Investing in Intellectual Self-Care

intellectual-self-care-curls-n-coffee

The fear of personal growth exists in our lives because we fear not being good or great at whatever it is we want to try. It is completely normal to have those fears.

Allow yourself to be a beginner. No one starts off being excellent. -Anon

However, everyone has to start somewhere. And even if you try something new and you’re not great at it, that’s absolutely fine. We live and learn!

Try something new

I love to try new things. And when I do, I am completely invested in that skill, craft or hobby. In terms of results, l’ve seen both good and  bad. The activities l’ve mastered now form part of my every day life and l couldn’t be happier.

It all starts with taking that first step; even when you don’t have it all figured out. Whether you’re a student for life like me, or want to brush up on a topic so that you can contribute to a discussion with friends, or approach your boss for that long overdue salary increase, investing in yourself by enjoying some intellectual self care may be long overdue!

What is intellectual self-care?

Intellectual self-care involves being responsible for your own personal growth. It is the continuous pursuit of learning and education and engaging in new things. It is also the art of practising mindfulness and having a positive mindset about life in general.

Whenever I write these posts I think about my own life and identify areas in which I have been tending to my own intellectual self-care growth. This month I signed up for an online course because I wanted to get a better understanding of a new field that I am exploring. Additionally, I love learning new languages and because I already speak a little Spanish, I always try to improve my Spanish skills with different apps on my phone. I’ve also decided that I would seriously like to know what all the hype about Game of Thrones is? However, I don’t have the time to watch seven seasons of the series right now, so I’ve challenged myself to read the first book. In fact, if anyone has the first book lying around please send it my way?

How will you challenge yourself and practice intellectual self-care this month?

Here are some ideas that I had in mind:

Sign up for a course

Whether it be online or at your local college. Maybe you want to finish a course that you started years back? You should do it, its never too late. I signed up for a free online course with Shaw Academy, you should check them out.

Learn a new language

I use the Duolingo app to practice my Spanish

Listen to a podcast

If you don’t like reading, you could listen to a podcast or watch a Ted Talk. I’ve found them to be really educational and fun.

Practice Mindfulness

If you find that your life is generally very busy and that you are always rushing to the next thing, take a few minutes to practice mindfulness this week. And this does not need to involve a lengthy meditation session, it could just mean eating your lunch away from your desk and being present in the moment that you find yourself in.

I hope that after reading this, you feel challenged to make intellectual self-care a part of your life. 😉

Let me know in the comments below or pop me an email if you decide to try something new, I would love to hear about it!

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How to Practice Emotional Self-Care

what-is-emotional-self-care

Life update

A couple of weeks ago, I embarked on a blog series on self-care. You can start reading all about it here and here. While the intention was to write one post a week, last week did not go exactly as I had planned. Life has been rather hectic lately which left me feeling stressed, tired and overwhelmed.

There is some irony in the fact that this post on emotional self-care is delayed because while I was trying to write it, I needed to do some emotional self-care myself. Now that I’m feeling a whole lot better, I feel like I can share some of the lessons that I learnt through this post.

What is emotional self-care?

Emotional self-care is all about being aware of how we are feeling and finding ways to deal with our feelings positively, especially when it comes to managing stress in our lives. So when I felt stressed and anxious last week, I needed some time out. And for an extrovert like myself, that is a rare occasion. I ended up spending the most part of 2 days in complete silence at home by myself and it was complete bliss.

Here’s what I did to recharge:

  1. I tidied and decluttered my bedroom – that may not sound like an emotional self-care activity, but an orderly space where I could think did wonders for my soul. I think some of the clutter was actually adding to the stress in my life.
  2. I deep conditioned my hair, applied a face mask and painted my nails – sometimes just those little things can do so much for your well -being. I wonder how I can never spare 20 minutes out of a week to apply a deep conditioner to my hair?! This is going to be a regular activity for me from now on!
  3. I met an old friend for lunch on day 2, shhh! By lunchtime of day 2 I had enough of my own company! A friend from out of town was in Cape Town for the week and it was so good to catch up over food and drinks, lots of laughter and memories were shared.

