Saturday, 2 April 2016

THIS BLOG IS GOING ON A HIATUS!


Hello Lovelies! 

I don't really know how to put this into a coherent blog post but I will not be posting anything onto the blog until June 5th. If you didn't know, I work full-time as well as studying full-time and I have been struggling. I'm constantly tired, and unable to produce good work both for the blog and for uni, as well as being a bit all round grumpy. During this time off, I will still be working on the blog, taking photos and writing posts but there will be no uploads. I'm doing this to take the pressure off and to get back the enjoyment I had when I first started to write. 

I am going on holiday on June 11th so when I re-launch, you will see many travel related posts, think packing tips, travel outfits and so much more. I'd love for you to stay in contact and you can absolutely see more of me over on Instagram (NickyZeeb), Snapchat (NickyZeeb), Facebook (ZeebLikesIt), Twitter (ZeebLikesIt) or even Tumblr (ZeebLikesIt). If you want to be notified when my next post goes live, please follow my blog on Bloglovin'! 

See you soon!!

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Summer Trends 2016

I know what's happening, you're sitting there, having just read the title of this post and your thinking to yourself "What the hell, isn't it coming into winter in Australia? What are you doing?". Well, I'm going on holiday to Europe for all of June and July (yes, I'll be away for two months! Don't ask me how were paying for it.). We will be going to Paris, Greece, Turkey and the UK. We will be sailing, flying, driving and doing loads of swimming, partying and catching up with friends and family. I am just so incredibly excited. So, this is why I'm writing about the summer trends. I've been looking at inspiration for when we are away. I'm not usually one to follow trends as I just do me, and if I like it, I wear it. In saying this though, summer is really not my thing. I'm a coat and boots and jumpers type of girl. I tend to struggle with style during the summer, but I really want to get some awesome blog photos, push my boundaries and enjoy fashion whilst we're away.

So this is my interpretation of what's on trend this European summer!

Bold Mix Prints


Chanel . Pinterest . Harpers Bazaar

Mixing bold detailed prints is a thing right now. Go bold, go bright and clash to your hearts content. Throw out the rulebook where it tells you how to wear your prints and go for it. I recommend accessorising simply and have fun with it!

I have to admit, prints aren't my thing. I appreciate a good one, and I love them on others, but I just don't tend to go there myself. However, I did purchase a few printed bikinis to take away with me and I absolutely love them! 

Denim

Off-White . WACHABUY . Fendi

Does denim ever go out of style? And everybody needs a good pair of denim shorts in their life but I think this years interpretation of it is about throwing it back to the oldschool, think early 80's all the way to the 2000's. Think patches, double denim, mom styles, Britney and Justin.

I love denim, and ever since I discovered TopShop denim, I'm even into jeans again. Mom jeans can be worn on cooler days but a good pair of shorts and a denim shirt work wonders too.

Stripes


Salvatore Ferragamo . Pinterest. Collage Vintage

Stripes are back! But no longer are we talking only sailor stripes, think pinstripes, mixed stripes and tailored stripes. I will also add in that the Bardot (or off the shoulder) style is back in a big way too. Stripes are a good way to mix prints or go a super colourful print like the first picture from the Salvatore Ferragamo runway.

I'm loving the stripe. I want that playsuit above. Stripes are also great for investment pieces as they are always stylish and always look sophisticated.

Texturised White-on-White

ISSA . Givenchy . Tsangtastic 

White screams summer, this isn't exactly mind blowing. However, I'm noticing a lot of white-on-white and particularly people playing with textures. Note the white denim? Yeah that's big too. Another micro-trend is the slip dress. 

I really like this trend as I feel as though it's so classic. The playful textures are a great way of changing it up and it just screams summer. Be aware of what you eat though! Plain bread anyone? 

What's your favourite trends for this summer, or the summer just gone? What have I missed?
Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 13 March 2016

My Cook Book Collection


Oh hello there lovely readers!

