It’s always good to be looking for ways to improve your blog, but sometimes a high amount of comparison can make you feel like your blog is invalid, not good enough, lesser than those of others. I’ve been there. It’s hard to get out of this pool of worry and fear, but with a bit of a thinking flip and an eagerness to blog, anyone can come back from this slump even better than before.
New music is becoming better and better every day. The talent is growing, backing tracks are becoming more deep and exciting and is all over a lot better to listen to. I decided to share the best of the best in new music right now, from the hits to the ones you missed.
Alessia Cara- Know It All
This album is a mixture of funky pop, retro, and somewhat chilling vibes that you will be able to dance to, sing to and relate to. Alessia Cara became popular from her two songs ‘Here’ and ‘Wild Things’, and her entire album is a little piece of treasure everyone can and will enjoy.
Best Song On The Album: Seventeen
This band deserves a lot more attention than it gets and their album is upbeat and a great pick me up. I love the how clean and sharp the music is. Their new single, Talk Too Much, is amazing as well.
Best Song On The Album: Atlas
Daya- Daya EP
Daya has become HUGE recently with ‘Hide Away’ and ‘Don’t Let Me Down’, but her entire EP is magic and exciting. I never get sick of the songs and she’s just all around a great singer and artist. I really hope Daya writes a new album soon, it would be something to make my little heart sing!
Best Song On The Album: Thirsty
Foxes- All I Need
I am currently obsessed with Foxes- and I mean OBSESSED obsessed, like ‘my new favourite singer’ obsessed. I think her new album is so amazingly crafted and it never gets boring. I really hope more people notice her talent soon- she is so worthy.
Best Song On The Album: Amazing
I couldn’t write this post without mentioning Halsey. Her voice is incredibly different in a kind of magical way, and her backing tracks are still what I call the best in the world. Even if you’re not big on her music as a whole, her backing tracks are so perfectly crafted with so many layers and deep meaning.
Best Song On The Album: Control
Kita Alexander- Like You Want To EP
This Australian artist writes songs so wonderfully put together they actually make me quiver a bit. Okay, that might be exaggerating a teensy bit but you have to try Kita Alexander. The backing tracks are kind of metallic (if that makes sense) and her voice is brilliant. If you want to fall in love with a new song get this EP. You won’t regret it.
Best Song On The Album: High Tops
Melanie Martinez- Crybaby
Shhh don’t question it. Just get this album NOW.
Best Song On The Album: Dollhouse
These guys are more talented that I can even imagine. They, if you don’t know already, are an a capella group and you won’t believe that they do it all without instruments when you hear it first. Their music is bright and fun and did I mention how talented they are?
Best Song On The Album: Ref
Troye Sivan- Blue Neighbourhood
This guy exceeded all of my expectations. When I first listened to it, I was expecting it to be okay, but not amazing. Holy wow was I wrong. This album was so deep and well made that I actually cried during some of the songs. It’s a music coma you will fall into for days. You will love it.
Best Song On The Album: SUBURBIA
Walk The Moon- TALKING IS HARD
There’s actually a big difference with this one. All the reviews I read said the entire album was awful and that Shut Up And Dance was the only good song on there. However, I bought it anyway and I beg to differ on what everyone else is saying about it. Some songs could be better, but I think it’s such a funky album (and I’m not just referring to the hit on the album here) that is great to shut up and dance to. Too soon? Okay.
Best Song On The Album: Portugal
What are your favourite songs of the moment? Do you like or dislike the albums I’ve listed here?
Everyone has a bucket list of some sort. Even if you haven’t written it down, you probably have a mental list, like, “Oh, I have always wanted to do _____________________.” Well, now is the time to make your bucket list ten million times more fun and exciting. These are ten things that are non-cliché, but still fun and moderately easy to do, if you try. Get out your notebook or virtual bucket list in your mind and start dreaming!
- GO TO A MUSIC FESTIVAL- Because they are full of super fun things to do, gives you the chance to discover amazing new artists and all your friends can do it with you. The best time to do this is during the summer because it’s nice weather and everyone’s got nothing to do because it’s holidays.
