How to get your best night's sleep.

11 June 2018

If you’ve been plagued with bad sleep for anywhere from a few days to a few weeks or longer, then you’ll know how awful it is trying to function on little sleep. You feel like falling asleep where you stand, you have brain fog, you can’t work as effectively as you’d like, your eating habits suffer, and so many more issues crop up.

What if I told you you could have the best sleep you’ve ever had by tonight? It might sound like a con, but hear me out. There are a few things you can do to get your mind and body ready for sleep, and they should make a massive difference when your head hits the pillow. Take a look - many of these techniques can be used for a better sleep tonight!

Make Sure The Temperature Of The Room Is Right


If the temperature of your room is not right, you’re going to struggle to fall and stay asleep. If it’s too cold you’ll struggle and you probably won’t want to get out of bed in the morning. If it’s too warm, you’ll wake up constantly and probably struggle drifting off in the first place. Make sure you have the right bed clothes to ensure your body temperature is at a level you’re comfortable with. Open a window if you need to.

Take All Technology Out Of The Bedroom


Having technology in the bedroom confuses the body’s circadian rhythms. Even if you don't want TV in bed, simply have the light and other power lights in your bedroom can disrupt sleep. You want the room to be as dark as possible, with nothing interfering with the way you sleep. Take it all out and put it somewhere else. The bedroom is for sleep only.

Use Essential Oils And Sleep Sprays


Start using essential oils and sleep sprays to help you drift off. Lavender is a great one, but you can even mix your own to help you drift off if you want to. Put essential oils in a diffuser to breathe them in, or mix them with your body care products. Use sprays on your pillow and they should help to relax you.

Invest In A New Mattress


Maybe your mattress is quite old and could do with being replaced. Look for the best mattresses for your needs, whether that’s firm or soft. Test some out in the store. At the very least, flip your mattress to see if that helps give you better support while you sleep.

Have A Bath Before Bed


Bathing before bed helps the body and mind to wind down, as well as affect the temperature in a way that makes sleep come more naturally.

Stay Away From Caffeine Later On In The Afternoon


If you’re drinking caffeine any time past 3pm, you could be buzzing all night long. You might think it has been ages since your last coffee, but it could still be in your system!

Exercise Earlier On In The Day


Finally, exercise early on in the day to expend some excess energy and you should feel more tired come bedtime.

Top tips for sustainable travel.

04 June 2018

Sustainable travel is one of those things that many people aim for these days. More and more people are aware of the impact they have on the planet, especially when they’re travelling and exploring the world. If this is something that you want to get better at, you’ve definitely come to the right place. Scroll down to find out about the essential tips for anyone who wants to be a more sustainable global traveller.

Do a Little Volunteering


If you really want to give back to the place that you’ve been travelling through, why not volunteer? There are many ways in which tourists can help out in different parts of the world, especially in Asia, Africa and South America. So if you’re travelling to these places, show your gratitude by lending a helping hand. Not only will it benefit them, it will be a great experience for you too. I personally can’t wait to get to Costa Rica and help with the turtles!

Choose Train or Bus, Not Plane


Travelling on a plane is never the most green way to get around, so if you have the choice, you should always take the train. This isn’t such a bad thing either. When you travel by train, you will find that the whole experience is more leisurely and laid back. That’s never really the case when you’re trying to navigate a huge international airport, is it?

Or Camp and Power Your Trip With Solar Panels


If you don’t want to take a plane or a train, you could always take your car to a spot where you can camp. This is a nice idea because you can then use these solar panels to power your vacation. As long as you clean up after yourself and don’t mess with the environment much, you will find it very easy to take a clean and green camping trip.

Always Pack Light


Packing light means leaving less behind and generally getting around more easily. It’s the most sustainable way to travel because you will make it easier for you, and you probably won’t create as much waste or take as much back home with you because you won’t have the room to do so. It’s a good trick, and it’ll benefit you in so many different ways as you travel.

Don’t Take Natural Souvenirs


The last thing you should be doing is taking flowers, seeds and other natural souvenirs with you when you’re travelling. This is part of the local environment, and it’s never okay to disturb that for your own personal reasons. Try to be respectful of the environment around you and don’t unsettle what’s there. It’s something more people should keep in mind when they’re visiting different place around the world.

These tips will help you to be a more sustainable and responsible traveller as you make your way around the globe. It’s something that you should definitely be aware of because when you’re travelling, your carbon footprint can be pretty huge if you’re not careful about it. It’s all about being more aware of your impact.

