Category Archives: Inspiration

Dear High-School Mrs Ginger-Fox

Yep, that's high-school Mrs Ginger Fox. Not the best photo, so a minor face-lift happened. Lmao.

Yep, that’s high-school Mrs Ginger Fox. Not the best photo, so a minor face-lift happened. Lmao.

Being overweight, a ginger/ranga/natural redhead, nerd and type 1 diabetic seemed like a lethal combo when it came to school. I naturally had several things that fellow students could use on the daily to try and bully me and bring my confidence down. Today, I am about to become a volunteer mentor for a high school student to help them visualise and achieve their dreams, and it makes me wonder what advice I would have given to myself in high school. So, here’s what I would say to my high school self, knowing what I do now:

Dear High-School Mrs Ginger-Fox,

– You aren’t as overweight as you think you are. In fact, Future You is the same size (and less) than what you are right now  – and I think that is awesome! Hormones are a bitch, and everyone seems to go through an awkward, wobbly, uncomfortable time with their body, and that’s part of being a high-schooler. If people don’t go through this in high-school, they get to experience this as a full-grown adult instead. One bonus about this is knowing that, almost 10 years after high school, many of the girls who picked on you for being ‘fat’ are now larger than you. You have maintained, and continued to live as healthy and balanced a life you can.

-I’m so proud of you for not dating while you’re still at high school. It is good that you are using the time to develop yourself – you are slowly figuring out who you are without requiring the validation of someone else in such a fragile time if your life. I AM SO PROUD. There’s no way in hell you are ready for the commitment and endurance of a life-long relationship right now. Heck, you can’t even commit to a set sport subject for a term, or even which subject areas you want to focus on…you are not ready to choose a life partner. I’m so happy you dedicate yourself to being a high achieving student, and value education and learning over boys and drama. The amount of the relationships that you see in high school that actually lasted? You can’t even count it on one hand…well, half of those ended up separating years after high school, or getting divorced at a young age. Go you for ‘fighting the patriarchy’ and the norms and not dating some loser who is only interested in you now you’ve gained boobs. Hah.

– STRESS LESS. Geez, woman! You’re not even 18, yet you’ve managed to learn how to stress like a middle-aged salary man. I get it – you’re naturally high-strung, but you don’t need to spend so much time worrying over one tiny assignment. Don’t forget about that one time you almost cried because you got 18/20 and thought it wasn’t good enough…silly perfectionist self, that’s ABOVE AVERAGE and freaking awesome. In the end, your HSC, while important, does not define you. So many people you know who aced the HSC ended up bombing out at uni, while many who bombed the HSC are now doing amazing things. Do the best you can with school and work hard, but work smart. Be productive and work in small bursts, and allow yourself time to explore hobbies, have fun and not over-stress about something that really won’t impact you 5 years from now.

– Keep your passion for learning! For god sakes, woman! You are such an inquisitive person, with a drive to learn new things and to expand your knowledge. This is SUCH an important and undervalued skill to have as an adult, and a skill even more underappreciated as a teenager. Especially with your nerdy-inclined interests, this makes you appear as such an extreme nerd to everyone else. But you know what? When you’re older, the people who are the most interesting and most inspirational are those who are uniquely passionate and enthusiastic about their own weird and quirky interests. Everyone else who followed the high-school trends is as boring as soggy cardboard on a rainy day. Stay enthusiastic about what drives you crazy and keeps you up at night (yes, that includes reading the Lord of the Rings into the early hours of the morning). Stay interesting. It will make you discover the most amazing people, places and things as an adult.

– Don’t worry about what people think. Seriously. As the saying goes: “be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” You know what happens after high school? All of those people who stood their ground, said f*** it and went after what they wanted to do in high school are now incredible people with so much growth as an adult and individual. They were determined, driven and didn’t care if some other high schoolers thought they were weird, nerdy, or whatever. And that stubbornness to stick to what they wanted, it’s rewarded them tenfold as an adult. (Disclaimer: I firmly believe to go after what you want/believe, provided it does not cause harm or directly harm others. So yeah…be responsible in decision making, or something? Haha).

I’m so excited about having the opportunity to mentor a young student and help them realise that they are capable of achieving so much, and that life doesn’t end after high school. Here’s hoping they are able to experience and learn from some of the lessons I learned as an adult, and realise their true potential in the process.

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Week 12 Update, 2015

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Time for another update! Here’s what I’ve been up to over the past week:

-My leg seems to be slowly improving; however, the ulcers themselves are still quite inflamed and aggravated. I’m hoping to get the all-clear to return to the gym when I visit the dermatologist later this week. I feel terrible for not being able to exercise and be as active as I was a few months ago, however making sure my leg recovers is priority. Here’s hoping I’ll be able to start sharing progress under the Curves Complete program next week!

-I took the plunge and made a Facebook page for my blog over the weekend. It was about time for me to create a place to share stuff from all my social media pages (Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and the blog) on one medium. Plus, I wanted to share more things, particularly content which I’d prefer to do in this setting rather than my personal pages. I’m hoping it will help me to expand this page, gain new followers, and make this a more interactive experience. So, if you have not done so already, please head over to Facebook and like the Mrs Ginger Fox page. I’d really appreciate it 🙂

-I have no news regarding future plans and epiphanies. Maybe in a few weeks I will, maybe I won’t. It’s all in the hands of fate (and some planning) to see what eventuates. I’m keeping my lips sealed on this until anything happens…if it does! I really hope I get some good news this week, as it would really lift my spirits.

