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.
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.
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.
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!