Gratitude

Gratitude is a word that gets thrown around a lot. People claim that without it, life passes you by. If you aren’t truly grateful for the things you already have, you will constantly be seeking more. Be it possessions, friends, love, looks, marks, money – you will always want more. I personally never really bought into this idea. How can something as simple as anΒ idea really change anything? But, much to my fascination, it can. It did. It continues to.

This one is for all you cynics out there that don’t believe in gratitude, mindfulness or happiness, which, it may shock you to learn, go hand in hand. It is quite rare to have one without the other.

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I took this photo on a warm afternoon with my friend, sitting on my couch. The afternoon sun was filtering in through my balcony window, and the steam from my freshly made cup of tea curled upward in the shaft of light. Without gratitude, I would not have loved that moment as much as I did – simply sitting with the love of my life, drinking my favourite drink on an afternoon with no worries. Moments like these are what make our lives worth living.

How present are you, truly? Are you skimming over this post because you’re bored? Or are you absorbing every word? What are you doing, feeling, thinking, right now? How does each individual part of your body feel? Are your thoughts controlling you?

Pause. Breathe deeply. Again. Be present. What can you see? What can you hear? What can you smell, taste touch? Presence in the moment is the first step to being grateful. Trust me, it takes time. You have to train yourself. But without being present, you can’t truly find your gratitude for the things that surround you. How could you, if you aren’t really paying attention to them?

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This is one of my favourite photos. My lovely candle burning on a bedside table I put together. Something so simple may not bring you joy if you are not adept at being grateful, but when I see this candle lit I am grateful for the beautiful smell, the way the flames flicker in the gentle breeze, how I am able to light whatever candle I want because I am able to live alone. The moment you stop treating the world like it’s out for you and treating yourself like its victim, you can find such perfect, hidden moments.Β 

You can feel gratitude in your body. When you think about something you are truly grateful for, be it time, family, your pets or friends, try and pinpoint that exact warm feeling in yourself, and try to replicate it as much as you can.

I like to write my gratitudes down when it becomes too hard. Taking a moment to actually put ink on paper and not pixels on a screen is one thing, and using that ink to pen what it is you’re grateful for and why is on a whole other level. You don’t need a fancy notebook for this; scrap paper will do. This journal is from Kikki K.Β 

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When was the last time you watched the sun set? Can you remember how the sky flares up gold and blood orange and intertwines with the oncoming night sky? Take ten minutes out of your evening and watch the sun disappear. Accept that another day has passed, and another will begin again.Β 

Try and create gratitude as a habit. Build it into your daily routine. There are always things to be grateful for, and you can always start small. You are grateful for the sunshine or the rain, your bed, your friend, your favourite TV show. Begin at things you are easily grateful for, and progress into things that are more difficult to feel gratitude towards.

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When you realise what an insignificant spec you are in the scheme of the country, the world, the infinite universe, the easier it becomes to see your worth and wonderfulness.Β 

 

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What is it that lights you up? What sets that spark alight in you? Every time you do that thing, feel the gratitude that you are able to. Do the thing more. Repeat.Β 

To educate yourself for the feeling of gratitude means to take nothing for granted, but to always seek out and value the kindness that will stand behind the action. Nothing that is done for you is a matter of course. Everything originates in a will for the good, which is directed at you. Train yourself never to put off the word or action for the expression of gratitude. — Albert Schweitzer

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It can help to have a gratitude centre. Here, I have a map of my favourite place in the world, Hong Kong, some fairy lights, a picture of the stars, a plant and some of my favourite books. Whenever I look at it, I can truly feel the gratitudeΒ rising up in me, which stimulates me to feel it more throughout my day.Β 

Remember – gratitude is a skill. You must hone it and practice it as much as you can. Maybe this seems too much like hard work, but trust me when I say, the beauty of it can change you.

 

Zoe x

This post was a bit different from my usual content, and I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Let me know if you would like more in this style. Love you all.

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Gratitude

My Sunglasses Collection

My mum always makes fun of me for having too many pairs of sunglasses. And, as mums usually are, she’s beyond right. I have a bit of an addiction to sunglasses, and so I thought I’d take the time to show you my pairs! I had quite a few comments on my June Favourites post about my Quay and LeSpecs sunglasses, so I thought it was only right for you to see the rest of my collection!

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Bottom to Top – Quay, Cotton On, Quay, Le Specs, Dangerfield, Dangerfield, Cotton On, Quay, Forever 21

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These are my more expensive sunglasses (LeSpecs, Quay & Dangerfield), and definitely my most worn. I love these so much, I have a pair for every outfit.

