5 things we all need to work from home

Let me guess, you were told in March to work from home for a few weeks. You started to pull out your laptop every morning, and take over half of the kitchen table for the day. Then, around 5pm, you cleaned everything up and used the table for dinner. You found yourself finishing up a few things on your laptop while sitting on the sofa, or perhaps you sat at your kids too-short white desk, or you sat under a tree in the sweltering-hot backyard. Yup, we have all been there!

If you are not fortunate enough to already have a fully set-up home office, you have found you needed to put one together. When companies here in Silicon Valley realized they would be keeping employees home through the New Year, they offered them budgets to help purchase a desk, privacy screen, chair; or whatever people found they needed. Not everyone was able to foresee exactly what they would need long-term back in early April when these budgets were offered. So, you may have found you scored one item on your company’s dime, while still needing more items to create the ultimate work-from-home space.

Here are a few things you can use to make your workspace at home more comfortable, and professional; without breaking the bank. After all, you will be working from home for awhile! My guess is, we will all be working from home until we have enough people vaccinated to warrant a return to normal. That could be long ways off! So, without further ado, here are a few things most people need to create the ultimate work-from-home space.

Privacy Screen / Proper Background

Are you taking a lot of video conference calls from home these days? Yeah, I thought so. One of the first things we realized when my husband starting working from home everyday back in March, was that we didn’t have a comfortable place for him to sit and work with a non-distracting background. The door to the room where we have a desk for him to comfortably work has a door in the background made almost entirely of glass. That’s right! It’s a like a window into our dining room. This was very distracting as a background on his video conference calls. So, to solve this problem, we purchased a screen which blocks the view through the door, and also offers him additional privacy while he works.

Fabulous desk chair

OK, raise your hand if you have a desk paired with a kitchen table chair? In our case, we had two desks, and one desk chair we moved back and forth. If we needed two chairs at the same time, we grabbed a folding chair from the garage. We never needed two desk chairs in the past because I was the only one who really worked from home. Now that my husband was working from home full-time, we found he needed his own desk chair. He liked the one we had, so he kept it and I purchased a new chair for my desk.

I’m so glad I am the lucky one with the new chair! Look for something you can sit in all day, and also feel fabulous on. This one was priced right, and offers great back support while looking amazing in my little office. Love!

A proper desk

Many people were suddenly told to work from home until further notice in March. When this happened, many workers discovered they didn’t have a place set up at home for work. Everyone works from home occasionally due to a doctor appointment, kid event after school, and the like. That being said, occasional work from home days don’t always warrant an actual workspace within the home. Many times it is OK to work one day here and one day there from the kitchen table or the sofa. That temporary type of workspace doesn’t cut it when you are working from home everyday; indefinitely.

If you are lucky enough to have a home office, you are probably all set, if not, you need a dedicated workspace. This could be a corner in the dining room or guest room. It just needs to be a space away from the television and the room where your family hangs out all day making noise. You may even need a desk! While a kitchen table is convenient, it isn’t conducive to a long-term workspace. You need a desk.

Look for a desk with drawers for supplies, and enough space for your laptop, notebook, mousepad, a personal photo, and a coffee cup. A little extra space on your desk will make your day much more comfortable!

Coffee maker

OK, I know you were used to buying coffee every morning, or relying on the free coffee at work. Now that you are working from home, you are rushing out every morning to grab coffee to go, and then sheltering in place at home. You don’t have to do this-plus, you can save money making your own coffee. Pick up a coffee maker and start making your own cup at home. You will save money in the long-run, and you will find it much more convenient.

Curtains or window coverings

If you have converted a guest room, or other room, into your new workspace, the window coverings already in place might not be what you need. Sometimes in rooms not meant to be an office, we have lace curtains, or window coverings which filter in too much light. You might find the sun hits you every morning at 10am when you are giving an online presentation. Or, it hits you in the face everyday at 3pm when you are feeling sleepy already; causing you to feel even more sleepy! If this is the case, you will need window coverings which offer you ample comfort. Look for blackout curtains or coverings which actually block the light so you can control your environment. They are inexpensive, and can really help your workspace become exactly what you need.

That’s it! Those are the five things we have discovered are much-needed to ensure a comfortable work-from-home environment long-term. What are some things you have discovered you need while working from home?

Need more tips? Check out my Work From Home Tips article published in March.

Thanks for stopping by!


Home manicure tips

chanel fleur de pecher nail polish late spring 2020

photo: my current favorite polish, see original post here.

Do you normally head to a manicurist to get your nails done? Now that we are sheltering-in-place, are your nails going to pot? Never fear, you can learn how to do your own nails here!

I don’t like people touching my nails, so I have been doing my own nails since high school. I love wearing the current “IT” nail colors, as well as colors which fit my mood. It’s always fun to keep a few colors on hand so you can switch things up every time you do your nails.

If you invest in good nail polish, your home manicure can last for a week; and you’ll find yourself saving tons of money over time. After the lockdown is lifted, you may find you continue doing your own nails at home! It’s a huge money saver; and it gives you the flexibility to change your nail color at will. You’ll get hooked!

