Musings

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!  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

Home

After traveling around Europe for the past twelve days, I am home. It was the best way I could possibly have spent my first two weeks as a sixteen year-old.

Traveling has woken up a part of me that I knew existed, but haven’t been very familiar with. It makes me hungry for adventure, and makes me want to do and see as much as possible. My heart is full of wanderlust, my head is full of inspiration and ideas and my gallery is full of photos. Being home feels a little strange, I’ll admit. But coming home is part of the journey.

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This trip was very different for me. It was the first time that I flew without my parents, and I learnt a lot due to the fact that there were so many things I had to do for myself. Even although it was a school trip and we had two teachers with us, we checked in ourselves, managed our own money, and were responsible for ourselves. I learnt a lot about the places I visited, but I learnt even more about traveling and myself in general, and how different things are in other countries.

I certainly am hungrier than ever for adventure and travel. I think its safe to say that the travel bug has bitten!

Over the next little while, I’ll be sharing some words and photos of the places I visited over here.

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” – Susan Sontag

Nabeela x

 

What’s The Origin? / Ethical Fashion

I walk into a mall. I spot a sale on at one of my favourite stores. I rush in, my heart racing at the thought of a new shiny garment in my hands. My hands frantically rush through the sale racks. Is there nothing in my size? Its only R100! I have to take something home! Ah, finally! I spot a grey tee-shirt in a size XS. That’s something I’ll wear, right? I have another three or so at home, so I know I wear things like this. I rush to the checkout point. Stick my debit card in the machine and pay for my purchase. I get a shiny new carrier to add to my collection at home. Brrt. Brrt. The verification of purchase has come through from my bank. I get home and fling the fourth grey tee-shirt in a size XS into my wardrobe that is so full that I can’t even get to the stuff at the bottom. But, it’s okay, right? I feel good. Well, I felt good. The euphoria lasted all of ten seconds. Instant gratification. It’s worth it right? 

Does any of this sound familiar to you? It certainly sounds familiar to me. However, that’s not me anymore.

Over the past year or so, I’ve been doing more and more research into fast fashion and the implications thereof. A disclaimer before I start: I certainly don’t sport a wardrobe comprised only of ethical brands. There’s more to an ethical closet than just that.

The fashion industry has grown exponentially in my lifetime alone. There are constantly new retail stores popping up with brightly-coloured signage, luring you in, trying to get you to spend your money and in return, you’ll get another piece of low-quality clothing that you don’t need or want.

But there’s more to the clothes you wear than just the shiny, polished rack they hang on in the store before you buy it. There’s a lot more. Have you ever thought about where they come from? The hands that touched the cloth you wear on your skin? The hands that slaved away to sew up the garments that hang on the rails of high-end stores? Are those hands happy? Do those people earn enough to live? Workers in sweatshops of some of the most highly coveted brands in the world are slaving away daily, with minimal breaks, if any, to produce the clothing we purchase, without giving it second thought. To give an example, since 2010, 8000 workers in an H&M sweatshop have collapsed from malnutrition, and the heat inside the factories, to name a few.* Most of these workers were earning less than minimum wage.

Due to the meteoric growth of the fashion industry, major brands can’t keep up with demand, without compromising on quality and ethics. Now, if you’re anything like me, the whole situation makes me feel terribly guilty, very helpless, and a bit stuck. What do I wear? Ethical brands can cost a small fortune (understandably so; they pay their workers decently), and being a teenager, with an unstable body shape, I’m constantly outgrowing clothes, and can’t be spending too much.

We end up having to buy fast fashion for lack of anything else. Understanding that there is a backstory to the clothes you wear is a good place to start. Educate yourself. Do research to see which brands have the most healthy factories and pay their employees above minimum wage and shop there instead. First prize would be to shop ethical brands, but that can be costly, and is unattainable for many. Be practical, and be educated.

