How to Achieve the Work-Life Balance Everyone’s Talking About*

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Work-life balance- it’s a term that’s often bandied about by everyone from politicians to busy mums but I’m willing to bet that there are very few of us who have actually obtained the holy grail of perfectly balancing our time at work with time spent at home relaxing, working on hobbies and spending time with our families.

If you’re content with seeing your office colleagues more than you see your partner/kids and working more than you do, well anything else, then that’s great. For the rest of you reading this, who would love to strike a better balance between your obligations and your desires, check out these tips to help you achieve the perfect work-life balance that everyone’s talking about:

Turn Off Work Notifications

To start with an easy way that you can get more of your personal life back and redress the balance between working and relaxing is by turning off your mobile phone once you leave work- or at the very least turning off work notifications. You might feel under pressure to check your emails every five minutes or check if your colleague has finished that report, but do you really need to do it now? Your free time should be just that and you shouldn’t be scared into giving it away by bosses and colleagues who can’t ever switch off themselves. In fact, you might want to point out that the more time spent working the less productive and more stressed out you’ll be, which is hardly going to do your work any favours!

Learn How to Say No

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Similar to the above, if you have a boss who’s very demanding and always wants more than it is reasonable for you to give do yourself a favour and learn how to say no. Just because you work for someone doesn’t give them the right to encroach into your private life and unless it’s written in your contract they have no right to ask you to stay behind to do an extra job, complete an extra project or answer emails at midnight. So, if you don’t want to do something say so. Be polite but be firm. The time spent with your family is more important than time spent trying to impress your boss, hands down. I mean, few people ever wished they had worked more on their death beds!

Say Goodbye to Perfection

If you’re a perfectionist you probably spend considerably longer on tasks than your peers who know that good enough really is good enough most of the time. Therefore if you can fight the urge to make everything you do absolutely perfect you can claw back some considerable free time to spend with family, friends, pets or even a good book.

Work from Home

More and more companies are allowing their staff to telecommute- working from their own homes. If you can swing this it’ll mean that you no longer have a daily commute to contend with and you’ll possibly be able to create your own schedule which in turn means more time spent doing the things you love.

Retrain or Start Your Own Business

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If none of the above help you to create a better work-life balance you could think about either retraining to go into a career than offers more flexibility, or even better starting your own business where you can call all the shots. Becoming a personal trainer with the help of Origym, setting up your own blog like I have and monetizing it or starting your own graphic design business are three very viable options for setting up on your own but there are literally thousands of ways you can change your career to give you more control over your time.

Work Smarter

Whether you’re working for an employee or running your own business it always makes sense to find ways that you can work smarter rather than harder. For example using software programs to automate your most monotonous tasks or creating new spreadsheets that can process data in a fraction of the usual time will mean that you can get things done much more quickly, giving you more free time to do what you truly love. Many employees don’t much care when you’re in the office as long as everything gets done so this is a really good option for any of you who don’t want to leave your jobs but do want to have more free time.

Do you have a great work –life balance? What steps have you taken to achieve a better life?

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How to get the perfect sized ring*

Getting ring size right is a tricky one, I couldn’t tell you off hand what mine is which can pose a problem when shopping, especially online! You see the perfect ring, order it only to discover you were way off the mark with your estimations!

Thanks to retailer of antique jewellery, AC Silver I have an easy guide to how to measure your ring size (and I intend to do so and then save mine somewhere) so you don’t get caught out again. It should be noted that this can be a little bit tricky so it might be best to pop along to your local jeweller to make sure you get it spot on.

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Measuring Your Ring Size at Home

A common method is to cut a thin strip of paper, wrapping the paper around the finger and making a mark, then measuring with ruler. This way you can find out your size in millimetres then convert into the more recognisable size using a guide which you can find easily online. This method gives you a good starting point however consideration should be given to the design of the piece you are intending to buy.

You can also use an existing ring you have one already know fits and is of a similar design and width. You can have this measured on a jewellery ring stick (otherwise known as a mandrel sizing tool) at a jewellers to get an accurate idea of your size.

