My Life

Checkpoint 5

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This check in is late I think…

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I honestly cannot figure out the timings of it. I’m pretty sure it’s late. It should have happened last month but November was otherwise engaged and so it has to open December, which is gonna be festive-ish I guess. I’m not a big Christmas person until it gets to about the 20th and then I’m over it come the 27th. That’s it, you kinda get festive me for about a week, but during that week I go hardLike, I wear a Christmas jumper every day and always buy a new one to wear on the day.

This is kind of festive themed I guess. I mean it’s terrifyingly reaching the end of the year and this is the time where people start looking back at what they had intended to do for the year and seeing whether they’ve achieved it or not. This isn’t quite closing out the whole year because I wrote it up when it was supposed to be written but have only just had an opening to post it, the final check in will come some time in January when I do a 2018 version of this, but this is the last comprehensive update of the year. So without further ado:

1) Take Better Care of My Hair – There’s not really much more that I can do with this one. I had my second haircut of the year back in July and I am due another one in January (hell yeah perks of having hair that only needs two haircuts a year). I continue to wash, condition and deep condition my hair each week. Which is arguably kind of pointless given that during this season so far (meaning winter) and the fact that I work out 5 times a week it spends most of its time tied up. But it remains moisturised and there is some length coming to it and it’s plodding along. Leave in conditioners are my friends and I’m always trying new shampoos and new hair masks. I’m kind of done with this one. It’s become a habit at this point.

2) Take Better Care of My Skin –  Okay, so I have moved away from Lush products since the last check in. This happened mainly so I could see what Glossier hype was all about. I’ve got a full post coming about this later this week but it’s come with a new cleanser, moisturiser and sunscreen. My skin is looking less oily which is good, but the breakouts are still there and I can’t quite figure out why they are happening. I really need to get back to cleaning my face with Dark Angels once a week again for an extra exfoliating kick mid week but I keep forgetting. I mean I’m not treating my skin badly or anything, it’s just decided to go through a second puberty.

3) Tone The Hell Up – Look at some point in October my diet fell to shit and for some reason it now ebbs and flows. I’m not beating myself up about or anything and I kind of make up for it by regularly working out and stuff so I don’t feel bad about it or anything, but I really need to start shaping up with that again. Diet is like half the battle with this one. The exercise is routine now. It happens 5 times a week, I do cardio twice a week, I lift once a week, I do some bodyweight stuff that is basically just planks and squats and I do barre because nothing burns quite like the barre burn. Physically I have baby biceps that come out to play now and I can lift weights now which is changing things slightly and like, I have the hints of abs and my legs are hella toned. Did I do that for the aesthetics? Hell no. I did it to get stronger, to get moving, to help cope with my every day stresses and just really sweat the day away. But the aesthetics of it isn’t a bad thing. We’re approaching Christmas at this point, and while I’m not going to go crazy I’m kind of not naive enough to think that I’m going to completely overhaul my diet in amongst alllll the food. So this will trickle over into a 2018 goal.

4) Start Saving Properly –  Look, this has not gone well this year. It just hasn’t. But I think this is good. It’s forced me to really assess the whole situation properly and truly look at better ways to be saving money and how to get everything under control. So yeah, this has failed. In so many damn ways. But it can only go up from here.

5) Get Better Organised – The diary I bought does get used. But again, it remains super sporadic. It’s habit that I’v never had before and trying to get into one is proving hard for me. I’m choosing Sundays as the day where I sit down and just plan things out. And then I need to keep referring to it. In a similar way to how I do a face mask every Sunday and go through the hair washing process on a Monday, I just need to form a habit of it. And I have the motivation for it, so it’s getting there.

