2020 has overall been a shitty year for nearly everyone! With a few magical moments within. So I think everyone is ready for a big reset to get ready for 2021. There are a few things you should do before you head into the new year, I’m starting my reset now to avoid it being busy around Christmas!
Grab a notepad and pen and take notes of the points you want to do to get ready for whatever 2021 has to bring!
I have 12 things that I like to focus on when I’m resetting (this can be done anytime in the year but something about the new year makes it special).
Space I like to reset my space and clear everything out to start fresh. To do this I make a list of everything I want to declutter, this includes my wardrobe, my wires, my kitchen cupboards, etc. I then make a list of everything I need to fix but just haven’t got around to, for me it’s things such as sewing the buttons back on my coat. Next, I make a list of things I want to improve in my home. These are things such as repotting any plants that have grown, adding any hooks I need. Now you should have a little/fairly big list of things you need to do over the next few weeks. To make the process a little easier I like to do one or two things at a time.
Admin This can be a fairly boring annoying day but it needs to be done! This is a list of things you need to do but just haven’t gone around to no matter how many times you write them on your todo list. This is things such as calling the dentist, calling your bill provider to see if there are any better deals (this often works so it’s definitely worth a try to lower your bills for the new year), listing that item on eBay etc. It’s basically just a list of little things that add up. I like to get through this list in one day so that I’m already in that mindset.
Rules Each year I set rules to stick to, it doesn’t always work but I have tried to make them a lot easier this year to ensure that I can stick to them. These are rules to keep you on track, to keep you motivated all year and to overall just to help you through your year. To help you set your own I will share mine. 1. If you feel yourself slacking, have one day to do so and then get back to it. 2. If something simple needs doing, do it as soon as possible (this is to stop the build-up of jobs that never get done) and 3. Plan ahead, look at the calendar daily and plan everything I can.
Goals These are your goals for the year. The key to this is to not set goals that are impossible to reach. Set yourself a few things that you want to achieve for the year. Once this is done you need to dissect the goals and make mini-goals of them. Then create a plan of how you are going to achieve them. This will make them feel easier to reach as well as giving you an idea on how to achieve great things because you can and you will!
Learn and improve This is a little list of everything I want to learn or improve on within the next year. This can be anything from improving your sewing skills to doing a sign language course. I like to do this as it gives me ideas on how to improve myself over the year. In my spare time, I’ll start to learn and improve on the things on the list.
Vision board This is just a little look at what you wish for your year to look like. For this, I like to create a Pinterest board and add any pins I like to this can be things from a new car to tattoos to holiday and so forth. It’s just a little thing to try to get you excited for the year ahead. You can print these off and put them in your house somewhere so you can see it every day to keep you motviated.
Declutter phone/laptop This is important for me as my phone and laptop get so full within a year and I end up not even using many of the apps on my phone. For this I like to start by deleting any app I don’t use or need. Then I go through my photos and delete any I don’t like or duplicates. Next, I back those photos up on my hard drive and then delete them all from my phone! To start fresh! I then go through my notes and delete any I don’t need. I then sort out the look of my phone and create a few folders and pages I like to look at.
Mind I like to do a little mind reset and think of who I am and who I want to be. This helps me think of what I would like to work on in my head such as improvement to my happiness or how to feel less stressed. Once you have a few things in the list of your head write things down that you feel will help with improving that aspect of you. For example, one of my things is to improve my happiness. Within that list, I have things such as singing in the car, meditating, practising gratitude, and lots more.
Books to read This is simple, just a list of a few books you definitely want to read within the year. My list is full of self-improvement and educating books but it doesn’t have to be. Make a list of any books you would love to read. Once you have this list, pick one and buy it ready! One of the books i have in my list is you are a badass.
Routines I like to try and get into good routines and habits but recently I have been setting the bar too high and haven’t been able to stick to them for long. So for me, this section was thinking about what goes wrong and restarting my routines. My plan is to have a good morning routine as well as nighttime routine. These don’t have to be complicated and will differ depending on whether your a morning or night time person! I’m definitely a morning person so my morning routine is much longer and has most of what I want to do on it.
Calendar plan Buy a big wall calendar and write down all of the important dates! Now write in your workdays if you know them. For the things that can change such as work dates and other plans I only like to plan two months as you never know what can change. Use this calendar to help you remember your dentist appointments and any birthdays coming up! Stay organised all year round.
Master lists This is a list of all of the different things that I do often. I have a weekly todo, a cleaning list, monthly jobs. For these just write everything you would normally do for your list on your iPad or laptop and print them out! Keep a few copies safe ready for you to use when needed.
My last tip and trick for getting ready for the new year are to look at your life and picture your perfect life and try to make it happen! Your dreams can come true if you work hard and stay on track!
First, you need to know how much money you need to save.
To know this you need to know where you’re going, how long you’re planning to travel, what type of accommodation you’ll be staying in, what transport you need as well as what the main attractions and things you want to do are.
So once you know where you’re going you should do a little research about how much everyday things are such as food, accommodation and transport in that area. If your going to more than one place try to do a mini-plan of where and how long you’ll be spending in that place this will give you an idea of how much money you’ll be spending there.
Figure out how long you want to travel for, you might end up not knowing any way but plan how long you think you’ll need money to last for such as if you are planning to get a job out there you still need to plan for how long you can last with no job as plan change all the time. When I first travelled with my boyfriend we planned to get a job within the first month. We didn’t end up working at all and just lived off the money we saved which for us at the time was the best thing to do. So make sure you’re open to travelling without working too.
Plan on average how much your transport is going to cost you such as if you know you need to get a couple of flights and then a boat etc. Plan how much these will be and always include the price of a flight back home so that you have that money whenever you need, as again plans do change!
If you want to do lots and see lots of different attractions look at how much they are in that area so there aren’t any surprises along the way and if you find the main attraction you wanted to do is just too much out of budget it’s heartbreaking so try to know the prices on average beforehand.
Once you know the prices of all of these things you properly have a little number in your head on how much money you’ll need. Now add a bit of bonus money on to that, this could be an extra £100 for a short trip or £1000 for a trip that’s a little longer.
Now you’ll need to look into how much money you earn and figure out how long it will take you to save that money up, you need to take into consideration what you already spend weekly.
So this trip is important to you and that’s what you have to remind yourself of each time you pull out your purse or wallet. Is this trip more important than this coffee you don’t really need or is it more important than that shirt you won’t even wear there? That way you’ll be able to save by cutting out the things that aren’t necessary. I use this for my life daily no matter if I have travelling plans.
Take your bills (everything you HAVE to spend money on) such as rent, phone bill, petrol etc… and work out how much you are spending monthly. Take this away from how much you are earning monthly and you should be left with spare money that you can put away to save for your trip.
My next tip is to always take the opportunities you are given. What I mean by this is if your work colleagues are wanting a cover for a shift, go for it. Someone needs help with babysitting, offer your time. Always try to earn a little more on the side if you have time to, this will help you hit your goal quicker.
Here are 20 of the best tips to cut your costs when saving for travel
No more coffee. Don’t buy any coffee when you can make one for so much cheaper at home. You’ll find yourself a little surprised when you realise how much money you’re spending on coffee.
Beauty services. Things such as getting your nails done, eyelash extensions, eyebrow tints etc. By cutting out these few things you can save up to £70 every two-three weeks. Do it yourself for cheaper if you need them.
Don’t buy anything you can’t afford. Don’t buy that car on lease just because it’s nice, don’t buy the brand new iPhone on an extortionate plan. Try to never go into debt with things like these as it’s not worth it. Just think of the fun you’ll have when you’re travelling when you want to fork out for a new car.
Eat at home. Food is so much cheaper when you cook for yourself so try to minimise eating out when you’re saving and you’ll save so much more!
Clothes. Try to limit how much you spend on clothes and how many you buy. These all add up and if you’re planning to travel somewhere hot you’ll end up in a bikini most days anyway so save that money!
