Lifestyle

September 18 Goals

I’ve not done one of these posts in a very long time, and to be fair I’m not one to normally set myself goals due to the stress that I find it will generally cause me. However lately I have been loving seeing my blog grow and the satisfaction I’m feeling from being organised and proactive. So I thought it would make sense to just set myself some achievable goals to give me a focus this month. img_0341-3

I have three main goals for blog and socials, all which I feel will be achievable for me this month. The first is I would like to hit 200 wordpress followers. As of the end of August, I have 119 wordpress followers, and this has been rather stagnant for quite a while now. Lately I have found that follow sprees on Twitter are a fabulous way to find new bloggers to follow, and in turn to get my blog out there for new people to find.

Throughout the month of August I managed to reach just over 1.2k in views over all of my posts on the blog. Although this is a almost 0.3k up from July, I would really like to hit 1.4k in September. I have lots of new varied content planned, a blog tour, and just some new different pieces to add some variety to the blog. DSC_0193
The final goal for the blog and socials is to reach 1k followers on Twitter. Although I never really announced them, I had this same goal last month, but I lost track of it about mid month and you can never hit your goals if you don’t work towards them. As of the end of August I’m at just over 850 followers on Twitter, so 1k should be a super easy goal to meet if I keep with the progression I have been achieving.

Now I only have one rather broad goal in my personal life, and that is to start making healthier choices. With my Fibro and EDS I find that I struggle a lot in the winter months with pain and fatigue levels, and the only way I have found to make this a little easier to handle is to start making healthier choices sooner rather than later. So why not start now? I’m going to be switching up some of my habits, drinks and food choices so that my body and immune system are in the best position to get through what will ultimately be a challenging few months. I will write a post about the changes I’ll be making at a later date as I have some experimenting to do.

I also start university again very soon, so will have more goals to add soon I’m sure.

What are you hoping to achieve this September? Do you have any personal or blog related goals that you are confident about?

Lifestyle

Sunshine Blogger Award 2018

Okay, so I believe that I have done one of these in the past when I first started this blog, but as I got nominated again by the lovely Molly Breeze, I thought I would answer the questions for some fun. You can find her blog post with her answers, and nominations and questions here. Thank you so much for the nomination, I just love your questions hence why I am doing this post.

Not going to lie, I generally don’t like doing these posts, but I thought it would be fun.

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The Sunshine Blogger Award is about recognizing bloggers for being positive, inspiring, and creative. This award is voted by bloggers to acknowledge their achievements and offer support.

What are the rules of the Sunshine Blogger Award?

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link their blog so others can find them.
  • Answer the 11 questions which the blogger who nominated you asked.
  • Nominate 11 bloggers and ask them 11 different questions
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog site.

 

1.What is your favourite TV show and why?

  • To be honest, Im not overly one for TV, generally I just watch the soaps with my Nan and Netflix with my partner. One of the only shows Im overly interested in to watch each week is Handmaid’s Tale. I just adore this show, possibly more than I loved the book.

2.Do you think that printed books have become less popular in recent years due to an increase in audiobooks, kindles and podcasts etc?

  • Almost definitely. I come from a family of people who all read, but lately it seems I’m the only one to still pick up a physical book. My dad is big into audible, and although he has the physical copy, it just stays on the shelf and he listens to the audiobook. Then my Nan now mostly uses her Kindle now, and I will admit that it does seem to be cheaper; but I just don’t think you can beat the feeling of reading a physical book.

3.Which movie do you wish you could see for the first time all over again?

  • Ooo, this is a hard one. Most of my favourite films are kids movies, but Id be worried to watch it again now in case I don’t love it as much. I would probably have to say 2012 or Volcano. Yes, I am sad, I love disaster movies.

4.Name your favourite thing about where you live.

  • Well, if you’ve read my blog lately you will know that I have recently moved. Although because of my immobility currently I haven’t gotten to explore overly much, I have found two things already that I adore. I love that I can see the river from my bedroom, I love water and nature, and I can see this being the site for many photography shots in the future. Secondly, the people around here are so nice! Seriously, there is a really noticeable difference when I’m going around in the superstore using my chair. Here people stop to help you, back in my home town, people just look at you. My boyfriend helped someone get a buggy out of a café door when visiting my home town, and someone actually asked him why he did that!

5.What is your favourite item of clothing in your wardrobe right now?

  • Do PJs count? Because if so my Winnie the Pooh nightdress, its just so comfy and long enough for me to move around using my crutches with out worrying about flashing my underwear. Oh, and quick mention for my Hufflepuff hoodie as well.

6.Bath or shower, and why?

  • Bath, easily a bath. Who can refuse a bubbly hot bath, with a book and a cuppa tea?