6) Try And Be More Creative/Just Write More – I’ve learned this year that I need to not force this. I need to just let it do what it wants to do. And some days it wants to write 3,000 words in a day and others it wants to write 0. I need to learn to fall into this and not feel bad or feel like a failure when I don’t. I also need to not just let myself fall into a habit where I do not write anything for days on end. It’s just kind of frustrating the way it works, but I need to stop worrying about that. I also think that I am going to start making a habit of just writing for half an hour each night, and not just for this blog but outside of it. It’s just half an hour and yeah sometimes that half hour will fly by in a flurry or words and sometimes it won’t. I just need to roll with it and not fight it. My NaNo attempt was behind from day 2 and it sucked, but it wasn’t the end of the world and realising that lifted a huge weight that I hadn’t even known I was carrying.  So yeah, I have written more and I’ve also not, but this is a ongoing thing for me and I have written a lot of stuff so I consider it a win.

And that is the 5th and final full check in for my 2017 goals for the year. Some have been good, some have been truly ignored and nothing has come from them. Some of them are ongoing beyond just this year and this was just the foundation for them.

Parentheses count: 2. See you tomorrow!

 

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My Life

…Organised?

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I had a goal for the month. I wrote about it on here and bought a new diary and everything.

The goal was simple: get more organised.

Somehow this month ran away from me at cheetah’s pace and it’s now pretty the end of the month and I don’t really have anything to show for it.

I have opened the diary.

I have stared at the pretty pages and read the quotes that are at the top of the page for each week. I have marveled at it and all the possibilities that it holds. I have even written in it.

But for the most part I’ve written in it retrospectively. I’ve sat there on a Sunday and just thought about the week and what I did and then just written it all down to make the week look busy.

I was originally going to approach this a little bit like a bullet journal, and I still will (because yes, I am determined to make this a habit this time), and just make quick notes about tasks I need to do and other events that might be worth noting and all that jazz, but I guess because I am not in the habit of that it’s just not really happening.

I tried to carry my shiny new diary with me but I just kept forgetting about it so it didn’t really add anything to my day to day life. I didn’t refer to it at all throughout the day which means that carrying it around was kind of pointless. And so then I took it out and now I just sort of don’t refer to it as much.

In fact it has just sat on my living room table for the past week or so and I’ve not opened it. But I want to.

The difference between this instance and all the other countless attempts is the intention. I mean yes I kind of bought the diary because it’s very aesthetically pleasing, but it is also for the first time kind of holding me accountable to get my shit together.

It’s nowhere near as together as I would like it to be, but I feel like come the next check in I do for my goals this year that there may actually be something to report on regarding this particular one..watch this space.

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My Life

8 Month Point

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I spent an awful long time trying to figure out when the hell the next one of these was due. I think in total there should be 6 in the year if I do one every 2 months, so I think I have worked it out that one is due now, one in late October/early November and then one at the end of the year. I think. Honestly I cannot figure it out, but I’m gonna roll with that and pretend that I’m not truly atrocious at maths. So, here’s another check in.

1) Take Better Care of My Hair – I got a trim at the end of July just to keep it fresh (and also to encourage it to grow a bit, the fact that my hair seems to just hover at shoulder length when dry while it is boob length wet is a tad annoying to me right now, but I’m embracing the curls and all that jazz) and that is obviously to keep it as healthy as possible. I also deep condition it once a week and make sure that it is slathered in conditioner at all points to keep it hydrated and bouncy and in good nick. This one has basically just become part of my day to day life with great ease and it’s in the best condition it’s been in in years.

2) Take Better Care of My Skin – I fear that I am going to have to change my skin care routine up a bit shortly because I keep having break outs and I do not know why. Sometimes it’s hormonal and that’s fine, but it’s when it’s not that it’s annoying. And also the hyperpigmentation on my face has just become even more obvious recently, which I think is just because I’ve got a tan over the past couple of months and so the dark marks look darker. I’ve recently added Vitamin E oil to my night time routine as well as tea tree oil to deal with the breakouts overnight and I think there has been a small change in the state of my skin, but they are small. So I’m in two minds about what to do with it. But while I still um and ah about it I am keeping up with my existing routine to try and keep the issues under control.

