Where I’ve been for the last few months…

Over the past few months I have been absent from my blog for a number of reasons. In this post I will be sharing what I’ve been up to!

Some of you may, or may not, have noticed that I’ve been absent from my blog for a few months now. This is due to a number of differing factors, but I’m hoping to start gradually coming back to the blogging community.

Once life started to get back to some sort of normality, as covid restrictions started to lift, my time for blogging was somewhat limited. My day job started getting busier, and my social life picked up (slightly), again, so blogging wasn’t really at the forefront of my mind. This mixed with the fact that my creative juices stopped flowing, I decided it was time to focus my efforts elsewhere.

My attention was pulled massively away from blogging, not just for the minor reasons already listed, but because of something life changing! Don’t worry, it’s nothing sinister!

I bought my first home…eeeek!!!!

After an agonising 8 month wait, we finally got the keys to our first home on Friday 25 June 2021! As I write this, over 3 months later, I still haven’t moved in. The house I bought wasn’t exactly ready to move into straight away, there was A LOT, that we needed to do. Apart from the obvious stripping of wallpaper, the entire house needed to be re-plastered, which of course was time consuming and very, very expensive. We contracted someone out to do the plastering, but the rest of the work was left to us to fix.

Over the past few months, I have spent countless evenings and weekends prepping and painting the house. It’s been a long ride, it’s almost one whole year since we actually put our offer in on the house, but I think we are finally on the home stretch. Just a couple more weeks and I will move into my first home with my boyfriend.

The house buying journey was beyond stressful, my boyfriend and I have had more stress than excitement over the past 12 months. The process wasn’t what we expected and we hit quite a few hurdles along the way, there have been tears of joy, stress, anger and sadness, most on the same day!

I created an Instagram account specific to my home renovation, where I regularly share updates on stories and grid posts. I hope to feature some home content on my blog in the near future, but the main place I will be sharing home blog content will be on my Instagram account – @little.number.seven

So, as you can tell, I’ve had a massive lifestyle change this year. I hope you can forgive me for the lack of blogging and social media engagement of late. When I become more settled into my new routine, I will be putting more effort into blogging again.

Until Another Day x

How to Stay Motivated During Winter

In today’s guest post, The Kelly Diane Report has put together some tips to help you stay motiviated during winter.

*Guest post by The Kelly Diane Report*

Winter can be such a difficult time of year. Whilst some people love it, others find it really difficult. You’ve taken all the Christmas decorations down and your house feels bare. Its cold and often wet and windy too. The mornings and evenings are dark and it feels like it doesn’t really get light during the day either. With all of this, motivation levels can be low.

All you probably want to do is stay in your pyjamas, watching movies all day whilst snuggled under a blanket. If this is you, I want to try and help you. Because as much as a movie day would be lovely, you will find that you begin to struggle as the jobs start to pile up. I’ve put together some tips to hopefully help you stay motivated during winter.

Get out of bed as soon as you wake up

As soon as you wake up in the morning, get yourself out of bed and get dressed. If you stay under those warm covers, scrolling social media, you will probably still be there an hour later. Whereas if you are up and dressed, you are straight away one step closer to getting things done.

Go for a walk

Where possible, get out for a brisk morning walk. Its such a great way of starting your day and can put you in such a good mood. It will also ensure that you are now wide awake and ready to start your day. If the weather doesn’t appeal to you, do a home workout instead. There are so many options available on YouTube, so create a playlist and choose one to do each day.

Make a to-do list

I live by to-do lists and each morning, I make a conscious effort to get everything written down. Its such a great way of brain dumping and being able to have a clear head. I jot them down roughly, before adding them in a priority order. Its then so much easier to work your way through that list and in theory, you won’t be putting off those important tasks.

Fill a bottle of water & create a snack basket

We should all be drinking plenty of water, which we all know, so I won’t list all the benefits in this post. However, filling your bottle and taking it around with you, will motivate you to drink more. You will be surprised at just how much you drink. I’d also recommend creating a small snack basket with your snacks for the day. If you are stricter with yourself and limit how much you snack, it will stop you feeling more sluggish.

