Geeking by in October

October Monthly Update

Now, how would I describe October? Two things spring to mind; always behind and lergy. The month started off well enough and I had a nice peaceful simple birthday (just what I had in mind) and continued my annual birthday tradition of having some form of illness, usually something flu-like. I’ll let you read on to find out more about how my October went ๐Ÿ™‚

I used to do a monthly goals post each month before I swapped to these round up posts this year. The reason for the change was I felt that I was putting a bit too much pressure on myself in the way of setting goals. However, I feel that I need to add some sort of accountability to keep me on track with things and get me where I want to be. From now on at the end of each section I’m going to put a few small goals (when relevant).

 

Birthday Times

Before I get to the depression lergy talk let’s start with the fun stuff! I turned 33 and got spoiled by Chris as always. He says I’m hard to buy for and fusses and worries about what he gets me, but the fact is he is a champion gifter. I always feel that my gifts at Christmas never quite stand up to his because he is that damn good! We’re talking plan for 12 months kind of thing – and now I have brain fog all the time he has the added bonus of not forgetting good ideas when they pop into his head too! Grumbling aside I am very grateful to have him, and he knows he doesn’t need to spoil me so but he likes to see my reaction – and that means I get teased before I can actually open them too. This time it was the DVD shaped delivery that was “not a DVD” for instance.

The eagled-eyed among you may already see that the DVD-that-was-not-a-DVD was in fact… a DVD. You’d think I’d have learned after the time he did the whole ‘hon, I’m expecting a delivery tomorrow, it’s a book for DnD’ when it was Valentine’s Day… Yeah. Not a DnD book ๐Ÿ˜›

We’ve watched Thor and absolutely LOVED it! I’m definitely considering getting that NowTV subscription to catch up on the rest of the Marvel films and all the other films we’re behind on. Hopefully when we’re both feeling better we can watch Justice League too. I know it’s had some bad revues but I’m a DC girl so I’m looking forward to it anyway and this one comes with an awesome bonus feature about DC comics too.

The next present may look dull but it’s actually a real life saver and Chris gave it to me earlier saying ‘you REALLY need this’ and he was right. My old mouse mat was pretty disgusting. It didn’t matter how much I tried to clean it, it just would not get clean and it was beginning to screw up my mouse. Due to my hypermobility I need the supports and it’s my first time having one for the keyboard too and I’m never going back. It really makes a huge difference – and I am being extra careful about keeping them both clean too, so go me!

Then the star prize was this gorgeous statue of Sylvanas Windrunner from World of Warcraft’s Fall of the Lich King collection, and photos really do not do it justice. It is so detailed, and it is exquisite. You can view extra photos of her over on instagram. My final present was some money to buy a pet in the Blizzard store which resulted in me spending 5 minutes searching and ending up with three I wanted to buy; Twilight, Shadow and Mischief. I couldn’t decide! They’re all so cute! So Chris got the final vote and chose Twilight ๐Ÿ˜€

I got a bundle of gifts from my mother in law which include some chocolate and these make up gift sets which I will be reviewing at a later date. The lip products say ‘lip gloss’ but they looked so matte that I did a quick swatch test when I got them and I’m really not convinced that they’re glosses. I’d say they’re more like liquid lipsticks with a gloss finish. I’ve tried one of them and they’re ok. Not the best quality as they’re super sticky but they look fab!

 

Gorgeous birthday flowers from my parents in autumn shades of gold, orange and peach

I asked for money from my parents so I could get the bits and pieces on my birthday wish list and they always send me flowers. My mum used to arrange flowers (as a hobby not professionally although she did also do a few weddings, including my best friend’s one) so she knows her flowers and always picks the best bouquets to send me. This year she really outdid herself though because they were stunning! They were from Marks and Spencers and the colours were just gorgeous and perfect for autumn. I tried to do them justice with some photos on instagram, but honestly, I don’t think I could have captured them just right. It was one of those things you just had to see for yourself.

