The Jenny Chat organisation ‘hacks’ 2021

I consider myself a pretty organised person when it comes to work. Although I can easily adapt to changes of flow, tasks and deadlines, I work best when I feel in control of that, which being organised helps me to achieve.

Thanks to years of wanting to be the best organised I can, I’ve developed some strategies that help me, which I thought I’d share. There’s nothing ground-breaking or innovative here; just simple tips to organise, prioritise and convince your brain that you’re doing a good job (which of course, you are). It’s worth the five minute read for that I reckon!

Ive mentioned this before in a previous post, but I use Trello to create my to do lists for general work, social media and blog content. I have a board for each which I separate into lists and colour code in order of priority (you’ll see in my next point that I’m a fan of colour coding). Because I work remotely some of the time and so do my colleagues (especially at the moment) this is also another way for everybody to have hands on a project or catch up with what you’re doing at a glance without 172627 emails being exchanged.

For a number of years I’ve used this system to track the progress of my workload, and its exactly what it sounds like. No rocket science here! For a handwritten list (I still have one of those as well as my digital one to get the satisfaction of crossing something off) I use highlighters to colour code, for Trello I use the labels function:

Green = done Yellow/Orange = in progress Red = can’t complete/need further assistance to complete

This one is a bit school kid psychology, but is certainly helps keep me focused on my priorities and finish each day feel good so I’m with it!

Take a few minutes before starting your day (or a few at the end of the day before if that’s easier) to write down three key things from your to do list that you must do today in order to feel like you’re in control and winning. Just three. And if it gets to the end of the day and those bad boys are all struck off, then go you! Of course, you probably have more than three things you need to do in any given day, but focusing on these few means that you know no matter what, you achieved something important to your daily work.

It’s simple, but DEFINITELY something a lot of us forget to do is we oerceive we’re swamped with work! Take half an hour at the beginning and end of each week to review your workload/tasks and reclassify their importance. There may be something urgent that needs to be bumped up to the top of the list, however that may mean that something else you thought was more important is now less of a priority and can use a little less of your time in the short term.

Whenever you’re given a new work task/deadline, it’s sensible to ask how this should fit in with your other tasks i.e. ‘can I just check, now I have this task alongside XYZ, in which order would say I prioritise these jobs?’. Nobody can say you’re not prepared if you’ve asked and then planned your activity based on the answer.

Simple, yet effective. If any of these concepts are new to you, give them a go and let me know if they’ve helped you. We don’t always have to reinvent the wheel to stay on top of life, we just have to put a little oil onto the one we have to make it work well.

Thanks for reading,

J xx


Things I like about working from home

  • Having an extra hour in bed each morning.
  • Not comfy at my desk? No problem, sit on the couch. Thats not working? Cool, sit on the floor with a blanket.
  • Having last night’s leftovers for lunch while watching an episode of Sex and the City.
  • Wearing cosy, fluffy clothing without it looking weird or unprofessional.
  • Having my ring light on hand for video calls. Gotta get that fine lighting.
  • Shoes out, slippers in.

Is there anything here you can relate to?

Thanks for reading,

J xx


Let’s Chat- December / Christmas 2020

The very last update of the year, and what a year it’s been!

Honestly, my year has been fine. Good even. I had the first few months of 2020 not having a good time at all, so when the pandemic hit it forced some of the changes I was struggling to make for myself (I wrote a previous post about this which you can read here). Imagine feeling so down on yourself that a global pandemic actually SAVED the year!

BUT no more about that now. More about the lighter, fluffier stuff you probably clicked over here for…

This months clothing has mainly been loungewear and Christmas clothing, no great surprise. I also discovered a new small business (thanks Instagram) that sell really good quality quirky PJs called Their Nibs which you’ll see below

  • Moesha: (sings) Mo to the, E to the….another month, another throwback to my teenage years courtesy of Netflix! I don’t think I watched the final season first time round so I was very frustrated and disappointed with how it ended.
  • Christmas films: of course! I watch the same core films every single year, but this year I added in Fred Claus, Christmas With the Kranks and Deck the Halls.

