Category Archives: Uncategorized

2014- Week 47

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Can you believe it’s only a month until Christmas!? Time for another update…

-So, you know that opportunity I was waiting to hear about? I didn’t get it. I’ve spent the past 5 days getting back into a positive mindset about it (as I was really disappointed and upset about it late last week/into the weekend), and I’ve finally gotten there. Originally, I thought that I was ready for this opportunity, that I really wanted to get it so I would be more recognised in what I do, and also to help out more financially. However, upon reflection, the universe has told me that this opportunity is not meant to be for me, for now. It would be a very challenging and stressful opportunity if I did received it, and not the most ideal one to take when I am trying to work on my health and studies. I also received lots of supportive words and encouragement from friends and colleagues which reminded me that I am valuable and appreciated where I am now, and Ray and I also still have enough to financially support ourselves and start saving for a home.

I do keep forgetting that I am only (almost) 25, and I’m actually in a really good position in life where I am right now. Not many people my age can say they have a permanent role which they enjoy most of the time, which also allows them to pursue interests outside of work (including study) and can have a healthy life around it. So, whilst I was disappointed it didn’t work out, I’m now realising it was for the best. I won’t have any higher amounts of stress to deal with (if I got the new opportunity, I would have). It’s hard to acknowledge this when I’ve always been so hard towards myself and have really high expectations with myself for what I should be achieving. So, regardless, I’m going to really focus on working on myself for the next 8 months and realise that my value isn’t just defined by my roles in careers and the like. I’m going to keep going at the gym, and keep studying. I’m going to also try and put lots more time into blogging: something I’d like to do on a more regular basis and at a higher level. And I’m going to bloody start sewing more often.

-So, as per above, I will be trying to have a different focus on the blog for next year in light of recent events. I really want to start taking blogging to the next level: having a more professional looking blog, with more variety in content as well as more customisation towards the “look” I’m after. Currently, I am investigating moving over to WordPress.org and having a private host so that I can really make the blog “mine”. I do want to write more in my spare time, and I feel the current blog I have is a bit “bland” as it is: it isn’t very customisable or able to suit taking my blog in a newer, more innovative direction. I’ll still have the weekly updates on the newer, but I want to also start doing reviews on items such as clothing and accessories, how-to guides, reviews, opinion pieces and the like. I’ll hopefully change over to this in the new year.

-I’m also considering whether I will take two subjects next semester or not. If I did take two subjects, I will finish a Graduate Certificate by the end of next year. Otherwise, I’d have to do an extra semester in the following year. Whilst it’s been hard completing just one subject this semester, it has been a crazy semester (between our wedding and honeymoon), and I really did procrastinate. The subjects I would take (if I took two) would both be elective-based, so I’m having a good think about it before I finalise my enrolment for next semester.

-I’ve had a rather bad week on the Curves Complete program. Whilst I have lost more weight in the previous week, I have a feeling I won’t have fantastic results this week. Thanks to stress and having a pretty bad past few days, I’m way behind in my workouts, my food plan hasn’t been followed very well, I’ve pigged out and have done barely any walking this week (I only exceeded my step goal on one day). I know I’ve messed up this week, and it’s all due to my bloody emotions and a stressful week. However, the key for me is to not give up. It’s all about getting “back on the horse” and continuing to try. I’m trying not to let one bad week get to me (like it would have before), and I think by acknowledging that it was a hard week and realising I haven’t messed up my entire progress is key.

-I’ve played a bit of WoW this week as a form of escapism from all the crap that has happened. Finally, I’m on the most up-to-date expansion, and have gotten myself a level 90 character boost. I ended up deciding to use this on a new character: a Pandaren warrior. The Garrison feature is pretty interesting, and I’m enjoying having the two Hearthstones to travel between. Currently, I’m questing to earn reputation with the Order of the Cloud Serpents, and have a baby cloud serpent to take care of in the process. This is pretty enjoyable, however for the rest of the level 90 character…..I’m a bit bored. However, it’s great that I have my level 49ish Paladin to play when I start getting bored, as I’m leaving this character as my one to level-up on my own, and to experience the challenges in-game with.

That’s about all I have to write for the past week. Sorry that there’s not too many exciting updates, as I’ve had a rather crappy week. Here’s hoping that things will be a bit better this week! Thanks for reading 🙂

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2014- Week 46!

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Another week, another update! It’s getting so close to the end of the year, where I’ll reflect on the year in passing and also set some personal goals for next year (as per tradition on here). For now, here’s a reflection on my activities over the past week.

-Firstly, apologies for holding off on posting this yesterday. I was having a rather anxious day waiting to hear some news (which I haven’t heard about yet), and was hoping I could post some good news up on this week’s post. However as I haven’t heard I’m going to put this post up today anyway.

-After an average week on the Curves Complete plan, I still managed to get over 10, 000 steps on 4 days of the plan, with the other days being pretty average. I’ve had a pretty eventful week, and the weather was crazy hot, so my walking wasn’t as amazing as the results from previous weeks. I also need to up my workouts to 4 times a week, as I managed to go 3 times last week (and skipped my 4th day due to crazy hot weather….and being exhausted). My water intake is back up to around 1.5-2 litres a day, and food is gradually becoming more “healthier” choices for me. However, I *cannot* wait to have a normal-sized fridge (should be able to afford to buy one in a few weeks) because we will start making our bento lunches (something I’m very excited about doing), and be able to make lots of fresh salads. Being able to make salads and bento supplies in advance and keeping supplies in the fridge will make such a massive difference!

-I’ve still been feeling rather fatigued this week with very low energy levels. It may be due to my insulin pump rates being changed last week, and having quite a few hypos last week due to exercising. I also really struggle if I get less than 8 hours of sleep each night, thanks to having both Type 1 Diabetes and Coeliac disease (chronic health conditions that make those with them suffer from tiredness and fatigue on a daily basis)…it’s not just because I’m a nanna at heart. I do forget that I tend to be more tired than others because of these conditions, because I wish they didn’t affect me as much as they do. Anyway, I’ve been doing some reading over the past few weeks, and am considering taking some vitamins on a regular basis. Several Type 1 Diabetes websites recommend taking Vitamin D, B12, zinc and magnesium on a regular basis, so I’m going to investigate this over the next couple of weeks and start trying to take some. Hopefully I’ll see some positive changes and improvements with this!

-I’m so glad I’m finally taken the step in committing to and starting to wear the clothes I really want to wear. I’ve been receiving quite a few compliments on wearing my Pinup Girl Clothing skirts last week (you can see them via my Instagram, on the right-hand side of this page), which is really helping my confidence. For years, I’ve wanted to dress more “retro”, however have felt that I haven’t been confident enough, or have the right body shape to dress in this style. For years, I wore “quirky” items, but it still wasn’t the look I wanted, as I tried to cover up my insulin belly and sort of did a half-arsed job at it anyway. However, after really starting to accept the shape and body I have over the past few years, in combination with my goals to become a healthier person, I have feel that I can rock whatever type of clothing I want, regardless. So, insulin belly or not, I will rock a pinup skirt with a big, poofy petticoat! I will curl my hair. I will wear items that cinch in at my waist. And I will be confident enough to hit the beach this summer. So overall, a pretty positive week about how I dress.

