Real ways to deal with working from home

Hands up if you’re working from home right now?

Me too! This is the first time for me; in Lockdown 1 I was on Furlough/redundant and Lockdown 2 working from my regular office, so working from home has been a pretty new thing for me to get used to. I’m still finding out better ways for me to work all the time (including using my existing organisation hacks) but today I’m sharing what’s been working for me since the start of the year. If you’re not doing some/any of these right now, I’d encourage you to try them out to see if they’re able to hell you as well.

  • Separate your work space

Some homes mean it’s not always possible to work in an entirely different room, but choosing a separate are in your home to work from is essential for me. I’ve chosen to set up a comfy home office on the other side of my lounge – I would rarely choose to sit there otherwise (there’s no view of the TV, another bonus in this instance) and there’s a massive chair that allows me to spread comfortably and avoid my sciatica kicking in. At the end of every day, I put my laptop down and leave it in this area until I start again the next morning. On a Friday evening, I pack everything up and put it away until Monday.

  • Listen while you work

You’re probably used to hearing people work and chatter around you when you’re at work in the office, so when you’re working at home the silence can be deafening. I’ve found podcasts the best way to recreate this at home, because it’s like a friends chatting that you can dip in and out. Music and TV are too distracting to me because of the visual element and because inevitably a song will come on that I want to dance around to (which I could, because I’m at home and nobody’ll see me, but your gal’s got work to be getting on with). My faves include Rich T’s Throne Room for my Drag Race chat and Katherine Ryan: Telling Everybody Everything for general real talk.

  • Take breaks (yes, that’s plural)

In the office you’d normally get up from your desk to make a drink, nip to the loo, drop something off in another department. Make sure you still get up for the equivalent time every hour or so. When I first started WFH I felt compelled to be glued to my laptop constantly just to prove I was still working and ‘on it’. Well, guess what? I’m usually more productive when I’ve had five minutes to stretch my legs, drink a brew and empty my bladder a couple times a day. Oh, and take a lunch break, and I mean your full whatever’s-in-your-contract lunch.

  • Leave the house

Without a commute and in between food shops, it can be easy to forget you haven’t been outside for ages. Make a conscious effort to have a little bit of time outdoors every day (or a few times per week) to nip to the corner shop, mooch into your village or even enjoy a hot drink in your garden if you have one. You just don’t realise how much fresh air and being out if the house helps until you’ve actually done it.

  • Don’t forget your hobbies

Home is primarily for YOU and is your haven, so remember to use it to do things you enjoy outside of working hours. This could be doing a new hobby, one you’ve always had or something you started in lockdown 1 but promptly dropped when the pubs re-opened. For me, it’s writing blog posts (thanks for reading, by the way), learning Spanish, cooking from scratch and having at least one hour each day to watch a couples-sanctioned series (which is usually some kind of thriller or murder show).

If you’re WFH and looking for some ways to cope with it better, I hope this helps a little bit. We all have stuff we’re battling against right now, so if there are ways to make things easier I’m all for sharing that around.

Thanks for reading,

J xx


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!

I’ve 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 – 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


Job hunting during a global pandemic

In June, I was invited on the radio to talk about staring down the barrel of redundancy as a result of everybody’s best mate, Coronavirus. I had just been given notice by my employer and by the end of July I was without a job and no imminent prospect if another was on the horizon.

Fast forward to a week ago. I was invited back on the same radio show to talk about finding a job during the current economic downturn caused by Cornonavirus. Because now, my friends, I’m back in employment. It took five weeks, a lot of effort and a bit of luck, but I’m very aware it’s not been this way for everyone. So, I’m going to share the words of wisdom that helped me through in the hope that they may help one of you reading this. I truly hope it does.


Remind yourself ‘someone has employed me before and will do again’.

It may take a little bit if time, but you know it’s true.

Remain as positive and consistent in your job search as you can.

