29 August 2019

2019: July/August Favourites & Highlights

The past couple of months have been busy. I've attended a wedding, been to see Ursula Carlson's live show, said goodbye to my younger brother who went off to the army & that's just a few of the highlight from the past couple of months. 


There have also been a couple of post throughout the month of August that had a few favourites listed
in them which I'll also link below for you to easily find! 

B x 

27 August 2019

Ways To Live A Motivated Life & Get All The Tasks Done

Over the past couple of weeks I've seriously lacking any motivation. Lacking motivation & inspiration is the worst feeling. Don't fear, I've got you covered! Here are a few tips that helped me get through those days so I could get back into the zone & get all the tasks done.

Change Your Phone & Desktop Background
We are constantly looking at our devices throughout the day so we might as well use it to our advantage. Change your lock screen to a pretty picture with a positive message so that you are reminded to stay focused, motivated & positive. For some, an adorable pet might also do the trick. Add little reminders of happiness on your phone & while you're at it, spread positive messages throughout your environment to remind you of the things you want to achieve. You could even try with some sticky notes on your bathroom mirror, desk space or anywhere else you find yourself looking at often.

Wake Up Early
As tempting as it is to sleep in until the last minute & then rush to get ready & out the door in the morning, making the effort to wake up a little bit early might just be thing you need to have a perfectly productive day. When you wake up earlier, you can create a more relaxing morning routine, have time to think about your day & the things you want to get done. You will feel so much more energised & motivated that you thank yourself later.

Have Breakfast
When I make time to have breakfast in the morning, I always feel more motivated to start my day off on the right foot. Light meals like smoothies or a bowl of fresh fruit is generally my go to but as long as you're getting something into your tummy then you're good to go.

Improve Your Atmosphere
Your environment is important to your wellbeing. To keep my environment & atmosphere feeling just right, I light candles, incense & spreading scents that I enjoy. Keeping your surroundings inspiring & comfortable will allow you to get a lot more done with less distractions. Cleaning might feel like that last thing you want to do but having a clean environment will really boost your motivation in other areas of life.

Listen To A Pumped Playlist
Music has the power to change your mood so blast some positive uplifting beats in the background to keep your mood positive & inspired. You can create your own or if you have Spotify you're able to search for playlists the are already created.

Give Yourself Break Times
Scheduling breaks for myself has never been something I've been great at but scheduling breaks into your workday ensure that you don't burn out. Giving yourself time off the computer means you can recharge & keep a fresh mind. This can apply to anything, be could be studying, writing or working in general. It's so important to give yourself time off to stretch, drink water or have a snack.

Create A Short Term Goal VS Long Term Goal To-Do List
This is a new concept to me but so far it's worked really well. I'm always keep to-do lists & there is something about the feeling of satisfaction we all get when crossing something off a to-do list. Take it a step further & create a categorical to-do list in which you would specify your daily goals versus weekly goals versus monthly goals. Sometimes there are things we cannot achieve in a day but we can always break it down into small pieces & when combined at the end of a period of time, become that big goal we had in the beginning. Take some time to recognise your aspirations & which of them you want to take more time to develop. In our hectic everyday lives we are used to instant gratification which leads us into frustration when some of the things we want don't happen immediately. Keep that frustration at bay with a categorical to-do list & there is nothing you can't do!

B x

25 August 2019

Ways To Feel Happier & Making Positive Changes

Sometimes, the commitments you make to yourself can be quite difficult to enforce. This is especially true if we're talking about life long habits. 

When it comes down to it, I believe that if you want to feel happier, you have to learn to refocus your thoughts on positive things & aspects of your life. What do you focus on or think about most of the time? If you feel worried or anxious, you're probably thinking about something negative. If you're feeling unhappy, you're probably focusing on things you don't want to happen or that have already happened. As you hold onto those things, thoughts, scenarios or events, you eventually start to see them as your reality. As you constantly replay them in your mind, you end up subconsciously accepting them. We tend to forget how powerful our subconscious mind is. 

