48 colours of the rainbow

48 Colours of the rainbow

I love nail varnish, and I love having different colours. However, to have every colour of the rainbow costs a bomb. After a bit of research I came across a selection of 48 individual shades for a very decent price (£12!) and some good reviews. They arrived the other day and ooh so many shiny fun colours to try!

Purples:

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Pinks

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Dark Pinks and Reds:

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Oranges and Browns:

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Yellows and Golds:

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Greyscale:

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Greens and Turquoises:

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Blues:

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The only colours I’m unlikely to use much are the neon green and neon pink. I am going to be trying them all out and showing the results on my instagram. So if you’re not already following me and want to see how some of these come out then do so! I’m also taking requests on what ones to try out and when, so feel free to comment on any photos or this entry to request one 🙂 (It helps me narrow down my next choice too!).

I’m a little disappointed that most of the purples are more pinkish than purple, and I think the blues and greens are what I’m most excited about. This selection also appealed to me because I wanted some more feminine interview/work friendly shades like pale pinks and pale browns.

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5 Ways I’m Going To Take Chances In 2016 [5 Fandom Friday]

5 Fandom Friday - 2016 goals

This is my first time taking part in 5 Fandom Friday. If you’re interested in learning more you can find out about it here.

1 – Blogging

For 2016 I’ve chosen the word evolve, and part of that is relaunching my blog. It’s a bit step for me because I’ve decided to share a lot more about my life and experiences as a disabled girl with glasses. Plus I’m going to be delving into the world of reviews, tutorials and beauty. The later is pretty scary for me because I’ve never been a popular pretty girl, I have enough confidence to say I’m pretty, but all my life I’ve been told I’m ugly. I’m also overweight now, something that has been a big issue for me due to a past relationship being emotionally abusive. Their weight issues were transferred onto me and at one point last year I was terrified to visit home because of it. Towards the end of last year I decided I’d had enough and after a few more emotional breakthroughs I realised that I didn’t need to keep apologising for my weight, for my skin problems, which were due to ongoing health problems. I’ve had a lot of stuff to overcome with my disabilities but this was something that I hadn’t been able to come to terms with until recently.

2 – Gaming videos

Following on from above, I’m aiming to try to put together my first gaming video this year. That is a pretty big step for me as we’ve all seen the type of criticism you can get online, especially on youtube. Criticism isn’t something I’ve ever been good with, but it is something I’ve been working on and I finally feel ready to do this.

3 – More diverse and difficult games

This is quite light-hearted in comparison to the others. Last year I decided to try a game which I thought I never had a chance of playing, let alone completing. Yet I did it. So this year I want to up my game, so to speak, and see what else I can complete that is outside my comfort zone.

4 – Professional

This year I complete my postgraduate in Information and Library studies and after that, well… there’s a lot of chances for me to take.

5 – Writing

Not so much a chance to take, but something that could lead to chances. I need to get back to writing and would like to complete the first draft of my novel this year.

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New year, new blog: Evolve

World of the Year 2016 - Evolve

For the past three years I have joined my friend Haley in choosing a word for the upcoming year. 2014 was change, 2015 was discipline and now 2016 is evolve. Why evolve? Well, over the last year I have been developing and making changes to different aspects of my life. This year I finish my Post grad in Information and Library Studies, ending my studies and flinging me into the big wide world of careers. I also turned 30 last year, and realised that there were some things I wanted to do. More importantly I recognised what was stopping me from doing them. One of them was running an active blog about my life as a disabled student, geek, gamer and bookworm. However, I’d tried a specific blog in the past (a World of Warcraft blog) and it didn’t work for me. Likewise, while I’m a massive bookworm and devour books (175 last year), I’m not really a book reviewer. I like things because they appeal to me, and I’m not really one for over analysing them.