3) Tone The Hell Up – I took a whole week off and did whatever the hell I wanted while I was in Greece because I was on holiday and who the fuck cares. I then came back and jumped straight back into doing a lot of cardio, which is a big deal for me because I cut the hell back from cardio for a good 2/3 months and just did low impact work outs (that focused on stretching as well). I then got my diet back on track for the most part and am still making small changes to it to try and make it better because all the exercise that I am doing don’t mean shit if my diet is whack. I’m also going to try and get back into exercises that focus more on stretching (like yoga and pilates which I haven’t done in over a month now). Look, I like the way my body looks. I like that it’s a lot stronger than it used to be. I like that I don’t need to fake being confident in wearing certain things that I own and actually am now. I will walk around in a crop top/bralette and shorts and not feel super self conscious. I have some personal goals that I am working towards for the end of the year and I feel confident that I am going to achieve them. I feel good about myself and that’s what this goal for the year was all about. I hated myself for too long and had far too many bad habits and behaviours that were doing me damage in so many ways and I’ve changed a lot of them and actually feel good now. Plus exercise is doing wonders for my mental health and that can never be a bad thing.

4) Start Saving Properly – Listen, I spent so much money in August cos holiday and I went a bit into denial about how much money I actually spent. So to counteract that I am basically not spending money on anything except for a need to basis for the next couple of months. So things like food, toiletries, my gym membership and my monthly train ticket are still on the list and I’m not going to deprive myself of going out if the opportunity arises, but for the most part I’m cutting back on my spending. That’s not going to contribute to the saving thing, but it is going to put me back in a position where I can start saving properly. This whole goal has been a total clusterfuck, which to be honest is what I expected.

5) Get Better Organised – I mean I don’t even know what is happening here. For the most part, I am not better organised but then also I somehow am as well…there has honestly been no change. But there probably needs to be because as it stands I am due to get more creative projects in my life that I need to dedicate time to and keep on top of them all, so some change is going to have to happen. But then again, knowing me I also don’t think it will.

6) Try And Be More Creative/Just Write More – This is happening. I have 14,000 words of a novel written that came fully into existence throughout August. Plus I have some other projects that require my creativity over the next few months so this one is actually all coming together. Which I am really happy about because my creativity abandoned me in a big way recently and so having it back is just really great.

And that brings me to the end of this little 2017 intentions update. Another one of these will be coming at some point…I think it’s November…we’ll see. There are 2 more left that much I know.

Parentheses count: 3. See you tomorrow!

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My Life

The Halfway Point

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Given that I did a two month and a four month update on this it seems only fitting that I would do a mid year check-in. Although it is totally insane that we are now at the halfway point of the year, did it not just start? With that in mind, here we go then…

1) Take Better Care of My Hair – I’m due another hair cut at the end of the month, which is progress given that generally speaking once I get a hair cut I then don’t go back for years on end. And in this year alone I’m due about 3 of them…so, it’s going well. I mean I say that, I have also not untied my hair in three days and it’s coming up to two weeks since I last washed it and it’s weirdly straight and so dry right now, but this is a blip and is mainly because I’ve been busy and it needs at least a couple of hours to so which I just haven’t had this week after work, but like I said, it’s a blip. Other than that, it’s going well. This is the healthiest my hair has been in a long while.

2) Take Better Care of My Skin –  I’ve added an SPF to my routine in the morning and Vitamin E facial oil at night, but honestly there’s not all that much I can really do. Except stop picking at my face when spots do appear. But yeah, I feel like just being consistent in what I’m doing is the best thing that I can do for it. I have also increased the frequency with which I exfoliate my skin, from once to twice and I’m gonna see where that leads me. But yeah, I am making progress with it I guess.

