Hiatus Update | What’s Been Happening

Hey guys! I know it’s been a while, and thank you all so much for your patience! I’ve been working on getting better, and then…stuff happens. But I’m working behind the scenes on finishing some of my series of posts, so here’s an update!


My Personal Life

Of course, I’ll get the negative out of the way. Towards the end of April, my partner tested positive for COVID-19. This meant self-isolating and dealing with being shut inside for a while. Throughout the quarantine period, we were asymptomatic, but if he hadn’t taken a lateral flow test on a whim, we’d have been none the wiser, and we’d be walking around while being infectious. We took the necessary precautions and let everyone that we’d been in contact know about the results, and they all tested negative thankfully. But it’s surreal, all of this time we’d assumed that we’d probably already had it but been asymptomatic, but here we are. I’m just thankful for Connor’s friends and our families that have rallied around at this time.

It’s important that y’all wear masks, get vaccinated if allowed, and get tested. Our current barriers for vaccination here in the UK is that we’re still too young for the roll-out, and we don’t have any underlying conditions.

On another note, I was supposed to ring up the doctors to get a knee problem looked at, so I might need surgery in the future! That’s gonna wait a while now.

Overall, just before the quarantine, my mental health was starting to get better. Being able to have different outlets has helped, and I’ve basically been binging on NerdECrafter videos for the longest time. Watching livestreams has helped as well, as much as I am a lurker!


My Work & Hobbies

I’ve barely touched the blog of late, and it’s been great not having to stress over it. We did reach 3,000 views though, so thank you so much for your love! Blog updates and posts will be live shortly, I just need to rework my schedule and get everything done. Because of ‘rona, it’s taking longer than I’d have liked, but here we are.

Wax melt production is on hiatus, of course! As we were in quarantine, we’d have loved to have made them, but we couldn’t risk contamination.

I did get around to doing some artwork, as I got some new art supplies shortly before and during quarantine, so I’m buzzed to get some stuff done at long last, even if it is just a few sketches.


The Blog

There will be some minor changes to the blog. From next week I will be carrying on with my remaining Gym Teams and Top 10 posts, every Monday and Wednesday. My Doctor Who and Fairy Tail posts will be every fortnight starting from around July-ish, who knows? At this point, I’m not entirely focused on those, but they will be making an appearance in the future.


Take care guys, and I’ll see you next week!

A Day in the Life | March 2021

Hey guys! I’ve done a similar post before about my usual pre-work morning routine, so I thought I’d take you through the entire day. Of course, I do different things depending on my partner’s work shifts, so we’ll just assume that he’s at work for these – I tend to have a set routine for when he’s at work during the days.


Unfortunately, I’m terrible at waking up early in the morning! I usually set an alarm for 7am, and just go straight back to sleep. It takes me a few attempts, but I usually get up between 9 and 10am, which I’m trying to fix. I immediately clean my face, brush teeth and go for a shower. Yes, I do this every day, even right down to washing my hair. I’ve discussed it before, but my hair gets greasy and itchy if I leave it long enough, and even my hairdresser has recommended to wash it daily because of this. Normally I just shampoo with L’Oreal Elvive Dream Lengths, with some Aussie conditioner on the ends if I feel like it. Then it’s down to the regular wash and shave, and I’m usually out of the bathroom within 20 minutes.

I usually get ready in my office, that way I can check my socials and get work prepped as I get ready. On days where I decide to go outside (which are few and far between), I check my socials via my phone instead, and leave the computer off. My hair, even though it’s shorter than usual, still takes at least three hours to fully dry, and ends up wavy, so I use my Neutech Touch Me hairdryer, which I bought while in Lisbon, and is the best hairdryer I’ve ever had. It dries my hair super-quick, and leaves it straight to the point where I don’t need a set of straighteners.


Right onto work, and I usually play some videos to catch up with my subscriptions, and also load up Spotify for music. I usually end up forgetting about food, or have something small on hand to snack on. I usually prepare a Sneak for the day, to make sure I can stay mentally focused. And then I get to it! I like to plan out my day ahead, as well as the week in advance if it’s a Monday. I recently purchased a ‘To-Do Book’ so I don’t have to keep wasting my notebook pages for that. I mean, I have 13 notebooks to use up, so… The to-do list also includes posts that I want to finish over the course of the week, so that I stay on schedule. My biggest goal is to stay abour three weeks ahead, because I’ve been planning and writing to make sure I get to take a break come April!

If writing for the blog doesn’t take my fancy, I usually look at my literary works that I have ongoing, to see if I can think of any ideas. If not, then it’s looking at the plans for Miss Lola’s Scents!


