Uncategorized

How to prep your life for a trip.

It’s been a hot minute since I talked about traveling  but I actually have a bit of travel coming up so I think it’s time! Plus, I’m pretty sure everyone travels the most during summer months, right?

I usually travel for work a few times a year and Tyson and I try and get away as much as possible also – even if it’s just for one night. We’re looking forward to a cottage weekend coming up! Anyways, thought I’d share some of the ways I prep my life for a vacation (or any kind of travel, honestly). I’ve basically broken it down in terms of how to prep each area of your life, too, so hope that helps!

WORK

I’m definitely not perfect here, but I’m A LOT better than I used to be aka waiting until the last minute to plan ahead and then kinda letting the ball drop on everything while I was gone. Not fun! And it was one of the biggest reasons that travel started to overwhelm me – because I’d always fall behind with work and feel bad about myself. Here’s what I’ve started doing…

  • Using an equation – I try to plan a week in advance for every 3 days I’ll be gone. So if it’s just a long weekend, I’ll plan the week BEFORE I leave for those days off. If I’m gone a week, I’ll plan a couple of weeks in advance. Giving myself this buffer lets me not only have time to think about my plan and take action, but it gives me leeway in case my motivation is lacking. Simply knowing that I need to prep and get work done in advance and giving myself enough time really does help! See if that equation works for you.
  • Clear instruction in an Out of Office Email – Before you leave, let those who need to know that you’ll be traveling and what they can do if they need X Y or Z while you’re out. At the same time, put that info in an Out of Office email for anything that’s coming in. By telling people exactly what to expect, who they can contact if needed, and when they’ll hear from you, you won’t have as much anxiety about what people will do without you.
  • Similar to the point above but I actually take it one step further. A week before my vacation I add a note into my signature, usually in red letting people know the same information I would put in my Out of Office.
  • Have a backup person – No matter your job, I’d guess that MOST of us have someone we can ask to cover while we’re gone. Maybe it’s a teammate, an assistant, even a boss, but having security that if for some reason shit hits the fan while you’re away, someone can step in. Be the backup for that person the next time they travel too so that it’s fair for you both!
  • Take an extra day off if possible – I swear by this! If possible, take an extra day off if your trip is longer than a week. There’s nothing worse than landing on a Sunday night and having to be at work Monday (SO MUCH SUNDAY NIGHT ANXIETY OMG). Even if you can work from home instead of taking it off, try to give yourself that buffer of going to the grocery store, unpacking, and getting your life together.

HOME

If you’ve ever left on a trip to come back to a house that is a total disaster, you know the feeling stinks. Here’s how to prep your home for while you’re away…

  • Clean before you go – Yep! It is kinda the worst at the time, but it’s the freaking BEST to return to. If you have help, ask them to come the day before you leave or after. Coming home to a clean house and clean sheets after traveling does something for the soul, I’m telling you. Also, this includes lawn care! Schedule someone to come mow the lawn or take care of your landscaping while you’re gone so you don’t come back to a crazy jungle. We do the same thing in the winter time for the snow removal. We learnt that lesson once when we came home in the middle of March to so much snow – we had to shovel our way into the driveway at 2:00am.
  • Online grocery ordering – If you can’t take a day off when you’re coming home, or if it’s just a weekend trip, think about doing your groceries online and picking them up on your way home. That way, you’ll have enough food to at least get you through the next couple days until you can do a big shop yourself.
  • Plan for mail and packages – Either put a stop to your mail if you’ll be gone a while or ask a neighbour to grab the mail and any packages while you’re away.
  • Have someone come and check in on your house –  I totally get why people have house-sitters. It can definitely be kind of nerve-wracking leaving your home, especially if it’s for a long trip. Have a friend or neighbour come and check in every few days to make sure everything feels right and then check in with you. Or if you really want to, have someone come stay at your place while you’re gone (this works really well if you have pets!).

MIND AND BODY

Anyone else like to kind of prep themselves mentally and physically for travel? Maybe it’s just because I’m getting older, but this has become a pretty important step for me, especially when traveling internationally…

  • Get hydrated – This goes for your skin and your body. If you’re traveling a long way, the last thing you want to do is show up feeling tired and like your skin is cracking from all the dry airplane air. The week of, load up on all the hydrating masks and creams (don’t be afraid to apply in-flight either) and chug that water! Bring a refillable water bottle with you so you always have H2O with you during your travels, too.
  • Sleep well the week of – Depending on what kind of trip you’re going on, vacation can sometimes mean you’re not getting the best sleep. Be sure to rest up the week before so you’re at your best. I know I’m always a MUCH happier person when I’ve gotten good sleep.
  • Calm any anxieties – I feel like prepping to go on vacation can be the most stressful part of traveling, right? Hopefully this post helps you with that and gets you feeling organized, but if you’re feeling stressed, try stepping away and going for a walk or do something that helps you clear your mind. Then come back to your work or house, or whatever you’re doing to prep for your trip and start fresh. I also suggest that once you’re finished prepping you do something to de-stress because you don’t want to start your vacation off with a mind full of work/home stuff.