Drink less. We all know that a vodka lemonade is super cheap to make at home compared to the drinks at a bar. So try to have a few at home to save a little or try to cut down how much you drink which is really good for you anyway.
Cancel your gym membership. Working out at home will save more money each month.
Stop smoking or at least cut-down. Not only with your body thank you but your pocket will too!
Try to cut down your household bills. Use less electricity, water and gas within your home. When you try to cut down what you use your overall household bills will drop dramatically so save money and the environment with this top tip.
Cut down other bills too. Look at how much your spending on your phone bill, food shopping etc. Try to cut down where you can. Learn some cheaper recipes and they will serve you a lifetime of cheap and easy meals.
Walk more. Try to cut down how much you spend on petrol and public transport. Where you can walk, cycle or skate. I use this rule ‘if you can walk there in 30 minutes, and if it takes a little longer to cycle or skate’. This obviously doesn’t work all of the time but a lot of the time try it out. It will also benefit your health and if you cancel that gym membership this is a great alternative. This helps save the environment as well as money.
Pack your lunches. Try to bulk make your lunches for the week and take them to work to save money where you might have been buying lunches daily. When you are making your lunches try to make them healthy too so this is a two in one tip.
Start a side hustle. Try to earn a little extra money on the side. This could be selling some artwork, selling some clothes, selling a service such as graphics design. This can be anything but research and ensure you can offer something good so people buy it and come back again.
Do free things. If you’re a social butterfly or just love going out on dates that’s great but try to swap the things you do to free or cheaper things near you. This could be going for a picnic, spending the day at the beach or park, go sightseeing, go for a hike or bike ride, watch a movie at home, etc.
Look for discounts. Try to buy things when they are on offer or if you have a discount code etc. And if you don’t have one ask for one! If you have a big social media following, see if brands will gift you things for a review etc. Always remember the saying ‘the cheeky boy got the toffee’ it’s basically saying those that ask, receive.
Make a budget and stick to it. Remind yourself of what the budget is for and this should get you to be able to stick to it monthly, don’t let yourself say well it’s just one coffee or just one lunch I brought this week as everything adds up. And it adds up quickly when you don’t try to keep track.
Carry a water bottle. When you carry a water bottle around you lose the need to buy a drink often, cutting out that cost as well as the plastic bottles that go alongside it.
Cancel any unnecessary memberships or subscriptions. I did this when I was saving to travel, this could be cutting out Netflix, Spotify, amazon prime etc. If I’m being honest I cut out all of these and then within a month realised how much I used and loved Spotify so I got it back. This is ok as you need to figure out what you do need in life and these needs and wants are ok but ensure that you are cutting back when you can.
Invest in spare change. With my spare change around the house, I always put it in a travel jar even if I haven’t got a trip planned. It’s just there for when I need it. Do this with your bank too. Many banks actually do it for you so you might want to look into it and change over. But an alternative and what I do is check my mobile banking each day or every other day and transfer little by little into a savings account.
Keep yourself motivated. Remind yourself of the trip ahead and get yourself excited to save more for it. Try to picture each bit of savings going towards a beautiful Airbnb on a beach in Bali or flying through the sky to your dream destination. Picture your money as the trip and you’ll find it easier to save.
Save when and where you can. You can take these tips and use them for your whole life when it comes to anything you’re saving for. In my life, I use my tips nearly 24/7 as I think it’s important to have a chunk of savings for your goals in the future anyway. Another tip for this is to always have something you’re saving up for no matter how big or small.
Save everything you can and enjoy your travels!
Keep an eye out for a future blog on getting the most out of your money when your travelling.
Make Christmas even more special with these festive Christmas traditions. Try one or two or them all 30 if you have enough time! These are such fun to get the whole family in the Christmas spirit and to enjoy the fun and magic around Christmas no matter the age.
I’m 21 and still do many of these.
Christmas eve box – Fill a box for everyone each year of Christmas things for Christmas eve, some ideas for the box are matching PJs for everyone, a little chocolate treat, a movie, a book, hot chocolate mix (we love the melting chocolate spoons), Christmas ornament/decoration, socks, Santa hat, ingredients for reindeer food and anything you want to add, don’t add too much just a few things to make Christmas eve special.
Advent calendar – Nothing is like the Christmas countdown to open a door to find a tiny chocolate. These are so special and a great countdown for anyone. You can buy advent calendars with anything in! Or even better make your own, fill it with a chocolate coin, love notes, little gifts, something different each day, jokes, homemade coupons, activities for the day such as today we get to put up the tree or write Santa a letter, you can fill these with anything and it just makes it that more special. I do this for my boyfriend each year and I think he likes it better than his gifts on the day.
Movie marathon – It’s not Christmas without snuggling on the sofa with snacks and treats for a movie marathon of your favourite Christmas movies. Each person picks their favourite movie and them all together.
Make a day of putting up the tree – Spend the whole day doing Christmas things when you are putting up your tree. This was one of my favourite days when I was little. We would put Christmas music on, have chocolate and snacks out, and then spend the morning walking around the Christmas tree lot picking the best tree to take home (we also always brought one way too big and had to chop the top off the make it fit in the house), before or after this go to the shops to pick out one or two new baubles or decorations.
Games – Fill your Christmas afternoon or night with games! Play charades, scrabble, Uno, anything you can to have fun and make memories together (I’ll be doing a post on Christmas games soon so keep an eye out)
Christmas desserts – Spend an afternoon in December making Christmas themed treats and desserts. Make anything together and enjoy doing it. Make a cake with Christmas decorations on, tree-shaped cookies, candy canes, etc there’s so many you can choose from.
Christmas eve dinner – Each of you picks something easy or hard to make for Christmas eve, spend the morning preparing it together. Someone does the starter, someone else for the main and someone else for the desert, don’t tell each other what you’re making but cook for each other and make a fun Christmas eve meal. Get the children involved by getting them to make the dessert or make teams with the parents to make something fun. If you have a small family just pick between you who is doing the main, starter, sides and dessert. Alter this in any way that suits you. In our house, we each make a fun dessert for everyone to try as it’s a little tradition in our house to have a chip shop for dinner before Christmas.
Save a thought for those less fortunate – you can do this by sparing some cash to buy some Christmas gifts, sparing some food or some time to volunteer on Christmas eve or day. Anything to help is muchly appreciated by everyone in need.
Ugly jumpers – Have a competition each Christmas day by who can find the ugliest jumper. Do a secret Santa type buy or buy your own. Spread some smiles with ugly jumpers.
Write to Santa – Get the children to write Santa a letter, go down to your post box and let them post it off. A bonus tip for this tradition is if he writes back to the children.
Elf on the shelf – Have fun doing elf on the shelf, see what mischief the elf can get up to. This activity is so exciting and funny for the children to wake up to each morning to see what he did at night. It’s also fun for the adults to find naughty things the elf can do.
Make gifts or decorations – Spend a day or afternoon making gifts or decorations together. Put some Christmas music on and have some fun snacks available.
Paper Chain countdown – This is another fun countdown you can make together as a family. Do 24 links in a paper chain and start ripping them off daily. To make it more exciting write a note on each one, this can be a joke, an idea for a good deed for everyone that day, a challenge etc.
Go to a Christmas market – This is always a great thing to get you in the Christmas spirit, I love doing this each year. We spend the evening wandering and looking at the little stalls and filling our tummies with yummy foods. We don’t really buy anything other than some dinner and always get a chocolate melting spoon for our hot chocolates on Christmas eve.
Be Santa – Drop little anonymous gifts or homemade treats to people in your neighbourhood that are alone. This might just make their Christmas.
Invite someone lonely over for dinner – If you know of someone that’s alone and has no family for Christmas invite them over for dinner. This is such a lovely thing to do to spread the Christmas cheer. It can’t be nice to spend a special day feeling lonely. Even better if you get them a little gift to open too.
Make a gingerbread house – Have a competition on who can make the best or make a giant one together to decorate. This can be used as dessert on Christmas day.
Send Christmas cards – To everyone you know and anyone else that might be lonely. If you know anyone in the neighbourhood that might not get any cards, make their day better by sending them one, you might just make a friend out of this.
