How to Love Monday Morning

I hate Monday morning rolling around as much as the next person. If you're a traditional "9-5 weekdays" working gal like me, I think it's a safe bet to stake on that you're not Monday's biggest fan either. It means we're waving goodbye to the glorious weekend (including the potential lie ins) and waking up to a wailing alarm clock and a busy hustle and bustle commute. Don't get me wrong - I bloody love my job so I know I am mega lucky in that respect as not everyone does, but no matter how great it is, the 5:3Oam wake up call and the dread of the busy morning can settle in pretty quickly. Despite the impending dread though, I do actually like being a morning person and would generally consider myself to be one. I enjoy waking up earlier rather than later and I like to try and get as much done as I can before midday as I know it won't get done in the evening as I usually feel quite tired and so relaxed I run the risk of living horizontally for the rest of my days. Naturally, I think I just enjoy the mornings more and like the thought of what the rest of the day may bring but I know not everyone feels the same. So I thought I'd put together some of the ways in which I myself make the whole morning routine more easy and enjoyable and I've also thrown in there some things I *wish* I could include in my routine but just don't have the time in my already busy morning regime.

- Try to wake up naturally. Okay so this first point is kind of difficult and depending on the time of year, almost impossible but here me out. Waking up naturally is so much better for you than waking up to an alarm as you aren't breaking your sleep at crucial moments. Unfortunately, I'm like almost everyone else in the fact that I wake up to an alarm but there's ways to try and make this better. Firstly I totally recommending natural lighting. Especially when it is spring/summer time, the sun comes up at the crack of dawn (obviously, it's dawn) which can make the whole process of fully waking up much easier. I wouldn't recommend having all your curtains and blinds open otherwise you'll be up at the sparrow's fart (i.e. 4:3Oam), but having them opened slightly or having thinner, non-blackout curtains up at your windows can truly help. If that doesn't suit you you can always have an alarm that gradually gets louder so it gently stirs you awake, use a sleep tracker gadget that tracks your sleeping pattern and can gently alert you to stir you from slumber at the best moment for you specifically, or using a Lumie Alarm Clock which gradually wakes you with artifical daylight - perfect for the winter months!

- Get up instantly. This is simple: get up as soon as your alarm goes off. Don't wait around in bed because you're guaranteed to be less productive and just waste time. Getting up straight away can really help you just kickstart your day and as cheesy as it sounds, it reflects how the rest of your day is going to pan out. If you happen to naturally wake up before your alarm and say it's only 1O-3Omins early, I'd also say just get up then. For me, the worst thing I can do is force myself to go back to sleep as I know when I wake up again I will feel much groggier and out of it than I did the first time.

- Make the bed. Before I do anything, I make the bed as soon as I get out of it. Making the bed instantly makes your bedroom look tidier so no matter what you do next in your morning routine whether it's going in the shower, having breakfast, or doing some exercise, when you look back at your bed you will feel more ready to take on the day. Can we get "Tidy bed tidy mind" trending please?

- Have a glass of water. Most of sleep between 4 - 8 hours and especially in the hotter months, we definitely lose some liquid throughout the night. Therefore the next step I always do is drink a glass of water. Whether you want to drink a pint or a small glass doesn't matter, re-hydrating yourself before you tackle everything else can really help wake you up and also keeps your body happy as some nutritionists argue that water in the mornings can help with digestion and bloating.

- Do a little or a lot of exercise. This next point is completely time dependant and also personality dependant. At the moment, I do exercise during the evenings as I just can't slot it into my morning routine however if you think it can help you ensure you actually do some exercise regularly or if it will help wake you up, I'd totally recommend it. I say exercise loosely as it can be a full cardio circuit training extravaganza or it can be some simple stretches. I actually do some simple stretches, lunges, and squats whilst I brush my teeth just to try and wake my body up a little!