The key to feeling happier is controlling that focus & not allowing those negative loops to take over. This is what is meant when "happiness has to come from within" is said. Very cliché I know, but true nonetheless. You have to guard your subconscious mind & pay attention to the information you feed it. There's no one simple way to do it either. It requires developing new habits, willingness to enforce them on a regular basis & of course commitment. It's something that will take time but will be worth it in the end. 

Have A Grateful Heart 
Gratitude can be one of the fastest ways to change your outlook on life. I've always considered myself a grateful person but it wasn't until I started a daily gratitude practice that I noticed how much I really took for granted. While I considered myself to be grateful, I still often complained or felt bothered by a lot of those 'first world problems', as we often called them. 

Be grateful for the beautiful things in life, the things that make life easier. Be grateful for your health, your family, all the way down to things like running water. When you pay attention to all the good things in your life & let yourself to feel truly thankful for them, you notice more & more things that make your life beautiful & fun. You stop paying attention to everything that your life lacks. 

Learn Something New, Often 
I find great joy in learning new things. For a long time I didn't like leaving my comfort zone & I didn't like facing challenges. Be a life long learner. Remember that you are never too old to learn something new, it is never too late. 

It can be anything from  new language, cooking, photography, a sport, reading - anything that you think you might like. This is also a fantastic way to get yourself out of a rut or find some inspiration whenever you feel that your life is lacking creativity. 

When speaking about decluttering I'm taking about your physical space as well as your mind. Identify the things in your life that don't serve you & simply eliminate them. This will help create more space & time for happiness for doing the things you love & adore. Create time for appreciating every little thin in your life whether that's enjoying dinner with a loved on or simply enjoying your morning teas. The same goes for tackling all the clutter in your physical space. 

Get rid of everything you no longer need & remember that a lot of this 'stuff' can always be re-purposed, donated or recycled. I always feel great after I've cleaned up all the papers piling up on my desk or after cleaning my wardrobe. I always feel productive, organised & happy after one of my decluttering sessions. 

Be More Present
Many of us, if not most of us, spend a good amount of time worrying & wondering about our future or regretting & re-living the past. Cliché I know, but only when we're living in the present moment, we're experiencing true joy & happiness. 

If you think about it, this moment. This moment right here, right now, is never going to repeat itself. You can never go back on 'now', your 'now' will always be here & now, in the present moment. Whether you're reading your favourite book, drinking your morning coffee, spending time with loved ones; do your best to be present. Notice every smile, taste every single bite, feel every breath, every step, every kiss. Take time to celebrate your victories - even those very small ones as they are often just as important as the big. 

Surround Yourself With People Who Lift You Higher 
Gossip, complaining, nagging & negative thinking - these are things that we all do. Some of us do more often than others. You shouldn't have to feel guilty about cutting someone out of your life if you feel that they have a negative influence. It may not always be easy but it can be life changing. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself, people who smile & laugh a lot, people who chose to see the good in others & help make you feel happier. At the same time, I think it's important that you, yourself, are the kind of person you'd like to be around. If there are some people in your life who aren't exactly a positive influence but there's no possible way for you to avoid being around them, make sure you don't get sucked into their negativity. If you seem time talk about something negative, simply try turn the conversation around into something positive. Remember that protecting your energy is your responsibility. 

Learn To Let Go 
Pretty much every single one of us has been hurt in the past. Whether is be a person or a series of unfortunate events, some of us hold a grudge against something or someone. I think we all struggle with letting go sometimes but if we want to be happy, we need to learn to let go. We need to learn to forgive. Forgiveness can change your life. I'm not only talking about forgiving others but also about forgiving ourselves. I've been putting myself down for years & while I feel I've become better at positive reenforcement but I still struggle with moments of self-doubt, which I think a lot of us naturally do. I simply had to learn to forgive & let go. 

