Life Lately: December 2017

Life Lately: December 2017

Welcome to the end of the year! December always feels bittersweet as it’s the end of the year and this means Christmas and holidays/time off work, but it also means the new year is approaching which means lots of reflecting. It also means Summer, which I’m not particularly a fan of.

I found November and December really difficult to maintain my blog and socials and it definitely showed in my level of posting. Work has been taking over my brain mentally inside the office and outside, and my lovely manager who went on maternity leave earlier in 2017 chose to leave our company and spend some time at home. I’ll be getting a new manager in the new year, but have a temporary one currently to transition us. There have been a few other draining leadership changes at work, as well as a few massive events that have left me feeling like I just want to tune out and play The Sims 4 and watch YouTube/Reality TV.

I hope to change this mindset in the new year, and I’m really using these two weeks off to reflect on what I want to do next in my career (I work in Marketing and Events), and what I want my blog to be.

I’ve taken a few more unintended breaks from blogging than I wished to in 2017 and I would like to be more prepared in 2018. The main thing for me is that it takes me hours to write posts because they are so long, do you like to read long posts or shorter posts? I also find it hard to want to take photos as I feel a great satisfaction when I achieve some I like, but struggle in the interim to take them. I’ve finally figured out some settings I like and I’ll be continuing positively I hope!

I’m looking forward to the New Year, new changes, a new diary, and really cutting out the bullshit such as stuff we don’t need; friends who aren’t good friends; and just general unnecessary items and tasks. I just want to focus on my quality friendships I have, my partner and our doggo, my family, my career and my blog.

Shopping

I haven’t done a huge amount of shopping the last two months as I’ve been saving for Christmas but I have picked up a few nice things!

Firstly, I picked up the Ciate Mani Month advent calendar which I loved opening each day, alongside my usual Cadbury chocolate advent calendar. I wanted to get some new nail polished and while $84 seems a little steep, for 23 nail polishes (you get a nail file one day), I was pretty happy with that! I’ve already worn a few of them and I’m hoping painting regularly encourages my resolution to stop biting my nails.

When Mecca had free shipping I also picked up the Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel 5 pack for $23 as I loved my sample I received once so I plan to use these once a fortnight or so. I have used one already.

I bought an ebook from Sheila Joy “Blogging with Purpose” which I am currently devouring because I love supporting bloggers I follow, and I love ebooks over web training or videos because I can reread them at my leisure, not when I have data or a computer etc.

As you can see in my “love list” at the moment, I have been coveting the Michael Kors Selma Medium bag for quite a number of years and I was planning on putting my end of year bonus towards it after sussing out the price across a few stores. David Jones is selling it for $495, but Net-A-Porter is selling it for $365, so when Net-A-Porter started their Christmas sale and I saw the bag was 30% off ($250) I jumped at the chance to buy it a little early with my savings! I’ve been loving this bag and using it most days over the last few weeks. Now, just need to keep it clean and organised!!!

Lastly, I made a cheeky Cult Beauty order whilst we spent 55 minutes driving around the local Westfield looking for a park (we did in fact, give up!). I ordered my first Charlotte Tilbury products: Bronze and Glow in fair/medium and the mini matchbox sized lipstick trio of Hot Lips lipsticks x3. I also caved and ordered the Anastasia Modern Renaissance palette, which I had been putting off for the last year or more because it is poor value, but more and more of the shades I am wanting in my collection are in this palette so I thought “why the heck not”. If I don’t love it, I can always sell it. Hopefully, this package arrives soon as I am mighty excited to try everything! Has anyone experience ordering with Cult Beauty before?

Cruelty-Free Life Changes

Over November and December, I finished two non cruelty-free foundations and I am now down to only one (Estee Lauder Double Wear). I finished Estee Lauder Double Wear Light, and the Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick. I did like both, but as they’re not cruelty-free I won’t be repurchasing. I plan to give these more of a review in an upcoming empties post.

I hit pan on a non cruelty-free eyeshadow: MAC Woodwinked by using it literally 5 days a week at work for 3 months. Who would have thought an eyeshadow would take so long to use up? Why do we collect them again?! I love this bronze shimmery shade and it is the only MAC eyeshadow I plan to pan. I’ll be selling my others such as Amber Lights (Love but have no use for).

