A Day in the Life: When Blogging Is Not Your Average 9 to 5 (+Giveaway)

A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the BlogAs promised, I’ve got another day-in-the-life post, this one documenting a hands-on, active blog work day. If you missed my first post, here’s a day of desk-job blogging. For today’s I thought it’d be interesting to tie in one of my current blog partners as well so that you get a peek into what the interaction with product sponsors is like.

Orchard Valley Harvest has two new fruit and nut mixes available as Multi Packs (eight, one-ounce pouches), and as they’re delicious, I was excited to team up with them. As part of the project they sent me a bunch of samples of the Omega-3 and Antioxidant mixes and when you combine edible free gift packages with a work-from-home job, the result is often nonstop snacking. I’ve been on a three-pack-a-day habit, and as I was documenting my day for this post and realized every other picture was me eating a nut mix pack, I decided that this should be the feature. So while, yes, Orchard Valley Harvest is a partner of this blog post, the copious mentions are by no means forced. You try looking at snack-sized portions of nuts all day without going to chow town on them! 😉

This post was my day Wednesday–on the calendar for me was a video shoot and recipe test.

A Day in the Life: When Blogging Is Not Your Average 9 to 5

5 AM | Wake up, flawless

A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the BlogHair on fleek, face on fleek, breath on fleek. I had stayed up until 2AM watching election coverage against my better judgement (I couldn’t have slept if I tried) so I wouldn’t exactly say that alarm was welcomed. But one good thing about my late night was that I had the time to brew a big pot of coffee to have in the refrigerator for the morning. A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the Blog

I downed a glass of water and my vitamins (MegaFood vitamins can be taken on an empty stomach–score!); poured a little almond milk into my iced coffee; and grabbed a snack to keep me energized through my classes.

6 – 9AM | Teach

A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the Blog

shirt c/o Fabletics // Booty By Brabants leggings // ToeSox grippy socks

On Wednesdays I teach three classes at Btone’s Back Bay studio. I don’t do the workout while teaching (I demo exercises and then walk around correcting form) so teaching three isn’t as daunting as it may sound.

9 – 9:30AM | “Me” time

I just could not shake the sadness I felt about the election, so as I walked home through the Public Garden and Commons, I decided to take a few minutes to sit on a bench, clear my head and meditate. I’m about to sound like a total weirdo, but I have a favorite bench in the Public Garden (sure, why not) and any time it’s unoccupied on my walk home from teaching in the morning, I take it as a sign I should stop for 5-10 minutes, sit down and meditate. A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the Blog

I meditated for about 10 minutes and then continued to sit there calmly, appreciating the beautiful city I call home and the crisp fall weather. In all it was only about 20 minutes out of my morning, but it really helped set the tone for a productive, positive day. Remind me again why I don’t do this every morning?? A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the Blog

On the walk home, I ate the Omega-3 Mix that was still in my purse (I surprisingly wasn’t hungry while teaching).

9:30 | Breakfast

A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the BlogI had some leftover roasted veggies in the fridge from last night’s dinner so I reheated those and spread them over a piece of toast and a fried egg. Easy, yummy, filling. I had roasted the veggies in cumin, paprika and cayenne so breakfast had a bit of a kick to it which I love.

10 – 1:30 | Shoot three videos (two workouts and a form tutorial)

A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the BlogGoing into a shoot, I already have the workouts planned out. I have a notebook that I write them down in along with recipes in the works and any other blog content ideas I come up with throughout the week. I also plan the outfits the night before so that I can be sure to incorporate any new activewear I haven’t yet worn on the blog. There are other little considerations that also need to go into the outfit planning: If it’s a sponsored post, I often need to make sure no other brand labels are visible; if it’s a tutorial on form, I try to wear a tight-fitting top instead of a loose muscle tank so that you can more clearly see my body alignment. I had these three outfits already planned: A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the Blog

After almost a year of using Breather room rentals for video shoots, I’m done with the service. At first I had credit with them, but the credit has dried up and their prices have risen so it doesn’t make sense for me to spend $30-60/hour to shoot blog content. Plus, lugging workout equipment to the rooms was buh-ru-tal.

