26 March 2019

They Are Us | Christchurch Mosque Attack

It's safe to say over the past week I've been very distant. I've been drained for words, filled with sadness & grief for my Muslim brothers & sisters but also my community, my city, my country. 

On the 15 March 2019 during Friday Prayers there were two consecutive terrorist attacks at mosques in Christchurch. The attacks began at Al Noor Mosque in the suburb of Riccarton at 140PM & continued at the Linwood Islamic Mosque at about 155PM. The death toll currently sits at 50, with 42 at Al Noor Mosque, 7 at Linwood Islamic Mosque & 1 later in hospital. There are still several victims in hospital who have been critically injured. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called the attack an "act of extreme & unprecedented violence" & "one of New Zealand's darkest days". 

"This is because this is humanity. We are consistently afraid of who we do not know & we turn a blind eye to things that do not effect us personally. And yet, since Friday, I have also seen some good. The discussions & debates that were needed badly, are now at the forefront. People are mobilising & becoming allies. Just last night a good friend told me how she is set on calling out racism when she sees it, she started with telling off her own Mum. We need to call it out, call it in protest it. Speak up when you see it on the street, in the media or even in your own home. Allow those who were not given the chance before to speak up. Reject the endless hate that continually infiltrates out online forums & comment sections, or get rid of them for good. Sign the petitions, vote & support those who are already fighting it. We need to do this if we are ever to become the 'us' we imagined we always were." - Villianesse 

Below I'm going to link some articles that have been released over the past week that I think are worth the read, regarding the attacks. It's important that we are respectful of everyone opinions & at the same time let ourselves learn from others opinions. 

B x 

14 March 2019

Sanity | 4 Ways I Keep Myself Sanity In Check

Every week presents its challenges & if I’m not careful it can effect my sanity. With the crazy combination of work, relationships, social life & then everything else that comes along with being an adult, I started to feel like I had hardly anytime for me, myself & I. I began to lose touch with my surroundings & in turn, lost touch with a sense of myself. I knew this needed to change stat. So, I started doing more of what made me happy, more of what made me mindful & more of what made me smile. 

Here are few little things that I try to do for myself on a weekly, if not daily basis, to help make my day a little better & a little brighter. 

Buying Flowers For Myself
To me, this action feels like a small yet impactful way for me to feel appreciation & love for myself - two things of which I need to remind myself I deserve. For me, flowers just add something special to a room & sparks happiness. I’m alway filled with positive sentiments when I see fresh flowers in my home. There’s nothing sad about freshly cut flowers. 

Slowing Down
You know the drill - live fast, die young. Great idea in theory but the thing is, I don’t want to die young. More often than not I was running around on a daily basis trying to get tasks ticked off my today list & I wasn’t taking in the world around me. For example, as soon as I would wake up in the morning I’d be on my phone checking emails, checking notifications. I’d then have set my mind off for the rest of the day with a million other things to think about. It’s ridiculous how fast paced we are right from the moment we open our eyes. While my days can be busy, I try to make sure my mornings & evenings aren’t so much. That’s my time to slow down, relax & take time for me. Live slow & die old I reckon. 

Headphones, I Don’t Wear Them
I hardly wore headphones as it was but to me when I did it was like I was blocking everything else out around me, all those immediate things that are happening. And while sometimes that’s not a bad thing, it was like I had no interaction with the ‘outside world’. Maybe that’s just me, I’m not sure but it’s like I’m taking a small step in my personal journey in discovering my immediate environment.

Sharing A Smile
One of my biggest pet peeves is when people tell me I should smile more. I don’t know what it is but to me, if I was to constantly walk round with a smile on my face 24/7 I’d look like a bit odd. And the truth is, I’m not always happy either & I don’t always feel like sharing a smile BUT I know how powerful a smile can be. How it can change someones day in an instant. With that being said, Im definitely a lot more aware of how often I smile, how it can positively effect someone else but also how it can incredible it can make us feel as well. 

B x 

12 March 2019

My Joy List | Things That Make Me Happy

We should all spend more time focusing on what makes us happy. I would like to share a few simple things that are bringing me joy at the moment. Joy cane be found anywhere, even in the smallest things. Life is simply better when you can find the joy & beauty in everything. 