Make a gift for each other – Christmas doesn’t just have to be spending lots of money on gifts, try making one for each other. One of my favourite gifts that I got from my boyfriend was a picture he made for me.
Hot chocolate station – Make a tray or side that is a holiday hot chocolate station. Add Christmas mugs, jars of toppings, different flavours, marshmallows, etc. This makes those cold nights a little bit more perfect.
Handprint memories – Buy a plain Christmas table cloth/tree skirt or something that you get out every year at Christmas and draw around the hands of the children each year, write their names inside with the year. Watch their little hands grow every year.
Notepad favourites – Buy a notepad and get everyone to write their favourite thing from that Christmas, repeat this each year and look back on the memories in future Christmases. You can do this from very young, ask the children their favourite thing about Christmas and write it down. It is a very beautiful book of memories.
Letters – Parents write a letter each year about the children’s years and their Christmas, keep these to give back when they are older. Make a box full of these and give them as a Christmas gift in their 18th year or 21st year. The children will love looking back on their years.
Christmas boxes- Each year make a Christmas box full of cookies, treats, little gifts etc and give out to charities or hospital workers, police workers, dog homes, children in hospitals, etc anyone that works or is away from home on Christmas day. Then on Christmas morning take ten minutes to drop it off to spread Christmas cheer. This is a great way to give back to the people that help us in daily life or just people that might need cheering up.
Sparkling letters – Get the children to write a letter to Santa, put it in an envelope and when they aren’t looking put in some shaved off sparklers. Then go outside and get a grown-up to light it on fire and say if it sparkles on your nice list. This is so fun and exciting for little ones to know if they are on the naughty or nice list.
Prepare Christmas dinner – Prepare everything you can together the night before, this will make a job easier Christmas morning meaning the ‘chef’ of the house can also enjoy the day more. As well as getting the little ones to help out with making the dinner.
Reindeer food- Make your own reindeer food (bird food with eco-friendly glitter) and sprinkle it in the garden Christmas eve so they have a treat when they land, you can also leave ‘hoofprints’ on the ground for the children to see.
Treats for Santa – Just before the children go to bed on Christmas eve get them to leave treats and a note for Santa on the fireplace. In my house, we have always done a carrot, mince pie and a red bull as they give you wings.
Santa’s footprints – Make ‘snowy’ boots prints for the children to find on Christmas day. Make a trail from the fireplace to where the stockings are. You can make the prints by dipping some large work boots in flour and printing them on the floor.
Flightpath – Make a flight path for Santa to know where to land. You can use old jam jars with tealights in all in a row so Santa knows where to stop. Lay them out with the children before bed and light them together.
I hope you enjoy these traditions and take them up in your home.
Let me know which ones you love! And which ones go well with your family.
Merry Christmas … Everyone deserves a very happy one this year!
105 habits you need to live a better life. This list is full of things you can do to step up your life and make it the best you can have. Try a few or all of these things but remember habits take time and it’s best to try one or two at a time so you don’t get too overwhelmed.
Wake up early
Make your bed daily
Drink more water
Meditate every day
Plan your days the night before
Make and fill in a life binder and keep track of your life
Plan your weeks, months and year!
Exercise daily or at least 3 times a week
Get fresh air for at least 30 minutes a day
Try to change negative into positives, when something goes wrong or you get frustrated try to change your thoughts to be positive. An example out of my life was that my boss wanted me to walk the dog in the evening, yes I was frustrated as I didn’t want to and wanted to finish work but I changed this to a positive by thinking at least I’m getting more exercise, fresh air as well as the puppy having a walk.
Don’t worry about things you can’t control
Laugh and smile more and at anything and everything
Make a skincare routine and stick to it
Try to go for natural products
Try to shop eco friendly
Put suncream every day no matter the weather
Deep condition your hair every one or two weeks
Check-in on yourself – how are you feeling? Write it down
Make time for self-care
Dress in clothes you love daily
Pick your outfits out the night before or even better for the whole week
Put things back as soon as your finished with them
Declutter your wardrobe whenever you see something you don’t like or haven’t worn in a long time
Read self-improvement books
Learn new skills with online courses
Find a hobby you love
Listen to happy music
Dance! All the time
Be confident and if your not, fake it till you make it
Speak up for what you believe in
Always remember if you have nothing nice to say say nothing
Keep a good posture
Be kind to everyone
Visit and call your loved ones
Do things alone
Get out of your comfort zone at least once a month even if its a tiny thing
Say no when you don’t want to do something or go somewhere
Do nothing without feeling guilty
Learn to cook yummy and healthy meals
Spend less time on your phone
Get a good night sleep
Fail at things, you’ll learn so much
Set goals for each week, month, year and your life and make a plan to achieve them
Leave earlier to ensure your not late
Learn how to manage your time
Learn how to be productive
Make a schedule
Track your finance and make a budget
Save 20% (at least) of your income (try to keep £1000 in your savings for emergencies)
Surround yourself with positive successful people, you’ll become more successful
Treat yourself kindly
Try to get organised
Make a morning routine
Set goals in each section of life – financial, carer, family, friendships, your happiness, future
Go the extra mile
Learn how to handle stress
Read the news
Finish what you start
Make a master to-do list – Things you need to do but in no rush try to complete at least one thing every two weeks
Write everything down you don’t want to forget
Try to go vegan one or two days a week (even better if you can do more)
Write 3 things your grateful for every day
Purge your social media from things that don’t inspire you
Eat less junk food
Try new recipes
Take the stairs
Take responsibility for yourself and your actions
If you can afford it don’t buy it
When you can walk, cycle or skate
Drink less alcohol and take less/no drugs
Try not to drink as much coffee
Deep clean your home often
Watch less tv
Get rid of the tv in your bedroom
Open your windows, get fresh air and air the room
Learn how to control your temper
Express yourself in your clothes, makeup, bedroom, car, EVERYTHING
Pack your lunch instead of buying it every day
Read your emails
Limit your screen time
Cut out toxic people
Learn to love yourself
Learn your love language and your partners (if you have one or when you get one)
Celebrate your individuality
Laugh at yourself
Compliment yourself daily
Know its ok to have a bad day or to be lazy from time to time
Know its ok when things don’t go to plan
Don’t eat in bed
Go offline (no phone) for 1 day each week using this time for quality time with loved ones or as the time for self-love
Hug your partner, roommate, friends, children, parents, etc at least once a day. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance and 12 hugs a day for growth.
Take photos, videos or everything and everyone in your life. You’ll appreciate it in the future.
In the winter it is so important to layer up! Especially in England as it is cold and rainy most of the time.
Here is a packing list for a trip to England, Europe or anywhere cold. Try to pack light to make the trip easier but don’t forget the essentials to keep you warm.
Pants – bring as many as the days you are staying and then add two or three pairs.
Socks – Always bring more socks than you need. They might get wet or you might need to layer up. Which leads me to the point of bringing thick socks!
Fluffy socks – These will keep you cosy when you’re chilling out in the evening or keep your toes warm when you wake up.
Bras – You know how many you need of these depending on how often you change them, don’t lie it’s not daily!
Pjs – Find some thick PJs to take as the nights get cold. You want to have some good quality PJs to keep you warm in the night.
Long sleeves – These make a great base layer if you don’t want to wear thermals. Bring enough for half or the whole trip depending on the weather of the destination. A great tip is to pair these with a short sleeve for the day.
Short sleeves – This is a layer above your long selves or thermals so try to bring ones that will match the other t-shirts.
Jumper – This is also a great thing to put on over your shirts to keep you warm and stylish.
Hoodie – The hood will come in handy if your trip is to England
Jacket – You defiantly want the warmest one you have. This layer is great for a day that isn’t too cold.
Thermal – You’re going to want these for winter, this is a base layer. If you don’t have any try to thrift some or find some that are black or white or a neutral colour.
Dress – If you like wearing dresses just bring some thick tights to wear with it. Try to bring a jumper dress or a thick one that you might be able to add a layer underneath.
