6 Shortcuts For Easier Mornings

6 Shortcuts For Easier Mornings

I shared some helpful habits for non-morning people back in 2015, and my quest to conquer the start of the day is still a work-in-progress. Truth be told: I’m a mess in the morning. I love to squeeze in as much sleep as I can manage — every minute counts! — before I absolutely have to throw myself out of bed, so I’m always looking for shortcuts to shave precious time off my morning routine.

Here are 6 of my favorites:

Make a Designated Drop Spot :: There’s nothing more maddening than a frazzled keys/phone search when you’re already running behind in the morning. I have a small console table in the foyer with a basket to drop my keys and sunglasses in as soon as I walk in the door, and before I go to bed, I stack anything that needs to leave the house with me next to it: my phone, to-do lists, scrawled reminder notes, library books to return, etc.

Plan Your Outfits For the Week :: If you struggle with figuring out what to wear in the morning, try to pull a week’s worth of outfits together on Sunday evening. Iron them, and hang them in a designated place in your closet so they’re ready to go. It’s one less thing to stress about in the morning, and helps keep your closet tidy and organized without those panicked “I have nothing to wear!” tornadoes ripping through it.

Use Bags Within Your Bag :: I love zip-top pouches. I use them to organize all my “essentials” in my bag, and can switch them from handbag to handbag in a snap if I decide to make a quick change in the morning. This BAGGU leather design is my favorite. It’s large enough to double as clutch; I keep it in my everyday tote bag and toss all my stuff in it if I have plans after work.  I also use a clutch wallet that’s big enough to hold my phone, car key, and favorite lipstick so I can ditch the rest of my handbag if I want to travel light.

Pack a Lunch the Night Before :: I’m trying to get in the habit of bringing a healthy lunch and snacks to work so I don’t dip into our stash of leftover Halloween candy to make it through the day. I find I’m most successful with meal prep if I do it the night before: packing up dinner leftovers; making a big salad with mixed fruit, nuts and goat cheese; or rolling up lean lunch meat with cheese and fresh sliced fruit. These stackable glass containers with snap-on lids are my favorite for the job because they’re durable, reusable, and easy to clean. I put my lunch bag next to my purse when I’m finished so I don’t forget to grab what I packed in the fridge before I run out the door.

Be Your Own Barista :: Last year I discovered cold brew coffee concentrate, and my life will never be the same. I’m hooked on this unsweetened mocha brew: I pour it into an insulated thermal tumbler over lots of ice, then fill it up with water and/or milk and go. (A caveat: take the time to measure it out; it’s concentrated and has a lot of caffeine, so it’s easy to overdo it and end up with the jitters through lunch.) Corkcicle tumblers come in a fun range of colors, and keep ice frozen for more than 9 hours; I have a few in rotation and never leave home without one.

Have Cookies For Breakfast :: I found this recipe for healthy breakfast cookies last year, and they’re a hit with my husband and the flower shop team. I like to make a big batch on the weekend to have on hand for easy grab-and-go breakfasts throughout the week, and customize them with different nuts, dried fruit, and dark chocolate. They’re packed with protein and whole grain oats for sustained energy, and pair perfectly with DIY iced coffee.

What are your favorite morning shortcuts? (Seriously, please share them; I need all the help I can get.)

New Year | New Goals

New Year | New Goals

I’m not big on traditional resolutions, but I’m all about jotting down a list of achievable personal and professional goals at the start of each year to motivate myself to make the most of it. 2016 was the year of prioritizing a happy work/life balance for me, and I want to continue that positive momentum into the new year while challenging myself to try new things, be more present, and invest more time in my favorite people and hobbies.

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I love a shirt dress. This one is from m.marie, but you can find cute alternatives here, here and here.

Here are the personal intentions at the top of my list for a happy and healthy 2017:

