Streamlining Your Morning Routine

One of the questions I seem to receive again and again through this blog is how I get so much done in the morning.

My mornings definitely aren’t laid back and relaxed, but they are productive and energizing.

A typical day for me begins at 5:30 a.m. After throwing on gym clothes, I am out the door within 10 minutes.

Gym Clothes

Luckily, I can walk to my gym and usually begin my workout by 5:45 a.m. Depending on the day, I will work out for an hour to an hour and a half, and am usually home by 7:15 a.m.

Then it’s time to walk the pup! Sadie gets a 20 – 40 minute walk, depending on the day (She gets longer walks on cardio-only days since I’m home earlier).

Once our walk is over, I come home and shower, get dressed and make breakfast. I make my lunch and prep my breakfast in the fridge the night before, so everything comes together quickly.

After breakfast and snapping lots o’ photos for the blog, I’m off to work!

Here’s a summary of my routine:

  • 5:30 a.m. Wake up
  • 5:45 a.m. Arrive at the gym and workout
  • 7:15 a.m. Take Sadie on a walk
  • 7:35 a.m. Shower
  • 7:45 a.m. Get ready
  • 8:05 a.m. Make breakfast and take blog photos
  • 8:25 a.m. Blog
  • 8:45 a.m. Leave for work
  • 8:55 a.m. Arrive at work

On Tuesdays and Thursdays I will often sleep in for an hour and take Sadie on a run, eliminating the need for her morning walk. I get an extra hour of sleep and Sadie gets extra exercise, so everybody wins!

Also, if I’m really hungry after my workout, I may bump breakfast up and eat before my shower.

I definitely have a jam-packed morning, but I don’t feel rushed at all.

I’ve managed to streamline my morning routine by using the following tips:

  • Prep breakfast the night before
  • Pack lunch the night before

Packed Lunch

  • Brainstorm morning blog post while working out
  • Brainstorm what to wear while showering
  • Don’t wash your hair everyday (unless it’s greasy)
  • Keep items you use daily in the same spot to avoid wasting time looking for them (Such as your make up, face wash, lunch bag, water bottle, etc.)
  • Embrace the “natural look” and keep your makeup routine short


This morning my breakfast was yet another ode to Starbucks.

Frappuccino Wannabe

My Frappuccino wannabe smoothie contained:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein power
  • 1 packet Starbucks VIA Ready Brew instant coffee
  • 1 large pinch xanthan gum
  • Cold water
  • 5 ice cubes

Thick smoothies rock my socks! :D

Smoothie in a Keg

Since my smoothie was poured into a Bubba Keg, which I find quite manly, I had to girly it up with a pink straw. ;)

Pink Straw for a Feminine Touch

Fit for a Lady

I think my body is super-sensitive to caffeine because I feel AWAKE after downing this coffee concoction!

Questions of the Day

What time do you wake up in the morning? What is your morning routine like?


  1. says

    The straw cracked me up :D that’s too cute, and your bag is ADORABLE! What an awesome morning routine – except I’m not quite sure getting up at 5:30 would fly with my body, haha! I usually wake up, shower, eat breakfast and head out to class!

    Hope you have a great Friday!


  2. louisianagrown says

    My morning routines are all over the place, depending on what time I have class and whether or not it’s a weekend. It can vary between waking at 6 and rolling out by 7:50 after only showering and making breakfast to waking up at 6:30 and getting in a run and tons of homework before leaving at like 12:00.

    Now, on to the important stuff – your outfit is super cute today!


    • peanutbutterfingers says

      haha thanks! when i bought this vest i figured it would either be a winner or i’d end up looking like a grandma in a knit vest… i just need a christmas tree pin. ;)


  3. says

    I know you’ve told me that routine over and over again and I’ve tried to emulate it, but dang, you are good. I’m hoping this summer once I have more of my own place and my own routine instead of living with a crazy roommate that always messes up my schedule that things will be better!

    great post julie! :)


  4. says

    I wake up when the little man wakes up…usually around 6am. Before him, when I worked and had to be there at 7am, I was up at 5am. But, I’m a morning person…don’t remember the last time I slept in!