I also hit pan on a highlighter for the first time in my life: Benefit’s Dandelion Twinkle highlighter! This is the smallest highlighter in my collection at only 3 grams so I won’t get used to this feeling but it is certainly an accomplishment in my collection! This is actually a fantastic highlighter if you’re not cruelty-free like me, it has a beautiful pearlescent pink tone and you can really get your brush in and load it up on the product because your face just looks glowy. Certainly explains why I got through it so quickly!

Lastly, I finished my Benefit Goof Proof pencil and a Gimmie Brow! This puts me down to just one Benefit brow product (a mini Gimmie Brow) and I’ve gotten to finally start my Hourglass Brow Arch Pencil which I bought in September!

I am planning an official Project Pan in the new year of non cruelty-free products for the blog. I did photograph it already, and then I promptly finished the above products so I’ll be rephotographing the post and then I plan to post every two months until the end of June 2018 when I plan to be completely cruelty-free.

Film and Television

I haven’t been watching much lately, as I’ve been trying somewhat to keep up with Vlogmas watching. I’ve been watching I Covet Thee, Hello October, Amelia Liana, among others. Every year I mean to watch Zoella’s and every year I forget!

We saw the new Star Wars Movie: Return of the Jedi, and didn’t think it was as good as the seventh which we saw last year. It was very long and much could have been cut out to us.

I watched How To Be Single on Netflix and absolutely loved it, much to my surprise! The plot wasn’t predictable to me, which is a rarity in chick flicks. Would recommend next time you are flicking through Netflix.

As a group, we’ve been watching Westworld and I didn’t think I would be interested but I am! It has James Marsden in it (the other guy in The Notebook), and basically it is about super-rich and bored people who visit a Westen World theme park where they live like it’s everyday life while human-like robots work for their every need. There are shootouts, rapes, murders, etc, where the robots die in a narrative every day and then they are reset and wiped for the next day of the theme park. Some of the robot creators/controllers are starting to get a moral compass and making the robots remember things and giving them more personalities. We’ve four episodes in and hope to finish it over the remaining week of holidays.

Lastly, we’ve been watching David Attenborough’s Blue Planet 2 which is, of course, bloody brilliant. We’re three episodes in and trying to space it out because we don’t want it to end. Underwater docs are my favourite kinds as I’ve always been fascinated by the lives underneath.

Blogging

I have finally moved my hosting up a level which allows me to host multiple sites at once, which has been a major roadblock in rebranding. I also passed the 60 day wait period in which I bought my domain with GoDaddy and had to wait to unlock it and move it over.

In this time, I am now feeling a bit “meh” over my blog domain I bought in October. It is somewhat used already in a .com version (I bought .com.au), and also on some social media, although I have no qualms with adding “blog” to the end of my handles. The name is also similar to an existing stationery business which plagues me with worry that it is just too similar, but I haven’t really loved anything else. I feel like this name just epitomises what I want my blog to be branding-wise.

Has anyone else had this problem?

I am also finding myself with free time over these holidays (I get two weeks off and am halfway through) so I am channelling in what I can to my blog. I did really well in September to pre-plan and post all my October posts, and by the time I got to October I had nothing planned and work took over. There have been so many changes happening with work at the moment, and it has got me thinking about making a positive change in my life so that’s a factor in my mental health with keeping up my blog at the moment too.

I hope to keep this corner the positive place I love it to be and actually get to create the content I originally plan for before everything turns to shit.

Wishlisting

I’m wishlisting a few Cue Clothing dresses at the moment from the Boxing Day release for work clothes, which I need to go in and actually try on which are all between $140 and $150:

Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel is one on my wishlist and I’ve been lusting after it since Anna (The Anna Edit) talks about it all the time. I had it in my Cult Beauty cart but my total was getting a bit high. When I get my 15% off code for my birthday I might add it to my collection!

Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Liner and Lipstick are probably the most talked about products in her range, and my lust for it is no exception. I don’t know reasonably if I’ll need both as I hardly ever wear lip liners as is – really only when wearing bold shades, of which this is not. Pillow Talk is out of stock most of the time, so next time I’ll just grab it!