-I spent the weekend researching my old fabric and patterns and want to make it a goal this week to finish some of my stagnant sewing projects and start some new ones. I’d like to document my experience sewing the retro-inspired plus size patterns I’ve obtained. What I’d like to do is an honest review of the patterns: critique real difficulty versus what difficulty is listed on the pattern, as well as details on the fit and any recommendations. I am quite a beginner at sewing (though, that could be helpful for those also thinking about trying sewing out), however I was actually quite good at sewing when I was younger. So, I’m hoping that with practice, I’ll get the confidence and patience (let’s face it…prepping fabric and cutting out things can drain the fun out of things sometimes) to get things going again!

-My husband and I have spent the past week creating some more videos for his Youtube Channel (which I am part of…well, I am in most of the videos). I’ll be doing a guest video as we’re currently doing a viewer request run-through of Pokemon Red/Blue versing each other. Hubby has also set up a Twitter and Facebook to share the videos, and he has been going playthroughs of Retro games in particular. I may feature some of the videos on here too 🙂

-Whilst brainstorming about some hobbies I can do on the side, I received a really good suggestion. It was recommended that I get back into music…specifically composition. The idea would be (if I am ever good enough) to potentially offer my services as a freelance composer of music for amateur video games. I am a bit rusty, having not composed properly since I started university. Plus, not regularly performing as a musician means that my skills would need to be refined with much-needed revision. However, it does combine two things I am incredibly passionate about: music and video games (and I love good music, and attempting to compose anything remotely similar). I’ve always regretted not continuing on with my music training and making something useful of it, however this could be a way to keep the musician in me happy. So, this idea is currently in the back-burner, so-to-speak, until I have some free time to give it a go.

That’s about all I’ve been up to! Later this week, I’ll be sharing a reflective post based on some volunteering opportunities I’m about to undertake. Thanks for reading 🙂

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My Favourite Bloggers and Online Communities

As a casual/amateur blogger, I am always seeking to find inspiration and support through following some amazing people and communities. These blogs and websites continually motivate me to stay positive, be creative and also to go after what I am passionate about. I am so thankful for finding these incredible people, who I follow on a regular (sometimes daily) basis, and am happy to share them with you now!

In no particular order…

Frocks and Frou Frou

Image from http://frocksandfroufrou.com/

Image from http://frocksandfroufrou.com/

Frocks and Frou Frou is the very first plus-size fashion blog I ever followed (back in 2009!). From the moment I found the blog through mutual friends on Facebook, I fell in love with blogger Lilli’s classic yet unique and quirky style. Being an Australian blogger based in Melbourne, Lilli also provides some fantastic feedback on purchasing from some of the major plus-size brands, as well as some easy-to-follow DIY projects. Her style of writing is friendly, informative and easy-to-read, and she has a very supportive fan following. For any of my plus-sized friends, I highly encourage you to follow Frocks and Frou Frou!

The Militant Baker

Image from http://www.themilitantbaker.com/

Image from http://www.themilitantbaker.com/

If you’re looking for empowerment and positive body talk, this is the blog to follow. When I first discovered the diverse and supportive community of plus-sized bloggers, this is the blogger that they all mentioned as an inspiration. Jess now not only pursues her body positivity on a full-time basis, but also runs some epic conferences over in the US, which would be amazing to attend one day! In particular, the first post of Jess’ which I read (my favourite too) is this: http://www.themilitantbaker.com/2013/03/things-no-one-will-tell-fat-girls-so-i.html

I highly recommend following Jess if you’re someone who is looking for a body-positive online community, as well as looking at how to love your body better: whether it be plus-size, average or skinny!

Offbeat Bride/Home

Image from http://offbeatbride.com/

Image from http://offbeatbride.com/

If you’re getting married, I am now introducing you to the Mecca of resources. Offbeat Bride was the only blog/medium (they also have a book) that gave me realistic expectations for my wedding, and helped me plan a unique, affordable, quirky-yet-beautiful wedding. After unsuccessfully getting any inspiration through common bridal magazines (seriously…I only found a handful of weddings under $20, 000 in these magazines, which was ridiculous), it was such a godsend to discover this website. The community is HUGE, and the forums are incredible for finding DIY inspiration, advice and ideas. However, this website doesn’t just stop at weddings – they also have a massive section dedicated to life/living/home in general. The posts relate easily to everyday life (especially if you’re a crafty/arty/creative person), and you can easily find yourself spending hours on their sites gaining more and more ideas for future projects.

