10k Steps Challenge

Last week, I did a 10k steps a day challenge. Naturally I thought it’s something worth writing about, so here we are.

What’s the challenge? It’s exactly what it sounds like, the challenge is to take at least 10 000 steps every day for a week.

Was it completed? Yup

Was it difficult? I think I had one day where I struggled, but on average I found it very doable and manageable.

What’s the point? The point is to increase your physical activity without necessarily dedicating time to exercise. It’s to show yourself how much you can actually do just by focusing on walking.

Was it helpful? I think it’s quite helpful when it comes to remembering that days when you don’t have time to go to the gym aren’t necessarily wasted from a health or fitness perspective. It’s also a good motivator because literally every step you take helps you reach that goal.

Will I do it again? I plan on doing this maybe once a month, especially if I don’t think I can fit the gym into my schedule.

Any problems? Like an absolute idiot, I decided to break in new shoes. Bandaids and Compeed are your friends. My heels are still essentially open wounds. So yeah, don’t be an idiot.

 

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Let’s Talk About Books

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I read a lot as a kid. I easily finished books designed to last for weeks in 1-2 lessons for school and typically read things not intended for children. I did read some things intended for a younger audience, the Harry Potter series and the Artemis Fowl books were some of my favourites.

My interest in reading was probably born out of necessity. I lived in a rural area with absolutely nothing to do for entertainment. Furthermore, this was when the internet was a thing you used sparingly and that didn’t do all that much. So, books and video games were my primary forms of entertainment.

As an adult, I don’t read for pleasure that often. Or at least I didn’t until I started making a conscious effort a few months ago. The thing is, I have to read a lot of really heavy material for uni. It didn’t exactly decrease when I went from undergrad to post-grad. So, I spend a lot of my time reading things that are really dense. So why did I attempt to change that?

I dropped by a bookstore to kill some time and realised that one of my favourite authors had released a new book. You know, three years earlier. The feeling that I’d just so completely lost touch with something I truly enjoyed was a bit of a wakeup call for me. I naturally decided to buy the book in question and ended up truly enjoying it. Maybe it’s something so simple as good old ‘fear of missing out’ kicking in, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I’d missed out on a lot of enjoyable stories.

So I decided to put in a bit of effort. I’ve started creating ‘to read’ lists and try to read at least one book a month. I’ve also started enjoying shorter stories, think Sherlock Holmes, which was something I never enjoyed when I was younger.

I’ve also noticed that my preferences have changed a bit. I was convinced I would love HP Lovecraft, but I’ve been working on The Mountains of Madness for weeks and find it borderline impossible to enjoy. I can tell that I would have loved it when I was younger, but the dense language reminds me too much of academic writing. It just feels more like work rather than pleasure.

Currently, I’m still working on getting through The Mountains of Madness. But more enjoyably, I’m also reading Steppenwolf and have a copy of 1984 waiting for me. I genuinely enjoyed Animal Farm, so I’ve got high hopes for 1984. I’m also planning to fit in another Sherlock Holmes story in August. Also in August, the author that got me back into reading is releasing a new book, so I’m really keen for that. In general, I find myself drawn to classics these days and I’m not really sure why.

I do struggle to find new books and it’s difficult to find tailored recommendations, which does make it a bit difficult to add new things to my ‘to read’ list. So if you know of good ways to find new things to read, please let me know!

 

Some of My Favourite Things 3/5

41. Space – it’s pretty cool
42. The West Wing – Possibly the greatest thing ever put on the small screen.

43. Black Lace – one of the few things that can look delicate and badass at the same time.

44. Fish Sauce – Don’t judge me, everyone likes at least one type of weird food.

45. Sushi

46. Pinball – super addictive and wholesome fun.

47. Halloween

48. Goats – search for fainting goats on youtube and I promise you you’re in for a treat

49. Quirky makeup

50. Coke Zero

51. Post-workout endorphins – sometimes your  body rewards itself for hard work.

52. Pointless quizzes – sometimes you just need to know which pizza you are based on how you’d design a bedroom.

53. Dragon Age

54. Moleskin Journals – stationary luxury in a nutshell

55. Salmon – tastiest fish out there

56. Tapirs – Like goats, but weirder

57. Pineapple

58. Poached eggs – used to hate eggs, but poached eggs have converted me.

59. Henley shirts – they’re just almost universally flattering

60. Long coats – also almost universally flattering

Sucking at Self-Care

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I’m not very good at taking time off and often sneak practical and productive things into my activities on days off.  Today I tried taking a day off.

