24 September 2015

About Me

Hiya and welcome to The Seasonal Collective!

My name is Rachel Dunkley, I am 18 years old and living in New Zealand. I currently still studying at High School and am heading off into the big wide world of University next year. The reason I started this blog was as a place for me to write and inspire people. Becoming an avid blog reader over the last few years has really made me want to start my own blog. My thoughts were, if these people can do it why can't I? I soon started reading up about how to start my own blog, researching how to get your blog noticed and even how to take better photos before I'd even started it, but it just got me more and more excited. So here I am starting my blog, doing what I've wanted to do for a very long time and doing it for myself, not anyone else. 

The reason behind my blog name

When deciding on a blog name I had many ideas that came to me, some great and others that seemed ridiculous. I started a blog a few years ago, meaning for it to be a fashion blog but after a while I realised I just wasn't that passionate about fashion that I wanted to write something every week. So in turn I have named my blog 'The Seasonal Collective' because I want to create a collection (or series) per season. Working with the seasons is something that I have been interested in as the seasons affect me greatly. I love summer and everything about it, the sun, the beach, going out with friends more, and winter is great in its own way too. Snuggles by the fire, hot chocolate and  loads of blankets. Each season is great in its own way and I want to do something so that I can make every season be as great and fun of a time as it should be for everyone. 

What I will be posting about

When asked to summarise my blog the two things I hope to say my blog is about would be advice and diy. Although many of the posts that I write wont be about these topics these are the two areas that I want to focus on the most. Posts I will be writing and creating will be about a range of things, weather that be a way to help with advice, diy, fashion, travel, music or just something a little bit different. I hope that you are enjoying my blog and hope that you continue to follow my blogging journey. If there is anything you want to see just let me know and I will try and make it happen. I'd love to hear from you with whatever you have to say. You can contact me at theseasonalcollective@gmail.com 

- Rachel

Self Confidence

I have to admit self confidence for me has often been something that I have struggled with. I've had to deal with my fair share of bullying and it really pulled my self confidence through the  floor. I have since regained most of my confidence but it has taken me a really long time to do so. 

During my first year of high school I was picked on by some girls as I walked home everyday. This wasn't the first time that I had had a run in with bullying. One day I was sick of everything they had been doing and went to see the principal, and after that it stopped. Someone told me that I needed to stop looking down when I walked because it made me look like a target, really its true if someone sees you not paying much attention they want to get your attention. I still had to walk past those girls every day but in my head I asked myself "Do I want to look as small as a mouse or as tall as a mountain?". Although I'm only 5'2 it reall is about the way that you feel inside, when I first started saying it it made me stop staring at the ground and lift my head. It seems like a little thing but it really made me feel a lot better about myself.

Both this year and last year I've found a group of really amazing friends. I've always had a small group of close friends but its expanded within the last two years. I had friends outside of the group who seem to have combined in and we are always accepting of new people into our group. And its really helped me become a much more confident person, self loving and accepting person. Within my friend group every single person has taught me something about myself or taught me something in general. Whether that's not to care what other people think, that some situations really aren't that big of a deal, to open up to people, or that sometimes you need to tell people how your feeling.

I will admit that I do still have my struggles and there are days where I just want to sit and home in my comfy clothes or sometimes not even get changed out of my pyjamas for the day. Days where I don't feel great, but talking to someone about what's happening or just talking to my friends in general really helps me when I'm down. On the days where I'm not feeling great I used to stand in front of the mirror and say to myself "I am beautiful" or "I am worth it", even if I didn't believe it at the time I began to believe it one day. Sometimes you have to do the silliest things to make you feel better about yourself. Like smiling with the biggest cheesy smile when you feel like crying. Now I'm not saying to hide your emotions because telling people is one of the best things you can do, but being silly and challenging yourself when you have those negative thoughts is a coping skill that I have taught myself to do.