What if you don’t have time?

If you can’t take 2 days off (which might be the case if you have kids, weekend commitments or anything in that line), here are a few things you could try to add some self-care and self-love to your life!

  • Go for a walk. Try this without your phone! If you can, immerse yourself in nature, whether that be the ocean or a forest! Take the time to really experience your surroundings and breathe in the fresh air.
  • Read a book. When last have you read a book that was completely self-indulgent?
  • Spend time with a loved one, particularly someone you’ve been meaning to catch up with!
  • Try a new hobby! Buy that sketch pad and draw, join that dance class, start that blog! Whatever inspires you to explore your creative side, go and do it.

My Physical Self-Care Progress

Now, in my last post, I set some physical self-care goals that I wanted to report back on. Firstly, I’ve been doing a lot better with my sleeping times. Most nights I am in bed by 10 pm and lights out by 11 pm. Secondly, I have cut out most sugar from my diet, I had some over the past weekend but that’s about it. Thirdly, I went to that pound class I mentioned and nearly died! I’ve only managed 2 of 6 workouts over  2 weeks. I’ll be working to improve that this week!

Remember, self-care is not optional, it’s essential!

N xoxo

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Developing a Physical Self-Care Routine

developing-a-physical-self-care-routine

 

 

*If you’ve missed the introductory post to this series on self-care, click here.

 

Self-care is not selfish. You cannot serve from an empty vessel – Eleanor Brownn

 

Now that we’ve established that we, in fact, need to look after ourselves first, to be able to look after others, let’s get down to business.

I decided to touch on physical self-care first because it’s the easiest to write about.  Funny enough, it’s one of the more difficult ones to put into practice.  This is because physical self-care is not a once-off action like reading a book. It will only be effective if you are consistent and build a daily habit.

Are you afraid of tackling physical self-care?

Ok, maybe you’re not ready for what seems like a big commitment! Don’t stop reading yet.

The benefits of looking after ourselves physically far outweigh the effort that we put in. Being physically healthy has a domino effect on all other areas of our lives. So before you knock it, I recommend trying one little thing to improve your physical health this week.

So how does one practice physical self-care?

I’m sure you’ve heard this 100 times before but it really is the gospel on improving your physical health. Say it with me:

Healthy Foods + Exercise + Quality Sleep So basic right? If you already have all of these waxed, well done and you are free to stop reading right about now. Personally, I find that when I feel like my life is out of balance, I’m tired all the time, I feel lethargic or I’m irritable, it can usually be attributed to one of the three puzzle pieces being out of sync.

*If you have all of these sorted, well done! You are free to stop reading right about now!

My physical self-care practice

When you read these blog posts, I want you to know that I am preaching to myself as well.  So here’s what’s happening in my world when it comes to physical self-care practice.

I find that when my life feels out of balance and I am fatigued, lethargic or irritable, it can be attributed to one of the three puzzle pieces above being out of place. For the last year I ate a mostly low carb high fat diet, but since returning from my vacation in May, I haven’t managed to fully get back to that way of eating. Additionally, I haven’t exercised consistently for three months now.  And, due to my increased online activity, I seem to be going to bed later and later these days.

I believe in eating an elephant one bite at a time. Experience has taught me that when I try to set unrealistic goals like exercising seven times this week, I never achieve them. So while I would like to be one of those people who exercises every day, I know that when I start something new, it’s better for me to set small goals that I can achieve. And pat myself on the back when I do!

Your Physical Self-Care Practice

While I could give you a list of 100 things that you could do this week to improve your physical self care, I thought I would challenge you to start with the basics.

To get started, use the three puzzle pieces as a guideline for setting three realistic ways to begin or improve a physical self-care practice this week. Here’s an example if you are unclear.