I haven’t written a word, but you bet I’ve been mentally constructing a case for an upcoming debate my kids might be in. I cancelled the hike I’d scheduled for 7am (because even I genuinely think getting up before 6 am on a Saturday for productivity purposes is really stupid), but made sure to go for a long walk that at least my fitbit counted as exercise. I bought a book with Lovecraft stories today and discovered that I was getting annoyed with myself for not having finished the first story yet.

I simply don’t like doing things where I don’t feel like I’m accomplishing anything. Numbers, now that’s something I do like. Going for a walk is less satisfying than walking on a treadmill, because treadmills have all sorts of wonderful numbers for me to keep track of. I have two separate fitness apps on my phone, a built in one and the one that accompanies the fitbit I got the other day. I’ve started a bullet journal that I keep at my desk in the office.

I love being productive, but man do I hate deadlines. It’s pretty evident that I use work as some form of self-medication and I like to be able to control that dose. Deadlines, especially when they gain up on you, tend to hinder productivity and ensure that I get less actual work done. I like completing tasks, I don’t like hearing the ticking of the clock.

I recently had to say no to paid work due to other obligations and found it outright upsetting to do so. I have to genuinely stop myself from scrolling through job adds out of curiosity and a desire to do more.

I do pay the price for my inability to relax and just live like a normal person. Flirting with burnout is a bit of a hobby and I’m pretty sure it’s not helping my sleep issues. Balance is not my greatest strength, but I’ll have to improve if I’m going to be able to keep this up in the long run.

A Brief Fandom Tag

Stumbled across this online, thought it would be a fun thing to do for a casual post.

1. What’s your definition of a fandom?
My definition is pretty casual. If you enjoy something and occasionally indulge in going beyond experiencing the original medium (like listening to an album), you’re probably a fan. I think the whole group aspect of it is fairly creepy to be perfectly honest.

2. What was your first fandom?
Probably something like Harry Potter

3. List all of your fandoms!
Star Trek (mainly Voyager), Dragon Age, Final Fantasy, The West Wing.

4. On a scale from 1-10 how nerdy/crazy are you?
Maybe about a 6.
5. What is your favorite character to cosplay?
I don’t really cosplay, but I’d give Rogue from X-Men a go.

6. Fanfictions? Yes or No
Generally, no. I don’t mind fan fictions that explore what happens ‘between’ scenes or someone’s backstory, but they too often turn away from staying faithful to the source material for my taste.

7. What is the most recent thing you watched/read?
Got Star Trek Voyager open on Netflix in a different tab.

8. If you could choose ONE mystical place to go where would you go?
Gosh that’s a tough one. Probably Thedas if we’re basing it on places from fandoms.

9. Do you have a Tumblr?
Used to have one dedicated to coffee.

100 of My Favourite Things 2/5

Here’s part two of my 100 Favourite Things List. Literally just a list of things I really enjoy.

21. Lipstick
There’s a reason I collect these. Firstly, they’re a really easy type of makeup to use. Secondly, they can change an entire look. Thirdly, I’ll remain a staunch advocate for traditional lipstick when everyone is obsessed with the (in my opinion) overrated liquid lipsticks. Fourthly, you always look like you’ve made an effort if you’re wearing red lipstick.

22. Nail Art
It’s like regular nail polish but more fun. This is one I made years ago, obviously before the nails were cleaned up.
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23. Scented Candles
I know they’re super basic, but man are they great for making you feel at home. There’s also something about just having candles around that makes you feel warmer in winter, even if the tiny flame does nothing to actually provide warmth. Plus, some of them have really creative designs. Coffee and vanilla make for a great combo.

24. Board Games
There’s apparently a Star Trek themed version of Catan out there and I want it so badly.

25. Productivity Tools
I’m a bit of a workaholic. Feeling productive and getting shit done is one of the best feelings in the world to me. Thus, anything that helps me be or at least feel like I’m being more productive is a plus in my book. I’ve recently started a bullet journal, have a whiteboard that is awesome for to-do lists, use a fitness app to track my steps and exercise, and I found Habitica really helpful during honours when I had similar things that had to be done each day.

