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. 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 print 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: What’s The Rush? 

Monotasking 

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.

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You will need:

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

Method:

  • Mix  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.  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 it’s the best thing you could ever have done (I did).
  • Don’t harbour ill feeling. Its poison. Make peace. As hard as it can be, it’s the purest way to stay happy.
  • Be happy and present. If ever you’re feeling in a slump, count your blessings. It’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 Imán Cassiem from Aesthete’s Perception for shooting for me! Check out her newly launched blog and Instagram account. 

Summer Break / Rest + Heal

If If the thought of lying on the beach and frolicking in the ocean is enough to get you through a long, tiring double-period math lesson, you’re not alone. For many, the summer holidays are something that we look forward to the whole year. But just as quickly as they come, they go. Before you know it, you’re back in math and tackling yet another year of school or back at the office, working through a pile of stuff. It always feels as if they went in a flash.  And due to the busy nature of the summer holidays (think loads of coffee dates, dinner parties, getaways) its easy to feel even more drained than when they started. I’ve often heard people jokingly (is it a joke though?) say that they need a holiday to recover from the holidays.

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Clifton 3rd in all its glory

I’ll be going into grade 11 in 2018, the year many say is the most difficult of all the schooling years in the South African schooling system. I want to make sure that I go back well-rested and maybe sans the eye-bags that seem to constantly live on my face in term time. Here’s what I’ve been doing and am planning to do to get the most out of my holiday. Care to join me?

01. / Turn off and tune out

Even although we’re off from school (or work), with emails and even constant news and information from social media, our brains may feel as if they’re not on holiday at all. Take some time and make a conscious effort to turn off your phone and laptop, and just unplug for a while. It’ll do you a world of good, and you’ll be surprised how light you’ll feel (speaking from experience here. Mountain cabin with no reception = instant zen).

02. / Plan for nothing

Having a calendar to plan out how you’ll be spending your time off can put your mind at ease. However, its important to make some time to do nothing in particular – to check out that new breakfast spot you’ve been meaning to visit, or to get into that book that’s been on your nightstand for months.

03. / Ease up

Relating to what I’ve said previously, summer holidays can turn into the time we try and do everything, meet up with everyone, go everywhere. I have found that trying to make plans to see all my friends and be everywhere has been more stressful than anything else. Its a good time to reflect, and figure out who and what adds value to your life. You’ll feel more fulfilled and hopefully a lot less frazzled.

04. / Save it

Now, this may seem slightly unrelated, but if you’re anything like me, December is the time where all your hard-earned money seems to slip through your fingers, being lost to impulse purchases on sale items you don’t really need, and more. Be conscious. That’s all. Treat yourself, but not to the extent that your bank balance dwindles. No one wants to go into a new year broke (again).

05. / Stick with it

I’m certainly no stranger to the fact that holidays are a time that workouts go out the window and clean eating is nowhere to be seen. Balance is key. Enjoy the treats, but don’t let go of all your healthy habits. Your body will thank you for it, and you’ll feel better too.

Here’s to a more healing, restful and fulfilling summer break. Sending love and light your way. Enjoy it all – you deserve it.

Nabeela x

Top Shelf Gone Natural

Over the past year or so, I’ve transitioned to an (almost) completely natural skincare routine. My carefully chosen skincare products are kinder to my skin, and the earth. As anyone might be, I was slightly terrified to switch out my old skincare routine (that was working well) for fear of terrible breakouts and uneasy skin. I even had a nightmare once – safe to say I thought a lot about making these changes.

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I did abundant research, read reviews on the websites of many South African skincare brands and formed a list of products I would start out with. Then, as a certain product finished, I would replace it with my chosen natural one, until my entire routine had been replaced. The benefit of doing this is that if you break out, you know exactly which product may have caused it. It’s also gentler on the pocket.

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Some think that natural skincare is overly expensive and therefore it is cheaper to stick to other brands. I have found that that isn’t the case – there are a wide variety of products for every budget and I have found products that are affordable and work for me.

I love skincare (as I’m sure you’ve gathered by now), and adore reading Into The Gloss. The photography in their series, The Top Shelf, inspired me for this shoot.

Now, onto what I’m using at the moment.

Mornings

Most mornings, I wash my face with the Oil-Milk Cleanser from Skin Creamery. It smells lovely, and doesn’t dry my skin out at all. I find it a bit too oily for me to use at night, but its  perfect for my morning wash. I then moisturize with the Facial Moisturizer from Naturals Beauty. It’s light and doesn’t leave my skin feeling oily, but still does the job.

