Escaping Christmas Stress | Blogmas 2017

Welcome to my 12 days of Blogmas series! Every other day until Christmas I will be posting something festive for you all to enjoy 🙂

There is no doubt about it – Christmas can be an incredibly stressful time! From all the expenses to the travel, the cooking, baking, parties and everything in between, 24 days to fit in everything you need to do will definitely cause a bit of stress. So, I’ve put together a little list of things you can do which will help you minimise and escape that festive stress!

Set a Budget
Expenses are such a big deal around this time of year that I dedicated an entire post to saving money over Christmas. Check it out here, and learn how to set your budget so money isn’t something you’re worried about.

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Write Lists
It will be no surprise to any of you that I suggest writing a list, but taking some time out to physically put down everything it is you need to do/buy/make/whatever will get all those random thoughts out of your head and help you put plans into action. I have a list for gifts, money, what to do, what to watch, what to bake, the places I need to go and the people I need to see, as well as what I will wear to every Christmas event. Excessive? Sure. But am I stressed? Not at all.

Take Time For Yourself
Again, this one may seem a little arbitrary, but taking a bit of time out for yourself, to put a candle on, chuck a face mask on and watch a Christmas film will definitely help get your priorities in order. Whatever you’re stressing about will fade into the background for at least a moment, and help you get set to tackle it all again.

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Practice Gratitude
Christmas, although a stressful time, is also when you need to be practicing gratitude the most. So many people out there are celebrating Christmas in poverty, hunger or war, and we need to remember our blessings over this time. Although your family may be annoying you, travel may be tiresome and you might not get the exact present you want, remember that everyone is just doing their best and they are all deserving of your love. Tis the season, after all!

Check out my most recent posts; Christmas In AustraliaZoe’s Bookshelf #2!

Zoe x

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Escaping Christmas Stress | Blogmas 2017

Christmas in Australia | Blogmas 2017

Welcome to my 12 days of Blogmas series! Every other day until Christmas I will be posting something festive for you all to enjoy 🙂

Australia has always gotten a fair bit of shit for our Christmasses not being “Christmassy” enough because we live in a hot country over December. I’m sure the same goes for NZ and all the other Southern Hemisphere countries! To be fair, I get where y’all are coming from – Christmas traditions are pretty solidly based around wintertime and snow, and I’ve always wanted to experience a cold Christmas (I have been in NYC during Christmastime, just not actually on the day!). However, just because it isn’t cold down under doesn’t mean we don’t do Christmas well! I’ve always found it interesting to know how other countries do Christmas so I thought I would share what it’s like here! Please let me know in the comments what Christmas is like where you are, I’d love to hear it 🙂

Just a reminder that Australia is a hugely diverse and multicultural country and not many people do Christmas the same way! I also have a split family, so I bounce from Christmas to Christmas, and everyone has different traditions. Bear in mind I’m only speaking from my personal experience!

It’s Fucking Hot

One thing I can attest to is that Aus is extremely hot this time of year. I’m talking minimum 30C every day lol. Our summers are pretty intense and because of this heat a lot of our traditions differ from the North. For one, real Christmas trees aren’t a super big deal (although people do get them) because if you get them near the start of December they die before Christmas Day. A lot of our Christmas celebrations also happen outdoors, because they can! We also tend to eat a lot of seafood on Christmas. Yeah, we still have roast pork etc, but we usually start our Christmas lunches with seafood, and it’s not uncommon for seafood selling trucks to start appearing in the week before Christmas.

Due to the heat, we really don’t do hot cocoa, mulled wine, etc or even Christmas jumpers! I have a cute set of Christmas PJ’s but they’re shorts and boxers – sleeping in a onesie (or even wearing a Christmas hat on Christmas day tbh) just sounds like the worst idea ever haha

 

Festivity

This is the point that a lot of people think we do poorly, but I actually think we are quite festive in our own, chilled way. A lot of houses in the suburbs will go to town with the Christmas lights, and it’s quite nice to go on a warm summer’s evening drive to check out all the lights. We also excel at Christmas markets and have a heap of public Christmas carol nights to celebrate with family and kids.

