I’m Taking An Extended Break

So I’m back from holidays and I had a really lovely time. Nice to get a bit of R&R before the holiday season is upon us. I’m already exhausted and it’s only really week 1 so far.

The reason I’m writing is that I’ve decided to take a longer break from this blog. I’m working on a new website because I want to launch a new business in the near future (exciting!) and whilst I’d love to continue on this blog, I just can’t prioritise it at the moment.

So I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday time and hopefully I will see you all in the brand new year!

Take care and stay safe!

I’m On Holidays

Hi Everyone,

Just wanted to quickly update you all that I am going on holidays so won’t be around for a few weeks. It’s been particularly busy so I haven’t done some of my normal posts like the Intentional Spending ones. Hopefully once I’m back I’ll be well-rested and able to keep up.

Enjoy yourselves and be safe!

Much Love,

Valentina

Dance Workout

I started dance classes a couple of months back and I love it. I’ve always loved dancing, especially as a form of exercise so when I came across a dance studio that is a 7 minute drive from my house and not unreasonably expensive. I jumped on it!

I started Twerking classes and I have to say whilst I have booty, I’m not that great at it but it’s a great confidence booster regardless. I just finished up the 6 week course and as I’m going away for a couple of weeks I thought I’d leave signing up again until the new year.

But that hasn’t stopped me from you-tubing a heap of dance videos and I’ve found myself a bunch that I’ve put into a “workout’ mix for myself.

Click HERE for the playlist

Here are the individual videos

Warm Up

Morning Yoga for Flexibility – Tara Stiles

‘Buttons’ Pussycat Dolls – The Fitness Marshall

‘I’m A Slave For You’ Britney Spears – The Fitness Marshall

Main Component

‘Work’ Rihanna – The Fitness Marshall

‘Lose Control’ Missy Elliot – The Fitness Marshall

‘Milkshake’ Kelis – The Fitness Marshall

‘Yeah’ Usher – The Fitness Marshall

Warm Down

‘London Bridge’ Fergie – The Fitness Marshall

‘Numb’ Nick Jonas – The Fitness Marshall

10 Minute Workout Arms – Tonic

Cool Down Routine – Tara Stiles

The whole thing goes for about 50 minutes and I usually burn around 400 calories doing it. I think it’s so important to find workouts that you enjoy doing and this is definitely one that I enjoy. I hope you do too!

 

Project 333 – One Month Update

I started Project 333 about a month ago and I thought I’d give you all a quick update.

To be honest, it’s been very easy. There hasn’t been a day where I’ve struggled to find something to wear and I’ve only worn something that wasn’t in my wardrobe once – a pair of heels for an engagement party. This was one of the two occasions where I’ve allowed myself to stray slightly from my 333 wardrobe. I’ve had to be really on top of washing and drying my clothes which is the only real annoyance but it does mean my laundry piles don’t build up as much.

Whilst my wardrobe is simple, it’s also boring. My outfits consist of different combinations of shoes, jeans, top and jumper. I want to get a bit more creative with my wardrobe so whilst I’m not actively shopping at the moment for new pieces, it is giving me a lot to think about and what I want to do is add items that I can layer. Things like oversized or asymmetrical shirts, dresses where I can add a shirt or top underneath, items that can easily be dressed up or down. I’m also debating adding a few key pieces to help accessorise.

It’s been an interesting experiment. I’m not yet bored of my wardrobe but I think by the end of the year I will be. I still have 2 spots to fill and whilst I haven’t found anything yet I will keep an eye out just in case.

November Goals – A New Way Of Thinking

I’m studying a life coaching course at the moment and it’s really interesting (Beautiful You Coaching Academy). We’re learning about goal setting and it’s very different to the way I’ve previously been taught. Most people follow the S.M.A.R.T way of setting goals but with this course the aim is to create a feelings based goal that’s inspiring and have the actions cover the S.M.A.R.T principle of goal setting. The purpose of creating goals this way is that if the goal title is positive and powerful you are more likely to want to reach it. And I have to agree. “Feel free and comfortable by moving my body” sounds so much nicer than “lose 10 kilos.”

So with that in mind, this is my November goal –

Feel that my mind, body and spirit are being honoured

This is how I’m going to achieve that

Mind

  • To read more
  • To practice Spanish 4 times a week
  • Meditate daily
  • To give energy to those who deserve it

Body

  • To move my body 4 times a week
  • To honour my hunger
  • To make healthy versions of junk food that I like

Spirit

  • To say no more
  • To clean one room every weeknight
  • To brainstorm business names/logos/designs
  • To rest

 

This way of setting goals seems very zen to me and I kinda love that. It feels more real and aligned to me as a person. Whilst the goal itself is vague to others, I know I want these actions to help me achieve a feeling of calm, productiveness and to be respectful of myself. Ultimately these actions are what will help me understand whether I’ve achieved my goal at the end of the month.

 

What are your goals for this month?

