Day in the Life (of a Mompreneur!): Julienne DesJardins

Day in the Life

Day in the Life of a Mompreneur

Welcome to Day in the Life, where we peek into the lives and schedules of solopreneurs and freelancers. Today we’re chatting with Julienne DesJardins, a virtual assistant at juliennedesjardins.com and very new mompreneur.

Julienne DesJardins - baby Luke

6:30 am: I sleep until the baby (Luke) tells me it’s time for his breakfast. Spending quiet time with him is such a nice and relaxing way to start the morning. (And being home with him is one of my favorite things about being a One Woman Shop!) Towards the end of his feeding, he gets sleepy and closes his eyes so I grab my phone and sneak in some work while he finishes up. This usually means checking my Twitter feed and replying to emails.

7:45 am: Luke is all cleaned up and usually takes a short nap around this time. That means it’s time for my breakfast. I’ve had to become intentional about eating breakfast in the morning because I tend to forget. I eat the same thing every day — coffee, toast and an apple with a bit of cheese. (I’m not sure there’s anything better than fruit and cheese!)

8 am: I grab the baby monitor and head to my office. (We recently bought a house, so no more working in the living room for me — it’s a dream come true!) I finish checking my email and then open Insightly, my CRM. This is where I keep my task list, so I know exactly what I need to get done each day. I always start by linking up in the promo threads of my favorite Facebook groups for entrepreneurs, like Freelance to Freedom Project and Savvy Business Owners. (These link ups drive a lot of traffic to my site and help me find fresh content to share on social media!)

8:30 am: Break time! By the time I finish my “promos” for the day, Luke needs to eat again. (These breaks always involve a quick diaper change and some extra cuddles.)

9:30am: When he’s done eating, the baby and I like to play with his toys and read some of his favorite books. (He loves Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? by Dr. Seuss!) I’m able to enjoy this time every morning because I’ve planned for it the night before. I do things like make a to-do list for the next day and answer some short client emails to get them off my plate. This way, I can enjoy my baby time with no hesitations or stress! (That, to me, is the perfect solopreneur life.)

11 am: By now, the baby usually eats a quick snack before falling asleep again. 🙂 I lay him down and head to the kitchen to grab a quick lunch. I love things that are grab-and-go for this time of day, like yogurt or my favorite homemade muffins.

11:15 am: I’m settled in now and focused on direct client work. (I like to do a little bit of work for each client every day. This keeps me from falling behind on projects. I keep a list of their names in my planner and cross them off as I wrap up what I need to get done for them.)

12:30 pm: The baby wakes up around now for his lunch! I text my husband a few pictures of silly faces he makes while getting his diaper changed.

1:30pm After eating, and reading a few more books, the baby falls asleep again. This is his longest nap time, which means it’s my most productive time of the day.

1:35 pm: I take a break to throw in a load of laundry. This gives me a chance to take a walk and stretch my legs. Plus, I always feel super productive when the laundry is going while I finish my work for the day. There’s something about being able to multitask that feels like such a mom/business owner win for me.

1:45 pm: I get back to my client work. I use a project management tool with all my clients, so I start there when I’m ready to get back to work. Most of them use Asana, so I keep it open all day. I open each client’s workspace and jump into the tasks assigned to me for the day.

3:45 pm: The baby wakes up ready to eat. Just like in the morning, I usually reply to some emails after he’s closed his eyes toward the end of his feed.

4:30 pm: My husband (James) comes home and takes over for me. He spends some time with Luke and finishes getting our dinner ready. Having a 50-50 partner is key for me, personally, to making my business run. I usually take these few minutes for a little self-care. I have a snack and watch a few minutes of one of my favorite shows on Netflix. (I usually watch reruns of Gilmore Girls or Parks & Rec!) Even a few minutes of quiet time makes a huge difference for me.

5 pm: I pick one client project to work on for a bit before eating dinner. This is usually something that’s easy for me to start and stop — like curating content for social media.

5:30 pm:The baby and I both attempt to eat dinner simultaneously! (It gets a little crazy.) I sneak a few bites in while he’s eating — and then finish up while James burps him.

6 pm: I get some client work done that I wasn’t able to complete the during the day. I also prep for the following day. I sleep so much easier knowing I have a plan!

8 pm: The baby eats again before going to bed. I usually put my phone away for this one. My husband sits with us, and he and I catch up on the day.

