September Favourites | 2017

September has come and gone in an absolute whirlwind. Now it’s October – middle of Spring for us in Australia (most days are nearing 30 degrees which I’m VERY happy about) and I leave for overseas in just over 20 days. Where is this year going?! I’ve loved a heap of things this month, so keep reading to find out what!

The Psychopath Test – Jon Ronson

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If you like psychology, murder mysteries, generally great non-fiction writing – read this. This has been on my list for AGES and I finally got around to reading it this month and I loved it. Super interesting book!

Invisible Planets – Ken Liu

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Another book, but this is an anthology of Chinese science-fiction short stories. Might sound strange, but my friend lent this to me and I really enjoyed it. Most of the stories are dystopian (if you’ve read me for a while you know I’m a sucker for anything dystopian) and are incredibly beautiful and thought provoking. So many cultures and countries have incredible stories written, and it’s unfortunate that they usually aren’t translated for us to read. Pick up this book if you like reading, you won’t regret it!

Image & purchase here

Zoella Gateau Range

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I grabbed both the body spray and shower sauce from the summery Zoella range and (besides the original scent) it is my favourite scent she’s ever done! It’s pomegranate and elderflower, so it’s perfect for us Southern Hemisphere folk going into spring and summer. If you can get your hands on it, go and smell it – such a wonderful scent!

OGX Weightless Oil Mist

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I tried this for the first time this month and really enjoyed it! It does exactly what it says it does, and hydrates without looking greasy. It also smells amazing! OGX is a great brand that’s definitely worth the hype.

IKEA Panda

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I bought this little glowing panda from IKEA a while ago now, but I really like having him accompany me when I’m writing long into the night. He glows green to blue and you can pause him at your favourite colour. He’s such a cute addition to any room πŸ™‚

Binaural Beats

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This has become one of my new favourite ways to meditate! You must listen to this with headphones on, but it gets you into a meditative state after only a few minutes. You can read up on the science about it here.

Glitch

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Season 2 of the Australian Sci-Fi drama Glitch just came out and I binged it in two days! Such a good show, and there are only 6 eps per season. It’s all about a small country town where people from all eras start coming to life. Aussie drama doesn’t get enough credit – check it out!

Four Legendary Kingdoms – Matthew Reilly

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If you’re an action and history/mythology fan, get on this series by Australian author Matthew Reilly. This is the fourth in this series and intertwines with some of his other work, and is nothing short of a showstopping, page turning piece of great entertainment. I read it in a day.

Logitech Bluetooth Keyboard

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I used to have an external keyboard that used cords to connect to my laptop, and I did like it but it definitely got annoying. This month I picked up a new logitech keyboard and I’m loving it! If you spend a lot of time on your laptop typing, this might me a good investment for you.

Finally, I just want to send my love and hugs to anyone out there who needs it. The world is a scary place, but we can find happiness within each other.

Zoe x

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September Favourites | 2017

Creating Your Dream Life

If you read one of my most recent posts – Life Update – Β you’ll know that I’m in a weird stage of soul searching, job hunting, and everything else that comes with the territory of being a millennial in 2017. One thing that I have always struggled with is a sense of purpose, and the finding of a dream life. This doesn’t just mean career, although that is very important (see: How To: Pick The Right Job For You). It means every facet of your life being exactly where you want it to be. What does it look like? How do you get there? Where do you even begin?

For most of us, a dream life may look something like being financially stable (or even wealthy), surrounded by friends and loved ones, contributing to society in a job that we love with lots of free time. For others, it may be something along the lines of being 100% plant based and sustainable. That’s the beauty of a dream life, it is particular to each and every person. Everyone has an idea of where they want to end up, even if it is just in one facet of their life (if you’re stuck, maybe look at what New Year’s Resolutions you set for yourself and you may realise you are looking for a healthier/more fulfilling/happier life in certain aspects), but the real question is, and excuse my French,Β how the fuck do I get there?

Well, for one, you may never get there. You have to accept that some things are entirely out of your control. But having a goal of what you want your life to look like and taking steps to achieve it can only make your life better, and who doesn’t want that?

Prioritise

If you aren’t prioritising making your dream life happen, you may not want it enough. Or, you may notΒ realiseΒ that you want it enough. The first step to getting your dream life is making it a priority. Do that, and the rest seems worth the time.

Write It Out

Once you have prioritised that you want your dream life, write it out. Every minute detail, spend a couple of hours detailing exactly what you want. Then, once you have your future life story written, you can break it down into areas, then goals, then tasks. This makes the whole process seem not so daunting.

VisualiseΒ 

Vision boards, pinterest, tumblr – get images behind your dreams. This will make them more appealing, realistic and tangiable to you.

