A whole day, from start to finish

A day in the life with a 6-year-old and a 2-year-old. 🙂

Hi friends! How’s the day going? I hope you’re enjoying the morning. 

When I did my annual blog survey, I got a surprising amount of requests for more “real life” posts around here. I totally get it because I love reading about what my favorite bloggers are up to behind-the-scenes and what a day looks like for them. I’ve done a couple day in the life posts (here and here) and it’s fun to look back to see how much things have changed over time. Here’s what a day looked like recently when the Pilot was flying nights. I used to dread night weeks until I realized that they’re a normal part of our life. (You can fight it or embrace it.)

I use it as a time to enjoy being with just the girls – it reminds me a bit of summer when we played and had adventures all day – and also experiment with some recipes the Pilot may not like. 😉 So here we go… a whole day, from start to finish: momming, blogging, teaching, wife-ing, flying by the seat of my pants.

selfie with the girls

5:00am-ish: P is in her room singing and making noises. I silently pray that she goes back to sleep, and thankfully, she does.

7:05: My alarm goes off. I stumble out of bed and into the bathroom to brush my teeth. I put a flannel on over my pajamas, slip on some shoes, and essentially wear my pajamas for school drop-off. They do curb-side drop-off at Liv’s school, so I don’t have to get dressed like a normal human. It’s the best thing ever.

drop off outfit

7:10 Livi comes into our room and is ready to start the day. She gets dressed while I grab her lunch and snacks from the fridge:

(I just heated up the Annie’s mac n’ cheese in the microwave and put it into a Thermos, and packed it up with cut strawberries, seaweed snacks, an apple, and crackers)

Snacks and lunch

and make her waffles for breakfast. We always make extra waffles and pancakes and then freeze them for easy breakfasts.

7:45 I make a quick mug of herbal tea to take with us. Usually, I have to wake up P to head to drop-off – and she gets very sad about it. She usually says, “Mama, you being so rude. Why you wake me up?” – but the Pilot is flying late, so sleeping Pilot stays home with sleeping P while Liv and I drive to school.

8:15 I’m back home and P is waking up, so I make her breakfast (waffles, an egg, blueberries) and grab her clothes for preschool.

P's breakfast

Before we get her out of her room, I put on some eyeliner and jeans since I actually have to go inside to drop her off. She has a great breakfast and is being super funny. We help her get dressed, and the Pilot and I drop her off together.

9:26 Back from drop-off and I blitz! I throw some laundry in the washer, put laundry away from the previous day – it’s folded and in stacks – the Pilot empties out the dishwasher, I wipe down counters and run the vacuum (my precious), work on a quick Zumba dance, and soak the lentils for dinner. I have grand plans to film at least one Instagram video, but I don’t end up having time. I make a quick bite before teaching: 1 egg + 3 egg whites, green salsa, a turmeric coconut tortilla (and kind of bummed that I don’t have any sourdough or brown rice tortillas in the freezer), salad with the last of a bottle of Primal Kitchen dressing. 

Breakfast snack

10:30 Teach a sweaty and fun Zumba class! I NEVER thought I’d be teaching Zumba again… and lost most of my old playlists and donated all of my Zumba clothes… but here I am. It feels good to move and dance again, and class is a blast.

Post zumba selfie 
I bring my computer to the gym and write in the car for 15 minutes before picking P up from school.

12:15 We’re home, and I make P a quick lunch: PB&J with carrots and pineapple.
I make myself a smoothie:

Smoothie time

(Almond milk, 1 scoop vanilla protein, 1 scoop collagen, spinach, frozen cauliflower, Moon Juice dust, almond butter, chia seeds, a pack of Four Sigmatic mushroom hot cacao mix)

We have our snacks together, read books and I put her down for a nap.

1:10 Blitz #2! I put dinner in the slow cooker,

Lentil creation

switch out the laundry, take a quick shower, take photos for an upcoming post, answer emails that will catch fire if I don’t respond to them immediately, send two invoices, and write until it’s time to wake P up.

2:45 We’re back home from picking up Liv. I make the girls a snack of boiled eggs, sliced cheese, almonds and apple slices. I heat myself up a Daily Harvest grain bowl and stir in a can of tuna (no pic because it’s probably the most unattractive meal I’ve ever made, but so delicious), then we head to P’s ballet class!