All in all self confidence is not something that you can learn from anyone, after all it's the way that you look at yourself, nor can it be learnt over night. As I said it took me a really long time to learn/ get back my self confidence but it can be done, and that's coming from experience. You really just have to believe in yourself and argue yourself when you have those negative thoughts because you are awesome, because you are you.

My Reverse Bucket List

For those of you that don't already know what a reverse bucket list is, its basically a list of things that were on your bucket list but you've already completed them. For me my bucket list sees new additions all the time, although I've never really had one written down until now, it's always been more of a mental bucket list.

These are just a few of the things that I've done that have been really amazing! 

Flying a plane.

I can honestly say the most amazing thing I've ever done was fly a plane. Not only did I fly it, I flew solo. At the beginning of this year I went to a school for two weeks where you learn how to fly a plane, the Walsh Memorial Flying School. It was one of the most surreal experiences knowing that I was doing it by myself after all the practising and training. My instructor pushed me really hard but I'm so grateful that he did. It gave me a boost of self confidence that I never thought something like that could, even now after 8 months I sometimes just sit and think "Hell yes, I flew a fricken plane!"

My instructor took this photo after I had just landed from my first solo flight.

Travel to England.

About two years ago I went on a huge overseas trip with my family. We went to London, Liverpool, Rome, Paris and Seoul. Its not the first time that I had been overseas but I hadn't been any where since I was about 7. It was so fascinating to see how everyone lives, what's different and just really put into perspective just how small New Zealand really is. The reason that travelling to England was on my bucket list is because my dad is from there and it has also been a place that has enticed me for a long time.

Me when I was in England, we stopped just so I could get a photo with the phone box since we
don't have anything like that in New Zealand.

Go to a music festival 

At the beginning of 2014 I went to a music festival here in New Zealand called Parachute. It is a Christian music festival that happened every year. It was an amazing experience being completely immersed in the whole atmosphere for 3 daysAfter the festival had finished they announced that that would be the last one ever, and it was only my first. I was so keen to go back, but now I'm set on going to a big music festival over seas.

50 Things on My Bucket List

1. Skydiving
2. White water rafting
3. Own a puffer fish
4. Own my own house
5. Go horse riding
6. Learn to be a great cook
7. Walk on the golden gate bridge
8. Carve a pumpkin
9. Swim in a waterfall
10. Make Macaroons from scratch
11. Try Haggis
12. Stay in the Ice Hotel
13. Own a huge aquarium 
14. Fly first class
15. Walk on the Great Wall
16. Swimming with dolphins
17. Go parachuting
18. Visit Stone Henge
19. Name a Star
20. Learn how to ride a bike
21. Learn how to scuba dive
22. Go to Coachella
23. Represent New Zealand for shooting
24.  Have a library in my house
25. Learn how to snowboard
26. Learn how to ski
27. Let go of a floating lantern
28. Get my Private Pilots Licence
29. Write a book (and finish it)
30. Own a pug dog
31. Go to Disneyland
32. Travel to Tokyo
33. Sleep under the stars
34. Build a ginger bread house
35. Watch turtles hatch
36. Go shark cage diving
37. Go Whale watching
38. Learn how to surf
39. See the northern lights
40. Go on a safari
41. Get a tattoo
42. See something at the Olympic games
43. Spend a night in a tree house
44. Go on a cruise
45. Start a tradition together
46. Go on a road trip
47. Have my dream job
48. Stay in an over water hotel
49. Go para-sailing
50. Start a blog

10 Songs I'm Loving Right Now

When I'm feeling down one of the best pick me ups for me is listening to a bit of up beat music. Some people really enjoy listening to sad music, but for me that's the worst thing I can do.  This month I've found some really great songs that have been making me want to get up and boogie. An with the summer months approaching I think its about time to get into the summer spirit.

1. Whip It by LunchMoney Lewis

LunchMoney Lewis' second hit single that has been released. He is best known for his first hit "Bills", which topped the charts in Australia and reached the top 10 in both New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

2. Aint Nobody (Loves Me Better) by Felix Jaehn Ft. Jasmine Thompson

The newest collaboration between Felix Jaehn and hit singer/songwriter, Jasmine Thompson. Starting out on YouTube she now has over 1.3 million subscribers. 

