“A day in the life” is one of my most requested posts! I get it – I’ve seen other bloggers do these posts and I’m always so intrigued by how people schedule their days, whether they work from home, in an office or stay at home. It’s always interesting to get a peek into other people’s lives, routines and schedules.
My workday is different every day, but I’m going to share a more general day where I’m mostly in the office, because not every day is full of excitement – I don’t want to give the perception that I’m always working with a well-known reporter or on a really major story – those things are part of my job (and I love those days!) but this is a more average day.
6:37 AM (yes, I’m weird and really like the number 7)
Wake up. Wish it wasn’t time to wake up. Check my phone for a couple of minutes or share the link to my latest published blog post in my stories. Head into the bathroom to start my morning getting-ready routine.
Wash my face, apply skin care products, brush my teeth, do my makeup, style my hair and get dressed for work – in that order. While I do this, my husband takes the kids downstairs to start breakfast. I always listen to a podcast while I get ready in the morning.
Key products: face wash | toner | vitamin c serum (here too) | curling wand | makeup routine info & products here and here | skin care routine, here
Check the weather app on my phone (the weather is all over the place this winter), go to the kids rooms and pick out clothes for each of them. Bring the clothes downstairs and prep anything I need to take into the office or that the kids need in their backpacks.
Key products: kids backpacks: Harper’s is here and Lincoln’s is here
Kevin and I help the kids brush their teeth, get dressed, etc. I also use this time window to post on Instagram if I have content to share that morning. We try to be out of the house by 7:35-7:40 at the latest.
Drop the kids off at school. Get into my car and turn on my latest audiobook or Podcast to listen to during my commute into the office.
Read about my favorite podcasts here and here. I just finished All We Ever Wanted, on Audible. Read about my favorite audiobooks, here.
I usually get to my office between 8:30-8:35. When I get to my desk, I set my bag down, find my Yeti and start to brew a double espresso pod in my Nespresso. I get my almond milk out of the mini fridge and steam it with some cinnamon (I have the Nespresso milk frother). I check/respond to emails and then I get two GG Crackers and top them with some peanut butter. This breakfast is my fave and the fiber keeps me full until lunch. I also LOVE PB. Yum!
I also always put on my blue light glasses right as I sit down at my desk. They help with my digital eye strain and I haven’t had a retinal migraine once since I started wearing them. They’ve been a game-changer for me.
Sometimes, I’ll drink a cup of mint or regular green tea an hour or two after my latte.
Key products: Nespresso machine (here, too) | Yeti tumbler (with handle, here) | silicone straw | GG crackers | blue light glasses (frames – you need to have the lenses made at your optometrists office – ask for “blue light protection” or “digital eye strain protective coating”)
9 AM -12:30 PM
Every day is different – sometimes I’m answering emails, scheduling media interviews (reaching out to our experts, seeing who is available, etc). I email with reporters, doctors, nurses, patients, etc. Sometimes I go to meetings with our medical teams to discuss story ideas and programs or initiatives, sometimes I’m at a shoot or interview with a doctor and/or patient family. Sometimes I’m at my desk, writing pitches, taking calls, planning out my week, etc. You can read more about my job here.
I usually eat lunch around this time. It’s typically baked chicken and veggies or a salad with protein/healthy fats (read more about my diet here). I usually make myself another latte after lunch or drink regular coffee or tea, depending on my mood. I continue to work through lunch most days at my desk.
Key products: meal planning containers (I only use glass now) | Four Sigmatic coffee
Depending on the day, I either have meetings, emails to answer, interviews to coordinate, pitching to do or calls with patient families scheduled, so I spend my afternoons doing those things. Sometimes, I have a meeting or two at the hospital.
I turn on my “happy light” for 20 minutes while I continue to work. It’s something new I’m trying to get over that mid-day slump. The NYT recently wrote about light therapy for SAD. I also have a snack at this time – usually some almonds or an RX bar. I also love Trader Joe’s plantain chips for a snack.
Key products: Happy light | RX bar
Most days, I try to leave the office by this time.
If I’m picking up the kids (whichever one of us gets there faster picks them up), it takes me about 25-30 minutes (#houstontraffic) to get there.
We get home, put away our coats, bags and shoes, wash hands and start warming up dinner. I’ve been using our extra veggies to make omelettes for dinner lately and they’re so delish. I usually have chicken and berries over arugula for dinner or sometimes I have ground turkey lettuce wraps or turkey meatballs with zoodles.