Little dancerThis has happened a couple of times, but we get to class, and she doesn’t want to go in. The first week, she walked right in and loved it, and the past 3 times, she won’t go in by herself. Her teacher lets Liv and I go in and sit in the front, and P sits on my lap or spins in the corner until we decide it’s time to leave. It’s kind of a hot mess. We keep trying because when we’re NOT at ballet, P constantly says, “Mama, I want to do ballet. I want to go to ballet. I’m a ballerina.” She talks about it all week until the time comes to actually go to class.

I’m going to give it a few more times, but if it doesn’t work out, I think we’ll call it quits for now. (It’s a bummer because I already paid for her recital costume and all of the fees, but if she obviously doesn’t want to do it, I’m not going to make her.)

4:45 We’re home from ballet and the girls play outside while I finish dinner.

Girls in P's car

I put the rice on the stovetop, add the coconut milk to the lentils, and chop up some cilantro for topping. It’s nice that I can see them from the dining room table, so I fold the laundry from earlier and start dough for cinnamon rolls. 

I realize that I don’t have enough brown sugar for the cinnamon rolls, so we make a quick trip to the grocery store. It’s always an adventure shopping with my tiny impulse-buyers… we end up forgetting the brown sugar and have to wait in line again haha.

5:45 pm: We eat dinner together. Unfortunately, I’m the only one who’s a fan of the lentil creation.

Coconut curry lentil

They both eat a lot of their rice and I give them each a big bowl of strawberries. They also have some chocolate animal cookies that they picked out at the store and I eat a couple of handfuls while I gather stuff for bath time. 

Bath time! The girls hop in the bathtub with one of their favorite bath bombs, and I sit on the counter and read snippets of this book in between shampooing and watching their mermaid moves.

No-risk abs

After baths and getting their hair dried, the girls watch a TV show while I clean the kitchen, feed the dogs, set out clothes for the next day, and make Liv’s lunch and snacks. We play in the playroom together for about 20 minutes before bed.

7:30 The bedtime rituals begin. I read P a couple of books upstairs before lying with her, and then Liv and I do her homework (she has to practice her sight words each night) and read books. I lie in bed with Liv working on this blog post until she falls asleep. The bedtime rituals end up taking a bit longer than usual because Bella starts barking her face off around 8pm and wakes up P. 

8:45 Blitz #3! The girls are crashed, so I finish up a couple of chores (I follow a cleaning schedule, and it’s the day to dust the furniture, which isn’t too bad), finish the cinnamon rolls to set in the fridge overnight.

Cinnamon rolls

(For comparison purposes, here’s what they looked like finished! They are THE BEST CINNAMON ROLLS EVER. <— yelling because you need them in your life. I made them for the Pilot to take to work, but the girls and I each had one.)

Cinnamon rolls 2

And by 9:15ish, I can pour a glass of wine, put on The Bachelor and crank through work stuff.


I answer comments, make a new graphic, check in on our Winter Shape Up Facebook group, schedule my post for the next day, and work on an upcoming gift guide.

11:30: Bed! I crawl into bed and read for a few minutes until my eyes start to close.

11:40: Lights out… and ready to do it all over again. [The Pilot comes home around midnight, but I’m apparently completely crashed by then.]

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  1. Cassie on January 31, 2018 at 7:54 am

    I’m trying to get into a cleaning schedule too. Do you have your own or follow someone elses?

    • Fitnessista on January 31, 2018 at 11:28 pm

      i based it off one i saw on pinterest years ago!

  2. Stephanie S. on January 31, 2018 at 8:22 am

    Love these types of post! Thanks for giving us a peak into your daily life 🙂 And I agree with the comment above – you may have posted about your cleaning schedule before, but that seems like a great idea to me and I’d love to hear more about it! That’s something that I really need to do.

    • Fitnessista on January 31, 2018 at 11:27 pm

      thank you so much for reading and being here 🙂
      yes, i can totally do a post on it! <3

  3. Blair on January 31, 2018 at 8:34 am

    I think I need a cleaning scheduled as well. I love these posts. It is always so nice to see the behind the scenes of amazing bloggers who fit in cooking, fitness and momming 🙂

    • Fitnessista on January 31, 2018 at 11:26 pm

      thank you so much! <3

  4. jess on January 31, 2018 at 8:37 am

    Thanks for posting the cinnamon bun recipe! I saw them in your insta story and thought – I need those in my life!! 😀

    • Fitnessista on January 31, 2018 at 11:26 pm

      yes you do!

  5. amy on January 31, 2018 at 9:09 am

    So fun to see your day! Maybe I’ll make those cinnamon rolls for my daughters bday party sleepover breakfast:)

    • Fitnessista on January 31, 2018 at 11:26 pm

      that is a brilliant idea. they will love them!!

