Thursday, 30 September 2021

Getting Sh*t Done- How I Keep Organised


I've touched on the subject of Organisation  in my post on the Daily Goal Setter planner I use- something I still use but since 2019 I've adapted my organisation further and thought I'd share with you! With life being hectic at times, it can be hard to keep on top of everything and remember everything but with my current arsenal I think I've got it covered.

 The Diary

Call me old fashioned but I love a paper diary. The feeling of writing on paper rather than tapping events and appointments into my phone is far more satisfying and I find looking at a diary much more appealing too. Around this time last year I found Busy B's website packed full of wonderful planners, organisers and hybrids of the two. The one I opted for this year and again for 2022 is the Perfect Planner. Not only is it pretty, its incredibly practical too and I find it helps me with the logistics of my shift pattern, planning my life and keeping a note of Chris' shifts too! With that in mind, I've started a system of stickers in my diary to know what shift I'm on rather than keep writing, dayshift, night shift the entire way through. It frees up space to write other bits and I can just glance at the colours to indicate what shift I'm on that day, I use blue for days and red for nights. As for Chris' shifts they're a range of colours that I won't get into! I love to input my fitness into my diary to keep a tab of what I did that day and for my Etsy store a tally of how many items I sold each day to keep track. As well as the week to view pages, this diary consists of four handy pockets to store those random bits of paper we all have, tear of to do lists, stickers and a note pad at the back of the diary too. It's a super practical diary and stylish too!

Birthday Card Planner

I recently picked up this lovely birthday card book from Busy B. Each year I start off with the best intentions of keeping on top of my loved ones Birthdays but it's easy to get behind or distracted in general life. Since using this I've found I keep on top of people's birthdays so much better!

After filling in everyone's birthdays, I fill each month with enough cards and at the beginning of each month I'll look through and see who's birthday is when. I'll then write out their card and use a post it note to date when it needs to be sent by before popping the card in the letter rack ready for posting later that month. It's such a simple process but being that bit more organised and using the planner has meant I've never missed a birthday yet!

Gift Organiser

Another item from Busy B. Can you tell I'm a fan of this brand? The Gift Planner is another good way to organise occasions such as birthdays, Christmas, weddings and other events that call for a gift of some kind! This planner has helped me to not only get on top of being ahead of the game with gift giving but also with budgeting too. 

It's also handy for gift receiving too. You can jot down who bought you what so that you don't forget and can thank the right person for the gift you received- something I think comes in handy in particular for weddings! I've found this organiser to go hand in hand with the Birthday Card Planner and again refer to it at least once a month or whenever I have an idea of what to get someone for their birthday/Christmas. As an extra added bonus, this organiser comes a handy pocket and stickers! Who doesn't love a sticker right? This organiser has you covered with Christmas, Birthday and generally pretty stickers for gifting. I love it.


 Travel Checklist

In my mind the key to a successful trip is all about the preparation so I created The Travel Check List which has everything you need listed to ensure you won't forget the important things as well!
It makes packing stress-free with these handy sheets of prompts and I even added space for additional items to add as not all trips are the same. 

Having a tick off check list helps me to get organised and not be thinking "hmm did I already pack that?" , not remembering and having to unpack to check if said item is the bag! It also means I don't have to remember so much in my head if it's written on a list for me. 


Outfit Planner

The Outfit Planner is another thing that I love for packing and goes hand in hand with the travel checklist . Again I  think that the key to a successful outfit is all about the preparation! The Outfit Planner lists have everything you need to ensure you won't forget what pairs together and have outfits planned for the next 8 days. I've not only found this makes travel packing stress-free but it also means I don't over pack and take unnecessary bulk with me- something that is especially important when you're travelling light with just hand luggage! 


Again having it on paper and ticking it off is a great way of not having to try and remember what to bring in your head and by planning out what you're wearing you can even pack a few things that will make up more than one look and again reduces on bulk packing.


The Home Renovation Planner

This was something I didn't know I needed until we bought a new house and our friends gifted it as a moving in present! They know me too well I think! The Home Renovation Planner comes from Paperchase and I've absolutely loved using this to curate the rooms of our dreams in the new home.


As well as being organisational I've found it therapeutic and also kinda crafty with making mood board/ theme boards of colours, textures and bits we'd like to buy for each room. The grid paper to sketch out has also come in handy, especially with seeing what will fit in a room.


