Beauty Sleep

So…. is it just me or does anyone else take around 1.5 hrs to get ready for bed?

It’s become apparent to me that I have a pretty long ‘before bed’ routine. My beauty sleep is super important to me, so of course I’ve incorporated the longest beauty routine EVER into my schedule each night. I go to bed fairly early, around 8-9pm – depending when my alarm is set to go off the next morning. Really keen on getting 8-9 hours each night. So that means that most nights I’m getting ready for bed pretty darn early.

Here’s my routine and all the little goodies I use to keep me feeling fresh.

♥Herbal things first. I have green tea as my night time drink. Some people might dispute this one and say it will keep them awake, but for me not at all. I find it great for my skin -keeping me looking fresh and detoxifying for my body. I make sure I time it right, not having it too close to sleep time otherwise I’ll have to go to the bathroom in the night.

♥Multivitamins! I take two calcium and magnesium multivitamin tablets, obviously this isn’t for everyone – it’s all a personal choice. My levels aren’t necessarily low but the extra couple of tablets at night really help to relax my body. I notice a difference in how busy my body feels when I don’t take them. Hmmmm- interesting.

♥Shower time. I’m prone to taking really long showers and it’s kind of hard not to when I use products like – ‘Honey I washed the kids’ by Lush, which smells like an actual honey farm. I wash my hair every second night and i’m really into Essano- Argan Oil of Morocco Nourishing shampoo and conditioner. Its a bit heavy on my hair but it smells beautiful and I try my best to use products that are deemed cruelty free. I have unforgiving thick, long arse hair, so I tend to let it dry naturally and then braid it so it doesn’t tangle while I sleep. Plus side – I have waves to kill for when I let my hair out.

♥FACE!!! My night skin care routine is different to my morning routine and I seem to change it up every 3 months or so. At the moment, I’m a big fan of charcoal face products. My skin absolutely effing vibes with them.
My favorite cleanser right now, which I seem to be going through really fast, the Dark Angels fresh cleanser by (of course) Lush. Feels more like a scrub though, it’s made with black sugar and charcoal to exfoliate, and rhassoul mud which deeply cleanses. I have to use A LOT of cold water to mix it in before I wash my face otherwise my face stains black but it’s flipping beautiful. Also a big fan of the Garnier SkinActive pure charcoal tissue mask, I use this just once a week with no other prep work or after care. It literally brings my face back to life on its own. I’m in love with this charcoal trend.

♥Moisturise. If you have read my previous posts on self care you would know that I’m a big fan of Moistursing. I don’t exactly have obvious dry skin but If I don’t moisturise before bed I have a very uncomfortable nights sleep. I have tried countless body moisturisers and I’m definitely open to suggestions but at the moment I’m using the Nivea 48hr express hydration. If I have freshly shaven legs, and being summer I feel like I’m doing this everyday, I’ll wait 30 minutes to an hour before applying. BUT I don’t apply this to my face, body only. I’m particular with what I do and don’t apply to the face. I’m pretty keen on the Arbonne eye cream, I apply it under my eyes and I won’t lie, I actually apply it on my forehead, around my lips and on my neck. Basically anywhere I find an artificial line after a big day- I apply it!
It’s really good for those fine lines that suddenly appear out of no where but when I use this cream I wake up looking pretty damn good. Another little favourite of mine at the moment is fractionated coconut oil. This is one I can apply after I’ve freshly shaven without a worry.
It’s basically the same as coconut oil but it’s had the fatty acids removed, so I can freely apply it to anywhere without the worry of clogging up my pores or leaving that greasy trace. 

♥Brush your teeth!!! Can I just say – I flipping hate toothpaste. It makes me gag. So I’m not about to get into a toothpaste branding debate. But has anyone else been hooked on the carbon cocoa activated charcoal teeth whitening?….. I brush my teeth as normal, then I go over with the carbon and then brush them quickly again as normal to make sure all the charcoal has gone. It works! It’s not at all phony. I mean, it doesn’t last forever and you have to keep doing it daily as the results are temporary BUT it’s harmless and a cheap way to whiten your teeth. Plus it doesn’t taste awful, and smells kind of nice.

