Live Music / Spotify Playlists

I’m big into music. I compile playlists pretty much daily, for every mood that strikes. I listen to anything from Death Grips to The Staves, and pretty much anything in between. I love carefully studying sound, dissecting each individual element of a song that I fall in love with, and then putting it back together with a greater understanding of what’s being conveyed. For me, music is much more stimulating than visual art.

5 Vegan Lunch Ideas

It’s been a bit quiet on the post front, due to my return to school. My final year and a stressful one at that, yay! It hasn’t been great trying to get back in the swing of school, but I’ve been trying to start the year as I mean to go on, with eating better food to fuel me enough to be able to withstand the long hours of study I have ahead of me. I consider myself a part-time vegan, by which I mean I eat vegan as often as possible, with the occasional small amount of dairy, and non-vegan food at friends houses/while I’m out and it’s not easily accessible. It can be really hard to come up with healthy veggie/vegan lunch options for school/work that are easy to make ahead of time, last well thrown in a bag and are okay for on the go. I’ve been experimenting with a few different meals for my first week back, so thought I’d share what I ate to give some ideas for healthier options! If you’d like a similar post with breakfasts, or another one of these with different foods, let me know. I also want to share some recipes if you’re interested!

>> By the way, my friend just created a new blog about baby. Let’s check her blog: babystrollercarseatcombo.com

Changes

This is the first time, in so long, that I’ve actually just wanted to sit and write. So without further ado, with me being very quiet in the online world, I feel it is time for an update – a catch-up, an explanation, and a few big (big) changes regarding this space.

I’m going through a very transitional time in my life at the moment. I’m about to turn 18, an actual real grown up. I’m entering my final year of school, which means this time next year(ish) I’ll be moving to Dublin city, 5 hours from home, and starting the next phase of my life. I’m in a very rough place regarding my mental health, and I recently separated from my boyfriend of 1 year. So yes, not necessarily how I hoped this summer would go!

>> By the way, please check my sister reviews on best outdoor cat house and shelter on her blog!

My Festival Essentials

This isn’t your glossy magazine “festival essentials”. I’m not about to tell you that you need to be drinking kale smoothies and using body lotion daily, or telling you about some fringed handbag. Frankly, thats the biggest load of bullshit. This is the actualessentials for a festival, in all their drunken, dirty glory. I’m not about to pay for showers and the luxury of a flushing toilet, and I’m sleeping in a field with 70,000 others for 3 nights. Some level of creature comfort is required, so here’s what I feel like you require in order to not feel absolutely disgusting..

Bits of Life // June 2015

Usually, I write these posts and I’ve done 1 million things in a month, I have loads to share. However, with June, I’ve kind of had to find things to write about! May was really stressful. It was the last month of school, I was all over the country, so I was barely sleeping and very tearful. June has not been my most productive month, and honestly, it’s had me feeling a little guilty. I’ve neglected my blog a bit, I haven’t been my usual big-planning, forward thinking self. I also plan to buy a cheap bunk beds for kids just under $200 for my brother and me, for now, it’s also a big money with me. But I’m realising that’s okay. 

5 ways blogging has changed my life

I’m not a big blogger. Let’s just get that out of the way by stating the obvious. I have a couple of thousand followers on various platforms, and for that I’m very grateful – that anyone would care about my weird ramblings about various things is quite astounding.
Despite me certainly not being big in any way, I suppose I’m lucky to be a blogger in a country where the industry is big, but not too competitive. This means that what I do impacts on my life in quite a huge way. Whilst feeling reflective about this, I thought I’d share 5 of the ways (both shallow and more monumental) ways that blogging has changed my life completely, since I sat down a year and a half ago and first wrote a post.

STUFF I NEVER WOULD HAVE DONE OTHERWISE 


Okay, so maybe this seems fairly obvious/the biggest one.. I’ve done so much I never would have done if I didn’t do this. I’ve attended launches/events, been a VIP at a concert, stayed on a weekend break at a beautiful resort, modelled for a photoshoot, been in magazines/newspapers, organised an all-day event for 22 other bloggers.. That’s just off the top of my head. There are so many cool things that 16/17 year olds don’t really normally do on a Thursday after school where I’ve had to stop and think oh my god, this is so cool!. There will be so many more of these, and I’m really grateful for that.

