Morning Routines For the Morning-Challenged

An easy how-to for having a sucessful, productive day by a morning-challenged gal! Mmmm … morning routines. The earliest hours of day are filled with surprises — from the bursts of sunlight to the first notes sung by birds — this time is by far my most favorite of the day.

I haven’t always been an early-bird. I’ve had my fair share of sleeping in till noon. But marrying an (extreme, haha!) early-riser has helped me love waking earlier than most and starting the day before the sun.

The funny thing is that having a good morning doesn’t happen on accident. I’ve found that having established, purposeful routines are necessary for starting out the day successfully. And starting a day well usually leads to finishing well. Here are four tips I’ve found helpful in creating relaxing, productive and awesomely successful mornings.

[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]Start the night before[/pullquote]

Having a successful, pleasant morning doesn’t happen without a little planning. (And this is coming from a girl who knows!) I’ve been known to jump into bed leaving the sink full of greasy dishes and the living room in disarray. Waking up was a chore because I had neglected my chores. No one wants to see ugly, disorganization first thing in the morning (and no one wants to fish out the stinky, soggy washrag stewing in yesterday’s dishwater — yuck!).

Prepare for your successful morning by spending 15 minutes tidying your home the night before. Load the dishes into the dishwater and push start, fluff the living room pillows, put away dvds and clear the miscellaneous coffee cups which multiply like rabbits. You’re sleep will be sweeter with the knowledge that you ended the day productively and your morning will be a lot more fun to wake up to.

[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]Establish a routine[/pullquote]

Routines help humans excel at life. We work, play, relax and learn best when we know what to expect so why would we allow our mornings to be vague, chaotic surprises when it’s easy and awesome-feeling to have set habits and routines?

The beautiful thing is that everyone’s morning routine should look different. We’re all unique with different family sizes and situations so setting ourselves free from the pressure to copy others habits, expectations and routines is necessary for our personal productivity and success.

For me, I start my day by making a cup of coffee, kissing my husband (whose already been up for 2+ hours) and snuggling in the recliner for 15 minutes. Then, after I’ve had a sip or two of black goodness, I move to the kitchen and put away the dried dishes and start breakfast. I follow this routine every day including weekends.

Crazy confession: we eat the same thing every morning except for Sunday. Normally there are two options, oatmeal and eggs or oatmeal and a protein shake. And before you pity me and send me coupons let me say that there is an abundance of flexibility in keeping to routine in your meals. 😀 Oatmeal can be made traditionally with a variety of toppings (brown sugar, honey, berries, milk, cinnamon, chocolate chips, etc.) or in a parfait fashion with fruit and yogurt. And of course eggs can be cooked in countless ways (scrambled, fried, omelet, or muffin style). Having a few, select choices for breakfast make mornings easier on everyone (kids included).

Establishing a morning routine that works for you is an awesome way to make your mornings more fun and successful.

[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]Take time to drink your coffee … and listen to something uplifting [/pullquote]

It’s so simple. I used to believe that being a good keeper of my home meant waking before dawn and jumping right into daily chores. False. Every thing in creation requires a few moments to warm up. Birds fluff feathers, cats stretch and dogs yawn. Even machines require warm-up time. Why should we be any different?

Friend, etch out time in your morning to simply be. Pour yourself something yummy and find a place to watch the sunrise. Rest. Relax. Pray. Listen to worship music. There’s nothing lazy about taking a few minutes to yourself. Mommies, you can even teach your little ones to play quietly in their crib for 15 minutes after they wake.

[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]Do the next thing[/pullquote]

You’ve woken up to home sweet and tidied from the night before, began the day with your established routines and taken a few minutes to drink your coffee and enjoy quiet. What now?

Simple, do the next thing. Quite easy, really. 🙂 I’m sure many of you practical folk are laughing at me but I cannot tell you how easy it is for me to get distracted and put off what’s needed. (Too easy.) 😉

Do what works for you. Write a to-do list. Set a timer on your phone. For me, I write a list and work my way though. Normally, I start with Bible reading then move on to the daily cleaning which involves dishes, sweeping and vacuuming, wiping down the bathroom and dinner prep. By the time I’ve finished I’m free to move onto “fun projects.” Crafting, blogging, reading, Netflix, baking and miscellaneous house projects. 🙂 Is there anything better than having the freedom to do what you love? And all because you had a successful morning!

