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!

Conquer Your Creative Projects

As some of you may know, I am a writer by trade. Although I’ve been writing forever, I find that beating the insecurities and procrastination that come with attempting any creative project and actually sitting down and doing the thing is HARD. Sometimes you just don’t feel like it, and we are very good at convincing ourselves we deserve a break. This type of mentality, however, doesn’t get shit done. Although the creative process definitely comes with many hurdles, and the flow of creativity ebbs and flows, we do have the capacity to push through and keep going. If we wait for motivation to find us, we will never get to where we want to go. Creativity and motivation are those strange types of things that once you start, it becomes easier and easier to keep going with good results. Throughout my time writing my novels, I have learnt a few crucial lessons that apply to completing any creative project, and I want to share them with you.

You just have to start. 

You can’t edit a blank page.
This is my absolute motto for writing. If I don’t write anything, I have nothing to edit later. I can spend three hours writing and it can be absolute shit, but at least I’ve got something to work on. I’ve spent weeks on one chapter just to scrap it, and that’s okay! Without starting in the first place, I wouldn’t learn what works and what doesn’t. So, sit your ass down and just start making your thing.

Block out times.

Following on from my first point, block out times to get it done. Fuck waiting for motivation, because you’ll wait forever. I like to set a timer (the forest app is very good for this as it has a little animated tree that you kill by going off task) and just sit down and do it until the timer runs out. I can be really not feeling creative at all, but if I at least write one good line, that’s a line I hadn’t written before.

Don’t fall into miracle traps. 

We always want to get things done faster, better, more efficiently. But, for a creative process, there are no shortcuts. The only way you will get to where you want to go is with complete and utter dedication, hard work and resilience. There are no miracles in this life, and you are responsible for your own success.

Make sure you are always being inspired. 

Although motivation isn’t necessary, creativity is. So, make sure you are always creative, even if you don’t FEEL creative. Take a notebook and pen with you everywhere and write down anything that inspires you. That strange conversation you overheard at your local cafe could make a brilliant artwork one day, so fuel your creativity and overload yourself with ideas.

Don’t ever stop working on your craft. 

Never think you are good enough to stop learning your craft. I read about two books a a week to improve my writing style, vocab and sentence flow. I am constantly consuming movies, tv shows and youtube videos in my genre of work. I am reading articles at least three times a day on relevant things. I am making sure that my writing is never neglected and I practice, practice, practice. You can never be too good at what you do, so never stop improving it.

Surround yourself with all the things. 

For inspiration help, I love to keep a corkboard with a whole heap of random stuff relating to my novels on it. You could have a moodboard, pictures, even a pinterest board, but make sure you are surrounded by things that pertain to your project. You can’t forget about it or pretend you don’t have to do it when it’s looking you dead in the eye.

Use your peers to help you. 

Getting peer feedback from honest friends is a sure fire way to help you figure out your path. I have a select few friends and family that read my work and help me out, as I can get so stuck in my own head that I miss things when I edit myself. There is also nothing as motivating as having a friend say “hey, this is really good!”

Remind yourself why you are doing this. 

Why are you doing this project? Are you bored? Are you working for a school/work/uni project? Are you being paid? Is it a hobby? Are you working towards an end goal? Make sure you know why you are spending your time on this thing every time you lose sight of your motivation. It doesn’t matter even if your answer is something as basic as “I’m bored” because if you don’t do the creative thing, you’ll still be bored. Reasoning is the biggest motivator, so keep in mind the why and the rest will follow.

What are your biggest creative tips?

Check out my most recent posts; Preparing For A Big Event & My Apartment Tour!

Zoe x

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Conquer Your Creative Projects

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!

My Candle Collection

I have always loved candles. There is something so relaxing about striking a match or turning the wheel of a lighter and putting the flame to a wick, then filling your space with a warm, ambient glow and beautiful fragrance. I used to be one of those people who bought $3 candles from the dollar store and collect millions of them, but I have come to understand the scents I truly love and now stick to buying a select few good quality candles. I hope you enjoy my collection as much as I have enjoyed collecting it!

Sweet, Vanilla Scents
-Merry Cookie (Bath & Bodyworks)
-Vanilla Bean (Bath & Bodyworks)
-Vanilla Snowflake (Bath & Bodyworks)
-Warm Apple Pie – Mini (Bath & Bodyworks)
Merry Cookie – Mini (Bath & Bodyworks)

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Floral Scents
-Honolulu (Dusk) – Franjipani Scented
-Fresh Cut Lilac (Bath & Bodyworks)

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Fresh Scents
-Light My Fire (Typo)
-Dusk Candle (unnamed, smells exactly like the Typo one)
-Relaxation (Dusk)

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Musky Scents
-Manhattan – Little Black Dress (Glasshouse)

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I keep all my candles in my bedside table shelf, so they don’t get too hot.

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What’s your favourite candle scent?

Check out my recent posts; September Favourites & October Bullet Journal

Zoe x

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My Candle Collection

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 🙂

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

How To: Drink More Water

Water is essential for us, but what’s the bet you’re not drinking enough? I know I definitely don’t, but I try to as hard as I can. For a couple of months now, I’ve been consistently hitting my goal of 2L / per day (excluding teas, etc) and so, coming from someone who was lucky to drink a glass a day, I thought I would impart my (not so great) wisdom onto you all. We all know the benefits of more water; more energy, better skin, overall health, etc etc, so this is an important one! Enjoy!

