All in lifestyle

Hello 2018

Happy 2018, everyone! Apologies for the slightly belated New Year well wishes; I suppose I've always been fashionably late, but I'm here now and I'm excited to get back into the swing of things. Reflecting back on last year, 2017 was a bit of a nothing year for me and even when I thought I had stepped out of my comfort zone, it felt like it was all for nothing and like I never really got anywhere. But even in my circumstances, I still survived and sometimes in life, that's more than enough. Life definitely does suck on occasion, though I'm thankful I've never been one to dwell on those feelings and in this post, I'll be acknowledging both what I was grateful for in 2017 as well as my little goals for 2018. Like most people, I don't like to set myself resolutions with definitive numbers, but rather small, ongoing intentions to shape me into the best version of myself. To me, that is what self-care is all about and I think being kinder to ourselves can often say a lot more than any grand accomplishment.

Life Lately: December

And just like that, another year is done and dusted. I can never wrap my head around how fast each passing year comes and goes, but I suppose that's just life the older you get. I'm going to reflect back on 2017 and look ahead to 2018 in my first post of the New Year, but for now, we'll keep things focused on the month of December.

My Top 10 Albums of 2017

Music is a big love in my life and truthfully, I'd say even more so than beauty. I have a (mostly) beauty blog because I'm one of those people who's super passionate about all their hobbies and interests, though I don't really do dedicated music posts because it isn't the easiest subject to write about and there are only so many times I can describe my music taste as "'80s-inspired", "synthpop" and "dreamy"! In saying that, I've been putting together my Top 10 Albums posts since 2015 and I've come to really love the challenge of writing about topics other than beauty. 2017 was an incredible year in music; two of my all-time favourite bands released stellar albums, I went to some really fun gigs, I got my first record player and where 2016's releases didn't live up to my expectations, I ended up discovering all of last year's great music this year. My favourite beauty products of the year will follow suit soon, but for now, this is the music that has made my heart soar over the last 12 months.

Life Lately: November

November brought about pivotal date in Australian history and to me, it was the most significant thing that happened this month. On the 15th of November, Australia voted yes for same sex marriage and it was indeed a proud moment for this sunburnt country of mine. It's still unbelievable that the Government wasted $122 million for a voluntary survey (voting is otherwise compulsory in Australia) to debate human rights and ask Australians a question we already knew the answer to (there have been polls conducted as to whether it should be legalised), but in a world where bad news is a constant, the result was nevertheless a breath of fresh air. As a perpetually single straight person who feels indifferent towards marriage, my bitter heart is full of love for the LGBTIQA community and when Senator Penny Wong cried, I cried!

Little Things That Make a Big Difference in Blog Writing

Writing was never really my focus when I first began blogging - I just wanted to take pictures and play around in Photoshop - but over the years, it's come to mean just as much to me as the visual components, and my writing process is something I put a lot of heart and soul into. I love that it gets my brain thinking, that it challenges my creativity and I love having a platform to express my thoughts and opinions. When it comes to blogging, there's a huge focus on photography, which is understandable as it's first thing that attracts readers, but I don't think I've ever seen any posts to do with writing and I certainly don't believe pretty pictures are everything in a blog. In my post Little Things That Make a Big Difference in Blog Photography, I shared my perspective on all things visual and afterwards, felt inspired to do the same with writing. Our words are valuable tools to our online platforms and I think they can have equally as much impact as photography.

Life Lately: October

The weather has finally started warming up in Perth and I've been absolutely loving the sunny bright blue skies and eating mangoes everyday for breakfast. Spring and autumn can be such awkward seasons as it's cold one minute and then warm the next, but it's averaging 30 degrees all week this week and I'm so excited! Peonies also come back in season next month and I can't wait to see all the beautiful posies The Little Posy Co. come out with. There really is no time of year that I love more and I'll never understand the hype around autumn/winter in the blogging world. Perhaps it's because I don't live in the Northern Hemisphere and I find they're just such nothing seasons in Australia!

Finding Your Feet as a Blogger

The evolution of blogging is something I've documented numerous times on my blog and as I've reading them and writing my own for a number of years now, it’s a topic I find quite fascinating. What once started out as a bedroom hobby simply for the fun of it has become a full blown professional job, but for myself and many others, the commercialised shift it's taken feels too far removed from what it was in the beginning. Unable to keep up with its magazine-like quality, I've often doubted myself and questioned the point of it all, but the longer I’ve had this little online space of mine, the more self-assured I become and the less I concern myself with what everyone else is doing. A post I'd had in the works for over two months, I was inspired to finally finish it after reading Jess' similar post, On Being a Slow Blogger, and I know I'm not alone in my feelings towards the way blogging has changed. I've learnt a lot over the years, and if you've ever found yourself feeling a little lost or like you no longer fit in like I have, hopefully this post can help you find your feet again.