Look

With your notes of your dream life and all of your visual materials, go over them. Look at them every day. Make them your wallpapers, stick them above your desk, save in your phone to read on the bus. The more you immerse yourself in the life you want, and thenΒ visualise yourself living that life,Β the more likely it is that it will happen.

 

Tiny Tasks

Take small steps every day to work towards goals that add up to your dream life. Add these small things to your to do list each day, and make sure that daily you are working towards it. You can visualise all you want, and this really does help, but you need the hard work to back you up when push comes to shove. Be small, and be realistic. Just head down, and keep going.

Tip: don’t get caught up in the hype of fancy new notebooks, self-help books, etc. Your dream life is an internal thing and is realised within. You don’t need external stuff to make that happen. Sometimes we get a sense of what we think is achievement, but really it’s just fancy procrastination. You know when you want to get fit so you reward yourself before you start with active wear? Yeah. Same shit.

Zoe x

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Creating Your Dream Life

Sunday Routine

Sundays are a very underutilised day. Often used to nurse a hangover or binge the latest season of Geordie Shore (which sucks without Holly, btw), this is a whole day before the working week that you can used to your advantage. Ever wanted to wake up on a Monday morning and feel completely ready for the week ahead? That’s how I feel every Monday, and it all starts on the meek day of Sunday.

1.Write a List

This is perhaps the most important step of the day, as without a list, your day will have no direction for the day. I like to use a similar method to Kalyn Nicholson’s GYST day, and include cleaning, planning, self care and relaxing. That way, I wake up on Monday feeling super refreshed. If you get up, make yourself a cup of tea or coffee and write out your list first thing, you’ll be super inspired to get on with the day and make it work for you.

2. Cleaning

This doesn’t have to take all day, but get the boring cleaning and household admin out of the way first up. Put things away, make your bed, wash your sheets & clothes, wipe down the counters, sweep, mop and vacuum, dust and water your plants. Blast some music and just get it done. There is honestly nothing better than a clean space, so do it first and keep your inspiration for the rest of the day.

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3. Planning

I use this time to plan out my meals and do my groceries, as well as to meal prep. I love having all my meals sorted for the week ahead, whether that means they are cooked, the ingredients are simply prepped or even just my snacks are bought and in the cupboard. It definitely helps me out for the rest of the week. I’ll also go through my bank account on my computer (not on the app) and sort out my finances for the week ahead, and put out what I want to wear the next day, as well as group my outfits in my wardrobe for the rest of the days of the week.

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4. Workout

This may not be for everyone, but I for one like to carve out some time on a Sunday to get in a workout or at the very least do a big walk around the block. Getting moving and getting outside will help clear your head of the mundane activities you’ve just done and get you ready for the next part of the day.

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5. Self Love

I wish I had a bath, but you can definitely show yourself a bit of self-love without one. Take some time to shave, tan, wash your hair, full body moisturise, do a face mask and a pore strip. Do all the things that you forget/don’t have time to do throughout the week, and go into Monday feeling fresh.

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6. Creativity

By this point in my Sunday, I’m ready to me winding down. So, instead of bingeing something on Netflix, I like to use my creativity for a good purpose. I create and fill out my Bullet Journal spread for the week ahead, do some writing or photography for my blog or book. Even just half an hour of getting my creativity flowing helps my mental state more than I could explain.

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7. Relaxation

When Sunday is coming to an end and night is upon you, this is a good chance to do a guided meditation or some yoga, call a loved one, light some candles and treat yourself. Sometimes I like to make myself something a little extra-special for dinner, read a book or watch a movie. By the time I’m ready for bed, I’m in a freshly-sheeted bed in clean pj’s, full tummy and fresh hair and body. It makes waking up on Monday a world easier when everything that stresses you out has already been done.

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What do your Sundays look like?

If you liked this post, don’t forget to check out Kalyn Nicholson’s Get Your Shit Together video, which is super inspirational for me!

Check out my previous posts (they will open in a new window): My Favourite Books,Β Life Update,Β August Faves.Β 

Zoe x

Zoe x

Come chat!

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Sunday Routine

My Favourite Books

I am a HUGE bookworm. Anyone who knows me will tell you that straight away. I absolutely adore reading. To me, nothing quite comes close to losing yourself in a completely different reality that is personal to you. No one quite reads things the same way – we all project our own lives onto the characters and the plot and that makes every single line unique to you. And I fucking love it.

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Therefore, I thought it would be fun to share my absolute favourite books. I love so many that this list was hard to choose, but I think I’ve got a good selection here! It’s also worth noting that I love series too – like Harry Potter, PJ, Hannibal/Silence of the Lambs, TMI/TID, etc, but these are the single books I can read over and over again. Let me know what you think!