This led me to realise that any blog I decided to create was not going to be just one thing. I’m not just one thing, so why should my blog be that way? So instead of just being a review blog, a disability blog or a beauty blog; Ruby Wings Blog has become a hybrid. You’re probably wondering how exactly does beauty fit in to all that. I’m not known for my style, I’m strictly a jeans and t-shirt kinda girl. I don’t follow fashion, and usually what is ‘in’ makes me want to vomit. However, I love beauty products. I love creating and experimenting with make up. I’m far from being an expert, that’s for sure. Applying make-up is no easy task for me; I’m very short sighted. Eyeliner is particularly tricky, and so I’ve had to find ones that work for me (kohl pencils) or using eye shadow as an alternative. My fingers and hands are often very painful and unsteady as well, which again affects how I use make up. These are things that most beauty blogs and tutorials do not take into account, they’re circumstances unique to a minority. This was one of the driving reasons behind adding beauty to my blog. I have beauty issues of my own that I am trying to overcome and new things I want to learn. I also like to experiment and decided to share these experiences in my blog to provide reviews and tutorials from a different perspective. Sometimes it feels to me that most beauty blogs and tutorials are on a totally different skill level than the average person, especially if you’re disabled and short sighted.

There are a lot of things that my disabilities stop me from doing, from going out and being active to being able to make delicate things with my hands. As a libra I love art, I love creating. Over time I’ve come to realise that my gift to the world is words. I’ve experimented (and continue to do) with art, graphics, and photography, yet words are my forte. I can write anything, provided I remember to do so and have the motivation. I’ve always been out spoken and opinionated, yet a past of bullying and emotional abuse had left me struggling to share my real self. Well. No more. I suffer from depression and probably always will do, but I have begun to finally put the past behind me. Ironically it was one of those random feel good sharing things on facebook that did it – the people from your past only know the past you. Yes I have made mistakes, I have not been the greatest person I could be. But who hasn’t? Who doesn’t have regrets? They’re natural, and it is time that I stop them from holding me back.

So, what can you expect from my new blog? Well each month I will be SPILLing the beans:

Sharing Saturdays – I’ll be sharing pretty much anything I’ve found online; from awesome websites, tutorials, art, games.

Product Reviews – I will be reviewing at least one thing a month; that could be beauty products, film, tv, books, games and anything else. I’ll also be trying out various online tutorials and recipes I find and showing you the results.

Interviews – Each month I will be interviewing someone from the online world. They could be someone creative, quirky, geeky or a fellow spoonie. I’m really not picky; the whole point of this is to open up dialogue, share with the world and if you wish, bring awareness to your work or a cause. So feel free to volunteer!

Look Book – I will be experimenting with make up and sharing some of my creations and experiences. I’m particularly looking forward to learning nail art which I have never tried before.

Learn about Me – I want to begin to take part in various blogging memes/quizzes/surveys, so there will be at least one per month.

I’m giving myself a month to do all these things because health and studies will interfere and I don’t think blogging any more is sensible for either, or legitimately going to happen. It will be my responsibility to plan ahead and get my act together, which is daunting, but the next step for me.

So, what do you think? Comment to let me know what you’re excited about!

P.S. The whole blog has been redone so feel free to take a nosey around at the newly written content 🙂

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30 thoughts on 30

30 thoughts on 30

In less than 3 days now I turn the big 3-0, The last few months have been a crazy whirlwind of mysterious illness so I’m only just posting this now – 3 months after the fact. Turning 30 isn’t nearly as scary as people would make you believe. As my 20s have progressed I’ve grown into them, into adulthood and into myself. Now as I embark on my 3rd decade I feel a confidence that I honestly never thought I would feel. It isn’t the only thing that I’ve learned or that has changed in the last 30 years, so here are 30 thoughts on 30 – lessons, thoughts and anecdotes from my life.

 

1. I can do anything and be anything.

Yep, lets start with the biggest broadest statement out there. There are things I’ve done in the last 10 years that I could never have imagined myself doing. I’ve done things I’ve been told I couldn’t do, or shouldn’t be able to do. I can do anything and be anything I want to be if I put my mind to it.

2. Limitations.

My limitations have changed in the last 10 years, and while I feel like I can do anything, my health conditions mean that some things aren’t possible. I’ve had to learn to live with them and more importantly to accept them and how they have shaped my life.

