Ikigai – Héctor García and Francesc Miralles

Book at a glance…

This book explores Ikigai which is the Japanese concept referring to something that gives a person a sense of purpose in life, a reason for living (a raison d’être) bringing satisfaction, happiness and meaning.

Image extracted from Forbes.com

One of the most profound questions this book highlights is ‘why do some people know what they want and have a passion for life, while others languish in confusion?’


  • Medical studies of centenarians from Okinawa and ‘Blue Zones’ – geographical areas where people live the longest.
  • The art of staying young while growing old – strong sense of community is just as significant as a healthy Japanese diet.
  • Little things add up to a long and happy life.  
  • Spending too much time seated at work or home reduces muscular and respiratory fitness, increases appetite and limits the desire to participate in activities (sedentary leading to other health problems).
  • Antiaging attitudes – stoic attitudes/serenity in the face of adversity, adopting a positive outlook (common traits found in longest living people).
  • Finding a flow in everything you do– focusing on tasks/hobbies in a distraction free environment and immersing yourself in the experience, dissolves your ego and you become part of what you do while losing your sense of time (Csikszentmihalyi’s research).
  • Never stop learning and cultivate beneficial habits.

Actionable messages

  • 80 percent secret (Hara Hachi bu) – ancient wisdom advises against eating until we are full so Okinawans stop eating at 80 percent full rather than overeating and propelling the body to have long digestive processes that accelerates cellular oxidation.
  • Brain stimulation is important to prevent neuron and neural connection to deteriorate so anti-aging strategies for the mind may help. Intellectual activity, curiosity, and a desire to learn may slow the process e.g playing games, interacting with people, dealing with new situations.
  • Stress – causes of premature aging which wears body down (as per studies). Suggested solutions – meditation, breathing exercises, yoga and body scans. However, the book also argues that a small dose of stress is a positive thing.
  • Get adequate sleep – recommended seven to nine hours.
  • Diet – Recommend ‘eating the rainbow’ which means a variety of fruits and vegetables every day, less sugar, more grains, natural antioxidants, green tea and jasmine tea!
  • Choose to use your feet instead of elevator/escalator – emphasis on being MORE active
  • Mediation – exercises mental muscles and generates alpha and theta brain waves.
  • Live an unhurried life and LAUGH!

Favourite Quotes

The happiest people are not the ones who achieve the most. They are the ones who spend more time than others in a state of flow.

We finally land our dream job, but after a little while we are already hunting for a better one. We win the lottery and buy a nice car but then decide we can’t live without a sailboat. We finally win the heart of the man or woman we’ve been pining for and suddenly find we have a wandering eye. People can be insatiable.

The objective of the virtuous person is to reach a state of tranquillity (apatheia): the absence of negative feelings such as anxiety, fear, shame, vanity, and anger, and the presence of positive feelings such as happiness, love, serenity, and gratitude.

Questions to ask yourself:

What makes you enjoy doing something so much that you forget about all your worries that you have while you do it?

When are you the happiest?

Hope you have a great weekend!

Skeleton Makeup Look

Aloha pals!

I hope y’all are fantastic and indulging in the joys of this season as much as I am. As Halloween time is here, I thought it would be fun to make the best out of this opportunity. If you know me, I take great delight in creating new looks so this is merely my take on a Halloween skeleton inspired look. It’s relatively easy and affordable but obviously, you can personalise it however you like. Enjoy!


  • Conceal and correct. (It’s alright even if you don’t, we’re creating a skeleton face after all)
  • Sweep a white powder or eye shadow across your eye from lash to brow.
  • Blend a brown eye shadow just above the socket.
  • Apply a sharp black eye shadow in the crease, simultaneously blending it with the brown eye shadow.
  • Keep on blending to achieve smokey eyes.
  • Use eyeliner to line the upper lids and extend it to the end of the black eye smokey shadow to give it a winged eye effect (shown in the images).
  • Darken it with a liquid eyeliner if you wish.
  • Take the black pencil eye liner (or liquid) and draw an extended black line at the inner corners of your eyes.
  • Fill in your eyebrows and give them a sharp edge.

  • Then use a glittery white/silver eye shadow/highlighter and sweep it at the upper inner corners of your eyes (above the black line). Define the lash line with the same eye shadow.


  • Then just draw a skeleton-like nose and fill it in. If you wish, you could extend the black line over your eyebrows as well. Slightly blend it out.


  • Contour with a brown shade at the hollows of your cheeks, temples (all the usual places).
  • To give it a more skeleton-like effect, take a black eye shadow and use the same contour brush to blend it with the brown contour. This will give your cheekbones more depth.
  • Sweep some highlighter over the top of your cheeks.
  • Draw vertical lines (as teeth) about half an inch apart on your lips with a black pencil lip liner/ liquid liner.

  • Lastly, use a highlighter to brighten your lips between the vertical lines. Voila! You’ve been transformed into a skeleton!

