Monthly Archives: October 2013

Week 42!

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Well, 42 weeks in means that there’s only 10 weeks of blogging left for the year. Eeep! Here’s this week’s update, with lots to talk about:

-Apparently I’ve had over 5000 views on my blog, wow! I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who has been reading or checking out my progress with blogging (even if you’ve just been having a bit of a stalk, lol). It’s been an incredible year so far, and not only am I happy that I’ve kept the goals I made in January, but I’m really thankful for those who have been cheering me on, or just helping me stay motivated by reading or sending messages of encouragement. It’s been hard to open up and talk about my goals and progress, particularly in a public forum like this…but it has made me feel much more confident, empowered and true to myself. Hard to explain, but yeah, I’ve really appreciated the encouragement I’ve received! 🙂

-Things are definitely starting to look up for us to maintain finances over Christmas. Ray has received a job as Santa in Wollongong and Menai, plus we have some other odd jobs up our sleeves which are available over the school holidays. If anyone wants to know when Ray will be working for Santa photos (if you’d like to get photos with an epic Santa), let me know and I can let you know his roster 🙂 But yeah, things are starting to work out so that we can afford Christmas and keeping up with bills over the school holidays. Yay! Thanks for everyone who has been helping out 🙂

-We got a pleasant surprise this week when we received our electricity too! Our solar panels ended up taking about half of the cost off our bill! When we build our own place, we are most definitely going to get solar panels now! It certainly pays off as a long term investment 🙂

-Wedding updates: Well, as of yesterday it is officially 6 months until the wedding! YAYAYAYAYAY! We’re still tackling the budget and sorting out things we needs for the reception/catering, but otherwise we seem to be on track. The next exciting thing is me getting to choose the lace for my wedding dress! I’ll have about 30 samples arriving in the mail soon which I’ll have to choose from…I’ll be in heaven with so many options available!

-Last week, Ray and I started Rock N’ Roll dancing lessons. It’s pretty much the first weekday “thing” we’ve committed to since moving. We rocked up and found that we were the youngest couple there…until a younger couple showed up 30 min late. It’s funny, but it was quite the workout…even for a beginner lesson. Firstly, I epic failed in my shoe choice…never wearing any form of heels to dancing again! Well, at least until I’ve mastered the moves…as my ankles had a shooting pain in them for the rest of the night, derp 🙁 Ray and I initially took some time to master doing the steps together (we did them separate, then joined up as partners to combine them)…but there were some really friendly older dancing couples who helped us out. After one week, we can do a “basic step” and a form of a turn/spin….and we will be going back this week for more (we’ve signed up for the full program). Who knows…maybe we’ll chuck in a dance at our wedding!

-I’ve had an incredible weekend filled with inspiration and getting my nerd on: something I am proud to admit! Over the weekend, we were very lucky to have 2 D&D games (which means we’ve had about 5 within the past month!). I have really enjoyed gaining this experience as a gamer. The knowledge that the other players have (some had up to 15-20 years of gaming experience!) was something that I really enjoyed being able to see in gaming action. I’ve only really been D&Ding for about a year now…but the people you meet and the experience itself is incredible. I love the effort that the party puts into a story and their characters, the chance to be something completely different to what you’d be in other games/real life, and the chance to use your imagination. I will not hide my nerd any longer, because I have some amazing people I get to share it with now (who I definitely call my friends). We got to try our Basic First Edition on Saturday…which was freaking hard! After 6 hours, we only just got into the entrance of the first dungeon after almost dying in our first battle (yeah…I only had 4 HP as a thief). It was very different from playing 3rd ed, with no THACO and present stats….but the differences made it really enjoyable and we had some fun characters who had a joint dislike of another character (always fun :P) We then started a 3.5 edition game with some new D&D friends (who definitely are the most intelligent and knowledgeable players I’ve ever met…it’s incredible watching them play!) This is the first D&D game where Ray and I have both been players, and it’s set in my favourite setting…the Forgotten Realms. This is also the first 3/3.5 ed game where I’ve played something other than a paladin/fighter-I was a rogue/ranger combo. Sneak attack is an awesome move…and I’m learning quickly the values of being a thief. But yeah, overall….I’m loving being able to play D&D on a regular basis, and hopefully will have a game once a fortnight, at least! Thanks to all who have allowed me to game with them-your patience and help with making me a better player has been fantastic. Here’s to many more games until the end of the year!

