Geeking By in September

Geeking By in September

September proved to be a wild month (quite literally in the case of Storm Ali!), it was unpredictable, filled with challenges and nothing went as it was supposed to go. Nevertheless I got through it and here’s my monthly recap for you all 🙂

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Blogging & Projects

As I already mentioned I’ve been working on the Unique Bloggers group for the last few months, so that was a big part of my work load this month 🙂 It is both terrifying and exciting at the same time but I’m still so happy that I made the move to do it. I’ve been continuing to work on building this blog up which has pretty much entailed me playing catch up after the last few months gallivanting. The Zodiac series has taken the biggest hit and I’m hoping to have caught up by the end of this month, leaving me with two more to get out next month and then I will be up to date. I really don’t want to be behind in the run up to Christmas.

Games that define us collaboration - World of Warcraft

 

I have a birthday post AND a Halloween post planned for the first time ever – yep, get a load of this organised girl! How long that is going to last is anyone’s guess 😉 I’ve also just finished up my part in the Games that define us collaboration which goes live in November and I had an absolute ball taking part in it. I cannot wait for you guys to read my entry! Honestly though you need to check out EVERYONE’S posts. The whole group has worked super hard on this for months and the results are amazing. Even if you are not a gamer there is certainly something to be gained by reading these posts because they are about people not just games.

 

One of the things that has helped me get more organised with my blog has been the addition of a planner dedicated to my blog I’m using this gorgeous Harley Quinn notebook (featured above) that we got in a Lootcrate one month. It is a bullet journal-esque planner in the sense that I am also using it as a mindful and self care exercise to give myself a break away from the computer now and then. I’m not doing anything too fancy, but it’s fun and it’s giving me a creative outlet. I’m also taking part in Inktober this October for the first time and you can find out more about that at the start of the month. Here are the past two weekly spreads of my planner:

 

 

Dissertation

Three years ago I started my Masters in Information and Library Studies with the intention of finishing the course, completing the dissertation and by now ideally working in a library somewhere in Glasgow. Well.. pretty much none of that actually happened. I managed to complete the classes and coursework, and that was it. Since then I have been on medical leave and only a few months ago was I finally able to talk to my doctor about returning to my studies. All the months and months of changing medication, battling side effects and taking mindfulness courses had finally done some good and I was beginning to feel at least a little bit in control of my life again. I am very fortunate that I have a supervisor that supports me 110% and an exam board that has weighed my contributions and hard work against the unfortunate luck of getting a serious condition like ME/CFS just as I started my Masters. If I didn’t have those two things I would be just graduating with a diploma and honestly? My self esteem would be plummeting right now. Instead I was given the option to have one last deadline to complete my dissertation which I accepted.

 

September Dissertation Update

 

On the one hand it might seem like that was the wrong decision. After all, I could have just taken the diploma and walked away without having to write 20,000 words. The problem is that I know I would never have been happy with that. This illness has already taken the last three years from me and I love my dissertation topic. I need to finish it to prove that I can do it, to prove to myself that I am still able to do these things – that despite everything changing and the whole world turning upside down, I can still be me. If I had taken the easy way out I seriously believe my entire career would have suffered from crippling low confidence and that is not how I want to begin my career as an information professional.

Plus, I have until May. I already have 8-9ooo words already written. I worked out that I need to write a minimum of 1,500 words a month which is 375 words a week. Yeah, that sounds ridiculous right? But if I get a string of bad days or even a bad week the knowledge that I only need to get a few words out is going to help a lot. Ideally I’d love to be able to just bash it out and write thousands of words out in one day like I used to be able to; but that isn’t my life any more and I have to accept that.

