Fashionably M.French: June 2015

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Guest Room Essentials

Summer is prime time for vacations. Everyone seems to be booking flights, packing up and shipping out to soak up the sun. 

Last summer was the first time I hosted a friend in my humble little abode and let me be frank and say that I was not prepared. To be fair, it was a complete surprise for my birthday. However, I realized that I had no plan in place for when unexpected guests arrive. 

That same friend is coming again this summer and I am determined to make a better impression! There are a few basics that should be covered when hosting a guest. This can include grocery shopping to fit their tastes, keeping things clean and tidy and making them feel right at home with little bits and bobs.

This doesn't have to equate to tons of effort and hours of rushing around the house, which would wear you out before your guest has even arrived. I have compiled a short list of small things that will make your guest feel welcome and at ease during their stay.

1. Fresh Flowers

If you weren't already aware, I love fresh flowers. A lot. 

Fresh flowers are the easiest way to brighten up a space. I will say that some stores really mark up the price of flowers (even seasonal flowers- I mean come on, people, work with me here!) but you can usually find a great little bouquet at your local grocery store for under ten bucks. You can personalize the space with your guest's favorite blooms. This small gesture will make them feel welcomed and considered.

2. Serving Tray

A serving tray is the perfect addition to a guest space. This is where you can leave a reusable water bottle, snacks and even a small stack of books you think your guest might enjoy. You can even put an adult beverage for anyone who might want to wind down after a long day of travel. 

Get creative and pile on the goodies! I have a small chest of drawers in my guest space that I can place a serving tray on but if you don't have anything similar, you can simply place the tray on the center of the mattress or couch where they will be staying.

3. Bathroom Basket

If your guest is staying for more than just a day. then chances are they will want to get cleaned up in the bathroom. That's where the bathroom basket comes in. 

In this basket you will want to put fresh bathroom linens such as towels and washcloths. I like the idea of using separate "guest" linens with a fun pattern that can be distinguished from the everyday towels. 

You can also include a toiletries bag full of sample sized shampoo and conditioner, body wash and other skincare products.Who wouldn't love feeling like they are in a spa or a hotel? Plus, that gives your guest one less thing to worry about when they realize they have forgotten something while packing.  

So there you have it! Those are a few things that I will always have on hand for when a guest decides to pop in, whether expected or not. 

What are some of your guest room essentials? Is there anything special that you like to do to make your guests feel right at home? 

Don't be shy- leave a comment down below. Also, be sure to share this post with anyone you know who might be hosting a guest sometime soon.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

A Distracted Girl's Guide to Being Productive

There is nothing like a good rainstorm to help clear your thoughts. The past few weeks brought a constant drizzle - and I am loving it. My little seedlings have begun to sprout and my mint and tomato plants are doing better than ever. Everything looks so lush and fresh after the rain. Some see rain as a nuisance. I see rain as an opportunity. An opportunity to slow down, reflect and enjoy. I am sitting next to an open window as I type this, listening to the pitter patter, and I could not be more content.

This is the perfect time to sit back with a pen and paper and get yourself sorted. Think about where you are now, what your goals are (whether long-term or short-term) and begin to write down everything that comes to mind. Personally, my issue is that I have so many things I want to get done and so many ideas floating in my head that none of them actually get accomplished. This may or may not be why I go so long in between blog posts. Getting all of these things written down in one place allows me to clear my mind and really focus on a game plan for accomplishing each task. Here are my favorite ways to reorganize, re-energize and be more productive than ever.

1. Printables

One thing that has helped me stay on track is printables! Personally, I hated the idea of printing off a new one every day. So to save paper and my sanity (can you say clutter? My desk is messy enough), I slip each printable into a plastic sleeve. That way I can use dry erase markers and simply wipe them down when I want to start again.

I have been using this daily to-do list from Just a Girl and Her Blog. My favorite part of this printable is the section with each hour blocked out. This is incredibly helpful for all of those procrastinators out there. It also comes in handy if, like me, you are always starting another task before you have even finished the first one. Don't hesitate to schedule in everything down to doing the dishes so that you can establish an effective routine for yourself. 

It is important to not only focus on the day to day but to also have a game plan for the big stuff like finances and house projects. I recommend keeping a rolling list that you can go back and reference any time you have a spare moment.

2. Planners

Planners are a distracted girl's dream. If I am ever feeling stressed or overwhelmed, I go out and buy myself a fresh new planner (or two), There are so many varieties out there today that if you do a little research, you are bound to find one to meet your needs. There are your standard weekly and monthly planners or you can splurge a bit and get one with sections covering finances, shopping, and more! I tend to go for the classic weekly/monthly layout in a smaller size so that I can carry it with me in my bag or purse. Planners and agendas are no longer just for students and business professionals. 

You can find agendas and planners just about anywhere. I usually find mine at Target, they have a great selection and price point. However, if you are more of an online shopper then Minted is the place for you. They have a wide range of unique designs and are incredibly affordable! Last fall, I wrote a blog post with my agenda picks for school. Check out my Parsel Shop for a few of my recent favorites.

3. Calendar

I know what you're thinking- Another piece of paper with little boxes labeled with dates? Yes. I love having a separate calendar so that I can see what I have in for the month at a glance. This is great for birthdays, holidays, major deadlines, bills, etc. I like one that hangs on the wall but desk calendars are great too! Also, anyone else in the house can add anything they like as it comes up. If you want to get really nerdy fancy, then you can color code your entries.

4. The Right Environment

Most of us know what type of environment works best for us. Your ideal working environment might be in a cafe surrounded by strangers and comfort of caffeine. It could be curled up under a blanket on the couch with the television on for background noise. Personally, I need solitude and structure. If I am on the couch or in bed then I will more than likely go to sleep. Occasionally a cafe will work but only if I have a good pair of headphones to drown out the excess noise. I have found that I work best sitting at my desk or my dining room table, windows open to the cool breeze and silence.

Occasionally, I will play music on my Sonos player. If I do decide to have background noise, I will generally stick to Pandora radio stations without lyrics (my favorites are the 2cellos station or celtic station) or old french music (Edith Piaf is the absolute best). Whatever your ideal working environment, be sure to do everything you can to achieve it so that you have one less thing to worry about when working.

5. Have Healthy Snacks Ready and Waiting

This is a big one for me, I am the queen of snacking. My mother used to tell me that I would turn into a bowl and chips and salsa. Unfortunately, I have yet to break this habit. But I have found a solution! I can snack all I want as long as I am snacking on the right things. A bag of chips might taste incredible but the empty carbs slow me down (and certainly isn't doing my skin any favors either). You should also be weary of the types of sugar you are putting in your body. Sugar from fruit is okay as long as you don't over do it. The processed sugar in your favorite chocolate bar or ice cream is usually not okay.

A few of my favorite options are sliced bell peppers, apple slice with almond butter, a few olives, and basically any vegetable with tahini. Get creative just be sure it is something that can be pre-made and kept in the fridge or something that only takes a minute to throw together. I currently have a high fat diet so I still get to have a little fun (hence the olives, tahini and almond butter).

Those are a few of my go-to tricks for staying on track and getting things done! I am currently coveting the Day Designer by Whitney English but I am waiting for the August edition. I am sure you will see a lot of it on my social media as soon as I get my hands on one.

What are some of your tips and tricks for staying productive? I am always on the hunt for anything that might help.

Also, don't be shy when it comes to commenting down below- no captcha, just interaction! Receiving comments on posts is by far one of the best parts of blogging. I'd love to hear from you!