Top 10 Cleaning Products

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Today, for my Top 10 series (you can find other posts here) I am sharing my top 10 cleaning products.  These are products that I have tried and tested, work well for me and ones I will keep buying.

  1. Method Anti-bac – Wild Rhubarb I love the scent of this and that you can use it all around the home – bathroom, kitchen, living area, it is perfect for any job.
  2. Method Toilet Cleaner – This stuff is amazing and guaranteed to make your loo sparkle and smell fresh at the same time.
  3. Zoflora – Twilight Garden This stuff is amazing.  It is marketed as a disinfectant but it has so many uses.  I use it to wipe down my radiators, mop the floors and occasionally, when the dog towels are really grubby I will stick a cupful into the machine with them.  A little really does go a long way and the scent will fill the house and last for so long too!
  4. Soda Crystals Soda crystals are brilliant for fixing stinky drains and washing machines as well as sorting out slow drainage in sinks and baths!  They should be a cleaning cupboard staple in everyone’s house!
  5. Ecover All Purpose Cleaner This stuff is brilliant on floors, especially my kitchen floor which needs mopping at least once a day where Roxy is in and out all the time!  And it’s another product that a little goes a long way.  I like that this product is multi-functional as well, I like to mix a bit with water in a spray bottle and use it to wipe down shelving and windowsills.
  6. Method Glass Cleaner This is one product I will, probably, never walk away from.  It is the only product I have found that cleans glass and mirrors effectively without too much hard work and doesn’t leave an annoying film or smears everywhere.
  7. Method Shower Spray This product works a dream for shifting soapy residue and dried hair conditioner splodges from glass shower surrounds and tiles.  I use it every time I have had a shower on the tiles and it makes them really clean and shiny.
  8. Tesco Washing Up Liquid – Cherry  Its cheap, smells nice and does the job, there’s really not much more to say about it really!
  9. Vanish Pre-Treat Stain Remover Bar  This is a staple in my cleaning cupboard.  Not only can you use it on clothes but you can spot treat carpets and upholstery with it too!
  10. Bleach.  I’m not going to link to a product because this is one thing I will buy from anywhere, I always buy a big container of the thin bleach and will use it where and when necessary.  I love the smell of bleach, especially in the bathroom but its handy to use all around the house!
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How to Have a Productive Day

I don’t know about you but, sometimes, it feels like a whole day has rushed by and I don’t seem to have achieved or done anything much at all.  Today I’m sharing with you my steps on how to have a productive day.  There will be tips, tricks and hacks that seem to work for me, mean I get more done, and more out of my day.  These simple steps seem to help me both in my working day and in my personal life so can be applied to any part of your life.

  • Preparation
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Make a List

Knowing what you would like to achieve in a day goes a long way towards actually achieving those things.  I like to sit down at the end of the day with a notepad and pens and create a list of things I need to do, want to do and things I should do the following day.  Every activity gets written down however big or small, significant or insignificant it may be.  Once I have a list then I can move on to the next step.

  • Categorise
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Categorise

Next, I like to go through the list and categorise everything into 3 lists – Need, Want and Should.  I like to use highlighters here so I can see what categories things fall into.  Things that go into the Need list are things that absolutely have to be done that day, they can be things like making appointments, sending emails, household things, anything that has to be done that day and is time specific.  Next is the Want list which I use for things that I want to do or achieve that don’t really have any fixed priority except for personal gain.  Want things can include reading a book, having a bath, working on art, anything that is about you and what you want to do.  Lastly is the Should list which I use for things like cleaning the fridge, clothes washing, tidying up, organising my books, things that should be done but are not really needed to be done at a specific time.

  • Prioritize
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Prioritize and Timings

Now I have the categories sorted I go through them and number them in order of importance – 1 is high importance and 4 is the lowest/no importance.  I can see then what order I should complete the tasks in.

