Evening Routine

My evenings are the time I take for myself. Of course, my evenings aren’t always the same.Β Sometimes I come home straight from a long day at work and crash, sometimes I go to my second job as a school tutor. I hang out with friends, go to dinner, hit up Thursday night shopping or go for a walk.

For the most part, however, I like to use my time to reenergize myself for the day to come, and these are the steps I take to make that happen.

The first things I do when I walk in the door are essential for me; I turn on my salt lamp, play some music through my bluetooth speaker, and take my makeup off. If I’m not working out, I’ll immediately put on some comfy clothes too.

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I’ll then set up my clothes for the following day. I do this every night and it honestly takes the stress out of mornings for me! I grab my workout clothes and do a workout after a doing this and a bit of tidying if my flat needs it. I try and tidy for 15-20 mins a day to make sure it’s always beautiful. Tidy house = tidy mind.

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Weights, resistance bands & shorts, Kmart | Sports bra, Forever21 | yoga mat, Cotton On Body

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After I finish a workout, I’ll eat something. I tend to meal prep or food prep, so this takes me 5 minutes to whip up. I’ll also tend to make a bit extra of whatever I’m having so I can take it to work the next day for lunch. Tonight, I had a salad with chicken, rocket, sweet potato, ricotta, pine nuts, parmesan and balsamic glaze. Sometimes I’ll have a protein shake after a workout, and if I do it’s a LUXE Fitness vanilla shake.

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I’ll take my time eating my dinner to chill out, watch some TV or YouTube, and make sure I’m drinking enough water.

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I’ll then pop into the shower before doing my skincare and brushing my hair. I’ll definitely be doing an updated skincare routine sometime soon!

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After this, I’ll turn off all electronics and read something, or write in my bullet journal. A blog post all about my bullet journal is coming super soon πŸ™‚ I’ll also tend to make a cup of calming tea. This night it was chamomile, in this gorgeous one-cup teapot from T2.

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When I’ve properly chilled out, I’ll brush my teeth and go to bed. Some nights I meditate, some nights I stay up till 1am on my phone even though I said I turned off my electronics… life is about balance, haha.

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Sweet dreams!

Zoe x

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Evening Routine

What To Do On Your Commute

Before I moved back to Sydney, I spent over 4 hours on the train each day getting to and from work. This is a lot of time to spend sitting down, so I needed to find out how to make the best use of the time. After some experimentation, I discovered the best way to not go insane was to make my brain work. Sure, I’d have a nap every now and then (okay, okay, every morning), but I refused to let myself just do nothing or play repetitive games on my phone. I needed to make this time work for me and not be a complete waste, so that when I got home I could do the things I couldn’t do while commuting (exercising, cooking, etc), and not focusing on things that could have been done in the two hours I spent sitting down.

My biggest piece of advice when it comes to commuting is a tablet. I know not everyone has one, and you can do most of these things with other devices and the like, but having a small, lightweight device that houses everything made the journey so much better for me. I have Β Samsung Galaxy Tab A πŸ™‚

Meditate

Meditation isn’t for everyone, but I for one love the challenges of it. Nothing puts you in a better state of mind before work or winds you down after than giving yourself some perspective, gratitude and forcing yourself to be in the moment. I love the app smiling mind for guided meditations; they have a range of meditation activities that are perfect for commuting.

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Blogging

If you’re reading this, you probably have a blog. So get some of it done on your commute! Without internet, you can’t be distracted by “research”, so more time goes into actually writing than perusing pinterest.

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Learn

One of my favourite ways to spend my time – even with my much shorter commute these days – is learning. I use Ted Talks and Podcasts to expand my knowledge and vocabulary, and set myself up in a good head space for the rest of the day.

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Read

A fairly obvious one, but a long commute is a great time to get a chink of reading done. I use the Amazon Kindle bookstore to get my books on my tablet, and occasionally I use audible to listen to audio books in case I’m not feeling reading for whatever reason.