I usually do a post about my Christmas (I’ve done one almost every single year since launching this little online space) but I thought this year I’d combine it with my monthly catch up, mainly because that’s what I’ve been doing this month so it makes sense.

As it was for virtually everybody in the UK, our festive period wasn’t quite like it usually is, however being in Tier 3 meant we could still enjoy some indoors family time which I’m very grateful for. This year we ventured over the bridge to my mum’s house for Christmas lunch, the first time any of us have celebrated thers as they only moved in last year.

Lunch was spread over a few hours, with some present opening in between courses:

  • Starter: Mackerel patê served with rocket and ciabatta
  • Main: Carved turkey and gammon, pigs in blankets, home made stuffing, honeyed carrots, parsnips, sprputs, garlic roast potatos and lashings of gravy
  • Dessert: Papa Robbo’s infamous croissant white chocolate bread and butter pudding

After lunch we headed to my sister in laws to do a door drop of presents for the other side of the family. We stood in the back garden next to the fire pit whilst we watched the little ones open their gifts through the french doors. Definitely VERY weird, but at least we got to see them somehow!

Boxing Day, instead of going to my mum’s or hosting family as we usually do, (as everybody else in the UK did) we stayed at home. We still made an effort and cooked a 3 course meal for ourselves, but ate it in our loungewear. It’s all about balance ya know:

  • Starter: Caremalised onion and goats cheese tart
  • Main: Turkey roulade with truffle cauliflower cheese, carrot sweede, pigs in blankets and roasties
  • Dessert: Sticky toffee pudding with pouring cream

The last thing we did for the year (‘cos we’re definitely not doing anything tonight!) was do a socially distanced treasure hunt around Beverley courtesy of Escape Rooms Beverley (it’s £5 per couple). It was a great way to get some fresh air, a nice walk and use my brain a bit for the first time in a couple of weeks!

And now it’s New Years Eve, 2020 is done and 2021 is raring to go. Let’s try our best to work with what we’ve got for now and hope it’ll lead us to the joy, freedom and peace many of us are craving.

So that’s it. Well, just for now. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog posts, followed and engaged with me on Instagram and may even watched a few of my cheesy Tik Tok videos! It’s much appreciated and I hope to see you more in the new year.

Thanks for reading,

J xx


Instagram best nine

I’m back with some OG kinda post this week!

It’s that time of year where Instagram shows us our mist liked/engaging grid pics from the past year, so I wanted to share mine and a bit of the significance behind each. Enjoy!

This was on my birthday back in June. A couple of days before, I’d found out I was being made redundant. However, I pushed this to the back if my mind and enjoyed a socially distaced BBQ at my mum’s house with close family and was made to feel very loved. The smile is 100% genuine.

The last time I posted a pic of myself in this bikini (about a year before) I was standing up and sucking in for dear life. This time, I decided to just snap a pic exactly as I was; relaxing in the garden and enjoying life. I don’t think that’s a brave thing to do, nothing here that you wouldn’t see round a pool or on a beach on holiday right?

Holiday!! 6 of my best 9 were from my summer holiday to Zante (still so grateful we managed to get abroad this year, even if it wasn’t where we’d planned). On this day we’d taken the bus to Zakynthos Town and enjoyed walking by the harbour, around the shops and stopping off for food before heading back to our hotel. I really like these ‘holding hands out of shot’ pics.

I didnt feel ‘brave’ posting this pic, however I was inspired to post it by some of my fave influencers who have helped me to have a slightly different mindset about how I view my body. Yes, I might want to make some changes, but they’re not going to happen overnight so I can’t simple sit around and wait until I feel I look ‘good enough’. So I went about my holiday, did what I wanted and had a ball.

This was just one afternoon (happy hour, to be exact) by the pool at our hotel, I’d been made redundant by this point but were having a great holiday and I was feeling pretty positive about the next steps (the week after this, I got my new job). I really did feel good about life and wanted to capture the moment.

This was taken mid way through a boat trip to Naviago Bay (otherwise known as Shipwreck Beach) the boat was a bit teeny and the waves were a bit too big for me to feel ok getting in the water, but we saw some amazing beaches and had some great food.

