5 tips for becoming a morning person

Let’s talk about mornings, shall we? I’ve never been a morning person, so I used to hate them. Mornings were the pain of my existence. The only thought in my mind when the alarm rang was to hit the snooze button. And then, after that third snooze, I’d count the hours until I could crawl back to bed.

Hating mornings is a thing. Especially on Mondays. Believe me, I’ve been there. I did it for almost 28 years. Until about 4 months ago when I decided I didn’t want to hate mornings anymore. I was so tired (pun intended) of wasting all this time, just sleeping the hours away.

To give you a bit of back-story on me and mornings, we’ve never been tight. I’ve always considered myself a night owl and when given freedom from alarm clocks, my body tends to set itself to be alert in the evenings and sleep until noon. That’s just how my biological clock works. And for the longest time, I didn’t want to fight it, because I believed I couldn’t. 

I remember always hoping I’d get a job where I could get in late and work at my own pace. And then, wouldn’t you know it, I had that job. I started working for myself, and that’s when everything changed. 

When I first arrived in Germany, I was unemployed, which meant I could structure my days however I wanted. No alarms, staying up late, sleeping till noon – I could live the perfect picture I had painted for myself all those years. Except, it wasn’t that perfect after all.

I noticed how little I really got done in a day. Those late hours in the evenings weren’t really spent on anything productive, and I slept for most of the first half of the day. I started to feel depressed and constantly tired. Not a good place to be. Some of this can be written off on the stress and anxiety of settling into a new living environment, but I knew I that my sleeping habits weren’t doing me any favors either.

So, when hubby started his language courses in February, I decided to also start a new routine. We would get up at 7am every morning and I’d get to work by 8am. Starting the day together was an added bonus to this new routine.

To my surprise, sticking to this routine was easier than I had thought. And, I instantly noticed a positive change in my days. I was not feeling that tired, or stressed, or depressed anymore. I felt I was getting things done and making progress during the day, which gave me the energy to keep going.

There have been a few shifts in the past 4 months, but for the most part, I’ve stuck with this routine and it’s helped me to make a lot of progress on my goals. Sometimes, what you want is not what you need and changing those patterns can help you move forward.

Here are 5 tips that helped me break my sleeping habits and get into a more productive routine:

1. Get up with the first alarm
Hitting the snooze button does not help you get up. On the contrary – you just fall asleep and have to wake-up to that God-awful alarm more than once. Which brings me to another tip – get a nice alarm tone.

Try to get out of bed or at least stay awake after that first alarm. I found that striking up conversation with hubby helped me wake up more easily. Or, better yet, just get up cold turkey. This is the hardest part of the whole thing, and it doesn’t really get any easier. But, the good news is that once it’s done, the rest is easy.

2. Shift your focus from what’s hard to what’s good
This is something that’s true not only when you have to get up in the morning, but overall in life. Thinking about how hard it is to get up in the morning only makes it harder to get up. Focusing on what you hate about mornings, how you’d love to sleep in and how annoying that alarm clock is, doesn’t make it any easier to get out of bed.

So, instead, I try to focus on positive that’s ahead. I think about how I’ll actually feel much better once I’m out of bed and going through my morning routine. I think about those awesome blog posts that are waiting for me in my reader and the good coffee I get to sip while reading them. I remind myself that that awful feeling of not being able to open my eyes is just temporary. And, I dream about all the extra projects I get to make because I got up early.

3. Develop a morning routine
I’m still not a morning person in the sense that I’m rather grumpy and sleepy when I get up. Developing a morning routine has helped me get rolling more quickly. When I get up with hubby, I make us breakfast and myself coffee, then we eat, he leaves, and I do my morning rounds on social media and blogs. I don’t even have to think about it, I just go through the motions.

Every article that I’ve read advises against opening up social media and emails in the morning, but I’m not fully functioning until about 2 hours after I wake up, so for me, it makes sense to fill those 2 hours with actions that don’t require that much brain power.

Getting some sort of exercise worked into that routine is a future goal, but so far, it’s been working pretty great. Of course, everyones routine will be different and should be different. Just see how your body and mind work the best and follow that.

4. Have something to look forward to
I find that it’s hardest the get up on the mornings when I don’t have any fun scheduled into the day. When all I have to look forward to is hours of video-editing and mundane tasks, waking up is the last thing I feel like doing. This means I need to always schedules at least one item that I love into my daily schedule. Even if it’s an hour of me time in the evening, it’s something I can look forward to. This is actually the second reason I do my social media and blog rounds in the morning. It’s like a reward for getting up. I get to have that hour to myself just sipping my morning coffee and reading great blog posts or articles.

