Top 10 Ways to Stay Hydrated

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In the UK we have hit our summertime, and with that comes temperatures that can reach 25-26-27 degrees.  In this heat, it can be really easy to not get enough hydration into our systems and, as a result, can start feeling the effects with headaches, tiredness, dry skin and a host of other symptoms.  It is really important, any day of the year, to be well hydrated, but in the summer months, this is even more essential.  Today’s Top 10 are my favorite ways to make sure I stay hydrated.

  1.  Set an alarm on your phone at 1-hour intervals, and if you have not had a glass of water in that time go and get yourself a glass and drink it.
  2. Avoid salty snacks.  I find that these can make you feel dehydrated quite quickly.
  3. Go easy on the coffee.  Caffeine is a mild diuretic, making you pee more.  Can’t give up the caffeine fix?  Have a glass of water with every cup of coffee you have.
  4. Ease up on drinking anything too sugary, like fizzy drinks.  I find that they can accelerate the symptoms of dehydration (especially headaches) rather than lessen them.
  5. Eat fruit and veg with a high water content – watermelon (or any kind of melon), cucumber and salads are great at providing extra water for your body.
  6. Make your own healthy ice lollies (I shared some ideas here) and snack on them during the day.
  7. Make sure to carry a (reusable) bottle full of water around with you in your bag.  You never know when you might get thirsty.
  8. Listen to your body…Hunger pangs and thirst often manifest in similar ways.  If you feel hungry then have a glass of water as it may be thirst you are feeling.
  9. Don’t like plain water?  There are loads of different things you can do to make water more interesting, from fruit infused water to adding cold brew fruit tea bags, play around until you find something that you love!
  10. Ice cube chips in a glass can be really refreshing to crunch on and help to cool you down in the process while adding to your hydration levels!

Do you have any favorite ways to stay hydrated?  Let me know in the comments!

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Top 10 Ways to be More Organised

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Forever running around, wasting time trying to find something, forgetting appointments or fed up with rushing everything?  Todays Top 10 Thursday shares ways to be more organized!

  • Put items in the same place.  This goes especially for everyday items like keys and your purse/wallet.  Doing this will save you so much time in the mornings as you will know where they are and not have to rush around looking for them.
  • Make your lunch the night before.  You can then, in the morning, just grab and go, knowing that you have a lovely, well thought out meal for lunch.
  • Make lists.  Whenever you think of something that you need to do or buy, write it down into a list.  At the end of the day, you can move these items to the correct lists (like Tasks, Shopping, Reminders…) or cross off the things you don’t need.
  • Use a diary.  Write down all the important dates such as birthdays, anniversaries, and then write a reminder 2 weeks before to get a present and card, and sput in the post if necessary.  Write in all other appointments too, so you know when things are happening and avoid clashes in your schedule.
  • Check the weather using an app.  Knowing what the weather is going to be like the following day can help with decisions such as what to wear or pack so you are never caught out.
  • Choose your outfit the night before.  Planning what to wear the following day takes the pressure off in the morning and can leave you time to dedicate to other matters.  It will also help you to assess whether the outfit may need a repair or spot stains in advance.
  • Set reminders.  Your phone generally comes with an alarm that allows you to set several alarms a day and put notes with them.  You can set alarms to remind yourself to take medication, complete certain tasks or schedule time for meetings.
  • Carry a notebook and pen.  You never know when you might want to write something down rather than make a note in your phone.  It has been proved that writing can aid memory more than typing information so writing anything important down gives you a better chance at remembering it!
  • Plan out your time.  Sit down of an evening and think about how you want to use your time the following day and schedule time blocks for those activities.  Not only will you get more done but working to a time table helps to use your time more efficiently.
  • Wash your dishes straight after use.  This will give you more space to use, save time and means you never have to waste time scrubbing dishes that you need!

 

Top 10 Photos I Took Last Month

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I seem to take a vast, huge amount of photos every month, according to my phone a grand total of 681 for June!  today I decided to choose 10 of my favorite photos of the previous month to share with you!

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1.  Roxy playing with her nephew Zeus.  Roxy is the smaller of the two!

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2.  Zeus and I.  I can’t believe how big his head is!

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3. My brother and I having a pint in our “local” in London.

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4.  Graffiti carved on a tree in a park in Westminster.

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5.  Paper snails!

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6.  A beetle we found on our way to William Morris’ Red House.

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7.  The cute well at William Morris’ house.

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8.  Beautiful roses in the garden at William Morris’ house.  They looked amazing and smelled beautiful too.

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9.  Lovely homemade tomato soup that my sister in law made.

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10 and bonus 11.  Roxy Puppercakes being all cute!

 

 

Top 10 Things I Have Achieved This Year

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I am celebrating a year in my own home and I thought it would be nice to look back at the whole year since moving and note my Top 10 Achievements since moving.