8:30 pm: When Luke’s done eating, his dad changes him and puts him to bed. I grab my laptop and work from bed while I wrap up a few more tasks. (I know, I know — that’s not a great habit!)

9 pm: Self-care alert: I have to make a conscious effort to save my energy and stop the habit of working all night long. I check back in and take a few minutes to wrap up my day. I look at email, Facebook and Twitter again. And then I close up shop for the day!

Questions for Julienne? Ask them in the comments!

PS – Liked getting this behind-the-scenes look? Check out the rest of the Day in the Life series!

Day in the Life: Kiersten Kindred

Day in the LifeWelcome to Day in the Life, where we peek into the lives and schedules of solopreneurs and freelancers. Today we’re chatting with Kiersten Kindred, founder of Kindred Communications, a communications and branding firm in Houston, Texas. Kiersten specializes in communications, media, marketing, and defining brands for medium-sized businesses. Visit her site to download Five Steps to Marketing Success: A Small Business Guide.

Kiersten Kindred7:30 am: I wake up to my alarm song, Rihanna “We Found Love.” I still love that song. As soon as I get up I put on the Today show to see what is going on in the world.

7:35 am: After I lay in bed for about five minutes watching the news, I move to my floor to meditate. My mantra that I say over and over again is “God is love.” I say that on repeat to allow my mind to find my inner peace before I begin my day.

7:45 am: Once meditation is complete, I hop in the shower.

8:30 am: I begin to get my breakfast ready. I clean off a piece of fruit (a plum, blueberries or a banana) and heat up some Cream of Wheat or pour a bowl of Fiber One (with no sugar added). Once the breakfast is ready, I put it on a plate and head over to the table to eat and watch more news.

9 am: After I finish my breakfast, I go to the kitchen to prepare my lunch and snacks for the day, so I won’t have to stop and cook in the middle of the day.

9:45 am: I get on my laptop to check and respond to emails. I often forget how many email accounts I have, so I have to keep a check list of which email accounts I have checked. I keep many email accounts for my personal emails, business emails and fun emails.

10:45 am: As soon as I’ve checked my email accounts and replied to clients, potential clients and others, I get on social media. I try to automate my social media accounts, but it often becomes a mixture of me posting live and automatic postings. When I post automatically, it is great for me because I can proceed with my day and not worry about social media. My favorite tool for this is Hootsuite. I also take this time to look at trends and look for events in the area.

11:45 am: I do a conference call with a client to talk about the communications and branding efforts for the week. I love this part of the day because it so motivating to be able to help businesses improve their branding efforts for their business. It truly is enjoyable to be able to watch businesses grow through communications, branding and marketing efforts. Once I talk to one client, I call the next client and discuss their efforts for the week. I try to touch base with all my clients in some form in the day, so they know they I am on top of things.

1:45 pm: Once I have talked to all my clients, I go to the kitchen to get my lunch and eat it at the table while reading emails. I take a little break to try to eat and sometimes play Lumosity for a mini-mind break.

2 pm: After finishing my lunch, I then prepare my bag and leave to meet with potential clients that I have already researched and prepared a pitch for. I aim to meet with at least 10 potential clients a day, in their offices.

4:30 pm: Now that I have met with potential clients, I arrive back home and get on the computer again to promote my new book (Five Steps to Marketing Success: A Small Business Guide). I promote it on social media, search for media outlets and look for possible speaking engagements.

6 pm: Once I have completed tasks for my book, I look for networking events in my area and surrounding areas. I try to make it a habit to attend at least three networking events a month. I search Eventbrite, LinkedIn, Twitter and use a simple Google search.

7 pm: I head to the gym to have an hour-long workout filled with cardio first (I either get on the elliptical, stair master or treadmill for about 20 minutes) then I do either my legs, abs or arms. I typically do legs and lower body Mon, Wed, Fri and then I do abs and arms Tues and Thurs.

8:30 pm: I arrive home, check my emails and then try to watch TV, talk to family and friends, and prepare dinner. It depends what night it is for what I am watching on TV, but my favorite shows out now are Blood, Sweat and Heels, Power, and Empire. My dinner usually consists of something like salmon, always with two servings of vegetables.

9:30 pm: I write a blog post for my company blog. My blog post will be about branding, communications, marketing or media relation tips.

10 pm: Finally, I prepare for bed and get ready to do it all over again. What a day for Kiersten Kindred!

PS – Liked getting this behind-the-scenes look? Check out the rest of the Day in the Life series!

