Top 10 Habits to Make Life Easier

Top 10 Habbits To Make Life Easier

I don’t know about you, but I am always on the lookout for any tip, trick or help that can make my day to day life much easier and today, I have compiled a Top 10 list of Habits that I have learned which really do help me to have an easier life!

  • Always carry a pen and notebook.  You never know when you may have an idea or thought that could be useful.  It could be an idea for a meal to cook, a present to buy, an item to add to a shopping list, something you need to do, whenever you think of something, it is always a good idea to write it down.
  • Always go shopping with a list.  Shopping with a list is a definite for me, I can focus on what I need, only buying the essentials which in turn leads to saving money by not buying anything unnecessary and saves me time and energy!  My brain does not need to do all the thinking and remembering and decision making and my shopping experiences are a lot less stressful.
  • Always prepare your lunch the evening before, especially when you are working or have daytime commitments.  This simple act can free up some of your precious morning time and is one less thing to have to think about when getting ready.
  • Always plan your outfit the night before.  This is another simple habit to get into, you can assess your outfit and make sure it is clean and tidy, you have time to iron it if needed or make a repair.  There is nothing worse than putting on an outfit to find that the hem has come down or a button is missing and then having to rush around to fix it or find something else suitable to wear in the morning.
  • Always have a plan and know what your agenda for the day is.  This tip has probably been the most useful and life-changing for me.  Even on my days off, I like to have a plan of what I am going to do with my time and helps me to remain productive and tick things off my list.  I like to plan my day the night before so I am prepared and know what I will have to do the following day.
  • Always prioritise.  It doesn’t matter if you have few tasks or many, prioritising can help you to get the important or hardest, or most time-consuming things done and out of the way first.  Prioritising and working your way down the list can help to free up headspace that would otherwise be consumed with worry and thinking about other tasks rather than the task in front of you.  However you prioritise is up to you, there is no right or wrong way but it does help!
  • Practice Mindfulness.  I have been practising mindfulness for a few years now, and while I may not sit for an hour, clear my head and meditate, I find that smaller bursts of around 5 minutes, in a hectic day can really help to sharpen my mind and help me to concentrate.  If you have never tried mindfulness before there are lots of apps that can help you, Calm is one of my favourites!
  • Always aim to be 5 minutes early.  I received this little tip from my Careers  Advisor in school and it has really stuck with me.  I hate to be late, there is so much stress and worry created by being late, worry about letting people down, that people are waiting for you, the rushing to get there, all sorts of negative things.  Being early means that you have time to sit and breathe, practice some mindfulness and arrive in a calm manner.  It also means that if there are hold-ups along your journey then you have time to make adjustments to your plans and still be punctual.
  • Know when you are most productive and utilise it in your day to day life.  I am most productive from mid-morning to the mid-afternoon so I try to plan the bulk of my work at that time.  I prioritise the biggest chunk of my to-do list for that time, concentrating on the smaller tasks in the morning and the ones that take up the most of my time for between 11am and 2pm.  Knowing when you are most productive means you can schedule and prioritise better, you are less likely to procrastinate and knowing and utilising your productivity to its best gives you a sense of positivity.
  • Always schedule breaks.  It doesn’t matter how busy you are, breaks are essential as they can help us to decompress after one activity and clear out head before making a start on the next.  A break can be as simple as making a coffee or going for a short walk.  This break makes it easier to transition from one thing to another and is essential in my life.

What little habits do you have that make your life easier?  I’d love to hear your thoughts and tips in the comments!

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Top 10 Products I Consume Daily

Top 10 ProductsI Consume Daily

When we talk about consuming we readily think about what we eat but rarely do we thing about the other things that we ingest, whether it be data, words or any other product.  Today I am sharing with you the things that I consume on a daily basis.

