September 25, 2017

A Day in My Life


I'm a creature of habits and love my daily routines. Having a child shuffled those routines up quite a bit, but we've settled into our new routine quite nicely. Here a glimpse of my typical day, if there ever is such a thing.

Morning Routine

I wake up early before anyone else. I start my day with plenty of water and a cup of coffee. I'll spend the time it takes me to sip my coffee to browse social media, news, blogs, etc.


After my coffee I'll start with my skincare routine. On my days off I'll do just the cleansing and moisturising, but leave make up for later. The days that I'm working I'll do my make up and hair as well. By this time my daughter usually wakes up, so I'll get her started with some breakfast and she will watch a bit of TV while I finish getting ready.

If I'm not working I'll squeeze in a 10 minute yoga/stretching routine and after the little one has finished her breakfast we will head out for a walk and a little playtime for a couple of hours.


Lunch Time

I work part-time and at work my lunch break is usually very short. I'll bring my own lunch, like a salad or soup and plenty of fruit, almonds or other snacks for the day.

My husband works from home, so when I'm at home we usually eat lunch together. I'll have a big salad with chickpeas, tofu or salmon.

After lunch I'll make a cup of dandelion tea and get our daughter down for a nap. She will sleep for a couple of hours which leaves me time to catch up on emails, social media, shopping or housework.


Afternoon/Evening

After her nap I'll make her a smoothie with fresh fruit, plain yogurt and manuka honey. We will then head out to play for another couple of hours.

When I'm working I'll drive back home in the afternoon, do a bit of cleaning, take a shower, etc. I'll get my daughter's bath ready, as she often comes back from her play dates sweaty and covered in dust!

We'll have dinner together and watch TV afterwards for a little while. I'll get the little one ready for bed and either stay up a bit longer or head straight to bed myself. Our days are pretty packed with activities, so I'll try to sleep when I can!

I'm aware our "routine" is constantly evolving, as our daughter gets older, starts school, etc. It's nice to know there is a bit of normality in all the chaos and busyness that surrounds us nowadays.

September 21, 2017

10 Tips for Productiveness


Whilst I admit I'm not one of those super-busy people who have a thousand things on their plate, I can still feel overwhelmed by the amount of things on my to-do list. My husband claims it's simply because I like to keep myself busy and come up with new ("unnecessary") things, but I disagree. I have a lot of interests and I like challenging myself with new things, that's just how I'm wired.

I've found a few ways to manage my time and feel/be more productive and hopefully some of these tips might be useful for you as well!

1. Settle for less - I want to fit in a yoga session as often as I can, but dedicating an hour (or more!) to go to a yoga class is just not possible. These 10-minute yoga classes are so effective and I can do them any time, in the comfort of my own home. I also try to fit in other exercise wherever I can, parking further away from work so I can walk 10 minutes to/from the office, taking the stairs, walking to the grocery shop, etc.

2. Use commute time to/from work efficiently -  Instead of listening to the radio in the car, I've downloaded podcasts on my phone and use the time I'm driving to learn Japanese. This means two Japanese lessons a day, three days in a row! On weekends, if I'm exercising on my own, I'll also listen to these lessons.

3. Schedule! I love this Weekly Planner from Kikki K. and it has made it so much more fun to plan the week ahead.

4. If you're thinking about it, just get it done - This applies especially for things I'll rather not be doing, like cleaning the bathroom or ironing. Rather than putting it off, I make the effort of just getting it done.

5. Plan ahead - I love making lists; shopping, cleaning, anything. I do one big grocery shop every week plus top up on fresh produce during the week. I'll try to be as efficient as I can when shopping, and it usually means spending less money, too!

6. Combine - Catching up with friends (with or without kids) and doing exercise. Exercising/cleaning/driving and listening to educational podcasts. These are the only times I actually think multitasking can work!


7. Clean space = clear mind - At home I can easily manage a clean work space. I have my laptop and a bottle of water (or a cup of my favourite tea), that's it. At work, our office can get very cluttered and I really struggle with that. If I can't keep the whole office tidy, I simply focus on making my desk clean and tidy, with things that "spark joy".