Who says you can’t smile when you transform your face into a skeleton-like face!?

Keep smiling! Happy Halloween!🎃


See ya💗


Love your skin

Hey pals,

I hope all of you are fine!

People often wonder as to how I possess a clear skin and if I’ve ever had any acne. The answer is yes. I have. However, I do try to maintain my skin when I can. I am not a skin expert but I understand that everyone’s skin type is not the same. I’ve jotted some ways of loving my skin in simple ways. Some of you probably know these already. Happy reading!

  • Keeping hydrated and healthy.

I often tend not to drink as much water as possible but my skin is a good indicator of pointing out that I need to drink enough water. Sometimes, it turns scaly and dry. Drinking water and eating fruits plays a significant role in maintaining your skin.

  • Enough sleep.

You may know that sleep has excellent benefits and one of them is the ability of the skin to renew itself. Sleeping at least for 8 hours is essential. In addition, use a soft pillowcase as this will be more comfortable to your skin. You may also choose to use baby powder or other scented talcum powders and sprinkle it on your pillowcase. It really is kinder to your skin.


  • Exfoliate once a week.

When I say, exfoliate once a week, I am not always loyal to this step. Although, I enjoy creating my own DIY exfoliators especially during the holidays. So, get creative! (But make sure that the ingredients are safe!)

Exfoliation 1: FOR DRY SKIN

-Take two tablespoons of sugar and mix it with one tablespoon of Honey. (You can also substitute Olive oil for Honey)

-Give it a good mix and massage the scrub all over your face for 2-3 minutes. Rinse.

This scrub softens your skin and rids you of any dead skin cells.

Exfoliation 2 : FOR OILY SKIN

-Take one tablespoon of lemon juice and mix it with two tablespoons of sugar and a few drops of Honey or Olive Oil (or any preferred oil).

-Massage for 2-3 minutes. Rinse.

This scrub reduces excess oil production and makes your skin less oily.

  • Moisturising everyday. 

Moisturising your skin proves extremely effective. You can also use a moisturiser, preferably one containing SPF to protect your skin. I use the Simple Moisturiser which is one of the most affordable drugstore moisturisers available. I am also a huge BB cream lover!

Love your skin and it will love you back!

~Alifia xx

July in pictures

Hiya Pals!

Undoubtedly, July is my favourite month. I feel like I took initiative in trying numerous new things and visiting new places so I merely wanted to share my outlook through some pictures from last month. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

A visit to Cardiff


National museum Cardiff (Definitely worth the visit if you adore historical places)


Art at the Museum

This is also the place where I achieved a greater insight about one of the world’s most famous authors Agatha Christie. I remember playing mystery games about her works such as Agatha Christie End house, Death on the Nile etc when I was younger. However, I later found out that she was, in fact, an author. The museum contains an enormous room dedicated to showcasing her life and her beautiful works.

The city of Bath and University


70 years to construct!?


Dessert at Bath Uni residential formal meal (Couldn’t resist the Panna cotta, it looked mesmerizing)

A year older


Cheeky Nandos


Ignore the confetti on the cake

Visit to Thorpe Park for the first time!


Thorpe Park (entrance)


Stealth ride

Believe it or not, Stealth was the first ride I went on (considering I have never been on a proper roller coaster before). It is 62.5 metres high (205 ft). No idea what I was thinking at the time. I thought I was going to die when I was high up although I enjoyed it nonetheless. What I’ve learnt after riding on several roller coasters : Scream. It helps!


Thanks for this guys ^^  + the pink cupcakes! (you know who you are)


I actually enjoyed Derren Brown’s ghost train more than I thought I would. The suspense is the most terrifying yet the exciting part.

UCL Summer School 


Staying in the heart of London for a week was simply spectacular.

20170802_155413Apparently, this is the lecture room where a scene in the movie Inception was shot. Leonardo Dicaprio came to UCL!? Mind blown.


West End School of Rock Musical (worth the watch if you ask me).


Grant Museum of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy UCL


St. Paul’s Cathedral (I was on a London tour bus when I clicked this picture)


China Town (Had no idea this town existed until I visited) I would definitely like to visit again.


Pikachu (It was vraiment cute)


The architecture in London is simply breath-taking. I mean it (metaphorically and literally)


The tallest building in London = The Shard


I thought it was slightly leaning (probably just me)

This is also to all my pals who live outside the UK and love travelling! I hope you have an idea of some of the places in the UK.

~ Alifia

Leopard Inspired Eye

Hey pals!

Here we go again! I have a Leopard eye look inspired by the fur of my coat (faux fur). The Leopard fur fostered the eye look I am about to showcase. This eye look can be worn for occasions such as Halloween, depending upon your costume choice (I know Halloween is so far away) or festivals (one of my bestfriend said she would wear it).


So, let’s go!

– Prime your Eyes and put a powder all over your eyelids.