  6. Susan on January 31, 2018 at 9:17 am

    I’m going through the same thing regarding ballet class with my 3-year-old. She’s been going for 1.5 years and did a great job in the recital last June. All of a sudden for the past six weeks or so, though, she refuses to go. Then all week long, she claims she wants to go the following week.

    If she quits, I have to pay for one more month beyond when she stops. So I gave it one last chance this week (since it’s the end of the month, and if we go into February, then I’ll have to pay for February and March!), and she wouldn’t go. So we quit, and now we’re stuck with a recital costume that essentially cost $125…that’s an expensive Halloween costume! Oh well, I’m not going to force her to do an activity she doesn’t want to do.

    • Fitnessista on January 31, 2018 at 11:26 pm

      that’s so interesting you’re going through the same thing! i totally agree with everything you said. i’m going to keep trying – because she asks to go all the time- but in the end, it may just end up being an expensive halloween costume.

  7. Nathaly @NathyCure on January 31, 2018 at 9:27 am

    Loved this post! and LOVED the recipe of the cinnamon buns. Definitely trying it our this weekend!!

    • Fitnessista on January 31, 2018 at 11:25 pm

      yes, you will love them!

  8. Kim C. on January 31, 2018 at 9:35 am

    I love reading these posts! Do you typically lay with the girls while they fall asleep each night? My son is 3 and we do this with him and I have been thinking about what bedtime looks like as he gets older. I honestly have no intent to stop laying with him while he falls asleep until he stops wanting me to be there. I know he won’t want me to lay with him while he falls asleep when he’s 16. 🙂 Just curious how others have progressed through bedtime as their kids get older. I’m pregnant and due with baby #2 at the end of February, so this has been a topic of discussion with my husband lately. How we will handle laying with my son while he falls asleep with baby here needing/wanting attention at the same time.

    • Jennifer M on January 31, 2018 at 10:15 pm

      Kim C – I have a 5 year old son and a 1 year old daughter. We still snuggle each to sleep (son laying in bed and daughter in chair before crib). When we’re both home, it’s easy to each take a kid. If it’s only one parent, we tend to baby first while son “reads” books in bed and then we go to him second.

      Gina – thanks for the real life post. I’m impressed with your schedule! I always feel so behind and incredibly tired by the end of the day.

      • Fitnessista on January 31, 2018 at 11:10 pm

        tired and behind is the perfect way to put it. i feel like that almost every day haha!
        we do a similar thing with liv and p. liv can read downstairs while i’m up with p (thankfully she doesn’t need me to stay in there until she’s asleep..for now) and then i can help liv

    • Fitnessista on January 31, 2018 at 11:25 pm

      thankfully, p has never needed us to stay in there for her to fall asleep. i put her down when she was drowsy when she was a baby, and have just kept doing that even as she got older. i lie with here for about 10 minutes, hold her for a little while (so she’s super tired and noodle-y) and then give her a kiss and set her down with her baby doll.
      when she was a newbown and they needed attention at the same time, i’d take p into liv’s room to read her books, let liv color or play while i put her down and then come back. sometimes liv went to bed WAY late because of this, but you do what you can!
      liv has almost always needed us to stay with her until she’s asleep. since she’s older, she can read or watch a little tv while i put p down and then i’ll stay with liv until she’s asleep.

  9. Meghan Zook on January 31, 2018 at 9:38 am

    I am also a fan of these type of posts! Curious, what cleaning schedule do you use? Maybe someone already asked this question…

    • Fitnessista on January 31, 2018 at 11:22 pm

      yes, i’ll do a post on it!

  10. Kelsey Graf on January 31, 2018 at 9:48 am

    Just reading this post made me feel productive 😉 Love to see how you fit it all in – and makes me optimistic that one day I will be able to workout, clean, and make dinner all in one day again! That definitely isn’t happening with a 4 month old and a full time job away from home. I’m sure you have a blog post with fast, easy dinner recipes compiled in one place – I’ll have to look for that (and on the slight chance you don’t, that would be an awesome post!)

    • Fitnessista on January 31, 2018 at 11:21 pm

      you definitely will! it’s so hard when they’re that little.. and i can’t even imagine how intense it is working full-time outside the home, too. you’re doing an amazing job <3
      yes, i shared a post with some dinner ideas last week 🙂

  11. Emily @ Pizza & Pull-Ups on January 31, 2018 at 9:57 am

    I love these kind of posts, its always so cool to see how other people manage their schedules.

