pink workspace with pen mug notebook and candle

“You’re so lucky you get to work from home!” is a phrase that often leaves people’s mouths when I tell them what I do for a living. Well, yes I am – and I’m absolutely loving my new-found freedom and flexibility, not to mention my new affinity for Radio Four’s Woman’s Hour. I don’t have to drag myself up at an ungodly hour to get to the tube station in the rain, only to find that the Central Line is busted (again!) and I’m going to be late to a V. IMPORTANT. MEETING. I don’t need to fanny around with my makeup, hair and outfit or worry about nasty colleagues or a lacklustre boss.

HOWEVER, it’s not all brilliant. This is my second “go” at working from home, albeit this time I’m working for myself rather than for a company. The first time around, I really didn’t have a nice time. Working from home can make you feel so lonely and out of the loop when you’re not seeing a regular group of clients every day or heading for post-work bevs of a Thursday evening. Although I wasn’t particularly enjoying my role in the company when I worked from home the first time around, I certainly didn’t make the best of my situation. This exacerbated the difficulties within my role and eventually, my mental health was at stake.

Now however, I feel I’ve finally cracked this work from home malarkey. Not only am I working for myself (madness!) in something I love (absolute madness!), I can make my own rules, be flexible and focus on that all-important (and oft-neglected) mental health, should I need to.

Here are a few tips, from me to you, to make your work from home journey a little easier and hopefully, long-lived.

gratitude and happiness planner

Have a to-do list, every day

I write out a to-do list every morning in a notebook. I then create another one in the afternoon and don’t stop until it’s done. Whichever way you choose to create one – whether it’s on a Post-It, your phone, or on the computer – it will add a much-needed structure to your day. Also, do your most important task first. In the past, I’ve got heaps of housework done and even deigned to fix a hem on a pair of trousers I’d not touched in six months to avoid a task. However, I obviously ended up having to do it anyway and worked much later than I needed to. Getting it out of the way early will ensure you are much less likely to stray from your work.

Get out and about

I absolutely love my home and Will and I have worked hard to make it the eclectic, interesting place it is. However, sitting at my desk – sometimes not leaving it all day – can get jarring. Make use of the space around you. During the heatwave, I took my laptop down to Walpole Park and sat in the sun. I’ve written in cosy pubs in the colder months, hipster coffee bars and also on a hill looking out at the Cornish sea. If you’ve got an internet connection, you’re golden. If you prefer working within your four walls though, just taking a “proper” lunch hour and getting out of the house for a walk makes such a difference.

Create a workspace

“Oh wow, you must sit in your pyjamas and work from bed all day!” Well, yeah – kind of. It’s true that my work uniform consists of various underwear items, baggy dungarees and a vast array of Will’s t-shirts – but working from bed is a no-no. I have a clear work-space which is a proper desk set with all my lovely plants and stationery. Sitting there puts me into “work-mode” and makes me productive in a way that sitting in bed just can’t compare to. That’s not to say you should NEVER work from bed if it takes your fancy, but making sure you have a set space will ensure your deadlines are met instead of drifting off for a random 11am snooze after Jeremy Kyle.

working space desk with apple macbook notebook and plants

Top three work from home pros

  • You can work ANYWHERE you like
    See above. World is your oyster, mate.
  • It doesn’t have to be 9-5
    I’m 100% more productive and creative in the afternoon and evenings, so I why on EARTH would I start work at 8am? I often write my best pieces working late into the night.
  • Working in your pants
    Need I say more? ALSO, makeup-free days. My skin LOVES me. Seriously though, you are your best you when you’re comfortable.

Top three work from home cons

  • It’s not always 9-5
    I often find myself working at weekends, which is fine for me if I have a spare hour or so. However, others may require a much stricter work schedule to work to.
  • It can be isolating
    As above, I hated this element the first time round. I’d sometimes find I hadn’t spoken to a single, solitary soul all day. Now, I make sure to get on the blower and annoy the hell out of everyone I know. Also, call clients or any work colleagues if you can. Because you know, sometimes it’s hard to read the tone of an email and take shit to heart. I also take the opportunity to catch up with friends I haven’t seen for years by co-working. It really is what you make it.
  • You need to be totally strict with your diet
    Not doing a mad early-morning march to the tube can make a difference to your waistline. Be honest with yourself if you’re being totally sedentary and get on the treadmill and swap biscuits for celery. I’ve been doing the 5:2 diet for a while, which is easy enough, as Will and I plan all our meals in advance. Somehow, knowing what is coming next saves me from snacking.

pink background googly eyes

How can YOU work from home?

