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Podcasts To Get You Through The Day

podcast recommendations lifestyle blogger
You'll probably think I've been living under a rock when I admit this, but I didn't know the first thing about podcasts until about a month ago (I'm clearly a grandma in this area so don't shame me). I had the gist of it, I just wasn't sure how you downloaded them and I sure as hell had no idea where to start in terms of what to listen to. Well, after crawling out of my 'what's a podcast?' hole I'm now left wondering how I ever lived my life without them. I listen in the morning, while I'm getting ready, while I exercise- podcasts get me though the day. So if you're a grandma like me or if you're looking for new podcasts to listen to, here are my picks:


my favorite murder podcast review lifestyle blogger
I feel like there are two kinds of people. There's the kind who don't want to know anything about murders or those kinds of things that happen in the world, then there's the other kind who find hearing about it fascinating- kind of like a car wreck you can't look away from. I've always been interested in true crime stories but I usually don't tell that to just anyone because sometimes people give you the "Are you a psychopath in the making?!" look. If you're like me, this podcast is your safe haven. Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff (for some reason I love her voice?) are true crime lovers and they talk about different true crime stories in each podcast but in a completely conversational style, just like you're chatting to a friend over coffee. Even though the subject matter seems dark Georgia and Karen are hilarious and they keep the podcast pretty light because they're both so comedic. They don't make light of the actual murders, they just talk about it in a way that doesn't make everything straight up depressing. I mean, even though they're talking about murder this podcast is ranked in the bloody comedy section so it's really not all that dark!


at home with...podcast review lifestyle blogger
This is a pretty new podcast so there aren't many episodes but if you're a bit (or a lot) of a nosy person then you'll love this. The podcast follows Youtubers Anna (from The Anna Edit) and Lily (Lily Pebbles) who each week go into the home of someone they admire and they interview them, talking about their lives, homes and careers. They've talked to people like Lisa Eldridge (this was one of my fav podcasts) and the founder of By Terry and it's so fascinating to hear about how people got started in their respective industries, their thoughts on the different creative industries and it's also nice to hear a bit about their humble abodes as well- I think a person's home says so much about them!


ladies who lunch podcast review lifestyle blogger
Another Youtuber-led podcast, except this time it's with Ingrid Nilson and Cat Valdes (shoutout to anyone who used to watch Ingrid from back in her 'MissGlamorazzi' days like I did). Ladies Who Lunch is a podcast where Ingrid and Cat basically chat about their thoughts on a bunch of different issues, a lot of which wouldn't normally be talked about. Although I don't find every topic to be particularly relevant to me, I still enjoy hearing Ingrid and Cat's thoughts and it's always interesting if I have a different opinion on something to hear their opposing takes. This is a super chatty podcast so it's great to listen to if you're alone at a cafe or while you're getting ready in the morning so you feel like you've got some company. Not too long ago they actually did a few podcasts dedicated to mental health for Mental Health Awareness Week and I found them to be refreshingly honest and informative while still clearing up a lot of the stigmas around mental health issues. Would definitely recommend!


What are your favourite podcasts? I'm on the hunt for new ones to listen to!

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Opening Up Your World

tips to open up your world

Why every time that I read the title of this post do I start singing 'Part of Your World' from The Little Mermaid? If you just got that song in your head, sorry (but also you're welcome).

Little Mermaid aside, I never really thought I'd be writing a post like this because I'm someone who likes routines and my comfort zones, they make me feel safe, secure and stable. Even when I was little I would literally eat the same foods day in and day out and never get sick of them (peanut butter sandwiches every day for 6 years is serious love). I've never had a problem with being like this either, probably because I've always had spurts of spontaneity in my life like when I travel for example where I leave my comfort zones and then by the time I come home I'll happily slip back into my routines and not really notice. Then I read this quote:


My first reaction to reading that? Oh shit. It was like a slap in the face from life telling me to wake up and start living, not just existing. I've managed to achieve a lot from within my comfort zones but I'm starting to feel like those days are behind me and it's time for change. My routines keep me stable but the problem with stability is that you're in a fixed position, never moving forward.

2017 for me so far has been a year of breaking bad habits and changing my life from something I am content with to something I am actually proud of. It's about shaking things up, pushing myself, doing new things, having more adventures, letting more people in and not letting my head (thanks anxiety) hold me back from doing the things I want to do.