Gorilla Wolf  (check out their TwitchTV Channel here)

Image from http://www.gorillawolf.com/

Image from http://www.gorillawolf.com/

My absolute go-to for anything gaming-related, Gorilla Wolf are probably the newest group of peeps I follow on a regular basis. Gorilla Wolf is run by Dom and James, who are aiming to make this their full-time pursuit. I discovered Gorilla Wolf through my husband when we started to watch video game streams on TwitchTV. After spending ages trawling through the channels to find an entertaining Zelda play-through, we found these guys doing such an entertaining job at Majora’s Marsk (they were terribly lost though, haha). What kept us watching these guys is their entertainment value, dedication to investigating and reporting on new games, and their massive commitment to making their chat and followers as engaging as possible. We watch their TwitchTV channel on a weekly basis, and are so excited to see where the future takes them. If you’re after good gaming commentaries and play-throughs online with a friendly fan following, check out these guys ASAP!

The Adventures of Modern June Cleaver and Amelia Jetson

Image from http://junebugsandgeorgiapeaches.blogspot.com.au/

Image from http://junebugsandgeorgiapeaches.blogspot.com.au/

June and Amelia, two best friends run an amazing website which follows their retro and vintage-inspired fashion adventures. These two are my absolute inspiration when it comes to perfecting the vintage/retro look. They are such friendly and positive ladies too, and are willing to help out fellow retro fashion bloggers – they are so supportive and active on Instagram! Whenever these ladies share their outfits, they always link to each piece in their outfit, making it so easy to track down. These lovely ladies also host giveaways on their website from some incredible brands such as Erstwilder and Deer Arrow.

Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing

Image from http://www.blogforbettersewing.com/

Image from http://www.blogforbettersewing.com/

This lady and her amazing blog have inspired me to try and re-start one of my favourite hobbies from when I was younger: sewing. When I discovered her blog, little did I know that she also had a book. Within minutes of discovering her blog, I also found myself purchasing her first book, and I now also own her second book based on casual vintage. Gertie has a way of explaining her sewing projects in an easy-to-follow manner, and always includes pictures in her steps (I tend to get lost when following sewing instructions, so this is hugely helpful!) Gertie also creates patterns sold through Butterick, and also shares these through her blog. Her passion for sewing, as well as seeing the projects of her followers, makes this blog a fantastic creative outlet for those wishing to get some much-needed inspiration. She’s made me start the adventure of sitting with my sewing machine and tackling some long-awaited projects!

Who do you look to online for inspiration? Feel free to share your thoughts 🙂

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Week 11 Update, 2015

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Hello again! Well, in comparison to the past few weeks, I’ve realised that I haven’t really had much to report on for the past week. So, this week’s update will be a shorter one. However, I have been working ‘behind the scenes’ on some bigger plans and some more writing, so you’ll hopefully see some more exciting content on here soon.

Anyway, here we go with the past week in reflection:

– After visiting the Dermatologist last week, I’ve received confirmation that my NLD is in fact improving. I am getting little to no pain from the ulcers anymore (unless I really push myself, or am ill). This has meant that I’ve been able to increase my steps allowance for each day. In fact, without trying, I managed to get a 10,000 step day last week (I only realised at the very last minute that I had done this!). However, the Dermatologist refused to give me the all-clear to return to the gym, as he does not want me to push myself too early and have the ulcers open up again. I guess I can understand, but it’s been really hard not being active. I’m worried about all the progress I’m going to lose because I haven’t been going to the gym or been able to actively walk. I guess making sure that my NLD is better takes priority.

– Thanks to our epic friends at Gorilla Wolf (insert URL), I won a gift card to Amazon during their 24 hour anniversary stream on TwitchTV. I managed to receive my order last week, and cannot wait to read the two books I decided to purchase. Firstly, I purchased Ann Handley’s Everybody Writes, which looks like a spectacularly helpful resource. So many bloggers I follow on Instagram have been raving about this book and Ann’s approach to marketing of online content. I’m pretty excited to see what I learn from the book, and if/how I can apply this to my blog and its future. I also purchased, Gertie Sews Vintage Casual, which is the new book from Gertie of Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing fame. I have Gertie’s first book already, and as a long-term follower of her blog, I knew I would need to snatch up her second book as well. The patterns, in the second book in particular, match my everyday style and there’s even patterns for sweaters and cardigans (yeah, I’m a bit obsessed with knits….). I was starting to get back into sewing last year, however life did get in the way – having a wedding and all. This book has inspired me, and I’m hoping once I have some spare change (enough to buy some new fabric), and a free weekend (god knows when that will be), I’ll be able to try it out. Overall, I highly recommend both of these books so far, and will have to do a more in-depth review once I’ve finished reading/using them!

– Over the weekend, I took the first real step in moving forward with the epiphany that hubby and I had from a few weeks ago. I guess it’s now out of my hands as to how it will go from here. Again, I won’t be able to share any details on here, however I feel really proud of myself for trying something new and being brave and sticking to it. That’s all I can say on this one, for now!

– Two of my dearest friends announced their long-awaited engagement this week, which (while hubby and I have known for a while) was amazing news! It’s super exciting stuff, and hubby and I will both be part of the wedding day. It’s incredible to think that it’s almost been a year since we had our own wedding! I’m really glad that, now we’ve had the experience of a wedding, we’ll be able to pass on advice and help out based on what we learned from organising the whole shindig before. It looks like it’s going to be a really exciting year 🙂

That’s all the updates for the past week. I did warn you that it would be short-but-sweet! Thanks for reading!