This planner is also budget friendly with dedicated spaces for jotting down your budget and what you've spent so far, as well as month views and goal setting to motivate you and get you organised. I also love the little hints and tips throughout the book and links to inspiring instagram accounts for home decor! 



So far I've made progress on the kitchen and the study- both of which will be blogged about in the future so watch this space... This book would make for an amazing gift for anyone buying their first home or a new home. I certainly loved receiving mine!


The Food Shop

I thought I'd touch on this one again because I still find this one incredibly helpful each and every week. Sync  your notes for the food shop! Yup. Sod scrappy bits of paper and wondering who’s turn it is to go get the shop! If you have an iPhone and live with a partner, friend or whoever, add them to a notes list! It syncs with their phone so when you add something to the food list they get it too. 


This has revolutionized shopping in our house as when one of us uses the last of an item, we add it to the list and voila its bought rather than thinking “ooh must add that to scrappy paper list” and then forget. You always have your phone with you but a paper food shop list? That tends to get left on the side and then you find yourself trying to remember what exactly was on that poxy list... 

The other routines I still do now from my last post are batch meals which have become even more helpful now that I work shifts, Night before prep and Sunday night prep (which is not necessarily a Sunday now with working shifts but whatever!)

What's on my organisational wishlist?

The next thing I'd like to add to my organisation arsenal is definitely a Christmas Planner from Busy B for the next time I host Christmas. Having a dedicated book to write down Christmas recipes, ideas on what to buy and how to decorate and gifting too would be my organisational dream for the next time I host so watch this space...

I also love the idea of this Couples Bucket List Book from Paperchase. Instead of dreaming about it, why not plan it? You may not have the budget at the moment but planning it can certainly give you the goal and motivation to get there right? Again this would make for a gorgeous gift for a couple, perhaps newly engaged or married!

Anyway I could talk planning until I'm blue in the face. It really appeals to me and the way my brain works! Are you the same or similar to me? I'd love to hear how you keep a hold on things and stay on track too!



Sunday, 12 September 2021

Bumbling About in Brighton and South Downs *Ad Gifted

At the beginning of June, me, the husband and hound set off on another trip in an epic Bumble Campervan!

Having visited The Peak District, The Lake District and The New Forest on our previous bumble adventures, we thought it was time we head somewhere a little different so for this trip we ventured to Brighton and the South Downs!

As usual, we had hardly any packing to do as Bumble Campers provide everything you need for the perfect camping trip! On board we had:

- big plates, small plates, bowls, cups ad cutlery for two people
- kettle pan set, chopping board, knife, jug, tin, opener, spoon
- self-lighting camping stove and two gas canisters
- sofa/bed with storage, a table. rear kitchen with sink & tap
- powered coolbox, on-board power, inverter, USB/aux-in stereo
- campsite guide & discounted rates for 100's of campsites
- blackout blinds, camping chairs, safe for cash, passports/wifi


We found the perfect camping spot called Southdown Way Caravan & Camping which gave us the best of both worlds; being close to Brighton but also the South Downs scenery. 


One of the beauties of a Bumble camper is the fact you can drive to your destination and there's minimal unpacking to do. Say farewell to deciphering which tent pole goes where, instead Chris and I were wondering- shall we set the bed up now (which is super easy to do) or enjoy the van as a seating area for a while? 


We opted to set the bed up ASAP as it was lovely just laying and admiring the views. The bed itself comprises of the van table transforming into part of the base of the bed and the futon mattress unstraps and roles into place- simple! Chuck on some snuggly bedding and you're good to go!



Another thing to note is Bumble Campers are very much dog friendly, which means your four legged friend can also come camp with you! Harry pawsitively loves coming away with us, enjoying the different sights and smells and it's an adventure for him as well as us too!


So what next? On our first night it only seemed right to enjoy some beverages that had been nicely cooling on our journey down in the van's fridge, play cards and enjoy the gorgeous sunset.




And to finish off an already perfect evening, we snuggled down in to watch some good old Netflix in the comfort of the van. 


The following morning we woke up bright and early and thoroughly refreshed after a comfortable nights sleep in the van. The next thing to do was sort breakfast!


Equipped with a fridge teamed with bacon and eggs, I got to work making a breakfast of champions ahead of a day out in Brighton. Having a kitchen station at the back of the van is so handy and practical. There's no fishing around on the floor of the tent to find all your cooking equipment.


Once fed, we packed up the van and headed for a day of adventure, stopping off first at the Jack and Jill Windmills in Clayton. 