Trousers – thick comfortable ones that will match everything is perfect! You will only need one pair depending on how long you stay.
Joggers – These are best to stay comfortable and cosy when it’s cold outside.
Jeans – Bring a pair that will match everything!
Thermals – Thermals will be your base layer so bring some that can fit under your other trousers.
Waterproof trousers – Test these out before your trip and ensure that they are waterproof. These will be great for any walks or trips in the rain.
Waterproof jacket – you’ll be using this often (especially in England) so pick one that you love.
Skarf – This will be needed for those chilly nights and frosty mornings.
Gloves – Keep your hands cosy in the cold.
Hat – A woolly hat will be your best friend on a cold evening!
Coat – You’ll probably be wearing this every day and every moment outside so make sure you get one that is comfortable, warm and stylish.
Boots – Make sure they are waterproof and comfy. Your toes will be way too cold for any other shoe most of the time.
Trainers – These are great for when you need to give your feet a break from the boots!
So Halloween is coming up fast! Faster than you properly released so here are some super fun and easy spooky things to help you through the haunted holiday.
Five last-minute costumes
With all of the stress of this year you need something quick and easy, here are five fun and easy Halloween costume ideas with instructions on how to make them.
Mummy- This is by far the easiest last-minute costume and can be done with most things you would normally have in your home. Grab some toilet tissue or bandages and dress yourself or your child in white, cream or light brown. Try to stick with neutral colours. And wrap them up in tissue or bandages! It’s as simple as that. Just make sure if you’re using toilet tissue it isn’t raining.
Rain cloud- For this costume, you need a big hat or an umbrella, cotton wool, string and blue paper/card or material. Glue the cotton wool onto the hat or umbrella (I love the umbrella one especially if you’re going trick or treating.) and try to make it look like a cloud. Next tie the string to the edges of the hat or umbrella and cut the blue card or material to a raindrop shape, pock a hole in the top and tie them to the strings. Dress your child or yourself in white, black or grey. Add some welly boots to finish the look.
Scuba diver- All you need for this is 2 2liter empty bottles, goggles, small rubber tube (small hose pipe), string, tape and paint. Paint the bottles any colour, as well as the rubber tube (the tube is best black but you can pick any colour). Tape the two bottles together next to each other. Poke a hole in the bottom of the bottles and thread the string through and pull it out at the top, and tie a knot but leave enough room for arms to fit through. Make it like a kind of backpack. Next, attach the rubber tube to the top of one of the bottles with the tape and if your child still uses a dummy tape the dummy handle to the rubber tube. Then dress your child in black, add the googles, and put on the bottle backpack and your scuba diver is good to go!
Spider- For this, you need two pairs of tights black or brown, something to stuff them with (socks is a good thing for this) and finally something to attach the ‘spider legs’ to the t-shirt. Dress your children in black or brown to match the tights. Cut the tights in half down the leg and tie a knot in the end with two holes. Turn that one inside out and fill them all with socks or stuffing. You need six of these but depending on how big your child is, you can get away with making three and attaching them at the back in the middle so they stick out and make six legs (the other two legs will be your child’s arms.) Attach the spider legs to the t-shirt by sewing them down the middle back of the t-shirt, or use good tape or iron-on adhesive. And there is your simple spider costume.
Bunch of grapes- This might be my favourite simple costume. All you need is purple or green grapes and a needle and thread. Blow up lots of balloons, you’ll need more the bigger your child is and then sew the little knot at the bottom (be sure not to poke and pop the balloon) to a long t-shirt or dress. That is all! You have a little bunch of grapes.
Five fun activities
Here are five fun activities for you and your family to play at Halloween. Enjoy your time together and collect moments.
Jelly bobbing- For this activity you need- Jelly (green or red is best but any colour will do.) and wrapped up sweets and a large container. Fill the container up a little bit with jelly and then drop in a few sweets when it’s nearly set so that the sweets are spaced out and harder to get. repeat this until the container is full. Then set up the activity for your children to take turns to try and get the sweets and push their face into the jelly. This was an activity I remember I loved from when I was little! Make sure you have a towel on hand. It can get messy!
Apple bobbing- For this activity you need- Apple, large container and water. Fill the container with water and drop a few apples in. Have a towel to hand again. Let the children go wild and dunk their heads trying to get the apples. Then let them have the apples as a snack for a little bit of fruit this Halloween season.
Toilet paper mummy game- For this activity, all you need is toilet tissue. This is a group game so see who wins the race and see who makes the best mummy!
Pumpkin patch stomp – For this activity, all you need is orange balloons and prizes or sweets. Blow up orange balloons and fill with a few sweets or prizes then let the fun begin as the children run around popping the balloons.
Pin the bowtie on the skeleton – For this activity, all you need is large paper or card, paint or pencils and some blue tac. Draw or paint a large skeleton and a bow tie to fit and that’s it. Blindfold the player and spin them around then see how they do at matching the bow tie on to the skeleton.
Five arts and crafts
Five super simple and easy crafts to do with the whole family.
Flying ghost – This is a super easy craft project you can do with children any age. You need a paper cup, white paint, string, glue and paper or tissue paper. First, you need to paint the upside-down cup white and then glue the paper or tissue paper on the top, so that it sort of drapes over the top, I also found that normal tissues work great too! Lastly, pock a hole in the top of the cup (bottom) and thread the string through. Tie it in a knot and hang it anywhere around the house. These are great little ghosts to make your home spooky this Halloween. Bonus tip: get a black pen or googly eyes to add eyes to your ghosts.
Spider web – This is a little more difficult but still can be done with toddlers and older children. All you need is lolly sticks, white paint, glue and white string or wool. Get two lolly sticks and glue them together in the middle to make an X. Then once that is dry paint the sticks white. When the paint is dry tie one end of the string or wool, either work well, to the centre of the X and start wrapping the string around the X. Make sure you or the children are threading up and down so that the string is on both sides of the X. Tie the end to the lolly sticks or glue it down and that it! Super simple. This makes a spider web that looks so cute hanging down or in the corner. Try to find little toy spiders or make some of your own to go with the webs.
Handprint spiders – For this, you need black paint and paper also a great thing to add is googly eyes and black glitter. This is an easy fun activity that children of any age and development can do. You need to paint the child’s hand and fingers (not including the thumb) and print it on the paper and then paint the same hand again and print with the fingers facing the other way (for the spider legs) and the palms matching up to make the spider’s body. Cut it out and there you have handprint spiders! Add glitter or googly eyes to extend the fun.
Pumpkin mosaic- You need paper, different orange (or any) coloured paper/tissue paper, a pen and glue. To do this you need to draw a pumpkin on the white paper. Once that is drawn you can cut the different shades of orange paper out into tiny squares or other shapes. The next step is to glue the little bits of paper to the pumpkin drawing to make an orange mosaic one. This activity can be done with children of all ages and development levels. Bonus tip: if you don’t have orange paper but orange and white paint, mix some different shades of orange and paint some paper beforehand. Let this dry and cut it into small shapes and you can use this to mosaic with.
Monster faces – This activity needs paper or card in a few different colours, glue and scissors- Firstly draw a couple of different monster head shapes. Then you need to cut out different shapes to make faces for monsters that can be triangle eyes, spiky teeth, button eyes etc. Let your imagination go wild. Try to do different sizes and colours and let your child make their own monsters. They will love picking the different face parts to put together to make a monster face.
Five Halloween dinners
Spicy up your dinner this Halloween with these fun and scary recipes.
Stuffed jack o lantern peppers- You need peppers, a knife and anything you want to fill them with! First, you need to cook or prepare the filling for the peppers. Then cut the top off the peppers gently and cut out all of the seeds. The next step is where the fun begins, calve the pepper like a pumpkin. Fill the jack o lantern peppers with the prepared filling, wrap them in foil and pop them into a preheated oven at 180 fans for 30 minutes or until tender. Then take off the foil and cook them uncovered for 5-10 minutes.