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Week 10 Update, 2015

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Wow…we’re almost a quarter of the way through 2015! I’ve had a rather busy week sorting out health issues and planning for the future. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

– So, last week I mentioned how I was planning to use this year to figure out what the hell I was doing. Well, I have some progress to report. Over the past week, my husband and I had a bit of an epiphany regarding plans for the future. I will not go into specific details here (because I don’t want to reveal any plans until they actually happen – if they happen), however I can say that for the first time in a few months, I haven’t felt this calm and at peace overall – especially about making a decision which could potentially impact the direction we’re both going in. Everyone who I’ve spoken to about this (which is very few, as we’re keeping it private unless it actually goes ahead) thinks it’s an amazing idea and for us to go for it. It’s really exciting finally having some direction which seems meaningful and with long-term benefits, and I have a great gut feeling about this too. I haven’t felt this excited and at ease about a decision with massive change involved for such a long time! I hope I have some fantastic news to share with you related to this in the near-future, however it’s something we’re going to start working on this year.

– I also visited the hospital for my regular Diabetes Clinic check-up this week. Unfortunately, due to my NLD playing up, my type 1 diabetes has also been impacted due to my lower activity levels. While my HBA1C was the same as last clinic, it still needs to be at least 1% lower. Also, I’m still struggling with entering my insulin into my pump correctly (especially when snacking, where I’ve been entering it manually rather than having to test my sugars every time I eat). This is mainly because I’m self conscious about having to check my sugars all the time, as well as accessing my pump in public/at work. If I use a manual setting, while I can use the pump button sounds to enter in my insulin (meaning I don’t need to go into a bathroom to access my pump to read the screen), it means my food and insulin is not being recorded accurately. Also, my carb counting needs improvement, and I’ll be needing to start measuring out my food in detail to ensure I’m entering correct amounts into my pump to correlate with my blood sugar levels. To help with this, I’ll be downloading a few apps recommended by the clinic. If they’re any good, I may review them on here. For my next clinic visit, I’ll be seeing a Professor who specialises in diabetics with insulin pumps (whom all the diabetes doctors and clinic staff rave about), so this will hopefully be a good thing for me.

– Over the weekend, I managed to see an amazing concert with my sister. My sister and I grew up learning classical music together, and for my birthday she purchased us tickets to James Morrisons’ A-Z of Jazz with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. I have always loved Jazz, and seeing it performed by James Morrison, as well as his jazz band (the best jazz musicians in Australia), and the Sydney Symphony was absolutely incredible. I miss seeing live concerts, and as such, my sister and I have decided to keep ‘gifting’ each other tickets to concerts we’d like to see. In the meantime, I’m hoping to plan to see an opera soon, as well as some Shakespeare and ballet.

– There isn’t too much progress to report regarding my leg. I will be visiting the dermatologist this week to see if the current bandages have been helping. I haven’t been able to go back to the gym yet as I haven’t received clearance from my doctors. However, as I’ve been able to up my step intake without much pain, I’m hoping I’ll be able to start back next week.

– I have been writing more content for the blog, which I’ll be posting up later this week. Sorry for the delay – I’ve had to rest up and have had a few appointments and social events in my normal blogging/writing time.

And that’s another week to report 🙂 Thanks for reading!

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Week 8 Update, 2015

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Time for another weekly update! Without further ado…

-Unfortunately, I’ve had to yet again give the gym/walking regularly/Curves Complete a miss this past week. I’ve been feeling very drained as a result, and my energy levels have definitely dropped as I’m unable to be as active as I want to be. It’s been a massive priority for me to rest up over the past week, and it has helped my NLD dramatically. I’m able to walk more regularly during the day, and the pain has not been as much in the mornings. If I have been walking, I do still experience some pain in the evenings, but it’s manageable with some Panadeine Forte. The dermatologist confirmed that the NLD has gotten worse from when I saw him 2 (almost 3) years ago, but I’m healthy overall, regardless. He did a small procedure/minor surgery to cut into the wound and clean it out, which hurt so badly at the time (I wasn’t given any pain meds or anaesthetic), but it has definitely helped in the ulcers trying to heal up. I’ll be seeing the dermatologist again later this week, and probably once a week for the next few weeks/months, depending.

-I have had some exciting things happening this week so far. In particular, I’ve had a chance to attend some social media-related meetings and sessions at work, which has been really invigorating for me. I want to do a lot more marketing, communications, strategic marketing/media and promotional related work, particularly things that I could use to actively try out my graphic design skills in the future. In fact, there may be some things happening later in the year that will help out with this massively. Anyway, I have a good feeling about the potential direction things could be going for me 🙂

-This week, I also received some rather unexpected news, which could be good or bad depending on what happens from it. I will find out later this week if it’s good or bad. It’s something that will cause big changes, and will take some positive and negative adjustments if it goes ahead. I’m sorry that I have to be vague yet again about this, but it’s something I want to keep private about in case nothing eventuates from it. I’m pretty nervous about how this is going to turn out, regardless…

-I’m actively starting to research and decide on the direction I want to take in learning graphic design. So far, a 6 week online bridging program seems to be the best option: one where I’ll learn the basic programs and tools for graphic design, and see if it’s something I want to pursue around work and life. I feel the skillsets with graphic design will really compliment all parts of my life: working, blogging, gaming and presence on the Internet in general. It’s a really good skill to add on to my undergraduate media and communications studies/journalism degree. I’m pretty excited about this, but will wait until my health is a little bit better and the month is a little quieter, so I may wait until March to look into this further.

