30 April 2019

2019: April Favourites

Rai Valley, New Zealand

It's a simple one today but after two months I'm back with a favourites post & I've got a few goodies to share with you. You can find all the products with direct links if you're interested in finding out more information! 

Clinique Moisture Surge 72 Hour Face Mask, Facial Spray & Moisturiser 

B x 

25 April 2019

Product Review: Clinique Moisture Surge 72 Hour Hydrating Facial Mask, Facial Spray & Moisturiser

A little post from me today about my my skins new love for the Clinique Moisture Surge range. My skin can get super dehydrated really quickly if I'm not keeping on top of it with extremely hydrating products. Clinique Moisture Surge products have been a lifesaver for my skin & I couldn't be more grateful. 

Moisture Surge 72 Hour Replenishing Hydrator
"Our addictively refreshing gel cream is now enhanced to give your skin the power to rehydrate itself. Delivers an instant moisture boost. Keeps skin almost twice as hydrated at the end of the day than it did before. Enjoy 72 hours of non-stop hydration, even after washing your face." 

This moisturiser is one that I prefer to use either at night or on makeup-free days. I wouldn't recommend this product under makeup unless you have a little extra time to let it sit on the skin before hand. While it's super hydrating, it can give the slippery feeling to the skin once makeup is applied. It's definitely not the kind of moisturiser that has prime like properties that helps your makeup stay in place. Other than that I adore this product & it's done wonders for my skin. 

Moisture Surge Overnight Mask
"Creamy oil free facial mask deeply moistures while you sleep. Wake up to a dewy glow in the morning."

All you probably know by now that I love a good face mask & before I tired this product I was looking for a hydrating face mask. This mask is one better, it's an overnight hydrating face mask. I adore this mask, it leaves skin looking plump with a dewy glow in the morning & is perfect for anyone that needs a little extra hydration boost. 

Moisture Surge Thirsty Skin Relief Face Spray
"Refreshing, oil free facial spray rapidly replenishes skin’s moisture level with a fine mist.” 

Another great product which allows a little extra hydration boost. This product can be used morning or night alongside your favourite moisturiser. I feel that this product isn't a necessity but it's a good little extra to have on hand if you felt like your skin needed it. 

All in all, the combination of these three products have made a huge different in my skincare routine & I'm so grateful. Dehydration has been a huge issue with my skin for a long time but now I feel like I've found the perfect combination of products, for now anyway. 

B x 

23 April 2019

Wellness & Self Care Gift Ideas

So..what do you get those people in your life that seem to already have it all? I like to think that you can never go wrong with a gift that can boost or encourage happiness & love within the other persons life. Sadly, these aren’t always things that you can simply put in a box. Creating a little wellness/self care box for someone you love can serve as a little reminder for self preservation. It’s all about encouraging those you love to practice some self care & show them how to love & look after themselves. When thinking about what I might like to include in self care poses, I always like to focus on the bits & pieces that the other person might enjoy most or things that they don’t get to do themselves very often. Sometimes it can be about gifting a fun experience, a class or membership, other times it’s about picking out a few products that will inspire the other person to take some time out & focus on their wellbeing. 

Sleep & Rest

Bathbombs, Bubbles, Oils & Soaks
Moisturisers, Lotions, Nail Oils & Hand Creams 

Mind & Soul 

Creating a little wellness/self care gift box is a fantastic idea for those people in our lives who seem to ‘have everything’ or are difficult to shop for. We all have that one friend or family member who deals with a lot of stress, works a lot or spends most of their time taking care of others. To make them feel extra special you could also add a few photos to remind them about some of the amazing memories you’ve had together. We’re not always great a expressing our feelings or gratitude towards others. We also don’t always take the time to let the other person know just how much we appreciate them. Not only is it a lovely thing to do but maybe it’s something we should get into the habit of doing more often.  

