My daily rituals are pretty sacred to me, and unless I´m travelling or on-the-go, it pretty much stays the same every day. I guess that´s why I love it so much; having those consistent and stable day-to-day rituals, makes me focused – which in turn leaves me much more motivated to maintain good, and healthy routines.
So when RITUALS Cosmetics approached with with their #letlifeblossom campaign, focusing on the brand´s philosophy of “transforming everyday routines into more meaningful moments” – I jumped at the chance to share my own story, and the things I do to create a positive and happy week, by giving you a bit of an insight into my AM to PM routine.
The RITUALS campaign is part of the re-launch of one of their bestselling product ranges, The Ritual of Sakura – which is based on Hanami Matsuri, an ancient tradition in Japan that has been around for centuries. Hanami translates as flower viewing and Matsuri means celebration; the ritual of flower viewing, in particular of the Sakura blossoms, takes place from March till May. The blossoming flowers are seen as a metaphor for life itself; splendid and beautiful yet brief and fleeting. In other words: life is short, enjoy it while you can and make the most of it.
7.30AM: MORNING STRETCH + WARM WATER & LEMON
First thing´s first, after slowly waking up and doing a few morning stretches to wake up my body, I always (and I mean always), start my day with a cup of filtered warm water and fresh organic lemon juice. I don´t drink coffee or black tea, so this is my morning wake-up remedy, which helps kick-start my metabolism, rehydrates my body after a long sleep, and sets me up for an energetic day ahead!
I always make sure I wait 30 minutes before eating breakfast, which ensures my body is getting the most energy and nutrients from the food I´ll eat. During this time I do my morning pottering, get changed into something comfortable and make the bed. Then it´s finally time for my favourite meal of the day: breakfast. As I exercise quite a lot, I always make sure I have protein with every meal, and breakfast is no exception. I´ll either have eggs (boiled or poached are my favourite) with some sautéed vegetables, quinoa porridge with some nuts and seeds, or one of my go-to staples, Spinach & Banana Pancakes – which is a protein rich and nutritiously dense energy breakfast, which keeps me fuelled until lunch time!
SPINACH & BANANA PANCAKES
Serves 1-2 (makes 3 medium sized or 5-6 mini pancakes)
2 eggs, 1 large handful of fresh spinach, 1 large ripe banana, 80g buckwheat flour & 2 tbsp coconut oil
Crack the 2 eggs in the blender together with the spinach – blend until smooth. Add the banana into the mix and blend again. Pour the mix into a bowl and add the buckwheat flour – stir until you´ve reached a smooth and medium consistency. Heat up a non stick pan, put 1 small dollop of coconut oil and wait until the pan gets really hot. Pour the first batch into the pan. Cook until the bubbles come through and flip (make sure each side is nice and golden). Once all the pancakes are ready, stack them up and serve with your preferred choice of toppings (I love fresh fruit, nuts, seeds and a drizzle of date syrup).
8.30AM: MATCHA TEA & GETTING ORGANISED
After breakfast, I love having my daily cup of Matcha – either as a Matcha Latte (with almond milk) or straight up with water. Did you know that one regular cup of Matcha is the equivalent of 10 cups of regularly brewed green tea in terms of nutritional content? An energetic power boost, to say the least!
Along with this I start getting organised for the day; going through my to-do list and setting concrete plans and goals for the day, which can involve anything from general admin and errands, writing and researching content for the blog and shooting products for projects. I also use this morning hour to catch up on my e-mails and check in on my favourite social media channels (oh, and I´m now on Snapchat by the way – username: annelibush). I also love keeping the room I´m working in beautifully scented and calming, so I always have a candle lit, or spray some Rituals room mist.
Time to workout! I used to do this fasted first thing in the morning (and sometimes still do), but I generally feel I get more out of my workout after I´ve had my breakfast, which helps fuel me with energy to go that extra mile. I either set out for a run, do a Body Pump or Yoga class, a Barre session at home, or if I´m short on time, I do my do my 8-min HIIT workout.
