Just tired…

As those who follow me on twitter or instagram would know, we suffered a major loss just before Christmas – our gorgeous kitty Jacket passed away in his sleep. He’d had a few health problems across the year, and I think it all eventually just caught up with him. He was 15 years old, so he was getting up there in cat-years, but it was still unexpected.

Gonna miss this fluffball :(

Gonna miss this fluffball 😦

Before anyone asks, because it really is a sore point – nope. Not ready to get another cat yet. We will, but just not yet.

Honestly, I’ve been a mess. I was already a bit burnt out from working a few too many shifts during semester, and then with this horrible sad event right before Christmas, only the day before the one year anniversary of my Nan’s death, I just haven’t been coping very well.

This blog has suffered, my house is a bombsite, I haven’t done work I needed to do. I haven’t done the ‘healthy’ things I know make me feel better (gym, yoga, tai chi, meditation), and instead have spent an inordinate amount of time on the couch, watching Netflix, gaming, and eating chocolate.

I went a couple of weeks ago for a checkup (because my shoulder has been playing up again) and have been informed that I am suffering from adrenal fatigue (again). Now I have to be careful I don’t push myself completely off the edge, especially seeing as I’m heading back to uni in only 2 weeks.

I don’t know when I’ll be back writing properly on the blog, but I don’t want to go away completely. I have so many ideas for posts, but I just haven’t got the mental energy to bring them to life at the moment.

I just know that I have to take the time to sort out my mental and physical health again, before I completely wreck myself. Right now, I’m just tired and need to get myself healthy again.

~K

*** The article linked in this post is not mine, but it sums everything up in a much better way than I could ***

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Sorry!

Apologies for being so very very slack over the last… god, 3 months? 4 months?… something like that.

Life has been super-busy, and somewhat stressful.

I did 4 weeks of prac this semester, as well as all my normal assignments, and then on top of that I got SICK and missed part of one of my prac weeks.
I now have to make up a week of prac, and I’m just waiting for the school to get back to me about when I’ll be doing that.
But since I’ve been sick, I’ve had trouble getting back up to where I was before. I don’t think I gave myself enough time to really properly get better, because everything has been back-to-back and I just couldn’t take the time off.

I’m just SO DAMN TIRED, and very distracted. Concentrating on anything is incredibly difficult 😦 My anxiety has been playing up again and I keep second-guessing myself, but I think I must be on a downward depression cycle as well because motivation is zero. I’ve just got to push myself through my exams, and  then in a week I’ll be DONE! Hopefully I can get through without breaking, because I have plans for the summer break and I don’t want to have to spend the whole time recovering.

~K

How to put on a Duvet cover – the EASY way

A friend of mine shared this on Facebook last week, and I knew I had to try it the next time I made the bed….

IT WORKS SO WELL!!! I’ve been fighting with our king-size doona for the last 12mths when I didn’t have to be!

Only thing I will note that this video doesn’t say – make sure the cover is inside out, with the top side on the mattress. Because science, the inside-out upside-down cover will end up right side up and right way out when you unroll it.

~K

Being a money-savvy adult

Today, we’re going to be looking at something that can seem somewhat scary – MONEY! (and it’s friends, Credit Cards and Loans).

I’ve had an awful lot of “learning the hard way” experience with all of these things, and hopefully I can help  you avoid some of the mistakes I’ve made along the way. These are my rules for how I manage our money day-to-day.

Rule 1 – Live within your means
Do your income and your outgoings match up? Or are you earning $1000 a week and spending $1050 (or even more!)?
If your income is equal to or more than your outgoings, YAY! If your income is less than your outgoings, you need to do something about that. Which brings us to…

Rule 2 – Have a budget and stick to it
This is important, whether you are living within your means or not. However, if you’re spending more than you’re earning, this will be a much more painful process.
There are several ways of doing this – an app, on a excel spreadsheet, or good ol’ paper.
First step, no matter what method you’re using, is to take all your ins and outs for a month and categorise everything – groceries, cars, spending money, EVERYTHING. This is can be somewhat scary – I almost had heart failure the first time I did this and saw how much we were spending on food (not even takeaway, just plain old grocery shopping).
Use these ins and outs to design your budget and work out where you might be able save some money.

Rule 3 – Save a little bit each pay packet
This doesn’t necessarily mean putting money into a specific ‘savings’ account, but that’s definitely the simplest way.
What we tend to do makes our money work harder for us – we have a loan with a redraw facility, so we put our “saving” money into the redraw account. That way, while the money is sitting there, it is reducing the amount of interest we’re paying on the loan and we can pull it out if/when we need it.

