June 2018 / ann of april

Moodboard: summer vibes

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  • Wednesday, 27 June 2018

moodboard summer vibes, summer visual board

Today post is pure visual inspiration. I used to fill up my journal pages with colourful clippings from magazines when I was in high school and used to get inspired by visual boards which I saw on some of my fave blogs years ago. And while everyone is starting to forget about this type of posts and inspiration, I want to breathe life into moodboards again 'cause, girl, you know how it's important to picturing desirable things on a daily basis.

There are actually two moodboards which I've created today but you can never have too much inspiration! Btw you can follow my Pinterest for additional inspo and ideas. And yes, I'm going to make a series of moodboards on here so stay tuned!


moodboard summer vibes, summer visual board
pictures were found via Pinterest
moodboard summer vibes, summer visual board
via Pinterest too

ANN XOXO

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Productivity tips: how to stop procrastinating and underperforming

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  • Thursday, 21 June 2018


productivity tips and tricks, how to stop procrastinating, annofapril.com

There are quite a few factors which can stop us from being productive, but we shouldn't give up 'cause if we have a strong desire, we can work on our weaknesses, stop procrastinating and prevent underperforming. I am personally a very controversial type of person. I love to plan and be organized, but at the same time I don't like boring routines and scrupulous planning, they drive me crazy, so from time to time I love to be spontaneous. But as I've mentioned in my previous posts, I don't like wasting my summer (and other seasons too haha) on idleness 'cause it's hot, or sunny so better go for a walk and blablabla. I'm going to spend this time on personal growth as efficiently as possible. Are you with me? Why we want to be productive? I ask myself... And the only one answer pops up in my head: we want to keep up with all things which are really  o u r  things, which fill us with passion and happiness and make our eyes shine with joy. Keep up not only with other everyday boring duties. I think this theme is always relevant so I'm excited to sort through it with you. As I said there are quite a few important factors which impact on our productivity but less talking, more to the point.

01. Right daily regimen 

We often indulge our unproductive habits like sleep till noon (if it possible) or go to bed later than it's expected for efficient resting up and so on. And you know, these habits can be a real pain in the ass so we should control our bad habits, of course, if we really need and want it. I believe I'm a morning person. And believe everyone can be any type of person he wants (another theme for a future post). Of course, when it's necessary, I can work in the middle of the night, but it doesn't affect properly on my mind 'cause I will try to wake up earlier as usual but won't operate effectively during this day. Someone, I guess, is able to live in this regimen, but I don't and you, perhaps, too. I need a plan, a good, well-designed plan (as it's possible for me) but with opportunities to improvise ('cause I am INFJ and that's my nature so I should turn this feature to advantage). If in short, our organism goes through different energy stages during a day. And we have to acknowledge them to be productive at the right time. Not just desperately try to force yourself functioning as you want 'cause performing in highly energetic periods during a day aren't the same as operating in low energetic ones. That's unavoidable, especially when our organism addicted to caffeine, it can cause energy swings even worse than without caffeinated drinks. So better stick with your natural energy rhythm per one day as it's possible. Of course, there are many many different factors which can cause fatigue but let's stick with our general daily regimen a bit longer. Usually, we feel tiredness (when we don't drink any caffeinated drinks) around lunchtime. It's natural for us if we wake up at 5-7 am.
One way to solve this is to consume a dose of caffeine to keep current productivity level (this should be done before you actually start feeling fatigue as a preventive measure). The other method is to admit that you have these periods within a day and allow you to rest up for a bit longer to accumulate energy for the second part of the day. What can it be, you ask. You can rest up as you prefer, the main thing is not overburdened your mind with informational noise. You also can snooze for a little while if the length of your work break let you do this, but it's optional. In the evening there is another energy sharp drop around 5-6 pm. Commonly it's already time for evening resting activities but if you still should finish some important things in the evening and night (especially your fave and important activities) but already feel tired and sleepy, a short workout sesh will be your rescue (both, cardio or strength training, I prefer a short kind of HIIT cardio sesh 'cause it boosts my energy better and doesn't produce fatigue as it does a hard strength session). This boost of energy helps you to stay focused before the night. Yeah, it looks like an ideal model of life, but these methods are very powerful, seriously, you just give them a try if you haven't yet. Indeed, we have different mental situations from day to day and it depends on various factors again, and it's hard to stick with one perfect way of living, but nobody and nothing can order us to stop the pursuit of better-organized life. I think everyone who ponder about what goals achieving requires, understand that one of these important things is to be productive with your essential tasks at the right time.

