Blogmas Day 4 | Christmas Morning Routine

There’s nothing quite like waking up on a morning in December. The sun is shining (at least in Australia), there’s advent chocolate to eat, Vlogmas to watch and Christmas mugs to be drunk from. It’s the most wonderful time of year for good reason! Today’s post is me taking you through my festive morning routine in December which is just the same as my regular routine, just extra Christmassy 🎄

The first thing I do is make my bed, then I head into the kitchen to brew myself some hazelnut coffee and do my Kinder advent calendar.

IMG_4257

IMG_4249

IMG_4253

After this, I head back to my desk to get some journaling done. I like to do this first thing to make sure my mind is clear of all the crap that comes with being awake. I also like to do some tarot – people may disagree, but I feel like it’s kind of the same as reading my horoscope, just more interactive. I also use this time to check my bullet journal and remind myself what I have on that day.

IMG_4254

IMG_4255

One of my favourite things to do is then spray some Christmas room spray around and pump some Christmas tunes while I get dressed, do my hair and my makeup. It just puts me in such a good mood!

IMG_4266

IMG_4256

I then choose my Christmas earrings of the day, put on a Christmas scent and pack myself some Christmas treats for work, then I’m out the door.

IMG_4269

IMG_4270.JPG

IMG_4251

Zoe x

Insta: @zoeninataylor
Tumblr: @okaylmao
Pinterest: @zoeninataylor
Twitter: @zoeninataylor

Blogmas Day 3 | Christmas Cookies

Christmas cookies are just essential for December, hands down. Today I want to give you my favourite recipe so you can make some beautiful, delicious cookies for yourself! I used GF flour as I am coeliac, but feel free to adapt to your needs 🙂

Ingredients

3/4 cup softened butter
1 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 & 1/2 cups plain flour (+ extra for kneading and rolling)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

IMG_4232

Method

Cream butter and sugar together, then add the wet ingredients. Mix together before slowly adding the sifted dry ingredients.

IMG_4237

When all combined, cover with cling wrap and chill for at least an hour (overnight is perfect).

IMG_4238

After flouring a surface and the rolling pin, take the chilled dough out and roll between 1/4 inch & 1/2 inch thick.

IMG_4239

Cut out cookie shapes, and bake one inch apart for 6-8 minutes. Let completely cool before icing.

IMG_4240

Zoe x

Insta: @zoeninataylor
Tumblr: @okaylmao
Pinterest: @zoeninataylor
Twitter: @zoeninataylor

Blogmas Day 2 | Christmas Bucket List

If you saw my last post, you know that I love my Bullet Journal this month. I thought it would be fun to add a little Christmas Bucket List in there as a) I love lists and b) I love Christmas, so I thought it was only right to combine the two and add the things I want to do during the festive season! Hope it inspired you to get Christmassy this December 🙂

IMG_4227

My Bucket List:

  1. Make Christmas cookies
  2. Watch Love Actually
  3. See the Nutcracker Ballet
  4. Go to the Christmas Markets
  5. Watch Arthur Christmas
  6. Make rumballs
  7. Watch The Nutcracker, Home Alone, Elf & The Holiday
  8. Read The Nutcracker & Enid Blyton’s First Christmas
  9. Eat the Christmas Ham my family makes
  10. Watch The Santa Clause
  11. Write out Christmas cards
  12. Have a festive present wrapping session
  13. Burn my Christmas Cookie candle
  14. See Sydney & Melbourne during Christmastime
  15. Get a Santa Photo with my flatmate
  16. Go to an outdoor cinema to see a Christmas movie

Zoe x

Insta: @zoeninataylor
Tumblr: @okaylmao
Pinterest: @zoeninataylor
Twitter: @zoeninataylor

Blogmas Day 1 | My December Bullet Journal

I have been more absent than ever on this blog and I do feel bad about it, but when you blog as a full-time job, doing it for yourself kind of loses its magic. That said, I absolutely love Christmas (as any long-time readers would know), so I thought it was only fitting to crack open the ol’ laptop and spill some Christmassy words from my brain into your brain. I will only be doing 20 days of Blogmas this year as I am not only working full time during the period, I also have three interstate trips booked, 5 concerts and more than a few events 😳 Please bear with me, but also please enjoy the festivities ❄️

Without further ado, here is my December Bullet Journal:

IMG_4221

IMG_4222

I used to Bullet Journal back in 2017, but I wasn’t very good, nor did I really know what I was going. Giving up in the later months, I decided on a planner for 2018 but quickly realised how much I missed the freedom a bullet journal provides. So, in November I decided to go back to a bujo but really put the effort in to make it beautiful so I would enjoy creating and using it. Last month I tried out a lavender theme and loved it, but this month I went full Christmas (obviously).

IMG_4224

IMG_4223

IMG_4225

I didn’t theme the month too specifically, I kept with the jumper/mitten/beanie/baking theme a lot to get all those cozy vibes going, but I tried to theme each spread more than the entire month. I felt that this gave me more freedom to get creative and I love the way it came out! I did some fun spreads like my quotes and nutcracker and added some little details like the flight numbers section as I have looooads of flight this month.