Rule 4 – Be smart with your debt
The first part of this is that just because you CAN get a certain amount of debt, doesn’t mean you should. You want to minimise your debt. Just because the bank is willing to give you $25,000 for a car loan, doesn’t mean you should go out and buy a $25,000 car if a $12,000 one will do. Don’t get sucked in by those credit limit increase offers that banks send out regularly – a lot of people get the increase “just in case”, then end up spending the money on things they don’t really need. Which is exactly what the bank is counting on you doing. Avoid this, and just don’t do it.
The second part about being smart about your debt is managing it well. Always make your payments on time. Pay more than the minimum payment amount. Pay off your credit card every month.
If you’re in a situation where you’ve ended up with several credit cards with high interest and you’re not able to pay them off, go visit your bank and have a chat. Often, you can roll those amounts into a single personal loan, which will usually have lower fees and interest rates. The big thing if you do this is to not go and just get another credit card afterwards.

Rule 5 – Re-evaluate everything on a regular basis
Life changes, and with that your cash flow requirements can also change. I’d personally recommend doing this every 12 months, or whenever you have a ‘major life change’.
Not regularly checking in is almost as bad as not making a budget in the first place.

~K

I was approached by Jessica from Credit Card Insider to do this post. I did not receive any compensation, monetary or otherwise, for this post.

 

GUESS WHAT

Happy Dance

I got a job I got a job I-I-I got a job I got a job I got a job

As you can probably tell, I got a job! I am now working as an AIN at one of the largest hospitals in my region 🙂

YAY!!!!!!!

While this does mean that it’s about 16hrs a week less that I’ll have to spend on things like blogging, I’m going to do my darnedest to get at least 2 posts per week up (despite the fact that I haven’t exactly been managing that anyway).

I’m casual, so I can be called in to work any shifts that I say I am available for, including nights. Hubby is worried about me catching the train late at night, which we will have to sort out because parking costs A FORTUNE ($20 for 8hrs) so I really don’t want to drive.
The issue is the fact that I will be getting the train somewhere between 10pm and midnight sometimes – afternoon shift finishes at about 11:30, and nights start at 11. I think he’s concerned that its “not safe”. I can totally understand that you get some real weirdos around at that time of night, but I’m trying to get him to see that there are security cameras everywhere on the stations, as well as other staff who would be finishing at the same time as me, and there are security guards on the trains at that time of night. Also, I make a point of sitting right next to where the conductor is.

Hopefully I can convince him that catching the train is OK, because the only other way to get around paying for parking is for Hubby to drop me off/pick me up on those late starts/finishes and it just seems silly for him to drive from our place out to work and back again. We’ll have to see what happens.

~K

Things I’ve learned from being off Facebook

I went off Facebook in April 2014, after I realised just how much time I was spending wasting on the site. This ended up being a really good decision for me, because it meant that I was better able to concentrate on my uni work and other things that constant scrolling had been taking me away from.

 

Here’s some of the things I’ve learned in my time off of Facebook:

  1. Most people won’t even notice you’re not there.
    I put up a “hey guys, I’m disappearing for the foreseeable future, please text/call if you need me” post when I bailed off, and STILL everyone was surprised when I’d say in conversation “remember, I’m not on Facebook at the moment”.
  2. You WILL miss some important announcements, unless you have someone who is keeping tabs on stuff and can update you.
    Between Hubby and my best friend, I managed to keep mostly up-to-date with the really big things (babies, engagements, etc), but I did miss a few things. I missed several birthday parties because they only did Facebook invites.
  3. Sometimes, Facebook really is the best way to keep in contact with family.
    I have a HUGE family on my Mum’s side – she’s the oldest of 6 kids, and everyone has at least 2 kids, and most of the ones over 18 have long-term partners. Not being on Facebook meant I had honestly no clue what was going on with them unless my Mum told me.
  4. You will find out who is really your friend.
    The friends that actually care and want to still catch up with you will text/call. My “friends” list has reduced to about 6 or 8 people compared to while I was on Facebook, and I can’t say I’m particularly sorry – I prefer having a few good friendships than having heaps of superficial ones.
  5. I increased my “other social sites” use, but not by a significant amount.
    I found that when I initially got off of Facebook, I had a steep increase in the amount of time I was spending on Tumblr, Twitter and WordPress, but that reduced after a few weeks – when you don’t follow a thousand people, there’s only so many new things that will turn up on your feed when you refresh it.
  6. Now I’m back ‘on’ Facebook, I’m not checking it anywhere NEAR as often as I used to.
    I’m only doing 1 or 2 scrolls per day now, and I think that this is a sustainable amount. The time I’ve spent without Facebook seems to have broken me of the constant-checking habit.

