minimalist

On Decluttering and Tidying

I’m lucky in the sense that tidying and decluttering comes pretty naturally to me. I just prefer living in a space that has a sense of order. It helps me to feel calm and helps me to sort through my mental clutter if my physical space is tidy. I thought I’d share some stuff on tidying and decluttering – everything from my own advice to resources I continue to find beneficial.

So, first off, I’m going to write in terms of a clean bedroom because that’s my point of reference, but these ‘rules’ can be applied to any part of your home.

The first step to cleaning your room and making sure it stays clean is to declutter. If you’re a Marie Kondo fangirl like me, then decluttering is nothing new to you. But essentially, it refers to the removal of unnecessary items, be it clothing, papers or anything that has no use to you and just takes up space. I cannot emphasise the importance of this step enough. There is honestly no use in organising and tidying things that serve no purpose to you. Whilst it can seem like a daunting task, especially if you haven’t done it in a while and a lot of things have accumulated, doing it in smaller chunks will feel less overwhelming. Work through your things category by category. I generally split things into a toss/recycle pile and a donate pile.

After deciding what things you need or want to hold onto, it’s time for my favourite part – organising. The reason why many people struggle to keep their spaces tidy is either because they have too much stuff (enter decluttering) or because their things don’t have designated “homes” so everything just ends up lying around until it gets used again. Having a specific place for everything will make keeping your room neat so much easier because when you’re finished using something, you just put it right back, and when you do need to clean up at the end of the day or week, it’ll go quicker too because you don’t have to think about where to put things.

Another thing to try is to keep the same kinds of things together. For example, I have a beauty drawer where I keep all my skincare (that isn’t on my dresser for daily use), unopened products, make-up, hair things, etc. All my jewellery is in one shelf and all my papers and books are together too (well, mostly). I find that this helps immensely too, and you’re also less likely to loose your stuff.

Here are some other quick things you can do every day (or as often as you feel necessary) to keep your room looking and feeling orderly:

  • Make your bed! Honestly, don’t underestimate the difference this can make. It’s always the first thing I do when I’m clearing up. It instantly makes your room feel more put together.
  • Throw papers away immediately when you don’t need them anymore. By doing this, you will avoid the need to sift through huge mounds of papers to see what you need/don’t need.
  • Following on from the last one, put papers that you do need into their respective files/folders as you work to minimise unmanageable piles of paper. I usually have one stack of papers on my desk with stuff I’m using (like assessment rubrics/design briefs/etc.) and need to consult often, but I sort through it every week or so, to avoid having too much stuff pile up.
  • As boring as it sounds, pack away your laundry as soon as you can. Again, this will hopefully prevent a mountain of laundry from piling up, and you’re more likely to pack neatly if you have a more manageable amount to pack away.
  • Try to avoid too much clutter on your surfaces. My surfaces certainly aren’t bare, but every few days or so, I just walk around and put things (that don’t need to be there) away.

I hope you find some of this helpful! Remember, your room doesn’t have to look like something off Pinterest. It’s a space that you’re supposed to live in, so don’t bother if it doesn’t look like a styled photograph. Also, experiment with different tidying and organising methods and create a routine that works for you, and is suitable to your schedule and life. You don’t have to spend all your waking hours trying to keep your room clean! (This took me a while to learn haha). However, you will find that having a tidier space helps to calm your mind. It is often said that the state of your physical space is a manifestation of your mental space and I tend to agree.

Here are some resources you might find helpful.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

Honestly, this book is so good. Pretty sure I’ve read it two or three times. It really helps you to get a sense of tidying and understanding that physical stuff shouldn’t weigh you down. Find it here (e-book version).

A Considered Life blog

This blog by Sophie is really well written and has new content on a regular basis. Read it here.

Simple Life Pinterest Board

I’ve linked a bunch of resources that I reference on my Pinterest. Find the board here.

Happy tidying, everyone. I sincerely hope you reap the benefits of having a tidy space. If you have any more questions about this topic, ask away.

Nabeela x

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.

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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

 

 

 

A Greener Face / Skin Creamery

I first began slowly making the transition to an (almost) entirely natural skincare routine, as a part of my efforts to gradually start living a more natural, eco-friendly and human-friendly life (i.e. cut back on any products that contain nasty chemicals) almost a year ago.  I did my fair share of research, and eventually started switching out my products at the time with natural ones as they ran out.

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Skin Creamery products were among the first natural ones I used in my skincare routine, and I haven’t looked back. Their packaging is a aesthete’s delight, and it’s mostly all glass or ceramic so its kinder to our Earth too. Believe me when I tell you that what’s inside is even better (I didn’t think it was possible either).

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Hannah Rubin, who started Skin Creamery back in 2014 has crafted a luxurious skincare brand that makes effective, natural skincare accessible and affordable. Here’s what Hannah had to say about the brand.

What inspired you to start Skin Creamery? Could you tell us a bit about how you got started?  I wanted to combine my passion for natural living with my experience in the beauty industry. I was looking to create something that simplified skincare without compromising on the quality. Getting back to basics with skin care was my vision for the brand.

