Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Weekend Vibes #2

Last week was one heck of a week -- a pretty decent mix of the good, the bad, and the ugly, but with just enough stress and anxiety to tip it into the classification of "difficult".

There are many challenges in being a teacher, but I think one of the biggest ones is when you have students who appear to either not realise or not care about all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes. I can admit that the reason I work 80-hour weeks is that I work slowly -- I'm an anxiety-riddled perfectionist who likes everything to be thought through. I don't expect everything to be perfect, but I expect myself to have done as much as possible for my lessons to have gone as well as possible.

It's not about being the best, it's about being my best.

That's probably why I'm my own worst enemy.

Doing work on mood in class, and this kiddo got it right,
Even still, it well and truly sucks when you have students loudly and obnoxiously question why you've planned things a certain way, and then go on to add that they wished they'd been transferred to another class. All this after you've sought their personal feedback -- actually utilised their right to student agency -- to improve and change the type of work that they're doing.

It's like... glad I stayed up until 2am figuring this out for you, kid.

Like the Pacific Ocean.
Still, there's been plenty to feel good about.

I took a day off work to recharge my batteries. It was actually meant to be a day for me to catch up on all the marking that I still haven't done, but... I am the worst when it comes to marking turnaround times. Still, I did a short 3-minute meditation (usually meditation drives me mental), completed some much-needed house chores and ran some errands. It was a good day, all in all.

Never surprised by the quality of this kiddo's art skills.
I flew up to Sydney on Friday night with my best friend, too, for a Sephora one-day event. Just getting to Sydney was a nightmare an adventure. I found out in the morning that our flight for that night had been cancelled and we'd been booked onto another flight at 6am the next morning. Naturally, I was freaking out because both of us were teaching all day and didn't have time to sit around to try and fix the problem.

Qantas did end up pulling through -- after discovering a wait time of two and a half hours to talk on the phone, I ended up utilising their text message chat service, and ended up getting us what I think were the last two available flights to Sydney! We weren't able to sit next to each other buuuut we also didn't care -- we were on our way to Sydney and not about to lose out on a night's accommodation!

I always appreciate a window seat, especially when I know there's no danger of me needing to pee.
The Sephora event, called School of Sephora, was kinda hit and miss. I think I'd weight it positively overall -- we got a very generous goodie bag and there were plenty of other samples being given out -- but there were also loads of lines to different stalls and booths, and I don't really like waiting in lines when I haven't really anticipated it. My bestie and I decided to call it quits after a couple of hours and head to the farmers market across the road, which was far more easy-going.

Still gettin' all them goods.
Okey dokey, let's now head on to the regular round-up!

Eating recently

I ate some seriously delicious stuff while in Sydney and naturally took no photos of any of it. The Sephora Collection booth at School of Sephora had like a pick-n-mix lolly bar, so I 100% took advantage of that.

This sugar rush from this was insaaaaane!
I bought a delicious cheese at the Carriageworks Farmers Market called "curly red". I tried a sample and it was absolutely delicious, I simply couldn't not buy some. The lady at the stand was talking about how it was a "mixed milk" cheese to a girl who was next to us, but we kind of came in to the tail end of the conversation and I couldn't really pick up a lot of what she was saying. Looking at the packaging, the cheese was mixed milk in that it was part-sheep, part-cow and that it was gin-washed. I don't know what it means for a cheese to be gin-washed, but I have several friends who like gin so I felt excited on their behalf.

It was a tough choice between Bloomy and Curly Red.
My bestie and I also had an amazing fresh apple and raspberry juice -- if you know me, you know that I'm a bit of a picky eater and I'm not one for fruits and such (don't ask me how it is that I'm alive, I genuinely don't know), but it was perfectly refreshing and exactly what we needed.