Things I’ll be doing differently this year:

  1. I won’t be completely bailing this year – instead, I will be making changes to the things that turn up in my feed.
  2. I will be un-friending and un-following people.
    There are some people I can’t un-friend without creating a shitstorm, but I can remove them from my sight.
  3. I won’t be posting very much, even when I’m on there.
    I honestly find that there is very little I want to share on Facebook – the time away has given me a new insight into just how shallow and RIDICULOUS a lot of posts really are. I found that I didn’t even want to share some of my really exciting stuff (YAY I got a 6.0 GPA and got invited to the High Achievers lunch) because I didn’t want shit to hit the fan – I know that there are people who would take it as a slap to the face, rather than be happy for me. Maybe I’m over-thinking that, but I just can’t be bothered dealing with that crap.
  4. I will not have the app installed on my phone.
    I still have the app installed on my iPad, but not on my phone. On my phone, I am too likely to just randomly scroll because 80% of the time my phone is where I can see it.
  5. No notifications
    The only Facebook notifications I’ll be getting are the Facebook Messenger ones, because I have a few friends who prefer to use Facebook messenger so they can save on credit. Fair call.
  6. Facebook calendar sync.
    I have turned on Facebook calendar sync, and I’ll keep it on this year, even if I go off Facebook for all intents and purposes – because that way, I shouldn’t miss out on the birthdays/celebrations I did last year.

~K

Routines for 2016

Here’s what I’m going to aim for with my morning and evening routines this year. As much as I’m not a “morning person” as such (I like being up early, but I’m not good at waking up early), I’m going to try and get up early again, like I managed to do during second semester last year.
I’ve also actually done a evening routine, because I really need to start going to bed and winding down at a reasonable hour if I want to get up early.

Morning Routine
6:30 – GET UP!
6:35 – Meditate (10mins)
6:45 – Shower & get dressed
7:00 – unpack dishwasher, repack if required
7:05 – Coffee 😃 and read while drinking
7:20 – make lunch (if uni day)
8:00 – leave for uni/start studying (depending on home or uni day)
 
Evening Routine
10:30pm – stop studying/watching TV
10:35 – do dishes/stack dishwasher
11:00 – wash face, brush teeth, get into PJs
11:20 – read for a little while before going to sleep

Do most people do routines like this? Or do you tend to go with the flow and see what happens?

~K

Goals for 2016

Here’s my goals for this year! I’ve used the same categories as I did for 2015, because they still fit the best with my life.
I’m posting my goals here, because having them where you guys can see them keeps me accountable.
I’m thinking that this year I’ll do a monthly progress post (or at least try to), with how well I’ve managed to keep up with doing these things.

Relationships – anything to do with how I relate to other people
Organisation & Management – things that relate to how I manage time, money, and life in general
Health & Beauty – mental and physical health, fitness level, things that I associate with making myself ‘pretty’
Creativity – things I enjoy and that give me a creative outlet
University/learning – anything connected with study

Relationships

  • write to my grandparents at least once every 3 months
  • date night with Hubby at least once every 2 months
  • catch up with friends once a month

Organisation & Management

  • plan my week every Sunday
  • stick to my morning and evening routines
  • maintain my weekly “cleaning day”
  • continue meal planning every week

Health & Beauty

  • clear out any clothes in my closet that I have not worn in the past year
  • only buy clothes that fit my style and I truly love
  • go to the gym at least 3 times a week
  • 2 strength training sessions a week
  • lose 1kg per month (total aim for the year – lose 10kg)
  • meditation for 10mins, 3 times per week
  • go to bed before midnight
  • get up before 7am every morning

Creativity

  • minimum 2 blog posts per week
  • 2hrs per week recreational reading
  • finish my fair isle jumper in time for winter (finish by May)
  • design a vest from the fair isle jumper pattern

University/learning

  • Get a job as an AIN
  • Maintain my 6.0 GPA
  • keep up to date with my lectures & readings each week
  • spend at least 3hrs on Japanese study each week

~K

2015 Wrap-up

Here’s the mandatory post about “how things went in 2015”. This is somewhat based off of my “Goal List” from the start of this year (find it in this post). Over the next few days, I’ll be working out my Goal List for 2016, and I should post that sometime during January.

