A Day in the Life

A Day in the Life with Lemon Stripes

Two years ago I wrote a post called What Do Bloggers Do All Day? in which I documented my daily schedule. I remember thinking I was so busy at the time. Man, I had no clue! Now that I have a baby and Anel and I run another business, my schedule back then looks like a nice little vacation to me now.

This is my personal favorite line from the post:

6:00pm Normally, I like to stop working at 6pm so I can have some time to relax, workout, do some yoga, or just enjoy some calming alone time before Anel gets home.

I mean…I have no words for that except if anyone has this kind of free time, you should enjoy it!

I love working for myself and setting my own schedule but it can be really hard to motivate so I stick to routines and schedules as much as possible. Something that you may or may not know about me is that I also do all of the marketing for my husband’s business, Countdown Fitness, and I take on a digital marketing consulting gig every few months.

I was just hired by a brand called Pomegranate and am having so much fun on the project. My consulting gigs let me use my marketing brain in a way that I don’t always get to with blogging, and I love that.

Here is an updated version of my schedule, a request that I got from a lot of you in the survey that I conducted at the end of 2018. I hope it helps to give you a little insight into what a blogger’s day looks like!

A Typical Day for me

6:30am I wake up when Anel leaves for work so I have a little time to get situated before Amalia wakes up. I get ready for the day, get dressed, make the bed, and pack Amalia’s bag for school. I make myself tea and scroll through my phone until she wakes up which is usually between 7:00 and 7:30am.

7:30am When Amalia wakes up I try to put down my phone or any work and be totally with her until she leaves for school. I change her diaper, then we read books in her rocking chair for a few minutes and then eat breakfast together. I’ll make us both eggs and toast, a big green smoothie, or spinach muffins smothered in peanut butter. We always listen to Raffi, her fave artist at the moment.

8:00am We start the getting ready for school process which includes getting her dressed, brushing her hair, and putting on shoes and a coat. If I haven’t already packed her bag or gotten myself dressed, this process takes a whole lot longer.

8:20am I pack Amalia, her school bag, and Boots into the car and hit the road. I first drop the baby at daycare where she blows me a kiss and runs off to play with her buddies. Most days I take Boots for a 20-30 minute hike right after drop off.

9:15am When I get home from the hike, I set a timer for 15 minutes and clean up the kitchen, Amalia’s room, and whatever other space is a mess from hurricane Amalia.

9:30am Work day! I make myself another cup of tea, fill my water bottle and sit down at my desk. I look at my to do list and create a time block for the day, which is the way in which I work most productively. The key to time blocking (for me) is to bake in time for emails throughout the day and not just answering them as they come in which ends up wasting time in the end.

A typical work-day time block might look like what’s below. It changes from day to day depending on what I have going on, but this is fairly average:

9:30am-10am: Create time block schedule and answer emails
10am-11:30am: Write the next day’s blog post, size images, and prep/schedule all social posts.
11:30am-12:30pm: Photo shoot for next week’s blog content on Tuesdays, workout on Wednesday, therapy on Thursdays.
12:30pm-1:00pm: Lunch Break. This is a really important piece of the puzzle for me. Whenever I worked in an office, we’d get a break for lunch, but when I started working for myself I felt that I had to work without breaks to make it worth it. But that’s how you burn out, trust me! I will either chat with my sister on the phone, go out with another friend who works from home, or just watch something mindless while I eat to shut off my brain for a while.
1pm-1:30pm: Call or meeting (Usually with my manager, accountant, web designer, assistant, or a brand)
1:30pm-1:45pm: Answer Instagram DMs, check Facebook groups
1:45pm-2:45pm: Work on client project
2:45-3:15: Emails
3:15-4:15pm: Work on Countdown projects
4:15pm-4:45pm: Finalize anything else I have to get done for the day, write my to do list for the next day.

4:45pm: I stop work a little before 5pm so I can make dinner for Amalia, get her room all ready for bed, and set us up for a calm(ish) but fun night.

5:15pm: 10 minute walk with Boots. I know it’s really hard for most people to give their dogs enough exercise so I figure since I work from home, I should get him out as much as possible when I can. I know 10 minutes doesn’t seem like much but it’s good for both of us to get some fresh air and we usually jog it to get both of our blood moving.

5:30pm: Pick up Amalia at daycare. From when I pick her up until she goes to bed, I am with her fully. I will take videos and pics of her for my family, but besides that I put the phone down. We only have a few hours together on weekdays, and time is going so quickly with her! We come home and play for about 30 minutes before dinner.

6:15pm: Amalia’s dinner. Anel doesn’t get home until 8pm or later and I like to eat with him so I usually feed her and have a snack or a seltzer while she eats. If Anel makes it home early, we all eat together.

6:45pm: Play with Amalia. We read books, chase the dog around, have dance parties, or play with whatever toy she is loving that day.

7:00pm: Bath time. I give her a bath most nights because she gets filthy at school. We fill it with bubbles and she likes to swim, splash and play while I clean her. Then she brushes her teeth and I get her all ready for bed.