Back to June and the first time I dared to meet up with a fellow blogger to shoot content (which was @moretokat) we arrived and left separately, used our phones to shoot, and bought drinks at the shop afterwards to have outside. I took along my mirror (that was originally meant for my bathroom but has remained unhung for about 2 years) to do a couple of selfie style shots with the wild flowers.

We’d spent the day at a really nice beach club had some drinks and some nice food (standard) and a paddle in the sea. I was wearing this super comfy-casj cover up by Queens Have Curves (run by my pal Alex) that has kindly been gifted to me, so I thought this was the perfect chance to snap a pic of it.

And finally number nine! This was taken near one of the most photographed places in Zakynthos, Cameo Island. I say near, because if I’d have had more time I’d like to have seen a bit of the island and got a perfect pic, but (as I pointed out in my lengthy IG caption) life sometimes gets on the way and you can always ‘do it for the ‘gram’. I had sailed around the island previous to this photo being taken, and it’s very pretty.

And there you have it folks – nine images full of wisdom, fun, adventure and a few nice outfits! If you don’t usually, I’d encourage you to check your own Instagram best nine it’s bound to give you some of your 2020 highlights (yes, you’ve probably had some) and remember some of the important things you were thinking and feeling.

Thanks for reading,

J xx


It feels so good to be so young and have this fun and be successful…

But, what about…?

For a lot of people 2020 has been a hot mess, inside a dumpster fire, instead a train wreck. And they’re just the words of CNN’s Jake Tapper describing America’s Presential race! This year has been tough for lot of people in a lot of ways this year (though, all linked back to the same root cause, our mate COVID).

Not for me. I’ve had a couple of wobbles this year, but as we’re counting down to midnight on 31 December I’ll be looking back on this year and chalking it up as a pretty decent one indeed. Almost one of the best ones in fact. Sound weird? Let me explain.

My career is on the up

Believe me, I’m beyond shocked (and grateful) to be able to claim this as 2020 victory. Me, who nothing good ever happens to! I’d already decided at the start of this year that I was ready to move on from my current job and started applying for new roles, then we all got locked down and I thought “dammit, guess I’m just happy to have a job for now” a few months on from that, I was made redundant. However, I kept going and landed a new job 5 weeks later. The new job sees me being primarily in charge of my department (mainly because there’s only me in it) earning more money, working less hours, a shorter commute to work and generally succeeding because I’ve been trusted to do my job. This was a huge goal I wanted to accomplished this year, and somehow I did it (if you want to read about my experiences of looking for a job during a global pandemic, I wrote this blog post).

I’ve had some good quality time out

We all usually get some kind of holiday or time off each year, but rarely do we get the opportunity to have more than a couple of weeks in one go. This year, I had nearly 6 months of not working. I made a conscious decision at the start of lockdown to appreciate and enjoy every single bit of time off work I had, because I didn’t know how long it was going to last and knew this kind of opportunity would never present itself again. So, rather than being bored in the house bored, I took some selfish chill time for ME. I slept in, chilled in loungewear, watched trash TV marathons, went for walks on the beach and relaxed in the garden. When the time came for me to get back to work, I felt completely refreshed and ready.

My creativity is growing

This year provided a lot less time to go out and shoot content with friends, or have coffee and talk through upcoming ideas for blog posts, so I looked for other ways to find creative inspo. I turned to YouTube more than ever before to look at different makeup looks, outfit inspo and photo techniques. I had a go at self shooting a lot of photos, which is something I’ve enjoyed and carried on doing (though I’m glad I’ve been able to get back to seeing people to shoot collaboratively too). I joined Tik Tok and clumsily learnt how to make video content, something I’ve always thought I wasn’t good enough to do (and I may not be still, but I enjoy it).

My mental health is now in check

This has GOT to the be the Holy grail right! Now, I’m not gonna sit here and be like “yes, I’m cured, I’ll be fine forever now!” because it’s not true and is also pretty unrealistic, but I can say that I’ve been removed from some toxic people/situations that contributed to putting my mental health in a pretty poor state. When the country was told to stay at home and many were Furloughed, my battered little brain heard “you’re free”. Even now that things have gone back to something nearing normality, my state of mind has stayed pretty clear. I used to need ‘a bit of extra help’ to make me feel I could cope, but I don’t need that anymore. I can’t begin to tell you how thrilled I am about that.