3) Tone The Hell Up – So, I’m still mostly off sugar, but that gets harder the hotter it gets because I want ice cream alll the time. I still tweaking with my diet in a general sense and I eat more fruit and veg than I used to, but there are parts of it that could definitely be better. I also dropped off cardio for the past 6 weeks (I started introducing it on Monday again) for a couple of reasons and switched to do more low impact exercises. So pilates, yoga and barre. It all burns. It all works. I feel stronger, I can get deeper into a push-up, my arms have some shape to them, there are hints of defined back muscles. I actually feel good in my body. Look, I can’t lift, I don’t do strength training and I don’t know if I want to, but I can hold solidly hold a plank for 60 seconds and I can finally touch the floor with straight legs. And currently my legs feel like a really heavy weight and my glutes burn and I still have a barre class to do this week which is going to make it worse (and yet also better…), but this is going well. It’s completely changed my attitude to myself and has helped with my mental health in a huge way that it didn’t before recently. And yeah, I don’t hate my body anymore, I had a breakthrough with it recently and came out the other side with an attitude that me 4/5 years ago would never even have dreamed of. I’m gonna up my cardio again at some point to two/three times a week again, but currently I’m mainly focused on low intensity, isometric workouts that really help me tone up and burn sooo much.

4) Start Saving Properly –  Can we not talk about this one please? It’s not gotten all that much better, I transfer money, sometimes I forget about, sometimes I need to transfer it back in. That plan that I was talking  about a couple of months ago will happen, I just don’t know when…

5) Get Better Organised – This comes and goes to be honest. Sometimes I get proper to-do listy and feel like I can conquer the world, but most of the time it is all just organised chaos in my head. I’m trying, probably not hard enough, but I’m trying nonetheless.

6) Try And Be More Creative/Just Write More – Again, I don’t really know how to assess this one. I’m going to try and rectify that this month, but I’ve made no progress with that so far, but I’m gonna have to for tomorrow and I’m almost excited for this.

And there we go. The halfway point update. To be honest, it’s kind of going the way that I thought it would go. Number 4 and 5 are proving grey areas of difficultly because I’m me. 6 is kind of following the same vein as before given that I put it on the list in the first place because it wasn’t happening all that much. The first 3 are going in directions that I didn’t necessarily think they would, I mean skincare is, the fact that I actually got a hair cut for the first time in years still surprises me and my new attitude to exercise has also caught me off guard. I mean I started doing it just to be a bit healthier, but now it’s almost paramount to keeping me sane these days.

Anyway, see you in September with the next update on this!

Parentheses count: 2. See you tomorrow!

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My Life

Four Months In

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So I did a little two month update on this…two months ago and I thought it would be a good idea to just keep checking in with the whole intentions thing and well, it’s now been four months since it all started (it’s mental that we are already in May) and so we’re due a check in.

1) Take Better Care of My Hair – Listen, this is going quite well at the moment. Funnily enough (and can I just say that I always knew this but was stubborn) the key to healthy hair is having it regularly cut…who knew (again I did…but…yeah you guessed it, stubborn). So once all that dead dead hair was gone it was a whole new ball game. Getting moisture back into it is actually possible and my curls actually have a decent curl pattern and they most cooperate with me. And the frizz situation isn’t actually all that bad anymore and yeah it’s still kind of big but it’s manageable. So that one is coming along nicely. I’ll have to have another trim in the next couple of months, but if I keep doing what I’m doing this one has almost mostly taken care of.

2) Take Better Care of My Skin –  I’ve still not really made any changes to this one. I almost did completely have an overhaul of my skin care routine but that seemed a little bit extreme over some breakouts that were most definitely just linked to my cycle. I’m also still trying to nail the whole daily SPF thing because I’ve not quite yet found one yet that has done good things to my skin, they just tend to make my combination skin oily and shiny and that’s not fun. So I’m still having a play around with small changes at the moment and at some point I might deal with the pigmentation issues that have returned, but last time that just sort of faded of it’s own accord. Oh and also, I’m getting better at the spot picking thing in theory. I mean if I don’t have spots then I can’t pick them…when I do though…yeah still a problem.

