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

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: 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

Ten Ways To Spend Your Time

I am currently on university holidays (for the last time, I might add) and I cannot STAND it. There’s something about having such a vast span of blank time that makes me anxious. I can have a couple of days where I don’t get out of bed till late and just watch TV all day, but that’s my limit. I HAVE to have something to do each day, or I feel unproductive and lifeless. So, I have compiled a list of things to do when you’re bored/when you have free time/things you might want to consider doing anyway. This is not including work or school, simply the rest of your day. I hope someone finds this helpful!

  1. Be Creative

I love to write, to sketch and paint (although I’m awful at art) to help release some of those creative urges that get sucked away from you during the school semester. There is something so therapeutic about sitting and tapping away some fantastical story on your laptop, or spending an afternoon in the sun painting. You could also make music, films or try your hand at photography.

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2. Read

No matter what you like to read, anything new will bring you something you didn’t have before. Indulging in some crappy romance or absorbing yourself in ancient history books will always leave you thinking in a way you weren’t when you started.

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3. Film & TV

Films, TV and documentaries are so important when it comes to shaping who we are as people, so having the time to binge on things that interest us will always leave us much, much happier and inspired than we were when we started. My favourites have recently been Peaky Blinders and Mad Men.

4. Cleaning

This sounds mundane, but the sheer calm I feel after cleaning my flat is worth every bit of hard work. Lighting some candles after, arranging some flowers and arranging your decor helps you to feel more relaxed and organised. I take school holidays as a perfect time to do this, as when you get back into routine, everything will feel much more under control if your space is tidy. I’m going to do a whole blog post on deep cleaning πŸ™‚

5. Follow up on your work

If you’re at school, university or at work, there is always something you can do to improve your performance. Breaks are important too, that is obvious, but if you find that you can fit in some extra reading, early work or classes related to your studies and interests, when you return to your daily life you will be surprised how much easier it will become.

6. Bake Something

I am a firm believer that baking and cooking are good for the soul. Anything to do with your hands really helps your mind stay focused and active, and you get to eat the treats after.

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7. Spend time with loved ones

This sounds obvious, but it can become too easy to forget to see those who mean a lot to you. Rekindling old friendships, making new ones, or simply revisiting those constant people in your life that make you smile will always fill you with joy and purpose.

8. Get Outdoors

I am one of those people who will quite happily stand inside all day. However, I notice I feel much calmer when I take half an hour to walk around my block (and catch some Pokemon) or simply sitting outside with a cup of tea. Fresh air does wonders.

9. Get Nostalgic

Go through all your old books, toys and movies. Revisit what it was like to be you 20, 15, 10 or even 5 years ago. Appreciate how much you have changed and laugh at all your stupid choices. A look back can bring new things to the future.

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10. Learn a Skill

Following on from earlier, there is always something you can do to improve. However, this doesn’t necessarily need to be work related. Learning a language, a skill like calligraphy or sketching, becoming decent at taking photos, whatever it may be, will help you feel more successful. Set yourself a reasonable goal and work toward it.

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Zoe x

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Ten Ways To Spend Your Time

Everything You Need To Know About University

Starting university is a pretty terrifying time. I feel like the header photo from a uni party does a good job of summing it up; me (right), is smiling even though I have no idea what is going on and I have this look on my face like someone is threatening to shoot me if I don’t act like I know what is happening.

Sounds pretty accurate, if you ask me.

Since I graduate this year (and have to become an official adult… brb crying) I thought I’d share some of my wisdom (I say that sarcastically) as to what the hell university is all about. I wish I had someone explain all this stuff to me before I started!

  1. Tutorials and Lectures.

    Yes, yes, uni is all about parties and societies etc etc… but don’t forget that the REAL reason you’re there is because you want to learn something and eventually get recognition for learning it. This means you need to know about the classes going on, and try not to sleep through your alarm every morning.

    For me, lectures are usually optional, and to be completely honest it’s rare that I go, because I can catch up online. That said, I do find I perform way better in assessments if I go to the lecture and take good notes.

    Tutorials are like school classes, and compulsory. Again, taking good notes helps a lot, and I find that summing up the class at the end in a sentence or two and highlighting it helps me revise a lot quicker when it comes to finals.

    I recommend a 4/5 subject notebook that you can take with you to every lecture and tutorial, saving the need to carry more than you have to.

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  2. Assessments suck.

    Uni is mainly assessments, sorry to break it to you. You HAVE to look at the weighting as soon as you get the assessment, to know how much time to spend on it. UTILISE YOUR PLANNING SKILLS. Trust me, doing a 60% the night before will only ever lead to you having to repeat the course when you fail it.

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    Also, learn how to reference properly depending on what your uni asks for. This is usually worth >10% of the assessment. Remember that most unis offer extra writing and referencing support if you can’t get the hang of it.

  3. Yes, there are parties. Lots of parties.

    Uni is very much a social experience, so definitely get involved where you can. At my uni, there are tonnes of different societies to join, from cultural ones, to Quidditch and Game of Thrones. Get involved, go to the uni parties, and make sure you enjoy it all. Trust me, when the real responsibility of finding a job comes around, you’ll regret it if you didn’t spend your young years living it up.

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  4. A degree will get you nowhere.

    I know, this is not what you want to hear. But it’s so. Damn. True. A degree alone shows you have no experience, and honestly the things you learn in uni are not super applicable to real life. You aren’t going to be asked to do something, and have to refer back to some reading you did in the middle of Semester one, are you? No. So, use your contacts, your parent’s contacts, and every other bit of help you can to get internships. Doing a few of these in your (stupidly long) holidays will look fantastic on your resume and put you miles ahead of the majority of graduates when the times finally comes to throw the cap.

  5. Textbooks and readers are stupidly expensive.

    This is fairly well known. If you can, buy a reader off a friend in a higher year for cheap, and rent your textbooks off places like Jekkle, or buy them second hand. You’d much rather be missing one reading and have spend $20 on your book then be out of pocket $200 for no reason. Also, if you really can’t afford the textbooks, borrow them for a few hours in the library and photocopy, scan, or take photos of the pages. This has saved me from buying literally tens of textbooks.

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  6. You’re going to have to do your readings.

    I know, you can convince yourself that you don’t really need to read this, and that it’s all just bullshit. But, we both know that the time you skip a reading is when a question regarding it is in the final. Just do the readings, you end up on top of things and don’t feel like you’re being set on fire.

  7. Don’t wear heels, and don’t use a handbag.

    Backpack and sneakers. That’s the life motto. When your campus is kilometres big, and has some killer stairs, you’ll know why. Carrying a heavy laptop and textbooks on one shoulder whilst teetering around in stilettos is not going to help you.

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    I hope this helped at least one person out there! Love you guys,

Zoe x

Everything You Need To Know About University