-Over the weekend, hubby and I got involved in a 24-hour stream with our absolute favourite Twitch peeps, Gorilla Wolf, which was an absolute blast. These guys have been such an encouragement to watch, and they really deserve to get partnered and have the ability to pursue Gorilla Wolf full-time. They’ve also really inspired me to keep creative and spend time on the things that I’m passionate about, such as trying to work on my own blogging more, video games and looking into biting the bullet and becoming qualified in skills more specialised to my interests. In the midst of having some of the most anxiety-filled and depressing weeks I’ve ever had recently, these guys have really given me something positive to look forward to each week in their streams. I am hoping to feature these guys on here in the future, whether it be an extended “shout out” post or an interview or similar. For now, if you want entertaining streams of video games, great interactive chats with like-minded, intelligent and enthusiastic gamers and a safe and positive gaming environment, I cannot recommend these guys enough. They put in so much effort, and it was so awesome seeing them rewarded for this during the 24-hour stream, meeting their follower goals and lots more. I’m so excited to get a Gorilla Wolf shirt too so I can show my support more in real life! Anyway, had to shout these guys out in this week’s update because their stream was our entire weekend and it was absolutely awesome. Check out their Twitch channel here.

-This week, I’ve also been working on the SEO for my blog. I really want to start having more direction on this blog, especially in reaching out to those who want information related to living with Type 1 Diabetes, NLD, Coeliac Disease, or plus-size retro/vintage inspired fashion overall. So, last week I took some time to learn about SEO, and I’ll be working on this over the next few weeks. I’ve been working in the background to also write some upcoming posts about specific things (such as a good article on NLD, and some clothing reviews). I’ve also joined forces with a friend who has recently started her own editing services business, Page and Parchment (found here), who will be editing my posts to help with the overall tone and message my blog is sending out. I’ve also included an image and link to her page on the side-bar. I’m very eager to start actively supporting friends who run businesses and have websites; therefore you may see this part on the right-hand sidebar become more filled with epic sites soon!

-I’ve set myself a goal this week of trying to write one new post for the blog each night, so I’ll have a backlog of content to use on the website more regularly too. So far, I’m on track with 1/7 posts done for this week. Let’s see how it goes…

That’s about it for the week-in-passing. Thanks for reading – or stalking – whatever you prefer. Haha 🙂

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Week 7 Update, 2015

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Hi there! So, I’ve had another week of needing to take it easy due to my leg. However, I have a few updates from the past week:

-So, an update on the status of my NLD. The doctor was so concerned last week about seeing such little progress in the wound healing that I have an emergency appointment with a dermatologist tomorrow, where I may need to have a small procedure done. This dermatologist is the same one I saw when I last had my condition flare up…and I haven’t seen him for almost 3 years now (yeah…it’s 2015 now, so that makes it closer to 3 years). So, that shows how long it’s been since I had issues from this condition! At the same time, however, I’m dealing with a massive amount of stress related to being unwell and things outside of my control which I feel is unfair (sorry, I can’t go into detail on this point). Anyway, my NLD, while not worsening, has not gotten any better from last week, which is very unfortunate given the high amount (and intensity) of antibiotics I’ve been on (I’m still on the strongest ones they can give me before they have to hospitalise me to take hospital-grade antibiotics). It’s going to take a long time for me to start feeling like I can do everyday things without this condition getting in the way.

-Unfortunately, I’ve had to do less than 5,000 steps a day thanks to the leg and bed-rest orders from the doctors, and no Curves Complete gym still. I’m really disappointed that I can’t be active, and am worried I will end up in a plateau again with no results. However, it’s so damn important that I make sure my NLD has calmed itself down before I try to exercise, and I understand I have to take it easy. My Fitbit friends will have it easy challenge-wise for the next few weeks, it seems…

-Having to have bed rest means I’ve had some time to think this week. I’ve been thinking about the direction I’d like to go in for the future, and also the things I’d like to learn how to do which will make me feel happier and more productive as a person (in relation to work, everyday life, blogging and hobbies). After some thought, I’m thinking that once things have settled down a bit for me health-wise, I may think about going with a plan I’ve had for a couple of years now, and get some qualifications in Graphic Design via TAFE Online. I really want to gain the skills in graphic design hobby-wise anyway, and it will be helpful in my career too. However, I am then thinking about also adding on some extra practical qualifications in web development/interactive media/gaming development to further open up opportunities in the future. Several of my friends I studied with at university have gone on to add a TAFE qualification to their list of academic qualifications, with massive success in paving out their future opportunities. So, I’m really eager to keep this thought active and a possibility once I’m feeling ready to tackle some practical study.

-This week, I took the plunge and did something that potentially could change future opportunities for me. I’m deliberately being vague on here as I don’t want anyone getting any ideas (it could end up being nothing), but I wanted to make a note that I was quite brave and courageous this week.  I’m normally terrible with anything related to change, be it positive or negative, but I “bit the bullet”, so to speak, and have done something new. Who knows what could happen as a result!