3. Change.

Change happens. Well, duh, right? Yet there are so many people in the world who cannot handle change. I grew up watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I think that helped my adolescent brain incorporate the big issue of dealing with change. In Buffy change happens constantly, and sometimes it feels like the end of the world, sometimes it IS the end of the world. Sometimes people die – or come back from the dead – and life goes on. Life always goes on.

4. Someone for everyone.

I am a nerd, always have been, so you can imagine how my dating was non-existent when I was a teenager. My heart got broken, ripped to shreds, stamped on and so forth and I often believed that I would grow up to be a crazy cat lady (ok, maybe I still did, but I’m not an alone single crazy cat lady…). I am fortunate to have found the one for me, the person that completes me and helped me heal the wounds others made. It sounds like a cliché, but I firmly believe there is someone for everyone in the world, that one person who will complete them. I know a lot of people who haven’t been as lucky, haven’t found that person or believe that they have so many problems or emotional baggage that it will never happen. It will. None of that makes a difference when you find that person because they will love you for who you are, every part of you including your faults.

5. Trust your instincts.

This is another cliché and one that I still fail at sometimes; if someone gives you the willies or gives you a bad feeling, trust your instincts. We are taught so often that if we have a problem with someone then the problem must be us. No, not always. Sometimes first impressions are correct and that person who seems like bad news, IS bad news. Just because everyone else loves them doesn’t mean they’re a good person, it just means they’re good at hiding their true colours.

6. Loving Faults

Love is about loving every part of someone, it isn’t about loving just a few parts of someone. Someone who truly accepts you will love you for your faults, they won’t turn it into a ritual of emotional abuse. You have the power in any relationship to speak up and say ‘please don’t do that, it makes me feel bad’ and if your partner laughs at you or argues with you – run. That is a part of emotional abuse and it is so easy to not even realise it is happening, especially if you suffer from depression or anxiety. Even if your partner doesn’t understand what is wrong their concern should be not harming you, not arguing their side of the story.

7. One day at a time.

Whether you suffer from the black dog of depression, chronic pain or are just going through a rough time, remember to take one day at a time. Nothing matters except for that moment, getting through it and moving on to the next. Take your time, relax, and ignore other people’s expectations. Do what you need to do. It isn’t selfish, it’s looking after yourself.

8. Take a chance.

Life is scary, people are even scarier and lets not start on relationships. It is very easy to just curl up in a ball and hide from the world, avoiding people and never taking a chance. Taking a chance is scary, but it can be amazing and life-changing (in a good way). The worst thing that can happen if you approach someone is that they say no. And if you don’t take that chance? You’ll always wonder, you’ll never know what could have been and you’ll be wasting time on something that isn’t worth it. Once you’ve taken that chance, for good or bad, you’ll know where you stand and that can be a very uplifting and freeing experience.

9. Good does exist.

It is so easy to be overwhelmed by the negativity and horrors of the world, or just by our own personal experience with others. I was bullied a lot from early childhood and even at one point as an adult, and it is very easy to just push people away after those negative experiences. It becomes difficult to trust in others, to offer yourself up to new people and not worry about being judged. Yet there are people out there who are different, who are loving, caring and supportive. It may take some time to wade through all the bad apples, but good people do exist and good things can happen to you. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

10. Religion doesn’t necessarily mean good.

There is this assumption that everything good, that every good gesture must be the result of religion and a religious person. If something good happens and is posted on social media the amount of comments about “God” astounds me. I’ve met religious people who have not been the pillars of the community that they claim to be, and have been examples of the worst types of people around. In recent events religions, especially certain middle eastern religions, have been brought to our attention again. Religions are complex organisms, communities of people, not just a few. I was taught non-Christian religions at Primary School, I had a classmate who was Hindu and celebrated those holy days. To me it was just a part of life and that experience as a child stuck with me.

11. We all judge.

We all want to believe that we’re truly open minded, that we don’t look at something/someone and judge them instantly. The fact is that we do, we all judge. Sometimes we judge based on experience, sometimes we judge based on what we’ve been told. Is judging a natural behaviour? Can we unlearn it? Those are questions far bigger than this blog post, however, I will offer my opinion on it. For me, judging happens but it is how we react to it that defines whether it is a problem or not. Treating someone differently because of something you’ve judged about them is wrong; get to know them and then judge their actions. One definition of judge is “to infer, think, or hold as an opinion; conclude about or assess”. Nothing in there says it’s a mean action, it’s simply a way to think about something and make a conclusion. One thing I have noticed over the years is that people have very different responses to this, and someone you think you can trust or appears to be even more judgemental will quite happily throw you under the bus. 