At times we're way too hard on ourselves & we don't give ourselves enough love or credit for all that we do. Learning to let go of those limiting thoughts is a process, one that isn't easy. One where you have to explore different techniques & habits to find out what works best for you. It can involve anything from using affirmations or mantras, journaling, creating a daily mindfulness practice or exploring therapy. Learn how to forgive others but also yourself. Let go & move on. 

Be Still
One of the easy ways to feel happier right now is by becoming still. Listen to your thoughts, feel yourself breathing & slow down. We run around all day, working, taking care of others, trying to meet all the deadlines, making sure all the chores are done. Even if it's just for a few minutes a day, try being still. Try not to think about all the things that need doing. When you feel like your life is going by too fast, each day not much different from the other, just take a minute & be still & peaceful. When you start feeling angry, frustrated, stressed, simply take a moment, pause & be still. 

Another very important thing that can help you feel happier is enough sleep. Poor sleep patterns are linked to difficultly concentrating, increased levels of stress hormones & our overall health. Not to mention that lack of sleep tends to make sure cranky. Combine it all together & you can picture how much not getting enough sleep can affect your happiness. 

The truth is that there isn't just one thing that will make you feel happier. Being happy isn't about reaching a certain point in life, it's about focusing on finding & trying different things & developing positive patterns that will make you feel happier. If life has taught me anything over the recent years, it's that you can find happiness even in some of the darkest times. Even when everything seems to be falling apart, you just have to be careful about what you're choosing to focus on. 

B x 

22 August 2019

Weekend Read, Watch & Listen List

A quick post from me today but I want to share this weekends read, watch & listen list recommendations. Let me know what you think!

There is lots of amazing content on both Reddit & Bloglovin' & they're both sites that I think has something for everyone. 

Fresh Prince Of Belair is one of my all time favourites & it's a great show to have playing in the background while you're cleaning your home or even just cooking dinner. The two YouTube channels I've mentioned are two that have brought a little inspiration to my life recently so they're definitely worth sharing with you guys. 

Meghan Rienks 'Don't Blame Me' Podcast has continues to be my all time favourite. For music, Stan Walker's new song 'Give' has definitely been on repeat way to much. 

20 August 2019

Links & Loves

In my spare time I've been finding myself reaching for Sudoku Puzzles. I keep telling myself they're good for my brain, but who really knows. 

'From Roses' website is one of my favourite websites at the moment. Her content is gorgeous & inspiring. 

Essano Collagen & Goji Berry Renew & Repair Body Lotion isn't the cheapest body lotion I've ever come across but I'm a sucker for a delicious scent. 

A Grown Up Back To School List - I may not have been at school for four years, or going back to next year but I'm still loving all content back to school related!

The Body Shop Matte Liquid Lip in 032 Windsor Rose has been my easy to wear, go to, chuck in my handbag lip. 

B x

18 August 2019

Staple Lip | Winter Edition

To me, the winter time just calls for neutral colours on the lips. Although I believe that anyone can rock any shade of lipstick at any time of the year, these gorgeous nude liquid lipsticks by Mecca Max have found a wee place in my heart. 

Now, this trio does come in a limited edition mini set which retails for $17NZD so if you're just wanting something new to try, this is the perfect opportunity! They're also a fantastic size to just throw in your handbag. 

Chichi Totally Nude Lip Liner at $15.99NZD each.  
Mecca Max-A-Lipster Liquid Lipstick: Birthday Suit, Get Naked & Skinny Latte at $31NZD each. 

B x 

15 August 2019

Getting Through A Low Point

Getting through a low point in your life can be tough. Nothing in this post is going to be entirely groundbreaking but I think they’re simple reminders that we can all do with hearing every once in a while. When you’re in a funk & feeling low, I think breaking things down like this makes everything seem a whole lot more doable. 