I am on a mission to expand my world and if this sounds all too familiar to you, here's how you can too.

lifestyle blogger the sunday mode
fashion blogger the sunday mode
Make the most of blogging. 

When I first created The Sunday Mode I didn't know what I was doing and I created posts just for the sake of it. Now I'm blogging with a purpose. No longer will I be too nervous to post something for fear that people will think I'm 'weird' or judge me, this space of the internet is going to be carved into something quite special (I hope) that really reflects who I am.

Whether your blog is your job, hobby or passion project, open up your world by making the most of your platform. You have a voice and I'd really encourage you to use it. Figure out if you want your posts to help, comfort, motivate, inspire or teach and work toward that. You can also open up your world by cultivating new skills  that relate to your blog, whether that's polishing up your writing, learning coding or experimenting with photography or photoshop. Take more risks and push yourself to expand your skill set, that way you're not set in a cycle of doing the same things all the time.

how to open up your mind






Get out of your head and into the world. 

There are thinkers and then there are over-thinkers, I am the latter. If you are too then you'll probably already know that you spend way too much time and energy pulling apart and analysing situations to the point where you're spending most of your time in your head and not enough actually out there living your life.

I'm well aware that over-thinking can't be stopped overnight (if only...) but I know you definitely can't solve it by sitting at home thinking about over-thinking, oh hell to the no. Get out there in the world and give your brain a break for a while, remembering that what your inner voice or worrisome mind tells you isn't necessarily true, not even in the slightest. I mean you don't have to be too extreme about it and suddenly go skydiving, just try not to spend too much time thinking about things to a ridiculous point. Instead, try saying yes more to shut your brain up and break out of those comfort zones.

how to expand your world

Learn. 

Not necessarily in the academic sense, but I genuinely love that feeling of learning something new. 'Learning' is a word that's got a bit of a bad wrap in the sense that for a lot of us we can automatically associate it with our academic schooling, but really the sensation of learning something new is so damn enjoyable. I mean, I was listening to the My Favourite Murder podcast the other day and I found it interesting to learn about a seedy area of L.A that I never knew about before. See? Nothing like school. You're never too young or too old to learn new things, it's just about finding the things you want to learn about.

Personally I think a great deal of people in this world are too close minded and believe their opinions and beliefs are the only ones that count, but that kind of mind frame narrows your world so much. Be open and learn, listen to people's opinions, read up on different religions, explore spirituality, the list goes on. There is so much information and knowledge out there if you just open yourself up to it.


minimal style blogger
the fifth label melbourne blogger

melbourne minimal fashion blogger



Figure out what you would do if you could do anything. 

Again with our heads, they're so powerful but they sometimes make us think that we're cornered and our lives can only go a few ways. What would you do if you could do anything? What profession would you choose if you could pick anything? If you've got something in your head, really think about why you aren't working toward that right now and why you've closed yourself off from that.

Don't let your mind hold you back, once you figure out what you really want in life, start thinking about what small (or large) steps you could take to get you there. Everyone always assumes that there will be a 'later' in their lives but the realism of it is that there isn't for every person. I for one would hate to die knowing I hadn't actually accomplished anything I wanted to. What on earth is the benefit in not going full force toward what you want in life? I guess what I'm saying is don't be afraid to step outside of the comfort zones that currently make up your life.

lifestyle blogger advice and tips

Travel. 

My personal favourite way of opening up my world. When you travel to foreign countries especially it's crazy how much you feel like you've stepped outside of this tiny little bubble that is your life. It's kind of like when you're in a plane and you look down at the ground, everything seems so small and unimportant. When you're looking through the clouds down at the houses that look miniature from above, it's strange to think that someone in one of those houses could be spending their day worrying about something trivial like their broken laptop or something like that. Perspective is probably what you'd call that and travel gives you a healthy dose of it. When you travel you naturally see the world from other people's perspectives and you see how different your life is from someone else's across the other side of the planet, that realisation alone is enough to open your mind up to ideas and thoughts that you may never have had before.


(Okay, reading back on this post it does sound a bit like I've been watching Eat Pray Love one too many times but hey, what can you do.)

Are you guilty of staying within your comfort zones too much?