Day in the Life: Sabrina Bolin, Intuitive Coach + Hypnotherapist

Welcome to Day in the Life, where we peek into the lives and schedules of solopreneurs and freelancers. Today we’re chatting with Sabrina BolinSabrina is an Intuitive Coach and Certified Hypnotherapist who guides the energetically stuck back to their soul’s purpose by teaching them to release limitations, strengthen their intuition and take more inspired action in life. Head over to her site to join The Tribe.

MyMiBoSo office

Upon waking, I pull my two dogs up into the bed for morning cuddles with me and my man – an essential part of starting my day filled with love.

I then roll out of bed and into my closet, which doubles as my meditation space. Depending on the day, I go through a chakra cleanse, breathing meditation, or self-hypnosis visualization journey to get myself grounded and ready to receive insights from my inner wisdom for my life and business.

Because I believe a healthy body is the best way to support a healthy mind and soul, I like to move my body before I check a single email. On busy days, this simply means the long walk around the block with my dogs, but I also like to turn it up a few times a week with a jog to the park, kettle bell swings, or time on my yoga mat.

I’m fortunate to have the support of a daily accountability partner through a fellow entrepreneur and dear friend, and my work day officially begins as we text each other to set our daily goals and intentions to stay on track with the weekly ones we share with each other at the start of every week. I review my Google calendar at this time as well as my Trello to do lists to check on what needs to be prioritized for the various ongoing projects I feel called to devote my time and energy toward.

From there I move into my office where I focus on working on the growth of my business – whether it’s with new marketing experiments (because truly everything is an experiment – some just more guided than others!), crafting new programs and offerings, and finding other ways to connect directly with the clients I’m meant to serve. Currently in the works: my “Get Unstuck” training series and “The Inspired Life” podcast.

I typically unplug midday for writing, intuitive practices, and practicing what I teach – because truly, I’m most helpful to my people when I release my own limitations and strengthen my own intuition first. Nature is my muse, and I’m so lucky to have a home office surrounded by trees, with both an indoor and outdoor workspace that allows me to stay connected to my soul no matter where I’m working.

Most of my client sessions are in the late morning or early afternoon, so I take a moment before each session to reconnect and then release any busy-ness in my own mind – these sessions are not about me after all, and it is essential I am fully present so that I can meet them exactly where they are.

The late afternoon is the time to get back online and reconnect with my tribe; I aim to make myself available at least a couple of times daily via email and on social media so that I am not “always on” but present enough to make a difference. This is also a great time to connect with my tribes in the Facebook groups, as I connect with friends and mentors old and new on the always-exciting journey of a heart-led entrepreneur.

My evenings are spent with my man, with friends, or just by myself, unwinding, playing in the kitchen, and giving my mind over to a little TV or reading. When it’s time to call it a night, I often get out my journal to practice gratitude and reflections, listing out my moments of appreciation, priming my mind and soul for a good night’s sleep and refreshed start to the new day.

Of course, what I just described was my ideal day – which realistically only happens a little more than half the time.

However, even on those days when I “break the rules,” and spend too long on social media, skip my breaks entirely, or completely take an unplanned day “off” from my business, I practice what I believe is real balance: the awareness of those things that I value the most and the flexibility to allow my energy to ebb and flow where it’s needed to honor all parts of myself.

So after a day completely off routine, I am able to get refocused and dive back in that next day – ready to serve the world the best way I know how and pour my heart into a business I love.

Day in the Life: Kelsey Jones

Welcome to Day in the Life, where we peek into the lives and schedules of solopreneurs and freelancers. Today we’re chatting with Kelsey Jones. She is the managing editor of Search Engine Journal and helps clients grow their social media, content, and search marketing presence under her agency, MoxieDot. She also just started a new healthy living/lifehack blog: The Hustle Life. When she’s not doing all three, she can be found reading, getting a workout in, or trying to catch up on Breaking Bad.

day in the life freelancer kelsey jones

6:05 am: After hitting snooze once, I roll out of bed. My husband won’t wake up for another 90 minutes, so I be as quiet as I can. I get dressed in workout clothes in my master bathroom, put my hair up and put on a sweatshirt, and head into my office.

6:15 am: I don’t drink any coffee at all, so I move the large cup of water I filled up the night before from my desk over to my over-sized chair. I go through my Miracle Morning routine (meditation, affirmations, visualizing how I want the day to be, reading for 20 minutes), and then write down my to-do list for the day. I work in 90 minute chunks (with a 30 minute break), so I schedule my tasks out into about three or four chunks each day, depending on how much I have to do.