One way I try to be more conscious is by doing a price comparison before I buy an item of clothing. I check how much it costs at a fast fashion retail store, and how much it costs at a local, ethical brand. If the latter is the same, or less (sometimes it is!), I choose to buy the ethical brand.

By educating yourself about fast fashion and the industry, you can make smarter choices, and end up with a little more peace of mind. There are some great resources that have amazing articles and resources. One of them is Fashion Revolution, an incredible organization that is changing the way we see fashion.

Its a process and a journey. It takes time, and it takes reading and learning. Don’t be afraid to ask. If you’re curious about the working conditions of the employees of a factory making the clothes you wear, ask! I tweet brands all the time!

“Fast fashion isn’t free. Someone somewhere, is paying.” – Lucy Siegle 

Nabeela x

{*Source: The Sun } 

Abode

Being the kind of person who requires time to myself, and appreciates solitude, I thrive off having my own personal space to unwind, work, create and rest. The only space in the whole world that I can call completely my own is my bedroom. I have been blessed with my own room my whole life. I’ve been lucky enough to never have to share it with a sibling. It truly is my sanctuary.

Over the past few years, my personal style has evolved and changed, and I now enjoy a minimal aesthetic will a few soft colours. I like to keep my room clean, tidy and uncluttered, as I find that I am most calm when my space is in this state. I have come to learn that my environment is a direct representation of what’s going on in my head. If my space is clear, so is my head. Of course, this goes the other way around too. I honestly believe that the kind of environment that you live in has a direct effect on your wellbeing. Although I certainly can’t say that I have the ‘perfect space’, (I mean, come on now. Those only exist on Pinterest), my space is slowly evolving into everything I could want out of a room.

After lots of experimenting, and seeing what works, I feel as if I’ve come to find a good balance between a space that’s for working in and a space that’s for resting and sleeping in. It can be pretty tricky to establish the balance, but once you’ve got it, you’re good to go. Over the past little while, I’ve picked up a few tricks that have helped me to make the most of my space, and I’d like to share a few with you.

01 / Ventilate

I’m that person who will come into a room, and open windows. I can’t stand stuffy spaces. They make me feel heavy-headed and flustered. Open some windows, even if its just for a little while, to let some fresh air in. It’ll help you concentrate better too.

02 / Pare down

Living in an over-cluttered space can be overwhelming. I’ve read in a few places that people say that their space is a direct image of what is going on in their heads. If their space is cluttered, so is their mind. Having less in your room will help you immensely. Not only will you have more space, you will also feel lighter and your room will feel more peaceful. Sounds crazy? Try it.

03 / Define spaces

The average person doesn’t have loads of space in their room, but I think it is very important that your space is defined. Try not to work in bed or sleep at your desk. It’s been proven that if you study on your bed, you’re more likely to fall asleep, because your brain associates it with sleep, and rest. On the other side of the spectrum, if you spend too much time being stimulated in your rest space, such as being on a cell phone, you may find that you are unable to settle and rest easily in that space.

04 / Live

Your room is not meant to look perfect 24/7. It’s a living space after all. Trying to keep your room looking immaculate all the time can be exhausting, and may cause you to actually end up not being able to rest in your space because you feel the need to keep it tidy all the time. Balance is key.

05 / Invest

I’m the kind of person who gets visually bored very easily. After a little while, I feel the need to switch things up in my space. This doesn’t necessarily mean buying new things, but just moving things around and putting up some new things on my mood board usually does the trick. I know what my personal style is, and what kinds of things I enjoy having around me. So, I’ve invested in a few things over the past little while that I love, rather than buying hundreds of tacky décor items.

Here are a few snaps of my space…

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Nabeela x

Minimal Musings 

Over the past year or so, I’ve found myself delving deeper and deeper into minimalism, and the slow living movement. Being a visual person, and an ‘aesthete’, I was first drawn to minimalism because of its pleasing aesthetic. However, as I started reading up a bit more, I’ve come to learn that minimalism is much more than just an aesthetic. It’s a way to live. It’s not about living with less, but simply living with what adds value to your life. 