Mummy dogs- This is super simple. You need puff pastry, one egg and sausages. Cut the pastry into thin strips (about 1-2 cm) and wrap them around the sausages. Brush them with a beaten egg and pop them in the oven for 25-30 minutes (until the sausage is cooked and the pastry looks golden)
Potato heads- This super creepy dish is so easy to make, all you need is medium potatoes. Preheat the oven to 220c or 200 fans. Carve a face into the potatoes as you would do with a pumpkin. Do holes for eyes, nose and mouth in each potato. Pop them on a baking tray and drizzle them with oil. Make sure all of the faces are facing upwards and roast them for 40-45 minutes until golden and crispy.
Puking Pumpkin- Carve a pumpkin that looks like he is sick (do a wide mouth), and pop him to the side for later. Now you need to decide and make whatever you would like for the filling. It can be anything, I like to do it with chilli or spaghetti bolognese. Make sure you use a large tray or cover the table with cling film before you start this next step. Place the pumpkin where you would like it and pour what you have made into the pumpkin and watch how it pours out of his mouth, looking like he is being sick. I suggest doing this when you are ready to eat unless the dish can be eaten cold.
Monster pizza- This is a very easy meal to make. You can either buy made pizza or make them yourself. Cut up lots of different toppings and let everyone make their own monster pizzas by adding the topping to look like a scary face.
Five Halloween treats
Add these to your spooky night to hit your sweet tooth.
Ghost strawberries- You need strawberries and white chocolate and milk chocolate. Wash your strawberries and dip them in melted white chocolate. Make sure they are covered with chocolate and set them out to dry. Once they are dry melt the milk chocolate and use the tip of a chopstick to dot some eyes on the ghosts.
Rice crispy brains- You need rice crispies, butter and marshmallows. This recipe is to make 12 servings so alter to fit your needs. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan on low heat. Add 10oz of marshmallows, and stir until melted. Remove from the heat and add 6 cups of rice crispies. Let this cool until it can be handled and then shape them into balls and try to make a brain shape. Pop in the fridge or an airtight container until serving. Bonus tip: add a drop or two of red food colouring for pink brains.
Witches fingers- for this you can use chocolate finger biscuits or bake your own. If you bake your own, roll them into sausage shapes (to look like fingers). Next, dip them in white chocolate with green food colouring in and add jam to the fingertips where the nail will go. For the nails, you can use almond nuts or raisins, (anything in that sort of shape). The end result will look like the witches fingers have blood on.
Pumpkin cake pops- This is super simple, just make pop cakes and dips them in orange icing or white chocolate with orange food colouring in. Decorate the pumpkins as you wish by adding little faces with black icing.
Graveyard cups- for this you need instant chocolate pudding, Oreos (with the filling removed), tombstone shaped cookies and black icing or melted milk chocolate as well as clear plastic cups. Fill the cups with the instant pudding. Crush the Oreos with a rolling pin to make them look like dirt. Add these to the top. Decorate the tombstone cookies with RIP and push that into the pudding, not too much as you want it to stick out like a grave. Now it’s done, keep it in the fridge until serving and add gummy worms to make it more exciting.
Have a great Halloween everyone and don’t forget to collect moments with your loved ones!
Do you keep losing things or the house just can’t stay tidy?
This is a sign you NEED to declutter.
First things first you need to remember this is a big process and won’t happen overnight (unless you are on a roll and don’t stop!) It’s a big job but no one else is going to do it.
The first thing you need to do is think of your goal for the declutter. This could be anything such as keeping the house tidy, finding things easier or just to get rid of things you no longer need or use. My goal was to keep the house tidy easier and let me tell you it WORKS. So step number one, think of your goal and keep reminding yourself of why you are doing this.
How to know where to start? You won’t! Start wherever is easiest for you. For me, it was the room with the least stuff, my bathroom. When you start decluttering you will find yourself keeping lots of things and finding it hard to throw things out. This is ok and you will get better but it’s best to try to start off strong and just go for it. You often won’t miss the things you get rid of. I know I didn’t miss the 8 bottles of hotel body wash that I had stored under the sink. Step number two start small and possibly with the smallest room or cupboard you have.
How to know what to keep. Ask yourself these three questions 1. How often do you use it? 2. When was the last time you used it? 3. Do you love it? If the answer to number one is every 4 months or so… you properly don’t need it. If the answer to number two is that you’re not sure or about 4 months ago… you probably don’t need it. And if the answer to number three is no… you definitely don’t need it! So that’s how to know what to keep, think of these questions for everything, clothes, shoes, furniture, nic nacks and bits and bobs.
You need to also look at the condition of it. Is it worn out or down? Is it broken or damaged? You need to make sure that you are not keeping broken things unless you can repair them. But if it has been broken for a while and you have been meaning to fix it.. Will you ever get around to it or will it be sitting there for another 6 months. You might need to just get rid of it.
What to do with the things you are getting rid of. This again needs to be condition checked. If it is in bad condition or broken you need to bin it but if the condition isn’t bad you can probably sell or donate it. If you can think of a friend or family member that would love it and make use of it pass it along to them. Sell it if you can. What I like to do is everything I’m getting rid of and know I can sell. I take photos of them there and then and list them on eBay or other sites that night and hopefully, they will be gone within two weeks. This is a great way to earn a little bit of cash as well as pass on things you once loved to others that can love them again.
Four boxes will rule your decluttering life. Try and find four boxes or bin bags for this step. I use storage baskets. You want a KEEP box, BIN box, GIVEAWAY box and a SELL box. Then fill these boxes and tidy up as you go. I often find it best to sort from one side to the other and keep it tidy as I go. I like to ensure that the area I have just decluttered is tidied and clean when I am sorting it out rather than leaving it until last to tidy and clean the whole space. Often decluttering a room doesn’t happen in one day and you don’t want to leave it a state when you’re exhausted from the day.
Put everything back in the best place. So when you are decluttering try to think of what you are keeping and where the best place for that would be. I suggest doing it one step at a time and try to organise your things too. When you are putting things in your keep box try to find a home for them, this is the best time to think of storage options, I always find it easier if everything is in baskets or storage bins.
Keep your important documents safe! This is what started my whole declutter as I couldn’t find an important document and so I started decluttering until I found it. If you’re smart unlike me you probably already have this which is great but if you’re like me you need to buy or find a folder that you can keep everything important in. Like if I ask you on the spot now do you know where your passport is? Do you? Or what about your car’s registration? So everything that is important, you need to keep in one place in a folder. If there’s many in your household you might want a folder with different pockets to stay organised.
The next thing you will learn when decluttering and trying to keep the house organized along the way is that storage baskets and bins are your heart’s desire. These are the salt to the pepper when decluttering your home. Use them in all situations and try to sort items and keep them organised. Also, a bonus tip is to use sandwich bags to sort wires and keep them neatly away.
Stop holding on to expensive things even if you don’t use or love them anymore. It is often found that if something is expensive people will usually keep it even if they don’t have a use for it anymore, this is because they don’t want to lose the money they spent on it. I’m not saying bin every tv in your house but SELL everything you don’t need or use anymore. You’ll get a bit of the money back and it will help clear your home of the things you don’t use or like.
Make decluttering a lifestyle not a one-time thing. Once your house is in order it is a job itself to keep it that way so you need to ensure that you keep at it so it doesn’t just get filled up with things. Try to sort cupboards and wardrobes often to take out the things you don’t need sooner rather than waiting for a build-up of things. For this one of the best ways to keep track of everything is to do a list of the rooms, cupboards and under beds with the dates next to them when you last decluttered and then you can see when it was last done and when you think they might need doing again. It’s better to get on top and stay there then to start all over again.
Don’t buy more things! This is an easy step. Every time you go to buy something make sure you remember decluttering and ensure that you do definitely need it as well as are going to use it and love it. Never buy anything if you’re not 100% happy with it as it will just end up being left around and decluttered in the next few weeks anyway. This step will save you money and make you realise that you don’t need to buy as much as you thought therefore helping towards saving the planet.
