21 August 2019

Skincare - Things I've learnt about my skin

Me and my skin have had a battle since i can remember. While i haven't had the type of skin that gets spots a lot, i have suffered from severely oily skin since i was younger. I do feel very lucky that i don't often break out however, the feeling of oily skin 5 minutes after you've washed your face is not something i enjoy. 

I've also done the dreaded looking back at old photos of me when i was 16 - 21 and honestly, my skin looks terrible. It was all pigmented and looked mucky. Just like i hadn't bothered having a wash. A lot of the time, i could put make up on and within an hour it was all melted off - very annoying and not great for those throwback thursday's but it took me YEARS to realise that if i started treating my skin right and listened to it, it would get better. 

Over the years i've learnt a few things about my skin:

My skin is dehydrated AND oily.

For years i tried to rid my skin of the oiliness by using skincare which stripped my skin or claimed to make my face "matte and less shiny". Not surprisingly, my oily skin continued to be oily. I might even go as far to say EVEN MORE OILY. I recently learned that oily skin can be dehydrated, which means it lacks water and hydration. I noticed this because even though my skin was dripping in oil, my foundation caught on dry patches all over my face. After some Youtube binging i realised my skin was dehydrated. This allowed me to buy products that hydrate my skin and don't strip it of the oil (foaming cleansers, i'm looking at you!). My skin is STILL oily but i'm finally learning to deal with it and they do say oily skin stays wrinkle free for longer!

Picking spots will never make them better. 

The amount of times i've seen the tiniest ever spot on my face that no one else would be able to see unless they were within an inch of my face and that i could quite easily cover with make up - I HAVE to pick at it. My brain seems to think once its been popped, it will heal and be less noticeable and i will have clearer skin the next day. NOPE, NOPE, NOPE. Once i even give a spot a tiny little squeeze or an accident graze with my fingernail, it grows the size of my head. I could just never stop myself. It's taken me to the ripe old age of 28 to discover, i should NOT pick at my face because it always makes it worse. Leaving it, washing it and applying a spot treatment will do millions more for my skin than prodding it with my fingers ever will. 

Invest in good skincare

I love to save on items i buy (except i always end up browsing the special buys in Aldi, i mean, who doesn't?) but one thing i love spending a little more on is skincare. I used to think buying expensive make up would make my make up sit better and last longer but the truth is, it all starts with your skincare. It forms the base for your make up to sit on and if you're not looking after your skin, your make up will suffer too. In my experience i've learnt to research the ingredients in skincare and see whether they are good for my skin. A lot of cheap high street shop skincare lines have harsh ingredients in them which can damage your skin - exfoliating scrubs anyone? So i spend my money on great skincare (Kiehls if you want to know, post coming soon!) and my make up and skin look so much better for it. 

Here's my current skin (without make up - eeek!) One is just a normal make up free selfie and the other is just after a sheet mask - but still without make up! I've also included a throw back photo to me on my 18th Birthday (jesus christ) and a selfie of me with make up now, for comparison. 

Make up Free

Make up Free after a sheet mask


Make up selfie

The dreaded oh my god why did my skin ever look like this photo. 

Have you learnt anything new about your skin over the years?

..x





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17 August 2019

Self Care - 4 Important Steps

If you are on social media or read blogs, then you are likely to have heard all about self-care. In fact, because there has already been a lot or people talking about it, it might seem that your take on it is completely different. However, it really is something that is so important for each and every one of us. We can’t function well as people, friends, partners, or colleagues if we are exhausted or burnt out. From time to time we just need to take care of ourselves. If you’re a fan of Queer Eye, you will know that self-care guru Jonathan is all about it, and he will regularly tell people that self-care is not selfish. In fact, it really is the opposite. So if you’re not too sure where to start, or what self-care looks like to you, then here are a few ideas to get you started.