12. People will always hate you for your successes.

It doesn’t matter what you do, why you do it; you could just be doing it to better yourself and your life – because you put the hard work in that they couldn’t or wouldn’t, that makes you a target for their anger and hate. You could be the nicest most humblest person on the planet and someone will still hate you for doing what they couldn’t/didn’t. Stop worrying about them and enjoy your life; you earned your successes!

13. Age doesn’t define us.

I grew up in a period where teenagers were viewed as hooligans. I distinctly remember one time I was sitting on a bus, minding my own business and some old man decided to pick on me. He looked straight at me and started ranting about young people not respecting their elders. My hypermobility syndrome had already been diagnosed by this point and I couldn’t give up my seat even if I wanted to. Yet he chose me, made me feel extremely guilty despite the multiple people on the bus who could have also given up their seat. That is just one example of the elders we’re told to respect. Now I’m 30 I know that being an adult is not really that much different from being a child. Age doesn’t define who we are, it doesn’t make us better people or due more respect.

14. Everyone should learn about internet safety and filters.

I’ve lost track of the many times the internet has been blamed for things. I’m honestly wouldn’t be surprised if someone claimed it was the reason for global warming. I grew up in the early days of the internet, and navigated my own way through everything. Children today have so much more to deal with, and it is their parents/guardians responsibility to ensure they stay safe. It used to be the unwritten rule that you never used your full name online, now everyone does on social networks. If you’re an adult, fair enough, but it worries me how many kids do this without understanding the consequences. Not to mention how many kids and adults have no idea how to use filters to limit the amount they share to strangers.

 

15. Some idioms are correct, others are silly.

Experience has shown that some idioms are spot on, while others are pointless. People can put a lot of stock into these, especially ones like ‘a leopard never changes its spots’ or ‘blood is thicker than water’. Life is different for everyone, we all meet different people and experience life in our own way. Pick what works for you and ignore the others, don’t stress that you’re not normal just because an idiom doesn’t work for you.

16. If you don’t say something, who will?

There are so many ways now to complain, yet no one ever does. It has become a societal norm not to complain, not to be seen as being too serious or a whiner. If you complain to a business or organisation you can often feel like your concerns are being ignored rather than followed up. In more personal circumstances a complainer is often labelled as being unable to take a joke, causing a fuss and other negative issues. What scares me is that if we all give in to this social pressure bad behaviour will continue. If you don’t tell someone they’re being rude or hurtful, how will they ever know? Everyone has the right to complain, to tell another person they don’t want to hear that, or be treated that way.

17. There’s no such thing as normal.

Pretty simple really; the world is so obsessed with being normal. Wearing the right clothes, having the right hair cut or acting the right way. None of it matters because normality doesn’t exist. It’s a social concept that exists to alienate anyone who doesn’t fit into what people define as normal. And not being normal? It isn’t as scary or as bad as you might think. It can be quite liberating actually.

18. The school yard doesn’t end at school.

The older I get, the more dismayed I am to find so many of my fellow adults have not left school behind them. With age is supposed to come wisdom, or so they say. Many people just can’t let go the pettiness, the squabbles and more importantly the desire to one up their fellows in an imaginary league of coolness and elitism. All we can do is hope they eventually catch up to the rest of us and realise they don’t have the time or energy to devote to their childish antics any more.

19. Most people who teased you about your glasses are probably now wearing them too.

A few years back glasses became the cool thing to have with celebrities and fashionista’s wearing them even if they didn’t technically need them. Likewise, many people have grown older and their eyesight has deteriorated. Those that once laughed at your four eyes are now part of the same club. You could even say it was karma.

20. Everyone should have a pet.

Pets are awesome. They provide so much love and happiness (unless of course you’re allergic or phobic) and can help with stress, anxiety and depression. They love back, they need you and give you purpose in life when it feels like there isn’t one. Everyone should have a pet.

