Diary
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A Day In The Life

This post is a little different… but I get asked from time to time what my typical day looks like, and I thought it would be fun to write a post about “a day in the life.”

Now, don’t go expecting anything exciting or glamorous.

My job has some cool perks, but at the end of the day, it’s a just job. There are parts I love and parts I hate, there is stress and there are deadlines, but I also get to shop and call it research, and sometimes I get to hang out with Alison and shoot pictures of my daily activities!

Which brings us to today’s post…

Alison was here on Monday to shoot for a brand collab I have coming up, so we decided to take pictures for this post.

Every day is a little bit different, so there is no “typical day” really, but they all start out the same way.

I always get up before the rest of the family — between 5 and 6AM. After I wash up, I go right downstairs and make my first cup of coffee. (Love my Nespresso!)

Then I usually go into the living room and have my devotions. I don’t know why I go to the living room, but I always do. I did at my last house too. I guess it feels set apart from the rest of the house. There is no TV, no computer — no distractions.

After that, I go into my office and start working.

Of course, I’m still in my pajamas at that time of day, but I grabbed this picture from last year. (My office isn’t nearly as big as it looks here!)

I take a break to get my daughter on the bus around 6:45, and then I’m back at work until I need to go somewhere.

There are days that I hardly leave my desk to eat, and others when I’m out of the house for most of the day, but I always put in a few hours of work before I go anywhere.

I’d love to say that exercise is part of my daily routine, but it’s more like 3 or 4 days a week right now. Hopefully when the weather warms up, it will be more than that.

Running is my favorite activity, but these days I’ve switched to walking until I can get this hip issue figured out. I also work out with a trainer 2X a week, so on those days, I go to her house.

After I exercise, I get ready for the day.

I try to get dressed in street clothes every day, even if I’m not going anywhere.

I’m laughing at this picture of me picking out what to wear… since I’m already dressed. OOOPS! We should have shot this while I was in my robe or pajamas. 😂

Once I’m dressed, I always take a mirror selfie before I go downstairs.

I had no idea I put my one foot so far in front of the other… seeing my rear view taking this shot is rather enlightening!

Here’s an outtake for you… haha!

On photo shoot days, I’m usually up and out early. If we’re shooting on location, I load everything into my car.

This picture only shows a fraction of the amount of stuff I usually bring to a shoot. I rarely make it to the car in one trip.

I try to have everything steamed and grouped on my hanging rack ahead of time, but that rarely happens. I’m usually scrambling to put outfits together at the last minute.

It was waaaay too cold to shoot on location on Monday, so we did what we could inside my house, and then stepped outside for a few outdoor shots.

Truth be told, photo shoots are my least favorite part of my job.

It’s super awkward to be taking fashion shots in public locations, and I’m either freezing or roasting.

Plus, all the clothes and shoes and accessories to pack up and then put away when I get back… ugh!!!

But every job has its upsides and its downsides, and happily, I only have to do a few photo shoots each month.

On the positive side, working with Alison has made photo shoots a lot more fun, and easier too. She scouts out the best locations and backdrops for my outfits and has a lot of ideas as far as posing and staging the pictures.

She usually gets the proofs back to me the day of our shoot, and I pick the ones I want her to retouch. She retouches and sends them back to me, usually within 24 hours, or even sooner if I have a deadline. She’s been a life saver as my job has gotten more demanding over the past few years, and she has never once canceled for being sick or having a sick kid. She’s amazingly dependable, and I can’t imagine doing this job without her.

Paul is still a great backup cameraman when I need him, though. God bless Instagram husbands everywhere!

If I don’t have an appointment or a photo shoot or a reason to run to the mall during the day, I’m at home working at the computer.

Writing blog posts and responding to comments is by far and away my favorite part of my job. I love the days when I can just sit here and write all day long. I spend way more time than I probably should editing and tweaking my writing, but that’s what I enjoy most. And of course, interacting with you all!

Besides writing blog posts, there are contracts to negotiate, emails to answer, comments to respond to, my newsletter to produce each day, technical issues to troubleshoot, images to design, photos to edit (I edit all my mirror selfies in Lightroom), analytics to ponder, blog posts to plan, topics to research, and products to select for sponsored campaigns. (Believe it or not, that task can take several hours!)

Actually, the steps that go into a sponsored campaign could be a post in and of itself!

And of course, there are all the tasks involved in being self-employed. I finally hired an accountant and a bookkeeper because I couldn’t keep up, and our taxes were getting more and more complex.