Things to Consider

Band / Shank Width – Wide bands such as wedding rings will always grip your finger tighter than a thinner ring style. The size of the shank does affect how the ring will feel whilst being worn and a jeweller will have ring gauges in narrow and broader types to emulate the chosen rings shank and determine the perfect fit. The greater the depth of the shank the greater the impact on the size and this may mean you need to go a ring size up.

Temperature – Your fingers are generally smaller in the morning so it is advisable to measure your ring size later in the day when you fingers are warmer (aiming for a normal body temperature). The difference may be surprising- a cold finger can sometimes be half a size smaller; if this smaller size was used as soon as you get hot the ring would become rather tight and may be uncomfortable.

Large Cocktail Rings – For rings which are ‘heavy on top‘ it is recommended going for a snugger fit to minimise that annoying spinning effect!
A sign of a good fit is when the ring sits neatly and needs a little wiggle over the knuckle to remove.

An Existing Ring – If you have a ring you already know fits and is of a similar design and width you can also have this measured on a jewellery ‘ring stick’ (otherwise known as a mandrel sizing tool), that way you can always surprise a loved one!

In short, whilst it is possible to measure your ring size at home, for an expensive or important purchase it’s recommended that you visit a professional jewellers to ensure the perfect fit. For costume jewellery however you might find the paper trick is just what you need.

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Get Cara’s Camo Look with Rimmel

Rimmel have recently launched a limited edition collection exclusive to Superdrug. The range is fronted by Cara Delevingne and is called Cara’s Camo Collection. As the name would suggest the products are all based upon the bang on trend camouflage look- from the shades of the products to the packaging itself, and it’s all finished with Rimmel’s trademark Union Jack print.
I haven’t reviewed the entire range as some of the products are ones I’ve tried and featured before- the brow gels for example [the clear and dark brown are staples of mine]. Same goes for the lipstick, although I’m certainly glad to have a back up of this shade as it’s the most perfect nude I’ve found on the high street!
I’m not a black nail polish kind of girl but the other two colours in the collection are right up my street and perfect for pulling together an on trend look this Summer. I’m already a huge fan of Rimmel’s 60 second shine range and camo girl and desert disguise are fantastic additions to the collection.
Most people by now know I love my mascaras and I’m always on the look out for great new additions to my ever-growing army of them. The Extra 3D Lash Mascara is the first mascara by Rimmel to give a multi-dimensional look and one swift coat of this gives a voluminous, defined look that I’m seriously loving.
One of the first makeup items I ever owned was the original Hide the Blemish concealer stick from Rimmel and it’s been an absolute staple ever since. This is the same product we know and love bought up to date with it’s camouflage disguise. The main reason I love this product so much is that it’s a great all-rounder. It hides blemishes and conceals dark circles equally well and it’s perfect for me at the weekend’s when I’m staying at my boyfriend’s and don’t want to pack endless makeup products.
Another multi-tasking product I love from this collection is the Highlighter Pencil. You can use it to life the brow arch, or to highlight the brow bones and I’ve actually also been using it in the inner corners of my eyes for a wide-awake look when I’m really not feeling it!
The entire collection is available Superdrug and as well as being ridiculously affordable in the first instance it’s also currently on a 3 for 2 offer so now’s the time to snap it up!

Have you tried any products from this collection? What limited edition packaging would you like to see from Rimmel?

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Products sent to me c/o Rimmel for blog consideration. Post contains affiliate links.

Winds of Change

It feels like forever since I last shared an outfit on the blog- and it has been a long time for me. It’s a combination of things…being much busier these days means I have less time for taking photos and writing posts and I’ve also been feeling pretty uninspired by my wardrobe and it’s contents. Still, I recently received another item of clothing from Stylewise Direct- the fashion clothing wholesaler so set aside some time, wrestled with my tripod and got to it.

Dress c/o Stylewise Direct | Boots: River Island

I’ve written about Stylewise Direct a few times now so I’m not going to repeat myself, if you want to find out more about them and what they do then please check out my earlier posts here and here. Apologies for how creased the dress is in the photos, I failed to iron it before putting it on (standard Laura practice) and yeah…I have no excuse really.

