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 enjoyย ๐Ÿ™‚

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 Australia &ย Zoeโ€™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 enjoyย ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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.comย 

I hope you found this interesting! Let me know all about your Christmasses ๐Ÿ™‚

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

Zoe x

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Christmas in Australia | Blogmas 2017

November Favourites | 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 enjoyย ๐Ÿ™‚

Today isn’t Christmas themed, but you all know I can’t go a month without my favourites! Here is what I’ve been obsessed with for November.

Zoella Body Creams & Handcream

I recently picked up Zoella’s new whipped body butters and her new Christmas scent hand cream and love them all. I know she was in hot water with that advent calendar drama, but I do love her and her products.

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Tanya Burr Contour Stick

I’ve been using this religiously this month – just adding a bit and blending it out before I add powder and it gives a very subtle contour. Very creamy, pigmented and easy to blend!

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Miniso Spring Herb Essential Oil

This is a beautiful and fresh essential oil to have going in my diffuser and I’m really enjoying having it on all the time! Miniso do the best essential oils!

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Harry Styles – Harry Styles

I was never really a 1D fangirl, so I was pretty surprised when I realised this month that I’m head over heels in love with Harry Styles lol. His new self-titled album is absolutely amazing and I’m obsessed with the songs Only Angel, Carolina, Kiwi (obviously) and From The Dining Table. He gives off SUCH Mick Jagger vibes, especially when he performed at the VSFS in Shanghai!

Korea

I feel like this is a given, because I’ve done a tonne of posts about it, but my favourite thing about November was that I began it in South Korea! I had the absolute best time, and would 10/10 visit if you have the opportunity!
My Week In South Korea
Korea Haul
Top Tips for Travelling in South Korea

Tanya Burr Selfie Lash Mascara

I was sceptical to try this, but this mascara is really nice! It layers well, separates, lengthens and creates a bit of volume. Truly the perfect everyday mascara!

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Beauty Blender Holder

I grabbed one of these on a whim for $2 at kmart, but it actually makes a world of difference! It keeps my blender damp for longer and nice and fresh, plus means I never get any of the crap floating around in my makeup bag on my blender.

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Peaky Blinders

I’ve loved this show for a couple years now, and the new season has just started – much to my excitement! It hasn’t let me down (unlike other shows *cough* Walking Dead *cough*). So beautifully shot, moves fast, written well and anything with Cillian Murphy in it has me hooked.

Armada – Ernest Cline

I gave this book a full review on my new series Zoe’s Bookshelf so I won’t go into detail here, I just loved this book! Read here if you want more info about it and to hear what I thought.

Check out my most recent posts;ย ย Festive Bucketlistย &ย Zoeโ€™s Bookshelf!

Zoe x

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November Favourites | 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 enjoyย ๐Ÿ™‚

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 onย 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 Christmas &ย Festive Bucketlist!

Zoe x

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Christmas Apartment Tour | Blogmas 2017

Saving Money Over Christmas | 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Today I want to blog about something I know heaps of people (myself included) really struggle with – saving your money over the festive season. It’s such a wonderful but EXPENSIVE time of year, with so many people to buy for, decorations to purchase and a heap of Christmas parties/friend catch-up dinners/drinks with family/etc/etc. There is simply so much to buy that saving your money seems almost impossible, but it CAN be done if you’re smart with where you’re putting that money.

First of all, you have to accept that if you’re celebrating the holidays, you’ll have to spend money. There’s no way around spending, so you kinda have to suck it up and make the most happen with what you have. I hope these tips help – I’m not exactly financially stable and this is what I do!

1.Budget

I mean, this is probably obvious, but I mean REALLY budget. Be super strict with yourself, but reasonable. Spend 5 mins writing out a complete budget that includes everything you would need to spend on for Christmas – everything from food to decorations, travel costs for going home, presents, outings, e v e r y t h i n g. Dedicate how much you’re going to spend total, then divide up what you have into those categories. This is an example diagram of how I like to do it, so I can see what needs to have the most money going into it. If you set yourself a total amount you can spend, juggling it around then becomes easier as you realise what is and what isn’t essential.

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2. Presents

Now comes the most expensive, but most fun part of Christmas – presents! I love a good Xmas gift list, but make sure you are also writing down exactly how much you want to spend on each person and how much each thing is. It doesn’t take a lot for a heap of little gifts to add up! Set a rough guide for how much you want to spend on each person and then think within that budget what you might like to get them. I forgot to photograph it, but make sure you’re also including the costs of wrapping papers and bags, etc, as well as postage costs if you’re ordering online.

