My Ideal Morning Routine

I am a morning person through and through. I always have been and I imagine I always will be. 95% of the time I have no issues getting out of bed, and even with the 5% of days where I want to hit the snooze button, I am good to go the second my feet hit the ground. It sometimes blows my mind how quickly I go from being fully asleep to FULLY awake (and I mean, I could hop into any business phone call within 30 seconds if I had to).

Since moving into our house, I have been working on my ideal morning routine. I mentioned a little bit ago that I had felt like I really honed in on what that looks like. It seems slightly gratuitous just to share my morning routine, but I’m always curious, maybe slightly nosy, about daily routines and structures that other people set up. (And I love “what’s in my bag posts” for the same reason!)

Morning Routine

I have two very distinct types of mornings: shoot days and regular days. I shoot with my photographer every Monday and Wednesday and pick her up from the train right around 9 am, so that dictates how that morning goes. And then on the other days I have more flexibility, but still have a routine for those days nonetheless.

And I STICK to the routine. I rarely deviate.


The morning of a shoot day is FULLY dedicated to getting ready.

6:30am: This is my typical time to wake up but if I know I have something extra I need to do before the day starts I go up to 6. After I turn my alarm off, I quickly check to make sure my blog post for the day went live. (WordPress has been glitchy for me and even if it’s scheduled sometimes it doesn’t push live.) I don’t check anything else though on my phone because I almost always have a few “pressing” issues in my inbox that I wake up to. If I check my email or my DMs, I feel like I need to start my to-do list asap or to respond to people right away. Instead, I get the dogs downstairs and outside. We have an invisible fence and it’s so nice to be able to let them out without having to stand watch every second. While they’re out, I put their breakfast out and clean/refill their water bowl. Then I start the coffee. While it’s brewing, I start my DuoLingo practice for the day. I love this exercise first thing in the morning to check it off my daily list. Because it’s for fun and something that I’m trying to improve, I ALWAYS get a boost of motivation by getting started on a goal right away in the morning. The dogs are usually in by now and I can pour a cup of coffee to start while I finish the French lesson. I bring the coffee with me in the bathroom which is my favorite motivation for the day. This is also when I let myself read emails I got overnight.

7:00am: My goal is always to be in the shower by 7am.

7:15am: I like to wait for my hair to towel dry a little bit, so I slip into a robe and go back downstairs to do some kind of tidying/cleaning task or two. I either empty the dishwasher, mop or sweep, fold laundry, tidy the pantry, organize the fridge, wipe down the counters. I don’t follow a cleaning schedule per se but do whatever small thing needs to be done. This is also such a good way to feel accomplished and motivated for the rest of the day, and starting the day with a clean house is never a bad idea.

7:40: I try to be completely done with blowdrying and curling my hair by 8am and then done with makeup by 8:10 at the latest. While I curl my hair and do my makeup, I listen to whatever audiobook I’m currently listening to.

8:10: From 8:10 until 9am when I drive to the train station, I am pretty much solely getting my outfits fully ready for the shoot day. If I’m shooting inside and need props, I make sure that everything is out and ready to go. I already have a list of what I’m going to shoot clothing wise (I keep a running list in an email draft throughout the week) and I pull everything and lay it out in our guest room. I also make sure I have every accessory laid out with the outfit (shoes, bag, sunglasses, jewelry) and I steam whatever needs steaming.

9:00: I leave the house in the first outfit I’m going to shoot and my day really gets going there.


7:00: Since it’s a non-shoot day and I washed my hair the day before, I let myself sleep in for the extra 30 minutes. In the summer, when the sun comes up earlier, I generally can’t sleep much past 6. But in the winter when it’s dark out still? I just wake up at 7. I have become pretty obsessed with sleep in the past couple of years and find it so incredibly important. I kind of still feel shame for sleeping eight to nine hours… BUT I am never sick anymore and I am way more productive (able to do more in less time) because I’m legitimately well-rested. As far as I’m concerned, that is worth it and it will be a priority for me.

The next part of my morning is the exact same as my shooting days. Let the dogs out, practice French, make the coffee, do a little cleaning, etc.

7:30: Instead of getting in the shower right away (because I’ll work out in the morning), I sit at the island or on the couch and hope right into work. I am my absolute MOST productive in the mornings so I find that a couple of uninterrupted hours in the morning can go a very long way. I’m trying to work writing more into my morning routine, though right now I’m usually so anxious to start putting out fires or whatever that I dive into emails. My manager is out on the west coast in LA and I love that we have a time difference. She and her assistant have usually sent emails after I stopped working the night before while they were still in the office, and I can respond to everything first thing in the morning without starting a ping pong game of back and forth replies. It lets me get my head above the water first.