This is how I plan to look after my physical health this week:

  1. I’ve planned three workouts this week. When I exercise it has to be something that I enjoy doing like dancing or group classes so I’ve booked a class at the gym for Monday evening and set a calendar reminder for myself. Anyone keen for a pound class tonight?
  2. I’m going to try my darndest to cut out refined sugars this week. I feel like it is a huge contributor to my energy levels  yo-yoing so I think it’s time to sever this relationship once and for all.
  3. I really need to get between 7-8 hours sleep a night to function as a civilized human being in the morning. This means in bed by 10:00 pm for me and lights out at 10:30 pm. I feel like I could write a whole post just on bedtime habits. Sigh!

A disclaimer on physical self-care

You don’t have to belong to a gym or eat any pricey, healthy foods to set your own goals for this week. A walk outside in the fresh air might be all the physical self-care you need!

I’ve written this post to inspire you AND to keep myself accountable to you. Hopefully next week I will have some positive habitual behaviour to report!

While I know setting some goals for yourself can be a personal thing but if you feel comfortable I would love it if you would share your three physical self-care goals in the comments below!

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The Importance of Self-Care {New Blog Series}

what-is-self-care-and-why-it-is-important-curlsncoffee

With age, comes a deep understanding of what it truly means to look after yourself.  Time will teach you that only taking care of your physical body, is a dangerous practice with minimal reward. Sure, we must strive to be physically healthy, but it is equally important to cultivate wholeness in the areas of mental health, spiritual health and emotional health. Over the last few years, especially with my demanding job, I have seen the tangible and intangible benefits of taking a step back to practice self-care. And this my new friend, is what this series of posts is all about!

Since I spend so much time sipping on coffee, I have developed the habit of people watching! And wherever I turn, in any area of my life,  I notice that there are two types of women in this life:

  1. The hard-worker and homemaker who is so busy advancing her career and taking care of her family that she forgets to take care of herself.
  2. The woman who believes that it’s almost selfish to look after herself, labelling it as vain, narcissistic and unnecessary. She’s always claiming that it’s something that she will attend to later, but never does.

Which one are you? I happen to believe that taking care of yourself now will enable you to be your best self now and later in life.

Why is Self-Care Important?

  1. Improving your overall health enables you to love, perform and give at your best. So if you’re really an overachiever, this is your best recipe for success!
  2. You work hard and you deserve it!
  3. Though fulfilling, your various roles in your own life and the lives of others, can be very demanding and draining. Staying healthy, both inside and out, will cultivate joy and prevent burnout which happens to the best of us – even if we have great lives with wonderful people in it. You deserve to be happy and being healthy has great influence over your mood and attitude.

Join me over the next few Mondays, beginning next week, as I delve into what selfcare is, the different dimensions of selfcare and how you can practice selfcare in your life without breaking the bank. It’s really not about the money – even though the odd treatment is really nice. It’s about intentionally planning and doing things in your life that are just for you! Wouldn’t you like to live your life in a place of peace, joy and contentment? 

In this series you can expect to learn about the following dimensions of self-care:

  1. Physical
  2. Intellectual
  3. Social
  4. Spiritual
  5. Emotional

 

I will also share the little and big ways that I try to practice selfcare in my life – besides drinking large amounts of coffee that is!

Are you practising self-care? Let me know in the comments below.

 

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Obsessions: {Velvet Crush}

velvet-for-your-home-and-closet

Velvet is back! I am not a  girl who follows every new fashion trend. Being in my thirties, my style is quite developed and I am set in my ways! Still, I am a sucker for any old trends that come back into fashion, which I will credit to being a retro girl at heart.

Cue my obsession with velvet.

I absolutely love velvet. It is bigger, better and oh, so classy this time around!

If you can pull off wearing velvet from head-to-toe, you totally should! If anyone argues, tell them Nadia sent you! But for those of us who want to incorporate this trend subtly, here’s my list of all the velvet a girl could dream of and ask for!

Will I be wearing velvet to the CurlsNCoffee session this weekend? Maybe, after all, I did just purchase a beautiful velvet dress! *swoon*

1. Tribal Velvet Gypsy Dress

This dress is perfect if you are eyeing some understated velvet charm! It’s subtle, chic and something different rolled into one!

