Wednesday, 30 September 2015

How to survive the deep need to withdraw

Hi everyone!!

I hope you’re all well! Recently I went to take a personality test and I have to say I learnt more from it that what I thought I would. Originally I went so that I could learn more about myself and others in order to work more effectively in a group.
So basically after the test it seemed like I fell into the 2 categories that explained more or less how I feel/behave. At first it was so overwhelming to realize how I do exactly what it said I do when I encounter different things like stress and how I work with other people.

So today I thought I’d address one of those elements.

If you’re like me and you withdraw when you encounter stress, I need you to know that that’s okay.
Last year I faced one of the biggest challenges in my life and looking back now I could go on and on about how I could’ve handled it better but thinking about how I felt in the situation back then I think I would’ve done the exact same thing.

There are those people who wake up in the morning and faced the same challenge as I did head on, while I walked around not being aware of what was happening until it was too late. I remember that when it was time for tests I needed to use sleeping pills because the stress made me a professional insomniac. There were times where I couldn’t sleep for 3 days at a time. I would literally watch my roommate fall asleep, wake up, go about her day, fall asleep and wake up…all while I was wide awake.
This year I’m sort of facing a similar dilemma. Not as hectic but I think I’ve had a few withdrawal symptoms and I think I now know how to handle them better. These tips are not to change who you are but to help you cope better with withdrawal.

1.     Plan.
I think we tend to be less anxious when we know what’s going to happen. So it helps to have ‘your version’ of how it’s going to go down. If you are not sure what will be required of you, the best way is to ASK so that you how to go about it

2.     Fear of the unknown.
If you’re always anxious about the unknown/the immediate future and everything after you’ll need to face it (with help from step 1) and to make yourself accept it because if you don’t, the hours will seem longer and will struggle to process any new information/instructions because you’re still resistant to take a leap. This is the hardest part because it goes against everything your behaviour of withdrawal wants to do.

3.     Adapt
Also hard but can be done in steps. Take in the environment, its people, its behaviours and then adjust yours accordingly. If you’re lucky there’ll be one or two people that will make you feel welcome which will help you let your guard down. If not then look for a person similar to you and start with an ice breaker. (Hey, what’s your name? Where are you from? That usually works)

4.     Take control.
Use the plan that you had. Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with your new surrounding you’re now able to be yourself more. You know what you need to do and you can ASK if you don’t understand.

5.     Get enough sleep
It’s so exhausting to pretend like you’re not a withdrawal person that it takes up quite a huge chunk of energy to keep it up. In the first few days of being in unfamiliar territory you’ll need to rest up because if one thing goes wrong your anxiety emotions might take over and dissolve all the hard work you’ve put in to look in control of a chaotic situation.

I think these few things really helped me in the past week and can help you too. Let me know what you think and also add a few ideas that you’ve had to use in order to cope.

Till next time.


Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Designed by Love from Be

Hi Everyone!

As you can already tell my blog’s gone through a bit of a facelift. So this started when I mentioned to Rose from Le Petit Trianon that we needed step up our blogging game. The post on how to make the second part of the year spectacular seems like to have spoken to a lot of you guys because it’s one of the most read posts in my blog archive. So after some awesome suggestions from Rose, I started planning on how I can make this space more inviting and presentable.

The story
So there I was looking around for South African designers( you know, because local is lekker) and because some people don’t really answer e-mails or DMs and also finding someone asking above a grand just left me feeling really frustrated. Then I remembered that when Rose’s blog was still Crumbliest I read that it was designed by Be. I think I also started following her around that time.
So then I decided to ask her on Twitter and she agreed! She had exams at the time so I had to wait till they were over and then she started working on it. The conditions/playing rules to working with her were clear as day and I just thought it would be a piece of cake to sort out the other things. If you’re South African Blogger the next will be applicable to you. If not – skip to final result.

The complication
At the time I had an FNB smart card because I opened it up before I got a job. Then when I tried to setup PayPal it required a Cheque account. So because I did not have one I asked my mom if I could use hers but because hers wasn’t linked up to FNB online banking facility, the process wouldn’t work. Then I tried to switch over to a Cheque Account myself then I had to wait like forever for the card to arrive and on top of that I had to obtain proof of residence because I’m living in a new place that’s based on a lease agreement (that I hadn’t signed yet). So I had to wait for the contract, sign it and then have access to proof of payment. After that I could fetch my new card (and the queue was ridiculous that day) And then only I could have Paypal verify the account.
So the lesson here: Have an active Paypal Account now (whether you need it or not because one day you’ll need it urgently!

To be quite honest, I didn’t know how I wanted the blog to look like. I was still keeping it from my friends and family because my audience is based more in the US/UK. One thing I knew though was that it had to be clean and crisp. My main inspirations are Shirley B.Eniang and Wendy’s LookBook. Obviously what makes theirs stand out more is amazing photography which is something I painfully lack (working on it!). So I sent Be an e-mail with vague instructions of what I’d like it to look like hoping that she’ll read my mind, countries away. I was also counting on her experience with her previous design jobs because I always loved browsing through her portfolio.

