on the magic of mornings.

I am so beyond grateful that you all email me. You ask the best questions, demand the greatest advice & challenge my thinking in ways I didn't think possible. One topic I seem to get asked about over and over again is my mornings. 

Yes. My alarm goes off at 5:45 most days. No. This is not insane. Its actually a really magical time. 

As many of you know I worked third shift for 3 years. So my day started at 1:30 am with my alarm and I was home from work by noon. It was during that time in my life that I built Stems & Sprigs, started this blog, learned floral design, dreamed of owning a farm & pretty much every other crazy idea I've ever had was born. 

But in those 3 years I really learned to love the early morning. I always say my favorite hour of the day is 6:00-7:00. Its not ungodly early. The world is functioning. But the magic is: it isn't stressed out yet. It's slow. And filled with routine. Think of any 6:00 AM flight you've ever caught in your life, most of the time no one is sprinting to the gate or screaming at a desk agent. You stroll up with your coffee. Because when the day is just beginning, its fresh & new & anything can happen. 

And so. Each day. My alarm goes off at 5:45 am. I roll over & hug Matt for about a minute. My husband, as much as I adore him, is not an early morning person. He can stay up late and find his solace. I need to be in bed with my electric heat pad, herbal tea & kindle by 8pm. (not joking here)

Northern Michigan is so dark this time of year that it forces us all to really slow down. The darkness of the morning is my favorite for churning out content, sipping some coffee & really doing the work. 

The danish concept of "Hygge" is one that I've become quite smitten with over the years & really put into my daily practice each morning in the winter. Hygge has no literal translation into English but it essentially means feeling cozy, safe, warm & comfortable. To me, Hygge is appreciating simplicity, and being intentional. I do 5 things every morning that really seem to set me up for a good day (even on Tuesdays). Read about them below, and seriously if you've got a suggestion for my morning routine, hit a girl up because I'm always looking for even better Hygge times. 

Editor's Note: UMMMM Hygge and all this stuff goes out the window in the summer months. I usually shoot out of bed at 545 and I'm outside by 6:30, not to be holier than thou, really just to keep this ship functioning. For as zen and 'good vibes only' that I am during these darker months- the summer is essentially one giant cluster that ends with me in the lake and drinking wine more days than is probably healthy. Oh and pizza. Lots of pizza.   TO THE LIST! 

CREATE: I have to do something every morning when I am going to work that day. I choose to Instagram. I get up, create my post & start my day. It helps me feel like I've already knocked one thing off my list & I'm ready to go. 

LIGHT A CANDLE: I light an 'intention' candle every morning. If someone I know is going through a hellacious time I ususally think of them and send some good vibes their way when I write it. I am obsessed with the glow of a candle while I have my morning time. 

COFFEE: Surprised? LOLZ. It goes without saying I love my morning coffee. But in the winter I do not set up the auto timer. Instead, I have a weirdly zen like 2 minutes of scooping the grounds and getting the water and setting up the coffee pot. Its a moment of intentionality that I cannot describe, plus its really awesome watching the magical brown water of life flow into the pot. I literally skip over to the fridge to get my half & half as I carefully select my favorite "tchotchke" mug for the morning. GAWD I LOVE THIS PART. 

PUPPY TIME: The first thing I do when I come downstairs every single morning is let Maple out. Its such a part of my routine that its weird not to. When the bear comes back inside (typically while I'm brewing coffee, or unloading the dishwasher) I pet her sweet little face for a few minutes and cuddle her. She then farts in my face & walks over to her Tempur-Pedic dog bed & is snoring 2 minutes later. Cool. Love you too. 

DO THE WORK: I sit on the couch, open my laptop, sip my coffee & get to work. I spend at least an hour tackling my inbox before I can leave my house for the day. On slow days I watch emo Youtube videos of award winning Christmas commercials, and on busy days I'm churning through responses to clients / vendors / people I admire who I want to collaborate with / thinking of ways to get HGTV to email me back. My head is clearest at this time of the day. I do a LOT of prep work for evening client calls at this time. Its nice. 

That's my morning. I know- soooo glamorous. Sometimes when I'm feeling REALLY "Acts of Service-y" I make a nespresso for Matt and walk it upstairs to him and leave it in the bathroom while he's showering before school. But most likely if that is happening, its Friday, I slept 8+ hours OR we just booked a huge client & i'm feeling all sorts of fancy. Love you babe. 

Hygge your little butt off this winter. You won't regret it. My "me time" in the morning is sacred. Light a candle. Do the work. Let me know how it goes.