  • Stretch my creative muscles. Whether it’s making DIY artwork for our home, dusting off the ol’ DSLR to practice photography, or finally taking the knitting classes I’ve talked about for years, I’d love to explore new creative outlets this year. I find I’m most content when I’m in a focused zone of creativity; plus, the more I practice other artistic projects, the more I’m inspired in my design work at the flower shop. Win/win!
  • Make time with friends and family a priority. It seems like we’re all busier than ever these days, but I hope to get weekly dinners with my parents back on track this year, and to spend lots of nights with my best friends wearing sweat pants, drinking wine and watching ridiculous reality TV.
  • Put down the phone and pick up a book. I was pretty good about reading in 2016, but I definitely wasted a lot of time watching YouTube videos and mindlessly scrolling through Facebook and Instagram; time that would’ve been much better served with my nose in a book. I’m not swearing off social media or grounding myself from the Internet (obvi) but I hope to be more mindful about my screen time in the new year.
  • Bake a new recipe each week. I love spending time in the kitchen cooking meals or baking sweet treats — it’s a sure-fire way to turn off my racing thoughts and relax — but I don’t do it often enough. Sundays are designated lazy days at the Lennox house, and my mom bought me a KitchenAid Stand Mixer for Christmas, so get ready Pinterest, it’s about to go down.
  • Get outta town. C and I haven’t traveled anywhere in years, mostly because our small business makes it difficult to get away for more than a few days, but also because I’m a house mouse and nervous traveler. I know it’s important to get away and share those experiences together, so I hope to make a few trips this year to explore new places and get out of my comfort zone.
  • Say “yes!” more often than no thank you.” When an opportunity arises, I can think of ten ‘what-if’ scenarios to immediately talk myself out of it, and I miss out on a lot of relationships and experiences by letting those doubts and anxieties get the best of me. I read Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic this year (highly recommend) and loved her view on learning to live and work alongside your fears: to acknowledge their presence and appreciate their purpose, but refuse to allow them to control your life. She says, “It seems to me that the less I fight my fear, the less it fights back. If I can relax, fear relaxes, too.”
  • Work on my fitness. Ugh, I hate exercise. I’ve always thought of it as a chore, so I need to find a fun [preferably outdoor] activity I enjoy to release stress and keep my body strong and healthy. Maybe this is the year I find my inner yogi, take up jogging to join my step-dad in at least one 5K per month, or find local places to hike with C on the weekends.

Here’s to a new filled with courage, creativity, and lots of good vibes with a great big dose of grace while we figure it all out. Happy 2017, y’all!

{Wearing :: BB Dakota dress via m.marie (SIMILAR here) + BAGGU Canvas Backpack + old Isola sandals (TRY these or these + Cole Haan sunglasses + Bourbon & Boweties bracelet}

Weekend Update

Weekend Update

This was the first weekend of the season that felt like fall, and it was so lovely. I poured beer at Oktoberfest downtown Friday night, delivered two wedding orders on Saturday, stocked up on fresh fruits and veggies at my favorite family-owned produce stand, enjoyed a fun night with friends at Grove Roots Brewing, and checked out the annual plant festival at Bok Tower Gardens on Sunday (more on that later this week).

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Gimme all the baby pumpkins at Publix, please!

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This may be my favorite bridal bouquet of the year: black magic roses, silver brunia, blush garden roses and rice flower, and cream hydrangea.

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I had to Google this one: Calabanza squash, also known as ‘Caribbean pumpkin’.
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Local readers, check out Walker’s Produce in Bartow!
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Doesn’t this make you want to bake a peach cobbler?
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Lurve this color palette of cream and blush with the palest peach.

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I’m making it my mission to savor every weekend through the season!

My New Filofax Original A5 in Patent Nude

My New Filofax Original A5 in Patent Nude

As much as I’d love to be the kind of modern woman who can organize her entire life in her iPhone, I just can’t do it. I like my organization old-school: a classic day planner is my lifeline to my schedule, to-do lists, notes, and overall sanity. If I don’t physically write things down, they’re good as forgotten, and I like having everything in one convenient and portable place (otherwise, I’ll just scratch notes on old receipts and drink napkins and lose them forever in the detritus at the bottom of my handbag).

After trying many planners over the years, I found that the best options for me are customizable binder systems with a variety of separately-purchased inserts. This way I can buy exactly what I need, skip the extras I don’t — lookin’ at you, address book pages — and create my own tabs to build an organization system that’s perfect for me.

I typically purchase planners between July and August — at 31 I still miss back-to-school shopping and this time of year always feels like a fresh start — and this year I invested in a leather Filofax A5 Personal Organizer in Patent Nude. Now my organization game feels all grown up and fancy.

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leopard iPad sleeve via Hautelook

Filofax offers a range of binder sizes, from pocket-sized to portfolios. I went with the A5 because I have a lot of junk to keep track of; I wanted to have plenty of room for scheduling and writing, and also let it double as a bullet journal.

The quality leather binder is durable and the perfect size to carry around in a tote bag or backpack. I stash a few business cards in the credit card slot, keep a pretty Rifle Paper notebook in the pocket for all my wedding notes, and clip important things I don’t want to forget right to the front with a giant gold paperclip; i.e. bank deposits, bills that are due, and flower/supply lists.

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I really like the Filofax Personal Lined Week On 2 Pages Diary Inserts: there’s plenty of room to schedule your days and jot down notes, and it’s really convenient to have the entire week at a glance. I use the Filofax To Do List sheets to manage tasks, and already bought an extra pack so I don’t run out. (There are few things I love in life as much as to-do lists.)

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