Enjoy your clutter-free home!! Now your home’s rid of everything you don’t need, use or love, enjoy it. Try new things and switch it up, work out how your home can work best for you. At the end of the day, your house is your home and you can have it and use it however you like. It’s yours. Love it.
Live a simple, fun and clutter-free life. By decluttering your home you will find your head is also decluttered. I will be posting tips and tricks on decluttering your mind and phone on my blog and Instagram so be sure to check that out.
Well, these are the best things I learned when I was travelling, nope not the whole world, not yet anyway, but south-east Asia and Australia.
I set off for Australia when I was just 18, with so many dreams and adventures waiting for me I was bursting with excitement. I had been wanting to travel and explore since I was little, now my dream was coming true and I couldn’t believe it. I learnt so much on this trip that has helped me in my life overall. I also learnt that I never want to stop travelling and finding new experiences.
I was 20 when I set off for Southeast Asia and it was a trip of a lifetime. This was a very different trip for me and involved more partying, friends and many different experiences out of my comfort zone, including swimming with sharks!!
The top five things I learnt when travelling around these places and many more in between
How to live simply- I learnt how to live simply and I think that everyone that backpacks and travels know this too. You realise you don’t need as many things and clothes to experience wonderful things in life. When I went to Australia I took so many things with me and didn’t use the majority of them. Like I literally took 5 pairs of shoes and only used two pairs (my flip flops and trainers) such a waste of space! One of the best tips for travelling and backpacking is less equals more. You don’t need a lot and trust me you will regret it when you are carrying your backpack from place to place. In fact, when you are moving from one place to the next if your bag is too heavy you’ll wish you only took the clothes on your back. So learning how to live simply is a huge thing you learn when travelling. This is also something that you will take with you through life. You learn that as long as you have good company you don’t need much. This makes holidays and trips much easier as you know what you don’t need and that you only need to take exactly what you use. It will also make your home life simpler as you know you don’t need to have everything you can have just the necessities. This has helped me live more of a minimalist lifestyle.
Try new things- Before I travelled I would never try new foods and would be scared of new activities, especially if it included the sea. I didn’t think that a few years later I would be swimming with sharks and jumping off cliffs. When you are travelling you need to throw yourself into every activity and everything you can. You will grow in confidence and will release so many things you don’t actually need to be scared off. I was terrified of the sea when I went to Australia to the point I couldn’t put my feet on the seafloor. I had to stand on my boyfriend’s feet, and I wouldn’t get in the sea unless he was next to me. But by the end of the trip I was going swimming alone, cliff jumping and overall not shitting myself at the thought of what was in the ocean. So try new things, try things that terrify you. This makes your trip so memorable and special. You will have so many fun memories and it will grow you as a person. You will carry this on when you stop travelling or just in your future, you will be scared to go for your dream job but if you go for it what’s to lose. New things help you grow into an amazing person with amazing memories.
Find beauty in everything- When travelling you plan out and try to do all of the amazing things that country or place has to offer which is great and you will love this but one thing that you will learn on your trip is that you can find beauty in everything and anything. The goodness in everything will come out and make the trip magical if you know how to see it. I picked up this skill when I was in Australia and I have kept it with me even in rainy old England. I find beauty in everything now and this makes life so much more enjoyable. From laughing in the rain to watching the clouds change. It’s like unlocking a new world full of beautiful and exciting things. Even when things go wrong and shit happens (which it will) try and find some happiness within it, try to laugh at the pain it’s causing you, smile when you want to cry. In daily life now I’m back home if I ever find myself in a funk when nothing is right and it’s an overall shit day, I smile. I smile at nothing, at the car the let me out, at the woman across the street and this makes me feel so much better. Forcing yourself to smile makes you overall smile inside and feel a little warmth and happiness. So even when life gets you down look for the beauty and you will find it. Which leads me on to my next point…
Shit happens! – Shit happens and it won’t stop happening, that’s just life. When your travelling and something goes wrong it might feel like the worst thing in the world and it will make you just want to fly home (well that’s what it made me want to do the first time). You need to remember that even though you’re in a magical place where your dreams are coming true, shit will still happen. For me, it was in the form of a broken van. In the middle of nowhere. Literally. The middle of the outback in Aus! We had brought a van about 3 weeks before with little to no experience with cars or vans. I had been driving for about a year and my boyfriend had only passed his test two weeks before we set off. But know that no matter where you are in the world and what you are doing, stuff will go wrong. You will grow from this and it will make you a better person. By dealing with things going wrong you are learning how to deal with different life situations and you will be more confident in knowing that you can either fix it or learn from it. This skill can be used in every situation and shit you will go through. You need to learn how to let things go and understand that sometimes things can’t be helped. If you want a happier overall life this is such a good thing to learn.
About myself- Lastly, I learned so so so much about myself! I learnt so many likes and dislikes as well as my personality. Learning about yourself might be one of the best things you can do in life. You will be able to learn, grow and improve yourself leading to a better and more fulfilling life. My time travelling has helped me figure out who I am and what I want to be. I now know where I want my life to go and this has helped me figure out my life situations. Leading to me being in such a good place in life as well as so so happy. Generally happy with my day to day life which might seem boring and not exciting for some, this might also be a little bit from my point earlier on finding beauty in everything. You should definitely travel to learn about yourself and figure things out. Try new things along the way and it will open your mind to a world of things you want to do and how you can make it happen. You will gain world knowledge which will help you in so many different ways. This is one of the main things my dad was worried about when I left the first time, that I didn’t have enough world knowledge. My words to him were ‘well how am I going to learn, you get knowledge from scaring yourself, from trying new things and from jumping in at the deep end even if the deep end is halfway across the world.
When you are travelling try to think of what you want to gain from your trip, which could just be to have fun or grow in confidence, experience new things or just fall in love with life. Whatever your reason remember it and when things get tough remind yourself why.
Travel and see the world with your own eyes and thoughts. Travelling helps you improve your problem-solving skill which is going to help you with everything in your life. It will help you be more creative and smarter in so many different ways. So if you need a sign or reason to travel here it is!
Start now, do more and collect moments along the way.
Everything mums, dads, nannies, carers and everyone need to do the night before to help your day run smoothly!
Outfits and shoes!- First things first get the outfits ready for the next day. This isn’t just the kid’s things either. Pick yourself a nice outfit that will help you feel and look good, you will often find yourself grabbing anything or not being as stylish in the morning. So ensure that everyone has an outfit out and ready for the next day. Make sure you don’t need to iron anything as well! The best thing I have found to do is lay each child’s outfit on the dresser the night before, everything they will be putting on that morning so make sure you put pants as well as school jumpers, that you never have enough of. I also go a little bit further and layout any creams or accessories they might need to such as hairbrush and bobbles. This will save you rummaging around the bottom of your handbag for an old hair bobble at 6 in the morning! Trust me we have all been there. Also, don’t forget their SHOES! These are a nightmare to find in the morning and your kids will never remember where they took them off.
Packed lunches- When I’m preparing or cooking dinner in the evening I also make the children’s packed lunches whilst waiting for the pasta to boil or chicken to cook. Pack everything needed in their lunch boxes the night before and it will make a quick and easy grab for the morning rather than stressing out about making two sandwiches, one lunch for yourself and then whatever you can find for the fussy child! There’s always one!! So pack the school lunches the night before as well as filling up their water bottles. Make sure you do your own if needed as well.
Bags ready- My next tip is to get the bags ready. School bags, nursery bags, playdate bags, and your own too! Fill them with everything needed for the day ahead and then this will make it so much quicker to grab your bag and lunch and head out of the door. Make sure you don’t forget extra nappies! This is a good time to check your handbag and other bits for rubbish.
Quick tidy round- Do a quick five or ten minute tidy the night before anything or try to do it every night! Get everyone involved and put on some quick fun music and have a run around tidying up. Get the little ones to help with their things too, if they see you tidying they are more likely to help out too! By doing this it will less likely stress you out in the morning knowing the house is already tidy and you can leave knowing it’s not too messy.