Take short breaks regularly

I work by the rule of for every 45 minutes I do some work, whether around the house or on my laptop, I take a 5 minute break. This can be something as simple as going to the toilet or even just dancing around to my favourite song. It just has to be something that will give my mind a break from what I’m doing, like a refresh button. In the past, I’ve fallen into that pattern where my “break” has been 2 hours where I have done nothing but procrastinate and I end up feeling so unmotivated. Therefore, limiting yourself to 5 minute breaks throughout the day will help you get that to-do list done.

Switch off

So many people have found themselves working from home and so you no longer have that work/life divide. During your working day, switch off those private notifications. You don’t need to see if Joe Bloggs is doing yet another Instagram live or if Fred’s child has become an artist with another painting masterpiece. If your notifications aren’t there to tempt you to scroll, you will get so much more done. Likewise, if your working hours are 9-5, switch off from work at 5pm. Don’t be tempted to carry on working because you will now be eating into your home life. It’s now the time to create something delicious for tea and have a relaxing evening.

About the Author

Hello, I’m Kelly from The Kelly Diane Report and I’m so happy to be able to write this guest post for Kelly. I’ve run my blog on and off for over 10 years and focus mainly on books, beauty and lifestyle content. Over the years, I have found that I’ve struggled with staying motivated, especially during the winter months. I hope these tips have given you some ideas of how you too can stay motivated this winter. There are so many other tips I could share with you but I don’t want to make this post any longer. A huge thank you to Kelly for allowing me to guest post and a big thank you to you for reading.

Want to guest post with me?

If you’d like to write your very own blog post and be featured on until-another-day.com, please get in touch via the form below!

Until Another Day x

10 Books I am Reading in 2021

2021 is the year I want to start reading more. Reading is something that I love to do, but I find that I become easily drawn to other activities and ultimately break the habit. I recently purchased quite a few second hand books, 7 to be exact, and I received a book as a Christmas present from my boyfriend.

I set-up a Goodreads account with a small target of 10 books, not wanting to give myself an unachievable goal. I see some people reading over 100 books a year, like HOW? Is that the only thing they do? I’m just jealous tbh, I wish I had the time…and motivation to smash a target like that.

My favourite genre of books has to be crime fiction or anything thrilling. I’ve never been into love story or fantasy novels, but it’s about time I branched out a little bit. To be fair, the majority of the books on my list are crime fiction, so if this is your prefered genre then you’re going to love this post.

1. The Hunting Party

I started this book at the end of 2020 and finished it on 4 January 2021. The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley is the perfect crime novel. Set in the beautiful Scottish highlands, a group of old friends venture to a stunning remote hunting lodge to celebrate New Years Eve together. However, on New Years Day, one of them is dead! A classic who-done-it novel, featuring lots of twists, it’s definitely worth a read, I found myself struggling to put it down!

2. The Turn of the Key

This is my second book of 2021. I’m just a few pages in and I am already hooked! The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware follows Rowan, who stumbles across an advert online for a live-in nanny position, with an amazing salary, she had found her dream job.

“What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare – one that will end with a child dead and her in a cell, awaiting trial for murder”

When I spotted The Turn of the Key in Waterstones, this quote from the blurb instantly piqued my interest and I really wanted to get my hands on it. My boyfriend remembered how drawn to it I was and gave me it as a Christmas present!

3. My Lemon Grove Summer

I picked this up in a second hand book store at the end of 2020 (5 books for £5, what a bargain). My Lemon Grove Summer by Jo Thomas isn’t the sort of book I would normally reach for, but as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I want to broaden my horizons a little.

Zelda’s impulsive nature has got her precisely nowhere up until now. A fresh start in a beautiful hilltop town in Sicily looking for new residents, together with her best friend Lennie, could this be just what she needs? And who better to settle down with than the person who knows her best?

I can already tell I’m going to have the holiday blues whilst reading this book!

4. The Polish Detective

Another crime novel, who would have guessed?? The Polish Detective is the first book in the Dania Gorska series written by Hania Allen. Set in Dundee (side note – why are all crime books set in Scotland??), Dania is sent to investigate three murders, each body is posed in a different way, one being dressed and staged as a scarecrow (how creepy!!).