And I’m sure some of you can take some of the points above and claim them as successes for yourself too! But, in case you need a couple of other things for your 2020 highlight reel, here are some other things that have happened this year we can all be grateful for…

  • Trump will not be the President as of the end of January 2021
  • The COVID vaccine should be rolled out nationally soon
  • A lot of the things we’ve gone though this year were only for this year
  • Ways of working are now likely to be able to change for the better, because businesses can see that other ways aren’t wrong or unproductive
  • We can wear joggers and baggy t-shirts and its called fashion
  • Netflix brought it for us with the with the return of all our fave teenage sitcoms
  • This time, when people spoke about black and LGBTQ+ lives mattering, it felt like the rest of the world actually started to listen

If you don’t think this year was the best for you, I challenge you to think of at least three things that have been good about it for YOU. We’ll kick of 2021 with a clean slate and determined to make it better than this year, but with the knowledge that this year wasn’t all bad.

Thanks for reading,

J xx


Let’s Chat- November 2020

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…. how the devil are you?? Despite lockdown, I feel like I haven’t had a spare moment to get my creative juices flowing for new blog posts, which is why I’ve been a bit ‘digitally absent’ lately. No point in posting just to say you did if its a bit rubbish and nobody reads it right?

I’ve spent a lot of time in loungewear and comfy clothes this month (I’m sure you can relate) and I’ve also been given a uniform to wear at work so am dressed the same way for 5 days of the week now (which I like, because I don’t have to think about what to put on)

  • The Undoing: I think pretty much everyone on my Instagram stories have been watching this! Have you seen it, what did you think? I enjoyed it was underwhelmed at the end, I really wanted there to be a Gone Girl style twist.
  • Sister Sister: never knew how much I missed ya! Im soooo happy Netflix put this on the list and I ripped through it within the month. I didnt remember it ending how it did though. I’m hearing reboot rumours from Tia and Tamera’s YouTube channels so I hope this goes ahead.
  • Blind Spot: its FINALLY back! Ive watched this series for about 4 years (this is the last season) but there’s been a ridiculously extended break between the last series and this one. If you havent heard if it and like shows like CSI and Criminal Minds, you’ll probably like this too.
  • Halloween: I just had to eek out the last bit of Halloween out of the season before getting Chrismassey!
  • 90s throwback: I have needed the motivation first thing in the morning that only Jazzy Jeff, the Fresh Prince and Kris Kross can provide! The dark mornings and wet weather are not my friend.
  • Christmas songs: the Christmas decs went up (more about that in a bit) so obviously the classics were aying in the background. I like to mix it up between traditional carols, chart classics and the newer pop stuff. Obviously, Bublè features heavily.

My activities have been really wholesome. Starting with putting the Christmas decorations about a week early. This year I have 3 trees (a slim green fake tree, a fat snow flocked fake tree and a scandi style rope tree), 3 garlands, 2 table decorations and a wreath for the front door. I’m buzzing with how it looks! There’s a Christmas highlight on my Instagram if you fancy a nosey. Me and the Mr have also been cooking some big Sunday lunches (going out for posh Sunday lunch has always been one our fave things to do) and taking regular walks. The Christmas lights in our village went up early doors andnits been lovely to see those, as well as getting out for some more country style walks in Beverley

Sooo, that’s my final pre-Christmas round up done! I usually do #blogmas during this time, however this year I’ve decided that my content probably isn’t appropriate (or anywhere near enough) , however I’m still getting involved by resharing relevant content from precious years on my Twitter feed every day (Think yummy recipes and general life tips and you’ll be on the right lines).

Next time we catch up like this, Christmas will be done and 2021 will almost be on us…Wowza!

Thanks for reading,

J xx


Let’s Chat – October 2020

For those of you reading this in England: happy lockdown 2.0 day! Sheesh. I genuinely thought the second wave of Coronavirus would be much milder than the first, but at least this time we know what to expect so we can e prepared in our heads as well as our homes. We’ve done it once, we can do it again!