- Give yourself a good cold fresh jolt. Now no one in their right mind is going to like this next one except me but hear me out. I always brush my teeth and shower before I tackle breakfast etc. so once I'm in there, I like to fully wake myself up by blasting myself with the cold water. I know. I promise you I haven't gone mad. Even in the hotter months I love a nice relaxing shower as much as the next person but I always find it helps to give my skin a quick blast with the cold to wake myself up. I tend to do this right at the end of my shower so I can quickly turn the pressure off and get wrapped up in my towel. Not only is it good for giving you a good dose of "wake up sleepy head!" it can help minimise pores in a flash and can also work wonders on coloured hair. I tend to blast my back then dance around quick in a tizz before jumping out gasping for breath. If that doesn't suit you and you have access to a back garden, I'd totally recommend the whole having a morning cuppa sat perched on the doorstep with the door open to give yourself a boost of fresh air and help you fully wake up.

- Do what you can the night before. Ahhh... Who's parents made you do this when you were younger and you thought they were daft to only find yourself trying to practice what they preached now? I'm 1OO% guilty of forgetting to follow this rule often, but it's a great one to crack if you can. If you're someone who needs to pack a bag, choose or plan an outfit, or make your lunch for your Mondays, get it all done on Sunday night. Having it all done means you're not frantically pulling your hair out trying to do multiple jobs in the morning which will ultimately leave you feeling stressed and negative. I've started planning what I'm wearing the night before and it has been a game changer. No longer am I trying on 5O different pieces of clothing and throwing them around my bedroom to be a mess I have to tidy away when I get home from work because I know exactly what to put on and I know what I'm going to put on looks great as a whole ensemble. Keeping yourself organised like this can help so so much.

-Give yourself *me* time. Guess what? Getting up a little earlier so you have time to do things at a more relaxed leisurely pace is so great. I know some of you out there prefer your extra 2O minutes in bed but for me losing those but gaining a chilled, chaos-free morning top trumps the sleep. I give myself a solid 2 hours to get up and get ready each morning. This means I can take some time out to have a cup of tea, take my time with my hair and makeup, read a little, scroll through social media if I want to... It just gives me a bit of freedom in my otherwise step-by-step routine. Having this breathing space can make the morning feel less like a chore and more like you're on the ball and I'm all for it.

- Have a routine. All the things I've mentioned are things I do in the exact same order every single weekday morning. They help me keep on track and when the tiredness really hits me I can almost cruise along on autopilot and not put a lot of thought into what I need to do next. Doing this also helps me keep track of time as I can work out when I'm running late or when I'm doing things quicker than usual so I have time to spare.

Follow me on Bloglovin'
Twitter & Instagram xo

The Cruelty Free Carnivore

If you follow me on my social media and if you’re a regular reader (particularly my beauty posts), you may have seen me chatting about how I’m making the transition to completely cruelty free beauty from haircare to skincare to cosmetics. For some reason it has taken til the ripe old age of 26 to finally make that jump to a CF lifestyle in this area of my life and I’m not entirely sure why. I think cruelty free beauty is becoming more and more recognisable and abundant in the contemporary beauty industry with stores like Superdrug advocating the leaping bunny logo on CF products and it being a topic that is more widely discussed on the net and in various forms of media in general. I think this is a fantastic shift in our society as we are more aware of what CF beauty is and which products are and are not because honestly? It’s not something I ever remember being a topic when I was a teen starting out with makeup.

I never really knew anything about it until I got older and even now, I still feel it should be discussed more and more and brands especially should be more transparent about whether or not they test instead of not putting it out there then replying with cryptic emails and explanations if you happen to approach them about the subject. It’s something that should be talked about more because there’s so many young girls especially who will start experimenting with products without any inkling of brand ethics or what chemicals and ingredients are included in these products and who actually uses them to then decide “yeah, they’re suitable for mass production and sale”. It’s something I wish I was much more conscious of when I was younger as I feel this transition into a CF beauty life would have happened much sooner.

There’s another reason why it has taken me so long to transition though and this here is where I probably will get a little ranty and a whole lot of rambly so I apologise in advance and if you’re still intending to read on (especially after I used those two words that aren’t actually real words) then you’re a brave soul and I salute you.