The Hidden Things That Bring Out The Best In Your Interiors


Most people focus on the pretty obvious visual elements of an interior when they’re designing it. For example, if you’re looking to create a lovely living room, you focus on the flooring, walls, furniture, and so on. These are all critical to how the interior looks, but did you know there are plenty of hidden things that add something extra to every room?

It’s true, these ‘hidden things’ are named as such because you don’t always notice them right away, yet they help bring the whole interior together. So, if you’re designing a room and feel like something is missing, then have a look at some of the stuff mentioned below, and it could bring out the best in your interior design.


Scents & Smells

In my opinion, different scents & smells will 100% change the way an interior looks and feels. If you walk into a room and it smells a bit funny or dull, then this is reflected in your overall opinion of that room. But, walk into a room with a fresh scent, and you instantly appreciate every other design element too. How can you bring some nice smells into your home? Well, there are scent machines like the one on aromatechscent.com that can do this very effectively. If you don’t want something too big, then you can always use a diffuser of some kind as an alternative. I like things like this as they help produce a more natural and even scent, instead of an overpowering one.

Natural Light

Natural light is a funny thing. It’s not something you think about until you see it in action. When a room is basked in the glow of natural light, it can really bring out all of the best features as well as lifting and improving your mood. There’s something dazzling about natural light that really livens up your interiors. Therefore, you should try and make the most out of it. Open your curtains during the day, and you will see a dramatic improvement in how your home looks. Try this yourself if you don’t believe me. Block out natural light and just look at a room with the lights on. Then, let the sun shine in, and pick your jaw off the floor!

Ceiling Design

Ceiling design is often the most neglected and underappreciated element of interior design. Most people do nothing with their ceilings, and this is probably why your interiors aren’t meeting the high expectations you’ve set for yourself. With a nice ceiling design, you can create a more complete picture of any given room. Think of it as a cute trendy hat that pulls your whole outfit together. I’m not saying you need to have crazy ceiling designs in every room but just think about things like the colors used, the patterns, and even the light shade too.


These three things are special because they might not catch your eye right away. Or, in the case of scents & smells, you can’t even see them! However, they all contribute a lot to your overall interior design and will definitely bring out the best in your interiors.

Break From The Crowd, Make Your Home Unique

26 May 2018

I often get tired of my bedroom decor, and when that happens it’s time to change that with some new twists. Some people are fine with their living room looking like that of their friends or their next-door neighbours. But if you want your home to look different while still being ultra stylish, here are some great possibilities for you to consider.

Get Eclectic

You might think that minimalist design is the best possibility for your house. With a minimalistic design, it’s possible to make sure that your home looks modern and sophisticated. Personally, it’s one of my favourite looks, but only with a few more personal touches. To achieve a minimalist design, you just need to make sure that you are limiting the number of furniture and accessory pieces in a room.

To pep it up, choose a few eclectic pieces whilst sticking to a colour scheme or general look. Doing this, you can choose furniture pieces from different periods to create a room design. You can also play with multiple colours too, clashing and creating a storm of imagination. An eclectic design can be difficult as it may make your room look like a cluttered mess if you don’t pull it off. However, selecting the right pieces is part of the fun - some of my favourite things to use are postcards, posters and photos for a budget upgrade.

Play With Shapes

You may also want to think about choosing different furniture shapes for your room. For instance, take the chair. You can get circular chairs that will look fantastic and are quite unique regarding style. Or what about the shelving in the room? Cattelan Italia has created a stunning drop shelf that would look brilliant.

I always think shapes also work really well on textiles. Throws and cushions are a great and inexpensive way to change the look of a room entirely, Urban Outfitters always have an amazing selection, or change with the seasons and add something like Hawaiian prints to signal the start of summer. My leafy bed print always makes me feel summer-y and a little bit uplifted.

Look For Rare, Special Accessories

Most people are happy to buy their home from a shop like Ikea for the convenience(me included). However, if you do this, it’s worth pointing out that you probably will end up with the same items as everywhere else. Instead, think about purchasing the bulk from these kind of shops and accessories from smaller shops and sellers. Niche stores may be able to offer some wonderful little accessories that could bring your home to life with a unique character.

Of course, if you want to make sure that your home is styled with unique accessories, you can think about creating them yourself. There are plenty of tutorials online, I could spend hours scrolling through ideas on Pinterest.

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Waking up with a Smile.