5. Strict bed-time
This takes me back to my childhood. I used to hate when my parents told me to go to bed at the same time each night. I always thought it was way too early for bed (night owl tendencies) and that I should just go when I felt like it. It’s funny how I’m creating those boundaries for myself now. With the exception of weekends and a few nights I had to work late, we’ve pretty much been in bed by 11pm every night. In an ideal world, it would be at 10pm, but we know that’s unrealistic for us.

Having set times for when to go to sleep and when to wake up has created a rhythm that my body has accepted. It’s hard to stick to those times at first, especially bedtime, but when you follow through, you’re body will get used to it. Now, I do get tired around half an hours before bedtime, and we rarely sleep past 9am even on the weekends.

 

Changing my sleeping patterns has had a huge positive impact on my productivity, the way I feel, and my mood. As much as I love sleeping in and staying up late, it doesn’t really help me achieve my goals. Sometimes you’ve got to force good habits on yourself, even if it’s hard at first.

Have you ever struggled with your sleeping patterns? Are you naturally a night owl or an early bird?

xo. Hanna

 

 

Welcome to the new abode!

home page_blog photo

Hey friends! I’m enjoying time with friends and family in Estonia, but I just wanted to hop online real quick to welcome you to the new abode of Pearls & Scissors.

You might have already noticed that there’s somthing different about Pearls & Scissors over the past couple of days. Well, we’ve finally moved to a self-hosted WordPress site, and there are a lot of things that are different around here.

We are still working out all the kinks, and sure enough, I’ll write a short novel about the whole migration process in the future (because it was an epic journey). So, if you notice anything odd or something that just isn’t working, please send a message here, and me and my awesome web-wizard Maria-Ines will try and sort it out.

Every major tranformation is bound to have it’s bumps on the road, but I hope you’ll stick with us. I already have a back-log of all the cool refashions and DIYs I want to share with you, so stay tuned!

Thank you so much for visiting and reading! It’s your support and feedback that keeps this blog running, so don’t ever underestimate your influence. And know that you are greatly appreciated.

All my love,

Hanna

Get a Free Membership to the Start Sewing Club! (Giveaway)

I have a special treat for you today! One lucky lady is going to get a FREE membership to the Start Sewing Club. If you’ve been on the fence about joining, because… All the good excuses. Then today is your chance to win a spot!

You can enter by leaving a comment on this post and tell me why you want to get into sewing. For additional entries, you can tweet it out and share a post of Facebook to increase your chances of winning.

So, leave a comment / + tweet /+ share on Facebook. It’s that easy!

You can tweet and share every day to get additional entries.

The giveaway closes on Sunday at midnight.
 GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED!

Good luck!
xo. Hanna

DIY No-Sew Sequin Scissors T-shirt

I rarely wear simple T-shirts, but I got this pink one for our engagement photos. Since it was pretty sad in my closet, I thought I’d spice things up. And, what better way to do it than to add some sparkling scissors. This one has Pearls and Scissors (literally) written all over it!

I made this project for the Mood magazine a couple of months ago. You know, doing DIY projects as a job is so much different than just doing them for fun. It’s a little like making something for someone else and you don’t exactly know what they like. But, I still try to come up with things that I would actually love to make for myself. After all, I’m the one who has them in my closet once the article’s been published.

Luckily, so far I’ve loved most of the projects I’ve made. And this one is definitely 100% me!

This is what you need:

  • T-shirt
  • Glitter string
  • Big scissors
  • Fabric pen or other fabric marking tool
  • E6000 glue or fabric glue (+ a match or toothpick for precision glueing)

 

 STEP 1

Put the scissors on the T-shirt the way you want them and trace around the scissors with a fabric pen or any other fabric marking tool (like Taylor’s chalk or a chip of soap).

STEP 2

Use a toothpick or match to apply some glue to the back of the glitter string and start glueing it along the template line. After i did the outer line, I went back and covered the inside of the scissor handles as well. Finally, I added the little joining screw out of sequins.

A tip I would have to cover the end of the string with a few loose sequins whenever you need to cut and restart.

It’s a very quick and easy project, and holds up very well in the wash. Also, your kids/cousins/nephews and nieces/any other small children can pull on scissors (which they will) and the glue will hold. It’s babysitter proofed, so you can take my word for it!

If the Start Sewing Club had an official club T-shirt, this would be it. I love this T-shirt more than any other I’ve owned. It’s definitely getting a lot of wear these days, which in my book is the best indication of a DIY success.

I’ve been welcoming the first members to the Start Sewing Club and I couldn’t be more happy about it! I’d love to have you as well, so do consider joining. (Have you seen the video introduction yet?)