Exercise

This will be something that some people will enjoy and feel the benefit from; others might not. I know I hate running but love yoga, so you just have to find something that works for you. If you have a stressful job or home life, then going to the gym to do some boxing could be a great stress reliever for you, and as such, could be the self-care that you need. I would love to try a little bit of boxing for stress relief. For others, a run or walk in nature will be enough. Yoga is a great practice too, as it is all about listening to your body and being more mindful, even if I do say so myself.

Get Enough Sleep

One of the things that can lead to people running on empty is that they are not rested enough. If you’ve ever had a night with broken sleep or much less sleep than normal, it can be hard to go about and do your normal thing, as everything is tougher when you’re exhausted. So make sleep a priority as a way to care for yourself. If you need a nap and have the chance to take one, then that could be self-care for you. I love a good early night especially when climbing into freshly washed bedsheets.

Have your own Coping Strategies

When it comes to living a busy life, it can be stressful and we will all need some ways to cope and relax as a result. That can mean different things for different people. Some people may cope fine talking through with a friend. Others might turn to food or even alcohol as a way to cope. Those kinds of habits could be dangerous and as a result, could lead to needing something like an ANA Treatment Centre. So the way for positive self-care, is to look for ways that are healthy and will give you some positive habits, such as meditation for stress relief, or cleaning your house when you need a distraction.

Eat a Balanced Diet

We all have heard that you are what you eat. But there is some truth to it, as frustrating as it sounds. The reality is that you need to have those things that you know aren’t that good for you, and have them only occasionally. The rest of the time, fill your plate with whole foods that are going to give you energy, leave you feeling full, and will have things like Omega-3 fatty acids to give you plenty of brain food. I've definitely felt the benefit of not having takeaways every week and cooking is my own form of stress relief too.

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06 August 2019

5 Time Saving Tips for Busy People


Know the feeling when you get into bed at night and realise that you haven’t had a moment to yourself since you got up that morning? Or the feeling when Sunday night rolls around and you haven’t even started your weekend to-do-list. Even with the best intentions, life can be hard to keep up with at times. If you’re feeling a little run off your feet, don’t let yourself get overwhelmed. These time-saving tips will help you find a few extra minutes in the day and give yourself some well deserved breathing room!


Prioritise

The first step to freeing up time in your life is accepting that you can’t do everything. Some days will end without your being able to do every little thing you set out to do. Some days, something has to give, but that’s okay! Don’t be so hard on yourself. If you’re disappointed in yourself at the end of each day because you didn’t get enough done, it may be worth asking yourself if you’re trying to do too much. Have you overstretched your time? If so, see if you can cut something from your day that doesn’t need to be there. But before you start cutting things from your day, it’s important to get your priorities straight. Knowing what matters to you the most, and in what order, will help you rank your responsibilities for the day.

For example, if daily exercise ranks below spending time with your partner, why are you spending six evenings per week in the gym and coming home feeling like a zombie? Yes, you’re smashing your fitness goals, but you don’t have time or energy to spend with those you love. Consider taking a couple of evenings per week off the gym so you can hang out with your loved one (also a little rest is good for the muscle recovery). But taking time off the gym doesn’t have to mean that you can’t exercise that day. On your ‘time off the gym' days, try getting off the bus one stop early on your way to work, or going for a walk during your lunch break! This always makes me feel more energised and like i've exercised that day.

Be Aware Of How You Spend Your Time

To get serious about creating more time in your schedule, it’s important to know exactly how efficiently your time is spent. Even if you think you use every minute of your day, devote a few days to being more aware of your activities, and you may be surprised. If you think you spend five minutes making your lunch but you actually spend forty-five because you have to chop food and then wait for everything to be cooked, don’t get mad at yourself—just take note! Once you know where your time is going, you’ll be empowered to make positive changes to save yourself time in the long run.