  5. says

    I set my alarm for 7 and get out of bed at 7:30, then rushing through the morning! But on Fridays, I teach spin from 5:30 – 6:30 and I love how much time I have in the morning to watch my dog, eat a leisurely breakfast, read blogs, etc. You are motivating me to make it a habit to get up early every day!


  6. MegaNerd says

    I actually was just thinking this morning that once I start my “real job” aka 8-5 I have no idea how I’m going to get everything done in the morning. It’s great to see that you are able to get so much done in the mornings!! I will definately be trying this once I m out of school.

    Did it take you a long time to get used to waking up so early and jumping out of bed?


    • peanutbutterfingers says

      for my first year out of college i worked out after work, but always found myself dreading the gym. once i started going in the morning it really helped me feel energized and like my day kicked off on a great note! i read somewhere that it takes 40-something days to make a habit (21 days to break one) & eventually it just became second-nature to wake up so early! it only took me about a week and a half to adjust to waking up earlier. now by the time i’m actually awake, my workout is done! :)

      p.s. i love your blog!


  7. Vee says

    That bag is really cute! And your workout gear looks very similar to mine. :-)
    OK, don’t get me started on mornings please. You know I am not a morning person. :-) I think it’s fantastic you get a lot of things done that early and that you feel energized for the rest of the day. I am very inspired! :-)


  8. says

    Sometimes I wish I could workout before work but that would mean going into work later ( I get there at 7), but I also really like getting home at 3:30. If I went in at 9 I would have to work until 5:30!


  9. Maura says

    I wish my mornings were as productive as yours are! I’m going to use some of your tips to help streamline my day. Currently, it looks a little something like this:

    6:15-Wake up call
    6:45- Get ready
    7:15- (7:00 if I don’t blow dry/flat iron my hair)- Grab bfast
    7:30-Walk to the T (subway in Boston)
    7:55- Arrive at work


  10. says

    i NEED to start getting up earlier, but i usually get up around 6, do yoga for 30 minutes, read blogs, get ready for work, leave the house by 7:30, and get to work around 8 or so. i get the rest of my workout in later in the day, but i’d like to start getting it all done in the AM!


  11. says

    I wish I could have your routine! Your commute is so short. Unfortunately, I have to wash my hair everyday and it has to be in the morning. Once I sleep on it, it’s not good for anything.
    Here’s my timeline:
    - Wake at 4:30
    - Shower/brush teeth until 4:50
    - Blowdry hair until 5:15
    - Get already packed breakfast/lunch into lunch box and spot clean kitchen
    - Wake husband at 5:25
    - Put on clothing/make up/watch news for weather until 5:45
    - Feed cats and do other random things
    - Out the door by 6 am if not earlier- start work at 6:30


  12. Sweets says

    Hi! I came across your blog a couple days ago and I love it! You have such great ideas and are motivating me to change up my routine, it just might take a while for me to transform into a morning person! Thanks for sharing all of your great recipes/tips!!


  13. says

    I wish I lived 10 minutes from work!! It takes me 40 minutes to get to work. Gotta love Metro Detroit (suburb) traffic with no public transportation. I arrive to work at 8:00am.

    I’m up at 5:00am everyday, gym or not. If I do go to the gym, I shower and get ready there, bringing either a protein shake or bar for breakfast. Work provides lunch – quite a perk there!


  14. says

    You should really do a post on fashion and your sense of style…I love it! :)

    Your routine is great, so organized!

    My schedule just changed so now I get up around 6:45am, walk the dogs for 30-45 minutes, eat, go to work, workout (at my work!).


  15. says

    I also wake up anywhere between 5:30-6, depending on if I’m working out in the morning or not. I actually do a lot of the same things that you do! Prep lunch & coffee pot the night before, brainstorm the day’s outfit, blog post, and breakfast. I’m working on the not washing my hair every day thing…
    Believe it or not, even though I’m now doing more in the morning with blogging, I actually feel less rushed! I love it! :)
    (And SUPER cute lunch bag!!) :-D