8. Prioritise - Whilst I want to be able to do everything, I also understand that life isn't what it used to be before we had our daughter. I want to make the most of this time she is still at home, so I'll make sure to include a lot of outdoor play time, story time and other activities with her when I'm not working. She's a great little helper though, so I try thinking of things I need to do, but she can help me with!


9. Find things that work - Simple, right? Ain't nobody got time to constantly touch up on make up that doesn't last, skincare products that simply don't work or clothes that don't fit well. Invest in a timeless capsule wardrobe, good quality skincare and make up and spend less time fixing it all.


10. Look after yourself - Make sure to fit in relaxation time and indulgence as well. At the end of the day, unless you sleep enough and take time to relax your mind and body, things will not run so smoothly. I indulge in long baths when I can, during the week just a short (but warm) shower after work can instantly make me feel more relaxed. I've recently started experimenting with essential oils (more on those later!) and they can also help after a busy day.

Curious to hear how you maximise your time, so get in touch if you're keen!

September 16, 2017

Spring Detox - Home Edition


I've been decluttering our home for the past couple of years, item by item, room by room. I had a lot of props from my food styling days, just gathering dust at the attic. There were piles of cookbooks I had hardly read, dishes, craft supplies and everything else. With the arrival of our daughter, the baby stuff quickly started accumulating, along with toys (although I always kept them at minimum), sentimental items, etc. 

I am and have always been a minimalist and too much stuff gives me anxiety. My husband, on the other hand, is reluctant to part with anything and I am forever trying to find a balance we can both be happy with. 

I love Marie Kondo's approach to decluttering and although my tidying up process started long before I read her books, I was really inspired by her method. It was quite easy to decide what items I wanted to keep and what I donated, sold online or just had to throw out. I kept track of all the items I departed with and it ended up being well over 400 items altogether!

Although I feel the process of decluttering is a continuous one (especially with a child in tow), I have reached a point where I am content with the amount of stuff we own. The whole process made me more conscious about buying new things as well as appreciating the things I really love.

Have you decluttered? I'd love to hear your thoughts - leave a comment here or feel free to contact me via email, on Instagram or Twitter.

Read about my non-toxic cleaning methods here. More green cleaning tips over at Biome.

September 15, 2017

Back on Track - Diet and Exercise Update


This is part two of my "back on track" updates, after a long hiatus. 

After pregnancy, my diet went from being healthy and balanced to grabbing snacks on the go. I was surviving on caffeine and quick meals and never drank enough water. I also developed some sort of intolerance for a few different ingredients I had been eating daily before having a baby (like some green vegetables and especially eggs). This made my diet even more restricted and I felt trapped in between severe stomach pains and an unbalanced diet. I had tests done for reflux, lactose intolerance, gluten intolerance and gallbladder, but all test results came back normal. I slowly started introducing ingredients back into my diet knowing I could manage the symptoms with some dietary changes. It's been a frustrating journey, but I am feeling almost back to normal now. 


These are still some of my favourite recipes I make frequently

Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup I've adjusted this recipe by adding fresh ginger and fresh turmeric.

Green smoothies with kale, lemon, almond milk, papaya, blueberries, etc.

Fresh salads with spinach, tomatoes, avocado, chickpeas, sauerkraut (I love this brand), etc. Sometimes I add tofu or 1/2 a boiled egg for extra protein or cooked sweet potato, green beans with Japanese style sesame seed paste, flaxseed oil, etc. 

I try to eat fish at least once a week, usually salmon with a salad. 

This Soba Salad  is also a favourite. 

As snacks I have dandelion tea with a piece of dark (90% cacao) chocolate, a small handful of almonds or fresh fruit. I've cut down sugar and caffeine, and I drink a lot of water throughout the day!


Getting back on track with my exercise has also been quite challenging. I haven't had the chance to go to the pool every morning like I used to, but I'm determined to get back regularly this summer. I've continued long walks (often with my daughter in a pram) and a short yoga session in the morning just to stretch things out. All in all I finally feel like I'm getting back to my old-self again!

I hope this has been helpful, more updates/news coming up shortly, so stay tuned! 

