A Day in My Life

Today I participated in Hollywood Housewife’s Day-in-the-Life photo challenge — we were asked to take photos to document our day, no matter how mundane. I used my phone to take the photos rather than carrying a camera around (I knew I was more likely to stick with the task that way since it’s much easier to take photos on the sly).

Background: I live in Washington, DC and I work as an Executive Assistant.

6:47am: My alarm goes off at 6:45 (as it does most weekdays). I go into the kitchen and take a double batch of Pumpkin Turkey Chili out of the CrockPot. (Sometimes I let it cook overnight so I can take a serving for lunch instead of waiting for dinner.)


I have to make sure the CrockPot isn’t blazing hot before I stick it in the fridge. During the summer, I place it over an air conditioning vent to cool down (the vents in our apartment are in the floor, and there’s one in our guest bedroom which is especially powerful). In cold weather, I stick the CrockPot on our living room balcony for an hour or so while I’m getting ready for work. That’s where I put it this morning (it was 37 degrees outside).

7:22am: My morning shower is done and I’m putting on face moisturizer and make-up in the bathroom.


7:51am: Gathering ingredients for my breakfast protein shake. I put it together at home, pour it into a container with a tight-fitting lid, and take it to work to drink later in the morning. (I usually wait a few hours after waking up to eat breakfast, whether it’s a weekday or weekend.) Ingredients: one frozen banana (sometimes I use a half cup of canned pureed pumpkin instead), vanilla whey protein powder (no artificial sugars), a scoop of green superfood powder, and almond milk.


7:54am: I go into the bedroom to help Paul make our bed. We usually make the bed together every day, except when I have to I leave for work before he gets up (which thankfully doesn’t happen very often). I took the opportunity to snap this photo before he knew what was going on. “Why are you taking a photo of something we do every day?” he asked. Exactly. I thought it was funny he asked me that question before I told him I was doing a day-in-the-life photo challenge.


8:10am: Walking to the Metro. It takes about eight minutes to reach my station from the time I exit my front door.


8:14am: Descending underground and waiting for the next train. While I sit on the train for the 12 minute ride, I read an e-book and respond to a few work emails.



8:29am: Exiting the Rosslyn metro station, I cross the street and cut through a small park on the way to my building. (As you can see, lots of other people take this route as well.)


8:33am: My access badge isn’t in my purse (this has happened several times in the past), so I wait in the lobby for a few minutes until our receptionist comes downstairs to fetch me. I remember taking it off my waistband while walking to the elevator the night before. It must have fallen out of my bag between work and home…hopefully when I was still inside my building, as it will be easier to recover.


8:36am: Success! When I get upstairs, I find my badge on my desk. I know I didn’t leave it there, so whoever returned it — thank you, Good Samaritan.


8:37am: A view of my cubicle. Pretty typical setup.


9:06am: A cup of decaf coffee (with cream and a packet of stevia) and a piece of visual interest that sits beside my laptop (you can see the smaller version in the photo of my cubicle above). My boss picked it up from a conference last month; he sometimes brings back random stuff for me from his work trips. (I have a feeling it’s one of those “Do little things to keep the assistant happy” things, but I’m okay with that.)


About the coffee: After not drinking it for several months, I’ve started drinking decaf 3-4 times a week during the workweek and regular caffeinated coffee on the weekends when I’m at home with Paul. I didn’t notice a difference when I cut it out (other than not craving the caffeine, which is nice — if I skip coffee one day, there are no ill effects), so since I enjoy the taste so much, I decided to add it back in. That may change again in the future, but this is working for me right now.

9:15am: This is the view behind my cubicle. There’s another building next door so there isn’t much to see (if you walk to the opposite side of my building, there’s a fabulous view — it looks out over the Key Bridge, Potomac River, and part of Georgetown), but at least I have a lot of natural light. And since I sit on the end of a row of cubicles, I don’t have people sitting directly behind me. That’s very nice since I have a little more privacy than I otherwise would.


9:32am: I keep two water bottles on my desk because I don’t like drinking ice cold water (I have sensitive teeth). I always get two new bottles on Monday morning, refill them a LOT each day, and reuse them all week until I put them in recycling on Friday night. (Yes, I could use two reusable containers and just wash them out…but I am lazy. At least this way I feel like I’m not hurting the environment quite as much.) With two bottles, I can drink one while the second gets down to room temperature and vice versa.


10:12am: Time to drink my protein shake. I took it out of the fridge at 9:45, but then I got called away to do a few things so I’m just now getting around to it. The shake’s color comes from the green powder. It looks weird but tastes fine, and it keeps me full for hours due to the protein. I used to bring hard boiled eggs for breakfast, but after eating them for such a long time (over a year, I think, almost every weekday), I got tired of them.