Sounds a bit of a silly thing to start with, right?It will happen, it may just take a little time. When you haven’t been in a routine for a while (you may have been on Furlough or lost your job early on in lockdown) so establishing a job hunting routine is very helpful. Pick the days/times/places you’re going to search and do at least that every single week until you don’t have to. I created a Trello board to document my whole search which I would highly recommend – I had lists to record where I’d applied, when I applied and what stage I got to (1st interview, 2nd interview/awaiting feedback, unsuccessful, no reply so abandoned after 6 weeks). It’s a visual reminder of what roles you’re looking and where you’re at, which helps to focus things a bit more.


Remember your positive qualities, your strengths and (most importantly) your worth.

You have skills, things you’re really good at, things you may be able to do better than a lot of other people. Remind yourself of what they are and tell prospective employers you have them. We’re not programmed to blow our own trumpet but you have to just go for it – if you don’t tell an employer what you can do they won’t know, and you may lose out to someone else who isn’t afraid to say those things. When I interviewed for the job I actually got, I took a ‘balls to the wall’ approach as I had nothing to lose – I strutted into the office, told my now boss I could do the job and explained exactly why he should give me the job (because I could do it better than the other people he’d seen). Although a bit taken aback, he admired the approach and offered my the job on the spot. Knowing your worth is the most important part of this whole thing. You are worth just as much now in the job market as you were before, so don’t let employers take advantage of your need for a job and offer you less than this. Depending on what you got up to during lockdown you could even be worth MORE – if you took some training courses, learnt a language or mastered any new skill related to the jobs you’re going for, that could increase you value to potentialemployers.

This next bit may sound a bit cheesy, BUT… this time really could be the opportunity you were waiting for rather than the threat you were dreading.

If you’re currently in this situation, I wish you the best of luck with the next step of your journey. You got this!

Thanks for reading,

J xx


Let’s Chat – August 2020

Well THAT was a bit of a busy month! Holiday, celebrations, and….Tik Tok fame?? I unintentionally had a month off from writing any posts as a result, but it’s September now so back to school it is!

(AD| Gifted – some of the items in this collage were given to me as part of a new brand collaboration, which I’ll talk about more below)

  • Hamilton: I managed to bag a free 6 month subscription to Disney+ (thanks O2) so the first thing I did was watch this to see what the hype was about! I enjoyed it and the songs are very catchy, it’s quite lengthy so I don’t think I’ll be watching it again for a while.
  • First Dates: Another one of those ‘why didn’t we watch this before’ programmes. Guess I’m just meant to be a few yeata behind the times with my viewing pleasure!
  • Semi-Detached: The new sitcom by Lee Mack. Not his usual style and I’m not a fan of it after 2 eps.
  • We’re Here: the power of drag with those who don’t fit in or have suffered hard times. Can’t get through an ep without balling.
  • Secured some regular freelance work: as you may remember from my June post, I’ve been made redundant from my full time day job. As part of a completely separate interaction, a brand I like found my blog, liked my writing style and asked if I would be interested in doing some work for them. I snapped their hand off and so far I am loving it! I thought a lot about transitioning to full time at the end of last year, but the planning and timing didn’t feel quite right. Maybe it is now?
  • Made a balloon arch: One of my besties turned 40 at the start of lockdown so we had some bekayed celebeations and decided to get some extra little touches to make it special for her. She’s a massive fan of leopard print so we made that out theme and got a cake, decorations and photo props to match. The final piece de resistance (if I do say so myself) was a 12m balloon arch that I made and fitted all by myself (I bought a kit on Amazon). I also made her a Vogue cover from the trend that was going round a couple of months ago and put it in a frame.
  • Had an afternoon tea picnic: …and the spot my friend chose ended up being right next to our local COVID testing site!
  • Aunty duty: because of the school holidays and my current ‘not in full time permanent employment’ sitch I’ve had my niece and nephew for a few days this month while their parents have been at work. It’s been lovely to soend more time with them but damn is it tiring. How do you full time parents do this??
  • Went on holiday: As I mentioned last month, we booked a holiday to Zakynthos, and low and behold we actually went! Not without a couple of hiccups though – our hotel decided not to open so we were moved to another in the middle of nowhere which wasn’t suitable for us, then a possible quarantine for Greece was discussed which would have hindered the Mr going back to work. The answer? Bring the trip forward by 2 weeks and move to another hotel closer to the action. There was no quarantine when we came back and we got to go away when the weather went a bit rubbish again in the UK, wins all round! You can read more about our experience in my previous blog post here.
  • I *may* have gone Tik Tok viral?: I say may because I don’t know how many views you need to be classes as viral, but all of a sudden this month some of my videos blew up! At the time of writing I’ve inexplicably gained 6.5k followers (a number I could only dream of on IG) and some of my videos have been watched tens of thousands of tines (again, something I can only dream of on IG) one with over 275k views. WTF? Who knew that dancing like an idiot in your husband’s dressing gown would be so appreciated…

