crafting a morning ritual

I used to HATE mornings and would roll my eyes whenever anyone mentioned the words "morning ritual" (but secretly read a LOT of blogposts about how to create one...).  As someone with anxiety about most things in life, mornings do not come easily to me. After all, getting out of bed means facing those anxieties, and who wants to really do that?

After many years of trying to cultivate a morning routine for myself with varying levels of success, I have finally found one here in NYC that seems to do the trick, at least for now. I think the chaos of big city life really pushed me to cultivate a routine to ground myself each day. I've also given myself the liberty to not stick rigidly to a super specific routine--because that just causes more anxiety, which is counterproductive to my goal of finding a sense of calm before my day.

Here's what I've come up with, in no particular order:

  • Make coffee at home in my Chemex. It takes more effort to make pour-over than rely on a coffee machine, but the ritual of it slows and calms me down. I used to not like coffee, but am so happy I do now because it's such a great way to pause before starting your day. 

  • Cuddle Pierre on the couch while we listen to, read, or watch something that will make me feel full. Today was the latest episode of Self Service. Other go to's: Morning playlists on Spotify, my latest binge-worthy TV choice, Skimm and Skint emails.

  • Bring Pierre to the dog park. Not only does it make me smile to have him happily lead me to Washington Square Park with the giant fluffy tail of his, but it is also a good way for me to get outside early in the day and wake up my spirit for the day ahead. Dogs are the best, people! Very few other things in life fill me with such joy.

  • Look over my plans for the day. I'm dipping my toes into the world of freelancing (with teaching, graphic design, and petsitting), so this is more important than ever! Since I don't currently have a traditional full-time job, I'm learning how to balance out my days so that I accomplish what I need to be successful. I've learned that for me, keeping a digital planner (via my Apple calendar) is much more realistic than a physical planner. Agendas are SO cute, but my brain works a little differently. I get a lot of anxiety about timing, so having the flexibility of moving around an event on a screen is helpful and comforting to me.  Also, COLOR CODING, Y'ALL. Color coding is a must for me, and I love being able to streamline my system in a way that makes sense to me. 

Whew! Finally, something that works for me. About time.

gift guide #1 // gold foil

We all have that one friend who is just a little extra. Let them shine as brightly and glittery  as they want--their light is why you keep them around, after all! 

just my type: handmade design

I've always been in the "I'd rather it look a little handmade than perfect" camp. But a little messy doesn't mean it can't still be beautiful! It's messy because it has heart. I want to see the stitches that hold together a design. Sterile design has its place, but it's not my go-to. As long as the message is clear, give me all of the handwritten type, quaint inconsistencies, cut-outs, and brushstrokes.

 1 // 2 // 3 // 4

perfect places

We have officially been in New York for a month and I'm already trying my best to carve out my "places." I had a lot of places in Portland, and the city got smaller each time I found a new one. Of course New York City is much larger than Portland, but in some ways, it feels smaller, since I can walk everywhere and don't have to cross bridges or residential areas to get to different neighborhoods. West Village, East Village, Soho, Chelsea--it's all within walking distance, and so much to see, do, and eat. Emphasis on the eat part.

A few routines have been put in place since we've arrived and gotten settled in.

Last Thursday Pierre and I walked with Ted to get coffee at Think (our go-to) and to bring him to class. After he went inside, I finished my coffee on a bench in the courtyard and watched everyone trickle into the building. It was nice to see the smiles Pierre brought to their faces! Afterwards, I brought Pierre to the dog park across the street at Washington Square Park, where Pierre was a lil' wallflower of a pup. He had a few spurts of energy, but mostly kept close to momma. I vowed to make this dog mom/son date at least a weekly occurrence, since Ted has this early class Tuesdays and Thursdays and I don't have to be at work until 11.

Oh yeah! I have a job now! I work at a very cute dog boutique in the East Village that I get to walk to from home. It's a pretty sweet deal. I'm already planning Pierre's Fall wardrobe.

Another Tuesday/Thursday routine: the GYM! I know, it's hard to believe, but I'm really trying. The fact that the gym is literally nextdoor is very helpful. And by trying I mean totally bribing myself. I literally give myself a sticker for every five minutes I work out so that I can "earn" money to go shopping for new clothes. I have to treat myself like a toddler to get myself to do things I hate... It's a struggle. But hey--I AM getting better at doing the dishes. So ya know...I'm getting there.

Also: Thirsty Plant Thursdays. We have plants! They are all still alive (so far).

Another thing that needs to become routine: getting cocktails at this place.