-On a side note, I am a little bit worried about how I’ll go in maintaining a “routine” of setting my hair and doing my make-up, but only because of how tired I’ve been recently. However, if I get my energy levels sorted (as per above), I should start having more time again being awake, and able to do so. Practice does make perfect, though, so as I start doing this on a more regular basis, I’m sure it will take less time. In all honesty…it probably takes the same time or less as someone straightening their hair each day (which I know lots of people do). Also, I should remember that it took me a few years to become relatively “ok” at drawing on my winged eyeliner, so I guess I have to be patient!

-I’ve been playing quite a bit of WoW now that I have a little bit of spare time. I now have a character that’s so close to becoming level 50, so I’ll finally be able to get a flying mount soon! I’m also aiming to get some titles within the Argent Dawn and Crusade, because I really like that they’re about members from the Alliance and Horde joining together to fight the Scourge. Keeping in mind that I have little to no knowledge of the backs-story of Warcraft, I have disliked how there’s two distinct “sides” where one can be viewed as “good” and the other as “evil”. So, what the Argent companies believe in sits well with my main character. I’m getting close to getting these titles, however it appears that there’s only two dungeons that you have to complete multiple times to earn enough reputation to become exalted. My husband (who has a level 90 character) has been helping me complete these dungeons, and once I’ve gained enough reputation points, I will be a happy member of both Argent companies, hopefully!

-Over the past week, my husband has been trying to convince me to GM a Forgotten Realms Dungeons and Dragons campaign. I’ve been toying with the idea for a while now, however haven’t had the confidence, or felt I have the required knowledge to run a game. However, now I have some more time on my hands, and a regular gaming group, I’m starting to think about developing this further. I’m hoping to read up on some Forgotten Realms history over the next week and start planning a campaign which will hopefully be an awesome one.

That’s about it for this week’s update! Thanks for reading 🙂

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2014-Week 45!

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Hello again! Well, it’s hard to believe how close we are to the end of the year…I now have less than 10 blog posts to do! Here’s the update reflecting on what’s happened over the past week.

-I’ve made an active effort to get back into my Curves Complete program this week. Thanks to my new Fitbit, I’ve become a lot more aware of my level of activity throughout the day/week, and have exceeded my step goal on 4 of the 7 days this week, and met it for 2 others. I’ve been upping my water intake, and other than the weekend, cutting down my soft drink intake (thanks to soda water). It must be working, as I managed to lose another 600 grams over the past week! The biggest challenge this week will be trying to up my steps each day even more, and sticking to a healthier meal plan. As we only have a bar fridge at the moment, it’s hard to stick to the plan when we don’t have much fresh fruit a veg. However, we’ve been making do with what we do have, and we’ll be able to start keeping lots more fresh food when we finally get a new fridge in the next few weeks.

-As of last week, I have finished my first postgraduate subject! My exam went relatively well, considering I normally am horrible with exams. I managed to remember everything I had studied and wanted to include in the exam…however, it’s now a waiting game until release of results in early December. I’m going to wait to see the result of this subject before deciding to enrol in my next subject…but I’m pretty sure I’ll be passing at the very least! 🙂

-I should be receiving my order from Pinup Girl Clothing today (actually, it’s just been delivered to my house, so I’ll have it when I get home, yay)! FedEx attempted to deliver the items yesterday, but I wasn’t home. Considering I made the order on Thursday last week though, I am very impressed at how quick the shipping was! It was the free international shipping that was offered through Pinup Girl Clothing, and I’m very happy with how quickly it has shipped! I’ll probably give a review of these skirts in next week’s post.

-Thanks to my postgraduate studies being over for this year (until March next year), I’ve been able to relax a little at home, meaning more time playing World of Warcraft. This week, I’ve been focusing on getting my profession skills up on my main character: Mining and Blacksmithing. However, I’ve unfortunately hit a bit of an issue where my character’s level isn’t high enough to be in the areas where I need to mine to gain more profession skills. So, my awesome husband (who has a level 90 character) escorted me around the Burning Steps (my character only just was on level 36 at the time) so I could mine some Mithril. I also worked on levelling up, and am now in the 40s…and I have a random gamer to thank. When questing in the Eastern Plaguelands, I came across a friendly player who offered to help me quest around the area. As Earthen Ring is an RP sever, it was a good experience also being in character and RPing the storyline and background of my character with a random gamer. It was such a great help to me, and I’m yet again blown away by the kindness and generosity of people on this WoW server. My goal is to get to level 60 so I can finally fly…hopefully in the next 2 weeks. I’m seriously contemplating getting the Warlords of Draenor pack with the boosted level 90 character inclusion so I can quest around the world and not worry about dying. But in all honesty, I like the idea of getting to level 90 on my own, as well as the challenge from it. 🙂

-Over the weekend, I got to have an impromptu op shop adventure with my best female friend. I haven’t been op shopping for such a long time, and it was good having a search for bargains. I’m trying to not buy things just because they fit: I’m trying to only buy pieces that would be staple items in my wardrobe which would be used regularly. Also, I’m hoping op shopping will become a monthly hobby of mine, as I’m wanting my wardrobe to become a mix of clothing from retro/pinup inspired brands and contrasting op shop items/items I create myself.

-I’m still waiting to hear back about the potential opportunity I mentioned in previous weeks. I’m hoping I’ll have some more news in the coming weeks, though I’m getting anxious about not hearing anything yet at this stage. I have to be vague here until I know if it’s happening or not, apologies.

-Now that my husband and I have returned from our honeymoon and settled in back home, we’ve also started thinking about goals for next year. We have a big one: we’re going to start saving for a deposit for a house. It may take us a couple of years to have enough to apply for a home loan, but we’re going to start putting savings aside from January next year. It’s been really exciting seeing that there’s houses out there that we *potentially* could afford, which are also in great locations. Not trying to get ahead of ourselves or anything…it’s just something exciting for the future which we’re starting to think about more often.

That’s about all for this week’s update- nothing too exciting, as I’ve been using this week to relax and take it easy after finishing my study for the year. Thanks for reading! 🙂

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2014- Week 44! Plus the long-awaited HONEYMOON post!