  • I have become more confident.  This confidence can be seen in all aspects of my life, from making decisions to getting things done.  I now worry less about whether I can do something and am more willing to give things a try.
  • I have learned new skills.  I have learned about painting, decorating, fixing things, money management, life skills, creative skills, cooking and a whole ton more.
  • I have made new friends and rekindled some old friendships.  I wouldn’t say that I have no friends but when it comes to having friends I like to keep my group small, that said I have made a lovely friend in my neighbor and I have rekindled friendships with old friends.
  • I am content to spend time alone.  I used to feel uneasy with spending time alone and was never really sure of how to spend that time.  Now, I am happy just to sit and chill and spend time alone, in fact, I really quite enjoy it.
  • I have worked on my mental health.  I had a really rough time with my mental health back in September which cumulated in me taking a break from work for nearly 5 months.  In that time I started taking medication for stress, anxiety, and depression.  Since then I have become more aware of my mental health and how I’m feeling on a day to day basis.  This awareness has helped me to identify triggers and develop some coping mechanisms which I call on daily.
  • I have discovered new hobbies and things I love to do.  I have found that I really enjoy gardening, that it gives me a sense of calm and peace.  I have also developed a love of writing, whether it be on this blog or personally, off-screen in a notebook.  I have found new ways of being creative and enjoy spending time working on little projects.
  • I have raised money for charity.  I hosted a Mind Crafternoon back in December and raised £100 for the charity.  I was amazed at how generous my friends were and how much fun we all had on the day.  I’m working on my next Crafternoon event which should be taking place in July.
  • I started this blog.  I’ve had blogs in the past and posted things here and there, but this blog is different.  I have spent time thinking about content, creating an editorial calendar, crafting posts, scheduling and all the other things that go along with blog writing.  This blog has helped me to learn and develop skills, given me an outlet for my thoughts and I have gained so many friends through blogging too.  It has become a huge part of my day to day life and is something that I never really thought could mean so much to me.
  • I have done some traveling.  It’s not that I have never traveled or anything, but I have always done it with friends, family, and boyfriends, traveling alone was always a super scary thought that I never really entertained.  But now, I quite like it.  I may never have left the UK on my own but I am pretty adept at traveling to London by myself now and even taking myself off on road trips to places.
  • I gave up Facebook.  This was a huge step for me as at one point I totally loved Facebook and it was part of my daily routine.  But, something changed, back in January and, I found that I was just wasting time on there and not really enjoying it like I used to so I quit it.  I deleted my account and now, it feels like it was never part of my life.  It’s strange to think about how much time and energy I put into something that I couldn’t care less about now.

Top 10 Flat Lay Props

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Since attending the Flat Lay Workshop at The Bloggers Bash I have been thinking about flat lay photography and creating a kit for myself so that I can use it in images for this blog in the future.  Today’s Top 10 Thursday post is a list of items I am considering in creating my kit.

  • A ring light for my phone.
  • A background, though at the moment I am unsure what I want to use as my background.
  • Fake flowers and foliage.
  • Ribbon and lace.
  • Patterned fabric, card, and papers.
  • Shells and pebbles.
  • Confetti.
  • Fairy lights.
  • Letters and numbers, though I’m not sure what style yet, though scrabble tiles are an option.
  • Wooden shapes.

What sort of things would you put in your flat lay kit?

Top 10 Good Blogger Habits

Top 10 Good Blogger Habits

As a blogger, there are so many habits that you should form in order to improve your blogging experience, your reader’s experience and to make blog life a whole lot more interesting.  Today’s Top 10 focuses on my all time Good Blogger Habits.

  • Be consistent.  Whether you post once a month, once a week, or every day, make sure that you post consistently.  Your readers are more likely to return if they know when to expect a blog post from you.
  • Spelling, punctuation and grammar check.  Bad spelling, grammar and punctuation can stop so many people from reading a post, and with so many different tools available to assist with checking that it is worth running checks before posting.  I am currently using Grammarly which has been really easy to install and use.
  • Images.  I love looking at images contained in blog posts and there are so many do’s and don’ts when it comes to adding an image that it can sometimes be hard to work out what image is best.  My basic rule is that the image should be clear, well lit and not contain too much clutter and that it should be relevant to the post.  Do not add images that are not relevant just because you think a post needs it.  I would much rather read a post with no images than one that is peppered with irrelevant pictures.
  • Connect.  Find other bloggers who write about things that you are interested in or that write in your niche, join in with conversations in the comments and take part in some things that other bloggers run.
  • Be true to yourself.  Write about what you are interested in.  Your hobbies, interests, ambitions, skills, what you live for.  People are much more interested in a post that is written with a passion behind it than a post that you have forced yourself to write that covers something that you have no interest in.
  • Share what you are comfortable with.  If you are not comfortable sharing certain topics with friends and family then don’t share them online.  Only ever write what you are comfortable with everyone and anyone knowing.
  • Schedule.  When you have an idea and the urge to write, sit and utilise that.  I often batch write 3 or 4 posts at a time and make use of the schedule button as I never know when I may not feel like writing.  There really is no shame in scheduling posts in advance.  (Here’s a secret… I wrote this on saturday08/06/19!)
  • Categories and Tags.  Make use of categories and tags.  My one rule is that each post should have one category and up to 10 tags, no more.  I have categories for each type of post that I have and then use the tags to add more info about the post.
  • Check your appearance.  Not so much your own appearance, but your blog’s appearance.  Check how it displays on tablets, mobile phones and computer screens.  So many people use an array of devices these days to read blogs so it is worth making sure that everything on your blog displays perfectly across all devices.
  • Have fun.  Fun is a huge factor in blogging.  It is what keeps me coming back time and again to write and create posts and content.  Remember that it is your blog and you can do with it what you want.  And when the fun starts to wain think of ways you can bring the fun back!  (Ask questions of your audience, read other blogs in your niche to see what they are writing about, use a search engine…there are lots of ideas out there if you start to look!)