Then there’s Pinterest, my Facebook Page (which I neglect horribly), my Facebook Group (which is so much fun!), and of course Instagram and Instagram Stories…

If I’m not at my desk, I’m usually on my phone. For every Instagram post, I have to generate the ShopStyle widgets and link up all the clothes I’m wearing, and half the time I forget to check the box to link it to my Shop My Feed page.

When I want to share an outfit or try-on to my Story, I have to look up all the links to plug in for the swipe-ups, and if it’s for a brand collab, I have to type out the appropriate hashtags on each post. If I make a typo on anything sponsored, or if I post the wrong link, I have to delete and redo.

It may sound silly, but it’s very time consuming. Instagram is probably my least favorite part of the job — aside from the photo shoots.

And then there are all the boxes… I come home almost every day to find a stack of boxes by my back door. Of course, I have to open them all and try everything on.

Trying on clothes is a huge time suck, and it makes a gigantic mess. That’s another part of my job that I’m not fond of, but I’ve gotten better about having a system and keeping things organized.

Rather than trying things on as they come in, I try to save them up and do them all in one afternoon. Then I take all the returns back downstairs to my office, and stack them neatly in one of those foldable bins on my bookshelf until I have time to get to that task.

Anything I’m going to use for a photoshoot and items I’m not sure I’m keeping go on the hanging rack in my bedroom. And I put away anything I’m keeping, along with all the things I drug out of my closet to create various outfits.

I finally hired a college-age girl to come in and help with returns, and that’s taken a huge weight off my shoulders. I was letting things pile up for far too long because I dreaded the task.

Now, Kate comes in three or four times a month, and we bang it out in a couple of hours. She also takes all the boxes to the post office, which allows me more time to take care of the tasks that only I can do.

Some days I do live chats, and I set up my phone inside this ring light.

Speaking of which, I love interacting with you guys in various ways, and I’m excited to bring back my Facebook Lives for 2020!

I did one on Tuesday, as a matter of fact. I just hopped on spontaneously because I saw it on my calendar, and I happened to be home at that time and wanted to share about my microblading appointment. (You can watch the replay HERE.)

I’m going to do my best to go live every Tuesday at 1PM EST. Sometimes I have appointments that get in the way, but I put my Lives on my calendar, and I’ll try to protect that time slot.

If you want to join me, be sure you’re following my Facebook Page. I do them on my Page, rather than in my Group, because it’s more public and more people can see it there. I do try to remember to give a quick heads-up in the group before going live, though.

In the afternoons, I often have to chauffeur kids around to appointments and lessons, but otherwise, I pretty much work every weekday from the time I wake up until it’s time to make dinner.

That’s when I shut it down. I pretty much never come back to my office after dinner.

I will check my phone, but mostly just scrolling social media without the pressure of work, and I enjoy that.

Most nights, we have dinner as a family, and we usually hang out in the family room and watch TV afterwards. This is, hands-down, my favorite part of the day.

My 14-year-old and I like to watch Survivor, American Idol, and DWTS during their seasons. We also like This Is Us. Paul and I like The Crown, and we were watching Victoria. I hope it comes back! When David’s around, we always watch Jeopardy, and if there’s a Philly sports game on, that trumps all.

If there’s nothing on TV, I read something on my Kindle. The dog usually ends up curled up next to me, which is pretty much the best thing ever, now that my kids are too big to ever want to be this close to me.

Around 8:30 or 9:00, I head upstairs to get ready for bed. I know, I’m a grannie!

If I haven’t done it already, I take off my makeup and apply all the lotions and potions. I have quite an extensive nighttime routine these days. #thisis47

Once that’s all taken care of, I lay in bed and read or look at my phone for a little while before falling asleep. Then I wake up the next morning and start all over again!

Or, more likely, I wake up a few times in the night, check the time on my phone, get a sip of water, and wait for 5AM to roll around so I can justify getting up. Haha!

I don’t know if it’s due to perimenopause or my newfound IF lifestyle, but I need to remedy this situation ASAP. I’ve always been a great sleeper, and I can’t stand waking up all night long.

I’ve actually been trying to cut out the phone usage right before bed because I’m sure that doesn’t help, and I just bought a canister of this magnesium powder. I’m trying to remember to drink a glass every night before I close my eating window.

I don’t love the flavor, though, so I’m having a hard time being consistent. Maybe I should give up and try a pill.

Anyway, if you have any other helpful tips, feel free to let me know!

I hope you enjoyed this post. I’m sure I forgot something, but it pretty much covers it. As always, I’m happy to answer any questions in the comments.

