27 Jan 2015

Interview With Annie Sebel // Editor Of Yen Magazine

Happy Tuesday! I realise today was the horrible day that many Aussies (me included) went back to school after a blissful 8 week break. I hope you all had wonderful first days, and if not - I'm about to make them a whole lot better! Today I am bringing you a post that I am just bursting with excitement about, an interview with writing legend Annie Sebel. Annie Sebel is the editor of Yen Magazine, the silent genius behind the wonderful words of Yen. I just adore Yen Magazine, and Annie Sebel is such an inspiration to me. Here she shares her advice on writing, insights into her life and other interesting tidbits about herself. Have a read and enjoy the pure awesomeness that is Annie Sebel.

1. Who are you?
Quite the existential question. Who am I? Where to begin? Professionally I’m the editor of Yen magazine, a magazine for creative cookies that I feel so lucky to be able to work on with such an amazing, talented team. I’m also a lover of Wes Anderson films, salt and vinegar chips, beach swims, lamingtons, travelling, a good yarn, laughing with friends, picnics, turquoise jewellery, daggy dancing and oh so much more.

2. What is your favourite word in the english language?
I love the words tundra and shenanigans, unfortunately they’re not the easiest words to work into every day conversations, but dammit I try.

3. Did you always want to be a writer?

When I was in year six at school we had to write an autobiography – mine was called Annie Gal Will Do for those playing at home. And even though we were only 11 years old, we had to detail what had happened in our lives up until then and write a chapter on what we hoped the future would be. In my future chapter I wanted to drive a Volkswagen Beetle, own a lolly shop and be a writer. I’ve achieved one out of the three, so that ain’t bad. I also wanted to get married at the waterslides…

4. How did you get into writing?
I always enjoyed writing and reading and have had a love of magazines since I was a teen (I’d spend free school periods in the library reading newspapers and magazines and I loved buying UK mag The Face – it was hugely influential on me) but I didn’t get into it professionally until after university. I studied an Arts Media and Communications degree at UNSW, where I focused on video editing. When I finished, I had a moment where I went, 'hang on, I don’t want to be stuck in a dark room by myself editing all day'. I decided I’d rather pursue writing and specifically working in magazines. I did a few short writing courses at UTS and a whole lot of work experience at different magazines and at The Powerhouse Museum. All the while I applied for a bunch of jobs. Finally I landed the role of Editorial Assistant at Smash HitsEmpire and Kerrang and my writing career began

5. What is your number 1 tip for teens who want to get into writing? 
Like anything, the more you do it, the better you get at it. So write, write, write. And rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. Also read. Lots. See how other writers craft stories, articles and essays.

6. What is the coolest thing in your wardrobe right now?I’m making my inner nine year old very happy with a black T-shirt with Good Times, in multicolour puffy print, across the front of it. You can’t be in a bad mood in a Good Times T-shirt.

7. If you became a famous rapper, what would your stage name be?
My boyfriend and I have joked that if we were DJs we’d be DJ Gift Wrap and DJ Nashi Pear. Yes, we sound less like rappers and more like children's party entertainers. Although the Wu Tang Clan name Generator tells me it would be would be X-pert Bastard. http://www.mess.be/inickgenwuname.php 
8. What is your life motto?
I don’t have one life motto as such but I’m a big believer in curiosity and a desire to learn more about the world and people around you and being open to different ideas.

9.What does your day look like as the editor of Yen magazine? 
It depends where in the magazine cycle we are. If it’s near the start we’ll be brainstorming new ideas for online and the magazine, then we move into organising them, locking in interviews, pic searching and writing. Then towards deadline it’s a lot of subbing and checking and then we send to print. In between we’re working on social media and online. Some days are filled with meetings, some are a lot of admin, some there are interviews with musicians and actors, some we’re organising events (for the Yen SAEDTLER Art Awards etc) and the most exciting days are when we shoot our cover stars.

10. Is there any exciting news from Yen HQ you can let us in on?

We have a new issue out this Thursday with a very exciting cover star. This year we’re also hoping to focus some more attention on online and give our website a bit of a refresh and new look

23 Jan 2015

Summer Adventures

I have 3 more precious days of freedom before its back to the books here in Australia. This is the time for last minute beach trips, finishing up summer reading, and trying to stop my nail polish from chipping, because it's no longer worth redoing it. I long for the day I can have a purple mani at school!

It's been such a stellar summer. If you've been reading my posts this month, or you're following me on Instagram (@zolablog) you'll know I've been on a few adventures this January. I promised I'd catch you up on my travels, and after some camera complications, I am finally ready to share my trip(s) with you all!

We spent the first days of 2014 tucked away in a coastal town about 45 minutes from Byron Bay. Our schedule was swim. read. shower. repeat. for about a week. It was just so relaxing! We took a few trips into Byron too. The apartment we stayed in was very modern and spacious. I enjoyed having my own bathroom too! A luxury I'm not used to at home. I didn't take too many photos, but here are a few. 

 the view from the headland

 relaxing by the pool

 kite flying on the beach at Byron

 Wayne and Sav's birthday dinner

tie dying up a storm

After barely surviving the drive back to Sydney (with no air con!) I spent little over 12 hours at home, before setting off on my next trip - My youth groups' Summer Camp. Camp is something that people talk about, and look forward to for months and having never been on one, I thought it was time I did. After a seemingly eternal bus trip, we arrived at our campsite. It wasn't as... clean as I had hoped for, but we embraced it. The reason I love camps so much is because of all the new people you meet, and this camp did not disappoint. I met a few great friends, and enjoyed hanging out with them by the beach. I was also given a disposable camera, which excited me. A lot. I finally received the pictures yesterday, and I realised I was not as good of a photographer as I thought. I managed to get my finger over the lens in some photos, but I was stoked with how the others turned out. (I scanned them in, so enjoy the terrible quality!)