IMG_4226

IMG_4229

I used a pencil to doodle, a Miniso gel pen to draw and then I erased the pencil. I used Faber Castell Manga brush tips for calligraphy and some colouring, as well as Crayola Supertip markers. My journal is a dotted A5 from Officeworks.

IMG_4230.JPG

IMG_4231

Much love and I hope you’re feeling festive! Happy first day of December ❤

Zoe x

Insta: @zoeninataylor
Tumblr: @okaylmao
Pinterest: @zoeninataylor
Twitter: @zoeninataylor

Room Tour 2018

Moving house is always such a strange time. It seems all emotions think this is the perfect time to come together and stir you to feel nostalgia for things you haven’t previously, or to be excited for future events that you never thought would happen. Luckily for me, all that fear, excitement, anxiousness and energy that comes from a big (interstate) move has culminated in me being the happiest and feeling the most settled I have in years and years.

So, in celebration of this big move, I thought I’d give you a tour of my room. Although it’s all the same furniture from my last apartment, I figured I’d want to see it anyway, so here you are. I have moved from an apartment with just me to a shared flat, so I am keeping more things in my bedroom than I did previously. I have moved my desk to a separate place in my living room and am happy to do a desk tour (it’s brand new lol) if you would like me to. Without further ado – let’s begin.

My apartment has these beautiful floor to ceiling windows which are the most beautiful thing to fall asleep and wake up to. I get sunlight first thing in the morning and speckled city lights during the evenings. I decided to lay my bed in this direction to make the best use of the space, but I’m not averse to changing it around as time progresses. I just don’t think I’ll ever have my headboard to the beautiful windows.

IMG_3988

IMG_3994

IMG_3993

I made these curtains for my place I had during Uni for privacy, but realised how beautiful they looked when intertwined with my curtain fairy lights. I was thinking of putting a blue and white tapestry behind my bedhead, but I really like the delicacy of the white. It also means I can change the colour of my quilt cover and it will always go with my room.

Bed frame & Side Tables – IKEA
Bedside Lamp – The Reject Shop
Cushions – Thrifted
Aroma Diffuser – Kmart

IMG_3995

IMG_4001

IMG_4000

IMG_3999

Next to my bed I have this bookshelf from IKEA. I have a larger bookshelf in the living room, but I use this one to house a few of my favourite books, my candles and jewellery box. Unfortunately, my makeup doesn’t fit in the width of the shelving, so I have it next door. I don’t mind though, having my lipsticks on display is lovely.

I have these frames hanging up and my memory board. I used to have this leaning wherever it would fit, but I decided to just put it up, and now when I’m lying in bed I can see all the amazing things I’ve had the privilege to do, which really fills me up with gratitude. I also have this hanging shelf for all my sunglasses, which look great on display and make it so easy for me to remember what I own. I also love these fun Polaroids of me and my house mate that make it so much cosier.

Drawers – Officeworks
Acrylic Lipstick Holders – Miniso
Frames – Kmart
Hanging Shelf – Kmart

 

I put a command hook up next to my wardrobe so I can hang my handbags on it when I come home, which is honestly such a hack for making sure you never end up with bags and other crap lying on the floor. Unfortunately, these cupboards don’t have drawers but they do have shelves which I’ve done my best to make good use of, but if anyone has any tips on how to make them better, please let me know! I have put this three shelf unit from fantastic furniture on its side to house my shoes, which is a great way to keep things neat and save space. My copper laundry basket is from Kmart (of course).

IMG_3998

I really love my new room, and I think it’s very important to love the space you’re in. There are always things you can do to improve your area, and having it clean and calm does genuinely make you a much happier person.

Thank you all so much for reading!

Much love,

Zoe x

My socials: IG | Tumblr Twitter Pinterest

New Year | Life Update

We’ve passed it – that metaphorical line in the sand. For some, New Years marks the beginning of a new era, a new life, a new them. For others, it’s just a day. For me, the reality is somewhere in the middle. I love the idea of starting afresh but in reality I’m the same me I was on the 31st of December, just with an extra surge of motivation. As you get older, these whole things start to feel a whole lot less exciting. I’m not sure what it is, but finding the magic in the mundane is so much more of a struggle when you have rent to pay and people to please and work to complete. It may not help that I’m writing this at 5.38 pm on the 2nd of January after a New Year’s Day festival and I haven’t left bed once. My feet are destroyed. I have taken three naps. I’m only 21 – what will I be like in old age?!

I’m writing this post for a few reasons. First and foremost, I want to wish each and every one of you the happiest of New Years and I sincerely hope that all of you, my supportive and lovely readers, get the 2018 you imagine. I also want to  give you an update of the beginning of my 2018.

