My 2 tips for staying organised day to day

As today is the first day of spring [ZOMG, how is it spring already / not complaining], I thought I’d share 2 tools I use every day for keeping organised and on top of the chaos. This isn’t a one-sided thing either. If you have tried and tested ways of staying organised day to day, I’d love to hear it. I am after all, dangerously excitable when it comes to being organised.

The first tool in my ammunition – my agenda. I’ve been using an agenda every year since they started handing them out in high school. Whenever I have a deadline, I immediately write it in my agenda. If someone arranges a date, agenda. A birthday, anniversary, meeting or event? Agenda. Even though a lot of things have gone digital, I think I’ll always use an agenda and I find it pretty rewarding crossing an appointment off and meeting deadlines. Is that sad? Actually, don’t answer that.

Oh! I nearly forgot – for events that you’re not sure of, I usually write them on a post-it and stick it to that day. If you also get hesitant about committing things to the agenda, do this until the event is more certain. I don’t wanna have to cross stuff out. 

My second secret weapon – email organisation. The other week I saw someone’s inbox when I was out. Not being nosy, their screen was right there. But their inbox was FULL. OF. EMAILS. Hundreds of them. And I nearly held them and wept for them. It somewhat prompted the idea for me to write this blog post. 
My second tip to stay organised from day to say is to only keep to-do or reminder emails in your inbox. Everything else gets filed in a folder. Create a folder for everything [I have folders for Co-Bloggers, Projects + specific sub folders for each project, Queries, Subscriptions, Family, Website etc.]. Once I’m finished with an email, I file it in a folder. If I get an email involving something I need to complete, I keep it in my inbox until I’ve finished that task, then once I finish it I file it away. This way I know exactly what I have yet to complete. 
Okay, I hope that wasn’t too wordy or overly boring for you, but these tricks are things I’ve used every day for years now and I can’t picture myself not using them. Yes, even if a paper agenda is a bit old school these days. Do you have tried and tested ways of staying organised every day? I think you know this by now, but I’d really like to know. In the least creepy way possible.

Happy Friday! xx A

Coping with the winter months

I find this time of year one of the toughest times; January, February and March. Christmas and New Years are a distant memory. There isn’t much to look forward to or do in the first few months of the year. Spring, let alone summer, feel like an age away. 

You wake up, leave for work in the dark, work all day, and come home to a dark house. It’s a really tough time of year so I thought I’d share some of the ways I trick my brain and comfort myself during these months. It’s all about creating a comforting and cosy environment for yourself. 

Here are my hibernation tricks … 

Here in Ireland, the first few months of the year are incredibly dark and dull. My first step to creating a comforting environment at home these months is to make your own light. Turn on a lamp, a central light, and / or light a few candles. If I were to sit at home without any lights on, I know I’d quickly start to slip and feel terrible. I try to catch myself before it starts by turning on a few lights around the room or wherever I’m working, and visually warm up my environment. 

When I started to work a bit more from home, the first thing I invested in was a radio. A second sense I know I need to trick is my ears. For me, complete silence is not good. I splurged and bought a black revival Roberts radio. I have it on in the background when I’m doing housework, writing and working on my laptop. I’m listening to it right now. Background noise, especially a radio with someone talking, my favourite songs or an interesting debate, helps me feel less alone during the day when I’m working at home. 

Also, the fact that husband’s name is Robert may or may not have influenced why I went with this particular brand. Except he occasionally points at the radio and says it’s his because it says ‘Roberts’ on it. Welp.


Yesterday was a bad day for me. The weather was horrible and the crazy irrational hormones came to visit. The ladies will know what I mean. I was in an awful mood and couldn’t shake it. I felt terrible. I wanted to do something, but without actually doing anything. I hated everything. I eventually thought of something that might cheer me up. After we got all the remedial Sunday stuff out of the way [grocery shopping, yay], I cuddled under my favourite blanket on the couch, drank my weight in chocolate milk out of my favourite tea cup, and cuddled with kitties while watching Jurassic Park [90’s kids FTW!]. 

Sometimes you have to actually cover yourself in things that make you feel better. This could be your favourite ugly / comfy sweater, an exceptionally fluffy duvet, or even a onesie [which I was wearing under said favourite blanket, btw. Represent]. Hell, a couple of months ago husband and I built an actual fort in our living room one night and watched TV in it. It was ridiculously fun. 

For these months, I find it especially important to make plans with family and friends. Book a couple of dates over the next few weeks to look forward to. A bottle of red with your BFF, a living room picnic with your significant other, or a movie night in with your parents / siblings / whoever. These plans don’t necessarily need money thrown at them. Get creative. If you’re feeling isolated, lonely or stuck in a rut, you might not be the only one. Get in contact with a friend or family member and make plans. Mix up your plans or daily routine and try something new. After all, variety is the spice of life.
I know these aren’t groundbreaking pieces of advice, but these are the little tricks I use during the darker months, when I’m having a tough day, or find myself alone for long periods of time [sometimes my work is quite lonely]. I’m learning to look out for myself. When I find myself starting to slip, my first reaction is to look out for things that will pull me up. I’m really just a giant cat, so a soft blanket and a warm light help, even if just a little bit. 

DIY Friday – birch covered container

In the beginning stages of brainstorming ideas for the Canadian man cave, I had spied a number of birch covered candle holders and vases on the high street. Some of which were a little steep on price. I was about to buy one when I had a moment and thought, “wait a second, I can DIY that“. 
The next weekend husband and I were out driving and I spied a couple of birch trees that were shedding A LOT. Perfection. Now I’m not one to normally attack an unsuspecting birch tree, but this tree had massive pieces of bark hanging off. I couldn’t not peel it a bit. So I did

What you’ll need
A piece of birch bark
An empty container
A pencil, pair of scissors and a ruler
Spray adhesive [or any strong glue]
Dymo label maker [optional]
Step 1 – I first measured the height of the container. I roughly marked it on the piece of birch using a pencil and ruler, and then I simply cut it out. Now, be warned – birch bark will roll up and out of control, so maybe you’ll need a glass of wine near by to calm the nerves. Handle it gently. Remember, this is only a 5 minute project so you won’t have to put up with it for long. 
If you can’t get a solid piece of birch, it would be just as easy to cover your container by alternatively building up strips of it. 

WARNING: shoddy phone picture alert … 

Step 2 – I next taped off the top lip of the container. I did this so the adhesive spray wouldn’t get all over it. If you don’t do this and should any glue get on it, the lid will stick to it. And we don’t really want that. 

Step 3 – I sprayed the outside of the container with spray adhesive in a well ventilated area. Carefully add the piece of birch. Spray adhesive is usually quite forgiving, so if you need to move the birch, it should be no problem. You know what else is forgiving? That glass of wine. 

I finished off the container with a quick punch of my Dymo label writer to kick it up a notch. It was a really easy, and the best bit, it was FREE and in keeping with making the most out of what you already have.

Happy Friday, friends! I hope you have a good one lined up this weekend xx A