Water Bottles
Considering the hype about health, there are always new water bottle fashions. Voss was one, then we all had to have that flat A5 water bottle, then a metal eco bottle…
Get a water bottle that you like. I know I never promote buying something as a good way to start a habit you’d like to make consistent, but this one does work. I have a couple of different water bottles that I use, but I always make sure I know EXACTLY how much water they hold so I can track how much I’m drinking. I mainly use a cheap plastic water bottle that’s 1L from the supermarket, and keep refilling it until it falls apart. I aim to get through two of these a day.

Task Measure
Drink every time you have a task – every time you check your phone, open an email/text, a new scene plays on TV, you watch a new youtube video – whatever. Even set it as on the hour every hour, you have to take a drink. This can be a sip or more, but set that habit for yourself to just keep going. This is what builds the habit.

Apps/Trackers
If you need to, use apps on your phone to track how much water you’re drinking. I tend to remember (two of the same bottle is pretty easy) and mark off in my bullet journal at the end of the day if I reached my goal or not, and at work I used to make little check boxes for each 500mL bottle I went through. There are heaps of ways to track water intake, just go through them till you find the one that works for you.

Flavouring
If you hate the taste of water, flavour it with fruits or even cordial if you must. Just get it into you, and figure the logistics of it out later. Flavoured water is better than none at all.

Challenge Yourself
It might be useful to challenge yourself if you’re competitive (or even a friend), by doing a week or two where you have to drink a certain amount of water per day. Challenging/games are very effective tools! Treat yourself at the end of it to a brand new water bottle, or maybe just an ice cream.

Deadlines

Give yourself deadlines – for example, if you’re really struggling, try to get down 500mL in half an hour. We manage to get water down before some types of ultrasounds, blood tests, etc, so it’s possible. Use that.

I hope this helped!

Zoe x

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How To: Drink More Water

Sort Your Shit Out

Sometimes, everything is going fucking wrong. So we’re going to get it fucking right.
Disclaimer: I’m no professional on any of these topics. Take my words with a grain of salt as always.

Make A Fucking List
Okay, is it really a ZoeNina blog post if I don’t mention making a list?? Make a list of all the things that need to be sorted in your life and start sorting them.
“Oh Zoe,” you whine. “That’s easier said than done!” To that, my response is no, it isn’t. Write the list, set yourself a deadline and sort it. You can spend your whole life waiting for motivation to kick in to fix things or you can just fucking do it NOW. The choice is yours. Ask yourself the following questions in regards to what is getting you down:

  • Is It Money?
  • Is It Your Skin?
  • Is It Your Hair?
  • Is It Your Body?
  • Is It Your Confidence?
  • Are You Lonely?
  • Are You Struggling At School?
  • Is Your Space A Mess?

Answered yes to any of the above? Welcome to the club! Now, let’s take a moment to cry about it, then get it damn sorted.

  •  Money: there are heaps of different ways you can make some extra money. Check out my post on ways to make more money, pick one or two and do it. Also, don’t let anyone tell you working at a fast food joint or working retail or whatever is bad. Do what needs to be done and fuck the rest.
  • Skin: skin problems get me down the most out of this list. Vain? Sure. But who cares? It;s the part of your body that everyone sees and you want it to be presentable. My advice is to go to a doctor or a dermatologist and get them to look at your skin. They can usually tell if your issues are caused by diet, hormones or lifestyle, and either give you tips, give you some medication or refer you on to get it fixed. Stop putting it off! Remember – in countries like Australia, you can visit any bulk billed GP for this and not pay a cent.
  • Hair: go to a cheap hairdresser and ask them what’s wrong with your hair. Don’t try to diagnose it yourself. Get the hairdresser to give you a cut and they’ll usually tell you if it’s dry/damaged/whatever. Use coconut oil on your hair, brush it regularly and look after it. See the difference.
  • Body: Exercise, stopping exercise, eating right, having a cheat meal… there is no one way you can start feeling better about your body. What you need to do is listen to it. If it’s tired, rest. If you feel sluggish and gross, go for a walk in the sun. Make sure you’re drinking your 8 glasses of water, getting your vegetables in and power on. Never expect to look like an Instagram fitness model, just try and be the healthiest, most glowy and happy version of you.
  • Confidence: Do something that scares you. Practice speaking/walking/posing/whatever in the mirror. Message a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while and watch as they say they’ve missed you. Watch a youtube video on confidence. Listen to inspiring podcasts. Not everyone is born confident, but everyone is born with the ability to fake it. Even if you never really feel confident, does it matter if everyone thinks you are? Isn’t that the point?
  • Lonely: Loneliness is a tricky one, especially if you deal with demons in your mind that tell you you aren’t good enough to have people around you. Of course, it would be great if I could say ‘go out and meet people!’ and you just have a million friends, but that’s not how I deal with it. I treat loneliness as a reminder that I need to be comfortable with my own company first. I read a book, do a face mask, go for a long walk in the sun and watch a movie. Then, and only then, do I reach out to people, asking for a chat or catch up. Sometimes you are lonely because you are lacking in want for yourself, not others.
  • School: You don’t have to be born smart to do well in school. For one, school doesn’t matter in the long run anyway, but I get you may be bowing to pressures put on your by yourself or others. My advice is to just keep reading and learning. Do extra stuff that you like to do. Use Khan Academy for online help with maths & science, maybe get a tutor or older friend to assist you with English. Use Duolingo for languages. Ask a teacher if they are free in their lunch break or for half an hour after school to go over things with you. Force yourself to love what you learn and see tests as an opportunity to show off that love.
  • Mess: Put on some tunes, clear half an hour out of your schedule and just get it done. Don’t focus on how much you hate it, focus on how good it will feel after when everything is organised, neat, clean and you can light a candle on a clear surface.

 

I want to leave you with this video that changed my life. It’s all about time and its use, and it really puts things into perspective.

Zoe x

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Sort Your Shit Out