26. Rieslings
I’m really boring when it comes to wine. I like rieslings, ideally with a low alcohol content and a good, balanced taste.

27. Tattoos
They are an amazing form of art, enhanced by being on a moving canvas. I’m super happy with most of mine and there’s only one I want removed (original artist butchered it and no amount of trying to fix it has been able to improve it much).

28. Blueberries.
Seriously the best type of berry out there.

29. Pinterest
Perfect for dreaming about things you can’t have, do inspiration boards, and come across ideas for projects.

30. Star Trek
It’s one of the shows that got me interested in politics. It also encourages intellectual and actual exploration far better than other shows I’ve seen. Furthermore, it’s not afraid to be what it is. It’s a sci-fi series and has fun with it. My personal favourite is Voyager, followed by TNG.

31. SkinFood
How this brand hasn’t taken the west by storm yet is a mystery. It has some awesome skincare products and some pretty cool makeup products. I love their hand creams, this one smells of dark chocolate and makes for a fun little keepsake on my desk.
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32. True Crime Youtube
I’ve always been into things that are a bit creepy and weird. The reason why I watch a fair number of true crime youtubers is that I find they’re often more respectful to the victims than many ‘documentaries’ that are designed for shock value. I’m especially fond of Rob Dyke and Cayleigh Elise’s works.

33. The X Files
It’s a good show. Kinda wish I’d gotten into it when I was younger, but it was always on super late. Well worth watching even if the technology dates the show quite a bit.

34. Disney Songs
Want a mood booster? Try Disney. There’s also several good metal covers of Disney songs out there and I absolutely adore it when those two genres are combined well. It’s Disney, you’re meant to have fun with it.

35. Fairy Lights
They’re just really pretty. Got a battery driven string of fairy lights in a jar in the office, makes going in to work on weekends feel a bit more cheerful when you switch that thing on.

36. Johnny Cash
I don’t just listen to metal and Disney songs. Sometimes, I like things that are a bit more old fashioned. That really is how I like to assess the quality of music, if it’s still good years later despite the change in trends and wider social patterns.

37. Equestrian Sports
Far more challenging (mentally and physically) than they’re given credit for. Similar to dancing – it only looks easy if you’re really good at it. Similar to swimming, you get out what you put into it. Sure, you can splash around in the water without breaking a sweat and you can go on a quiet trail ride without much effort. Put some effort in and you’ve got a hell of a workout going. Add to that the fact that horses are sentient beings who sometimes decide to give you a hell of a workout even when you don’t want to.

38. Cheese
This should really be a food group of its own. No matter if it’s just shredded cheese over noodles, or a high-quality cheese platter, I’m a fan.

39. Wrap dresses
It’s essentially a bathrobe that is super comfortable and flattering as hell. Not to mention acceptable to wear in public. These really need more appreciation.

40. Lounge pants
Lounge pants and an old t-shirt are my favourite things to wear when I’m at home not doing anything. Think Geek have some amazing lounge pants, just make sure to buy the unisex model and not the men’s version (unless you’re into having a hole in the front of your pants).

Review: Labiotte’s Wine Lipstick

Brand: Labiotte (Chateau Labiotte)
Product: Wine Lipstick Fitting
Shade: 4
Price: 19.51 AUD
Bought from: W2Beauty

First impressions: The colour is more discrete than I anticipated and a bit more matte than I thought it would be. It’s still a nice colour, so I’m not disappointed, just a bit caught off guard. The packaging is awesome. It feels really nice on the lips, it’s lightweight and not very drying.

Packaging: It’s a wine bottle. I like wine bottles. Especially when they’re comfortable to hold, stay closed, and stand up on their own.

Usage: I wear it without lipliner or lip primer. It stays on pretty well but if you want to keep the bottle on your desk, you can probably use the need to reapply the lipstick as an excuse. The cut is slanted rather than pointed, so you might find some parts of your lip need to be painted with care.

Value for money: 20 AUD is pretty mid-range for lipsticks and I’d say the price is fair considering the extra work that was put into the product. It’s fine but doesn’t make me giddy with what a steal it is.

Would I buy this again? Maybe. It takes me a while to get through lipsticks and this shade is nice but not amazing. I might consider picking it up in a different colour the next time I buy from W2Beauty.