Tag: guest blogger

One of my favorite people and not to mention bloggers, is Kelly Smith from Cloudy Day Gray. Thanks to my friend Beck, I met Kelly in Philly where we enjoyed some amazing food and adventures last spring. Here is how Kelly Spends her mornings with her two sweet babes, but make sure you read all about her story over on her blog.

View More: http://lisaelizabethimages.pass.us/lapetitepeachAre you a morning person? If not, how do you handle getting up early with your kids?

I am really not a morning person and have the hardest time getting up in the morning. Thankfully, my husband lets me sleep while he gets the kids up, feeds them, gets them dressed, makes lunch for our five-year-old, Parker, and walks him to school.

Do you get up before your kids? If so, how do you spend that time?

Both of my kids are really light sleepers, so if I want to get up before them (which is only when I have a deadline or other work that needs to be finished) I have to get up WAY before them. I am talking 4:30 or 5 am.

Do you have a morning routine? What’s it like?

We have very consistent mornings. My son Parker wakes me up with a kiss before leaving for school, I stumble out of bed, and I am greeted with the biggest hug from my daughter at the bottom of the stairs. We usually sit for a few minutes while I whisper prayers of thanks into her ear. I set her down and change the TV channel from Curious George to Pandora music – we like contemporary folk. Then, like clockwork, the phone alarm chimes and it is time to prepare Matilda’s morning medications. She had a liver transplant when she was six weeks old, and will take medication twice a day for the rest of her life to prevent rejection and combat some side effects. After medicine, I make a cup of coffee, grab a banana or a hard-boiled egg, and head to the playroom. Matilda is like me in a lot of ways. She also prefers slow mornings and is more than willing to snuggle up next to me with some books or the iPad while I answer emails, write to-do lists for the day, or take an occasional call for work. As I get to work on projects, she prefers to paint, play outside on the porch, or engage in imagination play with her stuffed animals.

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What’s the best part of your morning?

Hands down, the snuggles and hugs from my little ones are the best part of my morning. We take them very seriously around here, knowing that they very easily could be nonexistent.

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How are your mornings different on the weekend?

My husband really likes to take advantage of his weekends, so he makes plans for each day and gets us going a bit faster than during the week.

What were your mornings like before you became a mama? 

Before I had kids I insisted on showering every morning. My day couldn’t start without it. Now it feels like the biggest waste of time. If I do shower, it is typically at night or during my daughter’s nap and it is most definitely not every day. I would much rather spend that time being productive – I feel much more invigorated when I can start checking things off my list first thing.

What’s your dream morning?

I would love to wake up at a cabin in the woods with no Internet, to-do lists, or work commitments. Just a slow morning, with fresh air, and my family snuggled close. That would be a dream!

If you could get someone to take over any part of your morning, what would it be? 

If I could skip over getting ready, showered, dressed, and being put together, I would. Who am I kidding; I do skip it most days. But it would be nice if someone could take care of that for me!

Describe your morning in just 3 words.

laid-back, quiet, predictable

Coffee or tea?

Coffee, always!

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 What comes to mind when you think of mindfulness?

Mindfulness means to do something driven by a clear purpose. To be in the moment and listen to your child – to show them love, respect, and compassion. To read the news to gain an understanding and awareness of what others are experiencing in the world. To plan and prepare good food, as a way to nourish the body and encourage quality living.

 How do you find mindfulness in the morning?

I find mindfulness by avoiding social media, by turning off the television, and by focusing on my priorities.

What do you do the night before to make your mornings feel easier?

I don’t like to fuss with breakfast in the morning. So I hard-boil eggs so that they are easy to grab and go. I actually place them in a cupcake pan and cook them in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes.

 Bonus: What are you working on right now? Tell my readers about what you do and any fun projects you are working on. Shameless plug! 

I have a lifestyle/DIY blog that I started a few months after returning from NYC after my daughter’s liver transplant – it’s called Cloudy Day Gray. I believe that we all have cloudy days, but it is what you do with those days that define who you are. I try my best to give, live, and love while celebrating the everyday as a mother, crafter, and donate life advocate. Over the summer we bought our first home and so right now I am really enjoying taking the time to do some updating to make it truly ours. I like to think I have a very modern and minimalist taste, but I also don’t take style too seriously. I love to mix the old with the new, add pops of color whenever I can, and reveal the beauty in everyday objects. I would love for you to stop by and say hello, join in on my #howidonatelife campaign, and let me know what I should make next!

Yesterday, we heard from Lesleigh about her mindful morning! Today, we’re getting a peek into her mama must-haves, one of my favorite parts of this series! Check out more from Pearls on a String here and on Instagram. Lesleigh, thank you so much for joining us on La Petite Peach!