September 08, 2017

Back on Track - Skincare Update



I don't really remember having problems with my skin during my teenage years or even in my twenties. After pregnancy, however, all sorts of problems started to surface. Some were clearly hormonal, but also sun damage/pigmentation (that worsened during pregnancy) and just general dullness. Also after pregnancy, my diet went from being super healthy and balanced to eating on the go. Combined with a lack of sleep this resulted in a variety of skin problems, including dryness (from the lack of healthy oils and enough hydration ie. drinking water) and breakouts. In the process I tried and tested quite a few skincare products that probably made my skin even angrier.

Whilst I don't feel like my skin is back to 100% yet, I definitely feel like it has improved and hopefully I've learned a lot in the process. Here are some of the products and tips that have worked for me (sensitive, combination skin with hormonal breakouts).



Morning Routine

I start my day with plenty of water. I haven't given up my morning coffee, but limit my caffeine intake to just one cup per day (rest of the day I drink herbal teas and water). After splashing my face with cold water I apply eye cream (I've been using this one lately and really love it), then B3 serum (from this brand) and 10% AHA lotion (this one). On the days I'm not working and spending time outdoors, I will also use sunscreen (this one from Skinstitut has been really great). For work I apply make up on top of the AHA lotion. I'm still trying to perfect my make up routine, but have really loved the powder foundation from Nude by Nature (this one).



Evening Routine

I love using my konjac sponge to cleanse my skin in the evening (similar sponges here). I've tested a few cleansers (including this from Skinstitut and this from Arbonne) and whilst both are great at removing make up, I find using them every day can be too harsh on my skin. After shower I repeat eye cream, B3 and AHA lotion and add moisturiser as well (this one is really affordable and suitable for sensitive skin). I have been using the Kora Organics Noni Glow Face Oil for about a week now and it has been amazing - highly recommend!

I am obviously not a professional beautician, but with the Health Coach training, I covered the basics of healthy skin and how to care for it. I hope some of this has been helpful and I'd love to hear your tips and recommendations if there are any!

This post is not sponsored and all opinions are my own. 

September 04, 2017

Back on Track



It feels like forever since the last time I wrote a blog post, so I'm not even sure where I should start. Whether it's the spring in the air or just life settling in to some kind of a routine, I am feeling more energised, motivated and inspired than in a long time. I've revamped my skin care routine, exercise and diet and I feel like I'm finally back on track. I will try and write individual, updated posts on each of these subjects, if anyone is interested! You can find me on Twitter and Instagram and please feel free to ask if you have any questions!

Before I take time to write proper posts on each of the subjects, here's a little snapshot of what's been happening.

Skincare

I've been through some serious skin problems since pregnancy and have really struggled to settle in a skincare routine that works. Unfortunately there has been a lot of trial and error, and a lot of money wasted on products that didn't work for me. Recently I've been loving  Neostrata and Skinstitut products, never experiencing any problems with either. One I'm really curious to try is the range by Kora Organics, especially their Noni products.

Diet

After pregnancy I fell into a new-parent-trap of surviving on very little sleep and quick (bad) food choices. As a result, my skin took a real beating, I had no energy and overall felt really unhealthy. In hindsight, I should've taken better care of myself in the process, but I've always been "all or nothing" kind of a girl and my child was the first priority. As I started returning to my daily green smoothies, fresh salads and proper meals, my health (and energy levels) started to recover. I will post a few recent favourite recipes very soon, so stay tuned!

Exercise

The sun is out and I cannot wait for the water to warm up so I can hit the outdoor pool again! Until then I am doing a daily yoga routine just to stretch things out and long walks 3-4 times a week. My work can be pretty active, so on the days I work I don't necessary feel like doing any exercise. In the summer time I will still try to do a few laps in the pool either before or after work.

I will work on more posts and photos later this week, so see you in a bit!

Hello, long time no see!


If there is anyone out there who still remembers me, my apologies for the long silence! There are so many things to catch up on, and I can't guarantee I will blog very regularly, but here I am.
Follow me on Instagram for more regular updates and I will be back soon, I promise!