6 Steps For a Less-Stress Morning


Good morning! Another cool and beautiful morning here – perfect for my morning Mom walk :) Right now I’ve got my back porch door open, the cool air is rolling in – it seriously feels like Fall!

Sooo – I completely forgot about the Green Monster challenge!! Who took it?! What did you think?! For all of those who haven’t tried it yet – let me give you a reminder of how delicious they are…just look at this!


In my glass today:

  • Two big handfuls baby spinach
  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 T peanut butter
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 handfuls ice


I used my fun Iowa glass, too. I only wish there was some Iowa Hawkeye representation on this guy! Who else is excited for college football season to start? I know I am!!


I found the company that sells these by the way. They also make pillows, towels, aprons, totes & trays – super cute!! Check them out here.

For lunch today I packed some fabulous, fresh eats. First off, a big mixed green salad with some leftover great northern beans and dried apricots!


Definitely not the most gorgeous salad in the world – it’s actually quite hideous – but it’s full of crunchy, chewy and creamy textures that I just love!


I also packed some juicy cantaloupe:



And a tart and sweet plum:


Do you like plums? I love how unique they are – crunchy, tangy skin with sweet, plumy insides. Mmmm!


So I’ve been getting up a little bit earlier than usual lately and it’s really working in my favor. My mornings are feeling a lot less stressful. With that said – here’s some more tips for a morning with less stress!

  1. Wake up it least 5 minutes earlier. How many times have you been running late wishing you had just 5 more minutes? This short amount of time seriously makes a big difference in the morning!
  2. Pack your lunch in the evening. It you have leftovers from dinner, portion out a lunch sized serving in a tupperware container and leave it in the fridge. In the morning, all you’ll need to do is grab it and go!
  3. If you drink coffee – pour the amount of water you need into your coffee pot and put a filter in the machine before you go to bed. Place your coffee mug or to-go cup next the machine too. In the morning, all you’ll need to do is pour the water into the machine, put some grounds into the filter and push “on”! (Or schedule it to start about 10 minutes before your alarm clock goes off to help get yourself out of bed!)
  4. Layout your clothes for the next day, the evening before. Even if you don’t physically take them out of the closet, it least get an idea of what you want to wear the next day. I can’t tell you how much time this planning step saves!
  5. If you’re going to be hitting the gym during your lunch hour or right after work/school, pack your gym bag and put it in your car the night before. There’s nothing more stressful than trying to get out the door in the morning with your purse, laptop bag, lunch bag and a gym bag!
  6. Place breakfast making items out the night before. It you’re going to be making toast – take out the toaster and put it on the counter. If you’re going to be making a green monster – take our the blender and put it on the counter. These steps seem tiny – but add up to some serious time saved!

I honestly use everything single one of these tips everyday and I can tell you that it really makes for a less stress start to my day. Who doesn’t want that?!


What tips or steps do you follow for a morning with less stress?

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  1. Beth 06.30.2009

    I’m drinking my second green monster as I type this. I am loving it! Also I started a morning workout yesterday. I am hoping to keep it up. So far, so good!

  2. D 06.30.2009

    All great tips for reducing stress in the morning. I believe that how your days starts, often sets forth how the rest of your day is going to be. I despise being frazzled in the morning, personally, so planning ahead for the morning is key in my book.

    I also like to make up water bottles the night ahead, put anything out of the usual I may need to bring with me by the front door and clean up any mess I make in the morning as I dislike coming home to a morning mess in the afternoon.

  3. Haven’t tried the gren monster yet- sounds super nutritious! can’t wait for college football too! Love football season! and yes Plums are fabulous- I prefer the black over the red- they seem sweeter and I also love necterines, but the best is the Pluot (plum crossed with necterine) if you haven’t tried them you should- really good!

  4. Rose 06.30.2009

    I am a firm believer in planning the night before! I always pack my lunch and get my gym bag ready. Though I rarely pick out clothes for the next day – so I’ll give that a try and see if I can save some minutes!

  5. Ben 06.30.2009

    These are great tips. My wife routinely packs her lunch the night before, especially when we have dinner leftovers like you say. I’m fortunate enough to be able to come home for lunch nearly every day. I find that the extra time in the morning to just sit and read the paper or watch the news makes a big difference. I feel like I’m not just a robot who gets up, goes to work, comes home…repeats. I get to move into my day at a better pace. Lately, I’ve been having morning practice at 5:45am, so I haven’t had this luxury…but it’s summer time, so I can’t complain about getting up when the sun comes up!

  6. April 06.30.2009

    Go Hawks! We’ll be attending the Hawkeye/Michigan game this fall and I’m excited already!

  7. lowandbhold 06.30.2009

    So excited for college fb!!!

    I love plums, I’m very into them right now! They’re sooo sweet and juicy.

    Great tips! I do most of those. I used to be able to get up in the morning and workout and be productive, but lately I can’t get up a minute before I absolutely HAVE to so planning ahead in the evening saves my life. I find that if I don’t know what I’m going to wear before I go to bed, I’m always running way behind the next morning.

  8. Kailey 06.30.2009

    oh your green monster does look rather delicious. i need to start adding pb to mine to make them more filling!

    i love the idea of just getting up 5 minutes earlier. lets be honest, five minutes earlier won’t kill me and it will probably make me less stressed.