7:15am: Time for my workout. I’m doing P90X3: it’s 90 days and I’m at the end of week three. Agility X is today’s workout, my favorite. I take my computer downstairs, let my miniature long-haired dachshund and german shepherd/australian shepherd mix outside, and start making an amino acid drink for the workout, which helps combat soreness.

9am: After my 30ish minute workout, I mess around on email and Facebook, then finally get breakfast (either a smoothie with protein powder, chia seed, almond milk, and berries; or a ThinkThin protein bar), feed my dogs (how are they that excited about the exact same food every day?!), shower, and get dressed. My husband is usually dressed and leaving for the day, so we say bye. I go back upstairs with my laptop, sit down at my desk, and look over the daily list I wrote this morning. I write a B2B marketing news post for a KoMarketing and then start editing contributors’ posts they’ve submitted to Search Engine Journal, where I’m the managing editor. I send them edits and put each post either in Editor Hold or Needs Copyedit. I get distracted in a Skype conversation with an SEJ coworker about Game of Thrones but still manage to schedule out social media posts for my three social media clients on Buffer and HootSuite.

10:30am: After working my first 90 minute chunk, I set my timer for 30 minutes and either fold some laundry, put away dishes, or even just read for a few moments– really anything to give me a break from the computer. Ironically, taking longer breaks during the day has increased my productivity and I get more done during the day, way more than when I was working 10-12 hours per day. Still, I feel weird and guilty folding laundry in the middle of the morning, when most people are at their desks.

11 am: I’m back at my desk for my second chunk of time. Now I have to write a 2,000 word article on Google AdWords marketing. I like writing, but 2,000 words seems overwhelming. I did do the outline the day before, so that helps. I manage to sneak in a peek at HootSuite to check for @ replies to clients and to my own Twitter accounts, before finishing the AdWords article, double checking it for errors, and submitting it to my ghostwriting client.

12:30pm:I feel good that I’ve already written that monster post, so I treat myself to Mr. Goodcents, which is like Subway. I get a pepperoni and provolone on high-fiber bread, with some baked Lays and a caffeine-free diet coke since I just found out my body is sensitive to caffeine.

12:45pm: Lunch took longer than I thought, but this 90 minute chunk of time is easier than the first two, so I manage to get almost everything done. I finally go through my inbox, which I don’t do in the morning because it makes me feel too stressed and distracted. A client IMs me on Skype and wants to set up a meeting for me to show her MailChimp with Join.Me screenshare. We set it up for the coming Thursday.

2 pm: I let the dogs out and talk to my backyard neighbor about how funny it is my dachshund still barks at her kids, even though we have lived there three years. I grab him and we go back inside. I think about eating thin mints as a snack but choose clementines instead (but sometimes the thin mints prevail).

2:30 pm: I start trying to wrap up my final tasks for the day but keep getting distracted since I have an Old Navy gift card. I put imaginary outfits into my online shopping cart before taking a quick break to fill up my water cup, which helps me get refocused. I have a call with another client about SEO for a pest control company. He designs the website and outsources SEO to me, so I take notes in Evernote about our next steps and promise to get three deliverables to him by the next week. I add them to ToDoist, spreading out the tasks to make sure my workload is fairly the same each day.

4pm: I didn’t finish everything, but I’ve lost all concentration, so I head downstairs. The dogs are happy I’m not working anymore and I start getting dinner ready– cajun pasta with chicken. After eating, I take the dogs for a 30 minute walk. Their enthusiasm convinces me to walk a little bit farther than I normally do.

5:45pm: Time for TV time with husband or maybe something with friends. I force myself not to check my email.

10:30pm: Start getting ready for bed. I usually like to read before bed, but I’m too tired today. I set my alarm for 6 am, and talk to my husband in bed before we both fall asleep.