Often I become a bit tired at around 4pm, so I end up heading to bed and scrolling through my phone as a bit of rest, before giving in and actually going for a nap. I usually feel terrible for it, but it happens. I end up going into the living room, load up the Switch and do some shiny hunting on Sword/Shield while cooking food. Sometimes it’s something simple like chicken strips and chips, other times I’m making stir-frys. I’m the quick-eats kind of person, so I like to have frozen stir-fry vegetables ready to go, the sauces and the chicken. Sometimes I have haslet, one time I combined haslet and sliced hot dogs for a chow mein stir-fry – that was a nice change! We recently got a new wok, so anything goes at this point!

I do also have moments when I go on a massive cleaning spree, usually involving taking the trash out to the chute and sorting the recycling into different piles and bags to take downstairs.


Connor usually comes home from work at 6.50pm, we usually eat together, he showers and goes to bed. I end up playing on the Switch some more, or just watch videos and streams until I feel that it’s time for bed, usually some time before midnight nowadays.

The Things I Haven’t Missed About Travelling

Hey guys! It’s been a while since I talked travel, and considering the current circumstances in the UK, it’ll be a while before I dust off my suitcases. With that being said, we tend to glorify travel as this amazing experience, btu there are a lot of downsides to it.

So I’m going to go through the things that I don’t particularly miss about travelling.


Beggars and Street Sellers

This is one of my biggest pet peeves as a traveler. I don’t mind the people that go busking and do performances and sell CDs, but every time I’ve been in a larger city (like Nottingham or Birmingham), I have always been approached for change, or if I want to buy a product or service. It’s not like where in Scunthorpe, you’re rarely approached by people asking for money, but in the big cities, especially when I went to Manchester back in 2017, it was a huge problem. And because I get social anxiety, especially when I’m approached by others, it’s even more of a problem for me.

The scariest example was in Lisbon, on my way home from work. I’d been in the country for around three weeks at most, and was just getting to grips with the general everyday language. A guy comes up and (I presume, he was speaking Portuguese) asked for money. I explained (in English of course) that I didn’t understand what he was saying because I’m not fluent in Portuguese. He started shouting, I got scared, and I literally ran for the hills. It was pretty terrifying.


Flying

As much as I love travelling in general, I’m not the greatest flier. I don’t get to fly too often, and my first experience with flying was when I was 17. I mean, it was uneventful, but still. I hadn’t had the chance as a child to get used to the feeling of flying. I suppose having a more comfortable seating arrangement would make things easier, but at the same time that’s not going to help much. I usually prefer trains as a mode of transport anyway. And yeah, I don’t exactly like turbulence anyway, but who does?


The Expenses

Because of our living expenses, we actually haven’t had a night away from home since July 2019 (for Connor’s birthday), and that was because afterwards we looked for a place to move in together, and we wanted to sort out those expenses. I did also book a hotel for what would have been the Pokemon GO Safari Zone in Liverpool, but due to worrying about expenses, I decided to cancel, and then the pandemic happened anyway. But it’s been great that we’ve been able to get by without worrying about having extra money set aside to go on trips, whether it be a day trip or a mini-break. I love city breaks, and I miss having the reset, but I don’t miss how much it costs! I mean, we get a hotel, we pay for the transport, we always eat out, we shop in shops that we don’t have in Scunthorpe (which is a lot, actually), and sometimes we go out to the pub for a couple of drinks if it’s a special occasion, or we do different activities.


The Stress

I feel that, especially with international travel, there’s a lot of build-up and stress in the run-up to the event. I remember being stressed as hell for the Dublin trip, definitely the Berlin trip, and for Lisbon, because the latter I was actually figuring out moving stuff. I think that the more you travel, the less you worry about things because you’re more acclimated to it. But I always make sure to keep some form of checklist so that I can pin down what I need to do next.


Finding Time To Work

Let’s face it – because I’m doing a lot of work from home, it’s a bit clear that I’d be taking my work with me when I travel, especially when writing about my travels. It’s not something I’ve had to do recently, especially with lockdown making it so that I have to find a lot of things to do, and this is why I’ve managed to get a lot of projects lined up, as well as the strengths this blog and my literature writing has come.

I’d want to be spending all of my down time working, and I feel it’d be more along the lines of writing down the events of the day or the different places I’ve visited.

For the past year, it’s been hard for me to take breaks from writing, and it shows.


Okay, this list has made me want to travel all the more. In spite of the things I miss, I feel that the benefits far outweigh the negatives for me.

Romantic Mishaps | Storytime

Hey guys! It’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow, so I thought I’d overshare my romantic life a little bit! As someone that’s only been in two relationships in their lifetime, I don’t have many dating stories. However, there have been some other mishaps involving crushes and other people. I wasn’t the most popular person at school – in fact, because I wasn’t the most attractive person, I was hated there even more than Hitler, so that goes to show.

