Well, September didn’t go to plan, at all. At first I thought I was putting off blogging because I was busy and tired, then I realised I was also burnt out, then the country went into National Mourning as the Queen died and my partner had to go into London and miss my birthday to be part of the team broadcasting the events around the funeral, then everything changed at work and I found it incredibly overwhelming, but just as I was getting to grips with it I got wiped out with a cold and had to take time off work, then when I forced myself to work from home on the last day of the week to try and catch up ahead of the following week, and I got fired.
I’m really trying not to follow up ‘I got fired’ with some sort of justification that doesn’t make me sound like the problem, because good people don’t get fired right? But I’ll be battling that one for a while I think.
So I haven’t blogged for a while. My September Goals didn’t really go to plan, I wasn’t expecting to set the October Goals I have but this is where I am. Let’s just get right to it.
update CV, cover letter and apply for some jobs
It’s all out of date so needs a revamp, more urgently than anticipated.
set up film camera and start taking photos again!
I need to start making time for hobbies that are offline – off my phone or my laptop or my Xbox. I love photography, I’m not very good at it but I can only get better by practising and there’s something beautiful about only having one chance to take a photo.
finish planning the wedding!
This is the last full calendar month before I get married. In just a few weeks I will be a wife. That’s still a very surreal thought. I’m so excited to marry my best friend but I am so excited to not be planning this day anymore.
writing challenge – 30,000 words
I was literally just thinking about how I was going to post-pone this goal to after the wedding because there was no way I was going to be able to do a full time job and plan a wedding, but then I didn’t have a full time job anymore so might as well throw myself into a writing challenge right?
I don’t have a specific project in mind for this challenge, it’s very much going to be writing whatever I feel like as a form of therapy. And I think that’s okay.
– Read 3 books (I haven’t finished a book in two months now, burnout is hitting me hard) – Date night (we haven’t had a chance to do what my partner planned for my birthday since he got back from the funeral so at least we’ll have a lot more time now) – Craft project (I have lots to do for the wedding, maybe this will be the first month this year I finish a project)
And that’s it! Normally I have a lot more rambling to do in these posts but as of writing I’m only four days post getting fired so I’m not on top form. But I’ll be making self-deprecating jokes about not having a job for the foreseeable.
For life moments beyond my control is part of the reason I have these goals – as a probably-autistic person, I struggle without routine and I’m not good at sudden change (particularly when it’s not my choice), so at least I have a few things to focus on here.
Another month has flown by and somehow I’ve managed to finish one job, be unemployed for one whole week, get a new job, all amongst some of the lowest lows I’ve ever had. Every month, I wonder how the hell it’s gone so quickly, but I’ve done a slightly better job of feeling more present and slowing it all down a little. Maybe I slowed it down whilst I was at my saddest and that wasn’t the most fun, but I’m working on getting to know myself better and figuring out what makes things better and what makes things worse (ironically, both seem to be binge eating…).
But amongst the learning curve, there were lots of little moments of happiness and things I enjoyed so here’s that.
What I bought
There are two things that spring to mind – discounted tickets to the new West End musical Cinderella and the tattoo I got a couple of weeks ago.
One of the best things about the West End (other than the productions themselves) is the lottery for discounted tickets – I entered on the off chance and won the same week, planning a semi-spontaneous trip to London with my fiancé to see Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new musical with it’s inaugural cast including Carrie Hope Fletcher, who I’ve been a fan of for over a decade at least. The show was so much fun, the songs were really catchy and the set design and staging blew my tiny mind away.
Then I finally got another tattoo after literal years of waiting – just a little something this time to scope out the studio where I live, but this is the logo for All Time Low’s ‘Wake Up Sunshine’ album. All Time Low have been my favourite band since I was about 13 and I adore this logo.
What I ate
My main sweet craving is still for Sainsbury’s Victoria Sponge cupcakes that they barely ever have in stock at my local Sainsburys, but my wonderful fiancé (every time I type it, I mentally pronounce it fee-on-key) treated me to a bar of Tony’s Chocolonely chocolate as a gift at the end of my first day of my new job and I really wanted it to just be average because it’s SO expensive… but it was really nice. It was lovely and I want another one but it’s so expensive.