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Lipsticks To Love On The Daily

every day neutral lipsticks for pale skin
Let's just cut to the chase. If there was a fire and I was only able to pick 4 lipsticks, this would be them. I mean, let's just forget about the fact that my priorities are obviously skewed if my house is burning down and I'm just standing on the front lawn holding 4 little lipsticks...can you imagine? I mean I love beauty but man, that's just sad. Enough of my antics though, let's get on to the lipsticks I reach for just about every day:
charlotte tilbury hot lips review beauty blogger

I'll admit, I bought this on a whim while I was overseas because I may or may not have been in one of those "I'm overseas I'm so excited let's just buy everything in sight and pretend like my bank account isn't declining rapidly" moods. Y'all know that mood.

I am the furthest thing from Kim K.W's skin colouring so I imagined this was going to look atrocious on me but nope, it's shockingly flattering on my pale skin.

Like most Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks this is quite a rich, pigmented lipstick so I only apply a little and then press my lips together to spread things around evenly and the result is a nude that dances perfectly on the line somewhere between a pink and a peach nude. Formula-wise this is creamy but not so creamy that I can get away with skipping lip balm so I'd definitely recommend prepping your lips before applying.

This is the first ever nude'ish lipstick (it's technically a balm?) that I thought actually suited me and it definitely opened me up to the world of nude lipsticks.

It's a very subtle, peach-toned nude with a hint of pink that really compliments my fair skin and lends well to basically any eye look because it's so neutral. Whenever I do a new eye makeup look and I'm left thinking "what the hell lip shade will suit this?" I'll always go for this. If you're in a rush this a great one as well because it's got a very creamy formula which means you can literally put this on without anything else and you don't have to give it a second thought. It's also super afforable which is a huge plus in my books. My only issue? It isn't sold in Australia! Come on Australia, get your shit together.

mac lipstick review every day neutral






In all honesty I've had this for so long that it's probably time to toss it and re-purchase but let's just pretend I haven't had this for a questionable amount of time and talk about how nice this shade is instead.

Such an underrated MAC lipstick in my opinion, it's the closest shade I've ever found to my natural lip colour. It's not a pink, it's not a nude and it's not a berry- it's just somewhere in between those shades and that's why I love it so much. This lipstick has the classic MAC formula which for me means it's not drying but also not super creamy, so although the formula isn't my favourite the shade itself completely makes up for that in my opinion.
burberry lipstick review beauty blogger melbourne




Dear Burberry English Rose lipstick, I am sorry that I forgot about you and accidentally pushed you to the back corner of my makeup drawer. No one puts Baby Burberry in the corner....

In all seriousness I think the 'Burberry Kisses' lipstick formula is my all time favourite out of any I've tried (and I've tried a lot of lipsticks). They're pigmented, comfortable to wear and creamy but not too creamy (au revoir lip balm).

I reach the English Rose shade whenever I want to add a very natural pink/slight berry tint to the lips. This is a great everyday shade and it's also a brilliant starter shade if you want to try something from the Burberry lip department.









What's your favourite every day lipstick?

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Blogging: Expectation vs. Reality

lifestyle blogger blogging

There's a running theme in my life where pretty much nothing ends up the way I imagine it to be. See, I've been watching movies and a crazy amount of TV shows since I was little (it's my happy place) so I've got a rather overactive imagination as a result.

When I was little I was devastated that the stick I picked up off the floor didn't levitate things when I said "Wingardium Leviosa" aloud, and when I was studying in my final year of high school I was sort of expecting the year to go by like a montage, with sips of coffee (I don't drink coffee?), me flicking through pages of a book, highlighting things and then falling asleep among my books but still passing all my tests with flying colours. Yeah, studying in my final year of high school was nothing like that- it was lots of late nights, lots of red bull, lots of orange tic tacs (don't ask) and lots of reading and trying to remember facts that I really didn't care about from 6 different books.

With blogging it was pretty much the same, although I love it my previous non-blogger expectations didn't quite meet my reality and in a therapeutic way I wanted to share those differences to see if anyone else feels the same way!

lifestyle blogger the sunday mode

Writing

EXPECTATION: Writing blog posts will be really easy. I have so much I want to write about and share, I feel like I have enough post ideas to last forever. I think my approach will be really unique as well, I don't think anyone will write about the same kinds of things.

REALITY: ....I wonder if people would want to read a blog post on my favourite episodes of Prison Break?