Let’s go down this rabbit hole of trauma. There are trigger warnings for underage sexual abuse. Names have been changed.


I used to have this best friend, Tom. We were pretty much tight-knit from the time we started school, and we’d always end up in this on-off relationship-type-thing. The other issue was the form of a girl, Helen. As much as Tom was a best friend from the off, Helen was the bitter, nasty rival. If Tom wasn’t calling me his girlfriend, he’d be with Helen, and that caused a lot of friction, as you can understand. In the end, me and Helen came to a mutual understanding and became low-key friends, and then we started secondary school.

So we were 11, and me and Tom had just started dating, as he’d asked me out. However, it was in the loosest of terms, honestly. At the same time, I’d started being preyed on by these boys who were about 13-14. Basically, unwarranted groping on their part. I kept telling them to stop, and that I had a boyfriend, but when they pressed Tom, he denied it. So he basically allowed them to torment me, and I became so scared of them. And I ended things with Tom. He stated that he wanted the relationship to be a secret, but it didn’t justify his actions. He then claimed to have dumped me, which is laughable.

Needless to say, I haven’t spoken with Tom in about ten years or so.


I often had a myriad of crushes, but I was still just a teenager, really. The first one, I will admit I did get a bit much, as first crushes happen. He was Lyle, and we got along until I fancied him. I mean, I thought he was cute. I wasn’t the only one – my friend Ellie fancied him too, and dumped his cousin for him. So I did what any lovestruck near-teenager would do, and tried to sabotage it. In the end, I was hugely pressured to ask him out at the end of the school year, bearing in mind I’d already asked him out, and I was pestered about this all lunch break.


Another guy I sorta liked ripped up a Christmas card I’d made for him. Yeah that definitely made sure that I’d go nowhere near him. Later on in life, his dad (I think, or a family member) ended up teaching me in my degree, so that’s something else entirely. I ended up becoming the dependable one, and as well as Student Representative, I ended up as a Representative on the Board of Studies, and we always used to talk about the gym. Eat that karma, Josh!


Around the same time as that last one, I remember a few guys that would team up to pretend that they were interested in me romantically. So to shut one of them up I said yes, but obviously it wasn’t really a relationship, because neither of us were interested, really. So he got someone else to ‘dump’ me after two days, and that same afternoon tried asking me out again. It was really weird.


A different guy, Frank, I started to like after we actually started getting along. It had been rumoured for a while, but I told one of my ‘friends’, and by the end of the day it had gone around to the entire year group, as it does. It definitely had its knock-on effects though – I was told he was already with someone, which fair, I left it alone. But nobody else could – he suddenly had a girl, Natalie, flirting with him at any moment purely because I liked him, his best friend took every opportunity possible to call me out, even when I wasn’t doing anything, everyone literally pressured me to hug him, and yet I was the one that was hated. Trust me, it didn’t take me long to get over that one after that huge fallout.


I had smaller crushes, and other crushes I confused with admiration, such as a guy I was good friends with, who ended up being my second kiss (I was dared to kiss him, and it was a quick peck), and even through badgering and a confession, he didn’t hold that against me. But we also clashed heavily, we had messy arguments, pressure from friends, and when we left school I knew it was time to put that aside and just be friends, because I knew how toxic it was getting. Outside of school, we were perfectly fine, until he asked me to talk dirty to him and then said I had an attitude problem because I refused.


Two guys from my Media class took my attention through first year of sixth form – Luke and Brendon. Luke was more from an admiration standpoint, where he was this cool musician. But he was an arse, otherwise I could have fancied him. Brendon I liked a bit more, but I let it go once I found out he had a girlfriend. In the end, we actually bonded over my music tastes, which was pretty nice. I found a lot of different bands through his influence. I had a friend who I talked to about pretty much everything, and I told her about him, she added him on Facebook (why) and he thought I was talking to her about him all the time, and that it was creepy. In my defense, I talked about everyone, she just took it the wrong way.


The one that had the biggest impact was Drake. Drake was a group member in one of our major projects (you’ve seen this, I did a storytime about this). Even now, I can think of everything that charmed me. I was approaching my 18th birthday, he was 20. It was kind of a slow build, but the feelings were more intense than I’d ever felt at the time. Did I love him? Back then, I would have said yes, but after the fact, not as much as I’d thought. It was quite funny though. He kept flirting around in a joking manner, but I wasn’t really reciprocating, because I knew it was a joke. Then another girl, Hannah, started really flirting with him on our trip despite already having a boyfriend, then she completely ignored Drake once we got back. It got to the point where I couldn’t stand him being such an arse, and trying to play around with my feelings.


That really messed me up in terms of trust, and I found it hard to even accept that I had romantic feelings for someone later down the line. Thankfully, he’s not a bellend and we’re still in a relationship after all this time! Back when I was younger, I thought that being a virgin at 20 was pretty sad and lonely, but I was a virgin at 20, and nothing can change that. I’m just glad that I finally got the right person!


It’s not that I was totally undesirable – there was a period of time when I had guys that did fancy me. They did get a bit too clingy for my liking though, which drove me further away. The most prominent of these was Olly, who I met through a mutual friend and mutual interest. Of course, I wasn’t expecting anything, and suddenly we have this conversation and he just comes out and says that he had feelings for me but knows I’m not looking for anything. I get overwhelmed after a while, and after unfriending and re-friending, he started becoming more possessive, to the point where he kept trying to guilt-trip me for not having feelings for him. Even as recently as 2017, we would talk, and after a brief period of me being busy, he’d ask if I was ignoring him. It got to the point where I loathed the idea of him talking to me, and got rid for good.


Okay, so I admit my romantic life has been very colourful, just not in the grand scheme of actual dates or relationships. Just teething issues, I suppose.

The Problem of Burnout and Overworking

Hey guys! I’ve struggled with burnout and overworking recently, and I just want to talk it out more than anything. Plus it might help you out if you’re overworking yourself.


Let me paint you my daily schedule: I get up, shower, get dressed and get to work. I even sit at my desk to get ready, and I often scroll through social media while drying my hair. It’s gotten worse since the pandemic struck, so sometimes I don’t leave my home, and instead I sit at my desk and do some work. I always make sure I’m doing something productive, whether it’s working on product ideas, the blog or my books.

The reason why I post almost daily is threefold: the first reason is because I have a lot to write about, and I just . The second is because I have time (for now). The third is because if I don’t write, I don’t feel productive. I also have a lot of different side-projects to work on. Here’s everything I work on regularly:

  • The blog – I post almost daily, and prep a lot of posts in advance.
  • Here and There – the book of short stories I’m planning on launching late 2021.
  • Main story series WIP – this has been in different iterations since 2012, still working on a barebones variant.
  • Miss Lola’s Scents – the wax melt online store I’m planning on launching April 2021. Yes, I make everything myself, with the help of my partner.
  • Fanganronpa collaboration project I’m working on on/off with my partner.
  • Music video remake project – this is still in the early planning stages.
  • Streaming – I plan on streaming over on Twitch sometime in 2021.

You may be wondering where I get the chance to relax. The answer is actually, I relax often. I make sure I spend time fully relaxing by playing a game or just listening to some music, or even watching a livestream in the background. There are moments when I play mundane games such as colouring app, just so that it gives me some monotony to think of some plot points and dialogue for my stories, or something I can write about for the blog.

I do often feel burnt out though, and that comes when I feel like I’m forcing myself to write. The best thing to do is to let it come naturally, where you can feel a plot point coming, and you just need to write it down. Of course, this doesn’t help when you’re working to tight deadlines, but if you’re anything like me, there are days when I don’t even have the energy to sit at my desk and write, then there are other days where that’s all I can do.

There are days when I feel much better, and I’m able to get a lot accomplished. Of course, if I allow myself to get too distracted, I can’t keep up the momentum – for example, just the other day I was getting a lot of progress made on my book, and my friend came to me with a relationship problem. I couldn’t keep up the momentum I’d built, so I decided not to force any more writing and I let myself have a break.


Now I just have to work on fixing my sleeping pattern, which has become bad of late, with no end in sight.

My Plans for 2021

Hey guys! First of all, happy New Year!

I did a brutally honest 2020 review, but today is the day where I outline my plans for 2021 that I kinda want to get done, if everything goes well!

Last year I was very ambitious, but with COVID happening, I ended up not doing as much of the stuff as I wanted to. So I’m keeping it relatively realistic this time around.


The blog

I want to carry on with this blog, of course! I don’t have many Pokemon posts left to go, and my weekly Pokemon posts will inevitably dry up. But I kinda want to change my schedule a little, and go from my top 10 posts to general Pokemon content. What I’ll do is not planned for right now, as I have things to go until July.

I’ll be doing everything else that I’ve been doing, but I also want to do a kind of weekly diary, if that makes sense? 2020 wasn’t the biggest year for activities, but I hope that 2021 starts to pick back up at least. I want to get out and do travel posts again, maybe even go for day trips to random local places and do some local highlights, as long as it’s safe to do so!

I also want to give you all reading this such a huge thank-you for the past year! I appreciate every single click, every single like, every single follow, every single comment! If it weren’t for you guys (especially Tim) I wouldn’t even be continuing this.


