My Morning Skincare Routine ♥︎


Good morning lovelies, today I felt motivated to write a blog post all about my morning skincare routine. I don't know exactly why, but there's something about reading other people's routines that I find both calming and interesting, whether it be related to skin, makeup, hair, workout, health etc. I've always wanted to write my own personal routines but because I struggled so much with my skin I avoided sharing my skincare routine until I found one that was actually working for me. I won't go too much into my skin history because it would be quite long, but put briefly I did struggle with moderate acne in high school and for a couple of years afterwards too. I tried all sorts of products, food elimination, food incorporation and whatever DIY / alternative ideas I could find. Although I can't pinpoint one particular product or habit that has cleared my skin, I did finally manage to get to a point where my skin is almost clear. I still get a couple of breakouts on my chin and sometimes forehead, but my main concern now is the scarring that was unfortunately left behind. I am in the process of getting skin needling done to help with the pitted scars. My current skincare routine is quite stripped back in comparison to what it was in the past. But I'm still doing more than simply splashing water on my face (something I did try at some point). So here is my simple, daily morning skincare routine.

Step 1: Cleanse

The first thing I do in the morning is hop in the shower and this is usually where I cleanse my face. The cleanser I have been using every day is the Avène Cleanance Cleansing Gel. I don't know exactly how long I've been using this but I know it's been more than 6 months. This cleanser is targeted towards sensitive, oily, blemish-prone skin. It claims to be 'cleansing, mattifying and soothing,' and I totally agree that it is. I find that after cleansing my face (using my hands, not a face brush) and gently patting it dry, my skin feels exactly that, cleansed, matte and soothed. It is not at all stripping or drying for me, and this is important because even though I am oily on my forehead and chin, my cheeks and nose are super dry. I am currently on my second bottle and I have nothing but positive things to say. Even the scent is lovely, very subtle but relaxing. Avène products are also formulated with 'Avène thermal spring water' which is just a little interesting thing I came across when I was researching their brand.

Step 2: Moisturise

The next step in my morning skincare routine is to apply a moisturiser. I know some people say that using a toner is essential but I have to disagree. If using a toner in routine works for you then absolutely keep using it. But for me, cutting out that toner step seems to have made a positive difference. Onto the actual moisturiser, this is one of those products that I tend to change up. Simply because I am trying to use up all my moisturisers so once I finish one I move onto the next one. Up until recently, I was using the Simple Spotless Skin Anti-Blemish Moisturiser. I really liked this moisturiser and had actually been using it on and off for a while. I felt that in combination with other products and certain lifestyle habits, this product helped to keep my skin clear. Personally, I quite like the Simple brand, their products are generally good and affordable. 

Recently I've been alternating between the Avène Cleanance Mat Mattifying Emulsion and Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel. I've only been using the Avène Mattifying Emulsion for maybe two months and so far I think it is a good product. Though I would only get it on sale on my current budget because it's not the cheapest (nor is it the priciest) and the tube is a bit small. The product claims to regulate the hyperproduction of sebum and claims to be both mattifying and hydrating. I actually find it to be a good balance for my skin even with my dry cheeks. Overall, I definitely am pleased with this product. The formula is not thick or runny and sinks in very nicely. I love how it feels on my skin, as it doesn't leave my skin feeling dry or sticky. It's got a very 'comfortable' feel. 

The Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel is a product that I have repurchased several times. I actually have a post on it from a while back which I will link here. Firstly, I absolutely love the texture of this product, it's super smooth and feels almost cooling when I apply it on my skin. I feel like it just glides on. The only thing is that sometimes it stings under my eyes. I like the scent as it is fresh and subtle. Overall, a product I definitely like incorporating into my daily morning skincare routine.

Step 3: SPF

Now step 3 is actually my final step! If I'm entirely honest, I never used any sunscreen or SPF on my skin unless I was going to the beach. I don't particularly like the feeling of sunscreen and most of them broke out my face anyway. But after I started skin needling several months ago, I was told that SPF would be essential in not damaging my skin. I was recommended two different ones, one from Neutrogena and another one that I honestly cannot remember. But I ended up purchasing the recommended Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Clear Face Sunscreen Liquid Lotion (what a long name). Due to my previous dislike for sunscreen on my face, I initially thought that I'd just use this for the week after my skin needling appointment and then not again until the next one. But I ended up really liking this product. I've been using it every day as a staple in my routine. It's SPF 30, oil-free, non-comedogenic and suitable for breakout prone skin! Obviously, as someone who hasn't had the best of luck with skin, I am always nervous about applying new things to my face. Sunscreen was especially not my friend when it came to the skin on my face. But I have finally found an SPF that does not break me out and I'm ridiculously happy about it.