Day in the Life: Lis Dingjan of The Identity

Welcome to Day in the Life, where we peek into the lives and schedules of solopreneurs and freelancers. Today we’re chatting with Lis Dingjan of The Identity. Lis works with smashingly talented people to create big impact for their incredible offerings over at The Identity. She does biz consulting, branding, custom website design & development and a whole lot more. Part creative and part very nerdy, she’s in love with helping businesses succeed with style, a dash of elegance, lashings of high quality, a sprinkle of rustic fusion and a whole lot of passion and value. 

day in the life lis dingjan

I’ve always got a million things going on at once so my days are jam packed and often changing. One of the wonderful things about going after your own dreams and ideas about life is that you don’t have to follow a strict concept of time. It’s your life after all! I’m also a bit of a nomad so I’m regularly in another country…I’m actually typing this from 30 thousand feet up on a flight to Europe whilst Love Actually plays and I fall in love with Hugh Grant all over again (I would pour orange juice all over me for days if it meant he stumbled into me!).

I’m a huge believer in hustling your butt off to get the life you want and I love kick starting the day and getting to it so I’m usually up by 6am. I’d like to say that I gently wake up, go for a run in Lululemon looking sassy and sexy and then make a green smoothie sipping it slowly on my rustic wooden balcony with 360 degree views in the Bavarian alps whilst flicking through a design magazine. Sadly, my life isn’t so glamorous…

6am-12pm: My mornings instead tend to start with doing a few hours of client work (branding, website design & development and consulting) from my Mac Air. Sometimes in my PJ pants and the always patience testing spinning wheel from way too many open applications. Most days I try not to open my email until the afternoon. If I’m in Cambodia my early hours are spent in the sun (though my porcelain skin fails to ever achieve a sparkling glow), with wonderful, inspiring families in the villages and rice fields or children at schools.

12-6pm: The rest of my day changes wherever I am in the world but it’s always filled with client work, Skype consults, charity projects, administration, responding to an inbox full of emails, reports, exploring a new town and no doubt some debates on current world events!

I’m incredibly lucky to have friends all over the place and love meeting passionate people in cafes so my days are interspersed with fruity tea catch-ups in alternative, kooky, recycled or comfy cafes. My tip? I don’t have social media applications or work email on my phone (I didn’t even have Facebook until this year!), which frees my time up for work, head space for creativity, seeing the world and connecting with amazing people.

6pm-7pm: I used to exercise regularly but that’s fallen by the way side a little lately. I do love exploring countries so I’ll walk a lot in cities to ogle at architecture, people watch or buy food from the markets (can’t go past Borough Markets in London) and get out into the mountains and make my thighs shake. I do work on weekends but I also adore camping so some weekends I escape in a tent. You’ve got to get away from the daily routine; best inspiration comes from outside your industry.

7pm-12am: Night times are often filled with side projects (never stop experimenting and learning!) whilst playing Friends, Grand Designs or music (Leonard Cohen, Rod Stewart, Pink Floyd, Beegees, Billy Joel, ABBA or whatever strikes my fancy that day). Otherwise I can be found at cafes wolfing down wood fired pizza and watermelon juice, at comedy events or concerts or talking world changing ideas with inspirational people. Toward exam period each year I will also be found cramming entire units in, in the space of a few weeks in a stressful panic (I’m still debating a masters for this year) and ironing becomes an unbelievably exciting hobby of mine.

12-2am: If I’m on my own I fall asleep somewhere around 1-3am otherwise I try to attempt to get to bed by 11pm (I have good intentions, I promise!).  I’m one of those people that gets crazy creative at night, but I also like starting my day early (thank you years of swimming training). I’m revamping my business so 2014 has a few more early nights and pool time. 2014 will be all about refining…and attempting to look more like Blake Lively than our ancestral apes.

Questions for Lis? Ask them in the comments!

Day in the Life: Nicole Longstreath

Welcome to Day in the Life, where we peek into the lives and schedules of solopreneurs and freelancers. Today we’re chatting with Nicole Longstreath of The Wardrobe Code. Nicole is on a mission to save women from the dysfunctional shopping experience. She is a virtual wardrobe stylist working with women across the globe to build personal brands that command attention and influence. You can find her at her home base, theWardrobeCode.com.

nicole longstreath of the wardrobe code

6:30am: My alarm goes off on my phone, but I turn it off and stay in bed. It’s not that I’m ignoring my alarm – I just like to lie in bed for a good half hour before I actually get out of bed.

