I am not a morning person.

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I've read all those tumblr posts about getting up an hour earlier every day and watching the sunrise and making eggs benedict or whatever it is morning people do. But no matter how hard I try, that’s just not me. I used to feel bad, like I was failing at something by sleeping in on the weekends. But there is no moral value to waking up at a certain time. And I am done feeling guilty for little things. Unfortunately, for the past two semesters I’ve been teaching an 8:30 am class which means early mornings whether I like it or not. And I’ve learned a few things that have made my mornings easier, and which I hope might help you other non-morning people forced to live in this crazy 9-5 world.

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As tempting as that snooze button is, get up with enough time to get ready and eat a good breakfast before work. There is no better way to ensure a crummy day than rushing out the door last minute, and trying to shove a handful of granola and three cups of coffee down your throat while getting in your car with a stack of papers. (You know, just to give a random example not at all based on personal experience of spilling coffee all over a favorite dress or anything.)


As soon as I wake up I put on a pot of coffee to brew while I’m in the shower.

Then it’s on to skincare...


Having a morning skincare routine helps me feel more alert and awake. It gives me a few moments to take care of myself, before spending the day taking care of my students. I wash my face in the shower using the Sibu Sea Buckthorn face wash, and then apply a toner and three serums, before a spot treatment, moisturizer, and an eye cream.


Then I apply a fairly minimal “no-makeup makeup look” using the products listed below. I am not very confident in my make up skills, so I used this video as a starting point. I also prefer using my fingers, especially for concealer and cream blush, as opposed to brushes. I save applying lipstick until right before I step out the door. This sounds like a lot of steps, but all told this part of my routine only takes me about ten minutes. The hardest part is finding the right products, that you can apply easily, and which help you feel beautiful.

Clinque Airbrush Concealer in 01 Fair
Clinique Waterproof High Definition mascara
Fenty Beauty Invimatte Blotting Powder in Universal
Glossier Cloud Paint in Haze
Glossier Boy Brow in Brown
Lancome Rogue in Love Lipstick in 62N600
Makeup Forever Redness Correcting Primer
Trish McEvoy Beauty Emergency Card in Confident (Lavender Haze on lids, Deep Aubergine for liner)

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Being super indecisive, I like to pick my outfit the night before. As spring is finally upon us, lately that has been a dress (preferably a handmade one) and my clogs. I don’t know what it is about red shoes, but they just make me feel ready to take on the world. And as a teacher, a little bit of a heel doesn't hurt.


On to the best part of the morning: coffee and breakfast.

Coffee is one of my favorite things, so I really like to savor it. During the week, it is really important for me to have a filling breakfast, because I often don’t have time for lunch between my classes (though I usually take some snacks.) Breakfast bowls are a great option for busy people because you can make the grain base (I tend to stick to oats) on Sunday night for the whole week. For this bowl I used a quarter cup of cooked oats, heated up with a splash of almond milk, topped with a banana, blueberries, almond butter, and poppy seeds. A great savory option could be barley with spinach, tomatoes, goat’s cheese and a fried egg. I went really extra on arranging the fruit, but it will taste great even if you only have time to throw it all in. 


After breakfast, it’s lipstick, then out the door. I like to pack my school bag the night before so I don’t realize I’ve forgotten something halfway to work.  


It took me six months of rushed, early mornings to realize that I felt better when I slowed down. Those extra fifteen minutes of sleep didn’t help me. But savoring my coffee from the comfort of my couch did. Taking an extra three minutes to take care of my skin did. And better mornings led to better days. It is easier to deal with difficult students or administrative woes after a filling breakfast. If this past year has taught me anything it is that starting small is better than not starting at all. Making oatmeal on Sunday nights seems like a little step, but it can lead to big changes.