2. Bomber Jacket

Way to jazz up a simple jeans and tee combo! I’m thinking all black? How’s about we throw in a peak cap for good measure?

3. Quilted Velvet Crossbody Bag (Dark Red)

When in doubt, get in on the trend by using your accessories. The quilted fabric gives an elegant touch.

4. Sitting Pretty Velvet Jacket Teal

I visualise this as a great transition piece from winter to spring.

5. DailyFriday Velvet Boot (Grey)

I’ve seen a few velvet boots in interesting colours and patterns, they are daring and bright enough to become the statement piece of every outfit, but I’ll give this one a pass. For me, shoes are an investment piece, so I opt for good quality and keep it neutral.

There’s more…

If you want to be really fancy, you could even incorporate velvet into your home décor. This velvet chair at Mr P is to die for! There’s also this adorable pom-pom scatter cushion!

Have you incorporated velvet into your wardrobe and home as yet? Let me know, I’d love to hear more about it!

 

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Buuya: Naturally Beautiful {Love Local}

Before we talk Buuya, a short interlude…

When I returned to natural, I happened to be living abroad where products were easier to come by than they are in South Africa. For many of my curly-haired sisters, their journeys started in shopping aisles dedicated to the accomplishment of silky smooth, bone straight tresses. However, in what seems like a matter of months (a few years for the most), we (South Africa) have gone from no options at all, to a plethora of product for our kinks and curls, some even produced right here at home.

To be honest, this doesn’t solve my curly girl problems completely but knowing that I can pick up a phone or walk into a mall and get something I need without compromising on quality, is surely a step in the right direction. I still have the task of sifting through local and international brands to find the perfect fit for my fine hair and relatively loose curl. Cape Town based and Zambia-inspired Buuya fills me with hope.

On Tuesday, 20th June 2017, accompanied by my friend Ashleigh, I attended a very exclusive product launch for Buuya, a natural hair product range developed by Kasuba Stuurman. Buuya is situated in Paarden Eiland, and it was refreshing to meet at their offices, sans frills and fireworks, to celebrate Kasuba’s new venture, and her birthday!

For those of you who might wonder what happens at these kinds of events, I will tell you that Buuya’s do was tasteful, simple and to the point. Upon arrival, we chatted and received our choice in mocktail. Of course, dozens of selfies were had before we were ushered to our seats in their main venue. Kasuba said a few words, elaborating shortly on her entrepreneurial journey and hair story. Only having recently met her, it was a pleasant introduction to the face and hands behind Buuya, which quite fittingly, means beauty.

Previous  experience in starting a business, taught me the hard work of starting out on your own and being 100% responsible for your own wellbeing and the wellbeing of your clientele. The beads of sweat still threaten to erupt on my forehead! I think few people realise the great stress on the back of our locals doing it for themselves, the constant hustle and uncertainty. Formerly known as “Rockin Naturals”, Kasuba’s “Buuya” emerges as the refined, well-oiled sister of her former self. She is strong and confident in herself. She arrives on the scene with something unique to offer.

Turning the spotlight back to my fine hair for a moment, I must harp on about how tricky it is to find suitable products for my hair type. Too much of anything results in crispy, limp curls. Shea butter? I cannot.

And so I love that Buuya’s natural hair product range introduces us to plant based extracts such as, Mongongo Oil, Mafura Butter, Cape Coastal Honeybush, and Kigelia Africana -celebrating the Southern Africa. These active ingredients embed themselves in my memory and stand out as one of the Buuya beauty secrets I won’t easily forget. Anyone can whip up a batch of Aleo very gel in the kitchen these days, so new innovations excite me very much!

I’m also quite chuffed that Kasuba aims to educate people on the dangers of EXTREME hair and beauty practices. For me, this type of commitment extends outside of and within the natural hair community, which is great! You see, often times, we think because we aren’t taking a flat iron to our hair, we are okay, and that if someone wears a weave or prefers a blowout, they are not. From what I am hearing, Buuya represents a very honest and simple approach to their target market: let’s all promote healthy hair and know that we are naturally beautiful. 

