Lifestyle, Of Pens & Paper

the secret to survive the holiday season like a MINIMALIST:

PLAN AHEAD.

Straight up, this is all I need to say. Make sure to LIKE this post!

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Discussion, Feminism, Health & Wellness, Lifestyle, Of Pens & Paper

i’m finally talking about it.

I promised you several weeks ago that I would share the story of my skin – how it started, what happened, and how it is now. Along with that, I’ll be giving you my honest thoughts and advice on how to deal with problem skin.

I’ll also show you the products I’ve used – scrubs, toners, cleansers, oils… I’ll tell you how the products works and list the benefits of it, as well as the – non-benefits? of each product.

Just a little side note: for privacy reasons, I will not be showing any pictures of my face. However, I’ll show you the products I use.

my story

My skin problems go waaaaay back. Since I was… nine? Ten? No, nine. Since I was nine I haven’t had fully clear skin, and have been battling for a clear complexion since then.

So if you think I don’t know what having bad skin is like: think again.

I can remember when I was nine and ten feeling so horribly ashamed of my skin. I was disgusted with myself, and some nights I’d think I didn’t even deserve to live. And some people might look at my skin and say that it’s fine, compared to what they have, but in my own eyes I was a hideous monstrosity.

And remember: I was nine. What nine-year-olds do you see with problem skin?

Somewhere that year my wonderful mother entered, introducing to one of many facial products: rose water. And it did help, I’ll grant that – before this I hadn’t been using anything on my face, simply because I didn’t even know that’s what people did for problem skin.

The rose water helped a little, but not much. Then around a year later I was given this:

Image result for clean and clear blackhead clearing cleanser review

(Clean & Clear Blackhead Clearing Cleanser – photo from here)

And wow. You knwo the way all those skincare products say things like “results from day 1”? I sh*t you not, I saw results from Day 1.

I used this cleanser, as well as the Clean & Clear Deep Action Cream Wash.

(photo from here)

I wasn’t really a fan of this, because it didn’t really do much, apart from just clean like a soap, but I used it occasionally nevertheless.

I continued to use the products on my face for a while, but then I started to notice that my skin was getting slightly worse. I figured that my skin had probably gotten used to the products or something, and they were getting less effective, so debated about purchasing something new.

Then I got a tablet – it was the first time I had such easy access to the internet, as I didn’t have any devices (excluding my Kindle). About a month after that, my skin was going through some rough periods, so I Googled “how to get clear skin.”

It was mindblowing.

I discovered some simple hacks like tea tree oil, and toothpaste (but never use toothpaste because it’s full of chemicals). And… I was also told to eat a healthy diet.

Before that, I thought the only reason people ate healthily was because they wanted to lose weight. And I’ve always been skinny enough, I guess (it’s in my genes though),so it never really occurred to me to eat particularly healthily. And besides, my diet at the time didn’t seem too bad, so I never thought of eating differently.

Yet here I was being told about the concept of “what’s on the inside shows on the outside.”

So I tried. At first, when I read online, I was told to cut out sugar and dairy. I didn’t really pay much attention to sugar, as I knew next to nothing about it at the time and how it’s in pretty much everything. Dairy, however: the idea that milk was full of hormones seemed logical at the time, so I told my mother that I needed to cut down on dairy for my skin.

Her response was “You need to cut down on bread, not milk.”

For a while, I ignored her advice – I gradually saw how much bread I was eating on a daily basis, so no wonder I had breakouts.

And then this year, I tried cutting down on bread for a week – and I just went “Woah” at the end of that week – my skin was almost fully clear. But then of course, I ruined it a short time later by binging on sweets.

Since then… I guess it’s been a yo-yo. I’ll eat okay at home, but then we’ll have a family holiday/getaway/event and I’ll eat sugar and bread, undoing my hard work. Then I’ll vow to never eat bread again, until another holiday/getaway/event comes along. It’s a bit of a vicious cycle, but I’ve decided to be more careful when it comes to eating outside of home.

in my head

I’ve talked to you about the physical aspect of this story – now it’s time to get down into the mental side: how this affects me psychologically.