♥Prep!!! I’m pretty obsessive when it comes to organising my day in advance.
I like to make sure everything is organised for the next morning, outfit, food prep, bag packed, where I’m going, how I’m getting there, timetables etc. This way I’m going to sleep knowing I don’t have to stress about anything for the next day because it’s already done and ready to go – I just have to turn up on time looking fresh. Does it always work? No, not at all! But it definitely relieves me of any anxiety so I get a good nights sleep.

♥Bed time (finally). I’m really into diffusers and essential oils at the moment. I love my little diffuser with a built in light. I used to sleep with a lamp on and this saves me having to do that. At night I’ve been diffusing Vetiver. It has so many benefits one of them being a natural sedative. But for me it’s done wonders for any inflammation, my skin feels moisturised and my mood is very calm and grounded. Before I started using the diffuser I would lay in bed thinking the most absurd thoughts before I fell asleep, if I ever fell asleep…..but now I’m pretty chilled and fall asleep within minutes.

Some people literally just brush their teeth (hopefully) and go to bed. I envy those people and if you’re one of them -HOW do you do that??!! If I do that, my sleep is broken and I wake up looking and feeling like a mess.

Anyway, until next time  XX Ef


Forgiveness <3

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‘We dont get to choose what is done to us, we do however get to choose how long it is done to us’

I’ve had to do a little forgiving recently, sometimes I feel like I’m always doing a little forgiving but this time it was next level. I had to first forgive myself and then forgive some people without ever receiving any form of an apology from them.

Quick thing about forgiveness: It frees our mind and spirit. It’s healing for our body. It puts the power back in our hands. It creates a peace of mind and It gives us back control over our thoughts.

So I had to re-connect with a part of myself I’ve been avoiding for a long time.
They say in order to be free, you must first forgive yourself and then forgive others. I found that hard to do. It was draining. Draining forgiving myself and draining forgiving people I’ve had deep anger towards for a long time.
I feel like some people think forgiveness might be easy- and for some, maybe it is. Just like saying, ‘I’m sorry’ or ‘I love you’ the words may roll off the tongue with such importance and likewise the words ‘I forgive you’ may hold just as much power.
But for me….not so much. There’s always a thought process, ‘why am I sorry? why are they sorry? .. are our actions proving so? whats the next step?’
So just the same for forgiveness, it requires work, this time though – a shit load of work. And a whole lot of questions that needed to be answered but only I could answer them and a lot were left unanswered. I was throwing around positive affirmations like they were spells and I went on a massive cull.

Unfortunately I’m only human, forgiveness is not forgetting. It doesn’t matter how many hours I work, books I read, how much music I listen too, forgiveness is not forgetting.
But with every flashback, I feel a little stronger. I have more respect for myself. I’m no longer angry at what anyone has done, they’ve shown me what I need to know. And God damn my standards have been raised.

What’s that quote? ‘If you expect nothing from anyone, you’ll never be disappointed’
Fuck that- when did we all stop expecting, I expect so much more.
It only takes one person to come into your life and treat you like a qween for you to realise that everyone else was so so wrong. The standards need to be re-evaluated and set higher.

Forgive yourself, forgive them and then raise the bar so damn high because you deserve nothing less.

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Ef xx

Boundaries, Connection, Balance

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I have to be honest with you, I’ve been running on empty.  And I dont mean I’ve been surviving on little sleep each day – I mean that by the time bed time comes around again, I have to remind myself ‘a good nights sleep’ is the one thing that will get me through another day. Running.On.Empty.
Sometimes we need more than a good sleep each night to get us through a busy week. Sometimes a good nights sleep just doesn’t cut it.

I remember when I was in my early 20’s I could survive on very little sleep, every single day was exciting and every night was even more exciting than the last. I didn’t mind getting little sleep each night, in-fact I was prone to taking quick naps during my lunch break so I would have more energy to enjoy my night. I didn’t run on empty. My life was fascinating. I was running on whatever fuelled my soul. Now at 28? not so much.
Is it that I’m getting older or has life become a disappointment? I’m not sure, but that’s for another post.IMG_9748But the one thing I do know – I can be very ‘all or nothing’. You know those people who are ‘all work’ and no play or they are ‘all play’ and no work. They either save every cent they earn or they go on a spending binge until they have nothing left. One month they’re claiming to be a sugar addict and the next they’re on a strict sugar free diet……All or Nothing – that’s me. Hi.