7.Name your favourite thing in your room (can be furniture, decoration, anything really)

  • In my new house I have a mini apartment basically, I have my bedroom (obviously….), as well as my own bathroom, living room, and kitchenette. Although I haven’t set up my kitchen or finished decorating my living room yet, but even so my favourite thing has to be my elephant wall hanging that is in my bedroom. Its just so me with bright colours, and a bit of a hippy vibe- exactly what I am after for my bedroom.

8.Tell a story of when you have laughed so hard you cried.

  • Off the top of my head I cant think of anything that I’ve laughed so hard I’ve cried about, but I do have a story from the other day that me and my Nan had a good giggle about. We have a parcel box outside our front door as I struggle to get to the door for parcels, so it saves me the hassle. Sometimes though we will also get a card through the door to say that they have left a parcel in the box, which ultimately is helpful and saves unnecessary checking. But the other day, we didn’t only have a parcel in the box, but the postman had put a card saying that there was a parcel in the box, in the parcel box. I actually say the parcel before the card, rendering the card pointless.

9.Name your favourite OR least favourite thing about blogging.

  • My favourite is easily the opportunities that it can lead, and getting to share my story and thoughts. However I hate how competitive it can be. I do a lot of follow trains and comment sprees, where you are meant to all comment; I will spend hours reading and leaving comments, but most often will get no comments in reply. Its just so frustrating, we need to support each other people, that’s the only way that we can all grow.

10.Sweet or Salty popcorn?

  • Eww, no to popcorn generally!

11.Name something you are looking forward to in the near future.

  • That’s a great question; think it would have to be going to Harry Potter studios again with my little cousin. Though by the time this goes out, I may already of been. Plus, its a way away, but also going to Gran Canaria with my partner and his family, its going to be so fun.

So I’m going the rules a little now and not nominate anyone in particular. What Im going to do is list my questions, and tag people on Twitter who I think may like to answer them, this way anyone can answer if you want. Tag me in your responses and I’ll be sure to let all my followers know about your post!

1.Why and when did you start your blog?

2.What were your original aims for your blog?

3.Whats your biggest dream in life?

4. How do you organise your life generally?

5. Have you ever tried Bullet Journaling?

6.How do you practise being creative?

7.Do you believe in any level of spirituality?

8.Do you have a workout routine of any sort? Be it gym, yoga, or intense bootcamp?

9.Do you have any pets? If so what are they?

10.What are your favourite methods of selfcare? Are they different from your practised ones?

11.Do you count yourself as skilled in any way?

 

That’s it, go and have fun; I cant wait for your replies. 🙂

Lifestyle

Another move, another nightmare…

So moving is said to be one the hardest things to do in life, and in the two times in my memorable life it has been a bit of a disaster. Although I moved for the first time when I was very young, I have none but sketchy memories; but in the past two years, or really less than a year and a half, I have had to move twice. I use the word ‘had’ as neither time did we have much or a choice.

I’ve written about both of my moves previously, as you can see here, and here. If you’ve read these posts you will pick up the fact that neither of these moves have been smooth, or very well planned to be honest; now here is the second half of what happened during this latest move. DSC_0201

Firstly it might be worth noting that I did something highly stupid the night before this move; I managed to fall down the stairs. On my Twitter you will of noticed that I have mentioned this several times, as it has left me wheelchair bound, or needing the crutches at the very least for the past 2 months. Just to quickly note, this was in no way done on purpose, and am being investigated medically to work out why it happened.

With this having happened on the Thursday night, we moved on the Friday morning. As you can imagine with an eventful evening we didn’t manage to get everything we wanted done. Several cupboards were left unpacked, and none of the furniture had been dismantled ready for being loaded into the moving lorry. Thankfully we had my partner as well as my Nan staying the night so it was all hands on deck in the morning, throwing the last of the bits in boxes, finding things that could be used as boxes when we ran out, and then making furniture easier to move, and highly importantly clean.  DSC_0196

I think we would of been done no trouble if I hadn’t been out of action, and my partner Ash hadn’t had to run off to go to work. Oh and did I mention that the moving men were USELESS! Rude, messy and generally inconsiderate doesn’t even touch on it. It got to a point that I was worried what they would do if Barney got under their feet or in their way, so I ended up sitting with him on his long line, that way I had full control.

As if that wasn’t enough, we found out on the Thursday afternoon that we had been refused the house because of our references. If you’d read about the events that lead up to this move you will know that there has been endless issues, miscommunications and general stupidity. I will probably write a post specifically all about the issues that have continued with our old landlord so again, I wont go too into it right now. But lets just say that once again, we were given the short end of the stick, stuck between two people argument.

