Year: 2018

Simplify

I have written many posts about minimalism and living a more simple life. However, every year I realise I’ve learnt new ways to simplify my life as far as possible. I’ve found great reward in creating streamlined routines for myself that allow room for everything that has to be done.

Here are some things I’ve done this year that have helped me immensely that I’ll be carrying with me into 2019.

01. / Email

I don’t work yet so I don’t have a huge amount of emails coming into my inbox every day like some people do, but I do know that having a full inbox can be stressful and distracting. Try to stay on top of your emails and try the one-touch rule, whereby you only open emails at a time when you are available to carry out the task (or whatever is necessary) required before you respond. Also, guard your email address. Try to avoid throwing it into every online shop’s mailing list, to avoid getting spammed with hundreds of emails a day that are irrelevant to you. (Some people have recommended this site to manage your subscriptions, but I haven’t personally tried it).

02. / Papers

Papers are the easiest thing to hoard. It’s only too easy to hang onto something, “just in case”. For papers that are important, file them away in a space-saving way. For less important ones that you may need at some point, take a photo and save it into a folder on your phone or Cloud. And for those other pesky ones, TOSS THEM. We are ruthless. I clean off my desk (almost) every night before bed and make a point of throwing away papers that are no longer needed.

03. / Planning and organising

I’ve found that keeping all my planning in one book is highly beneficial because everything is in one place, so you’re less likely to forget something important. Whether you’re a paper planner and list-maker like me or if you prefer your phone calendar, try to avoid having important plans in too many places and work on streamlining your planning and organising systems so they work for you. I’ll be bullet-journalling in 2019, so watch this space…

04. / Time-blocking

I’ve found this really useful. Set aside certain “blocks” of time for certain tasks. You’ll find that you’ll be more productive if you know you’re only working for a short amount of time, plus you’re less likely to procrastinate then. It’ll leave you with more time to relax and do things you enjoy.

Enjoy the holidays with your loved ones and rest well.

Nabeela x

On Prioritising

priority /prʌɪˈɒrɪti/ noun

Life in the twenty-first century is busy and demanding. It feels as if the world never stops and that no matter how hard one tries, one will always miss out on something. Often, it feels as if we are being pulled in hundreds of directions all at once. There are so many tasks that demand our attention, and demand it now. It is the age of immediate action and instant gratification.

The reality is, there is only so much you can do. You are one person, with one brain and two hands. You simply cannot do everything. This doesn’t mean you are weak or inadequate. It simply means you are human. So please, don’t be disheartened by this. In fact, the earlier you realise this, the better for you, and those you interact with. Something I’ve had to learnt the hard way is that it is better to do fewer things, and to do them really well. Quality over quantity, my friends.

So, next time you start feeling overwhelmed by the many tasks you seem to be drowning in, might I suggest you try something new. Take a step back, get out some paper and make a good old-fashioned list or “brain-dump”. Seeing the contents of your mind on paper may surprise you, particularly when you see how many tasks aren’t quite as urgent as they may feel.

Your time and energy are your most precious commodities. Don’t underestimate the value of them, and don’t give of them too freely. Also, make sure you leave enough of them for yourself. Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup.

Nabeela x

The Artist | Mimi Chuan

I’ve been following Mimi on Instagram for the longest time, and I finally reached out recently to ask if she’d like to be featured over here on the blog. Mimi, known as Mimskii on Instagram, creates the most beautiful ceramic pieces that are simple, yet striking and quite lovely to look at. I asked Mimi a few questions about her creative practice. Here’s what she had to say…


What keeps you inspired?
Creation. I thrive when frolicking in nature.

What made you gravitate towards clay as a medium?
I feel like clay is a very grounding and forgiving medium. I am a hand builder (as opposed to wheel work) So it requires (alot of) patience and each piece is incredibly unique and no 2 pieces look the same. The process cannot be rushed (or mass produced) and it’s a little bit unpredictable. It feels raw and of the earth. I love that.

Favourite piece to date?
My current “Rising Suns” tumblers that will form part of my first capsule collection (hōm) being released early next year (2019).