Being the ‘all or nothing’ type person I am, I recently tried to set some boundaries in my life. I felt like there wasn’t enough time in the day to achieve what I needed to achieve. I decided to go on a massive cull and remove my social life, my down time and any other distractions from my planner and just focus on what needs to be done.
Bad mistake.
I was already running a little low. My soul was already starting to feel a little disconnected and my days were already getting that little bit too repetitive and THEN I decided to make it worse by removing break time and replacing it with work time.
IMG_9750So- setting harsh boundaries for myself lasted as much as a few days before it became quite clear to me that I needed more. I needed balance. A balance of everything that needs to be done, something to look forward to, and some downtime.
I love the Virgo in me. But the one thing a Virgo needs to be reminded of is – self care.
You can’t really expect to be performing as your best self if you aren’t first taking care of yourself. And taking care of yourself includes a mix of social time and down time…. believe it or not.  Connecting with others and then reconnecting with yourself.
But away from work, away from study. Away from the mundane routine of life that we all have to be apart of every single day. And at the same time setting some damn boundaries. I know … WTF. But when I thought about it some more it was quite simple.

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So downtime isn’t exactly binging on Netflix for 8 hours if it means you get behind on your studies. Rather fitting in a couple of hours to catch up on an episode or two in-between study sessions. It doesn’t mean going on a bender for a weekend and getting run down, rather a night out a month- away from all responsibilities to let your hair out.
It doesn’t mean ALWAYS saying no and it doesn’t mean ALWAYS say yes. Its finding a balance that works for you. Setting boundaries that feel right to you.
Staying connected and then reconnecting with yourself.

AND can I just say that sleep is GREAT.  9 hours of sleep each night really helps to get me through another day for sure. But there’s got to be more to life than just work, study, eat, sleep and repeat. Looking forward to bed time, is that a good sign? At 28?
I mean when I was 24 I could think of nothing worse, I just wanted to embrace my life.
There’s got to be a life to look forward to after work, between study sessions, after dinner and when you wake up in the morning.
Sleep shouldn’t be the one thing that keeps you going. Your life should.

Ef xx
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Whats the damn rush?

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In the lead up to turning 28 this year, I had my usual pre-birthday anxiety. For some reason I will go ‘all out’ for other peoples birthdays, but when it comes to mine…I am really not a fan. During the lead up I was thinking, ‘Oh my god…28 is proper adult age, isn’t this the age im meant to have my shit together!!?!?!!’
My family kept asking what I had planned for it and honestly, the more low key the better! So the days got closer and I was growing more anxious because this meant I was ageing and this was the oldest I had ever been and I was no longer in the cute ‘mid-twenties’ bracket I was officially in my ‘late-twenties’. My family and friends were walking on egg shells around me and honestly I just didn’t know how to cope with turning this one year older.

When the day finally arrived, I actually didn’t care. For the first time in years I actually didn’t care about turning another year older. Being 28, I feel really good. I had to remind myself that, mentally I am in the best frame of mind I have ever been in and physically I feel better than what I did at 18 years old. So you know what? I am embracing ageing. I dont know why I’ve experienced this shift in mindset but I think that im growing more mature and less bothered about giving a shit about things I dont need to.

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The hands of time will keep moving, it will drag you kicking and screaming and you have no choice but to go along for the ride.

Who says that by this age I should be engaged? or even thinking of getting engaged if I had a serious partner of 2.5 years. Who says that I should be pumping out some babies or at least be thinking about pregnancy (OR at the very least be coming off my birth control). Who says that I should be in a proper ‘stable’ career and not at Uni as a mature age student? Who says I should be investing in my first home or even saving for one? Honestly who? … Cause if I find them I will politely tell them to mind their own god damn business.