 

Challenges in September

Challenges

There are a whole bunch of personal challenges this month. From dealing with guilt at not being able to stuff due to health problems, to working on some couples challenges, every where I looked I was facing something that previously would have sent me spiralling. I am actually pretty amazed and happy that I got through them all and it’s because I approached them by working through them one at a time – something that I definitely credit to mindfulness. There were definitely some moments when I felt utterly helpless and there were tears, but I used those times as outlets rather than huge breakdowns. It was a case of me letting it all out and then getting up, dusting myself off and saying ‘ok, let’s do this’.

 

Health

I don’t think there will ever be a monthly update where health is not a sub-title and I felt it even more so this month. Mine wasn’t so bad, but it felt like everyone around me was suffering. Chris has been going through a really bad period as we adjust his medication and my mum had a scan and the news was not good. Not cancer, but still not good. And I’m just left here doing all I can for them and sometimes it really doesn’t feel like it is enough.

The last mindfulness session was this week and due to unforeseeable events I missed it. Things happened and I just wasn’t able to face a room full of people. I was really upset because I’d also missed the two sessions before that, but none of them could be helped. My IBS was faring up due to stress one time and then another night I just didn’t sleep well, and sleep is crucial to someone with ME. It’s a 10am appointment so I can’t just go back to bed and get some more shut eye before it either. We have another appointment in December which is a sort of check in so I will be able to see everyone one last time then.

 

Health, Therapy & Mindfulness Updates

 

I was extremely happy to finally get my counselling appointment through! To be honest I’m well over due for more therapy. I’ve been trying to soldier on since my ME/CFS symptoms first started and since then it’s been one thing after another; my mum got sick, we found out about Chris’ heart, and so on. And then there’s just a mountain load of stuff from my past which I still need to work through. As my counsellor put it today; I’ve chipped away at my wall a lot through therapy and with mindfulness, but more bricks have been added and then some I just don’t have the right tools for yet. Thankfully he was super nice, and we clicked straight away which for me is important with a therapist. I still remember very distinctly one woman who I spent about 10 minutes with before I walked out of her office. She decided to tell me that the answer to all my problems was that I needed to ‘get out more’. So I’m always really nervous about meeting a new counsellor for the first time, and it was a huge relief to meet him and get on really well with him.

I did have to wait a really long time for these appointments but it came with some massive benefits. As it is at homeopathic hospital where I’ve been having treatment for over a year now I don’t need to explain everything all over again. That saves me a lot of time. When you’ve got 7 health problems you want to be able to drop the name, say how it makes you feel and move on. Not have to explain your whole medical history and background which can take up a good half an hour. And usually you only have 6-8 sessions with most NHS services; here I have unlimited. We will have a mini review every so often to see how I’m doing but until I feel like I am able to walk away confidently without the need for support the sessions keep going. And the final bonus was something I hoped would be possible and I’m really glad it is; he is going to do a mindfulness practise with me every so often! We were talking about how much it helped me and when I mentioned how disappointed I was that I missed my last few sessions he said we could do it! That is going to help me so much too.

 

Over to You

How has your September?

Did you have any wild weather like I did? Or has your autumn started our pleasant?

Any big events this month or any coming up?

As always I love to hear from you so let me know in the comments! 🙂

My Goals for August

Monthly Goals - August

Last time I got one of these done was June and then about a week later I had the flu. I’m now back on the blogging bandwagon and ready to get organised! Yeah, it’s half way through August already but I needed to do this, needed to put things into perspective and work out where I want to go this month. I’ve just started a new physio course called ‘Moving into Balance’ which essentially is an hour of theory/planning and then 30 mins of exercise. The aim is to help me find a baseline and start working to avoid boom and bust days, i.e. a good day followed by a bad day, and to stabilise my energy levels. One thing we’ve been asked to do is mindfully plan where we want our days to go, so I’m going to use this monthly post as a larger way to keep myself on track.

 

Personal

At the moment I’m taking it easy with some things, such as my diet, because flu majorly screwed a lot of stuff up. Last week was also hard due to appointments and other things going on, so I’ve had to recover a bit from that too. This week there’s just my physio so it’s get back on track time with planning, projects, and schedules. Hopefully by the start of September I’ll be back on track!