Reassess Where You Are At
If you’re having a bit of a tough time, a bit of a wobble, now is a good time to take stock & think about what’s getting you down. Perhaps a lot of it is out of your control but there’s going to be somethings in that list that you can at least work towards. Everything from your work situation to your finances to your relationship is cable of being worked on, so it’s the perfect time to reassess & make small changes for the better. 

Focus On What You Do Have 
Now is the time to focus on the positive which I know can be tough if it seems like there is nothing to be happy about. When going through a particular rough time, every morning when I wake up I make a mental list of five things I’m grateful for. Doing this everyday you start to embrace a more positive attitude & you’re also setting your day off on the right foot. 

Be Gentle With Yourself 
If I’m going through a busy/stressful time, I know it’s important to go easy on myself & indulge in some simple self-care. On those busy/stressful days I don’t promise myself or anyone anything & I try not to get worked up over anything either. I remind myself that tomorrow is a new day & another chance to do better. 

Find Your Purpose
Life can unintentionally become a bit continuous, monotonous cycle of work, study, chores & bills. There as somedays where I’m simple getting by, waiting to the weekend to roll around & feeling a bit like I’m stuck on a loop. I think having something to focus on on the side so important. It could be anything, a regular gym routine, a book club or spending time with family members. Anything that gives your days a bit of substances is always beneficial. 

Set Yourself Manageable Goals
We are just over the halfway point in the year so it’s a good time to be thing about any goals you’d like to set yourself for the last six months of the year or what you can do to make progress on any current goals. I’ve recently opened up my Notes app & jotted down all the things I want to get done between now & the end of the year. I’ve always found it really helpful to have goals to work towards, even if they’re small ones. 

So much has happened this year, good & bad at equal measures & sometimes I just need to feel the need to decompress & go easy on myself. It’s all to easy to feel overwhelmed without really knowing why. We all go through rough patches but as long as you’re looking after yourself & moving forward in small ways, then you’re doing okay. 

B x 

13 August 2019

What To Do When Social Media Isn't Making You Feel Good

I’m not here to tell you that social media is evil because that’s not what I think, but take this more as a cautionary take. I’m someone who loved social media but only when it’s used in the right way. A lot of don’t acknowledge when it’s used incorrectly it can be incredibly detrimental to our mental health & can have serious consequences. Over the past year I’ve really made a conscience effort to clear all my social media of everything & anything that doesn’t being happiness, that doesn’t make me feel good & that doesn’t have a some kind of positive effect or purpose in my life. This is what I’m doing to not only fall back in love with social media but to prevent myself from falling back into a dangerous pattern of behaviour. 

Digital Declutter
Something I’m quite conscious of when it comes to my mental health & using social media is that I’m following the right people. Those people are going to look different for everybody but personally, I like to feel motivated & inspired by the lives of the people I follow. Sometimes unfollowing people can often feel really uncomfortable so sometimes to use of the mute button is a better option.

Taking Away Expectations 
One of the hardest things to do is to take away all expectation when it comes to social media. So things like scrutinising my analytics or checking follower counts. Some to thing about is how often you’re creating content for the likes or follows opposed to just creating content for the pure joy of it.

Using It With A Purpose
Sitting & scrolling through various platforms is something that I’m really trying hard to stop as I spend way to much time on my phone. My biggest social media goal right now is to enter apps with intention & purpose. I want to make the time I spend of my phone as productive & fulfilling as possible. When it comes to using a platform with purpose I like to make sure that I’m doing the following. 

  • Regularly commenting & engaging on other people’s posts. 
  • Creating content I’m really proud of. 
  • Limit my time to the app. 
  • Only follow people who bring joy & happiness to my life.

Do you have a good relationship with social media? 

B x

8 August 2019

Habits To Help With Time Management

We often waste so much time on such small, insignificant things, we procrastinate & we put things off. Sometimes it’s other people that waste your time but if we’re being honest, that doesn’t usually happen unless you allow it. So how do you develop habits that will help you save time? By constant & persistent repetition, right? Some of the most important time-managing habits will depend on our individual schedules, responsibilities & priorities. The following are some of the time-managing habits that have helped me the most. 