I've recently become an almost vegan. I say almost because although I do not eat dairy at all, I will eat meat every now and then. I know that I will get a lot of criticism from this but I'm a big fan of doing what makes you feel good. Both health and ethical reasons are why I don't eat dairy and I rarely eat meat anymore. Because of this I've had to learn a lot of new recipes! I have recently bought a couple of new cookbooks and I thought it was a good excuse to share my collection (vegan and non-vegan) with you!



Lee Holmes - Supercharged Food: Eat Yourself Beautiful

This was one of the first cookbooks I ever actually bought for myself. This is a wonderful whole food cookbook that has some amazing recipes. Some of the recipes in this book are truly unique. I highly recommend trying the Tumeric and Rosemary Sweet Potato Fries (pg101), Lamb and Spiced Pumpkin Salad (pg130), Tumeric, Cauliflower and Almond (pg136), Stir-Fried Red Prawns (pg175) and possibly the most cooked dish, the Supercharged Lasagne (pg189)!!! There are so many recipes I wanted to shoutout in this book but I picked out ones Jamie and I really responded to and cooked over and over again.

Hubby and I also tried Lee's suggested meal plan and had some hits and some misses. It was expensive to buy all the food for, and there was a hell of a lot of leftovers. Which we knew and chose to do it anyway, because we were just starting our journey into quitting sugar and needed a kick start. It was a really good way of trying recipes we may not have chosen to cook otherwise.



Sarah Wilson - I Quit Sugar

I have to thank my sister for introducing me to Sarah's I Quit Sugar philosophy. (If you want to know my sugar quitting experience, click here.) I do recommend this book if you haven't yet quit sugar as her guide and her tips are really handy, even if you don't follow it word for word. The Coco-Nutty Granola (pg76) recipe is the best recipe and such a breakfast staple! Unfortunately though, the only other recipe that I cooked multiple times was the Avocado and Chocolate Mousse (pg197). I just found a lot of the recipes unexciting. I just don't tend to really reach for it.



Sarah Wilson - I Quit Sugar For Life

Now I do reach for this book a little bit more. As a follow up book, it offers more tips for staying on track and has a lot of useful advice as well. Sarah is definitely inspirational! The Carrot Cake Porridge Whip with Whipped Coconut Cream (pg72) is an AMAZING recipe. It's vegan, filling, decedent and extremely delicious. The Chocolate Coco-Nutty Granola Clusters (pg81) is very similar to the other granola recipe but such a wonderful take on it. I tend to flit between the two recipes adding and taking ingredients depending on what we have on hand. I have to say however that if you eat meat, you have to cook the Slow-Cooked Barbeque Pork (pg103). It is incredibly delicious and honestly the best pulled pork I've ever eaten, the leftover recipes on page 104 are also amazing. The Lemon Meringue Pies in Jars (pg132) are a real treat. There are many more really good recipes. I honestly think that out of the two I Quit Sugar books, this is the better one to purchase. I have made so many recipes from this book that are made continuously, or were before we stopped eating meat!



Kate Bradley - Kenkó Kitchen

This is one of the new additions to my collection and this caught my eye because it has a tagline of 'Simple, Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan Recipes'. Now I am not that bothered about being gluten-free but the other stuff resonates with me, but I have to add a little side note, this book is not fructose-free as Kate usually uses coconut sugar and dates which are notoriously high in fructose, but coconut sugar is replaceable with a bit of fiddling and I'm not opposed to having dates on odd occasions. The Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Empanadas from the first picture are a recipe from this book. There are just so many incredible looking recipes in this book and the photography is just stunning. I will definitely keep you updated with the resulting meals!



Jamie Oliver - Save with Jamie

Funny story behind this book actually. I bought my sister a few cook books for Christmas (or a birthday?) last year and this was one of them. Thing is, she had already bought it for herself! So I kept it and bought her another one, and she already had that too! So I ended up keeping them for myself. I did donate the other to charity not long ago because I never actually cooked a single thing from it. This one however, did alright. I don't have any real staple recipes from this book however, and now that I eat predominately vegan, there's not a lot here for me. There are a few that I haven't yet tried that either are vegan, or easily adaptable to vegan so I will see how they go! Recipes to look out for though are the Four Simple Tomato Pasta Recipes (pg72), Mothership Sunday Roast Chicken (pg78) and the Piri Piri Pork Belly (pg182). Be aware that there are big roasted meat meals and then many recipes that are based off of the leftovers. What I like about this book though is that Jamie has wicked recipes that are fairly simplistic.



