Sunday, 30 July 2017

Top 10 Inspirational Youtubers: Fashion & Finance

It might seem like fashion and finances are polar opposites especially when Youtube is chock full of haul videos but to me they are two sides of the same coin. Making smart decisions with your wardrobe not only saves you money but help you develop a better personal style. Here are ten Youtubers who I recommend binge watching pronto.

Justine Leconte
Justine is a French fashion designer with her own label, who lives in Germany. Her videos are super informative and cover things like the history of clothing, how to shop for your body type and trends in the fashion industry.

Lauren Messiah
Smarty, witty and totally stylish, Lauren is a personal stylist whose videos cover practical fashion questions, advice and tips. She has a super helpful Style Type series to help you nail down your personal sense of style.

Sugar Mamma
Cana is a financial advisor who offers loads of great advice on finances and shopping smart. She has a great minimalist mindset which I find really inspiring about loving and investing in the things that make you happy. She's also a total boss when it comes to investing.

The Financial Diet
Possibly one of the only blogs about money that make it interesting and fun?! Check out Lauren and Chelsea's Youtube videos for great advice on being smart with your money. They offer tips on everything from where to invest in your kitchen, how to not be broke at College and general financial advice for twenty to thirty something women.

Ashley Brooke
Ashley's channel recently went into an uproar over her 'How to Style' series ending. Fortunately this super-sweet New Yorker has brought them back. Overall her channel is fashion based and while it doesn't focus on buying less, I do find her style advice extremely helpful.

Daria Andronescu
Daria is a Russian personal stylist living in Europe and she is all about the capsule wardrobe. What's different about her is she loves colour and prints. Her videos are probably the most inspiring about how you can create a capsule wardrobe without it being black, white and denim focused. Her style is so not basic and for that I highly recommend watching.

Kristin Leo
My most recent ethical fashion discovery is Greek Youtuber Kristin Leo. She's vegan and all about ethical fashion encouraging thrift shopping and buying ethically sourced clothing. I really like her videos about shops she avoids (H&M, Ikea, Zara) as she is informative without shoving her message down your throat. Basically she makes you want to be a better person without hating yourself in the process.

Lindsay Albanese
Lindsay is an American celebrity personal stylist and has the biggest, bubbliest personality on Youtube. Her videos are just so damn helpful. It's practical fashion advice delivered in a friendly and fun way. She's also not adverse to throwing every rule out the window and just saying 'You do you.'

The Anna Edit
What started out as a beauty channel has merged into a bit of everything - fashion, beauty, fitness, food and interiors. The thing that's kept me watching over the years with Anna is she's all about that balanced life. Her capsule wardrobe series are informative and it's refreshing to see a youtuber with a paired back collection of things. If you're over 'keeping up with Joneses' then I thoroughly recommend giving her channel a watch!

Karen BritChick
Karen's love of fashion is infectious and she is a literal joy to watch. Her videos offer great advice on styling - she's done a great video on different ways to wear a button down shirt - you're sure to come away with a new way to wear what's already in your closet.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Mid Year Book Manifestations

With over half of 2017 gone (where? how?) I thought it would be fun to do a little mid-year check-in and set some manifestations for the remaining months ahead. With course-related reading out of the way I wanted to share some goals/personal mantras that I'm hoping to take with me throughout the rest of the year and beyond. Here they are:

Read More New Zealand Authors
My mum has always been great at buying and reading New Zealand fiction whereas when I was growing up all I wanted to read was anything set in a different culture. I want to get better at reading New Zealand stories and authors. Mr Pip by Lloyd Jones and The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton are two great examples of what authors in this country can produce.

Buy From Independent Retailers
I am an avid library user and will take my library card with me to my grave. However, I can't resist buying books so I would rather my money supports local businesses who in turn support local authors. Independent shops or the book chain store Paper Plus are the best ways to support the book trade. Paper Plus have a great reputation in stocking kiwi authors and the profits stay in our country while any small store means your money really is staying local. Fortunately, Wellington has a great little independent bookshop scene.

Read Two Books A Month
I am a fast reader but I am also a) easily distracted and b) prone to procrastination. With Netflix, Youtube and Season 4 of Black Sails all tempting me away from my bookshelf, I need to make more time for reading each night. I set myself a reading challenge on Goodreads of ten books for the rest of the year and I'm quietly confident I can make it.

Stop. Getting. Library. Fines.
Is this why checking out books doesn't seem to be as popular within the book blogging/youtube community than just buying them? Library fines, like parking fines, seem to be the bane of my existence and one of my more costly failures at being an adult. Damn you Wellington library for your pricey overdue items!

How are you going with your mid year goals?

Sunday, 23 July 2017

The Bedside Table Stack #14

This month's bedside table stack is a mash up of genres as I love switching up my reading pile.