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Drinking, Eating, Reading, Skin Care, and Wearing

Currently in FASHION

Finding Inspiration

Animal Coats from Little Goodall

Marie Chantal Fall 2016

View More: http://lisaelizabethimages.pass.us/lapetitepeach

This week, I’m introducing you to Lesleigh from the gorgeous lifestyle blog, Pearls on String. Lesleigh writes about fashion and beauty, and shares motherhood advice from the perspective of an occupational therapist.

We met on Instagram (don’t you love how that happens?) because we both have a love affair with all things Parisian—and because we had babies (Waverly and Wesleigh, who are now two) just weeks apart!

I think you’ll find Lesleigh refreshing—she lives in Alaska, and I love hearing what it’s like to be a mama living on the other side of the country!

Do you get up before your kid(s)? If so, how do you spend that time?

When Waverley was a tiny babe, I would sleep until she woke up because I needed every extra second I could manage. Now that she’s older and on a consistent sleeping routine, I love getting up before she does. I’ve noticed that on days I don’t do this, I feel rushed and less efficient throughout the entire day. I really value my time in the morning before she wakes up and I am usually able to eat breakfast, drink coffee, check my email, and read theSkimm.


Do you have a morning routine? What’s it like?

Absolutely. I am lost without my morning routine! As soon as I wake up I drink a ton of water, which is right by my bed. Then I head down for breakfast. I cannot make it very long without eating! Depending on the day and how much free time I have after I eat breakfast, I usually drink coffee, check my email, and get ready for the day. Then I make Waverley’s breakfast and go get her out of bed—usually around 7:30/8am.

Savor the quiet - mindful mornings
What’s the best part of your morning?

I really savor the quiet time before Waverley gets up when I can drink my coffee and get a few things done. It’s so calm and I am crazy productive in just those 20–30 minutes! Now that it is nearly winter, I am looking forward to extra-cozy mornings watching the snow fall while it is still dark. It’s incredibly peaceful before the tornado of a toddler whirls through!


What’s a non-negotiable in your morning?

Breakfast right away and multiple cups of coffee.

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How are your mornings different on the weekend?

We are definitely more relaxed on the weekend! We typically don’t have places to go very early so we will sleep in until 8am or so (such a luxury these days!) and make a big breakfast. Waverley loves to watch Daniel Tiger these mornings and we usually stay in our pajamas until 10am. It is quite blissful!

What were your mornings like before you became a mama?

I have a similar wake-up routine now as I did then, however, I was out of the house by 6:45/7am for my hour commute to the hospital for work. My mornings were early and usually frazzled prior to leaving the house. I rarely saw Nate because he was still sleeping when I left. The hour drive provided a great opportunity to prepare for the day; I would drink my coffee, listen to music, and think about my caseload for the day. Looking back, that solo time was vital to my sanity, which is why I like waking up earlier than Waverley in order to have a little time to myself. The weekends are extremely different though! We used to sleep in much later than we do now. I am not sure I am even capable of doing that anymore!

If you could get someone to take over any part of your morning, what would it be?

I often wish I could have a team of stylists and hair/makeup artists swoop in to get me ready for the day. Then I could work while they work their magic and look fabulous. Mascara is often skipped over these days, yet I realize I feel so much better about life on the days I wear it.


How do you find mindfulness in the morning?

I find mindfulness by scheduling time for myself, even if it means waking up earlier than I technically need to—which is something I never did prior to having a baby! I feel best throughout the day when my morning consists of time to mentally prepare for the day and time to eat a healthy, energizing breakfast. Having enough time to myself is essential to me for finding mindfulness.


What do you do the night before to make your mornings feel easier?

I clean the kitchen and run the dishwasher so we wake up without dirty dishes piled high in the sink. I am also passionate about making coffee the night before and having it go off automatically so it is ready when I walk down the stairs.

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What’s your dream morning?

My dream morning, as ridiculous as this sounds, would involve me actually waking up early enough to work out and shower/get ready for the day before Waverley wakes up. I am rarely able to pull myself out of bed early enough to do that anymore! Yet since this is my dream morning, I would wake up early and feel impossibly awake and refreshed. I just love the feeling of accomplishment when I exercise in the morning and also the feeling of freedom knowing it is done for the day. Then my dream morning would involve leisurely drinking coffee and eating an amazing meal on a balcony overlooking a fabulous destination, like Paris or somewhere tropical. Le sigh!

Bonus: What are you working on right now? Tell my readers about what you do and any fun projects you are working on. Shameless plug!

I write the blog Pearls on a String, which is about multiple aspects of motherhood and life in Alaska. I am an occupational therapist currently working as a part-time OT professor and I coach a swim team for people with disabilities. On my blog, I love to answer readers’ questions regarding childhood development and the trials of motherhood using my professional and personal experiences to translate evidence-based practices into understandable language. I am working on my first children’s book and collaborating with local businesses in Alaska to showcase a different Alaskan lifestyle than the one often portrayed in TV shows. Come say hello on Instagram or Facebook!