Dream collaboration?
There are so many incredibly creative and talented individuals that I don’t know if I can name just one. But that being said, my most recent collaboration with Melissa of Studio Melissa Louise on Floral Slumber, was an absolute dream. I really admire her work ethic, entrepreneurial spirit and her ability to translate her creative talents across different disciplines (interior design, candles, digital marketing etc.) It was such a fun experience and would love to do it again.

Your style in three words?
improvisational, minimal and true to hand and material.

Find more of Mimi’s work on her Instagram.
Nabeela x
(Photographs were provided by Mimi)

Green Skincare Routine | Update

My skincare routine has changed quite a bit since the last time I did a skincare post, so I thought I would fill you in on what products I’ve been using for the last little while. Even as someone with pretty well-behaved skin, I think it’s so important to establish a good routine that cares for your skin and its concerns. It doesn’t have to be expensive and it doesn’t have to be elaborate, but think of it as an investment.

Cleanse

I use a gel cleanser and an oil-to-milk cleanser. If I double-cleanse, I use both, but most of the time I use my gel cleanser and then use the other one to get make-up off (this doesn’t happen very often).

Facial Cleanser – Beautiful Earth

This gel cleanser doesn’t foam or leave my skin feeling stripped, but my face still feels squeaky clean afterwards. It also has a lovely citrus scent and its quite affordable.

Oil-Milk Cleanser – Skin Creamery

Pretty sure this is my third bottle. It’s a bit pricey, but I find that it lasts really long and it literally melts make-up off. It also works well as a morning cleanser when you don’t want something too intense, but don’t just want to use water either. As all Skin Creamery products do, this stuff smells delish.

Moisturise

Imperialis – Lush Cosmetics

For the longest time, I’ve been using the Skin Creamery Everyday Cream, but I decided to switch over about a month ago. I was just a bit tired of it and wanted to try something a bit lighter for the summer.

I’ve been using Imperialis from Lush, and it’s so good! The smell was a bit weird at first but I got used to it. It’s really light so you can build it if you have drier skin. I prefer to pair it with an oil if I need it. It’s a bit pricey too, but I think it’ll last a while. I’m been using it for just over a month, and I’m about a quarter way through the tub.

Tone

Eau de Roma – Lush Cosmetics

Also on my second bottle of this. The bigger bottle is much more cost-effective to buy, so if you want to try this, just go big. It removes mascara really well, plus it serves as a good hydrating spray under moisturiser. (R165)

Extra things

Facial Hydrating Oil – Skin Creamery

This stuff works really well for dry skin, and a little goes a long way. It is pricey, but face oils are expensive and when I bought it, it was almost 3 x cheaper than others on the market. (The price has since gone up).

Tea Tree Oil – Soil Therapy

Tea tree oil will forever be my holy grail skincare product. It’s natural, its cheap and it works like a bomb.

Spot Treatment – Naturals Beauty

Works pretty well, and it lasts long. It’s also really affordable. (The whole range is).

Dark Angels – Lush Cosmetics

This is such a lovely exfoliator. Only thing is, it makes one big mess. So go easy, and maybe use it in the shower, as this makes for easier clean-up.

For masks, I use the Naturals Beauty one, and Skin Creamery Facial Cleansing Powder with honey. Both work well, but I’m yet to find a mask that completely blows my mind.

And lastly, for lips, I’ve been using the Vaseline Lip therapy for the longest time. It’s not natural, but it does work and I haven’t been able to find one that works as well.

So that’s it, I think.

Happy skin care-ing.

Nabeela x

 

 

 

Iced Coffee Things 2.0

A  little while ago, I wrote a post about my favourite iced coffees at the time. I have since drank many, more iced lattes and frappuccinos and I’m here to give you the low-down on some worth trying if you love caffeine in its icy form.