If I like this book, I might look into the other books in the series too.

5. The Devil You Know

When an intruder breaks into Rosa Fishers home, they both soon discover that it isn’t Rosa he is looking for, but someone else! The Devil You Know by Emma Kavanagh is a psychological thriller that I just cannot wait to read. It’s a book I defintely love the sound of, I’m hoping it’s a real page turner!

6. Death in Springtime

I picked this up in a quaint little book shop in Looe, Cornwall. After doing a little research, I’ve discovered it’s actually the 3rd book in the series by Magdalen Nabb, however it does not appear to link in with the others besides having the same detective. The story follows detective Marshal Guarnaccia after two foreign girls are abducted from a Florance piazza in broad daylight.

7. Death in Autumn

This is the fourth book in the same series by Magdalen Nabb. Death in Autumn was published in 1985 so it’s quite an old book.

“The body of a woman, clad only in a fur coat and jewelry, is found floating in the Arno at dawn. Marshal Guarnaccia of the Florentine carabinieri identifies her as a missing hotel guest. But how and why did she die? Was it a bizarre suicide? Or murder?”

8. The Holiday

The Holiday written by T.M. Logan follows a group of families enjoying a week in the glorious sunshine in the south of France. Kate suspects her husband of cheating on her, with one of her best friends! This trip could be the perfect opportunity for Kate to find the proof she needs.

“Seven Days. Three Families. One Killer”

I’m super intrigued to see where this book takes me. A cheating scandal and a murder, I think I’m in for a bumpy ride with this book.

9. Only Child

When I found the Only Child by Rhiannon Navin in the store, I instantly knew I needed to pick it up. On the front cover, it was described along the lines of “fans of Room will love this book”. The Room is one of my favourite books and due to its similarites I couldn’t just leave it sitting on a shelf. Narrated by a 6 year old boy, Zach Taylor is squeezed into a closet with his teachers and classmates as gunshots ring through his school. A gunman has taken 19 lives, Zach’s mum goes on a quest for justice, holding the shooters parents responsible for their sons actions. Zach retreats to his hideout and loses himself in books and art.

10. The Humans

Out of all the books on my list, The Humans by Matt Haig is one that I have wanted to read for such a long time. Matt Haig is one of my favourite authors at the moment. The reason for The Humans being at the bottom of my list is because I’m yet to get my hands on it. It’s a lot different to the stories I usually read, but that’s what has caught my attention. The main protagonist Andrew Martin, wakes up one day be repulsed by his wife and son, even food makes him feel nauseous. He hates everyone on the planet, except his dog, Newton.

There you have it, 10 books I hope to read in 2021. I have a few others in mind that I’d like to read, however my Goodreads target is set to 10 (which I’m hoping I beat) so I don’t want to overwhelm myself too early on. I would love to know if you have read any of the books I’ve mentioned, or if you have recommendations for me!

Until Another Day x

5 Ways to Practice Self Care

Looking after ourselves physically and mentally is super important to our wellbeing. In this post, I’m going to be sharing 5 tips on self care.

During our day to day lives, it can be difficult to put aside a little time to practice self care, looking after our mental and physical health. We get swept away in the hustle and bustle of working life that we tend to neglect ourselves. Since lockdown began, I now have more time to dedicate to practicing self care, in this post I’m going to share 5 self care activites to relax your mind and body.

Workout

Working out has many benefits, not only does it aid weight loss but has proven postive physcological benefits by releasing endorphins making us feel happier. Feeling tired and lethargic? Do a workout, over time your energy levels will increase. For the record, I’m by no means a fitness freak, I struggle to exercise regularly, but now that I have more time on my hands I’m trying my best to include more exercise into my routine. As I write this, I’ve just finished my 3rd workout of the day!

Read a book

Books

If you’re anything like me, you will go through stages of reading books quite quickly and regularly but on occassion go months without reading a single book. I’d class myself as a holiday reader, I typically read a lot more lounging by a pool or the beach lapping up the sunshine. I purchased myself Ferne Cotton’s books Happy, Calm & Quiet, £9 for all 3 on Amazon! At the moment I’m delving into ‘Happy’, I don’t suffer from depression but this book has some really great advice that everyone can learn from.