Just so good on a hot day after a lot of walking around in terrible shoes.
For a late lunch, I think I found my dream restaurant in Merchants of Ultimo in the Broadway shopping centre. It looked so cool, with different stations for pastries, pizza, pasta, burgers... Ooh, I was loving every moment! I really wish that there was one back home because I'd be there every other weekend to try everything on that menu. I was particularly impressed by the "build your own pasta" menu, which offered a selection of pasta and sauce varieties to which you could add little extras. I did ask for a ravioli carbonara with mushrooms, and then was told by the waitress that it would be difficult "to mix the pasta and the sauce together", so I switched to squid-ink fettucini at the waitress' recommendation.

My dish did take a while to come out -- we made the usual-style joke about the chef going out to catch the squid for the ink -- but it was delicious. Do I think it would have worked with the ravioli? Yes, I do. I didn't think the sauce was so thick that it wouldn't mix, but then what do I know?

Menu @ Merchants. Photo credit: My bestie.

Reading recently

I've really put in extra effort to listening to Murder in a Nunnery and it's gotten quite good! It goes to show that it's only really worth listening to something if you're in the mood for it, otherwise you're unable to focus and you'll miss parts. I think I have perhaps 10 minutes left on the audiobook; I can't wait to return it, it'll be a true sense of accomplishment!

I brought along two books for the plane ride to Sydney, just to give myself a little choice, and I got about 60 pages or so in on Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood on the plane ride over. It's one of the Book Club books that my students are doing, and I borrowed it from my public library because there weren't enough copies for me. I was glad for it, in the end. I persisted in finishing the book on the plane ride back to Melbourne, and it wasn't exactly my cup of tea. I'm not quite sure that it's a book I would have been thrilled to have bought.

I'll just read this gorgeous coffee table book next time.
...After I get a coffee table.

Watching recently

There hasn't been a great deal of time to watch anything this week. It's been RuPaul's Drag Race UK, Season 6 of Below Deck while I've been planning at home and a little of Season 1 of Below Deck to introduce my bestie to it. I think I did attempt to watch a little of The Golden Girls, but I ended up napping.

Re-watching "Below Deck" has been interesting -- to me, there have been several unlikeable people on the show, and their sense of entitlement makes me feel like I'm back at work dealing with students who think they're owed respect that they have not earned at all. I don't know, perhaps it's always been a problem and I'm only really seeing it now.

This park is maybe as far from the high seas as you can get. Kinda.

Listening to recently

Podcasts have once again been the main source of audio input this week, though I've been moving more towards The Good Place: The Podcast, as well as a couple of other little bits and pieces from other shows that I've been getting through just so that I can delete them from my list.

I did also start listening to Office Ladies, the podcast by Angela Kinsey and Jenna Fischer on the TV show The Office, and I downloaded episode three for the plane ride. I also misplaced my headphones, so I got to listen to about 20 minutes of it on Saturday evening when I decided to go to Starbucks (!!!) and borrowed my bestie's. I really enjoy these kinds of podcasts; I love to learn all those extra behind-the-scenes tidbits that you used to only get with director commentary on a DVD.

Early evening walk to Starbuck + podcasts + photos of Old Sydney = lovely.
So that's a wrap on my week! I still have so many things that I have to do, and so, so quickly (ugh), but I'll pull through.

I suppose I'd like to know: what's something delicious that you've eaten this week? Let me know!

This post was brought to you by a woman who knows that's a Tuesday, thus, not the weekend, but whatever, she's tired.

Monday, 28 October 2019

Weekend Vibes #1

As the iconic Vanessa Vanjie Mateo once said...

Bitch, I'm back!
Same girl, new glasses.
Well, let's be real, who knows whether or not I'm back regularly? While I have tried to come back to blogging behind the scenes and have stopped and started many, many posts, it has been a really eventful, life-changing, difficult two and a half years.

Before I get started on that, however, I'd firstly like to give a shout-out to Charlotte of By Charlotte Ann, who gave me the A-OK to use her Sunday Share post structure. Her blog is leaps and bounds above mine, so it's incredibly kind of her to let me use it.

Okay. Let's keep shuffling on.

