In July & September I tried some new Essence & Catrice products in two different first impression videos. I always do these when these two affordable brands change up their makeup lines for the new season, which happens twice a year. So far I have gotten around to reviewing a few of the items I showed in those videos, but not everything will be making the review cut. That is why I figured I would film a video to give you my thoughts on them.
So we are nearing the end of August palette month and I thought we’d go out with a bang. I still have one more review for you tomorrow, but I figured it would be best to make the last video of this month my full eyeshadow palette collection video. I already did posts on my several parts of my eyeshadow palette collection, as there were a few brands that I wanted to spend some more time on and I didn’t want to make this video too long. I hope you enjoy!
Eyeshadow palette collection
I thought it would be fun to shoot a chatty, rambly type video in which I update you on my experiences so far doing the Goodreads Reading Challenge. It’s the first time I’m participating and my goal is to reach 50 books by the end of the year. By now I’m terribly behind (that July reading slump didn’t help), but I thought it would still be fun to tell you about what I love and what are some of the downsides of trying to read 50 books in one year for me.
My experiences with the Goodreads Reading Challenge
It’s been a while since I last updated you on my life. I haven’t written anything since July! I was simply so busy getting back to work and getting my life back on track that I didn’t have much inspiration for a personal update post. I also had quite a few things that I was still trying to sort out and that I needed to finalize before I would write anything about it on here. By now, I’m ready to give you an update on what I’ve been up to and what I will be doing in the next few months.
Overall I had a very chilled and relax summer. After I returned from my trip, I took some time to meet up with friends and family and I went shopping with my mom. The result of which you can see if you scroll down to Friday’s post. Mostly I spent my days at home, sometimes going to a park or beach to read and I took out a ton of time to find new music. I reorganized my bookcases, watched some cool TV series and before I knew it, summer was over and I was ready to head back to work.
As I said, I have been busy getting life back on track. I started work again halfway through August and in case you didn’t know, I switched jobs. I now work in Breda, which means I commute by train for almost 3 hours every day. By now I’m still getting used to the longer days and traveling to and from work, but I know that that is just a matter of time. I already arranged to have as few 8.30 AM starts as possible with the roster maker, because my train doesn’t run until past 7 AM which means either catching a train much much earlier so I can be on time, or showing up 10 minutes late to class. I haven’t been very lucky with the trains so far. Every week there have been major delays that ensured me to get to work 45 mins to an hour later than I should have.
Another area of my life that is slowly but surely getting back into gear are my meals, my work outs and my social life. Not that I hadn’t been working on it, but I needed to tweak things a bit and push myself a little bit more. I have now figured out a way to make sure I have regular, healthy meals again that are wheat free. Over summer I added in weightlifting in my work out and am currently on a schedule of 1 spinning class, 1 body balance class, 1 dance class and one round of weights a week. I hope to add one more aerobics type class by the end of October/ early November which will mean I have picked up my old work out schedule.
My social life is right back on track again as well. I celebrated my birthday for my family, attended my family’s yearly reunion and have had some fun lunch and dinner appointments with several of my friends. To top things off, I have planned to go to several concerts in the next few months to come. I saw Future Islands on Friday and will be seeing London Grammar, Ed Sheeran, Bombay Bicycle Club and Jungle in October, November and December. I haven’t made any plans yet for next year, but I’m pretty sure I will be doing that pretty soon.
The most exciting thing happening in the near future is another trip to London. I had found out about a few exhibitions I would love to see and when I checked for plain tickets and hotels at the end of August, I found some good deals. So I booked! I will be in London at the end of October and am planning to go see a Sherlock Holmes exhibition at the Museum of London and a photography exhibit at the V&A. Other plans for London include to do some shopping and finally take some dance classes at Pineapple dance studios. Who knows, what I’ll do, but I’ll make sure to write a report once I return.
What have you been up to?
So I thought I’d use this space to not only keep track of my fave beauty products, but also to write a bit about myself from time to time. As you may know, I decided to call in sick from work in January. I have been home ever since. This is what I wrote in January, here’s how I’m doing right now.
My first message was quite cryptic: I was busy at work = stressed out = I need some time. So to clarify things: I am not just sick. I am burned up and I guess I have been for a few months now. For the past 6 weeks I’ve been at home trying to wrap my head around things and getting my life back on track. Unfortunately for me, it’s not going as quickly as I’d liked or hoped when I decided to stay at home. Also, unfortunately, this isn’t my first time going through something like this, so I also know that that shouldn’t come as a surprise to me. The fact that it does, is frustrating to say the least.
For those of you that don’t know: I went through something similar 5 years ago. At that time, years of pushing myself too hard (on all fronts, not just one) and not listening to what I needed added up to this penultimate battle which I lost. I caught mono (Pfeiffer) and that caused me to crash completely. It was so bad that I had to move back in with my parents for almost 2 months because I was too exhausted to take care of myself. I worked on getting better and I did after roughly 6 months of soul searching and doctor’s appointments. I thought I’d done everything to prevent anything like that from happening again.
