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Sunday, 25 February 2018

Relaxing Night Routine

The only thing you want to do after a long hard day at work is just to go home and relax, wash away your stresses and get yourself ready for the next day. Here are a few simple ways to have a relaxing night time routine. 

1. Hang Your Clothes
It is so tempting to take off your jacket and throw it onto the first piece of furniture you see after a hard day’s work. Hold off on that temptation; do not give into the gremlins when you’re tired. Hang up your jacket- this will only take a few seconds to do and it will pay in dividends when it comes your relaxing time. 

2. Bath
If you have some time to spare, indulge yourself with a bath. You can pick up some nice smelling bath bombs at Lush. Light up a scented candle, dim the lights, put on some music and for a while forget about the rest of the world. Understandably, this is not something for the everyday- you can reserve this for those extra stressful days.

3. Hot drink
Think something non-caffeinated such as herbal tea or even hot water with a slice of lemon. This is a good way to unwind yourself. Disconnect from your day and unwind with a nice hot beverage in hand. 

4. Nightly beauty regime
Introduce a nightly beauty regime to your day- remove all traces of makeup, floss and brush your teeth, cleanse, tone and moisturise. Having a nightly beauty regime will not only be good for your skin but it will also act as a good schema for you to unwind. Plus nothing feels as calming or relaxing as a nice pamper session. 

5. Read in bed

In 2018, we are constantly surrounded by some form of stimulus. Disconnect yourself from social media, turn off your phone, turn off your laptop and any other devices you may have on around you. Turn back to the good old fashion paper book. Read a chapter of a book while in bed. Lose yourself in your book and feel yourself relax and unwind. 

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Productive Morning Routine

Everyone has a different morning routine that works for them. I have thought about what could be a very productive morning schedule and this is what I have come up with. Hope you find this useful….

1. Make Your Bed 
Start the day by making your bed and you’ll be well on your way to having a productive day. Usually, the bed makes up the biggest part of a bedroom and when this is made up, your room looks a lot better and brighter. Also, then you have a made bed, you can rest assure that when you come back from a long, hard day at work, you’ll have a nice, comfortable, well-made bed waiting for you to just relax in.

2. Healthy Breakfast
Your breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It gives you fuel to keep going so make sure you get a good nutritiously rich breakfast in the morning that will keep you going for the day.

3. Reflect on Your Yesterday
How was yesterday for you? Is there something you wish happened differently? Do you feel you were not as productive as you could have been? Or were you particularly happy about something? Review yesterday and see what you can learn from it; what can you make forward and what needs to be left in yesterday.

4. Make a list 
Ahh… that infamous ‘To Do’ list. I personally love a to do list. It gives me an idea of what needs to get done in the day and what can wait a while. It also makes me accountable to myself- whenever I write out a list of things I need to get done, I think of it as a mini-contract to myself.

5. Workout

Try to incorporate some sort of working out into your morning; this could be something as simple as a brisk half hour walk to a full workout session in the gym. Working out makes you feel energised and refreshed and it sets you up for the day to be a productive butterfly. 

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Shoes Every Girl Needs

I am a big shoe addict so narrowing it down to the bare essential types of shoes a girl needs to have in her shoedrobe was a bit of a struggle for me. However, I have managed to bring it down to five types of shoes. If you are trying to be a minimalist, you can use this as a guide to the type of shoes to keep in your space. Or if you are trying to build up your shoe collection, perhaps this will be a useful guide for you on where to get started….

1. Plain Flats
Plain black flat shoes are an essential. These are comfortable and simple, making them go with almost any outfit. You can wear these at work, while travelling or while you are running around doing your everyday errands. You can also keep a pair in your handbag, always ready for quick swap when your feet get tired and blistered out from wearing heels or uncomfortable shoes for too long. Another really good thing about plain black flat shoes are that they are that they are a timeless piece and will never go out of style.

2. Heels
As this blog post is about the essential types of shoes a girl needs to have, I would be more specific and say all girls need to have either a pair of nude or black heels. These are elegant and go with all outfits. Heels are perfect for interviews, date night or a night out with the ladies. Unfortunately, heels are notorious for not being the most comfortable type of shoes to wear; however, they do add style and sophistication to any outfit. 

3. Trainers
Have a pair of really comfortable and durable trainers that you can wear to the gym, go running in or wear when doing your everyday errands. 