So I'm a teacher now! That interview I went to in my last blog post? Turns out I was successful! I landed my first full-time teaching gig aaaaaand my mental health took the biggest battering it has truly ever taken. I've learned some really difficult life lessons in a really difficult way, but ultimately I've grown a lot -- there's something to be said for that.

Where I am now, I'd say I'm generally a lot happier. The job isn't any easier and I've certainly had my fair share of frustrations, but I've made a lot of positive strides and I can feel myself improving all the time.
Sometimes teaching involves bright, beautiful exemplars and sometimes it's just sleep-deprived ramblings on sticky notes.

Eating recently

I recently bought a three-month subscription to Zenpop's Ramen Pack, so I've eaten a couple of the ramen packets in that. I think my favourite so far has been the very first one I tried, QTTA Tomato Cheese Cream Ramen. It was absolutely ~delicious~ and it's the kind of thing that I could eat again and again. I think the sign of a good instant cup noodle is whether or not you can finish the soup, and this soup was delicious.
So many delicious packets of noodles.

Reading recently

I have so many books on the go, it's actually ridiculous. I run a book club with my Year 7 class and I'm meant to keep up reading the books that they're reading, but to be honest... it's been challenging, and at the moment I haven't been able to do it.

I have been pacing myself with the student texts for this term, which are Holes by Louis Sachar and Trash by Andy Mulligan. Both are books that I've read before, so there's nothing new for me there. I have attempted to listen to an audiobook -- Murder in a Nunnery by Eric Shepherd -- while I'm in the car driving to and from work. I think I'm technically about 65% through it, but I know that there are times when I've zoned out and missed parts of the story. I don't mind audiobooks, but I do find it difficult to always give them my full attention.
Here's an irrelevant picture of a mug that I'm loving at the moment.

Watching recently

I really enjoy watching TV, though there are so many shows out there that it's hard to keep up with everything, especially when work becomes super hectic. That being said, I always make time for two shows: The Good Place and RuPaul's Drag Race UK. "The Good Place" is hilarious, and such the perfect little break on a Friday night -- I'm kinda sad that this is the last season! It is absolutely the type of show that I would buy on DVD.

"RuPaul's Drag Race UK" is the first season of the original flagship show from the US. I tend to enjoy a British sense of humour but I like to keep my humour clean -- sometimes what these queens have to say is filthier than the Thames was just before it caught fire. My favourite contestants so far have been Sum Ting Wong, Baga Chipz and Vivina de Campo. Sum Ting Wong was eliminated on this week's episode, however, so I'm a little bit sad about that.

Terrace House: Opening New Doors has also been something I've been watching a lot of during the last few weeks. If you haven't heard of Terrace House at all, then you need. to. get. on. it. It's essentially a show about nothing, but it's so entertaining. Six strangers -- three men, three women -- move into a house together, they're given a couple of cars so that they can get to where they need to get to, and the whole thing is filmed. There's also a host of panellists who kind of watch along the show with you, which is what makes the show so unique. The Opening New Doors season is the third on Netflix outside of Japan, the first being Boys and Girls in the City followed by Aloha State; you don't need to watch them in order by any means, but the panellists do sometimes refer to events that happen in the earlier seasons, and it's nice to have the context.

This weekend I've also binge-watched Season 5 of Below Deck, which is an incredibly entertaining reality TV show about the yachting industry. The types of experiences that the guests have is certainly something that I'll never be able to have, and the absolute drama between the crew is almost positively delicious. It's kinda like that Gia Gunn meme, y'know?

Source unknown.

Listening to recently

I've become a massive podcast fiend over the last few years, going from having maybe six or seven podcasts that I subscribed to... to having over 130. Yup. It's become a problem. I'm don't regularly listen to all of them -- I genuinely don't think there would be enough hours in the week -- so what I listen to kind of depends on what I'm in the mood for.