Top 10 Beauty Products

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Today’s Top 10 Thursday post is all about my favourite Beauty Products!

  • Moisturizer.  Nivea Soft has been one of my favourite moisturisers for the last few years.  I find that  little goes a long way!  After washing my face in the morning I apply this then leave it to sink into my skin while getting dressed.  By that time my face is lovely and soft and I am ready to start applying my makeup.
  • Primer.  Barry M Flawless Primer has been something I have bought and rebought several times now!  I find that for my skin, which is dry in places and oily in others, this works really well as a base for all my makeup.
  • Foundation.  I prefer cream foundations over liquid or powder because of my skin being so temperamental and have found GOSH Foundation Plus+ to work really well with my skin and stays looking fresh all day.
  • Concealer.  I am a huge fan of Maybelline Dream Brightening Creamy Concealer.  The product is in a twist up pencil style packaging which makes for easy application and the product works wonders on blemishes and under-eye shadows.
  • Blush/Highlighter.  Collection Highlight, Blush and Bronze kit has been one of my all-time favourite kits and I am nearing the end of my second pallet.  The bronze is matte which is perfect for contours, the blush is a pretty pink tone which works really well with my skin tone and the highlight is shimmery without being ott sparkly.
  • Brow Kit.  I have only just started to really do much with my brows aside from plucking them and having them shaped and I am currently loving Collection Incredibrow kit which contains 3 powders and clear brow mascara.  The kit also comes with a handy applicator brush and a small mirror on the packaging.
  • Eyeshadow.  I recently bought I Heart Revolution Fantasy Eyeshadow Kit in Unicorn which comprises 9 shadows in pinks, purples, silver and white.  The finishes are matte, shimmer and metallic.  It has been my go-to pallet since I bought it and I have been able to create so many different looks with all the shadows!
  • Eyeliner.  I usually use a felt pen style liner but recently I have been using I Heart Revolution Fantasy Eyeliner in black.  The long handle on the applicator helps when creating a fine line and flicks as it gives more control to your movements.
  • Mascara.  I am currently using MUA Eye Define Nourish and Care mascara which I am finding really lovely to use.  It doesn’t flake or smudge and really helps to define my eyes.
  • Brushes.  I have been a fan of Real Techniques brushes for a long time but recently I have found myself reaching, more and more, for my Eco Tools brushes.  I have been really liking how my eyeshadow and highlighter applies with the brushes I have of theirs.

Top 10 Uses For Coconut Oil

Top 10 Uses For Coconut Oil

I love a product that has multiple uses and I think that coconut oil tops the list of multi-purpose products that I love!  Today I am sharing my top 10 uses for coconut oil.

  • Add to your morning coffee.
  • Use as a toothpaste.  I like to mix a tiny bit of coconut oil with baking powder or activated charcoal and use to brush my teeth.
  • Oil pulling.  This is a great way to clean your mouth after brushing your teeth.
  • Face Cleanser. Just warm a little between your palms until it liquifies, rub in circular motions over the whole of your face then remove with a damp, warm cloth.
  • All over moisturiser.  I really like to use coconut oil where I have really dry skin, especially my legs after shaving.
  • Hair treatment mask.  Apply to dry hair, make sure the product is spread well over the hair, wrap hair in a warm towel and leave for up to an hour before washing and styling your hair as normal.
  • Pet treat.  I give Roxy coconut oil in her Kong toy as a replacement for peanut butter.
  • Cooking.  There are so many different recipes that you can substitute coconut oil for instead of other oils!  Have a look online!
  • Hair serum.  I like to use coconut oil as a hair serum to tame flyaway hair.  I warm a teeny bit in the palm of my hands and then lightly run my hands through my hair.
  • Cuticle Oil.  I have used loads of expensive cuticle oils in the past but have found that rubbing coconut oil into my cuticles every few days to be as effective as those products I used to buy.

Have you used coconut oil for anything?  Let me know in the comments!

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!