On Creating Weekly

Hello

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you’ll know that I have been doing a weekly project where I have been creating one watercolour piece a week for 2017. It’s week 40 this week, and so I thought I’d share a bit about my project with you.

After completing my 366 days of quotes project last year, I knew I wanted to do something this year, but just not as intensive as a daily project. I thought about skills I wanted to hone, and decided that a watercolour project would be perfect. Watercolours are easy to use, they don’t smell bad, clean up is quick and painless and the paper and paint is relatively cheap (well, as cheap as art supplies get. Emphasis on the relative part). And so I set out to paint 52 paintings by the end of the year.

There are many perks of doing a weekly project. It’s a wonderful way to force yourself to carve time out each week to create, and my weekly paint and paper sessions are highly therapeutic and rewarding. It can suck slightly when you feel as if you run out of ideas and feel as if you don’t have much time. The best advice I can give you is to push on, and not be too hard on yourself. After all, it is supposed to be enjoyable and not feel like some kind of creative torture.

So if you feel as if you could use some practice in a new skill, or you just want to create some intentional time to create, try a weekly or daily project. You’ll be surprised at how much you’ll improve and how innovative it’ll make you!

Here are some of my favourite pieces from my project so far.

You can see all of my paintings on Instagram, under the tag #52weeksofwatercolour.
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Nabeela x

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Oudebosch Eco Cabins

A little while ago, my family and I went to stay in the beautiful Kogelberg Nature Reserve for a quick getaway. It was utter bliss. I had just returned from my Europe trip, and it was lovely to have a chance just to lie in the winter sun, and read a book, without the constant noise of the internet (there’s no cellphone reception) and city. The Oudebosch Eco Cabins are beautiful, wooden houses on the foot of the mountains in the Kogelberg Nature Reserve. There are mountain bike and hiking trails all within the area too, which is lovely too. As a design student and a person who has a deep appreciation for aesthetics and innovation, I was taken aback by the incredible design of these sustainable, eco-friendly structures. They’re beautiful and functional and staying there was such a treat. Nothing quite like some peace and quiet, fresh air and time offline…

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Views from bed
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Nabeela x

Green Musings / Babylonstoren

Babylonstoren is one of my favourite places. I could spend all day sipping their deliciously fresh ย juices and eating popsicles made from fresh fruits and herbs straight off the farm. I adore the many gardens, each with their own unique beauty. Its such a treat to have a good old stroll through this lovely, peaceful place. I have been to Babylonstoren before, but the novelty never wears off. ย It’s a visual feast and an all around sensory delight. If you’re in Cape Town, this is a place you need to visit…

Here are some snaps from my recent visit…

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Nabeela x

{All photographs are my own. Be nice, don’t steal.}ย 

 

Curate / Light + Detail

Minutiae / the small, precise details that makes one unique; the finer points and subtleties

As a visual person, I am very much aware of the little things. I have a deep appreciation for details, and they make my heart sing. (I know that I’m definitely not alone on this).

I especially love beautiful light and intricate detail in architecture. Here is a photo essay of some of the light and detail I’ve snapped over the last little while…

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“To create something exceptional, your mindset must be relentlessly focused on the smallest detail.” – Giorgio Armaniย 

Nabeela x

Sunday Sipping / Kahvรฉ Road

Last Sunday, I had a quick coffee date with my mum. We came across a exquisite coffee bar and patisserie, Kahvรฉ Road. As soon as you step inside, its easy to forget that you’re in the middle of a suburban mall. The leather upholstery, dramatic lighting, and moody interiors make for an incredible ambience. They have a selection of herbal teas, coffees and fresh juices, as well as delightful pastries, desserts and my personal favourite, macarons. What a lovely place…

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Chocolate and espresso dome
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Pineapple, orange, strawberry and mint juice

 

Nabeela x

 

 

Exercise for Happiness

Exercise. It means something different to everyone. It evokes a different emotion within everyone. For some, it’s lovely. Others, dreadful. Believe it or not, exercise doesn’t have to be something painful and exhausting. I’ve finally got to a point where exercising feels good. It helps me to calm down and de-stress, and it makes my body feel awake. I’ve found that taking on exercise in a positive way has helped tremendously in improving my attitude towards it. Here are some things that have helped me and may help you too…

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01 / Its not punishment

Don’t use exercise as a way to punish yourself. By doing that, you’ll create negative attachments to the process. Instead, see it as an opportunity to improve yourself and your health.