We'd seen the windmills in the distance from our campsite and were intrigued to go take a look. They were a lovely sight to see and if we'd not had Harry with us we'd have taken a look inside. It's also a great stop off point if you're walking to Devils Dyke- somewhere I'll mention later.



The views from the hill of the windmills was also spectacular. Here we could see the gorgeous landscape of the South Downs.


Next up we headed into Brighton for the day. One thing I will note is check where to park ahead of your visit if you're in a camper. There's plenty of parking but a lot of car parks had a height restriction which limited where we could go and meant we were driving around looking for a parking spot for longer than we'd have liked. Brighton was a cool place to visit and there's so much to do, so much so that I forgot to take photos!!! I'd recommend a trip down The Lanes and a visit on the Pier as just some of the things to do.


The next day we headed to Devils Dyke for a spot of walking and fresh air. It's a real beauty spot where you can admire the Sussex countryside on dedicated trails.




After admiring the stunning views and enjoying a lovely walk, we headed off to find the Ouse Valley Viaduct.


Located between Haywards Heath and Balcombe, Ouse Valley Viaduct offers quite the dramatic view. A structural marvel, the viaduct was originally built in 1838 to carry the London-Brighton line over the River Ouse.






It has been estimated that around 11 million bricks were used in construction. Once a treat known only to locals, it is now an Instagram hotspot! Visit early or later for a quieter experience and bring your camera!


So that was our trip to Brighton and South Downs in a Bumble Camper! It was lovely to explore some of the south of the UK and I'd love to head back that way for more walking in the future. The camper van experience was wonderful as ever and I can't rate Bumble Campers enough. If you haven't tried one yet, do it- you won't be disappointed, especially having used a Bumble Camper since 2017 myself!

Have you been to Brighton and South Downs? Let me know where I need to visit when I next go!



* I was very kindly asked to photograph of the Bumble Camper van in exchange for a gifted trip. I was not asked to write a blog post but I wanted to because I love this brand so much and think you guys will too!

Sunday, 2 May 2021

The Retinol Revolution

 


Skincare is something I've become more passionate about since entering my thirties and with that retinol has become a huge part of my skincare routine.

So what is retinol? Retinol is also known as vitamin A which helps to speed up skins healing, prevent breakouts and build up the immunity of your skin. Retinol also promotes natural moisturising and helps to promote and maintain a healthy dermis and epidermis. All of these properties help to make your skin look smoother, give a better complexion as well as help with anti ageing. Who doesn't want that in their lives!?


There are various price points for retinol products on the market but the one I've found works for me as well as being very reasonably priced is The Ordinary . They strive to make their products exceptional as well as sensibly priced which to me is a no brainer and I've certainly seen the benefits!


Retinol 1% in Squalene

When I began using retinol I started off with a low percentage as it can cause irritation and peeling whilst your skin builds a tolerance so I began with the 1% in squalene. I used it 1-2 times a week and initially I did notice that my skin felt a bit more sensitive than usual but I could see an improvement in fine lines and pigmentation in my skin. With having an oily complexion I was also worried that this oil based treatment would worsen by condition and break me out but it did quite the opposite and for the first time in my life I could use an oil on my skin! I used the 1% for a good eight months before stepping it up to the next level.

Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion

The next level I used was in fact retinoid rather than retinol as retinoid is stronger and with it being in emulsion this product was oil free. The great benefit to this was I found it sunk into my skin a lot easier and was very light weight. 


Being a higher strength than the 1% I was previously using and having built up a tolerance to that, the 2% Retinoid continued to improve my skin's signs of anti aging and the slight rosacea I have on my left cheek. I used this for four months this time before adding in a 5%...

Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalene

I've been transitioning into the 5% retinoid for a few months, using it in between the 2% and I can definitely feel the strength with it being over double that I've been using before which is why I'm easing into my skincare regime gradually.


I've also gone back to the squalene solution which is the oil as whether it does or not, it *feels* like it works better? Whether that's the case or if it's a subconscious thing I don't know but again this is really helping with my rosacea and continuing to improve my skins appearance. It definitely looks more glowy and feels very soft too. I'll be shortly phasing out the 2% and using 5% all of the time!


So that's my retinol revolution. Since using it in my skincare routine I have 100% noticed a beneficial difference to my skin with it reducing fine lines and signs of aging, improving the texture of my skin and the pigmentation too. I would definitely recommend it and starting off slowly too. If you're after more of the science behind retinol, The Ordinary has plenty of information on their website which will explain far better than I can!

Have you introduced retinol to your skincare routine?





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