Make The Most Of Your Mornings & Evenings
Spend a few minutes in the evening planning for the next day. Prep as much as you can in terms of lunch & dinner plans, outfits, packing your bag etc. Planning ahead & preparing will allow you to eliminate a lot of decision making the next morning. 

The way you start your day has a huge impact on how the rest of your days will go. If you wake up too late & run out the door in a rush, you’re most likely to forget something. Then, get stuck in traffic & the next thing you know you’re running late. Before you know it you’re feeling stressed & wish the day would end. Give yourself enough time, change your schedule if you see that something just isn’t working. Add one small self-care activity to your morning routine that will help clear your mind. It could be journaling, mediation, yoga, gratitude or going for a run. Find what best works for you & give yourself a few minutes each mounting to set your mind on things that are most important to you that day.

Clean Away Any Mental & Physical Junk 
Cut away any unimportant ‘junk’ around you. Make your workspace clean & minimal. Keep your to-do list short & achievable to avoid jeopardising your productivity. Cut away the unimportant & insignificant & prioritise your to-do list. Your time is too valuable & you shouldn’t have to waste it explaining yourself to anyone. 

Stop Micromanaging 
If you have control-freak tendencies as I do, then you probably know that the upside to micromanaging, is that not only do things get done, but they get done the way you like. On the other hand, micromanaging can also be extremely exhausting & it can definitely end up causing a lot of stress & tension in your life. It’s also one of those habits that is more difficult to let go of, as it’s usually a life-long habit.

Time Blocking 
If you find yourself being easily distracted or you struggle with multitasking, time-blocking can help you change that. this can help you overcome your chronic multitasking & it is one of the most practice habits that will help you save time. 

iCal is where I do all of my time-blocking. I find it so helpful to be able to have everything in one place & all time-blocked in advance so when the time comes, I know what I’m doing, when I’m doing it & where I need to be. 

Regardless of the circumstances, because we all lead unique lifestyles, managing your time can be difficult & it does take time & practice. You can either keep working harder or you can work on becoming more efficient & smart about the way you manage your time. There are a lot of habits that will help you save time but I feel one of the most important ones is to actually value your time & other people’s time. 

B x 

6 August 2019

I Wish You Were Still Here & By My Side

Over the past couple of years I’ve spoken a huge amount about grief due to the loss of my Nan & Pop. During the period of time I’ve expressed grief in a variety of ways but the weird thing is, there is no one specific way to grieve & everyone grieves in their own personal & individual ways. 

It was the 29th of June, my Pop’s birthday, when this post written by Kurtney Reyes at Thought Catalog popped up in my Facebook newsfeed. It was titled, ‘I Wish You Were Still Alive & Here By My Side’.

Over the past two years I’ve read my fair share of books & articles about grief, trying to make sense of it all. I’ve written & written until my paper is soaked in tears. But to this day, I haven’t read anything more accurate about grief & how it felt to lose a loved. That post by Kurtney Reyes was spot on. 

I wanted to share this post with you today because I want you to know you’re not alone.  Grief can be isolating, it can be lonely & it can be beyond difficult but you’re not alone. 

B x 

4 August 2019

Bedside Beauty Products For A Goodnights Sleep

I’d like to think my bedside table is pretty minimal & I’m quite selective about the products I keep beside my bedside. While I do the majority of my skincare in the bathroom, my bedside holds a mix of beauty products that I love to apply if I have a few extra minutes right before my head hits the pillow. It’s really a case of how much energy I can spare…

I’m a big fan of routine & before bed I’m usually make-up free, showered & cleansed but the fun doesn’t stop there! There are a few products I know to keep close to me during the late hours. My bedside necessities are the first & last things I reach for each day, helping my drift off into a deep sleep, unwind & find clarity. 

