Heading on holiday? Packing can be stressful, particularly if like me you have a tendency to overpack. Not to mention the struggle of getting it to all fit back in your suitcase for the return trip! Here are a few life hacks that I use to make packing that little bit easier.
Plan your wardrobe
This is the easiest way to avoid over or under packing. Instead of picking random items out of your wardrobe try to pack outfits instead. This will save you from feeling like you have nothing to wear when you get to where your going! To plan my outfits I like to use the Smart Closet app. Although it takes a while to upload your wardrobe it is so worth it to be able to browse your clothes directly from your phone. You can even create a packing list for your holiday so that when it comes to transferring clothes to suitcase you don’t miss anything!
Keep it organised
Want to maximise your space and keep everything organised, packing cubes are your friend! These are an essential if you are going to make multiple stops as it saves you having to unpack and repack as you can just leave everything in the cubes. You can get them in loads of different sizes and colours, personally I wanted something that looked a bit more stylish so shopped around and found these from Nordace. Not only do they look super cute but they are also compression cubes so they shrink down making them even more space efficient.
Accessorise with ease
One of my biggest bugbears when travelling is tangled jewellery. I used to spend hours de-tangling my necklaces but my Stackers jewellery box has been a major game changer! You can get a variety of sizes but I find the medium one is perfect for me. Not only does it keep everything organised for the journey, its also a great way to keep everything organised while you’re on your trip and minimise the chances of a misplaced necklace or a lost earring.
What do you use to make your life easier when it comes to holiday packing?
While working from bed can seem tempting, it’s a sure fire way to end up with cabin fever. Creating a separate work space – ideally somewhere you can shut off once you’re done for the day – will help you get into work mode and help you separate it from your down time.
2. Get active on your lunch break
So there are two parts to this. Firstly always take your lunch break, its important to take regular breaks from staring at screens. Secondly it can be hard to motivate yourself to get active when at the end of the day the sofa is right there. Using your lunch break to go out for a walk or a run will not only give your eyes a well needed rest from screens but the fresh air will help improve productivity for the afternoon.
3. Use the time you would spend commuting doing something productive
If you aren’t used to working from home this one is particularly useful. Trying to keep to your usual routine as much as possible will make it easier to adjust to working from home (and also easier to adjust when you have to go back to the office). Read a book, go for a walk, do some yoga, clean your room – whatever you want! You’ll feel more awake and ready to start the day.
4. Set reminders to take regular breaks
It can be very easy to sit at your desk all day long which is bad for you in many ways. Set reminders on your phone or work computer every hour or so to remind you to get up and move. Do a lap of your house or have a quick stretch.
5. Keep connected
The biggest difference between working at home and working in an office is the people. It can be easy to feel isolated if you don’t make the effort to stay connected to your colleagues. Try to schedule at least one call a day with a colleague or friend.
6. Get dressed like you’re going to work
While it’s nice to be comfy and working in pj’s is very appealing, getting dressed will make you feel more productive and ready to work.
7. Have a clear end to your day
This is important as it is easy to work longer hours when there is a less clear end to your day. Having an end of day ritual will help with this. It could be going to make an afternoon snack or having a shower or even doing some exercise.
Anyone else like having their nails done but also not a fan of paying someone to do it for you? If my nails don’t have polish on I do not feel complete! Here are some of my top tips for getting the salon look from the comfort of your own bedroom…
1. Buy some falsies.
Sick of forever smudging your nails or having to sit there unable to move for 3 hours to make sure they are really properly dry? This one is for you.
There are so many ready painted stick on nails you can get these days – just pop into Boots or Primark – or if you want to get a bit more creative, buy a big pack of plain ones and paint them yourself.
You can buy them in the shape you want and then cut or file them down to size. I use a nail art stand from Amazon and once I’ve got the nails to the right shape and size, paint them and let them dry before sticking them on. Voila, no smudging!
2. Gel polish
Want to keep your natural nails? No problem! This one is a bit more of an investment but worth it in the long run. You can get a full starter kit from Mylee for under £60 which includes the lamp, plus 4 gel polishes, gel polish remover and a top and base coat. Or if you want to be a bit more economical there are lamps on amazon for under £30.
Gel’s are great for avoiding the smudge problem but also will last up to 4 weeks if you take care of them properly.
3. Fun top coats
Want something a bit more out there than a plain colour but not the most creative? Never fear, the fun top coat is here! Using a fun top coat is an easy way to add more to your manicure. Use on all your nails or just one as an accent.