productivity tips and tricks, how to stop procrastinating, annofapril.com

02. Working regimen

Everyone must have heard about the Pomodoro technique, I guess, but I want to describe here another technique which suits people who love working/studying in the flow and who able to perform longer than 25 minutes. Understanding of these particular rhythms (I'm here about so-called ultradian rhythm, there are other rhythms but about them next time) can actually help us optimize our daily regimen for maximum efficiency and well being and don't let our activities become counterproductive if we rest up not enough. According to one theory (Rossi), our ideal biological rhythm looks like 90 minutes of activity followed by 20 minutes of rest and it cycles over and over throughout the day. Actually work and break time are up to you, you can play around to find your best way of effective performing (work for 70 minutes, rest for 15 or work for 80 minutes, rest for 10 if you don't need a big break and so on). I suppose I'm not the only one who neglects these rhythms and try to maintain constant performance throughout the day, disregarding our regular need for a break (not to mention afternoon fatigue, read about it above). What can be drawn from that: find your own ideal working regimen, I know by myself that's not an easy deal, but we all know that time-management, efficient applying of energy and concentration are the main components of our productivity.

03. Way of planning

Find your own way of planning and tips and tricks which help you to stay on track. My first tip is habit tracker under constant review on my weekly pages (not a big one for a whole month). I'm drawing spreads in my bujo {check my gram for bujo inspiration} on my own 'cause it helps me find the right way to keep me productive. Yes, sometimes life happens, but most of the time it keeps me on the right path to desirable things. Another important thing is don't overburden yourself within one day. It's better to tick off a few tasks a day (but important ones for your self-growth and dream work) than check off nothing from a long-long list. It happens to me often too when I set too many tasks for one day, I often do different things in those moments, nothing from those lists which, of course, cannot be called as consistent and organized effort. It's chaotic behaviour, success demands perfect self-control. So I've decided to reconsider my approach to planning again. 3 personal and 3 work tasks per day. That's achievable and doesn't overburden if your tasks aren't huge for one day.

04. Power of habits

We're creatures of habits. And we have to benefit from that. Apart from a habit tracker, another trick which helps me a lot with a cultivation of desirable habits is writing them down amongst daily to-dos. How it works? You see these habits every single day in your checking lists and even if you don't accomplish them, your mind already starts working on this and preparing your subconscious mind to acknowledge them as your actual reality. So you will slowly start doing desirable things after your mind will be ready. It's similar to affirmations, you program your mind only on a simpler level than self-suggestion. I prefer to use affirmations for the big goals and the method above for cultivating of desired habits. Of course, development of habits takes time, you know it, but there should be a certain way to help you to grow them, and this way is writing down desirable habits between daily tasks as you can see them every single day, read them and maybe postpone them  e v e r y  single  d a y  until you will be ready to fit them into your working routine. Another thing is so-called keystone habits (habits which related to good productive feelings and positive mindset, this is a workout or reading a good book, or meditation and so on) can actually be this necessary trigger which starts a chain effect and makes you feel productive and inspiring.

productivity tips and tricks, how to stop procrastinating, annofapril.com

05. Eating habits

Think about your eating habits. I've found that I operate better when I'm slightly hungry (or not slightly, in these periods I drink water with bcaa to prevent muscle catabolism, especially if it's a time of fasting during 14-16 hours in the night and morning). Of course, I don't impose you to live this way, but if you've found that you can't do your things properly when eating often or overeating (it can be a real reason of procrastination 'cause your organism is  d i g e s t i n g, it can't release energy for other things you want to do). You ask me why I'm writing it when everybody says 'never not eating'. I answer it's  u p  to  y o u. You may try it and like it, or you may try it and don't. It's your choice and you should make this choice according to your feelings and experience. If you feel fasting makes you productive but other people say that you should eat often, don't listen to these people, they live by their own rules and regimens (and probably they even don't know what suits them better). Our ancestors often fasted 'cause they had to find food firstly and only then to eat, food wasn't laying on shelves of markets within walking distance. My another purpose was to overcome the fear of starvation. I was really afraid of being hungry, that's not normal. Nothing happens to you if you won't eat for a couple of hours or even a day. You ask, what about gaining weight because of big pauses between meals, I said if you control your eating habits during this eating gap (from 12 to 8pm e.g., 8 hours of opportunities to eat), you will lose weight. If not, your weight will maintain 'cause fasting period will diminish bad food impact. But back to productivity with intermittent fasting (that's what it's called). I keep up with much more things than if I eat breakfast just right after waking up or snacking all day long (but I remind you again, I'm drinking water with bcaa, it reduces the bad impact on muscles). So, for now, I forget about constant snacking and my appetite isn't so strong as before (indeed, depends on physical and mental activities during a day) and by the way, fasting saves a lot of time you're spending on meals (and cooking).