This is my everyday morning skincare routine. My evening skincare routine and my 'Self-care Sunday' skincare routine are a bit different. This routine seems to be working very well for my skin and I'm glad my skin has finally calmed down (for the most part). I'd love to know your skincare routines, let me know what you use in the comments below or feel free to leave a link if you've already written a post on it!

Laos!

Saibaidee! Meaning 'hello' in Laos, a beautiful country where I had the most amazing experience for two weeks. In early January I travelled to Laos on a volunteer program. During week one we volunteered at the Elephant Conservation Centre in Sayaboury as well as a local primary school. In week two we enjoyed experiencing the Lao culture and participating in many fun activities. There's so much to write about, though I'm more excited to share the photos! So in this post, I really wanted to share with you the highlights of my trip.

Day 1 and 2

On the first two nights, we stayed at a hostel in the capital city, Vientiane. This was an experience within itself for me as I'd never stayed at a hostel before. I was honestly a bit nervous about sharing a dorm with strangers (as in people who were not on the program) but I had a lovely group of girls with me which helped me feel more comfortable. Staying in a hostel was a new experience but definitely a positive one! The first two days we pretty much had the entire time to ourselves with no planned activities. So a group of us decided to visit Buddha Park, a sculpture park with many religious statues (I believe it was a mix of Buddhism and Hinduism). Some of them we were able to walk up, and I cannot even describe how steep the stairs were!





After we arrived back from Buddha park, me and three other girls, who I ended up becoming good friends with, decided on getting lunch and a Lao style massage. The massage experience was quite interesting and fun. Massages seemed to be a recurring theme on this trip as they were super cheap and really good. After that, we went to a little local restaurant and had a yummy lunch. We caught a tuk-tuk on the way back to the hostel, which was funny because we had a language barrier and the driver went the wrong way. He ended up calling someone else on the phone so that one of the girls could describe to them where we were staying. Definitely a fun and eventful first day!




Elephant Conservation Centre

For the next several days we stayed at the Elephant Conservation Centre in Sayaboury. My bed was so hard I got a bruise on my hip but I didn't even mind because the entire experience at the centre was just incredible! We had to catch this platform type boat to get there. The centre was situated right by the water and backed into the jungle.

What I love about the elephant conservation centre is that it is not 'tourist' focused. The elephants are in their natural environment and there is no elephant riding or logging at this centre. I am very glad that I was able to volunteer at such a wonderful place.

The first day my group was working on building part of the conservation centre. We had to hike through the jungle to get to our digging area. The hike there was far more intense than I expected but I still enjoyed it. Although the volunteering days were fun, the absolute highlight for me was when we got to see the elephants up close. Our group was lucky enough to witness the 3 and 5-year-old playing together, they were just too cute! Later on, we were able to walk with the elephants and the mahouts. When I felt the elephant it was hairy, which I was not expecting. I thought they would feel like rough skin but they actually have a fair bit of hair!







Free Week

During the free week, we went to see temples, caves and my absolute favourite, Kuang Si Falls. It was the most beautiful waterfall. We also enjoyed walking through markets, learning about Lao silk, going kayaking and tubing. I did feel a panic coming in the caves so I didn't enjoy that as much as I would have liked to. The idea was exciting but to be honest, I couldn't wait to get out, it was ridiculously hard to breath in there!























Towards the end, we enjoyed a fun pizza pool party and all of a sudden I found myself sitting on the plane and on my way back home. There were so many things we got to experience but I wanted to share my favourite moments and photos rather than write about every detail. The moments that I enjoyed most were the definitely the elephants and the waterfall. I also met some of the most amazing people on this trip and was lucky enough to make some great friends out of it. I'd definitely go back to Laos someday!




See you in my next post!