–  Then, take a brown eyeshadow and blend just above the socket. You can use a bronzer instead of the brown eyeshadow if you want a clearer finish.

– To intensify the eyeshadow above the socket, you can use a black pencil eyeliner to draw a line and then blend it.

– Next, I used Tanya Burr’s Hollywood eye Palette and filled my eyelids with nude delight eyeshadow.

– By using a sharp pointed eyeliner pencil, I drew black Leopard spots randomly and then filled them with gold coin eye shadow from the same palette (it’s not visible in the photos though).

– Then, I used a liquid eyeliner to darken the black outline of the spots I initially drew, and to make them stand out even more.


– I drew a thin wing afterwards but this is completely optional.

– Highlight your waterline, inner eye corners and under brow area using a white eyeshadow. I used the snowflake eye shadow from Tanya Burr’s galaxy eye palette.

– Hurry! Your intricate eye look is complete!

Honestly, this was my first attempt, and it took approximately 5 -10 minutes. So, you can certainly master this eye look yourself!

I understand that it’s not perfect as I am not a makeup expert; just someone who loves to create😊.

May you enjoy May! 😉


Spring Inspired Butterfly Eye

Hey, Pals!

Yes, longgggg time, no see… I hope all of you’ll are great and enjoying the season of Spring. I know, I am. The vibrant petals of spring blossoms falling like confetti upon the earth are easy to lift anyone’s mood. When I think of Spring, flamboyant colours such as Pink, White, Turquoise spark my mind. So, today, I have a Spring inspired eyeshadow look that can be worn in a slightly quirky fashion.


Accentuate your eyes using the steps below. I had a vivid image in mind which I intended to create and I tried to experiment. I am not a makeup expert.

  • Prime your eyes and put a foundation powder (or any powder) over your eyelids.
  • Draw the outline of a butterfly using a pencil eyeliner at the outer corner of one of your eye.


  • Darken it with a black liquid eyeliner. I used the Maybelline Line refine eyeliner. (Don’t worry about any roughness at this point, you can always clean it at the end)
  • Sweep a white eyeshadow (Nude delight from Tanya Burr’s Hollywood eye palette) inside the outline of the Butterfly and then carry on building different shades of pink. I used the pink shades Cherub and Posy from the MUA spring Break Palette.
  • Try transitioning the pink eyeshadow with a lighter shade at the top and a darker shade at the bottom of the feather.
  • You can leave the spaces blank where you want to fill it in with the black liquid eyeliner.


  • For instance, I used a Pink cream blusher to intensify the colour inside the butterfly and then packed on glittery pink eyeshadow on the top.
  • Then highlight the inner corners of the eyes with white eyeshadow and sweep this colour all over your eyelids. The colour I used was Snowflake from Tanya Burr’s Galaxy eye Palette.


  • Pick brown and purple eyeshadow and blend them just above the socket.
  • Use a darker shade of pink towards the outer corners of your eyes and lighter in between to give it an appealing transition.
  • Returning back to the butterfly, now draw the remaining patterns inside the butterfly and fill it in with the black liquid eyeliner in the required parts.


  • Define your lash line using a pink eye shadow. You may choose to just keep it this way without the Antennae or draw it. Personal preference.
  • Voila! Your funky eye look is complete. You can do the butterfly on only one eye and do the normal pink eye shadow on the other as it could add more aesthetics.

I loved playing with the pink eyeshadows and please don’t forget to leave any suggestions of any eye looks you wish to see next! Is anyone getting Barbie Mariposa déjà vu? You’re welcome.

Apologies for not being consistent and I will try my best to blog frequently. I was bombarded with an abundance of A level English essays, Chemistry tests and so on. Anyone in the same shoe?

Thanks for sticking this long looking at the creepy close-up views of my eye. I salute you!

Happy Springing! P.s. Happy belated Easter!


Change their lives

Hey Pals!

So recently, I chose to be a part of National Citizen Service (NCS)  programme and hence, I have completed phase 1 and phase 2 . The phase 3 or the final phase involves the organisation of a social action project. Together as a bunch of 15-17 year old, we intend to fundraise charities and change people’s lives.

Amongst other aspects, we have decided to raise money for Make-A-Wish foundation who gives a once in a lifetime opportunity of their choice to children with terminal illnesses. This charity was inspired as one of our group member’s sister was diagnosed with cancer and this charity gave her the opportunity to travel to Disneyland. Additionally, we wish to raise money for Julian House charity that aims to help the homeless. Through a sponsored sleep-out, we want to put ourselves in the shoes of the less fortunate and raise awareness for them.

We need your help to grant the less fortunate and impact their lives positively however we can.

If you wish to donate, please click here.

All it takes is One. One Moment changes everything. Make a wish come true!

It would mean a lot to us. Thank you!

Disclaimer: I have no right over the featured image, it’s used for charity promotion only.