My business

A huge thing that I started in the latter half of 2020 and I’m continuing is my wax melt business. I aim to be able to launch my products this year, after Easter. I’ve been doing quite a bit of product testing, and getting others to test out the products. It’s an alternative to going to mass amounts of job interviews with no results from it. I supposed that if I wasn’t going to be given a job, I’d make my own. And that’s my thought process.


Writing

I’ve been talking about my book of short stories, and that’s definitely coming along. I definitely think I’ll be able to get it published by the end of the year. I don’t really care if it never becomes a bestseller or anything like that, because I just want a book out of it. And that might segway into another book later down the line. I wnat to start working on a main WIP that isn’t the original Scarlet Sun. I have a new concept, well it’s not new now, but I really like the idea, I just need to refine the idea and get an end point figured out!

Will I do a second book of short stories? Maybe. I’m not entirely sure yet.


Home life

I want a new house. I doubt it will happen this year, but we can hope! Even if it’s just renting still, I want to get the ball rolling with that, because we’ve had several problems with our current place and it’s no longer feasible to carry on like this.


Travel

Travel is out of the question, purely because of COVID travel restrictions and our tier system we have in the UK. Things have gotten worse for us here, and I’d prefer to travel when it’s completely safe. So we’re definitely not travelling overseas this year, but hopefully we’ll be able to travel across the UK by the end of the year.


Decluttering and Living Space Revamp! Part 5

Hey guys! You may be wondering why there’s a part 5 when we’ve done all of the KonMari steps. Well, there’s a lot of reorganising after the chaos! But it gets worse before it gets better, so they say.


Reiterating the Goal

Now that we have achieved all five steps of the KonMari method, we needed to reorganise everything after the chaos that was the living room carpet installation. We had it done towards the end of September, so everything became focused on finally arranging everything to make the place feel more homely.

We get our flat-pack stuff delivered from Argos because it’s cheaper than Ikea, plus we don’t actually have an Ikea that we can get to without needing help with transport.


Living Room

We actually had a dodgy plug socket which we needed the housing association’s repairs team to come and fix. Only after that would I be able to use the TP-Link connections and have a computer with a wired connection in the office. In the meantime, I would have had to continue using my computer in the living room, which is no big deal, really.

Before the carpet fitting, I had the idea of moving things around from their original positions. For example, having the TV up against the opposite wall to where it was before, and having a larger space towards the living room door for the inevitable table and chairs set that we’ll get later down the line. For now, that’ll be where our DIY area shall be, with our planned bookshelf and desk building planned.

Overall, since we rearranged the furniture and utilised the space a little better, we’ve now found that we have a lot more space to work with. That was because while we had the Virgin TiVo box installed, the TV had to be in a certain space, which was right next to the computer (as the computer is hooked up to the internet router). It left us a lot of space in the back that we could have used for dining, but because the space was at the back, it was easily forgotten about and filled with junk. Now, we’re using every portion of space that we can in the room. Not only that, the carpet makes the living room a lot brighter and fresher than before.

We’ve gotten Connor’s chest of drawers into the space and popped the stereo on top.


Kitchen

To be fair, the kitchen was already pretty much done, decorating and decluttering aside. Of course, we needed a standing cooker and a box freezer too, but we can still make do with what we have until then.

All the kitchen really needed doing to it was a fresh lick of paint. We are going to go for this Chalk White kitchen emulsion from Wilko, which is a pretty standard white colour, just what we’d need for the kitchen. We will need to clean it down with sugar soap before painting.

And that’s pretty much it, really.


Bedroom

We had to declutter hard in here, Connor especially. We also had to consider reporting the closet to the housing association repairs team too, to figure out what’s going on there.

We also had to put together my capsule wardrobe, which was just the clothing rail, at least. There was some stuff that we just needed to tidy, and I was excited to get the DVDs moved from the bedroom back into the living room, once we get the shelving bought, delivered and set up for it!


Office

The office needed a huge re-tidy, that’s for certain. Once we got everything out that didn’t belong in there, it was a case of straightening things out that did belong in there, organising the closet and making sure that we had a good internet connection in the room. That’s because we have a Faraday cage issue, where the internet is almost completely dead in that room.

I needed a new desk chair because mine wasn’t fully supporting my scatica-buggered back, so I really had to get one. I found this one at Argos which had good reviews (I had my eyes set on a different room but on payday they didn’t have it in stock so I went with this alternate).

After the huge clear-out from the living room carpet, we needed another clear-out of things from both the office and the bedroom. The bedroom to make way for some of the stuff in the office to go back into the bedroom, and the boxes of stuff just needed organising so that I could decide what could stay and what could go. I did want to go through everything while Connor was at work, and just get things into some sense of order. The office was sadly a dumping ground when we got our living room carpet put in. I also want the closet re-decluttered, including a lot of artwork that I want to redraw digitally that I’m too short to get from the shelf. Whoops!

As of writing, we were looking at a new desk for me, but we were thinking that might have to wait until Christmas/January, just so that we’re making our money stretch.


Bathroom

The bathroom remained relatively the same as before, because there wasn’t much else we could do with it. We did need to go over it with one more coat of emulsion for added protection, because it’s a bathroom without windows or extractor fan.

Aside from that, we just needed to probably change out the plastic drawers for something a bit more aesthetically pleasing later down the line.


Hallway

We needed to organise that closet, making sure that everything on the top shelf could be reserved for decorations, especially those of the Christmas variety. I wanted to make a new angel in the future, as the current one we had was looking really worse for wear (we were given it by my mum when we moved), but a new star or something would suffice for the time being.

We had to move to Plan B for the shoe rack, as the original shelves we wanted for the closet was too wide, so it was a case of looking for a very inexpensive shoe rack that would fit. We found this one from (you guessed it) Argos, which would work well in the space that we have. It’s cheap, plus we don’t have a lot of shoes between us anyway.

The ottoman idea for the hallway would work really well, because it would give us (and our guests) somewhere to sit down and take off/put on their shoes, as we wouldn’t be allowing shoes in the living room once we got the carpet put in.

The hallway needed a carpet too, but that would be the easiest task at the very least. It would be a case of wait until payday and then there’s the four-week waiting list, lockdown depending.


And that’s it! That’s the whole thing done! Phew!


My Self-Isolation Morning Routine

Hey guys! I wanted to write up a morning routine, just because I wanted to fill a gap, plus I feel like a morning routine is fun.

This is a standard routine that I have for when my boyfriend is at work on his day shifts. I’ve been on this routine since lockdown started.


I usually initially wake up at around 7am, although I usually have a couple of extra alarms just in case I turn the first alarm off and turn back over and fall asleep again. So usually I wake up at around 8am and take a bit of time to browse through my social media. I should get out of that habit really, but sometimes it helps me wake up and get my brain ticking. It’s all stuff that I can catch up with later, plus Facebook infuriates me with the racists and homophobes. But I usually check Facebook, Twitter and Discord, sometimes Reddit. I do this for about half an hour, when I finally get out of bed. Usually because I need the loo!

Really, I should be getting up earlier, because while I’m not much of a morning person, I am actually more productive in the mornings.


I know I need a proper skincare routine, plus I wear a mask in shops, so there’s no concern for my lower half, where my acne problems are usually more prominent. I’ve been lucky in my adulthood that I’ve not had the level of skin problems that I’ve had in my teens, although my face still gets super-oily, but also dry in some areas. There is no in-between for me! During lockdown and self-isolating, my acne has been a tad bothersome. However, my current skincare routine just involves using a face scrub – I do this twice a day. Normally I’d also use a cleansing toner after the shower, but I haven’t done that in months.

I get on with brushing my teeth, and I normally use a sensitive toothbrush because I often get wisdom tooth issues that come up every couple of years or so. I always use a Colgate toothpaste, because Sensodyne made my entire left side of my jaw hurt for weeks (wisdom tooth problems yay), while other toothpastes just taste disgusting.

I then get in the shower, and the first thing I do is wash my hair. I have to wash my hair every day, because it gets greasy very quickly. I did try washing every other day for a few years, but that made no difference to my hair quality, so I was recommended to just wash it every day. That way, it also stops being so itchy, which is a telltale sign of grease build-up. I have stopped using conditioner on the ends of my hair, which now that I’m writing it and looking at my dead ends was probably not the smartest idea. Note to self: buy more conditioner. However, I always go for L’Oreal Elvive Dream Lengths shampoo. It’s been a solid staple since my Portugal days.

After that, I shave the appropriate areas and then I finish off with shower gel. The kind I use depends on what I find, but I have love for Original Source (especially Lemon and Tea Tree scent), and I miss using Dirty Springwash from Lush (it’s just too expensive right now). That gives you some indication for what kind of scents I like to shower with in the morning.


After I’ve showered, I’ll dry off and get some clothes on. If I’m not heading outside, I’ll usually get into a pair of cosy pyjama bottoms and a vest top, maybe something cosy over the top of it, like a cardigan or an open shirt if it’s warm. I’ll also most likely blow-dry my hair, using an amazing hairdryer that has a touch-pad on the handle. It’s a Neutech Touch Me, and I got it for €18 when I was in Portugal, and it’s the best hairdryer I’ve ever owned. My mum borrowed it once and she was amazed. That thing will dry my hair in about five minutes. My hair does get frizzy when it’s dried naturally, but there are days where I leave it be. My hair has so many problems, guys…

I rarely wear make-up, so there’s no point doing a make-up routine!