Slow Mornings
Mornings where I have no meetings, appointments or obligations & I’m able to do my full morning routine. It’s time in the morning to really focus on me. Journal, medicate, stretch, have a cup of tea & take some time for self care. 

Fresh Flowers
My Nan always had the most beautiful flower garden & nothing makes me more happy than having fresh flowers in the house, reminding me of my Nan. Having flowers in my home is such a simple addition yet can make such a different to any room. The make the space feel pretty, lively & homely. 

My fur baby brings me nothing but joy. Sylvie gives the best cuddles & some of the cutest head butts. Nothing melts my heart more than he does. 

Clean & Tidy Home
I always feel like theres a mess that needs cleaning or tidying up & it drives me crazy at the best of times. However, after actually giving my home a deep clean & my space a tidy up I always feel like everything becomes a lot more pleasant. Cleaning & tidying my home can be annoying at the best of times but ultimately it’s always leads me to joy. And also being more productive which is always handy. 

Journaling & Writing
Journaling out my thoughts & what I’m grateful for really helps me clean my mind. I always feel so relaxed & light after a writing/journaling session. It’s definitely one of my favourite self care practices & one that I would recommend to anyone. 

Skincare & Makeup
I have so much fun playing around with makeup as a creative expression. I adore experimenting with products, colours & style. It’s kind of like painting but on your face. It’s a form of art I throughly enjoy. It’s the same in regards to skincare. Trying new products is my favourite things to do but it’s also really interesting learning about what products are best for what skin types & what ingredients do what to & for the skin. 

These are just a few of the things that bring me joy & I hope it sparks some inspiration in you to dig deeper & find what brings you joy in your life. 

B x 

10 March 2019

Habits That Have Made Me Happier

Unlocking the secret to happiness is one of life’s biggest questions. While we tend to assume it’s the biggest things; a new house, marriage or a job promotion; that brings contentment but I find it’s actually that little tings that boosts my happiness more significantly. Over time I’ve learnt that healthy daily habits have not only made my life easier but also improved my physical & mental health. 

There are three habits that I’ve started in 2019, focused on my mental health more than anything, that have over the past 2 months made a significant difference to my mental health. And while I appreciate that everyone is different, that hopefully my sharing my experience will inspire some of you to make some positive changes in your life too. 

I plan to cover this in a lot more detail in an individual post later in the month but for the longest time now I’ve said that I adore reading but I simply just never had the time to do it. The reality is though, I did have time but I was prioritising reading. Now that I’ve scheduled time, 30 minutes daily, to reading it’s like I’ve fallen in love with it all over again. Reading offers so many benefits to our lives & I don’t think any of us do it enough. 

Write, Journal & Gratitude
Putting pen to paper is what I turn to when I need to completely clear my mind. I don’t believe there is anything more beneficial. Whether I’m subconsciously or consciously writing, putting any thoughts I have to paper sets me up mentally for whatever needs tackling in the future. Gratitude is something we should all be thinking about, if not writing it down. Being grateful not only making the world a better place, but also helps being peace & thankfulness into your own life.

Planning & Organisation
Most of you will now how much of a planning & organisation freak I am but without it I’d be completely lost & chances are I wouldn’t be very productive. When it comes to planning my day, it’s really just about setting out & thinking about what needs to get done, on what day & when it needs to be done by. Also thinking about where I need to be for meetings, appointments or events & organising tasks around those things. 

B x

8 March 2019

Product Review: Essano Superfoods Certified Organic Cinnamon Detoxifying Mask

Essano have come out with a new superfoods skincare range. The superfoods range combines the natural power of raw, organic, cold pressed plant extract with Liposomal technology to ensure maximum potency for the most effective skin-enhancing results. The three superfoods they’ve opted to use in the range are cinnamon, turmeric & kale. 

Cinnamon; Detoxifies, enhances & repairs by removing impurities & targeting acne, pimples & blemishes. Best suited for normal/combinational skin types. 

Turmeric; Energies, soothes & reduces inflammation. Restores that radiant glow my slowing down the signs of ageing. Best suited from normal/dry skin types. 