7:00am: Time to get up! But the cat is usually draped over my legs, so I have to nudge him to get up. After a bit of human/cat banter, he concedes and moves to the edge of the bed. I learned last year that my best tool for staying on track with my business (and personal life, too) is daily meditation. I created a meditation spot in my office with a small coffee table and a large, square cushion. On the coffee table, I keep candles and meditation prompts written on index cards. For 10 minutes, I reflect on my chosen card. I try to select a theme for the day I think will help keep me productive and positive. Ohmmmm …

7:10am: After meditation, I get in a bit of exercise. I’ve never been a fan of working out, so I keep it to about 30 minutes – max. I just don’t have the attention span for a 90 minute workout, so I do either a quick HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout or a 30-minute yoga routine on an iPad app I use called Yoga Studio.

7:30am: This is where I should get in the shower, but I usually spend about 30 minutes in my yoga pants checking emails and reading the news.

8:00am: Shower and morning routine (make-up, hair, etc.). I try to put on a full face of make-up and get dressed in a respectable outfit at least 4 days of the work week. This morning routine is a part of self care that I’m afraid a lot of women who work from home skip because it’s time consuming. When there’s no commute, it’s so tempting to get right to work on the computer and start your day. But I think that self care is important for your confidence and the success of your business.

9:00am: Oh, wait – breakfast! Somehow, I always forget to plan for breakfast. If I’m not feeling rushed, I’ll make an omelet with cheese and avocado. But today I’m anxious to get my day started, so it’s a green smoothie.

9:15am: At my desk and working, finally! I program some tweets for the day – a mix of promotions for The Wardrobe Code, shares for my other solopreneur friends and interesting stuff I think my audience will like. Next, I’m hunting on LinkedIn and Jigsaw.com for prospects. In addition to my virtual coaching for speakers and coaches, I produce a workshop for corporations to help them get their employees looking fresh and profesh.

11:00am: Social media break! I’m a social butterfly, so I love interacting in my online groups and forums. First I start in a Facebook group for solopreneurs, Thrive Hive. I’ll ask a question or share a helpful tool I found. Next up, Twitter. I’m sneaky and have several secret Twitter lists. I try to curate lists of people I want to work with or want to engage with because they’re influential – so I cruise these feeds for engagement opportunities. Finally, on to Google+. Lately, I’m having a lot more luck connecting with people on Google+ versus Facebook – so I check in to a few groups I belong to and usually share what I shared on my Facebook page for The Wardrobe Code (which has been getting fewer and fewer views due to their ever-changing algorithm).

12:30pm: Time for lunch, which is usually leftovers. I’m going to have to eat quickly today because I still have to pack for a conference I’m speaking at … then see a client later today via Skype.

2:00pm: I have to admit, ever since I started using this easy system, packing for a trip takes me about 45 minutes. Crazy, right? Here’s how you do it: Choose your favorite cardigans, blouses, pants, accessories and a jacket. Lay everything out on the bed (or on a sheet on the floor) and just start making combos. Start with something you really like, and just plan around it. Then take photos of each outfit and save on your phone for reference during your trip.

4:30pm: Now it’s time to see a client. We’re going to review her homework, which was organizing her closet and creating outfits.

6:00pm: Almost done for the day! One of my friends hosts a weekly web show, so I’m going to jump on her live feed to show my support.

6:30pm: And now the work day is done. My husband is finally home, so we’ll make dinner together and watch our shows. I may sneak back to the office one last time before bed to check emails.

Questions for Nicole? Ask them in the comments!

P.S. Did you like this peek into a day in the life of Nicole? Share the love on Twitter!

Day in the Life: Kit Graham of The Kittchen

Welcome to Day in the Life, where we peek into the lives and schedules of solopreneurs and freelancers. Today we’re chatting with Kit Graham, the author of The Kittchen and The Gourmet Grilled Cheese Cookbook. She began blogging in November 2011 when her husband and friends decided she needed to be sharing her recipes and set up a blog for her. In addition to writing, Kit works a full time job at Groupon where she is a regulatory compliance specialist. Kit lives in Chicago and she spends her free time exploring Chicago’s many restaurants.

kit graham of the kittchen

7:30am: Weekday mornings begin with my husband waking me up on his way out the door. I work a fulltime job at Groupon in addition to writing The Kittchen, and fortunately my office is directly across the street from home.

7:45am: I turn on my hair straightener and start to straighten my hair in hopes that it will tame my bed head. I always have my iPhone at my side and it buzzes away with emails. I stop occasionally to read the emails as they come in. I am obsessed with having an empty inbox. I see an email from Stef from 300 Sandwiches, telling me that she featured one of my sandwiches on her site. Stef has received lots of national press about her site, so this will be good exposure for The Kittchen. Excited about this news, I call my mom. I put the phone on speaker so I can continue straightening as we chat.