3) Tone The Hell Up – Easter happened to me and that really fucked with my diet (it also coincide with that part of my cycle so it all really went to hell then), but I’m starting to get it back on track slowly but surely. I’ve cut back again on the sugar and I’m upping my fruit and veg intake, that’s getting easier because now some of my favourite fruits are coming back into season so I can get them back into my life (strawberries I’m looking at you). My exercise routine for the most part is pretty much the same, so yeah this one is just sort of plodding along and doing what it’s gonna do, but I will say that I feel like I am getting stronger and given that I do classes with repeated instructors they have also commented on the fact that I am getting stronger. So it’s moving along nicely enough.

4) Start Saving Properly –  I’ve started transferring a sum of money out of my bank account on pay day into a savings account and then forgetting about it. That’s all I got right now. I have another plan to up this but that will have to come later in the year

5) Get Better Organised – Oh this has totally fallen apart. To be honest with you I actually forgot about it. I’m still chaotically organised it’s currently still working mostly fine for me. Oh that bullet journal of mine has totally fallen apart again, it lasted like a month in total. It’s a habit I need to form and I am terrible at forming habits…and at breaking them.

6) Try And Be More Creative/Just Write More – I could not tell you were I am with this shit man. On the one hand yes, I am being more creative and stuff. But then on the other it is all happening in bursts so it doesn’t necessarily feel like it’s happening. And for the most part I’m only working to those bursts, which I really shouldn’t be doing. I feel like at some point I’m going to have just set a word count for this project that I have (the one that I kept ambiguously banging on about throughout April) and try to hit it everyday. But not be stupid about it because that won’t make it any better. So yeah, I’m a bit confuddled by this. It’s happening, but it’s also not.

And that’s where we are at with this right now. There are habits forming and I guess that’s the point of it all.

Parentheses count: 6. See you tomorrow!

 

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My Life

The First Two Months

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So, in keeping with the fact that I set something akin to goals at the beginning of this year and the fact that we are now pretty much two months of the year down already I thought I would just have a little check in with myself as to where I stand with them all. I don’t in anyway think that I have made progress with them all, but I do know that recently I have actively been taking steps to try and adapt them into my day to day life and that baby steps are the way forward.

I’m just gonna through them as listed on my original post beginning with:

1) Take Better Care of My Hair – I mean, yeah I’m doing that. It’s getting washed once a week (I only need to wash it once a week thankfully, that’s one thing all these years have taught me) and co-washed mid week. It’s getting deep conditioned once a week too and tangle wise I mean it’s not tangled, so there’s that. The main thing I need to do really in order to take better care of it is happening this week and so from that point on I feel like I can start afresh.

2) Take Better Care of My Skin – I haven’t really made any changes to this yet. There aren’t that many I can do to be honest. I mean I cleanse, tone and moisturise it twice daily. I use a face mask once a week, I’ve upped my usage of charcoal based products because they work wonders for my skin, and it did kind of calm down a bit but recently I’ve broken out again. And I only really touch my face a whole bunch when I know that there are spots on my face. So yeah, that’s still a slight uphill battle and I’m still making small changes here and there to try and make it better. But it hasn’t gotten any worse so that seems like a good thing.

3) Tone The Hell Up – I’ve made some small changes to my diet and that’s helping. I’m currently working out 4 times a week, which I have recently upped from 3. And I’m trying to keep at that, working out 3/4 times a week and that is supplemented by the fact that I also do a lot of walking (and always have done). I’ve become more focused on really getting technique right and am also trying to do a range of work outs to try and keep it interesting and also work all aspects. There are small changes I am noticing and I mean I can get deeper in a push up now than I could at the beginning of the year which is a win. And also I’ve finally started to get why people say that exercise can improve a mood, my yoga class last Tuesday was a total game changer in way that I haven’t experienced before. So, yeah still trundling along with it.

