Monthly Archives: November 2013

Week 46!

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Time for another update!

-So, as you may have read from last week, I’ve been struggling with health of recent: diabetes and non-diabetes related. My constant headaches ended up taking me to the doctors for some blood tests (as my levels have been reasonably ok this week, they wanted to see if anything neurological is up and if I’ll need to be referred to a neurologist: fun times!) These blood tests were the most horrific ones I’ve ever done! It’s ironic: as a diabetic, who injects and checks blood sugars, I get really freaked by blood tests. This time, my fear was valid as they could not find my veins (very weird, as there’s normally no issues). So, after trying twice in one arm and once in another (and they were about to try the top of my hands, eek!) they managed to get blood from halfway down my arm-between my elbow and hand. I absolutely freaked out in the process and had to really fight having a panic attack by it all…but in the end, they did get blood. Results confirmed that I have high cholesterol and my headaches are from stress. Yay, haha. I am a little concerned that something is also up related to my circulation, though. It’s taken me several attempts to get blood from my fingers for my blood sugar checks…and they then couldn’t find my veins for my blood test. Who knows what’s up.

-Around all the stress from health scares, Ray and I went into Sydney on Saturday so he could do some work, and we tried out a new Japanese restaurant (Nazumi, opposite QVB). It wasn’t the best (almost nothing was gluten-free on the menu, so I was pretty disappointed), but it was an experience in trying something new. We’ll definitely be hitting Mizuya in the future instead if we’re in Sydney, however I find Roppongi (in Wollongong) is actually the best Japanese restaurant for me. They are happy to make up my meals with gluten-free soy sauce and are always accommodating of allergies. I know the restaurant is run by Koreans (therefore many would claim that it’s not “authentic”), but they have always been fantastic with their food.

-Ray and I also were extremely lucky on Saturday night. We got home, and then ten minutes later, a car screeched around our corner, lost control, span and crashed into the fence/house of a place a few spots up the road from us. There were injuries/written-off car/ broken house and fence, however about 20 neighbours were already assisting at the scene so we kept our distance (good to know that if anything happened on our street, the neighbours would be helpful). We realised after this that if we even decided to leave 10 minutes later, we could have had a collision with that car. So, we are very thankful and feel extremely lucky that we got home when we did that night.

-On the same note, the weekend also was awesome because I caught up with a long-time friend from school: you know who you are! It was so awesome and a breath of fresh air: we hadn’t seen each other for ages, yet we picked things up right from where we left off. We couldn’t stop chatting away, haha! 🙂 Swapping realistic (and affordable) wedding ideas while also sharing similar food intolerances (no gluten!)…it was such a great catch up. Thanks so much to the lovely lady who I got to share my Sunday with: fingers crossed that we can catch up again soon!

-Ray and I are going to start our Beginners 2 Dancing lessons from the start of next year. Due to Ray’s work schedule (and holidays, as well as our lack of funds), we’re going to practice at home until the 2014 classes start.

-Some of you may have seen that Ray shared this article on Facebook (http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/teaching-40000-looking-for-permanent-jobs-20131116-2xnln.html). Sadly, this is something that we are very aware of, with Ray’s work and of our many friends who are qualified teachers. It’s true that we are definitely struggling to make ends meet with the lack of casual work from term 4…and feel very unsupported by the DEC; jobs being advertised that obviously have candidates in mind, or have over 100 people applying for them. At the same time, though, I’m extremely thankful for everyone who has supported us when casual teaching work has let us down: from the staff who have been looking out for Ray, to friends and family who have really lent a hand to make sure we’re keeping up with bills. However, I really do think that something needs to be done regarding places available in teaching degrees and the assessment for the…though, I’m unsure as to how it could be done. I rarely share my opinion on this blog…so here goes. If entry requirements were raised (so it’s purely based on ATAR), this potentially means that some people who would be incredible teachers (passionate, talented and wanting to help students) would miss out…while students who are not-so-enthusiastic but meet the academic requirements have the chance. Perhaps, students could be interviewed instead for entry to the course (eg. rather than having the DEC interview students at the end of their degrees, the DEC interviews them for entry into university…leaving the DEC in charge of determining who makes the cut). I’m not sure….but something needs to change. I’m seeing so many friends struggling to get my with casual work (us included), and I really feel for them.