The reality for me at least is that sometimes I'll have waves where I write a few posts at once because I just feel the creativity flowing through my veins, but other times for the life of me I cannot think of a single thing I want to write about. It can also get pretty frustrating when you think of an idea that you think is original and unique and then you hop on Twitter and see that someone else has written a post about the exact same thing.


photography blogging lifestyle
(Behind the scenes of how I take my blog photos)




Photography

EXPECTATION: I see so many beautiful photos out there I'm sure mine can be the same, I do have a nice Canon camera after all. All my photos are going to be well lit and all around I think I can really nail this photography thing.

REALITY: Ha ha ha, oh Julia you poor little thing. Turns out most people have lovely, fancy pants cameras but until you learn to actually use it it's pointless. Thankfully I have improved my photography over time but don't even get me started on how bad I was at taking 'well lit' photos when I first started this blog. Before I started blogging I also didn't realise how much of an impact the weather has on my photos because I shoot with natural light.
Summer, you're great. Winter? Work with meeeeeee please, the cloudy weather means my flatlays end up having more shadows than an Urban Decay palette.

blogging behind the scenes



Collaborations
EXPECTATION: If a brand or someone from a company reaches out to me I'd assume that must mean they really like my content and want to work with me! Eeeeee yay.

REALITY: "Hello Admin, I really love your blog 'SITE NAME' and want to work with you."

Wait, when did my name change to 'Admin'? It's not always like this of course and I've got to work with some great companies and people, but still, some of the emails you get sent as a blogger are rather hilarious...



The Social Side of Blogging
EXPECTATION: You know, I think when I start a blog I'm going to end up with a bunch of new, like-minded blogging friends who like the same kinds of things that I do.

REALITY: ....table for one, please?

It's probably partly my fault because I'm a naturally introverted person but so far I haven't met any genuine, long term friends through blogging and that makes me kind of sad. Sometimes I'll try to reach out to people and get a lukewarm response so I usually end up getting disheartened and then just keep to myself from then on. I'm hoping one day this will turn around and I can meet or start finding people more like me.

blogging behind the scenes

Getting Your Blog 'Out There'
EXPECTATION: I know it will be hard but I don't think it will be that hard to get people to find my blog and read the content I'm putting out there.

REALITY: Click here because this gif says it all.


That about does it, hopefully this didn't come across as a negative post because I'm really just finding the more humorous parts to my blogging journey. I mean blogging has faults like anything else, but I still love it.

I'd love to know if you've had any blogging reality vs. expectation moments?

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3 Steps To Improve Your PM Routine

minimal white books PM glasses blogger
Since being in the blogging world it's really hit me that a lot of people seem to have these elaborate, regular night time routines and as much as I try, that just ain't me. Don't get me wrong, some nights I will literally stay at my bathroom mirror for 20 minutes doing a five step skincare routine and then I'll read, meditate and eventually go to sleep. Other nights? There'll be none of that, not even a face wash, just bed. Funnily enough there never seems to be an in between. Even though my routines tend to be all or nothing, I've recently realised that there are three things I can easily do each night that make me feel a lot better in the morning. Two of which I just naturally did anyway, one I'm still working on (step 3). So whether you're someone who has no nightly routine or a whole set of rituals planned out, try incorporating these three things:


resolve any conflicts
I've always slept like a coma patient deeply but even I have trouble sleeping if I'm in the middle of a fight or if there's some unresolved argument going on. If I know someone is mad at me for whatever reason or if I'm mad, I can't sleep. I just feel too uneasy and don't like the feeling of knowing that I'll wake up and things are still unresolved. I've always held the belief that sleeping is like wiping a slate clean, so if you can be the bigger person and make up with someone so that everyone is on the same page again before you go to sleep, do it, you'll sleep a lot more peacefully.

On the other end of the spectrum if you're in a position where you're feeling worry or dread about something that's coming up or something you'll have to deal with the next day, spend five minutes before bed writing a small list (AKA an action plan) of things you could do in the morning that would make you feel better and slightly less overwhelmed.  Making sure you go to sleep each night without anything heavily weighing on your mind is probably one of the best things you can do for yourself. 


the sunday mode lifestyle blogger
"10 people have been stabbed in their sleep in Ohio this evening"   <- oh yeah, hearing that right before bed will lead to really peaceful dreams I'm sure. 

