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

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

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

My Favourite Books

I am a HUGE bookworm. Anyone who knows me will tell you that straight away. I absolutely adore reading. To me, nothing quite comes close to losing yourself in a completely different reality that is personal to you. No one quite reads things the same way – we all project our own lives onto the characters and the plot and that makes every single line unique to you. And I fucking love it.

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Therefore, I thought it would be fun to share my absolute favourite books. I love so many that this list was hard to choose, but I think I’ve got a good selection here! It’s also worth noting that I love series too – like Harry Potter, PJ, Hannibal/Silence of the Lambs, TMI/TID, etc, but these are the single books I can read over and over again. Let me know what you think!

Stardust – Neil Gaiman
Fairytale style book, beautifully written (I love Neil Gaiman), young love and magic, fantasy, set in medieval times.

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Reader’s Digest – The World’s Best Fairy Tales
A HUGE book dedicated to original Fairy Tales. My favourite book in the world – as you can see from the state of the book! Multicultural fairy tales and includes all the classics.

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The Mosquito Coast – Paul Theroux
Told from the perspective of a young boy, he follows his somewhat insane dad who thinks America is a sham and ships his family into the South American coast to escape the apocalypse he thinks is happening. A bit ‘Lord of The Flies’-y, but not too much. One of my all time faves.

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The Magic Faraway Tree – Enid Blyton
And we’re back to fairy tales, lol. I love all of Blyton’s work but there’s something so magical about this story that I keep coming back. Set in early 1900’s England, three siblings and their cousin have an array of magical adventures in a local magical forest. Super sweet.

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Brave New World – Adolus Huxley
Dystopian future setting where children are genetically created to fit into social classes and life is governed by very Freudian principals. Give me anything dystopian and I will drink it up, but this is one of the classics.

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The Little Book of Hygge – Meik Wiking
All about hygge (hoo-gah), the principal of cosiness. There is something so warming about this book, I tend to re-read a chapter a week or so.

IMG_2562.JPGNineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell
Not sure if this even needs an introduction, but 1984 is one of my absolute favourites, definitely my favourite in the dystopian genre (sensing a theme?). Set in a futuristic England, the protagonist struggles with the extent to which he is being controlled. 10/10 book, definitely worth its popularity. 

Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
Again, a classic that probably doesn’t need a caption, but one of my top picks. This follows the paedophile protagonist who has a relationship with a young girl – Lolita. Sounds fucked up (it is), but it is so stunningly written and the plot is so complex it is well worth it if you are a literature fan.

Note – Yes, I forgot to photograph these in the group book shots. Whoops.

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The Song of Troy – Colleen McCullough
This is one of my faves for my mythology side. This retells the story of Troy from multiple sides and with breathtaking form. I found this book for the first time in a 2nd hand book sale, and as soon as I started reading it I was competently hooked.

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Maus – Art Spiegleman
Graphic novel re-telling the Holocaust in the form of cat v mouse. Incredibly powerful and very confronting, but definitely a one-of-a-kind book that deserves all the praise it gets. Incredible story.

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The Road – Cormac McCarthy
Oh, another dystopian book? Who could have guessed! This is a futuristic, desolate world setting, where the few survivors either find food or eat each other. It follows a father and his young boy traversing a burnt America to find the ocean where things will be better. It is a very quiet book (if you’ve read it, you’ll know what I mean by this), and definitely makes you feel all the emotions.

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Seven Ancient Wonders – Matthew Reilly
Matthew Reilly is one of my favourite authors ever, as he writes a hell of a story. This book (and its subsequent series) are my favourites of his, taking you on a fast-paced action adventure, laced with history and mythology. For a nerd like me, that earns a solic 10/10.

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What are your favourite books?

Check out my previous posts (they will open in a new window): Life UpdateAugust FavesSeptember Bullet Journal.

Zoe x

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My Favourite Books

How To: Pick The Right Job For You

If you read my latest post, my life update, you’ll know that I recently called it quits with my full time job in PR. This is not to say I’ll never work in PR again, but I’m definitely giving it a rest for a while. While at that job, I learnt so much about the industry, full time working life, and myself.