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photos: Alison Cornell

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147 thoughts on “A Day In The Life

  1. Hi! I’ve loved your blog for years–helps keep me fashionable! My suggestion for sleep is to get your hormones checked, if you haven’t already. My dr says progesterone puts you to sleep and estrogen keeps you asleep. Worth looking into. I, also discovered that if I eat a tiny snack when I wake up, I will go right back to sleep. I keep a few chocolate almonds by my bedside.  I guess my sugar is dropping a little(not diabetic).  The magnesium is helpful too–as is chamomile tea. My husband uses a product called Midnite. It has natural herbs and a little melatonin. 

  2. I absolutely LOVED this post. My husband and I are also small business owners, and I do the bookkeeping/all things financial for the business from home. As a #thisis47 also, I’m finding that my body upkeep is taking more and more of my time. Between going to the gym for workouts, doc appointments, PT several times a day for a nagging injury, showering, prepping and making dinner etc., I feel like 1/2 my day is spent on my body! This along with managing all of the family’s finances, kids’ activities and all of the emails, calendaring, etc. that go along with it, I find it hard to carve out time for BIG projects that need done. How do you tackle the big things on your list….you know the ones that can only be done by you but will take time to think about? I find myself putting out fires and going after the quick fixes first, which leaves no time for the big projects (I’m looking at you digital scrapbooking). Do you have a system for that? Time of day that works best? Time blocking? I need to experiment with something new….something to propel projects forward. Love your blog so much!

    1. Wow, you definitely are busy! I do put off some of those projects (hi, scrapbooking!) for far too long. Sometimes you just have to put work and everything else on hold, and do it. I put off my 2018 photo book (I do one each year) until November of 2019. Over Thanksgiving weekend, I had some downtime, and I banged it out, and then I kept going and banged out most of 2019. I spend New Year’s Day wrapping that up and getting it ordered. It feels SO GOOD to have those both done!!!

      But my other coping mechanism is outsourcing. I mentioned this to someone else – I outsource everything I can. I’ve even been known to call in a professional organizer to help me tackle big organizational tasks (like our basement storage, or organizing my kitchen or office when we moved in.) It sounds silly, and could I do it myself? Yes, but I won’t. If I have an appointment, and I am spending money, it will get done, and then I can move on, and it isn’t hanging over my head and sapping my energy for other things.

      It probably sounds indulgent to a lot of people, but I’ve read a few books and articles for entrepreneurs over the years, and that is always the first thing they will tell you to do if you’re overwhelmed – outsource the things you hate to do and the things you don’t have to do, so you have time and mental energy for the things you do well. I hope that helps!

  3. Whew, I am tired for you! Just a quick comment on your magnesium powder – I use the same and believe me it is the better tasting of what I have found in that brand. They do offer gummies but there is added sugar. I began with about half the recommended amount and I dissolve in warm water and take it at night at the end of my window also. Maybe this will work for you?

  4. Thanks for the fun read! You could try magnesium glycinate.  It is a form of magnesium that “promotes rest”. I know many people that swear by it. (My perimenopausal self included!) 

  5. 4-7-8 Breathing Technique is a life saver for me!! Breath in 4 seconds through nose (I think with tongue touching behind top front teeth) Hold 7 seconds, Breath out 8 seconds through mouth. Repeat a few times.

    Once you get the hang of it, it is very easy to do and you will drop off back to sleep right away. I do it when I go to bed, and if I wake up in the night. #gamechanger

      1. Yikes!! I extend the breathing out when I’m extra wound up….. plus no coffee after 12pm… that will cause me to wake up in the middle of the night

  6. Shew!!! I am tired after reading all that! LOL I appreciate all the time you put into your blog. I enjoy reading it!!! Can you please tell me what color nail polish you have on? The white nail polish?

  7. I’ve been taking 300mgs of magnesium glycinate ( pill form) religiously. It helps with sleep ( I do take it at bedtime) but it’s just a wonderful supplement in general for women. I started taking it to help with heavy periods but even though I had an ablation last year ( BEST THING EVER!!) I continue to take it. I also take CBD oil and bio identical progesterone. It all helps wonderfully with sleep! 

  8. Sleep: I am a life-long insomniac. At 30, my body decided I needed some sleep. I have a regimen that I have been following since then that works 95% of the time. However, recent hormone fluctuations thanks to perimenopause have disrupted my sleep to the point of no sleep so I added something that fixed the problem.

    Regular regimen (all taken at night): Calcium, Magnesium, 5-Htp, Melatonin and 1 prescription that makes me feel sleepy for about 10 minutes and I have go to sleep during that 10 minutes or else…. NO electronics/tvs in bedroom or 30 mins prior to sleep.

