So, inspired by the Harper's Bazaar series of articles, I am going to be inviting guests to do this with me.
I will be kicking off the festivities:
6:30 AM : This is when my alarm goes off. I admit it; I do shut off the alarm, then turnover and shut my eyes again. I only lie in for 5 - 6 mlnutes or so. I actually really like getting up in the morning.
I then get up and the very first thing I do, before anything else, I make myself a HUGE mug of tea. VERY strong tea. My teas of preference in the mornings are Hédiard Vanilla or Caramel tea. I use half a teaspoon of raw whole sugar. This is the only moment during the day that I use sugar.
I stand in the kitchen, in the quiet, because no one else is up at this hour. It's usually still a little dark too, especially in the winter, it's pitch black. I look out the window of my kitchen; my duplex is on the top floor, and faces out towards the back of the building, so I get a nice, calm view on the garden and terrace below, as well as the other houses, etc.
I then get my daughter up. Well, I wake her up. I always wake her up with light tickling and laughter; this is something that I've always done. And she always crawls under her covers, giggling and then she hugs my hands, holding them tight against her cheek.
I leave her to get dressed and then I go and get breakfast.
6:50 AM: Breakfast. I make my daughter her cup of green tea with mint, 1 teaspoon of sugar. I either get her favourite cereal or brioche with jam. On the table there are always yogurts, fruit juice, fresh fruits and whole wheat bread. Personally, my breakfast depends on my day ahead: if I'm teaching, then yogurt, fruit and a bowl of whole bran cereal. If I'm not teaching, then just a plain yogurt. No milk for either of us; we always and only have vegan milk substitute in our house, and vegan margarine.
Mornings are hectic and yet calm. My morning beauty routine is set: I wash with a grapefruit-based organic face wash. I love the smell of this; it perks me up. Organic toning lotion by Nuxe. Face cream for dry skin with Argan oil. Then, at the moment, BB Cream by Revlon. I only use organic soaps, etc. without paraben. Unfortunately, the BB Cream is not organic and contains lots of yucky stuff, but until they make an organic BB Cream.....
I make my own body lotion. I mix various non-paraben creams, almond oil, argan oil, avocado oil, rose oil and musk oil, as well as organic aloe vera. I apply this everyday, without fail after my shower.
Yes, I do wear make-up. Always tight-line with black liner. Black mascara. Either dark navy liner on the lashes of dark brown shadow. Blush, always. Either pink or peach, depending on my mood. And always, without fail, a lipstain. I tend to look a little washed-out without lipcolour, so I always wear something. Besides, I love lipsticks and glosses!
Perfume, always too. That too, depends on my mood. I have over 20 different perfumes and scents. And I love each and every one of them. So, I couldn't tell you here, exactly which one is my favourite. I can tell you this, I only wear sweet, floral scents. I never wear spicy, woody or watery scents. All my scents have in common that sweetness and musky undertone.
And ah yes, last thing, my jewellery. Nothing fancy, but I never leave the house without these: my rings, especially my amber ring, given to me by my daugther's father. Not a day goes by that I do not wear this. It's a simple amber ring, but I absolutely love it. A bracelet of some kind; at the moment, it's one my daugther got me at H&M, with huge beads.
All in all, this beauty part takes me under 15 minutes flat. I've perfected this routine over the years; and it hasn't changed yet.
8:15 AM: Time to get my daughter to school. It takes exactly 3 minutes to get to school. I drop her off; I've noticed that she's gotten to that age where she's a little embarrassed to have her parents hug her like crazy and call her "baby" in front of her classmates. So, I let her go, but I sit in the car and watch to make sure she walks in through those front gates. She always spends 5 minutes chatting to her girlfriends before going in. I always wonder what they could talk about....
9:00 AM: By this time, I'm in class. My first lessons don't start till 9:30, but I always get there early. I'm a control freak, that sets the classroom up, checking if my felt-tip pens are all working, preparing hand-outs, etc. And there is nothing more I hate than arriving at the same time or later than my students.
If I'm not teaching, then I'm either shooting on a studio set, or at home. If I'm shooting, then it's make-up and hair time. This is a moment I like, and dread sometimes too. I'm never sure what I'm going to look like. Also, shootings are long. You tend to have to arrive very early on set; most times, I'm usually on set much earlier! But then, you wait around, waiting for your turn to be filmed.
On days when I'm doing neither, then usually, I'll run, 4-5 kms. I drive out to the forest and run. I need to run; this is therapy for me. It keeps me grounded, sane and healthy.
