The Ultimate Working From Home Guide to keep you Going….

When I got told that I’ll be working from home (WFH) I thought it’d be a doddle, I was excited, I don’t need to wake up early, who cares if I’ve had a shower or not? Pyjama party….. all day…. Every day……

Day one came, and went, still in my PJs, but no productive work done. This should have been easy, but I just couldn’t sit down, I wasn’t comfortable, I couldn’t concentrate, and so many distractions in the house…. I will put it down to first day syndrome.

Second day was very similar, although I got ABIT more done than yesterday, but still, it’s just so hard to be motivated in the house. I didn’t think it would be this hard…I keep making tea, then more tea, then snacks, and 3 hours later I still haven’t done anything

Day Three I needed to make a change, if I carried on like this I wouldn’t have a job at all…. I think I have figured out the real issue here. It’s the work/home balance. With all the distractions of home around me, I just cant get my head focused on work…… because work should be in the office, and home is where the errands are, (and the food!)

And so here is my working from home ultimate guide to keep yourself (or myself) motivated:

Choose an Office Space….

We cant really have a office in the house, thats why its a house, and not work! But you need to find a space in the house where you are away from all the distractions of home life, and then make it a permanent spot.

This probably is the hardest thing to do. The bedroom didn’t work…… the lounge didn’t work…….. The kitchen- the cookies I made were delicious, but the work didn’t get done…. I spent one day outside because the weather was beautiful, and ended up with back ache and throbbing headache, so that was out of the question.

This is something that has to be picked right, and it may take a couple of days to get there. I ended up in the dining room, probably because in all honesty its the easiest, the table is already there, the chair ready to sit on, and I have the space on the table around me to put all my bits and bobs, so im not constantly looking for stuff.

Wake Up, Dress Up, Show Up…

The first three days went a little like this:, I woke up later then the alarm time, had a long(er) shower than normal, had my tea whilst gazing outside, (because I no longer have to commute to work) and then I got back into my pyjamas- because well why not?…… But honestly I think pyjamas were mentally letting me down. I was too comfortable, too slouchy, too easy going, and this was draining my mind and body

So now I get up at the same time (oh I lie, I get up by I stay in bed for a bit longer). I touched my face up a bit (just a bit though, have you guys noticed the changes in the skin texture whilst staying in?). And I make sure I dress up.

I found this to be so important, when you have told yourself mentally to get ready for work, you ARE ready to work. Evan after I have logged off from work, I feel better and fresher. Its just a feel good factor, especially in these turbulent times.

I have a friend who actually spends the time it normally takes her to get to her workplace doing some exercise on youtube in her lounge, to get her in the mode. Im not ready for that but I thought that was a wonderful idea.

Fresh Air…

Right going back to the changes in skin, im not the only person right? my skin is changing day after day, and im having to change products so much because everything and nothing works at the same time. I really dont know where to start….. but it may be due to the lack of fresh air, vitamin D inconsistency, the stress of the position we are in, and generally being stuck inside all day long.

And for that reason my workspace is right next to the door, its ideal because I can get the fresh air in, if I need a breather I can pop out, and also the rays of sunlight feel so wonderful on the skin and perk up my mood. So try and choose a location which brightens up your working space and allows you the breathing space.

Food, Food and More Food

Anyone else feel the weight piling on? its Boredom. Boredom makes you want to eat, and so we are all coming out of this quarantine with beer bellies and as long as we all do it, its ok…. we can make it fashun! (ok Ok maybe not. Im joking, just saying. Chill out!)

In the office because we are so consumed with work, we just get up for coffee breaks and back to it, but at home, the food possibilities are endless…. I got up more than I sat and focused…. because I wanted to eat…..and eat, and eat some more, and after I ate I needed a nap. And then my whole day was ruined.

I had to put a stop to that, and that included, bringing all the snacks to my workspace with me and closing the dining room door. Initially I Evan got that part wrong, because 6 packs of crisps, chocolates and fizzy drinks are not considered brain food!

So I swopped the fizzy drinks for fruit infused water. (Twinnings are the best)

Crisps for Mug shots (2% fat, that will do perfectly)

And chocolates for fruits!! And to get the extra ‘At work’ feel I added a few personal portraits and plants… ( Also it makes a great picture. Aesthetic’s and that. Just saying )

And the only extra thing I kept on the side- is the hand gel. You can never have too much hand gel at this moment in life. Right? Better to be cautious.