Thanks for reading

J xx


Let’s Chat – June 2020

In a month where lockdown restrictions were eased and things looked like they were moving forward…

I didnt really have the opportunity to get dressed in anything other than leggings and PJs until the latter part of the month, but when the weather was nice I cracked out some of my fave summer dresses old and new. I also picked up a pair of chunky trainers from Topshop to see if I would enjoy the trend (and get away with them at my age, haha) and I’ve reached for them a lot.

  • A Simple Favour
  • RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 5
  • Catfish
  • Scary Movie 1/2/3
  • Smash Hits ’95
  • Ministry of Sound Throwback R ‘n B Anthems
  • Sounds of the 90s

Another month of delicious food to make your mouth water! Ive finally gotten back into cooking this month, the only photo worthy dishes so far have been my super cheesey pasta bake and veggie lasagne (both Slimming World recipes as they’re the only cook books I have). Although I’ve been trying to reduce my consumption of meat a bit as I seem to have eaten more than usual lately, I enjoyed a birthday BBQ with some more unusual meats (ostrich and venison) which was yummy. My mum also rustled up some corking side dishes of watermelon salad and potato salad which were perfect with the sunny weather. I also had TWO birthday cakes, one of them was my favourite rainbow cake made by a local bakery and was amazing, the other was ‘Cuthbert the Caterpillar’ from ALDI which was also yummy. I’ve been going nuts for the new Ben and Jerry’s Netflix and Chilled ice cream which is peanut butter with pretzel and brownie chunks (I’ll pause whilst you wipe up the drool). Finally, the Mr got us a Piano Bar Events ‘Perfect Measure’ box that contained pre mixed ingredients to make two cocktails at home (we just needed to add ice, shake and pour).

  • Went to the beach: Two or three times me and the Mr went for a morning stroll and sit on local beaches when the weather was nice. They’ve been the only times that I genuinely felt like I was getting fresh air and that I’d blown some cobwebs away.
  • Had a birthday: BUT I didn’t get another year older because, lockdown rules prevent it. My hubby and family gave me the best day and made me feel very spoilt and loved. I’m a lucky gal. I’ll add some photos below to give you a flavour if the day and some of my gifts
  • DIY: Sooooo technically I started this last month ut there were a few delays so I’ve added it here. I decided to decorate my larger spare room a beautifully girly yet chic dusky pink shade.shoukdve been a quick job but – it turned out there were 2 layers of wallpaper and 2 layers of paint to get rid of first, cracks to fill and 2 coats of primer paint before I could even touch it!
  • Dyed my hair a cute colour: I still couldn’t shake the need for a different colour, so I decided to try out the Bleach London Burnt Peach shade (paid for with Boots Advantage Card points, gotta love a freebie). It turn out a really lovely shade and mixed well with the blonde underneath so I was happy with it, although it didn’t last anywhere near as long as the red i used a couple of months back.
  • Had a socially diatanced girls night: me and 4 of my fave girl friends got together in a back garden and drank, ordered Greek food and sang/danced extremely loudly to a variety of throwback tunes. It was brilliant and much needed.
  • Took part in a ‘Task Master’ style day out: my brother-in-law booked this as a fun girls v boys family activity which was hosted by Escape Rooms Beverley to engage people whilst the business is closed. We were set a series of questions and tasks to complete around the town that we had to take photos of and collect points for the most imaginative/quickest to complete/most challenges in a single photo. It was fun and different so if you’re local I’d definitely recommend booking it (its currently free and you could win a free escape room once they’re back open)
  • Job hunting: earlier this month I got the news I am being made redundant as a direct result of the current health crisis, so I’m on the lookout for my next opportunity

