Finding Balance: My Morning Routine

Over the past few months, I’ve realized how essential it is for me to have balance in my life. As I have learned over the years, it can be all too easy to slip into the habit of letting the workday be my entire day. It’s a habit that creeps up on you and you suddenly feel as though there isn’t time for anything else.

We hear the term ‘balance’ a lot nowadays, along with words like ‘wellness’, and ‘mindfulness’. The constant reminders of these lifestyle benefits can sometimes feel like just another burden, an added demand to also excel in. It got me thinking of what balance even means. Does it mean excelling in all aspects of one’s life but also practicing yoga every morning? Is it working part time so that there’s more time for life’s other obligations? Is it doing only the things you love to do? I’ve spent some time thinking about this and for me, balance means doing everything I can to live the life I need to feel awesome (yep, that’s the adjective I’m going for). It has taken me many years of learning to trust my intuition and listen when the signs are telling me life is out of balance.

For a long time, my morning routine consisted of waking up at the last possible minute before I had to get ready for the work day. I wouldn’t have time to make breakfast at home, partly because I valued my sleep, but also because I couldn’t resist treating myself to a large iced mocha and a chocolate chip muffin on my commute. It may not come as a surprise, but at this time in my life, I was overweight. My morning commutes took over an hour on public transit, which didn’t leave much time for a morning workout at the gym or a homemade breakfast.

It’s not easy to hear when things are out of equilibrium and my old morning routine had many signs. Luckily, I’ve since learned the importance of recognizing how to better plan my time so that I can incorporate the habits I need for a balanced day. I thought I would share three things that help get me started for the day on the right path. They are not overly time consuming, meaning I don’t have to wake up at 4 AM every morning, but they do keep me in balance.

Balanced Breakfast I love breakfast. Always have, always will. I love starting the day with a delicious and healthy homemade breakfast. Gone are the days of those high-carb muffins. I always dedicate 15 – 20 minutes in the morning to sit down at the kitchen table and enjoy my breakfast and a cup of coffee. My go-to lately is overnight oats. I make them the night before so it’s ready in the morning.

Learning Something New I like to begin each day with an open mindset and desire to learn new things. While I have always loved reading fiction; non-fiction books also take up a lot of real estate on my book shelf. While enjoying my breakfast and coffee, I take those few minutes to read through a few pages of my latest non-fiction book, or listen to a podcast. My current book is Face Paint by Lisa Eldridge. It’s such a captivating read. I love learning about the history and business of makeup.

Living Space One thing I like to do before the start of the work day is tidy up the house. I like to unclutter the living room, wash the dishes from breakfast, make the bed, etc. This only takes about ten minutes or so, but it helps remind me that at the end of the workday, I will come home to a tidy space and an evening that is all my own.

I love my current morning routine. It feels great to wake up a bit earlier so that I can go for a run or to a fitness class and then treat myself to a homemade breakfast while still having time to tidy up the house and read a new book. What I love most about it is that it makes me feel that I’ve already had a full day before the workday has even begun. What helps you find balance throughout the day?

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A Weekend Visit to the Greenhouse in Search of Inspiration

The past weekend was hot and sunny, with blue sky as far as the eye could see. The summer weather inspired me. Feeling confident and bold, I gathered my makeup supplies to create a vintage makeup look to match my summer mood. Applying what I thought were bright corals and pinks, I felt absolutely certain that the finished look would be vibrant. Unfortunately, the look ended up being no different than my usual everyday makeup.

While my personal makeup collection is always expanding, as I often like to add new products to my collection, I often end up feeling the need to tone things down when it comes to the makeup application process. I will go for a taupe eye shadow, instead of that rich terracotta brown cream based shadow, just waiting to be applied. Does anyone else feel this way? When running errands, I will often peruse the cosmetics aisle and won’t be able to resist that bright red lipstick, which will inevitably end up sitting in my makeup bag, unused. Don’t get me wrong, I love natural, classic makeup looks, but sometimes, I wish I could be more open to embracing the bold colours of my makeup collection.

Whenever I’m in need of inspiration, one of my favourite things to do is explore new surroundings. I decided to check out a community greenhouse. The morning was cool and as I walked in through the glass doors, I felt a wave of humidity. It was as though I was suddenly in the middle of the desert. Cacti surrounded me and I couldn’t believe the rich colours and the thick warm air that hit me. I took note of the cool and warm toned greens that filled the room. As I continued onward, I toured the earth’s climates. I walked by rich red and pink poinsettias, tall leafy green plants and dainty flowers of periwinkles, violets and oranges.

My trip to the greenhouse left me feeling rejuvenated. Perhaps it was the smell of the flowers, or the intense temperatures. When I returned home, note book in hand, I began sorting through my makeup collection. Over the next few weeks I’m going to work on incorporating more vibrant colours into future vintage looks. Here are some ideas I have so far:

  • A bold 1980s look comprised of rich greens, coppers and oranges
  • An editorial 1960s look with pink eye shadow and exaggerated liner
  • Edwardian era inspired makeup using a violet and red makeup palette