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Hi everyone! Well, I’m writing this blog entry from home today as a study break (I have an exam tomorrow). So, even though I’m not doing anything too interesting other than studying today, here’s what I’ve been up to over the past week:

-Firstly, as promised, here’s a link to the big post all about our honeymoon! Yes, I know I said I was going to write one myself on here, however my husband was asked to write a post for a great travel website called Humans Who Travel, which sums up our honeymoon perfectly (and a lot better than I could ever write about it!) So, check out the story at the following link (hope you enjoy!): http://humanswhotravel.com/2014/10/30/raymond-our-epic-lego-honeymoon/

-I returned to the gym over the past week. As I’m still unwell (I’ve had a cough for 4 weeks now!) I didn’t get to work out as much as I had hoped to. However, I did get weighed and measured and discovered that I had maintained my weight loss over the honeymoon! And not only this, but I also had lost almost 1% body fat! This was incredible news, as I did have quite a few treats on the honeymoon and didn’t really follow the program whilst I was away (well, it was my honeymoon!). Now I’m back home, I’m aiming to get back into my 4 workouts a week, hopefully start walking again on my lunch break and also ease back into the Curves Complete plan. As we are on the way to buying a new fridge (we’ve had bad luck with fridges, with two dying on us over the past few months, so we’re currently living out of a bar-fridge for anything needing refrigeration), we’ll be able to cook with lots more fresh ingredients. We also finally have our bento supplies (we got ourselves the most amazing bento supplies in Japan, from the Pokemon Centre no less…I will share this with you once we start making bentos)! A lot of the bento staples we can cook can be kept in the fridge, so I’ll hopefully have lots of good recipes coming your way on here in the future!

-I have been incredibly lucky this week, as my dad got me a Fitbit Flex as a present over the weekend! I have been wanting a Fitbit for forever for several reasons. Firstly, I really do enjoy tracking my steps and activity during the day…however, it’s a bit inconvenient for me to wear a “normal” pedometer due to already wearing an insulin pump. With a pedometer and insulin pump on my weight, my clothing could get weighed down during the day (haha…yes, my clothes have almost fallen down due to the weight of carrying both!) Also, I have been very impressed with the accuracy and variety of what is recorded with the Fitbit: I do like using apps to track my quality of sleep, my energy levels and everything in between as it gives me somewhere to report back to. Also, I know that there’s now the “watches” that connect with Samsung phones (in particular) which are popular now, but I just don’t like the look of them. The subtle appearance of the Fitbit (mine’s a black one) as a bracelet suits me, and I also don’t really like wearing watches too much anyway (unless it’s vintage styled or Hello Kitty!) So far, I’ve only tracked 1 full day, which was a pretty low-activity day for me as I was studying. However, I did manage to walk up to the shops and back, which ended up giving me more data on my profile. Today, I will be walking up to the gym and back, doing a weigh-in, work out and walking home, so I’m very eager to see how my results look today!

-Ray and I were discussing over the weekend that we want to try and start “staying up” at night…haha, what we mean is that we want to try and start going to bed later. For the past few months, I’ve been quite tired and exhausted thanks to the multitude of health issues I’ve had. So, I’ve easily been going to bed at around 9-9:30. However, for the past week I’ve been going to bed at around 10:30 due to staying up and studying…and each morning, I have actually found that I feel more alert and better rested, as I’m still sleeping for at least 7 hours (most nights are 8). So, perhaps I was “over-sleeping”, which was making things worse for me! Hubby used to stay up quite a bit, and he has admitted that he misses staying up later, so we’re both going to try and start staying up a bit longer, especially if I’m finding that I’m getting a good (or even better) sleep because of it.

-Once my exam is out of the way this week, and I’ve saved up a little bit to buy some fabric, I’m finally aiming at getting back into my sewing! I have to finish two skirts in progress first, but my aim after that is to make some peasant tops, some retro-styled pyjamas and attempt to make my own denim capris! Over the next week or two, I have a couple of rewards planned for myself thanks to my lovely tax return (I can finally say hello to two items I have been wanting for forever: the Harlequin skirt from Pinup Girl Clothing and the Geisha print Heart of Haute skirt!), therefore I want to try and make some tops to go with these new items so I can customise my wardrobe a bit further. I always find when purchasing pinup styled tops in particular, they tend to not fit me well. They either don’t cover my shoulders properly (which means I can’t wear them to work, or feel self conscious about bras straps/my huge shoulders thanks to being a swimmer/violist), or they end up being too revealing/sitting funny on my chest. I also have the problem of never being able to wear buttom-up-shirts thanks to my weird torso proportions/large chest….they either pucker like crazy, or end up too large and sack-like. So, I’m going to start trying to make some of my own tops, starting with some peasant tops and then moving to some with bow trims and Peter-Pan collars. Here’s hoping I’ll get some better fitted tops in my collection 🙂

-On the note of clothes- I am considering doing a huge clean out of my wardrobe once I’ve established some better new staple items for myself and my “look”. This probably won’t be until the Christmas holidays. However, I am thinking that I would consider doing a clothes swap/giveaway to fellow friends interested, as I know how hard it can be to find decent plus-sized gear at a reasonable price! So…here’s a shout out: if any of my fellow female friends would be interested in checking out clothing I’d be giving away/willing to swap clothes in sizes ranging from anything between 14-18/20, please let me know. These would either be free, gold coin donation (which I could give to charity), or we could swap items. If I know that there’s people interested, it may help me in organising my wardrobe/life better! 🙂

-Since my old favourite glasses company in Australia seems to have closed (I won’t say which company, as their products always seemed to break for me anyway), I have been on the hunt to find some affordable, yet retro styled and high quality vintage replica sunglasses. My hunt has ended this week! Introducing Catch a Thief: http://www.catchathief.com.au I had some money set aside to purchase myself a study reward, so it was perfect timing when I discovered these guys, who are based in Victoria. Here’s the two pairs I’ll have coming my way (hopefully) this week:

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-Lady Lucite in Jade: I have become obsessed with Lucite/imitation lucite accessories of recent. Therefore, I knew I HAD to have these glasses when I saw them. I also was so desperate to find some coloured glasses…and this colour of green is to die for. The cat eyes aren’t too sharp, which I believe will quite my face well!

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-Pretty Pointed in Black: I have had issues in finding great black cat eyes which suit my face shape. However, these glasses seem to be the perfect balance of circular shaping, with a great pointed tip.

As you can see, the prices are fantastic (in fact, the Lady Lucite glasses are currently on sale for $20, and there’s heaps of colours available!), shipping was very affordable, the UV protection is good for our harsh Australian sun, and you’d be supporting an Australian business (something I’m definitely trying to do more often!). I definitely recommend that you check these guys out! 🙂

-I’ve also had time to think over the past week regarding my consumption of the internet. Now I’m using a LOT more social media than I used to (I’m on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest regularly), I’ve started actively following some amazing, inspirational peoples on there. However, I’ve also seen my fair share of negativity and bullying happening to people through these mediums (particularly related to feminism and female gamers), or people actively sharing or commenting on content which is meant to make people negative. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, but I’m getting really sick of it. Yes, people have the freedom to post and comment on whatever they like, but I always think that the below quote sums it up perfectly. Yes, I know I’m being ironic in saying this whilst venting my frustration…but it’s just been on my nerves over the past week in particular. As they say…don’t feed the trolls!

