DIY Minimal Wall-hanging

Hello

I have been wanting a more simple wall hanging in my room for a little while now. Previously, a dream catcher was hanging there but it started to bother me and made the wall feel a little too busy for my liking. I wanted something simple, beautiful and functional.

I did some searching on Pinterest and made a simple hanging based off inspiration I found whilst searching. Mine holds my favourite Instax Mini prints, so I can admire them every day.

Its quick and easy, so lets jump right in.

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You will need a bamboo chopstick, a bit of string, a few mini pegs and some mini art prints, photos or Instax prints that you love.

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Cut a piece of string and tie it to each end of your chopstick, leaving the same sized gap on either side. Make it as long or short as you like. It all depends on how low you want it to hang.

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Cut three separate lengths of string. Feed one through each of your little pegs, through the little spring part in the middle.

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Tie a secure knot.Tie each of the strings with the threaded pegs to the chopstick. I tied mine at different lengths, but you can do it however you like. (Also, you can add as many pegs and strings as you like. I just thought three worked well).

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Peg your art prints or photos onto the hanging.

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Find a good space to hang it and admire the minimal beauty of it!

Have a go at making one. They’re easy to make and are simple, but beautiful.

Nabeela x

PS: Summer holidays are here and I have some exciting content to share with you! Stay tuned!

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. 

Offline

I’ve always admired people who have the will power to have “offline days”. As bad as it sounds, it can be extremely difficult to disconnect ourselves from the hustle and bustle that is constant online. We don’t want to miss out on a thing.

Social media gives us a rush that is described by some as a “runners high”.

That rush of joy we feel when someone retweets, follows or likes what we’ve posted is what some think is happiness, but to me, I think it can take away the ability to look for happiness in less materialistic and superficial places.

I’m not at all shooting down the internet. I’m so grateful for how much my blog and personal brand have grown thanks to the exposure I’ve received on Instagram.

All I’m saying is that we need to know where to draw the line.

We find ourselves starting to live for the media. We have this idea of what life should look like and find ourselves constantly comparing our own lives to the beautifully curated feeds we see on Instagram and Pinterest. I’m guilty of it and I’m sure I’m not alone on that one.  Its that constant, unrealistic benchmark that we have set for ourselves and that society has set for us. Emphasis on unrealistic.

I’ve heard people at school say things like “She has such a busy social life! Have you seen her Instagram?” or “Her Instagram has all these photos of her hiking up all these cool mountains. But she’s so clever. When does she study?” Hello? Earth to us all? Instagram is not real life!

I recently listened to a podcast where I heard something very interesting. The hosts were discussing how Instagram has been called ‘visual crack’. Its so easy to get sucked in and spend hours looking at curated photos and then feeling depressed about own, less perfect-looking lives in comparison.

We’ve become obsessed with likes, comments and follows.

Let’s try and change up our barometer for joy.

Let’s go back to the old days where we got joy from spending time in nature or with family, and not only from a retweet.

My personal challenge for 2017 is to have a ‘offline Sunday’ as far as possible. The email can wait.

I challenge you too, to see if you can stay offline for a bit. Even if its just for an hour or two a day where you unplug and connect with yourself and others in a different kind of way.

See how carefree and happy it’ll make you.

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I’ve seen these truth-filled words all over the web, so I created this illustration. All the elements were done by hand first.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nabeela x

 

 

 

 

Zen / Morning Rituals

I’ve never really been a person who intentionally followed a morning ritual. When I started doing some reading about minimalism and slow living, the ‘morning ritual’ seemed to pop up.

When I thought of a morning ritual, I didn’t just want it to be things like ‘make lunch’ and ‘brush teeth’.  I wanted to be more intentional with my time in the morning. It’s the time of day where you are at your freshest. It can be quite blissful and calm. It leaves me feeling refreshed and ready for the day.

I don’t really have a fixed ‘ritual’ as such. However, I do enjoy having a relaxed breakfast, watching the birds play in the garden and sipping iced coffee (I don’t drink hot beverages).

The few things I do consistently seem very ordinary, but I guess that’s what makes it a ritual. You do it repeatedly.

Something I thoroughly enjoy is listening to a good podcast whilst I get dressed in the morning. I love using those ten or fifteen minutes to listen to something thought-provoking or just interesting.