The Kiddos

I guess I got lucky here, I have a 16 year old and a 13 year old, the days of running after the kiddos and aeroplanning a spoonful of egg custard and rice are long gone. But for some of you this will be the biggest challenge. Try ( I do say try whilst rolling my eyes because I can’t evan imagine it) and create a balance and a routine, maybe leave phonecalls when the child is asleep, or watching a Disney movie, and focus on the menial and the easy to do jobs whilst the child is in need of your attention. In all honesty I believe parents with younger kids are more efficient because they know how to multitask and are better at time management, and always solve the last minute hiccups without faltering. (You guys rock!)

I have a routine set up for my 13 year old. He has a spot just opposite my desk. Before I start work I set up some work for him to do and keep all the equipment he needs ready, aswell as some snacks for him too (I’m not sharing) . As soon as he is up and ready he will sit opposite me and get what he has been assigned done. Obviously he will ask me questions and we have a chit chat too. He’s a nice guy.

So guys switch off that TV, get off the bed, put on that top you have been wanting to wear, and get some work done x

Hope that you all are looking after yourselves.

Stay safe

M11bna

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DIY your own ‘House Warming’ Hamper

My friend bought her first home, and to celebrate this she invited the girlies over to a dinner party.

Knowing that I cant go empty handed I decided to look around for a house warming gift, but the problem here was I didnt have a clue what her house looked like, or what colours she had gone for.

I didnt want to be in a positon where I bought her a vase, or a tableware set and she would put it as far back in her cupboard as seemingly possible, so that her hands never come across it….. (come on we have all been there with gifts we dont …..really use or like)

so the one thing I did think of is a hamper, the thing I love about hampers is that, theres so many things to it, you can just keep adding, and you can choose what you want to give, so customise it to your own… or their preference…

I had a look at a few ready made hampers, and then decided ‘hold on- I can do this myself’.… and I did… and now ill share it with you all….

1. Buying the Products

The first thing is buying the products, since its a new home, I thought of candles (no body says no to candles) diffusers (nobody says no to diffusers) chocolates (nobody says no to chocolates) sweets (nobody says…. you get me right?) drinks( nobody says…. ok ok. im stopping now!) and generally leaning towards that kind of stuff. So themeing it according to event is important… so baby shower would hold different things, as would a hens night.

Here are a few products I bought

2. Colour Co-ord

Colour coordination makes a difference, seriously it does, notice online, how the hampers with similer colours look so much more better and ……’together’ then the ones that are just bunged together. Not that theres anything wrong with the others…. just it looks better for sure. But you know your friend/family better and do what you think is best.

as you can see I have stuck to pink and golds

3. Basket

It doesn’t have to be a basket, it can be a board, like a cake board, it can be a box, evan a general shoe box would work, just make sure you cover it well. All you need is something to chuck all your things into! and that something… just has to be preety…. ok? make sure its preety…. do not put it all in a carrier bag! please DO NOT, unless you dont like him/her, then ill give you permission. (*eye wink).

I used a wired basket -these things are preety, they are handy and because they are see through, you dont need to worry about the contents drowning into your hamper.

4. Doublesided Tape

Always have this ready! It is needed to put everything together in the end…

5. Tricks

The best way to do it is, choose a front…. once you have chosen what you want at the front, take all the longer items and put them first at the back, and then the smaller items at the front so that each item can be seen, whether that be just the tops coming out or through the wired basket in my case. The same rule applies if you have chosen a closed basket/box, make sure the bigger and taller items are at the back, and sit the smaller ones on top or at the front so that everything can be seen.

Heres a quick video of how I did mine

6. Rules

There are none, as you can see evan I took out and put back items, keep doing it until you feel it is right. Its ok to put things on top of each other

Make sure you ‘jiggle’ the contents, see what’s wobbling and tape it on.

Get the girls together and share the cost, you can make the hamper bigger and better this way.

7. Take pictures

Take loads of pictures because it’s so damn pretty.

Don’t forget to share your creation when you make them.

Love and regards

M11bna

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High Chaii

Another day to entertain. My friend Afreen was coming from Dubai. She works in Dubai for a broker firm, and pops over once or twice a year to catch up with her family and children. And US.

She lives in Dubai, I really can’t compete with that place to take her anywhere fantastic to spend time with her. Dubai is the hotspot of dining and wining. Also our weather is terrible. Yep she’s from UK, so is aware of this, but generally runs off to Dubai to get away from the weather here.