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So, in reflection of this, I’ve decided that I’m going to make an active effort to try and only go out of my way to look at positive things on social media. Hard to explain: I know I can’t completely remove negativity from my interaction with social media as I can’t control what others post (unless I got rid of social media…not happening!), but I can certainly try to not contribute to it, ignore it, and try to not go out of my way to further investigate/”Facebook stalk” (we’re all guilty of it, admit it) negative people/news/posts etc. I know it may make my view of the internet “jaded” and naive (especially with the whole idea that people only share the positive aspects of their life on social media, showing inaccuracy in their lives etc etc)…but after studying digital media and communications for over 5 years, I already know there’s a plethora of sick, twisted shit out there on the internet set to actively harm or hurt those exposed to it. And you know what? Screw it. It’s my freaking choice if I decide to actively try to avoid it! Each day, I’m learning more and more of the value of keeping your mind healthy (this is probably why I barely watch news anymore and never kept up with tabloids). So, you’ll probably be seeing me trying to share as many positive things via Tumblr, Instagram and Pinterest in particular.

Well, I’ve had lots of variety in my blog post for this week! From reviews of shopping purchases, to future goals, to even a short contribution on my opinion of internet consumption…yay! I definitely want to try to post with as much variety in future weeks too! Thanks for reading 🙂

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2014- Week 43!

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Hi everyone! Can you believe that it’s 8 weeks til Christmas?! I can’t…haha! However, it’s definitely starting to feel like summer! Time for another update, as per usual:

-Yes, I realise that I haven’t stuck to my promise of doing a catch-up post about the honeymoon. Sorry! I currently am really busy at work, and have my final research essay and exam for my postgraduate subject due in over the next week. So, I’ve had to spend most of my spare time studying and catching up. Rest assured, I’m going to work on this during this week, and hopefully have it up by the weekend. Apologies for the delay!

-As I’ve still been recovering from my chest infection, I had to give myself the past week off the gym (I will be starting back there today). However, I’ve used the past week to get back into my healthy habits. I’ve started upping my water intake, and switching coffee/worse caffeine choices during the day for green tea. I need to start wearing my pedometer again, however I will have a Fitbit shortly (which I’m hoping will give me a more accurate indication of how active I am during the day). I’m also going to have to stop myself drinking soft drink again (or limiting it to weekends/social events), because I’m struggling with it since returning from the honeymoon. While I’m studying over the next week, I’ll probably give myself an allowance for having soft drink, but after this I’m hoping to stick to soda water and green tea. As I start back at the gym today, I’m hoping that I haven’t mucked up my progress too much thanks to the honeymoon/being sick. Will let you know how it goes in next week’s post. 🙂

-I’ve had thoughts over the past week regarding blogging/writing. In a perfect world, where I won the lotto or similar, I would absolutely love to write/blog as a career, or on a more regular basis. That being said, I am wanting to make writing and blogging my “creative outlet”. My blog may not be popular or appealing to the masses, but I really enjoy writing. Yes, I am very out-of-practice with writing, however I think this is something I want to work on. I definitely want to write more regularly, and write posts of quality (rather than just these weekly updates, which aren’t as fascinating!) There’s a big break between the completion of my current postgrad subject and the next semester, therefore I’d like to dedicate some time towards setting my blog up for a variety of posts.

-An opportunity has come up for me, which I’m pretty excited about. A similar opportunity came up last year, however at the time I did not feel really for it, and also believed I couldn’t cope with the stress of it around planning a wedding/getting married. Now, I feel confident to pursue this opportunity, and that I will succeed with it. I can’t give away much on here unfortunately, however I can let you know that the next couple of weeks should be very exciting for me (and I’m hoping I can share more on here in the coming weeks) 🙂

-I finally managed to get myself a haircut, after having my last one weeks before the wedding (so, it’s been almost 6 months!!!!!) This has meant that my hair is now ready to be curled and set regularly again. Last night, I managed to successfully put my hair up in rollers (including silk scarf!), and have pretty good hair for work today. I finally managed to get myself a boar bristle brush (the type of brush most wet-setting gals recommend), and have found brushing out/styling the curls much better with this. The brush tends to help my hair be less frizzy (think 80s perms), and makes the curls more defined like the 50s/60s look I am after. Unfortunately, one part of my hair didn’t curl properly, so I have a strand out of place, but otherwise I’m really happy with how my hair is, and will be looking at styling it more regularly!

-On the note of 50s/60s styling, I’ve been on a bit of a 50s/60s culture binge at the moment. I have started to religiously watch Mad Men again, and am just about to finish Season 4 (I swear, Joan Holloway/Harris is my style muse). I’ve also watched Hairspray recently, and forgot how much I loved the movie. I’m also very eager to watch Cry Baby and My Week with Marilyn soon, however these might need to wait until I’ve completed my postgraduate subject. I am also listening to lots of 50s/60s Rhythm and Blues, but might write more about this next week. But yeah…I’m getting a bit obsessed, haha. 🙂

-I’ve been keeping a few items in the back of my mind as purchases I’d like to make when we’ve caught up financially. I want to start gradually updating my wardrobe to be full of items that I am confident about: ones that I wear because I love them, not because they “fit” me and are convenient choices. So, I thought I’d share the items I’m currently lusting over on here to get them out of my system (haha):

  • The following Erstwilder brooches (I am an addict):

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The unicorn is absolutely adorable, and I love the colour.

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The piggy is so cute! Love the imaginative concepts of these.

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I’m also eyeing off this pug in a suit brooch:

All are available from the following site: http://www.littlewhitebox.com.au/

I do have a long list of items, but I’m not aiming to get these all in one go. It will be a project to span (probably) over the next year or so 🙂

-I am still playing WoW on a regular basis. This week, I haven’t played as much due to study, however I have been focusing on getting my profession skills levelled-up. My main character specialises in Mining and Blacksmithing, and I’ve been following several guides to get these up to Expert (I’m only level 32 atm). My husband and I are hoping to spend some time doing some Dungeons with a group of friends in the next couple of weeks.

And that’s about all I have to write for the past week! Thanks for reading 🙂

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2014- Week 42 (Yes, I’m back!)

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I’m baaaaaaaack! 🙂

Hi everyone!

I am sorry I’ve missed 4 weeks of entries, but I have been on my honeymoon instead (which I think is a perfectly reasonable excuse!) I am planning to do a combined huge post for the past 4 weeks that I haven’t been here, which will mainly be a massive post about our honeymoon…but it will take some time to write and may not be up on here until later this week. In the meantime, I wanted to post this week’s update just so you know I’m still around and working on keeping to my goals 🙂

Here’s what’s happened over the past week (at least):

-I managed to get back to work for all of an hour and a half last week, as I had to go home sick. Since we returned from our honeymoon, I had become quite unwell with fevers and a bad cough. For a while, I was concerned that I had caught something on the plane, as a lady who was quite unwell and coughing loudly on the flight home was kept on the plane by quarantine officials. However, the doctors were quick to confirm that it wasn’t anything that needed to be quarantined- I just have a bad chest infection. So, I really have spent the past week in bed, trying to get over this chest infection and not doing much else! Even as I write this entry, I’m still not fully recovered…however, I’ve now used up all of my sick leave for the year so have to return to work regardless. I’ve never been one to have fevers when being unwell, so it’s been a new experience for me in getting them and constantly changing from being hot to cold and so on. There’s so much I have to catch-up on since being away from my honeymoon, especially work and study-related, so I feel terrible that I’ve had to take another week off to get better. 🙁

