6am

I really need time to organize my thoughts early in the day, not to mention practice all the self-care I'm constantly preaching so I get up early to make it happen. I let out the chickens and gather eggs for our breakfast, stretch a bit while the kettle heats up and then brew a cup of strong chai tea with a splash of raw, whole milk. I’ve been drinking this chai tea for more than 15 years because it is delicious, super gentle on the nervous system and stomach and totally wakes you up. I light a stick of my favorite incense, which makes my house smell like a Buddhist temple and set an intention for the day. I'll usually spend some time lounging on a mountain of pillows - reading or journaling while I sip my tea - before making my to do list for the day. I'm a big believer in list making.

6:30am

Once I've got some caffeine in me, it's time to dry body brush. I like to do it first thing because it really makes my skin hum to life and I never have the energy for it by the evening. Then I brew a second cup of tea, using a splash of hot water from the kettle to make a fresh application of Bio Renewal Corrective Masque. I literally do this masque every day for that daily infusion of vitamin C, no matter where I am. My closest friends will attest that even on vacations, you’ll find me whipping up a masque before breakfast because it makes my skin absolutely glow. I’ll grab a quick shower and moisturize my body with Flowering Quince Bath + Body Oil while my skin is still damp. Then I wake up my ten-year-old son Litton to start the day.

7am

It doesn’t take me long to get ready in the morning. After my face masque, I'll cleanse my skin with whatever Nahla cleanser I'm loving at the moment, spritz my face with Helios Botanical Repair Mist, followed by Aurum Flawless Contour Lift and a few drops of Revive Organic Cellular Repair Mist. If I’m not tight for time, I’ll try and spend a few minutes doing a quick face massage, working the skin against gravity and doing a few compressions around the eyes to alleviate any puffiness. Massaging your face feels so good and is a great way to flush any stagnation or fluid retention in the tissues that have accumulated while you slept, which is a very good thing. My makeup game is pretty minimal because I really do believe the best makeup is a good skincare regimen. I use little Alima Concealer around my eyes or to spot treat any imperfections and a quick dusting of pressed powder over my face, buffed and blended with a kabuki brush to get a natural, flawless finish. Then I curl my lashes, which makes you look awake and rested even if you're not. I've always had a hard time with mascara on my sensitive eyes but think I've finally found one that looks great on, is free of toxic ingredients and doesn't irritate. I apply a layer of mascara and then a little lipstick. Right now I'm really into this Summery shade that looks like a freshly cut watermelon, is beautiful on every skin tone and is just so cheerful.

7:20am

Breakfast is easily my biggest meal of the day and my egg game is strong. My son is all about scrambled eggs but I usually like something a little more sophisticated. I often opt for poached egg whites smeared in chili jam, which is my version of the Magic Ancho Chili Relish recipe from Heidi Swanson at 101 Cookbook's that I just blitz in the Vitamix and almost always have in the fridge. I like to top it with parmesean and serve it on a split piece of toasted baguette. Sometimes we'll do a Turkish breakfast with sautéed greens, toasted walnuts and eggs in a bed of garlicky greek yogurt or breakfast burritos with oven roasted potatoes or avocado. We cook and eat breakfast together as a family, which is really important to me, with me reading to my son in between bites. We're working our way through the entire Harry Potter Series right now.

8:00am

My son Litton is in Summer camp so once the school bus picks him up, I immediately do my morning meditation. It might seem indulgent but daily meditation makes you so much calmer, focused, productive that once you get started, you really notice if you skip a day. I like the free app from Insight Timer because it's so easy to use - you just the timer and it gives you a gentle queue when you're done.

8:15am

Since breakfast is always substantial, I typically pack a few healthy snacks and a light salad to take me through my busy workday. Lunch is my favorite blueberry Super Elixir smoothie that I am so in love with right now. A friend gifted me Elle McPherson's hypey Super Elixir for my birthday. I didn't think it could possibly do anything to justify the price but I found myself really surprised at how good it makes me feel - on point digestion, no bloated tummy, lots of energy, a little more pep in my skin tone - just amazing. I mix it with MCT Oil for some good, healthy fats, turmeric to neutralize inflammation, ginger for circulation and plenty of wild Maine blueberries that I always have tucked into my freezer. It's a powerhouse of antioxidants and nourishment. I'll also pack a handful of walnuts and an ounce of gruyere cheese to snack on throughout the day. If I'm hungry mid-afternoon, I'll have a light salad with fresh greens, seeds, garlicky croutons and a vinaigrette dressing. I'll pack it all up in an insulated tote and I'm off to NAHLA.

Thank you so much, Nicole for sharing your morning routine!