How To Start Planning For A Productive Morning + Free Download

There's something about waking up in the morning to catch the beautiful sunrise while enjoying a precious cup of tea or coffee (whichever you prefer). I've shared in a previous post a simple morning routine for a productive start to your day. In this post, I want to give you the ultimate guide on how to plan your day and why it's important to have one. 

And as an extra bonus, I've created a handy checklist to help you establish your routine and plan. 

Let's be honest, there is no specific order on how you should plan your routine - what works best for you is different from the next person, but there are some key components that are required in order to help you create a productive routine. Now let's get started.

How to get out of bed? 

Sleeping in until noon is a habit that can be broken. It's easier to enjoy the comfort of your bed instead of tackling day to day tasks regardless of how early you get to bed. And eventually, you have to realize staying in bed will do nothing but add more things to your agenda.

Once you decide to get control of your mornings, you began to wake up earlier than expected and create a routine for yourself. Of course, it takes time but if you don't try, you will never get anywhere.

I started by intentionally waking up early just so I can have more time to myself. It had to be done. Here's what I did and what you can do to actually get out of bed:

  1. Make a change, gradually. We all know it takes time when adjusting to change, but jumping into anything new full force is a result of failure. Taking small steps in your transition, like waking up at least 15 minutes earlier than you normally do will help you to gradually adapt. 
  2. Do something you love. What do you enjoy doing? Exercising? Writing? Reading? We tend to have the most focus when we enjoy doing what we are passionate about. Start your day with your first desire and you'll be much more likely to get up and get moving.
  3. Condition your body. Instead of sleeping in on the weekends, plan to go to sleep and wake up around the same time each day. Your body will naturally adjust and you will become more efficient in doing so. If this does not work with your career schedule, try to maintain your daily schedule as much as possible. 
  4. Get Going. Instead of grabbing your phone to catch up on social media in bed after your alarm clock goes off, try getting out of bed. You don't have to do anything major. Simply walk around the kitchen as your coffee brews or do a few jumping jacks to get your blood flowing. Do this every day and your body will wake up before you know it. 
  5. Think Positive.  I understand everyone isn't a morning person but you can be by changing your mindset. Think positive thoughts. By shifting your thoughts, you can adjust quicker to change and more willing to productivity. 
It's very important to figure out what works best for you. Whatever it takes to get out of bed, do it. If you do things based upon how you feel, you will never make any progress.

What's Your Morning Plan?

Start your day with a purpose and at a specific time. Stop hitting the snooze button to enjoy five extra minutes of lying in bed. It's not like you are going to fall back to sleep. As they say, "You Snooze, You Lose." The extra minutes you are wasting away in bed can be used towards getting a quick start to your day. Did you know the majority of the people who try to sleep in a little longer actually end of feeling groggy for the rest of the day?

Get up, and get going. If you learn to appreciate every day and have a purpose - you will eventually create a plan for a better lifestyle. And if you want the extra sleep time, get started on your to-do list so that you can find more time to rest.

Better yet, finish an entires days work and you can plan to have a day off.

Now, what are you putting into your body?

Food is always a guilty pleasure and can be your worst enemy. What you put into your body at the beginning of the day or not at all can decipher how productive your day will be. There are so many ways to fuel your body for the better, and finding a healthy alternative to your guilty pleasure makes it all worth while. Try some of these ideas:

  1. Drink water. Hydrating your body before having caffeine will increase energy. It will also make you more alert and will ease any of your caffeine or sweet cravings. 
  2. Have a balanced meal. Sugary cereals or just a granola bar isn't a balanced meal. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and making sure you have all the necessary food groups is vital. Enjoy oatmeal with a nice fruit smoothie to substitute for the added cup of coffee. It's fulfilling and nutritious! 
  3. Drink tea or coffee over a period of time. Instead of having a cup of tea or coffee in a hurry, drink it more steadily. Caffeine over a longer period of time will sustain your energy levels instead of having your body crash over time. 

How to plan for the day ahead? 

Everyone should be aware of their daily agenda's at least a few days to a week in advance. Take advantage of it. There are many ways to start your day each morning and being most productive is finding a ritual. In order to maximize productivity, you need a plan. Here's how you create your plan for the morning ahead:

Go through your list of tasks the night before. Do not wait until morning to get things together, you will only rush and cause yourself to forget something along the way. Simply take 10 minutes of your time the evening before to have a plan for the day ahead. Having a plan a day before will motivate you to accomplish your goals and allow you to sleep better at night.

Meal Prep.  I have always found meal prepping creates an ease for your day like no other. Having your lunch ready to go as you take on the day is a great way to keep you alert and motivated for a productive day.

Prepare Outfits. Don't rummage through your clothes the morning of. Look at the forecast for the week to come and plan out your outfits. Yes, the weather is unpredictable so make sure your outfits align with the season and always have light rain gear nearby.

I hope this guide was helpful. What changes or additions will you be making to your routine? 