Christmas Day

As I said before, we tend to spend a lot of Christmas Days outside, and I know my family plays games like boche and todem tennis and darts, drinking rose and beers till the early hours of the morning. It’s also an effort to eat such a filling meal in the heat, so we like to make our lunches last as long as we can!

Boxing Day

The day after Christmas is huge for sales and also for cricket and hangovers. Although I don’t really follow cricket, you’ll probably find me on boxing day completely hungover, under a fan, eating leftovers and absent-mindedly watching the cricket lol.

We Get More Holidays Than You

We start our school year at the end of January and finish in December, so we get long holidays over Christmas and the summer! This means we get a heap of end of year Christmas parties which are double the fun!

Presents

I think this differs from family to family, but we don’t really do the stockings on the fireplace thing. I know for one that my family has always done a Santa sack that you leave at the end of your bed which Santa fills overnight, and then in the morning we do a family breakfast around the tree where we open presents from each other. I always really liked this, as you get presents from your family as well as from Santa, which taught me gratitude as a kid!

Photo sourced from sydney.com 

I hope you found this interesting! Let me know all about your Christmasses 🙂

Check out my most recent posts; November Favourites & Zoe’s Bookshelf #2!

Zoe x

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Christmas in Australia | Blogmas 2017

Christmas Apartment Tour | Blogmas 2017

Welcome to my 12 days of Blogmas series! Every other day until Christmas I will be posting something festive for you all to enjoy 🙂

Today I’m taking you through my apartment and showing you how I’ve decorated it for Christmas! Everything that I can I’ll link for you.

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I’ve never had Festive Bedding before, so I’m super excited I found this adorable set on eBay!

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On my bed frame, I usually have my little Happy figure (from the anime Fairytail), and I gave him a little Gingerbread man friend, who was from Kmart last year.

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My tree is from Big W (Sparkle Pine), lights are from a Christmas Warehouse and the copper ones are from Target. Most decorations are from Kmart, Woolworths & Bed, Bath & Table.

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On my desk I have this super cute snow globe that I got from Kmart last year. I also keep my festive cookie hand sanitiser here too from Bath & Bodyworks.

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Next to my diffuser and salt lamp I put this cute mini snow globe that was an advent gift a few years ago.

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On one of my bookshelves I put this little reindeer toy that I got years ago as a gift.

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Near my sunglasses collection on my dining table, I added this little wooden tree that has a built in song box. It’s from Morgan & Finch.

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On my kitchen counter, I put this sparkly white Christmas tree near my knife block – it’s from Bed, Bath & Table.

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I’m always reading a Christmas book in December, and this one was a gift from my friend. I also always have my merry cookie hand cream here too, and usually my merry cookie candle – both from Bath & Bodyworks!

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Strung up over my balcony I have these solar powered fairy lights that are actually warm toned despite looking cool here! I love falling asleep looking at these.

What do you think of my decorations?

Check out my most recent Blogmas posts; Saving Money over ChristmasFestive Bucketlist!

Zoe x

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Christmas Apartment Tour | Blogmas 2017

My Apartment Tour!

I’ve been in my apartment for almost nine months, and every time I go to write this post I throw up a bit in my mouth thinking about how clean the whole place has to be before I photograph it. But, I’ve realised that I’m a human being who lives in this place and works in it, so things will never look pinterest-dreamy without three days of intense cleaning and decorating and a professional photoshoot. So, I decided to wholeheartedly FUCK THAT, and photograph it as is to show you guys! It’s not super clean, it’s not expensive or #goals or anything, it’s just a nice, cute apartment for a 21 year old girl where everything is affordable and (in my opinion) cozy and stylish. I hope this post helps you with a bit of inspo, and helps you to remember that pinterest and whatever are fragments of life – they aren’t real. I hope you enjoy!

When you first walk into my apartment, this is what you see. The door on the left leads to the bathroom, the one on the right is the laundry cupboard, and then down the hallway is the kitchen on the right and lounge room on the left, with the dining tucked against the wall. Through the door is my bedroom with study nook, and to the left of that is my balcony, which opens into the study and living room. It’s super light and quite big for one person, and I’m just in love!