Sarah Wilson - Simplistic

Oh yes, it is Sarah again! I just really respond to her recipes, and if anything annoys me, it's that I went vegan not long after I got this book! I missed out on so many good recipes! Oh well, there is plenty in here for the vegans too. There are so many recipes in this book that it's actually ridiculous! Sarah's philosophy is more than just quitting sugar, it's about making the most of the food you eat. Making it go as far as you can make it whilst being as nutritious as possible. I'm not even going to try to note some recipes from this book, there is just too many. The thing that makes this cookbook so special is also what is a little annoying about it though. There's a big emphasis on bulk cooking, having leftovers and pre-prepared items, or on saving bits and pieces from other recipes. This is wicked, but sometimes you see a recipe and you go hell yeah I'm cooking this! Only to realise that there's an ingredient related to another recipe. All in all, I still really recommend Simplistic, especially if you are interested in eating more sustainably.



Miyoko Schinner - The Homemade Vegan Pantry

The other newbie! This book is so intriguing! I cannot wait to start trying out these recipes. Miyoko has been a vegan chef for a long time and she's sharing her tried and true basic recipes. From Oil-Free Eggless Mayo (pg19), to Unribs (pg117-118) (yes, that is vegan BBQ ribs!) and on to things like Custard (pg200)!! I'm so excited to see how similar these recipes taste to the non-vegan versions. These recipes are not very healthy, and are not everyday meal ideas but there's some good fridge staples and special meal ideas!

I love to cook and quitting sugar and becoming vegan has really pushed my boundaries with meal times. I just wish there were more hours in the day, or days in the week so that I can experiment in the kitchen more often.
What are your favourite cook books? I'm always on the hunt for new ones!

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, 3 March 2016

How to get back into your studies!


Wow, getting back into studies is hard. Saying no to social stuff sucks and having to dedicate those days to study that were once full of Netflix, YouTube and fun stuff is even worse. So here are my top tips for trying to get back to it all. Also, if you have any extras, please let me know. I think I'm still in a little bit of denial.

1. Get organised, and stay organised.
It's all well and good to make a plan but it's a waste of time if you don't stick to it. If you haven't seen my post on the app Wunderlist than I suggest you check it out. As soon as my unit outlines come out I start to put all the assessments and even a break down of each week into this app. Then I start to block out time in my calendar. I personally like to have a digital calendar and I just use the Apple built in app. I love it being synced across all my devices and I love the flexibility of it. Plus the added bonus is that you have almost endless room to add activities, notes and you can share it with others. My husband gets notified if I've blocked time out to study and he has to leave me alone! haha

2. Get ahead.
If you're organised from the start it makes it easier to keep on top of your workload. If you can plan out your assessments as early as possible as well, you will find it so much easier to gather information and figure it all out too. Therefore you can work smarter rather than harder, and focus on the areas you really need.

3. Get enough sleep as much as possible!
All nighters aren't foreign to students. Hopefully though, if your organised and ahead you can limit your need for them. But even by having a generally good sleeping habit, you can make sure that you have enough energy to work well. I'm naturally a night owl, and working regular 9-5 (ish) shifts, really knocks me about. To combat this, I've worked hard at making a new routine for myself lately and even go so far to schedule sleep into my calendar. It has actually helped so much in making sure that I have a good 8 hour sleep every night.

4. Have fun still.
I know so far everything I've mentioned sounds hella boring, but the benefit of working hard is that you can take time out. Sometimes all I want to do is sit on the couch and snuggle hubby, other times I want to have a couple of drinks and catch up with friends. I actually think that taking time off and having events to look forward to really helps. I find that if I have no plans than I quickly get distracted from studying and just start to fluff about. Or if you are too tired and worked too much than your brain just kinda fries and you stop producing good work, plus your mood plummets.