I graduated from a very prestigious Australian university with a degree in Media (PR & Advertising majors), and worked hard to find a job after uni. Unfortunately, I didn’t really know what I wanted or needed out of a job, and took the first one that presented itself. Although I’m very grateful for being able to work for so long in the industry I had studied in, adjusting to the job was tough and ultimately, wasn’t for me.

I thought I would share my tips that I have discovered throughout my experience to help you pick a job that suits you and what you need and want out of life.

Write A List

None of my advice would be truly mine if it didn’t start with writing a list. Pen to paper, fingers to smartphone, letters to word doc, who cares, just write a long, long list of everything you love in life. There’ll be a lot of little things, but write them all out, then rank them. You’ll start to see a pattern and prioritise what is most important to you. Is it free time? Being outside? Using your creativity? Being around people? Is it most important that you earn enough money to do the things you love? Write it all down, and you will start to realise what type of job will make you happy. If you are a person who loves and thrives on being outside and having lots of free time, I’d wager that you’d struggle in a 9-5 desk job + overtime. Think about this before committing.

Online Personality Tests / Work Tests

There are tonnes of resources online that can help you figure out what values are important to you – e.g. Meyers Briggs Personality Tests, etc. There are also tests that can help match you to a career path or type of work. Do as many tests as possible and compare the results to the job you’re applying for. Do they match? If not, I’m not saying don’t apply, but maybe think a bit harder about the job and if it’s really what you want.

Ask for Advice

Ask relatives, career guidance people, teachers, friends, anyone. Ask people if they think such and such job is right for you. Ask people who will tell you what you want to hear and people who will tell you the harsh truth. Listen to them all, then compare what they say with what you think.

Ikigai

I love this principle of finding your life’s purpose. Use this diagram to analyse what it is you are and figure out what it is you need to be based on that. I love this ancient Japanese principal and think it is definitely worth a go.

 

Finding Your Ikigai Workshop: What do you wake up for?
This image can be bought from The Paper Seahorse, I found it on Pinterest and thought it was beautiful!  – https://au.pinterest.com/paperseahorse/

 

My main piece of advice is easier said than done; don’t worry too much. There is nothing wrong with choosing and unconventional career path or doing things out of the natural order. Work these days fluctuates incredibly fast and traditional jobs are becoming less and less.

Things tend to fall into place. Put in the hard work and find out for yourself.

Check out my previous posts (they will open in a new window): Life Update, August Faves, September Bullet Journal.

Zoe x

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How To: Pick The Right Job For You

Life Update | How I’m Feeling Right Now

My mind wanders a lot these days.

I have just left a job I thought I would be happy in but here I am, having given up after 9 months. I have left that full-time work to go back to tutoring – I have been doing this for almost 4 years and I am truly satisfied in it. I’m not sure when I will start looking for more work, or if I ever even want to go back into full-time, office life. All I really want to do it write my books, stare at the stars, bathe in the sunshine and learn life’s intricacies.

I’m 21. I thought I’d have it more figured out by now. Everyone always said to me that you start to really find yourself in your twenties. I thought it was bullshit. But you really do wake up one day, filled with existentialist dread and just say to yourself fuck, is this really what I want my life to be like? Do I want to spend ten hours a day in a chair doing spreadsheets because that’s what society dictates is a ‘good’ way to make money? Where are my friends? Where is the love and light in my life?

This is the first time in my life I’m not going according to the plan. You know The Plan, the one we all have in our minds since we were children. Mine went something like this: graduate high school with good marks, get into uni, graduate, find a job, get married, have kids, publish a book and make that my living. Although bits and pieces of that plan have happened or are in the works, I can’t shake the feeling that I have failed. I did everything up until ‘find a job’, then when that hasn’t worked out, I don’t really know what to do.

