Mornings are hectic.  Whether you have children, a dog, a messy kitchen, or maybe all three of these things, mornings are a crazy time of day for everyone.  Due to my unconventional schedule, my mornings are a bit wonky, but I have a few rituals and tricks to help me get my day started.

Early morning: the alarm goes off.  My first thought is “this is the worst thing that has ever happened to me”.
Shortly after that: I roll out of bed, wash my face to wake myself up, put on my favourite slippers from 1998 (seriously, they are OLD, but so comfortable), and start to snap out of my early-morning funk.

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We don’t have cable, so I stream my favourite morning news channel to get caught up on current events as I pack my lunch.  I used to buy my lunch, but now I make double or triple dinner leftovers so I can eat clean and save a little money.

I’ve been trying to start my morning off with protein instead of carbs (I find it keeps me going for so much longer), so I make a daily smoothie.  It usually involves whatever is in my freezer/fridge, but my favourite new creation is a pumpkin pie smoothie:

½ cup canned pureed pumpkin
1 tsp pumpkin spice mix (I got mine at Trader Joe’s, but you can also make your own)
1 heaping handful of spinach
1 tsp ground flax
1.5 cups of almond milk
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder

Whirl together in a blender and enjoy.  It honestly tastes like pumpkin pie filling and is a great way to start your day.

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I then settle in on the couch to do an hour of work before I head to my day job.  This usually consists of working on features for Curated Taste, answering emails, writing copy for clients, or working on my new website (yes, you read that right – I’m launching a new site! More information coming soon).  It took me a while to get used to working so early in the morning, but I eventually got used to it.  Sometimes I don’t have the creative juices to work on anything that requires real brainpower at 6am, so if that happens, I’ll switch to photo editing or a more standardized task.

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After about an hour, I start getting ready for work.  The first thing I do is my makeup; I stick to the basics and have my early morning makeup routine down to five minutes (for the full tutorial, click here).  I used to have my showers in the morning, but I switched to night showers about 10 years ago for a few reasons: 1) A warm shower forces me to step away from the computer at night (translation: work) and relaxes me before bed 2) I used to have really frizzy hair, so sleeping on it actually helped me deal with the Medusa hairdo I often struggled with 3) Not showering in the morning = more sleep time 4) I have very sensitive skin, so I found that if I moisturized right before bed, it would give the moisturizer a chance to really soak in overnight.

But products advance and things change, so I recently tried Jergens’ Moisturizer for Wet Skin, which could potentially change my nighttime/morning routine.  Instead of applying it when you get out of the shower – stay with me here – you apply it in the shower.  The concept behind it is that you apply the product when your skin is most receptive to moisture (immediately after bathing); rub it in your skin while it’s still wet and then pat dry.

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Even though I fear change at an innate level, I used this for a week in place of my normal moisturizer.  It felt a a bit odd at first, but I quickly got used to the concept and found that the moisturizer soaked in quickly, hydrated my dry skin well, and the coconut scent reminded me of my favourite place to visit: Maui (see my photo diary here).  All in all, not a bad way to start (or end) your day.

After all this morning hubbub, I head to my day job for a full day of work (and hopefully a lunch workout).  Then, like everybody else, I do it four more times.

It’s all in a day’s work.

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This feature was sponsored by Jergens®, but the opinions are all my own.