21. Everyone is human, perfect does not exist.

Perfect is one of those words in the dictionary I absolutely hate. I frequently tell my fiancé that he is as close to perfect as humanly possible. It is quite scary how much in our world revolves around the idea of looking perfect, acting perfect, having the perfect family and career. None of which actually exist. No one is perfect, and if you know someone who seems to be then recognise that they either have major issues they’re denying or are very talented at portraying a façade.

22. Everyone is different, especially those with the same illness.

On the one hand we’re taught to value our uniqueness, with various religious believes underpinning this ideal. Yet people constantly treat others as if they are the same people with the exact same feelings and experiences. Worst of all is when someone suffers from the same illness as another. I had one physio tell me that all my issues were down to my weight, and as someone who had the same health condition, she knew this was so. I promptly walked out of the appointment. She didn’t care that my weight had increased as my pain got worse, or that I used to be tiny. She just assumed it was because of the weight that I was unhealthy.

23. Illness is not a competition.

Not only have I found disabled people/invisible illness sufferers comparing symptoms, I’ve also had people tell me how difficult their life is in comparison to mine. Any illness sucks. It doesn’t matter what it is, how long you’ve had it, or how much it impacts your life. If you’re ill, you are ill. Mental or physical, something is NOT working right in your body. Those people deserve your love and support, not your frequent attempts to compete with them.

24. Nothing ever goes the way you plan.

I’ve given up making long term or detailed plans, especially with my multiple illnesses. Even without them I doubt anything would go as planned. It’s the nature of life and chaos. Learning to roll with the changes isn’t easy but also a necessity. Give it ago on a small scale and slowly build upwards.

25. Gender equality doesn’t exist.

Gender equality and especially the pay gap between genders has been in the news throughout 2015. Many people claim that gender inequality doesn’t exist, that women can work and vote and that’s enough. As a young woman I distinctly disagree. I get stared at by men, not because I look amazing because I really don’t, but because I have breasts. They do it without shame, and when you stare back most just keep staring. A few may look away guiltily when they’re caught. If workmen come to the house to fix something I can guarantee they will be male and will treat me like an air-headed house wife. If I go to a video games store the male staff will talk directly to my fiancé, or talk down to me. Hell, I’ve even had female staff do it to me. These are just a handful of circumstances.

26. People from the past know the past you.

This didn’t really come to me until very recently when I saw a similar statement on one of those words of wisdom things shared on facebook. I have always been very concerned with the past, with what people think of me and what I had done. While I knew I had changed and overcome past issues, I found it difficult to let go what others thought of me. But that is just it; they don’t know me now. They knew me then, in difficult circumstances and a different stage of my health.

27. Real friends will stick with you through everything – and I mean everything.

It infuriates me when I hear people speak of being badly treated by those who are supposed to be their friends. The fact is that real friends will do exactly what that idiom says; they’ll help you bury the body. I’ve dealt with a lot of teenage angst and mental health issues so I’ve not always been the best friend ever. That means I value those who have stuck with me beyond measure.

28. Harm ye none and do as ye will.

As a Pagan I follow the Wiccan Rede, but this line has always been something I think everyone should follow. Do what you want, live life the way you want to – but don’t harm anyone else while you do it. If you live your life that way then you’re not wrong or abnormal. No matter what society or religion says.

29. Try things for yourself.

While I listen to recommendations, I believe in trying things for myself. I frequently find myself loving movies or books that are slated by others. This goes for other experiences in life; try it, don’t just listen to that friend or relative who tells you it’s a bad idea just because they heard so from a friend. Everyone’s different, remember, so what suits someone else might be perfect for you.

30. Be yourself.

And the final lesson of my 30 years; be yourself. It is very difficult to do, especially with so much pressure from society to conform and act like everyone else. Maybe that works for some people, but others were born quirky with imaginations that need to be unleashed.

Holiday Wish List

Holiday Wishes

I’ve taken part in this awesome community a few times now. It’s called Holiday Wishes and it’s a place to post a wish list of various things and random people take the time to make you smile. The rules are below, followed by my own wish list. If you have one please leave a comment with it so I can see if I can make your wishes come true!