I’ve picked up a few things off my wish list but I’m spreading out the cost over a few months so I will update you guys on that another time ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Health

I’m not sure if I ended up actual flu or just a flu-like virus (and it took me 5 times as long to write that sentence because Georgie was licking my fingers as I typed ><). Chris definitely had full on flu and was really sick with it. Despite his heart condition he’s not considered at risk so he doesn’t get the flu vaccine where as I do, although October/November is my most at risk time as it’s the period when I get my annual vaccine. I’m sure there’s all sorts of science to explain it but we’ve found that one of being immune/semi-immune isn’t as useful as it sounds. For example, while the flu vaccine doesn’t attack the body of those vaccinated they can still carry the virus so if I come into contact with it somewhere else I can bring it home to Chris and have done so on many occasion over the years. As with this month if Chris gets flu I’ve found that I can get some flu symptoms but not the full illness. I felt under the weather mostly, and got hit with the feeling like absolute death part of flu. My fatigue levels were just crazy high that I couldn’t do anything. I was fine once I got over and the rest of the month went ok, until this last week when all the sniffling and bunged up ickiness have returned again :-/ Bleurgh. I think my nose has entered a sneezing marathon and forgot to tell me.

Time to get serious for a moment. When I was 4 my mum was diagnosed with colitis a serious bowel condition which has had an impact on all our lives. Her biggest fear as a new parent was that I would one day inherit that condition. Over the years she was told that colitis is not genetic and that I was safe. Keep in mind that this was the late 80s and 90s though and medical research has come a long way since then but I was still pretty shocked when her consultant told me earlier this year that I should get tested. It turns out that there is a type of colitis that sneaks under the radar as it doesn’t have the same distinctive symptoms as most types, i.e. bleeding, and it is often misdiagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome. My mum is still recovering from an illness two years ago and so she did not really comprehend what he said to me, which in a sad way I’m a little grateful for, but I did go to my doctor asap.

Health Update - Hormones & Bowel Conditions

I underwent a test that shows up inflammatory markers; it’s really easy and non-invasive as it’s just handing in a sample (sorry if that is TMI but I want to explain so anyone else who ever goes through this knows what to expect ๐Ÿ™‚ ).ย  My results came back and I got 80 which is good and bad. The average healthy person is a 50 and colitis starts at 200, so I’m safely below the colitis but not within ‘normal’ levels either. My doctor is retesting me in 5 weeks and I think this is something we are just going to need to keep an eye on. It’s been more on my mind this month because my tummy has been a lot worse so even though the results are good news I’m not feeling completely reassured just yet. Something still doesn’t feel right.

I’ve also just had another hellish month of PMT again. I’m on the mini-pill which is an Progestogen-only pill as the normal pill is really bad for migraines so I’ve been off that one for years. For a long time the mini-pill worked like a dream; cycle went great, symptoms and moods settled down, and even better? No periods! Then over the last few months it’s been like a roller coaster of pain and hell. My doctor said that it isn’t uncommon as our bodies change and get used to the pill, or something along those lines. Unfortunately I’ve now exhausted the two pill options so it’s time to try injections or implant; we don’t want to go down the implant road just yet for personal reasons as a couple so I’ll be trying injections. I’m not bothered by needles at all so that isn’t an issue, I just really hope they work and I don’t have any issues or side effects with other medications. I’ll keep you guys posted.

Kitten chasing string - an accurate portrayal of how my October went

Always playing catch up

The aim ofย  October was to catch up with my blog schedule and other things in my life once and for all. Instead I spent most of it feeling like a kitten running after a ball of string, never quite catching onto it and when I did I’d find there was so much more to catch.ย  One thing would lead to another and another… case in point; our bedroom. We knew we had some condensation issue of some sort in our room but we didn’t realise the full extent until this month. We began to realise that the walls were getting damp to touch and so was the floor in some places. In preparation for someone coming in to check the walls for us we moved the bad and an old mattress from underneath it to find that things were a lot worse than we realised. The guy we got in to check it confirmed that we had rising damp complete with nasty spores that had spread half way around the room. It turns out that all the rain we’d had for weeks had been leaking through from the outside and had built up, meaning we had a pool of water sitting in/behind the walls. We had to get a big electric dehumidifier in and blast it for about a week to dry the room out, and of course everything needs decorating. Thankfully having the old mattress under the bed has saved our own mattress because it soaked up all the icky stuff and the moisture.

But tidying up the bedroom so that someone could come in and so we could move the old mattress out took time. We had to then tidy up another room to make room for things that had to be moved out of the bedroom. Between all the moving, tidying and sorting out it took up the better part of one week and then of course we both had the massive slump afterwards from really overdoing it. So that pushed me back for blog work, inktober and dissertation work, and from then on everything just seemed to end up in a never ending cycle of catch up.

November Goals

I’m done chasing the string. This month I’m catching up on blog stuff and my to do list. One of my blog series, the Zodiac series, has been the biggest culprit in stressing me out and has been playing a big part in all the trouble. Last month I got so close to getting caught up so this month? It’s getting done baby!