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Living Room

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Couch, TV: 2nd hand from family
Fairy Lights: Kmart
Salt Lamp: gift
Clock: boutique
Dark Bookcase & TV unit: Fantastic Furniture
‘Reserved’ Cushion: Kmart, Other Cushions are thrifted
Light Bookcase & Coffee Table: IKEA
Diffuser: kmart
Frames: IKEA
Hanging Shelf: Kmart

Dining

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Table: 2nd hand from family
Plant: gift (Aloe Vera)
Pot: Target
Sunglasses: My Sunglasses Collection
Quote holder: Kikki K

Kitchen

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Kettle, Toaster, chopping boards: Kmart
Rug: boutique

Desk & Reading/Beauty Area

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Desk: fantastic furniture
Desk hair (not pictured): officeworks
Lamp: Gift
Storage unit: fantastic furniture
Makeup storage: officeworks (lipstick holders are Miniso)

Bedroom

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Bed, bedside tables, bedding: IKEA
Fairy Lights: Kmart
Lamp: The Reject Shop
Plant: Kmart
Dreamcatcher: gift
Framed quote: Kmart
Mirror: gift
Curtain lights: gift
Tapestry: bought in India

Wardrobe

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Canvas torage pots: reject shop

Bathroom

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Balcony

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Outdoor setting: Barbara’s Storehouse
Plants & Succulents: gifts

If you have any questions about where anything is from that I haven’t listed, please ask away!

Zoe x

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My Apartment Tour!

Creating Your Dream Life

If you read one of my most recent posts – Life Update –  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, 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 not realise 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.

Visualise 

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 then visualise yourself living that life, 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 BooksLife UpdateAugust Faves. 

Zoe x

Zoe x

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Sunday Routine

Declutter My Notebooks With Me!

I don’t know about you, but I for one am a H O A R D E R of notebooks. For some unknown reason, I’m obsessed with stationery and just end up with way too much stuff. On my journey to decluttering (I don’t want to say minimalism, I’m wayyy off that lol), I decided (finally) it was time to part with some of my notebooks. I was keeping them in this shelf next to my desk, which can be used way better, so – let’s declutter!

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I started by pulling all the notebooks out… you can see just how ridiculous my collection is! Remember, on top of this I also have my bullet journal, a book for random notes, a book for scrap paper and a diary…

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I then sorted these books into definitely keeping, definitely getting rid of and maybe piles. I find this is the easiest way to do any sort of decluttering, as you can just continuously sift through the maybe pile until it doesn’t exist anymore.

In my keep pile, I have my travel journal from Hong Kong and South East Asia last year, that I moved to my bookshelf with all my other travel journals. The stripey book is my recipe book, which needs to go to the kitchen. The bottom book with the peacocks in it is the book I jot all my ideas for birthdays and Christmas presents & cards into, the little blue book is my gratitude journal which should be by my bed, and the yellow one is my old ideas notebook for writing that I’ll keep, but it should probably be in my bookshelf or in storage, as I don’t use it anymore.

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The definitely getting rid of books were these; the green and black are used up, the blue geometric was my old journal, and the one on top was from my final year of school that I kept for tutoring kids, but everything in it is online. Time to go!

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These notebooks are so beautiful and I live for them, I just never know what to put inside! I’m definitely keeping them, but if anyone has any ideas on what to use them for let me know! I like keeping the darker brown one in my bag as a little ideas notebook, but I like using my bullet journal as a place for that kind of thing… Either way, they are staying.

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The other black book and the Newt Scamander journal I don’t know what to put into either. I’m definitely keeping them, and might have to bring them into work. I just need to figure out what I’m going to do with them! I think I’m going to make the NS one a dream journal and keep it by my bed, and the black one a sketchbook. We’ll see!

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Here it is after decluttering! And for those who’ll ask about my cars tin… it has important stuff in it and I love it haha.

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I hope this inspired someone to go through and get rid of all those notebooks they don’t need anymore!!

Zoe x

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Declutter My Notebooks With Me!