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Evenings

Once or twice a week, I exfoliate with Ocean Salt from Lush. I prefer the self-preserving one as it all natural to my knowledge. I then wash my face with the face wash from Naturals Beauty. I use my moisturizer and the Naturals Beauty Spot Treatment on any spots I may have. If I have any bad spots, I use a bit of tea-tree oil – the stuff works like a charm.

As and when

Once a week or so, I use to Skin Creamery Facial Cleansing Powder mixed with some raw honey as a gently exfoliating face-mask. It smells lovely and helps with gentle exfoliation. I’ve also just started using the Facial Hydrating Oil from Skin Creamery and I’m enjoying it thoroughly. It’s light-weight but still hydrating. My skin drinks the stuff up. I also occasionally use the Eau Roma Water from Lush (it is the only product in my routine to my knowledge that isn’t 100% natural) to get make-up off or if I feel in need of a double-cleanse. I also use to Cleansing Balancing Balm from Lulu and Marula to remove make-up – it works ridiculously well. If my skin is looking uneven, I sometimes use to Purifying Treatment Oil from L&M too. Not sure if I see that much of a change, but it helps slightly. I’ve also just started using the Purifying Masque from Naturals Beauty that seems to be working well. Lastly, my go-to lip balm is the one from Simply Bee. Its really affordable (as in cheaper than Labello even) and is super effective.

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And that’s it! I’m happy with where I am with my skincare at the moment and am working consciously to bring more natural alternatives into all aspects of my life. Its better for me and the environment. Here’s to slowly making better decisions about our bodies and lives. Its an investment you’ll never regret.

Nabeela x

On Exercising + Sticking With It

persistence /pəˈsɪst(ə)ns/ – “The fact of continuing in an opinion or course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.”

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Anyone who knows me well (or even just knows me – ha!) will know that I love exercise. For me personally, over the last few years, the most difficult thing has been sticking with it and being consistent. Its only too easy to workout when we have time and the moment exams start, drop it all and spend our days rolling around in study notes and eating potatoes. (Don’t worry, you’re not alone).

But these past two months have been the best months of exercise I’ve had in a long time, or dare I say ever. I’ve managed to stick with it, even during exams and hectic times. I’ve made mental notes on what I’ve been doing differently that has kept me on track and I thought I’d share – sharing is caring after all.

01. / Be flexible

No pun intended. The quickest way to fall out of routine is by trying to stick to one. Instead of saying to yourself that you don’t have time for a 20 minute workout, and skipping it all together, do a 5 or 10 minute one. Don’t try to stick to a plan that’s too rigid and leaves no room for adjusting. Work around your other commitments. Think of your workout as an appointment with yourself – don’t let your health take the back seat.

02. / Enjoy it

I know I’ve said this before, but I can’t emphasise it enough. If you dread your workouts, because they’re too difficult or consist of many exercises you don’t enjoy, chances are, you’re more likely to skip them. Instead, do exercise that you enjoy and is doable for your personal fitness level.

03. / Be realistic

I personally find that if I do workouts that are too intensive, my body takes days to recover and it sometimes means that I only workout once in that week. Slowly building yourself up is key. I prefer to do more manageable workouts 2-3 times a week. Don’t overdo it and give your body enough time to rest and recover.

04. / Have a goal

Having a goal makes exercise feel more purposeful. Its easier knowing that you’re working towards something. Make your goals realistic, specific and time-bound.

I hope you can take even just one thing away from this!

Nabeela x

And just a quick disclaimer, I’m no expert. This is simply based off personal experience.

Green Musings / Stellenberg Gardens

As a person who appreciates nature, and plants in particular, the Stellenberg Gardens were an absolute treat to visit. Talk about #gardengoals. The beautiful private gardens are open to the public one weekend a year, and this year, my family and I visited. What I loved most about the garden is how diverse the plant life is. Every little section felt like a whole new world full of plants and flowers that were are a visual feast. I forgot my camera at home and was seriously sad about that, but snapped some shots on my phone anyway. If you love gorgeous gardens and beautiful plant life, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for open gardens that take place throughout the summer around Cape Town…

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Spot the bee

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Glorious afternoon light 
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My favourite plant – delicious monster / Monstera deliciosa

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Nabeela x