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I am 28 and I am working on my own timeline, the one that I have set for me. You want to know whats at the top of my list? 1) Being happy with myself, finding out who I am and what I like and the things I want to put my energy into.
I am in no rush to settle down to the standards of what society thinks we should all be doing as we get older.

In saying that, if you want to get engaged, married, start having babies and buying houses – then all power to you ! But everyone needs to start doing them and stop worrying about what other people are doing. Don’t rain on my parade.

We all get to where we need to go in the end, so why the rush?

G.S xx

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Are you taking responsibility?

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I recently decided to put down my phone, step away from Netflix and get back into reading. I am not the type of girl that reads novels about love and empty promises, more the type to learn about how we tick and about our brains…..you can find me in the psychology and motivation isle of Dymocks during most lunch breaks.

So I did a little haul and tucked into my first book like Charlie Bucket tucking into all the sweets that Willy Wonka’s factory had to offer. I was hungry, hungry to learn.
And learn I did, I learnt so much that I went on a reading binge.
And do you know what I found out that was really simple yet needs to be smacked into your face sometimes? …..I am responsible. I am responsible for me and my actions and reactions. I didn’t realise this, well subconsciously I knew this, but consciously I didn’t.

Anyway, so being the sharer I am, I wanted to share with you guys in a ‘non preachy’ way, because I hope this will aid someone in some way?
The long and the short of it is – we cant control what people do to us. Yes, I know that sucks sometimes, wouldn’t it be easy if you could control some things… like that nice little top you saw at Zara last week on sale still being there when you get paid (fingers crossed for me please). Some stuff that happens to us straight up sucks and we cant always see the good in it or even the lesson at first or …ever. BUT what we can do is control and take responsibility for how we chose to react and move past this crappy stuff that happens to us.

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As you might be aware I am very open about my struggles with Anxiety, I dont like to keep it hidden away like a dirty little secret because I am not ashamed of it.
But I will say (and this may not help everyone with their struggle with anxiety but whats the harm in trying), I am now looking at things that happen to me like, ‘well OK, thanks for cheating on me – that sucks, but thats on you not me..all I can do is be responsible for how I let this crushing news affect me.’ Or another example, ‘you dont like me back (cute guy I have been into for like 6 weeks, and I feel like its going somewhere) OK then, its all good. I am responsible for how I deal with this.’ OR your friends wont text you back in a ‘normal’ texting response time, mmmmmm OK ‘not bothered’, pop that phone on hide alerts and go live your life.
(unless you asked them a question and you kind of need to know asap if the outfit you are trying on in Myer looks too mature for your damn fine 28 year old self) etc etc blah blah blah you get the point.

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Where I am going with this is…. are we carrying too much responsibility on our anxiety riddled plates? Can we afford to lose some of that heavy load?
Take a little time to assess what it is that is giving you anxiety right now. Write a list if you need to. (I do this and btw, its actually really good to see it written down on paper and you start to think…..wtf ….why did I write that?)

Lets try and ease our anxiety load and feel a little bit lighter. Taking responsibility by reassessing how we act and react. We all deserve that, we all deserve to feel a little freer in our lives. Switch off our devices, YES we hear this a lot but seriously not being connected makes us more connected. I cannot tell you how amazing it has been to get home from work and be excited to read in bed with my little diffuser going. Its utter peace.
And another little unexpected side effect, apart from how much better my sleep has been since I have cut down my screen time, my darling mother said that I seem to be a lot calmer.
So there you go my sweet little rays of moon shine, pop down the phone, pick up a book and tune out.

