Saturday, October 18, 2014

LUSH - THREE PRODUCTS I AM IN LOVE WITH

I may have gone a little overboard in the LUSH store recently……. as one does. I have been using drips and drags of cream and scrubs and finally after they all finished I decided it was time to invest in new ones! Summer is coming up and I definitely feel like I want to shake off the long winter (and my dry skin) so what better place to sooth the soul and spoil ones self. PS: If you ever want to buy me a gift - you know where to go……


I cannot recommend LUSH products enough. For some reason I always had this perception that they are pricey. Actually they are well made products that really WORK and are reactively inexpensive compared to some of the other products out there that are loaded with all sorts of weird chemicals. I had a little LUSH sabbatical because I no longer have a bath since moving, so we only have shower now and I forgot about all the other great products they have - not just cool fizzy balls for the bath.

So here is a little break down of the three products I am currently in love with.

RUB RUB RUB - Shower Scrub
This is a fine sea salt scrub with a light fragrance of mimosa and orange flower. It isn't too harsh on the skin as a scrub and its perfect because it lathers up and becomes incredibly soft and smooth making it a fantastic shower gel. I suffer with dry skin and if I use a very heavy exfoliator which sometimes  aggravates my skin. This is just the perfect combination and you can also apply it to dry skin before you hop into the shower for deeper exfoliation. The best part is, you can still smell it on your skin later in the day and it really does feel very luxurious when you apply it. I haven't tried it yet, but they also recommend you use it in your hair as sea salt creates volume and is great for massaging the scalp. If anyone has tried this let me know! Also fantastic for tired feet! 

NEW CHARITY POT - Hand and body lotion
Each Charity Pot aims to create change through funding small grassroots groups working in the areas of environmental, human rights and animal protection and 100% of the proceeds from each sale go to charity. 

This particular one "aims to educate the local community in squatter camps in and around Cape Town on the harmonious relationship between humans and animals. " - Lush SLUSH fund.

It contains Fair Trade cocoa butter, fresh aloe and moringa oil, as well as rosewood oil, geranium and ylang ylang. Ummmmm I cannot even become to express my deep love for this lotion. I don't know if I will use another brand for a really long time - because this brand works. You do not need a lot of it and it absorbs into your skin beautifully! I am a big fan of the Dove Shea Butter Body Lotion, by oh my heavens, this stuff simply steals the show. It is another level of luxurious. It smells edible and is incredible and I just want to lie in a bath of it (if I had one and it came in that quantity) because its that good! Yes that good.  It leaves my skin feeling so nourished and after a hot shower it soaks in beautifully. It has a slightly oily texture so you need to rub it in well and I usually apply it at night before bed. I also use it in morning on my arms and elbows and it doesn't  leave me feeling greasy or sticky. I am punting this product to everyone I know, especially if you suffer from dry skin. I use it as a hand cream at night before I sleep when it will have the most chance of absorbing into my skin and I can already feel my hands are softer and less dry. Please try it and let me know your thoughts!

LIP SERVICE - Lip balm
I am a huge DCT Blistex fan and have always suffered with dry or cracked lips so its my ultimate go to lip balm. I gave my last pot to a friend and since then have been looking for alternatives to DCT, I haven't found one to be honest but this is a close second. Just some of the ingredients include, apricot kernel oil, cocoa butter, beeswax and extra virgin olive oil. It has a granular texture to it so feels a bit weird, but once you apply it its very smooth and soothing and it doesn't dry out easily. It also, obviously smells incredible and edible.

So those are my top three favourite LUSH products at the moment and the one thing I have noticed is that you don't need a lot of each product and they really do last. Quality for sure and I will be stocking up when this lot runs out. I have yet to find a LUSH product that is disappointing and I am going to stay a big fan I think. Don't forget to return your empty lush containers! 

For more information on other products and prices check out the LUSH South Africa online store 


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

THOUGHTS, SMALL RANT AND PEP TALK TO MYSELF



If you want something in life you have to go out and make it happen. I am learning that what ever that may be, the person responsible for making change, fixing bad habits, changing mindset and positive thoughts is you or in this case me. No point in anguishing over things. Have to get up off my butt and get the ball rolling.  So here is an update on somethings I am working on and the small changes I am making in this journey of figuring things out and trying to find good balance and actually stick to a game plan and follow through without instead of getting side tracked! 

Exercise for real
There is no point in moaning and complaining about the lack of exercise or time to exercise lately (last six plus weeks) the only person who can make time to do these things is me, and nothing is more important than finding time to do something I enjoy and love. I am in week two of been back at gym and yoga properly. I feel more alive, awake and energised and most of all more determined to find time and establish a routine, it doesn't have to be in the gym or specifically in a yoga class. It can be that run I have been eager to do, that walk with a friend, an beautiful evening of yoga on my mat at home or a quick power work-out in my lounge with home weights. It can and will be done and exercise will never ever be neglected again! My go to for a quick full body work-out is this gem of a video - The Victoria Secret 10 minute Full Body Work-out. I have also set goals which I am hoping to achieve and keep me fully motivated. I have also found it helpful to follow people who blog and share honest stories of their fitness journeys and inspire me to work harder and not give up. Check out the lovely MariskaFit , beautiful Midlands Musing and the brilliant, funny and real Yoga Girl .