What I watched
In my week of unemployment (which I didn’t know would only be a week), I wanted to be really productive and do lots of nice craft things and make the most of time off, but the expanse of potential unemployment was really overwhelming and my mental health was trash so I watched a lot (and I mean a lot) of ‘House’ on Amazon Prime. I’m really into medical shows, when my partner is home we watch ‘Grey’s Anatomy’.
But I watched so much ‘House’. So much.
What I watched (on YouTube)
Rhiannon Ashley’s Vlogtober videos are the cosiest.
What I listened to
Because I need the main character energy, okay?
What I made
One – I’ve been working on this cross stitch kit for longer than I really should have. It was only £1 from the Range, but there was so much excess thread and I hate wasting things, so I started sewing a border. I still have loads of thread left but it’s been a nice little mindless project to do while watching TV.
Two – a Halloween costume – I’m not a big Halloween person; I hate horror movies, I’ve never really been trick or treating and I think it’s just American commercialism being adopted by the rest of the world, but I do love fancy dress. So when work suggested an inter-office costume competition, I was all over it.
We’re doing it a little early for when everyone’s in the office so by the time this goes live it won’t be a secret anymore – my office are doing Scooby Doo, but there are six of us… so I offered to make the Mystery Machine:
So two huge cardboard boxes and too much acrylic paint later, I made the Mystery Machine! I had far too much fun making this and I don’t have a damn clue what I’m going to do with it now, but I had so much fun making it and I’m probably too proud of it.
What I read
I’ve finished five books this month (so far! Still a few days left) and it’s been a very mixed bag…
Good Girl, Bad Blood (Holly Jackson) – the sequel to one of my favourite books from 2020, ‘A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder’, I loved reading about Pip’s next investigation with the development of her own podcast, the fallout of the investigation into Andie Bell’s death and the impact her ‘research’ has on everyone around her. Absolutely adored it – 4 stars (but very close to 5).
As Good As Dead (Holly Jackson) – and the last of the trilogy… was a huge let down. Pip had suffered huge trauma and I’m sure that’s the ‘logic’ behind her massive character shift, but she was so different and the really big plot point that defines the book goes against every principle Pip fought for in the first two books. Plus the trauma was really difficult to read about the 100% needed a trigger warning. When I initially reviewed this book on Storygraph I gave it 3 stars, but I’m bumping it down to 2 stars.
Red, White and Royal Blue (Casey McQuiston) – my favourite book of the whole year so far and potentially one of my favourite books of all time – definitely in the top 5! I’ve seen lots of TikToks and Instagram posts about queer literature and RW&RB has been so massively hyped. I listened to it using one of my Audible credits (because it feels like a ‘free’ book) and I’m obsessed. The characters are fantastic, the storyline is adorable and the voice actor was incredible. I went out and bought the physical copy straight away because I know this is a book I want to reread over and over again. 5 out of 5 brilliant, glittering stars.
The Switch (Beth O’Leary) – another 5 star read – again, Beth O’Leary is a massively hyped author and although I haven’t read ‘The Flatshare’ yet, I’ve been obsessed with the concept of ‘The Switch’ since I heard about it last year but I’ve only just got round to reading it and it was everything I hoped it would be. The Londoner living in a village in Yorkshire was hilarious, the Grandma dating in London was fantastic and every character was very sweet, especially Leena’s friends looking after Grandma Eileen in London. It was heartwarming, a nice cosy read, 5/5. Full marks.
Every Other Weekend (Abigail Johnson) – I always have such low expectations of the Audible Plus catalogue, and a book about 15/16 year olds is only just on the line for YA (to me at least), so I wasn’t expecting a lot, but as always I was blown away. It was a lovely insight into a variety of family experiences from the teenage perspective, the complexity of teenage relationships and the importance of communication. Genuinely a lovely listen, a 4 star review from me.
