Alice Megan

Sunday, 16 September 2018

8 Ways to boost your productivity every day

Hands up who needs to be more productive - all of us right? I'm sat here writing a blog post which was on my 'to do list' for over a week, it's so easy to put things off and faff around and never actually get anywhere with your lists and just feel really unproductive despite running around all day long. So I've spent this weekend planning a strategy, a strategy to be more productive and boost that every day so here's my action plan of 8 tips

8 ways to boost productivity

[1] Plan Ahead
Sunday's are perfect days to sit down and plan the week ahead. Grab yourself a weekly planner and make a note of all the fun things you have to do, all the boring work things you have to do and where that leaves spare time. A great way to make sure you use that spare time effectively is time blocking through the Pomodoro method  this gives you a set time period to get tasks done, I've been using an app called Habitica to make sure I tick off my smaller tasks and giving myself a self care reward when I've completed them. As well as blocking out time try to plan smaller things like your meals and clothes for the week, this takes a lot of hassle out of mornings and evenings

[2] Sleep
Sounds counter productive right? Be more productive by going to sleep but getting enough sleep can genuinely improve productivity because it means your brain can function at it's highest. When you're asleep your body goes into super power mode restoring and rejuvenating you so you can perform at your best the next day. Trying to get a solid bedtime routine is definitely the best way to achieve optimum sleep. I've also been trying out Benenox* which aids a better quality of sleep and increased energy levels the next day by reducing tiredness and fatigue. I've actually found this is great for when I have a stressful day coming up to make sure I'm on top form

[3] Fuel Up
Using your brain burns calories, so you need to make sure your brain gets all the food and nutrients it deserves. Now I suck at eating well - you don't get a figure like mine eating your 5 a day and living on water! BUT I'm making a conscious effort to try and increase my healthy food intake and maybe start looking at smaller more frequent meals as that's the best way to keep your mental alertness at it's peak. 

[4] Hydrate
I definitely need to increase my water intake, recommendations are 2L every single day. Water does so much from regulating temperature to aiding  digestion but most importantly is brain function. Not hydrating enough can lead to our thinking and cognition being reduced which does not aid productivity at all! Staying hydrated will keep your mind focused on the tasks at hand. 
Jordan and Judy Honeycomb Glass Bottle

I've currently been trialling the Jordan & Judy Glass Water Bottle* which I adore, the bottle is eco-friendly, durable and toxic free and can hold both hot and cold drinks. The honeycomb design on the sleeve is really stylish and I love the portable handle. I've been keeping it with me as much as possible to make sure I get enough water

[5] Start your day well
Make sure you've had a good nights sleep but also the start of your day can be crucial, make sure you've picked your clothes the night before, wake up to give you enough time to have a nice relaxing breakfast and assess what tasks you need completing that day. Make sure you assess your goals, see if anything needs altering and set a top 3 so that at the very minimum as long as those 3 tasks are complete you've had a successful day

[6] Positive Outlook
The 9-5 can be a hard slog some times and life can leave you feeling drained if that's all you do so really look into ways of improving that, maybe there's a way of simplifying your schedule? Or a new skill that could increase your productivity at work. Staying positive is tough trust me my outlook and depression can often cause  a more negative outlook but understanding these emotions and overcoming them by taking a little time out to refocus and giving yourself some love and positive feedback can have a big impact on your overall wellbeing

[7] Clear rewards
It's an innate response to want to be rewarded for tasks so make a list of cheap self care rewards such as watching your favourite tv show or having a long relaxing bath for when you've achieved your goals each day. Make sure you also have plans to work towards such as a night out or going to the cinema, this way you'll feel like being productive means getting rewarded so you'll be more encouraged to do it

[8] Don't stress
Finally don't stress! Life's way too short to stress, you can't be ultra productive 24 hours a day 7 days a week sometimes you need to just chill out, there's always tomorrow 

How do you stay productive?
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Thursday, 30 August 2018

Gifts For Mum

I don't know about you guys but I bloody love my mum! Like she's amazing, shes my entire world and I wouldn't know what to do without her. I've recently moved out and I miss seeing her every day and when I do she's always got a bag of goodies shes bought because she thought I might need them and it got me thinking just how amazing she is and how in all we probably don't show our mums just how much we appreciate them. So I decided to put together a gift list of things to buy your mum just because she's your mum and bloody well deserves it
Our Life Story
Our Life Story Book - £26.99 - Find Me A Gift*
I love love love this idea for so many reasons, it's a gorgeous idea where you can document all your lovely memories, I think this is something you'd love doing together. Finding out pictures from each year since you were born, reminiscing about all the fun things you've done together and then making sure every year you keep making memories together. It's also the kind of gift that will keep on giving and can be passed down to grandchildren to continue the journey and journey your time together


Yankee Candles


Yankee Candle Elevation Collection - £23.99 - Yankee Candle*
This is such a fail safe present in our family! We all adore Yankee Candles from the big jars to the little melts to the diffusers. I'm really excited about their new elevation collection because they've changed the shape and gone with a square glass silhouette and really cleverly the lid now serves as a brushed metal platform. I've already got my eyes on some lovely autumn scents like holiday pomegranate 