-Speaking of gaming…I have also been playing WoW quite regularly. HOWEVER, I am not playing this online (I hate online gaming for a combination of reasons…mainly because I dislike the majority of online gamers and prefer to do my own thing and not be dissed for being a sucky inexperienced player). Ray has set up our own private offline server for now…which we’re wanting to expand and LAN with…maybe eventually opening it up to our friends. I was totally anti-WoW, mainly due to the money-grabbing nature of it and a dislike for MMORPGS…but, I will admit that I am loving playing it offline. The open-ended nature of the game…which still gives you lots of flexibility to complete easy tasks for easy experience points is really appealing. I spent most of Saturday playing WoW…I’m now level 14 (which is pretty weak, but I’ve only been playing for a few hours). Most of the private servers seem to have extra experience enabled (at 100% or more), however we don’t have this on ours (it was at 20%, but we may even reduce that to 0). I think playing WoW is something I’ll be doing more regularly…but as a balance with other gaming/everyday activities, of course! If anyone wants to play sometime, let me know and you may be able to twist my arm into popping online 🙂

-I’ve also started curling my hair again. After the disappointment in trying the “Sleep-In” Foam Follers, I decided to try out my pillow rollers again. I seriously forgot how awesome the pillow rollers are! The brand I use is “Goodie”, some American brand you can pick up from Wallmart (mine were through Ebay), and all they are is some silk mini “Pillow cases” (about 15cm long by 3cm wide) with sponge and wire on the inside. I find that they set the hair really easily for a long-lasting curl (if you were to do a wet set, it would last for days!), as well as being really easy to sleep in! My hair came out incredibly curly, so I did have to brush the curl out slightly. Overall…I’m most definitely going to keep curling my hair at least once a week, I hope.

-Based on all the above, so far, I should make another note. I’m becoming incredibly comfortable in my own skin. For the first time in a long time, I’m become content with who I am and what makes me who I am. I will happily acknowledge that I am a nerd: that I would prefer a night in gaming or playing D&D than going out drinking and clubbing. Yes, I can be awkward in conversations and communicating with people…however I’ve learned that most people feel this way: they’re nervous about communicating with others, though even just making the effort to communicate with them is appreciated. I am happy to have time on my own (which is not a bad thing!), where I can read and work on keeping myself healthy: mentally and physically. I don’t feel the need to impress others or go out of my way to change myself to fit in with others…as I learn every day that there are many true friends who will accept me for the more introverted, nerdy, quirky self I am. And lastly, that I would prefer to be comfortable in my own curvy-yet-gradually-getting-healthier body (in having healthy eating habits, regular exercise habits, controlled diabetes levels and a ulcer that is healing) than completely pushing myself to drop 2-3 dress sizes for the wedding as per normal “bridal standards” (where I would also be incredibly stressed out, and with poor diabetes levels and a leg ulcer that never heals). This is a big realisation for me to have, and I’m really going to try and keep with this mindset for the remainder of the year, no matter how stressful it gets. Thank you to everyone who has helped me with this realisation, and supported me with it!

And that’s about it for this week…it’s been a nerd-filled week with updates basically all about me, sorry, haha. Thanks to those who I/we get to share our gaming experiences with, as well as our other new hobbies 🙂

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Week 41!

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Time for another update!

-As you would all know, over last week (and now), we’ve had fires across New South Wales. Many people at home, including my family, have been affected by this. Last Thursday afternoon was incredibly worrying as the fires approached Bargo and Hilltop…where my sister evacuated her property, my dad was stuck in Mittagong and Ray took 3 hours to get home due to Picton Road being closed. Even now, my brother and his wife (and my nephew) are on alert and awaiting news as to if they will need to evacuate, with the fire getting closer to Hilltop. We even saw the smoke come over Mount Ousley (in front of our house). I am so relieved that my family is ok…and we’ll see how it goes over the next few days. One thing which has been incredible is the generosity I’ve seen on Facebook from friends. I’ve seen people offer accommodation, cars to borrow with insurance included, properties to move landstock to and many more. It’s really amazing how people can work together in times of trouble. The past couple of days has definitely made me think about what’s important (and also that I need to make an emergency kit asap, should we ever need to evacuate!)

-Today, Ray and I start our Rock N Roll/Swing/50s dancing lessons! I’m a bit nervous, but it’s something I’ve wanted to do for ages 🙂 I’ve had to put my exercise on the Wii on hold due to my leg needing to heal first…however, this dancing should help fill the gap until my leg is ready for the more intense workouts.

-We’ve been getting into several D&D games over the past few weeks, so I decided to give Neverwinter (the online MMORPG) a go. It was….ok. Yes, I loved the setting (I’m a massive Forgotten Realms fan)…but other than that, it seemed very structured and I didn’t find the storyline very captivating. Also, it was pretty much just button mashing with the mouse…which I didn’t mind too much, but it got boring after a while. I also really don’t like online gaming…I’m a fan of offline/LAN where you can make the story with those that you choose (plus there’s not as much LAG). So, it was a meh experience, and I’m tossing up whether I will play it again or not.

-On the same note, Ray got me to try WoW over the weekend (something I thought I NEVER was going to do, as I hate online gaming). However, he set us up an offline game which we’ll LAN…and I rather enjoyed it. I’m going to give it a go over the week, and see what I think.