  9. Whit 06.30.2009

    I love the morning tips! I am always running ‘5 minutes’ behind! I am going to incorporate these in the morning and see what I get done!

  10. Pearl 06.30.2009

    i always try to wake up a little earlier so that i don’t have an extremely rushed morning to start the day – otherwise, i’m jittery all day!

  11. Lindsey Mots 06.30.2009

    I took the green monster challenge! LOVE IT! I’m obsessed…

  12. brandi 06.30.2009

    I am so, so excited for college football – I’m a little crazy about it, and I think my husband is hoping it’s not too bad this year :)

    I pack most, if not all, of my lunch the night before for sure. My blender, toaster, coffee pot, etc are already on the counters if I need them.

    I have been trying to pick out my clothes the night before, even if just in my head.

  13. Anne K. 06.30.2009

    Your green monster looks great, and I love plums! Those are some good morning tips.

    During school, I wake up early so I have enough time to enjoy a nice breakfast and relax before heading off to class. I also set two alarm clocks–one pretty early so I have a nice amount of time before I have to leave. But if I’m tired and accidentally turn it off, thinking “I’ll get up in 30 seconds” and then fall asleep, I have another one set for about 45 minutes later. It still gives me enough time to make a nice breakfast, but then I lose the computer/relaxation time. Thankfully I rarely need the second alarm, but it’s come in handy a few times! I was never late to my first class :)

  14. thanks for the tips- i’m always rushing out the door in the morning! i really need to start packing my lunch the night before, i’m sure that will save me lots of time and headaches in the a.m.! also- i’m excited for football season too- go badgers ;)

  15. becca 06.30.2009

    a great tip I read a few weeks ago is to put your car keys on top of any item that is essential to your day. Ie if you often forget your lunch, put the key with the lunch or even in the fridge on top of the leftovers. If you need to remember your pile of papers for work put it on top of them.

  16. strivingforbalance 06.30.2009

    great morning stress free tips :-)


  17. Jill 06.30.2009

    I tried the green monster yesterday morning. I would have to say that it was suprisingly good. I had to close my eyes as I drank it because seeing the green gave me sickening thoughts! But, I think it will get easier each time I make one. I love the combination of peanut butter and banana, it is like dessert!

  18. Amber 06.30.2009

    I LOVE to relax and take it slow in the morning so I get up EARLY in order to make that happen! Probably an hour or so earlier than I’d have to get up!

    Also, I’m staying with a friend right now and I made a green monster for her and her roommate yesterday afternoon and they were a little bit leary about it but they tried it and LOVED it! Haha

  19. Sara 06.30.2009

    Great morning tips! I used to be notorious for getting distracted in the morning and then running around with not enough time to do everything…but now I wake up early and get it all done.

  20. sendingpostcards 06.30.2009

    Yuck! The ingredients in that drink do not sound liek they would be an appetizing combo…. but I am intrigued to try it – esp. after all of these comments. – and I try to adhere to those tips, it’s just so hard sometimes!

  21. Margaret 06.30.2009

    I just heard about your blog the other day and was immediately drawn to the green monster. Yesterday, I realized I had just the right amount of spinach to make a half batch so I gave it a whirl. It was wonderful! Thanks for the recipe and your blog in general. Your beautiful photographs brighten my day and make my mouth water!

  22. Courtney 06.30.2009

    Haha, I am ALWAYS late – so hopefully this helps :D


  23. Great tips!

  24. That green monster looks DELISH!!!

    And, yes, I remember plums from my grandma’s plum tree–nothin’ like ’em! :-)

  25. that cantaloupe looks so juicy and colorful! i’m normally not a big fan, but your picture makes it look so good!

    i wake up earlier in the morning so i have time for myself before i have to get out the door. this means going to bed earlier which is a-okay by me!

  26. RunToFinish 06.30.2009

    oh i haven’t tried oats in my green monster, but now I will

  27. Danielle 06.30.2009

    I pack my lunch the day or weekend before (things like tuna salad easily last a few days) and do as much prep as possible for breakfast the night before.

    I also never have to worry about clothes since I get to wear scrubs to work! :)

  28. Valerie 07.01.2009

    I tried the Green Monster challenge and I’m hooked. I’m making one for breakfast tomorrow so I can be focused for my day long meeting. My boyfriend wasn’t too thrilled about the first one, but I’m guessing he’s faking since he asked me to make him one for breakfast tomorrow too!

    I prepare lunch and snacks the night before, and sometimes breakfast. I even started ironing my clothes for the next day. It really helps me so I don’t have to scramble in the morning.

  29. great tips!! I’m always rushing in the morning, mostly trying to figure out what to pack for lunch and trying to find socks/undies/sports bra/etc. for my gym bag! I should do a lot of this junk the night before!

  30. MelissaP 05.05.2010

    Totally agree with step number 4!! I can’t tell you how much time it saves me in the morning having a good idea of what I want to wear. If I don’t I spend way to much time changing shirts, shoes or jewelry.

  31. Cameron 01.27.2011

    I have the same glass except it is for Ireland instead of Iowa! We also have the dishtowels for Alabama, Alaska, Mississippi, Tennessee and Washington! They are so cute!

  32. “I took the green monster challenge! LOVE IT! I’m obsessed…

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