I’ve had a but of a bummer month (As you may have spotted in this blog post) so I’ve basically only worn PJs and the same 3 or 4 outfits to be cosy. I’ve been referring my summer dresses with tights and a polo neck to get a bit more wear from them so I don’t feel the need to buy any more clothes I don’t need!

  • Emily in Paris: I had to see what all the fuss is about. 2 episodes in, I wasn’t a fan, but I stuck with it and by the end I can I appreciated that she shed light on the importance of marketing to a business! The plot lines aside from work were a bit cliche (althpugh some of them a bit relatable to me) but I’ll be tuning in for season 2 to see if I can borrow some of her social media strategies.
  • Slasher (series 1): My second time watching this. This is a Netflix series about a woman who returns to her birth town to live in the home her parents were murdered in on Halloween night, and the obligatory carnage that ensues. It has a slightly different take and has a few sub plots too, definitely worth a watch. There are another 2 series featuring the same cast but completely different stories.
  • Friday the 13th: Which one? You ask. Pretty much all of them! Its a Halloween tradition that every weekend we watch a couple. They kind of annoy me with how cliche they look nowadays, but I still put them on.
  • Halloween reloaded: Are we sensing a theme here? It is October!
  • Visited a pumpkin patch: after 6 years of blogging, I finally went all basic bitch and went to a pumpkin patch! Obviously my primary aim was to take pics, but I did also buy a few pumpkins to carve and decorate my house with for the month. Thanks to my gal Kat for suggesting the trip!
  • Halloween capers: we popped to my sister in law’s house before for an early spooky/fireworks gathering for 5. We enjoyed some Frankenstein Colin the Caterpillar mini rolls, star shaped sparklers and wrapping the boys up as mummies in toilet roll (before people lost their shit and started stockpiling it. Again.)

And that, my friends, is pretty much it! Who knows what the month of November holds (well, it’ll definitely involved Christmas shopping and putting my tree up, but apart from that…). Stay home, stay safe, but reach out if you’re struggling. We all have to be here for each other where we can.

Thanks for reading,

J xx


Self chore, or self care?

Is it just me, or does the thought of doing simple things for yourself just sometimes feel like yet another item to add to your very long adulting list?

By simple, I include (but am not limited to) the following tasks: have a shower wash my hair, take my makeup off, make a cup of tea…instead, the thought of doing anything else in the day stresses you out to the point where you just kind of slump on the couch and do nothing, when in that time you could’ve just done the thing?

So, its this thought process that has convinced me this is why a lot of people don’t have very much ‘self care’ built into their day to day lives. Our over worked, 21st century brains have autoprogrammed our thoughts to class this as a chore, something more we have to factor in to our already busy lives. The problem perhaps isn’t having the time, it’s our wired little brain.

Because of lockdown, I forcibly took time out this year which drastically cut down on the amount of things I had to do. So, I ended up doing a lot of the things I usually can’t be bothered to do (within the realms of social distancing and lockdown) that made me feel very happy and relaxed. I sat in the garden and had a cup of coffee, did face masks, had some leisurely hots showers…hell; I even cracked out the ol’ foot spa and gave my trotters some needed attention!

Now the world has reopened somewhat, and I’m still managing to do all of these things, when I couldn’t seem to before. What’s changed? My thought process. I’ve reframed these tasks in my head and compartmentalised them in correct place: things I like to do that make me feel nice. I’ve also started doing them at different times of day that fit in with my life now, rather than leaving everything until the end of the day/week when it feels like effort. Now, rather than my mood determining whether I do self care activities, I do self care activities to determine my mood. And you know what? Its bloody glorious.

I know everybody has different commitments, different lifestyles, different environments, but every one of us needs to have just a little bit of time for ourselves on a semi regular basis in order to remain both sane and productive humans. Whether you call it self care/me time/time out/a little break and whatever you choose to do with that time, do it.

Self care isn’t a revolutionary concept, but how we address within ourselves could be the key to truly unlocking its real potential.