And that’s the end of another month and on to July, WOW. I hope you’re all staying safe and keeping well, and thanks for reading once again,

J xx


Six years of having a blog

19 May 2020 marked 6 years of me having a blog – making and posting (more or less) regular content to the internet for people to discover and view as they choose.

So I started thinking, what SHOULD that mean at this point? And I decided that answer is everything and nothing, depending on who you are.

On one hand – if my blog wouldve carried on as solely fashion, my photos may have gotten better and I had remained consistent and diligent with posting, I may have ascended into the world of full time influencing and had an insta feed like some of the fabulous women I follow on the platform. On the other hand, which is exactly what has happened, I didn’t achieve those things. I didn’t stay with fashion, I didn’t remain consistent and only some of my photos got better (when other people took them).

However, what I have achieved as a result if starting a blog has made me pretty happy. It helped me to develop skills that allowed me to find my current career in marketing, I have met some great friends through the blogging community and I have enjoyed the challenge of finding my voice on a variety of topics. My writing is now more about real life and opinion; yeah fashion occasionally creeps in there but I’m ok with it being a side chick. You’ll find more of the fashion stuff on my instagram these days (shameless plug, but true story).

Whereas some people would expect a blogger of six years to have shot to the stars, I I’m fact consider myself to be exposing the moon. Not knowing what I’m gonna find there is way more interesting.

Happy birthday Jenny Chat!

Thanks for reading, now and for the past few days/weeks/months/years, J xx


“To be honest…” – It’s time to own your own opinions people!

How many times have you heard someone utter a statement like “so and so said that they noticed you’ve been doing this…” or “This person doesn’t like it when you do that”. I, for one, hear this a lot in my day to day life. To to untrained ear, you may think the person saying these things is being kind by giving you a heads up, trying to help you get on or not get in trouble etc.

I’m here to tell you that they are not.

What’s really happening is that the person saying these things is the one that feels them, but they lack the courage to come out and say so themselves. So what they do is hide behind someone else (likely somebody you don’t see or speak to directly that often). It’s usually because of the person used as a cover that’s its ridiculously easy to realise this happening too – think about it; if you barely see or speak to them, how are they going to observe activity that they are unhappy with?

This kind of behaviour is wildly problematic for a number of reasons. Firstly, it can create unnecessary ill feeling towards the person whose allegedly made negative comments which in turn can damage friendships and professional networks alike. Secondly, it severely damages a person’s confidence levels in what they’re doing AND those around them. After all, could someone be feeding negative information back for people to feel this way about you? Finally (and somewhat most importantly) it can make you lose respect for the person delivering the so called third party message, as well as question their own credibility as someone who isn’t willing to speak their truth and say to you “I feel this way about something YOU are doing”.

So, whose at fault here? It really depends on the scenario to determine an answer to that. In a social or friendship group it could be either party – perhaps feedback is being provided to somebody someone finds a little intimidating so feels safer doing it from a distance, or it could be that maybe that person has another agenda and isn’t really so much of a friend after all. In a work/professional setting, the fault likely lies with the person who is most senior in the exchange. On paper, they have the authority to feel and express these opinions as their own, however in practice they’re clearly haven’t quite equipped themselves with the correct tools to do the job properly.

Unless you believe your life or wellbeing are in danger as a result of offering a person feedback (in which case, you should probably seek help from emergency services or authorities) then there is absolutely no reason in the world why an adult shouldn’t be owning their opinions and actions. If you think it, if you feel it’s important to be said to the person you think it about, you need to have the courage of your convictions and be honest about where the opinion came from. Not only will this garner the respect that you were honest with the recipient, but they’re more likely to take action that’s appropriate and to you’re liking far quicker. Sure people dont like to be criticised, but that’s simply not a good enough excuse to use somebody else as a security blanket in order to get your point across.