3.  Lush Life by Zara Larsson

Zara Larrson a Swedish singer won a competition at age 10, and received prize money of 500,000 SEK as a result. Her newest hit Lush Life became her second number 1 single in Sweden.

4. The Monster (Cover) by Bebe Rexha

Bebe Rexha a professional songwriter has written many hit singles. The Monster was originally called monster under my bed and was recorded for her début solo album. 

5. Fire N Gold by Bea Miller

Fire N Gold is Bea Millers second single from her début EP Young Blood. Bea Miller signed a record with Hollywood Records after placing ninth in the second season of The X Factor USA. 

6. Teach Me by Joey Bada$$ Ft. Kiesza

Kiesza, starting out as mainly a folk singer, has had many hit singles on both the UK and USA charts. She has been praised by the Rolling Stones as impressive and has written and collaborated with many other famous artists. 

7. Wild Eyes by Broiler Ft. Ravvel

Broiler, a Norwegian DJ duo, released their 7th hot single last year. Within it's second week of release it hit number one on the Norwegian singles chart

8. Beggin' for Thread by Banks

The American singer/song writer Banks released this song for her début album Goddess. The song peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Alternative charts in the United States.

9. Lean On by Major Lazer and DJ Snake Ft. MO

Lean On was named by Spotify as the most globally streamed song of the summer. It reached number 1 in many countries including Australia, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Denmark, and Switzerland. The Danish singer MØ featured and also helped co-write the track.

10. Our Own House by Misterwives

This song is from the American indie pop band, Misterwives, début album, which was released in February of this year. The song was written and composed by the lead singer, Mandy Lee and co-written by Martin Terefe.

Beginners Guide To Make-up

Starting out with Make-Up

Starting out with make-up is something that many girls (and sometimes guys) go through. It took me a long time to really get the hang of everything and even now I'm still learning new things. There's new products all the time and things I've never even heard of. So here I'll tell you all the products I think any person that is starting out with make-up should have. Keep in mind that you don't need to have all these things, you can just start with a few products.

Even I've made mistakes

When I first started out with make-up I made many mistakes, but I have learnt from them all. Having someone to teach me how to do my make-up was not one of the privileges that I had, as my mum doesn't wear a lot of make-up. So I taught myself, watched many YouTube videos and discovered new things. I started using brushes, blush, and eye-shadow. When I was younger the first product I ever owned was concealer, which I only used under my eyes to hide my dark circles. I then moved on to foundation, concealer and mascara. It took me a long time to realise that your skin has an undertone and that buying more expensive make-up normally does mean that its better quality. There are some things that are really good dupes of more expensive products.

Products you'll need:

A make-up bag: A make up bag is an essential. Used to keep all your makeup and brushes in one place and great for travelling too. I use this one to take my make-up with me. You'll need one that's going to be able to fit everything that you own or will be getting in it. 

Sunscreen or Primer: Primer is used to fill in pores and fine lines to give your foundation a smoother application. It also helps to keep your foundation on longer, sunscreen has a similar effect as long as you let it fully soak into the skin before applying.

A liquid foundation or bb cream: When applying, apply to your whole face and down your neck. A foundation is used to make your whole face one colour. It should be applied after a layer of primer or moisturiser. Foundation can be applied with your fingers but applying with a brush will produce a better finish.
- Matching your foundation
Everyone has different undertones to their skin, cool, warm, or neutral. If you don't know what colour undertones you have take this test to find out. You can also get a trial in store to find out which shade of foundation you will be. This is often the best way to find the right shade.
Mascara: Darkens your eyelashes and can give volume or length depending on the formula. Should be put on last to prevent getting powder and eye shadow sticking to it.
Cream Blush: A cream blush is applied after foundation and before powder. They give a really natural look and give your skin a more dewy look than that of a powder. This is not essential for a beginner and a powder will be just fine.
A concealer (not in picture): A concealer can cover up dark circles, discolouration, and blemishes. Using a concealer that is a shade or two lighter for under your eyes can really help to brighten up this area. Concealer can be applied before or after foundation, it's up to you.

