When I wake up, well I know I’m gonna be…

When I wake up, well I know I’m gonna be…

…I’m gonna be the man who wakes up next to you one who’s still exhausted. Or at least I used to be, today, I’m sharing the change that has made my mornings so much better, happier, and most of all, brighter!! It’s a simple switch that’s made me feel so much better rested.

Also thank you to the Proclaimers for lending me some lyrics to butcher. Who doesn’t love this song? Some of the funniest How I Met Your Mother episodes featured this song as the only one that plays on the stuck tape in Marshall’s college car stereo. Anyone else remember that hilarity?

Back to waking up in the mornings though: I’ve really been struggling in the last few years to get out of bed in winters when it’s still dark and cold out. This is a stark contrast, a big change for me, because previously, I would jump out of bed the second my alarm went off. I despised snoozers and prided myself on my “skill” of waking up immediately. Then something changed. I am now a snoozer. I’m a wake-up-and-reset-alarm-er. I’m a dragged-myself-out-of-bed-and-barely-made-it-to-the-bus-in-time-er. It’s unfortunate and it needed to change. I’m not sure how or when I first heard of the wake-up-light alarm clocks, but I knew about them somehow and about 2 months ago I started looking into purchasing one.

I ended up finding this one from Philips, which at almost $90 isn’t exactly inexpensive. I hate spending that kind of cash on purchases where I’m not certain of the results, so instead of clicking “buy” myself, I forwarded the link to my mother with the not so subtle hint that this would make a perfect Christmas present. She took the hint and this was the first gift I opened on Christmas morning. Well, the pictures on Amazon don’t do it justice! This alarm clock is actually quite stylish!

Phillips Wake Up Light Alarm Clock | Land of Laurel

So how has it changed my life? In so many ways! Let me break it down for you. This type of alarm clock is really cool! And no, this isn’t a sponsered post, I’m just excited to tell you about it! Seriously, I really can’t shut up about this alarm clock. I’ve been telling all my friends and co-workers all about it!

It’s super easy to use and highly customizable. You set you alarm for the next morning and then 30 mins before the alarm goes off, the light inside turns on to a dim setting and slowly gets brighter and brighter over the next half hour. This is supposed to help simulate a sunrise which can tell your body’s circadian rhythm it’s time to get up! Then the alarm itself has a couple of different settings. You can wake up to an am/fm radio station or to one of the two pre-set alarms: bird song or jungle noises. I’ve been waking up to the bird song and it is amazing! This alarm clock is life changing. In the mornings, I tend to hover in a semi-conscious state for a minute and I can hear the bird song. Without fail, each morning, I think to myself how nice it is that the birds are singing. A minute later, my brain registers that this is my alarm and I open my eyes. The light really helps remind my body that it is indeed time to wake up each morning. I am never jolted out of REM cycle like I was previously. Instead, I feel like my body slowly wakes up over that half hour allowing me to feel much more awake when the alarm truly does go off.

Phillips Wake Up Alarm Clock | Land of Laurel

The alarm itself is pretty simple and well designed. It’s definitely not an ugly bedside alarm clock. It feels just about as stylish as an electronic devise can be. It’s light weight and clean lined. You can adjust the settings on the alarm to make the time show brighter or dimmer. I have chosen a dimmer setting so it doesn’t glare at me while I sleep. The light on the alarm itself can also be dimmer or brighter and you can decide the volume of the alarm as well. It’s these little adjustments which make it so easy to personalize. For instance, I have the light on my alarm maxed out so it is as bright as possible when it’s time for me to wake up, but since I’m more sensitive to sounds, I keep my sound setting pretty low. You can also chose to use the light just by itself, which I do on occasion since my new bed hasn’t been built yet (gotta get on that already!), and the alarm is easier to reach that the higher up lamp switch.

Philips Wake Up Alarm Clock | Land of Laurel

Over all, this alarm, I can truly say, has been life-changing. I feel a million times better in the mornings when it’s time for me to get out of bed. I know longer feel the need to push snooze, nor do I feel like I’ve been jolted from my sleep. Having an alarm clock again after eight years of using my phone as an alarm also has the added bonus of preventing me from picking up my phone first thing in the morning. This means it’s a lot easier to resist scrolling through Instagram or Facebook or reading the news and gets me into my morning routine sooner so I’m not in a rush!