 

Disstertation Update - October 2018

Dissertation

I started writing again!!! I am so happy to be able to say that and it is a huge relief off my mind. I now have a schedule pinned up on the wall in front of me with a weekly world count of 500 words, although I’m trying to do 100 a day to keep myself floating nicely ahead. It means I can also miss days here and there if I need to. My schedule started two weeks ago and takes me up to the end of March which is when I send my supervisor my first draft, and my final deadline is the end of April. It also includes when each section will be complete so I know how my progress is going in terms of the actual content not just number of words.ย  Every two weeks I hand my supervisor the work I’ve done to that point so that keeps me on track and we are having a monthly Skype chat too.

Getting started was so hard especially with everything else going on this month, but once I got into it and pushed through the fatigue I was good! I had to knuckle down and put some hard work in to catch up a bit last week, and again that pushed me behind this week. As long as I don’t keep letting that happen and letting it get on top of me I should be ok.

November Goals

Keep up with my schedule, especially the 100 words a day and not let myself fall behind.

 

Inktober 2018 - Some of my doodles

Inktober

If you some how managed to miss my inktober post at the start of the month then October is when a well known art prompt called Inktober takes place. This was my first time doing Inktober and I was using it to kick start my doodle book, which in turn was to help me get back into art again. you can read more about all that in my Inktober plans post. As you can probably guess I didn’t keep up with it as much as I had hoped but considering how manic this month ended up being I’m really happy that I did keep going with it and I didn’t give up! There was a point there where I could have jacked it all in and I chose not to. I’ve still got 7 prompts to do and I’m going to finish it because I’ve really enjoyed it. Some drawings didn’t go as planned and others really surprised me. I found that artist inside me that I wanted to reawaken and I’ve also found my confidence again, so watch this space ๐Ÿ˜‰

November Goals

Finish the last 7 prompts in my own time – and don’t stress about it! I’ve started a photo challenge and video game screenshot challenge so I want to keep up with them. That probably seems like a lot but it actually isn’t as the video game challenge will be a quick one week post with 7 screenshots to sum up my week so keep an eye out for that on Wednesday!

 

Blog Updates

I’d really hoped to be unveiling geeking-by.net! Yep, I did it, I got the domain. I purposely wasn’t mentioning the exact name in case some nasty person snapped it up before I actually bought it, however, it is now safely mine. I just need to do the actual move. Although I’ve not been able to do that due to the hectic month, I have been tinkering around and you may have noticed some changes! I could list all the changes or I could do one better and take inspiration from the lovely Nerdily who did a fabulous video walk-through of her blog changes – which you need to check out because it looks FABULOUS!

November Goals

Actually migrate to the new domain? Yeaah ๐Ÿ˜‰ I also want to finish off the bits I noted in the video and launch my newsletter!

 

Over to You

Right, so my October was a hectic lergy mess which ended up with me likening myself to a kitten chasing a ball of string – you can tell I’m back writing something can’t you? ๐Ÿ˜› How did YOUR October go? I especially want to know about your Halloween adventures as mine were zero as usual (holidays during the cold wet season in Scotland aren’t particularly welcoming for a disabled girl even when it’s been a good month!).

How was your October?

Did you do anything for Halloween?

Did you dress up? If so what as?

Do you celebrate Halloween, Samhain or both?

What do you think of the blog changes? And how was the little walk through video – should I do some more video content occasionally?

Thanks again for reading and keeping up with my adventures as I make my way through life. Your ongoing support has made the things I’ve managed to do in October – start my dissertation again and have the confidence to make changes to my blog – possible so please don’t ever forget that. Whether you’re reading, commenting or engaging with me on social media it all means so much to me every time I see a notification or see the page stats going up. Thank you <3

10 things on my Birthday Wish List!

10 Things on my Birthday Wish List (2018)

It’s my birthday in a week (9th October!) and for once I’ve actually remembered to do a birthday related post! I decided to start out simple and give you guys a glimpse of what is on my birthday wish list. Being an October baby I pretty much spend most of the year planning for my birthday and Christmas, and then rinse and repeat again the next year. Our anniversary is also in October so I can’t even use that as an excuse for some goodies either! It does mean that by the time October rolls around I have a solid idea of what I want and any impulse buys have long lost their luster.

Please Note - This post contains Affiliate Links. Click for more information!