Food that inspires you
 I am making small changes where I can and in subtle ways - will never be able to give up, pizza, burgers and chocolate #notsorry but I am making changes and will slowly give this whole 80/20 thing a go. Found a great snack - Nairns Oat Cakes you can't stuff yourself on them because they are weirdly filling and tasty and they make a great snack with a bit of hummus.  It is always worthwhile investing in a well stocked fridge of food, less lightly to waste money and also fully motivated to get creative and try new things. I am no expert but I have figured out the only person responsible for what I eat and how it effects me, is actually me, once again, can't blame it on social occasions or been to busy. Also really into Clippers White Tea with Peppermint it has a whole lot of health benefits and is refreshing and delicious.

People who you simply don't need
I have never been a people pleasure, I understand tact and I understand that everyone is fundamentally different and we all think, feel and do things differently, our intentions are not always bad and nor are other peoples but that doesn't stop the fact that some people just simply do not gel…this is not cause for war or a national news announcement, it is simply life. If someone doesn't like you, that really is non of your business, and unless you are aware that you have offered the person personally, chances are the problem does not lie with you, in actual fact the problem is with an issue that they have with themselves. You cannot ever go around trying to please people or to make them happy, like you or get a long with you.  You are also not responsible for other peoples insecurities and issues that they have with you been you. People come into your life for a reason or season, learn from both, find forgiveness, compassion and understanding. People pleasing is exhausting - put that energy elsewhere. Why would I pour energy into people who have no real interest in my life or have no intention to really participate and be apart of it. Nope, done and I feel a million times better for it.

Switching off
I have realised how easy it is to get lost online, reading blogs, news, articles, etc. Its fine, but I have said it before there is a limit. I am currently making an effort to switch off before bed time or after I have done and assignment or studied for a test, so easy to get lost on mind numbing sites or scrolling through relatively meaningless instagram accounts. I am currently reading Not That Kind Of Girl - by Lena Dunham creator of series Girls. It is as bizarre and graphic as the series but I cannot put it down and look forward to reading it at the end of the evening. I have also been playing a lot more music while I study or when I am home, something I stopped doing for a while but now cannot live without. 
Currently loving Lorde - Pure Heroine, Nina Simone - Greatest Hits, The National - Trouble Will Find Me, Of Monsters and Men - My Head is An Animal, The Rolling Stones - Flash Point (live).

Stop explaining yourself
I recently found myself explaining to someone why I had spent money on something. Um….why? Why do we do that, why do we feel we need to justify what we do with our time or money? I certainly don't give a toss what people earn, how they live and where they bought their handbag from and how much it cost. Yet a large amount of people do care. Maybe its just the way I was raised, but you don't justify or discuss finances or other peoples finances. I feel happy for people who have things that they want and desire and have the accessibility to achieve the goals they want or buy the new face mask they love. I simply do not care about peoples financial circumstance and nor should they care about mine. If I am not spending your money, your time or taking away your dreams then to be perfectly honest, I am don't want to hear nor be asked where and how I spend my money or time. Its a habit I think a lot of us suffer from - a cool comment from someone and suddenly your a hot mess trying to justify and explain why you were not home glued to your desk, where you got your shoes and if the dinner you had at a restaurant was not "too pricey". Stop, stop, stop. Its not anybody's  business and unless you are particularly interested in the cost of someones purchase so you can do the same, or how they spend their time so you can try it too, it is simply bad manners to ask inappropriate questions and further comment on the answer and its demeaning to yourself to feel you have to explain it. If people are making assumptions then there is nothing you can or should do to try and change it.

Spoil yourself
In keeping with that, I have been feeling a bit like a student bergie so I went for the most glorious pedicure at Sorbet which was super relaxing and really nice to just have some me time and do something nice for me (guilt free) and now I have pretty painted toes that I can  show off in summer sandals. I also bought some gorgeous LUSH products which I will blog about in my next post. I had been using drip and drabs of old scrubs and body lotion when I decided there is no time like the present to spoil myself a bit and feel fresh and confident and completely indulged. No regrets and I plan on doing some more self spoiling every couple of months, even if its something small and I make use of it and it makes me happy.

Dream big
I love to dream, I have always been a dreamer and always been able to visualise my dreams, which I like to think helps me keep motivated. I have moments of insecurity and fear, like anyone else, but I simply refuse to let anyone or anything rain on my parade - because the minute you have self doubt or don't think you can achieve something, your inner fighter backs down and doesn't karate chop that thought right of your head. If you want something and you see it, believe it and visualise it then go for it. Sure everyone has a thought and opinion about it and some are going to be hugely supportive and others won't, but its for you to decide how you will let that affect your goals and dreams. It might not happen over night, it might not happen in three months time, but you cannot stop dreaming and believing. Cheesy, but I have realised you have to push through and talk to yourself nicely.