CAREER PATH

When I started this, I was really interested in makeup and fashion. I still am. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life at all, I had recently turned 16 and people were asking questions about university for the first time and it was scary. The (minor) successes I’ve had and passion I’ve sparked from doing this have made me very interested in marketing and PR as a career, as well as media in general. Because of blogging, I know the sort of direction I want to go in, what course I want to do, and I’m giving myself experience in the field. That’s such an important thing to me.

PEOPLE I’VE MET 


I have met so many fabulous people in the past year and a half. A friend, photographer and lady that gets mentioned a lot is Rachel – I dm’ed her on Twitter because I was walking to my first blog event and didn’t know where to go in Dublin, so she came with me. It’s been over a year since we met, and she’s now one of my best friends. I’ve met countless other wonderful people too – Recently there’s been a picture in the press of me with the first blogger I ever read who totally sparked my interest in makeup and fashion when I was 14. That’s been a real “pinch myself” moment.

CONFIDENCE 


I’ve always been fairly outgoing, but confidence? Less so. Always a surprise to hear from someone who’s worn purple hair since they were 15 and has a soft spot for blue lipstick and glitter. However, before I blogged, I went through a period of trying to tone down my style a bit to seem a bit more normal. I totally regret this now, and do quite the opposite – push myself to find the coolest, weirdest things possible. I wouldn’t really have the confidence for that without this!

HARD WORK & CREATIVITY 


Two things that I love that this has given me – it encourages me to work hard. I’m quite a busy person, I’m going in to my final year of secondary school and I dedicate quite a lot of time to the blog, in various ways. Blogging has encouraged me to work harder in school to get the right grades to pursue the career I want, but it also makes me work hard because I put so much effort in to it. It makes me think creatively all the time – whether I’m putting together an outfit, looking for cool locations to shoot in or coming up with new ideas to write about. It gives me something to work hard at every day that I love, and for that, I’m very grateful.

Do you blog? What motivates you to do it?

Bits of Life: May 2015

 

May has been one HECTIC month.. This time of year is always a bit mad, but this month has been particularly cray. What with exams, me being up and down the country for various events, and just generally a lot going on, it’s been a little much, I’m certainly delighted that by the time this is up, I’m free for summer! Having said that, it was a good month. Despite all the stresses, it’s great to look back at what I did and see how much good stuff went on this month, as it felt a bit constantly tiring. As with every month, I thought I’d share a few of the bits I’ve been up to and what’s been generally going on in my life. To see all of this stuff as it happens (if you’re REALLY interested), feel free to follow me on Instagram – @zoewithumlauts!

 

Recent events: Bioderma Launch, Blog Awards and Wet n’ Wild!

Last week I headed up to Dublin for a few different events, so instead of just doing a post on each one, or just neglecting to write about them entirely, I thought I’d just to a post catching you up on what was going on! Going L-R, the first image is from the Beauty Blog Awards, the 2nd two are from Bioderma and the last two from Wet n’ Wild. Got that? Good! Here’s what I got up to..

The Marriage Equality Referendum: From the perspective of a nearly-adult.

This is usually a relatively harmless, inoffensive space for talking about pretty lipsticks and for me to prance about wearing dresses. Every so often, we get a little deep, introspective, or topical on here. Thanks for sticking by.
The media has been set alight with the referendum for marriage equality – You cannot leave your house without being bombarded with posters, leaflets, badges, t-shirts; you can’t open twitter without a barrage of campaigning, or turn on the television without seeing some sort of debate. I think it’s fantastic to see people so politically engaged.
Now, I’m not here to give you facts and figures, and although from the bottom of my heart I hope for a YES vote, I’m not going to tell you that you’re wrong for voting no. This is just my perspective and thoughts on the state of affairs as a nearly-adult living in this country.

Bits of Life // April 2015

Welcome to another edition of “bits of life!” Essentially, sharing some stuff I’ve been up to over the past month with you all. April has been fairly full-on (when aren’t things full-on for me?!), but the first half of the month was spent mainly relaxing, which was nice. It was quite an exciting month, I find whenever I get to do cool new stuff, it makes me really look forward to the coming months and what fun stuff they hold, too. This is a bit of a mishmash of the highlights of the month!

Time off/Spending time with friends and family (As demonstrated in the above photo!) // Easter meant I had two weeks off to not only relax and get some stuff done that I simply don’t have the hours in the day for whilst at school, but it gave me the chance to spend some time with people I love. I spent a lot of time with the best friend and boyfriend of course, I also went to Kildare stayed with Rachel, as well as having a few of my other close friends around for a bit of a shindig. It’s so nice to have that catchup time, I don’t get to see a lot of my closest friends often, and even the ones I do, it’s just not the same in school. Now I’m just counting down to summer!