Good Monring Freebie Printable with AuthenticVirtue.com

For additional, therapeutic support enjoy this free, 8×10 printable I made. (I know, right? Frannie made a printable? Get ready world … she’s advancing and who’s to stop her!) 😉 Follow this link to download this darling print — print it out and stick it to the fridge for morning inspiration. You can make your mornings and days productive, friend. Believe it and put that belief into practice and you’re half way to making mornings fun and blessed.

What does your morning routine look like? Are you an early-bird or are you morning-challenged? Do you have any funny stories about groggy mornings?

Love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie

My Top Springtime DIYs

Welcome, sweet people!

I’m enjoying a quiet day off with my Beloved man. And though our mid-Missouri town is cold and gray today I’m dreaming of future sunshine, green things and spring birds singing their hearts out.

I recently re-organized my Pinterest boards and found so many fun, budget friendly DIY’s I love. Here are six must-do projects I’m planning to do this spring:

[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]In the Garden[/pullquote]

House by Hoff DIY Rope Containers

We have little gardening space so I grow veggies and herbs in containers lining our driveway. Our pots are needing some tlc and I’m going to give them a beautiful makeover I’ll love! (link here)

Survival Life Egg Shell Seedlings

This spring, I plan to grow seedlings using the cardboard egg cartons and shells I usually throw out. My last two growing seasons I skipped starting seeds and our harvest was poor. This year will be different … and this budget-friendly idea will be adorable in the process! (link here)

[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]On the Balcony [/pullquote]

Golden Boys and Me No Sew Bench

Well, I don’t really have a balcony. We have a large parking space/driveway with a step area which houses our container garden and – my favorite diy of last summer – our $20 bench.

I love our bench — it’s adorable! This spring, I hope to make a bright cushion to join the bench. It’s time our rumps had something soft to sit on while outside. 😉 I love how adorable the seat cushion above is. (link here)

[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]Around the House [/pullquote]

Blick DIY Initial

It’s pretty amazing what you can do with scraps and smarts. I’ll be saving up cardboard tubes (from toilet paper) to make our last name’s initial for the front door. Of course, I could just buy one for $5 at Hobby Lobby on sale — but how handy is this? 😉 (link here)

Stone Gable Springtime Vignette

Spring is coming, and with it, my favorite way to freshen our home — bringing God’s natural handiwork inside. I already have a large jar, balls to cover with fabric, so now I’m waiting for fresh, blossoming branches to bring inside. (link here)

I Heart Organizing Dollar Store Rope Basket

Confession: I love shopping at Dollar Tree.

And I love that this DIY basket is fashioned from a $1 purchase. Organizing our home with cute baskets and totes is important to me but no matter how many times I drool over the Target’s bin selection I can’t bring myself to buy a basket for $40.

I mean, think of how many lattes a girl could get for that? 😉 Instead, I’ll set my hands to crafting something similar to above. After all, I already have the rope. (link here)

What is your creative heart dreaming of this Spring? Tell me in a comment below and I’ll be sure to reply. Also, Do you have a Pinterest board I’m not following? Share your username for all of use creatives to follow — after all, making things is more fun with friends! 🙂

Love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie

Chalkboards + Pep Talks

Chalkboard Love

Hello, sweet people and welcome.

Have you ever found that you just love something? A style, color or texture that, no matter its current popularity, you find yourself drawn to?

Sweet friend, indulge that love. Whether its a fascination with gingham, chickens or hand lettering, do what you enjoy. Often, we’re tempted to decorate, dress or behave in ways that are contrary to our God-fashioned nature. I can’t count the times I’ve bought something or dressed in a way simply because it’s what a darling friend does or magazine cover prints.

Confidence in being at peace with your love for chickens, English garden roses or quirky style is a sign of maturity and grace.

Chalkboard love

My style? Maryjane shoes, feminine, calf-length skirts, big headscarves, and peacoats. My hobbies? Handlettering, decorating, writing, and reading. My favorites? Sunshine, chalkboards, lattes, gifts, and country landscapes. My décor style? Cottage, Hobbit-home, Shabby, Home-y, Warm.

