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

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

March Favourites 2017

This month I have discovered a whole array of new things that I have come to love!

Mario Badesco Drying Lotion

I know everyone harps on about this, but it is completely warranted! I use this stuff to calm down spots, ones that have come up and ones that are brewing, and also to dry out those weird hormonal bumps on my chin. I absolutely can’t get over how much it has cleared up my skin, and it’s definitely worth a try!

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IKEA Bed & Bedside Tables

My new TARVA bed and RAST bedside tables have been an obsession of mine. When I moved into this apartment I didn’t have a bedframe, and having one makes a huge difference to the overall ‘homey’ feel of it. The fairy lights are from kmart, the bedding from IKEA and the cushion was a gift. Stay tuned for more ~aesthetic~ photos in my apartment tour!

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Elf Flawless Finish Foundation

I would consider this $10 foundation comparable to the NARS Sheer Glow. I’m not kidding. Their shade range for pale skin is amazing, with just the right amount of yellow to neutral out the pinkness in my fair complexion. It has great medium coverage, a lovely demi-matte finish and lasts quite well throughout the day. It also comes in a gorgeous glass bottle that makes the product look like NARS as well as perform like it!

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Lip Lab Lipstick

For Christmas, my mum bought me a voucher to go to the Lip Lab in Paddington (Sydney), where you get to create your own lipstick and they make it in front of you. You get to personally create the colour, pick a formula, choose a scent, name it, insert additives like lip plumper and moisturiser – you can basically create your dream lipstick, and that’s exactly what I did. I’m in love with it!

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Zoella Sweet Inspirations Body Mist & Double Creme Lotion

This range has recently become available in Target in Australia and I was super excited about it! I have to say, I still prefer the original scent but this is still a very nice sweet scent. I find it works really well as a base for other perfumes too, complementing them with vanilla and sweet almond. The bottle is also beautiful, making it perfect for display

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Pop Sockets

I have been on the popsocket trend for a while now – so much so that I physically cannot hold my phone without it! If you haven’t tried popsockets, get on board! Phone grips, headphone winder and phone stand? Absolute win. I also recently picked up the phone holder that I have attached to my car dashboard, making my life SO much easier. I get my popsockets online and from Sportsgirl, my phone case is from Kmart.

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Simple Oil Cleanser

My best friend got me onto this and I’m really digging it! It’s a lovely hydrating and gentle way to take your makeup off at the end of the day. I definitely need to cleanse afterwards, and if I’m wearing a particularly heavy face of makeup I tend to swipe a bit of micellar water over my skin too, but for the most part this is just fine at melting down the makeup. Its scent is lovely and it’s a super inexpensive product.

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Elf Acne Fighting Primer

I picked this up at the same time as I got the Elf foundation, and I really like it! I can’t wait to grab their illuminating one. I don’t think it does a heap for my skin in terms of ‘blemish control’, but it’s a light, fresh and moisturising primer that definitely keeps my makeup looking nicer for longer. For the price, you really can’t go wrong. Also, can we just take a moment to appreciate the step up in Elf packaging?!

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Morphe M504 Blending Brush

This blending brush I ordered off Beauty Bay and I’m obsessed with it. I’ve never used anything Morphe before, but the quality for the price is incredible. It picks up colour so well, blends it out nicely and doesn’t disrupt the pigmentation. I love it!

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Zoe x

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March Favourites 2017

Life Update

I feel like I have been away from here FOREVER.

It’s only been a couple of weeks since I posted, but my life has changed so much in that time that I could swear it’s been at least 6 months. I miss blogging! I just haven’t had much of a chance recently, as about 3 weeks ago I moved back to Sydney to live on my own, and have been adjusting to my routine with my full-time job, my part-time job, exercising, catching up with mates and just having some time to breathe here and there. I also only got my internet connected about a week ago, so that didn’t help.

But, now I’ve (sorta) got my routine sorted, I’m back on here, and just in time too! I’m at 299 followers (eek!), and am not only incredibly grateful and somewhat confused that so many people love my stuff, but also a bit guilty that I haven’t been updating so many of your inboxes with new content. Alas, such is life. BUT I’M BACK, BITCHES.

I have some amazing posts coming in the near future, so get ready! If you have anything that you want me to post about hit me up πŸ™‚

My job is in PR, so if anyone is interested in my job itself or how we work with bloggers and influencers from our end, feel free to ask!

