On Building A Kinder Closet

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Over the past year or two, as I’ve continued to do reading and learning about living more mindfully, simply and sustainably, one of the topics I came across was the important and ongoing conversation around fast fashion and the out-of-control mass consumerism that is closely associated with the fashion industry. It left me feeling helpless, confused, and guilty amongst other things. With a bout of extreme guilt about what I was wearing and buying,ย  it felt like a problem that was too big and out of my hands.

However, after doing more research, I slowly developed small actions I can take to eventually achieve my goal of only buying clothes from ethical sources (and preferably, local ones too). I’ve been slowly implementing them as I add new things to my wardrobe. Its a slow journey, and you need to practice a little patience. Do the research, save some money, purge your closet and you’ll be on the right track.

Some things to think about…

  • Your money is your vote. By choosing to buy ethical, sustainable clothing (or anything) you are supporting the ethical product scene.
  • Knowledge is power. The more research you do, the more strongly you will feel about the cause, and the more informed your decisions will be.

Here are the small steps I’ve been taking…

Be aware. Knowing that there’s an issue is a good place to start. It’ll make the process worthwhile and important to you.

Start small. Its unrealistic for many of us to switch to an all-ethical, all-local wardrobe in the space of a season. In reality, many top fast fashion brands don’t haveย  ethical business practices. However, there are some that just top it all when it comes to unethical business practice. After doing some reading and watching the news, I made a list of repeat-offenders that I no longer shop at. Baby steps.

Buy less. Choose well.ย These words by Vivienne Westwood are my motto when it comes to curating a wardrobe. The best thing you can do is choose quality over quantity. Choose the pieces that have been made to last.

I’ve started seeing that fast fashion chains and ethical brands’ pricing can be pretty on par nowadays.ย If you can get it locally and ethically for roughly the same price, then do it.

Have a list. Going into a sale where everything is 70% off, it can be pretty easy to walk out with bags full of clothing that’ll ultimately end up shoved in the back of your closet. I do an audit of my wardrobe every season and make a concise list of what I need. I have also started using Pinterest and making reference boards of items I need in styles I love. That way, when you go into the sale, you know exactly what you’re looking for.

Don’t just toss it. Getting into a mindset of valuing our clothes and looking after them so that they last is key. Just because you wore it in all your Instagrams last season doesn’t mean it needs to get the boot.

Another tip I’d give is to stick to natural fibres as much as possible. They’re better for the environment, they wash well and your skin will thank you. I generally find that my clothing pieces made from natural fibres last longer too.

Here are some of my favourite South African clothing and accessory labels that produce quality, locally made pieces.

Selfi

Jane Sews

Famke

Bamboo Revolution

Like I said before, knowledge is power. Some of my favourite places to learn more about ethical fashion:

Fashion Revolution

Tolly Dolly Posh

Nabeela x

 

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Make A Plan / Get To Work Book

I truly believe that one of the best ways to put your mind at ease and deal with stress is to have an efficient planning system that works for you. I am a lover of the new digital world, but my brain works best when using a physical planning system. Nothing beats putting pen to paper. Over the past month, I’ve been using my Get To Work Book. Today I’ll be chatting about what I love, what I don’t, and everything in between. (This is part two of the two-part blog post series on the Get To Work Book).

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As a student, its vital for me to have a place to clearly note down all my deadlines, assignment and important events throughout the school term. Having tried many planners over the years, GTWB is right up there.

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What I love

I love the simple, monochromatic design. As a person who is both a lover of colour and monochrome, if I feel like a colourful spread, I can just add washi tape, stickers and doodles. For other weeks, I can stick with the monochrome. It has just the right amount of structured goal-setting and reflecting spreads without it feeling as if it takes up the whole book. I also really enjoy the vertical design of the days in the weekly spreads -perfect for long lists of tasks. The monthly calendar is also a huge bonus – its so hard to find a planner with one nowadays. And the perforated monthly print/calendar is just an added bonus. I’m not usually a fan of ring-bound books, but this binding is super sturdy and strong.

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What I love less

The only criticism I have of the book is that it is a bit big and heavy to take to school every day. However, on days I really need it, it isn’t too bad, and I find a way to make a plan. (Seriously the only thing I don’t love about the planner).

If you want to invest in a high quality, effective and aesthetically pleasing planner, Get To Work Book is a goodie. As far as I know, their January – December 2018 planner is sold out, but the July 2018 – June 2019 planner drops in April.

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All in all, the Get To Work Book is the perfect addition to your organizing tools, and I’d highly recommend it!

Its almost February – have a good one!

Nabeela x

 

 

Self-Care / Conscious Living

investSelf-care is an integral part of living a more intentional life. Its not all about eating chocolate cake or spending a small fortune at the spa (although those things can be a lovely treat too). Its about carving out time once a day, or once a week to care for yourself – its important to keep your well-being on track. Its easy to slip into a daily routine of chaos with little room for unwinding. Going to bed late, waking up early, eating food that doesn’t nourish us and not resting and exercising enough can leave us feeling exhausted, sort of like a bicycle tyre with a slow puncture. At some point, we need to wake up, and realize that if we don’t take some time to patch it up, we’ll be left feeling completely deflated.

Having some time each day or even just once a week to practice self-care isn’t all that hard. It doesn’t have to be long, complicated or expensive. Just something that gives you a little lift. Its an intentional action of caring for yourself. Here are a few of my favourite ways to practice self-care.