New Digital Monthly Planner 'The Laura' ♡

Hello, lovelies! In my most recent post, I announced my brand new Etsy store, PrettyPlanning. I talked about how I ended up in the world of digital planning in that post so if you'd like to read it you can do so here. I only had one digital notebook released when I first opened, which is the Peach Digital Notebook. I decided to release the same notebook in Pastel Blue for variety. 

Today I just shared my first digital planner and I really love how it turned out! I put lots of time and effort into this planner and made sure to include features that I would like to use personally. I decided to name this planner 'The Laura' as it was inspired by my co-worker and friend who loves planning and all things pink!

I wanted to give my lovely blog readers a special discount, use the code LOVELY25 for 25% off 'The Laura' planner!

❤︎ ABOUT THIS PLANNER 

- Monthly layout.
- Includes a home page with year overview, as well as two buttons that link to a spare lined and blank page (can be duplicated so you never run out of pages).
- Clickable tabs.
- To-do list.
- Habit tracker.
- Notes section.
- Blank section for drawing, creativity.
- Contains home button at bottom of every page for easy navigation back to the main page.




Important: This is a digital product that requires the app GoodNotes or a PDF reader similar. I recommend GoodNotes because it allows for the clickable tabs to function properly. If you own the Ipad Stylus you can handwrite in this, or if you prefer typing you can use the text function. 

I've been having the best time creating and designing these digital notebooks/ planners. My blog will still stay beauty/ lifestyle related but every now and then I will share some digital planning items!

Hope you enjoyed this post and don't forget to use the code LOVELY25 for 25% off 'The Laura' planner!

Digital Notebooks + Etsy!

Hello lovelies! For the longest time, I've been browsing through the app store trying to find something that I can use as a notebook for lists I like to write. I've tried so many and I just haven't loved any of them. It may sound like a minor issue but I don't like the layout or aesthetic of any of the ones I have tried. Some people may not be bothered by how an app layout looks and that's totally okay, but I find that the nicer an app looks (of course functionality is most important) the more likely I am to actually use it.  Not long ago I stumbled across 'digital planners,' which really interested me.  

Personally, I am not someone who plans my day to day activities as I like to be flexible and I generally don't forget things I need to do. The only things I tend to write down in a calendar planner are my work shifts and appointments if they're scheduled in advance. If my appointment is the next day or the same day I won't bother writing it down. But I know so many people who like to bullet journal and plan things out. I also realise that a lot of people are starting to take notes on Ipads and phones. I wanted to see if I was able to make a digital planner for myself and I did! I really enjoyed the process or creating and designing it so I decided to play around with different types of planners and notebooks. 

I thought it would fun to make a simple digital notebook for my blog readers to download if interested as I just really wanted to share it with you. On my Ipad I am currently using the first digital planner I made which has different different spreads, though because I don't plan my day to day activies I only needed a monthly calendar instead of a weekly or daily. But you can find all sorts of planners online, including Etsy. I'm not able to share this one online because I have used items that are only for personal use. But like I mentioned earlier, I did create a digital notebook which does not contain any items requiring specific licenses and that one I have uploaded to my brand new Etsy store



A little bit about the notebook...

♥︎ The notebook comes with a front cover that has a blank space for you to put whatever title you like. 

♥︎  It includes five clickable tabs so you can organise your sections.

♥︎  I have included 5 lined pages per section but these can be duplicated so you never run out of pages!

♥︎ I've included a contents page colour coordinated with the tabs so you can name your sections (the coloured squares are also clickable and take you to that tab). This main contents page also includes three navigation tabs, To-do, Lined and Blank. To-do takes you to a 'to-do' list. Lined takes you to a blank lined page for you to duplicate. And Blank is simply a blank page with no lines, perfect if you like to mindmap and draw things out!

♥︎ Each tab has an individual contents page where you can list what is in that section.

♥︎ If you have the ipad stylus you can handwrite in this which I think is awesome! I didn't purchase the pen so I like to use the text option.

♥︎ This is also great for taking uni notes if you prefer to go digital. When it comes to uni I prefer pen and paper personally, but I love digital notebooks for other stuff especially list making.

If you haven't used a digital planner or notebook like this before I encourage you to do a quick search to make sure there's no misunderstanding as to what this product is. 