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3. Secret Santa

To make the process of gift giving way easier and cheaper, ask to do a secret santa for your group or family. My immediate family has 7 in it, so instead of 7 separate gifts we chose a $40 limit for a joke gift and it’s really taken the stress of the expense out! Joke presents are always fun to buy and you also don’t have as much pressure to get the perfect thing.

4. Blogs

Instead of buyingย  a heap of materialistic things, maybe you can go for a DIY option? Look up gift guides on different blogs and get inspired for cheaper ideas and things you can make yourself. You’ll end up saving so much money!

5. Outfits

I had to really remind myself of this, but you don’t need a new outfit for Xmas parties/drinks/lunches/whatever. I have about 5 different Christmas things to attend this year, and I can’t justify 5 new outfits although I’d love them. Use what do you already own, mix and match outfits or even DIY something! Try new combinations of outfits that you haven’t before and keep it simple and cheap! You may look super hot in a glittery strappy number, but you also will look hot in your classic LBD with a bright red lip – you can accessorise anything to be Christmassy!

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6. Treats

Instead of attempting a 10-layer Christmas fruit cake or something, keep your Christmas treats easy and cheap. Make a batch of rolled sugar cookies (the best recipe for these is here!) in fun Christmas shapes and keep the costs down. Rum balls are also a firm favourite!

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7. Decor

There are so many amazing resources out there for DIY decor – you really don’ need to buy anything! Watch some YouTube vids, work on bigger projects with siblings or cousins and just don’t fork out a heap of money for something that’s only in your house for a month a year. Dollar shops also have a heap of super cheap Xmas decor if you’re really after something new!

8. Don’t be afraid to ask

If you really need a bit of extra help over the festive season to get you through, reach out to a loved one who can support you. You can always pay them back in the new year and it may ease your burden a bit.

 

Check out my most recent posts;ย  Festive Bucketlist &ย Zoe’s Bookshelf!

Zoe x

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Saving Money Over Christmas | Blogmas 2017

Festive Bucketlist | Blogmas 2017

This is the first in my 12 days of Blogmas series! Every other day until Christmas I will be posting something festive for you all to enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

Today I’m kicking things off with a festive themed bucket list! These are all the things I want to do before Christmas and hopefully they’ll get you in a festive mood.

1.Decorate For Christmas

Not gonna lie, I got ahead of myself on this one and can already cross it off. Whoops.

2. Watch Christmas Movies I Haven’t Seen Yet

The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Grinch, Bad Santa, Four Christmasses… I can’t believe I haven’t seen these. I need to get on it!

3. Bake Christmas Cookies

Check out my recipe for the BEST rolled sugar cookies here!

4. See The Christmas Lights At Night

There’s nothing quite like going on a drive around your neighbourhood and seeing all the Christmas lights people have put up, or even having a wander around your city and looking at all the fun things there are up for the festive season!

5. Decide on Wrapping Theme

Last year it was brown paper and string… I don’t know what to do this year but it’s a goal to pick a theme and get everything I need for it!

6. Burn My Bath & Bodyworks Christmas Candles

I have Merry Cookie, Vanilla Snowflake and Vanilla Bean that I am dying to burn for Christmas!

7. Buy a Christmas Outfit for my Dogs

My poor dogs have a couple of Christmas outfits now, and I think it’s only fitting that they get another about now…

8. Listen to all the Pentatonix Christmas albums

Pentatonix do the best Christmas music in my opinion and I can’t wait to spend an hour or two just marathoning their albums!

9. Have A Christmas Movie Night In A Blanket Fort

With my baking, movies and candles, the only thing that could make a Christmas night complete would be a blanket fort! What more could I want?

10. Watch Vlogmas Every Morning

This is a necessity for me every year – I love waking up on December 2nd to all the vlogmas videos! My favourites are (of course) Zoella, Tanya Burr & Alisha Marie.

What’s on your Christmas bucket list?

 

Check out my most recent posts; Zoe’s Bookshelfย &ย Korea Haul!

Zoe x

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Festive Bucketlist | Blogmas 2017

I’m Doing Blogmas!

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know I am absolutely OBSESSED with Christmas! Last year, I did all 25 days of blogmas (search blogmas2016 in my categories to see!), but I also had a lot more free time then haha. This year, to keep up with the Christmas spirit, I’m going to do 12 days of Blogmas!

Every 2nd day, starting from the 1st I will be posting something fun and Christmassy to get you feeling all kinds of festive! I have a few planned, but if there’s anything you’d like to see in particular let me know!

Love you guys, and see you tomorrow for Blogmas Day 1!

Check out my most recent posts; Korea Haul & Top Tips For Travelling in South Korea!

 

Zoe x

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I’m Doing Blogmas!