 

  • Timings

Next I allocate timings to the tasks, so, for example 20 mins for responding to an email, 10 for a phone call, 40 mins for reading…. I can see what will take the longest and what will be really quick to tick off my list.  I like to work with a mix of high priority and quick tasks as it makes me feel good about getting things marked off and encourages me to continue with my work.

  • Make a Timetable
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Making a Timetable

The final step I take is to timetable everything into my day.  I write out my day in hourly blocks then schedule in the things I want to achieve in that timeframe.  I schedule in all the Need and Should items then add the Wants in around them where there are gaps.

Creating a list and timetable like this the night before helps me to wake up motivated and ready to start the list.  I get up knowing what needs to be done and have an itinerary for the day that I know will work for me, I get things done that I need to, things I should do and also have time for anything I want to do as well.  I find mixing the tasks up keeps energy and enthusiasm high while keeping productivity going.  And scheduling in Wants through the day means I have a reward of sorts to look forward to along the way.

How do you plan your day?  What are your tips for being productive?

 

Things I Am Looking Forward To – Spring

A little list for you today of the things I’m looking forward to over the next 3 months, also known as Spring.  There are 2 dates for when Spring starts depending on which calendar you use – the meteorological calendar (1st March) or the astronomical calendar (20th March).  See more on these dates and reasons behind the difference here.

I’m looking forward to

  • Leaves coming back to the trees
  • Lighter evenings
  • Warmer days
  • Fresh mornings
  • Dew on the grass
  • Lambs in the field
  • Daffodils
  • Spending time in the garden
  • Wearing less layers
  • Better weather
  • Walks
  • Freshly cut grass

What are you looking forward to this spring?

Top 10 Places to Visit

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Another Thursday and another Top 10!  This time I’m sharing my Top 10 Places to Visit.

  1. The beach.  Living where I do in South Wales I’m not too far away from some spectacular beaches and I think there is nothing better than beach walks any time of the year.
  2. Parks.  I love being outdoors and going to the park, seeing the different coloured leaves on the trees and keeping an eye out for different animals that I may spot.
  3. St Fagans.  I love visiting St Fagans, I try to go every few years and have a walk around.  I love that you can go into the buildings and have a look around and get a feel for how life was in years past.
  4. Cardiff City Centre.  There is so much to do in Cardiff…Independent shops, shopping arcades, a castle, museum, fab pubs…well worth a visit!
  5. Bath.  I love Bath, again, so much to do from independent shops to Roman Baths, a spa and lovely places to eat too.
  6. Museums.  There is something about visiting a museum that I really enjoy, not only do I learn things but the atmosphere has a really calming effect on me.  Always worth a visit when its cold or raining!
  7. Tate Modern.  I’ve been to the Tate twice, once to see a Damien Hirst exhibition and the other time to see the Shape of Light exhibition.  I have not really ventured around any of the galleries yet but I really want to go again.  Visiting art galleries can help with creative ideas and it’s always interesting to see the different types of mediums artists use.
  8. Book Shops.  Wherever I go I usually end up in a book shop somewhere.  There is something really lovely about spending time browsing in bookshops and I normally come away with a few to add to my collection!
  9. Markets.  I love markets.  There is such a selection of different items on show and available to purchase.  And some markets hold special events, like craft markets or food market days which are really worth checking out.
  10. Abbeys – Tintern Abbey and Llanthony Priory in particular.  I love heading to an abbey with my camera and a picnic in the summer months and having a leisurely walk around, taking in the architecture and atmosphere.

Top 10 Things I Should Be Doing…

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Today’s Top 10 Thursday post is a list of things that I should be doing but keep putting off for one reason or another…I’m sure we have all got a list like that?

  1. Making an eye test appointment.
  2. Sorting out Spare Oom (aka Narnia).
  3. Dusting.
  4. Meal Planning.
  5. Sorting through all my make-up and cleaning out where it is stored.
  6. De-brambling the garden.
  7. Fixing my printer.
  8. Running a backup of all my laptop files and photos.
  9. Tidying my desk/”office space”.
  10. Shopping.