Appleyard Flowers
Citrus Coulis Flowers - £34.99 - Appleyard Flowers
Who doesn't like flowers? Seriously though flowers are always a good idea, surprise flowers are even better. I adore these citrus coulis flowers from Appleyard they're so bright and summery with germini, tara roses and agapanthus. I ordered these recently for my mum and she was over the moon with them and they're still blooming now over 10 days later  


PinkClove Polka Dot Dress
Polka Dot Skater Dress - £20 - Pink Clove
Now I get this might not be for everyone buying your mum clothes, but for me I love doing it! My mum very rarely buys herself anything and even when she does she doesn't properly spoil herself so every now again I love taking her shopping and buying her the clothes she'd never spend her money on. She loves polka dots I think she'd love this plus size skater dress* and I'd be able to steal it too


Champneys Facial - £75 - Red Letter Days*
When all is said and done what better way to spoil your mum than a good old pampering sesh? I don't know what it is with mums they always seem rushed off their feet with a million  and one jobs to do - I'm certainly not looking forward to those days. Giving the opportunity to just sit and enjoy a massage and facial is a good way to show them how much you appreciate the hard work they do

What would be the ideal present for your mum?

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Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Sex Positivity and why it's important

Sex. It's a funny old thing, it's a topic that we're discouraged from discussing, especially as women. Despite the fact that the vast majority of us are doing it we're almost made to feel guilty about it, like it's something that should happen but that if we like it too much we're instantly slut shamed. The double standards of sex works both ways too. Girls are seen as promiscuous, whereas a boy choosing to remain a virgin can become a laughing stock and encouraged to 'get rid' like it's some kind of burden.

It's pretty damn ridiculous that we still allow such antiqued views be common place, sex positivity should be encouraged, this doesn't mean going out and sleeping with everyone with a pulse (equally if that's your thing as long as you're safe then go slay!). Sex is something I learnt about through very poor sex education lessons, chats with my mum and a lot of my own research, which unfortunately in this day and age leads to such terrible misconceptions about sex. 

We need a safe place we can all learn, and I don't just mean the whole where do baby's come from chat but the intricacies of sex, the safety precautions to take, the various positions, the ways to orgasm as a woman (because this is a whole topic which is COMPLETELY ignored in any sex ed lesson I ever went to) and how fun it can be. It doesn't always have to be super serious it's about exploring your likes, dislikes, finding your kinks and discovering what really pleases you

I'm a huge advocate for talking about sex, it should be commonplace amongst your close friends, exchanging tips, talking about where you're getting your sex toys such as vibrators or butt plugs* and just generally speaking more candidly, it's the easiest way to breed sex positivity and more importantly make it a normal conversation and therefore encouraging a culture of learning rather than it being all cloak and dagger 

By encouraging open and candid conversation so many other topics that really need to be discussed get coverage such as gaining consent and how that can differ for each person, staying on top of your sexual health such as regular STI checks and Smear tests. If you're not discussing sex openly you may google a problem and let me tell you when it comes to sex a personal opinion and chat with a friend is so much more valuable than a complete stranger saying you have an STD (keyboard warrior checks don't work that's a damn fact)

I think the most important lesson from being sex positive is learning that everyone is different, sexuality and gender is becoming incredibly fluid and with it our sexual experiences and kinks are changing too. It encourages body positivity, really getting in touch with yourself and understanding what makes your body tick. 


What's your view on discussing sex?


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Saturday, 25 August 2018

7 Beautiful Greek Islands You Need to Visit

The Greek Islands have long been Europe’s premier vacation destinations. Comprising over 200 islands, the Greek archipelago offers travelers plenty of choice. The islands come in all shapes and sizes, each with its own unique personality. But, one thing they all have in common is the sheer beauty they boast. From glittering coastlines to olive vineyards and craggy mountains, the landscapes are unparalleled.


Gorgeous Greek Islands


Maybe you want to find one of the most beautiful villas in Greece with a private pool* and outstanding views and spend your days chilling in the sunshine. Or, you might want to hike up a volcano or scuba dive with vibrant coral. Whatever you want, the Greek Islands have it all. The only tough choice you will be faced with is deciding which island you want to visit. To help you out, here are seven of the most beautiful Greek Islands you need to visit.


Santorini

Often considered the ultimate getaway for honeymooners, Santorini stands out for its romantic vibe. Visitors often spend their days here meandering through the narrow streets before heading to Oia to watch the sunset. When the sky is stained pink by the setting sun and the only sound is the gentle lapping of the water below, you would be forgiven for thinking you had died and gone to heaven.
Santorini

The most notable feature in Santorini is its white-washed houses with bright blue roofs that sit atop rocky cliffs. Glimmering under endless sunshine, they make for some great snapshots. If you are looking for adventure, there are day trips to the Nia Kameni crater and the Palia Kameni hot springs.