A couple of things I always have on my bedside that I would say aren’t beauty related is a candle. I really enjoy having a candle lit on my bedside at night. I find it helps set a relaxing atmosphere & makes my room smell divine. But I also have a glass of water on my bedside. I’m always waking up throughout the night in need of some water & the last thing I want to do is get out of my cosy bed. 

Lavender & Camomile Essenial Oil Room/Pillow Spray - Homemade 
Hand Cream & Cuticle Oil: Ecoya Sweet Pea & Jasmine Handcream

B x 

1 August 2019

Practicing Mindfulness When Life Gets Hectic

I’ve spoken about mindfulness here before but it’s one of those things that I just don’t want to stop talking about because I believe it can be so beneficial to so many individuals. So here today I want to talk about all things mindfulness when life gets a little on the hectic side. Mindfulness is a lot more than just a habit, it’s a lifestyle change, a way of living, seeing & doing things. And, just like every other lifestyle change you’ve made, it takes time & effort to introduce it into your life. 

I think I can safely say that most of us, in our own unique ways, lead very busy lives where there’s distractions, plans for the future but also disappointments & failures. Those latter two, disappointments & failures have a tendency to linger round & we often spend to much time worrying, stressing & re-playing those scenarios on a loop. Wanting to hide from or not think about out negative emotions & fears, we tend to then cling onto the distractions. By practicing mindfulness, you are allowing yourself to feel, not resist, observe & let go. 

Having a lot going on in your life shouldn’t be an excuse for not being mindful & running on autopilot through every single day. I believe that the busier your life is, the more you can benefit from mindfulness as it’s something that will help you find peace & joy on those hectic days. 

When I come to practice mindfulness, my thought process focuses on a few of these important ideas.

Less Judgement
I’ve always been one to believe that less judgement is one of the key parts of living a mindful life. It’s not always about judging others, although this is important too. It’s more about learning to give yourself less critical judgment, your thoughts & your mistakes. A lot of those thought patterns run on autopilot & we don’t always see how constantly we’re judging ourselves. 

Staying Present
Seems like this is more difficult to do than ever before. We’re surround by constant distractions & information overload but this strange need to stay connected ironically takes us away from things we should really connect with like being present, paying attention & not always wishing we were someplace else. 

Being More Patient
For me, this is a big one & I believe it’s a very important one to learn to embrace when when life gets hectic. Naturally, impatience is often a breeding ground for frustration & angry. Building & learning patience is crucial to living a mindful life. 

Letting Go
Letting go isn’t always easy & I can vouch for that. Whether it’s a general annoyance or feelings of disappointment, letting go can be very tough. Letting go of situations I have no control over is something I’m constantly working on & it hasn’t always been as easy as I find it now. It takes time & work. 

Trust & Acceptance
One thing you definitely learn along the way is that you’re a lot strong than you give yourself credit for. At one point or another, you might face situations or events that seem cruel, unreal or unfair. Things that are hard to accept & more on from. That’s when you must trust yourself & take responsibly for your own feelings & actions. 

When talking about mindfulness I believe that it’s all about doing the things we enjoy & appreciating that moment for what it is. Usually, it’s the simple daily activity or habits that might seem dull or insignificant that provide us with the perfect opportunity to practice mindfulness - especially during those times when your life gets hectic. 

Remember that learning how to practice mindfulness can be along & sometimes even an uncomfortable process. We’re so use to being busy & distracted. We try to get through things so quickly so that we don’t waste much time but we forget that it’s perfectly okay to slow down & just bring our minds back to the present moment. Don’t stress out if you can’t fins that peace right away or stop your thoughts from racing. 

Mindfulness is just like a muscle. The more you practice, the stronger & easier it will get. As you practice awareness, you will also learn that your thoughts are just that, thoughts. You can then let go of them, without any judgement. To me, this is exactly what practicing mindfulness is all about. 

B x