I don’t really know the purpose of this post. I just wanted to put it out there that it’s okay not to feel okay. It’s okay not to have it figured out. My life update is that there is no real ‘update’, life just grows and changes and shrinks and kicks you up the ass sometimes but that’s what makes it worth living. My update is that I will be here, tapping words out and editing pictures for this blog throughout every feeling and emotion. My update is that despite anything, this is where I will be. Three times a week. For you.

This is a lot more personal and raw than I tend to get on here – let me know if you’d like more of stuff like this. Love to you all ❤

 

Check out my last two posts (they will open in a new window):
August Faves & September Bullet Journal Layout

Zoe x

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Life Update | How I’m Feeling Right Now

Makeup For Bad Skin Days

When we have days where our skin isn’t looking the best, it can be so easy to want to load on the foundation and hide away from the world. Doing this, however, tends to worsen the breakouts and prolong their life span. Also, the last thing you want when you’ve got spots is to spend an hour looking at yourself in the mirror. So, I’ve developed a fast makeup routine for my bad skin days that makes me feel more confident but also helps my skin breathe a bit. It’s very simple, and all it does is even my face out a bit and help my confidence. I’m not trying to cover anything up, as spots are normal and if anyone thinks otherwise, they’re not living in the real world.

So, let’s get started!

After applying my usual skincare (updated skincare routine coming soon!), I use a combination of primers. One is the Elf blemish control primer to help my skin recover, but I will also use a pore filling primer to help even out the bumpiness of my skin.

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Products Used:
-Maybelline Baby Skin Pore Eraser
-Elf Blemish Control Face Primer
-Chi Chi Super CC Cream
-Smashbox HD Concealer in Fair
-Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in Light
-Maybelline Green Concealer Stick
-Tarte Amazonian Clay Pressed powder
-Benefit Hoola Bronzer
-The Balm Hot Mama Blush
-ABH Brow Pencil in Medium Brown
-Chi Chi Eyeliner in Bronze Ambition
-Two Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

Because I like to let my skin breathe, I use a CC cream, then concealer. If my breakouts are really bad I’ll use a green concealer first, but I’ll just dab a bit onto the back of my hand then press it onto the spot with my finger. I don’t go too heavy as you can see, I don’t really mind that you can still see I’ve got spots – everyone gets them. All I’m doing here is trying to make them appear a bit more calm while also helping them heal on their own.

I like to use a good quality powder on days like these that’s quite finely milled, as it sits nicer and makes all that concealer last longer. For bronzer, I will only use a matte as to not emphasise any texture, and for blush I like one with a sheen to it so I don’t have to apply highlighter for the same reason.

I’ll then fill in my eyebrows, throw some eyeliner in my tightline and load on the mascara – nothing fancy, just a basic look. I choose to have nothing on my lips except lip balm for two reasons:
a) I never really wear lipstick anyway
b) a lot of my breakouts are hormonal on my chin, so I don’t want anything near them to aggravate them. You can’t really tell in the images, but I have a split lip as well, so lipstick wouldn’t have worked even if my skin was clear!

Here you can see the before and after’s for yourself – there’s nothing fancy going on here, no heavy coverage or cake face. All I want to do when I’ve got some spots is not wear makeup and cover my face in spot cream, but I’ve got to go to work and therefore look somewhat presentable. So, unless I have a huge event on, I’ll stick to my theme of letting my skin breathe, while also eating well and drinking a lot of water.

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Don’t forget your hair can also play an important part. Although it might be scary to tie your hair up when your skin is looking bad (we tend to hide behind our hair), if it isn’t the cleanest you might want to consider doing so to not antagonize your skin! Luckily in these photos I’d washed my hair the night before, so I was fine to leave it down – but it’s definitely something to consider!

*Disclaimer: I know that my skin isn’t the worst out there! I am lucky with relatively clear skin and I work hard at eating right, drinking enough water and using a good skincare routine to keep it that way. However, I still get the odd period where my skin says ‘fuck that’ and decides to ruin it all for me, and this is how I cope with it. Not trying to say you need to cover up any imperfections or that my skin is the worst there is*

What do you do when your skin decides to be ~problematic~?

Zoe x

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Makeup For Bad Skin Days