The answer?

IT’S FUCKING HARD.

When my skin is more or less clear, it’s great, but on days when I have really bad breakouts all I want to do is curl up in bed, have no contact with anyone, and cry until my skin is clear again.

But of course, there’s school, friends, extracurriculars… as much as I want to do that, I can’t. I have to go out acting like the happy, friendly, clever girl friends and classmates see when they meet me.

When really,

And I’m not trying to be funny. The worst part is that I know I can have clear skin – I don’t have any special acne or anything (you’ll notice I haven’t actually used the word acne once in this post until now), so clear skin is from what I do to myself. Which is absolutely killer – come a breakout, and I’ll think “Oh, why did I have that dessert on Friday?!”

As if feeling disgusted with myself wasn’t bad enough, all around me I see tall, beautiful girls with porcelain skin, who are clever, sporty and popular.

That certainly doesn’t help – I’m not trying to be the whiny-bitch-in-the-corner girl, but sometimes I look at other girls and think, “They get to eat bread and sweets and dairy with not a single spot. How is that fair?”

On a lot of bad days, I look in the mirror and debate if I deserve to live. It’s that bad. And the worst part is, I feel like nobody identifies with me because it’s all “Oh well, just give it a week of eating healthy and your skin will be fine again!”

There’s not really anybody I can talk to. Well, I mean, I probably could say something to my mum, or a good friend, but in all likelihood my mother’s response would be to just wait and eat healthy, while friends would think I’m being whiny.

That’s a reason why I love blogging. I can talk to you people without you seeing my face, only my words. No matter how bad I’m feeling, blogging helps as it’s a way to express things that I can’t with the people around me.

This is going to sound pretty cheesy, but: you really have no idea how much I value blogging, and all the internet friends I’ve made. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I love you people so much.

Today.png

Now we’ve covered the story of my skin’s past, let’s talk about the present.

I want to tell you that today my skin is fully clear, and I’ll never rebound again. Oh, I really want to tell you that.

I can’t.

In truth, I’m still battling breakouts. They happen every few weeks or so, but I’ve managed to limit them with a healthy diet and exercise. And when they do happen… well, just read “In My Head.”

In the comments...

  • Do you struggle with your complexion?
  • Do you have skincare tips?
  • How do you deal with breakouts?

Of Pens & Paper (1)

I appreciate that you read this post. Thank you.

Please share it to spread awareness about people’s struggles with acne and skin problems, because together, we can change anything. ❤

Health & Wellness, Lifestyle, Of Pens & Paper

let’s take a challenge!

Hello everyone! 🙂

Recently I’ve been browsing YouTube, and have come across a few beautiful “morning routine” videos. These videos are created by vegans, yogis, fitness enthusiasts… they are full of happiness, health and light.

These videos have inspired me to change my (slightly boring) regular morning routine, so let’s take a challenge!

Every day starting tomorrow, I am (and you are, if you want!) going to try to make my morning routine as fulfilling as possible. This means:

  • Hydration (drink plenty of water, and cut out the caffeine)
  • Exercise (yoga/stretch/run/workout/gym/etc.)
  • Mindfulness (meditation/journaling/prayers/affirmations/etc.)
  • Natural beauty (less makeup & products/natural products/moisturizing)
  • Healthy eating (a nutritious breakfast)
  • No internet (give yourself some personal, deep time)

I’ll be more likely to put in extra effort if I make this public, so I’ll check back with you at the end of the week with an update.

And if you want to try this challenge too, feel free! You don’t even have to make it public, but if you want comment below telling me your thoughts and aims for the coming week.

Of Pens & Paper (1)

Sorry this post wasn’t as exciting as you might have expected, but join in on the challenge! And if not, I’ll have a minimalism post coming on Monday, so make sure to click SIGN ME UP at the sidebar 🙂

See you soon! ❤

 

 

 

Fitness, Health & Wellness, Lifestyle, Of Pens & Paper

5 simple tips to be mindful + stay healthy & fit AT THE SAME TIME

Really, being mindful and staying healthy + fit go hand in hand. But it can sometimes be  pretty hard – after a long, busy school or work day, you have thirty minutes to either bust a leg in some cardio, or meditate and journal.