- LISTEN TO THE NEW FOXES ALBUM- Because your life will be so much better with it.
- GO SNORKELING IN THE GREAT BARRIER REEF- Because soon it will be too late and the Reef will be dead due to global warming. Like, soon soon.
- DYE YOUR HAIR A CRAZY COLOUR- Because life’s too short to not become a unicorn.
- HIT A THOUSAND BLOG FOLLOWERS- It’s a lot, but you can definitely get there with a bit of determination and hard work. Good luck!
- GROW AND MAINTAIN YOUR OWN LITTLE GARDEN, EVEN IF IT’S JUST A LITTLE STRIP- Because succulents are great, but an entire garden is a lot more rewarding and gives a lot more back to your little Earth home (note: the Earth is not little. Oh well).
- MAKE FRIENDS WITH AT LEAST ONE PERSON FOR EVERY LETTER OF THE ALPHABET- extra points if you can make friends with someone who starts with X. Try and add at least one person for each letter into your contacts so you can keep track of the letters.
- GET A FULL 100% ON A TEST- Because smarty pants.
- RUN A MARATHON- Because you’ll feel so healthy after it. You can get a free app like Couch To 5 K to help you, and some of them are really fun like a colour run and normally for a great cause.
- HAVE AN ECCENTRIC AND COOL PET, LIKE A LLAMA OR SNAKE (IF YOU HAVE THE ROOM)- Because LLAMAS.
What kind of stuff is on your bucket list?
The saying ‘is your grandma missing her curtains’ is a good thing for me because believe me when I say my Grandma Jan is an interior design QUEEN. She lives near the beach, about two hours out of Melbourne, and her house is the living room of my DREAMS. The thing is, I am only a fan of modern, interesting and… well, modern decor style. So I’m not just saying my grandma is a boss at decor because I love her and want her to like me etc. etc. etc. I actually think her house is amazing- so after a while I interviewed her about her amazing style, in the hopes that we could all get some inspiration. Ready for a crud ton of photos? Let’s do this.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a sixty-three-year-old woman who was born in New Zealand and lives in Australia. I have two children, two stepchildren, and many grandchildren, thirteen in total (one of them being Hatsy!)
What was your main mental image you had when setting up the house?
Well, I really wanted to have a black and white theme, so I was keen to have the contrast in colour which I’ve tried really hard to achieve. Then I wanted to have a pop of colour, which was red.
What about colour accents? Did you have any mental images there?
The red pop was really important, and you’ll see around my house that I have some orange and brown tones. So I’ve really got the Autumn colours, that was my intention.
Did you have a source of inspiration at all?
In a way, I think I did, because if you have a look at [my print on the wall from New Zealand] of the Maori man and woman, you’ll see that there’s black and red, and it’s on a brown background. [That was my main source of inspiration] for me, and it also reflects my New Zealand background.
Where did you get most of your items?
One of the great things about shifting back to Australia meant I could start afresh with furniture, and that’s one of the tricky things, you know, when you’re in a home for a while you get bits and pieces [from different places, so when I moved] I was able to have a plan… So I was able to buy most of my furniture all at the one time and I got it from a number of high-end furniture shops.
Did you have much to work with when you moved in- like fixed furniture?
No, it was an open plan so there were no floor coverings apart from wood [planks] which ran through the house except for the bedrooms so it meant that I could lift colour up through rugs and also some of the little accessories in the house [that I put around].
You have a lot of really cool and interesting art sculptures. What were/are your main focuses for them?
Well, I really like unusual [art] and I love an unusual look with all my artwork. I like different forms of art, so I love asymmetrical designs and if anything looks off-centre, I notice that it really appeals to me.
How did you work with spacing and placement?
Well, I [would] put things down and then look at it for some time and then I shift them around [if I didn’t like the way it was placed originally]. It’s just what appeals to me and my eye, I do have some greens that you’ll note over on my black sideboard and I like that green colour because it’s a lot about New Zealand, and that’s the [iconic colour]… Of New Zealand.