-In relation to being sick, I also won’t be able to return to the gym until I am better, which at this stage will be next week. However, I feel I’ve done relatively well in keeping myself in-check whilst being on the honeymoon. To begin with, I managed to easily do over 10, 000 steps for almost every day on the honeymoon (the only days I didn’t were when we were seasick/at sea, and even then I managed to come close to the step goal). However, my highlight was definitely hitting almost 19, 000 steps on one of the first days! It was hard eating healthily on the boat because the food was prepared by an American-based cruise company for the masses. A lot of choices were high in sodium, fats and had lots more sugar compared to what I’d eat in Australia. I was lucky in that the gluten-free options were generally the “healthier” options on the menu, though. While I feel I did my best (and tried to eat more fruit and veg than anything else), I think the drinks really didn’t help me. Due to limited healthy options (I did drink lots of water), I mostly drank Coke Zero and Ginger Ale. One of my gym coaches said I should try to maintain weight while on the honeymoon, however I have no idea of how I’ve gone and hope I don’t let them down. The honeymoon was a time for us to relax and unwind, so I may have put on a little bit of weight. Though, considering we did so much walking, it may not be much of a difference. I’ll have to wait and see when I get weighed-in at the gym next week. What will be important is staying dedicated and recommitting to the Curves Complete program: once we have purchased a new fridge (and finally have a decent amount of fridge space, compared to our current state of living out of a bar fridge), this will be easier as we will be able to have lots more fresh food and I will be able to follow the meal plan to the best of my ability.

-As I’ve been in bed recovering over the past week, I haven’t been able to do much. However, I have been able to catch up on some gaming on World of Warcraft. It was good to have a break from gaming whilst being on our honeymoon, as I have to admit that I was getting a little bit too addicted. Regardless, I have a lot going on at the moment with study and work, so I’ve been trying to get gaming out of my system over the past week so I can focus for the next few weeks. So far, I’ve only got on character above level 30, but I am taking my time to explore and do lots of little quests. I now have a human paladin and Worgen rogue which I alternate between playing, and I do want to level-up a Horde character too (I’m tossing up between a Tauren paladin I’ve already made, or making an undead character). I’m still so impressed by the depth and detail of the WoW world, and also how much more in-depth the quests are when you are gaming online. I even managed to do my first dungeon the other day, which was a scary-but-good experience. I describe it as both because I managed to get so freaking lost and left behind from the party because I got stuck in a wall/water. Trust me to be the one who gets stuck, haha. We also had a group who decided to run ahead, even when their healer had died (so that made things difficult), and it was very fast paced. I did freak out a little, however I managed to keep up in the end and complete the quest I needed to. However, in the future I do want to save dungeons as something I do with the groups we make with friends, as I feel they will be more forgiving and understanding of my slowness and noob-ness (hah). Overall, WoW is serving as a great escapism for me, which helps me relax while also improving my gaming skills 🙂

-Since returning from the honeymoon, I’m realising the importance of keeping up hobbies that I’m passionate about and will also enhance my creativity. It’s so important to make time for the things that you enjoy, especially if it’s something that you can’t do as a job, so I’m wanting to make this an active goal for myself (especially because in a few weeks, I’ll have a couple of months as a break from study) I think a huge issue at the moment (which has stopped this from happening as much) is my lack of ability to stay up late anymore…especially since I’ve been sick/worn out. So, over the next few weeks, I’m hoping to get back into the swing of things in staying up a bit later (I’ve been in bed my 9pm most nights!) This will allow me to have some allocated time to relax and focus on some hobbies. This will include reading, sewing, planning outfits, sorting my wardrobe, setting my hair properly, trying out new hairstyles, playing WoW and online shopping. I’m aiming to slowly ease myself into this, starting with the completion of a sewing project this weekend (finally finishing my first two skirts I made earlier this year), planning my next two projects- making a green velvet dress and a pair of denim capris, and setting my hair once I finally get a haircut. Here’s hoping I can stick to it, and not fall back into old, boring habits of just wanting to sleep!

-There’s been some amazing biographies which have been released recently which are on my “to-read” list once I’ve finished my studies in few weeks (I have several books I need to read for my final research project first). First, Amy Poehler’s biography is at the top of my list. I am a regular follower of the “Smart Girls” movement (in case you don’t know of it, here’s a link to their amazing website: http://www.amysmartgirls.com/) that she is a part of, and really do admire her contributions to society. I also noticed that Beth Ditto has also released a biography recently, which I’m sure will also be a fascinating read. Also, my favourite sewing blogger, Gertie (http://www.blogforbettersewing.com/) has released a new book for sewing vintage casual styles of clothing, which I am also so eager to purchase.

Once again, apologies I don’t have too many exciting things to write about. However, over the next few days I’ll be posting an update worthy of the 4 weeks where I haven’t written on here…it will be a complete review of where we went on our honeymoon and the experience of being on a cruise. For now, thanks for reading! 🙂

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2014- Week 38!

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Well, we’re finally reached the week of our honeymoon! So, just as heads up that this may be the last update you’ll receive from me for a while, because we’re unsure of how much internet access we will have (plus…it’s our honeymoon, so access to internet won’t be our priority!). While I’m striving to post each week, in reality I may not be able to do so on the honeymoon, or I may do a very quick update. We’ll try to post photos on Facebook or Instagram (you can see the Instagram on the right-hand side of this page) when we can, however I am hoping to unplug from the internet and social media while we’re away. Either way, I’ll try and a leave you with a decent update for this week, just in case I’m too busy honeymoon-ing 🙂

-Tomorrow marks a massive achievement for me: I will be having my 100th workout on the Curves Complete program. Considering I had three months off due to injury/wedding, achieving this in such a short amount of time has been a big success for me. I’ve worked hard to make sure I reached this goal before our honeymoon; in fact, I even did 6 workouts last week (when I normally do 4). I am so proud of myself for sticking with the Curves program, where my exercise program has now become a habit. I feel so much healthier, my blood sugar levels and diabetes has improved massively and I can see the changes in my body happening. When I get weighed and measured this week, I will put up a “before” and “after” post of my journey so far…maybe. But regardless, I am so happy with the changes I’m making towards being a healthier and more active person!

-I am so ridiculously tired. With our honeymoon starting on Thursday/Friday this week (YAY), there’s so many things I have to complete before I go. I’ve had heaps of work for my Masters degree, including an assignment due in last night which took longer as I changed my argument at the last minute to have a more developed research project. Work has been ridiculously busy, and I’m trying to tie up any loose ends on things before I go, but it’s providing to be quite difficult. I’m also working very hard to get to my 100 workouts goal before I go, which has meant going to the gym 5-6 times a week for the past couple of weeks. Plus, I’ve also had to run around getting things sorted health-wise for the trip, including a visit to the hospital to get a new pump, getting medical letters and paperwork translated, and ensuring I have all up-to-date prescriptions and medication. I haven’t even had a chance to pack yet, so I’m pretty stressed out (luckily, I have made a complete packing list). With all of the above, I’ve been having horrid nights of sleep recently, so am feeling very run down.