B x 

21 April 2019

5 Things That Have Cheered Me Up This Month | April 2019

I’m generally a pretty happy person. Don’t get me wrong, I ain’t no saint & I can be moody & hot tempered sometimes but I’m pretty optimistic, happy chappy person most of the time. However, over the past month I haven’t quite felt myself & I’ve felt myself needing to source a boost of happiness from somewhere. This is definitely where the list below as come from. I’ve booked time off, I’m traveling & I’ve been just doing things that bring me ultimate happiness. In reality, everything is fine & it’s just those classic feelings of stress & overwhelm creeping in; so actually most of these things mentioned below boil down to moments of self care which is really not needs to come into play when you’re feeling so down in the dumps. They’re small & might be insignificant to some but those are sometimes the best things to help turn that frown upside down. 

Traveling to visit friends & family is one of my favourite things to do. I’ve just got back from my first wee trip of the year. I went back to my hometown, Blenheim & celebrated my Grandad’s 70th birthday with the entire side of my Dad’s family. It was so great to see everyone at one time & to celebrate such a special person in my life. I’ve also got a 4 day trip planned to Auckland in June & I’m so excited to spend those four days with family. Moments & trips like this bring me so much happiness & I really look forward to them. 

Birthday Celebrations
There are quite a few birthday celebrations over the next few months & I’m really looking forward to celebrating with love ones. Like I said above, it’s moment like these that bring me so much happiness. One of my favourite things to do is to plan ahead events that I know will bring me happiness so that I always have something to look forward to & birthday celebrations are included in a few of those events of the coming months. 

For whatever reason, this month I’ve been listening to my fair share of Podcasts. I don’t know what is, maybe it’s being able to multitask while listening, who knows but I’ve had Podcasts playing constantly recently. It’s really nice to just be able to have something playing in the background that is easy to listen too. A few of my favourites are Don’t Blame Me by Meghan Rienks, The Lavendaire Lifestyle by Aileen Xu, Voices of Hope on Air by Jazz Thornton & Genevieve Morta & Not Too Deep by Grace Helbig. What are some of your current favourites that you think I should be listening to? 

Colouring In & Being Crafty
Recently I’ve dived back into my crafty side & I’m so excited to be back into it. I didn’t think I missed it as much as I did until recently. As a child, I was always creating & making a variety of things & I always had so much fun. I’m really looking forward to planning out some super crafty projects so keep an eye out for some exciting updates. 

Buying Myself Flowers
I’m sure I’ve spoken about this before but it’s a pretty simple one. I’m always buying fresh flowers for myself. They help brighten up a home & they make me happy, so why not? I always feel amazing buying myself flowers & it’s just one way I celebrate me. 

B x 

18 April 2019

Nighttime Self Care Rituals To Adopt

I find both the beginning & the end of my days to be my favourites because they’re both normally pretty peaceful. The beginning & ending of my days is time I’ve allowed for rituals & habits that motivate & inspire me. Those rituals & habits that I’m talking about are what keep sane during times when everything seems out of my control. In this post I want to focus on those nighttime rituals & habits that make my evenings stress free. 

I was a little unsure of this concept to begin with but it’s been such a lifesaver. Sometimes I get home from a hectic day & I feel like my brain is going to explode. Rather than that happening & loosing any kind of useful information, I write. Doesn’t necessarily have to make any sense but whatever is in my head at the time ends up on paper. Afterwards, I can then go through everything & put different pieces of information in the right place so I’ll be able to find them when next needed. It’s one of the best ways I’ve found to help with mental clarity. 

Get Comfy
Getting into comfy clothes for the night is one of the first things I do as soon as I’m home. Nothing beats getting out of your jeans & putting on some cozy PJs. Doing this helps change my mindset from work mode to home/self care mode. It’s like a signifier to my brain that I’m no longer working & from this point forward everything I do is for me, myself & I. 

Chances are you’ve heard me talk about my love for mediation so I’ll keep this sort. Mediation has been apart of my evening rituals & habits for a long time now & again this is a great practice for clearing & cleansing your mind from a long day at work. 

Beauty Rituals
This is the one time that multitasking is totally okay. Taking a bath a unwind after a long day? Read. Taking a quick shower? Imagine the stress of the day washing away. Forgive yourself for the things that didn’t go as planned & let the stress go. Visualise it leave your body. Listen to a podcast or an audiobook. While you’re brushing your teeth you can make a mental note of all the things that your grateful for & remember all the lovely things that happened to you during your day. Even if you’ve had somewhat of a bad day, there is always something to feel grateful for, we just have to pay more attention to it. 

Taking time out for yourself doesn’t have to involve anything complicated. It is however, very important to look out for not just your physical wellbeing but also for your mental wellbeing. Practising self care, taking a little break when you need to & listening to your body & your needs is the best thing you can do to avoid sudden burnout, breakdown or overwhelm. It’s important to be their for your family & friends - but it’s even more important that you be there & show up for yourself. 

B x 

16 April 2019

How To Plan Effectively For A Productive Week

Planning my week is such an important part of my weekly routine. Not only is it something I love to do but it’s something that I need. I just have to be as prepared as I possibly can, I just find myself more productive that way. So, I thought I’d share how I get to my daily to-do lists & the steps that I take in order to make one so that it doesn’t feel too overwhelming, instead arms me with a plan that makes me feel like I’ve got this.

Step One: Get Up To Date
I cannot just have a to-do list without a weekly schedule. If I was to have meetings all day Monday then the chances are that I’m not going to get a lot done off my to-do list, if anything. I’d be more inclined to set tiny tasks for the Monday, perhaps tasks I could get done in-between meetings. If I was to have a huge meeting Wednesday afternoon then I’d be inclined to leave my morning free for other tasks on my to-do list. I keep my iCal & diary pretty well synced at all times so that I can avoid things such as double-booking myself but more than that, so I know where am & where I need to be at certain times of the day & then everything else more or less plays out around that. Before I even begin to think about a to-do list I’ll always check my weekly plan for appointments, event & meetings. You’ve really got to blend the two together in order to create a to-do list that actually has a chance of being completed. 

Step Two: Be Realistic
There is something about us as humans that seems to make us incredibly unrealistic with our time. If only I had a dollar for every time I thought I’d get something done in an hour but actually it took 3, right? Our to-do lists can sometimes make us feel flustered when we aren’t being realistic & ultimately, that’s when we become unproductive. A long-arse to-do list ain’t going to be completed in a day. Even if some of the tasks are small, you’ll end up getting distracted especially over tasks that have taken longer than expected. Quality over quantity is important to remember in this instance. Chop down your list, factor in plenty of time for each task & if you think you’ll have a longer to-do list on a certain day, make sure your schedule reflects that. 

Step Three: Framework
Easier said than done, I know but the sooner you find out planning & organisation framework is going to work best for you. Do you prefer weekly diary & a notepad for to-do lists or would are you more likely to use something like a Bullet Journal? It’s totally up to you but once you find what framework works best for you, planning & organising you life will become a dream. 

Step Four: Three Tasks Per Day
You could have the longest to-do list in the world but on that list if you had to only complete three tasks, what would they be? I ask myself this question every time I’m writing my daily to-do list. It’s a little bit stripped back I know but it makes perfect sense. Three tasks a day splits your day up nicely - one task when you first clock in, another before lunch & then another after lunch before you pack up for the day. Of course, you might other smaller tasks on your list that you could do in smaller pockets of time but when it comes to the meaty stuff, I only factor in three tasks a day which gives me the highest possible chance of actually getting them done. 

Step Five: Be Precious With Your Time
If you still feel like you’re struggling to find your productivity flow then perhaps it’s time to be more precious with your working hours. It’s about working out what tasks make you feel great & like you’re getting through your workload & then finding the things that can be removed from your schedule - either temporarily or perhaps someone else can do them - so that you have more time to do those tasks. Something else that might also be helpful is to work out what days of the week you’re at your most productive but also what times of the day you’re most productive. Be selfish, allocate time efficiently & get shit done.

B x 

11 April 2019

7 Ways I Loved Myself This Week | Getting Yourself Out Of An Emotional Rut

Todays post will be a quick one but one I hope will benefit at least one of you. The bulk of this post was written the week following the Christchurch Mosque Terror Attacks & it was a wee self care activity I felt I needed to do to be able to help pull me from a state of emotional numbness, disbelief & anger. This wee activity is something that can be used as often as needed & is great one to incorporate into your current self care routine. 

Look after yourself, love yourself & do what is right for you. You are number one. 

I brought myself flowers. 
I took time to read everyday this week. 
I picked up a colouring book & coloured until my heart was content. 
I laughed at myself. 
I got one early night & slept for an entire 10 hours. 
I sat with my sadness & let myself feel my emotions. 

B x

9 April 2019

How I'm Finding Time To Read & Enjoying It

The idea of curly up with a good book in the sunshine has always been one that's appealed to me. I've always had a passion for reading but as I've gotten older my mobile slowly started becoming a good friend of mine & I started putting less time into reading. For the longest time my excuse was that I simply just didn't have time to sit down & read but in reality, I did have time, I just was prioritising reading as something I wanted to do with my time. Here's how I've managed to carve some reading into every single day...

Have Books You Actually Want To Read
Well, duh..right? I struggled for a little while when I was younger to find books the actually could keep me interested for anymore than 25 pages. I thought that maybe reading just wasn't my thing but turns out reading is my thing, I just needed to adapt the genre of the book I'm reading. Find something that draws you in, captures you in an instant or even something you can learn from. You don't have to be reading the newest book on the shelf all the time. Don't feel like you have to read X, Y & Z because everyone else is. You do you & read what makes you happy. 

Get More Books 
I say 'get' lightly because you don't always have to empty your pockets. Instead you can borrow books from friends & family or sign up to your local library & max out your borrowing limit. I quite enjoy having my next couple of reads setting on my bedside table which gives me a bit of oomph to actually get through them & move onto the next one. Not in a particularly stressful way but more of an exciting way. It's like a visual checklist that I'm happy to never see the end of. 

Find Your Pockets Of Time
This is going to be different for everyone but was important for me to work on as I'd convinced myself life was so busy that I didn't have the time to pick up a book. Some of you might have kids who wake you up at the crack of dawn & so having a wee read before breakfast is out of the question. Others might have an hour-long train or bus commute to work which would be the perfect window of time to crack down & get some reading done. For me, it's before bed. I use to cradle my phone close whilst my volume was turned down to the minimum so that I could still watch that one last YouTube video or Instagram Story. Not the best use of my time I must say, so I now have less phone time & more reading time before bed. I do also enjoy a quick 20 minute read throughout the day if I have some spare time up my sleeve or even while having a bath, instead of picking up my phone, I'll pick up a book instead. 

Set Yourself Challenges
Set yourself a challenge to see how many books you can read in a certain time period. It might be a year, it might six months or even six weeks. Goodreads is a fantastic app to not only for you to keep tabs on the books you've read but also what you're currently reading & want to read next. I use to just have a note on my phone of all the books I wanted to read but the Goodreads allows you to do so much more! You can read other peoples reviews & recommendations, you can add your own reviews & recommendations along with create a future long of all the other book you want to tread while having it directly plugged to Amazon so you can order at the ready. 

Always Have A Book On You
I always like to have something on my that I can read. It's normally a book of some sort but sometimes it can be a booklet or some information related to my job. Of course, if you're heading out for the supermarket shop, chances are you're not going to have time nor want to stop in the middle of an aisle to read. However, if you're heading into the city on public transport, to meet a friend who tends to run late 99.5% of the time or you're running early - then make sure you have a book in your bag. You never know, you might just have the chance to read it! 

B x 

7 April 2019

What I Love About Sundays

It's been awhile since I've actually looked forward to my weekends. Don't get me wrong, I bloody love my job & I'm incredibly grateful but weekends at all about me. Selfish, maybe but I get to choose what I do & when I do it. Here's why I now get excited about my weekends. 

While I love being productive during my weekends, nothing beats a good ole sleep in. There's something about being able to wake up in your own time that makes you feel so much better. 

Makeup Free & In-Depth Skincare
Majority of my weekends are spent makeup free & more focused on my in-depth skincare routine. I'm due to do an updated in-depth skincare routine but here is the most recent one if you're interested. 

Future Planning & Organisation 
Planning & organising the up in coming week is one way I like to spend time in the weekend. This way I can get up on Monday mornings knowing what my week will involve & what I need to get done. 

Hot Bathes & Self Care Routine 
This one kind of goes along with my in-depth skincare routine but taking care of myself is important especially when I have a moment of spare time. I'll normally take a hot bath, pop on a face mask & just chill out. I'll also light some candles, read a book & just do things that make me my happiest. 

Fresh Flowers & Coffee Dates 
Having fresh flowers is one of my favourite ways to brighten up my home. Buying yourself flowers is just a really lovely thing to do for yourself. I'll also take time throughout my weekends to see my gorgeous friends & family. I don't have a lot of time throughout the week to do this so I make sure it's one of my priorities for over the weekends. 

B x 

4 April 2019

4 Ways To Be More Mindful

When I first began practicing mindfulness, it seemed like a chore. Staying mindful, paying attention to every moment, constantly being present, learning not to judge my own thoughts..it seemed like a lot. There are already so many thoughts, scenarios, plans & outcomes running through my head, how could I focus on & find joy in the simple things like drinking coffee or washing the dishes. Not possible, or so I thought. 

Mindfulness is a way of engaging in the present moment. It’s a way go being present without judging, without attachment. It can be the difference between moving through life running on autopilot or mindfully living life as it happens. You don’t have to spend your days, weeks, months & years waiting for something to happen. Every little moment is only as special as you make it. 

Being Present
“Be gentle with yourself. Think less & feel more. Be as happy as you can. You only have this moment.” - Dan Millman 
There are many ways in which you get distracted every single day. Too many to count. I’ve learnt that a lot of times we seek escaping the present moment due to what we’re distracted by. We rarely allow ourselves to be truly present because we often wish we could be someplace else, doing something different. As ordinary as your life may seem to you, it is often those little, ordinary moments that makes life special. 

Mindful Breathing
Short, mindful breathing practices are great for when you’re feeling stress, disconnected & anxious. Whenever you start to feel like this you’ll notice your heart start to beat rapidly, your breathing become shallow & your mind starts racing a million miles an hour. Allow your breath to anchor you. Mindful breathing will help you control your emotions & centre the mind. It can help release tension & help you get in tune with your body. You can practice simple, mindful breathing pretty much anywhere. 

Many times we fund ourselves having to wait we grow impatient. Nothing is a waste of time when you allow yourself to be mindful & present. Having a lot going on & being really busy shouldn’t be an excuse for not being mindful. The busier our lives are, the more you can benefit from being mindful. When you having to wait, work on re-framing your thinking. See it as an opportunity to slow down a little. Once you get into the habit of bringing yourself back into the habit of bringing yourself back into the present moment, you will never think of ‘waiting’ as wasting time.

Compassion & Acceptance
Having bad or negative thoughts is apart of being human. Negative thoughts have their purpose too. You should never try to resist those negative emotions. Instead, be mindful about them & allow yourself to feel. Recognise those negative thoughts as just that, thoughts. Then, allow the thought to pass. Your resistance can sharpen negative emotions, which in the long term is giving them more power. 

B x