So I decided instead of taking her out, I would throw her a High Chaii party at mine. (High Chaii is the Indian equivalent to the british Afternoon tea). and that way I can make it that extra special.

So I invited a few of our friends over and I created this

Well firstly, I’m sure you know by now I have a love for cups- I’m talking about tea cups here. So I had a chance to show case my new teacups. I got these from my trip in India- and it goes so well with the theme.

Aren’t they soo pretty? (Smiling widely)

And now ill break down what I made.

This is something I improvised with. I don’t have a name for it, so please feel free. I basically chopped up onions and tomatoes and added salt, chilli powder, lemon juice, and ready made salsa. I deep fried poppadoms and put the onion mixture in the middle. And boy was it divine. Do try it. It’s mouthwatering.

A Fruit Platter. Always a must. Always pretty. Always colourful. Always in my parties!

Khaman. I ordered these, they are a yellow steamed cake made out of chick pea flour. It has a tangy and sweet flavour and goes soo well with green chutney.

Dahi Vada. These are deep fried lentil balls soaked in yoghurt topped with spicy and tangy chutneys, like green chutney and tamarind sauce. And then finished off with spice powders ( I can see you salivating). This is a traditional Indian street food. I served these up in cocktail glasses to give it a grandeur look.

Kheema pockets and Omelette rolls. The Omelette rolls are basically masala omelettes wrapped around a chappati. And I split this into two.

And the Kheema pockets, is minced meat cooked with Indian masalas, and then put into halved pitta nan’s with lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes. (Definately the biggest hits of the day. I may need to do a step by step blog on this).

Next up we had Punjabi vegetable samosas (which I bought) and home made mango puree and puris. The puris was made by a dear friend, they are an Indian deep fried bread which we dunk into the mango puree.

I also added some croissants, tea cakes, scones and marmalade.

And lastly

We had Tea, orange Juice and drinks because my dear guest does not like Tea. So I served her up some Pepsi in my wonderful tea cup.

And here is the beauty herself. Hope you enjoyed you High Chaii.

And to end it all we had to do our selfies. I mean what even is a party if there are no selfies right?

I hope you guys got some ideas for your next high chaii. Don’t forget to send me pics or tag me on social media.

Until the next one,

Love and Regards

M11bna

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My Planner/Diary for 2020

So how did I choose my planner, it was different thats for sure. Yes. I know its just a planner. But that’s the point. It’s My planner, My time keeper and Diary for the whole year, and I need to get it right.

So after deciding on the Helloday Planner- as I have been using that 4 years in a row, and I felt disloyal if I went with another diary, I decided to wait until they have a promotional offer as every penny can make a difference.

Then….

My builder (and a very close family friend) was in the house and whilst fixing my lights he called out to me-

“Bhabhie, bhabhie…. I know what your favourite color is!… It’s red heneh?!” ( bhabhie means sister in law, and heneh means heneh!- he’s an Indian man- just go with it)

I was shocked, and blushing, and impressed, “yes, yes, it is- how did you know?”

His face dropped- he looked at me as though I had insulted him, ” GREY” he shouted “grey, grey is your favourite color, everything in this house is grey. Are you going to add colour in anywhere??- im tired of grey”

It was time for my face to drop. He is so right, my whole house is grey, every room is grey, from my living room, to my bedroom, or the boys room. It’s Grey…. And I claim red is my favourite colour. Ofcourse he thinks Im mad.

and then it hits me….. Evan my current diary is grey…. and so is the next one I want to buy! so Cancel, Cancel, Cancel….. and thats when I decided on the Amelia Lane Paper Diary, and I opted for the ‘Peony’ because theres no grey in it- it has pops of pink and reds! and its got peonies on it…….wha?? flowers you say? What grey? cant hear you!

and am I happy?? OH YES!

And here it is, its a beauty.

I wouldnt say that I was dissapointed with the unveiling part of the diary, but I would say that Hello Day Planner put alot more effort in the initial unveiling. (and I did miss that) but thats not to say what I have isnt good. I Do love it.

I love the look of it, especially the Golden rim, it gives it a beautiful look, and not just a diary look, but THE Diary look.

It has the year to view, month to view, and the week to view.

Vision board for the year to come to put down your resolutions

It has a monthly overview to track your progress over the year.

Before the start of the month for a full double page is dedicated to goals, habit trackers, income bills,expenses and savings (my favourite page!!)