To-do list- This is my number one rule for everything in life. Always make a todo list. This will help you know exactly what your day is going to be like and what you need to do and get done. It also helps you not to forget anything. Do a little list of what the day has in store for you and tick them off as you go. Write as much or as little as you need and knowing it’s been thought about and written down you know that you can relax in the morning without everything running around your head.
Get breakfast ready- Or at least semi-ready. Get your breakfast table ready for the next morning (well as much as you can, obviously don’t leave the milk out overnight). Get spoons, bowls, cereals, or plates. Whatever you have for breakfast, prepare it as much as you can. If your children have cereal, put one or two boxes on the table with bowls and spoons. This will help your children decide what to have quicker and allow them to try to help themselves. This allows you to carry on doing things elsewhere knowing that they are starting to make it themselves and then come and help them pour the milk. Or something that my mummy used to do when I was little, was pour a little bit of milk in a jug and let us pour it ourselves, this helps with independence as well as hand-eye coordination. So get breakfast semi-ready and set the table the night before.
Meal prep for the evening- Either meal prep for the next day or just plan what you’re going to have and make sure you have everything you need, this will help stop any last-minute shopping trips before dinner. If you can pick what you are going to have and chop some bits and then in the morning throw everything in the slow cooker and put it on slow for the day. This means dinner is ready whenever you are! Saving you so much time and stress of cooking.
Shower- This depends on what type of person you are, the night before, the morning of or both. Personally, I’m both but if you shower in the morning and find yourself rushing try and shower yourself and the children the night before so it’s less of a rush in the morning. Or do a main shower in the evening and then a quick fresh on up in the morning.
Put everything in the right place- Make sure your keys and purse are in the right place the night before so that you can find them the next morning. How many times have you been rushing for work or school and can not find your keys! Do this so you don’t scramble around for them in the morning. By something so simple as putting things back it will save you so much time and stress.
Check the weather- A great thing I have got into the routine of doing recently is checking the weather. By checking the weather the night before you can get everything ready and prepared for the next day. You can make sure that everyone’s outfit matches what the weather will be, as well as getting any raincoats or sun cream ready for the morning.
Set alarms- Do this before you get into bed. Set any alarms or reminders ready for the morning so that you don’t forget, wake up on time and ready for your day. This is so important as forgetting a simple alarm can ruin your whole day. But even if you do forget it, at least everything else is prepared and will be a smooth quick run out of the door. It’s the worst when you plan to do something in the morning and then wake up late and don’t get a chance, so make sure everything is ready for the day ahead.
Homework is done and any letters from the school signed- Make sure that any homework is done before bedtime so that they don’t spring it on you in the morning when you have exactly two minutes to get in the car before your late for the day. This can be an easy routine of checking the children’s bags the night before and getting them ready, this way you can see any homework needed to be completed before the morning. Also, check for any letters or school slips that need to be signed and sign them now so you can put them back without forgetting.
Unstack the dishwasher- By doing this the night before it is easy to fill in the morning and will make it easier to leave the house mess-free in the morning (well tidier anyway).
Check the calendar- Check for any events and things you might have forgotten for both yourself and the children. Make sure that they don’t have any school trips or their own clothes days that you have forgotten. If you do this the night before you can prepare for any surprises in the morning.
Wind Down- Have some relaxing time, no screens or tv and just relax. Read a book, chat to your partner or just have some quiet time to yourself. With limiting or no screen time before bed it helps you get a good night sleep as well as wake up feeling refreshed. If you have also got into the habit of putting the TV on in bed with your partner try and minimise this and just spend time together, it will help you both chat and be in love.
Start your day right and enjoy the little things, don’t forget to collect moments, not things.
Struggling to be productive and get shit done? Here are some tips and tricks on how to beat procrastination and get productive.
Tip number one, you need to find out when you work best. Do you find yourself slacking in the morning and just non-stop in the afternoon/evening or are you the opposite? I’m more of an AM hard worker and afternoon chiller. But whichever works best to you. If you find yourself an AM worker, then start then and try to get everything important done in the morning. Whereas if you’re more of a PM worker than do the easy tasks in the morning or just chill and then work full power in the afternoon.
My next tip is to wake up earlier. Wake up an hour earlier than you need to and work on your goals. Work on the things that are important to you. This could be anything, but having an extra hour towards your goal is the best way to achieve them.
Prioritise is the next thing you need to learn how to do. You need to know what your priorities are and what needs to be done and when for. This can be for anything, work and personal priorities. It might help to write everything down you need to do and figure out which one’s need to be done first. Then do that! Do the main job you need to do, no matter how big or small.
My fourth tip is to make a master to-do list. This is a to-do list for EVERYTHING in life. I find it best to have one for my work and then one personal one. Start by writing everything you can think of on a piece of paper. Including anything that is important or can just be forgotten easily, for example on mine is to print some holiday photos, fix a ring that broke, etc. My work master list has everything I need to do to grow my business. Then write this list down with check boxes, either in your phone, journal, diary or a piece of paper you can stick on the fridge or wall. Anywhere that you will see and look at easily. A lot of mine are tasks that don’t have a deadline, but when I have a spare half an hour I can sort them out and tick them off. You need to get into the habit of writing tasks down in your master to-do list. This will help you be able to think clearly without everything running around your head.
Next, you need to do a daily to-do list. This will have all the tasks that you need to do for the day on. EVERYTHING!!! Do this every night and it will help you have a clear idea of what the day holds for you. You will know exactly what you need to do. This list can be added on throughout the day and don’t worry if your day changes or things pop up, that’s just life. For my daily list, I like to do it in a journal and in the evening when I’m writing my list of the next day I will ensure whatever didn’t get done that day has been transferred over to my list for the next day. This is a great way to ensure that you forget nothing. On my daily list, I also like to ensure that I take every task and write it down in the smallest steps possible so that I know exactly what is needed and feeling more accomplished, leading to me being more motivated. I also try to do the list in the order of what I will be completing first, so the first thing on my list is always to have a large glass of water and shower. I have found colour coding my list to be very helpful and useful. Pick three of your favourite colours and set a key for them. This could be red for important tasks, green for short tasks, and blue for deadlined tasks. Whatever key you chose and just make it work for you. You can then either write in that colour or highlight or just add a dot next to it. Then you will be able to easily distinguish certain tasks and know what ones you should be doing next or what ones you need to ensure you finish that day. Always do something to distinguish when your tasks are done, this will help you feel more accomplished throughout the day. It could be highlighting them when done, ticking the box or crossing them out. Whatever suits you and works to help you stay motivated.
Two-minute tasks. Whenever a task comes up that is two minutes or less DO IT. Do it there and then and you won’t have to think of it again. It is the best and quickest way to ensure that everything is done and dusted without having to keep reminding yourself of it.
Start and complete is the next tip and is an important one that can often be overlooked. When you start a task, make sure you complete it. Try not to leave things half-finished or just incomplete. It is much easier just to finish them up, or at least get to a point that is completed in a sense. Think of it as reading a book, you would never read half a page and just leave it until next time, you would either finish the page or if you’re like me finish the chapter. Do the same with your tasks, don’t leave them halfway through the page. It will often be hard to pick them up again if you leave them like this.
I always find it much easier to be productive when my space is tidy. This can be a quick little five minutes tidy before you work on your to-do list or a big tidy of the house to make you feel complete. It is often one of the first things on my to-do list. My workspace for my blog is an office that is through a door in my bedroom, so I always find it a little distracting if I know my bedroom is messy, even if the door is closed. So before I sit down and start working on my to-do list, I like to put on a timer and a song I like and do a really quick run around tidying the room. This helps me stay productive and concentrate on the work I need to get done.
