Things I’ve Currently Been Loving – Lockdown Edition

During lockdown I’ve had so much time on my hands to fill. I’m usually super busy and don’t just take some time out for myself. But lately I’ve really been loving having some me time and just baking some sweet treats, discovering a new tv series and spending the next few days bingeing it from start to finish, and doing a million zoom quizzes with friends and family. So, I thought I would share a few of my favourites that I’ve discovered during lockdown. From my new favourite beauty brand, to series I’ve been loving and new recipes I’ve been discovering. 

BEAUTY:

During lockdown I’ve been really trying to get stricter with my skincare routine and stop my skin from breaking out. I’m not sure why my skin has reacted badly, when I’ve not been wearing makeup everyday, but I’ve had moments where it’s been really bad. So, after being recommend this brand by my bestie and flat mate, I decided to give it a go. It’s called The Ordinary, and is amazing skin care but at an affordable price. There is not any unnecessary promises, beautiful packing or amazing advertisements, just great products. I use the Squalane cleanser, Niacinamide 10% serum and Azelaic acid suspension moisturiser, and been pairing them with a toner I was already using. I chose these based on my oily skin, so if you fancy trying them out there’s a full guide of the best products for each skin type of their website. 

I’ve also been loving doing a face mask, just to pamper myself and give me a little pick me up. I’ve always liked the Garnier sheet facemarks, but they are a little pricey just for one use. However, they’ve been on offer everywhere lately and you can get them on amazon too. I love the Aqua Bomb hydrating mask and the Lavender hydrating sheet. They are perfect for travelling, neat and compact and don’t go everywhere, like a liquid mask would. They also make your skin feel amazing afterwards. Whether that’s extra hydrated, soft, glowy or just feels super clean. 

TV & FILMS:

At the minute I’m obsessed with discovering new tv series and rewatching some of my old favourites. Just anything to keep me occupied really. One of my latest discoveries is a Sky original and called Brassic. It’s set in a fictional town and follows a group of friends through a lot of tricky situations they find themselves in. It’s super funny, easy to watch and got some amazing actors in. 

If you’re looking for another easy to binge series, then Too Hot To Handle on Netflix is a great one to choose. A lot of you might of already watched it, but it’s basically a smaller version of Love Island, but with a twist. It’s only 8 episodes long, fun and easy to watch. A perfect way to fill an afternoon. 

On the Netflix theme I’ve also just started watching The Crown. I feel like everyone’s watched this, as it was one of the first original Netflix series, but I thought it was about time I did too. I love the royals and was obsessed with watching Victoria,  so I thought I would love this too. It’s a really great series so far, with some amazing actors in. However, it’s a series you really have to concentrate on so you don’t miss anything, which I don’t always fell like doing at the minute. So I’m not binging it, but watching a bit at a time. 

If you’re looking for some girly romantic comedies to watch then To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before series is perfect for you. This was again recommend to me and I loved every second. We just sat and binged both films last Saturday afternoon and it’s the perfect way to spend a day in my opinion. 

FOOD & DRINK:

I feel like food and drink are one of the only things to get excited about at the minute. So I’ve been loving discovering new baking recipes, when it’s my week to bake. I’ve found some of my favourite recipes on Jane’s Patisserie. Her website is full of amazing recipes that always come out tasting lovely. My flat mate is also dairy free and there’s some great vegan recipes on there too, that just taste perfect. 

Over the last few weeks, I’ve also discovered that Pret have released some of their recipes for lots of their amazing treats. I made the dark chocolate and almond cookies and they honestly tasted amazing. They had a pinch of salt in, mixed with the dark chocolate,  just tasted out of this world and they are the best cookies I’ve ever had. If you fancy trying them out, then check out the Pret website. 

So, when it comes to drinks we like to have something different at the weekend to have during our zoom quizzes. So each week me and my bestie take it in turns to sort out drinks. We love the cans of cocktails, the boxes of pornstar martini and this week’s newest favourite is a good glass of Pimms. 