My apartment is not by any means ideal for shooting workouts. The bedroom is the only room with natural light but there’s not a ton of space so I have to push the dresser out of the bedroom and into the living room in order to shoot. Still way more convenient than shooting elsewhere though! Eventually I need to come up with a better solution but my motto with blogging has always been “Do the best you can with what you have,” so this will be a-ok for now. 🙂

Joe and I are messy, so in addition to moving my dresser, I have to spend some time cleaning before I can shoot. And in our defense, there is a big difference between messy and dirty, and we’re just messy. I scrub the bathrooms, do the dishes, dust, vacuum–I have a sanitary home, I promise. I just also happen to throw my clothes all over the place when getting dressed and haven’t made the bed in, oh I don’t know, five years.

I start with ambitious cleaning goals before shooting workouts but usually end up just pushing my heaps of clothing out of the video frame. Here’s the side of the room that’ll be in the shot vs. the side of the room behind the camera: A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the Blog


My least favorite part of days when I have to be in the pictures is making myself look presentable (wow I’m really making myself seem like a slob in this blog post, huh??). I’m unskilled and uninterested when it comes to hair and makeup but I cover the basics before putting on my first outfit. When choosing the order of videos to shoot I usually save the sweatiest workout for last so that I don’t look like a hot mess in the others.  A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the Blog

Usually between two and fifteen things don’t go as planned during shoots (another reason it makes sense to do them in my apartment!). The three I did that day went fairly smoothly, but I shot the last workout and as I watched it back realized how obnoxious these cables look: A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the Blog

Do I re-shoot it somewhere else? Where? They’re threaded into the wall so I can’t remove the cables. Ughhh. Might just call it a wash and post to YouTube, cables and all. A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the Blog

In between shooting, I had two more Orchard Valley Harvest mixes. The first one because I was hungry; the second because, well, you try working four feet from your kitchen. 😉

1:30 – 3 | Recipe testing for lunch

A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the Blog A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the BlogI had a baked oatmeal recipe I wanted to test out and planned ahead to have all the ingredients on hand. It’s a recipe I’ve played around with before so I was hoping I’d nail it this time and be able to photograph it for the blog. Success! I shot the pretty oatmeal cups by my bedroom window and enjoyed a couple for lunch.

3-6 PM | Emails, social scheduling, class planning

By now my energy is starting to wane (staying up until 2AM will do that to you), and while I had high hopes of editing all the video material I just shot, I needed to call it a day with that. Instead I spent a couple hours digging myself out of the never-ending email hole I’m in, scheduling posts for Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest, and planning the next day’s class.

6PM | Veg Out

img_5849I had plans to get out of the apartment, grocery shop and make a nice dinner but I’m clearly not in my early 20s anymore because that whole three hours of sleep thing knocked me on my ass. How did I used to pull all-nighters in the library (…and club, let’s be honest here) during college and still be fully functional the next day? How?? Oh, to be young again. 😉 A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the Blog

I lounged on my couch reading (just finished Still Life, which I’d summarize as a good–not great–murder mystery), and instead of grocery shopping and cooking, Joe brought me home a bowl from Sweetgreen (Earth Bowl, no chicken = my go-to order).

8:30PM | Bedtime

With another 5AM wake up ahead of me, I went to bed early and it was glorious. I’m actually surprised I even managed to stay up that late.

Reader Giveaway

A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the BlogOrchard Valley Harvest is giving one reader a prize package of these two mixes AND a $50 Visa gift card. The Antioxidant Mix is a blend of roasted almonds, dried sweetened cranberries, blueberries, roasted cashews and pepitas. The Omega-3 Mix is a blend of walnuts, dried sweetened cranberries and blueberries, almonds and pistachios. Both are delicious, non-GMO and free of artificial ingredients. Score!

Use the widget below to enter the giveaway. I’ll pick a winner Monday evening. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Have you tried Orchard Valley Harvest’s fruit and nut mixes?

Did you stay up late to watch the election or wait until the morning to see the results?


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Orchard Valley Harvest. The opinions and text are all mine.

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  1. I love cranberry mixes!

  2. I stayed up watching till 2 am also, but didn’t have to get up until 7 am for work!

  3. I love your blog posts!! Been following you for a while and always entertained 👌

  4. I slept about two hours Tuesday night – definitely not the plan!

  5. I love dried cherry and macadamia nuts.

  6. I stayed up until about midnight but there still weren’t any results so I went to bed and checked how it went down first thing in the morning. I’m right there with you on the late nights, I just can’t do them anymore, especially on “school nights”.