Not to mention the fact that takeaways are just so much faster when you flop in the door, ready to eat your own arm.

Believe me, I know it can get hard sometimes. But in today’s post I wanted to share 5 ways in which you can be mindful, and stay healthy + fit AT THE SAME TIME. Does it get any better?

Read on to find out!

Tip #1.png

Do yoga.

Yoga is the best way to exercise and practice mindfulness at the same time. You’re getting in a good stretch and workout, while at the same time yoga also has a focus on breathing and feeling calm. What better way to spend 15 – 30 minutes when you come home, or just when you wake up?

Plus, it’s a great way to stretch your muscles after sitting all day at a desk or computer, or rising from a long sleep!

Tip #2.png

Wake up earlier.

If you’re the type of person who find themselves rushing around in the morning, with barely enough time to get to school or work, getting up a little earlier can make a huge difference.

Even an extra ten to fifteen minutes can mean you don’t forget anything, you have a chance to take your time with breakfast, exercise, or you can shower/do your full beauty routine.

Or something, that absolutely love to do because it’s so peaceful, is to stand/sit outside for a few minutes with a lovely warm cup of herbal tea. This would be a good thing to do first thing when you wake up, because (a) the tea will hydrate you after sleep and (b) the fresh air will wake you up.

Tip #3.png

Walk, walk, walk!

It’s exercise and mindfulness combined: exercise because of walking, and mindfulness because walking is a great de-stresser. Walking can help you to achieve mental clarity as well (you can run through tasks that need to be done, upcoming events, etc).

I enjoy either an early morning stroll (see previous tip) or a walk after dinner – after dinner, it can be a great way to allow your food to settle before you start doing your tasks/chores/errands again.

Tip #4.png

Spend less time on the internet.

I know, I know. You either have been told this a hundred times, or can’t imagine not logging onto your computer every single day (or both). But I really do urge you to take even a day off the web – and you’ll be astonished at how life moves on! When I first started taking regular no-internet days, I found I was much happier.

And if you’re worried about having nothing to do, don’t worry. When you realize that you can’t use your computer, you just automatically come up with other things to do (hint: now’s the time to sort that massive mountain of laundry, or do that quick gym workout).

Quick tip: if you think you might not have very good self-control, put your device in a place it’s hard to reach. For example, on top of a high cupboard. If you have to go to so much effort as getting a chair to take your device down, you’ll be less likely to quickly “check your emails” or something.

However, I understand that for some people you can’t always take a day off. Maybe you run an online business, and have to constantly send/reply to emails, edit posts/videos, create new content, etc.

So why not set a specific time for internet? For example, have the morning to yourself, and then at ten or eleven o’clock, you can open your laptop. Then reserve the late evening for yourself – switch off at five or six o’clock.

Tip #5.png

Keep track of your food.

I know, I know. This may seem like a weight loss thing, but I ca assure you, this is for health and wellbeing.

I started food journaling on Sunday – today’s day 4. And I must say, it’s really opened my eyes. For example, on day 1 I ate 5 pieces of salami, so I knew I had to watch and cut that out.

Food journaling is quite simply one of the best things to stay healthy. You can see your eating patterns and habits, and if you’re trying to lose weight this can also be a big game-changer.

Of Pens & Paper (1)

I hope you enjoyed this lifestyle post – I plan on bringing out more content that involves fitness, health and wellbeing, so stay tuned for that!

Much love ❤

 

Lifestyle, Of Pens & Paper, School & Learning

how to ace day 1 of school #likeaboss

I don’t know about you, but damn, summer flew in.

I’m actually heading back to school tomorrow (right now it’s the afternoon of August 30th); I figured – why not jazz up my blog posts a little with a back to school post?

So today I’ll share a few simple tricks/hacks/tips to really, you know, ace that first day back at school!

Supplies.png

In most schools, you’re given a booklist for the new year. Therefore, now is the time to go through this list and check that you have all your books, notepads, copies, stationery, etc.