-Wedding plans: we’ve got almost 150 days to go (eeeeek!) and lots to organise. All the main deposits have now been paid, and we’ve got to start on the smaller things now (crafts for the reception/flowers and making the invitations). I’m not freaking out….yet. Haha

-I’m still playing lots of WoW offline, and finally have a character over level 40 (well, almost 50 now). However, because of this I haven’t been reading as much (sorry to anyone who has been following me on Goodreads!). So, I’m going to try and pick up my reading again by at least finishing the two books I’m halfway through over the next week or so. Here’s hoping!

And that’s about it for this week! I’ve just noticed that today is officially one month until Christmas, yay! 🙂

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Week 45!

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Sorry for the late update. If you’ve been reading my Facebook, I had a bit of a rough day at my diabetes clinic yesterday. I’m alright now-thanks for the kind words of support after my venting about diabetes. I’ll talk more about that in next week’s update, anyway.

Anyway, here’s this week’s update! Just a warning-there’s many health-related updates this week.

-Yesterday, Ray and I had our last lesson in the Beginners 1 class of Rock ‘n’ Roll dance lessons. It’s been so awesome learning together, and gives us something fun and active to do. We now know a full routine! We’re definitely going to keep continuing with lessons after this week, however, we’ll now be in Beginners 2 classes! 🙂

-I’ve really come to terms with something this week. Over the past two years (since commencing full-time employment), I have gotten sick more often than any other time in my life. It’s been really hard for me to adjust to, because other than having type 1 diabetes, I’ve always been healthy and did not get sick very often. Many people have told me that when you start full-time employment, this is normal to happen, and it’s just your body adjusting to the environment and developing an immunity to illnesses. But to me, it’s been incredibly frustrating. These first few years as a permanent employee, I’m really trying to prove I am a valuable, reliable employee. Yet, when I have to use up so much sick leave due to becoming so ill frequently….I feel that it gives a bad impression. Trying to balance my diabetes, complications arising from diabetes/trying to fix said diabetes complications, my immune system failing pretty badly in the middle of the year, ongoing complications with my leg ulcer/its lack of ability to heal as well as coeliac complications….it’s been incredible frustrating. I’m also regularly getting migraines and headaches. I’m over getting sick so regularly, and just want to be healthy again. I really don’t want it to affect how others view me as a worker or employee. Here’s hoping my third year of full-time employment starts on a healthier scale.

-So, I’ve also decided that rather on focusing on trying to “lose weight” for the wedding, I’m going to focus on “toning up” instead. My arms in particular will be on show on the day, and I’ve been meaning to work on strengthening them up anyway. I think it’s a much healthier approach than trying to push myself to lose 20 kilos or something crazy in less than 6 months. My focus has been to get my leg healed first and foremost…and then my diabetes levels into the correct range. So, a focus on just being healthier and more toned is a better overall approach to compliment the above focuses anyway. Dance lessons with Ray have been great to get me doing more physical activity during the week 🙂

-Another thing to admit: I can’t survive without a morning coffee anymore. It’s very sad to admit, but I’m now craving caffeine in the mornings. Whether it’s a vanilla latte at home before I get to work, or an iced coffee when I arrive…I find I’m getting to the stage of needing it to “function” properly. It’s nothing crazy (I really just need the 1-2 a day, not 5 or something)…but I’m just finding my body’s adjusted to the caffeine. It’s funny…because I never needed coffee as a student…yet now as a professional, I need it so badly, lol. Ah well.

-I’ve also been struggling to do any social activities throughout the week. Other than the dance lessons (which we’re doing for exercise mainly), I find I’m so exhausted once I get home, that I really can’t be bothered doing something out of the house. Once we make dinner, clean up, prep stuff for the next day and watch an episode or two or something/do some gaming, our whole evening is gone anyway. I guess this means our weekends are now becoming chockers with our social events, as we’re not as able to do things during the week.

-Wedding plans have been going well. We’ve just started working on the “little things” such as accessories and decorations. Nothing too big to mention 🙂

And that’s it! Here’s hoping next week is a bit easier on my health. Thanks for those who have been a continuing source of encouragement 🙂

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Week 44!