Chalkboard loveChalkboard loveWhen we learn to be okay with our unique personalities and enjoyments we learn to smile more, worry less and blossom right where we are at.

It’s lovely.

Be you, sweet person. Tell me, what are your favorites? I would love to know.

Love, blessings, coffee (and a whole lotta chalkboards! 😉 )

Frannie

Winter Day DIY in Our Missouri Nest

DIY in Our Nest

Ah … friends, hello. I’ve had the most glorious weekend. Good coffee and great music flowed generously during my quiet hours. I think I wore the same grey sweater all weekend but that doesn’t matter.

It’s my last day and I’m sitting with my favorite mug next to me and basking in the glory of finished projects and planning future endeavors.

Here’s what my weekend involved … I’d love to hear about yours too.

Winter Day at Home

Don’t laugh but I woke up at 4 o’clock Sunday morning, made a cup of coffee and settled onto our ottoman and played Minecraft with my beloved. (Talk about quirky!) 😉 We also watched a sermon by one of our favorite pastors and had snuggles and breakfast in bed … the perfect start for Valentine’s Day. (Waking up to a neighborhood covered in snow was also delightful.)

Our Nest

Saturday, I started the day in Hobby Lobby trying to find some crafting odds and ends I could make into loveliness.

I settled on two jars of Americana Decor’ chalky finish paint, paintbrushes, a package of nails, polished wood pieces and two doll rods for diy curtain rods.

I pinned, hot glued and banged nails into the wall (with a large rock no less … lol, were tool illiterate in this house 😉 ). In the end, I decided to copy these beautiful window swags. I keep laughing at how satisfyingly beautiful and simple the draped burlap ended up being. Hearts.

diy in our house

Next, I began a three hour drama by painting our armoire. I’m not sure if it’s forgiven me for painting it when it was already perfectly lovely. My love for shabby/recycled/cottage/hobbit-home style décor (plus our newlywed budget) means our home is furnished with many mismatching pieces. And while our bedroom furniture was already quite lovely we both yearned for a lighter hue.

Hence, the two jars of paint.

There were moments when I had my doubts and almost broke into nervous “What have I done!” tears. But in the end I’ve decided everything in our home should be painted white … I mean, look at how beautiful it is! 😉

diy in our nest

I still need to add one more coat, distress the edges and wax. But again, hearts, hearts, hearts.

Crafting in Our Nest

Friday found me sweeping, budgeting, Periscoping, and watching a delightful library find. I also needed to stock up on stationary so I busied my hands with bits of paper and glue sticks. Making my own writing supplies works a lot of delight in my heart.

Overall, the weekend was a grand success full of quiet moments, busy hands and planned out endeavors. Every once in a while this introvert needs time alone to create, read and write; thank You, Lord, for giving me these few days of quiet and rest. You are so good to know each of our delicate frames and give such tailored gifts!

What did your weekend involve? Leave me a comment and I’ll leave you a reply! 🙂 

Love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie

Making Your House a Home with Plants

It nearly feels like spring in our mid-Missouri town but then I wake to find frost beautifully covering the trees and grass and find snow still in the horizon.

To compensate for my spring-hungry heart I’m filling our home with little surprises of green, growing life. Decorating with plants is one of the easiest ways to bring sunshine and life into your home without breaking your budget. You can display them fresh, tuck dried blossoms into a basket and even pile red potatoes in the kitchen bakers rack. Plants bring life to a dry season of the year.  

“She plants love, and she grows roses. The fragrance of romance comes from the blossom that blooms in the heart.”
Jarod Kintz

I do not think I have ever seen anything more beautiful than the bluebell I have been looking at.  I know the beauty of our Lord by it.” 
–  Gerald Manley Hopkins

“Where flowers bloom so does hope.”
–  Lady Bird Johnson, Public Roads: Where Flowers Bloom

Remember that time I wrote about my Brown Thumb of Death? It still exists. However, after study, some patience and a bit of gumption I’ve found that plants can survive in our home if I only pay attention to their needs and give them plenty of sunlight … hehehee, you don’t have to be a genius to revive begonias. 😉

Does your heart thrive on blooms and greens? Do you decorate your home, cubicle or office with living things? I would love to know!  

Love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie