28 July 2019

The Best Nail Polishes To Wear This Winter | Product Review

Having a freshly done manicure is something that makes me feel ready to take on the world even more so I think because I used to be a really bad nail bitter & now that I’ve let my nails grow & do their own thing, I’ve even more in love with manicures. There are some shades that I’ve been really loving at the moment & a particular brand I’d love to mention.

Essie is the go-to nail brand for salon professional, beauty junkies, industry insiders, celebrities & fashion icons around the world. America’s nail salon expert, Essie aims to inspire a love for the manicure experience with a wit & style that touches people everywhere.” 

Essie is one of the best brands I’ve found when It comes to the quality of the product including how well it applies & longevity of the polish lasting on the nails. 

A beautiful cream, warm nude shade that is super flattering on the nail. It’s one of those shades that’s perfect with any outfit. 

Something slightly darker but still really beautiful on the nails. I adore darker shades in the winter so this has been an all time favourite. 

Something a lot more cooler in regards to tone but again still really gorgeous on the nails. I really love this polish for when I’m looking for a really fresh look. 

B x

25 July 2019

Sick Day Routine | Winter Edition

Hello winter, hello sick days. Winter is in full force & I’ve had a couple of sick days where I’ve had to do nothing but rest & look after myself. When it comes to my sick day routine, it’s pretty basic. 

When I’m sick or not feeling 100% I will try & have a bit of a sleep in & let my body rest for as long as possible. My morning then starts with jumping straight into the shower. Nothing beats a hot shower plus I find it’s the best way to help relieve any head & sinus pressure. A hot shower is also great for any muscle aches. Looking after my skin is so important when I’m sick because my skin tends to get super dehydrated. I’ll get dressed into some comfy clothes & moved into my room to make my bed & do a quick 10 minute tidy. 

Next up is medication & supplements. In regards to medication for when I’m sick I’ll usually take a decongestant to help reliever any head & sinus pressure throughout the day. For supplements I take combination of Zinc, Vitamin C & Echinacea. Healtheries do a fantastic supplement, ‘Garlic, Vit C, Zinc & Echinacea with Olive Leaf’ & this is my go to supplement in the winter. 

Rest, rest & more rest. Resting up is a big part of my sick day routine. If it’s a sunny day outside I’ll wrap up warm & go & get some fresh air but other than that I’m most likely going to be found watching Netflix or YouTube. It’s not often I’m taking an entire day off sick so a lot of these practices happen over serval days to ensure that I’m okay to at least make it to the weekend. 

B x 

23 July 2019

Book Review: How To Be Happy Or At Least Less Sad - Creative Workboook By Lee Crutchley

“A different kind of self-help book. This book cannot fix you & it cannot make you happy. The good news is that no other book on this planet can either, but you already know that. Because you know, deep down, that no self-help book can make you happy. Just like you know, deep down, that you can. Maybe you haven’t discovered that yet or maybe you’ve forgotten but you know more than you think about your own happiness. This creative & practical book will help you draw, write, discover & remember those things that make you feel happy . . . or at least less sad.” 

"Author and illustrator Lee Crutchley brings his lively interactive approach to a little-discussed but very common issue: the struggle with depression and anxiety. Through a series of supportive, surprising, and engaging prompts. 'How To Be Happy Ot At Least Less Sad' helps readers see things in a new light, and rediscover simple pleasures and everyday joy…or at least feel a little less sad. By turns a workbook, trusted friend, creative outlet, security blanket, and secret diary, the pages of this book will offer solace, distraction, engagement, a fresh perspective, and hopeful new beginnings—for readers of all ages and walks of life."

I was gifted this book by a lovely friend of mine in Sweden when I was going through a bit of a rough time & it was the exact thing I needed. The pages of this book are full with a bunch of creative activities that will help shift you’re mindset. I haven’t actually written directly into this book but I’m completed a bunch of activities from the book & I have to admit that there are some really thought provoking activities in this book as well. One of my favourite pages is when you’re asked to create a collage of worries & then create a collage of calm. I cannot recommend this book enough. It really helped me in a time of need & I still ever back to this book on a regular basis. 

B x 

21 July 2019

Overcoming A Burnout

Most of the time, it’s very easy to sense a burnout coming. Suddenly, everything feels urgent. You feel tired & exhausted, both mentally & physically. Unexpected lack of control & emotional overload hit hard & all you feel like doing is giving up. 

Burnout can very easily lead to resentment towards the very thing you’re working on or trying to accomplish. It’s almost as if your body forces you to slow down & then eventually slowly begin to shut down. It’s not a good feeling. 

Burnout can touch anyone, it isn’t just our jobs or our careers where it happens. It can happen to stay at home parents, caregivers, people who are just beginning to try to figure out their lives & even those who already do seem to have it all figured out. So, how to you go about overcoming a burnout? 

Be Kind To Yourself & Your Emotions 
Addressing you emotional stress without blaming yourself can be difficult. So, yes, first thing is to not blame yourself. Don’t blame yourself for your lack of action, for goals that weren’t achieved, for your feeling uninspired, stuck or feeling burned out. I’m quite the master at this & it’s something that I know takes work to get over. 

When you’re feeling emotionally & physical drained & you know that things have to get done, the last thing you should do is put yourself down by telling yourself that you’re lazy or that you suck. I know it’s easier said than done because I know I can fall into this trap as well but give it a go & see how you get on. 

I find that it’s helpful to admit to yourself that you feel lost, tired & exhausted. If you feel like you need to have a good cry to express frustration, then do it. Write it out & cry it all out, if that’s what you feel like doing. Without noticing, it’ll work wonders. If you try to avoid addressing your emotions they will eventually come back & hit you twice as hard. Trust me on this one - do not allow your emotions to build up & get the better of you. Take the time to address them now & save yourself later. 

Another thing is, if you don’t have anyone you feeling like you can talk to or maybe you’d just rather do this than talking to anyone, grab a journal & pen. Don’t get me wrong, I have an amazing people in my life that I can talk to but I also find it really therapeutic to spill it all out onto paper as well. Journaling is such a great tool in times of emotional stress. Keep at it regularly & you will notice that your response to stress will eventually change. 

One of the best & probably one of the most important things you can do for yourself in times of burnout is taking a break. Quieting your mind. 

Even when one of our first instincts is to power through, remember that it is okay to stop. If you feel you can’t do that, then at least try to slow down. For a second, stop trying to reach for things you’ve been trying to achieve & overcome & take some time to decompress. Take some time out to reset; once you’re ready to go ahead & ease back into your routine, do so slowly. 

Reorganise & Switch Things Up
Simplify & declutter. You’d be surprised at how often I do this. Get rid of any junk & useless bit & pieces - anything you don’t need but for whatever reason you’ve keep around. 

I always find overcoming a burnout is twice as hard when you’re surround by junk, when you’re sitting in a messy office or room where there is so much to do, you don’t know where to start. If every single one of your days looks the same or pretty similar, don’t be afraid to switch things up. Don’t underestimate the power of changing your environment or switching up your routine. 

Surround Yourself With Inspiration 
Read books that make you happy, listen to music that makes you feel relaxed & do things that bring you joy. I’ve even made a vision board for the next six months & I’ve found it’s been really helpful to look at for that everyday spark we sometimes need.

Remember This: Motivation Comes From Within
At the end of the day, motivation can only come from within. Sure, sometimes you come across an inspiring video, an article or a quote that makes you feel all fired up inside. “Yes, yes, yes! This is it, it’s time for me to get out of this slump & turn things around.” The truth is, there are also times & days where you can watch ten or twenty motivational speeches, yet nothing will change. 

Think about it. If accomplishing goals & dreams & fulfilling your big plans or staying disciplined were easy, we’d all be living out our dream lives. A lot of people will tell you to stay positive & happy or to raise your vibe & it’ll all work out. While I believe all those things are important I also believe they’ll get you know where unless you’re prepared to do the work. 

By saying this I don’t want to discourage you, I’m saying it to prepare you. When you put yourself in that mindset & realise that things won’t always come easy, that it actually takes work to get to where you want to go. It helps you to prepare yourself for potential obstacles, setbacks or small fails & the hard work that comes with all of that. Once you’ve lost that motivation, you & you alone are the only person that can find it once again. 

B x 

18 July 2019

Rest, Recover & Repair | Evening Routine: Winter Edition

It’s pretty standard that my evening routine start time varies on the time I get home for the day but I’ve put together this post based on what I do rather than the time I do it. I also try to get to bed before 11P every night to ensure that I get a decent amount of sleep. 

Dinner, Dishes & 15 Minute Home Tidy
I always begin my evening routine with dinner. It’s pretty simple, I’ll make whatever I’ve planned to have for dinner then tidy up the massive mess I’ve made. I’ll then also do a quick 15 minute tidy up of the home. A quick 15 minutes every night opposed to letting things build up over the week, makes cleaning & tidying so much easier. 

Shower, Hair, Skincare & Teeth
Now it’s time to move into the bathroom. This is the time that I’ll shower, wash my hair & brush my teeth. I’ll also take a period of time to complete my skincare routine. You can check out my current ‘Skincare Line Up | Autumn/Winter Edition’ here. Skincare is one of my favourite parts of my evening routine. 

Hot Drink, Planning & Journaling
I’ll grab a hot drink & get out my planner. I’ll check off what I managed to complete today & create a task list of things I need to complete the following day. I’ll also take some time to journal. There’s normally no rhyme or reason to my journaling, it’s just like a massive brain dump for everything & anything from the day. Doing a wee brain dump/journaling session each night allows me to go to bed with a clear mind & helps me get a better nights sleep. 

Reading, Mediation & Stretching
It’s now time for me to fully unwind from the day. I’ll do some reading whether that’s from the current book I’m reading or an article online I’ve been wanting to read. I’ll also complete a wee mediation session which helps me calm & clear my mind before bed. Stretching helps keep my body semi pain free & not so stiff. Stretching is also something that is apart of my morning routine too. 

And that’s a wrap! That’s what my evening routine consists of at the moment! It does change ever so slightly now & then but for the most part, it stays pretty much the same. 

B x 

16 July 2019

Four Books I've Read This Year & What's Next

Reading is one of my favourite things to do but I still struggle to find the time to read every now & then. Sometimes life just gets ridiculously busy & reading isn't always in the fore front of my mind. But with that being said, here are four books I've managed to get through this year & really enjoyed. 

“You are a badass is the self-help book for people who desperately want to improve their lives but don’t want to get busted doing it. In this refreshingly entertaining how-to guide, bestselling author & world-travelling success coach, Jen Sincero, serves up 27 bitesized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice, easy exercises & the occasional swear word, helping you to, identify & change the self-sabotaging beliefs & behaviours that stop you from getting what you want, creating a life you totally love & create it now, make some damn money already, the kind you’ve never made before. By the end of You Are A Badass, you’ll understand why you are how you are, how to love what you can’t change, how to change what you don’t love & how to use The Force to kick some serious butt.” 

See my full review here

"Decline into Darkness. Gay Oakes. The True Story. For ten years Gay Oakes lived with a man who battered, abused and raped her. One night, at her wits' end, she added a quantity of prescribed drugs into his coffee. The dose killed him, and she buried his body in the back yard. For her crime she was incarcerated in Christchurch Women's Prison. Two years after her conviction, Gay Oakes has written an account of her ill-fated life. With Afterword by Judith Ablett-Kerr, QC." 

Such an incredibly sad story & some parts we're really difficult to read but it opened my eyes to the world of domestic violence & how difficult it really can be for someone to leave such a tough situation.

"Each year hundreds of New Zealanders mysteriously go missing, vanishing from their homes and families, their cars and workplaces seemingly without a trace. Many will remember the publicity surrounding particular cases, but this book gives insider information into the background of all involved, the searches, suspicions, police theories, photos and other evidence. This book chronologically details 16 of the most bizarre missing person cases in this country such as the unexpected disappearance of IRD inspector Sydney Fisk from the Ureweras (1956), aspiring model Wendy Mayes from Lower Hutt (1961) and visiting American hiker Roselyn Tilbury from the Heaphy Track (1972)."

Stories like this always interest me & because these stories were based in New Zealand, it interested me even more. Bainbridge did a fantastic job of putting the chapters together while respecting the families & friends of those he talked about. I couldn't imagine how difficult it would be to never have answers after losing a loved one. 

How To Be Happy Or At Least Less Sad - A Creative Workbook; Lee Crutchley
“A different kind of self-help book. This book cannot fix you & it cannot make you happy. The good news is that no other book on this planet can either, but you already know that. Because you know, deep down, that no self-help book can make you happy. Just like you know, deep down, that you can. Maybe you haven’t discovered that yet or maybe you’ve forgotten but you know more than you think about your own happiness. This creative & practical book will help you draw, write, discover & remember those things that make you feel happy . . . or at least less sad.” 

I'm not going to talk to much about this book because I have a review coming shortly but it's well put together & I think it can benefit anyone going through a bit of a tough time. 

Up Next

B x 

14 July 2019

What's Making Me Happy Right Now

Last month was a busy month & I didn't really have a chance to sit down & appreciate all the happy moments that occurred. For July, I promised myself I would slow things down a bit, be more present & appreciate all the happy moments in my life, big or small. 

Alive & Breathing
An odd one if you don't know that background story. I was involved in a car accident at the beginning of the month & while my car it a bit worse for wear, I'm okay. Physically I'm okay, mentally I freak out anytime a car gets way to closer to mine but other than that I'm okay. It all could of been so much worse but I'm so incredibly grateful to just be alive & breathing. 

School Holidays
School holidays are always so much fun! Working with the children & getting them involved in heaps so exciting activities is awesome. Holidays are times for children to relax & have fun & that's what we aim to do with the children that have to come into care over that period of time. 

Cold Mornings, Warm Days 
Can't say I've ever been a big fan of winter but one thing I do enjoy is the cold, crisp morning & the warm afternoons. Not a big fan of the grey, rainy days but the crisp mornings & warm afternoons gives me something to look forward to! 

I've been trying to make more time for reading. It doesn't always go to plan but reading brings a lot of joy to my life. It's a chance for me to sit down & escape from my reality & dive into someone else's.

B x 

11 July 2019

Skincare Lineup | Autumn/Winter Edition

I'm keeping my skincare routine pretty simple over these colder months with products that I've used before & I know that my skin love. But nothing beats a simple yet effective skincare routine, right? Chances are you've heard me talk about some of these products before but I'm a creature of habit & if somethings working well I'm going to keep using it. I've added a few products at the bottom of this post that I'm thinking of trying because I feel like there's something still missing from my routine. 

9 July 2019

How To Get Your Life Together Right Now

My weekend didn't exactly go to plan. I had originally planned to have a super productive weekend & just get shit done. I have an assignment that is completed but needs typing up, blog posts that I wanted to get finished, errands to run & a house to tidy but I got no where near as much done as I had hoped, hence why you're getting this post rather than the planned original. On Friday night I was involved it a car accident that has left me without a car for who knows how long. I'm shaken up & a bit sore but other than that I'm okay. 

I've lacked motivation & inspiration for the past couple of weeks now & I came across a post that just spoke to me. 'Career Girl Daily' is one of my favourite places to go for some of the best content. They're also one of the most frequently visited sites on my laptop. 

'How To Get Your Life Together Right Now' happened to pop up in my Bloglovin' newsfeed at the perfect time & I wanted to share that with you guys since it has started to pull me out of my rut. 

I think when I've recovered properly from with wee rut & am back into the full swing of things, I'll do a post all about what's helped me move on. 

B x 

7 July 2019

Four Facial Masks I'm Loving & Why

I haven't spoken about face masks on my site much & I don't think I give them enough credit for all the wonderful work they do to my skin. These are my top four favourite face masks at the moment & I adore them all for many different reasons. 

“It’s the fennel countdown. When your skin needs a pick-me-up there’s nothing better than this blend inspired by Ayurvedic herbs, designed to bring skin back to life. Stimulating parsley & coriander help to cleanse skin while warming fennel & ginger root stimulate, improving circulation & brightening skin tone. Dripping in enriching honey & enzymic fresh organic lime juice to really revitalise the skin & give you a radiant glow. It’s time to be brazen.” 

Brazened Honey is a great mask for detoxifying your skin. Every time I use this mask it’s like my skin has had a complete refresh. It helps enhance your natural glow & revitalise skin. If you’re looking for an detoxify face mask that help improve circulation, brighten skin tone & gives a radiant glow then this fresh face mask might just be for you. 

“Fighting for clear, pacified skin? Cooling, fresh green grapes set the rhythm, while a battle cry of garlic, kaolin & antibacterial tea tree calms & cleansers. Smooth on a generous layer & sit back for 10 minutes delightfully moisturising honey gets to work. Them simply rise away with warm water.” 

I feel like this mask has all the right properties for tackling an troublesome spots. I love how this mask helps tackle spots but also has cooling & moisturising properties as well.  

“Replenish your skin with nature’s antioxidant-rich Turmeric with Curcumin, proven to help fight free radicals that accelerate the signs of ageing. Shea Butter nourishes & conditions, while Aloe Vera hydrates. The result? Brighter, fresher, more vibrant skin. 

Another one of my favourite detoxifying face masks purely because while it’s detoxifying, it’s not dehydrating. While Shea Butter helps nourish & condition the skin, the Aloe Vera hydrates & the Turmeric helps detoxify. I love this combination & it never fails to leave my skin feeling great. 

“This oil-free facial mask is creamy & helps skin drink deep overnight for a soft, dewy radiant glow by the morning. Featuring a rich, oil-free texture, this over-night mask penetrates the skin deeply to replenish lost moisture & soothe irritated skin. Skin retains its own natural moisture barrier & resists harmful irritants.”

The most beautiful hydrating mask I’ve ever tried. It deeply replenishes lost moisture & soothe irritated skin over night. It’s just like giving your skin a drink overnight that leaves your skin soft, dewy & radiant for the morning. 

If there are any face masks that you think are worth trying out, definitely let me know! 

B x 

4 July 2019

13 Stress-Relievers To Help You Out

Sometimes getting stressed out is unavoidable, it happens & it’s perfectly normal. But if there’s one thing I think we’d all like to improve on is to beat the stress quickly when it arrives rather than getting more stressed about being stressed. 

Have A Big Squeeze
Sometimes a quick hug from out bestfriend, your boyfriend or even your mum can do you the world of good. A good hug can make you feel so much better than before, so squeeze away! 

Take The Perfect Bath
My favourite thing to add to a bath in essential oils. A hot bath will do you the world of good but by adding these extras it will really help you to make the most of that time for you.

Get Outside
Getting out into natural & taking a casual walk by yourself can do you the world of goof. Getting out into the fresh air helps ease your mind & when you’ve returned from your walk you’ll be feeling fresher than ever. 

An alternative to a walk & can be more effective. If you’ve got a lot of stress going on, maybe you’d find classes like boxing work well for you. 

Find Your Inner Peace
Mediation is a fantastic way to unwind. Millions of people do it around the world & swear by it. If you’re a beginner, don’t worry there are plenty of apps out there that can get you started. 