University/study
I was remarkably successful in this category! I graduated from my Bachelor of Psychology (we won’t speak of my final marks for that, but I GRADUATED!) and now have a piece of paper and another line for my resume.
I’m one year through my Bachelor of Nursing, and my marks are SO much better! As of the end of this year, my GPA is 6.0 and this makes me eligible for the “High Achievers” events (e.g. a morning tea a few weeks ago, that may result in a nursing job!).
I managed to maintain my designated “study hours” fairly well, but there is definitely room for improvement (particularly in regards to getting assignments started earlier). I started all my assignments this year approx 1-2 weeks before they were due, but I’m going to aim for having them COMPLETED 1 week before their due next year. I only had to pull 1 all-nighter for an assignment, and OMG I felt like crap. I am too old to do that anymore.

Health/beauty
I did much better at (mostly) eating at “normal” meal times, and I consistently made packed lunches for uni. Hubby took over his own lunch making around June, and he’s also been good at that.
I’ve done much better at not worrying/stressing about things that aren’t under my control, and I’ve felt far more level emotionally (particularly in the last 6mths). I’ve also been asking for help when I needed it, not once it was too late and I’d already burnt out.
We’ve been eating far more food that I make from scratch, and this has reduced our food costs. We’re still spending an absolute FORTUNE every week on soft drink and energy drinks, but I can confidently say that I’m not the one drinking those. Hubby just isn’t ready to give them up, and I’m not going to push the point because we can (sort of) afford it.
I swapped out driving for walking and bike riding (or public transport) for about 90% of my transport needs, and this helped increase my fitness levels and reduce our fuel costs. It’s much easier at our new place than it was at our old house though – EVERYTHING is within walking distance, while at our old place nothing was (closest supermarket to our old place was 4km away. New place – there’s 3 within 800m). I only joined a gym in the final few months of 2015, but I’ve been going fairly regularly (barring a few disaster weeks).
I BECAME A MORNING PERSON!!!!! Well, sort of. I became a person who regularly gets up at 7am on days when I have nothing booked before lunchtime (or at all) and I feel pretty good about that. It took until the second half of the year to really get there, and the 6:30am starts for my nursing prac really helped cement the morning thing. I’m still not exactly cognitive before caffeine, and my brain doesn’t really wake up until at least 2hrs after I get up, but I’m no longer nocturnal so that’s a good thing.

Organisation/management
I successfully remained off of Facebook during semester time this year, and I will be repeating that next year. I also feel like I wasted less time on Tumblr and Twitter. I may have swapped this out a bit with this blog and YouTube though. I still feel I wasted less time online than previously though.
I culled my wardrobe, and now pretty much everything in there fits me and is in the styles I want to wear.
I *tried* to plan out my days… with mixed success. Some days, it went really well. Others were an absolute disaster. I let it slide a bit in the second half of the year, but I’m going to continue working on that next year as well.
Did better this year with keeping on top of the housework – I could definitely do better, but the only times I really didn’t keep the house reasonably tidy were exam weeks… and I figure that’s forgivable.

Creativity
I still don’t have my reading corner, but we’re looking at possibly replacing our couch this year, so I’ll hopefully be getting a big squishy one-person chair when we do that, so I can set up said reading corner.
I have successfully been trying at least 1 new recipe a month, sometimes almost 1 per week. Only 2 of them got rejected by Hubby, so that’s a good start!
I averaged 1 recreational book per month, but they were mostly crammed into my uni breaks… I would judge that a success 🙂
I’ve been spending more time knitting/crocheting, and I’ve almost finished a gorgeous jumper. It’s a little tight atm (mainly around the tummy area), but by the time the weather gets cold enough for me to wear it I aim to have lost a bit of weight so it will all be fine.

Relationships
I did a bit better at keeping in regular contact with my grandparents this year, but it’s never enough. I lost my Nan only a week ago, and the amount of contact I had was never enough. I wish I could have gone down to visit more often, but flights are expensive and we haven’t exactly had spare $$ this year. So many regrets, but it’s too late. Everyone give your grandparents a hug, because you’ve only got a finite time to do it.

Overall, a mostly good year. The past month has been hard, but up until that point things were going well. Normal life has still been good during the past month though, which has made it easier to deal with the bad stuff.

Happy New Year to you all (because I probably won’t be doing another post before then), and I’ll see you in 2016!

~K