A couple of days ago, Gala Darling published a post about her personal routine, and the things that she does regularly to keep herself looking and feeling fabulous. She invited her readers to do the same, and I thought it might be fun to accept the challenge. So here’s a sneak peek into my daily routine.
I can’t emphasize the importance of sun protection enough. If the Beauty Police busted into my house and started rifling through my bathroom cupboard, the one thing I would beg them not to take is my bottle of sunscreen. I know I harp on about it, but sunscreen should be one non-negotiable part of your beauty routine. Not only does it protect against sunburn and freckling, but it will prevent dryness, redness and wrinkles caused by sun damage. Even better, wearing sunscreen on a daily basis dramatically decreases your chance of getting skin cancer. Applying sunscreen takes less than three minutes in the morning, and I never, ever skip it. I use a light formula by Nivea, which retails for about $9 a bottle, and one bottle lasts me for about two months. I apply to my face and hands every day of the year, and to any other exposed skin. I’ve not had sunburn in over seven years, and whenever I go for a facial, the therapist always tells me that I have the skin of a seventeen-year old, which is seven years younger than my real age.
I’ve loved writing since I can remember. It feels natural to me to record my thoughts, feelings and experiences in a journal. I don’t write in my journal every single day, but I do write most days. I have more than ten years worth of experiences on paper, in over twenty five journals. I don’t like journaling on a computer, and the act of physically putting pen to paper is somewhat comforting to me. It’s a great way to work out how you are really feeling when your mind is in a jumble, and I love being able to go back and re-read what I’ve written on special days. I attribute my fantastic memory in part to the fact that I record practically everything in my journals.
For years, I never bothered with exercise. I’ve always had a naturally slight build, and I thought that I didn’t need to exercise because I wasn’t overweight. However, in my second year of college, I joined the gym on a whim, and I found that a daily dose of physical activity did wonders for my energy levels and sleep patterns. If I don’t exercise for a while, I find that I feel really lethargic. Exercise also seems to have improved the quality of my skin dramatically. I can no longer afford a gym membership, but I still try to work at least 20 minutes of exercise into each day. I mix up my routine with yoga, running, stretching, dancing, hula hooping and toning exercises.
When I first moved out of home, I lived at a college. I shared a kitchen with 12 other people, which meant that it was jolly difficult to get the chance to cook a proper meal for yourself. I subsisted for a couple of years on microwave meals, Mi Goreng noodles and sausages. Once I moved out into my own house, I had an entire kitchen practically to myself. I bought a bunch of cookbooks and started to try new recipes. I discovered that I love to cook, and that home-cooked meals taste so much better than their pre-prepared counterparts. My food budget isn’t huge, and I find that it is so much cheaper to cook for yourself. I love to make a huge batch of something, like soup, casseroles or pasta sauce, eat one portion and then freeze the rest. That way I have loads of healthy, tasty meals at my fingertips for days when I’m pressed for time. My energy levels are so much higher since I started eating more fresh fruit and vegetables and preparing my own meals. Also, although I don’t think I’ve lost weight, my figure is much leaner and less bloated. I attribute this to the fact that most of those pre-packaged meals are full of salt, which makes you retain water. I’m getting more adventurous with my cooking and I’m always looking for new recipes to try and buying kitchen gadgets. Plus, all my friends rave about my cooking, and clamor to come to my house when I hold dinner parties.
I follow a lot of blogs, and I used to have a huge list of them saved to my favorites. I used to click through each link every day to see which ones had updated. It was time-consuming and a pain in the backside. About a month ago, I discovered Bloglovin, which is a website that allows you to add all the blogs you read regularly, and it tells you when they’ve updated, so you can load up the new posts. It’s a huge time-saver, and I spend about an hour each day reading the latest from my favorite bloggers. I’ve also started exploring new websites, because it doesn’t take me so long to click through checking who’s updated and who hasn’t.
I have a massive perfume collection, and I never go a day without a little dab of scent. I don’t like to baste myself in scent, just a little spritz is enough to lift my spirits. Plus, there’s something so glamorous about dabbing on a magical scented potion from a beautiful bottle or flask.
I like to plan my outfits ahead of time. If I didn’t do this, it would take forever for me to get ready in the morning. I plan outfits for specific occasions about three days before the event, and take note of what makeup or hairstyle I want to wear with them. I also have a few everyday outfits at the ready. Each morning, I have breakfast, check the weather report, and then select the most appropriate pre-planned outfit. Every couple of days, I spend about forty minutes planning out the outfits for the next few days. I have a little pile of clothes that I haven’t worn in a while, or things that I want to wear again, and I do my best to work them into the outfits I create. This way, my wardrobe is rotated regularly, and there are no items that languish about, never getting worn.
I’m not much of a coffee person, but I drink at least three cups of tea a day, often. I prefer green and herbal blends, but I do drink some black varieties as well. Tea is refreshing and hydrating, without the buzz of coffee. I find that coffee hypes me up too much, but tea is calming. I brew my tea in a pot, and have a collection of beautiful cups to suit every mood. I’m not the sort of girl that will splurge on a beautiful box of chocolates or candy, I’m much more likely to splash out on a new box of loose-leaf tea.
Many of you might not have guessed that I am a bit of a songbird. I sing in the shower, while I’m cooking and even while I’m getting ready in the morning. I adore karaoke as well. Singing lifts my spirits and puts me in a good mood when I’m feeling blue. When I’m already happy, belting out a song is a way to spread my good mood.
A good exfoliation will get rid of all the dead skin cells, reduce the likelihood of blackheads, blemishes and ingrown hairs and make your skin glow. I give my face and body a good scrub every three days, and they certainly thank me for it. I can’t believe the difference regular exfoliation has made to my overall skin tone and colour. The day that I give my face a scrub, I find that I often don’t need foundation, because my skin looks smooth, even and glowing.
I don’t own a car, because a) I can’t afford one and b) I’m a terrible driver and I don’t have my license. As a result, I walk practically everywhere. Walking is good exercise and it’s good for the environment. I find that walking home at the end of the day is a lovely way to unwind, and it gives you time to really open your eyes and appreciate all the beauty around you. I’ve discovered plenty of great shops, cafes and hang-outs on foot that I would have driven right past without a glance if I’d been in a car.
Planning and prioritizing.
I’m a bit of a control freak, and I like things to be organized and planned out. I use a paper organizer and also Outlook on my computer to plan out my appointments, tasks I need to do and assignments. I schedule everything, no matter how inane, to make sure that I don’t forget a thing. Each morning, I check my organizer and make a to-do list for the day. Then I choose the most important tasks for the day and highlight them. I make sure that I do these before anything else. That way, once those three or four most important things are taken care of, I can feel OK about taking a nap or chilling in front of the telly for a bit if I need to.
So there’s a little sneak peek into my routine. Are there any little rituals that you have that you’d like to share? If so, I’d love to hear about them.