 

Blog Domain Name

1. Blog Domain Name

It is finally time to move this blog to it’s own domain! It’s a big step with lots of SEO bits and bobs (and probably a massive headache), but it needs to be done and to be honest, I want it done! I wouldn’t say I’ve been putting it off, but rather it just didn’t feel like the right time before. Now the blog feels much more grounded and it’s grown into what I wanted it to be. It’s time ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

iphone Camera Lens Kit

2. Iphone Camera Lens Kit

Ideally a new camera would be great, however, the next step for me would be a dslr camera which I don’t actually know how to use properly! Chris has one and he’s happy to let me use it and, more importantly, teach me how to use it. So there is little point in me investing in a camera right now. I do have my own camera but it’s so outdated that my iphone actually gives me far better quality photos so I’ve been investing in equipment for that. My first was this fantastic tripod which has been so valuable. I can use it as a “selfie” stick or I can use it as a tripod – and it’s got bendy legs so I can put it at weird angles for photos or wrap it around anything. This lens kit would give me everything I really want from a dslr camera without having to pay for one and without needing to learn all the technical settings, which I have to admit my ME brain fogged mind is struggling with. There are more expensive options but I’d prefer to try a cheaper option and see how it works and then upgrade at a later date.

 

L'Oreal Smooth Sugar Nourish Cocoa Face And Lip Scrub

3. L’Oreal Smooth Sugar Scrub

As I reported in my last Sample Shoutout I received a sample of this and absolutely fell in love it. It has been the only product I’ve ever found to help me with one of my beauty problems so getting hold of a full sized tub of the Nourish Cocoa Face And Lip Scrub has been a priority since I tried it!

 

Calligraphy pen set and ink cartridges

4. Calligraphy Pens

ย Last Christmas I got a huge haul of bullet journal goodies from The Works and they were all great! I got a small calligraphy pen set and while I haven’t really been using it for calligraphy per say I have swapped to writing with them. The problem is that I want to use all the inks and all the colours and I have just one pen. The set had three nibs and just one pen. So this time I’m upping my game and eyeing up this Sheaffer Calligraphy set which comes with three pens not just the nibs. This means I can have multiple inks on the go without having to swap nibs or worry about them drying out. I still have plenty of ink cartridges left, however, the pack was not well balanced in colours so I’m also going to get a pack of cartridges by the Manuscript Pen Company Creative. They’ve had great reviews and have some nifty colours that my other pack didn’t have!

ย 

ย 

5. Nail Polishes

My nail polish collection is dying. The only new additions it has had in years have been courtesy of my mother in law who has either bought be colours that aren’t my cup of tea or the same colour of turquoise in about 5 different shades (I’m not joking). The problem is that I don’t really have the money to go on a full on nail polish shopping spree – especially not if I get everything else on this list. So I’ve had to think about it and I’ve come up with a few solutions; nail polish subscription boxes such as the two pictured above (Mani and Lola and MeeBox), a decent nail polish advent calendar this year (I’ve yet to decide on which one), buy an advent calendar from a previous year for a discounted price (such as this Technic Advent Calendar) and buy some gift sets or bulk sets of nail polish (such as this Rimmel London nail polish set). There’s also Primark and a few of the pound shops/discount shops that have started doing their own Beauty lines which are getting some great reviews so I’m going to check those out too. Hopefully by the end of that I should have a good start to a collection again!

 

Washi Tape

6. Washi Tape

Yep, I am a Washi Tape addict and my small meagre collection just doesn’t cut it any more. The time has come to invest in some more beautiful sets such as this gorgeous Starry Sky Washi tape set from 812 Journal. I much prefer to get sets like this at this stage so that I can build up a decent collection and then I can add individual tapes later on.

 

7. Mantaray Purse

Mantaray Embroidered Hummingbird Purse

I’m not really a big purse fan, or someone who buys them a lot – bags on the other hand I am really bad with especially when I’m on holiday. I don’t tend to find bags in my style until I go abroad to Europe or visit markets over here and then I want to buy them ALL. But purses I have a hard time finding one I like and so when I finally found a brand I liked I stuck with it. I think this will be my third Mantaray purse now and I literally wear them to death; my current one is falling to pieces. What I love about them is that they’re actually embroidered so you get that real texture feel rather than a plastically feel like some purses/wallets, and it’s just the right size for what I want. And Mantaray as a brand fits with my boho nature loving style too, and I just fell in love with the colours and design of this embroidered Hummingbird purse by them. I usually get my watches by them as well, and while I really need a new watch too my purse is literally falling apart and thus makes this list!