If you are keen on healthy hair growth, length retention, moisture retention, and hair definition — Buuya may have something for you!

Now that I am in my thirties, I am a very selective consumer! A lady’s gotta choose! And I will always choose, advocate for, and support, local makers. Whether you’re attracted by the modern packaging, the travel size items, the sweet but natural Apricot scent, or her founder’s rise to entrepreneurial success, try Buuya for as a little as R100 today. Natural hair rocks and what’s even even more inspiring is that naturalistas are doing it for themselves!

Here are a few more pics from the launch, supplied by Buuya and taken by the lovely Elona NH Photography.

 

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CurlsnCoffee Sessions with Kamili Coffee & My Natural Hair

Surprise! We’re having a coffee soiree! The first of many CurlsnCoffee Sessions start on Saturday, 15 July 2017! This inaugural event is in collaboration with Kamili Coffee and My Natural Hair, two brands I love and feel so honoured to partner with.

Thanks to their generosity and some careful planning on my side, CurlsnCoffee is able to invite four members of the CurlsnCoffee clan, along with one of their friends, to join us on this auspicious occasion.

CurlsnCoffee Sessions

Flyer design by CurlsnCoffee

CurlsnCoffee Sessions – What to expect

To connect in person with our IG community, celebrate the blog and inhale all the coffee, the day will include a complimentary brunch, a coffee cupping session and a hair curlversation! You will have the opportunity to enter at the end of this post, we would love to meet you!

What is coffee cupping?

Coffee cupping, or coffee tasting, is the practice of observing the tastes and aromas of brewed coffee. It is a professional practice but can be done informally by anyone or by professionals. A standard coffee cupping procedure involves deeply sniffing the coffee, then loudly slurping the coffee so it spreads to the back of the tongue. The coffee taster attempts to measure aspects of the coffee’s taste, specifically the body (the texture or mouthfeel, such as oiliness), sweetnessacidity (a sharp and tangy feeling, like when biting into an orange), flavour (the characters in the cup), and aftertaste. Since coffee beans embody tell-tale flavours from the region where they were grown, cuppers may attempt to identify the coffee’s origin (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coffee_cupping)

 

Kamili Coffee

Cape Town is filled with busy, brewing coffee shops, I should know, I do call myself CurlsnCoffee after all! So what makes Kamili different and why have I chosen this Harrington street charmer to host our first event? Could it be the relaxed music that adds to their flavourful blends? Is it the quick escape from city life without going too far, that holds my attention? Or am I attracted by the warm interiors which help me battle it out against the cold mornings and grey afternoons in corporate Cape Town?

Well, all of this is great, and so is their poached eggs and bacon stack, but to Kamili, there’s a surprise element that gets me every time! There is something to be said about a place where people remember your name, perfect your order, and serve you with a smile. These are old traits forgotten in a modern world where we all rush and swoosh to the next thing, the next cup, the next exchange of notes and coins. Owner, Theo Snyckers has done a great job with his team of staff, and superior coffee! The CurlsnCoffee session will be filled with their bean talk and wisdom, so I won’t go too far, but I will say, that if you really want to make sense of all the coffee speak in our cosmopolitan city, Kamili’s is the place for you, come taste and see!

 

 

My Natural Hair

The landscape for natural hair products in South Africa is growing! Local makers are giving international counterparts a run for their money, I mean, who better to introduce products to the market than those of us who have been born and raised in the climate and conditions of urban and rural South Africa? One such brand is My Natural Hair!

These days, I meet new people and brands at every corner, but what truly stands out for me about My Natural Hair in particular, is founder Catherine’s pride in what she creates for this homegrown line of healthy hair care options. From polished events, affordable pricing, and complete transparency around the ingredients used in each bottle of magic, it is apparent that Catherine hopes My Natural Hair will grow with its audience and their hair. Catherine holds a degree in marketing and has travelled the world as an air hostess. It is during her travels to New York that she first discovered natural hair products, and with much enthusiasm, she has been able to create a uniquely South African alternative for natural and relaxed hair! You can read more about her story here.