Key product: Wire baskets with hooks – to hang our coats and backpacks
We usually go to the playroom and hang out. Sometimes we watch Paw Patrol or another show if everyone just needs to veg after a long day. We don’t have homework right now, so we just focus on family time.
Sometimes I use our Dyson to clean the kitchen area
We take the kids downstairs for a bath, brush teeth, etc.
Key products: bath tub toy organizer
I read a few books to the kids together in Harper’s bed and then we do “prayers and cuddles” (we switch off nights). Harper has been reading a lot lately, so sometimes we take turns reading pages – it has been amazing to watch her grow!
See some of our favorite books here.
Usually, the kids are both asleep right before 8, we head downstairs, decide what we want to watch and I turn on my electric kettle to make a cup of tea. I either drink this bed time tea or this stress relief tea. Sometimes, I drink a glass of Natural Calm. This is also when I’d do things like wipe down the counters or attend to any other cleaning related task.
I usually crack open my laptop and work on blog content or edit photos on my phone while we watch TV. If I’m feeling particularly tired or don’t have any blog deadlines I need to meet, I take the night off and just relax. I have weeks where I’m really driven to create content and I have weeks where I have a hard time publishing even one post. The ebb and flow…keeps things interesting (and takes the pressure off).
When I’m exercising, I go downstairs to my office (workout room) and stream a P.volve workout right after the kids are asleep. This is the only time I can fit it in. I aim to exercise three days a week. If you’re interested in P.volve, click here for a free trial week. Read my P.volve review here. I’m re-starting P.volve this week so you can expect to see that on my stories and blog soon!
Key products: Natural Calm | bed time tea | stress relief tea | Four Sigmatic cacao| electric kettle
We usually head upstairs for the night. I shower and do my night time skin care routine. Usually I unwind by watching Instagram stories or catching up with friends via text and DM. I also started using a weighted blanket recently, which helps calm me down before bed time. I’ll do a full review soon!
Key products: Weighted blanket | daily journal | my favorite pillow (the stuffing inside is adjustable to your needs)
Lights out – it’s a later bed time than I would like, but I got into the habit of staying up late to pump and I swear my body is programmed to stay up until 11. I still get about 7-7.5 hours of sleep this way, but I’d prefer 8.
It’s fun to read about a ‘day in the life’!! Personally, I’ve been making an effort to not have my nose in my phone as much of the day, so I use the “screen time” function on my iPhone to set limits on how much time I spend on various apps collectively throughout the day. Obviously, things like my work email and our security camera system are excluded from adding to the time total! – but it’s been really helpful in increasing my awareness of how much time I’m spending/wasting on social media. Instead, I’m trying to get back into reading books more (usually borrowed from the library or the Kindle First program (via Amazon Prime), or flipping through digital magazines (again through the library, no physical clutter in the house, and it’s free!!) I’m sure you know that the blue light omitted from electronic screens keeps us awake, and professionals advise to put down the electronics at least an hour before bedtime.
Additionally, I recently tested a few sleeping apps to encourage me to put my mind to rest faster and sleep more solidly through the night. I’m decided to choose “Slumber” which plays music and offers narrative stories and/or meditations. I’m experimenting with what works best for me, and I’m finding women’s voices to be more soothing and put me to sleep faster! – who knew?!
Finally, for mornings, I have recently made a goal to get up early before work to get some work done or read, or go to the gym, or just relax and enjoy my coffee early. I’ve found that the sudden blast of an alarm is quite jarring for me, so I have an “Awake Light” which slowly glows to mimic a sunrise; it’s especially helpful in my northern Wisconsin environment when the winter mornings are so dark! I’m also using an app called “Sleep Cycle”. You turn it on before bed and using your phone’s microphone, it “listens” to your breathing and movements while you sleep and charts your sleep cycle. You set a target wake time – let’s say I want to be up no later than 5:30AM, so I choose the block 5:00-5:30AM. Then, based on your sleep cycle, the app wakes you in your “light” phase of sleep. Studies show being woken in the “light” phase allows a more peaceful and natural wake time rather than being jarred awake with an alarm in the middle of a “deep” phase, which usually results in feeling more groggy and tired. I’ve tested this via the app and even on 5-6 hours of sleep, being woken in the “light” phase makes me feel more rested than being woken in the “deep” phase with 7-8 hours. In a perfect world, I’m going to bed early enough to acquire the 8 hours of sleep my body needs AND am being woken in a “light” phase.