Kefalonia

This island was used as the backdrop for Louis de Bernières’ famous novel Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. If you haven’t already read the novel, take it with you and read it while you’re there. It will make you fall in love with the island even more deeply.


Kefalonia

Kefalonia, also written Cephalonia, is breath-taking in all respects. The beaches comprise white sand that runs into impossibly clear, turquoise water. There are secret, sandy coves to be found everywhere as well as plenty of hiking and exploring opportunities. Be sure to check out the magical Melissani Cave while you’re there to see Mother Nature’s work at its finest.


Zakynthos

While Zakynthos has a reputation as a party island, the bars and clubs are confined to one small part of the island: Lagana. The rest of the island comprises vivid green slopes that plunge into the twinkling blue Ionian Sea. It is an island of rugged landscapes and pine forests that invite you to hike through them.




If you’re looking for excitement, spend the day visiting the island’s eco park, wildlife sanctuary or the Venetian castle. Or, check out the bubbling hot springs at Xigia beach.


Corfu

The Old Town of Corfu is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site. This alone should entice you into visiting the island. Its cobbled streets lead visitors past quaint tavernas and colorful markets all the way down to the ocean. It is easy to while away an entire day just exploring the town and picking up souvenirs. Beauty permeates every corner of this wonderful island.
Corfu
As for the rest of the island, there is no end to the list of delights you will find in Corfu. From the five star resorts at one end of the island, to the beach clubs and parties in Kavos, every demographics is catered for. Scuba diving and snorkeling are on offer for those who want to admire the flurry of underwater activity. Otherwise, you can just don your swimwear kick back on the beach and catch some rays.


Symi

Often overlooked in favor of the bigger islands, Symi is a microscopic island in the Greek archipelago. But, don’t let its size put you off. Symi may be small but it packs a punch and is often thought of as the most beautiful of all the islands. Its main bragging point is its colorful harbor, which totes neoclassical mansions in all different colors, accompanied by the smells of freshly fried shrimp.

One benefit of the island being so small is that it is easy to get everywhere by bike. This means you don't have to squish into an overheated car to get around. You could visit the Panormitis monastery in the morning before cycling down to the calm waters of one of the many beaches in the afternoon. Or ditch the bike and climb the 500 steps to the island’s acropolis. However you choose to spend your days, you are guaranteed to be blown away.


Kos

Just a stone’s throw from the Turkish town of Bodrum, Kos is filled with both man-made and natural beauty. The island boasts ancient temples and medieval castles that will dazzle even the most cynical of history buffs. A day spent exploring the island’s Asclepeion and Neratzia Castle is one you won’t forget in a hurry. Once you’ve built up a sweat, you can fling yourself into the sparkling ocean to cool off.

If you are traveling with kids – or are a big kid yourself – the island also has water parks. While these might not be the most scenic parts of the island, they are good fun and allow you to soak up some of that golden Greek sunshine.


Naxos

Don’t worry, we hadn’t heard of Naxos either until recently. But, that’s what makes this island so beautiful. It has a distinct lack of crowds and miles of uninterrupted sandy beaches that are virtually empty. For those with a daring streak, galloping across Plaka Beach on horseback should get the adrenaline pumping. Or you could try kitesurfing or windsurfing.

When you want to get away from the water, the mysterious hills provide respite from the blazing sunshine. Sleepy villages are hidden away between the trees, many of which have their own local specialties you simply have to try. Homemade wine, cheese and lemon liqueur are just some of the treats on the menu on this island.


Have you ever visited any of the greek islands?
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Thursday, 23 August 2018

What to wear on a skiing holiday

I recently wrote a post about what to wear to the beach in preparation for all those summer holiday's but then not everyone is a sun seeker! One holiday I've always wanted to do is a colder more activity focused skiing holiday and that got me thinking all about Ski Wear* and how I have no idea where I'd even start on suitable clothing
Skiing jump


It's definitely a holiday I'm planning on doing within the next year or so, so I've put a little research in and spent lots of time on the Simplyhike* site lusting after all the different equipment and pencilling in that this is definitely a holiday for me. I decided to share my inspiration with you guys so if you're more a snow bunny than a sun worshipper this is what you need for your perfect holiday



First up is a solid jacket and trousers suitable for all weathers, I love Helly Hanson products they look super stylish, they're highly waterproof but still breathable and the thermal control keeps you warm while still allowing free movement, the coat is a steal at £88 at the minute reduced from £220. Next up is gloves, I hate feeling restricted so gloves are a real bug bear of mine but these Manbi gloves look really cool and they also have a wrist strap to keep you attached to your skis 


Because functional doesn't have to mean ugly, I'd team the gorgeous clothes with these fun accessories. A bright yellow beanie to make sure I'll definitely be seen and how high tech do these Anon goggles look? They use magnets for a perfect seal meaning you'll never lose them

There you have it. the items that after my research I think would be essentials 

Where's the best place for a skiing holiday?
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