11:01am: A wall leading to the main kitchen.


11:03am: The “play” area. That television set is hooked up to a Nintendo Wii. I’ve never used it or the foosball table.


11:06am: A fridge full of free beverages. Most of it is soda and juice (which I don’t drink), but this is where I grab bottles of regular water and cans of sparkling water.


11:07am: This is the coffee/tea setup in the kitchen. We’re pretty well-stocked. I only drink one cup of decaf a day (if that), but I regularly see people drinking coffee well into the late afternoon and early evening.


1:15pm: Yes, I typically eat lunch at my desk. The Pumpkin Turkey Chili was delicious, as usual.


2:00pm: I found this National Guard backpack in the kitchen trash can. This is definitely something I don’t see every day. I have no idea where it came from.


2:06pm: Random shot of me in the bathroom, looking like I don’t really want to have my photo taken.


3:13pm: The copy room where I scanned an expense report.


3:32pm: Eating a protein bar as an afternoon snack. This brand is gluten free. I still try to adhere to a lot of the Whole30 principles (I don’t eat grains or legumes), but these bars are easy to keep in my desk drawer and eat in the afternoons without having to bring in multiple food items from home. I still feel guilty about eating them because they contain soy.


I leave work most days at 5pm, which means I’m home by 530pm, and I either make dinner or grab something already prepared (leftovers or fresh food from the CrockPot). Tonight is different; I’m scheduled to meet my friend Cezara (pronounced Cha-zara) for dinner and drinks at Cafe Asia. We don’t live far from each other, but I haven’t seen her since January.

5:37pm: Walking to Cafe Asia and a view of the restaurant.



5:45pm: I have what I need — a glass of wine, water, and a sushi menu (I haven’t had sushi in a few months at this point).


7:43pm: Before we leave, Cezara and I visit the (unisex) bathroom. I inadvertently go into a stall designated for men, which I don’t notice until I close the door. There’s a toilet inside, though. Not a urinal. (Although the seat was up.)


8:09pm: Return home. I hate our blue front door. Everyone in the building has the same door, so it’s not like ours stands out from the others. Paul has worked late and gets home about five minutes after I do.


8:12pm: Folding some clothes I washed the night before.


8:38pm: Paul and I had just sat down on the couch when we heard loud music and shouting outside. Opening the balcony door, we saw a bunch of bikes riding down our street (one of the bikes in front must have been playing the music). Not sure what they were up to, but it sounded like they were having fun!


8:39pm: We go back to watching a DVR’d episode of The Daily Show (Jon’s guest was Mike Huckabee). You can’t tell very well from this photo, but he was talking about General Petraeus at the time.


9:40pm: Teeth have been brushed and flossed. I’m about to take my vitamins (on the left) and I’ve set out the pills I’ll take first thing tomorrow morning. I have to go to a work event in Harrisonburg (VA) tomorrow, and I’m catching a ride with the bus that leaves our office at 7am. It’ll be an early day for me!


Recap: I enjoyed doing this today. It will be nice to look back at these photos when I’m no longer at this job and/or living where we do now. I wish I’d done more of this in the past. It makes want to do so more often (maybe at least once a year?), even if the photos only live on my computer and I don’t share them on the internet.

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  • Reply amariemarton November 15, 2012 at 10:39 am

    I love your idea of cooking the food overnight so you can enjoy some for lunch! Doesn’t the smell of all that goodness keep you up? 🙂

    • Reply Naturally Minimalist November 15, 2012 at 9:01 pm

      It doesn’t keep me awake, but I haven’t quite gotten used to smelling yummy food as soon as I wake up in the morning!

  • Reply laura @ hollywood housewife November 15, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    What an awesome Day in the Life post! I love how you captured scenes from your commute and then also your cubicle. I bet when you look back on these pics in a few years, it will seem like a different lifetime! Thanks for participating in the project, I had so much fun doing it.

    • Reply Naturally Minimalist November 15, 2012 at 9:02 pm

      Thanks, Laura! I’m glad you liked it. I’ve thought about doing a post like this for a while but needed the push to go through with it. I’m really glad I did. 🙂

  • Reply Anna November 19, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    This was such a great day in the life post! And I’m impressed at how you’ve been able to remember to take photos all throughout the day!

    • Reply Naturally Minimalist November 19, 2012 at 8:36 pm

      Thank you, Anna! Believe me, I really had to consciously think about it. I left my phone out in front of me all day. I’m not used to taking so many photos!

  • Reply Sara August 21, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    I have never heard of a unisex bathroom before! very interesting!

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