 

 

Love you guys so much,

Zoe x

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Life Update

How To: Get Up Earlier

For my job, I have to commute two hours each way. And do you know what that means? My alarm is set at 5.25am. I have never been an early riser, and I have to admit, when I got the job I was worried. Now? It’s fine. I have my initial freakout when my alarm goes off but as soon as I’m up, it’s all good. So, from one girl who used to get up at 10am on a good day to another, let me help you get up earlier.

This first tip is all about the alarm. We’ve all heard the trick of putting your phone on the other side of the room – but that does not work at all for me. I tend not to use my phone just before bed (more on that later), but it charges next to my bed. So, I got told about this ad – Alarmy – and it is the only reason that getting up at five am is possible. You can customise how to turn off the alarm – doing maths problems or shaking it, but mine is set of taking a picture of a cereal box in my kitchen. So, as soon as it goes off, I roll out of bed, grab my phone and go into the kitchen to take my photo. By the time that’s done, 30 seconds later, I’m completely awake and think “now I’m here, I may as well put the kettle on”. And so, my morning starts, and it’s as easy as that.

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Another thing I do is wind down. Every night, about half an hour before bed, I put my phone on charge and face down. Then, I wind myself down. Have some chammomile tea, brush my teeth, moisturise my body, write in my bullet journal and have a read. Soon enough, I’m sleepy and relaxed, so I’ll do a meditation session and drift off into a good quality sleep (this is very important if you’re getting up early, trust me!).

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I also tend to set everything out for myself in the morning. I mean EVERYTHING. All my skincare, makeup, clothes and food (I meal prep for the week and pack my snacks the night before). In the morning, this is a lifesaver.

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A way I kickstart my day is to skull a heap of water. I try and get down a half litre before I eat anything, to get a load of my water intake out of the way, to help my metabolism and to help me stay hydrated and therefore keep my energy.

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I also love having a good breakfast to look forward too. It makes it a hell of a lot easier to get on with your morning if one of your tasks is to prepare and eat something delicious. I love avocado toast with feta and mint, with a cup of english breakfast tea.

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NB: If I don’t finish my tea, I tip what’s left into my takeaway cup and carry on.

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I hope this helped someone out there! Getting up early isn’t easy, but just remember WHY you’re doing it, and the rest seems to fall into place πŸ™‚

Zoe x

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How To: Get Up Earlier

Three Christmas Hairstyles 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!

Today I am sharing my three favourite hairstyles for the holiday season, to wear to Christmas parties, out with friends on Christmas Eve, to church or family events, or on Christmas Day. One of my favourite ways to wear my hair is simply curled with a Santa hat on, but here are some other ideas to make your outfit and makeup pop!

Curls and Crown Braid

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This look is probably the simplest of the three. Start by curling your hair with a wide barrelled curler (I use NUME’s second largest wand from their 5-barrel Lustrum Set) in three layers so that there are more curls that last longer. Don’t forget to use a heat protectant before you start! After you have finished curling, grab some hair from the front, whatever frames your face the best, and section into three parts. Use a simple plait or braid that hair to the back of your head. Repeat the process on the other side, and secure with pins. Pull some of the hair out of the braids to make the plaits sit more flat, finish off with some hair oil to make the curls shine.Β You’re done!

 

Fishtail Braid

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A fishtail braid is a classic hairstyle that looks really chic and intricate. However, it is quite simple. Start by pinning your hair to one side, then dividing into two sections. Starting from the back of the right section, bring a small piece over top to the left section. Repeat the process with the left, then the right again, continuing to the bottom. Make sure the pieces of hair you are bringing from one side to the other are always from the back, and brought over to lay on the top. Secure the braid when done, then pull out the edges to make it more relaxed. I also curled my hair that was left out to make it look more boho.

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Braided Bun

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A classic braided bun is a perfect festive look. Start with textured hair, either achieved by curls, dry shampoo or texturizing spray. Braid or plait your hair as the crown braid part, then pull all your hair into a ponytail, tucking half up into a bun. Then, go to town on bobby pins to pin down the bun the way you like it, and twisting the excess hair around it and pinning in place. This stays all night! Pull out some hair at the front and you’re done! This would look extra cute with a Santa hat I think!

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I hope this gave you some hair inspiration! Which look was your favourite?

Merry Christmas, come chat!

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Three Christmas Hairstyles β€’ Blogmas