8:15am: I check my email one more time before leaving the house, and respond to a couple emails from the publicist I hired to promote my cookbook, The Gourmet Grilled Cheese Cookbook.

8:30am: Normally I grab a yogurt on my way out the door to eat at my desk, but I remember that my favorite doughnut truck is scheduled to be outside today. My friend runs Chicago’s Food Truck Finder Twitter feed, and I pay close attention to the schedule for my block. I stop at The Doughnut Vault Van, which is conveniently parked within the 30 feet between my home and office. I get their special doughnut of the day, which is a giant vanilla doughnut with chocolate glaze and sprinkles. I post a photo on Instagram before I dig in. I like to joke that if it isn’t on Instagram it didn’t happen.

8:35am: I arrive at Groupon and my morning flies by.

12:00pm: I am home for lunch, this is my favorite part of not commuiting. On Tuesdays at lunchtime I participate in a Twitter chat with the Chicago Blogger Network. Today the chat topic is desserts, so I am especially excited. I start heating up the beef and bacon chili I made yesterday and start chatting. Between answering questions in the chat I set up props so I can take photos of my lunch. Once the chili is hot, I pour it into a bowl and take a few photos. I eat my lunch while chatting on Twitter and downloading the photos I just took. I quickly edit the photos and add them the chili post I had written the night before. I publish my post and head back to work.

12:30pm: I go back to work and finish out a busy day at Groupon.

4pm: I take a quick break to call the company printing my cookbook to check on the status of the proof. They assure me that it will arrive this week.

5:15pm: I leave work and head to Plum Market. Plum Market is a new upscale grocery store in Chicago. They invited me for a private tour with their concierge. In an attempt to network, I say “Yes” to absolutely every invitation I receive, which means I attend 3-5 meetings or events like this each week. My friend Jenn joins me for the tour, which is nice because it lets me combine work and spending time with one of my best friends. As we tour the store I am looking for inspiration for future recipe posts. I am never more than 3 days ahead on my blog, and I post everyday, so I always need to think up new recipes.

6:30pm: The tour of the store comes to an end. They offer to let me and Jenn have some snacks from their prepared food areas to enjoy at their wine bar. I am very hungry and am happy to try out several different dishes from the hot bar. I love red wine and have a glass with my snacks. My snack selection consists of 6 small scoops of items from the hot bar, which don’t make any sense all together but I don’t mind. Jenn and I decide that we love the Corn and Bacon Salad. Once we finish I thank my tour guides, say good night to Jenn, and then head back through to store to do some shopping.

7:00pm: I pick up a bottle of red wine, some short ribs, milk and eggs. My fridge happens to be very well stocked at the moment so I don’t need very much. I pay for my groceries and grab a cab home. It is a beautiful fall evening in Chicago, and my cabbie is very friendly. Cab drivers in Chicago are so nice and I always love chatting with them. We talk about all the new construction in Lincoln Park and River North, and the new Target that is about to open. I wonder if the Target will have the new Phillip Lim bags in stock when it opens on Sunday, and consider waiting in line for the opening to try and grab one.

7:30pm: I arrive at home. My husband is hanging out watching Breaking Bad, which he recently became addicted to. I wanted to watch it with him, but I was too busy so he started without me. I unpack my groceries and tell Charles all about my tour at Plum Market, and the giant doughnut I ate earlier. I am constantly telling him about the food trucks. I take a quick shower, put on pajamas and pour myself a (large) glass of wine. My husband has waited for me to come home so we can watch Brooklyn Ninety-Nine and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. together.

8pm: I settle in on the couch with the wine and my laptop, and tell Charles that he is in charge of fast forwarding through any commercials. I make sure he fast-forwards through any ads for Gravity because they give me major anxiety. It drives my husband nuts that I am always on my laptop when we watch TV, but I need to multitask. I use the time to I work on the next day’s blog post, reply to any outstanding emails and respond to Twitter chatter.

11pm: I switch my iPhone to airplane mode and collapse into bed.

Questions for Kit? Ask them in the comments!

P.S. Loved getting a peek into Kit’s workday? Show her some love on Twitter and let us know if you want to be featured!