  7. I didn’t stay up for the election results, as I knew that I had done my part and what will be, will be. That being said, I am saddened by the results. I also spent time in meditation and am looking for ways to support my beliefs in the local community. I am also choosing to focus on the positive (like South Carolina voting the first openly gay legislator).

    Also, trail mix is my jam. Recently I have been enjoying the Harvest Mix from TJ’s. I don’t discriminate against any though. I love them all…

  8. Dried cranberries, cashews, and chocolate chips 🙂

  9. Love the Omega-3 mix! Mostly because I can’t get enough pistachios. So good!
    And I feel yeah about staying up too late Tuesday night. I’m on the west coast, so I didn’t need to stay up nearly as late as you on the east coast… but there was definitely a point in the night where I determined I had seen enough and couldn’t watch any longer.

  10. I’ve never tried those mixes, but they look amazing!

  11. Jenn Frost says:

    I’ve tried them before and love them, I like the portion sizes too!

  12. raisins and peanuts

  13. I love mixing almonds with dried cranberries and dark chocolate, it’s the best! Also, what do you use for scheduling your tweets and pins!?

    • I LOVE Tailwind for Pinterest scheduling–they suggest content from your site to the other bloggers and businesses that use their service which is a huge bonus. I’ve seen impressive growth with my following on Pinterest this year and I credit a lot of that to Tailwind. You can schedule Instagram through them too, but I haven’t tried that yet. For Twitter I use Buffer. 🙂

  14. Love these types of posts!

  15. I stayed up until midnight and then had to go to bed #grandmastatus

  16. Ive never tried them.

  17. I looooove peanuts and cashews!

  18. pistachios & dried cherries

  19. Lindsey G. says:

    Mangos and cashews!

  20. Rachel Goochey says:

    I’m sure with Baby #3 on December 1 and fruit/nut mixes seem like a perfect, healthy, go-to snack!

  21. Oh man, thanks for sharing! So interesting to get to hear about your days. Also I stayed up way too late that night and needing some prayer and meditation the next day too. Brutal.

    Love almonds and pumpkin seeds! Those nut mixes look Delish.

  22. I’m alllllll about blueberries in nut mixes. Yas.

  23. I love cashews, coconut and raisins. It is a dangerous combo!

  24. I love cranberry mixes with chocolate!

  25. Mason jars are life! I use them for everything. I couldn’t do coffee out of it though as it’d definitely all spill.

    I stayed up and was dragginggg the next day. Def did not help my performance on my big pharmacology test. Kept hoping it’d swing the other way towards Hilary.

  26. The antioxidant mix sounds delicious! I love anything with cashews and pepitas!

  27. Shoshana Rose says:

    I love almonds with dried cherries and dark chocolate chips.

  28. Whew, your day sounds exhausting! I love fruit and nut mixes– thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  29. The antioxidant mix sounds amazing.

    I also want to thank you for being open about your reaction to the election. I understand that people don’t come to your blog looking for politics, but it’s been surprising and a little disheartening to see so many bloggers who haven’t acknowledged this week’s events in some way. That being said, the internet isn’t always the kindest place, so I also understand the reluctance to provoke any sort of negative reaction. So here’s some positive feedback: I’ve appreciated how you’ve handled the past few days. We’re stronger together.

  30. I stayed up too late against my better judgement too. i’m with on the sadness, girl, Wednesday was one somber day in NYC.

  31. Any sweet and salty combo!

  32. I love chocolate 🙂

  33. pecans and dried cherries

  34. We don’t have orchard valley in the UK but we do have similar snack mixes that I always buy and devour immediately. They don’t even make it to the cupboard!

  35. I just stayed up til 11, since I had to be up at 4. The next day was pretty rough for me too. They gave us ice cream at work though in the afternoon (not quite as healthy as nut mixes….)

  36. I love almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, and coconut flakes!

    Not getting enough sleep throws me off so badly these days- no idea how I did it when I was younger either!

  37. First, I really enjoy these day in the life posts! Second, I love cranberries and almonds!

  38. I love trail mixes..definitely a go-to snack for me!

  39. Karlie Kashat says:

    My favorite is almonds + coconut + chocolate

  40. Mmm the omega-3 blend sounds great! Dried blueberries and pistachios, yum!

    Love the grey leggings with the side detail btw, so cute!