-While I’ve had to really limit what I do this week, there’s one thing productive I have been able to do whilst resting my leg: resin jewellery! This week, I’ve been experimenting with some new molds (I have tried out my first few bangle molds), and I’ve experimented again with adding glitter to molds. I’ve seen some really good results with adding glitter after first doing a thin layer of resin in the mold and letting it set overnight. This doesn’t work as well with molds that have a rounded face, as the glitter does not settle in place, however the molds with a flat face look awesome! I’m planning to spend some time after work this week and on the weekend experimenting more with glitter, and maybe trying a glitter bangle. Hubby and I also bought ourselves a Dremmel for Valentine’s Day (I’m just as happy as he is about it!) as I can use this to help sand and polish my pieces. I’m hoping on the weekend to start learning how to “finish up” my pieces, so I can start giving some to friends to try out, and then eventually selling some to some willing victims, haha 🙂

That’s about it for the week in passing, though I’m hoping I’ll have some time to catch up on writing for the blog. It’s funny that when I had time to rest my leg, I ended up not spending time writing for the blog as I was too focused on taking it easy. Oops. Anyway, thanks for reading!

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Week 6 Update, 2015

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Hello readers!

Here’s my update for the past week. It’s a bit all-over-the-place thanks to having to deal with ill health due to one of my chronic illnesses flaring up, but it’s still a week of progress. Read on for more:

-As you may have seen (if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook), my NLD (for those playing at home…that’s Necrobiosis Lipoidica Diabeticorum) ulcer scars decided to re-open themselves up over the past few weeks, which resulted in me becoming quite unwell with a nasty infection. I thought I should post up an update on here about my NLD for those who were interested (thanks for your concern!) I’ve been seeing the doctor every day since last Thursday so they can check the progress. The antibiotics weren’t working as well as they hoped, and the plan was to send me to hospital for a few days if they didn’t see improvement on Saturday. Luckily, we have started to see some gradual progress on the ulcers healing up, however I’ve been told it will take a long time for these to heal and that I should expect to be in pain for a while. I’ve been very lucky to discover a group on Facebook for those who suffer from NLD, and I’ve now spoken with people who have the condition either better or worse than I do. This is so important for me to see – it is clear that my NLD is in the stages of becoming worse, as I’m currently experiencing pain on a daily basis from it now. It’s been really great seeing that others are going through a similar experience and how they’re coping, especially when there is no known cause or cure and knowing that treatment options can vary for each individual (it’s a bit of a guessing game to find the right treatment to prevent future ulcers from appearing). Many people have asked me exactly what NLD is (I’ve been self-conscious about admitting that I have another rare, non-curable medical condition, so was just calling it a “leg injury” or just an “ulcer”), so I may write a blog post about it in detail in the near-future to explain it better. But yeah, I really wanted to say thanks for the messages of support and encouragement 🙂

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(I put this pic up on my Facebook, and laughed for a solid five minutes).

-So, naturally, due to my NLD flaring up, I’ve had to take it easy at the gym this week. I won’t be going back to the gym until I’ve gotten the all clear from the doctors, so will probably do a weigh-in and coaching session later this week. My meal plan has been all over the place thanks to being unwell, and also because I’ve felt a bit ill in the stomach for the past few days (maybe because of the antibiotics? I dunno). So yeah, I had to focus on my health and resting my leg, which meant little exercise. I even had to quit the Fitbit challenges I was in, which was pretty disappointing 🙁

-As I’ve had to rest up, I’ve managed to make some great progress with learning to make resin jewellery. This week (you would have seen on Instagram) I’ve learned how to make my own silicone molds by using a rose ring I had in my collection. I then cast this mold with some red-pigmented resin (my first time colouring resin properly), which turned out a lot better than I expected! Tonight, I set up some red-pigmented resin and have set 2 rings and a bangle. I’ve also partially set some geometrical shaped molds (for jewellery), where I’m hoping to try out adding some glitter before filling the remainder of the molds with resin. I am absolutely loving using resin and making molds and casting resin. There’s something about it that feels really challenging (in a good way), productive, rewarding and relaxing for me. I already have some eager friends wanting to purchase some pieces when I’m ready, however I will make a disclaimer here that I’m pretty certain my pieces will be basic at this stage, and won’t be very detailed to begin with (therefore will be quite cheap, understandably). I’ll never have the same quality and finish as some of the amazing resin jewellery makers I follow on Instagram and Etsy, as this is just a hobby on the side for me and I don’t have the technical knowledge or experience/time to make such intricate pieces. Anyway, watch this space, as I’ll definitely keep you updated on what I’m learning! I’m so happy about spending more time doing the things I love and filling my time with hobbies!

-This week, hubby and I had the absolute pleasure of catching up with some old friends (my friend and her epic other-half. She has been loyally following my blog here since I started it, and is someone I count as a dear friend). This friend is one of the very few people from my school days who, after many years of us not being in touch and not being able to catch up much, is able to pick up from where we left off last time. Anyway, hubby and I had such an amazing time hanging out with these peeps, and our nerdy conversation flowed for hours…it was hard to get us all to shut up and the only time it was quiet was when we were basking in the glory of our epic burgers for dinner (haha…if you haven’t tried Grill’d…DO IT). It’s hard to come across genuinely awesome people that you feel such a connection with from the get-go, and these guys have made us so excited about potential catch-ups in the near future. You guys know who you are, and I thank you so much for such an epic catch-up in the midst of a pretty crappy past few weeks 🙂

That’s about it for this week’s update (sorry it’s so illness-orientated). As always, thanks for reading!

