Decor · Real Talk · Uncategorized

Working from home tips for productivity.

For the last few years I have been lucky enough to have the option to work from home here and there. I don’t abuse it but I do take advantage of it. And though the flexibility is freaking’ awesome – and so is not having to commute – working from home has its challenges. Being in your own bubble with beds and chores tempting you all day long, it’s easy to get off task or in home-mode. Especially when I have the cutest little pug boy who just wants to snuggle and be adorable all day long. Since I have really started putting time and effort into decorating our home office space, I’ve done better at making my work from home days more productive – and I’ve really noticed a difference in how much I’ve gotten done.

Working from home tips (that help me get more done)

So if you work from home – and have an office or not – here are a few (hopefully helpful) hacks for improving your “office” days:

Get dressed, comfortably.

I know there are rules (or “studies” or whatever) about putting on real clothes or an actual outfit when working from home, but it’s just not for me. If I don’t have to go anywhere for a few hours, I’m just not going to be in jeans and have my makeup and hair looking good. Instead, I’ll put on my favorite sweats or leggings and a comfy top. The moral is, just change out of your pajamas and feel somewhat pulled together, but you don’t have to be uncomfortable. This gets you ready for the day and in work mode, but still feeling good.

Create a routine and/or daily workflows.

Working from home has tons of perks, but it’s so easy to get off track and spend your day catching up on household chores rather than actually getting career-work done. To help put structure in your day, create a routine for yourself. Decide what time you want to be sitting down checking emails and getting started on your work and stick to it as best as possible. Write a list of to-dos and an allotted amount of time for each task, even use a calendar (I like Google Cal personally but your phone would work also) – all of a sudden your day will be ten times more productive.

Have a dedicated work space.

Having a desk or an office really gets you in the “get stuff done” mindset. Creating a space for working at home can also give you a sense of accountability. If you notice it’s mid-morning and you haven’t made it to your desk or office yet, you know you better get in gear. And even if you don’t have an office, dedicate a special spot to work. Maybe it’s your kitchen island, or a small table you’ve added to the living room to serve as your desk, hack the dinning room table works wonders also. And make it cute – add personal touches that make it inviting and inspiring, even if just a cute computer background or photo! No couches or beds allowed!!

The 2-minute sweeps.

This can be done in any part of your home, but I make it a point to hit my desk at the end of each day. Take 2 minutes (you can find 120 seconds!) and clean up your desk. Take coffee mugs back to the sink, wipe it down, put things away, etc. – set yourself up for an easy, clutter-free morning to follow. You’ll be so much more effective!

Work offsite.

Coffee shops and cafes were invented for a reason, and not just to serve food and drinks. You’ll probably need a change of scenery every now and again so use these opportunities to check out the newest coffee shops around town. Or get outside if you have a task that doesn’t involve a computer (p.s. when will they invent something to make the screen visible outdoors?!).

Learn when to unplug.

One of the downsides of working from home is you never “go home” because…you already are. This can make it suuuuper hard to know when to shut off for the day, close the laptop and stop looking at emails. Being plugged in 24/7 is really hard on a person, so make yourself a schedule where you commit to unplug at a certain time and stick to it – you need to recharge. Phones count too. I need to get better at this, 100%!

Batch errands.

If you work from home, take advantage of a likely more flexible schedule when planning errands and appointments or anything that requires leaving the house. Use a whole afternoon to do these each week so that you’re not coming and going – or getting into different brain zones every day. Same for chores around the house – designate a day for household stuff and forget about it the rest of the week. Fridays would be great to consider for this so you can casually stroll into the weekend.

Network and socialize.

You typically don’t have co-workers when you work from home, at least not in-person, so make it a point to attend networking events for your industry so you don’t forget how to socialize in the professional environment. Not having to deal with office politics or drama is a major plus of working from home, but you don’t want to become a hermit either.

Eat away from your desk.

Eating in front of your desk is extra tempting when you’re at home, but give your day more structure by moving away from your desk for lunch. Eat outside or a different place in your home, but break it up. Try to give yourself space from tech during this time too. If there is someone in your neighborhood or on your street who you know works from home, set up a weekly coffee or lunch date at each other houses, this will help keep your sanity when you haven’t talked to another real life person in a few days!

Do you work from home ever? What works best for you?

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

XOXO.

B.

Beauty · Decor · Fashion · Uncategorized

Holiday Gift Guide – for the #GirlBoss.

Well, it’s official – there are 12 days until Christmas. How and when did this happen?

So far we have covered the Holiday Gift Guide – For Him Edit, The best hostess gifts to give to make sure you’re always invited back, and the stocking stuffers for everyone on your list. That brings us to the next list – The Girl Boss gift guide. The hustle never stops for ladies who launch…ha! If you have a lady in your life who is rocking it as a girl boss, these gifts will make her life THAT much more successful!

