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Pinenut-Cake

Finding a Routine That Works (Part II)

Happy Friday everyone! (NOTE: This picture has nothing to do with this post – I just happen to really like it. It was taken by Heidi Ross, and depicts two amazingly gooey plum cornmeal cakes with pine nuts that my friend – and baker extraordinaire – Lisa Donovan made for a dinner party I threw in Nashville last summer. Trust me – they were just as delicious as they look.)

Wow…this week flew by in a total BLUR. The dinner party Wednesday night with Hoopes Vineyard was gorgeous. (You may have already seen a few pictures on Instagram!). It was held at my friend Erin‘s stunning UWS townhouse, and truly everything – the setting, the wines, the flowers, the guests, the food – felt like that dreamy NYC dinner party that I always hoped I’d get invited to. And here I was, cooking and co-hosting! It was kind of surreal. I’ll be sharing details on Saveur‘s blog next week – and here, of course!

Dinner parties are so fun, but when I’m cooking at someone else’s house, it’s quite the production. Tuesday was a shopping/food prep day, then on Wednesday I packed up my pots, pans, sheet trays, cooking tools, etc., and all the food, and – with the help of my amazing intern Olivia – carried it all down five flights of stairs and loaded it into an Uber car. We headed up to the Upper West Side (a 40-minute commute), unloaded everything, finished food prep, cooked and served the dinner, cleaned up, and then – at nearly midnight, packed everything up, and headed home. (A big shout-out to Jana for her awesome help in the kitchen that night!) I got home at nearly 1 a.m. and lugged everything back up 5 flights of stairs (this time solo!). Thursday, I woke up with head-to-toe sore muscles and headed off to a day of meetings. Finally, Thursday night I came home and unloaded 8 bags full of pots, pans, wine glasses, ramekins, and other cooking tools. The glamorous life of a private chef!

PN-Anna

Behind the scenes, there are all sorts of projects and negotiations in the works that have my brain buzzing. So, all the more reason why I need a good schedule!! Thank you guys SO much for all of your awesome comments and suggestions on Monday’s post. Glad to hear I’m not alone in this struggle to find structure.

As promised, I’ve come up with a weekly schedule for myself. I’m still working out a few kinks, but here are the basic goals:

1) Brandon and I want to get in a weekday morning routine of waking up, doing a quick workout in the apartment, and having breakfast and devotions together.

2) We both want to try and go to bed at 11 pm.

3) We want to work less hours, but be more productive during those hours.

4) I tend to get really distracted by social media and email, so I want to try scheduling my time for both – so I’m not constantly checking them and breaking my train of thought.

5) I want to block off writing days and cooking days.

6) Finally, what really throws me off is having random meetings – business or friends – scattered throughout the week. I want to block out specific chunks of time and schedule meetings back-to-back within those time frames. Like Friday afternoons, for example.

With no further ado, here’s the schedule I’m going to *attempt* to follow. Obviously there will be variations but I’ll report back on how it’s going!

Monday/Wednesday (Writing Days)

7 a.m. Wake up

7:30-8 Yoga/cardio workout

8-9 Breakfast, prayer, journaling

Shower

9:30 Check Email/social media; respond to anything urgent

10-12:30 Write (Blog or Freelance) // Email and Social Media Off

12:30 Check Email/Social Media; respond to anything urgent

1-2 Lunch + Walk

2-5 Write (Blog or Freelance)

5-6 Respond to Emails

Evening free for dinner and/or to see friends

11 pm bedtime

Tuesday/Thursday (Recipe Developing, Testing, Shooting Days)

7 a.m. Wake up

7:30-8 Yoga/cardio workout

8-9 Breakfast, prayer, journaling

Shower

9:30 Check Email/social media; respond to anything urgent

10-11 Grocery Shopping

11-12 Recipe Developing/Testing or Photo Shoot Prep

12:30 Lunch

1-4 Recipe Developing/Testing or Photo Shoot with Olivia

4-4:30 Clean up

4:30-6 Respond to Emails

Evening free for dinner and/or to see friends

11 pm bedtime

Friday (Writing + Meeting Day)

7 a.m. Wake up

7:30-8 Yoga/cardio workout

8-9 Breakfast, prayer, journaling

Shower

9:30 Check Email/social media; respond to anything urgent

10-12:30 Write (Blog or Freelance) // Email and Social Media Off

12:30 Check Email/Social Media; respond to anything urgent

1-6 Meetings

11 pm bedtime

Of course, I’m terrified to share a schedule like this because now I have to hold myself accountable! Ha!

Anyway, I hope you all have a great weekend! Are you cooking anything fun? See you next week – I’ll be sharing some new recipes and of course dinner party details…!

xo, Anna

Photos by Heidi Ross

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