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Hello again! After last week’s post, where not too much happened, I vowed to write a more interesting/informative post this week. I’ve done some pondering and research this week…even included (gasp) my own opinion on some things…haha. So, here’s what’s been happening 🙂

-In between worrying about making finance ends meet over the Christmas holidays, I’ve had a realisation. Over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed on my Facebook newsfeed how many people I went to uni with are struggling to find work. It’s been incredibly selfish of me to whinge about not having enough money, when these guys are struggling to even have a job (or find a job that they love doing), and are battling to rely on Centrelink. I should be more grateful that I’m in a job that I absolutely love (and am extremely lucky to end up where I am…it was all pure luck and coincidence since I started working as a volunteer at the uni in 2010 up to where I am now!), and that I’m earning enough to keep food on the table, rent and bills being paid and enough to live on. Sure, I can’t get the fancy gaming stuff I want, and I’ve had to curb my clothes-buying habits, and Ray and I no longer have expensive date nights….but there’s so many of my peers who must struggle to afford bills and even food. I’m sorry to those who are struggling to find work, and I really hope something comes your way soon! In the meantime, I’m trying to keep this thought going for whenever I start getting worried about finances.

-I really haven’t been sleeping well lately. I keep having dreams which make me wake up in a panic. After that, I feel on edge all day and unable to cope with much stress. I don’t know what’s going on with my brain….argh.

-We’ve been getting into the swing of prepping bits and pieces for the wedding. We found Ray’s hat for the wedding: an epic steampunk-esque top hat from Germany! Throughout this, though, people have been encouraging me to remember that it’s “our wedding”, and to do what we want to do to reflect us. What I mean by this is…I’ve been worrying too much about keeping everyone happy who is involved, rather than going by what we’re after for the wedding. So…trying to have a healthy balance between what we want/what will keep others happy is something I’m slowly learning. I’ve been struggling to decide what we’ll do for wedding party shoes, as well as general finances. However, with 165ish days to go, we’ll be all good! 🙂

-Speaking of which, I had my wedding hair and make-up trial over the weekend! Both were absolutely fantastic, and I am so thrilled with how it turned out. My makeup is being done by Cortney of Powder Puff Makeup Artistry (website: http://www.powderpuffmakeup.com/) and hair done by Lisa of Aria Hair. I’m not going to put any pics up, so it’s a surprise for the big day. We also sat down and sorted the budget out more with ourselves and the parties involved. It’s all coming together, and we’re really excited about it, and so thankful for everyone who has offered to help out!

-I also need to publicly acknowledge my amazing fiancé, Ray. I’ve been all over the place with emotions due to stress and tiredness, making me doubt and worry about pointless things. Yet, he continues to support me and rationally talk me through even the craziest worries I have. I am incredibly lucky to have someone always there for me…particularly when I don’t feel like being around other people. I love how equal our partnership is, and how we’ve been able to grow so much together through our strengths and weaknesses. I am so thankful to have him and can’t wait to be his wifey! (end of mushy acknowledgement).

-I’ve been really frustrated with what a lot people post on Facebook lately, so I’ve been avoiding it. The things that people post without even thinking of how it affects others, as well as the immaturity and attention seeking displayed…it’s just been really annoying lately. The effort some people go to in posting mundane things about their life (which we don’t really need to know) just to get attention has just been really noticeable lately. That, or I’m just becoming a huge snob (which is probably true…and I won’t deny that I used to use and post on Facebook in the same way a few years ago). Anyway, it’s been really noticeable lately how some people rely on Facebook to display their lives and seek attention. I dunno…I might just be rambling because I’m tired and grumpy, lol.

-I’ve been realising that I miss being able to speak/read/write Japanese. Since graduating, I’ve rarely used Japanese for anything….however, it is an incredible skill to have, and I want to get up-to-scratch again. So, I’m looking into ways to start learning again and what options I have. I could try teaching myself, but I might not have much motivation to sit myself down with the Genki and BCN textbooks (gag), and I can’t afford tutoring either. There’s the option of studying by distance, but because I’ve undertaken Japanese as a degree, I may not be eligible to take undergraduate Japanese classes. Plus, I don’t feel confident enough to study Advanced levels of Japanese, or even the JLPT (ewwwwwww). So….I’m not sure what to do. Are there any Japanese language learners out there with any advice for me?

-On the same note, I want to start learning some basic Mandarin and Korean in time for our honeymoon. I might try just learning off what I can find on the web….we’ll see. Does anyone have any recommendations for learning Mandarin and Korean?