02 / Don’t go too fast

Take it easy. You need to be realistic in order to avoid injury and burnout. Slowly ease yourself into it so that your mind and body can adapt. Its about creating a sustainable, healthy routine.

03 / Do What You Enjoy

I personally have a few exercises that I can’t stand. I don’t enjoy them at all, and I dread seeing them pop up in a circuit. Sure, sometimes they just need to be done, but other times I replace them with a similar one I do enjoy. If you’re not enjoying the exercise you’re engaging in, try something new. It’s easier to stay motivated if you’re having fun.

04 / Restย 

You need to rest your body and give your muscles time to recover. Don’t do too much, too quickly – don’t overdo it.

05 / Be realistic

You need to be realistic with your fitness goals. If you have a busy schedule, and you come home late at night a few days a week, don’t plan workouts on those days. It shouldn’t feel like a chore. Again, its about sustainability. Trying to do too much too fast will just leave you feeling unmotivated.

These are a few things that I try to keep in the back of my mind all the time. Exercise has become something I love, and I find it therapeutic. I hope that you find a form of exercise that makes you feel good!

Nabeela x

{Disclaimer: These are all tips that I have picked up, based on my own personal experience and journey into wellness.}ย 

Wellness Musings

I’ve been contemplating whether I should start writing about my ongoing wellness journey for a little while now, and I’ve decided for it – hence this post.

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I took a conscious decision to take charge of my fitness about a year ago. At the beginning of 2016, I was really ill, and it left me at the most unfit I’d been in years. I was frustrated with my body. It felt as if it didn’t belong to me. I felt weak, and very incapable.

After that, I wanted to regain my fitness, and most importantly, sustain it. I didn’t really know what I was capable of, and the thought of committing to an intensive workout plan intimidated me. However, I wanted to strengthen my body and push myself to see what I was able to do. My closest friend was doing BBG at the time and swears by it (I do too now). I started off with BBG, because its only three times and week, and I liked the fact that its structured so I didn’t have to decided what exercises to do. It told me what to do and how to do it. It was incredible. It made me so strong and I felt good. I got through most of the 12-week circuit, and then life happened, school took over and I slipped out of my rhythm again.

Over the past few months, I’ve been itching to get active and regain my wellness. I’ve been doing BBG and similar workouts – I don’t force myself. I do whatever I feel like doing. I once saw a quote – “If you fall in love with the process, the results will come.” I cannot reiterate how true that has been for me. I love exercising. It makes me feel strong, happy and energized. Its the perfect me-time carved out of my day dedicated to bettering myself. Its powerful! ย Without trying to sound grandiose, this journey has changed my life. I feel stronger than ever before and its a liberating feeling knowing that your body is capable of more than it was a year ago.

I’m far from where I want to be. But as they say, wellness is a journey, not a destination. And there’s a lot more than just exercising – its about eating well too (the part I struggle with – I have quite the sweet tooth), and taking good care of your mental health – I value self-care immensely – it is so important! For me , its all about balance and overall wellness. I’m not looking for a hectic crash diet or an impossibly difficult daily circuit. I’m aiming to have a healthier lifestyle that is sustainable and that I can grow up with.

I hope that you’ll join me on a journey of improved wellness. It will make you feel good about yourself, and investing time in your health is one of the greatest ones you can make. Start small, and don’t forget – “be gentle with yourself – you’re doing the best you can.”

Nabeela x