Motivation & productivity | Tips & tricks

Motivation & productivity | Tips & tricks

I juggle a job, a blog, a personal life and regular workouts. In the mean time I try to cook as often as I can, watch Netflix, do housework, read books and do lots of other things on the side. Sometimes it’s just good to go back to basics and regroup and think of how I keep doing it all. These are my tips & tricks to staying motivated and remaining productive.  motivation & productivity tricks & tips

Motivation & productivity | Tips & tricks

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Travel report: Rome

Travel report: Rome

It took a while for me to do this blog post, but I seriously had no time to go through my pictures to make a selection on what to use for this blog post. But even though it’s been almost three weeks since I went to Rome, all those memories are still fresh in my brain to be sharing them with you. You may have already seen my beauty haul with all the bits I picked up while I was in Italy. Today I will be telling you all about what I actually did. It’s a long one, so grab a cuppa and enjoy!

River Tiber with St. Peter in the background

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How not to write… or?

How not to write… or?

I had grand plans to write a long post on how I exactly write my blogs. Due to the loveliest of lovely weathers and my willingness to enjoy as much of it as I possibly can, I figured that that would have to wait a bit. Instead, I would like to show you the following writing tips.

In the picture you will find classic rules on writing. Things your teachers in school probably told you not to do time and time again. Yet, in real, actual language, these type of constructions pop up more than you can count. In school writings it may still be a bad idea to use these writing techniques, but for blogging or any other casual form of writing these might come in handy. So even though you may have been told otherwise: mix those metaphors, end your sentences with prepositions and bring on the alliteration! As long as it has a function, you can still use this.

I found this on a site called imgur.com. It has a ton of pictures on there, most of them funny and I just happened to come across this. I think it’s very apt at showing how most of the time you’re told to do A, but in fact B sometimes works better. Writing rules should be taken with a grain of salt. Especially when it comes to casual writing.

Enjoy your weekend and I hope that the weather is as nice where you are as it is over here.

Handy fashion tips

Handy fashion tips

You know how fashion is usually geared towards looking pretty? Well that’s not what I want to talk about today. No I want to share with you my handy fashion tips. In other words: my personal tips & tricks that are practical rather than esthetic. Want to know how you can prevent pantyhoses from ripping and sliding down your bum (amongst other things)? Then keep on reading!

Source: weheartit.com

  1. Don’t you just hate it when your pantyhoses or leggings are sliding down as you wear them throughout the day? Well I do too. Solution: just wear a pair of matching undies OVER it. It not only prevents your tights from sliding down your butt, but it also ensures no one can have a look at your actual undies when your tights are very sheer. Win-win situation!
  2. Another pantyhose related tip is to wear socks over your pantyhoses when you wear boots. I have ruined many pantyhoses because I wore them in boots or because I walked around in them around the house. Adding socks over it will prevent your pantyhoses from ripping and they’ll still be suitable to wear with those cute pumps you own.
  3. I also like to prevent my tights from forming fluff from rubbing against the inside of my boots. I have plenty of calf high boots and they always seem to have some form of stitching that again ruins your pantyhoses. What I did is take a piece of band aid and stick it over the stitching.
  4. Buy inlays for your heeled shoes. I have a bunch of heels that I have owned for quite some time now and they are all worn in and thus super comfy. However, by now my foot is able to slide down just enough that my heel actually pops out when I walk. I just stuck on these inlays that go in the back of the shoe and ta-dah: your old shoes feel as good as new.
  5. Shorts that are too big or too small. Do you own shorts that suddenly don’t fit you anymore? Here’s what you can do about this: add an extra button or simply take off the button and attach it at a more convenient spot. I own a pair of jeans shorts that once were too tight. I just added a jeans button a little to the left of the original button so they would fit again. By now, they fit perfectly again and I just use the original button again.
  6. Having sewing skills could majorly help you maintain, reuse or alter your clothes. Just a few basic skills are enough, such as stitching on buttons or mending holes. I have a black lace skirt that I once ripped while getting of my back. I just recently tried to mend the hole and they are now back to looking as good as new. I also replaced an ugly button on a pair of shorts I bought AND took in a dress and a skirt that ended up being too big.
  7. Save your shoes in the original box as much as you can. This will give your shoes a proper way to be stored and they will be damaged less quickly and look nicer for a longer period of time.
  8. Instead of throwing delicate items in the wash you can also try letting them air for a while (lest they are not dirty of course). This is what I do with blazers. Many blazers are dry clean only and if you’d wash them it would take ages to dry. If I’ve worn a blazer for a day, I turn them inside out, put them on a hanger and hang them in front of my open window for a day. Any nasty smells are gone and your blazer is good to go!
  9. Have any old shirts or sweaters lying about that you won’t wear anymore but which look too nice to throw away? Reuse them as work out shirts, pyjama tops or as an extra warm layer for underneath your clothes on cold days.
  10. Gym or work out shoes can become smelly quite quickly. The trick is to always take them out of your gym bag and make sure the top is open. This way your shoes can air. I have had my pair of dance sneakers for nearly 10 years and they still don’t smell even though I wear them multiple times a week.

There you have it! My 10 practical fashion tips to use, reuse and prevent your clothes from going bad or uncomfy. What are yours?

Cold Sore Remedies

Cold Sore Remedies

Fall officially started one week ago and so the time of getting colds and with that cold sores are also part of many people’s lives. I used to suffer from frequent and very bad cold sores. As I got older and my hormones settled down, it fortunately became a lot less bad. Yet, I can imagine that some of you may be experiencing some bad ones and I have some tips and tricks how to get rid of them quicker and to make them less painful.