Iced latte – Bootlegger Coffee Company

Iced Flat White – Vida e Caffe

Iced Latte – Ou Meul Bakkery

Iced Latte – The Vineyard Hotel

Muggacino Frappuccino – Mugg & Bean

There are many, many more. This could go on for a while. If you like having iced coffee at home too, here is something to try…

1/2 cup of water with 1 teaspoon of coffee

1/2 -1 cup of milk

4-5 ice blocks

Chuck it all in a blender and you’re set – its a goodie. You could replace the ice with ice cream if that’s your vibe.

What are your favourite spots to grab an iced coffee?

Nabeela x

 

Sugar-Free Choc Peanut-Butter Snack

If you’re anything like me, snacking is a regular activity. Some of this snacking may also leave you feeling pretty yuck. Mixed up, unhealthy snacking is not a vibe (most of the time). So here’s a quick  recipe that I adapted from a few other recipes around the web. Oh, and did I mention they only have 3 ingredients? Here goes.

Ingredients

  • 8-10 medium dated
  • 3-4 teaspoons of unsweetened peanut butter
  • 3-4 teaspoons of unsweetened cocoa powder

All you need to do is pit the dates and pop everything in the blender. Roll the mix into bite-sized balls and pop in the fridge for an hour or two and you’re good to go. This recipe usually makes around 10 balls.

Enjoy

Nabeela x

Good Stuff 02. / Pichulik JOY!

Nothing sets my designer’s heart aflutter quite like a new collection from one of the most coveted jewellery brands, Pichulik. Season after season, the brand creates timeless yet daring pieces that would make anyone swoon.
The newest collection, Joy!, which is their SS19 collection is beautiful as ever. Inspired by the pure, magical period before womanhood, the collection aims to encapsulate a feeling of playfulness, and being present, yet care-free. Katherine-Mary, the wonder woman behind this glorious brand says the collection captures childlike imagination.

What inspired the collection?

“The window before womanhood. A pure and beautiful space to create and explore our identity prior to the societal conditioning we experience later in life. It is the instinctive, jubilant expression of ourselves and how we relate to objects gleaned around us as symbols of sentiment and adornment. An emergence from childhood but not yet tainted by the expectations of being a woman . It’s a magical space – one to recall and revisit.”

What keeps you motivated to create such beautiful collections time and time again?

Research, self-reflection and self-practice. I personally am interested in self-discovery and spirituality, and the modalities of this in multiple cultures. So I research, read books, visit museums with curiosity and a desire to understand, learn and grow.

What three words would you use to describe Pichulik?

Authentic, kind and alchemic.

If you’re looking for some adornments to add to your wardrobe for the summer, you know the place.

Nabeela x

A Note on Exams

It feels like I write a post like this every exam season, but the truth is, every time the exam period comes around, I notice new things, and learn more about myself, and others, and what works to get through heavy workloads and stressful times.

I’ve always been a planner, so planning and organizing my studying  feels very natural to me. If you’re someone who struggles to maintain order and stick to a plan, a more brief outline of the content you need to cover before your exams will work just fine. I always find that having a clear plan of what work I’m going to do and when I’m going to do it helps to ease some of my anxiety around exams, because I can see that I have enough time to get through everything.

My friends and I start asking teachers for breakdowns as soon as we get back to school in term four. It really helps to know what content needs to be covered as early as possible. For subjects where these breakdowns aren’t given, I make my own, and just keep a running list as the term progresses.

Try keeping your room and desk area neat. It  can really help to unclutter your mind. So if you have a few minutes, just spend it filing away important papers, recycling the ones you don’t need, taking the dirty mugs down to the kitchen and sorting out your pens. It’ll do wonders.

Making sure that you get enough sleep is important too. As easy as it is to stay up until 3am before a big paper, it’ll catch up with you and you’ll burn out really quickly. Set a bedtime rule and try and stick to it as best you can. (Mine is 11pm – mostly).

Lastly, just remember that no matter how important and anxiety-inducing exams may feel, they’re just exams. You have a life after them. Your self-care doesn’t have to stop. Work hard, but allow yourself enough time to just pause and catch your breath.

Hope this helps a bit. I wish you all well over these exams!