Stardust – Neil Gaiman
Fairytale style book, beautifully written (I love Neil Gaiman), young love and magic, fantasy, set in medieval times.

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Reader’s Digest – The World’s Best Fairy Tales
A HUGE book dedicated to original Fairy Tales. My favourite book in the world – as you can see from the state of the book! Multicultural fairy tales and includes all the classics.

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The Mosquito Coast – Paul Theroux
Told from the perspective of a young boy, he follows his somewhat insane dad who thinks America is a sham and ships his family into the South American coast to escape the apocalypse he thinks is happening. A bit ‘Lord of The Flies’-y, but not too much. One of my all time faves.

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The Magic Faraway Tree – Enid Blyton
And we’re back to fairy tales, lol. I love all of Blyton’s work but there’s something so magical about this story that I keep coming back. Set in early 1900’s England, three siblings and their cousin have an array of magical adventures in a local magical forest. Super sweet.

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Brave New World – Adolus Huxley
Dystopian future setting where children are genetically created to fit into social classes and life is governed by very Freudian principals. Give me anything dystopian and I will drink it up, but this is one of the classics.

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The Little Book of Hygge – Meik Wiking
All about hygge (hoo-gah), the principal of cosiness. There is something so warming about this book, I tend to re-read a chapter a week or so.

IMG_2562.JPGNineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell
Not sure if this even needs an introduction, but 1984 is one of my absolute favourites, definitely my favourite in the dystopian genre (sensing a theme?). Set in a futuristic England, the protagonist struggles with the extent to which he is being controlled. 10/10 book, definitely worth its popularity.Β 

Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
Again, a classic that probably doesn’t need a caption, but one of my top picks. This follows the paedophile protagonist who has a relationship with a young girl – Lolita. Sounds fucked up (it is), but it is so stunningly written and the plot is so complex it is well worth it if you are a literature fan.

Note – Yes, I forgot to photograph these in the group book shots. Whoops.

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The Song of Troy – Colleen McCullough
This is one of my faves for my mythology side. This retells the story of Troy from multiple sides and with breathtaking form. I found this book for the first time in a 2nd hand book sale, and as soon as I started reading it I was competently hooked.

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Maus – Art Spiegleman
Graphic novel re-telling the Holocaust in the form of cat v mouse. Incredibly powerful and very confronting, but definitely a one-of-a-kind book that deserves all the praise it gets. Incredible story.

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The Road – Cormac McCarthy
Oh, another dystopian book? Who could have guessed! This is a futuristic, desolate world setting, where the few survivors either find food or eat each other. It follows a father and his young boy traversing a burnt America to find the ocean where things will be better. It is a very quiet book (if you’ve read it, you’ll know what I mean by this), and definitely makes you feel all the emotions.

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Seven Ancient Wonders – Matthew Reilly
Matthew Reilly is one of my favourite authors ever, as he writes a hell of a story. This book (and its subsequent series) are my favourites of his, taking you on a fast-paced action adventure, laced with history and mythology. For a nerd like me, that earns a solic 10/10.

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What are your favourite books?

Check out my previous posts (they will open in a new window):Β Life Update,Β August Faves,Β September Bullet Journal.

Zoe x

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My Favourite Books

August Favourites | 2017

God this year is flying by! I genuinely am a bit concerned with how quickly it all is passing. To celebrate, here are some things I’ve been loving through August!

GOT S7

Could it really be an August faves without including this?? I have to admit, I was a bit underwhelmed with the season and am even more mad we have to wait two years for the next, but I am happy Dany & Jon finally got it on, incest and all.

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Aroma Diffuser & Essential Oils

I picked up this diffuser from Kmart for $15 – what a bargain! I’ve been really into filling it with gorgeous scents (as you can see from the photo below, it’s primarily Lavender and Sweet Orange) and letting it light up the room and make it smell beautiful. I also really like watching the steam curl out from the spout, it’s super relaxing.

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Mayer’s Peanut Butter

Random, I know, but I’ve been weirdly obsessed with this Peanut Butter?! Coming from someone who will eat an entire pot of Kraft PB if you’ll let them, this is a much better for you option that tastes almost identical to me. I really dig it.

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Silver Drop Earrings

I have been really into wearing plain silver studs in my second piercings and silver drops in my lower ones this month. I switch between both of these pairs – the wishbones are from Tree of Life and the pearl ones are from a boutique.

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Constellation Myths

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I’m obsessed with mythology, especially Greek myths. My best friend got me this book for my birthday in June and I’ve been obsessed! I love stars and constellations, and this book explains all of them, how they create famous Greek figures and the myth that accompanies them.