A natural eye-shadow palette (Browns and golds work for most people): Eye shadow isn't something that has to be worn everyday but is nice on a special occasion. It should be applied after foundation and powder to make it easier to brush away any that falls onto your face, so it doesn't stick to the wet foundation.
A natural or pink based lipstick: A natural looking lipstick can make your make up look finished and really well done. Even a clear lip gloss or shiny lip balm can give the same effect, if you want something really natural looking.
Powder: is applied after your liquid foundation or bb cream, this will will help set your make-up so that it will last longer. A mattifying powder is a real asset to someone who has oily skin, as it prevents your skin from becoming shiny.
A powder blush: A blush is used to give your face a nice flush, it doesn't have to be mad just a subtle pink will be perfect. Both corals and light pinks give this nice flush. It should be applied after your powder with a blush or small powder brush.
Eyebrow powder/pencil: An eyebrow powder or pencil is used for filling in your eyebrows. If you want something softer than a pencil powder is a great alternative. Filling in your eyebrows frames your face and gives definition.
Bronzer (not in picture): Bronzer is used to give a nice glow to your skin. Bronzer should be applied after powder and can be applied before blush of desired. Applying in a 3 shape on your face gives the best result.


Foundation brush: Used for applying foundation. This is a paddle brush, a common brush for applying foundation. There are many different brushes used for applying foundation and you can also use your finger but a brush produces a better finish.
Powder brush: A large brush used to apply powder all over the face,
Flat angled eyeliner brush: This brush can be used for gel eyeliner or for filling in your eyebrows with powder.
Angled blush brush: A small brush used for applying blush to your cheeks.
Concealer brush: Used to apply concealer to blemishes, under the eyes or on any problem areas.
Eye shadow brush: Great for applying eye shadow all over the lid. Can also be used to highlight the brow bone.
Crease brush (not in picture): Used to apply a darker eye shadow in the crease of your eye lid to give depth and definition.
Blending brush (not in picture): Used to blend your eye shadow together so there are no stark lines.


Sharpener: Used to sharpen eye liner, lip liner, and anything else that needs sharpening.
Eyebrow brush/ spooly: To brush your eyebrows into place and make them look more done up.
Tweezers: For plucking the stray hairs out that pop up in between getting your eyebrow done.
Eyelash curler: Curling your eyelashes can make them look much longer. This is especially good for people who have short eyelashes.

Styling your bedroom - On a budget

So you've just moved in, are planning your dorm room, are sick of the way your bedroom looks or are just wanting a bit of a change. Changing up your room can sound like a bit of a daunting and expensive task but with a few simple items it can be easy.

Starting with a blank canvas is of course the ideal place to start but if you don't have one, don't panic! Take these simple steps and you'll become a styling genius in a spiff.

This is the colour scheme that I have in my current room at home. Blue and white with a small bit of pale pink.

1. Choose your colour scheme

Every bedroom you've ever seen, whether it's been on Pinterest, in a styling magazine or on T.V, has a colour scheme, so why should yours be different?  Now I'm not saying you have to have colours like purple, pink and yellow together. It could be as simple as having white and beige, or blue and white together.  You could go with your favourite colours or just a combination of colours you think looks fantastic! The trick is to only pick a few colours, you don't want to pick 10 different colours as it will make the bedroom look as if there's no colour scheme at all. I'd say just choose between two or three colours and then a your neutral colour and you've got your scheme. But all in all it's your bedroom, so its completely up to you!