 I realize now that I’ve always been a minimalist. It just has a name now. Over the last year, I’ve cleared my closet out completely, brought in items I love, and gotten rid of items that I had hung onto just because I feel guilt. I donated them so that other people could find value in them. 

I cleared out all my cupboards and threw things out like a crazy person. Often, it took me a few purge sessions to throw certain things away, but in the end, the things that needed to go did. Just the other day, I finally tackled that pesky junk shelf and managed to produce an entire recycling bag full of things to be tossed and a bag of things to donate. 

Why am I so hooked on minimalism, you ask? It’s the lightness that comes with it. My room feels even bigger and I feel calm and at peace in my space. I truly feel as if I have a sanctuary that allows me to zone out of the world. I often get told that my room has a calm aura, and I strongly believe that it’s because it isn’t being filled with material clutter.

There are people out there who have radical notions about minimalism. Don’t be fooled. You don’t have to sell all your things and move to the wilderness, and you definitely don’t need to only own black and white things. 

You don’t have to call yourself a minimalist to benefit from a simpler and more intentional way of living. By introducing some more minimalistic habits into your life, it may help you to feel lighter and clearer. 

Nabeela x 

Celebrate / Little Victories

Hello

Over the past two years or so, Miss Artsy-Crafty has grown beyond what I could’ve dreamed. I’ve been so inspired by the opportunities I’ve had, the people I’ve met and the things I’ve learnt along the way. This blog has grown to be a place where I share everything I find beautiful, meaningful and interesting with the world and I’m so grateful to have to space to do this!

It’s been an exciting time, with the launch of Miss Artsy-Crafty Cards coming up, and reaching 1000 followers on Instagram, so I thought I’d celebrate by giving away a few lovely things from some of my favourite South African brands.

MEET THE MAKERS

 Apostrophe Bath and Body

Apostrophe Bath and Body is a brand created by Katherine, in Durban. She makes beautiful cold-pressed soaps that are vegan and smell heavenly and are sure to make your skin feel like new.

Studio Melissa Louise

Amongst other things, Melissa-Louise creates amazing scented soy vegan candles right here in Cape Town. She also writes blog that always has such inspiring content and does creative consultations.

Hallo Jane

Jaynie of Hallo Jane creates beautiful pieces that make life a little more interesting. Her products range from jewellery to home décor as well as other things.

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I asked each maker a few questions about hustling, creative inspiration and business. Here’s what they had to say:

1. What’s the most fulfilling part about being an entrepreneur?

Kath: “The most fulfilling part about being an entrepreneur is probably the freedom. It is so exciting to wake up each day and be able to work on my own goals for the brand and feel truly invested in something. Apostrophe feels like an extension of myself which is so fulfilling and drives me in an unbelievable way, if the brand succeeds I succeed so that is very exciting.”

Melissa: “It is incredibly fulfilling to see people enjoying a product that you conceptualized and hand crafted!”

Jaynie: “Choosing my own path and making the rules as I go. Love being creative everyday and being able to express myself and my passions on a daily basis.”

2. How do you keep hustling and stay inspired?

Kath: “The nice thing about soap making is that I have a formula and recipe that I repeat over and over, however each batch ends up unique, I also get to be creative with scents and colours. I then don’t feel too much pressure to always be churning out the next exciting thing because finding out what each batch will be like is exciting enough. I am also then able to take my time and create new bars when I am truly inspired. This usually stems from the scent that I want to use, I then think of its qualities and try and create a bar that ‘looks like it smells’ if that make sense? I do however make a huge amount of soap every day, even on weekends, and although it is something I enjoy I always have to be careful that it doesn’t become a chore, I do this by making sure I still have time to create once – off spur of the moment bars when I am feeling spontaneous and creative.”

Melissa:  “Set mini milestones for yourself, celebrating and making a fuss of the small victories keeps me motivated to reach the ‘bigger’ ones… Staying inspired is easy, we live in a beautiful city, have an online world at our finger tips and are surrounded by friends and family who are truly inspiring!”