Should you call about this behaviour? I think yes, but as respectfully as you can. The last thing you want to do is get into a fight or alienate people with whom you have to spend a lot of time with. I don’t know the 100% right answer here, but to be on the receiving end I think it would be fine to ask something like “And how do you feel about this?” Or “do you feel the same as this person?” And then perhaps something like “Thanks for letting me know. If you have this kind of feeling towards me in future please do let me know and there will be absolutely no problem at all if the opinion comes directly from you rather the other person. I really appreciate the honest feedback”. This way the person will know you’re open and approachable to feedback and inviting them to share their directly with you in the knowledge that there’s less likely to be backlash on them. Hopefully this will help the person struggling overcome some of their insecurities about approaching uncomfortable situations.

Do you recognise this behaviour as something you do yourself? If so, please try and stop doing it. As adults there are going to be times when we’re put in situations we dont want to be in, but some short term discomfort is preferable to adding fuel that only helps fuel the long term breakdown of a relationship. Whether personal or professional, as a decent human being you shouldn’t want to do that. More to the point, who has the time and energy to be dealing with negativity that can be avoided? Not me!

I hope this has given you food for thought, perhaps even a little bit of a confidence boost. Whichever side you’re on, own your own opinions and let be known it’s ok to own.

Thanks for reading, J xx


Why it’s better to learn to drive when you’re a bit older

Toot toot beep beep! I don’t admit this often, but I’m glad I can drive now. I passed my dricing test at age 32, so I was almost twice the age most people are when they first hit the road. And for me, that was absolutely the best decision.

Learning to drive is not always a young person’s game. In fact, I think for some people it’s a far better experience to wait learning to drive when you’re a bit older, and I’m going to tell you why that is.

You can approach it with a more pragmatic attitude. Later in life you’ve probably accomplished a few things – perhaps a degree, a family, progressed in a career you enjoy, maybe even a Nobel prize. The point is, you know you’re capable of achieving good things when you set your mind to it, and this is not different. I started learning to drive right after I graduated (also as someone a bit older) and thought to myself “if I could do that, I can do this”

You fully understand the implications of driving. You’ll be just that bit more mindful that you’re in charge of a machine that has the potential to both help and hinder yourself and others. That should help to ensure that you remain vigilent and consciously competent throughout your driving life. To this day I remember stock phrases and nuggets of wisdom that my instructor gave to me.

You already know that a large majority of poeople on the roads have the potential to be dangerous dick heads. You may have been just a passenger until now but I bet you’ve seen it! I’d say the most important part of driving is to ensure you’re aware of other people’s mistakes and bad habits above your own.

The end result will make you feel just that bit more smug. You’ve probably been a public transport user your whole life (unless you’re lucky and have a very flexible partner/family member or paid chauffeur) that means working to someone else’s schedule, setting off even earlier and, delays and contending with waiting outdoors in all seasons. When you have your own method of transport and rely on yourself after so long, it means that little bit more. You don’t have to share your space, you can stay warm and dry, you drive to the exact place you’re going instead of the closest stop…

It opens even more doors and makes you feel even more valuable. When I got a call to say my grandparents were ill, I could immediately jump in the car and help them. I could do the pick ups/drop offs at hospital and take them food shopping every week. I have been able to go off to work meetings and events around the UK by myself, proving I am capable of doing things to my own initiative. Hell, I’ve even been trusted to drive a transit van with delicate perishables in the back! Rather than worrying about how ill be able to do all of that driving, I’ve worried about how I wouldn’t have been able to help or become an asset in those circumstances.

If you’ve been on the fence about driving, this post may give you a little push to give it a go and see what you think. Of you’ve never thought about as someone older than a teenage, I would wholeheartedly encourage you to consider it. Like me, it could be the best thing you never wanted to happen!

Thanks for reading, J xx