I thought I’d add my quick iced-frappe recipe:

  1. Add one teaspoon of coffee and sugar to have a cup of boiling water
  2. Stir well and top the cup up with milk
  3. Add 4 ice blocks
  4. Blend

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Do you have a morning ritual?

Nabeela x

 

Monotasking 

Hello 

The other day, I found myself frustrated that I couldn’t focus on the article I was reading whilst listening to a podcast. I felt half-focused on both and didn’t really know what I was reading or listening to. 

In today’s crazy, race-like life, it can be difficult for us to focus on one task at a time. Most think it’s a superpower to be able to multitask. I, for one, think the real superpower is to be able to monotask. Zone in. Focus solely on one task, when you have a thousand other things shouting at you to be done. 

We need to be a bit more mindful and intentional with the way we spend our time. Imagine how our productivity levels could spike if we were focused solely on the task at hand at all times! 

Now, with exam time on our doorstep, make sure you’re fully focused on what you’re learning and not trying to do too many things at once. The time has come to monotask. 

“Your calm mind is your ultimate weapon against your challenges. So relax.” – Bryant McGill

Nabeela x

Wear Local / Amanda Laird Cherry

Hello

As you’ll know if you’ve been reading and following my blog for a little while, I love well-made, local products that are of high quality. The abundance of these products in the last little while makes me even prouder to be a South African. Luckily for me, and every other local lover, there are multiple brands and businesses making beautiful, clever and inspiring creations all around  in South Africa.

One of my favourite local clothing brands is Durban-based Amanda Laird Cherry.

I first discovered the brand when my mom and aunts all bought the classic long maxi dresses for a family wedding. It was when I was a bit younger and before I was so conscious of local design , but the brand caught my eye nonetheless. I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to fit into a dress like that! (So you can imagine my excitement when I finally got my own dress in a beautiful plum colour for a family wedding this summer!)

Amanda is the designer behind the brand. She has received numerous awards in the South African fashion industry and holds a high name. This year, the brand turns 20!

Amanda Laird Cherry produces apparel that echo a perfect balance between elegance, simplicity and comfort. There are a variety of clothing, leather shoes and accessories under the brand.

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These leather mary-janes have become my go-to shoes. They are comfortable and elegant, yet simple and well-made. 

She also co-founded The Space, one of my favourite places to shop local clothing and design!

You can find the SS16 range at The Space.

Support local and shop small, especially this festive season!

Nabeela x

 

Point Taken: Bullet Journal 

Hello

2017 is fast approaching and so naturally I’ve been trolling Pinterest looking for some planner inspiration. And then I came across the bullet journal. 

Now, I’ve heard the term before, but I never knew what it was. After reading one cheat sheet, I was so confused! What on earth is a future log?! And an index? In a planner?!
 But, it seemed to be popular, and ‘easy’. So I did some more reading and checked out the official website, bulletjournal.com 

So, the question I guess is, what is bullet journaling? The answer? A customizable planning system that is based around bullets. Yeah. That’s it. And it’s AWESOME 

It’s described as the analog planner for the digital age.
What intrigued me is how customizable it is. You write as you go along. You add what you need. You take out what you don’t. You use just the amount of space necessary.

If you’re like me, the ordinary planner just doesn’t do it! Some days there’s too much space, other days not nearly enough. The bullet journal is perfect if you change your system as the year goes along, and if you find yourself making little notes and lists everywhere. 

Here are the basics of Bullet Journal: 

The Index 
All your pages are numbered and you fill in the index as you go as a quick find for any of your notes. 

The Yearly Log 
This is your typical year at a glance. 

The Monthly Log
Your typical month at a glance.

The Daily Log 
Your daily notes, events and tasks.
 
Modules 
Other spreads such as book lists, goal lists, etc. 

The Symbols 
The system is based around these symbols used for what is known as rapid logging: 

•task 

-note

<scheduled 

>migrated 

*important ( signifier) 

I’ve just started bullet journaling and I love it! 

It’s practical and functional. You can use any notebook. It’s a new kind of organized.

I’ll write soon about how it’s going! 

Nabeela x

Slow: What’s The Rush? 

In today’s busy, crazy, chaotic life, it can be difficult to remember to breathe, reflect and take some time to slow down.
When delving into minimalism, I came across its close cousin: slow living.