Jaynie: “I loose focus easily. So I try to set short term goals every chance I get. New project and the challenges that comes with them inspire me the most. Lots of tea and late nights. Being your own boss is not as glamorous as everyone thinks but it sure is rewarding in many ways. Makers know, we don’t work 9 to 5 and chill as soon as we get home. We work till the work is done. And that’s never… Lol!”

3. What do you find most challenging about the online market place?

Kath: “The main challenge with the online market place for me has been my lack of technological skills,  haha, although I used Instagram and Facebook before Apostrophe, I definitely didn’t use it as much, so marketing on social media has been quite a new experience for me. I have really enjoyed it though, because I cannot believe the amount of creatives in this country, Instagram has really opened my eyes and also allowed me to meet all of these amazing creatives that are doing the most amazing things! I feel like every time I open my Instagram I am flooded with inspiration by local creatives, which is awesome. Another challenge has definitely been managing a website, with my aforementioned technological skills it has been quite a learning curve. I have however been lucky enough to be assisted by Shopstar who are always an email away when I have any issues.”

Melissa: “Generating traffic to your store, marketing and setting yourself apart, all of these things are closely linked. Marketing without a budget to do so can be tough, but social media is a great tool and it’s free, by having a good social media presence displaying your processes and what makes your product unique will set you apart from your competitors, by doing all this you will also be generating traffic to your store.”

Jaynie: “Getting everything off the ground at 1st was a challenge. But as soon as you get your target market that can relate to the brand and fall in love with your products, it becomes a beautiful place.

I (like many others) am very bad at admin and paperwork. That was always my most challenging part of the online business. Emails and admin. But luckily I have Carla now who has recently been promoted to online shop manager. And she is amazing. I get to focus on my strong points now and she one hers.

Advise for anyone doing online. I know it’s in our blood as creatives to try do everything yourself. But don’t do it. You will burn out eventually. Get assistance where you need it most. That way you can spend more time on growing your business and keeping it current and fresh.  You will see and feel the amazing difference.

We are so blessed to live in a world that allows you to run your business from an online platform. That is something that I think that changed the whole game for creative people. And the possibilities that lay in it inspire others to take the creative path rather than the once society use to tell us to take.”

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I hope these makers have inspired you to keep on hustling and to nurture your creative soul.

Watch out for the launch of the card range soon!

Nabeela x

 

 

 

5 Ways to Live a Little Lighter This Year

I’m not one who believes that new habits can only be formed in the new year. I’m actually the kind of person who will start big new things in September. Nonetheless, I still feel that the new year can be a good time to make intentional changes in our lives because we feel a little more rested and at peace after the December break.

As you may know, over this past year or so, I have really delved deep into minimalism as a lifestyle, and I can feel how much lighter I am without the weight of my material possessions. Here are a few tried and tested methods that may just help lighten the mental and physical clutter for you too.

 

  1. / Toss it

Stop holding onto things just in case. Sort through your things with intention and get rid of everything you don’t use. You don’t have to throw it away. Donate it instead. Let someone else benefit from it.

 

  1. / Unsubscribe and unfollow

I unsubscribed from so many mailers over the past year. Unnecessary emails just clog our inboxes and distract us from the important ones that do require our attention. I also felt that my Instagram feed was clogged and too full. I unfollowed so many different accounts that I just didn’t find any value in or that didn’t inspire me in any way. I even unfollowed some brands I genuinely like as I wasn’t finding any extra value in their account. Be selective about who you follow and change it up regularly in order to stay inspired.

 

  1. / Don’t impulse buy

Just because it’s on sale doesn’t mean you have to buy it. I’ve decided that I will only buy what’s on my wish list. I get a monthly allowance, and with that I either buy what I truly need (I keep a list) or else save it for my big saving-up list. By using this method, you’ll only bring things into your life that’ll truly add value, and you’ll hardly feel as if you’re wasting money.