 

Dissertation

I am currently sitting at half way through my 20k word limit for my first rough draft. I think I have something like 6 months or something before the next exam board (as long as my continuation of studies is accepted), aka my new deadline, but I want it done before that. My physio’s throwing me through a loop at the moment, so taking my time and building my strength up to get back into writing again.

 

Projects

  • Blogging – Top of my list is to get back to blogging and schedule posts a month or more in advance! I already started by prepping my monthly goals posts and making up transmog sets for several weeks.

 

  • Directory Updates – Thanks to Photobucket’s ridiculous changes all my buttons for my directories have been messed up and it coincided of course with the flu. So I’m still playing catch up and several are a mess. Not to mention way overdue to a link check.

 

  • Gallery Updates – I officially finished the gallery move, now I just need to add my latest screenshots and do some admin stuff.

 

  • Bullet Journal – I want to use my bullet journal to track my energy levels, so I need to implement that and catch up with some other bits.

 

World of Warcraft

I don’t want to overdo things since there is only a few weeks left of August so just a few things;

  • Finish Death Knight Artifact Quest
  • Finish Death Knight Campaign
  • Complete Death Knight Mount Questline
  • Try for Mage Hidden Artifact skin
  • Obtain Trial of Style Sets
  • Collect Inscription Recipes from Raids & Dungeons

 

4 Beauty Products I loved in 2016 [Sharing Saturday]

Sharing Saturday: 2016 beauty products

 

I’m still playing catch up and working on end of the year/beginning of new year things, so this week I’m taking a look back at the beauty products I tried last year. Here are my top 4 recommendations!

 

 

Hide it! Concealer Palette

by Technic

 

Thanks to my dermatillomania spot out breaks for me are an even bigger nightmare. It has taken me years to finally find products that work for my skin and work to help hide the signs and scars. This product is not a BIG part of that routine (as you can see from the very used palette!). I find that I have two problems using just normal concealer; it doesn’t hide anything and makes it look even more big and obvious. By using the colour correcting concealers together I can merge and blend the perfect cover. And at £1.54 on Amazon, it’s an amazing price too! They also do a bigger 8 shade version as well which I might try in the future.

 

 

Lots of Bubbles Tantalising Gift Set

by I Love…Cosmetics

 

I tend to use a shower more than a bath and I prefer to have a variety of shower gels to use, not the same one every time. So I’m always on the look out for sets of small bottles of shower gels. This gift set by I Love… Cosmetics comes with 6 different flavours; coconut & cream, strawberries & cream, vanilla & ice cream (all pictured above), mango & papaya, lemons & limes, and raspberry & blackberry. I loved them! As you can see, there are only 3 left so they last quite a while and I also had the coconut & cream exfoliating shower smoothie (hence why the shower gel version is untouched so far) and that is also fantastic. These also double as bubble bath, so if you’re like me and use both or prefer one over the other you can still enjoy the gorgeous scents.

Their gift sets tend to come out more during the holiday season, but you can grab this one on Amazon for £9.99 and some of their others as well. Sadly it seems that some are only in holiday sets or have been retired, as their website only has certain flavours listed, as does Superdrug.

 

 

Hydro Boost

by Neutrogena

I was fortunate enough to get this to test from Bzz Agent and I was really happy with the product. As I’ve mentioned in previous product reviews, my skin does much better with light weight creams that hydrate. So this is perfect and it does exactly what it says it did. It hydrated and helped clean up my skin. There is one down side though; at £12.99 for 50ml it just isn’t worth it for the price. It’s good, and it does last a while, yet that is just a bit too pricey for my current budget. Especially if you use it every day, morning and night.