5. Keep yourself reminded why your doing this.
I know exactly why I'm studying. I have my plans and goals for the future and I remind myself of it all the time. I try to always look towards the future and I'm happy to sacrifice fun and nights out now so that I can have the career I want. The fact that I enjoy learning the content is a big bonus in helping me stay focused. However, I just don't like doing the assessments, so I really need these reminders to keep me chugging through them. If you're struggling to look past your uni work, then it might be a good idea to take a break and refigure out what you want, or at least why your doing this.

My whole "strategy" when it comes to uni is to work smart, not necessarily hard. I want to block out a solid few hours of study and then sit back and play on my phone and watch tv without guilt. I like to get things done and then not have to worry about it. Everybody works differently though, and you need to do you. These are just some things that I make sure I do so that I don't have a breakdown half way through the semester because I have too much to do.

Let me know how you stay on top of uni, and how you're going settling back in.
Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Empties



Hello lovely people!

I had so many empties to share and then at some point during the two moves we've done, I lost them all. So here's a small collection of things that I have used up.


1. D'Fluff, Lush
This is not the one I used up, but I used it up just before the move and I don't know where the empty tub went. D'Fluff is amazing to use when shaving. My skin just feels so much softer and smoother and I get less ingrown hairs than ever. As you can tell, I've already repurchased this and probably will keep purchasing this from a really long time.

2. Rouge Edition Velvet, Bourjois
I loved this colour and I had another colour in this line too that I also loved (and reviewed here). These are going into the bin though as they stink. They have well and truly gone off. Which kinda sucks because I don't really feel like I've had them for that long and they were both great for work. I would buy again, but I am annoyed at how quick they went off.

3. Dry Shampoo, Batiste
Who doesn't love this? Do I even need to say anything? Also, already repurchased.

4. Bioactive Nature Oil, Swisse
This was surprisingly wonderful. I can't remember how it came into my possession, but I started using it about 6 months ago. A little goes a long way and using it only every other night meant that it lasted a long time. I used it on nights that my skin was just out of whack, especially if it was just really dry, and by morning by skin felt fresh and plump. I would recommend and probably will repurchase.

5. Pores No More Cleanser, Dr Brandt
If you want to see my review on this click here. In summary I really liked this and think that it worked well for my skin, but I don't think I will repurchase this. I would love to find something cruelty free.

6. Wild Argan Oil Shower Gel, Body Shop
I got this in a little set from a lovely friend a little while ago and I savoured this, using this only occasionally because it was so lovely to use. I would 100% buy this again but at the moment I have so much shower gel and soap that I'm probably set for another year!

Have you used any of these before? What are your thoughts?
Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

3 Favourite, Healthy and Easy Breakfasts

Hello Lovelies! 

Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. I can't really understand how some people don't eat it as I'm literally the hangriest person when I'm hungry and this is particularly bad in the morning. Well, if  you scroll down you can see some of my go to breakfasts to cure my hangry moods.


Avocado + Veggies on Toast


This one is called Avocado + Veggie Toast as it changes depending on what is in the fridge. The usual would be capsicum, tomato and chilli, but good additions are zucchini, leftover roast veg (sweet potato is the bomb) or even just uncooked salad leaves. To make, all you have to do is get out a pan, throw some oil in it, put in your veggies that need a longer cooking time (capsicum or zucchini for example). Pop your slice/s of bread in the toaster and wait until the veg has softened and add in tomatoes and I throw in some fresh chilli (I love spicy foods!) and spring onion if I have it. In the mean time, smash some avocado on your toast and then pile on the veg. It's still good without it but sprinkle some dukkah over the top to take it to the next level. 

As a side note, if your using leftover veg, you can probably add all the ingredients in the pan at the same time. Also if you don't have dukkah, crushing some cashews is a really nice edition too. Basically, this isn't a recipe, this is a grab whatever you have left in your fridge/cupboard and put it on avocado and toast. 


Peanut Butter on Toast


At the moment, peanut butter on toast is probably the most eaten breakfast. It's just soooo good, and so easy. We make our own peanut butter in our food processor because it's way cheaper. It also doesn't then have any sugar, salt or added oils. The best toppings (in my opinion) are banana and strawberry. Other options include berries (fresh or frozen), probably other fruit too but Jamie and I are creatures of habit.