Colorful stickers are provided for those extra special days. (I loved doing this. None of the Hello Day planners have this )

At the end of the Diary- a weekly health chart is provided and a full page for a bucket list (this isnt going to be enough for me. I need atleast two)

Gift buying list and a page dedicated to books and movies and right at the end along with the notes and the ideas a sleeve pocket is enclosed for flyaway papers.

I really dont think I can ask for any more in a diary

The planner can be found at http://www.amelialanepaper.co.uk

And now Im going to start filling my diary in.

Love and regards

m11bna

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Getting Ready for Black Friday

This year Black Friday falls on 29th November. Are you Ready??

Is it just me that thinks that Black Friday offers more discount then any other time of year? Ill probably say this again in the Christmas sales- but for the time being- isnt it the best day ever for a sale?

Although most stores offer some sort of discount on Black Friday, I find that the most discounts are usually put towards electrical appliances and gadgets like laptops and pcs, and games etc. However all stores usually have something going on, so if you are after something specific, just wait it out. Every penny counts.

If we are ever after anything big- for instance a Television, we try (if manageable) to hold out to this time of year. For the same price we are willing to pay- we can get something far bigger and better.

Last year we bought our TV, proudly sitting on our wall, and the year before I bought my kettle and toaster.

Normally at £79.99 for the kettle and £79.99 for the toaster, I picked up both for £70. And I did this online, so I didn’t have to face the manic rush of going to the store.

The internet has made life easier for shoppers like me- who can’t deal with crowds or queues, however there can be issues with servers, and sometimes the website just stops responding. I remember when I wanted my kettle and toaster, I was at the dentist ( yes I’m forever at the dentist. My teeth are a chronic problem as you may have figured. I should just do a blog on my tooth journey, see how old I get before I have none. I give myself 3 years max.) and I saw that the price had dropped, whilst waiting in reception, I decided to purchase online, but everytime I went to pay- the website would crash. I then called the hubby dearest and both of us tried. After my appointment which went so slow because I had anxiety that I would loose out on my kettle and toaster, (but atleast I wasnt thinking of the pain of the tooth) the hubby rang to say he will go in to the store straight after work. Before he finished work I somehow managed the whole process online. And wahey!! I still have it sitting on my kitchen counter.

As you can see 2 years on, my toaster is spanking, but my kettle has definately had its day (shame on me for scrubbing with a scourer!) So my wish list for black friday this year is the kettle again. Unfortunately evan though its old now- the price is still the same at £79.99. So im hoping Ill get it at half price again, and both products will last me a couple more years.

Since Black Friday is coming up heres a little guide on how to survive the day:

Make A List

Its important to have a list, especially if you have a budget. so you dont end up buying things that are not needed, and neglecting the ones that you Need now.

Budget

Allow yourself a maximum amount you want to spend per product and try to stick to it.

Research

Its best to check where the products are, and how much for. Some products go down alot (like my kettle and toaster) some products go down by 10p. YES! you saw the 10p, but because of the manic and the rush and people not seeing or researching beforehand- all they see is the sale sign and buy it, and later on realise they were done over. And some stores are really clever and sell there products at higher prices in the name of a ‘Sale’. So be Warned and be Sharp.

Black Friday sales usually do start early now- as some retailers want to get ahead of the game- so be aware of this if you are after something in particular from a particular store. Keep checking from a week in advance.

Also Black friday now is followed by Cyber Monday so in all honesty you have a whole weekend to pick up what you need. And do remember if its not available, Christmas sales are starting literally 10 days after, so wait it out!

Online Shopping

If you dont get a chance to go to the store due to commitments, or like me hate crowds and queues, this is the best option. Do make sure that the web page you are using is reliable (check for the lock at the top) and be patient if the web page does crash. Id rather be refreshing the page in the comfort of my own house/office then to be standing in a queue.

Check items before buying.

This does not work for online orders, but if you are in a store, do check the item throughly, as hundreds of people before you have touched this item. So take a few minutes to check its not damaged, or dropped. Its so much more harder to get refunds for sale items.

So thats my tips of getting the best out of Black Friday. Hopefully Ill be using them myself, but the excited little bunny I turn into when I see the sale sign really doesnt help me.

All the best with your shopping.

Love and Regards

M11bna

The Perfect Planner

It’s that time of year, where I start looking for diaries……I know I know. We have phones- and they are capable of holding all our information, like birthdays and appointments, but it’s just not the same for me. I need the feel of pen and paper, I like opening pages and looking in. And more importantly I love my diary to have a bit of character.