My personal favourites are the funfetti (No. 920 – pictured) and stars in your eyes (No. 477) from candy coat. To get the best out of these products I would recommend using a little paint brush to position the bigger pieces and spread them out to get your desired affect.
Accent nails are another easy way to spice up your manicure. You can go simple and just do one whole glitter nail, or you can go all out and have all your nails glittery. I almost always end up adding some glitter to my nails, these are one of my favourite sets I have done. By doing a glitter ombre it means it isn’t too much for every day but it still has a good amount of sparkle!
To do an ombre you can either use a sponge or a specific paintbrush. There are loads of YouTube tutorials on this.
5. Go dotty
Nail art can be quite daunting so start simple and add some dots for a cute look. You can get a set of dotting tools from Amazon for under £2. As you get braver you can experiment with different dot sizes, overlapping them, using multiple colours. The possibilities are endless, and so easy to do!
Lacking inspiration? Instagram is my go to. There are loads of nail accounts which you can look to for new ideas and patterns.
6. Cuticle oil and moisturiser
Want to get that post salon shine and glow? Pick up some cuticle oil and use post manicure or just on natural nails to keep your skin looking fresh. Oh, and don’t forget to moisturise – you don’t want to spend all that time making your nails look good to have dry hands!
I would say my houseplant obsession started just over a year ago with the purchase of one little peace lily. Since then my love of all things plant has bloomed and one of the things I have found the hardest is picking plants that are easy to look after. So I thought I would share the plants I currently own (and have successfully kept alive) to give you some plantspiration.
My first plant and where it all began. When I bought this lil guy it had a few flowers but it seems to have stopped flowering now.
Super easy to care for as they don’t need watering until they start to droop a bit. They like humid environments so the peace lily thrives in bathrooms, but I keep mine in my room and just spray it with a plant mister every other day. I picked up a second, larger peace lily for my living room as well.
This one I happened across when I was browsing Patch. The purple leaves were too beautiful to resist! Patch is a company based in London and Paris which will deliver plants to your door. They have quickly become my go to for my new green pals.
This plant is described as liking ‘a bright spot not in direct sunlight’ and mine has flourished in the time I have had it. I have been watering once a week and so far so good.
This features in my room revamp post. Snake plants are notoriously easy and when I saw this in the supermarket with this beautiful pot I couldn’t say no!
Picking a pot is almost as exciting as picking a plant but they tend to also be the expensive bit. Supermarkets are great because you get plant and pot for not much more than the plant would cost on its own. Also the plant fits perfectly in the pot – which is not always easy to find.
What plant collection is complete without a cactus or two? This one was a gift but they’re easy enough to find – I found one in urban outfitters the other day!
Cactus’s are a common choice because they are (almost) impossible to kill, given that they traditionally live in a desert and go without water for a long time, so no worries if you forget to water this spiky guy.
Patch have helpfully categorised all their plants so if you’re looking for a little greenery for a certain spot you can pick something that will survive and thrive. So when I was looking for a new plant to fill an empty pot for this little window spot I quickly found the right thing for the space.
Aloe Vera has been approved by NASA as one of the best air-purifiers to help remove pollutants from the air, and living in London I cannot get enough air purifying plants.
Ok so this is maybe not an easy plant (I don’t know I’ve had it for less than 48hrs) but ever since I moved in I have wanted a trailing plant to go on top of my wardrobe and so I finally gave in.
I also had my eye on this pot for ages but it had been out of stock until recently, I think the grey-green tones are so lovely.
I can’t wait to see this one grow!
Another gift, I have no idea what sort of plant this is. I have tried extensive googling and I am still none the wiser, but it seems to be an easy one.
It is growing happily without me giving it much attention and just keeping an eye to make sure its watered. One thing I have noticed is this guy has a tendency to get dusty so I have to clean the leaves every so often to keep it looking at its best.
First essentials for looking after your new plant children are a watering can and a plant mister. I picked up this mister from ASOS and it’s pretty enough to live on a surface rather than in a cupboard. I find it’s much easier to remember to look after a plant if you keep watering implements close to hand.
When deciding if your plant is thirsty enough to have a drink, stick your finger into the soil and if it comes out clean your pal needs some attention. Another clue is wilting leaves.
The other thing I have learnt is the importance of proper drainage. If you’re going to take your plant out of the plastic pot that you brought it in, make sure to put some gravel/stones at the bottom of your pot before adding soil to allow water to drain out and to avoid root rot.
Who else has a plant obsession (please say it isn’t just me)? If like me you’re a houseplant hoarder why not follow my plantstagram for all things green – @plantlover.lottie