Photoshoot for Fashion Revolution // April gave me my first chance to try out being an actual model as opposed to just posing in the street for the blawg. Something I never thought I’d be able to do, as a slightly chubby, average at best, 5″4 girl! I’m so so happy with how the photos turned out, you can see the first look I shot by clicking here, and the next one will be going up on Saturday (May 2nd)! This was a little snap I took of some of the to-die-for sunglasses in the dressing area.

Boohoo event // I didn’t get the chance to attend any other events due to commitments and school, but I did go along to theBoohoo Press Day, which you can read all about here! So much love for Boohoo, I also got to meet the first blogger I ever read back in 2009, Leanne, which was great. I also posted the outfit I wore that day here!

Job.. // I got an actual job!! I am now a Brand Ambassador for PlanMyDebs.ie! I’m delighted to be a part of the brand, it’s such a great opportunity for me as someone who’s interested in marketing as a career.. So I’m sure you’ll see more of that on here as time goes on!

To see more of what I get up to throughout the months, follow me on Instagram @zoewithumlauts!

10 (Non-beauty/fashion) Blogs You Should Be Following

I did a post about sharing the blogging love a while ago and gave a list of some of my favourite bloggers, but they were all beauty/fashion based. The beauty and fashion blogging industry is huge, so there’s a saturated market of lots of amazing bloggers. As I’m getting more and more in to lifestyle blogging myself, I’m getting more and more in to reading a diverse range of blogs. My personal favourites are blogs that have a mix of fashion, beauty and general life, much like my own! I thought I’d share my favourite 10 lifestyle/recipe/travel etc blogs, for you to check out when you’re getting a bit sick of the same fashion/beauty reads!

Giveaway: Win a €100 Boohoo Voucher With Insurgent

 

This is very exciting, it’s the biggest giveaway I’ve ever had here.. A prize I’m quite jealous of! I rep Boohoo on the regular (after doing some work experience at Burrell PR, the people who take care of Boohoo in Ireland, I feel a sentimental connection), and so naturally, I was absolutely delighted to be approached to do a giveaway a €100 voucher for Boohoo.com, to celebrate the release of Insurgent!

Insurgent is the 2nd in the Divergent Trilogy, and is being released in Irish cinemas on March 19th, so to celebrate, they’ve teamed up with Boohoo to offer me this amazing prize!

Bits of Life // February 2015

February has been a bit of a crazy month for me. The beginning of the month I was really unwell, which rendered me totally out of action for a good week or so. I’m not the sort of person who’s happy to just sit back and recover, so it was really hard for me to let go of all responsibilities and commitments in order to get better. Then, once I was better, I was so intensely busy, it was a bit insane! As with last month, this post gives me a chance to share everything I’ve been up to with you, as well as everything else I’ve been loving this month!

#Corkblogmeet15

Photo by Aine
Unless you don’t follow me or basically any other Cork/Irish beauty blogger on Twitter/Facebook or you’ve been living under some kind of Zoë with Umlauts free rock, you’ll probably have heard about the #CorkBlogMeet15. It was a meetup/day of events I organised for a group of 22 bloggers on Saturday the 21st of February. I’m so proud of how the day went! I had the little idea at the beginning of December and it blossomed into something incredible, thanks to the help of all the amazing brands I had involved! I, of course, had to do a post sharing what I got up to. I also shared the goodie bags I prepared for everyonehere, and my next post will be on the AMAZING goodies generously shared by the brands involved on the day. Then, I promise I’ll shut up about it. I’m going to go through the day in order of events!

10 (More) Happy Things.

I did one of these posts back in September, when life was pretty much swimming along without incident. I had loads going on and was generally thrilled with everything. While I’ve still got lots going on, constant new projects are in the pipeline to keep me busy, this past week/weekend has probably been one of the toughest of my life. I might go in to detail in a future post, but for now, it’s irrelevant. I wanted to make myself feel a bit better so I thought I’d write a list of 10 things that are keeping me going right now, as sometimes you need to list it all out to see things are okay.