Kale; Hydrates, heals & nourishes by boosting hydration & collagen production. Helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Best suited for combination/dry/mature skin types. 

So each of the individual superfoods have a variety of different products dedicated to different areas of your skincare routine based on what benefits they have on your skin. Products such as body & hand lotions, creme & gel cleansers, exfoliators, moisturisers, night cremes, facial oils, serums & face masks. Essano also offer what they call the ’Superfoods Feed Your Skin Trial Pack’. This offers you the opportunity to test out some of the products. They come in mini sizes, perfect for travel & retails for $25 NZD. 

It’s important to note that all Essano products are cruelty free, vegan & made here in New Zealand. Big, big advantage! 

The one product that really stood out to me was the ‘Superfoods Certified Organic Cinnamon Detoxifying Mask’ so naturally, I had it give it ago & see if it stood up to what it claimed on the website. It does say the website that you should use this product if you want an intense detoxification. That the cinnamon naturally draws out impurities, clears pores & detoxifies skin while aloe vera deeply hydrates & shea butter ensures the skin is left soft & supple. It’s safe to say that I couldn’t agree more with what they have to say about the product. It does everything the say it claims to do & I blown away by how I face was felt feeling afterwards. Some masks that claim to be ‘detoxifying’ still leave my skin feeling pretty clogged with crap but this Essano Superfoods mask is a whole other level. I think I may have just found one my new favourite face masks. 

B x

5 March 2019

Grief: Two Years Later

"The beautiful irony is that our loss is another reunion." - Unknown

I've been doing these posts for a wee while now. Two years to be exact & I think this will be the last one. Not the last time I talk about grief because I think we should all be talking about & more often too. But these posts were a way for me to keep the memory of my Grandparents alive & don't get me wrong, I'll still be doing that in various other ways but I just think it's come to a time where these posts just aren't the way to do that anymore. In saying that though I'm sat here on the 2 year anniversary of my Nan & Pop's passing & I'm going to write my final last post like this. 

I've said it many times before & I'll say it again, the grief never leaves. It comes in waves & those waves are sometimes massive, other times they're smaller. Do those waves appear out of no where? Yes. Do the appear less over time? Yes. Do they hurt less over time? No. 

Experiencing the kind of grief I have over the last two years has taught me incredible amounts. I just wish I didn't have to lose my Nan & Pop to learn those things. Don't take time or people for granted. I could tell you that over & over again but it's not until you lose someone that you really learn to appreciate the time & people you've lost. My biggest advice to you today is don't let it be too late. With the grief, you don't want to have to deal with regret as well. 

Grief hurts. If you're hurting because of grief, don't let it destroy you, let it teach you & let yourself grow because of it. 

B x 

3 March 2019

2019: February Favourites & Highlights | Changes & Challenges

We're officially two months deep into 2019 & so far so good! Goals are on track & big changes are happening! February has been a month of changes & challenges but I'm more than excited for the future & that's an amazing feeling to have. Below are a few of February's favourites & highlights. Here's hoping for a March just a memorable as February!

Clinique Moisture Surge - Moisturiser & Face Spray
Almond Oil - Nails & Skincare
@rachellee; YouTube & Instagram
Candles; all the scents!

The weather this month has been the some of the best weather we've had all summer & I think it's probably all we'll get. It's sad to see it go because we didn't really have much of a summer this year but I'm already excited for the cooler months & cozy clothes. In February I got to catch up with some of my closer friends I hadn't seen in awhile & it was great to just be able to sit down at chat for hours on end. I also applied & got accepted to study in Educational Support! I'm so thrilled & cannot wait to get started. Which also brings me on the fact that I left a job to be able to commit fully to studying which is scary but a challenge I'm up for. At this point in my life I just cannot commit to two jobs & studying. It would be way to much & I didn't want to overcommit or overwhelm myself. February has been a blast & I cannot wait to see what March has install for me. 

If you're interested in finding out more about my thoughts on the Essano Skinfoods Cinnamon Detoxifying Facial Mask stay tuned & keep a look out over the next week for a full product review. It's a good ole one, let me tell you! 

B x