I’d recommend taking this time also to go through your schoolbag and pencil case – throw out old stationery that can’t be used any more, get a few new supplies, clear out your schoolbag and maybe even wash it!

Make sure also that your bag is clean & clear – no old papers, tissues, stationery, books, etc. rotting away at the bottom!

(girls) Are there any little “personal” kits you’d like to bring with you? For makeup, sanitary and hygiene items? If there are, make sure these are packed and ready in your schoolbag.

Clothes.png

If you have a uniform, double check that everything is in order. Are your shirts ironed/cleaned? Your jumper’s washed? Your skirt/trousers and pressed and ready?

Now is also the time for you to make sure you have necessities, such as underwear and socks! Please make sure to check these, because they’re something you need every day.

If you go to a no-uniform-school, lay out a few outfits for the first week of school – maybe it’s time to check out the shops, and have a look for some new wardrobe pieces?

Be prepared also with outerwear – do your shoes fit you? Are they polished and clean? Does your jacket fit you? What about hats, gloves, scarves, etc.? (if you live in a place that cold in September)

Food.png

The last thing you want to happen is that you run out of things for lunch. Unless, of course, you go to your school’s cafeteria/canteen – in which case you can skip this step.

It’s a good idea to have a sort of – meal prep, I guess. You don’t have to have everything ready, but you know, chop up vegetables, prepare some grains in boxes, prepare sandwiches, boxes, etc.

You can also try writing out a list of lunch ideas – that way if you’re stuck for what to make one day, no worries 😉

Checklist.png

Something I’ve always liked to do is make a checklist for the morning of School Day #1™. Here are a few ideas for adding to the list:

  • Make + pack lunch
  • Check books
  • Put on uniform/outfit
  • Shower (but I usually do this the night before to avoid rushing)
  • Have breakfast
  • Tidy room

I know the checklist is a little lame, but I don’t really know what other people do in the mornings during school days… so feel free to customize your own to-do list! It’s always nice to know what exactly you need to do in the morning, rather than rushing to school and realizing you’ve forgotten half of your stuff. And on the first day especially!

This may seem a little extravagant, but do you know how exactly you’re getting to school?

If you’re taking the bus – have you got your pass/ticket/money? Do you know what time the bus arrives at the stop?

Or if you’re being driven – do you know who exactly will drive you? Have your parents got work? Older siblings in college? Friends available?

Biking or walking – what if it rains? Is it comfortable to walk/cycle with a bag of books? Are you bike’s tyres pumped up?

The Night Before.png

The night before the first day is just as important as the morning. You should ideally head to bed in a calm, prepared state of mind. Here are a few ideas to get yourself ready:

  • Shower – wash and condition your hair
  • Use a nice cream or lotion to make your skin soft
  • Do a face mask – or a hair mask
  • Meditate – this will be good if you’re worried/anxious
  • Plan the week – if you know things are going to get hectic, take some time to plan your week to schedule time for yourself
  • Clean your room – there’s nothing worse than having a messy room, ton of homework, and a hectic week. Get your space cleaned and sorted now.
  • Make sure to be prepared for homework – stationery, a clean desk, and scheduled time will come in handy!
  • If you’re nervous, try some positive affirmations to calm yourself.
  • Drink some herbal tea and go to bed early. Reading is also advised!

Of Pens & Paper (1)

Well, I’m off to prepare for tomorrow! I hope you enjoyed reading this post – let me know any of your own tips for acing that first day of school.

And have you gone back to school yet? Let me know!

See you in a few days ❤

 

Books, Fitness, Food, Lifestyle, Of Pens & Paper

MID-YEAR RECAP ft. me flailing over my 69 read books & unachieved other goals

Continue reading “MID-YEAR RECAP ft. me flailing over my 69 read books & unachieved other goals”

Lifestyle, Minimalism, Of Pens & Paper

My DECLUTTERING JOURNEY: KonMari + Minimalism

Continue reading “My DECLUTTERING JOURNEY: KonMari + Minimalism”

Lifestyle, Natural Musings

Why I am starting to go VEGETARIAN

Continue reading “Why I am starting to go VEGETARIAN”