-I’m slowly getting through my books to read! Last week, I finished Servant of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist, the second book in the trilogy. I enjoyed it…not as much as the first book, but it was still an awesome read. I found the nook jumped around between characters perhaps too much for my liking…where I ended up half-skimming over the pages from the enemy’s point of view. I knew there was going to be some love component which challenged Mara’s point of views….and I kind of laughed when his name was Kevin. It’s not a name that really suits a “barbarian”….and for a book that seems to be set in an Oriental-inspired society…I’m not sure how it fits. Either though, I enjoyed the read and am onto the third book now. This week’s aim, however, is to finish James Clavell’s Shogun, so I’ll see how I go.

-As you’ve read over the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to get started on sewing my own clothes. I’ve kept trying to start, however keep stalling. I have to admit that I’m a little bit afraid of starting to sew. The last couple of times I’ve tried, I’ve just ended up an anxious mess…afraid of breaking needles and the projects just not turning out how they’ve meant to. It’s hard to explain. Regardless, Ray has assured me that he is going to help out with the cutting and pinning components (which I’m not entirely fond of), and I’ll hopefully start on a skirt by next weekend. Fingers crossed!

-I also got some new rollers this week. I purchased “Sleep-In Rollers”, a brand of rollers from the UK which apparently are the “easiest rollers to sleep in, which give you amazing results blah blah blah”. I set my hair overnight in them, and found them easy to sleep in. However, the result I got was not the “curly” hair I was after. My hair had some volume, but it was quite straight, with not much wave. I then decided to watch the DVD which came with the set of rollers…which offered pretty much no help. I’m going to try setting my hair again over the week to give them another go…otherwise I might go back to my pillow rollers for a bit.

And that’s about it for this week. Thanks for reading! 🙂

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Week 40!

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Well, it’s kind of funny realising I’ve been blogging for 40 weeks, with 12 weeks of blogging to go for the year! I’m pretty happy that I’ve been able to keep this up 🙂

Here’s this week’s updates-

-I got pretty stressed out this week. Worrying about what we’re going to do over the Christmas holidays to have enough money for bills really got to me (casual teachers won’t have work for 8 weeks because of it), and I was getting pretty overwhelmed at work. So, going from stress during the day to worrying at home built up and I had a bit of an anxious moment. Thank goodness I have an amazing fiancé and family, though, who quickly got me out of that moment. I know it’s all going to work out somehow, but it just worries me that we don’t know how it’s going to, at this stage.

-I’m slowly working through my “to read” list of books. I re-read Raymond E. Feist’s “Daughter of the Empire” book, and I really feel like I missed a lot of things when I read it through the first time. It’s funny: the book itself was written in the early 90s, yet I found the writing was fresh and original compared to many recent books I’ve read. I found there was a lot of parallels with Khaleesi’s character development in Game of Thrones  as to Feist’s protagonist, Mara. I’ve just started reading the remaining books in the trilogy…it’s really nice to have a semi-strong female protagonist in a well-written book series! I’m also hoping to finish James Clavell’s Shogun this week….it’s been really hard getting into the start of the book, but from most reviews I’ve read, everyone is saying to just keep reading.

-I’m really trying to walk more each day. My leg is still bad…any over-exertion and it starts to go backwards in the healing process. So, I’m just trying to aim to walk 5000-7000 steps per day (I know the doctor-recommended amount is 10 000, however with my leg I have to be careful until it has healed up). I’ve been getting to 5000 on most days, but I am trying to step it up. Walks to the botanical gardens (across the road from work) have been awesome, however it kills me on hot days, lol. Ray and I will also be starting up 50s/swing/Rock N Roll dance lessons next week, hopefully! So, this should help in the process.

-This week, I’ve noticed a lot of “drama” on Facebook, and it’s made me realise how “meh” Facebook has become to me. Hard to explain, but I’ll give it a go: I remember a few years back, it was something I was constantly using, expressing every good or bad feeling I had, using it to complain or anything of the like. These days, I barely use it once a week at most. It might be also because I’ve been trying to maintain a “positive online presence”, if you can call it that. I feel that these days, I only need to report the good things happening in life, whether it’s directly happening to me or to other people. I don’t feel the need to express anything too negative on Facebook anymore….it just feels immature, attention-seeking, and irrelevant to me. Also, I have this incredible support system around me on an everyday basis now, with Ray, my family and friends…therefore there’s no point in expressing every waking moment on Facebook anymore. I don’t know if it’s me passing into a different stage of adulthood, where I don’t really care about reporting everything that happens to me online, and prefer to strengthen the bonds with those around me on an everyday basis (which is much more valuable to me!). Real life has surpassed life online, for sure. 🙂