24 May 2018

If you’re a morning person, I’m happy for you. I really am. There may be a little bit of envy-speckled jealousy in there somewhere, but I am happy for you. For most people, though, waking up in the morning (read: midday) is a struggle that consists of a dozen alarm spread nine-minutes apart and at least two strong cups of coffee. It’s a routine that has long helped us non-morningers get up and out of the door.


But that’s not what kickstarting the day is all about.


We should be able to wake up with a smile, feel excited about the 86,000 seconds that lay ahead and dance out of the door with so much infectious happiness the rest of your little world feels like it’s been touched by fairy dust. The way you begin your day, at least for me tends to have a massive impact on how the rest follows, so it's imperative to do it in the most positive kind of way.


So, without further ado, here are the best ways to wake up with the kind of #MondayMotivation feeling you pretend you have on Instagram.


1. Breakfast Is The Best

Apart from music, nothing fuels the soul more than a yummy breakfast. Blueberries, syrup and freshly-made pancakes. Avocado on toast. A smoothie full of all your favourite fruits. A bowl of porridge with bananas. It only takes one less snooze-button to fit in the kind of delicious and nutritious breakfast that will make you feel more energetic, spritely and happy.


2. Bye-Bye Screens

We’re not sure if you’ve read, seen or heard the news lately, but it’s very rarely filled with uplifting stories of human kindness or facts about unicorns. The point is: skip the news in the morning and watch it later in the day, when your great mood couldn’t possibly dampened. (Oh, and the other thing is, screens are bad for moods in general, so try reading a book instead.) I recently took a month's break from Instagram and the difference was very noticeable.


3. Dance Like No One’s Watching

Spotify has roughly 1,650,032 feel-good playlists just waiting for you to explore and press play on, which you need to do because, like I said somewhere above, nothing fuels the soul more than music. So pop on your favourite cheesy hits, turn it up so loud you can sing in the shower and dance until your cheeks hurt from smiling. I love driving along to some classics in the morning, or failing that, at least an uplifting podcast.


4. Sleep Well, Wake Up Better

No one is going to wake up with a smile if they’ve spent most of the night tossing, turning and staring at the ceiling. If this describes your slumber-pattern, chances are your mattress needs to go and you need to go onto Google and search for a ‘local mattress store near me’. That’s the first part. The second part is keeping your curtains half open. We know that sounds bonkers, but waking up to a room flooded with sun rays is way more beautiful than waking up to an alarm, and helps wake you up gradually too.


5. Charge Your Phone Downstairs

Put your hand up if you reach for your phone as soon as you wake up and start scrolling through Instagram and Facebook like it's your daily newspaper. Well, weirdly enough, this isn’t the most enlightening way to start the day. My advice (although I'm also yet to follow it): leave your phone on charge in the kitchen and wake up without it. It might sound simple, but it’s more cathartic than taking a sketch pad to the park on a balmy summer’s evening.

Switching up my fitness.

23 May 2018



Life is, as we know, all about balance. The right amount of sleep will help you to perform better when you’re awake, the right amount of salt rebalances your body as you drink water - and any idleness should, of course, be balanced out with an active lifestyle. So far, so good; yet, it can be surprisingly hard to make your exercise routine as varied as possible.




I've recently been getting into exercise again, trying to drag myself to the gym at least a couple of times a week - and it's become such a mood booster for me when done right. However, it's good to keep switching it up. If you only focus on cardio, you’ll miss out on all the great benefits of doing strength exercises and vice versa. I've mainly been focusing on lifting heavy, but it's always good switch it up a bit and focus on some other aspects of fitness. That’s why I've put together this little article to help you along the way and kill two birds with one stone, so to speak, by enjoying workouts that will improve both your cardiovascular health and build strength at the same time.

The good news is that most of these activities are really fun - and you’ll hardly notice that you’re working out.

Swimming

Swimming really is the ultimate exercise for your heart and muscles. The resistance of the water makes it possible to exercise your entire body at once and the fact that it’s so good for your heart makes it even better.

Make time for an hour of swimming every week and you’re already doing a lot to maintain the strength of your body while simultaneously improving your lung capacity, heart health, etc - the list goes on. My gym unfortunately doesn't have a pool, but it's something I really want to get more into - especially in the summer.




Cycling

While you may get a lot of benefits out of cycling on those stationary bikes at the gym, it’s much better for your mental health to cycle in nature. Just make sure you have a proper insurance before heading off on a long trip, though, such as this comprehensive one from Velosure. It’s the perfect alternative for leg-day and you’ll get a kickass workout that you’ll actually enjoy - especially now that it’s summer.