You may have noticed I left off a pair of my Quay sunglasses, and that’s because I’m trying to sell them! If you’d like to be the owner, check them out here πŸ™‚

You can’t really see how nice the sunnies are unless you try them on, so I wanted to show you what they look like on me! Just keep in mind I have a very small face, so they probably won’t drown you guys as much as they drown me haha

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What are your fave pair of my sunnies? I think the blue Quay ones are mine!

Zoe x

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My Sunglasses Collection

June Favourites 2017

June was my birthday month, so there have been lots of new things I’ve been loving! However, to save double ups (as a VERY belated what I got for my birthday post is coming soon!) I thought I’d focus more on favourites from June that have nothing to do with my birthday. If you want to read about what I did, click here πŸ™‚

Now, without further ado, let’s get into my June faves!

Watching the sun rise & set

I only recently started noticing the sun rising in the morning or setting at night, and have made an effort to take a pause in my day to watch it happen. I find it definitely puts in perspective all my worries and anxieties of the day that was or the day that’s coming, which helps me to be mindful, grateful and happy. When summer comes around, I’ll be sad to miss watching it come up.

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Bath & Bodyworks Candle in Fresh Cut Lilacs

I bought this candle while on holiday for my 21st, as QLD is one of the only places in Australia with a Bath & Bodyworks for some reason. I was tossing up between this one and the honeysuckle candle, but in the end I hadΒ to choose this. It smells like a fresh summer garden, and makes me so happy.

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NYX Dark Circle Concealer

On to makeup, I picked up this under eye correcter early in the month and have been using it every day to help correct my dark circles that just come with working full time, while also prepping the base for my concealer to stick to. For such a cheap and cheerful product, I’ve really enjoyed it!

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NYX Total Control Drop Foundation

This foundation is super light and watery, but it covers like a dream. My favourite thing about it is that it actually comes in a colour fair enough for my skin without going pink. What a miracle! I definitely recommend this foundation, as it doesn’t go oily on me and lasts all day.

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Smashbox Spotlight Highlighter Palette

I know everyone is talking about this, but it is absolutely beautiful. When my Becca Moonstone smashed for the 3rd time, I knew I had to find a replacement as there are some breaks that rubbing alcohol just can’t fix (RIP). This has 3 stunning shades in beautiful packaging. I love using the darker two as eyeshadows, so it’s really travel friendly as with this and a bronzer, you wouldn’t need to worry about bringing an eyeshadow palette with you!

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Essence Camouflage Concealer

I bought this on a whim because it was so cheap. I love concealers, but I really didn’t expect it to work properly. But here I am, raving about it in my favourites. I really like it – the coverage isn’t the longest lasting or the fullest coverage, but I really enjoy how light it is and how thick the applicator is. There’s lots of product and it’s a great shade. Definitely recommend.

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Miniso Tea Tree Pore Strips

These are so cheap – and 100% better than the Biore pore strips! They are really great at extracting and comfortable to wear. I also feel like they are better for your skin, but that could just be the placebo of using something green on my skin…

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L’Oreal Pure Clay Mask

Speaking of green face stuff, this mask has been really nice in June. It definitely extracts and refines pores, but also reduces redness and calms dry skin and spots. It dries nice and tight so you definitely feel it working, which is always a bonus with a face mask.

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Apple Cider Vinegar

I read about ACV as a skincare treatment a while ago, but since I’ve put it to the test, I can (almost) swear by it. I dilute it about 3:1 and pop it in a spray bottle to spritz over my face morning and night. Yeah, it doesn’t smell to great, but I let it dry completely then go on to the rest of my skincare routine, and that tends to mask the scent a bit. It’s definitely made my skin brighter and clearer.

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Quay & LeSpecs Sunglasses

I recently got these Quay sunnies I’ve had my eye on for a long time (horray for TopShop sales in Australia) and these LeSpecs sunnies as a graduation gift from my best friend. I love both pairs! I’m a bit of a sunglasses hoarder, and one day might do a sunglasses collection post, but for now I’ve been rotating between these two and love how they transform any outfit.

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Lavendaire

My YouTube love of the month has been lifestyle design channel Lavendaire. She is so calming, inspiring and beautiful, and has definitely helped me find some more peace in my life. My favourite video of hers is all about gratitude, and I really recommend taking 5 minutes out of your day to watch it.

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Okja

I know, I know, everyone and their mum has been talking about this Netflix film, but it truly is amazing. I won’t give away any of the plot, but it’s incredibly shot, cleverly written and all round a beautiful film. 10/10, deserves all the ratings it’s getting.

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Brave New World – Adolus Huxley

I read this for the first time in June, which is insane considering how much I love a good dystopian fiction novel. I loved it – I loved it even more than 1984 which is one of my favourite books of all time. If you like sci-fi utopia, read this now.