Life Lately: September

Today is my birthday and I've officially entered the last year of my twenties, which is absolutely terrifying. I know age is just a number and all that, but as I fast approach my thirties now, it's hard not to compare my journey to others and let the expectations of society get to me. Everyone talks about "meant to be" or that "everything happens for a reason", but what is that reason? I've tried so hard leaving my comfort zone and putting myself out there, but I don't know what exactly I have to show for it. I suppose being in your twenties wouldn't be your twenties if everything didn't feel like one confusing mess though, right?

Little Things That Make a Big Difference in Blog Photography

From battling temperamental natural daylight to finding the right composition, blog photography can be frustrating and time consuming work. To me, there's no feeling more rewarding than finally getting that perfect shot and it's been pretty cool to see my skills improve and develop in the six years I've been running this online space of mine. Photography is also arguably the element of blogging that has the most impact; it's the first thing people will notice about your blog and it's the first thing people will be attracted by. After reading Rebecca's blog post, My Photography Process for My Blog & Instagram and discussing with her my own process, it got me thinking about what I've learnt about blog photography over the years. I decided to flesh out these thoughts of mine and this post is the result from what Rebecca inspired. It's not going to teach you anything technical because our unique setups and photography styles means it's not a one-size-fits-all thing, but perhaps by getting to know my perspective on blog photography, you can take a new and inspiring approach to yours.

Life Lately: August

It's the end of August, which means spring is here! I've definitely learnt to appreciate winter more over the last couple of years, but there's something about the heat and the bright blue skies that makes me feel more positive and productive. From the disappointment of job rejections, it's something I really need right now too. I've been feeling pretty down and lost lately, and although it's nerve-racking to share such negative feelings and be this vulnerable with you all, I think it's important to be honest and not gloss over things. I'm not going to dwell on it or sit here and whinge because it'll only get me down even more, but I just want to say that if you're job hunting or just generally having a shit time right now, you're not alone. ♡

How I Plan and Organise My Blog

Ever since childhood, I've always been an organised and meticulous person. I love having everything in its right place and my mum often reminds me that when I was little, she once put my textas away only to find me redoing it myself because they weren't in rainbow order. I even used to go over to my friends' houses after school and tidy up their bedrooms! It's something that's always amused me because I'm the only one in my immediate family who's like this (I'm trying so hard to teach my dad about decluttering!) and now, as an adult, it's carried onto my blogging and digital life. Being the real life Monica Geller that I am, organisation is something that I actually find really fun, so in today's post, I thought I'd give you a peek into how I plan my blog content in my bullet journal, as well as a look into my computer files to show you how I organise and store all my blogging documents. If you're looking to clean up your digital life, hopefully this post can inspire you to finally clear that messy desktop once and for all.

Life Lately: July

Some exciting blog changes happened in the month of July. After using landscape images as my feature photo in my posts for the last six years (wtf, how is my blog so old?), I finally made the switch to portrait. It was something I'd been contemplating since the beginning of the year, but I felt afraid of the change and like I was furthering myself away from the "old school" style of blogging. I started incorporating them into my blog posts back in October of last year and it was definitely hard at first, but the more I kept photographing, the easier it became and I actually prefer shooting this way over landscape now. The height in portrait photos makes the composition so much more interesting, but I'll still be including landscape photos as I enjoy mixing things up in my posts.

Life Lately: June

I've been feeling really grateful for all the incredible people I surround myself with this month. I mean, I never forget that I have amazing family and friends, but moving back home has definitely made me see this more than ever. I'm not going to lie, when I moved back to Perth, I kind of felt like I'd have to reestablish myself in old friendship groups, but even though I've gone months - and in some instances, even years - without seeing some friends, everything has felt so natural and like we've just picked up right where we left off. It's funny how so much can change, yet so little all at the same time. Maintaining friendships gets so much harder as you get older, but I also think the best kind of friendships are the ones where no matter how long you've gone without speaking to or seeing one another, you know they're always there and everything is so effortless. I love catching up with friends and going home feeling so positive and thankful.

My Favourite Coming-of-Age Films

I've always had a soft spot for the coming-of-age film genre. Even now as I fast approach my thirties, there's still something so entertaining and relatable about being stuck in that awkward phase between kid and adult (do we even ever truly leave it?), as well as those life-changing moments and rite-of-passage experiences that define our formative years. From childhood summers spent with friends, high school crushes and conflict with parents, here are ten of my favourite movies about the trials and tribulations of growing up.

How My Relationship with Beauty Has Changed

It was 2009 when I first stumbled into the world of beauty blogging. Right from the get-go, I was completely enamoured by it all and naturally, a lot has changed in the eight years I've been a part of the beauty blogosphere. From a bedroom hobby of mine since 2011, a full-time job for others and to a huge advertising platform for brands, it's evolved beyond belief. Having spent my twenties growing up here, I've seen my relationship with beauty go through its own significant change over the years too, and as I leave the days of impulse shopping and frivolous spending behind me, never has my relationship with beauty been better.