Take a bath

Photo by Maddi Bazzocco on Unsplash

Taking a nice warm bath is the key to feeling completely relaxed, I had one just yesterday evening. It’s the perfect time to have a little social media detox, listen to some relaxing music or a podcast and soak with your favourite bath bomb or epsom salts. If you’re feeling extra bougie why not light a candle or two for that optimum relaxation.

Have a pamper morning/evening

Photo by Logan Nolin on Unsplash

This has to be my favourite tip on here, I’m quite partial to a pamper session. After a long day of staring at a laptop screen, I love jumping into the shower and afterwards lathering myself in my favourite moisturising body butter. Applying a nice face mask to detox the skin and really concentrating on your skin care routine is a great way to feel pampered. I also enjoy painting my nails, which can help me feel more put together.

Declutter

Declutter
Photo by Sarah Brown on Unsplash

Having a sort out through old clothes and unused makeup always makes me feel organised. I love discovering lost treasures that I can now make use of. I recently rearranged the contents of my dressing table, this is where I store all of my makeup. Rather than throwing makeup away, I like to put some products aside to gift to a family friend, who is makeup obsessed like me. I also gifted some foundation, that is a bit too dark for me, to my mum, along with some other bits. Tidying my drawers and decluttering helps to reduce stress and anxiety, increasing productivity and creativity.

I hope you enjoyed my 5 self care tips. I’m always on the look out for new ways to relax and unwind, I’d love to hear what you get up to!

Until Another Day x

Lockdown Routine

Keeping motivated during isolation can be no easy task, but getting into a little routine really does help. In this post I’m going to share what I’ve been doing during lockdown.

Right now we are living through crazy times, which are bound to go down in the history books. Keeping motivated during isolation can be no easy task, but getting into a little routine really does help. For today’s post, I’m going to share what I’ve been doing during lockdown.

Morning

I typically wake up between 08:30 – 09:00 during the week, I don’t set an alarm this is the time I seem to be waking up naturally. To begin my day, I’ve been trying to do a 15 – 20 minute workout routine pretty much as soon as I wake up. I’ve been particularly loving Lucy Wyndam Read’s free YouTube at home workouts.

After my quick workout, I jump in the shower to freshen up, get dressed and then it’s time for breakfast. I usally grab myself some toast or cereal and sit down in front of my laptop to begin my working day. Sitting downstairs at my dining table helps to keep me motivated, if I sat in my bedroom all day it would be difficult to separate work from home life. It’s all about the work/life balance.

Afternoon

Time for a quick lunch, taking regular breaks from work is key when working from home. I enjoy sitting in my conservatory or back garden (weather permitting) to get away from my laptop.

At 14:00 it’s time for a work Microsoft Teams call, it’s a bit like Zoom. This usually lasts anywhere between 20 minutes – 1 hour. It’s basically just a catch-up, we hardly ever talk about work.

After my chat with work colleagues, I go for my daily outside exercise. I take my dog out for a decent walk around our local area, I wish we could venture further afield but unfortunately we can’t for the foreseeable.

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Oscar enoying his walk and a HUGE stick

Free Time

During any free time, I like to browse social media, create and post pins over on my Pinterest. Since the UK lockdown I’ve been playing A LOT of the Sims 4. I always go through phases were I’m completely obsessed with it, I can sit there for hours on end playing my little family. I’m pretty sad and have created myself and my boyfriend, we are married have two kids and cat. My sim is a fashion influencer, a girl can dream right!

I’m fortunate enough to be isolating with my boyfriend and parents. The weather has been suprisingly nice here recently, so we’ve managed to squeeze in a few nice BBQs during the goldenhour sunshine.

Although I don’t get up to much, I thought I’d share a day in the life during lockdown. I see lots of posts online about taking up a new skill or hobby, but honestly if you don’t want to, then don’t! It’s ok to take this time to relax and not to put all of your time and attention into learning something new, that’s what I’m doing.

I’d love to know what you’ve been doing during lockdown, lets talk in the comments or on Twitter.

Until Another Day x