Instead, I’m making a list of these things whilst sitting in my pyjamas and blogging about it.  And in a minute i intend to make myself a coffee and catch up on blogs whilst wrapped in my blanket!

On My To Do List This Month

I know it’s only *just* November but there are so many things I need to start and work on this month for Christmas that I thought I’d share a little to do list with you all, and so I can hold myself accountable for things I need to get done this month so here is the list in no particular order

  • Write a Christmas gifts list and decide what I’m giving people
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I am on a tight budget this month and need to really think about how much I can afford to spend and what to give people.  I like to give meaningful gifts that suit the recipient and am choosing to make some gifts instead of buying things that are mass produced.

  • Research and buy items to make gifts
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I’m considering making scented candles and possibly baking some treats to give to people this year as gifts with a posibility of creating small hampers for family to enjoy so really want to research the best recipes and best items to purchase to make gifts along with knowing the steps involved in creating the gifts.

  • Deep clean the house

I really like to dust and clean everywhere before I think about getting the decorations out and putting them up, it gives me a chance to put some things away and make space for the festive bits and bobs to go up too!

  • Decide on Christmas decorations and what I need to make/buy
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I don’t have a lot of Christmas decorations, in the places I have lived before the decorations I had access to were not all mine.  This year is a chance for me to really think about the kind of decorations I want and how I want my home to look.  I’m leaning towards a pastel/colourful/kitsch sort of theme with some upcycled elements to fit in with it.

  • Plan for my Crafternoon (I’m holding a fundraiser for Mind on the 1st December) including drinks, activities and food.

I’ve been in my home since the end of June and have yet to have a housewarming or many friends over.  I usually don’t have many friends over due to my stress, anxiety and aspergers, but I’m really looking forward to planning and hosting this event!  My friend Jez will be helping me to sort it all out so that helps a ton!

  • Remember to put the recycling out!!!

I seem to always forget that wednesday is the day they come to empty the bins and collect our recycling until I hear them going down the street or seeing my neighbours empty recycling boxes on the street.  I really must start to write it down on my calendar and put a reminder in my phone!

  • Clean and tidy up for my house inspection (eek!)

I have my first house inspection on the 24th of this month.  The housing association I rent through are coming to give the house a once over.  I have no idea what to expect but want to have the place clean and tidy (not that it isn’t) and super presentable for their visit.

  • Meal Plan

I really need to start planning my meals properly again, when I was in work (before being signed off due to my anxiety and stress) I planned the majority of my meals, especially my breakfasts and lunches and was really good at eating at set times  but since I have been off from work I have not really thought much about what I’m going toeat or when.  It has been really hard as the medication I have been taking has been making me feel sick and put me off food completely.  I have been surviving mostly on junk and toast and that needs to change.  I really need to step away from the snacks and start cooking properly again.

  • Take photos for upcoming blog posts
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Photo by Alex Fu on Pexels.com

I have several posts lined up that I want to get completed and scheduled for publishing so really need to work on tking the photos to accompany the posts.  I am going to try and get most of the photos done at the beginning of this month so all I need to worry about is writing the posts!

  • Continue working on Mums Christmas present (I’ll share it in the New Year after she has recieved it!)

I’d really love to share what I’m creating for Mum at the moment but I really don’t want her to find out what I’m up to and for it to spoil her surprise until the actual day.  All I can say is that I’m nearly half way through at this moment in time and really need to crack on if I’m going to get it completed in time!

  • Make Christmas cards for family

I’m still undecided on wheter to make Christmaas cards or not this year.  I really like making cards and haven’t done so in a long time so it feels like it could be a good idea.  The main thing that is making me unsure is how much time I’ll have between all the other things I want to do for Christmas…only time will tell I suppose!

I have other things on my to do list, the normal mundane things like my cleaning routine, normal shopping, doctors appointments and bills to pay but they happen every week/month/year and are things that most poeple have on their lists too…the items I have shared are much more interesting (well, I think so!)

What is on your to do list this month?