Any new items or changes you’re planning to put in at the moment?
Usually, it’s paintings and prints that I will change, and I [own] more paintings than I can fit on my walls! [That’s] okay [though], because what I can do then is… Change them around, so it’s a constant art gallery in my house.
How did you turn this house into a home?
I think it’s the little bits and pieces that you put in, I think flowers can give you a sense of home and photos. [I also like to put in] things that people know ME for which is a lot about New Zealand. Just as I’m answering these questions in the interview, I’m realising how much of New Zealand is a part of me, and that really shows through in my interior design. I think [all these things] provide a sense of home.
Do you have any interior design tips for the readers?
I think, if you see something that really appeals to you and you want it as your base for your design, just buy it. Don’t be put off. The stone centrepiece on my table… I remember when I saw it, [my husband] thought it was crazy to buy because it was really expensive. But I was determined to bring the theme of New Zealand- the stones that look like the river in New Zealand [so I bought it anyway].
(Yes, I’m re-using a photo from my latest fashion post, but it’s not because I’m lazy, it’s just that… well… I… okay, fine, I’m lazy.) Good morning… time to have ten coffees, cry at the sound of crickets disturbing your otherwise okay mood and try not to die of fatigue. However, mornings don’t have to suck if you add a few things to make it easier. There are a few things I find to make mornings that bit easier to get out the door- take it from someone who is actually a morning person and finds it easy to wake up.
- Having breakfast or a tea/coffee outside on a porch or in your backyard (if you wake up around when the sun rises). Seeing sunlight first thing in the morning can make you wake up a bit more- after all, your body is made to be awake during the day, so seeing the sun and the sky reminds your brain to start working again. Don’t do this when it’s raining, though- that will just get you cold.
- Open up your planner and write in due dates and your to-do list for the day. It helps you keep focussed on your main tasks for the day and gets you thinking about tackling the day ahead.
- Make your bed. It takes about half a minute and will make your bedroom feel fresh again. Getting into a habit of making your bed is a great habit to have.
- Listen to music or a podcast. This is more for when you’re walking out the door to get to wherever you need to be- the train, work, school the car, anything. When you have music or a podcast to focus on, things just feel right.
- Have some water with a squeeze of lemon juice in it. The lemon tang will wake you up in a much more refreshing and light way than coffee or tea (but coffee is still amazing. Both, I guess?). Studies have also shown that having an apple in the morning has the same awakening effects as a cup of coffee, too, so have an apple with it as well! It’s probably healthier, anyway.
Are there any morning rituals that you do to help you survive the morning?
Notebooks are my life. That’s the only way I can say it. Notebooks are my absolute one and only, till death do us part, the chosen one, etc. In short? I absolutely LOVE notebooks. I will buy hundreds and hundreds of differently coloured notebooks, and each and every one of them serves a different purpose. Obviously, there are the clichés like my diary, my blog ideas notebook/ mood book, wish list book and gratitude diary, but since I am a self-proclaimed hipster I love to be different and unique. Unfortunately, because I have a blog, it is the unsaid given that I’m going to share all of my ideas so they don’t become so hipster anymore. So, without further ado, here are a few (15, to be exact) creative, non-cliché notebook subject ideas for your next stationery haul. (I may or may not have just stolen gotten inspired for this post by Mia from Okaaythen.)
- ALL THE FONTS NOTEBOOK- I recommend going on regular sprees through DaFont and printing out ones you like. It’s actually really fun to go through what seems like endless fonts and calligraphy and choose your favourites. I love doing this- it gives me inspiration for my blog sign-off and other projects!
- JUST FOR TUMBLR NOTEBOOK- You guys may be familiar with the famous ‘Wreck This Journal’ that is going viral all over social media right now. Why not make your own equally as social-media-worthy? Come up with creative activities and complete them inside the pages of the book, and post each new page on your social media. It’s epic. If you have an extra special creative spark in you, this is a really fun project!