Embrace Online

However you make your way to and from work, nothing adds time to a commute like having to pop into the store for one or two things that you’ve run out of and can’t do without. To save time, it’s worth spending a few minutes at the start of the month to take stock of essentials like toiletries and all those little things that could be a lot easier to buy online (not to mention possibly cheaper). Planning in advance for your needs means you’ll be able to get them ordered online (like prescriptions rather than having to wait to pick them up!) without worrying about rushed shipping, or having to make a detour into the shopping mall on your way home from work.

Limit T.V Time

This is a tough one for many people. Especially if you’re exhausted after a busy day and don’t feel good for much else, T.V can be the most tempting pastime. Zoning out for hours watching Netflix takes hardly any energy, but on the flip side, it is not very rewarding (however much i think that it is....). More to the point, watching T.V. is not genuinely relaxing. The constant low-level stimulation means your brain is not allowed to switch off fully. Instead of watching T.V., consider spending your evenings doing something actually relaxing, like taking a long bath, reading a book, doing a yoga flow (my new favourite thing!), chatting to a friend on the phone, or going for a walk around the block. While it may seem to require more energy at first, eventually you’ll start to reap the benefits. Not only will you be glad that you’re investing time in healthy activities and relationships, but you will feel more rested the next day. That extra energy will make you more productive, allowing you to tick more off that to-do-list.

Meal Plan Like a Boss

How much time do you spend per week on food? From shopping to cooking, it’s likely that many hours of your week get used up without your realising. While there’s nothing wrong with stopping for a healthy fast-food option now and again, getting your meals for the week sorted in advance is one of the best ways to save time without any extra effort. Yes, really—there is effort involved, but the effort you put in upfront will seem like nothing in comparison to the time and energy that you end up spending at random times during the week. There are three steps to optimal mid-week meals. Mastering all three will save you hours in the week, as well as help you make progress towards other goals, such as saving money and eating more healthily.


Firstly; planning. Get a pen and paper out and write a plan for the week, Monday to Friday. Decide on dinners first and fill in those plans. Once you have dinners sorted you might find that many of your lunch spots can be filled with dinner leftovers in various forms. (If you don’t love eating the same thing twice in a row, try repurposing your dinner in new ways. For example, roast chicken and veggies for tea quickly becomes a chicken and vegetable wrap the next day.) I often do this and i'm quickly finding it saves to much time (as well as money). Writing out your meals will help you ensure that you take into account accurate quantities of the food and supplies you need to shop for before the week begins.

Next; shopping. Once you’ve planned your menu, write a shopping list, separating out what needs to be purchased at where. What do you need from the supermarket? Do you need anything from the market (such as fresh fruit/veg)? Then shop for everything at once if you can manage it. A Saturday trip into town can be a relaxing morning out. If shopping is not your idea of a well-spent weekend, have a go at shopping for groceries online.

Once you’ve done your shopping for the week, have a big cook up. Your meal prep for the week could take a couple of hours, but you won’t regret it when you open the fridge every morning and grab your lunch and snacks for the day. Even better, you’ll come home to a warming meal waiting to be reheated on the stove. If you haven’t tried batch cooking before, get ready for a life-changing revelation! Get yourself a large pot and pull on that cooking apron for the one and only cooking session you’ll have to do this week. Whether it’s a soup or a curry, preparing a large quantity will enable you to eat more healthy food at a lower cost and not to mention saving you time. And if you’re worried about eating the same meal five nights in a row, never fear. The freezer bag is your new best friend! Once you’ve made your big batch, freeze single portions in zip-lock containers. Keeping your freezer stocked means you can get home from work and decide in the moment what you feel like eating. Freezer bags are also a great way to save space in your fridge/freezer!

Whether you’re a high-powered career person or a parent of three (or both!) modern life can take its toll if you try to get to every single thing on your to-do list. These tips will help you work out what where you’re wasting time, and squeeze a little extra time out of your day for the things that matter to you. So you can sneak in something you love doing, whether that's a long soak in the bath or finally trying that yoga workout!

...x

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