Unsurprisingly, I've been listening to several Terrace House podcasts lately -- though after I finished Opening New Doors, I went online and checked on some of my favourite people... and when I kind of saw what I hoped I wouldn't (it's truly not as dramatic as it sounds), my desire to listen to anything Terrace House-related was immediately extinguished. Perhaps I just need some space for a little bit before I go back to it...

Still, my favourite podcasts are No Script At All, Tourist House and Tadaima. I'm subscribed to several more besides these, but these are my favourite at the moment.

So thaaaaaaat's pretty much it for now! I guess I'd like to know: what podcasts are you listening to at the moment?

This post was brought to you by a woman who has truly reverted back to Padawan status.

Friday, 27 January 2017

The Actual Diary Bit Vol. 5 | 16th Jan to 22nd Jan

Monday, January 16th || I had my interview today! I had to drive for about half an hour or so to get to the place, but I don't mind this because it's far enough from where I live that I shouldn't be running into anyone outside of work hours. It's awkward when it happens. I think the interview went as well as it could have, all things considered -- I'm not confident that I'll get the job by any means, but I don't think I completely tanked. I went to the library afterwards, met up with my brothers there and kept reading Brooklyn, which has been the next book on my Reading Challenge list. That ending. :| Another little piece of info: I was asked by another place to come in for an interview! Even if I'm unsuccessful at all these places, it'll be great experience.

Post-interview ramen.
Tuesday, January 17th || Wanted to blog, but was just not feeling it! I did some laundry, made some chocolate croissants again -- only eight this time, though -- and, despite the 38 degree heat, huddled up on the couch with a blanket because the air con was turned up so high. I've been watching cop shows lately on Netflix, and I ended up napping while one of them was on. What is it with me and napping lately? I should find out tomorrow whether or not I've gotten the job that I had an interview for yesterday. I don't think I have, because one of my referees told me she'd message me if anyone called her, and I haven't heard a peep.

Oh well!
Look at that warm, chocolatey, croissanty goodness.
Wednesday, January 18th || Didn't end up hearing anything about the job, but I guess that's to be expected to a degree. They always take a long time at these things. I was also hoping that some of my stickers from Etsy might arrive -- two orders were shipped out on the same day last week, but I only got one yesterday. Even so, no luck for me!

Etsy goodness!
Thursday, January 19th || It was another uneventful day for me. I did a whole lot of housework and I prepared for the interview I have tomorrow. I had cop shows playing throughout the day again, but at least I didn't nap as well! I had work as well that evening, so I couldn't afford to sleep and be late. To include a little makeup talk (because I really have nothing else!), I used the Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette. I'm getting a little bored of the palettes that are in my rotation so I'll have to change it up soon.

Friday, January 20th || The day of my second interview! I thought it went alright, and I was told that they wanted to make a decision by the end of the day, possibly early next week if things slowed down. I figured I might hear back next week, considering I haven't heard back from the first place, but I found out two hours after my interview that I didn't get the job. That being said, they gave me really good feedback, and I think the experience will just make me better prepared for future interviews, you know?

Post-interview karaage.
Saturday, January 21st || Today marked a momentous occasion! I introduced my mother to How to Get Away with Murder and she absolutely loves it. I haven't finished the first season yet, but we binge-watched the first half and the only reason why we didn't keep going after midnight was that I have work at 8am tomorrow! Hopefully we'll get to watch some more tomorrow after my shift ends.

Sunday, January 22nd || Had a long, uneventful shift at work today. I've begun thinking that I might need to cut down on the length of my Sunday shifts. It will mean needing to pick up another shift in order to keep my contract, but my back seems to get worse after so long on my feet. It can take a day or two to clear up, so it's something that I have to think about.

Some kind of delicious chicken pasta dish Mum made from leftovers!
Anyway, that's what I got up to in the previous week! I want to know: Have you watched any good TV shows lately? I'll run out of things on Netflix eventually!