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Watch TV

If all you want to do when you get home from work is veg out to your favourite TV show, why not use your commuting time to get that out of your system? You’re going to be sitting still anyway – make the most of it! I got through a lot of seasons of TWD on my trips – here is a lovely screenshot of when Glenn was still alive #RIP.

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Watch YouTube

In a similar way to TV, I live and breathe chilling out to YouTube videos. So, I got myself YouTube Red so I could save videos offline to watch on the train. Two birds, one stone.

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Get A Start on Your Day

This tends to only apply if you’re a morning commuter, but why not get ahead on your day by starting to sort through your emails while you’ve got time to kill? This obviously is not a relaxing time, but it might help you to feel more organised!

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What are your tips for a successful commute?

 

Zoe x

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What To Do On Your Commute

Meal Prep With Me: Lentil & Veg Stew

I’m such a big fan of meal prepping – they not only save money and time, but they also give you no option to eat like shit. I’m going to be sharing with you my favourite meal prep recipes! They keep well (I do 5x portions at a time for storage) and taste great in my opinion, whilst also being good for you. Bone app the teeth!

Lentil & Veg Stew

Ingredients (as much or as little of whatever you want!)
-sweet potato
-potato
-onion
-red onion
-leek
-garlic
-lentils
-diced tomatoes
-olive oil
-lemon juice
-cumin
-paprika

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Chop up the potatoes and carrots into chunks and steam them until soft.

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Finely chop the leek, onions and garlic, and sautee with olive oil.

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When those are cooked, add the rinsed lentils, tinned tomatoes, spices and a dash of lemon juice and stir through.

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After that, add the steamed vegies!

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Divide up and store! I heat mine up and serve as is, or with some rocket, parsley or maybe some crumbled up feta.

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Zoe x

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Meal Prep With Me: Lentil & Veg Stew

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

How To: Be More Productive

With finals right around the corner and the crazy season of Christmas almost upon us, it is essential we are more productive than ever. I never used to be particularly productive, but I had to teach myself how to be in university. Here are the best tips I’ve learned and absolutely swear by. Hope they help!

-Get Right Into It

This is perhaps my biggest tip of all, and it’s to just get started. I used to sit around, not really doing anything and waiting for motivation to find me. It just doesn’t work like that. When you start, the motivation comes. Taking that first step is the most difficult, but once you do it’s difficult to stop. Getting into this mindset can help with other things too, such as not procrastinating your workouts or drinking that extra bottle of water.

-Turn Off Notifications

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This is absolutely essential to do – I cannot stress this enough. Turning off all notifications gives you anxiety the first time you do it, and studies show this is completely normal. However, after a couple of days you start to not only feel normal again, but better. You are free from all these immense distractions unless you actively choose to be distracted by them. I don’t even have the facebook app on my phone, so the only time I go on is on my computer. You get so much more done of not only work, but things you want to do. How many times have you looked at a book and thought ‘I’ll read that when I’m not so busy’? Well, now you don’t have to be free from business to do the things you love.

-Find Out When You Work Best

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Some people work well in the mornings when everything is quiet and bright, in the middle of the day when they’ve had some food and are getting on a roll, and some in the peace of nighttime and evening. Whatever it is for you, find out and stick to it. Consider this for your working environment too. Make sure this space is always clean and neat and somewhere you like to be, so you are more motivated to just sit yourself down and get cracking on whatever you need.

-Remove Digital Clutter

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On the same wavelength as having a tidy space, make your digital world nice and organised. Clear off your desktop, sort out your photo folders and cut down your bookmarked sites. Having a tidy work space on your computer or tablet can make more of a difference than you may think. We spend so much time on these devices, that they need to be looked after too.

 

Good luck!