How to enter

  1. Follow @curlsncoffeeza, @kamilicoffee and @_mynatural_hair on Instagram
  2. Share the name (their IG handle please) of the friend you will be taking in the comments below.
  3. That’s it! You’re entered!

Disclaimer: Competition only open to Cape Town residents and does not include transport. Winners must be available on Saturday, 15 July 2017 from 10h00 to 12h00 to attend the event. Competition closes at 12h00 on Tuesday, 4 July 2017 and winners will be announced on Wednesday, 5 July 2017.

Tip: Know who you will be taking with you if you win? Ask your friend to enter as well to increase your chances of winning! Good luck!

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YAY! 1000 Followers on Instagram {A3 Coffee Print Giveaway: CLOSED}

This giveaway is closed. The winner is Roxzanne Klassen, also, @roxyk_ on Instagram.

 

Oh my gosh, is it really time for my first giveaway?

As you might know by now I have few loves in this world, coffee being close to the top of the list!

As a thank you for encouraging me, following me on this journey and helping me reach 1000 followers on Instagram, where it all started, I’ve designed and printed some of my favourite coffee quotes.

If you would like to win a framed print, please head over to my Instagram profile, @curlsncoffeeza and leave a comment as to which of the three designs is your favourite!

  • Prize includes one framed CurlsNCoffee printable and free delivery
  • Giveaway open only to entrants with a South African postal address
  • Giveaway closes 22 June 2017 and the winner will be announced on 23 June 2017
  • Our giveaway winner must commit to taking a picture with their prize and their signature cup of coffee! For the ‘gram, of course.

Now, take a look at the printables you could win…Not too shabby, huh?

 

1. But first, coffee

Ceramic Espresso Cup handmade by  Potsicle Ceramics

2. Coffee and Chill

Ceramic Espresso Cup handmade by  Potsicle Ceramics

3. You had me at coffee

Ceramic Espresso Cup handmade by  Potsicle Ceramics

PS. Can you spot my rose gold obsession coming through? Read more about it here.

 

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Obsessions: {Rose Gold}

rose-gold-obsessions

You’re probably bored to death with this passing trend, but I still love me some rose gold! Honestly, I feel like it’s one of those things, like silver, and gold, that won’t go away. Sure, maybe rose gold is overused, but who cares! If you love it, let loose! That’s just what I am doing at home, now that I have made the decision to redecorate.

Here’s a look at a few rose gold items that I have already purchased, or have my eye on. Of course, I had to add a few accessories too!

curlsncoffee-rose-gold-obsession

1. Copper Foil on Black Prints (Various Designs), Prestwich Collection, R190 – R440

2. Anita by Skagen, Superbalist, R3999

3. Metallic Diffuser, Mr P Home, R159,99

4. Wild At Heart Art Print, Prestwich Collection, R320

5. Superga 2750 Cotmetu Metallic Foil, Superbalist, R1099

6. Desk Lamp, Mr P Home, R229,99

 

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Starting a blog

Featured Image: Alexandru  Stavrica

A few short months ago, the CurlsnCoffee brand was purely experimental. I was testing social media strategies for a pooch-loving pal, never expecting the traction I received only four weeks after opening an Instagram account dedicated to my frizzy hair and favourite drink!

I am now connected with hundreds of natural hair enthusiasts, coffee lovers and Cape Town’s most stylish consumers of local fashion; what a fascinating community to call my own! When I connect in person, with someone who recognises me as #curlsncoffeeza, I freak out a little! Besides my interest in online marketing, it really is amazing to see how easily we can do great, fun things at the tap of a button and meet people who do the same.

It is with much anticipation that I add an official blog to the mix, though I must admit that I don’t yet know what I am doing. 😉

I have a stunning job which I love, so even though I take a signature selfie (with coffee cup in hand, of course), things will work a little differently around here. I am not a blogger by any means so…wish me luck in the comments below!

 

x

 

 

 

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