Here is my tried and true, home manicure routine. It’s simple, and not invasive. This is also how I keep my nails strong and healthy.

  1. Clean off any old nail polish using a nail polish remover which doesn’t strip your nails. This one is my favorite.
  2. Wash your hands
  3. Clip your nails. This is a great clipper.
  4. File your nails. These are great. Only the edges! Do not file or buff the top of your nails. This weakens them.
  5. Wash your hands
  6. Apply hand cream. Check out my favorites.
  7. Let your hands rest for fifteen minutes
  8. Apply a base coat, wait twenty minutes
  9. Apply first coat of color, wait twenty minutes
  10. Apply second coat of color, wait twenty minutes
  11. Apply top coat.
  12. Allow nails to set for half an hour before doing any type of work

I like to do my nails in the evening when I am relaxing and watching TV. I always make sure I have finished house cleaning for the day. It’s also a good idea to already be in your PJ’s, and have already washed your face, before doing your nails. The only thing I leave for after my nails is brushing my teeth; just in case I want an evening snack, or feel like drinking tea.

It is always a good idea to allow your nails to set and rest, even when they seem dry and hard. This seems to allow the manicure to last longer.

Why use a base coat? A base coat protects your nails from color staining. It can also protect you if you are using nail polish which isn’t five free. What is five free? Five free nail polishes are free from dangerous chemicals which could seep into your body through your nails. I always show, and promote, brands which are five free and healthy for your nails. So no worries!

I recommend using a five free base coat, then you can use any color you want; although I recommend sticking to five free brands for your color and top coat too.

Here are a few fun colors to try out at home, as well as tools you’ll need for your home manicure. You can rock the color of the year, or one of the season’s IT colors by Chanel. There are so many pretty colors out there to try out!

How do I keep my nails healthy? I like to let them breath once a month. It’s a good idea to keep your nails polish-free for twenty four hours, once a month. I try to time it so that my nails are polish-free on a day when I don’t have any plans, and no-one will see my bare nails. Although, if you keep your nails healthy, they will look perfectly fine bare. This is a tip my mom taught me when I started painting my nails in high school. It’s an old school tip, and it works like a charm!

Hopefully this helps you keep your nails looking fabulous while nail salons are closed. Feel free to share any of your own tips in the comment section below!

Thanks for stopping by,



Mask ideas for protection

pictured: black and white scarf (old, similar here) / hair claw (similar here) / white and silver earrings / red puff sleeve sweatshirt /

The CDC has recommended we should wear masks to protect ourselves and others when going out in public. They do not want us wearing surgical masks as our medical professionals need them at this time. This means we need to either make our own masks, or get creative. Since I am not handy with my sewing machine, I am going to get creative!

In the above photos, I took a square scarf, and folded it into an oblong rectangle. This gave the scarf several layers of fabric for protection. In addition, it fit around my head so I could clip it with a hair claw. Remember in the late ’90’s when hair claws were all the rage? I bet you have one somewhere where in your accessory drawer! You can fasten it on the scarf the same way we used to fasten our hair with it; twist it, fold it, and clasp it!

In the above photo, I started out by folding the scarf into thirds.

Then, I took each side and brought them into the middle to create layers of fabric, which is added protection from droplets in the air.

As you can see in the above the photos, you take the back of the scarf once it is wrapped around your head, covering your nose, mouth, and chin, then you twist it, fold it, and clasp it!

This is a really easy way to make a scarf into a mask. I know there have been videos circulating the internet which show a scarf and two hair bands, but that version of a scarf mask falls off your face right away. This version stays put, and is easier to tighten in public, if need be, while keeping your nose and mouth covered.

The scarf I used is polyester, I recommend using a more textured fabric such as cotton or wool. This will stay put longer on your head. If you try and use a silk scarf, the claw will ruin it, and it will also be too slippery to stay put. You want something that will not slip off, so try and stick to a cotton or wool scarf.

Here are a few scarves, and a hair claw, for creating your own scarf mask:

In addition to going the scarf route, you can actually find really cute and fashionable masks which are made by artisans, crafters, and designers online. Here are a few of my favorites:

Do you ski? You may already own a neck scarf. Sometimes referred to as a ski mask, or balaclava, the neck versions are great for pulling over your nose and mouth. You can put it on your neck when you leave the house, then, when you arrive at your destination, simply pull it over your nose and mouth. When you get home, remember to carefully pull it off your head and place it in the washing machine. Just like a mask, it could be contaminated and you don’t want anything getting on your face, or shaken off the fabric and becoming airborne.

Here are a few fabulous neck scarves you can use as masks:

The recommendation is to have your nose, mouth, and chin covered. Remember to safely remove your mask without shaking it, and always wash it, or disinfect it, after each use. Never throw your mask away on the ground of a parking lot. Always bring a bag in your car to place the mask into when you are taking it off. If you don’t have a way to clean the mask between uses, keep it in a paper bag for 72 hours between uses, without touching or shaking it. This will help the germs dissipate. Lastly, remember to always wash your hands!

Stay safe and fabulous!

Thanks for stopping by,