-With all of the above, I was starting to stress out a little bit about travelling. One big reason I was stressing is because it’s my husband’s first time travelling overseas. Therefore,  I’ve automatically put pressure on myself to make the trip as amazing as possible. It’s ironic: I help send students overseas all of the time for my career, yet as soon as I get to travel overseas (my last trip was in 2010, which I organised myself), I become stressed out. Like every other time I’ve been overseas, I’m sure that by the time I get to the airport, I go into excited-optimistic-traveller mode and it’s all good. I just hope that we have an amazing time and a fantastic adventure together.

-So, last week you would have read that I’ve started playing WoW. I am STILL loving it! The depth of the game is so much better when you’re actually on the online servers, particularly on an RP server. Also, the quests are so much more rewarding (on a personal/story level) compared to when I played previously (on a private server, which was only up to Wrath of the Lich King in updates). As a human paladin, I’m now level 26 and am in Duskwood, however I did spend quite a bit of time questing in Redridge. There was a fantastic quest in Redridge with the bravo Company that was very touching, and also a great introduction to learning how to play with other characters for me. I also even got a new mount as a present (for studying so hard over the weekend): a Celestial Steed, which is going to look amazeballs when I gain the flying skills. It’s probably good timing that we’re going on our honeymoon later this week, as I’ve been playing WoW at an addicted pace over the past week (at least an hour a day before bed to help me relax). Once I’m at least level 50, I’ll probably start looking to quest with friends. I also need to get my Horde character levelled-up, and Ray and I have a game ad Pandarins together (which, in my opinion, have the most AMAZING starting area ever…except for those bloody monkeys!) In summary, WoW is incredible!

And that’s all of the updates I have, for now. Most of the week has been filled with me cramming study/finishing assignments and finalising things for our honeymoon. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you when I’m back from my honeymoon 🙂

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2014- Week 37!

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Time for another update (and this one is on time!)

-Over the past week, I’ve been working hard at my Curves Complete program. I want to make sure I reach 100 workouts by the time we go on our honeymoon (in 10 days!) So, this meant I had to work out for 5 days last week, and probably 5 more this week. It’s been really encouraging for me, in that even on the days that I feel terrible, I still make the effort to head to the gym. Plus, after actually going to the gym, I feel so refreshed and focused (I seem to always forget about that!) My steps for each day are gradually increasing to an acceptable amount again. However, due to lack of finances (we’ve trying to save like crazy for the honeymoon), we’ve had to be a bit flexible with my meal plan and replace meals with more affordable (yet healthy) options. I’ve had a few days when I needed to focus purely on study, so there have been some days where I haven’t had the step goals I needed, or the best meal plan. However, I’ve got a plan for our honeymoon: I’m wearing my pedometer and aiming to do a lot of walking each day, as well as watch what I eat on the cruise. Being a coeliac, I’m guessing that my carb options will be limited, so I’m going to try and have a high protein/fibre diet while I’m gone.

-After giving myself some time to think over the past week (and a lot of discussion with my amazing husband), I have decided that I’m really going to try and focus on my professional development. However, I’m going to focus on how I can gain this outside of my workplace. This includes researching conferences available in the fields I am passionate about, volunteer opportunities, joining groups and organisations which will enhance my workplace skills and much, much more. This will be, in a sense, me looking for extra-curricular activities to enhance my employ-ability and professional skills. I have some big ideas so far, and am going to dedicate some time to really think outside of the box (and outside my actual workplace) to find some things which will help. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions, I’d be really eager to hear from you 🙂

-I made this blog to be honest about my progress with things. So, I have to admit that over the past week, I’ve been struggling with study. In particular, procrastinating with my study has been a big reality for me. Work has been pretty crazy over the past few weeks, and it’s been hard getting myself into the right frame-of-mind to focus on study when I get home. I’ve been mentally exhausted, and also discouraged because I feel that I’m so behind in my studies anyway (that it’s impossible to catch up). However, over the weekend I did 3 weeks’ worth of readings (and that’s postgraduate readings…so there was a lot), and I did forget that I have a day of study leave this week. Really, all I need to do is plan my time effectively and stick to my daily goals for study. I also now have several people who I have to “check in” to about my studies to ensure that I’m on track. So, as long as I put my head down over the next week, I should be all up-to-date by the end of this weekend (where I have to hand in an assignment), so that I have no study worries on my honeymoon.

-Continuing on from last week, I’ve been keeping up trying to read more regularly. I finally managed to complete a book which I purchased several years ago. It’s been a bit difficult to keep up this pattern with books I want to read as a hobby; particularly as I’ve had to read a lot of my course readings this week to catch-up. However, I’m aiming to really read some fiction on our honeymoon to help me get back into the habit of reading for pleasure (rather than for study, or for work/necessity).

-I’m really starting to get into playing Dungeons and Dragons based/RP games on a regular basis. Casually, I’ve got games of WoW, Icewind Dale, Baldurs Gate 1 and 2 and Dragon Age, which I switch between depending on my mood. Every Wednesday as well, I’m lucky enough to be participating in an RP game of either DC Superheroes or Pathfinder, which is helping me become a better player. It’s even making me think about whether I’d like to run my own game in the future, specifically a Forgotten Realms-based game series. I’d have to take the time to really develop a storyline, as well as learn to be a good GM, but it’s a possibility for the future.

-On the note of gaming: I have finally taken the plunge, and am now the proud owner of a World of Warcraft online account. I had starting contemplating playing WoW online (if I was able to get a subscription) just so I could have a better gaming experience, and give online gaming a go to ensure I have a regular gaming hobby to keep myself entertained around studying and working. Well, it seems that luck was on my side, as Ray and I managed to win a competition at the local shopping centre, where he won a gift voucher to the mall itself! With limited options for what we could actually buy, we decided that we could use this to purchase the WoW games and start our own online accounts (a bit of a present to ourselves for working hard too). Given that the first month is free, we have to make sure we can afford to keep up the online accounts. However, one month accounts to being the same amount of money of my buying two of my Boost smoothies (and I can easily make do with two less of these per month!) Over the weekend, we set our accounts up, and have started in the Earthern Ring world. While most of our friends are on PvP servers, I decided to start in a more RP-based server due to being a beginner, and also because of bad gaming experiences I’ve had before in PvP servers. So far, I am extremely impressed with the Earthern Ring servers. In fact, on one of the first quests I went on in the human starter area (Fargodeep mine), I had a level 90 player offer to help me out. He was just chilling in the mines, and not only did he put some epic spells on me, but he also helped me clear out the mines (and I think he may have given me money too while we were “grouping” together). This really had an impact on me: considering I was so afraid of gaming online because of the terrible players I’ve been attacked by before, it was so refreshing having players who were willing to help. I hope when I get a character that is of a higher level, I can do the same for newbies. I do know that there will be bad/douchebag players, and I will have to deal with them one day, but I know that there are good players out there who will help out. So, overall, I’m having an awesome experience playing WoW online so far, it’s serving as a hobby I can use to “wind down” at the end of the day, and I’ll need to try very hard not to get too addicted (similar to what happened to me with the Sims in high school….haha). If any of my friends would like to game with me sometime, feel free to contact me and I’ll give you my details 🙂

-I want to make a mention of my husband this week on the blog. I am so damn proud of him this week, as he’s been able to secure another year of work as a teacher (he has been offered classes 5 days a week for a maternity leave position). I’m so happy for him and how teachers/staff are seeing his potential and looking out for him: even if it’s not permanent work yet, he’s receiving acclaim from the right people to ensure he has some great opportunities for the future. I’m so lucky to be married to such an innovative, talented and enthusiastic teacher.