Source: weheartit.com

The first thing you have to do, is to make sure you get enough vitamins. Take extra if you have to, but having a cold sore is a sign of a malfunctioning immune system, so you might as well give your immune system a boost while you’re at it. The one thing that always helped me is to keep the area as clean as possible and the best disinfectant in the world is rubbing alcohol. Use a 70% solution, but it on a cotton pad and hold onto the cold sore for a minute or two. Repeat as much as necessary. The alcohol will dry out the cold sore and keep the rest of the area around it sterile so it can’t spread.

Rubbing alcohol & cold sore cream

My main problem with cold sores was that I became immune to any of the standard remedies. Meaning I couldn’t use any of the drugstore solutions, and in the end even the stuff available through prescriptions. Even though, I still like to use drug store creams. I put a nice thick layer of this on the cold sore before going to bed. Usually the cold sore is a little less sore in the morning.

I also like to pile on the medicated chapstick when I have a cold sore. It is a lot more effective than regular chapstick and when you use rubbing alcohol, it will most likely dry out your lips as well. Medicated chapstick also has camphor and menthol which also helps with alleviating the pain and itchiness.

If you really need something a whole lot stronger, because like me, you get ginormous cold sores that impair you when eating and drinking anything, you can use the Orajel Cold Sore Brush and Overnight Cold Sore Patch.

These two products are real miracle workers. I found out about them when I was in New York and was treated to some terrible cold sores. These are not available in The Netherlands, but you can find them on Ebay. The brush and the patch both contain ingredients that relief pain and itching and the brush actually makes your lip go quite numb as it clearly has a sedative ingredient. The patch is particularly handy: it’s a plastic looking sticker that adheres to your sore. It dissolves overnight on the places where it touches your cold sore and it works really well: it made my cold sores shrink by half overnight.

So there you have it: my tips & tricks for getting rid of cold sore. I hope it helps someone!

Q: Have you ever suffered from cold sores?

Reorganized Bookshelves

Reorganized Bookshelves

Last week, I suddenly had a brain wave. This brain wave came at a highly inconvenient time, as most brain waves do, right around midnight. Since my brain wave included reorganizing the bookcase that holds my English novels, I decided that midnight wasn’t a good time to act on it. I decided to do it a few days later.

Here is the before picture:

In the left book case you find 7″ & 12″ records. Below that is one shelf of English novels, then one shelf of literature which does not fall under ‘English novels’ and the bottom shelf holds books on mythology, fairy tales and folklore. As you can see in the left hand bottom corner there are two boxes stacked in front of the book case and in the book case on the right hand you can find another box sitting on a shelf.

Apart from this set up being inconsistent and highly inconvenient, it looks quite messy as well. So, I decided to rearrange some things: take out the literature and mythology books and move them to another book case. Then I moved up those shelves to fit some of my English novels, leaving space at the bottom for my boxes and two empty shelves, which means more space for new books.

This is what it looks like now:

My English novels now start right underneath my records, moving all the way into the right hand book case. They are ordered alphabetically from A – Z. I put some other boxes on the shelves, else it looked kind of pathetic and empty.

The books that I took out of this book case moved into a book case which I can utilize on both sides. I have a smaller size of these shelves which is positioned in such a way that I can also put books behind the books which are already there. Double stacking! So another great tip if you have lots of stuff, but a small space to live in: try to see if you can double stack your books and place two rows of books onto one shelf. Saves space!

Q: What was your latest brain wave?

Hayfever Remedies: some quick tips

Hayfever Remedies: some quick tips

Ever since my hayfever became so bad that it actually made me physically sick (read: the flu and sinus infections), I have turned getting any type of relief into an artform. Here’s what I do to stay sane and not let the floral mating season ruin my life. Good luck to everyone going through hell right now and hopefully these tips can ease your discomfort at least somewhat!

Source: weheartit.com

1. ) Wear sunglasses/ glasses

Even when the sun isn’t out. Make sure the lenses are big enough to cover your eye area. This way, pollen has a harder time getting into your eyes and cause irritation. Just buy a couple of cool ones that you can wear most of the time. I just recently allowed myself to indulge on another pair of Ray Bans, so I’m all set!

2.) Take a shower before going to bed

This rinses the pollen out of your hair and from your skin. It also cleans up your sinuses, plus now your bed will at least stay pollen free.

3.) Dry your laundry indoors

This way, no pollen can get stuck to your newly washed (and now void of pollen) clothes.

4.) Keep all doors and windows closed as much as possible

Again, you don’t want a pollen infestation in your house. I like to keep at least one place that is ‘safe’.

5.) Rinse your nasal cavity with a saline solution

Or use a nose spray that is a saline solution rather than an actual antihistamine. This will prevent your nasal glands from drying out and become infected.

6.) Wear a different set of clothes every day (or at least change your shirt)

Pretty self explanatory.

7.) With long hair: pull it back into a pony tail or a bun

If you let your hair hang down, it will only be a fishnet for pollen.

8.) Don’t eat foods that can cause a cross-allergy

If you’re allergic to trees, there’s a good chance that you are also allergic to fruit that grows on trees. Apples are the most common, but allergies for kiwi fruits, pears, apricots, peaches etc. are not unheard of. Check with a chart or your doctor to see which cross linked allergies apply to you.

9.) Get enough sleep

If there’s one thing hayfever does, it’s draining you from all your energy. Your body is too busy fighting the allergies, leaving you tired and feeling like something the cat dragged in. Making sure your body gets enough sleep is therefore vital!

10.) Go see a doctor!

Seriously, even if you feel just an itch. Go to your doctor, get tested and find out what you are allergic to. This way you will know exactly what you are allergic to and you will know when to implement the tips written above. On top of that your doctor can get your referred to a doctor specialized in treating allergies and get you prescription meds which are 10,000 times better than over the counter ones.