Porridge


As it's summer in Australia, porridge isn't really on the menu at the moment, but last week we ran out of bread so there's no way we could have option one or two. So we had a hunt around the cupboards and there was a shout (by me) of "PORRIDGE!!" Jamie was a bit unenthusiastic let's just say, but he went along with it, because well, what else was he going to eat? So this is whole oats cooked on the stove with half unsweetened vanilla almond milk and half water. I do this because I find it too sweet and sticky with all milk and way too watery and bland with all water. So half/half is perfect! I like cooked fruit, so I put the porridge, water and milk in a pot to start cooking and then cut up an apple (really good with other fruits too) pop it in, with a little bit of cinnamon, and then cook as normal! I cut up this fresh nectarine on top to add some summery freshness to the breakfast. 

Porridge is something I really enjoy eating, but more so in cooler weather. So, it might be a little while before I have it again. I just feel like porridge with cooked fruit and cinnamon and a cup of tea on the side is just the most perfect way of starting a cold, windy morning! 

I really wanted share my standard granola breakfast too but it's kind of a post on it's own so you'll just have to wait for that one.
If you're inspired to make any of these please share on Twitter or Instagram with #ZeebLikesIt. What's your typical breakfasts? 
Thanks for reading!


Sunday, 21 February 2016

Wunderlist


If you've had any kind of extended conversation with me then eventually the subject would have turned to this wondrous app. I am very obsessed and use it for almost every aspect of my life. It has helped with so many different things, that I completely and utterly believe that my life would fall apart with out it.

Basically, Wunderlist is an app that allows you to create lists. Nothing overly ground breaking, but let me show you how I use it.


So you've got your inbox, I use this really for just day to day tasks, and odd stuff that I need to do but isn't overly important. I love that you can add dates to it as well, just to make you feel extra awful when you see the overdue symbol.


One of the best parts of the app though, is the ability to share your lists. So Jamie and I use this as our groceries list. So as an example of how useful this is. Lets say he's got the day off and uses up all the bread (typical), he can update our groceries list and I'll get a notification straight away. Then I can pop to the shops on the way home, tick bread off the list and he'll get notified that I've picked it up. Best. System. Ever.



We also use this for house chores as you can set your list items to repeat. We set each chore to repeat once a week, every two weeks or so on, so that we know when we really need to get certain chores done. You can also assign different tasks to different people. Which is great for keeping track of who needs to do what (and no, Jamie still hasn't dusted or cleaned the bathroom).

We also use it to keep track of different things we want to buy, watch or visit. It's a lovely way of keeping organised in a relationship, but you have to get your other half in on it too, which can be challenging. I'm very lucky that Jamie enjoys using it too and that I even have lists with my best friend about tea, Youtubers, books, make up and more, so that we can share any cool things we come across.


My favourite use for this app is for keeping on top of uni. I study externally so keeping organised is really important. Before semester starts I load all of the information from my unit outlines into Wunderlist so I know exactly when different assignments are due, and what I need to study each week. Yes, this is a lot of work, but it is SO worth it. The notifications that pop up each week keep me on track, and I never miss an assignment. I know exactly what I have to do each week and when it needs to be done by. 


If you click on each task as well, you can add due dates, reminders, sub tasks, notes, comments and files. I will preload all the information about assignments into each task and add subtasks for each minute detail that I need to complete as well. Honestly, this is the most useful uni tool I have come across.

I also use this for blog post ideas, for keeping note of my content calendar for this blog and even for changes I want to make on the blog. I even have lists dedicated to my short, medium and long term goals, plus a wishlist of things that I really want to save up and buy!

So, if you're already a super organised person or a complete scatter brain, I recommend downloading this app immediently. Then get your partner, your parents, your friends, everyone in on it too. Especially if you're the kind of person that brings a notebook around with you just so you can scribble out lists whenever you get a spare moment, like I used to.

What's your way of staying organised? Let me know in the comments.

Thanks for reading!