Happy Reading
G.S xx

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3 Things I’m loving right now…

“She gave it all, you gave her shit
She coulda done, just anything
Or anyone, cause she’s a goddess
You never got this
You put her down, you liked her hopeless
To walk around, feeling unnoticed
You shoulda crowned her, cause she’s a goddess
You never got this”IMG_9524

  1. Look, maybe I’m a little late to the game, but Banks is breathing new life into my soul every morning with her damn good music. I’ve been listening to her on Spotify repetitively and I don’t see myself getting sick of her music anytime soon. I’m obsessing…..IMG_9567
  2. GirlTherapy!!! I followed @girltherapy on Insta and subscribed to their DAILY newsletter.  I actually get therapy sent to my inbox every.single.day. Which is exactly what I need after a long day at work, when I just want some damn words of encouragement ….or something a little deeper. Great advice, amazing pick-me-ups and cute memes – ALL FOR FREE. IMG_9569
  3. So, my friend sent me a gift. A Gratitude Journal, 100 days of gratitude will change your life, by Natalie Fox. IMG_9565Super thoughtful of her but at first I wasn’t really into it. I placed it at the bottom of my bookshelf to collect dust with the idea that I would re-gift it at some point. HOWEVER, over the last few weeks I’ve been writing in it. It’s simple, cute and it actually really helps to bring my mind out of a funky place. Replacing negative thoughts with gratitude may actually be my new thing. IMG_9635

Just a few things I’m loving right now, keeping me going, keeping me sane.
Ef xx

Anxiety is a bitch

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Anxiety is a bitch to live with.
I am naturally quite an anxious ‘over thinking’ person, I’ve been like this as long as I can remember. I come from a beautiful family, my parents are supportive of me and I was fortunate enough to have Mum be at home full time when I was younger. As a child I was never too far from my Mum, as an adult I look back and think that may have contributed to my anxiety. I wasn’t a kid that loved change, the transition from primary school to high school was beyond traumatic. It may have involved me going to school for only one day, after spending 2 hours in the car that morning crying and refusing to go in – even the principal came out to try and get me to go in…. funny story to share now, at the time not so much.
So now that I am approaching 28,I have gathered some good tips and tricks that I use to keep my anxiety in check. I wanted to share some things that I do when I feel like things are getting a bit too much.

  1. I make sure I have a support system. I think it is super important to make sure that you have a great support system, whether that be friends or family it’s just really great to have someone you know you can rely on. I make sure I avoid toxic people
    and toxic situations as best I can. I will be realistic here – sometimes it may be
    someone from work like a shitty boss, where unless you leave, then you kind of can’t do too much about it. If I’m in that situation I have to use different coping
    mechanisms. I have been there, where I dread going into work each day and I can’t wait to leave! Sometimes I’ve had to sit and write out the pros and cons of staying at that particular toxic workplace.IMG_9571
  2. A big way that I deal with my anxiety is by exercise. I find it so helpful to just sweat and move, because I know for the duration of the workout my brain has a little holiday. When I say workout, for me it can be something as simple as a walk, a yoga session, tai chi or something as intense as F45. It’s really been about setting my own pace and finding what makes me feel good in that moment.
  3. Meditation! I like to meditate daily, but sometimes I just can’t get that happening. On these days I try and aim for 15 minutes of just lying in savasana literally just means laying on your back. There are heaps of meditation apps which are really great, there’s a few free ones which are awesome.
  4. Self-care Sunday’s are my favourite day of the week! I always keep Sunday free for
    myself. When you work 5 days a week and you only get 2 days off, you really need to schedule some alone time in there. I like to have a bath with a lovely, chunky, amazing smelling Lush bath bomb! I pop on a movie or tv show on my laptop, pour myself some kombucha and settle in with a hair mask and face mask on. That way, I finish off my weekend and head into a new week feeling like I have given myself some proper down time and love.IMG_9572
  5. I see a professional to talk through my anxieties which works amazingly for me. It’s very freeing and I always feel like my mind is a clean slate afterwards. They can be quite expensive to be honest, and I know I don’t have the budget for one. When I first started, I spoke with my doctor about going on a mental health care plan and now I get the sessions subsidised. But I know there is also online counselling which is becoming super popular. I’ve looked into it and It’s very helpful because you have regular access to trained professionals via the internet from your laptop or phone, you can choose your preferred method of contact and it’s normally much cheaper than an in-person session.

OK so like I said at the beginning, anxiety is a bitch, but I’ve learnt over the years how to cope and better live with it every day with just a few simple things. I live a full and happy life. Sometimes it’s just about stepping back and asking, am ‘I loving on myself right now?’

G.S xx