Morning rituals + a giveaway

[This post is sponsored by Panera through a campaign with BlogHer. As always, all opinions are my own. Read on for some of our breakfast favorites plus some awesome giveaway opportunities]
I used to be allergic to mornings -the longer I could sleep, the better – but now, I find myself looking forward to them. I started a habit of waking up early, pouring myself a large cup (ok, bowl) of coffee and getting some work done or a quick workout before Livi is awake. I enjoy the quiet and productive time – and feel like it helps to center me for the day – and by the time she’s awake, I can’t wait for her to start the day with me. Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset I absolutely love my mornings with Livi. She’ll wake up happy as can be singing in her crib, and I’ll go upstairs to get her. Usually she’ll hand me whatever doll she slept with last night and we’ll sing the “Good morning” song before going downstairs to begin the AM rituals. Breakfast is probably our favorite meal, and we’ll have a mix of fruit, eggs, and oatmeal or pancakes most mornings. While I make our meal, I’ll usually pack up our snacks and water if I haven’t done so the night before. This way, as soon as we’re done, we can get dressed and set off on the day’s adventures. This is usually our routine, unless groceries are getting low… then we’ll have a little breakfast date together. 20131103 Panera Gina 006 Panera is one of our standard options. We frequent there for lunch – especially on the days they have black bean soup – but we also love the breakfast menu. Bagel and smoothie for the little miss: 20131103 Panera Gina 048 20131103 Panera Gina 038 and egg sandwich for me.20131103 Panera Gina 020

We share everything. 😉 20131103 Panera Gina 027

I especially love the fact that the ingredients are fresh. The breads are baked that morning by a baker and they crack the eggs as the breakfast sandwiches are ordered. (No microwaved eggs!) Even though I love the food, the company is even better. 20131103 Panera Gina 055 Looking around the restaurant most mornings, you’ll see many types of people. Families, students, professionals, grandmothers, athletes, and in our booth: a mom and her baby laughing with some friends.  

Panera was kind to offer a $100 gift card to a lucky reader. Here are the details for this fun giveaway:

Sweepstakes Rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

Leave a comment with your usual morning rituals. What is your favorite way to start the day?

Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winner  will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 11/13/13 – 12/8/13.

Be sure to visit the Panera Bread’s page on where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

<3 xoxo Gina

Thank you to our friend Matt (Sasha‘s husband) for taking these photos!

This post was sponsored by Panera through a campaign with BlogHer. To learn more about the fresh meals at Panera, check out Panera’s head baker backstory. You can also enter The Panera Breakfast Backstory Challenge, which allows you to learn about Panera’s passion for baking while you gain chances to win great prizes, including a chance to win an all-inclusive, culinary experience trip to New York City for two. Thank you so much for supporting my blog and the sponsors who help make it possible. xo



Post Navigation:


  1. Elena on December 11, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    Will you be announcing the winner of the giveaway on your blog? Thanks! 🙂

  2. Laura beth on December 16, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    I just had a baby so my normal morning rituals have changed, but right now I’m loving cuddling with this sweet baby every morning.

  3. Carrie on December 16, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    I love walking to our local coffee shop with my daughter

  4. Paige B. on December 16, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    My favorite morning ritual happens when my husband(whose a merchant marine) is home. It goes like this: wake up slowly, drink some coffee, snuggle with our dog and eat a healthy breakfast. The best part is spending time together. 🙂

  5. Erin on December 17, 2013 at 12:11 am

    I work night shift so on my days off I love to get up early & go for a jog with my dog, then relax & have a cup of coffee outside enjoying the morning. I never really appreciated the birds chirping & the beautiful sunrise until I couldn’t see it everyday.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.