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Zoe x

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June Favourites 2017

How To: Nail A Job Interview

Job interviews are pretty terrifying for almost everyone. We tend to overthink and over analyse every minute detail, usually resulting in us being a basket case of nerves when the time to actually do the interview comes around. I have had a pretty good run with interviews, so I thought I’d share my tips! These apply for ALL jobs – from casual to full-time corporate!

Don’t underestimate the power of a good CV

To have a chance at any job, you need a CV that is easy to read and relevant to the job. Make sure you use the key words from the application/job description in the resume and cover letter. There are a tonne of different ways to write a CV, so you need to do the research to figure out which one will be the best for you. If you are in the interview stage, likely they would have seen your CV already, but make sure you bring some more copies for everyone at the interview.

Dress to Impress

I feel like this is an obvious one, but people still overlook it. Dressing well is CRUCIAL to performing well in an interview. Make sure your clothes have been selected to fit the job, and have been ironed if they need to be. Freshly paint your nails, brush your hair, wear nice jewelry. It isn’t difficult to do and trust me – chipped nail polish comes across worse than you think!

Be happy and confident

People are very receptive to someone who is friendly, sunny and sure of themselves. They will be more likely to like you and go easier on you in the interview if you give them no reason to be otherwise. If you’re nervous, take a deep breath before answering any question. Be polite and keep smiling! If you’re going to inject some humour into the interview (if it’s appropriate) go ahead, just make sure the jokes won’t offend anyone in the room.

Do your research

This is another essential. Don’t just research the job, but research the people who will be interviewing you. What are their strengths? What do they like in a person? Researching this will also make you feel much more confident when you get into the interview, as there will be no curve balls thrown at you.

Be open and accepting

If the interview turns out differently than you’d expected, be open to it and accept it for what it is. By forcing your preconceived notions onto the interview, you won’t be at your best for the position.

Be positive if things don’t turn out your way

If you don’t end up with the job, don’t give up! Thank them politely for their time and consideration, and maybe ask for feedback as to where you went wrong. If it went particularly well and you still didn’t get it, maybe ask the boss if they can recommend anywhere similar for you to apply. Any connections made during the interview should’t be lost!

I hope this was helpful – and good luck if you’re going into a job interview soon!

Zoe x

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How To: Nail A Job Interview

Christmas Makeup Look #2 β€’ Blogmas

Welcome to my Blogmas! I love Christmas so much, and the best way to celebrate is with Christmas related posts every day at 5pm WordPress time until the 25th! Hope you enjoy!

This is my second makeup look of blogmas, and I’m thrilled with how it came out! It is a really warm smokey eye Β with gold and a rosey lip, which I think is just perfect for Christmas day!

Products Used

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Stila One Step Correct Primer
Australis Oh2Glo Foundation
Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer
Tarte Amazonian Clay Pressed Powder in Smooth Operator
NYX Taupe Blush
Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Bronzer
Elf Blush in Candidly Coral
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone
Essence Eyebrow Powder Duo
Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette
Chi Chi Retractable Eyeliner in Bronze Ambition
Benefit Roller Lash Mascara
Sportsgirl Lip Chalk in Pretty Please

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Merry Christmas, come chat!

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Christmas Makeup Look #2 β€’ Blogmas

Overseas Travel Essentials

As you’d know if you read my latest post, I recently spent a week in the beautiful Hong Kong. So, I thought I’d share my essentials in my carry on for the 14 hour, entertainment free flight.

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To Keep Occupied

Of course, you’re going to want your phone, camera and chargers. In terms of electronics, I also brought my kindle (which my mum has, so in its place is my tablet), and my friend took her laptop and a dual headphone adaptor so we could watch movies together. I also took with me a small notebook and pen, to jot down ideas or simply sketch if I felt the need. Having a pen is also really handy when it comes to filling in customs forms.

Basics

Passport, boarding passes, wallet. You know the drill, just don’t forget them. It’s also a good idea to get copies and leave them with loved ones at home, in case you lose your passport or something overseas.
If you’re going to a warmer country, a handheld fan, sunglasses and a cap can really help you once you’ve gotten off the plane and are thrust into an unfamiliar climate.

To Keep Clean & Hydrated

I packed a little pouch with hand sanitiser, face wipes, lip balm and hand cream, and let me tell you it made my life a hell of a lot nicer. I also brought some warm socks which I put on before we even took off. I bought myself a litre bottle of water in the airport, and drank the whole thing up in the air. Your skin will thank you for it.

Keeping Warm

Flights are always damn cold, so make sure you dress appropriately. I wore some comfy leggings and a singlet, while also bringing a cardigan and a scarf so I could stay warm as I napped. Wearing a sports bra and some good qualityΒ shoes also helps keep you comfortable.