Enter last September. I had handed in my thesis just before summer which rounded off 3 years of doing a full time education alongside a 32 hour teaching job. To say I was happy with my 5 week summer break (teacher’s perk) would be an understatement. I took that time to recharge: met up with friends of family, but also spent plenty of time on my couch with a big stack of movies. By the time I got back to work in August I felt refreshed and ready to go. Then the semester started and 2 weeks after I had started teaching again I just knew I couldn’t take it anymore. I was teaching 3 days in a row from 9 to 5, pretty much back to back. I had too many (new) courses to teach and no time to prep them. I felt stuck and when I came home crying, I decided to notify my manager and call in sick for the rest of the week. I knew I wouldn’t last long if I’d continue like that and that’s what I told tried to make clear. Unfortunately, there were no replacements available so I was informed that I would have to sit it out until fall break 5 weeks later.
I was happy when fall break happened: I went to London and was all about getting my life back on track. For 7 weeks I spent all my time teaching, prepping or sleeping. I didn’t have the time or energy to do anything else. The only thing I held on to was dance class (but only after an hour long nap right after work). And come November I was trying to get my life back on track: I had started to work out again and have something that resembled a social life. Then I got the flu, the worst one I had had in years. After that I kept feeling tired and just as out of it as early September when I first stayed home. I went to see my doctor from work and we agreed I would work 50%. The thing is: Christmas break came about 2 weeks too late. I crashed after Christmas. And all I could think was: who am I kidding??? That’s what made me decide that I should stay at home.
Fast forward to now: I am still tired. I get headaches and feel dizzy when I do too much in a day. It takes a lot of time for me to get my day started. If I go too far on one day, it pretty much means I cannot do much of anything the next. And that’s just the beginning. I don’t want to bore you with what is ‘wrong’ with me. I want to focus on getting, doing and feeling better, because I know that I am far from reaching ultimate rock bottom. That was last time. This is now. So I try to keep going as best as I can. It’s why I keep this blog running. It gives my day some sort of purpose: to do something that requires some thinking but not so much that it stresses me out. I am also going to try to pick up some work things again, depending on what I can do. In the mean time, I am going to keep on working on trying to get better. I just have to figure out how.
Just a quick message. In case you didn’t notice yet: I picked a new theme for the blog. I think I used the old one (Blogum) for almost 2 years and I thought it was time for a change.
What I like about this theme is that it is still clean and simple and has lots of space for the content. At the same time, the side bar is a bit bigger and it has a feature to easily add buttons for social media sites. I don’t use Pinterest so that won’t be popping up any time soon. What will hopefully pop up in the next few months is a Youtube button.
That’s right! I hope to do a few videos soon and I’ve decided to make a new Youtube channel just for blog videos. However, that’s all still in its conceptual stage and I have to figure out a few things when it comes to video quality. My camera films at HD quality for some reason, after editing or uploading them to youtube I lose so much of the quality. The raw footage looks tons better than the eventual Youtube upload. So if you have any suggestions regarding editing my videos for youtube (I already Googled, but still feel a little lost) feel free to share.
What do you think? Keep this theme? Go back to the old one? Leave me a comment down below!
(The comment button can now be found at the bottom of every post!)
The first week of teaching has finished and as you read this I’m gearing up for another one. After weeks, no months, of not being in front of a classroom, the first weeks of a school year are always the toughest. Add to that that I’m committing again to making better and healthier food choices, trying to pick up my old work out schedule and am about to graduate in a few weeks and life is just a little crazy right now. Crazy, but good crazy.
The first week of teaching went great. It was tiring though. I am currently teaching 22,5 hours a week and they’ve somehow managed to cram all but one 50 minute session into 3 days. So that takes some getting used to, as I’m making 2 days filled with teaching from 8.30 till 17.00 with just a lunch break to catch my breath almost halfway through the afternoon. Also, the first semester is always the toughest: class sizes are through the roof with 30 – 35 students in each class and I somehow have to try and learn all their names in the next few weeks. A few of the courses I’m teaching are also brand new for me so I’m still figuring things out as I go along. With all that said though, it’s great to be in front of a classroom again. It beats grading by a mile.
Another thing that started again this week is dance class. They announced the new schedule in early August and I saw that one of my old dance teachers would come back to teach a new jazz class right before the one I have been taking for years. So I’ve decided to add that to my work out list. For now, I will have to skip Tuesday night at the gym as I will need my energy for my Wednesday dance night from now on: 2.5 hours of dancing is great, but also tiring. On Thursday my entire body ached as I hadn’t danced in almost 2 months.
Food wise I’ve been cheating a bit. I wanted to start a no sugar unless it’s a fruit or vegetable routine as of September but that simply turned out to not be feasible. I think I will first have to get used to my work and work out routine before I can start dabbling with my diet. I’m hoping to be used to it all by the end of September though, so I’ve now decided to simply start when I feel ready. Not at a specific date, but just when I feel good and not so tired all the time.
Last but not least, I now have a date for my graduation ceremony. As of September 20th I will officially have obtained a Research Master (or MPhil) in Language and Communication. Before that though, I still have to prepare a 15 – 20 minute presentation and then it will all be over. Three years of blood, sweat and tears will hopefully bear its fruit. I am not yet sure what I want to do next though. I started the program wanting to use it to give myself opportunities besides teaching and education. So once I’ve got my head wrapped around this semester and all my regular goings on, I will take some time to rethink my life and where I’m heading to.
But for now, I’m just going to focus on the here and now. First getting back into a routine, then my graduation, and then, hopefully come fall break, treat myself with a trip to London. I’ll see what life throws at me next.