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Ouran High School Host Club

I recently re-watched this anime and I forgot how much I loved it! If you are new to anime I think this is a good place to start, as it’s super funny, meta and pretty off the cuff. I love it!

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Zoe x

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August Favourites | 2017

My Current YouTube Favourites

 

I am such a YouTube fiend it’s not even a joke at this point, but recently I’ve discovered some new faves, rediscovered some old, and just generally been loving the lifestyle/minimalism/bujo channels. If you like similar stuff, check out the below! Of course, there are so many not included in this list that I still love, but these have just been my priorities to watch recently – all hyperlinks will open in a new window!

Kalyn Nicholson

Lifestyle, routines, food. Well edited, creative, inspiring. Canadian.

Rachel Aust

Minimalism, lifestyle, fitness, bujo. Fantastic filmmaker and photographer, very inspirational. Australian.

Peaceful Cuisine

ASMR, cooking, relaxing. LOVE this channel – check it out!

Lavendaire

Lifestyle, lifestyle design, planning and inspiration. Incredibly motivational. American.

More Zoella

I don’t think Zoella’s vlog channel needs an explanation! British.

AmandaRachLee

Bujo, art, design, sketching. Incredible bullet journal layouts and designs. American.

AlishaMarie Vlogs

Vlogs, happy, bubbly and bright. Huge YouTuber AlishaMarie’s vlog channel that always is upbeat. American.

Gabriella

Vlogs, lifestyle, moving vlogs, routines. Very realistic. British.

Muchelle B

Lifestyle, lifestyle design, beauty, minimalism. Australian.

Vivian V

Beauty, lifestyle, fashion. Very chilled out and relaxed, well edited. Beautiful girl. American.

LaurDIY

DIY, lifestyle, vlogs. Extremely sunny and bright. American.

Tanya Burr

Again no explanation needed – beauty and lifestyle. British.

Jenna Marbles

Probably my fave of all time. People say she lost her humour – I’ve been watching her for 8 years and she’s still funny to me. God bless this woman.

Who are your favourite YouTubers?

Check out my last post 8 Ways To Improve Yourself!

 

Zoe x

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My Current YouTube Favourites

July Favourites

July has come and gone in the blink of an eye, but I still managed to love a few things here and there. Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Nip + Fab Glycolic Cleansing Fix – Face Wash

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This face wash doesn’t look it, but foams up something crazy. I have definitely noticed a difference in the overall texture of my skin since using this. Just be warned – it’s strong and can sting a bit, and a little goes a long way.

Toni & Guy Leave In Conditioner

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I have taken to using a pea size (you REALLY don’t need more than that) amount of this and running it through the ends of my hair just after I’ve washed it. I really love how my hair feels after I use it!

Eau Thermale Eye Cream

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I was on the hunt for a very rich eye cream to attempt to sort out my eye bags, and I reckon this one is up there with one of the best. It’s rich, thick and very moisturising, and I love using this before bed.

Sheridan Towels

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My mum recently spoilt me with two sets of Sheridan bath towels and I adore them. There’s nothing quite like getting out of the shower and wrapping yourself up in a fresh towel that is huge enough to cover your entire body. Love this brand.

Dune – Frank Herbert

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As a sci-fi/fantasy fiend, it’s taken me a stupidly long time to get my hands on this book and read it. I must admit, it took me a while (very Game of Thrones-esque: reads like a history textbook for the most part), but I really loved the story and bizarre nature of this story. I’ll definitely get on to reading the rest of the series, but for now, powering through this monster of a book is enough!

Jurlique Skin Brightening Essence

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I apply this to my face every morning before my makeup, and I think it makes it last longer and look fresher. I have noticed an overall improvement in the glow and healthy nature of my skin since using it, and it smells so beautiful and calming.

Jurlique Chamomile-Rose Hydrating Essence

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Still on the Jurlique wagon, I have also been really loving this essence. It’s a bit of a gimmick, I won’t lie to you (especially considering the price), but I just love the way this makes my skin feel! All you do is pop a couple of drops into a bowl of hot water and let a flannel or face cloth soak in the mixture for a bit before running it over your face. This opens your pores, smells amazing, and preps the skin for deeper cleaning, meaning it’s the perfect supplement to your exfoliation routine or to use before a face mask.

Kmart Coconut & Almond Treatment Oil – Hair Care

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I love Kmart beauty products, and their hair care is no exception. I was devastated when Β I learned they have discontinued their Argan Oil range in some stores as the smell is incredible, but this is a close second. Very warming and wintery, this oil gives your hair a gorgeous scent and also moisturises it for the day. For $4 a bottle, you really can’t go wrong with this stuff!

What did you love in July?

Zoe x

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July Favourites