Nabeela x

 

 

The Artist | Alice Trow

One of my favourite artists that I’ve recently discovered is Alice Trow from Victoria, Australia. She recently graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art, and paints the most exquisite scenes of mountains, waterfalls and my personal favourites, her lovely moon paintings. Alice says she paints in a way that encourages the viewer to lean in and have a closer look – a welcome moment to slow down for just a second.  When I stumbled upon her beautiful Instagram account, it was love at first sight, and spent a good while scrolling right to the bottom of her feed, absolutely in awe of her beautiful work.

What inspires your art and style? 

To put it simply, my art is inspired by my love for the natural world. I’m mostly interested in portraying dreamy landscapes where time seems to stand still and nature remains vastly untouched by human interference (Iceland is a huge source of inspiration to me for this reason), although I also paint other magical things which capture my imagination like moons and night skies.

I’m not sure exactly what inspires my style but if I had to describe it I’d say I’m drawn to representing things realistically whilst still trying to retain some of the painterly qualities of the medium – I want my subject matter to be easily recognisable and understood, but I don’t want to disguise the fact that it’s a painting, either. As for the shape of my work, I painted my first circular landscape (a small mountain scene, if I remember correctly) over four years ago and I’m still in love with the quality that a circular support lends to a scene! I love the connection they have to windows/portals, as the things which I paint are most often places I’d love to be able to gaze at through my window, or to teleport straight into!

Favourite medium? 

I’ve used quite a few different mediums over the years (I first started out by drawing with lead pencils) but I’d say my favourite medium has to be either acrylic or oil paint – perhaps leaning more towards acrylic owing to its affordability!

Favourite commission/piece to date? 

This is a bit of a tricky one for me because I find it hard to choose favourites (I don’t know from experience but I’d say it’s akin to choosing a favourite child.) There is a recent commission which does come to mind, though. A few months ago, I was approached by someone wanting to commemorate a very special sunset she had experienced in Iceland with her partner on their fifth anniversary. It was to be a surprise gift for her partner. For the commission, I was asked to combine two separate images – one of Gulfoss (the waterfall), and another of an amazing sunset cloud (which she described as a ‘dragon’ cloud) into one painting. It took a few small studies first to get the two different images to ‘fit’, and I experienced a few challenges along the way, but I think the final piece really came together – the client gave me some absolutely wonderful feedback, too, which always reminds me why I love to create paintings for people.

I was also recently commissioned to paint someone’s birth moon, which I think is such a wonderful and unique concept!

What would be a dream commission or collaboration? 

Honestly, any commission I receive is like a dream: I still can’t get over the fact that people want me to paint special pieces for them! I’m extremely honoured and grateful that people trust me to bring their ideas to life for them. Having said that, anything Iceland related is always very dreamy!

Find more of Alice on her beautiful website and Instagram account. 

Nabeela x

 

 

DIY (Five Minute) Greeting Cards

As much as I love making stuff, I often find myself pressed for time when it comes to doing so. Its safe to say that I’ve made my fair share of birthday cards whilst rushing around in the last five minutes before leaving home for said birthday event. I’m sure I’m not the only one who finds themselves in this little predicament so I thought I would share some of my favourite five-minute cards to make for those emergency (or not-so-emergency) times.

You will need:

  • Cardboard (brown or white)
  • Paper (preferably white)
  • Scrapbook paper / any patterned paper scraps
  • Stamps, stickers and washi
  • Pens (just black is good too)
  • Glue / double-sided tape
  • Extra bits (dried flowers/stickers/etc.)

01. / Girly 

Use two papers that have the same colours in them. Stick them onto the card and stamp/write the appropriate greeting in the spaces. I added a sprig of dried flowers too with washi tape.

 

02. / Ombre

I’ve made this card so many times. I usually use paint chips but any paper with colour steps will work. Simply cut strips of the paper in the same size and stick it on. I used pop-up sticky dots to add some interest, but glue or tape would work just as well.

03. / Washi

For this card, pick a few washi tapes in similar colours. Stick them along one side of the card, and add writing or stamps with the appropriate greeting.

 

I hope you find these helpful. Happy making!

Nabeela x

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