 

STEP ONE

  • Make a post (public, friends-locked, filtered… whatever you’re comfortable with) to your LJ. The post should contain your list of ten holiday wishes. The wishes can be anything at all, from simple and fandom-related (“I’d love a Snape/Hermione icon that’s just for me”) to medium (“I wish for _____ on DVD”) to really big (“All I want for Christmas is a new car/computer/house/TV”). The important thing is to make sure these wishes are things you really, truly want.
  • If you wish for real life things (not fics or icons), make sure you include some sort of contact info in your post, whether it’s your address or just your email address where Santa (or one of his elves) can get in touch with you. Your home address is not required!
  • Make sure you post some version of these guidelines in your LJ so that the holiday joy will spread.

STEP TWO

  • Surf around your friends list (or friendsfriends, or just random journals) to see who has posted their list. And now, here’s the important part…
  • If you see a wish you can grant, and it’s in your heart to do so, make someone’s wish come true. Sometimes one person’s trash is another’s treasure, and if you have a leather jacket you don’t want or a gift certificate you won’t use – or even know where you could get someone’s dream purebred Basset Hound for free – do it.
  • You needn’t spend money on these wishes unless you want to. The point isn’t to put people out, it’s to provide everyone a chance to be someone else’s holiday elf – to spread the joy. Gifts can be made anonymously or not – it’s your call. There are no guarantees with this project, and no strings attached. Just… wish, and it might come true. Give and you might receive. You’ll have the joy of knowing you made someone’s holiday special.

The List

2015 has been full of ups and downs and has now left me with glandular fever as a fun end of year present. So yes, I am feeling sorry for myself 😀 This wish list is a mixture of things and honestly, anything would be appreciated. I’m just looking for things to make me smile while I grit my teeth and work through the lovely fun pain and fatigue.

1. Make me something! 🙂 Graphics wise I’d love new icons or wallpapers (Star Wars, World of Warcraft, Doctor Who, Supernatural and animals would be top of the list), or if you’re so inclined new buttons or layouts for my poor neglected websites. Or if you’re a writer I’d love someone to make a story surrounding my main World of Warcraft character. And artists, again I’d love some art of my main World of Warcraft character Kaelea (I love pixel art, I’m not a huge fan of anime but I do like chibi’s). Anything made will be credited and plugged the hell out of, I appreciate creative genius a lot.

2. Send me something – Cards, letters, postcards or items such as keyrings, nail varnishes and magnets which I collect. Anything would be great.

3. Books – Ebooks, second hand books, any that are listed on my to read list here. Suggestions for free ebooks or sites that track them are also appreciated. While I normally love book suggestions I am going to ask not to recieve them – as you can see my to read list is massive and I really don’t need help making it even longer 😛

4. Anything from my amazon wish list – the list can be found here.

5. Library stuff –  I’m a library and information studies student and I’d love to hear about anything library related from your area. This helps me learn more and expand my knowledge of librarymanship.

6. Followers! I like meeting new people and in the new year I hope to be more active blogging (follow me on bloglovin?) and on social networks/sites such as deviant art. Sadly due to health and uni work I can’t always promise to update my LJ or comment regularly, but you’re welcome to add me here too.I also launched my professional/public twitter and would love to meet new people, especially anyone working/with an interest in library studies or fellow spoonies/invisible illness sufferers. Or just geeks in general 😀

7. Show me your pets! I love animals and photos of animals, especially ridiculously cute ones always put a smile on my face.

8. Speaking of pets…. I am an avid pet collector in World of Warcraft. On the off chance you play in the EU realms and have some pets spare that I need, I’d love to give them a new home 🙂

9. Do you have a website or a blog? Join my websites – I run two website cliques (Fighting Everyday and Bookworms) and several website listings – Star Wars sites, Any Sites, Video Game sites, Supernatural & Fantasy sites.

10. And finally; if you know someone who suffers from an illness or a disability, mental or physical, take the time to send them a message or ask how they are doing. Maybe they won’t want to talk, but just knowing that someone cares enough to think to ask/check can make a world of difference.