8-MIN HIIT BLAST
40 sec Burpees – 20 sec rest – 40 sec Squat Jumps – 20 sec rest – 40 sec Mountain Climbers – 20 sec rest – 40 sec Plank – 20 sec rest. Repeat 2 rounds and make sure you go at your maximum effort during those 8 minutes!
10.30AM: MORNING PAMPER & BEAUTY ROUTINE
After a sweaty workout session, it´s time to get showered and pampered for the day! I really savour this time of the day, where I get re-freshed and use all my favourite products and beauty potions. I have a lot of regular staple products when it comes to my facial skincare, but I tend to mix it up when it comes to my body and shower concoctions. I am loving The Rituals of Sakura body cream which is super hydrating, and the trio of shower foam, shower oil and shower scrub, combined – leaves my skin feeling super soft.
Now, it´s time to get working! Being a freelancer means my day can start and finish whenever, and I´m in full control of my own hours, which is something I love and feel very fortunate for. But the need to be organised and have very good time management, is crucial to my day. I always set concrete targets for the tasks and writing that needs to be completed by a certain time, and I´m normally pretty good at getting it done (most days, anyways!).
1PM: LUNCH BREAK
After a couple of hours of work, I have my lunch break. My meals really vary here; it´s either leftovers from the night before, a big salad bowl of veggies, some eggs (if I didn´t have them for breakfast) or homemade soup, with a side of green juice. I try not work by my computer during lunch (although sometimes I do!), and rather try to use this time catching up on my favourite mags, books (or a cheeky TV session every now and again).
After lunch, I continue working until the early evening.
5PM: AFTERNOON FRESH AIR
After sitting inside and working for the whole day, I love popping out for some fresh air; either hitting our local park or river path for a power walk, heading to the high street running errands or picking up groceries for dinner.
Dinner is my chance to properly sit down with my husband (if he´s not working late) and catching up on our day. I LOVE cooking and preparing dinner, and luckily he eats whatever I put in front of him (even all my weird green and veggie concoctions!). We both love courgetti, and often have that, or steamed vegetables with a side of fresh fish, vegetable curry, stir fry or quinoa bowls.
COURGETTI, MANGO & SALMON SALAD
2 medium sized courgettes, 1 small ripe mango, 1/2 red onion, 1 handful of sugar snap peas, 2 pieces of salmon fillets, 1 tbsp of coconut oil, 2 tsp sesame seeds, 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil, 1 lemon, chilli flakes, pepper & saffron
Pre-heat oven to 180°C. Marinate the salmon with the chilli flakes, saffron, black pepper & lemon juice – wrap it up in silver foil and bake for 25-30 minutes. While the salmon is in the oven, use the spiralizer to make the courgetti. Heat up a large wok pan with the coconut oil, and lightly fry the courgetti for 1-2 minutes (max) – you still want it slightly crunchy. Then finely slice the red onion, chop the mango and sugar snaps in medium square chunks, and blend with the courgetti. Drizzle the toasted sesame oil, the remaining lemon juice and sprinkle over the sesame seeds. Bon appetite!
9PM: EVENING BATH
After dinner and slouching on the sofa, I always try to make time for an evening bath. I love to fill it up with epsom salts and indulgent bath oils, bubbles and a scented candle, finished off by a cleansing shower and body scrub.
Come 10 (ish), we´re ready to hit the sack! Since moving into our new house, we invested in the Tempur Cloud Deluxe mattress, and have honestly never slept better. Along with dreamy bed linen from The White Company, my lavender infused eye mask from Holistic Silk and a spritz of the Rituals Bed & Body Mist, I´m zzz´ing within minutes.
Take part of the celebrations here – where RITUALS are inviting their fans to upload a selfie in their online photo booth, where they will create a GIF for you to share with your friends. By participating you’ll have a chance to win a limited edition Sakura box, including an exclusive RITUALS kimono (not for sale) and the complete Sakura product range. The campaign runs from the 11th of April until the 13th of May.
Created in collaboration with RITUALS. All words, opinions, styling & creative direction are, of course, my own.
** Note: This is an example day in the best case scenario; and not necessarily a true reflection of my life every single day (where 12+ hours working days, little sleep and no time for much of the above does occur!). But the intention is always there, nevertheless. :)