    • Fitnessista on January 31, 2018 at 11:20 pm

      thank you! i love reading these types of posts, too

  12. Emily on January 31, 2018 at 10:26 am

    Ditto to what some commenters asked above about your cleaning schedule! I think that would make a great post. 🙂

    Your girls are so cute and you are a fantastic mom!

    • Fitnessista on January 31, 2018 at 11:20 pm

      yes i will totally do it! thank you so much for the idea 🙂
      thank you, friend. hope your week is going well!

  13. Maeghan on January 31, 2018 at 10:38 am

    Hey Gina! Would you mind doing a blog post on your cleaning schedule and the cleaning products you use? I usually save all of the cleaning until Sunday but then sometimes I’m too tired haha 🙂 Doing a little bit each day seems more manageable! Thanks!

    • Fitnessista on January 31, 2018 at 11:20 pm

      yes, i’ll definitely do a post on it! it’s so much easier to chip away at it throughout the week

  14. Amanda on January 31, 2018 at 10:41 am

    Thanks for sharing a snapshot of your life! <3 I know you were worried about the lack of fitness options in Valdosta, so it's great to see you are teaching Zumba again!

    • Fitnessista on January 31, 2018 at 11:19 pm

      yes, it’s been fun to get back into it 🙂

  15. Janice on January 31, 2018 at 10:50 am

    Miss P in her ballet gear – I can’t even handle the cuteness! I echo what others are requesting – please share your cleaning schedule!

    • Fitnessista on January 31, 2018 at 11:19 pm

      it’s too much <3 yes, i definitely will!

  16. Katie on January 31, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    I would love to see your cleaning schedule too! It sounds like something that would make me so much less likely to have it all pile up on me.

    My daughter did the same thing with dance class. In time it all worked out. You are handling it perfectly, in my opinion!

    • Fitnessista on January 31, 2018 at 11:18 pm

      yes, i’ll definitely do a post on it. it’s much easier to chip away at it throughout the week.
      so happy to hear that in time it worked out! fingers crossed it gets easier. <3

  17. milania dela cruz on January 31, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    love daily posts! and yes, do a cleaning post. I save mine for weekends too but then it’s all too much!! and also my laundry piles up ahkkk.! it seems like you are constantly doing something! so impressive!!

    • Fitnessista on January 31, 2018 at 11:17 pm

      yeah there’s no way i could do it all on the weekends. our house would be a nightmare by then haha! i’ll definitely do a post on it 😉

  18. Tracy on January 31, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    Oh my goodness. You’re a busy mama! It’s been a while but I do remember those days when my 4 kids were little and my husband worked late most nights. Do you track your steps? I’m curious how many steps you take on a day like this one.

    I’m excited for the gift guide! Valentine’s Day?

    • Fitnessista on January 31, 2018 at 11:17 pm

      please tell me it gets less exhausting haha. it’s so fun, but i’m definitely spent by the end of the day 😉 usually it’s around 15,000 steps if i teach that day
      and yes! the gift guide will be up tomorrow!

      • Tracy on February 1, 2018 at 2:07 pm

        Well I’m afraid to say it gets much more mentally exhausting 🙁 There were many times my husband and I would have liked to return to the younger days when the issues were more related to lack of sleep and doing everything for the kiddos…. but every stage comes with all the love and rewards, too!!!

  19. Vanessa on January 31, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    Tell us more about the cleaning schedule! It has occured to me to do the same, but I have no idea what it would look like or if I would even realistically be able to follow through with it.

    • Fitnessista on January 31, 2018 at 11:16 pm

      yes i can definitely do a post on it!
      i have things i do every day no matter what, and then a specialized chore for each day (like dust, bathrooms, floors, etc)

  20. Shayne on January 31, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    I swear we live parallel lives lol. My daily routine is much like yours, but instead of finishing work when the kids are in bed, most of my work gets done when you teach and I get my workout in after the kids are asleep for the night.

    • Fitnessista on January 31, 2018 at 11:15 pm

      twins 🙂

  21. Jessie on January 31, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    Love these posts! My day looks pretty similar to yours with 2 small kiddos:) and those cinnamon rolls look so good!

    • Fitnessista on January 31, 2018 at 11:15 pm

      they are the best!!