Does anyone else have any tips? I feel like everyone has their own routine for this kind of thing and I’d love to know what you do when you’re getting to travel!

Don’t forget to subscribe to LiveLaughLearn.blog to stay up to date and follow on Instagram @LiveLaughLearn.blog

XOXO.

B.

Real Talk · Uncategorized

6 every day habits that drain your energy.

I’ve honestly been itching to put this post together because it’s kind of something I’ve really been working on personally (one of many…). I feel like I spend so much time and energy every day on things that, ultimately, are a complete waste of time and energy. From task type of things to more emotional reactions and feelings. Some days I’m able to see when I’m doing these energy sucking habits and snap right out of it, but other days I give into them like it’s my job. I’ve gotten BETTER by setting priorities, but I still catch myself in these traps all the time. Do you know the kind of stuff I’m talking about? If you don’t, I’m about to dive into it so hold that thought for just a second.

Basically, I’m desperate to get better at eliminating this kind of behavior. OK, maybe it’s impossible to completely eliminate it, but I want to be more aware so it’s easier to shut it down the moment I see it happening. Usually when I know I need to work on something, I like to write about it because it helps clarify things for me, but also because the LiveLaughLearn community always comes through with amazing tips and tricks!

So let’s go on this adventure together, k? Below are habits I know I persoanlly have that I want to focus on breaking, but also some I feel like I’ve overcome, along with others I’ve heard friends talk about as well. Here we go!

clutter

Staring at your phone/social media.

Social media is honestly the best and worst thing to ever happen to me. On one hand, it’s given me this AMAZING community that I’m so thankful for. On the other, there have been times where I’ve allowed it to completely take over my life and suck away all my energy. To give myself a little credit, I think I’ve gotten much better at finding balance (at least as much as a person can be balanced) and I’ve learned the secrets to going on a legit social media detox. However, in the thick of my work day, I still find myself giving unnecessary energy to my phone and to social media.

One thing I’ve been thinking about testing out to help combat doing this on a daily basis is setting up time limitations on my phone. Have you guys used this new feature (I think it’s semi-new? If not, it’s new to me)? It’s CRAZY how much meaningless time we spend on our phone and then just feel exhausted afterward. We give so much emotion to social media.

Think about it for a sec – you might see something that annoys you, hurts your feelings or maybe even makes you really happy. But ultimately, how is giving energy to those things helping you get through your list of real priorities for the day? It’s not! Which is why I’m so intrigued by this time limit stuff on my phone. If you have an iPhone, all you have to do to set it up is go to settings->app limits->add limit and then choose limits for entire categories (social media, shopping, etc.) or manually set up time limits for apps individually. Let me know if you try it!

Sitting for hours.

Sitting is something that makes me feel physically drained. It’s crazy to me how tired our bodies can feel after doing nothing but literally just sitting there, hovering over a computer for hours. I get stiff and lose motivation fast if I sit for more than an hour without getting up for breaks. I’ve actually read that taking breaks is good for productivity, which makes total sense in this case.

Getting up and moving throughout my day helps my body keep that “awake” feeling, so if you’re someone who works on a computer a lot like me, try going for walks over your lunch break near your office. Grab a co-worker or friend and ask them to do it with you! If you want to move more throughout the day, every hour or so just get up and walk around the office a bit. I’ve also heard of some offices that form wellness groups where people stretch and walk together throughout the day which is cool! If your company doesn’t have a program like this, talk to HR to see if you can get something started!

Taking feedback too personally.

This goes back to exerting emotional energy like I mentioned with social media. In the past, I’ve had times where I would be having a perfectly productive day and then BAM! I’d get criticism or feedback and I ended up taking it SO personally. Even if it’s constructive and worded very well, it can be hard not letting your emotions get the best of you.

Since part of my job is being vulnerable and putting my life out there, I’ve been working on this one for quite a while. This year I FINALLY started to feel like I was getting better at not caring what people think about me and it has been so liberating. It’s given me back all the energy I used to put into wondering how I could be more for that person or whatever situation. I’m telling you, if you want to kick one habit on this list, let it be this one. It’ll change your life.

Eating too much junk.