06. What else can disturb you

Analyse what else can stop you from being productive. 
Environment. Is it that, you should ask your family to don't disturb and distract you from your work. Find a place where you feel more focused and productive, for everyone it's a different place, I know someone can work in crowded places like cafes, if you're a freelancer, for example. Someone can work only in quiet places. I personally love shifting places from noisy to silent sometimes to challenge myself and step outside my comfort zone.
Self-doubting. Environment impacts on our self-perception, it's obvious and at the same time hidden enemy for our self-image and self-confidence. During the day we often lose a grip on our self-talk which quietly cripples our subconscious mind. This theme requires close attention but it will be a separate post about self-confidence next time (or this blog post will turn into a big story). This theme is definitely relevant at any time so I'll be back to it soon.
Fear of success and imposter syndrome. That's another shade of self-doubting when you feel like you're constantly not enough and you feel like other people can detect that you're a liar. But that's wrong again! It's quite complicated syndrome, I would say. We're always on these stages of inner evolution where we can be in these moments. And we're enough to do what we would like to do and grow professionally and personally. But again I'm going to geek out on this theme next time more closely.
Fear of failure. This fear provokes indecision which leads to unconscious procrastination. This comes from wrong beliefs too. Wrong influence provokes this fear, fear to make a mistake, fear to be bad in the eyes of other people. This fear provokes us to put on the backburner all desirable things and call them as things which aren't worth to try. But that's a false and deceptive feeling. We're just afraid of failure. Most of us learn only from own mistakes, I'm not an exception, but I try to learn from other's lessons too. This fear is needed to detect and work on it until you realize that's nothing wrong with mistakes and failures 'cause they are temporary and you can turn the game around on your will. Failure is only a mediator for our further personal growth.

I'm a natural improviser but still try to stick to the certain organized plan 'cause nothing will be done if I won't plan wisely. I'm not an expert at organizing things but as a habitual procrastinator, I know how important to plan and plan smarter than ever. My mind is always buzzing with ideas and plans, but it's hard to bring them to reality 'cause they are numerous, and it's quite overwhelming. And even harder to gather them to something organized. Of course, I try to jot them down as quickly as possible, but they're still not organized and randomly stockpile on pages of my journal. But I'm working on it every day. And if you're procrastinator and improviser in the depths of your heart as I am, stick to tips and tricks from this post to figure out some important things. We (procrastinators) must have organized plans to apply organized efforts on the way of achieving desirable goals and further development, failing this, we will just drift around without any life purpose, do you agree? We're constantly playing checkers with time so we have to learn how to be productive and organized.

Ann XOXO


Productivity tips: how to stop procrastinating and underperforming

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the Ordinary affordable skincare for acne-prone skin worth to try

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  • Saturday, 9 June 2018

the Ordinary skincare review, annofapril.com, annofapril, aprilannnine

Sometimes to find effective and affordable skincare products is hard and takes a lot of time which we actually don't have. And I'm glad to tell you that I've found these good and budget ones which definitely worth to try. As I said before in my previous post about June goals I'm going to write even more about everything that I'm interested in. And here we go! But let's be straight I can't call myself a skincare junkie (yet lol) but I'm a big admirer of adorable packages (oh these marketing strategies) and moreover worthy effective products. As a person who always had acne-prone skin and uneven complexion I've become concerned about my skin health finally this year 'cause that's enough for me, seriously. Every girl wants to have glowy good-looking skin in her possession. Yes, I'm not a pro in skincare world yet but I've already had experience of using some products and know how my skin can react to them. My first bunch of worthy skincare goodies is quite affordable. And I couldn't be more happy with this fact. It's amazing that almost everyone can afford own full skincare routine, even living on a small income. I'm lucky to order a good bunch of products which suit me well so what are these worth-to-try products? You can find all the information below.

the Ordinary skincare review, annofapril.com, annofapril, aprilannnine

1. Matrixyl 10% + HA. (here is cheaper one) Matrixyl is considered to be one of the most powerful anti-ageing components. I've ordered this one instead of Hyaluronic acid 'cause it was out of stock and besides Matrixyl has extra anti-ageing properties as I've already mentioned. I apply it on the forehead and undereye areas (where I've already had wrinkles) commonly in the evening after cleanser, before other products. Can't say that it's a superduper magic product for me (though probably it takes more time to see results) but as a additional care of certain areas with fine lines is pretty good.