  41. I also have no idea how I used to thrive on no sleep! If I don’t get at least 6 hours, I’m burned out the next day. Oh well – I also don’t miss being a teenager, the DRAMA! Haha <3

  42. I know it is weird but I love prunes with any type of nut!

  43. Colleen Boudreau (Collifornia) says:

    Cranberries and cashews.

  44. Dried figs plus any nut!

  45. I love dried figs and roasted, salted cashews together!

  46. Love this post, even if it’s sponsored. It’s really awesome to see your blogging strategy and what a typical day looks like for you! You’re quite lucky that you have a white backdrop in your apartment, and that awesome white desk to shoot food/product pics on! I’m struggling to find good spaces to shoot pics.

    As for the Orchard Valley products, all the mixes sound really good, but the Omega-3 appeals to me the most. I hardly get my Omega 3’s in my day to day, so that would be nice for a change! Thanks for the awesome post, and also for your honest words about the election. I, along with just about everybody else, am right there with you.

    • Before getting this white desk, I used to just lay down a white poster board for a backdrop–total blogging life saver and only like $2 at CVS! 🙂

  47. Loved this post – especially the behind the scenes photo of what goes on behind the camera! Really shows the reality of blogging.

    I’ve never tried Orchard Valley Harvest’s snacks. I’d love to!

    – Charmaine

  48. I love anything with dried cranberries, and I would adore the Antioxidant Mix! I also love dried cherries and cashews!

  49. Ivana Claire says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your day, Nicole! I’m currently developing my own fitness and health blog so I was especially excited to come across your post on Bloglovin’ and I’ll be sure to continue following! The Omega-3 Mix would be my favourite, hands down, because it contains all of my favorites. I’m definitely going to find out where I can get these in my area. Thanks again!

  50. Emily Burge says:

    I love anything with almonds and dried cherries…and obviously if some dark chocolate is thrown in there that’s a huge plus 🙂

  51. cashews, some kind of chocolate, and any kind of dried fruit!

  52. I love getting a sneak peak into a bloggers life 🙂

  53. Alicia Hoglund says:

    I am notorious for accidentally working through lunch, so having quick (and healthy!) snacks on hand is a must. The Omega-3 mix sounds amazing!

  54. i like caschews and cranberrys

  55. Elizabeth W says:

    I really like pistachios and cranberries!

  56. Trader Joe’s Trekking Mix – cranberries, cashews, almonds, pistachios, and dark chocolate chips! Tastes like antioxidants with a treat! 🙂

  57. I didn’t stay up past 11pm watching the election results. When it’s my bed time, I am out! Thanks for the opportunity to win. This was a very interesting blog post! Wish I looked half as good as you do when I wake up! 🙂

  58. Morgan Layh says:

    Dried cherries and almonds!

  59. Anything with almonds and some dark chocolate!

  60. I love a mix of almond, cashews and craisins- classic but delicious!

  61. Can’t wait to see that muffin recipe!

  62. I am obsessed with any sweet & salty nut mix. Expect for filberts because they are the lamest nut everrrrrrrrr.

  63. Haven’t tried the orchard valley harvest mixes yet, but will be looking out for them. I think my favorite fruit and nut mix is almonds & dried cherries.

  64. One with coconut!!

  65. Cashews and chooclate and deliciousness.

  66. The antioxidant looks great! Love dried fruit with nits for some extra energy!

  67. Almonds and cranberries!

  68. I love anything with dried cherries

  69. I love ones with almonds and cranberries!

  70. These day-in-the life posts were fun to read! Thanks for letting us in 🙂

  71. Cashews and anything are the best!

  72. Love when bloggers give a glimpse into their day to day life!

  73. I like walnuts and cherries.

    Name on rafflecopter: mami2jcn

  74. I like almond and apricot mix

  75. I love almonds & cranberries.

  76. Stick with the Chief Inspector Gamache series! They really do get so much better. They’re also pretty great to listen to as well, especially if you have no ear for the French Canadian.

  77. NICOLE! I didn’t think I could love you more until you disclosed that you are a messy person. Ahh, for some weird reason, that just makes me feel really happy inside. I am also a messy person and I love to think it’s a sign of creativity (or something) but everyone else is so judgy. And YES – there is a big difference between dirty and messy. I take two showers a day people, but yeah my car looks like a homeless person might be living in it. Whatever.

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