Most importantly this product requires Goodnotes or an app similar (feel free to try other apps but of the ones I've tried Goodnotes is the only app I find works, for example, the clickable tabs). 
This product is designed for the Ipad, I have tried it on my phone and this works too I just find my phone a bit small!

If you have any questions about how to use this notebook or if you don't understand something please leave a comment of you can email me at cherriesandperfume@gmail.com.

My Etsy store- PrettyPlanning


Smoothie Boosters!


Hey, lovelies! If you've read some of my older blog posts you may or may not already know that I am a massive fan of smoothies. Particularly, when I can get creative with them by adding different ingredients to different bases (I normally use bananas as my base). Sometimes I get a bit too carried away or just don't put the right ratio and end up with an odd tasting smoothie. But most of the time it ends up delicious and that's why I love to play around with adding different things to my smoothies!

I'm sure you can imagine my excitement when I was contacted by F4U (Formulated For You), a health food company based in Gold Coast, Australia, to try out their products. I was kindly sent three powders from their smoothie booster range, which I was allowed to choose. The first thing I was super keen to try was their açai powder. I was also intrigued by their lucuma fruit powder as I’d actually never heard of it before. And lastly, I decided to try their cacao powder as I’ve tried numerous in the past, some of which I really liked and some which I did not.


F4U Cacao Powder
I thought I would start with my favourite one, their cacao powder. As I mentioned, I’ve tried numerous cacao powders before, some I liked and others not so much. This one definitely falls into the 'I like' category. I've read that cacao powder has numerous benefits such as being a good source of macronutrients and antioxidants. The F4U cacao powder is organic, vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO and 100% pure.

Because I don't consume much refined sugar anymore (it makes me nauseous and breaks me out) I opt for cacao powder instead of sugary chocolate powder in my smoothies. When I first made the switch a long time ago I remember putting in the same amount of cacao powder into my smoothie as I would with regular chocolate, what a bitter smoothie that was! Pure cacao powder that doesn't have any sweeteners or additives, such as this F4U one, will obviously be more bitter. I was already familiar with the ratio this time thank goodness, and honestly, I think this may be my favourite cacao powder that I've tried. I found it to be more creamy in my smoothies than other cacao powders and no bitter aftertaste. I'm sure if I did the same mistake I did the first time it would be bitter, but with the appropriate amount, I really loved the texture and flavour of this one.

I thought I would share my current favourite nice-cream recipe in this post too. Now I promise this tastes better than it looks, but it was so hot and humid this day that the nice-cream melted during the photo taking process haha! I make this recipe both as a smoothie or nice-cream depending on what I feel like, just add or reduce the liquid to adjust the texture.


Ingredients:
♥︎ 1 x frozen banana (cut it up before freezing so it's easier to blend).
♥︎ 1 x tbsp peanut butter (I like the smooth one).
♥︎ 1/2 x tbsp cacao powder.
♥︎ Nuts, seeds or granola of your choice. I personally love buckinis, I think of them as healthy popping candy!
♥︎ Unsweetened almond milk (or liquid of your choice). Adjust amount depending on the texture you want. If I'm feeling a nice-cream I'll pour a bit less than half the amount of milk to the amount of banana if that makes sense.

Method:
1. Blend it up.
2. Pour into a bowl or cup.
3. Sprinkle some nuts or other toppings.
4. Enjoy!


F4U Acai Powder
The acai powder was the product I was most excited to try. Acai is known to be a rich source of antioxidants and I've read that it's good for skin health, which is a focus of mine always. The F4U acai powder is actually freeze dried from the acai berry juice rather than the berry itself, and there's no sweeteners or additives. This acai powder is also organic, vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO and 100% pure.

Since receiving my smoothie boosters in the mail I've been having a lot of fun creating different recipes and seeing how I like to use them. The first one I made with this was a simple banana and almond milk smoothie with a teaspoon of acai powder. I was a bit surprised at the flavour as it was not what I was expecting. I found the taste of the acai to be quite strong and not to my personal liking. Throughout the week I kept creating different combinations to see what worked for my taste palette using the acai powder. I ended up with a bit of a random smoothie combination but it actually helped dilute the taste! I used frozen mango, frozen banana, raspberries, almond milk, activated charcoal, a teaspoon of lucuma fruit powder (which I'm writing about next), and a small teaspoon of the acai powder.

