4 Ways To Be Productive During A Short Work Week

Oh I do so love a Bank Holiday weekend – an extra day to spend with family and friends; an extra evening to drink gin without worrying about the ‘adult headache’ the next day, the perfect excuse for a spa day or mini break… you get the drift! However what I really don’t love about a short work week is that you have only four days to get a full week’s work done AND it always feels so much harder to be productive and get everything done when your brain has had a few days off. So I thought I’d share four tips for you to¬†implement that will help make your short work week productive and enjoyable ūüôā

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Meal Planning Monday // When Life Gets in The Way…

My plan this week was to have another #mealplanningmonday post to share with you (and to do so every Monday) but sometimes life just… gets in the way…

Sadly my great uncle passed away and so tomorrow I fly up to Scotland to go to his funeral and to take care of my Nan – my flight is early morning and I’m not back until Saturday which means I’ll spend most of this week in my favourite place (unfortunately not for a positive reason).

The week after I’m back up there twice – once for a meeting and the other time to see Still Game live and so the next two weeks will be really hectic and busy for me.

As such I’m not going to have the time to plan out all of our meals, shop to a budget or cook nice fresh food for my family – Scott will be in charge of the cooking for the next few days so tonight I’ll stock up the fridge with some super easy basics for the two of them to eat (also he’s having his friends up one evening so that night they will probably order in takeaway *there goes the minimal spending budget ha!*

And so here’s the ‘very loose and likely to change’ meal plan for this week…

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It’s The Little Things 1/52

The beautiful Lauren at Dilan and Me sent me a message asking if I would like to join in with the new weekly linky that her and Jodie from Dear Little Daisy have started. The idea is that each week you¬†spend some time appreciating all the little things during the week that have made you smile and I love it. I’m guilty of rushing through life without making the most of those little moments, but really it is those moments that keep us going and which we will one day look back on and wish we had taken the time to appreciate. And so here are the little things that made me smile this week…

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A Simpler Life… Drink More Water & Brita Fill and Go Review

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My skin for the past six or so months has been going completely nuts – I don’t know if its simply stress, or not having the healthiest of diets, all the alcohol consumed over the last few months of 2016, the pill – or perhaps a combination of all of the above! I’ve also been getting really bad headaches and when I visited my opticians I mentioned them to him – my prescription hadn’t changed since my last appointment so he suggested that they could be due to dehydration which is something I’d never considered!

I used to spend a fortune on various products that claimed to ‘cure’ any skin issue you can imagine but as I’m cutting back on spending in order to save money and live more intentionally I have decided to forego a trip to the beauty counters of House of Fraser and instead try what could be called ‘the oldest beauty trick in the book’ – drinking more water.

I’m a big fan of water…. when it’s in the sea, or the swimming pool, or a bubble bath or refreshing shower… but to drink? Not so much! I’ve never ever really enjoyed drinking water – the taste of tap water and the fact that its unfiltered has always put me off, particularly as we live in a¬†hard water area so drinking the water always leaves a funny taste in my mouth. ¬†Also I read up on¬†all of the different¬†chemicals and pesticides such as Chlorine, Fluoric acid, Aluminium Sulphate, and even¬†hormones that can be found in unfiltered tap water – not to mention the fact that it travels through pipes that are lord knows how old and dirty.

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To help with that I bought myself a Brita Fill and Go¬†and it honestly makes such a difference to the taste of the water – the best thing is that I don’t need to wait for a traditional fridge filter jug to filter the water and these bottles don’t take up a lot of room in the fridge either. I’ve been filling mine every morning and somehow managing to drink that my lunchtime at which point I refill it again and I do the same before dinner too! I’ve been doing that for about a week now and already feel a lot more hydrated (and so does my body if the amount i’m needing to go to the toilet is anything to go by! *TMI*!) Now my challenge to myself is to drink 4 of these bottles a day – each holds 600ml so that’s 2.4 litres in total!

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Let’s Eat – Beef and Vegetable Pocket Pies

Yesterday I cooked a slow cooker beef stew – it was really yummy but as always whenever I make a stew *or a Roast Diner* I had tonnes of leftovers even after we’d all had seconds. I froze up a couple of portions to have later on during the week but then had a quick google online to see what else I could do with the mixed vegetables and meat that I had left.

PS my stew recipe is to chop up whatever veg is in the kitchen, add whatever meat is in the fridge (cubed), put it all in the slow cooker with a couple of Knorr stock pots or a Schwartz beef casserole mix then season and stick it on low for 9 hours (so easy!).

I eventually found this recipe for Lamb and Vegetable pastry triangles and decided to adapt it to suit what I had in the cupboard and fridge.

I drained my stew in a colander, chopped the vegetables smaller and shredded the large chunks of meat until I had enough to fill my pies. I also cooked up the last bit of a bag of frozen peas – just to add a little extra veg (in the stew I already had potatoes, carrots, swede, leek, onion and courgette)

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Work – Life Balance

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I’ll be honest here – i’m not entirely sure that there is such a thing as a perfect Work-Life Balance; the scales always seem to tip in one direction more than another and it’s so hard to juggle everything.

I have a very very busy life – I work full time (and often extra-time), have a ‘second job’ as a writer, I’m also a full-time mum, a wife, a sister, a daughter, an aunty, a friend, a blogger and so much more. There are so many hats that I need to wear throughout my week, or even just throughout my day that sometimes it feels as though I’m constantly dropping some or all of them. I’ve covered some of that feeling in my #MumGuilt post which you can read here too. Continue reading