I’m currently listening to ‘In The Time We Lost’ by Carrie Hope Fletcher on Audible and I struggled a bit choosing my next physical book to read – I tried ‘Shadow and Bone’ by Leigh Bardugo but I didn’t have enough brain power for it, then I tried ‘The Book of Two Ways’ by Jodi Picoult and I was a little overwhelmed with Ancient Egyptian history so I’m currently reading ‘Sunrise on the Coast’ by Lilac Mills which I picked mostly because (I hope) it’ll be a nice little easy read and the main character is called Sophie.
Writing these posts always cheers me up! I think I want to write more review-like posts and share positivity about the media I’m enjoying, whether it’s TV, books, a film, a trip or whatever! I like reviewing things and I love these monthly round-ups.
Another month has flown and even though I was baffled by how quickly September went by, I’m glad for October. I’ve now finished my contract at work and I’m officially unemployed and a little bit excited about it. I’m looking forward to slowing things down a little bit, focusing on what I really want next and taking the time to rest and recover.
But as ever, I’ve got five monthly goals that I want to work on whether I start a new job or not, so these will be my focus!
Portfolio work – I’ve been developing a portfolio website on and off for the last year or so and I want to finalise it this month. As I’m job hunting it makes perfect sense to have this ready to go, but I’m not a website designer and I never claim to be so I’m a little nervous about it!
Cosplay work – as ever, I’m trying to work on this cosplay costume. I didn’t get time to complete my September tasks but now that I have a little more time on my hands I’m hoping to complete the four tasks I have outstanding in a more casual manor and actually use my sewing machine for the first time since we moved!
Wedding planning – I feel a little lost with the wedding stuff at the moment, but I think I want to focus more on any specific decor bits that I’d like to DIY and decide on the wedding favours. I might even brush off my Photoshop skills and start designing our invites too…
Get a tattoo – it’s been too long since I got my last tattoo. I know exactly what I want – something small to get to know the artists in the new area I live in and something bigger that I want design help on can be something for next year perhaps. But it’s been too long and I really want a new one!
Plan Christmas presents – October is probably too early for the ‘C’ word (my sibling would tell me it’s spooky season first!) but budgets are super tight and I want to look at crafting lots of presents this year so that takes a bit of planning and organising so I want to try and get on top of it as soon as possible.
My ongoing monthly goals are to read 2 books (with my new-found love for audio books, I finished 5 in September!), put money in savings and have a date night with my fiancé.
Alongside all this, I need to work on getting a job, I want to start doing some career relevant courses and really make time to properly relax. With the way my last contract worked, I didn’t get any holiday entitlement so I’ve been going solidly for nine months and I’m feeling it! So I’m going to take some time for myself, spend time doing things I enjoy – cooking the new HelloFresh recipes I’ve ordered, play Animal Crossing on my Switch, have baths with my lush bath bombs and read a book.
I swear September just didn’t happen? It’s gone before I could really settle into it and it really has been an absolute whirlwind – mostly stress and busy-ness and driving more than I could have possibly imagined driving. I didn’t achieve many of my September Goals because everything was just so manic but I’m rolling with it and using it to make my October Goals more successful! Let’s jump straight in
1. Plan time and stick to it
Having gone back to uni full time and knowing I need to get a part-time job as well as dealing with trying to rent a house and car insurance and hire cars etc, I know now more than ever that planning my time and sticking to it as much as possible is crucial to making sure I get everything done.
Whilst we’re waiting to move, it’s going to be hard and stressful because I’m so overwhelmed but I can only try my best and that’s the important bit.
2. Less frivolous spending
September was tough – preparing to move, then not moving, and having birthday money and sad spending, my bank account is in dire need of a rest.
I’ve been good at taking packed lunches to uni and trying not to spend unnecessarily but when someone suggests Wetherspoons it’s hard to resist! It’s a work in progress but October is a fresh slate and I can only learn from my mistakes!