I’ve actually been searching for over a month now, and though the internet has so many options, I still haven’t found the perfect one. Sometimes when we are given more options, it makes us more fussy.

I’ll share what I have been using last couple of years.

I love photos, I love taking photos, whether that be of myself, my family, or scenic. And I love diaries, so what better combination. I made these diaries online on printerpix. It takes a bit of time, but it’s so nice to cherish, and it’s lovely to see pictures and memories. It’s a weekly diary and you can add a picture on for every week. Do keep 52 pictures ready.

Initially this was perfect for me, when I was working at BT Openreach. Enough to put in birthdays, appointments, anniversaries, training dates, school holidays etc, but as soon as my baking kicked off full time, I was running out of space. I needed more, and I wanted more of a professional look.

Then I found these babies

The Hello Day Planners. I’m not kidding when I say I fell in love with them. I’ve used them 4 years in a row as I’ve never been able to find anything better. They are so stylish and beautiful. And they are presented so well…. Have a look on YouTube for the unveiling. They come in gorgeous boxes, wrapped in tissue paper, with special cards. Honestly it’s like owning a designer bag. I look so forward to opening it up. I’ve also done unveiling videos in my insta stories. ( I know so sad) but …. Take my word for it …. Look on YouTube.. … ‘Hello Day planner unveiling’ . I guarantee you’ll put it in your Christmas wish list.

But it’s not just the packaging that enticed me, the packaging was a bonus as when I purchased my first one (after alot of ‘oh I don’t know if I should’ as at £46 it’s not exactly cheap- as the hubby says- the pound shop have loads of diaries!) It’s the whole product and what it offers.

With business now booming I needed a day to day planner, and I also need it to offer me more than just dates, and this planner does exactly that:

It’s a day a page- with a remainder to be grateful every morning, as well as a water and exercise plan. A quote of the day to keep you going, and a full page dedicated to what you need to do for the day.
Every month has its own beautiful plastic tab, and did you see the gold rims? Just how beautiful are they?
Before you start- you can put your yearly goals in, and it also allows you to check your progress every quarter.
My favourite page. Budgeting. Keep a track of your going ins and your going outs.
Every month has a full 2 page month at a glance page where you can note down important things briefly.
Also every month starts off with a goal planning page, put down your goals, things to do, and then finishes off with a end of month reflection.
Before the start of the week a page is dedicated to a glance of the full week.
Each day to day page has a blank space which I used to draw my cakes. Perfect for me to be able to picture it all

And then at the front and back there are empty pages just to use for own pleasure- I used these to put down my pricing for events and cakes. And the standard the year at a glance and important Telephone numbers.

I can’t think of anything else I would need in my planner.

So why Am I searching?

Well I no longer have my business and my diary looks like this now. Loads of blanks.

As much as I love my diary it’s too big and empty for me now. I need to switch back to weekly, yet the photo ones do not do it for me anymore

I want the Hello day qualities in a weekly planner.,and yes Hello Day do offer them. But only in 2 designs, (which I’m not keen on) and they lack the beauty the big ones have.

So I’m searching frantically for the perfect diary. One thing I do love is ‘Google’. As soon as it picks up what you are after- it sends you an immense amount of links, and I have found quite a few companies that do very similer planners to Hello Day. But I feel guilty about getting it (how is that Evan possible!) But I really do. I’m passionate about my diary. It’s my key accessory. I rave to anyone I know about my diary- you would think I work for Helloday (if they are jobs available- do let me know).

From the suggestions by Google I have 4 diaries on my mind.

1. Helloday Planner

Always number one, but I also have alot of guilt. £36.00. Have a look at their collection here : www.hellodayplanner.co.uk

2. BusyB

The price is a bonus, it has the full monthly page, weekly dates, budget planning. £15.99 . Find the BusyB collection here www.busyb.co.uk

3. Daily Greatness

I’m really leaning towards this. Love the leather pouch, it has so much going on inside, and very colourful. Abit on the dearer side but I do use my diaries throughout the year- so will be worth it. £89.00. Look at the collection here www.dailygreatness.co.uk

4. Amelia Lane

Looks so much like the Helloday but more colourful. Has the yearly, weekly and monthly break downs inside. Also budget planning. Same price as hello Day. £36.00. look at the collection here www.amelialanepaper.co.uk

And now I’m going to ignore all other suggestions by Google, and decide on one from the above, because I seriously cannot be adding more to my list.

Let’s see which one I end up going for.

Love and regards

M11bna

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