Anyway, we sorted it out so that we did get the house, and lets just say that this was fully down to my Uncle. Only problem was, it meant that instead of getting into the new house at 9am, we didn’t get in until 4.30pm. If you’ve ever moved, then you will know that this is a nightmare! You only have the moving people for a specific amount of time, and ours was only until 5. Ultimately this meant that we had to pay to get a very large storage lock up (costing about £350 a month), and put pretty much all of our belongings into it. That included all 500+ of my books. DSC_0232
I guess I should be thankfully that we did manage to get all three of our beds here, and at least four of our five sofas. Sadly though, that was about it in terms of the furniture. Once again, my Uncle was the life saver along with my cousin, who came over with their van to help move the last of the stuff, which included both of the animal cages, and most of the things we need for day to day care of the pets.

This went on to the Saturday, but I was again out of action having to sit in A&E to try and work out if Id done any damage during the fall. But we had the full team working on finishing the move, cleaning the house and getting the new house somewhere near to set up. I really can not thank my Nan, Uncle, partner and my Dads partner enough with all the help that they gave us that weekend to make it somewhere bearable.

As if none of that was enough, those terrible moving men that I mentioned, managed to ‘lose’ my xbox along with all of its games, controllers and accessories, plus my Dads high tech multi room speakers.

You have probably got the idea by now, that this was not a very good move, and I am sure that it still causing me and my father stress. There is still a legal issue going on with the old landlord, we still have loads of stuff in storage that we need a bigger van to move, and some highly frustrating issues within the new house including no hot water for about 3 weeks.

I will give you more updates as things progress, and also planning a tour of my rooms once I have them all finished up.

Have you ever had to move? What was your experiences?

 

Lifestyle

My 3rd attempt at year 2…

I started my degree with the Open University four years ago now, and yet I’m still only on my second year out of a six year course.

When I originally signed up with the Open University I was doing a Classical Studies degree, which is what I thought I truly wanted to do, but when I started the second year I realised that it really wasn’t. Thankfully they are so nice, that I was able to switch my degree across to an Open degree meaning I could study anything I wanted each year, that’s what I’m still working towards.

So, why is it taking me three attempts? DSC_0198

If you have followed the blog for a little while, then you will be aware that it has not been an easy ride. Almost two years ago now, I lost Grandad, and my parents split up. Both of these things hit me hard, and grief was not an easy concept for me to grasp as I was going through it. For a while, I tried to maintain my study at the same time and to be quite honest, I just found that it all got too much. In the end, I had to leave work and study, to take the time to get used to the new situation and manage my own mental health. Turns out I really didn’t like the unit either.DSC_0205
I thought that this helped a lot, so I restarted (although a different unit) the following October. All I hadn’t taken into consideration was that in the time between ending the previous unit and then starting the next, I had been diagnosed with ME and Fibromyalgia, so was therefore on very strong pain relief.

After about five months, and three extensions, I realised that the Tramadol was having a serious effect of my ability to focus and absorb any information. I also had several issues with very not understanding tutors who seemed to think that chronic pain and fatigue wasn’t a thing that could affect someone’s day to day life. So in the end, I was left with no choice but to walk away from studying for another year. DSC_0234
That leads me to now. I am about to restart the same unit as last year again in October. This time I feel a lot more prepared, I have a great support system all around me, and am really excited for it. Over the summer I had been meaning to complete one of their free courses in Creative Writing. I will definitely be picking that up at some point again and let you all now how I found it.

But in the next month before my course starts, I will be trying to get myself prepped. The idea is for me to create a study plan, doing some reading early, and start to establish a routine.

Are you going back to university? What difficulties have you found with studying?

Lifestyle

My Current Go-To albums.. #1

Well I have been saying that I want to mix up my content lately, and I thought this one would be a bit of a change. I have always been a music fan, but with the summer weather, and a quite a few long car journeys with my partner, we have been having some really amazing singing duets!

My top album for this has to be Badlands by Halsey. I have been listening to this for several months now and I must know all the words to everything apart from Drive. You may not of heard of this album, as it is not allowed to be played on the Radio due to the amount of bad language and some of the general themes in the lyrics. This aside, I love these songs and I just feel like I can relate to a lot of them.

‘I think there’s a flaw in my code
These voices won’t leave me alone’ Gasoline 

For the last few months, I have had many of the songs from Anne-Marie’s Speak Your Mind Deluxe album. The radio has butchered the remix of Friends though, I understand that they have to take out the swearing but for me, by just taking out a whole section, has left the song lacking something. For some reason this has really be frustrating me. Three best songs from this album are easily, 2002, Friends and Ciao Adios. This just feels like a perfect summer album to me.

‘F-R-I-E-N-D-S
That’s how you fucking spell “friends”‘ FriendsI know I said that this was going to be go to albums, but I have to mention this one song. To begin I had only heard it on tv during adverts, but then found the actual song on deezer, and that song is Leave a Light On by Tom Walker. Once again, the radio remix, which has upped the tempo, put in more base, and just added a very odd vocal to it, has completely butchered the original. If you want a beautiful song, with powerful lyrics and just something to make you smile, then definitely search for the original of this song.