  • Listen to your body. Some days, you’ll be full of energy. Other days, not so much. I find that on days when I feel completely fatigued, doing a high intensity workout leaves me feeling dizzy and ill rather than refreshed and happy. On those days, rather do some stretching and low intensity exercising. And remember, rest days are just as important.
  • Sleep in.ย No amount of exercise and healthy eating can replace the healing, restorative properties of a good night’s sleep, so make sure you’re getting enough of it, and have a sleep-in day when you get the chance. Try switching your phone off before bed too. You’ll be surprised by how much more refreshed you feel in the morning.
  • Try a face mask. Or a foot soak. Anything you enjoy that gives you some zen time to just breathe and let your sole task (no pun intended) be relaxing.
  • Quiet time. Relating back to the previous point, introvert or not, anyone can benefit from a little quiet time spent alone reading, meditating, painting or even sipping some tea, with a lovely candle lit. Heard of hygge? Its a vibe.
  • Digital Detox. Its good for your eyes, and your soul. Try it and see how free you’ll feel.

I hope you take some time this year to prioritize your well-being and practice some self-care. And as a little visual reminder, I’ve created art printย that you can download and print out for your wall, or set as your phone lockscreen.

Nabeela x

 

PS: Curious about minimalism, self-care and slow, intentional living? Here are some pieces I’ve written on these topics:

Lately 04 / Minimalism

Simple

Slow: Whatโ€™s The Rush?ย 

Monotaskingย 

Zen / Morning Rituals

Offline

5 Ways to Live a Little Lighter This Year

Slow Living / Bedtime Rituals

Summer Break / Rest + Heal

 

Healthy Breakfast Pancakes

Starting off the day in the right way can set you up for success. And as you know, having a good breakfast is one of the ways you can boost your morning, and ultimately, your day. I love pancakes, but the sugar and flour leaves me feeling slightly ill afterwards. When I started doing some reading to find a healthier recipe, most of the ones I found had expensive ingredients that are hard to come by. I found a few more simple recipes, adapted and combined them, and came up with this healthy, sugar free, flourless pancake recipe.

Healthy Breakfast Pancakesserves 1ย 

You will need:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of oats
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Method:

  • Mixย  all the ingredients together in a blender until the mixture is fairly smooth.
  • Fry the mixture in a pan with a little bit of butter (you could use coconut oil alternatively).

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This mixture usually makes about 4 small pancakes. I usually have mine with some honey and chopped strawberries or blueberries on the top.

Enjoy!

What are your favourite healthy treat recipes?

Nabeela x

Seaside Snapshots / Struisbaai

As a lover of the ocean, any time spent frolicking around in the waves and basking in the sun is an absolute treat. Imagine my felicity when I found myself in a beautiful beach house with my lovely family for just a little less than a week. Queue early morning runs, long walks on the beach, riding the waves, and taking some time to do good old nothing. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity to take some photos, the quaint fisherman’s village being my subject.

When we weren’t on the beach, we ventured to Cape Agulhas (the southern most tip of Africa) and De Mond Nature Reserve.

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Nabeela x

 

Hello 2018

2018 blog

Two-thousand and seventeen.ย  It came and went in a flash. It was indeed a year of exploration; exploring my interests, strengths, and, of course, the world. I learnt many life lessons, one of them being that sometimes, the best thing you can do for yourself is just let go. I also know that it was a year of great hardship for some, and great success for others. So whether you fell into the former or the latter, remember that a new year is a wonderful chance to start afresh. A few things I learnt in 2017:

  • You have to do it for yourself. Intrinsic motivation is the most important kind to do anything that feels meaningful and fulfilling.
  • Take a chance. Do something that scares you. You might just find itโ€™s the best thing you could ever have done (I did).
  • Donโ€™t harbour ill feeling. Its poison. Make peace. As hard as it can be, itโ€™s the purest way to stay happy.
  • Be happy and present. If ever youโ€™re feeling in a slump, count your blessings. Itโ€™ll light your way.
  • Make your well-being a priority, always.

Wishing you a light-filled year of success, love and laughter.

Nabeela x

DIY Monochrome Wrapping Paper

I decided to do something a little different for my school books this year – making my wrapping paper so I can have prints I love. Since its the festive season too, and wrapping paper is expensive, here are a few fun ways with brown paper that are cost-effective and classy.

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You will need:

  • Eraser
  • Craft knife
  • Paint (I chose black acrylic)
  • Paint brush
  • Brown paper
  • Leaf
  • Newspaper
  • Tape

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Lay down some newspaper before you start – brown paper is quite thin and the prints you make may bleed through onto the surface under your paper.

Splatter

Tape your sheet of brown paper down. Mix the paint with a little bit of water and load your brush. Flick the brush and the paint should leave splatter prints on the paper. Leave to dry.

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Triangles

Carve a shape out of an eraser. A potato works fine too. Paint one side and press it onto the paper to make a print. Leave to dry.

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Leaves

Choose a leaf that has a definitive vein pattern. Paint the back of it, and gently press it onto the sheet of paper. Repeat it in a pattern you like. Leave to dry.

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Its really quick and simple. I love the monochrome, but if colour is your vibe, use different paints.

Hope you’ll try it out!

Nabeela x

Huge thanks to Imรกn Cassiem from Aesthete’s Perception for shooting for me! Check out her newly launched blog and Instagram account.ย