Thanks for sharing what you do all day!
Katie – that last app you mentioned sounds amazing! I’m a get up and get out the door type person, but I’d love to be woken more gently – I will check it out and see if it could work for me.
I wear blue light glasses for about 8 hours a day (at work) and then from 9PM onward, I have the “night time” enabled on my iPhone, which makes the screen have a yellow tint and is said to be better for the eyes. I do think it helps!
I’m in the midst of a month-long free trial of the Sleep Cycle app, I’m liking it a lot so far. Now that I have about a week’s worth of data entered, it is creating graphs and trends so I can see which of my habits impact my sleep quality – i.e. – you can make a note if you’ve had coffee/tea, worked out, or had a stressful day. It also can connect with the weather and your location so you can see how that impacts your sleep quality. Not surprisingly, I got better sleep scores when I was on a snowmobiling trip over the past weekend!
But it will be really neat to see the trends over the month and potentially over the year as more data is collected; perhaps I’ll be able to see seasonal changes, or changes if/when I get pregnant again. What’s more fun is then trying to implement changes to improve the sleep quality! 🙂
I am really intrigued – thanks for sharing this! How does it monitor your breathing? Do you have to sleep with your phone by your pillow?
Per the app’s direction, you put it face-down on your bedside table. The phone needs to be plugged in. I have it so the microphone is aimed toward me. I don’t know how precise it is / how it differentiates between me and my husband, but it is still interesting and fun to play with!
WOW! It only takes you 20 minutes to do skin care, makeup, style your hair and get dressed?!? Amazing! Truly amazing. I believe my makeup routine takes me around 20 minutes (and believe me I cut it down).
Pretty much! I do the exact same makeup every single day and have for over a decade and I only touch up my hair most mornings with a flat iron or curling iron. 20-25 mins on average. I think I could do it all blindfolded at this point, haha 🙂
What’s the scientific evidence on the effectiveness of these blue light glasses (I’m talking rigorous research – not snake oil marketing or anecdotal reports)?
Digital eye strain is a real problem nowadays. My optometrist has written numerous articles on the topic, check them out here: https://www.optometricmanagement.com/issues/2016/april-2016/protect-patients-with-lens-technology and here: https://www.visionoptique.com/eye-health-library/blue-light-protection/.
I was havimg retinal migraines with regularity and my eyes actually used to ache from digital eye strain. The retinal migraine episodes became frequent enough that I had to see an optho-neurologist to confirm the diagnosis and make sure it wasn’t something else going on. Since having worn my glasses every work day, all day long, I have not had one retinal migraine and my eyes no longer feel sore or strained. I guess that’s “anecdotal” but for me, it makes a huge difference.
You have such a nice schedule!! I leave the house by 6 am and do not get home until a little after 7. Awesome you can still drop off and pick up your kids and work great hours.
I definitely feel fortunate. I was in a very toxic work environment prior to my current job and I knew I would not be ready to have children until I was in a position in my career where I had the kind of job and hours that would allow me to have this kind of schedule. Having said that, I still work way more than my 40 hours a week at my full time job since I also run this blog – but my hours can be more flexible here when they need to be. I also definitely have days where I need to be at work really early, but it doesn’t happen on the regular, so I wanted to share a more average day 🙂
Lisa Marie says
Wow. You’re a busy Mama! Your kids are adorbs btw. The only issue I have is with your skin care routine. My derm says Vitamin C serums are a waste of money as are eye creams and expensive cleansers plus she says that there is no such thing as “anti aging” anything. She says it’s all marketing.
Here is what she recommends for me: wash my face with CeraVe, apply a moisturizer with sunscreen, (I use either Oil of Olay for sensitive skin or CeraVe), then apply Elta Md SPF 46. That’s it. I’m still pretty oily even at my age and this system is kind and gentle to my rosacea sensitive skin.
Love your blog Veronika!
Hi Lisa! Thanks for your comment 🙂
I have seen a transformation in my skin since using c-serums and also retinol (not using it now, but I have). Retinol is clinically shown to be an effective anti-aging ingredient. I do agree a lot of products can be gimmicky, but with consistent use of high-quality skincare products, you will see an increase in moisture, a reduction in fine lines and age spots, etc. I’ve seen the results myself 🙂 I love that you have a skincare routine that works for you 🙂