Remember…

Don’t overpack. You’d rather have less to carry through an airport, especially the big ones. Just have a little backpack that has all your essentials in it, and leave it at that. All my toiletries, makeup, etc were in a bigger bag which was my only other bag for the trip. We took these bags as carry on too, so I was lucky enough to have all my possessions in arms reach if I needed them. If you can get away with it, not checking in a suitcase makes life a hell of a lot easier for you.

Zoe x

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Products in photo:
Stussy Cap
Monki Passport case and Typo Travel Wallet
Samsung Tablet, Samsung S5 Phone (Kmart Case)
Cotton On Wallet
Mimco Purse with Etude House lipbalm, Natio moisturiser and Palmolive hand sanitiser
Forever 21 Sunglasses and Socks

 

 

Overseas Travel Essentials

Everything You Need To Know About University

Starting university is a pretty terrifying time. I feel like the header photo from a uni party does a good job of summing it up; me (right), is smiling even though I have no idea what is going on and I have this look on my face like someone is threatening to shoot me if I don’t act like I know what is happening.

Sounds pretty accurate, if you ask me.

Since I graduate this year (and have to become an official adult… brb crying) I thought I’d share some of my wisdom (I say that sarcastically) as to what the hell university is all about. I wish I had someone explain all this stuff to me before I started!

  1. Tutorials and Lectures.

    Yes, yes, uni is all about parties and societies etc etc… but don’t forget that the REAL reason you’re there is because you want to learn something and eventually get recognition for learning it. This means you need to know about the classes going on, and try not to sleep through your alarm every morning.

    For me, lectures are usually optional, and to be completely honest it’s rare that I go, because I can catch up online. That said, I do find I perform way better in assessments if I go to the lecture and take good notes.

    Tutorials are like school classes, and compulsory. Again, taking good notes helps a lot, and I find that summing up the class at the end in a sentence or two and highlighting it helps me revise a lot quicker when it comes to finals.

    I recommend a 4/5 subject notebook that you can take with you to every lecture and tutorial, saving the need to carry more than you have to.

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  2. Assessments suck.

    Uni is mainly assessments, sorry to break it to you. You HAVE to look at the weighting as soon as you get the assessment, to know how much time to spend on it. UTILISE YOUR PLANNING SKILLS. Trust me, doing a 60% the night before will only ever lead to you having to repeat the course when you fail it.

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    Also, learn how to reference properly depending on what your uni asks for. This is usually worth >10% of the assessment. Remember that most unis offer extra writing and referencing support if you can’t get the hang of it.

  3. Yes, there are parties. Lots of parties.

    Uni is very much a social experience, so definitely get involved where you can. At my uni, there are tonnes of different societies to join, from cultural ones, to Quidditch and Game of Thrones. Get involved, go to the uni parties, and make sure you enjoy it all. Trust me, when the real responsibility of finding a job comes around, you’ll regret it if you didn’t spend your young years living it up.

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  4. A degree will get you nowhere.

    I know, this is not what you want to hear. But it’s so. Damn. True. A degree alone shows you have no experience, and honestly the things you learn in uni are not super applicable to real life. You aren’t going to be asked to do something, and have to refer back to some reading you did in the middle of Semester one, are you? No. So, use your contacts, your parent’s contacts, and every other bit of help you can to get internships. Doing a few of these in your (stupidly long) holidays will look fantastic on your resume and put you miles ahead of the majority of graduates when the times finally comes to throw the cap.

  5. Textbooks and readers are stupidly expensive.

    This is fairly well known. If you can, buy a reader off a friend in a higher year for cheap, and rent your textbooks off places like Jekkle, or buy them second hand. You’d much rather be missing one reading and have spend $20 on your book then be out of pocket $200 for no reason. Also, if you really can’t afford the textbooks, borrow them for a few hours in the library and photocopy, scan, or take photos of the pages. This has saved me from buying literally tens of textbooks.

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  6. You’re going to have to do your readings.

    I know, you can convince yourself that you don’t really need to read this, and that it’s all just bullshit. But, we both know that the time you skip a reading is when a question regarding it is in the final. Just do the readings, you end up on top of things and don’t feel like you’re being set on fire.

  7. Don’t wear heels, and don’t use a handbag.

    Backpack and sneakers. That’s the life motto. When your campus is kilometres big, and has some killer stairs, you’ll know why. Carrying a heavy laptop and textbooks on one shoulder whilst teetering around in stilettos is not going to help you.

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    I hope this helped at least one person out there! Love you guys,

Zoe x

Everything You Need To Know About University