 

Let me know if you try out any of the recipe’s I’ve mentioned, tv series I’m loving or just decided to try one of the beauty products. I hope you’re all staying safe, healthy and happy, and that this post brings you a bit of inspiration to try out something new. 

Life Lessons We Can All Take From Our Time In Isolation

Let’s face it this time in isolation was not only unexpected for most of us but also a completely new experience. Staying in for such a long period of time, not working and spending so much time around the people you live with. Unless you’re one of the amazing key workers that are keeping our country running. It was a case of one day life was more or less normal and the next day it was totally different. Honestly, with everything going on I don’t think we will ever be back to how we were before and we will have a new normal. That might be how we think about hygiene, our physical and mental health, how we work and also just about ourselves. We have all had to learn new things and had to live life differently to how we ideally would. So there’s so many lessons I will personally take out of lockdown with me and one’s we can all take as an individual, family and as a nation. 

1. Take Time Out

This time in lockdown has shown me that I need to give myself more time out, to rest and just be. I usually hate not having anything to do or something planned, but being in isolation has meant I’ve had to slow down. Although I would love to be able to go and sit in a pub garden right now or go shopping in central London, I also know now that I will choose a day just being a home just as much too. It’s not as boring as I use to think it was and actually its a lovely place to just rest and recuperate, especially if you have a comfy sofa and a fur baby to cuddle. 

2. Support Small Businesses

Recently because shops have been closed I’ve been buying online and especially from ‘not on the high-street’. I usually love a little gift shop and picking up little unique presents, but I can’t do that at the minute for birthday presents. All of this has made me realise how much we should be supporting our local businesses, where every time they have an order or sale you are helping someone to succeed not just put money into a large companies pocket. it’s all about balance, but being conscious to support the local cafe’s and restaurants over the big chains. 

3. Being Outdoors Is Essential

I think before lockdown some of us had really forgotten the power of being outside, getting fresh air and just being in an outdoors environment. Only being able to go out to the supermarket and our hour of exercise a day, it’s made us all realise how powerful a breath of fresh air is and how good it is for your mental health too. I know when I’m having a hard day, a long walk will instantly lift my mood and it’s always made better when it’s beautiful weather. So after lockdown lets spend more time outdoors and less time inside in front of a screen. 

4. Keeping in Touch

We all live busy lives, in this crazy modern world, so we do forget to take the time to catch up with our loved ones. But being in lockdown and not being able to see them, makes you realise how much you value them. It could be seeing your mum once a week, going for drinks with the girls on a Friday night or a chat with your colleagues at work. So more than anything, take the time after lockdown to stay connected with the people you love, as its so easy to do so in this amazing technology filled world. 

5. We Don’t Need To Always Look Our Best

mWe don’t always need to have our nails looking perfect, hair cut every 6 weeks and makeup done everyday. My team at work have seen me looking my most natural and raw and it makes no difference to you or your work. I love dressing up for the day and it helps me feel ready for the day, but if I leave the house on a chilled day, makeup isn’t always going to be my first priority. I’m loving not wearing makeup and its doing wonders for my skin!

I hope even one of these just relates to you and your experience in isolation so far. Stay safe, healthy and prioritise your mental and physical health. 

Lockdown Life Update: How Have I Been Coping & Keeping Myself Motivated

As I’ve now been working form home for 6 weeks and we’ve all been in lockdown for 4 and a half weeks, I thought it was about time for a life update. Just to catch you up on how I’m finding lockdown, what I’ve been doing and how I’m trying to keep myself motivated everyday. It’s such crazy times at the minute and I can’t honestly ever remember a time when I’ve spent so much time inside, with not one single plan to look forward to. I like to have those weekend’s away, holidays, time spent with family and a meal with friends to keep me motivated through the week. I’m such a social person and thrive from being around my loved ones, so I can’t wait to give them a big hug and just spend a night catching up and chatting.  

