Thursday 19 March 2020

LIFESTYLE | 10 tips for working from home

In the current environment it's inevitable that we shall all be working from home soon. For people who haven't had to work from home before this can be a daunting experience, so here are my top tips to make it a smooth transition.

1- Create a space in your home that will be your dedicated work area, this could be your desk or if you don't have one how about the kitchen/dining room table. If possible, leave this area set up for work for the entire time you're working from home. Choose your comfiest chair which has a proper back on it. 

2- Do not be tempted to work from bed!

3- Create a routine. Sure, you don't need to wake up as early but get up in time to be able to properly wake up before you start to work.

4- Get dressed! Personally I am happy to wear a tracksuit and have some makeup free days. But if you work better dolled up then go for it!

5- Take a lunch break. Have a proper hour off, try and sit in another room, pop outside for a little walk or get some chores done.

6- Open the windows! Stay alert and keep the fresh air circulating through your home.

7- Schedule time in to your day to do a 20mins online work out video. It's a great way to quickly make yourself refocus and ensures you're getting some exercise into your day.

8- I highly recommend having the radio on to stop yourself feeling lonely, it's a good way to have a mix of talking and songs and doesn't distract in the same way that the TV or Youtube does.

9- Ensure to message/ ring colleagues for some normality and to ensure you're on the correct page, work wise.

10- Lastly, make the most of being at home. You can pop clothes washes on throughout the day, do quick cleans in your breaks and get dinner prepped earlier in the day!

Stay safe and happy

Wednesday 18 March 2020

LIFESTYLE | I bought a Chilly's, 24 Bottle & HydrateM8 so you didn't have too...

I am the very guilty owner of a cupboard filled with water bottles and Tupperware and an Amazon basket filled with more, I can't be the only one out there! So with the rise of the reusable bottle and my dream of having clear skin, it was only right that I got myself the most talked about bottles of the moment. So here are my thoughts on the Chilly's, 24 Bottle & HydrateM8 and if they helped me to drink more water. 

The 24 Bottle start at £24.95 (330ml) and climbs to a hefty £36.95 (850ml). They have a large range of designs with some really beautiful colours and prints, check out the dusty pink!

24 Bottle keeps your drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 hours and they're leak proof. The wider mouth means ice cubes fit in easily and I found it quick to clean.

My bottle is 500ml in Tuxedo Black and costs £29.95. It holds the same measurement of liquid as my Chilly's bottle but it's a lot shorter, which makes it even more practical to carry around in handbags and smaller rucksacks. The design is sleek and I like that the metal is chunkier. As the mouth is wider and the bottle is shorter it's easier to drink from and not just chuck down yourself, if that's not a perk I don't know what is?!

This didn't make me drink more water, in-fact I really didn't enjoy drinking water from it at all! I have been using this as a flask and taking tea to work. I do really love it for tea and would recommend it for that.

Their bottles start at £20 for a 260ml bottle, with a few fancier ones and the larger bottle (1.8L) going up to £35. They have a great range of colours including some really cool 70's inspired designs, glittery bottles and the ability to engrave your bottle with up to 8 characters. There really is something for everyone here and they do make a lovely gift! These definitely have the label lovers swooning, I can't tell you how many people mentioned my bottle when I took it out at work!

Chilly's bottle keeps your drinks cold for 24 hours, hot for 12 hours (they also sell a coffee cup) and they're leak proof. 

My bottle is 500ml in burnt yellow and cost £20. It's a great size for fitting in my rucksack and it looks cheerful and inviting sat on my desk, which is great as it catches my eye and reminds me to keep hydrated throughout the day. However, although I was drinking more throughout the day, drinking from the metal was peculiar. It has a small mouth so it is hard to clean. I do find as I drink more it gets a bit awkward to drink from the bottle and I can't lie, my chin has had more hydration than my mouth, which is super embarrassing whilst at work! 


HydrateM8 are a different style of bottle, they're firstly not metal and they aren't made to keep your drinks cold or hot. They do however help you to drink more throughout the day and that's what I want from my bottle! They do actually sell their own bottle which is very similar to the Chilly's bottle for £18 for a 500ml bottle. The HydrateM8 bottle starts from £12.99 (600ml) to £14.99 (900ml). They have a small range of colour options but they have some really fun quotes, so you add a little more personality to your bottle.

My bottle is the 900ml yellow bottle which has the very app quote 'smile more, worry less'. I love the tracker on the bottle, it's so satisfying to watch as I drink the water and reach the targets. The bottle is designed to be filled up twice in the day and follow the times throughout. I think just having a transparent bottle is useful when the aim is to drink more. I like the straw style, it makes it easier to drink from and means no spills on your desk!

Wanting to drink more water ? HydrateM8
Going on a long trip and want to keep your drink cold? Chilly's
Want to take your hot tea to work to save you spending your pennies on a drink? 24 Bottle

I hope you enjoyed this post and it helped you decide what bottle would suit your lifestyle.

Sunday 2 February 2020

Lifestyle | A mid-twenties couple weekly food budget and meal plan

I am loving all of the budget themed posts floating around on blogs and Youtube at the moment, so I thought it's only right that I put my two pennies in. I budget £30 per week for a food shop (to feed two), in which I buy x5 suppers and any extras needed. Every now and then I have to pop a little more money in the pot if I run out of pantry items & cleaning products. I do my weekly shop in Aldi and/or Lidl, this week I used both as Aldi didn't have a few bits I needed. 

When I first moved out of my family home I panicked shopped, naively arriving to the supermarket with no idea what I wanted to cook, one plastic bag and a hungry tummy. Now I spend a good half an hour planning out what meals I want to cook in the upcoming week, I check what I already have in the freezer and cupboards and I write not one, not two but three lists. On the first list I write what I need for each meal. On the second list I separate the items into veg/fruit, fridge, cupboard and freezer. This not only means I can buy a value pack if I need the same thing for multiple recipes but it also makes it easier whilst I am in the different sections of the supermarket. Last but not least my third list is written on a magnetic board in the kitchen and it's a list of which meal I am having on each day - so I can go back to list 2 and note the best by dates for each product. Then I grab my 3 favourite reusable bags for the food shop and walk to the supermarket. Get it? Got it? Good! 

Shopping List

If I had done my food shop at Tesco this would have cost me £40.82  - so not the huge savings Lidl promises on their adverts but I still saved £10 :) 

Weekly Meal Plan

Our meal plan differs week-by-week but we do always have salmon once a week and pasta a few times as it's just easy after a long day at work!

So there we have it - that's a view into my food budget per week! I hope you enjoyed this and found it helpful if you've recently moved out and are thinking about how much money to put aside for food.