Jack in ya job and go freelance, boi. If you’re not quite at that stage yet, many workplaces offer flexible working patterns. For jobs that only require an internet connection and a laptop, there’s no reason why you can’t work from home. If you think your boss is sound, why not broach it?

Freelance Friends, Office-Population-One Pals and Solo Sidekicks…

I work around London most of the week and am always looking for someone to work alongside in the fabulous spaces we have available. If you want to meet up, contact me at ella.delancey@gmail.com. Obviously, there’s the mandatory five o’ clock Cocktail Hour – but if you can stomach that, we’ll be grand.

pink fresh fruit lycheesI recently wrote a post on the best things to eat in Berlin, which inspired me to create another post focusing on our fave country, Thailand.

We’ve been twice now, and both times we’ve tried to be really adventurous with what we eat throughout the whole trip. We may have had a couple of hangover pizzas, not gonna lie, but the majority of the time we ate authentic Thai food. The food is UNREAL out there, and almost offensively cheap for how good it is.

Here are our top picks for what to eat in Thailand…visit hungry!

Pad Pak Boong (Morning Glory)

The best hangover cure EVER. It’s basically stir fried veggies, specifically water spinach with chilies. It’s quick, healthy and a perfect way to start the day. Definitely get this over there, because I’m yet to find it on a menu in the UK.

Mango Sticky Rice

My FAVOURITE! This is such a great, cheap food for breakfast, light lunch or just a quick snack. Imagine the juiciest mango ever, with a side of perfect sticky rice, covered with the sweetest coconut cream. It is the actual best. It usually costs between 40B and 60B (90p – £1.30) on the street depending on where you are, and up to 80B – 150B (£1.80 – £3.50) in a restaurant (rip off, it’s better on the street, anyway).

young man at a thai cooking class in thailand

Khao Soi (Yellow Curry)

This is a famous dish in Northern Thailand and especially in Chiang Mai. It’s a creamy but spicy curry with coconut milk and usually chicken thighs, topped with pickled shallots and crispy noodles. Buy some for 150B at the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar (if you can resist all the other amazing food there!).

Fresh fruit

There’s just no excuse not to. You can buy SO much fresh fruit wherever you go in Thailand and once again, it’s better from the street. Mango, bananas, jackfruit, dragonfruit, watermelon…the list goes on. You can get a large amount of fruit for about 50B (£1) – we used to stock up and take it all down to the beach for snacking.

You can also find durian fruit, usually accompanied by a sign asking for 10B, should you want to take a picture of it. If you haven’t heard, durian is the ‘smelliest fruit in the world’, with a smell some people describe as either onions or vomit. When I smell it, I just think of bin juice. Surprisingly, it tastes fine? Odd. Most hotels ban them and put signs up with warnings of an 1000B fine should you bring them in!

girl drinking strawberry drink in chiang mai night bazaar thailand

Geang Keow Wan Gai (Green Curry)

A classic, but still worth eating! Thai Green Curry is one of the most well known Thai dishes throughout the world. It’s so cheap too. In fact, you’ll find that at restaurants, most Thai dishes are the cheapest (and nicest), whereas more European dishes are more expensive, most likely because they need to import the ingredients.

Bugs & Scorpions

Because obviously. When I went last year it was a must-do tourist thing for me, and I dutifully made my way down to Khao San Road and bought a deep-fried scorpion from a man on the street. I mean, it’s not the nicest thing in the world, but it’s not the worst. At least you can say you’ve been there, got the t-shirt (and the pic for the ‘gram!)

What have I missed? Take a look at some more of our Thailand content here and here.

We went to Berlin in February and the thing I was most looking forward to was the food. I used to work in a German restaurant so knew what to expect, but Will isn’t familiar with any German food – I couldn’t wait to introduce him to my favourites.