The Simple Life

I’ve done a lot this year to try and live a more simple life. I’ve cleaned my house of possessions that weren’t being used. I let go of books I kept around but never read, I uploaded all my cds to my laptop. I cleaned out my wardrobe and am currently undertaking Project 333.

I also want to start simplifying my hair care and skin care.

In April of this year I decided to stop using products to wash my hair. I hate washing my hair – I hate all those wet strands of hair that get stuck to you. So I stopped washing it with product and started to only wash it with water )which I had read up on here). I purchased a new wide-tooth comb and a new brush to compliment the brush I already had. The brush is a boar-bristle brush which is used to help distribute the oil from your scalp down to the ends of your hair on your non-washing days. It’s a long process which is why I don’t always do it daily but it makes a difference. I did notice that my scalp started flaking a bit and that is probably due to the temperature of the water I use. I made a mix of castille soap, lavender oil, olive oil, rosemary oil, teatree oil, vegetable glycerine (from a recipe I found here) and now use that to wash my hair. I’ve found that my hair is not falling out as much as it used to, the oiliness takes longer to appear, my scalp is better and my hair has more volume to it. Overall I’m pretty happy with the results and I think I’ll start alternating washing with water and washing with the concoction I’ve developed.

In terms of skin care I’ve had skin issues since I can remember. Over the years I’ve tried cleansers, different ingredients in cleansers, pills, prescription topical lotions, proactive, oil-cleansing method, natural products only and my most recent foray, accutane. I started accutane in September 2016 and my course lasted until December of the same year. My dermatologist was worried about my liver on the drug so I stopped taking it. In terms of clearing my skin it did help but after a few months the issues came back – not as obvious but still there.

My general skin care since accutane comprises of 3 cleaners, a mist toner and 3 moisturisers. Generally the combination of those products works quite well but I still have issues and at 31, I don’t want them anymore.

I had a bit of an epiphany one night when I thought “well, if I can wash my hair with only water, I wonder if I can do the same with my face” and that next morning I started researching it. It’s called the caveman regime and from what I’ve read the extreme is not using any sort of products at all, not even water on your face. That’s far too extreme for me because a) I wear sunscreen everyday, b) I want to be able to wash it off and c) I want to wear make up sometimes.

So I’ve done my own thing. For the first week I only cleansed my skin at night time. I used a natural sunscreen every day. It was a little bit uncomfortable at times because it feels dry and tight but I hadn’t noticed much difference other than my skin is much drier during the day.

This past week I’ve added more moisturiser to my routine as well as exfoliation. I discovered that I have dry skin and not oily as I’ve been told all my life and I do not like the dryness.  It was getting to the really uncomfortable stage and I didn’t like the dead skin hence the exfoliation. My skin looks better but I have broken out a little bit. The truth is these blemishes are lasting nowhere near as long as they did probably because I now leave them alone.

I’m going to keep at this, but tweak it as I see fit. Skin is so unique and changes so it’s important to change what you do to it.

Why Self-Care Matters

Self-care isn’t just about things that you can physically do. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, many people think self-care is what you typically see on Instagram – green smoothies, yoga at sunrise and meditation. Whilst it can be those things and it definitely is for a lot of people, I wanted to start a series on other things that I consider self-care that aren’t necessarily obvious.

This motivation has come as I’m a couple of weeks into a coaching course through Beautiful You. It’s certainly interesting so far but it’s made me start thinking about what sort of coaching I want to do and develop a niche. At the moment, I want to work with younger women in terms of confidence/self-esteem and also developing boundaries in order to have fulfilling and authentic relationships with themselves and those around them. In order to do this I want to explore areas of self-care that will help with that.

The reason I want to work with these issues is that I’ve realise that a lot of females struggle with them because they’ve been socialised that way. We’re taught from a young age that other people have the right to dictate our looks and behaviour. We’re taught to ignore our intuition when as young girls we’re forced to kiss and hug hello adults and strangers. This also reinforces that our bodies are not ours to control, but that our needs and wants should be compromised for the sake of politeness. We’re taught that young girls who are assertive are ‘bossy’ and it is always used as a negative. It really comes to no surprised that so many young women don’t know how to navigate boundaries.

Obviously this isn’t the case for every single female but it is for a lot of them. And I want to help them. It pains me to see those around me struggling and not being comfortable with themselves. It kills me that so many women lack confidence in themselves and have to rely on the judgement of everyone around them – regardless of how good or bad that advice is.

It’s something that has always been so important to me but one of those things that I never really knew I wanted to do something about. But I do because I’ve learnt a lot over the years and have found ways to put myself first no matter the situation. This doesn’t make me selfish and in fact, the only people who are bothered by it are the ones who are no longer able to take advantage of or control me.

I haven’t worked out the logistics yet – whether it’ll be a weekly, monthly or whenever I feel like it series but it will be here. If you have any suggestions I’d love to hear them. And I hope you all enjoy the series!