-Over the weekend, we played a 3rd Ed Forgotten Realms D&D game with some guys Ray met through his work colleague. I decided to do something completely different and play a Rakshasa…which was pretty epic! However, I will most likely need to do a new character sheet for it as I stuffed up some of the skills/spells I should have had. The guys we D&Ded with were really knowledgeable and tactical, which was a really good learning experience for me. Ray and I also managed to find out about many awesome reference books from these guys too. It gave me a chance to try something other than my standard paladin, and has inspired me to have a good read through my Forgotten Realms D&D book again 🙂

-On the note of D&D, many people have been recommending Neverwinter, the new MMORPG released this year. After having a quick look at the previews for it, I’m going to give it a go. I’ve made an account and hopefully over the week, have a go. However, when I’ve tried to log in this morning to edit my account, my details don’t seem to be working. Once I get it all working, I’ll try and get an update for next week.

-I managed to also receive my epic Amazon order of some vintage style-inspired sewing books this week. The books were:

Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing: A Modern Guide to Couture-Style Sewing Using Basic Vintage Techniques

The Vintage Pattern Selector with CD-ROM: The Sewer’s Guide to Choosing & Using Retro Styles  and

BurdaStyle Sewing Vintage Modern: Mastering Iconic Looks from the 1920s to 1980s

Gertie’s book is absolutely freaking incredible, and this has really inspired me to get things sorted with my sewing area. It’s a book which will probably be useful once I’ve done some beginner projects and become more confident at sewing. However, the detail she goes into, as well as all the information she provides, is really helpful. I highly recommend her book!

The other two are great, but they don’t measure up in comparison to Gertie’s book. I’m going to have a look at her blog too!

And that’s about it for this week 🙂 Thanks for reading!

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Week 39!

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Hi everyone!

Well, I am still trying to adjust to daylight savings…I am absolutely exhausted. With the long weekend, I decided not to post yesterday and have some time away from the computer (well…I did some gaming, so technically it would be time “offline”). Anyway, here’s the update from this week! 🙂

-My leg is starting to get back to normal, thanks to a good stint on antibiotics. The ulcer itself has been quite painful over the past couple of weeks. Unfortunately, all the walking I’ve been trying to do (to try and lose weight/get healthy) doesn’t seem to be helping it heal 🙁 Anyway, we’ll see how it is in a few weeks.

-As I said above, I’ve been really trying to walk more. On my lunch breaks I’m trying to step away from the computer (which is really hard for me to do!) and go for walks. Last week, I managed to head over to the botanical gardens opposite the university, and had a very relaxing lunch and walk! It really refreshed me and helped me concentrate for the rest of the day, so I’m really going to try and get out of the office more for lunch. I’m starting out with small walks to make sure my ulcer won’t get too damaged from the walking.

-I’ve been having trouble sleeping over the past week, particularly with the daylight savings changeover. I don’t know if it’s because of my diabetes, but I really struggle if I have less than 7 hours of sleep. I don’t know how other people are, but I find that daylight savings really mucks me over for two weeks or so…it takes me a long time to adjust!

-We managed to sort a lot of wedding-related things out on the long weekend. We’ve pretty much got our guest list set (ready to send out save-the-dates sometime!) and we’ve made big progress in deciding on our catering/sorting it out. I’m on a search this week to find some lace for my dress, as well as a few other wedding bits-and-pieces.

-I’ve started my Christmas shopping for people (yep, seriously!) It’s mainly so I can afford to get family presents before the Christmas holidays, where it will be a struggle for us (no school=no work for one of us). I’ve been surprised how many of the gifts I found on etsy were also on ebay…and for a cheaper price (well, cheaper in that it could be sent directly to Australia). I can’t wait for Christmas this year 🙂

-Ray and I went fishing yesterday, which was awesome! We’re wanting to be a lot more “self-sufficient” with our food, so on top of our veggie garden, we want to try and catch some fish every now and then. Now, I haven’t really been fishing for almost 10 years…so our fishing trip was more of a lesson for me. However, due to it being a public holiday, the area we were in was quite crowded, with many dogs swimming in the water. So…we didn’t catch anything. I did manage to reel in a dead tree which was caught on my bait, haha. But otherwise, it was a fun experience and I’m looking forward to doing it more often.

-I bought myself a treat last week: some new sleep-in hair rollers. I’ve heard many people rave about these ones, so I’m hoping I’ll be able to start setting my hair in rollers again and getting some nice hair-dos happening soon! 🙂

-Ray and I have also decided to take up Rock n Roll/Swing/Rockabilly dancing lessons starting in two weeks. I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time, and now I finally have a dance partner who is just as eager 😛 We’ll see how it goes with my lack of coordination, lol.

And that’s about it for the past week. Nothing too exciting, again, however there’s lots of things coming up. 🙂

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