  16. says

    I love Bubba Kegs!! I am also an earlybird with my morning routine down to a science (like you, I’ve had years of practice!) I get up sometime between 4:45 and 5:30 (depending on the day) during the week to workout, teach spin, or train. On the weekends I tend to ‘sleep in’ until about 8, but that’s usually as late as my body can sleep! My morning routine starts with the gym, then home for a quick shower. I like to leave myself time to prep a nice breakfast, so I get ready in about 15 mins, then spend close to 15-20 in the kitchen. I am about to go back to school for 1 last term (yay!) as of Monday, so we will see how my morning blogging routine fits into that!!
    Oh, and I’m definitely loving the wannabe frappuccinos with you!! :)


  17. Anonymous says

    Does Ryan always take your blog pictures Julie and does he just know to do so or does he giggle at you from time to time ? ;)


    • peanutbutterfingers says

      haha i LOVE this question. he calls me his little tourist b/c i’m always taking pictures. it’s honestly become like second nature to him to whip out the camera, too! he does think i’m totally ridiculous from time-to-time, but he knows how much i love my blog & understands the need for pics!


  18. says

    6am-roll out of bed unwillingly, shower, grab some juice, catch up on facebook, email, get dressed. Leave house by 7 to be on 7:20 bus to work. I pick up a breakfast sandwich and coffee on my way to work.


  19. says

    My alarm goes off at 6am. I get workout ready and am out the door by 6:15/6:20. I run a half mile to the gym, do 50-60 minutes of cardio, run home and usually arrive around 7:30. Then I make coffee, take a shower and jump on the work computer (my office is at home). I break for breakfast and to dry my hair and get on the personal computer for some bloggin. I’m in sales, so I leave the house around 9 or 9:30 and am usually out and about the rest of the day.


  20. says

    I have the same lunch bag I think! Only mine is solid lime green with my name on it in hot pink, and hot pink gingham lining and handles. Might not be from the same place, but I love how preppy and happy they both are!

    I’m up at 6 if I’m doing an early workout, 7 all the other days. I’m definitely a morning person, so I get a lot accomplished in the wee hours!

    Hope you have an amazing Friday- your outfit is adorable!!


  21. says

    you have such an efficient morning!! thats awesome. i think when i start work full-time my mornings will probably look like yours minus dog walking. i dont have a beautiful sadie of my own just yet.

    i love that you get ready for the gym within 10 minutes. i was going for a run with my bf once and it took HIM like a 1/2 hour to “get ready.” I was sooo irritated seeing as me, the girl was ready (aka throw on bra, shorts, socks and shoes and tie hair up) and waiting for him.


  22. says

    I am inspired to step up my morning routine! I’m up early but devote too much time to work related things and getting ready. Sometimes I do some baking, but usually it’s something like this…

    5:00 am wake up and make oatmeal
    5:30 read blogs, do some work research, catch up on emails
    6:00 jump in shower
    6:30 hair/make-up
    7:00 get dressed, hang out with boyfriend
    7:30 walk to the sky train for work


  23. says

    my alarm goes off at 5:30…but lately i stay in bed till 6

    what i want to do is wake up at 5, go on a quick run at 5:30, then be getting ready for work by 6:10ish..i dont know if it will work but i plan to give it a try in the next week or 2 as i need to have a few days a week where i run twice a day :o)


  24. says

    i wish my mornings were half as efficient as yours! i usually wake up between 7-7:30am. on tuesday/thursdays when i have class at 9:35am, i just go to the gym for 40 min or so. on mondays/wednesdays i have class at 11am, so i can actually fit my 2hr yoga routine in the morning. no class on friday! :)

    what time do you usually go to bed?


  25. Alison says

    Your morning routine is such an inspiration! It tires me out just reading about it…haha jk ;)

    I am not naturally a morning person, but my habits will have to change once I start working at an elementary school next semester! As for right now, my days vary greatly depending on class and what I have to do that day. For example, today’s schedule looked like this:

    8:00- Alarm goes off
    8:15ish- Breakfast (oatmeal with lots of healthy fix-ins!)
    8:45-9:30- Watch Today Show, check e-mail, read blogs
    10:00-11:00- Work out
    11:15- Post work-out whey shake
    11:30- Shower, etc.

    You are SOOO lucky to be walking distance to the gym and have a 10 minute commute to work! I’m jealous!


  26. Alison says

    P.S. I agree that you need to do a post on your sense of style! I LOVE it…your clothes are always super cute and you look so put-together!