And that’s it for the past week! Thanks for reading 🙂

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2014-Week 36!

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Well, time for another update! I was aiming to have this posted yesterday, but I was involved with an emergency at work and definitely wasn’t in the mood for finishing this post. Anyway, here it is 🙂

-I’ve had quite a social week over the past few days in particular (which is really something different for me): going out for drinks with work colleagues, 3 family birthday parties ranging from a 1st to 21st birthday celebrations, Father’s Day and lunch catch-ups. Compared to previous weeks where I’ve been at home, cramming in study, I feel like I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone a bit this week and opened up socially. I do feel quite exhausted from all the socialising, but I spent Sunday resting at home being lazy, so it did balance itself out.

-Gym was a bit mediocre this week. I ended up only going for half the time I wanted to, based on juggling all the social events. My step count wasn’t even up to the amounts I managed last week, and my water intake has decreased again. I also wasn’t able to follow the meal plan as accurately, as we ran out of money to be able to purchase specific things for the meal plan. That being said, we still had relatively “healthy” options (minus the Magnum Egos we got because we needed a little treat). The weekend’s social activities and alcohol has managed to make me put on weight, according to my Monday weigh-in…however, they’re going to re-weigh me on Friday to see if it was just the parties which has knocked me around this week.

-I’ve been having issues with my eyes and migraines this week. I think it’s because I’m spending way too much time in front of a computer each day. I spend most of the day at work in front of a computer, and then I’m going home to study in front of a computer, or gaming/watching TV. My eyes have been feeling rather “tired” over the past few weeks (even when I’m wearing my glasses), and I’m really thinking I need to start giving my eyes a rest from technology. I’ve noticed it seems to be a lot better when I go to the gym/give my eyes a break once I get home from work.

-You may have noticed that I put up another blog post last week (yay!) in an aim to start writing more meaningful posts/try writing on a more regular basis about things I’m passionate about. I sat down this week and have made myself a list of topics I hope to write about, and am hoping I’ll get a post from that list up once a fortnight. I will admit that I don’t see myself as much of a writer, especially in comparison to many of my talented friends who blog or write as a career. Since I finished my Journalism degree, my writing has definitely not been at the same standard. However, I don’t want this to stop me from trying to write more. Even if it’s a very simple post on things that make me happy (I’m going to do a post on my top 10 Youtube videos/songs to watch to get out of slump soon), I’m hoping I can express it well enough for others to gain some slight inspiration.

-Over the weekend, I gave myself a confidence boost by dressing in true 50s/60s style for our events on Saturday. Since losing weight, I’m able to fit much better into my Bettie Page green fan-printed skirt, which I wore with a bright purple top, and black fluffy petticoat. I even managed to get my fringe doing some crazy retro style, and it felt really good to be dressed up. I may put a photo up of it somewhere, because I got quite a few compliments and felt really confident. It also helped that my husband decided to coordinate with a matching purple shirt, green tie and converses. So, I’m aiming to definitely dress like this more in the future, and hope to invest in a lot more circle-ish skirts and petticoats. I’ve been eyeing off some Luxite retro earrings, more Ertswilder brooches and some Jubly Umph accessories too, so maybe I’ll give myself a little shopping spree once we’re returned from our honeymoon….

-Hubby and I have started a plan of reading for at least 15 minutes per night before bed, and then telling each other one thing we’ve learned from what we’ve read for that night. So far, I’ve managed to get through one full book with this plan, and it’s only been a few days (so…I did read for 2 hours on night, oops). I really want to keep myself reading, and it helps when we’re both dedicated to it and spending the time reading at the same time. I’ve now got a couple more books lined up, and you can follow my progress on Goodreads (widget on the right-hand side of this page).

-I’ve also decided to make a Tumblr, as many people I follow on Instagram also have Tumblr, and I feel like it’s another good motivational resource to have. I want to really spend some time designing the page (but that may not happen for a few weeks at least), but if you’d like to follow me, you can find me with mrsgingerfox.

That’s about all the updates I have for this week. Hopefully I can get another fun post up this week too. Thanks for reading!

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10 things to consider before reaching a full blown Quarter-Life Crisis

So, I thought I’d write something a bit different on here, based on what I’ve been reflecting on over the past few months.

In less than 6 months, I will turn 25. Many people will say that this is the age to be “discovering yourself” or “starting out in your career”, and that there’s so much opportunity. However, for me, I’ve been so driven and determined to achieve any goals I set myself since I was in primary school. I’ve worked hard to ensure I’ve met my personal and career goals…and whilst I should be enjoying the “starting time” of my working life, I actually feel like I’ve hit a wall, am anxious about the future and am uncertain of what I should be aiming to achieve next. So, I thought I’d share a couple of points which have kept me going through this time of uncertainty, to hopefully ensure I don’t have an equivalent of a quarter-life crisis…

NOTE: I definitely can’t take any credit for thinking these ideas up at all; most have come from the wisdom of some incredible people I get to spend time with, from my Business Coach to family, friends and loved ones.

You are not defined by your career/your career is not your life. This is so hard to actively believe when we spend so much of our lives at work. Most of the time, it can feel like it’s the majority of our day and working week, and everything else is just one the side-line in comparison. However, my Business Coach recently highlighted to me that in reality, work is only a third of each day of the working week.

So, considering we aim to sleep for 8 hours a night, it gives us a full third of our day to do whatever we like to define ourselves. Whether it is hitting the gym, cooking, hobbies, reading…anything! Therefore, I’ve made sure I spend this time doing things I enjoy and am passionate to ensure that I know and appreciate my value outside of an office environment.

Family is so important. I cannot stress this enough. Gone are the days where as a teenager, you’d strive to gain your independence and have time away from family. These people are so valuable, especially for reminding you of how special and important you are. Seeing my family and extended family grow around us has been such a rewarding experience. Even as nieces and nephews grow, and parents get older, you realise how quickly life can pass you by…and how important it is to spend time with these people.