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This post was polished by Page & Parchment.

Week 5 Update, 2015

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Hi everyone! Sorry for the delayed post, and apologies for my lack of second post last week. I had a rough week and needed some time away from the internet relaxing, and also needed to help a dear friend out yesterday. Here’s what I’ve been up to over the past week:

-When I started this blog, I did make a promise to be honest when writing about how my week has been. Of course, I’m trying to be as positive as I can, however some weeks are just shit. The past week has been one of those. On social media, I’ve been trying to keep it light-hearted, but I’ve really struggled with being positive this week. My anxious-levels have been going through the roof over the past few weeks. It’s due to feeling stress from an overwhelming feeling of “holy shit I’m 25, and I don’t know what I’m doing with my life in career/need to make sure I’m financially secure for my family”. I’ve been worrying about this so much, that my sub-conscious has noticed and has given me nightmares about getting fired and having to move out of our own house and end up with nothing. It may even be a reason (on top of the humidity and me trying to push myself exercise-wise) that my leg ulcer has become an open wound again, after 2 years of being closed up. Thanks to this, I need to see a specialist, however do not have the funds to do so, and feel guilty about trying to take time off work to do so. I’m also becoming increasingly frustrated about not knowing what my “dream career” is, and that where I thought I was going may not be possible, or even what I want to be doing. All of this, on top of having a month of struggling financially has made me exhausted and on edge for the past few weeks. I’ve been trying to stay positive and optimistic, but the past few weeks have really sucked. I know it will get better eventually, it’s just hard when I keep trying to work hard and not see decent results for it across all fields of life. Well, except for family/married life, which I am absolutely loving and know that it’s the one area of my life which is perfect, regardless.

-In line with the shitty past week, I really want to say how grateful I am for our families. Both my family and Ray’s family are always so willing to help us out (or our siblings) when we’re struggling, no questions asked. From my parents taking us out to/shouting us lunch to Ray’s parents providing us with a large amount of food and groceries from their pantries, we feel so thankful and loved to be part of two families that really look out for each other. Not many people in modern society can say that they have that, so we are so very thankful for this. It’s really helped us over the past few weeks, and we hope that we can return the favour and help them in the future, and also do the same for our children and their families on day too.

-This week, I’ve been thinking a lot about my previous studies into video game cultures, especially their globalised nature and connections to being “imagined communities”. From starting the Youtube “Let’s Play” series of the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, a lot of the academic thoughts from my Honours started coming back to me, as well as my passion for studying the cultural studies components of video games. It’s sad though, because even if I was to go back and complete honours/a PhD in their area, there would be little use or job potential from it. Unless I did something like win the lotto, I could never make this a reality, as I have to pay the bills. As such, I’m seriously considering devoting more time to playing more video games and analysing them from a more academic/cultural studies perspective in my spare time. I’d definitely looking at trying to share my thoughts on here about it. It means I’ll need to do some more academic reading in my spare time, but I’m considering it.

-Over the past few months, I’ve been undecided as to whether I should study this semester. Yes, I am enjoying my Graduate Certificate, but I’m now questioning its relevance and value in furthering myself career-wise. I’m very unsure as to where I want to be going with a career now, and am unsure as to if this qualification will even help me at all. While it’s all good to be studying because I’m (mostly) enjoying the content, if that is the reason that I’m sticking with it, I should have decided to continue with my honours, take up extra qualifications in graphic design and/or digital/interactive media and gaming. I’m thinking it might be wise to put off study for 6 months while I figure out where I really want to be going with things.

-In line with my slight “quarter-life-crisis” panic mentioned in the previous paragraphs, something awesome happened during the week which reassured me slightly. I received  some encouragement from some colleagues in the same age bracket as me this week, in that most people at the age of 25 have either no idea of what they’re doing, or the intense feeling of fear from thinking they have to figure out everything in their lives before they’re too old. It was really helpful for me to see that I’m not alone in feeling this way, and be able to open up about what I’m feeling career-wise and life-wise at the moment, especially in a professional setting.

-I’m still surprised about my results with the Curves Complete program, but in a good way. I’ve been having terribly stressful weeks, and limited mobility/ability to do awesome amounts of walking due to my leg ulcer becoming an open wound again…YET even with this, I’m still seeing some small results! Today I managed to maintain my weight and measurements, which is good considering I’ve taken it easy due to my leg. I’m really happy with how understanding and accommodating the gym has been while I’ve had to take it easy, and it’s been really helpful having the same coach each week who is also someone I can relate to very well and someone who understands my medical struggles.

