admit that it was pretty helpful. However, I am not using it this time around because I feel it conflicts with some recently instituted personal phone policies I’ve instituted (which generally keep a safe space and distance between my hand and my phone).The other reason I am not using a digital approach this time is because I am the type of person who feels very gratified by the act of checking the box. Do you know what I mean? I love paper, I love design, I love stationery, I love the act of writing (even though I have horrific handwriting) and simply, I love to make a slash mark through a list or to check a box. I find it all incredibly satisfying and makes me feel activated, signed-up, present, alive, involved…you name it! Feel free to download a copy for yourself. I’ve left a some blank space for you to fill in your own habits or go ahead and even white out mine and fill in your own. It’s just meant to get us started. MY PLAN: I plan to use it for the entire month of April (sorry I’m getting it to you a day late!) and just see how it goes. The idea is that this month I will honestly give every item on that list a serious effort and at the end of 30 days if looking back over my sheets I see that one of the items has only been crossed off 4-5 times or something, then I will ask myself what about that item wasn’t working for me. What about my lifestyle as it was made that task so difficult? Could I edit it a little? Or, do I need to simply get rid of it altogether? The beauty in this month long experiment is that is about the amount of time it takes for an activity to turn into a habit. My birthday is MAY 1st. So, I am really hoping that this year, my birthday present to myself will be that I have created a lot of great daily habits in my life and that I have freed up a whole lot of discipline to use elsewhere as I venture into my 37th year. DOWNLOAD: todayIWILL What do you want to habitualize (is this not a word?)? what are your thoughts on daily routines and the power of Spring to implement them? I’d love to hear from you. xoxoxo danielle
While baking Christmas cookies with my mom last week, my dad was busy unpacking various Christmas memories, including this letter to santa I wrote when I was little. “jeans and Ladies shoes”….I guess some things never change.
Merry Christmas everyone! It seems we have a white Christmas after all!
With Wes and I both working for ourselves, we do try to strategically carve out time to take ourselves out of the cycle of work and out of life’s necessary routines to just change our speed a little.
Being that it is Fall in Northeast Ohio, it’s one of the best times of year then to head East. We spent some time out in Middlefield, Burton and at Punderson State Park for some hiking. It was a beautiful day to be outside soaking in some fresh air, and perhaps the last remaining rays of sunshine we’ll see for the year.
image via here.
Good morning to you! Rainy Wednesday here in Cleveland. Lately I find myself trying to hold onto my precious early morning routine from summer. Unfortunately the increasing darkness of the Fall morning and the decreasing temperatures, make for the perfect temptation to stay in bed, wrapped up like a cocoon!
It makes me recall a book I read recently: The Power of Habit. I have been wondering why it is that habit that has been active and consistent for 6 months would suddenly start to break down and reflecting back on this book, my theory is that the cue has changed.
The recipe of a habit is: CUE, ROUTINE, REWARD. For me, my ROUTINE (read: habit) of rising early and my subsequent activities was CUED by the sunshine and warm spring, then summer breezes through my bedroom window. Yes, it did start with an alarm, but after a short while, that hardly mattered because my body knew to wake at 7 each day (and so did Bucci!).
I have attempted the alarm again, but it has not quite been working. I mean, I get up, but very begrudgingly. So, what I have surmised is that my CUE has changed. There are no more Sunny, springy, fresh breeze filled mornings. They are dark. Like, nearly as black as night, and they are cold and the windows are closed so there are no fresh breezes. It’s hard to find a new CUE when without the bright sunrise, what is the real difference between getting up at 7am or in the middle of the night?
So, I will ponder this thought and consider one of those Sharper Image type alarms which emulate sunshine or something too, but, in the meantime, I will ponder gratitude…what is it that I am feeling grateful for this week?
In the immediate, I can say, that I am grateful that my friend Shibani is so thoughtful and generous that months ago when Wes and I were leaving their house in the midst of a torrential rain, she lent us her gigantic golfer-sized umbrella. I am grateful for that today as I used that very umbrella on the long rainy walk from my car to my office this morning.