I usually love busy weekends and hate the thought of a weekend with no idea of what I’m going to do. So these lockdown weekends have been a real challenge for me, more than through the week. I’m still working from home and so I have a really good routine that helps me to stay motivated and have time to relax and wind down. Working out is a great way for me to just finish my work day and switch my mind off. Some of my favourite workouts are from Carly Rowena, she has so many amazing workouts and she’s posting new ones every day during lockdown. I’ve also been loving doing Body Balance, Les Mills Barre and just going for long walks to clear my head, and enjoy the amazing weather we’ve been having recently. However, at the weekends it’s so hard to enjoy them. I try to spend time on self care, pampering myself, as well as catching up on tv and with my friends and family. But it’s not the same as going out, being busy and making plans to discover new places. How are you all finding the weekends, what have you been up to? 

I’ve also been finding it super hard to be motivated at the minute. Of course I’m still working so I’m in that routine but it’s still hard when most of my friends and family aren’t working. I just want to be able to spend time with them, but of course we can’t. I’m finding that if I really make sure I have wind down time, away from a screen it really helps. A good book, cleaning or just pottering around and tidying helps me have that little break and also massively helps me to stop getting square eyes. Music is also a great way for me to get into work mode. I’ve been loving listening to throw back playlists, musicals and anything else that makes me feel happy, whilst I’m working. It helps the day go quicker, and I also love having a good sing along to keep my spirits up. 

I thought I would share just a few of the little things I’ve been doing to keep me happy, motivated and just distracted from lockdown. Hopefully you can pop some of these into your routine’s or have already been doing them. I would love to know what you’ve been doing and if there’s anything new I could try…

My Quarantine Bucket List

It seems crazy to refer to this post as a bucket list, because I would never choose to be in isolation and away from all my family and friends. However, I read a quote today that really stuck with me about this whole situation. It basically suggested that you can take this time now as a second life. Treat yourself better, look after your body and mind, do the things you’ve always wanted to do and enjoy yourself. Although you can’t go out and do everyday things, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy having time for yourself. Take the chance to learn a new hobby or catch up with old friends. So, I really want to try and embrace the time I have in isolation and do some of these things, and I thought I would put them together and share them with you. Maybe just to give you a bit of inspiration or just so you know what I’ll be doing with my spare time, away from working. 

This one is not at all inspiring but just realistic. As much as I would love to say I’m trying out loads of new things, I’m actually spending a LOT of time watching tv and catching up on all my current series. Oh and also starting some amazing new ones. They are a great escape and also really help to pass the time. I love to do something creative whilst I’m watching, just to keep me relaxed and away from my phone. 

A few recommendations: Instant Hotel, Liar, Dynasty, Good Girls & Styling Hollywood. 

These are an amazing way to keep a physical copy of all your favourite memories and moments. I have a few and I’ve been loving spending time just updating them all. I got lots of photos printed out, look online for the places with discount codes as theres so many at the minute. Then already had lots of different scrapbooking papers and just enjoy making them look really creative and fun. They’re something that takes a lot of time and concentration and now is the perfect opportunity for me to get them all done. 

I’ve spoken about this so much, so I’m sure you all know, but I’m just really loving interior design at the moment. As I’ve got more time on my hands, I’ve been such a Pinterest addict and loving creating mood boards on ideas for decorating my house. I’m actually so into it that I really want to do an online interior design course. Nothing big or fancy, but just to find out some of the basics, as I find it so interesting. 

This is a goal I’ve had for 2020 and so far I feel like I’m doing okay. Overall I just really want to make more conscious effort to read more and try and read  a book every one to two months. I love reading and it’s such a nice way to escape and bring quarantine I want to try and force myself to get away from screens and enjoy some time with a good book. 

A few of my favourite authors: Ruth Jones, Caroline Roberts & Jenny Colgan. I especially love the last two for an easy read which are a true escape from the rest of the world. 

Since starting this blog 8 years ago, I’ve been on such a journey. I’ve gone from posting weekly, monthly and even daily, along the way. When I’m not blogging I feel like a little part of me is missing and honestly when I come back and start typing away again I instantly feel me again. So I want to dedicate more time to blogging and creating content. I think so far I’m doing okay, staying consistent and now also posting a mid-week post too. 