1:00 PM: Lunch! This is, I think, my favourite meal of the day! No joke! If I'm teaching, then it's at the caf. And I always have the same thing, simply because there isn't very much choice: a composed salad. Now that I'm running, I will have some protein here, although I'm not so good with it. I'll try and have some cheese, or maybe some kind of white meat or fish. I have some carbs, but not everyday. I'm not a big fan of carbs, I never have been. I'm just not the type to sit down and eat a bowl of pasta or rice. I almost never have potatoes, or at least, I never buy potatoes. I haven't bought a bg of potatoes in at least 3 years. My sister once pointed out to me, years ago, that I was eating like the stars; no carbs, minimal protein, lots of herbal teas. I laughed; I don't do it on purpose, I just don't really like starchy foods.
No dessert. Not that I don't indulge sometimes. But usually not. I find that if I eat too heavy, I tend to fall asleep. Not good when you're working.
Here, I also have another tea. No sugar, but some kind of dark tea. I used to drink coffee, black, and I miss it. I've switched to tea because I'm thinking it's healthier. I sense though that I'm going to break down at some point, and I'm going to start indulging in java again.
2:00 PM: By this time, I'm back to work. And then it goes on till early evening. School for my daughter gets out at 4:30 PM. Either her father goes to pick her up, or she goes to the "Centre de Loisirs" or day-care centre. If she goes to the centre, then I pick her up, at around 6:30 PM. No later than 7 though because that's when it shuts!
Now here, if I'm not working, and I'm not shooting, then I'm off to Levallois-Perret, where I film for YouTube and do photoshoots. Whichever the case, I always try and be home for 7 PM. Or I'm working in my office. Always too much to do!
I tend to check my emails all day. I try to answer promptly, but this isn't always the case. I also am very bad about keeping in touch! I have to remedy this, but I just really have such little time....
I don't call much; I'm a texter. It's easier and more discreet, I find. Also, I'm a writer, so whether it's a romantic text or a professional one, I'm better at the written word.
I don't take coffee breaks, and I don't smoke. I'm the kind of person, once I've got my head down, then I bowl ahead. No time for slow movers! I'm always on the go; who's going to invent the 36-hour day for me? Personally, I don't see the days go by. I barely see the months go by, to be honest with you.
7:00 PM: At this point, either my daughter has finished her homework at the centre, or has done this with her father. If there is no school the next day, I take her out biking at this point, if the weather is good. We do 3-4 kms. This is good for her; it gets her out and moving, and I tend to think it's therapy for her too. Children need to move, I think. She's also a nervous little thing, so working off all that nervous energy is a must for her.
I also take the time to generally remove my makeup. I use wipes, organic ones, and so it takes a minute.
This is also when my anxiety hits. Not a huge anxiety; I call this my "evening dread". It's a slight, very slight fear that I feel that once again, a day has come to an end, and I must try and do and finish everything I can! The night coming, signifies to me that I just don't have much time anymore to accomplish things. I'm not the biggest fan of night. I'd much rather the day. I'm a morning person. When darkness comes, I prefer to be asleep.
7:30 PM: Dinner. Now, dinner isn't a big deal for me. There is always a huge bowl of garden salad on the table. And there is always a cooked veg. Steamed usually. It can be brocoli, cauliflower, green beans or my daughter's favourites, spinach or artichoke. Vinaigrette is always served on the side, and it's one that I make with organic honey, olive oil, both balsamic and apple cider vinegars, a little bit of stone ground mustard and shallots. There are variations on this: sometimes I grind fresh ginger into it, or I'll add some fresh herbs if I've been to the market, but this is my basic recipe. At dinner, I have neither protein nor carbs. I couldn't cope with eating carbs at night. And I'm not going to force myself to eat protein when I don't really like the stuff. Also, I'm not usually hungry either in the evening. If I am hungry though, I will either eat tofu, which I add to the salad, or I'll have some plain fromage frais.
The only day I really "cook" is Sundays. This is also my "let go" day. I will have a dessert here; this is my indulgence day. So, you know, treat myself!
I also ask my daughter what she wants to eat, i.e. whether she wants carbs, etc. I don't oblige her to eat like me, so she's free to have whatever she wants. That can range from pizza to macaroni, to lentils or beans. She likes her veg, which is a good thing and I also know that a growing child needs more fuel than me. So, I make her practically whatever she wants. She doesn't mind us eating different things; she knows that I really only truly love vegetables, and she thinks I'm part rabbit.
To save time, I always pre-make huge salads, veggies, etc. that I keep in tupperware. The meals for the week are always prepared in advance over the weekend, and midweek on Wednesdays.
Over dinner we talk about school. This is a moment of discussion for us.