Using Social Media for Blog Traffic – My Top 5 Tips

A lot of people, especially in business, seem to be determined to “crack” social media. Like it’s some sort of enigma code, or mystery secret to be understood. I’m of the generation that’s been using computers since before I could read, and I’ve been active on social media since I was about 10 – so around 7 years. With around 5k Instagram followers and nearly 1,000 Twitter followers, it’s fair to say I’ve built a presence for myself in this time. It’s been such a big part of my life and progression as a person that it just comes naturally to me. It’s only in the past few years/the past year that I’ve learned how to turn this knowledge to marketing, and in that time I’ve picked up some strategies that I found to be quite successful for driving traffic to my blog. I learned these through a lot of trial and error, but also through watching others. I’ve condensed my 5 favourite ways of getting blog traffic (and building friendships/contacts!) from social media for you all..

Bits of Life // January 2015

Welcome to my new monthly series, Bits of Life! I have to confess the concept for this was entirely stolen from Karis, who did a similar style of post back in May. I wanted to do this alongside my monthly beauty favourites to illustrate what else I’ve been doing and loving this month – Stuff I’ve been up to, my favourite books/songs/tv etc. Let me know what you think of this feature, I’m really excited to include it!

Bits I’ve Done //

Organising the #CorkBlogMeet15: Other than school work, January has been pretty quiet. However, I have been busy organising the blogger event I’m hosting next month! PR samples are arriving for goodie bags, invites have been sent, plans are being finalised. I’m really enjoying organising it and I’m so nervous for it to go ahead. I can’t wait to share every aspect of the day with all of you!

Weekend in Dublin: Last weekend, me and Aran took a trip up to Dublin to visit Karis and Rachel, as you can see in this picture with me at the most unflattering angle. We had a very relaxed time, apart from my inappropriate footwear choices meaning I hobbled around the place like a freak. I love how busy and energetic Dublin is, it’s such a change from my regular quiet country life, and makes it quite therapeutic to return home afterwards. I’ll be up and down fairly constantly over the next month or so for events and some other things I have coming up, which is very exciting, although once you’ve done enough 10 hour round trips in a month, you grow slightly sick of the sight of a coach.

Bits I’ve Read //

Book – #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso: My favourite book that I read this month was undoubtedly #GIRLBOSS. The memoirs of the unconventional multi-millionaire fashion mogul Sophia Amoruso as she set up her business empire, Nasty Gal. Far from a feminist manifesto, the book gives invaluable, realistic advice on working hard to get where you want to be. Inspiring, funny, and I didn’t put it down in the two days I read it.
Blog – FERAL CREATURE: FERAL CREATURE is the blog of Eugénie Grey, an LA/NYC based blogger with the most incredible style. Her photos are beautiful, every outfit is totally unique to the last, and her style is totally on point. Definition of cool girl, I’ve consistently loved her posts above all other this month and draw a lot of inspiration from her,

Bits I’ve Watched //

TV – Skins: I know this isn’t exactly new on the radar, but this month, pretty much all I’ve watched is the UK teen cult classic Skins. A favourite of mine when I was about 14, my boyfriend had never seen it before, so I introduced it to him. Leading me to re-watching everything and several weekend binge watching sessions with Aran. If you haven’t seen it, it’s definitely worth a look if you’re into slightly gritty, angsty teen dramas with more drug use and sex than anyone of that age actually partakes in.
YouTube – EssieButton: I’ve watched Estée for a few years now, and she is without question my favourite ‘Beauty/Lifestyle’ YouTuber. She’s so honest, genuine, lovely and downright stylish. I can tell that if I met her in the street she’d be genuinely happy to have a conversation about cool teas and minimalist interior decor, and I think that’s why I love her so much. I’ve had a couple of Essie marathons in the past month, which earned her the particular favourite!

Bits I’ve Listened To //

My music listening has been really sporadic and odd this month. Usually I have a few current favourites that I listen to almost non-stop, but I seem to be stuck in a real ‘skip to the next track’ phase. You know when you can’t settle on a song, and when you come up with something you might want to listen to, it doesn’t sound right? That. Regardless, here is a Spotify playlist of my favourite tracks of the month:

Other Bits I’ve Been Loving //

Food – Avocados: I think I must have a bit of an obsessive/addictive personality, as much like when I get obsessed with music, I get obsessed with foods. Avocados are my current love of choice. An avocado with balsamic vinegar or mashed avocado with garlic on toast are my current snacks of choice, and healthy ones at that. Mmm.
Bit’s You’ve Loved // 


My most popular post this month was Starting A Blog? Here’s Some Advice. Blogging advice seems to be a big new thing as more and more people climb aboard the bandwagon, so I shared my two cents on what I wish people had told me when I began, and it went down very well!
I really hope you enjoy this style of post, let me know what you think below!