What is it? Well, in my understanding, it’s about taking more time to do the things you really love and do less time doing the things you don’t. Simple, right? Easier said than done though.

It’s about more intentional living. Curating your time. Doing things more intentionally and being more mindful.
You’ll notice that once you slow down a bit, you’ll see the beauty in the ordinary. Indeed, this beauty is everywhere and in everything. We just rush past it and don’t take it in enough.

 
Try and be more intentional, more mindful, more peaceful. Maybe, try listening and observing more than speaking.

 
Taste the flavours in the food you eat.
Feel the air that blows through your hair and on your skin.

Hear the birds waking you up in the morning.

See. See the world through a new, more mindful and intentional set of eyes.

We’ve become so set on looking for the imperfections, the wrongs, the pain. We try to fix that. And that’s alright. But why not embrace the beauty too?

 
This Spring, and next year, which will be my sixteenth one, I want to wake up again, see the world through new eyes and be more mindful.

 
In the words of Carl Honore, it’s time to embrace your inner tortoise.

 

‘Nature does not hurry and yet everything is accomplished…’ – Lao Tsu
I think nature is trying to tell us something.

Nabeela

 
(Considering this piece of writing is about slowness, I wrote it really fast. The words were just flowing!)

 
TEDtalk recommendation:

In praise of slowness – Carl Honore

A Lesson in Flatlays 

Hello 

Flatlays. A buzz word everywhere, from Instagram, to Tumblr to Pinterest. Everyone’s doing them. And you’re wondering. How?! Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many of us (myself included) have scrolled through our feeds and seen perfect flatlays, then tried them ourselves and failed miserably. However, after some practicing and arranging, I have some tips to share with you. So, here it goes… 

01 / It’s like a puzzle! 

The kind of flatlays I do aren’t always the ones that are square-shaped, but I do mostly do those kinds. You need to play around and see how your items fit together and where the gaps are. For starters, just lay everything out in front of you and move them around until you’re happy with the layout. 


02 / Angles are everything

I’m not going to lie to you. Angles make or break a flatlay. You need to try your best to make sure your camera or phone is as flat as possible and not tilted. Try standing on a chair (I do it! You’re not crazy) so you’re completely above your layout. 


03 / Try a colour scheme or theme 

Colour schemes can really help your flatlay to look more cohesive and improve the aesthetic appeal of it.  Play around with colour combos and different themes too (eg: artsy, travel, baking, etc…) 

Photo by Iman Cassiem (@flashfilmfilter)

04 / Edit it properly 

Sometimes, you might find that one side of your flatlay has a bit of a shadow and is darker, so when you edit the photo, the other side gets all over-exposed and faded. For this, I suggest Snapseed, as it has a selective tool. You can select an area and only brighten that specific area. It’s extremely helpful. 


I hope this gave you some insight into flatlays! 

Happy snapping. 

Nabeela x

Durban Round-up 

Hello 

So yes, I’m back for one last post about this Durban trip. I decided to put together a round-up of some of the places I recommend you check out. 

The Morning Trade at The Plant

This small food market is really nice. The macaroons are ace and it has a foodie vibe.


Cold Press Juice Co. at The Warehouse

The juices here are SO yum! Options for us all – the veg juice lovers, the fruit juice lovers and even the leaf juice lovers! I had Strawberry Lips and I would definitely  recommend it. 


 Moyo on the Pier at uShaka Marine World 

The view is breathtaking. The drinks are divine. The food is wholesome. Moyo on the Pier is so stunning. You can sit inside or outside, and if you sit outside, you can hear the waves and see the sea stretch out beyond the horizon. Also, there’s the most beautiful view of the Durban skyline. 


Midlands 

The Junction 

The Junction is a place along the Midlands Meander that has it all. A really pretty restaurant, a mosaic shop, pretty colourful walls and even a playground for the little ones. It has many assorted shops with all kinds of treasures to be discovered! 

Piggly Wiggly 

Piggly Wiggly is similar to The Junction in the sense that it has many different shops and restaurants. The shops sell everything from scatter cushions to delicate necklaces to make-your-own candles. The Pizza Place’s pizzas are simply divine. Thin, crispy base just the way I like it! 

If you’re in the area, check these places out. Go and discover the treasures for yourself. 

Nabeela x

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