I did need to use a lot of banana and mango with a little bit of acai powder to dilute the acai taste. It was still pretty noticeable but I definitely prefer this smoothie over the simple banana one. Unfortunately, I was not a fan of this acai powder because the flavour was too strong. But if it's a flavour you like that isn't a bad thing.


F4U Lucuma Fruit Powder
I had never heard of lucuma fruit before looking through Formulated For You's products. I did a bit of research on lucuma fruit and found that it is a fruit native to Peru. I read that lucuma fruit is high in beta-carotene, vitamin B3, iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium as well as other vitamins and minerals. It is described as having a 'slightly sweet, maple-like flavour.' Though I personally think it tastes a little bit like dried mango! I had never experimented with this kind of fruit in my smoothies before so I tried several combinations to see what I liked best. I found that this one tastes amazing in a simple mango smoothie. I pretty much tossed mango, ice, a bit of almond milk, a teaspoon of lucuma powder, and water into the blender. This was a very fresh and summery smoothie, which I really enjoyed particularly in this summer weather. Again, this product is also organic, vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO and 100% pure.

Out of the smoothie boosters that I tried my favourite was definitely their cacao powder. It is so smooth and doesn't have that bitter aftertaste (unless you put too much) so I will continue to use this regularly. I genuinely would recommend F4U's cacao powder. The acai powder, however, I personally did not enjoy taste-wise. I will pass this one on to a friend who may like the flavour more than me. Lastly, the lucuma powder was quite interesting and new to me. I will keep this powder and continue to experiment. It may sound odd but I actually think it would work in certain curries!

Thank you for reading my post, I hope you enjoyed it!

The Sunshine Blogger Award ❤︎


Hello lovelies and welcome to a brand new post! Not too long ago I was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by the lovely Sophie from For a Rainy Day. I remember when I first started blogging and these award posts were very popular, they were a fun way to get to know the person behind the blog better and also a great way to discover new blogs altogether! So thank you, Sophie, for nominating me. I highly recommend you check out her blog where she shares so much positivity!

So what is the Sunshine Blogger Award?
"The Sunshine Blogger award is given by bloggers to bloggers who inspire positivity and creativity in the blogging community."

These are the questions Sophie chose for the bloggers she nominated...

What’s your favourite thing about blogging?
My favourite thing about blogging is the freedom of being creative. I love that I am in control of my content, I can decide what I want to write, how my pictures look and the atmosphere of my blog. I have always enjoyed creating and designing things whether it's a space, product or concept. I also really enjoy engaging with fellow bloggers and readers as it's a lovely community.

What’s your favourite seasonal drink?
Okay, so honestly I rarely drink anything except coffee, tea and water. I used to love the Christmas frappuccinos at Starbucks a few years back (especially their mint mocha frappuccino) but I don't drink those types of drinks anymore. So at the moment, I don't have one, but the mint mocha frappuccino was definitely a favourite before! My go-to drink now though is a cappuccino with cinnamon and chocolate sprinkled on top (even though it's not really a seasonal drink).

What’s your favourite kind of post to write?
Over the years my favourite posts to write (and read) have changed. When I first started blogging I preferred product reviews. Then I got more into the blogging world and started to get into lots of different post types, mostly in the beauty and lifestyle categories. Currently, (and since forever really) I have always been curious to know what people keep in different places such as their bags, and what people do in their routines. So I actually enjoy posts such as What's in My bag, Morning Routine, Evening Routine, Haircare Routine, Skincare Routine etc.

Do you have any advice for people wanting to start a blog?
Just have fun with it. I think there are many different reasons as to why people start blogs. Some want it as a career, others enjoy the creativity and then there are plenty of other reasons too! I personally want to make sure it says fun and doesn't feel like a chore, which it honestly has felt like at times in the past. My biggest tip though is to engage with your readers. I know when I leave a comment on someone's post I am far more likely to return to that blog if they reply to their comments!