- MY MILESTONES NOTEBOOK- My mum did this when I was a baby and it is so fun to go back and have a look at what happened and when. The good news? It’s never too late to start! Every single day is a new opportunity and chance to create a new milestone. This is also a great idea for your blog if it’s a big part of your life- for example, when you hit a new number of followers or officially hit a certain amount of likes (WordPress also notifies you whenever you hit a cool milestone- I always like to screen shot the notification and put it in a folder in my Camera Roll!)
- MY FAVOURITE WORDS NOTEBOOK- I’ve always had a fascination with words, how they form, the meanings behind them, how they work. Maybe you have a couple of words too that you want to write down and share? Just listing them when they pop into your head and writing down why you like them can be a great way to express yourself and document how you change over time.
- I’M GOING ON AN ADVENTURE NOTEBOOK- This would be really fun to take with you and go for a walk and wander through you neighbourhood or suburb, or when you go travelling. After you go and check out all the cool places around you, sit down for a bit and collect your thoughts about each place and what you discovered. You never know, it may actually inspire us antisocials to go outside (shock horror)!
- BECAUSE I’M THAT GREAT NOTEBOOK- Make a notebook that will one day CHANGE THE WORLD. Dreams about becoming president and defeating Trump for good? Write those down. Think you’ve finally found the correct theory about that TV show that is undeniably right? Write that down. Have a cool idea for your school SRC? WRITE THAT DOWN! One day, that notebook will be in the museum of you and noted as the notebook that changed it all.
- I CAN’T SLEEP JOURNAL- Pretty self- explanatory! Any time you can’t sleep, fill in the date, time and what you’re thinking about. It’ll be easier to get to sleep when you’ve gotten your thoughts out, and it’s fun to reflect on what you were thinking that night the next morning. I saw one of these in OfficeWorks (for all you non-Australians out there, read: stationery store) and it looked like a lot of fun, so why not make your own?
- THE IDEA, THOUGHT, FEELING A DAY NOTEBOOK- There is one rule to this book. You must write something EVERY DAY, even if it is stupid. I don’t care how short or long it is. I don’t care if you vent or brainstorm. No-one cares. It’s just a book for you write in every day.
- MY BIG BOOK OF [INSERT SOMETHING HERE] ADVICE- I’ve always been a fan of mashing up all the different forces and turning it into one giant force hub. That probably didn’t make any sense, but the reason I say this is because this notebook is just that. If you find any good advice (or have any advice yourself) in any subject you’re passionate in (blogging, art, writing, general wellbeing), write it down in the notebook and source where you found it. Once you’ve finished the book, you’ll have a huge notebook of advice from all kinds of sources. That ‘one giant force hub’ saying make sense now? XD
- MY FAVOURITE MAGAZINE PICKS NOTEBOOK- This is one of my absolute favourites. It’s so fun to gather all of your magazines and pick out your favourite photoshoots, products that you want to get, or advice. Magazines are one of my favourite things ever, and I want to be a magazine writer when I’m older so I obviously pretty much live and breathe them. I recommend you give this a go!
- THAT’S A GOOD QUESTION NOTEBOOK- If you’re anything like me (I’m listening to the song Gasoline at the moment so I’m using the term ‘like me’ a lot, haha), you probably have a bunch of random yet somewhat meaningful questions that you want to keep record of, or simply get out of your system (and writing them down is a whole lot better than bugging all your friends saying, ‘why? Why? Why?’). Like seriously, why were we placed here on this Earth? Why the hell is Kim Kardashian famous? Questions like these must be recorded! Every time you get a question like that, write it down! If you think you may have an answer, write it down next to the question.
- THE NEVER ENDING DRAWING NOTEBOOK- It would be so fun to start a random doodle and NEVER MAKE IT STOP. Every time you turn a page, you just continue the drawing you were doing on the previous page. Could you imagine how epic your notebook would look at the end? I find that starting a collection of random doodles at the start gives you a bunch of ideas to continue the drawing- also try to use the same pen/pencil the whole way through- if it runs out, just buy a new one of the exact same type. FUN.
