How I Added an Hour to My Morning


How I Added an Hour to My MorningIf you’re like me, having a child has changed just about every aspect of your life. The size of your car, the amount of hours you sleep, and no doubt the kind of cereal in your pantry. In our house it’s Special K, because baby weight likes to cling to the Lucky Charms.

I have yet to meet a mother who denies this one aspect of motherhood: there aren’t enough hours in the day. 

Early on in my motherhood I had to learn the value of prioritizing my day. More than once I’ve asked myself, “What in the world did I do all day before I had a baby?” If I want a clean kitchen, I often have to give up watching a TV show. If I want to spend meaningful time with my husband, it sometimes means giving up a clean kitchen. So when it came to my morning routine, I couldn’t continue with my pre-baby plan. I quickly became convicted about the time I spent getting ready for the day. The washing of my hair each day, the blow drying, the lollygagging sipping coffee – these fell way down the list of priorities. I don’t consider myself high maintenance, but my personality is one that is more motivated, more confident, and more ready to tackle the day if I’m able to put myself together just a bit.

So here are a few things that have drastically cut down on my morning routine:

(Just a few notes: I’ve copied many of these things from other people, whether they be Instagramers, friends, or good ol’ Google. I’ll also be sharing some of my favorite make-up products. This post isn’t sponsored in any way — these are my true favorites!)

1. Get yourself a vanity.

Basic, I know, but having all of my products in one place has saved me time and has kept my space organized and clean. The structure of my vanity is a bit embarrassing: two IKEA cabinets with a white piece of wood in between. Shelves for blow dryer and straightener that stay plugged in, make-up organizer, and magnified mirror. Super basic, but it’s all in one place.

Pulling out your products, trying to find where you last put your make up –  these little things add up. Having everything in one place can speed up your morning.

2. Figure out a basic make-up routine.

There are about eight million people who are much more qualified to write about great make-up products than I am — I do not know the latest and greatest products, and I’m sure many of you could write this part so much better. But these are the basic things that work for me; I often find it inspiring to see what other people use, so perhaps it will be the same for some of you.

Thanks to Meghan Markle, I’d like to think we’re stepping away from the contoured face (praise hands!) and towards more a natural look, which is more my jam. For me it looks like a cheap eyebrow pencil (Try it!), a basic eyeliner, and a little concealer. When I’m feeling fancy, I’ll break out the Bare Minerals palette. For a great tutorial for a natural eye make-up routine, check out this Instagramer’s (is that what the kids call them these days?) tutorial under “EyeMakeup.” (Side note: I get a lot of inspiration from this lady – check her out!). Maybe one day I’ll work on fancy, green, or toxic-free products, but for now, these do the trick.

One of my favorite products is this mascara, even with its ridiculous name. I work with college students and they filled me in on this awesome product. I’ve also found this one to be a comparable option and for a third of the price (and you can buy it at Target)!

Get yourself some of these basic products. Figure out what works for you and what you can do quickly, and stick with it.

3. Try the magic dry shampoo trick (it isn’t what you think).

This one has been the biggest time saver for me. We all know that dry shampoo has changed the lives of many, but I never bought into it. I was a wash my hair everyday girl. I know, I know; it isn’t good for your hair and it wastes time. But I just couldn’t handle the feeling of dirty hair all day long and dry shampoo just made me feel even more gross and greasy.

But I came across this technique and video. Y’ALL. Game changer. I can now go three days and often like how my hair feels on days two and three best. Batiste and Dove are my favorite dry shampoos right now, but I’ve also heard awesome things about this one.

This technique alone cut out about 20 minutes for me. I don’t know who this lady is, but she is on to something here. Give it a try!

4. Buy clothes you love.

I’m going to try and not go all millennial on you by talking about the value of a capsule wardrobe, but I’ve got to tell you about the value of a capsule wardrobe. It isn’t necessarily about the number of items in my closet; it’s a mindset.

Don’t buy clothes because you think they look good on someone else or BECAUSE THEY ARE ON SALE (so, so guilty of this one). Figure out what you feel good in and buy clothes that you love. Invest in some good high-waisted jeans (expensive, but cheaper than a tummy tuck and so slimming!). Spend a little more on clothes that are higher quality and which you actually like. For a little inspiration, try this shirt (hides the tummy and nursing friendly!) or this dress. All three of these ideas come from this lady.

I used to spend so much time standing in front of my overflowing closet trying to find something to wear, but when you love everything in your closet, getting dressed can be quick and painless.

For Blog (5 of 7)
For Blog (7 of 7)

There you have it — my basic get-ready routine. Some days I throw it out the window and throw on sweats. Some work days I put in a little more effort. But on the regular, these are my go to tips.

What are some of your favorite tips and tricks for a smooth and stress-free morning?


  1. Not washing my hair every day was a game changer for me. I thought I would never be able to go without shampooing, especially after I work out. It’s funny how your hair gets used to it too. And I usually like it more the 2nd and 3rd day. I love the Dove Dry Shampoo,but I’m going to try the other ones you mentioned too. Thanks for the tips Rachel, even though I no longer have the little kiddos around, I enjoy your insight.

  2. I always left everything ready the night before: outfit, coffee, lunch, purse so in the morning I just wake up and I save time.

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