 If you're someone who regularly watches the news, resist the urge to make it the last thing you watch before you sleep and if you're not a regular news watcher then just avoid watching it at night altogether. You usually take into your dreams the last thing you've watched right before bed so if it's something really negative or over-stimulating that'll definitely make for more of a restless night. Horror movies or intense thrillers may not be the best option for directly before bed either but it's all about experimenting and finding what works for you. For me, my line is drawn at The Walking Dead.  I can watch TWD before bed because I usually find it pretty mild (except s7 ep1...) but I'm not about to pop on Texas Chainsaw Massacre right before I hit the hay, you know? You want to try and give yourself something good to dream about. 


being more mindful

Something I've really been trying to do is to say three things I'm grateful for right before I shut my eyes. You might be grateful for a supportive relationship, a delicious meal, that fact that you passed an exam or you might just choose to be grateful for the fact that you have the ability to walk and talk. Picking three things big or small before bed each night has really been helping me to feel more positive and I feel like when I do this I go to sleep in a much more level-headed, appreciative state of mind. 



Do you think you'll be adding any of these steps to your PM routine?

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44

How To Tame Unruly Hair

tips to make hair more manageable


You either have easy to manage hair, or you don't. My hair used to be naturally curly but now it's mainly just wavy which means that sometimes it's quite curly and other times a little straighter but always knotty. When I was little my Mum and Dad would take turns combing my hair and they'd have to hold my head still while they combed because the knots were so tough. 'Bird's nest' I believe was the term used to describe my hair- you got a good visual of that in your head? Nowadays I try to be really careful with my hair but even if I'm super gentle I still find a lot of my hair ends up on my hairbrush (let's just say I'm lucky that my hair grows really quickly.) If you can relate, here are some ways to tame that unruly hair and make it more manageable:

beauty blogger review hair



Comb your hair before and while in the shower. 
Confession time. Sometimes my hair used to get so knotty that after combing for about 15 minutes I'd just give up and leave it all tangled out of frustration. Oops.

So if like me your hair is the Mother of Knots (gotta love a random GoT reference) and you dread the days when you have to wash and brush your hair, try combing your hair before you even hop in the shower to save time and effort later. For an extra detangling kick, take your favourite detangling brush in your shower with you as well and brush your hair after you put on your conditioner but before you rinse. This takes an extra few minutes max and it saves me so much hassle.


I'd recommend? I've recently been loving using the *Tangle Tonic Brush
Nope, not my regular Tangle Teezer, the Tangle Tonic (I know, confusing). It's been nice and gentle on my locks while still removing all my knots with minimal effort and minimal hair fall out. I'm usually pretty faithful to my trusty Tangle Teezer but I prefer using the Tangle Tonic brush for in the shower because with the obvious 'slip' factor from the running water, the longer handle of the Tangle Tonic means I can get a stronger grip and comb more easily. If you're after a new detangling brush and if you have longer hair especially then I'd definitely recommend you try this out, especially if you're after something that's very affordable.


making your hair more manageable
how to make hair softer, silkier and smoother







Turn your conditioner into a leave in mask. 
I'm obviously no hair specialist but I have done a lot of trial and error with my own hair and conditioner in particular (aka I tried not using it for 2 months...) and now I've found what works a gem for me. To help make your hair softer and easier to comb, try coating the ends of your hair with a rich conditioner while you're in the shower, leave it for a few minutes and then rinse. Waiting just a few minutes seems to make the conditioner act like more a nourishing mask and I find that when I do this my hair is a lot smoother and it's less resistant when I go to comb it later. Also, the richer and more moisturising your conditioner is, the softer and silkier your hair feels when you rinse.


Re-think your hairstyle before you sleep. 
Wait, a hairstyle before you sleep? I promise there's a method to my madness.
I used to love sleeping with my hair out but I'd head to bed with wavy hair and end up waking up with hair that closely resembled the hair of Albert Einstein if you catch my drift. I must move my head around enough while I'm sleeping that my hair just knots itself and frizzes into a mess. If this happens to you as well, try either putting your hair in a bun or loose plaits before you sleep. I find if I do either of these then my hair doesn't really have an opportunity to tangle up during the night, so when I go to style it in the morning it's much more manageable because it's basically how I left it before I went to sleep. Although this isn't a great trick if you're someone who likes straight hair, it does save you a few minutes if you want wavy or curly hair in the morning!





Is your hair super manageable or do you sometimes struggle as well?

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*Gifted by AMR Hair & Beauty for review purposes. I don't ever review anything I don't genuinely like and all opinions are always my own and they always will be!
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