3. Plan for NaNoWriMo
NaNoWriMo standings for National Novel Writing Month, I’ve been doing little writing challenges all year to ‘train’ for it and to be honest I don’t feel ready at all so over October I want to plan what I’m doing, plan some backup writing and maybe some prompts for the less inspired days, make sure my account is all set up and link to the ‘planning time effectively’ goal to make sure I can actually give it a fair shot!
4. Move house!
I’ve only mentioned it about three billion times but moving has been a journey and HOPEFULLY (cross all your fingers for us!) we’ll be moving in the middle of October and I need to plan everything.
Prepare for lots of house content! Hopefully! If we actually get to move!
5. Play Overwatch on Switch but moderately
Overwatch is my favourite video game and thus far I’ve only really enjoyed playing on X Box (PC gaming just isn’t for me) but they announced earlier this year that they were releasing it on Switch and I preordered it immediately and I can’t wait for it to come out but it’s meant to be the day we move into the new house so I need to make sure I don’t get caught in a loop of avoiding all my other responsibilities to play this game. Because that’s what happened when I got Pokemon Moon and it didn’t do well for my uni work.
But similarly I also want to give myself time to chill and enjoy this game so that’s important too!
And that’s the plan for the month! A lot happened in September and I feel like I just need to strip it all back, but it might take until November before I feel really settled in our new place and can relax a bit but that’s when the assignments are really going to start piling up so we’ll see how that goes.
Any tips, tricks or words of encouragement would be much appreciated right now because I am a ball of stress!
I mean, we all know I’m a big fan of capturing memories, documenting things and taking photos, so is this post a surprise to anyone? Probably not!
I’ve always liked having printed photos – I’ve just finished an album of some of my uni photos and I’ve got a couple of other photo albums and scrapbooks on the go. I’ve recently started making the most of getting 50 free 6×4 from Snapfish each month and I love choosing which ones I want to print to capture my month.
So I thought I’d do a more digital scrapbook, photo album thing and make a little snapshot of my month so far! Not sure if this is something I’ll do regularly, because I’m really enjoying making physical photo albums and I don’t think a blog post of 50 photos to summarise my month will have the same long term impact (nor do I think anyone is really that interested) but for the moment, I’m sticking with it and this last week has been pretty manic so it’s a good time to share!
[ o c t o b e r ]
I actually really love Sainsburys TU clothing, but I can’t justifying buying any part of this outfit at the moment (though after payday is a different matter entirely)
the first crunchy leaves feet picture of the year!
I wasn’t joking when I said I got loads of photos printed – there’s 140+ in this batch
Sainsburys released these collectable Lego cards for children. My 22 year old boyfriend is obsessed and very disappointed that it’s now ended and he didn’t complete his collection!
Oops it fell into my basket? (I really like the sunlight in this photo)
and here, three thousand years late, the girl discovers Huji – the photo app that says you’re living in 1998
when the boy takes outfit photos and then asks you to take a photo of him
I love cooking so much – this is the stuffing mixture I make usually for putting inside roasted peppers, but recently we’ve been putting them in wraps and making enchiladas with them and it’s been a big success (would anyone care about a blog post recipe?)
a photo of my granddad 1954 (left) – he just looks like such a ladies man and this is why I love printed photos!
my boy and I on our way to London!
Nick was our housemate for two years and one of our best mates at uni for all three years, this was the first time we’d seen him since graduation in July – three months!