 bonfire night

 the gang enjoying the sunshine

 tribe wars - GO NINJAS!


 all smiles :)

 queen of the donut

 prayer on the headland

the view

Camp was exhausting, and when I came home I was dead. I literally just flopped into bed, and stayed there until lunch time the next day. But of course, my travels were not over yet! So I tossed my belongings from one suitcase to another and hauled my tired butt to the airport.  3 friends and I zipped up to QLD to visit a close friend who has recently moved up there. I caught up on sleep quickly, relaxing by the pool and watching reality TV. We did lots of walking around the area, with Milo the dog in tow, went to the beach, watched movies, and went on a shopping trip. I loved seeing where my friend was living, checking out all the places they hang out, and really just living the QLD life.

 the aqua fun park - essentially a giant floating obstacle course

 pancakes for breakfast in Mooloolabar 

 golden sand

 #selfie #sorrynotsorry

jetting out as the sun set

Hope you all had a great summer too!
Follow Zola on Bloglovin' here x

17 Jan 2015

Bubblegum Playlist

I actually wish summer could last forever. I've had a wild January all up and down the coast. It's been a January of sunshine, burning hot sand, sassy 6 yr olds, dance parties, and stary nights. I flew back home on Thursday, and I can now say I've slept a total of 4 nights in my own bed this year.  I'm excited to give you all a full rundown on my adventures, but I'm still (painfully) waiting for the photos from my disposable camera to be developed. All of this waiting is killing me. Dang you instant society! But never fear! As soon as I get them back, I'll share all my travels with you in one go. 

I have to say though, I'm enjoying being home. Much to my delight, the weather in Sydney has been beautiful lately. I've visited my favourite ice cream shop twice in the last 24 hours and I still have so many new flavours to try. To keep the summer vibe going I've put together this playlist. This is kind of my roadtrip / beach / 'I'm so sick of those 5 songs they repeat on the radio' playlist. I've titled it 'Bubblegum' in reflection of all the fabulously cliche pop beats on here. There's a little bit of Charli XCX, in honour of her new album, some Lily Allen because I love her honesty, some Tove Lo because she was such a great opening act to Katy Perry, and Lorde because what playlist is complete without a little Lorde!? So bring out your inner Sass Queen and dance the last few days of the holidays away in your room with these fun songs. I won't tell anyone!! 

Check out the full playlist below, and don't forget to follow Zola on Bloglovin' here

11 Jan 2015


Savannah Wears
Top - Freshtops
Shorts - Riders
Shoes - Converse

Emojis are something that I love more than life itself. Their just too cute, and make texts look super super fun. When I found this emoji crop, I just couldn't go past it. I've had this outfit on repeat over the past few weeks as I've been travelling like crazy. The cotton is really soft for some reason, and its perfect for the endless summer days. The same can be said for these shorts by Riders. I'm not a person to buy branded shorts (at all!!) but I picked these up in a Boxing day sale for $35 (yassss!) and I'm adoring them. The dark denim is a sophisticated twist on classic denim shorts.

Just after Christmas we went north to visit my cousins, before spending a week in a gorgeous beachside apartment. We took these photos on the beach, which was beautiful as you can see. This week I've been in the middle of nowhere - again. Our youth group went on our annual summer camp. It was actually my first time on the camp, and I had a blast. I took a bunch of pictures on a little film camera that you might have seen on my Instagram yesterday (@zolablog). I'll be sure to post my photos when they are processed. I also met some great new friends, and got closer with some incredible people. It was such an empowering week, but I'm glad to be home. Man, I slept so well last night!!

I'm flying away again in a few hours and I'm dead tired and excited and hungry and really too lazy to repack my stuff for the third time. What a first world problem. Anyway, I thought I'd take a few moments to check in and catch you up with my summer adventures. I'll be back on the 16th and I'm pumped to show you some posts I have in the works, including one involving the team at Yen Magazine (eeeeeeeekkk!) 
Much love xo

5 Jan 2015

The Ghost Of Birthdays Past

Today is the one blissful day of the year when I can eat as much cake as I can, and no one can judge me for it. Yaaaas - It's ma birthday! Some fantastic part of me decided that for my birthday, I was going to do something fun like embarrass myself on the Internet. So I've put together some photos of my pre-blogger self for us all to laugh at. Most of these were taken when I was around 3, and it looks like I was a bit of a weirdo. A rather entertaining weirdo, at that. Anyway, enjoy my childhood snaps, and thank you in advance for all the birthday wishes xo

Dad and I took bathroom mirror selfies before they were a thing.
Maybe I was always meant to be a blogger
Yeah just let me put some lipgloss on first
My childhood fashion inspiration was Randy from Monsters Inc. (he's a chamelion.)
Daaaaad - What the heck am I dumping my hand in!?
Signing the mortgage on my inflatable mansion
We're making a masterpiece. Stop killin the vibe. 
I hope my attempt at being funny was actually funny, and if not just take my birthday as an excuse to eat a cupcake and go for a swim. Much love xo

P.S. I've been locked out of my Instagram account for no real reason, but I can't get back into it until I get home. Sorry if I've been AWOL for a few days, I'll be back with a new theme soon :)