  • Books.  I love reading, especially during my lunch break in work, it gives me space to free my brain from the mundane tasks of my day to day work life and helps restore my concentration for the afternoon.
  • TV shows.  I spend my evenings watching shows on Netflix.  I find that watching tv can be a lovely way to relax and unwind and empty my head of any nagging thoughts or anxieties.
  • Energy.  Gas, electric, calories.  As a human we are geared towards consuming energy.  So many things we use in our daily lives need to have a power supply, the phones we use, our computers, lighting, and we consume this energy a lot of the time without even being aware that we are doing so.
  • Time.  Time is precious and fleeting yet I seem to waste much of it not really doing anything of a productive nature with it.  I often wonder how much time I could save myself on a day-to-day basis by being more aware of how I am spending each minute.
  • Phone minutes and texts.  Since the invention of mobile phones it seems that we are becoming more connected than ever, and in some ways that can make us more sociable creatures.  I don’t use that many minutes out of my contract but I do text a heck of a lot each day.
  • Water.  I use water to shower, brush my teeth, wash my dishes, clean my clothes, flush the toilet, for drinking and cooking and I never think about how much water I actually use.
  • Entertainment.  I am a visual consumer; I love to visit art shows and galleries, look at things on line and am forever flicking through books and magazines.  I am also an audio consumer and always have music playing if I am driving somewhere.  Whatever we choose to entertain us, I think we have all become reliant on entertainment of any kind to amuse us.
  • Technology.  I never really used to watch the weather report on the television and much preferred to open my curtain and peer outside to see what it was doing but the invention of smart phones and apps mean that I use technology in nearly all aspects of my life.  I have an app for the weather, a to do list, a calendar and many other technological things that help in my day.
  • Statistics.  I love to sit and check out my statistics on my blog and other social media platforms and am amazed at what can be captured so easily these days.  I love seeing the ebb and flow of my post views, likes and follows.  It really does fascinate me.
  • Products.  I come into contact with a vast array of products each day, from getting up in the morning and reaching for my alarm, brushing my teeth, to pens and paper and other things.

Top 10 Ways to Save Money

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We all like to save money and today, for this Thursday Top 10 post I am sharing with you some ways you can save money in your day to day life.

  • Make yourself lunch for work instead of eating out.  While a meal deal (in the UK) can cost around £3 for a sandwich, snack and drink, making your own lunch can work out a lot cheaper.
  • Make your own drinks.  Whether this is a reusable bottle that you fill with juice, squash or water, or a travel mug of hot drink, taking your own rather than buying will save a lot of money in the long run.  It will also save you time that you would otherwise spend queuing.
  • Use comparison sites.  Whether you are looking to renew car insurance, check your gas and electricity deals or for a new mobile phone deal, it is worth seeing what is available to you before you go ahead and sign up to another long term contract which might not be the best option for you.
  • When travelling, check ticket sites for any cheaper travel you could use.  It can cost around £55 for a single journey to London on the train but by travelling by coach, for example Megabus or National express you could pay around £15 for a return journey on certain days.
  • If you are going to be staying somewhere overnight, rather than booking the first hotel you find, try checking AirB&B, Late Rooms or Last Minute for any cheaper alternatives.
  • If you live alone, or there are few of you living in the house, then see if it would work out cheaper to have a water meter installed.  You can find out about water meters from your local water service provider.
  • Review any subscription services that you have, whether it be Sky Tv or a break down service for your car.  Are you paying for unnecessary things that you don’t use?  Often, phoning the company to see if you can change your subscription can get you a better deal.
  • Check what you are paying for on your telephone bills.  If you are forever going over your minutes, texts or data consider switching to a tariff that offers more of these things.  Also check your landline and what you are paying for on that, if you never use your landline it may be worth thinking about losing it altogether.
  • Look out for loyalty cards for shops that you use regularly and sign up to them.  Tesco Clubcard offer points that you accrue when you spend money on fuel or shopping generally, these will then be converted into vouchers that you can use against your regular shopping.  From time to time Tesco will also send you vouchers for items you would normally purchase.  Boots offers a loyalty card too and points are accrued as you spend money on purchases which can be used against other purchases you make in future.
  • Switch to shop own brand rather than buying name brand goods.  Own brand items are often as good quality wise and you could save quite a bit on your shopping  bill.

What are your favourite ways to save money?  Let me know in the comments!

Top 10 Bath and Shower Products

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It’s another Thursday guys!!!!  And that can only mean one thing, another Top 10 Thursday post!!!!  Today I am going to share with you my Top 10 Bath and Shower Products, so sit back and enjoy my list!