Pixi Glow Tonic is something else I’ve wanted to try for ages. I really just want a mini of it to give a test run before upgrading to a bigger bottle eventually. It’s almost impossible to get in Australia as supposedly it is stocked in Sephora here, but I have never seen it! I’ll have to add it to my Cult Beauty or ASOS cart next time!

I’ve been a bit obsessed with getting my monogrammed initials onto everything lately, and my phone and cards are next! The Daily Edited are enabling this for me. I recently got one of their mini bags for Christmas with my initials and I’ve been loving it! I also want to look into whether they do laptop cases as my old Forever New case has finally had it.

New In

December equals Christmas and I got a few gorgeous things on my wishlist plus things I bought for myself during the month:

PR

This month I only opened myself up to one item:

  • Pixi’s rose offering with liquid lipsticks and skincare. Look out for a review on these shortly!

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  • I totally wouldn’t have known about this post had you not promoted it on Twitter! Bloglovin’ is so annoying sometimes. It always pushes my posts on the same day I publish it, but usually not for a good few hours! I thought I was the only one this happened to because everyone else’s posts seem to go up on time!

    Working full time and blogging definitely isn’t easy and I don’t know how some people manage both! I’m currently job hunting and even out of a job, I could never post more than a few times a month. Then again, my posts tend to be on the longer side than most others, haha. Definitely don’t feel bad about skipping months here and there; as hobby bloggers, there’s always going to be other things that require our attention first and I totally know what you mean about just wanting to unwind with a TV show or whatever. I mean, as fun as blogging is, it’s still work! Job hunting totally sucks, but I do appreciate that it’s given me heaps of time to work on my blog, whether it’s experimenting with photography, connecting more with fellow bloggers, etc. It’s been fun and I’m glad it’s given me something to focus on. It’s taught me how awesome it is having a creative purpose and a purpose in life that isn’t to do with money.

    I never watch too many Vlogmas videos, but I enjoyed I Covet Thee’s the most this year. I think she has such a genuine and friendly persona, and I love the laid back vibe to her videos. I don’t like when YouTubers go on fancy paid trips or whatever, I just like seeing them live their day-to-day life! I haven’t watched Blue Planet 2 yet, but I’m so keen to give it a watch soon. One of my favourite bands, Radiohead, composed a song for the series, so that gives me more incentive other than David Attenborough being an all round awesome guy!

    I’m so excited for your blog rebrand, but I can understand you feeling apprehensive about your new name if it’s similar to already exisiting companies. I think if you really love it, it feels right and it truly epitomises you and your blog, you should go for it! As long as it’s not the exact same thing, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a similar name.

    Tenneil | Like Neon Love

  • This was such a nice post to read. I love how it hit so many different categories and thoughts. Might have to steal the idea if thats okay for a post in the future! I wish you the best in January and the new year.

    jayolivia.blogspot.ca

  • I’m totally with you on work taking over your life sometimes, or life just taking over from your ability to blog and get things done. It’s a tough juggle and it can definitely be overwhelming at times, but I’ve stopped being hard on myself about it and feeling like I have to blog a certain number of times a week or month and taking that unnecessary stress our of the equation has left me feeling so much happier and more inspired to blog and keep up with it all. I’m perfectly happy being a slow blogger, so even though we’re told to do x y z to grow our brand or whatever, I don’t really think about that stuff anymore because it’s more important to me to blog about things that make me happy, and to do it when it suits me rather than pushing myself when it doesn’t feel right. We’re all different though and as long as you’re happy with your blog that’s all that matters, but I wouldn’t be too hard on yourself! 🙂

    That’s so impressive that you’ve made so much progress with the products you’re trying to pan! I’ve never really been into the whole Project Pan thing just because I feel like I would get bored if I forced myself to use the same eyeshadow every day, but kudos to you for your dedication, and for your decision to go cruelty free!

    Also I watched Westworld a while back when it first came out and it was so good! I’ve heard they’re making a Season 2 so I’ll definitely watch that when it comes out!

    littlehenrylee.net

  • Bernadette

    Isn’t it so lovely when you can host your own site for the blog. It feels so freeing even though mine came with many IT dramas. I was lucky enough to recieve that same pixie Pr package as well and I was so excited because it was surprise blog mail. How good are their products and those liquid lipsticks have made me jump on the liquid lipstick bandwagon.

    http://www.themakeupaficionado.com