The Liebster Award

liebster-award1

So this is super overdue, but back in March the wonderful Janice from The Simple Beginner nominated me for the Liebster Award. Thanks girl! You should all check her out, she posts about a little bit of everything and totally radiates good vibes.

Am I trying to avoid telling you all about how terribly I’m doing at waking up early? Maybe. But for an excellent distraction, here are my answers to her questions per the rules of this award:

1. If you could only choose from: sweet, savoury or sour foods. Which would you eat for a year?
Going a year without dessert sounds unfathomable, but I’m not sure I’d actually survive the year eating sweets for every meal, so I suppose I’d play it safe and go with savory.

2. If you visited (or live in) Australia, where would you like to go and why?
I’ve never been to Australia before so I’d probably like to see some of the major sites like the Sydney Opera House. I’d also want to hit the beach, check out some interesting restaurants, and do some hiking or camping. 

3. How many are there in your family? (Including your pet/s)
There are 6 of us — mom, dad, brother, sister, cat and me.

4. What is your all time favourite food?
Ooo tough one. I’m gonna go predictable and say either pizza or mac and cheese. 

5. What are you currently studying at school/college/university? If you’re not studying, what do you do for work?
I currently do communications for a nonprofit that works on engaging voters across the U.S. 

6. How did you come up with the name of your blog?
I wanted something that was pretty self explanatory about what my blog is about. 

7. What are you currently listening to?
Bob’s Burgers playing on TV. 

8. What TV show are you currently watching?
See above. 

9. What’s your favourite thing to do on Sundays?
Go out to brunch with my boyfriend, drink tons of coffee, and do something outside. 

10. Are you a morning or night time person?
Night person attempting a painful transition into morning person-hood. 

11. What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
Put the kettle on to make coffee. Most important action of the day. 

Now I officially nominate all y’all who are following me for this award. You earned it! Answer the same questions above so I can get to know you better!

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April recap

I know you’re all anxiously awaiting an update on my progress toward becoming a morning person. Rest assured you’ll hear all about it next week. For now, let’s talk about last month.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t get nearly as much accomplished last month as I’d hoped. Full time work plus my attempts to inch myself into freelancing haven’t left too much time for other exciting pursuits. But here’s a few things I did last month:

Craft night

My roommates and I decided to host a craft party early last month. We needed a really good excuse to have people over and drink and paint things. This was the perfect opportunity! We bought some little flower pots and paints and I even busted out my centuries-old friendship bracelet making string (which ended up being a major hit – friendship bracelets are coming back y’all!). We had snacks and drinks — I made this Strawberry Basil Margarita which was crazy easy to make and widely agreed to be super tasty. We weren’t sure how the crafting would go over with everyone, especially since at least half of the attendees were guys — but everyone ended up crafting something and apparently had a great time if the above photo I took the following morning of the craftermath is any indication.

Lightning Bolt show

I used to listen to this band a whole bunch back when I was an angsty teenager in high school. I never really kept up with their newer releases and hadn’t ever seen them live until last month. It was a pretty good show — they sound just like I remember them — loud and aggressive. And when I say loud I mean, REALLY loud. Like my hearing was legitimately muffled for the whole day after. The best part is that the drummer/singer wears this crazy looking mask the whole time they play (you can see him putting it on in the photo above) which makes his yelling/singing totally incomprehensible and muffled. Never seen or heard anything else like it.

Protein pancakes

I’ve been fascinated by the concept of protein pancakes for a while, but this was my very first foray into making them. I love pancakes but can’t usually rationalize basically eating dessert for breakfast most days. So when I stumbled across this recipe I was thrilled — pancakes with only 5 healthy ingredients that I pretty much always have stocked in my kitchen? Perfect!

Well these weren’t exactly perfect, but they turned out pretty good. I definitely want to try them again with a couple adjustments. For starters, as you can see they don’t exactly look like pancakes (and they definitely don’t look anything like the photo on the linked recipe, so don’t get your hopes up). They were more the consistency of no-bake cookies. The recipes calls for whole rolled oats, but next time I’m going to try blending the ingredients to get a smoother texture. They also weren’t super sweet (well at least before I doused mine in maple syrup). My bananas were only just ripe, so next time I’m going to try using a super ripe banana to add a little extra sweetness. Pretty good for starters but definitely worth a re-do.

And lastly, here’s a new band I discovered last month (letter M – check!). Check ’em out.

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How to become a morning person

road trip sunset

Damn I’ve been busy. In addition to working my butt off on some exciting projects that will hopefully help me be my own boss in the near future, I was out of town most of last week. I spent 4 days in Virginia for a work meeting, came home for less than 24 hours, and then skipped off for a road trip to the other side of Michigan to spend a long weekend full of sun and beer in Grand Rapids.

All this running around has got me thinking that I really need to scoop up a few extra hours in my day. Since time turners only exist in Harry Potter’s world for now, my next best option is to commit to goal #72: Wake up at 7am every day for a week. Waking up early is a particular kind of torture for me. If I’m not about to be late for something REALLY important, I’m totally unable to get out of bed without snoozing my alarm 1 million times. Day after day I do this, regardless of how committed I become to experiencing a morning during my waking hours.

So here’s the deal, internet people. I’m counting on y’all for some social pressure to actually do this thing. Next week is go time. I’m gonna knock this goal out and while I’m at it, build a new lasting habit that’ll extend beyond this trial week. There, I said it on the internet so now I have to deliver!

Here are my strategies for waking up early:

  1. Go to bed on time – You’re nothing without those 7-8 hours!
  2. Stop snoozing! – Real talk. I have been known to snooze my alarm (which goes off at 10 minute intervals) for up to 2 hours before actually getting out of bed. This is terrible and I know it. During those 2 hours all I’m doing is being annoyed, annoying my boyfriend (bless his heart he never complains), and getting the absolute worst sleep (can you even call that sleep?). Time to end the cycle! Wake up on the FIRST alarm!
  3. Wake up slow – My body is incapable of bounding out of bed at the first sound of an alarm. So instead I’ll focus on waking up slow, staying in bed for a little while (no snoozing allowed!), checking Instagram or reading a couple pages in a book to ease into wakefulness.
  4. Drink water – This is one of the easiest things you can do to wake up in the morning. You’re dehydrated when you wake up and being dehydrated makes you feel slothy and yucky. Drinking water first thing will help get that energy going. Bonus: nothing works better for getting me out of bed than a full bladder.
  5. Make mornings fun – Listen to music, get outside for some fresh air, treat myself to donuts. Burn into my memory that waking up early = good.

Got any other brilliant wake up early strategies? I’d love to hear them! (I’m gonna need all the help I can get)