It’s sure to get your heart pumping, your legs burning and, most importantly, the feeling of being out in nature will surely brighten your mood more than any grey gym is able to do. If cycling isn't your thing, a brisk walk is also perfect for clearing your mind, getting out into nature and the blood pumping a little bit.

Power yoga
Yoga is a really versatile activity and you can adjust it to suit any fitness level. If you’re looking for a harder workout than those mindfulness-sessions seem to offer, you should try power yoga; it makes the workout a bit harder while also adding elements of cardio - just what you’re looking for, in other words.

While there are a lot of great videos on YouTube to guide you through it if you’re new to power yoga, you can also wamp up your regular routine by focusing on doing 1 movement per breath and repeating it at least 3 times before completing another sequence where you hold the poses for 10 breaths.

You’ll flow through the sequence, feel your heart pump a bit faster, and put those muscles to work - all in one yoga session. I recommend starting out with a class if you're new to the practice, it will really help you master the moves and breathing with some more guidance. If you're feeling adventurous, I also love hot yoga as it really helps with flexibility and joints whilst getting a good sweat on.



These suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg and you can probably think of many more workouts where you get the best of both cardio and strength.

Secrets to the Perfect Instagram Love Story.

22 May 2018


Instagram has never been such a popular social media platform. With its active users and the many ways in which they can interact with your content, it’s fair to say that the platform has become a favourite for bloggers and visual creatives alike. Smartphone users have established a great audience base, and they are quick to react to the content they see online. A like, a comment, a share, a new follower gained, whatever you need, Instagram offers the potential to reach simultaneously and in real time millions of users who can then discover your work, your portfolio, your website, etc. The main problem with this approach is that Instagram is a busy platform buzzing with activities and new content. Of course, you can select the most relevant #hashtags for your content, but it’s fair to say it won’t be enough to gain a competitive edge and get noticed. You need to build your Inta-love story with your follower base. 





#1. Positivity and self-confidence

It’s there’s one lesson you need to learn about Instagram is that it’s a positive platform. Content that is designed to share confident and self-esteem boosting visuals is most likely to perform well – while negative content can disappear at the bottom of the feeds. In short, your posts should ooze with self-confidence, whether it’s your photo work or your makeup style, you need to stand behind what you choose to share. Users can tell if you don’t feel good about your content. 


#2. Have something to say and show

When you use the platform with a close group of friends, it’s easy to overshare and post visuals that don’t have any message to convey. But when you decide to use Instagram as a platform to launch your brand, you need to keep your posts engaging and purposeful. With more than 80 million images shared every day; it’s fair to say that nobody dwindles on pointless content. Instead of showing another picture of your cat sleeping in bed – even though it is very cute–, opt for bringing the user at the heart of the experience. Indeed, modern marketing is all about the experience more than the actual offering. As a creative individual, you can take users through your creative process, for example. 





#3. Beautiful photos with enhancements but no lies

It’s fair to say that nobody wants to see pictures that have been modified to boost your self-esteem. You know the kind, pictures that show people slimmer or fitter than they are in real life, as these can generate a massive backlash on social media. When celebrities such as Beyonce get told off by their fans for tweaking photos, it’s not a risk you want to take. But as a creative, you, of course, want to share the best possible image, so it can be worth to familiarise yourself with Photoshop lessons and learning resources to understand better how to use this tool in a subtle and positive way. Body enhancements are never okay, but most followers will forgive you for correcting the shadow in a landscape picture. 


#4. Find the trends

Like every online platform, Instagram follows specific marketing trends that are designed to meet the requirements of both clients and audience base. For instance, if you want to use paid marketing strategies to gain more visibility, you’ll be pleased to know that boosting your Instagram posts through an ad campaign can encourage users to interact with your brand. If you sell online creation, you can even include a link to get users directly to your shopping site, which increases results. As a creative, you can also ensure that you stick to your style and your colour palette as your profile aesthetic can become just as important as your website to reach out to a new audience. 


#5. Love stories go in both ways

Last, but not least, Instagram is a social media platform. While not everyone can create exciting and popular content, everyone can interact and comment. If you want to establish your brand online, you need to get used to managing your Instagram comments. If you receive too many comments, your followers will forgive you for the lack of response. However, when your posts don’t attract a high volume of comments, users will be more likely to expect a reply. If you don’t interact with your follower base, you might soon experience a backlash from users who feel snubbed out or taken for granted. Ultimately when people try to talk to you, it’s only polite to answer. 