 

 

Flipbalm: Creamy Coconut

by Palmer’s

I am completely in love with this and have been addictively using it since I got it. It has done my lips a world of good and has a lovely sweet, but not sickening taste. The flip lid is easy to use, although it doesn’t travel very well and can open up in your bag if you’re not careful (yep, it happened). There’s plenty in it, so it’s a lip balm that will last a while no matter how often you use it! You can grab it for £4.99 from Amazon and other stockists. There are two other flavours; Juicy Watermelon and Ripe Mango.

Have you tried any of these? What did you think? What beauty products did you fall in love with in 2016?

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My Goals for November

Monthly Goals November 2016

 

 

After seeing several ladies over at Geek Girls + Blogger posting their November goals I decided it would be a good thing for me to implement. Hopefully it will help me keep up with things, as well as also helping me to realise that I am getting things done. That I am being productive even when I feel like I’m not. So here are my monthly goals for November!

 

Blogging

I’m planning on upping my blogging game this month in several different ways. Firstly, just generally keeping up to date and on top of things by scheduling posts in advance. Then by adding some new content in such as Christmas gift guides.

 

Youtube

Due to illness and RL priorities, I fell a bit behind with my videos. I have a lot of stuff recorded just need to edit and put it all together. I really want to get this done this month and get started on some new content! (Plus the Priest campaign has an epic finale I am dying to show you guys!)

 

World of Warcraft

I am still loving Legion but there is SOOO MUCH to do! It is so easy to get completely lost at the moment and just sit staring at my screen wondering what the hell to do next. So, I made a list especially for WoW:

  • Finish my Demon Hunter campaign.
  • Finish my main’s profession levelling (literally only archaeology is maxed…)
  • Complete a full set of Illusion Books (enchanting) for me and Chris.
  • Finish off Broken Isles achievements for killing rares.
  • Start levelling my druid with Chris.
  • Start levelling my mage solo.
  • Do the dungeon profession quests on my Demon Hunter and Monk.

 

New Desk Set Up

It was my birthday last month and my parents generously helped me get a brand new, much bigger desk. The plan is to get it set up this month and try to work out where everything is going.

 

New Diet

I’m not one for going on about diets, but it is very important for me personally to get the hang on this one. I am doing so much cooking that I feel like I’m cooking all day every day, and it requires me to get things prepared in advance. It’s a bit learning curve, not to mention sticking to the diet and going through the hard transitional phase which is going to suck.

 

Work on a Project

I have a bunch of online projects/websites I want to work on, and I may or may not have time to do this – it really depends on how my health goes this month. This isn’t a top priority which is why it is at the bottom of the list.

 

There may also be…

Some make up reviews and tutorials, and some Bioshock Infinite playing happening… Maybe. If not this month, next month for sure.

 

Do you have any monthly goals? Or anything you hope to achieve this month? Let me know! 🙂

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Summertime

Summer

The post exam entry is always a nerve wracking thing to write because reflecting on myself in an exam isn’t easy and I worry about being too over confident, about jinxing myself. They went ok, pretty sure there is no failures in there. As for actual marks? We’ll see.

So that is the end of year three and there are no resits in sight for the first time in 3 years. It is a glorious feeling knowing that my summer is completely free. It’s even better knowing that I go on holiday soon for two weeks in Tenerife. I can’t remember the last time I was away for two weeks. One week always feels too short, so really looking forward to the longer break – and after this year it feels very needed!

I have a lot of things I want to do this summer; explore, make home made ice cream, write, online projects – and I’m doing my best to do things in my own time without getting totally overwhelmed. One thing I do plan to do is blog more often; hopefully once a week and I have a growing list of topics I want to write about. The biggest of course being the new Star Wars films and the debunking of the Expanded Universe – but I won’t get into that now. It deserves and requires it’s own entry. So while I have lists of things to do this summer I am trying to spread them out and not stress when I don’t get things done.

I will still be working in the school until about the 20th June when the year ends and all going well will be back in August for the new year. I need to confirm it with the department head but I really want to continue doing it if I can. I’ve gotten so much out of it and I love it.