Once I’m well-presented for the day, I’ll head into the kitchen and completely forget to get breakfast. Normally, I’ll start a productive day with a cup of Sneak. I was originally a GFuel drinker, but because I had issues with a surprise customs fee (as well as no intent on GFuel’s part to help with this), I changed over to Sneak, because it’s a UK brand, it gets to me in about two working days after placing the order, and it’s much cheaper. We usually buy a tub every month, and as of writing, we’re just finishing off the new Generations Bubblegum, which is an amazing flavour.


Once I get the Sneak made, I head over to my computer, plug everything in and turn it on. I make sure I have my trusty diary, stationery and notebooks with me for reference purposes. I also make sure to re-check social media (this should be my first socials check, really). I also check my blog statistics in case there’s been any surprise morning action, such as views and likes.

My notebook also has a to-do list that I’d usually draft up the night before, so that I know what I need to get done in the morning.


That’s my usual morning routine! It’s a bit boring, but that’s the problem with self-isolating. I’ve been doing it for nearly seven months now and it’s driving me insane.

Declutter and Living Space Revamp! Part 4

Hey guys! We’re towards the finish line for the KonMari declutter! Woohoo!


Reiterating the Goal

We’re decluttering. We wanted to tidy things up so we could easily get a carpet fitting in the living room, plus just to adjust everything and make it feel more like home.


Sentimental Items

Honestly I feel that I need more sentimental things out, as I don’t really have anything in that way at the moment. But my biggest challenge is to find a way for Connor to organise his sentimental items in a way that he’ll keep coming back to. I’ll never make him get rid of his sentimentals, as a lot of him came from his grandmother or hold special memories for her. I feel that some of the items could be good decorative pieces, whereas others are good to preserve in trinket boxes.

My sentimental items are few and far between, but I want to put a sentimental stamp on the place. I bought a picture frame a while ago that I’ve never used, but I want to have a picture of myself and Connor in there. We don’t have pictures out, I have pictures stored on my computer that I want printed. Some of these would go on walls, to add some decoration.


Once we got the carpet fitted, we were able to get his large chest of drawers in the living room, for the stereo to go on top. I figured we’d store our main sentimental items in there.

I’m not one for keeping sentimental items anyway, so this is pretty easy for me. I’m happy to keep a memory of the person or time with me, rather than items to remember it by. This is why a lot of sentimental items fall under some of the other categories. For example, I would say that the Morrissey jacket that got ruined would come under both clothing and sentimental, and some of the things that others would class as sentimental ended up being komono.

In the bags of books I got from my mum, I came across two fake roses. They were from when I finished my first Race For Life 5K, and my mum and Connor bought one each for me while I was doing the run. I’m definitely keeping those, because they’re lovely! Plus I prefer fake plants over real ones every time (so much easier to keep).


I feel that’s pretty much my KonMari over! Of course, I do have one more post to come next week!

Declutter and Living Space Revamp! Part 3

Hey guys! Yes, I’m still on this KonMari overhaul, and it’s been interesting so far. So far, I’ve tackled clothes, books and paper. Now, we’re moving onto Komono, which is going to be huge. So we’re just going to plough through!


Reiterating the Goal

Basically, my whole flat needed a deep clean and declutter! We had a carpet coming and we had to declutter so it would be easier for us to move our stuff around when the carpet fitter would come to fit the carpet. Plus I wanted a huge declutter anyway, so that helped.


Komono

Komono, or miscellaneous items, is a huge section. I prefer to go from room to room for decluttering the komono items. For the living room, I still have a lot in boxes, and that needs organising. Because of COVID, it has been hard to find somewhere to donate our items, and I would need to invest a day into collecting my books from my parents’, have my mum help in taking things to and fro, and spending time with Flash (their new kitten).


Living Room

The living room was the biggest task. Not only did we have to majorly declutter, we also had to have everything ready to be moved over into the bedroom and office for the carpet fitters to come.

The benefit was that the three-seater sofa was disassemblable, meaning that one of the seats could detach from the rest. The pouffe would have to squeeze in somewhere, I suppose.

The first hurdle was the habit of leaving clothes on the sofa. We just had to move them into the bedroom to be sorted, which wasn’t an issue. But then we had the hurdle of decluttering everything behind the sofa, where we’d shoved the bits that didn’t really have a home, included stuff we needed to take to charity (that we hadn’t been able to because COVID). Honestly, a lot of the stuff we had there just needed to go. And I had the idea to put some of the stuff that was going downstairs to scrap in a big box to make it easier to carry (we get to offload a lot of scrap at the ground floor of our building because a lot of people don’t have the means to take it to the recycling centre on the other side of town).

The biggest downfall was the amount of stuff we had in boxes. I was prepared to let a lot of it go, in terms of things that were broken or not needed anymore, and the rest could easily be piled into boxes and stored away for the time being.