Hopefully, with these little tips, you’ve got all you need to build a compelling and powerful Insta love story with your followers. Growing your brand online is hard work, but you’ll find that Instagram provides you with a high-quality platform to do so! 

Milano.

14 March 2018









I was recently lucky enough to get the chance to visit Milan to model so I took the opportunity to explore a little whilst I was out there. Slightly unfortunately, it was during the cold snap that Europe experienced around the end of February so conditions outside weren't exactly ideal and we did have to suffer through a couple of days of rain and general greyness, but it is a truly beautiful city with some stunning architecture so I thought I'd treat you to a couple of the photos that I snapped along the way.

Rather smaller than I thought, I covered most of the main sites in the few days that I had off. A lot of the architecture was more modern than I was expecting, but there were still hints of the gothic style around every corner, including the beautiful Duomo. If you're ever there, I'd definitely recommend a visit to Leonardo's Last Supper as well. It must be booked in advance, but is well worth the trip. And, of course, it would be rude to skip out on the incredible Italian cuisine, especially the Milanese spaghetti and gelato, which was delicious.

Have you ever been to Milan? I'm off to Rome in a couple of weeks time, which I'm equally excited about - let me know if you have any recommendations!

What I Eat in a Day - Main Meals Edition

12 March 2018


I've been wanting to make one of these kinds of posts for a while, so I thought I'd start with a summary of my main meals to ease myself in. I'm a snacker at heart so this is by no means everything that I'd eat in a day, but it's a start. Being a student I try not to spend ridiculous amounts of money on food but I do splash out on some luxuries, whilst keeping the costs low in general and trying to bulk shops in cheaper stores like Aldi. 

To start my day, I often like to go with a hot meal, or something a little more substantial. I love rye bread and it pairs so well with smoked salmon and a soft boiled egg - my favourite way of doing them. Paired with a bit of veg and a hefty dose of black pepper, you've got yourself one delicious breakfast. 


For lunch, I tend to prefer something a tad lighter than my evening meal, and with lots of veg for vitamins and health. Here, I've gone for a somewhat easier take on the ever so popular and instagrammable buddha bowl. A bed of spinach, giant couscous, pomegranate seeds, edamame beans, seeds and carrot with a beanie burger and topped with a big dollop of houmous - it's the perfect throw together lunch. Of course, this was also doused in sweet chilli sauce -  my latest obsession - after I took a photo.




I can't get enough of stir fries, and they're so simple to make I don't know why I don't do them more often. They're amazing for using up the odds and ends of your leftover veg and served with Itsu dumplings as above, or protein of your choice and a bed of noodles or rice, it's hard to go too far wrong. All I ever use is a bit of garlic and ginger, some sesame oil to fry in and some fish, oyster and soy sauce to flavour - simples. Whilst that was all cooking, I boiled up some rice, but forgot to photograph that at the same time - doh!

I hope this has been vaguely interesting/inspiring - let me know if you'd like to see more of these in the future - and whether it would be helpful to see snacks and puddings included too?

Malaysian Photo Diary.

05 March 2018

Malaysia was my first destination of the summer, and an easy introduction to the Asian way of life. From the urban to the rural, I loved the mix of modern architecture and green spaces everywhere in Kuala Lumpur and the islands that we visited along the coast were absolute paradise. We finished our tour of the country in the jungle before heading home, but I'll let the photos speak for themselves. 






















If you'd like a more detailed itinerary of places and recommendations I'll pop them all in another blog post, let me know!

5 Everyday Makeup Heroes

10 February 2018

Around three or four years ago I was utterly ob.sess.ed with makeup, you couldn’t tear me away from the stuff, and whilst I never wore particularly heavy looks, my use has definitely become more minimal over the years. Perhaps it's due to an increase in confidence in the way I naturally look, or perhaps laziness has overcome (probably the latter haha) but I find my spending more driven towards fashion, holidays and experiences than it ever was before.

Nowadays, I don't often find myself wearing more than about five products on my face on a very regular basis - that is if I even step out of the house wearing makeup at all. Mascara, brow products, concealer and lip gloss and I'm good to go. Here's my pick of the bunch:

Benefit Solar power
Revlon Lip Gloss
NARS creamy concealer
Makeup Forever Excessive Lash