7:15pm: She drinks some goat milk out of a sippy cup while I read her books. We have a four book max rule or it would never end! When we’re done with the books, I sing to her for a few minutes and then put her down.

7:30pm: I clean up the kitchen and playroom, pack Amalia’s dinner leftovers and cut up some fruit for her lunch the next day, and make dinner for me and Anel. If I have time, I shower before he gets home too. Anel and I are both big believers in night showers which I realize is not the norm, but I hate going to bed dirty. It’s a whole thing. Sometimes when I’m really beat I just order-in and watch one of my terrible slash amazing Bravo shows until Anel gets home.

8:00pm: Dinner with Anel. We have what we call “supper talk” where we go over our days and discuss the high and low point for each of us. We usually watch videos that I took of Amalia because we’re parents and obsessed with our child.

8:30pm: Anel cleans up, takes his shower, and we watch an episode of whatever show we’re bingeing or he watches basketball while I work. One of my 2019 goals is to work smarter during the day (hence the time blocking) so I don’t have to work at night, but that’s not always realistic if I have a lot going on.

9:45pm: I get in bed with my gravity blanket (review coming tomorrow) and a good book (I just finished Becoming by Michelle Obama). I read for 30-45 minutes every night before bed. If I skip this, I never sleep that well.

10:30pm: Anel comes to bed and it’s light’s out. We usually go over what the next day will look like for both of us before we go to sleep. The last thing I do before I fall asleep is practice gratitude by saying to myself three things that I’m grateful for in that moment. It’s a sweet and positive way to end the day.

Photos by Julia Dags.

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  1. olivia said:

    I love that blog post! I think you are a real Wonder Woman, to deal with all your work and taking care of boots and Amalia! I really hope I will be abble to deal will all that the way you do!

    1.28.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Hahah thank you! I don’t know how moms with less flexible jobs do it. They’re the real heroes in my book!

      1.28.19 · Reply
  2. Meg said:

    What a great post! For some reason I’ve always loved these kinds of posts! You seem to use your time very effectively!
    Meg
    http://www.deposanddemos.com

    1.28.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Thanks Meg!

      1.28.19 · Reply
  3. Emily said:

    This is great! I’m trying to learn how to time block right now, and it has been so great! Love these posts!

    1.28.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      It has really changed the way that I look at my workdays. I highly recommend making it work for your schedule if you can. Major game changer. Good luck!

      1.28.19 · Reply
  4. Valliere said:

    I get that you consult and run a blog but is Amalia gone from 8:30 to 5:30 every day?

    1.28.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Yes she is. I work full time so I have her in full time care!

      1.28.19 · Reply
  5. Julia said:

    When do you fit in things like laundry, errands, etc?

    1.28.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Good call! I do laundry on Wednesdays and Sundays. I will put it in towards the end of the day and then fold it while we watch TV at night. I run errands on days when I don’t have a shoot or meetings. I usually go grocery shopping on the weekend with Amalia because she loves it for some reason. Probably because she always gets an apple 🙂

      1.28.19 · Reply
      • Julia said:

        Thanks for sharing. I only work from home occasionally and find that I get very little work done because I’m trying to cram in household duties instead!

        1.31.19 · Reply
  6. Sarah said:

    Pro Tip : my sister’s a dentist and it’s always better to brush teeth after milk before bed, milk sitting on kid’s teeth all night is NOT good. Loved reading a day in the life though – you’re doing an amazing job!!

    1.28.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Really?! I always thought that but don’t know how to get her back in the bathroom after her bottle! But now I will for sure figure it out. Thanks for the tip and thank your sister too!

      1.28.19 · Reply
      • Sarah said:

        hopefully it becomes as fun habit after reading and she gets used to it!

        1.28.19 · Reply
  7. Anna said:

    For a moment I thought the Chanel book on your desk was just a sign that says Anel haha that would be adorable

    1.28.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Hahah people tell me that all the time. Now I feel like I need an Anel sign 🙂

      1.28.19 · Reply
      • Anna Chudzinski said:

        🙂

        1.28.19 · Reply
  8. Libby said:

    I love using time blocking to plan out my day. It helps me get all the studying I need to get done, done. It also helps break up my day, so I am not sitting in one spot for hours on end!

    xoxo Libby
    https://premedwearspearls.blogspot.com

    1.28.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Exactly! It is so rewarding when you can actually stick to it too, right?

      1.28.19 · Reply
  9. Teresa said:

    If your kiddo likes Raffi, try googling ‘Elizabeth Mitchell kids songs’. Our kiddo loves her songs and she has the same whimsical vibe as Raffi.

    1.28.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      On it, thanks!

      1.28.19 · Reply
  10. Liv said:

    This is really impressive – most of all the time blocking. I spend (waste) a good hour plus a day picking up my phone to randomly check email/Instagram and know that I would get so much more done if I cut that habit and blocked time at certain points in the day (I am a stay a home mom and certainly need my phone around for emergency calls but not for other things!). Going to try it. Thanks for the inspiration!

    2.1.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I was the same way until I implemented time blocking. It has made a really big difference for me. I’m excited to see if it works for you too!

      2.1.19 · Reply