9:30-10: Depending on the day, I usually go to a morning workout class on my non-shoot days (and evening ones on shoot days). Classes start at different times every day, so when I go just depends (usually 9:30 or 10 though). This is when I’m especially grateful for the flexibility my job allows. I can really structure my day around when I want to work out, and I love it. (My gym is also four minutes away which is SO NICE.) By 10:45 or 11:15, I’m back home, I shower, and get into the rest of my day with a couple of hours of work and my daily workout under my belt already.

I definitely tweak my routine every few months, but I’ve stuck with this one since the end of summer. It really works for me and I feel like I’m set up for a great day because of it.

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Love this post! It’s funny I am the exact same way with mornings. I like to get up early and hit the ground running because that’s when I’m productive too!


I love hearing about people’s morning routines too! I can’t seem to figure mine out.

I’m curious, does your weekend routine look about the same?


I love reading about people’s routines (and what’s in their bag too haha)! Thanks for sharing !


I’m pretty routine in the mornings as well, but I think it comes from a place of trying to get as much done as I can, as quickly as I can before heading g to work since I have a longish commute. I would love to get up earlier so I can incorporate some more “joy sparking” things like reading or meditating but it’s so hard to get up! I’d also like to have a weekend morning routine to maximize my enjoyment of those instead of kind of wasting them away. This was a great post and really got me thinking! Thanks for sharing!!

Courtney Jenney

I’m the same way-I LOVE morning routine YouTube videos and “what’s in my bag” blog posts, too! Loved reading how structured your mornings are. I’ve been working on this in 2020 and really found it to be so beneficial to my mental health. 🙂

Grace K.

A friend of mine was just telling me about her morning routine and what she does to ease into the day…it’s inspired me to rethink mine! I’m also a big fan of morning routines and “what’s in my bag” posts/videos, so very much enjoyed this.


I wish I was a morning person! Waking up is tough, but once I’m rolling and have had my coffee, I’m good to go. Love your kitchen, by the way.


I cannot thank you enough for this post, Carly. Living with chronic illness, I struggle with mornings and have been trying to establish a workable routine. Reading your post helped alleviate my overwhelmed feelings. 💙


I LOVE learning about routines like this!! I’m also a big fan of What’s In My Bag posts/videos haha. Do you have one of those? Would also love to see your evening/nighttime routine!


I always love reading other people’s morning routines & find bits and pieces to add to mine! I’m learning a language as well and I find I retain it the most first thing in the morning over coffee too 🙂

Nicole McArdle

I’m debating a fence vs. an invisible fence for our dog. Do you mind linking to the fence you used ?


What a fun peek inside your morning routine! I am also a big fan of listening to an audiobook when getting ready!


I love hearing about people’s morning routines because I find it hard to have one myself.

I have to be at work by 7:30am with an hour commute. I work in media so I go to bed late so I can follow the news so it can be hard to get to bed before 10:30pm. I guess I could get up by 5am but I am TERRIBLE about hitting snooze. I envy your ability to get up with just one alarm!


sort of off topic: your hair looks so good! I love the slightly shorter length and the middle part with it over your ears. It really frames your face and makes your hair look super thick.


I am totally a morning person as well! Even though it can be hard to get up on cold winter days or a rainy one, once I’m up I’m ready to go for the day. Plus, I feel like I’m being so much more productive when I get up early!


i have been following your site for a while. i also work from home and loving it. however, at times i struggle with staying connected with my manager and the team. any advice on working remotely but staying close to the coworkers?


The pace of your morning routine sounds nice, having half an hour to get up and get ready to start getting ready for the day… I find it impossible to rush during the morning so it’s nice to read about a somewhat relaxed morning ritual instead of a “within 10 minutes I am up and showered” ritual 🙂


I absolutely loved this post. In fact, I knew I was going to love it from the title (one of my all time favorite categories of posts) so I “saved it” to read until tonight as a treat to wrap up the work week. I am with you — mornings are by far my most productive time of day, so when I can align things in a way that I’m able to get a few good hours of work in before being pulled away to the rest of the day, I feel great. Routines really help with making sure this happens, so I’m glad to be inspired by yours to prioritize mine! Thanks for a great post.