- OOOH ANOTHER FESTIVAL NOTEBOOK- I started one of these notebooks this year and it’s been a lot of fun. Every time you go somewhere where you get one of those paper wristbands- Bounce, a festival, your school fete, etc., stick it into your notebook. It’s a great way to keep the memories with you forever, and over the years, it will get fuller and fuller.
- SAY WHAT?! NOTEBOOK- We all say stupid things. Literally, right before I started planning this post I asked my friends L and E if they think drink bottles get sad when we drink out of them (c’mon, it’s a serious question! Right?). Point is, it’s always funny to track these things. Over time, it’s always fun to look back at the hilarious times you had with your friends, family and yourself. Why not give it a go? You’ll write down a lot more things than you think… and not to mention it means you can make fun of people for saying those things forevermore.
- LAST ONE! STUFF THAT NORMALLY DOESN’T GO IN A NOTEBOOK WILL NOW GO INTO THIS NOTEBOOK- Water, tea, grass, etc., whatever you want! Get creative with different things and do different things with them. Maybe you could make a drawing of a coffee cup and then use actual coffee? Whatever sparks your creativity. Experiment and see what is fun to play around with. Good luck!
Now I think I have to buy 15 new notebooks.
I’m surely not the only person who loves a bit of ear candy- people talking and addressing issues that we can all relate and respond to. It’s awesome- and there are so many podcasts out there that can do just that. I’m a big listener- I’ve always been open-minded with podcasts, which is why I’m rounding up my favourites today. Ready to fill up your phone with chat and fun?
Mamamia Out Loud- Hallelujah. Just hallelujah. This podcast is amazing and if you haven’t listened to it, you really need to try it. It is so addictive and there’re so many episodes- binge listening anyone? I love how this podcast makes you feel like you’re having a chat with your friends over coffee- it feels really natural- and it also is full of smart things. It isn’t just a couple of women talking about airheadish things- if that’s a word. I just love how much they talk about- it gives me lots of inspo for my blog and quite a few small talk starters for when I see my friends.
The Blog Millionaire- I obviously listen to a huge amount of podcasts about blogging and upping your blog game, just because they’re so useful for my own blog. I really like the ideas this podcast gives me for my blog and ways to help my blog grow. I love it!
Short & Curly- This podcast has only just started but I love the idea. It’s just a bunch of awkward questions that kids ask that parents refuse to answer, finally answered. It’s hilarious and creative. I urge both kids and adults to listen to this- especially if you’re a parent!
The Mindful Kind- I listen to a bunch of mindfulness podcasts so they’re a very popular feature on my feed. This is a calming and easy podcasts that give me a bunch of good vibes and ideas for a clearer and sharper view on life. It’s great and very easy to listen to.
ProBlogger Podcast- Told you I listen to a lot of blogging podcasts! It’s basically the same base as The Blog Millionaire, so I don’t really need to explain much more other than it’s really good and helpful, so you should definitely listen to it!
No Filter- Can you tell I’m a fan of the Mamamia Podcast Network? My favourite has always been Mia Freedman (soz other people on the network), so having a podcast that’s solely her (except for guests) is great! This is basically just a podcast full of guests and ‘where are they now?’ stories that I really like and find inspiring.
Let It Be- Yet another mindfulness podcast! This podcast is all about simply being and not being so rushed around everywhere- and this podcast is a great one to sit down and do just that.
ELISE GETS CRAFTY- This is a mixture of entrepreneur and website building. Since I’m not an entrepreneur as of right now, I normally don’t listen to those episodes, but otherwise, I love the advice it gives!
Just Between Us- Let’s finish this post with yet another podcast from The Mamamia Podcast Network, cause Mamamia Podcasts. This is a bit similar to Mamamia Out Loud, just people talking about things- so I obviously listen to it!
Do you have any favourite podcasts that you want to share? Have you listened to any of the ones I mentioned?