This may seem like a small thing, but the more I realize how deeply addicted I am to my phone and all the social media platforms it holds, the more I’d like to take time away from that technology. It’s one of the reasons I love to camp and get away from my phone. Somehow, it’s miraculously freeing to step away from technology and all the entrapments it holds. Not being connected is an amazing thing in this wi-fi enabled world and getting out of the routine of checking in on Facebook, Instagram, and Apple News first thing each morning is a relief. Now I peruse these things on the bus to work, when I’m not in a rush to get out of the house. It’s a minor difference in terms of timing, but a significant difference in how I wake up and start my day.

So to anyone out there who struggles to get out of bed or loves their snooze button, I highly recommend the Philips Wake-Up Light with Sunrise Simulation. It is going to significantly impact the start of your day in the most positive of ways! Starting off the New Year with this new way to start my days has been a great game changer for me and my life.

Do you have one of these, from Philips or another brand, at home already? Let me know your thoughts! Do you love it as much as I do? Because I think I might just marry this alarm clock I love it so much!

*This post contains affiliate links*

 

 

Perfect Porridge

Who out there eats the exact same thing for breakfast nearly every morning? Show of hands? I don’t know about you, but both of my hands are high in the sky. What do I eat? Only the yummiest, healthiest, delicious-ist porridge there was! Steel cut oatmeal.

 

Steel Cut Oats | Land of Laurel

 

Each morning, I wake up, put on the tea kettle, and bring a pot of milk to boil. Then I add my oats and let them cook while I get ready. When I’m completely ready to go, the oats are done! It’s fantastic timing really.

 

Why steel-cut oats as opposed to rolled oats? Well, I read somewhere that they were dramatically better for you and less processed. While this article confirms the latter, I’ve yet to see anything else supporting the former. In fact, this one states that they’re pretty much identical in nutritional and environmental impacts. Though steel-cut may have more fiber according to these guys. So really, who knows? What pretty much everyone can confirm though is that oatmeal is pretty dang good for you. So eat it. There.

 

I used to buy these steel-cut oats at Trader Joes before I started shopping in Berkeley Bowl’s bulk foods section where they are so much less expensive. Sometimes I will pick up the McCann’s tin at Trader Joes though, simply because I adore the can they come in. I’ve used several to house plants over the years. I’m a sucker for a pretty tin.

 

I stick to steel cut oats though because of their longer cook time. I know, sounds crazy, right? But really, it’s less time for me in the kitchen. How is that possible? Well when something needs to come to a boil, have grain added, and cook for a while longer and all of that happens in fifteen minutes? You have to be in the kitchen over the stove for that entire fifteen minutes. Right now, I wait for my milk to boil and then add my oats an leave. It’s a five minute process. Making my thirty-five oatmeal takes me less time than fifteen-minute oatmeal. Less time than frying a couple eggs. It sounds crazy, but it’s the truth. So before you judge steel cut oats on their long cook time, give it a try. It might just save you time.

 

I add chia seeds on top of mine for a little extra crunch and a banana for sweetness. That way I don’t add any sugar to my breakfast and get a little fruit too. If you do feel like you need a little honey in your life, a teaspoon will make this oatmeal completely delish.

 

Chia Seeds and Banana on Steel Cut Oats | Land of Laurel

 

Steel Cut Oats for One

 

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup Almond Milk

3 Tablespoons Steel Cut Oats

1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon

1/4 Teaspoon Cloves

Dash of salt

1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds

1/2 Banana

 

First put your milk in a small pot over medium-high heat on the stove. Add your dash of salt. When the milk first begins to steam and forms tiny bubbles along the edges of the pan, add the steel cut oats, cinnamon, and cloves. Stir together and turn heat down to a simmer. Stir occasionally. Let cook for approximately twenty-five minutes. Oatmeal and milk should combine into a porridge. Remove from heat and add chia seeds and banana. Eat!

 

Do you have oatmeal every morning for breakfast? Love it? Hate it?