I want to use this time that we’re indoors to just have a general refresh. Restyle up my room and swap out all my winter clothes from my wardrobe. Spend more time on myself and working out regularly. Have a good tidy round and a declutter if I need to. Just get all the little jobs done that I’ve been meaning to do for ages. 

Since moving to London and joining the gym I’ve been loving working out and going to gym classes. It was an escape and just a time to unwind. Now I can’t go to the gym I’ve really been enjoying doing different online classes and keeping myself fit. I just feel like it really helps me to feel good in my body and mind. Some of my favourites at the minute are from Les Mills, and I love the Barre workouts. 

How To Make Working From Home Suit You

The last month has been a bit of a crazy journey for all of us. Whether you’re not working and completely out of your normal routine that keeps you motivated everyday or you’re now working from home and having to get used to a new way of structuring your working day. We’ve all been adjusting and finding a new normal. I’ve been doing exactly the same! This week marks my fourth week working from home and a month since I last went to the office. It’s been a massive learning curve of how to structure my day, how I work best, when I want to work and just deciding if I can work in my pyjamas everyday or need to get a bit more put together for the day. So I thought I would share some of the ways I like to work from home and have helped me to stay sane but still be productive over the last month.

 1. Get Dressed & Still Have A Morning Routine:

This is literally the best way I’ve found to get me ready for the day and to differentiate my work days and my chilled weekend days. Every day in the week I set my alarm for the same time and do my normal morning routine. I always have a shower and get dressed into a proper outfit, and not just throw on leggings and a jumper. Breakfast is always key for me but I have a more relaxed morning at the minute; spend time watching Youtube videos and having my morning coffee. 

2. Have Set Work Times & Rest Times: 

Even though I could technically work for as long as I want and at any time during the day. I’ve got set work times where I go and sit at my desk ready for work. I’m no way working a day as long as I usually would but my taking a few hours in the morning and a few in the afternoon it helps me to stay motivated. Oh and make sure you have a set lunch break where you eat, so you’re not constantly walking to the fridge and looking for snacks throughout the day. 

3. Have A Place To Work:

I would really struggle if I was always working from my bed or the sofa, so I’ve got a set work space set up. Luckily I have a desk so I have that all set up ready to work at everyday. However, if you don’t you can just use your kitchen or dining table. 

4. Have A Great Playlist:

Normally I work in an office and there’s always people chatting and things going on. So when I’m working form home I just like to have some background noise, as it really helps me to get into the mindset of working. So everyday o find a new playlist to listen to on Spotify, sometimes two and spend my day listening to that. I’m so much more productive than having a tv series on in the background, and I’m also so much more focused on work too. 

5. Do Exercise After Your Working Day:

What I’ve found really helps me is to do a workout, go for a walk or both after my working day. It makes me put my laptop away and helps me to relax. Almost like a way to tell my mind the working day is over and I can just relax. I love doing online workout videos when I need a bit of motivation to get mine done for the day. 

6. Keep In Contact With People:

We’re so lucky with technology now that it’s so easy to keep in touch with people. I have scheduled meetings to just have a catch up on video call with my team and this is a great way to just have a chat and see what they’ve been up to. We also have group chats which are a great way to say hello to everyone and share different things we’ve been doing to keep ourselves entertained during lockdown. 

7. Put Your Other Devices Away:

I need to listen to my own advice here, but I’m really trying to put my other devices away when I’m working. Just so that I can focus on work and not get distracted. It’s easy enough when you’re working from home anyway. It just helps me †o be a lot more productive and also switch off once my working day is done. 

There’s also a few ideas I’ve heard from other people that I would definitely do if I had the space or was working with my other half. One of them is so that you don’t blame each other for not washing up or their mess making lunch, you have a made up person to blame. It just stops arguments and the pressure of being together all the time. Also, working in different places in your house can also really help. If you have an office then one of you can work from there. It’s a dedicated space and when you go in there you know it’s time to work. There’s also no distractions and its easier to just step away at the end of the day.