  22. Sarah on January 31, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    So I had very very bad anxiety based area extracurricular classes and lessons as a child (it lasted until the end of high school if I’m being honest). I wanted to learn and be better at things but I felt so much fear and pressure when it came to the class or lesson. To the point where I’d cry and pretend to be sick so I could stay home. The thing is my parents were very relaxed and just wanted me to enjoy myself and have hobbies. So the pressure came from myself and my anxiety only. This might be her issue! Sadly I have no advice on how to help her. I just thought putting it out there might be good in helping her feel more at ease.

    • Fitnessista on January 31, 2018 at 11:14 pm

      i’m sorry you dealt with that for so long! what a tough situation; to actually want to go but to be filled with so much anxiety. she doesn’t seem upset when we get to the studio (maybe she’s hiding it??) but just refuses to go into class and stay there by herself.

  23. Stephanie W on January 31, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    I like these posts! Would you be willing to do a post about your cleaning schedule? I think if I could schedule that my husband would fall in love with me all over again! I am the messy and cluttered one and he is the neat freak. He does most of the deep cleaning for this reason. I just don’t think about it and he does it before I even think about it. Maybe if I scheduled it day by day I could relieve him of some of that. Super interested!

    My husband is an air traffic controller so he works odd hours. He works two evenings a week so I do solo bed time with a 3 year old and 10 month old. Very interesting but I think we have it down to a good routine. I used to hate his schedule too but it is easier to just accept and work around it.

    With P’s shyness in dance: did she have any issues with preschool? My 3 yr old went through about a 3 or 4 month time period where she would cry every day at daycare (she goes 2 days a week) and tell us she was sad when we picked her up. She always stopped crying a minute or two after we left (we could peak in the window to make sure after dropping her little bro in his class) and one of her teachers said that it is easier if we just calmly reassure them that we will be back soon to pick them up and they are going to have fun, say bye and leave. No lingering. It was hard, but wondering if maybe that would help P adjust since she seems to actually want to be there during the week?

    • Fitnessista on January 31, 2018 at 11:13 pm

      yes, i can definitely do a post on the cleaning schedule!
      solo bedtimes are definitely interesting haha. you’re right; you can either dread it or just accept it and try to find the most seamless way to make it work
      p has been on and off with preschool. she never cries, but usually wants me to hold her until she’s ready to go in (which can be 30 seconds or 15 minutes). i would love to try just dropping her off and see how she does – if she’s upset she’s usually over it in 10 seconds – so the teacher my try to just swoop in and take her into class in the next few weeks. i’m hoping it works because she talks about it constantly

  24. Courtney on January 31, 2018 at 7:49 pm

    I love these post! My day is similar but reading yours I realize how much I procrastinate. Its a good reminder to be more efficient. Also, thank you for the best laugh of the day coming from your youngest- “Mama, you being so rude. Why you wake me up?” LOL my daughter will say I am being rude when I politely ask her to lower her voice, etc. What a funny little girl!

    • Fitnessista on January 31, 2018 at 11:11 pm

      haha she is a nut! she’s seriously offended whenever i wake her up

  25. Connie on January 31, 2018 at 9:08 pm

    Loved this post and had some thoughts:
    1. Would love to see the cleaning schedule.
    2. Thank you for keeping it real about P and ballet. My son went thru this same thing with a sports class when he was 3. Sat on my lap while all the other kids ran and played. Really bothered me for some reason. He grew out of it and P likely will too!
    3. Why did you think you’d never teach Zumba again?
    4. Having boys, I never thought about how much time drying the girls’ hair after bath would add to the bedtime routine. Solo bedtime can be so draining!

    • Fitnessista on January 31, 2018 at 11:11 pm

      i will definitely post it!
      that’s good to hear he outgrew it. i have a feeling p will do the same thing!
      i didn’t think i’d teach zumba again because in san diego it wasn’t really popular anymore so the demand wasn’t there. it’s still really popular here and they needed an instructor, so it worked out 🙂
      and totally agree that solo bedtime is draining. when i finish getting them to bed, i want to sink into the couch for the night

  26. Angela on February 1, 2018 at 1:08 am

    Love these day in the life posts!! Thank you for sharing!!

  27. Taryn on February 1, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    We do the whole “eat dinners Daddy doesn’t like” when he isn’t home too!

  28. Nicole on February 7, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    I love this post. You fit a lot in in one day! I have a 10 month old and my husband travels almost weekly for work, so I feel like every day is a blur of not accomplishing anything (other than cleaning up the endless mess from my son). I love the idea of a cleaning schedule- at least I could get one measurable thing done:)

    And, I also use the time my husband is gone to eat things I don’t think he would want (mostly salads and cereal for dinner LOL).

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