Kitchen

The kitchen mainly involved a deep clean, and that was about it. We needed to do some laundry (yes, in the UK we have our washing machines in the kitchen), wash dishes, wipe down the counters and appliances and sort out the food and recycling. I wanted to get these recycling bins though, to make sure that we keep on top of the mess. Our issue is that our central recycling system is outside, and you’re on the 11th floor, it gets a bit much sometimes, and self-isolating for the past six months hasn’t helped at all. But we managed, and honestly the easiest room in the whole place was probably the kitchen.

Our other main problem was that we’d always let the dishes get out of hand, and we don’t have a dishwasher. Therefore we decided to just clean until it was all washed, and we’d just keep on top of it, and it’s worked so far!

Because of our lack of affording a cooker, we do have a halogen oven, a slow cooker and a hotplate which has kept us going. They do take up countertop room, but when put away, it works wonders. However, the halogen oven and hotplate will be going away once we get a proper cooker.

The pantry needed sprucing up, but we’ve made do with what we had for the time being. Overall, the entire kitchen still needed a fresh lick of paint, which was coming in the future. I figured we’d paint the inside of the pantry while we were doing that, because at least then it’s at least improved somewhat.


Bedroom

With the amount of stuff that we had to squish in temporarily, I wanted to leave the clothing rail until last. But I had to help Connor KonMari his clothes at the very least, but that’s an entirely different ball game. That actually waited for a while, because the carpet was more important. Plus I could help with the clothes over time, once we had everything else sorted.

We did have to sort out the clutter we’d amassed around the room though, but some of it was there for storage, such as some of my plushes, or the DVDs that were originally in the living room (which would be moved back once the carpet had been fitted). Basically they’re there because I wanted to tidy the office and we only had one bookcase, and the books went on there.


Office

We’d unfortunately crammed a lot of junk in the office, especially when I had to shift my clothes in the closet temporarily. And oh boy, we had a lot of ground to cover in that area!

First of all, we’d previously broken down a bunch of boxes leftover from when we moved in, and they were ready to be thrown out for recycling. We had to get the room practically spotless so that we could fit furniture in there when we needed the living room gutted for the carpet fitters. It was a monumental task indeed. For the time being, it meant we would have to declutter this space, attempt to fit pieces into the closet temporarily and the furniture in the room (and the room itself is tiny, no joke).

We had to shuffle everything that was in there in a cohesive manner, shoving it all into one corner and having it organised. It was just for the sole purpose for having somewhere to store everything from the living room temporarily, which was a ballache, but we managed in the end. Then afterwards, it was a case of pulling everything back into order. But when things got a bit messy, a lot of stuff just got thrown in there again. It meant that I had to tidy it all up again. The bookshelf would not fit everything that I wanted (I have a small manga collection that won’t fit either). We finally managed, though, somehow. It took a lot of shuffling around.


Hallway

The hallway was pretty simple, as we don’t have much in the way of clutter in there. In actual fact, we did need to get rid of stuff we’d just left in there for scrap anyway. So that was the first thing to go. Of course, Connor kept wanting to put it off for a while, but I told him that it was either going to go now or we’d keep putting it off.

Later, I wanted to use the shelving unit that my mum gave me to store shoes and bags on in the closet by the front door. This got delayed a little because I had a migraine attack while struck down with a cold at the same time. However…this didn’t exactly work out as planned, because the shelving unit was too wide. I instead opted to just use it as a shelving unit for the office closet, which worked really well, and took a lot of the stress out of going through everything in the short time-frame that we did. Of course, not everything in the office fits, but that wasn’t the goal in the first place!

After discussing the capsule wardrobe idea, I decided to use an ottoman from the bedroom, use that for our bedding and towels, and place it next to the door. That way, we would have somewhere to sit down to put our shoes on. This was going to happen after clearing out the bedroom of clutter, because then we could move it out and finally have room for that clothes rail!


Bathroom

Again, like with the kitchen, the bathroom just needed a deep clean. Because we don’t have windows or a ventilation fan, we have to keep on top of any mould problems ourselves, which can be a bit of a task, but is doable. We just need to get some paint on to the ceiling, really, so that could help treat the problem.

Of course, this is also where cellar spiders get in from the empty areas of the building. I found early on that I could use a mix of peppermint oil and water to help attempt to repel the spiders, but sometimes they just get in. And it gets nasty when they do. So we’ve resorted to hoovering them up, really.

I’m usually the one that cleans the fixtures in the bathroom, which I don’t mind doing because I always did that when living at my parents’. It’s just a habit to do it now, though.


Next week, we’ll focus on the sentimental items, which we always do last, as we become a lot keener on what sparks us joy and what doesn’t!