At this time, I check her homework and schoolwork. The truth is, at dinner, I don't take more than 15 minutes to eat. I'm just really not that hungry. And I'm also aware that there are lots of things to be done for school! So, I almost skip this meal, to be honest. I know, maybe it's not so good, but I just don't have the time. Until a day lasts 36 hours, then I just can't change this.
8:30 PM: Shower timer for the little one. This can take some time; I dry her hair, which is a moment of chatting and confiding. A lot of girl talk goes on here; I think that maybe drying hair etc., preening is conducive to this kind of talk.
9:00 PM: I know, it seems late but this is when she falls asleep. I've tried to get her to bed before, at 8:30 PM. It just doesn't work with my one. She's way too nervous. She stays up, in her room, hiding and playing. If there's no school the next day, then we take a little more time. Bedtime gets pushed up to 9:30, even 10 over the summer. It depends. But during the school year, I stick to a pretty strict bedtime, because her school starts 30 minutes earlier than most French schools start.
I take time to tuck her into bed, hugs and massages too, sometimes. This is also when she prays for her cats and for me and her Dad. I love this; she's been doing this since she was 3. She doesn't really know who or what she's praying to, but it's her way of wishing the best for us all, and I think, a subconscious way of telling me what she wants!
9:30 - 10:30 PM: So, this is when I start to unwind. This might seem like an ungodly hour to do this, but I swear, this is what I do. This is when I do my resistance training. I do, everyday, without fail, 150 ab exercises, minimum. I also do Pilates. And I do my stretches. I do a mix of gymnastics, ballet and yoga stretches. I always work my splits here. And a headstand. This really helps me unwind.
10:30 PM: Removing what's left of makeup. I use organic makeup removers. In the plural because I use a special one for the face and another one for the eyes. I wash with an organic oil. And then, I apply a non-paraben ultra-hydrating cream on the face. I really lather on the cream here, because I really need it. My skin gets so dry, it's unbelievable. After this cream, I use an organic heavy cream made from Royal Jelly. It's very thick, like cold cream. It works wonders for my dry skin. And it smells like honey. Shower too here! But my shower here is more relaxed, and I use an organic coconut scrub here.
Also, I take the time to prepare my clothes and shoes for the next day. I hate, hate, hate scrambling around in the morning, wondering what I'm going to wear. When I was married, I also set out my husband's clothes here, all nicely ironed and folded out.
When I was married, I was even busier. I mean, I did everything for him. From preparing his briefcase, his clothes, his meals, even changing his toothbrush, disinfecting his hairbrushes, I did everything. Yes, yes, I'm a control freak. Up until a few months ago, I even labelled every drawer with stickers, so that everyone could always know where to put everything away. I'm telling you, I'm not sure I could really live with someone again, or if anyone could stand living with me! They'd have to be ready for a nearly military regimen of organisation. But the truth is, I can't be otherwise. Most people get the impression that I'm really flaky, or artistic and unorganised. I think nothing could be further from the truth. As my ex-boyfriend once said, I'm pragmatic and practical to the point of neuroticism. Ok. I accept and assume that.
11:00 PM: I'm asleep here! I mean, I crash. Not much is going to wake me up. Once I sleep, I'm dead to the world. There can be sirens, alarms, etc. I won't and don't hear a damn thing. This has been tested; one of my neighbours fell in the staircase, and had to be taken away with an ambulance. I was the only one who didn't hear thing. My car got crashed by a drunk driver, right in front of my place. The driver crashed his car into a row of parked cars and it was, apparently, an almighty mess. 3 cars had to be taken away to the scarpyard. Ambulances, police sirens, etc. all in the street. I was the only one who slept through the whole thing, and I didn't even hear the cops knocking on my door.
I call this "selective" hearing though; because I hear my daughter. If she gets up to go to the toilet or to the kitchen for a drink of water, I'm awake. Believe it or not, I even hear the cats, scurrying around the place. But anything else? I must subconsciously tell myself that nothing else is important.
I need my sleep, which is why I am in bed as early as possible. I truly believe that sleep is the foundation of health, beauty and sanity! I don't let very much get in the way of my sleep! And I don't like staying up late. I don't go out very much; I dont much have the time! I don't go out aimlessly; when I was younger, I was out all the time, but often, for no particular reason. I don't and can't do that anymore; time, work and family make me selective. So, when I go out, I really choose what I'm doing: concerts, ballets, etc. But I don't just go "out". I also pay for lack of sleep now, in ways that I didn't before having kids. My body does not much appreciate late nights anymore. So, I try and respect myself now. Also, I love sleeping. What a wonderful moment. A luxury. The one moment that's all mine, no one else's, so I wouldn't miss it for the world!
And that's it. Off to a new day.....