 

  1. / Shake it off

Don’t let negative relationships weigh you down. If you have a problem, talk it out as soon as you can, so that it doesn’t linger at the back of your mind. If the other person isn’t willing, rethink whether or not they are worth your time and energy.

 

  1. / Take care of yourself

If you take good care of yourself and you’ll feel happier, lighter, more positive and more productive. Give yourself grace, sleep well, exercise, eat well and pamper yourself when it’s needed.

 

Lets make 2017 our most meaningful and intentional year yet.

 

“The happiest people don’t have everything they want, but instead want everything they have.” – Anonymous

Nabeela x

Reflecting on 2016 

Roller coasters are at some parts euphoric and at others, scary. But the wise know that this is what makes the ride. 2016 was certainly a roller coaster. 

This year, I was humbled by the support I’ve received from the creative community in terms of starting my business. It certainly was a year of personal growth and I’ve learnt so much: People have been so caring and supportive and I can’t wait to share and launch my business properly in early 2017. 

It was also my last year of junior high school. In 2017, I’ll embark on my final stretch of high school as a senior. 

It had its ups and downs. There were moments of side-splitting laughter and moments of equal pain and sadness. It’s been one for the books. 

Let’s make 2017 the best one yet. 
My word I’ve chosen for 2017 is enough. 

I have enough, I am enough, I do enough. I want to embrace what there is already.
 
Happy New Year, everyone. 

2017, we have big hopes for you. We hope you have grand plans for us. 

Nabeela x

A Note on Self-Doubt 

I recently did some content creation for a local small business and was thrilled about being asked because it was the first time I created content from scratch.Nonetheless, after emailing off the first batch of samples, a terrible bout of self-doubt set in. 

At first, I was happy but when I looked at them later that day, I felt uneasy about them. 

A million questions were running through my head. “What if they hate the colours? What if it isn’t what they wanted? What if they hate it so much that they decide they don’t want to work with me anymore?” I started knit-picking at my work, noticing everything that could be a possible flaw. 

When I got an email back the next day saying that they loved what I had done, I felt euphoric and mostly, relieved.

I carried on with the project and the outcome was lovely. 

It got me thinking. We doubt ourselves so much. We have little confidence in ourselves but expect others to.

The process of creation should be freeing and liberating, not restricting and upsetting.

It’s time we put a little more trust into our creative process and stop overthinking it all. 

Nabeela x 

Body-positive 

Our media-driven societies leave us constantly comparing ourselves to the flawless images staring back at us from within the glowing screen. 
We find ourselves constantly trying to compete with these posed, perfect-looking lives. We’ve become drawn into capturing every good moment of our lives in a hopeless attempt to portray them in a more perfect way. 
 It’s a vicious cycle. The more we consume, the worse it gets. We let the media define and it certainly shapes the way we see ourselves. 

Body-positivity is something that is sometimes seen as controversial, but it needs talking about. There’s no denying that the media certainly portrays an image of how a body “should” look. We’ve seen it all before. Thin thighs. Washboard abs. Toned everything. 
As lovely as it is to have these kinds of bodies, we need to get out of the mind frame that it’s the only right kind of body. There’s no right or wrong way to have a body. 

What if we focused on the health of our bodies instead? What if we focused more on feeling confident and positive about ourselves? 

It is exhausting to try and keep up with perfection. It’s unachievable and leaves us feeling dejected and depressed with ourselves and our lives. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Instagram isn’t real life. Those toned, slim bodies we see aren’t the majority of us. Being healthy doesn’t mean being skinny. 

I want to challenge you to accept yourself for who you are. Go easy on yourself. Be gentle with yourself. Give yourself a break from that constant comparison. They say that comparison is the thief of joy. I couldn’t agree more. 

And if you are unhappy with the state of your body, make a plan instead of dwelling in your dissatisfaction. Go for a walk. Do some yoga. Learn that you need to love yourself first. 

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