the Ordinary skincare review, annofapril.com, annofapril, aprilannnine

2. EUK 134 0.1%. (almost two times cheaper is here) Strong antioxidant. In short, antioxidants prevent free radical damage which means the sun, pollutions, toxins, stress and tobacco cause forming these free radicals and that's unavoidable nowadays, you see. Antioxidants help to diminish this damage, can improve wrinkles, fine lines and dark spots, prevent sun damage and photo-ageing. Apply this one in the morning after a toner (use Pixi one), just a few drops. The consistence reminds me an oil but feels a bit denser so I dab in my skin only a couple of drops for better absorption. I think it can be a good support for skin especially if you live in a big city.

the Ordinary skincare review, annofapril.com, annofapril, aprilannnine

3. Azelaic acid suspension 10 % (way more cheaper is here, check it out). As an antioxidant, it has clarifying, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It has a creamy texture, easy to apply. For now, I apply this one only on areas with breakouts or another problematic zones both am and pm (before that I used it on a full face but 'cause of big consumption I've started to apply it only on areas with breakouts) after water-based treatments, before heavier products. I've found on the Internet that his acid has a miracle influence on sore pimples and inflammations and it actually has, except for hormonal breakouts and reactions on new products, however it increases the speed of fading them away.

the Ordinary skincare review, annofapril.com, annofapril, aprilannnine

4. Marula oil, virgin cold-pressed. (way cheaper is here too) Become a miracle oil for me. Just like it 'cause it's dry and soaks up quicker and easier ('cause it has a similar consistency to our natural body oils). It perfectly nourishes skin and suits to different skin types (even oily and acne-prone one!) and also protects our skin against environmental damages as a powerful antioxidant. Apply it both am and pm after exfoliating solutions and water-based treatments but that still takes time to sink in as it's an oil. You can't just put it on and immediately go running your errands. This oil also can be used on hair to tame hair frizz, for example. Probably, I have to write about this one a bit more but I just love it at first sight and going to write about this one next time again.

the Ordinary skincare review, annofapril.com, annofapril, aprilannnine

5. Granactive retinoid 2% emulsion. (cheaper is here) The main target is comedonal acne (for me personally) and uneven tone. It was the most controversial product for me at first. Let me tell you what's happened. After using this one for a couple of weeks my skin started purging a lot, I mean, A LOT. {You can google the difference between purging and breakouts or read this one which I've found earlier} So I quit using it but shouldn't be. Though still don't recommend to start using this emulsion and any other strong treatments before important events 'cause you understand you'll have sore pimples even more than usual. That has an explanation, of course, viz Retinoids accelerate the skin turnover by several times so pimples pop out way quicker. That's awful but worth to wait, believe me. Only if purging continues during a month or month and a half, and if it lasts way more, you should stop using it 'cause it does not suit you, unfortunately. Once I stopped using it 'cause this face in a mirror as I said but later I decided to give it a second try. After a couple of weeks of purging (honestly, I was crying but decided to wait for results) it slowly started to fade away. Retinoids have another good benefit and that is reducing collagen breakdown what means they're pretty effective in anti-ageing strategies. And I've actually noticed that my skin is more plump and healthy when I'm using it. I apply this product in the evening after Matrixyl, before any heavier treatments. But remember while you're using this emulsion skin needs extra hydration and sun protection on top of your common skincare routine.

the Ordinary skincare review, annofapril.com, annofapril, aprilannnine

6. Rose hip seed oil, organic cold-pressed. (cheaper one) It's rich in linoleic (omega 6) and linolenic (omega 3) acids as well as pro-vitamin A which reduce signs of photo-ageing, treat pigmentation, hydrate and brighten up the skin a bit, tighten pores, fading scars, even out tone. Sounds good, yes? Apply this one in the evening too, after water-based treatments and retinoid, mixed with my fave the Ordinary Marula oil, gently pat it on my skin, two drops of both, yass I love using oils. This oil has a pretty strong odour due to its high omega fatty acid content but it's ok for me. The texture is heavier than Marula oil, this is a minus for me but it's worth to wait for results as you see the list of benefits. Still testing this product but as an accompaniment for Marula oil is definitely worthy.

the Ordinary skincare review, annofapril.com, annofapril, aprilannnine

I've found everyday skincare routine as a peculiar ritual which can be used as the right time for short meditation 'cause all these goodies take own time to absorb into the skin and you shouldn't rush at all, just use this time wisely. Sometimes it's hard to find a special time for ourselves during busy days but caring about skin is a perfect excuse to meditate twice a day without any efforts. 