4) Start Saving Properly – Gonna be honest, my attempts at this are still pretty half assed, but I have some plans in place and so that will slowly start to happen later in the year.

5) Get Better Organised – Again, this has sort of half happened. I go through phases where I get super organised and then I got through larger periods of time where I get things done just about on time. What I really need to do is just pick a date and then actively start trying to get my shit together from that point onwards…like 1st March…but that’s a Wednesday and that seems odd…see this is why I am terribly organised.

6) Try And Be More Creative/Just Write More – This is happening. So far I have posted something creative once a week (maybe not always on a Friday…looking at you last week) and it’s not proving to be all that hard. I mean to be honest that is because 90% of the stuff has already been written and was just living enclosed in notebook pages, but I’m gonna try and actively write new stuff a bit more to avoid falling completely into a writing rut. So yeah, this is half there half not. I still haven’t really sat down and worked out a plot for that thing yet, but soon. Real soon.

And that is the two month check in. How about you, if you set any resolutions (or whatever you want to call them) how are they going so far two months into the year?

Parentheses count: 4. See you tomorrow!

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Get To Know Me, My Life

2016/2017 Tag

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It’s a new month and yet here I am still semi clinging on to some parts of 2016, but I guess if it’s the 2nd month of the year and I’ve had a birthday that I should let it go. But I will do that once I have posted this, which I came across on Karen’s blog and am now going to give a go.

Here are the tag rules:

1. Mention the creator of the TAG.

2. Use the image that you find in this article.

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3. Mention the blogger who has chosen you.

4. Answer the questions.

5. Mention 9 bloggers/friends and let them know through a comment on their blog.

And the questions are the following:

1) Describe your 2016 in 3 words

Rollercoaster of emotions (what a cliche thing to say, but also super accurate).

2) Write the name of 2 people that have characterised your 2016.

I cannot narrow it down to only 2 people. There about 7 who got me through last year. Actually, it’s 8 people. Maybe 9…probably 8.

3) Write the most delicious food you’ve tasted in 2016

I rediscovered Shake Shack last year which I forgot had really good burgers, fries and milkshakes. And both of the ones (that I know of anyway) in London are in the perfect place to fuel up before (or during) an epic shopping session (which I have been known to do in Oxford Street).

4) Write the event which marked you most in 2016.

I don’t think that there is one that stands out the most for me. I had a couple of clusterfuck stressy moments that I had to deal with which I did. I got through it. That’s it though I think. There was no proper stand out, but I got through it.

5) Write the finest purchase you’ve made in 2016, and if you want link a photo.

I bought a satchel at the beginning of last year that was a great investment and has been my everything bag ever since I unwrapped it to the most gorgeous of bags. It’s also not black which is a bit odd for me. And I love it just as much now as I did then. (The funny thing, a few days after I wrote this, my bag strap broke. It’s all fixed now, but it amused me nonetheless).

6) Write 3 good intentions for 2017

1. Gonna tone the body up and get stronger

2. Gonna write this fucking book (I talk about it so lovingly, I know)

3. Gonna try and expand my cooking repertoire

7) Write 1 place you want to visit in 2017

I cannot name just one place. That’s insane. There are so many it is almost overwhelming. But a place with a beach. That’s not in the UK. (I’m dreaming of the Caribbean, but that won’t happen. So Europe will do.)

8) Write 1 plate of food you’d like to eat in 2017.

I mean, honestly? I don’t have one. And currently the only thing that I can think of is Shake Shack. I may or may not have a problem. Also Browns have a great burger and fries combo, which I ate on my birthday weekend equipped with onion rings, which I greatly enjoyed and would quite like to enjoy again soon. Basically this revolves around burgers, which tells you all that you need to know about me. I’m gonna eat burgers all around London, and cross Five Guys off my list. There you go. That’s my answer.

And with that I end this tag. And I leave the invitation open should you choose to want to give this a go…even though we are a month into the year now.

Parentheses count: 6. See you tomorrow!

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