So, this *other reason*... I am a meat eater. Since I was old enough to eat solid foods, I have been a meat eater and I’ve never really questioned it. I’m happy to eat vegetarian meals and I quite like making sure I eat more vegetarian meals in my diet now at this age as I’ve grown more and more conscious of the meat and dairy industries as I’ve gotten older. I had a good discussion over on Twitter when I asked followers what their thoughts were on those who eat meat but say they’re mindful of animal welfare and whether or not you can say you’re pro animal rights etc. if you eat meat and everyone had extremely varying but equally valid and well-argued points of view. My reason for asking this was because I have been so anti-animal testing – especially for cosmetics and beauty – for a lot of years but I hadn’t done anything about it until now. And why? Honestly I was scared of the reaction.

I fully believe that testing on animals for the sake of a lipstick or mascara is utterly ridiculous and should be a criminal offence – there’s no reason for it and it’s a research “technique” that is outdated however, how can I say that when I eat meat?! A couple of followers pointed this out and said “I don’t believe anyone can say they fully care about animal rights if they are still eating meat or dairy because the industries are so bad” and I partly agree with them. I’ve gotten so caught up – particularly in the last couple of years – battling with this idea myself but I realised the main driving force behind why I wasn’t committing to CF beauty was because of what others might think rather than what I think. I’ve been thinking “how can I say I want to be cruelty free with this aspect of my life when realistically, I’m not cruelty free with another part of my lifestyle?” and I guess because I’ve questioned myself, that means other individuals can certainly question me and I guess that made me uncomfortable. I like to be completely certain of myself and my choices so if anyone challenges me, I know that even if they cannot see my reasoning or point of view, I can at least argue my case and be sure of myself. Now though? Now I feel I am sure of my decision in this part of my life.

I sound like I’m getting incredibly deep here, but I guess that reflects how much this has eaten away at me and made me think. I’ve now transitioned to cruelty free in all aspects of “beauty” and I feel *so good* for it. As I mentioned earlier, the thought of buying non-cruelty free beauty products was just getting to me because the process of testing on an animal – for a luxury product that is not a necessity – seems completely alien to me. This is where I suppose I’ve drawn the line in my mind of what is “acceptable” for me personally and what is not.

Eating meat is the norm for me and it is a necessity. I know of course people quite easily and happily live on vegan and vegetarian diets, but as someone who has struggled with food throughout most of their life, meat is a bit of a crutch for me as I’ve had to rely on it for a lot of protein and fats in the past. I don’t eat all meats and I am more than happy to swap out meat for veggie options, but it’s something I enjoy and therefore I can justify it in my eyes. That’s not to say I buy any old thing and will always try my up-most to make sure my food shop only contains organic meat and dairy and is from reputable businesses. So from that standpoint I thought “hang on, if I’m being so conscious about *this* area of animal welfare, I certainly need to be doing the same in my beauty area”. As I said, beauty products are a luxury in my eyes – we don’t need them to survive and there’s undoubtedly an obvious clue in the fact that we often refer to makeup as "cosmetics" that they are purely for “cosmetic” purposes and therefore unnecessary in our existence. Sure they’re fun and I love to dabble in them, but they’re not needed therefore animals should not suffer in any extent for their production.

Follow me on Bloglovin'
Twitter & Instagram xo

Blue Blooms

Guys guys guys - how delighted are you with the change in weather?! Although I am physically melting on the daily now, I am *so* happy that the sun has come back out and is lasting longer than the duration of a day. It's made me realise though that my wardrobe is never truly ready for hot days so I've had to try and make do with what I've got and basically try and wear everything floral, floaty, and summery all at once. This blouse is one of my favourite choices for the hot days as I can wear it sans bra and feel dainty and cute rather than gross (which is always a bonus for us bigger chested lassies). Teamed with light denim and some summer shoes, it's the perfect quick outfit for when it's too hot to plan.

Bershka Shirt | Asos Crop Flare Jeans (similar) | Matalan Bucket Bag | Lotta From Stockholm Clogs

Follow me on Bloglovin'
Twitter & Instagram xo