This post was brought to you by a woman who ate a lot of tasty food.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

The Actual Diary Bit, Vol. 4 | 9th Jan to 15th Jan

Monday, January 9th || Monday was a good, busy day, blogwise. I'd spent the night before making a To Do list, at the top of which was editing a whole heap of photos. I got that done, and managed to fix up a couple of posts, but I forgot to hit "Publish"! Oh well. I didn't get as much social networking done as I'd wanted, as we had someone come round to the house to fix our aircon system.

I won a giveaway over Christmas and I received my goods!
Tuesday, January 10th || What a day! It was so hot overnight that I couldn't sleep, so by 4am I decided to just stay up and maybe nap at lunchtime. As it happened, I passed out at 7.30am and was forced awake at 10.30am by my phone ringing. Man oh man, was I tired! I then had to make up a shopping list and go grocery shopping -- the whole thing took three hours to do, and I was not happy. I've offered to cook tomorrow, which I hope will kind of lift my spirits a little bit!

Wednesday, January 11th || I feel like I didn't achieve very much today! I wasn't exactly feeling 100% great, and it turned into light nausea by the afternoon. I don't know what's causing it -- perhaps all the yoghurt I've been eating lately? I had a nap around noon. I love napping, honestly, but I get so mad when I do because then I feel like I've wasted time, which I do not love. I crocheted a little bit, and I decided to make "American-style" burgers for dinner. What. A. Failure. They tasted good, but they fell apart. Le sigh.

A delicious, delicious fail.
Thursday, January 12th || Today I woke up at 5am, made breakfast for myself at 7, and then promptly went back to sleep for a few hours. It was another one of those days where I didn't achieve a great number of things but was still productive. The weather is beginning to turn; it was nice enough, sunny and all, but not hot by any means. My family ordered pizza for dinner while I went to work -- which is odd, because I thought my brother was supposed to be cooking? Also, I did a bad thing: I ordered the Violet Voss Ride or Die eyeshadow palette. $140. Sheeeeez.

I did a bad thing.
Friday, January 13th || Went to the doctor today! That sounds so much more exciting than it was, but the doctor gave me some medicine for some reflux I've had lately. I also found out that some stickers I ordered from Black Wombat AU on Etsy had arrived yesterday, so I spent today putting them into my diary! The stickers I ordered were for public holidays, as well as school term weeks -- just cute, handy stickers to have!

Cute, adorable planner stickers!
Saturday, January 14th || Today I was meant to prepare for an interview that I have next week. I did a little preparation, but then I went back to what seems to be a favourite past time lately -- napping. I also started watching A Series of Unfortunate Events with my family. I've enjoyed it so far; I was worried that Neil Patrick Harris wouldn't make for a convincing Count Olaf, but he's done a decent job.

Sunday, January 15th || Work again today! Had my regular long shift, and afterwards I got to see my grandparents -- always nice -- and then I began preparing for my interview tomorrow. I'm not sure that I did as much as I should have. There is only so much I can do, considering that I've only had one interview in the past. Even if I don't get this job, however, I still have work lined up for me once the school year starts, so there's plenty for me to be thankful for.

Actual photo of me checking my bank account after the events of this week.
Source: Kanahei Account phone app.
That's all that I got up to in the last week! I want to know: What was the tastiest thing you ate over the last week? Maybe it was something bought, maybe it was at a restaurant, or perhaps you made it yourself! I'm getting hungry.

This post was brought to you by a woman who has almost zero kitchen finesse.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Lip Monthly | December 2016 (The Final One)

Here it is, guys: my final Lip Monthly post ever. Granted, I've not been the best at posting about my deliveries, what with the hectic year I had last year, but as I'm pretty happy with what I received in my final bag, I may as well give a service overview too, right?

Lip Monthly: December 2016

The December bag for Lip Monthly was a deep blue with sky blue scribbly stars smattered across it. To me, it kind of gives the impression of a wintery cold evening, which fits with US weather at the moment. It has a kind of plastic-y scent, and the product card was kind of stuck to the inside, but that's been pretty typical of the last few bags I've received.