Drink lots and eat healthily! When you drink lots of water and eat healthy foods, it gives you more energy. This is such an important part of productivity that lots of people forget about, but think about it when you eat healthily you’re often getting more done and feeling better throughout the day. Also, DRINK AS MUCH WATER AS POSSIBLE. Drinking water solves so many problems from getting clearer skin to not being as tired. If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrating!! When I’m working in my office, I like to fix myself a healthy snack and ensure my water bottle is full to the brim! Keep drinking throughout your day and make it a habit to drink 6-8 glasses a day and more in the sun. This will help you overall be healthier and get more done!
Fresh air should also not be forgotten. Fresh air is great for you and you need to ensure you get enough outside time throughout your day. This could mean sitting outside and drinking your morning coffee or going for a walk to clear your head. This time outside will help to wake you up and get you feeling fresh, especially if you’re going for an early morning walk. I love getting up early and having a sunrise chilly walk to wake me up. It could be my favourite part of the day. Take this time to listen to a podcast, enjoy some music or just listen to the birds chirping. Have a little of you time, it’s important.
The next step I have only recently come across and it has changed my days. When you are picking your outfit the night before or the morning of whatever works best, ensures you are picking something you love! And ensure it is an outfit that you hopefully don’t have to change throughout the day. For example, what I used to do was put on a pair of joggers and a hoodie (my comfies) and then end up getting changed to pop to the shops or if something comes up, this is a time-waster and more washing to be done. Instead, now I pick outfits the night before that I can wear all day as well as being comfortable in. This is saving me a little more time each day and also meaning that if I need to quickly run out the house I’m ready. My favourite choices at the moment are a T-shirt with a dress on top, it means if it’s a cooler day I can put a long sleeve on or on a warmer day just leave the t-shirt off. Whatever you wear ensures you love it and are comfortable.
The next step is caffeine. This is also something that I have never really got into. As a big disappointment to England, I’m an English girl that just doesn’t drink tea! I don’t really enjoy many hot drinks with only liking hot chocolates and the occasional tea (just to dunk my biscuits). But recently I have had a couple of energy drinks and can completely see why people drink coffee! I don’t suggest having caffeine every day as it can become something you rely on, but on those days when you’re just too tired or have so much to do a caffeine drink will help through. This will help you concentrate and get things done, just ensure you don’t drink too much or it will have your thoughts running riot and end up not being able to concentrate as you’re just thinking too much! You can also incorporate this into your fresh air by walking to a coffee shop or just sitting under the sky with a hot drink.
I always live by the five-second rule. This rule is when you know you have to do something but don’t want to get started you count down from five and at one you need to get up and crack on. No excuses. I also use the five-second rule with many other things in my life, such as dropping food on the floor (well before Corona came about) and getting off social media. You can use the count down to start or stop anything and you need and do it with no excuses.
Tip number 14 is to leave your phone alone. Turn off notifications or just leave your phone elsewhere. This will help you stay focused and be less distracted by social media and time-wasting apps. What I like to do every now and then is delete any apps that are just taking up space. This helps me clear my phone and have less to look at throughout the day. Another great thing I do is block my social media. When I’m working, I put blockers on all of my social media platforms, this helps me stay true and not go on my phone. I also set app limits on my social media as it’s easy to scroll hours at a time without even realising it, this helps me be more aware of how long I am actually spending on social media. I used to be scrolling on TikTok and then look at the time and not even notice that I had used something like 3 hours of my day! Personally, I don’t turn my notifications off and leave my phone elsewhere as I need to have my phone on at all times for my other job, but I turn my phone over so that I can’t see any notifications when I get them and this helps me stay focused. This is the best thing to do when you need your phone on you at all times, such as if you have children you can’t really leave your phone as you need to be reached for any emergencies.
Checklist templates. This is something I started a while ago as I would write the same lists every week. I now have a template for any list that is the same and needed every week, such as weekly cleaning, food shopping, a list of different dinners and lunches. I add and take away things from the lists, but overall they pretty much stay the same. I then use these lists and tick things off as I go and just restart them at the end, ready for the next week. This is a big time saver and will also help you know what you need to do without thinking of it each week. My food shopping list is full of the basics I have week in week out and then I just add a few things to the bottom for recipes I want to try or make. I am available for making these checklist templates for any situation needed. Feel free to message me with anything you need and I will get back to you. This also applies to any help you want on trying to get your life in order.
Decisions are important in life and at the start of your day you have many choices to make such as what to wear, what to have for breakfast, when you need to leave. If there are little ones in your household, you have to do all of that for them too. And the decisions just don’t stop! So what I have found to work is by taking some decisions and getting them ready the night before. Such as picking an outfit and packing my bag. On the days that I am going to work, I ensure that my lunch is packed and ready to go the night before as well, as it can easily be forgotten and rushed. Also, pick out what you are having for dinner that evening, so that is one less thing running around your head. Minimising decisions is the act of making you not work so hard for the day, with everything already decided you don’t need to be distracted and have your mind wandering throughout the day. So try to minimise all the decisions for the day by preparing them either the night before or even plan out the week on a Sunday to help for a fresh, easy start.
My next tip is to batch your tasks. Batch your tasks together if they are similar, this will help with getting more done as you don’t have to keep switching jobs and getting distracted along the way. For example, when I need to make a pin for Pinterest I will make five at a time and then schedule them all once they are done, rather than switching between jobs and wasting a bit of time doing so. It will also help you concentrate on the tasks you need to do without thinking of the next steps you need to take. This will overall help you get more done and more out of your day. This also applies to any errands you need to run. Try to get them done all at once so that you don’t need to pop out a few times a day. Once you’re out of the house if you can get every errand done for the day it will save you time and allow you to get more out of your day. This might involve you needing to plan your week and days. Which is my next step.
Plan your weeks! Get a calendar or use the apps on your phone to plan your weeks. Sort out everything you need to do for that week and pick the days you need to get them done. It will help you save time in the long run, such as if you know you need to go food shopping as well as go to the post office and to pick a gift out, try to put it all in one day to save more trips throughout the week, overall saving you time and petrol! It will also help to show you what days are busier than the others so you can try to spread out your work or give yourself the afternoon off by getting more done in the morning. I use google calendar and find it so helpful as you can have different calendars put together such as I have a work calendar and a personal one but they both can show up and show me how busy my weeks will be.
Schedule everything you can before it is needed. I like to get this done as it helps me know that certain things are done and ready for the week ahead. If you have to post on social media, this is super helpful. You can schedule everything for the week so you have less to do and think about throughout the day. It also helps to ensure that things aren’t going up late or just not at all. An example of this is for my blog, I like to ensure that the post is written before Wednesday afternoon and then I will schedule it to be posted for 9 am on Thursday. This helps as I don’t need to log on and post it myself on Thursday, so even if something comes up and I’m busy on Thursday, I know it is up and available for everyone to read.
Another thing I like to do is set the mood. I like to ensure that the mood for the day is a positive and happy one. I know this can’t always happen, but most of the time it can. This helps me get more done throughout my days and feel good along the way. This can be anything that makes you happy. A few examples are meditation, exercise, singing or dancing, lighting candles, putting some music on, doing your makeup or just having a nice breakfast to start the day. Something that really helps me focus and gets all of my work done is music, but not my favourite playlist. I stay focused when I have music with no words on. This helps me concentrate on the work I’m doing without stopping for a dance break when my favourite songs come on.
At the end of the day clear your desk or workspace or just even your handbag after a day at work. This helps to have a tidy space ready for the next day. It won’t even take too long. This also helps if you work from home as I know how tempting it is to log back on and do a bit of work in the evening (my downtime). Once you clear your workspace, don’t go back to it until the next day. You need downtime to relax and it will help you be more productive the next day.
My final tip is to be positive. When you are positive you can get more done and just feel better about life. I know this isn’t always possible as life can get shit. But try to brush everything off and positively look at life. If you have had a bad day try to get some sleep and wake up feeling positive about the next day. Don’t forget your thoughts are YOURS and you CONTROL them so don’t let them get you down. And remember, there’s always a rainbow after a little rain.
I hope these tips and tricks help you get more done and be productive. If you need any support or help feel free to message me and I will be more than happy to help you with your journey.
Don’t forget to collect moments of happiness throughout your day.