  • Original Source Shower Gel. I love fruit scented shower gels and this one is one of my favorites by far!
  • Shampoo.  I really love all of the different shampoos that Lush create, but my all time favorite has to be Godiva Solid Shampoo Bar.  It smells lovely, leaves heair soft, manageable, tangle free, lasts for ages and is super easy to use too!
  • Conditioner.  I have tried so many different conditioners, from super expensive “luxury” brands to the cheapest of the cheap supermarket own brands and I always come back to Sugar Daddy-O Solid Conditioner by Lush.  Again, this smells amazing, lasts for ages and does everything you want a conditioner to do!
  • Body Scrub.  Beauty Kitchen Chill Me Scrub.  I don’t use a scrub on my body very often and see it more as a treat than an everyday thing and really love this scrub!  It smells of sage and is very calming.  I love the way my skin feels afterwards, the packaging and how my bathroom smells like a spa after using!
  • Bubble Bath.  I love having a long, lazy bath on a weekend, filled to the brim with bubbles and this Karma Bubble Bar from Lush is definitely my indulgent addition to bathing!  This makes a gazillion bubbles and smells so calming!
  • Face Mask.  While soaking in the bath I love to use a face mask or scrub as the steam from the bath can really help to open up the pores and help the product to work its best.  I am a big fan of Garnier Pure Active 3 in 1 Clay Mask, Scrub, Wash as it is a multi-use product which always works wonders on my skin.
  • Shaving.  Hair Removal is not one of my favourite things to do but find it easier to get done in the shower rather than in the bath.  I used to use shaving foam but was recommended Coconut Oil as an alternative.  Since making the switch I have not looked back!  I find that I get less nicks and cuts, my skin doesn’t dry out half as much and a tiny bit of product goes a long way.
  • Hair Mask.  As I bleach and dye my hair on a fairly regular basis I feel that it is only right that I treat it to a hair mask once a week/fortnight and I currently love Bleach London Reincarnation Mask.  I apply this to damp hair and laze in the bath reading a good book for around 20 mins before rinsing off.  This product leaves my hair super soft and manageable, and restores the shine that bleach seems to strip from my hair.
  • Moisturiser.  Body Butter is another one of those products that I don’t really use much unless it is summer time but I have a big soft spot for Strawberry or Satsuma Body Shop butters.  These products sink into your skin really well and leave a lovely scent behind.  They are one of my definite summer go to products!
  • Deodorant.  I discovered solid, packaging less deodorant a few years back and am totally in love with Sunflower Solid Deodorant from Lush.  This works really well and the scent is not overpowering, it isn’t harsh on your skin and is better for the environment (and your skin) than deodorants that come in cans or bottles.  I have no irritation with this one and always smell fresh!

Top 10 Eco Products

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As a fair few of my blog posts this month (not including the Blogging from A -Z April Challenge posts) have been about being more eco-friendly I thought that today’s Top 10 post should be about my favorite 10 eco products.  So, here is the list, in no particular order…

  • Wooden toothbrush from Charbrush.  This toothbrush is fully recyclable and comes with a pot of charcoal powder which can be used with or without toothpaste and helps to remove stains from your teeth!
  • Ice Guard Crystal Deodorant.  This is made from natural mineral salts and has helped me with perspiration, keeps smells at bay and is just a lovely product to use.
  • Lush Solid Shampoo in Godiva.  This smells truly amazing and leaves my hair clean and shiny with a fragrance that lasts for days.
  • Lush Solid Conditioner in Sugar Daddy-O.  Again, this smells divine and is really good at conditioning my bleached and coloured hair, leaving it silky smooth and knot free.
  • Chilly’s Bottles.  these bottles are made from metal and can be used with either hot or cold drinks, they are perfect for cool beverages in the summer and the neck opening is big enough to pop a few ice cubes through too.  There is a huge array of colours and designs to choose from too!
  • Talking of ice cubes, I really love this ice-cube tray.  Not only does it make perfect sized cubes but it is a really brilliant design that can be used for years to come!
  • Produce bags.  I take these with me when shopping so that I can keep loose produce together and never have to use a single use bag again.
  • Method Laundry Detergent and Fabric Conditioner.  All of Method’s range smell lovely and their laundry detergent is no different.  I love that you only need to use a tiny bit, the scent lasts for ages and it is not as harmful to the environment as other laundry products.
  • Metal lunch box.  I have this A Slice of Green box which has 2 separate compartments, perfect for sandwiches and a salad, it also comes with a seperate little tin that can be used for snacks such as nuts.  Its much more sturdy that a plastic lunch box.
  • Coconut oil.  I tink this may be the ultimate product as it can be used for so many different things.  I use mine as a moisturizer, hair conditioning treatment, as a mouth wash, for brushing my teeth, cooking with…the list is endless, and by using it in so many different ways I can cut down on other products that I use.