I am feeling grateful for being born and raised (with a small hiatus) in the town (CLEVELAND!!) that I currently live in. It occurred to me recently that while Cleveland is a much larger city than the small town my parents currently live in and I spent time living in: chagrin falls, there are some strong similarities in the way of life. If you’ve lived here long or are a more outgoing type of person…you can know the names of the shop owners and restaurant owners you patronize, you can read the paper and know many of the names you see across it’s pages, if you’re a die hard renter like me you can move into places previously occupied or owned by people you know or have met through someone you know, you can jump in – get involved and feel your impact on your own community. You can take a public park and make it your own back yard, These are things that (to me anyhow) sounds like life in a small town. Cleveland is my small town and for that I am grateful.
Today, I am also grateful that there are not only endless ‘destinations’ in life, but an infinite number of paths too. I find it interesting to share and hear from others, stories about what we are learning about life, new approaches to goals, new goals, what works/what doesn’t work, and lessons learned along the way. You know what I mean? You talk to coworkers about your cooking attempts, friends over wine about some of life’s bigger challenges and to your mom on the phone about this or that…It’s interesting to learn from others and for that, I am grateful. But beyond this I am grateful that there is NOT ONE SINGULAR ROUTE we are all too take. What works for you doesn’t always for me. It may another day but it’s ok if it’s not right now. We take different paths, we select different ‘destinations’. There is no wrong way. To me, anyhow, if it seems I am on the slow path towards something, if it seems like everyone around me is passing me by, it’s not that I am lesser, or that I am not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, rich enough, it’s that I am on a different journey. I am learning my own way OR it is something that is simply less a priority for me or not a priority at all. We all have a habit of projecting our goals, our destinations onto everyone and anyone else. I am grateful to know and understand that there are infinite approaches to life.
Ok, well, I am also grateful to all the new clients we signed in just the last 2 weeks alone, so grateful in fact, that I better get back to work and prove it!
Thanks for stopping by for the chat today. I always feel so good when I do these gratitude posts. What are you feeling today? Anything above resinate? Ever question your journey relative to others? well, stop.
Since transitioning into the event/wedding industry full time, I have worked really hard to create sharp divisions between my work time and personal time. I HUGE feat for me since I have long been blurring those lines.
As the Creative Director of my events, I am not always at each wedding my company has, or at least, not after their decor has been installed, which is my primary concern. I have amazing Coordinators, head up by the Director of Client Projects, Christen, who have the event day of coordination down to a science and I only get in the way!
So whether my weekends are the traditional days of the week or one’s I turn into my weekend, I have worked hard to turn the computer off, to give my focus to my husband, dog, friends and home. It’s still a work in progress, old habits die hard, but weekend’s like this past one are a great endorsement for prioritizing personal time!
I met up with my friend Charity for some fancy pants nails this weekend. You can see her post on it here. Below, on the left, is the inspiration image I brought into the salon and the result is on the right. Fantasy Nails on W.25th in Ohio City (sorta) brought my dream to life. The only caveat being they couldn’t do the inverse French mani in metallic as I had hoped. Having to choose a color, I went with hot pink. In the image after, you can see how that worked in my favor.
Wes and I play on a football team on Saturday mornings and our team colors are black and neon pink, so we not only won our game but I declare myself a team spirit winner too! I love how Wes insisted that his images be included in the image below so that it was clear that it was not HIS manicure being photographed with his shirt 🙂
Lucky us, we know the right people and got a sneak peek (thank you Jennie at RS! )of the vintage gems for sale at this week’s Paprkia Vintage/RS Boutique Fall show. The show is THursday so get it while the gettin’s good!
Wes and I had dinner with both sets of parents at Bar Cento but then snuck in an additional drink over at Great Lakes Brewery, where we noticed the countdown clock to the release of Christmas Ale (omg!).
I know that sometimes buying the right personalized gift can be a serious challenge. Well, one of our recent brides (and my now friend!) hit the nail on the head with her Paris-themed gift package for me as a “Thank you” for helping her design her wedding. How amazingly cute are these custom BUCCI bowls for my little baby, Bucci!?!?! And then below is a Paris from above book Wes and I both loved. So sweet, I tell ya!
We also saw CAPTAIN PHILLIPS this weekend and LOVED LOVED LOVED it! I strongly recommend it, but of course, it’s not a terrific shocker that Tom Hanks did a great job in a film with a great script etc. well, no less, it’s perfect.