‘If you look into the distance, there’s a house upon the hill
Guiding like a lighthouse it’s a place where you’ll be
Safe to feel our grace ’cause we’ve all made mistakes’ Leave a Light OnMy fourth and final album for this list is One More Light by Linkin Park. When this came out last year I was really not very sure about it, but since seeing it live before Chester sadly passed away, and then listening to it many many more times, I would now be lost without this album. Its one of those that really rocks the emotions inside you, and can leave you feeling both broken and empowered all at the same time.

‘Sharp edges have consequences, I
Guess that I had to find out for myself
Sharp edges have consequences, now
Every scar is a story I can tell’ Sharp Edges

So that is it for my first list of go to albums/songs. I think this is a blog post that I will do a new edition of every quarter or so, let me know what you think and what you’d like to see in the future on the blog.

What are your current go to albums?

Here are just a handful of the other songs that I have regularly been turning on to listen to this past few months.

Lifestyle

Getting a new fluff ball…

If you have me on twitter than you will probably of noticed that Ive had a new four legged friend around lately. Throughout much of December we were visiting dog shelters trying to find one who we felt we could help and could become a member of our family. We found that in my gorgeous boy Barney, who has quickly become my shadow and best friend.
Myself and my Dad have had dogs all our live, so shortly after losing my Star last December 6th, it felt very empty in our home. Therefore we thought it was time to look at rescuing another dog that was in need of a loving home.

We contacted several charities, Dogs Trust, Luna, and PPBC. As Star was deaf, we felt that we would like to rescue another dog that maybe needed some extra work again as I have the time to do it and the skills from working with previous dogs. To begin with we thought we were going to get a border collie cross from Dogs Trust, but on one of the final visits this all fell through (I’ll have a post up about that at a later date).

In the end I fell in love with my Barney from PPBC. He is again a border collie, but is very oddly marked, being a tricolour who is predominantly brown. But at 6years old, 7 on 23rd of July, he is an amazingly trained, calm and affectionate boy. He’s only issues are that he is very reactive so barks a lot at shadows or cars going past; as well as not liking other dogs. Im working with him on both of these.

Back in March when he arrived here, he was a super timid, very unsure of him self character; but time and attention has turned him into a hyper little hooligan at times. I just cant help but love him. He leaves the rodents alone, tells me when he needs to pee, and generally just follows me around on a daily basis. By far his favourite toy is his tennis ball, well to be fair he doesn’t seem to really understand how to play with any other toy- so of course I’ve stocked him up with loads of tennis balls. Although he still has access to my old dogs toys, as I just cant part with them.

I am hoping to mention he more in future posts as his training continues, but for now I thought I’d just give you a quick introduction. Anything you’d like to ask Barney?

Lifestyle

Pick’n’Melt – the pick and mix for wax melts..

I have been a big fanatic of candles for many years now, mostly in the form of Yankee candles. Recently though, I have started to prefer wax melts to actual candles, they just give so much of a better smell and I just think they look so pretty. Before finding Pick’n’Melt, I had only ever used the Yankee Wax Melt Tarts, but I find them frustrating as I have to break off an amount and then try not to let the rest crumble all of the place. Not to mention the price.


From twitter, I had seen Pick’n’Melt offered a wide range of different scents so this sparked my interest in having a look at their range. I was pleased to find that not only do they have 350, yes three hundred and fifty, didn’t scents to choose from, but that you can make your own selection to get the perfect mix of scents.

Personally, each of the melts were about one usage for me, as I had them alight for the entire day (about 8 hours) at a time. This is perfect for me as I like to mix it up, something different each day so that I constantly appreciate it. They were super easy to just pop out and put in the melting device, and then after the smell had finished, I could scope up the solidified wax just using a spoon.

I ordered, Sandalwood, Raspberry, Cola Cubes, Tobacco and Black Coffee. I loved each and every one. Sandalwood was by far my favourite, it honestly smelt just like my Granddad who I miss dearly, the smell was so comforting. It had me so content to just snuggle up with a blanket and my book. The raspberry and colour cubes, I found were perfect scents for me to work on the blog. Sweet fresh smells just have me very focused for some reason, definitely think I need to test out some more.

The Tobacco and black coffee I had alight while I was not very well, and it again was such a comforting smell, like being in a coffee shop and the cigars my partner smokes. But I do have to admit this is the only one that didn’t smell like it was meant to before burning, however as soon as I had a tealight under it, it was exactly like you’d imagine.

This is not a sponsored post, I have written this just off of my own love of their products. I have had to hold off of a new order because of moving, but I will be doing an order as soon as Ive moved (probably before this goes out), and will then give you a review of what thought on those scents.

Why not go and check out their range for yourself, I’m pretty certain there’s something there for everyone.