The below foods aren’t exactly, er, healthy – but what’s a holiday for? If you’re wanting a nutritious meal though, Berlin has 100% got what you need. Vegan haven! However, if you’re looking for something a little more traditional, here are the best things to eat in Berlin.

Currywurst

You can get this ANYWHERE in Berlin and it’s best from the pop-up stands, served in cardboard than in a restaurant. There’s even a museum dedicated to the snack! It’s a salty pork sausage, usually chopped up for you to eat with a wooden fork. Perfect with chips as a quick lunch.

Best things to eat in Berlin currywurst

Wiener Schnitzel

A must-eat! Made from veal, chicken or pork, the meat is flattened and covered in breadcrumbs. There are so many variations of dish including schnitzel – my favourite is a Jägerschnitzel (meat with mushroom gravy). We went to Scheer’s Schnitzel, really close to the East Side Gallery. It’s fairly cheap with walls covered in graffiti by patrons. We cracked out a pen and started doodling away.

Doner Kebab

The ultimate drunk food, the German doner kebab is becoming more and more popular in the UK. I don’t know what it is that makes it so different, but it’s heaven. No thin, soggy pitta breads or mystery meat here! To experience it authentically, grab one for the journey home on the S-Bahn, after getting drunk at an experimental DJ set comprised of microwave pings and horse clops (really).

best things to eat in Berlin doner kebab

Eisbein

Bit of a weird one, sweet’art. It’s basically a massive, boiled pork knuckle. It doesn’t sound (or even look) very appealing, but it tastes AMAZING. I chose it as it was a quick way to introduce Will to the meat, sauerkraut and beer of Germany on our first night. We headed to Brauhaus Georgebræu to get ours. Word of warning – order one to share. We got a bit overexcited and basically had two pigs worth sat on the table, and as for the piles of sauerkraut!? Christ. Alternatively, get Schweinshaxe – the same thing but roasted. However, this is more common in Southern Germany.

Weißwurst mit Brezel

Ooookay, so this isn’t strictly famous in Berlin and I actually had real trouble trying to find it there. Sad times, it’s my favourite German dish! It’s a Bavarian pork and veal sausage, served alongside a Brezeln. Totally an experience. You don’t eat the skin of the sausage and can eat them in the traditional way – zuzeln (German for sucking, i.e. cut the end off and suck the meat out of the skin…) – but a little more subtle and polite way in company is to split the skin and cut the meat out. Absolutely amazing with Senf süß (sweet mustard). It’s a popular breakfast – or früstück – to have, with a non-alcoholic wheat beer. PLEASE try it if you can.

Have you had any of these things on your travels? What do you think are the best things to eat in Berlin? Let me know.

freelance writing pink typewriter

After almost five years in the PR industry, with some mega highs, mega lows and a couple of false starts, I decided back in May to make my side hustle my main hustle and take up freelance writing full-time.

Why freelance writing?

Short answer: I freakin’ love writing. I’ve always loved writing. Over the course of my PR career I’ve written several great pieces. However, it was such a small part of my day-to-day that I was always left wanting more. To compensate, I’ve run this blog for over six years which has been a great outlet for my creativity. Freelance writing was always on the cards for me – it was just a matter of when.

Now, I have free reign to choose my clients and write some excellent pieces to get them the results they desire. I write all day, every day – that is my job. I can’t explain how much of a buzz it gives me to say that!

What do you offer?

My freelance writing services include content strategy and planning, copywriting, blog writing, article writing, proofreading and editing. I am also proficient in writing optimised web copy and social media management, including full audit, analysis and recommendations.

I am available both for a fixed day-rate (8 hours work) or on an ad-hoc basis, i.e. payment per post.

Can you help me / my brand?

Most probably. Get in touch and we can have a short consultation to discuss what I can do for you and your brand!

ella.delancey@gmail.com

“Having collaborated with some of the world’s biggest Youtubers and lifestyle publications, Ella certainly knows how to grab the attention of influencers, both online and offline. She was extremely good at devising creative strategies to engage with our client’s key audiences, effectively securing coverage that had a direct and positive impact on both sales and share of voice.

In addition to her strong skillset in the consumer space, I always found Ella had an excellent eye for detail and is a very passionate employee. She puts 110% into every task and was an absolute pleasure to work with.”

Hannah Wright, PR Manager