What is your favourite Christmas film?
The Polar Express has been my favourite Christmas film for years. The first time I saw it I thought it was borderline scary simply because the animation and graphics are so realistic. I mean the animated characters even have pores! But it's very well-made in my opinion and I quite like the soundtrack too.

What advice would you give to your 16-year-old self?
I don't know what my advice would be, I think if I could sit down and have a great chat with my 16-year-old self I would have so much to say. But my main advice to myself and others, in general, is to think about what's really worth your energy; pick your battles. And it's totally okay to fake it till you make it!

What’s your favourite book?
When I was around 14 I read a book called Stolen by Lucy Christopher and it's still my favourite book today. It's about a young English girl named Gemma who is kidnapped at an airport in Vietnam by a man named Tye. He takes her to the middle of nowhere in the outback of Australia where he just wants a friend. The story is beautifully written and really captures the Australian bush. My other favourite story is Dark Places by Gillian Flynn, seriously found it hard to put the book down!

What do you do to unwind?
It depends on what I'm unwinding from. If I'm stressed or anxious I do an intense workout to build up my adrenaline until it just burns out followed by a hot shower. Other times I like to do a nice little pamper routine. I just recently wrote a post related to this; Things I do to lift my mood.

Your best beauty decision you’ve made?
I don't know if I even have an answer for this one haha! Probably just getting into a good skincare routine and making sure everything I use is clean. Or, I'm not sure if this counts but recently I made the decision to pursue skin needling to help with my acne scarring and I am so happy about going through with it! I was really apprehensive about it because it isn't cheap but my skin is a major insecurity of mine. I have moderate acne and unfortunately even though it's not as bad as it was in high school it has left some pretty nasty (pitted) scarring. I  feel like I follow all the acne 'rules' and it's exhausting trying to fix it. My forehead is much better acne wise now but the scarring was bad so I chose to do skin needing (I already see a noticeable improvement). My chin still gets hormonal breakouts but my cheeks are super clear.

What’s the hardest part about blogging?
Trying to keep to a regular schedule. Because blogging is a hobby for me and not my job it, unfortunately, is one of the first things to slide off my plate when I have a lot of things to do. For me personally, if I try to keep to a weekly schedule I end up feeling like blogging is a chore and not for fun. So the hardest part about blogging for me is trying to balance enjoyment and keeping on top of it.

What is your favourite memory of 2018?
Ahh, the favourite memory question... I never know what to answer when I'm asked these types of questions. There's so many to choose from and out of a year, there's a lot to go through! I would say one of my favourite moments this year was when my family and I went to celebrate a family friend's birthday on a beautiful island. We were so lucky and got to enjoy the weekend and stay in these super cute cabins. We had been on this island before but only on day trips, which is great and all but personally, I much prefer being able to stay there overnight. The reason why this was one of my favourite moments is not only because I had a really fun time, but my head pain was so low the entire weekend (my constant head pain has never been this low for that long in 3 years). If you're new to my blog or don't know about NDPH (new daily persistent headache), it's a condition that I developed when I was 16 that I've written about a lot on my blog here. Put very short, it means that I live with constant pain in my head (literally 24/7) that fluctuates between 4 and 9 on a pain scale but has never stopped since the day it started in June(ish) 2015. So for me, having an entire weekend with only subtle discomfort rather than sharp pain is my favourite memory of 2018.

I would like to nominate these bloggers for the Sunshine Blogger Award:

❤︎ Tenneil from Like Neon Love.
❤︎ Elizabeth from "Ice Cream" whispers Clara.
❤︎ Charlotte from Charlotte's Picks.
❤︎ Lisa from Lisa Autumn.
❤︎ Kate from Kate Loves.

The 11 questions I would like to ask are:

1. What aspects of your life do you like/ enjoy at this point in time?
2. Are you a bath or a shower person?
3. What are your most loved perfumes or body mists?
4. What is something random your friends and family associate you with? For example, my friends say I always have the mintiest gum and pee a lot!
5. Do you have a favourite beauty product?
6. Apart from blogging, what is something that really interests you?
7. Do you have siblings? If so, how many and what's your relationship with them like?
8. Favourite childhood film?
9. How often do you clean your makeup brushes?
10. How would you describe your personality?
11. What are your favourite posts to read and write?

