Ready for hunger at work

Being hungry at work is a horrible situation to find yourself in. For me it leads to producing bad work, taking things way too personally, ruining my budget and eating too many fundraising chocolates.

To make sure that I can stave off hunger at every turn I keep my work draw well stocked and keep a few items in the communal fridge and freezer. This way I manage to avoid having to make a mad dash to purchase something unhealthy to simply see me through the day.

In my work draw I have:

· Uncle Toby’s Oats Quick Sachets (the ones that are ready in 90 seconds)

· Trail Mix

· Brown rice microwavable cups (so easy and delicious)

· Baked beans

· Tins of tuna

· Vegemite

· Peanut butter (I repurpose jam jars to split containers of peanut butter between home and work)

· Vita Weats

· Muesli

· Muesli Bars

· Golden Valley fruit cups (great with muesli)

· Tea and coffee

In the fridge I have yoghurt and cheese slices and I’m a member of the milk club to ensure that milk is always on hand for Oats and hot drinks. I also keep half a loaf of bread and a few meals in take away containers in the freezer.

A perfect week for me is not having to worry about bringing in lunch as ideally I’d already have five meals prepared. However, my stash comes in handy if I need to throw together an easy lunch.

Here is a typical day:

AM: Muesli with yoghurt and a splash of milk

Lunch Options:

A frozen meal;


Brown rice, tuna and nuts (and a teaspoon of vegemite sometimes just to add a little more flavour);


Cheese and tuna sandwich;

PM: Vita Weats and cheese slices.

By thinking ahead and establishing, what some may call, a small pantry at my desk, my colleagues will never have to see my hangry side. And that, I think, is to everyone’s advantage.


Keeping stay ups alive for longer

pantyhose-309057A couple of months ago I went with a friend at lunch time on an emergency mission to buy replacement stay ups (you know the ones with the self supporting silicone hem and wide lace floral trim?). The pair she’d worn to work that day had been slipping down since morning tea time and were driving her nuts.

Lamenting to the store assistant that she hadn’t really had them all that long, the store assistant advised something radical – Once a week, wash only the feet of the stay ups in shampoo and then leave to dry.   

Well, my friend was flabbergasted. It made perfect sense. The stay ups didn’t need to go into the washing machine! The only parts that ever got really dirty were the feet so why subject the whole self supporting mechanism to a brutal spin? It only shortens the life of the silicone hem!

With profound advice in hand we returned to work and although my friend did buy a leave-at-the-office-pair of stay ups, just in case, to date they haven’t had to be employed.

Quick! I have a wrinkle!

The other day I found myself confronting a huge wrinkle down the middle of a silk shirt I was wearing. Standing in front of the mirror, I tried to convince myself that it wasn’t that bad, that no one would notice but I didn’t feel right and the wrinkle continued to mock me. I tossed up my options, which would be easier? Putting together a different outfit or dragging out the ironing board and waiting for the iron to warm up? Then I recalled this travel tip from one of my favourite YouTube channels, Sonia’s Travels.

Feeling confident, I headed to the bathroom and in under a minute the wrinkle was gone.

My poor little travel hair dryer has stayed at home since this tip convinced me that having full power while travelling does matter. To be fair though, I didn’t need that much convincing, my hair and travel hair dryer haven’t ever been a match made in heaven.

Check out Sonia’s method below:

Reviving Dry-Clean Only items

Sales staff are absolute goldmines of information. Especially if you can get the winning combination of a salesperson who knows their product well and who genuinely cares for customers.

And gems can come up quite unexpectedly – you just have to be ready to catch them.wpid-20150614_080832.jpg

The following tip came about when I happened to say that it was a shame that I was buying a dry-clean only shirt. The salesperson nodded understandably and said that I should invest in a bottle of fabric freshener. Miming on my new shirt, she instructed that to extend its life between dry-cleans, I should spray the inside of the shirt, under the arms and the back and then leave it to dry before popping it back in the wardrobe.

Ever since that gem of a salesperson suggested fabric freshener, I’ve used Ambi Pur Febreze Fabric Care Extra Strength 370ml which I just pick up at Woolworths or Coles. A minute of effort and a few sprays will truly revive a piece and save on dry-cleaning costs – which means that you can buy that other shirt you’ve been eyeing off!

My ready-for-anything work draw

It’s become a bit of a joke at work that if someone needs something then I will most likely have it. And it’s true, I like to be prepared for most situations and also any wardrobe malfunctions. And nothing annoys me more than when I really need something but don’t have it on hand. Because of this, my work draw is continually changing as things come to mind that I either wish I had or just sound like something I may need in the future.

In my work draw are duplicates of products I have at home. These are products or tools that I find I need at work occasionally and often urgently, but I don’t want to be carrying them around in my handbag throughout the week on the off chance that I may happen to need them. Buying duplicates also resolves the conundrum of ‘but what if I need it at home?’.

I also found that some products are needed more at work than at home. Work is where I most notice that my shoes need polishing and it takes a bit more than a minute to use my Kiwi Wax Rich Shine and Protect Instant Polish and viola! polished shoes! Or on my way into work I realise that my dress is unbearably static, so upon arriving I grab my Allendale Staique Anti Static Spray and head into the bathrooms, take my dress off and hang it on a hanger inside out, and apply the static spray. I am then comfortable and feel confident for the rest of the day.

Work draw

Besides the shoe polish and anti-static spray, my other ‘just in case’ items are:

· Shoe support (especially useful if wearing in new shoes): super glue; heel grips; Dubbin; Band-Aids; Rub Relief stick

· Emergency flats (some black flats that I don’t use anymore but don’t look too scruffy in case of an emergency)

· Spare tights (nude and black)

· Panadol

· A few cotton wool balls

· A black shawl (in case I get cold I can use it either as a wrap for my arms or a nana rug for my knees)

· Lint remover brush (for when you just happen to notice some unsightly lint)

· Tampons

· Safety pins

· Umbrella

· A few canvas shopping bags of different sizes

· Birthday banner (has come in mighty handy for marking colleague’s birthdays)

· Desk spray cleaner

And then I have a number of products that give me that much needed lift throughout the day and allow for touch ups before heading to a social event after work:

· Hairbrush

· Hairspray (travel size)

· Dry shampoo (great for those ‘flat days’)

· A little bit of foundation in a reused sample pot from Mecca Cosmetica (never throw these out! They are so useful!)

· A pocket mirror

· Deodorant

· A small sample of perfume

· Lip gloss (I swap between a good one and a not so good one, or if I need to use one up I’ll use it at work as it’s where I can most regularly reach for it)

· A nail file

· Fabric freshener

· Eye drops (single dose ones for hygiene reasons)

· Refreshing face spray (for when I feel sleepy or sweaty from a walk at lunch)

· Floss (in case those meaty lunches of mine make my teeth feel uncomfortable)