Girl at War by Sara Novic
A young girl's idyllic childhood is shattered with the outbreak of war in Yugoslavia. Split between Ana's life in Zagreb in 1991 and her life as a college student in Manhattan in 2001, this book is part coming of age story part war novel.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V E Schwarb
Magic and fantasy combine in this story about multiple London's and the parallel universes each one exist in. Kell is a traveller who can move between all of them. A fun, magical adventure set in one of my favourite cities seems like a no-brainer for a good time.

Heloise by Mandy Hager
My writing tutor wrote her seventh (!!) book and I was lucky enough to attend the book launch a few months ago. 12th Century Paris. Heloise is a talented young woman, exceptionally bright and worldly, especially for a woman of no stature. This novel recounts the true story of her life and ambition to pursue learning and the relationship she has with famed philosopher Peter Abelard.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

The Bookshelf :: To Hell in A Handbasket

I'm not saying that these picks have anything to do with how I feel about the state of the world at the moment but for some reason I've got dystopian and sci-fi thrillers on the brain.

The Handmaid's Tale :: Margaret Atwood
I have been wanting to read this before watching the television series. Margaret Atwood's novel explores a world where the Handmaid's are valued only for their fertility and are forced into breeding for the upper classes. Fancy living in a world where women don't have control over their own choices. Oh, wait...

The Circle :: Dave Eggars
A thrilling read in a which a Google-like company aims to make the world a fully transparent place where all knowledge is shared at the cost of privacy. It will make you question how much is too much when it comes to sharing on-line and is full transparency really a good thing?

1984 :: George Orwell
I feel as if this book has been on my need to read list forever (probably because it has). A timely read now more than ever.


Sunday, 9 July 2017

Three to Read: Best Reads of 2017

Embarrassingly, I think I can count on one hand the number of books I have read and finished this year (outside of my course-related texts.) The good news is some of them have been pretty darn great! Here are three standout novels you might enjoy as much as I did.

It Ends With Us :: Colleen Hoover
Having never read a Colleen Hoover novel before I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I knew she usually wrote romance-related novels but It Ends With Us blew me away. I burned through it in about two days. Centred around domestic violence this is not your average romance novel. From what I have heard this is one of her more mature books but still suitable for adult and older YA readers.

The Circle :: Dave Eggers
Another read that I could just not put down, The Circle by Dave Eggers had me transfixed. Mae Holland gets the gig of a lifetime working at the Circle (think Google, a large tech and social media company that combines all users online data so that users have one online identity for everything) but the further she advances at work the more she questions the Circles thirst for shared knowledge and distrust of privacy. A fascinating and suspense-filled thriller.  

The One Plus One :: Jojo Moyes
I am an unashamed Jojo Moyes fangirl so there was no doubt that I was going to enjoy this book. Jess' life as a single mum is not what she had in-visioned for herself. When her daughter has the opportunity to sit a scholarship test that could change their future Jess has to figure out how to pay the bills and get her daughter to the other end of the country along with their oversized dog and her step son who is struggling to find his feet. Then in walks Ed who could be the answer she was looking for. Naturally things don't go as planned. A fun and light-hearted read.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Why Hello There! It's Been A While

I wasn't going to delve back into posting on here without being like, so, long time no see! So here it is my little hiatus from the internet explained. Basically 2016 was a year of big changes some good and some not so good. I finished renovating my house, moved countries at the end of the year from Australia to New Zealand and unfortunately ended a five year relationship in the process. There was a lot going on and writing this blog was the lowest on my list of priorities.

The good news is that amongst all of that to contend with there was also something exciting that kept me away from filling up this little space and that is this: I'm writing my first novel! While the shit was hitting the fan in my personal life last year I was also working on a submission to study a diploma in creative writing which is now my full time project this year. I'm about halfway through my first draft and hoping to play the long game of having my book finished at the end of next year. Who knows what will become of it! Hopefully this will be the first of many I write and whether I have the opportunity to publish traditionally through a publishing house or go it on my own as a self-published author, one day soon(ish) I hope to have my first book sitting on my own bookshelf.

After much deliberation and several attempts at getting locked out of my account for this blog (ha) I've decided to pick this back up as a hobby. The thing is, last year when I was trying to get my manuscript submission in and being the terrible procrastinator that I am, churning out a 200 word blog post was much easier than focusing on the mammoth task of writing a book, and the even more mammoth task of writing the first three chapters. My writing being my first priority I am hopeful that this can continue to be the fun space I started it for.

So, what can you expect in 2017? More book suggestions, round ups and keeping-it-casual reviews. With all my required reading done for my course now is also a pretty perfect time for me to get back into reading as it's been a long, long time since I ready anything just for fun.
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