Don't want that this post was long and boring 'cause nobody wants to dig too deeply, I guess. And besides I love reading honest beauty reviews 'cause I don't want to spend my money on rubbish or only on pretty packages (marketing is powerful but actual content is more meaningful). This information is enough to know what, when and where to apply some of the Ordinary skincare products (which I'm using by my own, of course) to treat acne-prone skin. If you have any questions, let me know!

the Ordinary skincare review, annofapril.com, annofapril, aprilannnine

Have you tried already the Ordinary skincare? Any recommendations for acne-prone skin?
{This post includes affiliate links, I'll get some small commission if you buy something. Use these links if you don't mind to support my creative work, thanks!}

Ann XOXO


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June goals

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  • Sunday, 3 June 2018


June goals, annofapril.com, annofapril, aprilannnine, summer goals

Summer isn't an excuse for sloth and idleness. I have a strong belief this season can be used for improving necessary skills and maintaining desirable habits and character traits in better way than in any other seasons 'cause sun is back (almost ha), vitamins are back, winter blues goes away (hi there dwellers of the Northern hemisphere). In previous post I've written about 10 desired qualities which I want to develop before my 25 but today I'm leaving here my June goals. They're more humble but still significant regarding gradual progress in the future.

June goals, annofapril.com, annofapril, aprilannnine, summer goals

I've coped with almost every goals from my May list except fot meal-prep and early rising but I have to admit I eat way more healthier even without meal-preping; still can't wake up at 5:30 'cause tiredness after evening workouts and limitations of carbs but I almost maintain the ideal morning routine for myself and I'm happy with it for now. Of course, I still want to wake up earlier to be on time with everything I need but it's already not so bad as before, I think (at least it was much worse than now hah). I love reading others' monthly goals (but lately have no time for that) and love setting my own so here are my 10 goals for this month.

1. Storytelling. As a not native English speaker I have a strong urge and desire of developing this skill which, obviously, may improve my content quality. It seems hard to get me talking in real life (as a proof of my introversion) and I see writing posts more enjoyable for me, besides I always wrote in numerous diaries my thoughts (as I've already mentioned) but they were not in Eng, evidently. As I said I'm not talkative in real life, mostly I think or read something to think about ideas from a book later on hah so write long but laconic posts isn't easy for me but I have a strong desire to learn.
2. Change my photo editing. Lately I've got a bit unset with my current editing. My camera is cheap and I have no opportunity to upgrade my shooting gear so I need to change something in my editing routine. Rainy weather all month long is hard for me as a photographer and human but I have to find way through this obstacle.
3. Write and shoot even more everything I'm passionate about and inspired by. And again I've got unhappy with what I'm doing. My content is still not exactly what I want to share with this world, that's still not my complete creative expression.

June goals, annofapril.com, annofapril, aprilannnine, summer goals

4. Plan smarter. I have to and want to tick off all my daily tasks, not just a half of them. And besides plan and create my content thoroughly and efficiently without affecting the frequency of my posts (on both Instagram and blog 'cause I've dreamed of it). I have to find smart and effective method to fight procratination even if I'm tired, maybe some mental anchors idk...
5. Start listening to podcasts and watch specialized videos to improve desirable skills and personality traits. I'm talking about that a lot but that's in what I'm genuinely interested. Yeah it seems there's no time for podcasts and videos but I want to add them to my daily self-growth routine 'cause I feel a necessity of additional information and knowledge in my line of work.
6. Use chunking technique on a daily basis. This method may helps a lot with accomplishing daily tasks, the main thing is to use it smart. Time is precious and I still learn to use it effectively. But if we truely want something, we can move mountains, right?
7. Be patient and persistent in everything I do. Never lose control over my emotions and thoughts. I used to have a lot of issues with overcoming stresses (stress eating, picking on my skin, stratching my head, lose control over my emotions, cry every single day brrr). But for now I'm a master my mind, at least, I'm going to be that master.
8. Take care of my health. SERIOUSLY. I've had some issues with my health conditon currently so I have to start think how I can cover my lack of vitamins and sunlight etc. And of course, I've already ordered some food supplements to fix this situation 'cause it's getting serious.
9.  Learn to pose on camera naturally. Usually I feel awkward and shy on camera, especially in outdoors but still have a strong desire to be a model on my blog and instagram, not only photographer. That's my the biggest dream.
10. Stop complaining and comparing my achievements to others' ones. Stop self-pity and whining about having no opportunities. Yes, that's happening, everyone has different financial situation but this is only my responsibility to create my own opportunities.

What are your June goals, if I may ask? Have you had a desire to change something in your life?

Ann XOXO


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