If you end up doing this on your blog please leave a link to your post as I'd love to read them!

Sunshine Blogger Award Image

Things I do to lift my mood... ♡



I don't know about you, but when I'm feeling stressed or overwhelmed it's usually because I have many things to do but am struggling to get them done. Sometimes I just keep procrastinating and putting things off or simply feel stuck and that's when I like to do small things that make me feel productive even if they have absolutely nothing to do with the tasks I am stuck with. These things are simple but they don't make me feel like I am wasting time. Doing nothing when I have plenty to do stresses me even more. Sometimes it's a good idea to step back from the chaos and just recoup yourself. I don't always necessarily feel stressed or overwhelmed, but maybe I've just had a bad day and feel a bit down. Whichever the case may be, these are some small things I like to do to lift my mood.

Simple and productive home tasks...
One of the things I do very often when I am having a stressful or overwhelming day is small cleaning tasks. I know everyone is different but for me cleaning is therapeutic. When I say cleaning tasks, I mean changing your bedsheets, cleaning your makeup brushes and doing a load of laundry. Maybe tackle a section of your room or home that is a little bit cluttered. I do this almost every time I procrastinate with uni work because I know that if I sit at my laptop and try to do it I will just be staring at the screen being unproductive. At least if I am doing one of these cleaning/ organising tasks I am still feeling productive without stressing about my lack of focus on the uni assessment. I've previously written a full post on small tasks I did to feel productive, 'Little Productive Things of Today...'

Have a hot shower or bath...
Okay, so personally I have never been a bath person. I don't think it's baths that I don't like, it's just my bathtub that I don't like. In saying that, the other week I had had a day when I felt a bit bummed out and all I wanted to do was buy a nice Lush bath bomb and sit in the tub. It had been a good while since I used a bath bomb because I never take a bath, I always shower. After that, I ended up purchasing two more bath bombs from Lush just for future days when I may need a mood boost. This is not something I do when I'm stressed, but rather when I'm feeling a bit down.

Enjoy a bit of a pamper...
After that lovely bath, I like to go a little bit further and give myself a bit of a pamper. I'll make sure to moisturise my body with whatever my favourite product is at the time. Recently, I have been loving the Frank Body Body Cream. It smells like fresh doughnuts and yummy icing! This body cream is great because it is super hydrating and nourishing, and it's also cruelty-free. I use this particularly when my skin is feeling dry. Frank Body is one of my favourite brands as they are cruelty-free, natural (I don't necessarily stick to natural products but it's a bonus) and so far I have liked every product I have tried. I will leave a link to my previous post on Frank Body and their products here

Another product I regularly use is the Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Honey Drops Body Cream. This is my all time favourite body cream and it has been since 2015. I have an entire post dedicated to it here if you were interested.

Can't forget a good facemask...
Continuing on with the self-pamper, I can't forget to include a good face mask! I don't know what it is about facemasks but for some reason once I've applied one I feel like I've got my life together. Obviously, a facemask isn't going to solve all my problems, but at that moment I feel relaxed and like everything is falling into place. Of course, that's all a mindset, just like my life probably isn't falling apart to begin with even if I feel overwhelmed, that's also just in my mind. Does anyone else feel that way about facemasks? 

Listen to uplifting music or a podcast...
Normally I would put on my chill playlist which has mostly songs from Jack Johnson, Sticky Fingers and various other artists in those types of genres. However, recently I've discovered a podcast called You Beauty and I have really enjoyed listening to it. I have tried listening to podcasts in the past but I always got bored and gave up. I find that a lot of podcasts take forever to get to the point and are difficult to sit through. The You Beauty podcast though is light-hearted, witty and actually interesting to listen to because it talks about beauty and skincare. What I like is that the podcast is well-structured whilst still feeling like a fun chat. I find myself often laughing when listening to this podcast and it's great at taking my mind off other things. So far I find it fun and relatable, especially in one of their episodes when they spoke about haircare because I totally agreed with everything they talked about. Another great thing about this particular podcast is if you happen to be interested in any of the products they mentioned you don't have to write it down because they link everything anyway. I'm yet to find another podcast that I genuinely enjoy but at the moment I am seriously loving You Beauty, definitely lifted my mood!

What are some things you do to lift your mood?