4. Boots
If you live in England, you will need a pair of boots to see you through the winter months. I would always recommend buying a good quality pair even if a bit on the pricy side. I bought these Russell and Bromley shoes in 2012- I have worn on travels and through all kinds of weather and yet, there is hardly any damage on them. They are incredibly comfortable and I know that there is still a lot of wear left in them.  

5. Statement 

Your statement shoes should reflect you and be something you enjoy looking at and enjoy wearing. They don’t have to be the nicest thing out there or the most comfortable thing you have, but they should be something that you love and something that reflects the true you.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Organising Tips

We recently had some major renovation work done on the house. This was exciting; I was given a blank canvas to do with whatever I wanted in my space. I could organise however I wanted…

One of my major problems is that I have too many things and not enough space for them (actually that sounds like a common problem most people have, so hopefully a lot of people will find this blog post helpful). I kept this in mind when coming up with good, workable storage solutions and organisational tools and hacks. 

Here are a few pictures of my room now and some tips on how I created a space that is organised and workable for me:

1. Declutter
Spend some time decluttering all that you don’t need or want anymore. Once you manage to streamline all that you have, you will find that this immediately frees up a lot more space for you. Make sure you resist the urge to fill up any gaps you find with new buys. 

2. Find Everything a Home
A place for everything and everything in its place should be your new motto. Find everything you own a home. Always make sure you put things back in their home when you’re done using them. Try to get into the habit of putting things away after you finish using them.

3. Accessibility
I have found that the more accessible something is, the more likely you are to use it. According to some people on the internet, most people use 20% of their things 80% of the time, I don’t know the original source of the information and I don’t know how accurate this information is but I do think there is some truth to this. I’ve found that one of the reason for this is accessibility. I used to store things away in suitcases but this meant that I would forget about those things and I would buy things instead of using what I already had. I now like to have everything I own quite easy to access so I know what I have and where it is. I also know what I don’t have and need to buy.

4.Sensible Shopping
As mentioned in previous point, I used to store thing in suitcases and forget about them. This invariably contributes to a culture of excess. And the more you have, the harder it is to keep your space organised. Identify what makes you spend money and address it. For me, it was forgetting about what I owned and where I stored it. So  I have addressed this. I also try very hard to not shop when bored or depressed.

5. A Little Bit Everyday
Do a little something everyday to keep your space neat and organised. Incorporate it into your routine so it doesn’t feel like a chore. This will help you keep your space looking very neat and easier to manage than if you were to tackle a massive  mess in one day

6. Make Your Own Rules

You’re trying to be organised to make your own life easier so make your own rules. No one knows your life better than you. No one knows what will work better for you than you do so make your things work for you in a way that only you will know how.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Waking Up Without Being Grumpy

Getting up early without becoming a grouch is a matter of habit and routine. If you find yourself continuously hitting that snooze button every morning and then dragging yourself out of bed and feeling that you’re just not a morning person, maybe it’s time to shake things up. Make waking up in the morning easier and enjoyable. Make this your most productive time of the day. Here are some tips that you can try to incorporate into your daily schedule to make for an easier waking up every morning.

1. Early to bed, early to rise...
I hate that saying. Actually, I hate most sayings because there is a rebellious part of me that just does not want to listen to sayings...who was the first person that said that? Why should I listen to said person? I make my own rules. Said person does not own me....But there is some wisdom to those words. Us humans need sleep for optimum functioning. Usually, people wanting to wake up early want to be functioning optimally. Getting a sufficient amount of sleep is important for your mind and body to reenergise and get focused for the challenges of the new day ahead.

2. Have something to look forward to.
It is a bit pointless to wake up early in the morning for the sake of waking up early in the morning. When you wake up early without having something to do, you just end up reaching for that snooze button and you tell yourself you’ll start waking up early from tomorrow. But for now; you just can’t do it. However, you can radicalise things but having something to look forward- it can be as simple as a TV show you enjoy watching and have pre-recorded or reading a chapter from a book you’re currently reading. Whatever it is, make sure it is something enjoyable and meaningful to you.

3. Wake up to a clean space.
I know I will always promote cleanliness at any given opportunity; however, I do firmly believe that this will greatly affect your mood in the morning. I’ve woken up in both an ultra messy room and a clean sanctuary of a bedroom and there is a vast difference in my mood. Messy rooms just make me want to go back to sleep- I don’t want to be aware of being in a messy space; whereas give me a clean, hotel-looking room and you will see me wake up with an excitement and eagerness to wake up and get my day started. Give it a go; see the difference it makes to your mood.