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Best Makeup + Pampering Products | Valentines Day Inspired

Photo by CreateHerStock

Oh, February - It's that time of year again when we share a special gift with the ones we love. I was debating if I really wanted to do another 'Valentines Day' centered blog post. I didn't want to do another gift roundup like usual so I decided to provide a few products to inspire your makeup looks and pampering essentials. It's not only a time for you to honor the important people in your life. Why not celebrate yourself for a change? There's nothing wrong with self-pampering as we often forget to take care of ourselves.

Although I personally love a traditional box of GODIVA chocolates, let's try something a little more special. There are so many possibilities for pampering and to provide an amazing makeup look for your date night out. In today's Valentine's Day inspired product guide, I've collected a few of my favorites for the everyday girl. From the self-care essentials to the must-have makeup brands, I've got you covered.

  Let me know what products you are planning to purchase for Valentines Day. 

Hotel Review | Wyndham Garden LaGuardia South Hotel

All opinions are my own. 

How lucky am I that I can take a quick trip to New York at any time. Only to be 2 hours from the city that never sleeps. If you've been to Bermuda, you know most trips take at least two flights and 4 hours or more just to get to your final destination. Even better I get to stay at Wyndham and enjoy all that New York has to offer when I'm this close to the city. Let me tell you about my stay here...

I think you all can relate to these criteria, but after traveling I would like to be in a place where it has everything I need. Is my environment clean, not only in my hotel room but also outside the vicinity? Is my location friendly and safe? I've come to the conclusion that not all places can be home away from home. When booking your stay, remember to always keep in mind the purpose of the trip and what you are trying to accomplish. I tend to look for places that are close to where I need to be while providing a peaceful and enjoyable experience.

Booking with Wyndham was easy because I visited during the off-season and found myself staying outside of the city but close to all public transportation. I booked a standard room with a queen size bed. For my first experience at a Wyndham hotel, I was pleased with the service and location; however, the size of the room was not what I expected.

Here's what I rated this hotel stay on the scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest. *Please keep in mind, during my stay the fitness center was not yet completed. 

Service: 8
I arrived at Wyndham early in the morning. Hotel check-in wasn't until 3 pm, however, they still accommodated me sooner than expected. Everyone at Wyndham Garden was very nice, from the administration to the housekeepers and chefs. They all were helpful, friendly, and knew the meaning of good service. Also, they provided fresh fruit infused water upon entering the hotel daily.

Location: 8
Wyndham Garden LaGuardia South is perfectly located near two malls, a few shopping centers and my favorite place, Starbucks. The hotel was very cozy, uniquely designed and had its own flare for the classic New York lover. If you are ready to explore nearby attractions, there is a subway just one block from the hotel. So it's peaceful but not too far from city fun.

Room: 6
As stated above, I stayed in a standard room with a queen size bed. I have to tell you the bed was EXTREMELY comfortable where some days I did not want to leave the room. Since it was a new facility I was able to enjoy it more. The bathroom mirror had a ring of lighting that was fabulous (I'm sure all my beauty bloggers out there would appreciate this) and the shower was simply divine with its unique design.

The only negatives I have was the size of the room which was a bit exaggerated after reviewing on the company's website (although new york is known for smaller size rooms). Space is very narrow with not too much wiggle room. Also, if you aren't an early riser you would be a tad bit upset to be woken up by the drilling and banging coming from the fitness center. The walls are quite thin, where you're able to hear people talking through a muffled like tone, but not thin enough to hear word for word. All in all, my sleep was amazing and I can't complain because the room did serve its purpose.

Food: 5
Since breakfast wasn't included with the accommodation, we had the option to go out for meals or order from Blvd Bistro and Bar, a restaurant in partnership with the hotel to provide meals for the guests. What I enjoyed about this is the convenience of having food delivered right to my room and not expecting the ordinary hotel food. We had a choice between Asian cuisine to American. I must say it was a good variety of food that you wouldn't mind having, however, I wasn't amazed by the taste. There is also an option for Starbucks which is on the opposite side of the hotel's main entrance.

Recommendation: 6.5
I would recommend a stay at Wyndham only for small parties (two persons in one room) or for those going on a quick business trip. Why? Well, as I mentioned before the rooms are quite small, however, it's sleek and unique design is perfect for those single to small parties. It's a well-organized facility with great service and neighborly location. Would you stay here? 

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30 Days to Minimal Blogging Giveaway

Photo submitted by Ana

Happy 2017 everyone! I am so excited to bring you the first giveaway of the year! It's a new year offering new possibilities and a fresh start. Many times as a blogger it can be quite overwhelming when balancing your blogging career. Not only are you trying to balance work but your lifestyle as well. 

Understandably, it's not always possible to find the necessary tools that are affordable for the average person when monetizing your blog and career. 

With this giveaway, I was able to team up with the very talented Ana of Blog Milk Shop. She is not only an incredible designer but also an author, offering a resourceful book titled '30 Days To Minimal Blogging'. It's a digital interactive, 30-day journey to a stunningly more mindful blogging experience. Presented in 5 powerhouse sections, this guide gets to the heart of what you need — from how to create balance in your blogging career to monetizing your blog. 