Top 10 Things I Can’t Live Without

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Top 10 Things I Can’t Live Without

  • Roxy – my dog is with me pretty much all the time, except for when I go to work (and I would take her if I could!) She is by my side all the time and is a great source of comfort and companionship.
  • Coffee – I can’t function in the morning without a good, hot, strong black coffee to wake me up.
  • Filofax – I would forget everything if I didn’t write it down!  This reminds me of all those dates I need to remember as well as being a note keeper and helps me to schedule my time effectively.
  • Phone – I’m not sure that many people would be able to live without some form of communication device….
  • Laptop – the way I pay my bills and write blog posts, it’s definitely a must on this list!
  • Hair Dye – having hair that is a dirty blonde that is now leaning heavily to grey I find this an essential!
  • A good pen – if you have ever written with a cheap, scratchy pen then you will understand this!
  • Kindle – I love reading and being able to have so many books to read and carry around is amazing!
  • Car – I don’t really live far from town but public transport can be a bit hit and miss and a car saves me so much time and stops me having to lug heavy shopping bags home on the bus!
  • Bed – I love my bed, its comfy and lovely, warm and cozy and there really is nothing better than climbing in to it after a long day!

Top 10 Purchases

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Today, for my Top 10 series (you can find other posts here) I am sharing my Top 10 Purchases.  These items are things that I have purchased over time that I have found to be really useful day-to-day!

  1. My Bag.  You can read about what I carry around in my bag here!  I am still super impressed with this bag since I purchased it back in February.  I can’t believe how much it holds and how easy it is to find all my things.  And it is still looking brand new despite using it daily to and from work!Other Views
  2. Cafetière.  I can’t seem to survive without coffee and my cafetière is a constant in my life, whether it is beside me when I’m blogging, or snuggled on the sofa reading, it is never too far away.IMG_3015[1]
  3. Desk.  My desk is so important as it gives me a workspace that is away from the rest of the house.  It is my space to write and craft and suits me much better than working from my living room table or my coffee table in my living room.  When I sit down at my desk to work I become focused on that task and I get less distracted, which was a huge problem before I set up my desk area.  It gives me a sense of purpose.IMG_1591
  4. Salt Lamp.  I never thought a lamp could make that much difference to mood and how I feel.  I use this lamp of an evening, it is set up beside my bed on my bedside table and it really calms and relaxes me and gets me in the mood for sleeping.img_5132
  5. Kindle.  I’ve had my kindle for so many years and now it’s pretty ancient!  I read quite a lot, mostly at lunch times in work and at bed times and purchasing this was a good idea as I didn’t like to cart around a book with me, that and I like to have options when it comes to what I want to read and often I have 2 or 3 books on the go at once.  It has been everywhere with me too, accompanying me on holidays, to festivals and to and from work.img_1434
  6. Zebra Mildliners.  I love highlighters and these are really lovely to use.  I originally purchased them when I was really into bullet journalling and wanted a grey highlighter.  I love that these are not super bright, as the name suggests, these are mild toned.  They are also dual tipped, one end is the traditional highlighter tip and the other end is more like a marker pen which makes them perfect for highlighting and also for colouring in.
  7. img_1324Fountain Pens.  I love fountain pens, and the neon green one is my current go-to favorite.  I love how they make your handwriting look loads better and how they feel to write with.
  8. img_1319Filofax Malden.  The keeper of my brain and the organiser of my life.  I love that you can add different things depending on what you need, from task sheets, to do lists, note paper, drawing paper, diary inserts in loads of different formats.  My Filofax has been used in so many different ways and for different parts of my life and I can’t ever imagine being without it.
  9. img_0204Desk Planner Pad.  I keep this on my desk at home and write down anything that needs doing in the week.  It is a great reminder of what needs to be done, whether it is something to do with my blog, house work or phone calls to make.  I jot these things down when I think of them and then transfer to my Filofax if I need to.
  10. IMG_1571Organiser Sticky Notes.  I like that these sticky notes come in a cute little fold out book which makes them easy to keep with you and the mix of different styles is really useful for different things.  I use the lined notes for blog ideas, the grid for any figures I may need, and the other notes for smaller ideas or to mark pages in my Filofax.IMG_1565

Top 10 Quick Cleaning Ideas

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Another Thursday and another Top 10 list!  Today I’m sharing my Top 10 Quick Cleaning Ideas!  If you are anything like me, you may get a call from a friend or relative at short notice to say they are popping by and the house is less than tidy, this list of things really helps me to make my home more presentable in a really short space of time!

  1. Wash up the crockery, dry and put away.
  2. Clean the sink, draining board and kitchen worktops.
  3. Wizz the Hoover around high traffic areas like the hallway and living area.
  4. Plump up the cushions and fold the sofa blankets nicely.
  5. Tidy the coffee table and wipe over.
  6. Open the window and let some fresh air in.
  7. Tidy the dining table or other places piles seem to accumulate.
  8. Wipe around the sink and toilet.
  9. Put cleaner down the toilet.
  10. Make sure the hallway is clear and smells nice (I turn my plug-in air freshener on for 15 mins but a blast of air freshner will work just as well!)