    Recent addition: Organic and NC sourced non-HTC CBD oil (Green Compass: https://kpate.greencompassglobal.com/enroll/)

  9. I drink a heaping teaspoon of Calm every night. I typically make it and then come back and drink it after it has un-fizzed a little (maybe wait 15 min). It not only helps me sleep it also helps have a pleasant morning by helping me “go” 😉

    I do think you’re probably experiencing the mid throws of peri menopause….all the other little things you’ve described from time to time make it seem so. It can be super icky and yucky at times and however you choose to manage it is what is best for you! I choose to motor through and just know that my body is doing what God designed it to do. I did try bio-identical hormones for a brief time and just felt like I messed things up. If you haven’t already- get your hormone labs done so you at least have a bench mark to see the changes as they come. Then you’ll know what to address rather than just going by the standard bell curve available with our blood test results. I also will sometimes apply cedarwood oil at my brain stem to help as well. Oh gosh… IT’S NO FUN.

  10. Enjoyed your post. Regarding sleep, I go to sleep easily but used to wake up several times each night. This has been my sleep pattern for years. However, when we were staying at a hotel this past November, a pillow spray sample was left, so I decided to try it.  Honestly I wasn’t expecting much, so l was shocked how well it worked for me after I used it the first night. I told myself I was probably simply more exhausted than usual due to all of my Thanksgiving preparations that day and that had been probably been the reason I slept so well in the hotel. The following two nights at the hotel were also nights I slept well, which isn’t typical. At home, I always use a fan to drown out snoring noise, but I never have my fan when we go to a hotel. The snoring didn’t awaken me at all. 

    I decided to order some of the pillow spray on our trip home and have been using it ever since it arrived. I purchased my first bottle on December 1 and it is almost gone, so I ordered two additional bottles last night. I use it every single night.  It doesn’t always help me get a perfect night’s sleep, but using it has changed my life. I don’t particularly care for the scent and my husband doesn’t either, but that’s a trade-off I’ll make. 

    The spray is Deep Sleep Pillow Spray by This Works. Got mine through Nordstrom. 

  11. As a pharmacist I caution you about using any product that metabolizes into magnesium Citrate as the product you are currently using does.  You may wind up with GI problems! If you want to use a magnesium product, magnesium glycinate may be a better alternative.  I use it and buy it in capsule form from amazon.  Just be sure to read the product description closely, as several make claims they are glycinate but really are either the sulfate, oxide or citrate.  

  12. Loved reading this day! It’s been fun following along all these years with you and since I work in healthcare I’ve often what your day looked like. It definitely looks like time and detail oriented work. You’re good at it though and such a great resource for all of us. I was looking at all the return boxes and thinking ugh, I wonder if she’s like me and lets those pile up! Can you send Kate my way?

  13. 50 yrs old & sleep issues here too! I do believe it’s kicked in with perimenopause…. I take that same magnesium powder! I switched to the “flavorless” version, you may want to try if you don’t like the taste of this one! I first dissolve a spoonful of it by adding it  to a bit of very hot water, then add cold water to fill my glass and drink. It breaks down really well that way and much better taste than the flavored version. Not sure how much it helps with my sleep though. Results seems inconsistent.

  14. I’m experiencing sleep issues sometimes too and I chalk it up to perimenopause – some days are better than others.  You need to check out a YouTube skit called baroness von sketch about perimenopause – it is hilarious … 

    Didn’t realize how much work goes into your day…I’m exhausted!

  15. Sorry to hear about your sleep issues!  I have a couple comments and suggestions…along with everyone else.  My first comment is about taking Unisom or Benadryl.  They are both “bad” for the brain and can be a factor in Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, especially with prolonged use.  Use of electronic devices can contribute to insomnia, especially getting to sleep.  I am trying to get off my Kindle an hour before I go to bed…sometimes hard when the book I’m reading is really good!!!  The other suggestion is to take a very warm bath an hour or so before you go to bed.  There’s something about your body temperature dropping after it that helps you fall asleep.  That’s the last thing I do EVERY night before I tuck in.  I’d not heard of taking magnesium for sleep but I do take it every night to prevent leg/feet cramps.  Hate having to jump out of bed to stretch one out.  Good luck.  Oh, and I keep wanting to know if your Bible study is Community Bible Study (or BSF).  I’ve been in CBS for 15 years, most of it in leadership.  I stepped down this year from the Associate Teaching Director role, and I’m “just” a member now.

    1. Yeah, I don’t want to take meds. Even when I’m in and out of sleep, I can rest, and I have plenty of energy the next day. Going to try the magnesium glycinate and also discuss with my doc at my next appt.