Huji returns 4 The Circle Final – hosts Alice Levine and Maya Jama on the right and all the contestants are on the sofa on the left but it’s not very clear in this photo
We got moved to the other side of the studio and for a while we had a much better view (until some rude boys pushed in front of us) but I love this photo of all the finalists!
the view from our hotel was actually really cute
Really felt my make-up – I often avoid looking at myself at any opportunity but I didn’t hate myself on this day lol
underground signs aesthetically make me happy
the Natural History Museum is actually stunning
my tol boy with real tol boiz
I’m now obsessed with Dinosaurs and skeletons are proper cool
I thought this photo was proper artsy when I took it but it was mostly so I could read about the dinosaurs
trying to be creative but I wasn’t quite tall enough for this cool granite stone wheel thing to be a cool background and the lighting was rubbish but STILL
Huji photos and lens flares? CUTE
weekly card game night with le fam (minus my sister, who’s at uni)
RIGHT let’s talk about this – we’re quite competitive so we’re keeping track of overarching scores and somehow I’m OVER SIX HUNDRED POINTS BEHIND? Raging m8
even more Autumn-y leafy feet photos
the amazing cupcakes I made for my sister’s birthday (I wrote an insta post all about them which you can see here!)
family squeeze themselves into a car for a long ass drive to Bournemouth
my sister in her funky new coat / the outfit she would wear if she was the Doctor
family birthday dinner at TGI Fridays
the birthday hat
I FINALLY GOT THE BIRTHDAY GIRL TO WEAR THE BIRTHDAY HAT!
nobody gets left behind… (he did though, reluctantly)
the drive home was SO PRETTY and all the trees were full of Autumnal colours but I couldn’t properly pick it up on camera
and my phone is mostly full of very exciting screenshots like these! Where are my Arrowverse fans at?
‘I can’t share a post with 50 photos in, that’s too many!’ she thought, then not being able to cut her photos from 17 days to less than 30.
Ah well, who doesn’t love a long post every now and then! It’s a bit like scrolling through Instagram but it’s just me, bit vain. Maybe I take too many selfies, maybe that’s not the worst thing in the world, but I’m getting better and taking family photos and documenting the everyday and I’m really happy with my mentality towards preserving memories – I’m going to have rooms full of photo albums and scrapbooks at this rate!
How another month has flown – I’ve only got two more of these posts to write in 2018 and oh my god that’s a scary way of looking at it!
October is looking to be a pretty quiet month – it’s getting considerably colder and the leaves are all starting to change colour on the trees, the nights are drawing in and I’m starting to feel all snuggly and cosy so let’s jump right in and have a ramble about the things I want to focus on this month shall we!
[ O C T O B E R G O A L S ]
focus on balance – I want to make sure I spend an even amount of time on a variety of things rather than trying to squeeze doing a bit of everything every day – I want to make time to work for my mum, continue making content 4 times a week, job hunting consistently and doing other things that I want to do! Balance is definitely something I need to work on.
sort and decorate room, clear old office – this month I’m hoping to redecorate my room – paint a feature wall, repaint the other walls, get a new carpet and a new wardrobe but first I have to tidy and clear the contents of my room as it is currently and I need to clear the spare room I’m moving stuff into. And the spare room has all the stuff I left behind when I went to uni that I need to sort through and decide whether I’m keeping, donating or getting rid off. Overall, lots of household sorting and maybe some painting.
finish my scrapbook – I started my scrapbook in first year, took a three year break and worked on it a bit at the end of August/beginning of September but I’ve got a few more bits to put in and then I can just do a page when something happens or I have enough to put in it! It probably won’t take me more than an afternoon but I just want to get my scrapbook and my photo albums sorted this month.
try new recipes and continue eating well – for a whole week now I’ve been eating really well, I’ve been really strict with not snacking between meals and eating as healthily as I can being such a fussy eater but I want to try new meals! The way I’m doing this is by mostly letting my boyfriend and my mum choose things they like and trying new things that way, so if I find anything I’ll definitely share it on Instagram (linked below).
have evenings off – I spent an awful lot of my time beating myself up about not being productive enough and I so often convince myself ‘I’ll work in the evening while watching TV’ but the TV I’ve been watching at the moment has been so addictive that I haven’t been able to tear myself away from it. So I want to give myself the evenings to be properly relaxed and not feel pressured to do anything! That’s not to say I’m sacking off the things I’ve not done on my to do list, it’s a double edged sword – I want to be more productive during the days so I can have the evenings off, but if I don’t get everything done I want I need to give myself a break.