Cutting off Your Jeans, Buying Ballet Flats, Tinting your own Lashes and Making Cafe Quality Coffee At Home

Cutting off Your Jeans, Buying Ballet Flats, Tinting your own Lashes and Making Cafe Quality Coffee At Home - Chiqui Alta

Who knew staying at home could bring our so many talents.  I've always believed we are resourceful beings.  In the past 22 days or so I've been gently plodding with intent. That is doing fun stuff that isn't so much about achieving but rather not succumbing to spending time on devices with no purpose.

In between checking on my kids, opening the refrigerator door, and exercising I’ve put together this list of my top 6 things to do to help me keep moving forward in things I want to improve on.

1. Support small business with things you need now or in the future

The need to help the small business is undeniable. Where I can I look for alternatives Amazon or multi-nationals. The benefits of shopping small extend beyond times of crisis. Helping small businesses is great for everyone.

I hope people remember there are little businesses like mine out there.

Smaller businesses are generally more sustainable, having less impact on the environment. Also, like my business, they are more likely to produce ethical products. The production of my Hightails involves employing a factory with skilled workers and sourcing materials locally from leather manufactures. The purchase of my shoes includes a supply chain that adds value to many lives.

Also, smaller businesses provide a better shopping experience and give excellent, individualised service. I know every single customer of mine, and I am so thankful for every one of them.

This Wednesday 8 April I’m joining a collection of small, female-founded, start-ups. We’re bringing the best deals we can. We hope by delivering the best deals, we can help each other, right now. 

To find out about the other stores taking part visit @discovhergoespop on Instagram or follow me for more details @chiquialta 

Or shop here this Wednesday

2. Organise and revamp your wardrobe

Most of us have at least one pair of shoes or a dress that we know we’ll never wear again. Now is a great time to declutter your wardrobe and get rid of or repurpose the things that have never seen the light of day. Remember those jeans that are always borderline too short. Why not cut off the hems and see if they’ll be your go-to spring essentials?

This video discusses average size inseams but is easy to understand how to create frayed jeans


 Spend an afternoon sorting your items into three piles – stay, repurpose or donate and prepare a bag or box that you can take to a local charity when you can. You’ll feel more organised and be happy you have a stash of clothes that can go to someone that needs them.


3. Make Café Style Coffee without a Machine

A long while ago now, I use to work for an artisan coffee house. Working there taught me to appreciate coffee. I am a self-confessed coffee snob. I know how to make good coffee anywhere. And just because your favourite café is shut doesn’t mean you can’t make great coffee at home.

Even when I had the opportunity to purchase a professional café machine at home, I have always opted for standard espresso stovetop pot. These are really cheap to buy and are a lot easier to clean. 

I have a small one I take with me when I travel so I always can find a good coffee anywhere.

Lots of cafes or roasters are still doing deliveries so ask your local roaster if they have a stovetop pot and make your own café style coffee at home.

Here’s Frith, from Merlo Coffee doing a demo on how easy it is to get the best coffee from a StoveTop at home:

4. DIY Beauty at Home

My hairdresser and beauty salon is shut. But I messaged my hairdresser and asked if he could mix up some colour for me to use until they re-open. He loved the idea. 

I also bought DIY eyebrows and lash tint. I’m so surprised at how easy it is. I always thought it was something I couldn’t do. I bought a light brown for my eyebrows and a black for my eyelashes – unlike this YouTube video which I watched for the tutorial. 

It made me laugh so much. 


5.      Start a Bucket List for when things return to “normal”

Who knows what “normal,” will be when we are all released from the global lockdown.  

I had a bunch of travel plans in place for this European spring which has all been cancelled. Such as taking my husband to the Champagne region for our anniversary and have a family trip to see the Alhambra, in Granada, Spain.  

COVID may change travel and in many ways, but there are still some things I want to see.

I started to write them all down for when things return to “normal,” and it’s inspiring me to imagine life beyond lockdown. 


6. Set a small goal actionable goal you can actually achieve in the next 15 to 30 days. 

I’m already learning a language. 

And I know I won’t “learn” Spanish in 30 days, but I am aiming to nail the three types of past tenses. I’ve sorted out a work plan so that whenever I have downtime, I can review where I am at in Spanish to focus on the gaps in my knowledge.

You might not be learning a language, but what have you thought about learning right now? And what’s the first achievable step you can set for yourself?

7. Create a gratitude list for all the things you are thankful for.

Following on from the bucket list idea, which is for the future. My gratitude list is for the things I am grateful for right now – including being isolated with my family (yes I am enjoying this). Having a rooftop to go and exercise on. Having internet access and being able to stay in contact with my friends and family around the world.

Being in lockdown has definitely helped me reset what my priorities are. I have wanted to open a shoe shop for women with big feet for such a long time. It’s really disappointing to have COVID come along when it has. But that is life.  

While I am in lockdown, I’m trying to focus on what I can control and to spread positivity. 

Just remember this is an extraordinary time. While the world might be different when we come out of lockdown, we hopefully times like this will be rare. Take the time to find what you enjoy, set some small goals more to know where you’re going rather than to put pressure on yourself. End most importantly enjoy this precious time. 

Stay safe. Stay home.


Photo courtesy:  The Wardrobe Consultant.