Create A Plan
The best way I can think of to avoid stress is to always plan for it. Stress is unavoidable so it’s important to plan your days around it if you can. If you can plan your day to avoid stress altogether, then that’s even better! 

Calming Tea
Sometimes all we need to do is stop for five minutes, have a cup of tea & take time for ourselves. 

Essential Oils
Ylang Ylang & Jasmine are really great for relaxation & anxiety. These are an essential in your routine if you get stressed out a lot. You can find Ylang Ylang & Jasmine anywhere from beauty products to pure oils. 

A bit of stretching never hurt anyone. Everyone knows that yoga is really good for finding your centre & relaxing. So maybe mediation isn’t your thing, give yoga a go instead. 

Talk It Out
There’s nothing better than sitting with a group of women who just get you. I always grow from those conversations. So, sitting with a friend & just offloading always helps me to get everything off my chest plus I always feel so good afterwards. 

Not always as easy as it sounds but when things get a little OTT rather than just stressing about everything & letting yourself get all worked up just try & delegate some of your tasks. Everyone works in teams, so it might just be easier if you ask for help. 

Treat & Pamper Yourself
I don’t know about you but when I’m pampering & looking after myself with a face mask & even doing my nails, I always feel so much better. Whether it’s on a Friday night with the girls or a Sunday night by myself, I always treat myself to give me that boost I need. 

Accept What You Can’t Change
Again, easier said than done but try not to stress yourself out over things that are out of your control. Sit down with yourself & justify how you feel, remember that nothing is the end of the world & you can handle anything that is thrown at you. But if you can’t change it, then don’t worry about it. 

B x 

2 July 2019

Making The Most Of Everyday

Procrastination, poor time management, over-indulgence, we’re all guilty of these things, right? None of it is a big deal until it becomes a daily habit where we find ourselves just watching the days go by, waiting for the weekend, hoping that something will change. 

If you’re finding yourself not knowing where your time goes, I’d start with tracking everything you do during your day, however productive or unproductive it is. This small activity can be a real eye-opener. 

Here are some of the other things that helped me take back control of my days & making the most of every single one of them. 

Stay Organised 
I feel like this is a bit of an obvious one but at some stage in my evening, you’ll find me sat with my planner & laptop, working on the next days events & errands. Staying organised isn’t just about having a planner & keeping track of what needs to be done & when it needs to be done by, it also involves keeping your space free of clutter. Putting things away as you go will make cleaning your space a lot easier & minimise frustration when to comes to rushing to find something specific.

Time Blocking 
Time-blocking turned out to be a game changer for me when it came to my productivity levels. It provides much needed structure to my busy & scattered mind but it also helps me make the most of everyday. If I know what’s happening, when it’s happening & where I need to be then I can schedule other tasks & errands around those scheduled appointments, events or projects. 

When we talk about being organised & having our shit together, we often also talk about prioritising. Sounds easy, right? Just do the most important first & the least important last. But how do we figure out what is the most important & what can wait until another day? Here I’m going to leave linked what I believe is the most fantastic yet simplistic way of figuring out your priorities. With all that aside, yes, prioritising your daily tasks is key to avoiding taking on too much or overfilling your time. 

Be Present 
How many times fo you wake up & the next thing you know you’re back in your bed, getting ready to sleep. Some days can drag on forever & some pass by very quickly, way too quickly at times if you ask me. Staying mindful & present during your day will help you appreciate those little everyday things. You become calmer & happier the more you live in the now opposed to the past or future. Instead of rushing around trying to get from one place to another or wishing you were someplace else, stop & pause for a moment. Be thankful for where you are in life at the moment. 

Unwind & Reset
One of the best ways to make the most of every day & really get a fresh start the next morning is to reset & decompress the night before. Let go of all the stress from the previous day & take some time to unwind & relax. Some of my favourite ways to do this are through mediation, journaling & reading. The key is to find some time at the end of your day to reset a little & do something you really love. 

B x