Thanks for reading,

J xx


Surviving October

Hey friends, hope you’re all doing well. We’re all obviously going through a variety of things in our topsy turvy, midst of a global pandemic so what exactly are we allowed to do Boris lifestyles, however today I want to chat about more of a long standing concern thats rearing it’s less than attractive head in my life right now.

The autumnal slump.

For the past few years, I’ve had an extremely difficult time in the month of October (and sometimes a little beyond). I become tired, listless, depressed and emotional, basically like an extreme case of PMT for a whole 31 days. Like clockwork – September ends, October hits and within days I’m like a completely different person. I’ve never sought a specific form of diagnosis, but I imagine Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) would be the closest thing to what I seem to go through.

Each year I have braced and tried to prepare myself to no avail, however this year I seem to be winning the fight a little bit. I’m still tired and a little disinterested in life away from the office, but the depression and emotion seem to be staying at bay for now. So, what’s changed? Well, I’m in a much stronger position in life for one. I had some much needed time out during Furlough to figure out what I wanted and needed out of my life, I’ve gone headlong into a new job, am around nice people a lot more often and have plenty if things to look forward to in my life.

Simply reminding myself of the good things in my life goes a long way, however also reminding myself that sometimes I can’t win 100% of the battle is just as big a comfort. During the slightly more difficult feeling times, I aim for the small wins – small bitty tasks that take little concentration but can be taken off the to do list, or a longer repetitive task that I can just lose myself in for a few hours. Trash tv, hot shower, huge bowl of pasta, brisk walk to blow off some of the internal cobwebs, all things that reduce the effects of the slump.

If I’ve been a little absent of late; not posting as much or showing up on social media, this is the reason why. As soon as I’m reset I’ll be back on the regular with posts, pics and probably Tik Toks galore! I hope to see you then.

Thanks for reading,

J xx


Let’s Chat – September 2020

Say hey to October everyone!

In the month when I RETURNED TO WORK….well that’s the biggest thing that’s happened to be honest. Sorry for the spoiler, please keep reading to the end!!

This month’s outfits have mainly been office attire (most of it not new and still fit from pre-lockdown, yay). I also picked up a couple of new bits including this pair of dresses from Next at the bottom of the pic, which I have been obsessed with ever since.

  • Outcry: You catch up with this one on Sky documentary, and you should. It’s a documentary about a high school footballer is accused of molesting a child and what happens after that. My though process was driven wild throughout and I didnt fully form an opinion until the last episode (there are 5)
  • Gogglebox: It’s back! This may be my favourite series yet now I’ve watched it a while and gotten to know the cast over the series.
  • The Duchess: Written, produced by and starring comedian Katherine Ryan (I’m fairly sure its loosely based on her life) the six-parter follows the journey of a single mum trying to have a second baby in the midst of criticism over her circumstances and relationship woes. I really enjoyed it, and of you enjoy Katherine’s sense of humour and outlook you will too.
  • Michael McIntyre: His new live dropped onto Nteflix this month (kind of wish he’d have released it a few months ago when we were bored in the house bored in the house bored) after we’d seen one of his warm up gigs in Hull shortly before lockdown.
  • Ran through a corn field (see my title image): Theresa May eat your heart out! Not quite as carefree as all of that, I just met up with Kat and we took some photos for our Instagrams, made a couple of Tik Tok videos and had some food. Always a pleasure to spend time with that one
  • Started a new job: I’m back in full time business baby!! As you read this I’ll be at the end of my fourth week, and so far so good. I wrote a blog post last week about job hunting during a global pandemic where I shared my experiences and a couple of tips if you fancy a read.
  • Had some date nights out: We actually made a concerted effort to get dressed up and have a couple of nice meals out (just in case everything closes again for a while). It was really nice just to enjoy each others company, eat some nice food and just enjoynthe atmosphere.
  • Fresh nails: Following a DIY mishap (I tried the foam mirror thing) I had to have my acrylic holiday nails removed, so I went for gel on my natural nails in a cute colour with a spotty design.

That’s pretty much it for this month! I hope you’re all well, staying safe and are looking forward to the autumn months. Maybe some light at the end of the current COVID tunnel??

Thanks for reading,

J xx