It’s a great dress though, it ticks all of the things I want in my wardrobe at the moment- denim, embroidery and loose fitting.

I can’t say I’m happy with these photos, they are wonky, I hate how I look in them and I was battling against high winds. I didn’t have time to re-take them so I’m continuing my battle against my inner perfectionist and sharing them anyway. That kind of brings me in to doing a little update about life. On the whole life is great- work is going really well, I’m ridiculously happy in my relationship and it finally feels like everything is slotting in to place for me. Of course a large part of that (and it feels, quite literally large) is my ongoing recovery from anorexia. It’s picking up pace, which is great, really great. I’ve finally pulled my head out of the sand and am doing exactly what I’m meant to be doing. It’s taking it’s toll though on my self perception. My confidence in how I look is rock bottom, I can see and feel every minute change in my body, ones that nobody else is likely to pick up on. That is another reason for the recent lack of outfit posts and one I try to keep quiet about, but it’s also real life and part of who I am. I’m trying to accept I still have a few kilos to gain before I’m where I need to be, and that once I get there things will settle and I will start to appreciate and nurture the healthy body I have created. In the mean time my mantra has become “if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you” and just keep ploughing through.

Life on the whole is bloody brilliant. I can’t remember the last time I’ve ever been this happy. Eating disorder recovery remains ridiculously hard- no matter how much you want that healthy life and body and everything that goes with it, there’s still that little demon residing in your head screaming at you that you don’t need this weight, you don’t need this food and you don’t deserve this life.

But now I accept that’s part of it. And it’s probably harder now that it ever has been because there is no going back this time. This is final. This is it. At the grand old age of 30 I am finally re-claiming my life.

Apologies for the ramble, I feel like this has been brewing for a while. I’ve always been upfront about my battle on this blog and I suppose now, sharing the recovery process with these random updates a selfish process to remind myself of what I’m doing. In some ways this blog serves as a record of achievement for me, so do feel free to skip over such posts in the future, I won’t mind!
On a lighter note, what style of dresses are you loving right now?

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DLM – Instagram stores for your last-minute holiday buys*

You can’t beat online shopping for last-minute holiday purchases with offers, next-day deliveries and easy free returns it’s the most varied way to get our wardrobes ready without spending hours upon hour trawling the shops.
With the rise of social media we now have more options than ever. Have you ever considered making your purchases through Instagram? It opens up a whole new avenue of browsing and buying- here are our top five Instagram stores to get you started.
Pool Party UK

For Pool Party UK it’s all about swimwear (clue is in the name!) There are super-cute slogan swimsuits to suit any mood and any holiday destination. Our faves? ‘I’d rather be a mermaid’, ‘Heart breaker’ and of course ‘Cocktails’. If you can’t find the slogan you want then there is also the option to custom design one for you and your squad.

On Instagram

KJ Style Boutique

Up the holiday glam stakes with KJ Style boutique. Their clothes are all about flaunting your curves…with body-cons, cut-out maxis and co-ords galore, their collection will help you to show off the summer bod you worked so hard for in the glammest possible way!

On Instagram

Motel Swim

A sub-brand of cult label Motel Rocks, Motel Swim has some of the best bikinis on the market and there’s something to suit every girl’s shape and style. From daring cut-outs to retro style one pieces (and just about everything in between) you’ll be spoilt for choice on your holiday swimwear.

On Instagram

Sonya Bee Boutique

Sonya Bee’s Boutique will help you keep your holiday look stylish and on-trend whilst staying on budget. You’ll find tailored pants, draped maxis and cropped sweatshirts (for cool summer nights). They only have a few key pieces on sale but trust us, you will want them all…

On Instagram

Lemon Lunar

Lemon Lunar is the right place for your holiday party wardrobe. They specialise in glam body-con dresses of all types including slinky camis, cut-out bandeaus and amazing draped maxis. You can choose dusky shades of gold and burgundy
or go bright with juicy orange and yellow bandage dresses. Whatever your party style you’ll find the perfect outfit here!

On Instagram

Research provided by DLM, letterbox distribution company. All images taken from the brand Instagram accounts.

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