Skin Creamery products are natural and cruelty-free, which is something very close to my heart, and obviously yours too. What do you think makes this so important, and is this something you thought about right from the beginning of Skin Creamery? Yes, it was always my intention to create products from natural raw ingredients without any harmful effects to the skin. Being cruelty-free was obviously a given, as who in this day and age would really test beauty products on animals? (Ed note: My sentiments exactly!) It just seems like madness to me! As the products are made from certified organic oils – there is no need to test them on anything other than human skin (: 

Less is more is fast becoming the golden phrase when it comes to skincare. What do you think is essential in a natural skincare routine?  Getting back to basics and simplicity is my philosophy in skin care. A hydrating nourishing moisturizer (the Everyday Cream) and a great cleanser (the Oil-Milk Cleanser) are my staples that I cannot live without. Your skin is an amazing organ that is self-regulating and self-healing. If you are healthy on the inside your skin will be healthy on the outside. It is important to maintain moisture levels and cleanse thoroughly. Simplicity is key.

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My thoughts about the products…

Everyday Cream

This rich cream is wonderfully nourishing and moisturizing. Although its not currently part of my routine (although I have ordered some), it is a favourite of mine, and the smell is lovely. (I did find it slightly too rich at times, but great for my skin’s drier days).

Oil-Milk Cleanser

I use this gentle cleanser to wash my face in the mornings. It leaves my skin feeling cleansed, but not dried out, which is what I love for the mornings. It also smells divine (noticing a trend here?)

Facial Cleansing Powder

I can never seem to use it properly with water as it always runs out of my hands, so I prefer to mix it with some raw honey, apply it and leave it for ten minutes or so, and then wash it off. It works well as an exfoliator as its not too harsh and my skin doesn’t feel stingy or too tingly after, which is lovely.

Facial Hydrating Oil

I love this product. I’d say it’s the most value for money out of all the Skin Creamery products. (Many similar products on the market go for the same price, but only half the quantity).  It can be used with water by applying it into wet hands and then massaging it into your face, but I prefer to use it on its own. A little really goes a long way, and I find that one drop (!) is usually enough for the dry skin around my eye area and mouth. Its nourishing and I can still feel some of it the next morning, so I don’t wake up with a dry face. And the smell? Well, need I say more?

Skin Tonic

I’ve only been using the tonic for a few days, so I haven’t formed an opinion yet. It does feel soothing to my face and helps my skin to absorb my moisturizer better. (Once I’ve been using it for a little while, I’ll share my thoughts on Instagram).

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Here’s to making small changes to a happier body and earth.

Nabeela x

PS. Keen to try out the range, but don’t want to commit to the full-sized products? Try out their adorable travel set, available here or here

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

 

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 Armani 

Nabeela x

Lately 05 / Wanderlust

Hello

It’s been a while since I’ve written a little life update, but I wanted to fill you in, so that you can watch out for the fun stuff that’s to come!

I’m going to be doing some travelling during the winter holidays. I’ll be going around Europe, mostly eastern. I’m so excited to travel, and I am ready to be inspired and to soak up everything! I’m leaving on my birthday – best present ever, right?

I’ll be posting some visual travel diaries here, and you can find some travel snaps over on the ‘gram too, so follow along there too if you like.

I am looking forward to a journey of personal growth, cultural experience, and of course, a bit of a tan! (CT winter has been pretty harsh).

I hope to return being a little more travel savvy, with lots of pretty pictures, a head full of inspiration, and memories to be cherished always.

Yours in wanderlust,

Nabeela x

Slow Living / Bedtime Rituals

Being as busy as we are, it can be easy to forget the importance of taking some time in the day to relax and unwind. It’s safe to say that senior high doesn’t leave me much time to myself, so I’ve made a conscious choice to take some time each day for relaxing and down-timing. 

My preferred time to unwind is just before bed. It’s the time I feel most calm (probably because I’m so tired) and I know that everything important is done, so I don’t feel as if I’m wasting time either. It also helps me to settle down a bit quicker once I get into bed. 

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These intentional rituals have become my favourite part of the day. I savour this time to myself and look forward to it each day. 

Soothing facial ritual 

I use a minimal amount of all-natural products on my face. I love putting lovely-smelling goodies on my face. I find the natural scents and fragrances of my products relaxing and calming. I love going to bed with my skin feeling soft and squeaky-clean. 

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Balancing Cleansing Balm / Purifying Treatment Oil / The Everyday Cream

Reflective/ relaxing time

I like to keep my room airy on hot summer nights by leaving the windows wide open until just before I hit the pillow. I have an overactive mind, so I keep a journal where I can write my thoughts and whatever is taking up space in my brain. I also take some time for stretching (I spend quite a bit of time playing school sports so my muscles are often tired) and prayers. 

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Reading 

I adore reading. I find it relaxing and  entertaining, so it’s the perfect end to any day for me. Once in bed I like to read for a while until I’m sleepy. 

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I keep my room completely dark at night as I find I sleep best like this. Try out a couple of rituals until you find what works best for you. It can be so satisfying to know that you have a few peaceful rituals to engage in every evening before bed. 

I find that I feel calmer and more at peace before bed rather than frazzled and frantic. 

Self-care is absolutely essential to our well-being. Let’s make it our priority. 

“Self-care is not selfish. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”

Nabeela x

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