There won’t be another club before Fall. And, the next one will have all new projects. You will have lifetime access to the classes in this edition of the Club, so if you think you’d like to take them, get them now for a good price! Also, if you hop on the mailing list below, you could still catch the earlu bird special I have running for the list only 😉

I’d be beyond excited to have you in the club!

xo, Hanna

The Start Sewing Club is Open!

The day is finally here! The epic sewing journey called the Start Sewing Club is officially accepting members!

If you’ve ever thought about learning how to sew,
or would like to extend your sewing skills into making self-stitched garments,
BUT
the process of learning all these new skills seems overwhelming,
and you’re really tight on time…

 

THIS COURSE IS FOR YOU!

The Start Sewing Club is an epic sewing course that takes you from zero to a self-stitched outfit in just 6 weeks!

More than that! It’s not only a sewing course – it’s a place to connect and engage with other sewing-enthusiasts, and have fun learning together.

It’s the most exciting thing I’ve done since getting married and I would be so honored and happy to have you in the club.

There are only 45 seats available, so if you’re thinking about joining, don’t think for too long. The Club will run for 6 weeks starting on the 18th of May and registration will close on the 17th of May, or once all seats are filled.

You can find all the details and video introduction by yours truly on the official Start Sewing Club site. Go and check it out!

Also, if you have a friend who might like this, be sure to send tell them about the club!

I hope to see you in the Clubhouse!

xo. Hanna

Refashionista // Add a lace layer to a bland cardigan

Sometimes, a refashion idea takes time to form. This is NOT one of those times. This refashion came together pretty fast on one afternoon this week. I was going through my refashion material pile (it’s amazing how quickly I’ve gathered one, considered I just moved to Germany a few months ago), looking for inspiration for the next few weeks of refashionista posts, and this cardigan just popped out.

The next step was to come up with an idea of what to do with it. So, I went through my notions and fabrics, and the lace scraps from my wedding dress popped up. Well, let’s just say it was a no-brainer for this lace-lover.

After the idea and materials were in place, it was just a matter of execution. And since I’ve already done a similar technique, it was a quick make.

I’ve said this before, but quick and easy makes will probably always be my favorite pastime. I mean, I love a good power project to build skills and create something you’ll be proud of for years to come, like my concert gown, but if you just want to spend a couple hours creating and have a finished project at the end of it, these simple remakes are the best.

Here’s what you will need:

  • a cardigan
  • some lace fabric
  • basic sewing gear
STEP 1

 

First, lay the lace over the cardigan at the upper front area. Just play around with the placement until you’re happy with the way it looks.

Then, cut out the pieces of lace to be sewn onto the shoulders. Make sure to cut them 1-2cm larger than the finished size. this makes them easier to sew on, and the finish will be neater once you cut away the seam allowance later on.
Pin the lace onto the cardigan. Make sure to only pin through the front layer of the cardigan.

STEP 2

Repeat the same process with the back of the cardigan. I wanted to create a motif out of my lace, so I cut away some of it along the edges of the lace motifs. Again, cut out the the piece of lace you’re going to layer, making sure to add 1-2cm for seam allowance. Pin into place.

The lace patches should overlap at the shoulder seam.

STEP 3

Sew the lace to the cardigan. Use a zigzag stitch for this and follow the seams of the cardigan. It’s best to sew right next to the original seams of he cardigan. Start by sewing the two patches of lace together at the shoulder seams and move to the front from there.

Once the smaller patches have been sewn, go to the back.

To sew the uneven motif edges, I used a lightning bolt/stretch stitch and sewed about 2cm from the edge. This way the edges are still loose over the cardigan and give it more layered structure.

Once you’re done with all of the sewing, remove all pins that might still be there and cut away the excess lace seam allowances. All done!

If you need more guidance on how to sew on the lace, check out this tutorial!

I feel that this is a 100% Hanna-like refashion. It’s a cardigan, I added lace, and the result is just the right mix of feminine and classic. That’s basically me in a nutshell!

I’m slowly but steadily building up my summer wardrobe (you can see my wishlist here). So far, I’ve made this cropped cardigan, a skirt and a blouse (part of the Start Sewing Club and to be blogged about in full in just a few days) in addition to this lacy cardigan, and of course the reversible tote bag. I really want to make a pair of floral trousers and a maxi dress. Everything else is an added bonus :).

Is anybody else interested in sewing their own summer wardrobe, or part of it? You know I have a sewing course coming, right? And you know we’re going to sew a handmade garment, right? Just checking! (You can get on the list to get updates and special offers right below this post.)

Have a wonderful extended weekend! Make fires and enjoy the spring!
xo. Hanna

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