Every #BossBabe knows in order to have a great day, it starts with your first cup of warm, caffeinated goodness. I love travel mugs!! They are perfect for those get up and go days and I actually do use them in the drive threw occasionally (admittedly, when I remember) so I can cut down on the waste I’m contributing to the planet. A very good friend of mine bought me this one for my birthday and I promise you, whoever you’re buying this for will love it as much as I do! Also, if she is a coffee girl, this one! Because, coffee is life!

A girl on the go always needs a charged phone! This portable charging key chain plugs easily into any iPhone and is under $45. I am so obsessed with this idea, it’s amazing! If you want to send me one, let me know and I’ll give you my address!!! But… actually!

I have never seen a cuter fitness tracker and watch duo! This little gem tracks all things fitness AND shows your notifications from your phone. Done. Sold. Thank goodness for Michael Kors!

Making deals? Need a power blazer. Snappy casual is my go-to look and this blazer will pull together any office outfit or even a jeans and tee look. She will have this in her closet for FOREVER, trust me.

De-clutter her life even further with this chic desk accessories from Kate Spade. This adorable and incredibly useful desk calendar would go perfectly with this calculator, stapler, pencil holder, and obviously this pen. She probably spends hours every day sitting at that desk so making it engaging and beautiful would make such a difference!

Chances are, your boss babe already has a work tote she loves, gift this classy houndstooth laptop case to complete her look!

I talked about these in my stocking stuffer post but, earrings. Need I say more? Currently I am obsessed with White Fox Collective and their designs. Every time I wear a pair of theirs, I get so many compliments! Do yourself a favor and order a few for each of the girls on your stocking stuffer or even gift list this year… and a pair for yourself while you’re at it!

I love this list because it is both utilitarian and fun! These items will make work more functional and cuter for the girl boss in your life! Am I missing anything? Let me know!

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

XOXO.

B.

Decor · Food & Drink · Uncategorized

The best hostess gifts to give – to make sure you’re always invited back.

Happy Holiday Month!!

If you’re calender’s are looking anything like mine does right now for December, I am amazed. I am amazed that you found a few minutes in the holiday chaos to join me in my little corner of the internet.

With this being a very busy holiday season, I wanted to talk about something important… hostess gifts! Do you always bring one or do you feel your presence is enough? I think they are great and I always bring one to a party and it warms my heart when people bring them to ours. If the answer to “Can I bring something” is the expected “no”, that does not mean you should go empty handed! Ever! Take a couple minutes and come out with a thoughtful and even inexpensive hostess gift to bring! Or, read below for some great options!

You can never, and I mean never, go wrong with bringing wine! Or really, just any type of alcohol in general. However, I was getting pretty tired and rather embarrassed of tossing my wine bottle into a gift bag and away I go. So, I started doing some research and I came across Furoshiki – which is basically the art of fabric gift wrapping. Naturally, I got right into the car and headed over to Marhsalls to load up on some tea towels to use this holiday season. It’s the perfect gift combination – wine and a tea towel. I think it turned out pretty awesome and I’m really proud of myself! I’ll never purchase another wine bottle gift bag again. It just gives a little extra oompf to a simple hostess gift. Plus, less waste in our landfills!wine wrapping 2

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The holidays for me just have a certain smell. Do you know what I mean? It’s a very distinct smell and it just floods my brain with childhood memories and give me all the feels which is why I really love holiday simmering pots. These are the easiest gifts to put together and everyone loves them. I like to do a mixture of orange slices, fresh cranberries, fresh rosemary, cinnamon sticks, fresh cloves, lemon, lime and pear slices. You can swap out the pear for apple if you’d like but because I am allergic I use pear. Toss everything into jar and cover with water before sealing it tightly. Attach a cute little tag and you’re all set.

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A few years ago I really wanted to do something special and totally personalized for a few of my closest girlfriends and their families. I wanted something that would be loved, shown off and something they would keep for a very long time. It was a complete success and I just love seeing their boards used at their parties and sitting on their countertops. These do need to be done in advance so it’s not something you can put together the day of a party obviously, but something you should look into right away to make sure you get them on time. You could also package these with some cute cheese knives, some cured meats, nuts etc. I cannot remember the company I used when I did these but I know an amazing wood burner, Tanya from Burned Out By Tanya that I would totally recommend you get in touch with. You can click here to see some of her work and reach out.

cutting board

 

I know the I labeled this post three hostess gifts but, when in doubt don’t over holiday baking! Bonus points for adorable packaging. While you’re at it, don’t forget about the fluffy four legged family members whose house you are going to also. These are not just for Thanksgiving but can be made any time of year. I make them every holiday season and Winston and I drop them off to the furry friends in our neighborhood on our walk. Lastly, if you’re in a pinch for time – flowers! Flowers are always a good idea!O Oh, and lavender plants!

What is your go-to hostess gift? What has been the best hostess gift you have ever received?

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

XOXO.

B.