When it comes to food that makes me feel gross and “drained” so to speak, it’s really just sugar. Which sucks BAD because I do have a passion for candy. I don’t think I’ll ever completely stop eating candy (why would I?!), but I think I more so need to keep learning the appropriate times to eat it. Like, the middle of the work day when I need to get things done – probably not the ideal time to crush a package of Starburst.

Although, I will give myself some credit on this one. I have been trying to swap out candy for dried fruit and so far, so good! I’m having a hard time staying away from dried mangoes and dried strawberries at the moment.

Negativity.

I feel like I’m seeing a pattern emerge here (I warned you writing about things that are on my mind gives me clarity!). A lot of these habits are more about emotional energy than they are physical. If you’re drained emotionally though, it doesn’t matter how you feel physically, in my opinion. Because when I feel this way I know I’m headed straight to the couch or bed.

No one likes to think of themselves as a negative person, but we all can have things that weigh on us that cause negativity. Think relationships (romantic or friendships), frustrating situations at work, etc. Some things are definitely out of our control, but the sooner you can let go, the better off you’ll be. Whatever situation you’re in, you don’t want to let it affect other areas of your life, so to avoid letting it carry over, try your best to let it go. Very few things are worth holding grudges and harboring negativity if you ask me. The only person it really effects is you and you don’t deserve that! I find that if there is a day where something really bad happens and I have an emotional reaction to it, I give myself a time line. “Ok Becca, today this happened and it sucks, it really does. I give myself permission to feel sad today but I will not unpack and live there, tomorrow it ends”.

Things you’re not good at.

There is definitely a time to learn new skills, but more than likely it’s time to delegate and focus on what you’re good at. It is freaking exhausting trying to do something well that is just completely out of your wheelhouse. Trust me, I know because I do this all the time. I’ll try to make graphics for the blog and Instagram, but guess what? I am NOT a graphic designer. What I am, is a (recovering) perfectionist. So even when I have no idea what I’m doing I’ll waste time and energy trying to do it myself so it looks like a professional did it. How silly is that? Delegate, Becca! Move on! If this is you, try reading this post on how to overcome the pressure to be perfect – it might help?

Imagine how much more we could give to our day if we just channeled our energy properly? I feel really motivated after writing this and I hope you do too after reading! Please share any tips you have too!

Don’t forget to subscribe to LiveLaughLearn.blog to stay up to date and follow on Instagram @LiveLaughLearn.blog

XOXO.

B.

Food & Drink · Uncategorized

the club.

A Club Sandwich is one of the most iconic sandwiches on any menu, anywhere! Layers of ham, bacon and turkey with juicy tomatoes, crisp lettuce and cheddar cheese create the perfect bite! It is astonishing to me that I have gone thirty years of life without ever trying one, until a few weeks ago. We were out on the boat and came across this cute little restaurant on the water with a dock for you to park at and go in for lunch. I’m not really a sandwich lover but Tyson ordered the club and it looked so darn good I had to have a bite. Love at first bite.

club sandwich

Restaurants and diners of all shapes and sizes (and prices!), and country clubs, schools, resorts, even hospitals have some version of a club sandwich recipe on their menu! And who can blame them? It is delicious, and looks so yummy too!

What is a Club Sandwich?

Probably the most obvious sign that you’re getting a club sandwich is the unique way it is stacked with three layers of bread and then cut into quarters and secured with a toothpick.

club sandwich2

What are Club Sandwich Ingredients? The classic club sandwich has been around for generations because it is chock-full of the things we love best all served up on some soft sandwich bread. It’s almost like a BLT with ham and turkey!

  • Turkey
  • Bacon
  • Ham
  • Cheese
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Mayo

And of course you can make a chicken club sandwich with leftover baked chicken! And why stop at white bread? Try some sourdough, whole wheat or even rye. Make a fancy California club sandwich and use sliced avocados, fancy micro-greens and some stone ground mustard? I am learning that any way is the right way when it comes to this sandwich!

club sandwich3

Here is what you will need:

♥ 6 slices of bread – toasted and buttered

4 tablespoons of mayonnaise

4oz of sliced turkey

4oz of sliced ham

2 slices of cheddar cheese

4 slices of cooked bacon

1 sliced tomato

1/2 cup of lettuce – washed and chopped

Here is what you will need to do:

Arrange 2 sliced of bread on a cutting board and spread each slice with mayonnaise

Top with turkey, tomato sliced and cheddar cheese

Spread mayonnaise on 2 more slices of bread and place on top of the cheddar cheese

Top with ham, bacon and lettuce. Spread mayonnaise on the final 2 slices of bread and plate. Cut the sandwich into either halves or quarters and serve with a pickle. Enjoy!