So now I have put all my thoughts out there and shared some things about myself - again. If you have any thoughts or advice on any of the above I would love to hear it

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

WHERE I AM MOST HAPPIEST - THE BEACH

Recently I recalled a conversation where the lady said that now days we say when people ask us how we are, instead of saying the usual  "I am fine" we reply "I am just really busy". Well as she pointed out, that should really not be an excuse. I am guilty of this. This year I have had to turn down many social events,  fun occasions, coffee catch ups and more because I have been really busy. Lame I know. I can't really explain myself but I can say that it has not been as excuse, but I still really hate saying it. If anything I have been lamenting the lack of social life I have had and the little time I get to spend with people who I don't get to see often. 

When I started varsity three years ago I was a 100% convinced that I would only have lectures a couple hours a week, plenty of time to do variety of part-time jobs and loads of time to do whatever else I please. This has not been the case - at all. Not that I regret it for a second, but I am partly responsible for making it harder for myself. You see, I have always given my all, to a test, assignment or presentation, or pretty much anything really. I simply cannot and never have been able to go in halfheartedly. I am a little slow in my approach and could probably afford not agonise over if I am doing it right, wrong, or did I leave something out, study hard enough, study long enough, give my all, remember that one question from section two and did I manage to present everything correctly? Its not a confidence thing, Its an overachiever thing. I have to do it all and give my all.

I learnt recently that while its great that I do this,  it is also not ideal to let work consume you to the point where your neglecting exercise, friends and cooking a proper nutritional meal. Of course the boyf is a massive overachiever as well and has taken in the most monumental task of working a full time job and studying a part time Masters degree. Not for the faint hearted.  We have persevered, sat side by side at our desks on weekends, gotten through a mountain of assignments and exams, missed out on a lot of fun and put our minds into the right zone to get through this year. We both believe that if we push through and carry on for the next two months, we will well and truly be on the road to making our dreams come true. 

While thats good and well, the biggest thing for both of us this year has been the lack of beach time, for him the lack of surf time, and while it is no excuse it is a reality, we have simply had too much to do and too little time, something that we have both realised we need to learn from and figure out a solution to so that we don't get stuck working and studying non stop all weekend. working through the weekend every weekend is a tough one, you need a break - everyone needs a break. I have mentioned before that I am on the constant path to try and find balance, friends, family, beach, exercise and me time. This year has taught me how incredibly important it is to make time for those things. I am hoping to start implementing these learnings and lessons as I go a long. If anyone has any tips for time management I am always keen to hear.


On Saturday the weather was nothing short of spectacular - and where was I? Oh yes, studying. I am always grateful to have the opportunities that I do in life and one of them is been able to study, but I am only human and my word, was I suffering from major fomo. To the point where I sat outside on the balcony and had a baby sob about the whole thing. The boyf and I discussed that if we worked hard and got through our work load on the Saturday we could have a full beach day on the Sunday! Yay! Queue second baby sob/moan/ whimpering and doing a set of crunches, because I am not beach/summer body ready, but thank goodness for a boyfriend who don't tolerate that kind of talk and who reminded their girlfriend that the original tears were because of been stuck in side on a beautiful day missing out on all the beach fun….not the state of my thighs…

So I put my head down and plugged away for the remainder of Saturday reminding myself of the end goal - pure beach bliss...

Come Sunday we headed out to  - Kogel Baai, Koel Baai, kiel Bay (which ever you prefer) or simply as I like to call it, a piece of paradise, for a full day of sun and fun. The waves were not brilliant but the boyf got some surf time in, and I got some much needed beach time in and catching up with friends. There is something magical about this beach, you feel like you are far away from Cape Town, far from commercialised beaches, the sound of cars, music and city noise, far from everything and best of all, no phone signal. 

I swam in the sea with my favourite person, which is my most favourite thing to do, its the moment where I feel so free, so happy and so loved. It is the place where the water is not too cold and the sun is just perfect when it beats down on you, where you feel alive. I love diving in the waves and feeling the cold water wash away months and weeks of stress and pressure, I love feeling the sand all over my body, as ridiculous as it sounds, I have given up fighting the sand, I love everything about the beach and the sea. I took a moment and felt this huge sense of gratitude wash over me. I don't need material things, just give me more beautiful days where I can swim in the sea and lie on the beach. Give me the opportunity to be surrounded by people I love, laughing and joking and breathing in the beauty that surrounds me. 

I also got absolutely thrashed by a wave and swallowed about a litre of salt water, and I simply got up, covered in sand and had the best, most hearty, most happy laugh that I haven't had in ages. So yes I will always love the beach and what it offers me - and its so close and totally achievable and the only person who can make it happen in actual fact - is me. I Need to find the time, keep the motivation.



We have made some small changes, we have been going for walks on weekends before we start out work load, or taking time to make plans to see people. we have booked a proper holiday break in December for a few days and we are also making plans for next year, small goals to keep us motivated. We are not brilliant at this whole time management thing but we are trying our best. I am most grateful that we have each other and we can support each other through it. I am not perfect and nor is the life I lead but I do know that small changes can lead to bigger ones, so I am trying to be less hard on myself, less pushing and stressing, more calm and collected, more at ease that things will happen and fall into place and more motivated to achieve my work load and get things done so I can be back on the beach mainly :)