Lip Monthly December 2016

Inside the December bag was:

  • City Color Cosmetics Lip Gloss with Argan Oil - "Girl Next Door" || This looks like a peachy nude gloss which may contain just the slightest amount of shimmer in it. I think it's a great shade for both summer and winter.
  • Cougar Beauty Mineral Lipstick - "Sangria" || What looks like a deeper mulberry-toned lipstick, it's actually more of a raspberry that I think a lot of people with different skin tones will find wearable. This type of shade is a typical choice for the spring, but I'll probably wear it all year round. It seems you can't buy these lipsticks individually, but in a full set of 5 shades.
  • Crazy Rumours Hibiskiss - "Tropical" || I kind of don't know what to make of this! To me, it's your standard lip balm, but it's marketed as a "lip colour" -- and one that's hibiscus flavoured at that. When was the last time someone ate a hibiscus? If Google is to be believed, it's eaten quite often in China and India, so surely it's gotta be tasty. It has a bit of a medicinal scent that I find off-putting, like whenever I receive anything "cherry flavoured", but it doesn't linger on the lips.
  • Chapstick Total Hydration Conditioning Lip Scrub || Make no bones about it, I love Chapstick. Other than Maybelline Baby Lips, I have not found a more reliable lip balm on the market. I'm particularly excited about this lip scrub because my lips do like to dry out if I don't have a balm handy, even in the summertime -- and it's peppermint flavoured, which I cannot get enough of!
Lip Monthly December 2016 swatches

Price: $12.95 US
Lip Monthly Bag Value: $25.57 US

Overall, I'm happy with December's bag. This was the first month where all the products I received were lip products -- there's usually one that marketed as being lip and/or blush item, typically -- so it makes me a happy camper. Checking out their Facebook page, apparently they had some issues with this bag where they had to change products quickly; perhaps that explains why the bag value is so low, as in the past they've been worth twice as much.

Lip Monthly December 2016 products

Service Overview
From memory, I think September's bag was the only one that left me feeling unhappy; excepting that month, I've been really happy with everything I've received! The December 2016 is, however, my last Lip Monthly bag. I received a twelve month subscription for Christmas in 2015, and I chose not to receive another. While I have really enjoyed Lip Monthly and the products I've received, I have an insane number of lip products now -- I really don't need more! Being in Australia, the bags usually got their way to my towards the end of the month; this one made it to me just after New Year's.

If you're a hoarder lover of lip products like me, Lip Monthly is a fantastic service and you'll love it. If you're getting into makeup and want to build your lip collection, or if, like me, you live in Australia and want to get your paws on a few different brands, it's also for you. There are so many brands out there that I didn't know existed, and it's been fun trying them out!

Do you have any beauty box subscriptions? Are there any you're thinking of trying out? Let me know!

This post was brought to you by a woman who has over 300 lip products. Seriously, it's a problem.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

The Actual Diary Bit, Vol. 3 | 2nd Jan to 8th Jan

Monday, January 2nd || What a way to kick off the new year!! I decided at 12.30am that it would be a great idea to look for some stickers on Etsy for my planner -- and I kept browsing and adding stuff to my cart until almost 5am. I knew it was time to shut the laptop and go to sleep when I heard my brother's work alarm go off. It was also Mama Bear's birthday today, so my stepdad cooked everyone a nice breakfast and we all gave our gifts to her throughout the day. I bought her a few Korean skincare items that I recently introduced her to -- essence and sheet masks -- from a Korean beauty shop in the city, as well as a Sephora voucher. Mama Bear tried her first sheet mask yesterday, and I'm so glad that she enjoyed it -- although, if she hadn't, I just would've kept the masks for myself!

My new desk calendar!
Tuesday, January 3rd || I feel like I had one of those days where I didn't do very much. I woke up with a cold, so it really slowed me down. I worked on a couple of posts for a little bit, but mostly I think I played Kim Kardashian: Hollywood on my phone. I re-downloaded it, after having played it for months and lost my save progress -- twice. First world problems, y'know?