The normal price of the e-book is $39.95 and is filled with the fundamentals and hands-on worksheets to help draw out your creative mission. 

Photo submitted by Ana
In order to participate:
  1. You are required to leave a comment below.
  2. You can earn extra entries by following myself and Ana of Blog Milk Shop on social media. 
Remember, you can enter daily to better your chance of winning! 

Photo submitted by Ana

All entries must be made through Rafflecopter. Follow the steps in the Rafflecopter widget below (if you are reading this via email or a feed, you will have to click over to to enter). The winner will receive 30 Days to Minimal Blogging and chosen at random. Entries must be posted by the end of the day (12:00am EST) Sunday, January 15th, and one winner will be chosen and announced on this post the following day. Open to all, worldwide. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Best of 2016 on Instagram

Happy end of year everyone! I can't thank you all enough for the love and support I have received this year alone on Instagram and my blog. You all have been amazing, keeping up with my journey, commenting on my blog; as well as sending sweet emails.

This year started off with amazing giveaways on my blog and new opportunites that I couldn't imagine. I have surprised myself taking a leap of faith with new ventures and I am so looking forward to what 2017 has in store.

Thanks for following me on the gram. Enjoy my favorites of 2016.

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The Blouse with Ruffles + Having fun with my wardrobe

Happy Weekend! 

I hope everyone had a great week. I'm getting ready to travel for the holidays and I'm looking forward to a cooler Christmas. I love having a cup of cocoa or tea by the fireplace while singing Christmas carols. It's definitely the highlight of the holiday.

December has been so busy, I'm sure it's been busy for you as well. With holiday shopping and making plans for the new year, I’m sure to enjoy a little down time.

Let's talk about this look! Because Winter rarely exists in Bermuda, I usually take this time to have fun with specific pieces in my wardrobe, like this blouse.  I enjoy a great statement piece and flare jeans. Talk about a great 70s trend. There's something irresistible about a flare jean. I find it easy to style giving legs for days.

It's the perfect time to have fun with your wardrobe. 
What are you wearing leading up to the holidays?

Photos taken by David Foley of Foleys Fotos 

Shop This Look:

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Lifestyle Holiday Gift Guide for Her

Yes! It's that time of year where we shop to find gifts with quality for the people we love, but it can be difficult finding that perfect gift for her. So, I thought AdoreMe will help you find that perfect gift for mom, sister or the special lady in your life. With the grounds I've covered, you'd be sure to find something!
These gifts are my personal favorite this year because it's all about lifestyle and I'm happy to share them with you. I always find that guides are helpful when they are catered to a particular group and in one place. Of course, jewelry is always a big winner, but what if you try an adorable fitness or lingere set from AdoreMe. They have a wide variety of styles, colors and it all starts at a very low price! 
Photo submitted by AdoreMe

But what if you want to buy something other than clothing or accessories? No worries. I can help you. Electronics and anything that has to do with beauty could never go wrong. Polaroid and Samsung are pretty big when it comes to anything techy. I personally love the polaroid snap camera (which I will be getting :D). I know you are also wondering, how does my mom fit into this category? Kate Spade has an amazing variety of wine sets, candles to even personalised notebooks. You can't go wrong there! 

No matter the gift or the girl, remember to always select the item from your heart. <3

Click any image below to be directed to each item and scroll to find more. Let me know who you will be treating in the comment section. 

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New Beginnings + Agenda

You know those moments when you think you have everything figured out - plans are moving along smoothly, but something changes the course completely. What do you do? The reason for this post is because in the last few weeks my entire agenda had to change. I recently found out that I will be moving. As most of you are aware, I started a digital magazine here in Bermuda in 2014 and with this change, the ability for me to maintain this publication would become quite difficult. 

I remember how excited I was to meet with like-minded people who had similar goals and enjoyed everything about producing content to the local audience. The thrill of planning photo shoots and meeting deadlines is part of what I do and who I am as a person. And now that it's placed on hold, I have to re-evaluate my goals and dreams. 

See my publication wasn't just about 'my dream', it was a representation of people like myself who wanted to see how you CAN make your dreams a reality. Most peoples dreams are centered on fame and fortune, and I just want to enjoy life doing what I love while impacting others around me. 

In past post, I have mentioned that I'm going to start stepping outside of my comfort zone and take more risks. Well, we all have to be careful what we ask for. Since I have placed the quarterly issues of Bermuda Bliss on hold (for now), I will take the time to step into this new beginning that God has given me and seek those opportunities. 

While we never know where life will take us, we can always expect them and adjust with the change. "Let God's will be done." - Acts 21.14

What's in store in the near future? 

Plenty. There's still so much that I want to do and so little time to do it in. As for this blog, I am making plans to bring you along on my new journey. I'm not quite sure how often I will be posting so be sure to subscribe to my blog for updates and follow me on social media. 

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