Since being married, I’ve also embraced being a wife, and that my husband and I are now a family unit (with or without kids). We have so much value in being a family, and aim to have as many adventures as we can so we can grow and enrich our life together. Having and being a family both are so important and precious in creating a clear identity for now and the future, and I’m learning very quickly that this definitely should not be placed on the back-burner because of work, finances etc.

Friend networks become larger, but not closer. As a young adult, friends are now not only classified as those that you “hang around” with because you’re studying the same things/doing the same things etc. Your career, family, gym and anything related to life creates branches of extended networking opportunities to meet new people and connect. Hell yes, it’s scary though. Suddenly, you are connected with so many people, yet the types of friendships you had as a teenager (the close BFF types where you’d stay up all night on MSN and discuss every minor detail of life) drift apart, or even drift away. I guess this happens as our priorities change and we have less time to socialise on the same level due to full-time jobs.

Though, something I have learned since graduating from university is that it’s so massively important to be a friend to yourself/love yourself first rather than depending on others to define your importance and value. So, in summary…you’ll have friends from varying different social circles, and it’s ok if the dynamic of the friendships is completely different to those you had 5-10 years ago.

Staying healthy is hard. Whoa…where did that metabolism go that you had in high school? Oh wait, your hormones have sorted themselves out, and you now have to actually be cautious when eating/exercising etc. Now is the time where, naturally, your body seems to stop “growing” and sorts itself out with anything that used to help you stay in shape without actually “doing anything”. That being said, I never was lucky enough to experience this, thanks to being a Type 1 Diabetic and classified as “overweight” since primary school.

Since starting my professional working life, I’ve had some stark health scares and realisations: of course, sitting in an office chair for almost 8 hours a day, then going home to watch tv/play video games is not going to help you stay healthy. So, as anyone following my blog would know, I started a commitment to myself to be as healthy as I can be. Yes, I have Type 1 Diabetes, Coeliac Disease and Necrobiosis Lipoidica Diabeticoruim (a rare skin condition where I get ulcers on my legs for no apparent reason), but these are NOT going to be excuses for me to mope and not make an effort. I’ve joined a gym that fits my lifestyle perfectly (I cannot recommend Curves highly enough for any woman!) and I’m also trying to eat a lot healthier, get my daily water intake and also work on my “mental health”.

Seeing the improvement in my blood sugar levels, as well as the positive changes in my body has been so rewarding. Yes, it’s hard work, and it’s not a “12 week transformation” where I’m getting instant results. But it is results that will be long-term and keep me on track for being a healthier person overall.

-Learning doesn’t stop once you finished university. Keep learning. Ok, so I *technically* haven’t finished university, as I’ve just started postgraduate studies by distance to further my qualifications. However, I’ve learned that it’s so important to keep your brain active. In the results of a personality test I undertook recently, I discovered that one of the things I value the most/am passionate about is a love of learning. It’s good to reflect and remember on how satisfying it was to *finally* understand theories from your university studies, or learning about an entirely new component of a culture that you wouldn’t have discovered otherwise if you weren’t in an academic setting.

For those who aren’t pursuing further tertiary study, I highly recommend to keep trying to learn. If your university has an alumni system that allows you to have a library membership, go for it and keep trying to read journals in your areas of interest. There’s so many opportunities to learn online, such as learning to code, or generic brain training. It’s tempting to continue to switch your brain off from “extra-curricular” learning once you’ve gotten into a stable job that is relatively easy to do on a daily basis…but it’s so enriching to continue to have the drive and initiative to learn.

Keep your mind “happy”. This is on the same note as continuing to learn. Strive to fill your mind with enriching content; things that will keep it active outside of work. Don’t just settle for crappy TV because it allows you to “switch off”: keep a balance between watching some shows to unplug, and watching things that are interactive. For example, I will shamefully admit that I do like to watch the occasional episode of “Winners and Losers” or “Offspring”, however my husband and I also watch “QI” and “Spicks and Specks” every night. Allow yourself to read good, intellectually-stimulating books- don’t settle for “Fifty Shades of Grey” just because everyone in the office has read it and it’s the “next big thing”.

Also, if you’re a casual gamer like myself, ensure that you play thought-provoking or strategic computer games. As much as I think I’d get addicted to games like “Candy Crush” or similar, I love games with good stories or with a D&D setting to allow for a form of escapism. So, in summary: unplug, but don’t allow yourself to become brain-dead.

Don’t bring work home. This is a biggie. My husband and I have a “hug it out” policy when we get home, where we spend however long we need (some days it’s 5 minutes, other times it’s an hour) debriefing about work while having a cuddle. After this, we then aim to not bring up anything work-related for the rest of the evening. It’s not because we don’t care about hearing about what’s happening in each other’s lives, it’s that we like to clearly separate our working and home lives.

Unplug. I really struggle with this one, but it’s related to separating work/our public lives from home/private. For me, this would be not checking work emails out of the office…or first thing in the morning…or before bed…or on holidays. I’m a sucker for constantly checking emails, whether it be for work, personal or uni. Yet, these things have their allocated times when they are important, and shouldn’t need to be constantly on my radar (I mean, how important is it for me to check my emails before I go to bed?! Nothing can be actioned for it anyway until the next day!)

On the same note, I am pretty much constantly hooked into social medial; whether it is Facebook or Instagram. For me, I’m learning that I really need to stop checking these 30-60 min before bed, or even when I first wake up: it’s not needed, and can disrupt any chance of having a good night sleep! It would be even better to not even have my phone in the bedroom, but I don’t think I’m ready for such a commitment yet (I mean…my phone has my alarm on it, so…)

You’re still doing ok, and there’s no need to rush! Sadly, in our current economic situation in Australia, so many people I studied with in my undergraduate degrees have been unable to find employment since they graduated. Hearing how many have had to battle with Centrelink (and with the new government policies aiming to cut off payments for many of these people) is such a reality check as to how it is for most graduates under 30 in the degree areas I studied. I have realised that I am extremely lucky to have landed myself a job straight out of graduating, and in the fields I hope to specialise in…and I definitely need to keep remember this!

While I may not yet be at the exact level or role I aspire to be in to achieve my form of “career enlightenment” or equivalent, realising that I don’t have to rush to get there is important. Considering I’m permanently employed, have awesome super, and a current salary that ensures that we’re making ends meet (even if it’s only just) is something very rare and very lucky for anyone under 25.

And lastly,

-It’s ok to not know where you want to be, or what you want to do, or how you’re going to get there. I’ve been told by so many people recently that they didn’t have a complete idea of the direction they wanted to take until at least after their 30s. Also, that the prime of one’s career is normally around hitting the age of 50. Releasing that I’m absolutely not in the prime of my career, and that I don’t need to know everything for my career at this stage is key in staying sane in a world of uncertainty, economic crisis and job cuts galore (thanks to our government). Focusing on living “in the moment” is key, and valuing where I currently am at life is important. Spending too much time worrying about the future could mean I don’t appreciate my current achievements and celebrate present moments in life.

And there we have it! I haven’t written a decent blog entry/reflective piece in a while, so please excuse my dodgy writing skills. As always, thanks for reading 🙂