Well into the work week again, I look forward to all the fall goodies Wes have planned for our upcoming weekend too. Have a great week everyone and thank you for stopping by!
It’s been a very busy couple months. Sorry for the late post, but better late than never, right?
* Well, on a light note, I am grateful for my mother-in-law’s baking prowess. One wedding tradition we partook in was the tradition of saving your wedding cake to have a slice a year later on your 1st anniversary. We chose not to do a traditional cake for our wedding, and instead had Wes’s mother bake a small token cake, which we could cut on our wedding night. I don’t think we really even ate cake that night, at least not more than a bite. I remember two days after our wedding, at 4:30 in the morning, hastily pulling it out of the fridge and packing it into tupperware and shoving into the freezer as we were on our way out of town for our honeymoon. I remember the smell of that frosting and thinking what torture it was that I was going to have to wait an entire year to enjoy this cake again. Well, we broke open our cake last night (technically, it was a more than a week after our anniversary) and unbelievably, I opened the lid of the tupperware containing the cake and the vanilla-y aroma of delicious frosting immediately delighted our olfactory and I am happy to report that while the cake was a bit dry, it was beyond edible and crossed convincingly into the realm of delicious with the frosting as mouth-watering as the day it was first served. For this nostalgic, romantic & sugary treat and the occasion for which it was made, I am grateful.
* I am grateful that we write our own stories. So, when I have a particularly challenging work week, and I miss 3 runs, it doesn’t mean that “Bummer, I guess I’m not a runner after all, what a shame I didn’t make it and now I have to stop”….all that it means…is that I MISSED 3 RUNS! Not the end of the world. Instead of quitting and giving up thinking you failed at this challenge, you simply lace up, get out there and rewrite your story. I love that.
* While it would be easy to complain about my current work load and not having enough hours in the day or days in the week, what it really means is that I am working! That I HAVE jobs to do, and not just any jobs, all jobs I am creatively motivated by and inspired by and I can do them on my own terms. For this, I am quite grateful.
*As i lace up to go for a run, I am grateful that it is a gorgeous day out! Soon enough, Northeast Ohio will be covered by clouds and they will remain, for the most part, for the better part of 7 months. I will cherish these sunny days now and hold on to them tightly and imagine them when I sense a serious vitamin D deficiency settling in.
And what about you? Tell me, tell yourself, tell anyone…what are you grateful for today?
Happy Wednesday Gratitude day!
I’m typing this from Toast on Tuesday evening, while waiting to meet up with one hell of a group of Cle-loving talented and inspiring ladies!…and for this, I am grateful!
This post is for my Wednesday GRATITUDE posts, but I am finding that i now look at things with gratitude on a daily basis too. In a way, it’s like a muscle I have to exercise because I have spent a shameful amount of time matriculating through life without stopping and recognizing those things for which I am grateful.
The great thing about gratitude and having gratitude, is that there are no rules whatsoever related to it. You can have what seems to be surface level gratitude “I’m grateful for my husband” or take it deeper “I am grateful that my husband likes avocados as much as I do” or even deeper still: “I’m grateful that my husband doesn’t hold my lack of culinary skills against me but instead supports and applauds all of my efforts and often cooks with me as a fun activity we do together”. You see what I mean? So, even if you’re in a terrific hurry, which I actually am at the moment, the act of gratitude doesn’t always have to be the deepest of thoughts, appreciate the simplicity of it!
So, with that, a few of the things I am grateful for right now include:
1. Wes’ sense of humor. We both appreciate the same type of humor and as a result are able to make one another laugh, and often. This is something which I do not take for granted and am grateful for.
2. The inspiration I find in the talented pool of people I’ve been fortunate enough to meet and those I’ve yet to meet but look forward to meeting. It’s exciting to know the infinite possibilities which exist for collaborations!!
3. The plethora of restaurants and cafes in town!
4. The amazing help I’ve received from Michael Pultz in putting together this years band line up for ROAR ALONG THE SHORE!!
5. My studio space. It has been a tremendous source of inspiration in and of itself since moving into in May(ish).
Happy Wednesday everyone!
Good morning everyone! Check out my video below, as I explain a little more intimately what this blog means to me and see how you can help!