Day in the Life: Ashley Wilhite of Your Super Awesome Life

Welcome to Day in the Life, where we peek into the lives and schedules of solopreneurs and freelancers. Today we’re chatting with Ashley Wilhite of Your Super Awesome Life, who wants to live in a world where following your passion is required, tiaras are the accessory of choice, and cupcakes are abundant. As a Life Coach for 20-something women + sought-after writer, she’s been featured on Tiny Buddha, MindBodyGreen, Yes and Yes, Stratejoy, and Kind Over Matter. When she’s not helping women figure out what the heck they want to do with their lives + find the confidence and courage to actually go through with it, you can find her obsessing over training for her first marathon (Chicago, in October!), devouring each new episode of Pretty Little Liars, and traveling the world searching the best cup of iced coffee.

ashley wilhite of your super awesome life

8:15am: “It’s after 8:00,” my boyfriend says as he’s typing away at his desk. We both work from home and he’s a morning person (I most definitely am not), so he wakes me up, which is much better than the beeping of an evil alarm clock. I roll over, grab my iPhone and begin scrolling through Twitter. I know they say it’s “unhealthy” to check social media first thing in the morning, but it makes me excited to get started for the day.

8:30am: I’m finally sitting up in bed with a warm cup of Keurig-brewed, Breakfast Blend coffee. I begin replying to important emails from clients, scheduling tweets and Facebook updates for the day, and looking over my schedule and To Do list in my paper planner. I grab a quick breakfast, usually toast and an egg, a cinnamon raisin bagel, or leftover pancakes.

9:30am: Since I’m training for the Chicago marathon, I lace up my sneakers and go for a run five days a week. This morning I do 8 miles while listening to the Joy the Baker podcast and Taylor Swift’s RED album. Thankfully, the weather is a perfect 65 degrees with a cool breeze.

11:30am: I’m back home, showered, and dressed for the day. I make a green smoothie (almond milk, spinach, banana, strawberries, blueberries, chia seeds, and almond butter) and sit down at my desk to get to work. I’m writing a private article for DreamQuest, my 6-month group coaching program, that I’ll send out next week. This month we’re talking about the “I’ll be happy when…” myth and how to shift our mindset. I share personal strategies that have worked for me and develop exercises for my clients to try.

1:00pm: My first coaching call of the day! These always get me so pumped up and inspired. My client and I dive into the self-doubt and fear she’s feeling as she launches her first product for her business. We dig deep and get into some super vulnerable stuff and it’s awesome! After our call, I type up a recap email for her and include personalized homework assignments for the next week.

2:00pm: It’s been a few days since we last spoke, so I shoot my designer a quick email to check in on her progress for Cake for Breakfast, a new course I’m creating. I notice I’m starting to get hungry, so I grab some sharp cheddar and Wheat Thins to hold me over.

2:15pm: With a solid chunk of time to get some work done, I put in my earphones and turn on my Joshua Radin playlist in iTunes.Then I open up a new Google doc and it’s go time. The project that has me fired up the most right now is the book I’m writing, The First Two Years. I type away for the next two hours, creating the tell-all account of how I built Your Super Awesome Life.

4:30pm: I log in to Skype for a call with a previous coaching client who I’m now working with on a collaboration project. The project is still in the beginning stages, so we discuss possible names and start nailing our ideal customer. To keep us on track, we outline a few action items for each of us to complete before our next call.

5:30pm: Since I have a group coaching call with my DreamQuest ladies this evening, I close my laptop and take a break for a few hours. Time for a little personal/biz development. This week I’m reading Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art and Joan Didion’s Blue Nights. Both are amazing.

7:00pm My boyfriend and I have dinner with his parents- roast turkey, carrots, mashed potatoes, and cucumbers.

9:00pm: I’m a huge sucker for ice cream (and desserts in general), so I indulge in a few scoops with hot fudge on top, of course. My group call is in an hour, so I open up my laptop and begin reviewing my notes.

10:00pm: An hour to catch up with my DreamQuest group. We share what we’ve been working on and I lead a mini-lesson on the “I’ll be happy when…” myth. We discuss the negative effects of being a “future addict” and I share suggestions of how to stay grounded in the present moment. When the hour is over, I forward a recording of the call to the group and type up a recap email to send out.

11:30pm: Whew! What a long day! I close laptop and crawl into bed. I debate catching up on Big Brother or finishing The War of Art, but I decide I’m too exhausted to do either, so I curl up next to my boyfriend and drift off to sleep.

Questions for Ashley? Ask them in the comments!

P.S. Loved getting a peek into Ashley’s workday? Show her some love on Twitter and let us know if you want to be featured!