2. Pick a neutral colour

Choose a neutral colour to fit on top of your already chosen colours. Using this trick by always having a neutral colour, such as black, white or brown, in there somewhere, just gives the room a little more balance and continuity.  Having a neutral brings another element and some light to the room that you would otherwise not have. This also helps when it comes time to buying things, as some things will not come in the colour you want them too, but most items will have a neutral option. You don't have to go looking for things in this colour as it should just be a base colour for the room instead of part of the colour scheme. 

3. Buy expensive things in your neutral colour

If you're on a tight budget (or any budget if you're me) and you need to change a fair amount of things around or purchase in the first place, buy things such as sheets and furniture in neutral colours. This will help when and if it comes time to changing things again, as you won't have to replace as many things the next time. This also makes sure that your colour scheme doesn't over power the room. Have things that don't really get noticed unless they are a statement piece in a neutral, as it makes the room seem more cohesive. These things can also be brought on sale quite frequently. Always look out for sales when buying things that you need, one thing is to make sure that you're not just making a purchase because it's on sale. You have to really ask yourself "would I buy this if it wasn't on sale?"

4. Remember that even the little things can make a difference

When you have a colour scheme in your room even little things such as a lamp or photo frames that are a different colour will really sick out. This may be a good or a bad thing depending on the look you are going for. Say if I had a room that was all grey and had splashes of  yellow, the yellow would really stand out but the colours would compliment each other nicely. Whereas if I had the same colour scheme but had red photo frames and no other red in the room it would look out of place in the room, making the room look like its not been pulled together precisely. This may be the look you are going for, but personally I like having everything in the same colours, even right down to the tissue box! This just makes everything look like it all goes together really  nice and like it fits together well. 

Creating a "Mood Board" can really give you some inspiration when it comes time to setting up your bedroom. The colour scheme I have chosen here is yellow and orange, with white as my neutral.

5. Choose your style and look for inspiration

If you don't have or know what what your style is, look for inspiration. There's always loads of bedrooms on both Tumblr and Pinterest that you can have a look at. Whether you like boho, with lots of pattern and wall hanging, something more preppy, with chevron and monograms, or something chic, with luscious accessories and glittery cushions, I'm sure you'll find something that you like. When you have chosen your style you can start looking for items you would like to have in your room, these could be based on things that you have seen during looking at other bedrooms, and start thinking about making purchases.

6. Start with the big things

If you need to purchase the big things such as bedding and furniture start with making those purchases first. This will give you a basis to start with and you'll be able to start planning the layout you want of your room according to the furniture you have.  Bedside tables, lamps, and shades are all things that can be bought in neutral colours. Although items such as curtains and rugs can all be bought within your colour scheme. This will bring a bit life and colour into your room. Remember that your room is only a certain size so don't buy things that you aren't going to be able to fit, an idea would be to measure up your spaces before you go shopping just to be 100% sure that they'll fit.

7. Planning your layout

Planning your layout is a big part of the process and can make or break a room. I have always liked the head of my bed to be furtherest away from the door against a wall, but not against a window, but that is just personal preference. Draw up a plan of your own room including the windows, doors, and wardrobes and then plan out where your furniture will be going. Start with the bed, if you have anything over a single you may want to have space on either side of the bed, but with a single or king single you can have it against a wall. Then larger items like a desk, dresser, book shelf or draws and work everything else around that. 

8. Buy your accessories

To make your room less boring you may want to have some art work, a large mirror, or a wall decal to fill up the room. Even little ornaments or place mats for bedside tables or dressers can make all the difference. One of my favourite space fillers are candles, they give a nice atmosphere to your room and make your room smell lovely too! Even a blanket over the back of a desk chair can make a room look a little softer.

The finished product:

I am working towards gathering all the things I need for a yellow, orange and white colour scheme. This is what I will be having in my dorm room as I am starting University next year! I have kept some of the same items that I already own and will incorporate them into my new room. This is easy to do as the things I will be keeping are all in white. I am very excited and think that its going to be an exciting experience setting up my dorm. Following these simple steps I have have sorted out and brought the things I need and now all I have to do is set it all up! I'll keep you updated when I do move in as to how everything is going.