Motivation & productivity | Tips & tricks

Motivation & productivity | Tips & tricks

I juggle a job, a blog, a personal life and regular workouts. In the mean time I try to cook as often as I can, watch Netflix, do housework, read books and do lots of other things on the side. Sometimes it’s just good to go back to basics and regroup and think of how I keep doing it all. These are my tips & tricks to staying motivated and remaining productive.  motivation & productivity tricks & tips

Motivation & productivity | Tips & tricks

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Hot weather makeup look

Hot weather makeup look

It’s summer time, which means that it’s the season where makeup melts straight off your face and you feel sticky and yucky all day long. A reason for me to adapt my makeup look and go for a more sweat and perhaps even waterproof makeup look. It takes half the time of my usual makeup routine as it focuses on using the bare, bare minimum of product.

hot weather makeup look sweatproof waterproof sweat water resistant

Hot Weather Makeup look
Sweat & Water resistent

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Festive make up look

Festive make up look

Merry Christmas!!! Today is Christmas Day and what better video to put up than a festive make up look? I decided to steer clear of the standard red and gold look for this one and focused on purple and shimmer instead. I use some trusted favorites and use some brand spanking new products as well. I hope you enjoy and have a great Christmas/ whatever holiday you might be celebrating this time of year.

Purple & silver festive make up look

Purple & silver festive make up look

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Sprucing up a boring outfit

Sprucing up a boring outfit

Some people swear by basic, simple outfits. They stick to a monochrome color scheme and a clean silhouette. I am not one of those people. I rarely wear an all black outfit and if my outfit is mostly monochrome I need to add at least one fun pattern into the mix. My personal style revolves around playing around with textures, colors and patterns, which is why, to me, a black top on a black pair of jeans is one of the most boring combinations I can think of. But how can you take it to the next level? In this blog post I will show you 5 ways in which I spruce up a plain outfit.

Forever 21 T-shirt
Topshop Jamie Jeans

One takes one boring outfit and turn it into…

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Savory & sweet cheese salad

Savory & sweet cheese salad

Salads have been a go to meal for me for years now and I have come across some great combinations. My general rule of thumb is to add plenty of greens in the shape of lettuce and spinach and then pack with with more veggies with my basis usually being tomatoes and cucumbers. I like topping it up with some protein and where I sometimes go for meat, I very often opt for cheese as well. It not only provides some highly nutritious ingredients to any salad you make, but it also adds a yumminess factor.

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1 skirt, 5 ways to wear it

1 skirt, 5 ways to wear it

Styling up basic items is a topic I have now touched upon a few times. From a white button down shirt, to crop tops, a good basic can make or break any outfit. Today I’m styling up one single skirt in 5 different ways. From masculine to feminine and from casual to formal: one skirt will go a long way.

Polka dot skater skirt (H&M)

The skirt I’ll be styling up today is this basic skater skirt. I love skater skirts. On dresses but also straight up. This one in particular is one of my favorites because it has polka dots: one of my favorite patterns. The pattern makes it a little less basic perhaps, but I’ll show you below that you can do much more than pair this with a white, grey or black t-shirt. In fact, you will see no outfit like that at all.

1.) Preppy

Sheer white blouse with faux leather peter pan collar (ZARA)
Black brogues (Primark)
Orange belt (H&M)

This very monochrome look, with a white shirt with a faux leather peter pan style collar, is the preppiest look I’d wear out. The brogues add a touch of school girl fun. The shirt is sheer which keeps the top half soft, feminine and flowy. In order to not have this be an all black & white outfit, I decided to accessorize with a bright orange belt. To break up the bleakness and give the outfit a bit more interest. To keep things simple I didn’t go with any other accessories.

2.) Monochrome androgyny

Paisley print sweater (H&M Men)
Black pumps (Van Haren)

Putting a sweater with a skirt always makes for a good outfit. Here I decided to clash print and opt for a busy paisley print sweater. Which shows that looking for items in unexpected areas of the store can bring you to interesting outfits. This sweater was in last year’s men’s collection and paired with a skirt it makes for an instant androgynous look. Pair it with high heels to ensure the girliness of the bottom half of the outfit and keep it simple. The clashing patterns are quite out there, so to layer up on jewelry doesn’t really go with it.

3.) A formal pop of color

Red tie up button down (Forever 21)
Necklace (Primark)
Ballet flat with toe cap (Primark)

Who said a formal outfit cannot containt a pop of color? I personally think it is no problem and if you want to steer clear of black & white you can easily add a colored blouse. I love putting red and black together for a much needed color pick me up, so that’s why I went with this, but of course you can also opt for a blue or green, whatever suits you. Just keep the base as simple as you can and use a few accessories to finish off the look.