-At the end of the previous week, I received some awesome news at work. I will be taking up some responsibilities in my role which are related to the areas I feel I’m skilled and passionate about (relating to communications, promotion, spending time with staff and students etc), and I’ll be able to hand over some of the mundane, uninspiring data entry tasks I do to casual staff members. I’m also moving desks to a spot I’ve always been eager to have, which is a bit more private and in a quieter area so I’ll be able to concentrate better. Both of these bits of news have really helped me feel more motivated towards work, and start this week with a positive mindset.

-Over the weekend, I had my first attempt at using a resin mold and casting a ring and some hearts with resin dyed red infused with sparkly red glitter. If you follow me on Instagram, or are a friend of mine on Facebook ,you would have seen the results. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, however I need to find a better dye and also a way for the glitter to stay spread out in the mold better. One of Ray’s colleagues has really been helping me be more crafty, and has gifted me some proper resin dyes and pigments to try out, which I’m so excited about using! I’ll have to wait a few weeks before I can buy some more supplies such as better molds, but I’m ready to start trying some more jewellery projects. I’m also hoping to take a resin jewellery workshop in the next month or two to make sure I’m doing things correctly and know the best techniques.

Lots of things happened in the past week, as you can see, but I’m feeling very positive towards this current week. Thanks for reading, and thanks for hanging in there when the going gets tough on here 🙂

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Week 4 Update, 2015

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Hi everyone! Sorry for the delayed post: as it was Australia Day yesterday, meaning that I didn’t do my weigh-in and coaching session until Tuesday (today), I thought I’d wait to post this week’s review. I also had a horrible day today thanks to anxious thoughts and lack of sleep, so this post is a couple of hours late anyway. Sorry! Lots of epic things have happened over the past week at least, so without ado, here’s my update:

-First thing first, I have started an epic Youtube series with my wonderful husband, where I’m guiding him through the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time game. This game is what I’d classify as the first video game I ever played, and the one that inspired my love for the Zelda culture and gaming series (I like to think that I have a specialised knowledge on the culture in the Zelda gaming series). Our series of the “Let’s Play” of this game will include both of us discussing the culture, philosophy, history, video game design and techniques and pop-culture references as we go. If you’re keen to watch, access the link HERE. I hope it’s entertaining and enjoyable 🙂

-This weekend, my amazing husband also showed me how to make resin pieces using some silicon and latex molds. We used some of his miniatures to cast some resin, and I found it a relatively easy and quite therapeutic process (as I get to have my craft on). As a result, I am feeling ready to start making my own resin jewellery pieces. I am hoping to sell these, therefore please let me know if you’d be interested in helping me out with my craft hobby. I am aiming to make a lot of sparkly and fabulous nerdy jewellery items, including:

-Zelda Triforce earrings, necklaces and brooches

-Doctor Who Tardis glittery earrings, necklace and brooches

-Star Trek Sparkly and glossy insignia badge brooches

-Glittery heart earrings and brooches

-Glittery star earrings and brooches

-Glittery geometrical  earrings

-Resin rose earrings, necklaces and brooches

-Japanese inspired pieces

At first, I think I’ll start out with offering to sell these to friends via Facebook until I feel that I am confident/ready to sell on Etsy. I’m hoping to buy some supplies to get started this week, and will share what I’ve made on Facebook and here. Hoping I’ll have some amazing things to share with you 🙂

-This week, I’ve had to yet again make health a priority. Unfortunately, due to a combination of things including the warmer, humid weather, my ulcer has opened itself up again. It’s making it incredibly painful for me to walk or stand for long periods of time, especially if I’ve tried to walk lots the previous day. As such, I’ve been trying to rest my leg. I really need to see a specialist for it again, however unfortunately finances and not being able to arrange time to do so is making it near-impossible at the minute. Regardless, I decided to focus my energy on doing something else to help out my health this week in trying some more yoga. As a natural stress-head, I’ve heard wonders about the value of yoga again and again; even in the very easy stages of just learning to breathe and stretch. This week, I’ve managed to do little 10 minute stints of yoga in the morning or evenings throughout the past week, and a 30 minute meditation yesterday. I feel this is helping me relax, refocus and not stress as much, and it’s something I can do while I can’t be doing mega step amounts each day. I’m definitely going to try and give myself at least 10 minutes a day to do some basic yoga!

-Even around a buggered-up leg, Australia Day parties and needing to rest, I somehow still managed to lose 200 grams. It’s not much, but it’s enough for me to feel accomplished and that I’m progressing down the right path in making myself a healthier person. I’m continuing to make good food choices throughout the day, however I tend to get a bit distracted at home, when I’m bored or around tempting food choices. Pretty good effort considering everything that’s happened this week!

-Argh, I haven’t managed to get up-to-speed with my reading goals. However, as an alternative Ray and I have managed to start looking at other forms of media on a regular basis…in the form of gaming videos/streams. Over the past week, we’ve found an amazing duo of guys who run an awesome gaming stream and company, and I am aiming to do a great post about them in the near-future. It’s been awesome to spend time with gamers, watch some epic gaming and connect with peeps around the world.

That’s about it for this week! There’s a lot more I could have written, however as I’m a bit fragile anxiety-levels wise, I thought it would be a bad idea. Here’s hoping this week is more positive and filled with crafty things and lots of gaming. I’m not sure what my post later this week will be about, so feel free to check back later this week for what could be a random (or awesome) post. Thanks for reading 🙂

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