4. Set realistic alarms.
I’m so guilty of not doing this- I set several alarms in the morning- starting at 6.00am and ending at 7.30am. Honestly, those ninety minutes do not make me feel any more refreshed and relaxed, granted the alarm going off every half an hour does not help at all. Instead of being so optimistic with your alarm (or in my case sheer panic that I just won’t make it for the 7.30am alarm), give yourself a break and sleep in for a bit longer so when the alarm does go off, you get up. No more hitting that faux-friend of a snooze button. 

5. Ensure you’re eating and drinking well.
Nothing makes a person more grumpy than being hungry. Make sure you have three solid meals a day and are drinking plenty of water throughout. Waking up feeling hungry is not the best feeling. Be sure to have a good meal on returning home from work and a good, nutritious breakfast in the morning. Keeping the hunger pangs at bay will help you be less grouchy in the mornings.

Hope you found these tips useful. Happy waking everybody....

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Gracious Way of Saying ‘No’

No matter how much we want to impress others, life is not about pleasing other people rather it is about finding out who you are, what you want to do and where you want to go. Sometimes you will have people join you on your path and other times, you’ll take the journey on your own. Being a social butterfly is great but there are times when being a lone wolf is even better. So, here are some gracious ways to say ‘no’ and do your own thing.

1. Know what you are saying no to
Sometimes you just want to be lazy and not face the world. But before you do that, find out what you are saying no to. If it’s something that you might actually be interested in, reconsider the no. Don’t say no now and regret later.

 2. Explain your no.
You don’t have to ever explain yourself to anyone but do make sure that your no is a no and not a ‘I’m not sure’ or ‘I’m willing to change my mind’. Remember, in life a strong no is far better than a flakey yes. Make sure if you are going to say no to anyone, you leave no room for misinterpretation- you're saying no cause you mean no, simple as.

 3. Show Appreciation for Being Asked
Be appreciative of having to say no. Despite not being able to do what you are asked to, show appreciation for being asked and considered in the first place. Say thanks for asking but unfortunately you won’t be able to.

4. Don’t leave it to the last minute
If you know you’re unable to do something such as meet with your friends, be sure to let them know when you know. There is nothing ruder than getting a text from someone cancelling at the last minute, just as you are about to head out of the front door.

5. Don’t feel guilty.
Not everyone will like it when you stand your ground and say no. They won’t understand it and they may let you know. They may try to get you to change your mind. But you have already made up your mind; continue to stand your ground. If it’s a no, then let it be a no. Don’t waver. Be strong in your actions and your opinions.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Clean Workspace, Clean Mind

Work can sometimes feel so labour intensive and boring. However, by creating a calm, clean workspace, working on projects can seem more therapeutic than a monotonous chore. Here are some useful tips on creating a nice, clean working space.

1. Limit the Items on Your Desk

You should limit the number of items you have on your desk. Your desk should be the space where you are most productive. Identify the things that you need for any assignment or project; for most people, this would usually be their laptop/ computer and a planner. Keep these things out and store everything away.

 2. Don't Store Junk in Drawers

If you have any drawers in your desk, they should be used to store away things that you may use while working but aren’t always necessary. These could include stationary, envelopes, paper, chargers, SD cards, etc.. Identify what you want your drawers to be used for and do not deviate from this. Anything that you do not use may be ‘junk’ and to store them away in a drawer is what creates that junk drawer that you do not need. 

3. Get Rid of Distractions
The whole point of creating a clean work environment is so that you are able to increase your productivity. Keep your desk area free of anything that you might find distracting. For instance, you don’t need to have your phone next to you when working unless of course you are using some productivity apps or your have some notes on your phone that you need to work off from.

4. Become Paperless

Become as paperless as it reasonable to. Keep items such as your certificates, diplomas, passports and birth certificates. Consider how important the paper work that you may accumulated over time is. As you go through all the paper, think about what needs to be filed, shredded, recycled or discarded. Shred anything that has your personal details (i.e name, address, date of birth, etc..),file (or better yet, scan) any important document. You can discard the rest. 

5. Use a Notebook

As someone from the pen-to-paper generation, I always keep a notebook close to hand. You never know when inspiration kicks in and having a pen and pad on your desk, in your drawers or somewhere nearby means you are always ready to take any notes. Sometimes, using a notebook is also a lot faster and more therapeutic to use than the modern day techno-tools we have at our finger tips.