Wednesday, January 4th || Today was another day where I achieved much without doing too much -- if that makes sense! I went out and picked up some really cheap yoghurt, did four loads of washing and folded it all, and I worked more on the blog! I'm trying to be a little more active in my writing, so that I can hopefully have a few posts banked up for when school goes back and I begin to get more work.

When you're sick, watching Pokémon YouTube videos is the way to go.
Thursday, January 5th || I made chocolate croissants for the first time today! I cheated, of course, by using ready-made puff pastry, but I experimented with different kinds of chocolate -- some were dark, some were milk, and some were Nutella! A sheet of pastry yielded about four croissants; I think I made about 40 all up! They were really delicious, but oh boy were they filling. With three brothers and a stepfather, though, I don't think they'll see the end of tomorrow. I also ordered a whole heap of stickers from Etsy to decorate my planner with!

Friday, January 6th || As predicted yesterday, only three croissants remained when I got up this morning. What in the what? Unless I'm working, Friday tends to be Library Day, where I go and hang out for a few hours to work on whatever it is that needs my attention -- today it was the blog! One of the reasons I enjoy going to the library is because it's a prime spot for Pokémon GO. The GPS can't quite pin down where I am, so I can sit at a desk for a few hours and my little avatar just walks around while it tries to find exactly where I am! I know, I know, it's cheating -- but I wanna find a Pichu, and soon, dangit!

Look at Pichu! IT'S SO CUTE! (Source.)
Saturday, January 7th || Today was a pretty relaxed day. I wrote out a job application, and went to work on a few more blog posts, and I napped -- a lot. I think I must have had three or four naps throughout the day! Not even 25 yet, and I'm already like my grandpa.

Sunday, January 8th || I had work today! It wasn't too bad, honestly; it was really hot outside but my work is always really cold, so it was pretty nice -- I wore a jumper! I started reading Jane Austen's Persuasion, which is causing me to try and work out if a Reading Challenge I found recently is worth attempting... Perhaps it is! I also made a wonderful, wonderful discovery: I discovered Pentatonix's cover of "Jolene" featuring Dolly Parton, and I love it. It's magic in my ears, I tell you!

A few of the Kylie Cosmetics holiday collection items.
That's all I got up to in the past week! I want to know: What was your greatest achievement in the last week? Perhaps you marathonned a TV show, tried a new recipe that really worked -- or maybe you just bought yourself some cool socks! Who doesn't love socks, am I right?

This post was brought to you by a woman who just really, REALLY wants a Pichu.

Friday, 6 January 2017

That Personal Update | A Check-in on my 2016 Goals

It's been really busy over here in my personal world.

I finished my Masters degree in June. I was completely mentally burnt out, so I went on holiday for a while. I started working two jobs in October, and it got to the point where I was working six days a week, sometimes both day and night.  There wasn't a whole lot of time for so much as thinking about Diary of a Beauty Padawan, let alone planning posts and taking photos.

Yes, I got the date wrong. Shhh.
I made the following goals at the start of last year:
  1. Vary the content that I churn out
  2. Post regularly -- ideally, at least twice a week
  3. Participate in regular blog chats on Twitter
  4. Inject more personality into my Facebook page
  5. Increase my viewership
Honestly speaking, I didn't achieve any of these.

In some respects, it's been kinda hard: my 2016 blogging goals had already been thrown out of the window by the end of March, so the struggle to try and stay relevant recently has felt like a bit of a futile task. It got to the point where I seriously considered shutting the blog down, because what was the point of keeping it around if I couldn't write anything?

After a long, hard chat with myself, I've decided to keep the blog around, but I'm going to take it really easy. I don't have the time or energy to keep up with all the blogs that are out there, and I'm not very aggressive in promoting my own, either. As long as I don't lose sight of why I began to blog in the first place, and ensure that it doesn't turn into a chore, I should be able to have some fun no matter what the future throws in my way.

That's essentially what blogging is all about, isn't it?

This blog post was brought to you by a grown woman who spent the day in her PJs.