-Ray and I are over half way in our 5 week Rock ‘n’ Roll dancing lessons. We totally know enough moves to do a basic routine with several steps/spins etc, which is awesome! We’re having a great time and feeling a lot more coordinated than the first few weeks. After we finish our Beginners lessons, the Beginners 2 classes start their warm-ups for their lesson. To see how great they are on the dance floor really inspires me/us to keep going until we’re in their lessons too 🙂

-As I was saying above, I’ve had to cut down on my clothes shopping. However, one store I used to regularly shop at has made it easier for me to do so. I was a regular shopper at City Chic about a year ago; I found the clothes fitted me well, and had knee-length dresses that were quirky, classy and good for work/casual combinations. However, over the past year, I’ve noticed a significant decline in the store. They’ve moved away from having pretty, well-made clothes which suit curvy girls to these fluro, in-trend clothes that accentuate any dodgy parts of the body with bad fabric cuts, and the clothes don’t last as long…plus the prices are getting ridiculous. The clothes have become very mu-mu like, with terrible patterns and cuts and fabric that doesn’t sit well on the body, and I’m absolutely hating anything that’s a hi-lo drullet (dress mullet….high front, low back). And all the knee-length dresses are at least $150 upwards, so I really can’t justify buying many. Over the past two months, I’ve only caved and bought one dress from City Chic (and that’s because my favourite blogger, Frocks and Frou Frou did a review on it and I was convinced)….this is a significant change from when I used to go to the factory outlet in Campbelltown once a fortnight and picked up a few things. It’s convincing me more and more to start making my own items, or looking into places like the US shops Torrid and Modcloth for anything that’s a decent plus-size with class. I know…if I’m whinging about it, I can always go elsewhere to stores with cheaper options, but it’s a shame that a store has to up their prices because they view themselves at another level compared to other stores, when the quality isn’t actually worth it anymore (and it’s not fair that plus size has to pay more, anyway!).

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

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Week 43!

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-I’ve had a pretty average week, with nothing too exciting happening. I’ve been sick twice with what seemed to be an upset stomach/coeliac reaction/food poisoning, but am all good now! It’s just knocked me over from the past couple of days. However, it’s meant I’ve been able to catch up on some much needed rest and get some tasks done that have been on my to-do list for a very long time.

-Speaking of tasks: wedding things! Ray and I sat down over the weekend and made our complete budget for the wedding. IT’S FINALLY DONE! This sort of made me stress less about it all, knowing that we can realistically afford it and seeing it all in a nice Excel spreadsheet (I do love my excel spreadsheets, haha). Asking around, I’ve found that the budget we’ve set ourselves is quite affordable compared to the budgets most people have told me about from other weddings…so that’s good! I also sorted our gift registry, so it’ll be ready when we send out the official invitations. We’ve decided not to do save-the-date cards because we’ve simply been telling people when it’s going to be anyway. I’ve got my makeup and hair trial this week too (eeeee!), so that’s something to look forward to 🙂

-I’ve been playing HEAPS of WoW. I think it’s my new game obsessions (probably as bad as how obsessed I was with the Sims back in High School!). I love playing the game offline of my own, and with Ray. Once I get a bit better as a player, we’ll be inviting some friends to join our server (which means I’ll have to play online!). I think the thing I’m enjoying about the game is the open-ended-ness of it, as well as the options you have. When I don’t want to go “questing”, I develop my profession skills with some mining, blacksmithing and skinning…being able to make my own awesome weapons and armour (which Ray’s character then enchants for extra bonuses) is pretty cool. I also got my first mount…which has made travel SO much easier. Yeah…I’m thoroughly enjoying playing WoW.

-We have been keeping up with our dancing lessons with our second week, which went pretty well! We now can do a basic routine including some spins, and we’re really enjoying dancing lessons. We’ve been told by the teachers that we’re doing really well considering it’s only been two weeks of dancing…so that seems to be a good sign! A couple more weeks, and we’ll hopefully be able to start the Beginners 2 classes!

-I’ve been keeping up with reading as often as I can…thought the picture below sums up my present book state pretty well. I’m halfway reading through a 1300-paged book, which I’m struggling to get into, but am still determined to finish in case it gets better. After it’s done, I’m going to finish the Raymond E. Feist trilogy I was on, and then start reading The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, which is way overdue for me to do!

-Can you believe it’s 8 weeks until Christmas!? I’m actually really looking forward to it this year! We’ve got lots of family catch-ups, including my nephew’s first Christmas, as well as a little escape up to Port Macquarie for a few days. Plus, my birthday is a week or so after Christmas, so we might even plan something then too. It’s just a really nice time of the year 🙂

That’s about it for this week….as I said, not too much has happened! However, I’m going to continue posting updates on here each week regardless. I’ve also been aiming to stay as positive as I can and with the same outlook I had from last week, which I think has been working well. Thanks to those who have been a source of encouragement 🙂 Maybe, if I have some spare time this week, I might write another post. We’ll see!

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