 

Zoe x

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How To: Be More Productive

How To: Declutter your Makeup Collection

It is so easy for your makeup to accumulate and turn into a disaster zone. We are so caught up in what bloggers, vloggers and celebrities are buying that we completely lose track of what we already own and what we actually NEED. So, today I’m sharing with you my way of decluttering my makeup. I still have way more than I need, but at least it’s all organised and culled down to things I actually use, in an organised way that I can see what I own. Hope you enjoy!

1# Lay it all out.

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I keep my makeup in a drawer set, so the first step is to take the drawers out and empty them. You’ll soon start to see how much room you’re actually taking up.

2# Be ruthless.

Throw out old stuff, don’t just hold on because you’re sentimental. Have a donate pile ready for friends and family. Move stuff that doesn’t need to be kept with your makeup. Be real about it – you’ll know if you’re keeping something for no reason.

3# Clean it all.

Give everything a good wipe down with a makeup wipe which will freshen everything up more than you’ll realise.

4# Give away.

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I ended up with all this stuff that I just knew I wasn’t going to use again, or that I had duplicates of. I’m going to let my relatives and friends go through it and see if there’s anything they like. If not, they go in the bin.

5# Tidy and organise.

Now everything is clean and cleared out, organise your space in a way that makes it easier for you to get ready, as well as looks the way you want it to look.

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In my top drawer I keep concealer, primer, foundation, powder, palettes, eyeshadow singles and quads, eye stuff, eyebrow stuff and mascara.

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In my second drawer I have my lip products, cheek stuff, lashes and tools, as well as moisturisers and miscellaneous skincare. If you want to see what’s in my collection, check it out through my series!

All of my compartments are plastic tubs from the $2 shop or cut apart boxes/box lids/anything I can find. Really cheap and customisation, would definitely recommend trying this out if you have drawers like me!

I hope you found this helpful, or at least reminded you that you need to get cracking with clearing our your makeup!

Don’t forget to check out my posts over on My Trending Stories, as I share some of my creative pieces and other fun stuff! Your likes and follows over there mean the world. Read up here.

Zoe x

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How To: Declutter your Makeup Collection

How To: Deep Clean Your House – WARDROBE

I have recently had uni holidays and have taken the opportunity to completely deep clean my flat, to hopefully increase my productivity during my next semester and also because it’s just damn therapeutic. I’d like to make this a mini series, so let me know your thoughts!

This is how my wardrobe started out…

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#1

Blast some music, put on your comfy clothes and grab some trash bags, labelled ‘donate’, ‘garbage’ and ‘seasonal’

2#

You don’t have to put your seasonal stuff in the bag, but definitely pack it away out of sight. If you have huge coats and live in Australia, you might want to pack them into a suitcase or box during summer, and vice versa if you have a hoarding of bikinis in Canadian winter.

3#

Be damn ruthless throwing stuff away. If it isn’t your style anymore, it doesn’t fit properly or whatever, just chuck it out. You’ll find something new that will work much better for you. Give all this stuff to friends or charity.

4#

That said, don’t feel like you can’t keep stuff! Keep your sentimental stuff and very fancy clothes (i.e. bridesmaids dresses, etc) in a certain section of your wardrobe in plastic dry cleaner bags to protect them.

By this point, my wardrobe was looking a bit better – I’d moved my jackets to the other side of the wardrobe and cleaned out a heap of stuff, but a few things needed to be done to finish it off.

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5#

Make it clean and organised (i.e. use bins for sneakers and boots and then flats and sandals, makes everything super easy to find). I actually drew a map of sorts to plot out what I wanted, and had measurements to I knew what sized bins I needed in the spaces.

Spray and wipe it all down if you need to, wash clothes that haven’t been washed in a while. Have a good, convenient and organised home for everything and it will start to look great again.

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Voila!

To keep it tidy – hang stuff up the minute it’s been washed and dried in the way you want it to be organised. You want to be able to see everything nice and neatly.

Zoe x

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If anyone wondering, the giant Appa is from eBay πŸ™‚

How To: Deep Clean Your House – WARDROBE