  16. Try magnesium lotion.  I find it works great.  I just rub some on my legs before bed.  I also take warm baths with magnesium salts in the pm.  Not getting complete rest at night is awful.  Hope you find what works!

  17. Love your posts!  I just wanted to pipe in on the sleep issue.  I am also 47 and this started happening to me once I started doing IF.  I didn’t know whether to blame it on that or perimenopause.  I finally stopped doing IF and my normal sleep patterns came back.  

    1. Yeah, I am too happy with the other results of IF, so I’m hoping to find another solution. But that is interesting, and confirms my suspicions that IF is a contributing factor.

  18. Jolynne,
    I agree with all the others.  Your restless sleep patterns are most likely linked to peri menopause. Sorry.  Welcome to the club.   If you have a good a Naturopath, they can do a full-panel hormone test and see what’s going on with the hormones, which are probably causing the sleep problems.  The magnesium before bed is a great step.      I always appreciate your honesty & transparency.  I call it living in the fish-bowl:)!  This was a fun change to the post.  
    Blessings to you!

  19. Thanks for sharing a day in your life and letting us take a peek behind the scenes.  Every job has its pros and cons for sure.  You make it look so easy and effortless!  We know there is a lot of behind the scenes work that has to take place.  You just make it look darn easy!
     I am in good company about the sleepless nights.  I am 45 and have noticed a pattern of 1 – 4 nights per week waking up at 3:00 a.m. like clockwork for one year now. If only I was that awake at 6:00 a.m.!  The joys of perimenopause! Oy……What helps me a bit: lavender essential oil on my pillowcase, a hot bath 1-2 hours before bedtime, going to bed around 10:00 p.m. when our natural circadian rhythms drop, wearing a black out eye mask, listening to Christian podcasts while falling asleep and reading old school paper copy books rather than reading on iPad or phone 1-2 hours before bed. Melatonin stopped working for me after a month of use.   I have also let go of some of my anxiety of “will I get enough sleep” and “will I function at work tomorrow”.  My family doctor suggested trying cognitive behavioral therapy strategies.  It has helped with not stressing out quite so much before bed time and avoid catastrophizing before bed.  I have had sleepless nights in my younger days and still functioned, maybe not optimally, but do okay.  It helps me from panicking and staring at the clock and getting riled up.  If I do wake up, I go to our spare bedroom and listen to podcasts or audiobooks in the dark.  Sometimes I fall back to sleep after 4:00, sometimes I am just dozing.    Hope this helps!  Thanks for opening up this topic for us to all to share, vent and  learn from each other.  

  20. Why not get a separate credit card for your assistant to use on errands? That’s what we do for my mother in law for her caregiver. That credit card is given to her ( its in mother in laws name) but isn’t used for anything else. We have text alerts on it so we see immediately every time it’s used for anything. 

    1. No it has my mother in laws name and she doesn’t get asked for ID. And if you are not asked for ID at the places she is going then it is highly unlikely she would be. I can’t think of any place I go that ask for ID anymore. At most the store never sees or  even touches your credit card since one uses a machine yourself 

      1. One more way to handle it that a friend who uses a personal assistant does is to set up a separate account at your bank and have a debit card with no overdraft permitted. She keeps only a few hundred dollars in that account and just transfers when necessary. This limits any risk without getting a credit card involved. 

  21. Enjoyed reading about your day. Thanks for sharing a window into your daily life. I didn’t see anyone mention the possibility that wine could be a factor in your sleep problems (I saw there was a glass in one or two pictures, but they may have just been props). I’ve had so many friends tell me they had to give up wine because it affected their sleep. Other alcohol didn’t seem to be a problem. So far I haven’t had that problem but thought I’d pass that along.

  22. I found this post interesting. You are very talented at what you do!  I can appreciate all your time and effort you put into it!  You’re engaging, adorable, and so informative!  I often save your posts until I’ve read all the others — kind of a save-the-best-for-last strategy!  
    On the sleeping front, it certainly could be perimenopause related. My sleep is really suffering due to night sweats/hot flashes. I’m a few years older than you, but I can tell the poor sleep is really taking it’s toll. I look constantly exhausted & feel it!  I’m trying to be patient with myself, but it gets tiresome (no pun intended!). 

  23. I’m 41 and haven’t hit peri menopause (that I’m aware of) yet, but I have had trouble sleeping at times. I take magnesium supplements in pill form, and that typically helps. Also, I got a new pillow. I can adjust the softness/firmness and it has a cooling cover. The brand is Coop Home Goods and I got it from Amazon. It’s similar to the My Pillow. That’s helped a ton!

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