4.) Neutral with a hint of blue

Off white button down shirt (H&M)
Blue necklace (Forever 21)
Desert Boots in wolf (Clarks)

I love to combine black with softer, more neutral colors. But of course that could easily become boring. So again, I opted for a pop of color in my accessories to add a bit of interest. The button down reminded me of the type of shirt you’d wear on an expedition to explore some foreign land, and so I opted for a comfy ankle boot. The top and shoes are quite boyish looking which makes for an unexpected element, which I am fond of. I love pairing masculine with feminine items.

5.) Comfort comes first

Black t-shirt (H&M)
Orange/ rust colored cardigan (Urban Outfitters)
Gold leaf necklace (Primark)
Dr. Marten’s 1461 in black

This last outfit is the coziest outfit of them all. The cardigan is what makes it so. If you’re willing to invest in the warmest, fluffiest and comfiest cardigan you’ll ever find: check out Urban Outfitters. They aren’t cheap, but they always do unusual ones and the quality is certainly a lot better than an H&M one. To stick to the comfy theme, I paired this outfit with my sturdy Dr. Marten’s.

There you have it: 5 ways to wear one skirt. I hope this inspires you to wear your own skirts in multiple ways. In my case, I just experiment and see whatever works. In the end, you should feel comfortable in what you wear. In other words: just go for it and rock what you got.

Getting back in shape

Getting back in shape

It’s been a while since I last updated you on my work out routine, but to be honest, there wasn’t anything to update you about. For the past year my work outs dropped to an all time minimum. For a few months I worked out hardly at all, apart from dance class, and then last December I didn’t find my way to the gym or dance class at all. Of course that was all due to my battle against fatigue and exhaustion that ultimately knocked me over completely earlier this year. As a result I’ve put on quite some weight and I’m pretty much out of shape. I’ve been building up my work outs routine for the past few months and I’m almost back to the work out schedule before all of this happened.  The goal is to get my fitness level back up where it was and here’s how I’m doing that.

My complete knock out and lack of working out for months on end, meant that I was back at square one. My fitness level was zero. Since I’ve been doing some sort of physical activity my entire life and have been quite actively going to the gym for 5 years now. My zero isn’t exactly zero, zero. I took one of those fitness level tests and passed with flying colors once I got back to the gym, but still, I used to be a lot slimmer and fitter. And so I decided to change that.

In January, despite exhaustion and everything else that ailed me, I decided to at least stick to dance class and body balance for the time being. Just to keep my body moving so I would stay flexible. Especially body balance provided me with some much needed relaxation. At first I wasn’t able to do both regularly. For a few months it was either/ or: if I went to dance class I couldn’t go to body balance that week and vice versa. In April I decided I was going to go for both lessons consistently every week. I kept that up for 4 – 6 weeks when I decided to add something new.

See, my flexibility isn’t the problem. I’m flexible enough and even after not doing anything for a few weeks, I still easily manage to do a body balance class. What I needed was some cardio. And so by the end of May I had added a spinning class to the routine. I started spinning classes in 2012 after giving up a dance class and since this would allow me to focus mostly on my breathing and not on movement I thought it would be a good start for picking things up again. At first the classes were hard and again, I wasn’t always able to go. After my summer Interrail trip, I made a point of going every week again and that surely helped.

Come July, I was ready to add another workout to the routine: weights. This is something I had dabbled in before, but because of the ultimate crash, I had never been able to really work on it. My strength had gone down mostly and I felt I had to build up some muscle before trying out anything like the martial arts/ punching/ kicking classes I used to take. And so I got a weightlifting routine. I diligently went every week till the end of August and then September happened and I wasn’t always able to go. But still, I managed to squeeze in 3 rounds and by now I’ve been given a new, much more challenging round (I could elaborate if you’d like) and I will be using that (hopefully) till the end of this year.

For now, I just want to stick to this routine for a bit longer. First my body needs to get used to the new weight routine and then I hope to add in a body combat or city kick class. Both are similar classes, because you throw punches and kicks around, but one is more of an aerobics type class, and the other an interval training. So it depends on what I want to go for. If I add that I will split up my weight routine into two and add that to an already existing workout.By now, I’m already eager to get this started, but I don’t want to rush into anything.

I hope to be adding a new class in a month or so. That will leave another 2 months till the end of the year and hopefully my fitness level will then be a lot closer to what it used to be. And then it’s just a matter of sticking to it really. Food wise I’ve also made a few changes, but I will leave that for a different post.

How do you stay in shape?