Final Result
What makes me happy about my blog now is how clean and elegant it is. Like a white canvas that is yet to be painted. That’s where I am with my blog – the beginning. And the minty green is the exact shade that I wanted because it also gives the blog some colour but is so faint that it fits in nicely with the clean spring theme. I work with difficult people all day long at work so working with Be was like a breeze of fresh air. Through all the drama and despite the setbacks behind the scenes she continued working on the design and changing it when I asked her to and she continued working on it up until I was COMPLETELY satisfied.

And I’m happy!!

If you’d like to work with her on your blog design, check out her portfolio!



Monday, 21 September 2015

Review ~ Black Opal Foundation

Hey Everyone!

I’ve had my fair share of using really bad foundation that’s either the wrong shade or it was too rich and oily. When I tried out the tester I found it to be thick and it had quite a full coverage on my face. It also came off as matte which I really appreciated because I was tired of being a glowy bear. So after speaking to a consultant about it, she suggested Hazelnut and after trying it I bought it.

First time using it I found it to be a bit more watery than what it was in the tester tube and because of its matte element, it would dry out quite quickly which was quite difficult to manage. But after the second/third time I just had to adapt to applying it quicker.

I found that it doesn’t last all day. Towards the end of my day it seemed like I could’ve gone without it. Except for the colour and its matte element I would definitely not go back here if it doesn’t give me coverage all day every day. A thicker layer would just make me look more cakey so that’s definitely not a remedy in this situation. Or maybe a different shade?

Have you ever tried Black Opal?

How was your experience like?


Saturday, 19 September 2015

Review ~ Avon Primer

Hey everyone!! 

As a first time user of primers I wasn’t sure what to expect from this product. From all the videos I’ve watched most make-up gurus used Urban Decay and seeing that I’ve never seen it anywhere when I’m looking for make-up products I thought Avon would be a good place to start.

I love the packaging and its design. I always look at that because it was someone’s job to make it look buyable. I can always throw it in my carry on make-up bag because it’s small and portable. The formula is rich and matte and also stays on all day. It blends in really well (I used my fingers) and it gives the eyeshadow a reliable base.

I am in the market for another primer (for comparisons) but overall I’ve had no regrets buying it as a first time primer. 

Have you tried it out? 
What’s your experience been with this primer? 

Share your views with me!


Tuesday, 1 September 2015

10 tips to Enjoy the Spring Season!

Happy Spring!!

(image: google images)

Spring just gets me all excited! The promise of new things just like the flowers outside. When I woke up today I was just excited to get my day started (I think a good night’s rest also had something to do with it!)

So today I thought I’d share some ideas on how you can enjoy the first few days of spring!

1.       Get more flowers in your room/house!

Yes, I know how girly that sounds! I can’t afford to get fresh flowers so I always get beautiful fake flowers so that they’ll just make room look more decorated. Try it!

2.       Take out all the things you needed to survive winter
This includes extra blankets, heaters and even turtle necks! I mean you’re not going to use it! All these things are just blocking the sun from coming in! Put them in storage. If you don’t have storage, create it! Just get it away from your view!

3.       Where are all your dresses?
As soon as spring sets in, it’s basically legs season! Time to put away the jeans you used to tuck into your boots and the long-sleeve tops!! 

4.       Set up your wax appointments!
I mean HOW do you do spring without making sure everything is clean and smooth?! Lol, come on girls!!

5.       Less coffee, more citrus/water
To be clear, I’m not saying NO coffee!! I wouldn’t be able to survive without my daily stash of coffee sachets! But detox your body a bit! More water is always good for you. If you want a control for overeating, try having a full glass of water before you attack your plate. It has helped me so much.

6.       Finally put your gym subscription to good use.
Lol, we all remember those new year’s resolutions that we’ve been paying for? Now it’s time to actually use it!! Beach season is approaching, use the arrival of spring to jumpstart your return to the gym! Or start running! Good exercise will NEVER go to waste.
7.       Oh gurl your huurrrr!!

No, you can’t hide behind beanies anymore. The wind is blowing, you got your dresses out…you can’t let hair ruin such a beautiful mental picture! Refresh your hair/change up your hairstyle or colour!!

8.       Watch the paint dry
This option is optional (lol, did you see that?) I think there’s something about a fresh coat of nail polish! Doesn’t it make you smile? Even if you don’t like nail polish, I still think you should get your hands pampered and make it an all day event!

9.       What’s turning over a leaf without shoes?
(Also optional) During winter my mind was on one thing! Winter booties! And now that it’s gone it’s time for strappy shoes! There’s nothing sexier than a flowy dress paired with strappy heels! If someone wants to send some Steve Maddens my way, DM me so that I give you my address!!

10.   A brand new attitude!!
If there’s one thing I learnt from The Big Bang Theory it’s that exterior stuff won’t fix everything or make the change that you made sustainable! Penny said that when she’s depressed, she goes shopping. Then Sheldon said doesn’t she realize that afterwards she’s just the same depressed person in a cute skirt and a fancy top! So true right?

Enjoy Spring guys!!

Life is so beautiful! Shake off the old and smell the flowers!!

Till later!

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