I have decided that I am not happy where I am, and am taking quite a big leap of faith in just a few days. I am moving, with my best friend, 12 hours from anywhere I’ve ever lived into a brand new state. There are a few reasons we are doing this, some being mundane (Sydney is extraordinarily expensive), but the reality is that it is happening and I am excited and shit scared. Doing something so drastic just because really puts things into perspective for you, and I wanted to share my thoughts on this.

 

I started this blog not thinking it would go anywhere. I had several prior attempts at blogging that were nothing more than angsty teen ramblings and half-formed ideas, but here I have found an audience that seems to genuinely enjoy what I have to say and I am so, so grateful. However, this year especially, I have lost a bit of my love for this whole thing. I don’t want to feel like that, and I most certainly don’t want this feeling to echo here –  a place where quite a few of you have said you come to read something relaxing. And so, I’ve made a decision for 2018 – don’t worry, it’s not that drastic! From now on, I’ll be uploading once a week only. I’ve yet to decide on an upload day (that will come after I move), but I want to put more energy on one post. I want my photography to be beyond mediocre, I want my writing to be fluid and I want to feel that creative energy again.

With so much content being posted online these days, I simply want to make sure I am presenting you all with pieces of work that are beautiful in themselves. I will of course still share my lifestyle favourites, fun findings in beauty and my book reviews, but my posts from now on will be more polished and cohesive – not to mention longer!

This year I want you to come with me as I grow and turn my blog into posts I feel genuinely proud of. You all deserve that.

Much love,

Zoe x

My socials: IG | Tumblr | Twitter | Pinterest

Top Tips for Travelling in South Korea

If you’ve been reading me recently, you’ll know that I went to South Korea! I had an absolutely incredible time, and definitely picked up some tips and tricks along the way. If you’re thinking of going, make sure you have a read!

Subway/public transport stops at midnight. We learnt this the hard way and had to get a cab home to our airbnb – we got there in the end but our taxi driver spoke zero English so it definitely was a mission! Although everything is open quite late, just be prepared that the subway stops at midnight. Speaking of, have your address screenshotted on a map on your phone – if I hadn’t done this who knows how we would have gotten home!

Get the subway app. This app is a lifesaver and will make your train trips so much smoother. Once you get the hang of the trains you get where you need to go a lot quicker!

Not everyone can speak English. There is some weird misconception that because everyone learns a bit of English at school, everyone can speak it. This. Is. Not. True. In touristy areas, sure, a lot of people can speak to you, but for the most part you end up communicating with pointing, looking at registers for prices, etc. A little politeness goes a long way, so learning the basics (hello, thank you, etc) really made our trip a lot better. You can see people’s eyes light up when you say thank you in their language!

You will get stared at. If you are coming from a Western country, you may not be used to this, but definitely as a couple of white girls speaking English, we had people stare at us all the time, especially in areas further out from Seoul. It’s not an issue at all as no one means any harm by it, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind when travelling!

The KTX at peak hour will not reserve seats for you and you will have to stand. When we caught the KTX to Busan, we thought we had seats both there and return, but when we went to board at 5.30pm to go back to Seoul, we were told we’d have to stand in the sections between carriages. We made it work by sitting on the floor (someone near us actually stood and slept the whole time – how???), but it’s 2 & 1/2 hours that would be better of sitting through. Moral – don’t expect a seat if you’re catching the KTX at peak hour.

WiFi is pretty much everywhere, so you don’t need an international simcard. The subways, most major shopping spots, starbucks, etc – everyone has WiFi. We got on just fine with screenshotted directions, our subway map and WiFi hot spots. Save your money!

Use blogs – there are blogs on directions from/to everywhere! Any time we wanted to go and see anything (especially places related to K-pop or K-drama, specific stores, etc) we just looked up someone’s blog and found exact directions with landmarks and everything. It worked a treat for us!

 

If you’re going to see DMZ, do the JSA too. The Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) is cool and all, but the really cool part is the Joint Security Area where you “technically” get to cross the border into North Korea. If you’re interested in going, make sure you book a tour (they aren’t that expensive!) and get both places in there. They take you to a whole heap of different locations and help you out with what is customary to do when visiting and facts.

Food is super cheap, so take advantage of it! Go to grocery stores and get a whole heap of snacks to try as well as eating the local food. The street food in areas like Myeongdong and Hongdae is also amazing!

Stay at an Airbnb instead of a hotel. They are really cheap (I think around AUD$250 pp for our 8 nights there) and very secure. Seoul is a very safe city and our Airbnb host made sure we felt as comfortable as possible.

Google Maps doesn’t work properly (satellites, North Korea, etc), so download Naver Map which is the Korean version of Google Maps for all your directions.

Do a layover tour! Depending on where you’re coming from, Seoul usually requires a stopover somewhere, and for us it was Beijing. For around USD$100, we got a personal driver to take us to the Great Wall of China and Tienanmen Square, because why not! Put your layovers to good use and visit another country while you’re at it.

Check out my most recent posts; October Favourites & Korea Haul!

Zoe x

Come chat!

instagram
pinterest
twitter
tumblr