The Wet Brush Flex Dry Hair Brush Ombre

8. Wet Brush Hair Brushes

I’ve slowly been upgrading my beauty supplies, moving from cheaper versions to more professional and higher quality alternatives. So far I’ve upgraded my tweezers and my nail files and now it’s time for my hair brushes. I’ve been eyeing up the brand Wet Brushes for a while, and although I like their standard brush I think I’m actually going to go with these two instead. One is their Flex Dry Hair Brush which is designed to help you dry your hair as you brush it. I use two hair brushes; my usual hair brush and then an older one for when I’ve had a shower. My hair is so thick that if I use my normal hair brush to brush through my hair when it’s wet I just soak my brush. This wonderful invention though helps your hair dry as you use it and as I air dry my hair that makes it super useful for me! I’m also going to get their Shine Hair Brush as my normal brush as it has boar bristles and is a bit bigger than their standard brush – great for someone with long thick hair like mine!

 

DvDs or a NowTV Subscription

9. DVDs or NowTV Subscription

We are so behind on films, that there’s a lot of movie DVDs on my wish list – but as I’m also so behind on TV shows I’mย  weighing up buying the movies on DVD against buying a NowTV subscription for a month. It might be cheaper and easier to do that so I can see all the movies and also get caught up on TV shows at the same time. We’re about four movies behind in the Marvel Cinematic universe, I’ve still not seen Solo and there’s loads of other movies like Oceans 8 too. While I’d love to be able to splash out and get them all on DVD it’s just realistically possible and as you can see this is down at #9 on my list so it’s not that high on my priorities either.

 

Miscealleous Beauty Products

10. Beauty Products

Thanks to my big beauty prize win most of my beauty needs are covered for a very long time, however, there’s a few things that are mainly every day restocks that I need. I was sent my first face oil as a product tester and it did wonders for my skin, and sadly, I finished it ๐Ÿ™ So looking for a new replacement I’m going to try one from Revolution’s new skincare range. Namely their Skin Plumping & Hydrating Solution with 2% Hyaluronic Acid which is very close (if not the same) as the product I was testing just without the brand name and thus the massive price tag. Another product replacement for the same tester panel is B. Brightening Fruit Acid Cleanser. I’m not sure if this is exactly what I’m looking for, however, it’s the closest match I could find so I’m going to give it ago first. I absolutely love Cucumber Cooling Eye Pads for when my eyes are sore and tired and need to stock up on some new ones.

And then the other two products on my list are two new items that are treats for myself that I have been eyeing up for a while now! One is L’Orรฉal’s Infallible Total Cover Concealer Palette. I was going to go the full hog and get their foundation too, however, I’ve found that BB cream works so much better for me and I’ve also fallen in love with Garnier’s Skin Active BB Cream so there is no point in me getting another foundation I won’t use. I’ve heard great things about the coverage of this range and I want to try it out because my other colour correct palette is beginning to run out.

The other product is ALINICE Hair colouring material which is a form of styling waxย  but coloured! I’m not quite ready to go the full bleach and dye route yet but I want to play around with some streaks and have some fun so I’m going to get a pot of this in purple. There’s some really mixed reviews and to be honest, I’m not too fussed if the product isn’t great as it’s only ยฃ9.99. I just want to see how I look with purple hair and decide if it’s something I want to do one day.

 

Everything Else

Naturally that’s not everything, not even close ๐Ÿ˜‰

So just in case your curious about what didn’t make the top 10 cut you can view my full wish list here!

And don’t forget to check out the 10 books at the top of my TBR pile as they’re also on my wish list too!

Over to you

I hope you enjoyed having a look into my birthday wish list and getting an insight into me ๐Ÿ™‚

When’s your birthday? Is it coming up, has it just gone? Or have you got months to go?

Is there anything you’re hoping someone gets you? How many hints have you dropped for it?

Have you tried anything on my list or is anything also on your list?

Let me know in the comments! ๐Ÿ™‚

It's my birthday in a week (9th October!) and for once I've actually remembered to do a birthday related post! I decided to start out simple and give you guys a glimpse of what is on my birthday wish list. Being an October baby I pretty much spend most of the year planning for my birthday and Christmas, and then rinse and repeat again the next year. Our anniversary is also in October so I can't even use that as an excuse for some goodies either! It does mean that by the time October rolls around I have a solid idea of what I want and any impulse buys have long lost their luster. Come check out the top 10 things on my wish list this year!