  27. Elyse says

    Hey! I just starting reading your blog and I’m addicted! Thanks so much for posting such helpful things :) Lately I’ve been trying to go to this body pump class on Tuesday & Thursday’s during the week at 5:30 am. I unfortetley have to leave the house by 4:45 am to get a spot because it so busy! I would like to try and go 5 days a week! So, I’ll keep trying!


  28. says

    Its like you read my mind! The other day you mentioned that you took two classes and I was couldn’t figure out how you got it all in! Thank you…this is very motivating for me to get up earlier to get to the gym. I’ve made it to a 5:45 or 6am class a couple of times but can’t seem to do it consistently…question…what time do you go to bed? Being so active I usually fall asleep pretty early but on the days I get up at 5:15 I am usually in bed even earlier!


  29. says

    My morning routine is crazy bc I have to be at work at 7 (usually roll in at 6:55…I’m a teacher!). We also don’t end our school day until after 5 so working out in the evenings isn’t an option since I’m tired, hungry, and ready to see the hubs :)

    This shockingly works well for me:

    4:15-alarm goes off
    4:45-out the door!
    5:00-arrive at gym
    workout 5-6
    6-6:35 shower & get dressed
    arrive at work at 6:55ish and eat breakfast :)

    I find that I actually have MORE energy on these days than I do on the days I don’t hit the gym.

    LOVE your blog girl!


  30. says

    You are freakin ADORABLE!!!! I really loved reading this. And PS…you look BEAUTIFUL…can’t believe it only takes you like 30 mins to get ready!!!! :)

    I’m gonna buy some sbucks Via. I usually brew a pot of coffee the night before, chill it overnight then use it in my smoothie. I like your idea for mornings when want one but didn’t remember to brew it beforehand! Thanks!! :)

    And where did you get your lunch bag??? I LOVE IT!!!




  31. Ashley says

    I am in awe of how EARLY you wake up! What time do you go to bed at night? I live up north and it’s still light out past 10pm here right now– hard to get to sleep much before 10:30 or so :(


  32. says

    I wake up at 4:55, eat a mini-bowl of cereal and head to the gym. 5:45 starts my workout, which goes until 7:00. Then I have to shower, dress and drive to work (thankfully, only a 5 minute drive from the gym). I start work at 7:40 am! I guess I start work a lot earlier than you, which is why I am so impressed by how much time you have! Lucky!


  33. Becky says

    I am just finding your blog through Fitness Magazine and I love it! I love this post and love that you are honest about your morning workout. I work and the last thing i want to do when i get home around 7 or 8 is workout and then go to bed to get up and do it all over again.
    One question I have,
    Do you eat anything before you go to the gym? I sometimes feel really hungry before I go.

    Thanks! (do I hear from you in email? or back on this post? i have no idea…)


    • says

      i usually don’t eat anything before the gym if it’s a week day, only b/c i get really crampy if i eat too close to working out and am not about to wake up in the 4 a.m. hour just to eat! on the weekends i’ll eat something light about an hour before hitting the gym.


  34. Tiffany says

    Do you not eat anything before you do strength training in the morning? How do you have the energy to lift weights or do cardio on an empty stomach?!


  35. says

    Ugh. Just spend about 20-25 minutes trying to figure out how I could do this…but it’s just not possible for me or I would have to get up at like 3:30 or 4 lol. I’m a teacher, have to be at work at 7:30 and I live an hour away from where I work. Just not happening. I would be in bed by 7pm!


  36. says

    I really wish I could motivate myself to work out in the mornings. However, I am just not a morning person and I also can’t bring myself to go to sleep early enough to get enough sleep to wake up that early not feeling sleep deprived (amazing sentence, I know. :P ).

    Do you have other chocolate smoothies that doesn’t involve coffee? If I could treat myself to something chocolate post workouts, that would so make the incentive even stronger.


  37. says

    Awesome post! I love finding new coffee-related smoothies :) how do you feel about xantham gum? I’ve been reading a lot about it recently and you’re the first blogger I follow who actually uses it! Just wanted to ask what you thought! thanks!


  38. MiniWheats says

    Do you eat before you workout in the mornings? I drive to the gym (35 minutes) and then straight to work. I eat oatmeal at work, but I plan to start preparing and freezing smoothies for breakfast the night before.



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