Resolutions 2017 – February

Another month gone and I feel I have not been particularly productive this month but we shall see

01)  Lose weight, yup this old chestnut again, I lost a stone and a half in the second half of last year so just set up a fresh spread sheet and new targets, while I know I have a lot more weight to lose than my target weight I am simply being realistic about losing weight in a healthy way.

No change or should I say no weigh, I have had a really weird month and I have avoided getting on the scales, I have changed a couple of things in terms of routine and with half term everything has been up in the air, I have a feeling I may have put weight back on as I feel really bloated but I will get my backside on the scales for a fresh start on Sunday then really need to get a move on with shifting some weight for Darker I need to get into that dress lol

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02) Publish the remaining two parts of the Queen of Ages trilogy

I am still down on where I want to be but I know that by focusing and getting stuck in I can get back on track next month, I just need to get my time managed better and get my focus back.

03) Exercise more

I have managed a couple of trips to the pool this month though still not as much as I should have. My average step count over the 28 days is actually down as last months was 6,740 however in my defence you will notice a whole day missing there on the Thursday of week 19th Feb – 25th which was as a result of me heading off for a day out without checking it was sufficiently charged, also that whole week is down overall with the fact it was half term and therefore no school run.

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04) Blog at least four times a week

Failed terribly again but now feeling much more positive about what I want to do with both the Vlog and the blogs, it can be quite difficult sometimes thinking what to write but I also have the A – Z to start thinking about and planning.

05) Get out more

Nope not been anywhere though I am guaranteed to have at least one for next month, and the following month. I blame the fact I am single and the big event this month was Valentines!

06) Write every day

As you can see I have had a terrible start to the year in terms of productivity/word count but I have done some plotting in on paper a lot of mental brain storming and plotting now just to get back to getting it all on paper.

07) Work on my self belief

I know this month I have fallen short of my goals but carrying on from last month I am not getting stressed, instead I am looking more at what I can do to change my own actions to achieve what I want and to accept some things are beyond my control and I just have to deal with that.

08)  Time management

I just reinstalled my Pomodoro app to help me focus on set tasks for periods of time and set my Freedom app back up, both these help with focus and productivity so fingers crossed next moth you will start to see results.

09) Update my wardrobe

Because my weight has not changed I have not really thought much about this, other than drooling over clothes in the Joe Browns leaflet that fell out of the paper if you are unaware of this company you can take a peek here, I love the books and tweed type jackets.

10)  Publish the newsletter each month

Two weeks into March and I am ashamed to say that the newsletter has not gone out yet however it is on my list of things to do in the next 48 hours so do not despair also need to try to contact last months prize winners again as they have not responded to the email.

11) Work out what I want in my personal life

My personal life is still stalled but I think it will be a case of if/when it happens it happens. I have so much going on, so many exciting things coming up with signings, new books etc and of course would love to have someone to share them with but it is not the end of the world, would rather wait for the right person than settle for just anyone.

12) Keep my website up to date

As I write this need to post two updates, to be fair I had done one of them and saved it but because I didn’t hit publish for some reason it did not save properly and it wiped it, lesson definitely learnt, if I am not ready to publish then write the post in word and copy and paste at the appropriate time.

Glossybox Review December 2017

Finally up to date as I wait for this months box to arrive and I have to say I love the box…

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Sadly as much as I liked the box I didn’t have it long as my daughter also loved it lol so lets see if the contents matched the packaging…

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I have to be honest I was not blown away despite the fact it was full of make up products but did I feel the same after I had used them?

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MDMFLOW Semi-Matte Lipstick in Vamp

The first thing I should say was I chose the colour for this which also influenced the next product as well. I am not sure if I like this packaging, the lipstick does seem quite small however I did like the colour when I opened it…

dsc02272I chose this colour out of the two options as the other was a more neutral shade of which I have plenty when I swatched it I did find it was lighter than I initially expected but was still a nice berry colour…

dsc02273I love the packaging for this and I really like the colour. The lipstick stayed on quite well though required definite topping up after eating and drinking, at £18 I am not sure if I would buy more especially given the only option would seem to be online so the fact photos do not necessarily show true colour would put me off.

Next up…

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Revlon Nail Enamel in Valentine

I have to be honest out of the whole box this was the biggest disappointment. The colour sent was chosen to be paired with the lipstick you chose, to be honest the match is not a good one colour wise in the first place and this nail varnish left me frustrated, seemed to either have to be applied thin and streaky to get it to dry and more than two coats it would not dry properly, in the end gave it up. At £6.49 it is not really expensive but I still would not buy it.

Next…

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Collection Cosmetics Define & Perfect Eyebrow Powder

I cannot make up my mind on this product, the colour is just about right for me, maybe a little dark…

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I don’t mind the little brush application process…

dsc02276I already mainly use a powder to do my eyebrows so that was not problem. It took my a while to put my finger on it but the issue is the ball bearings that for some reason are rattling around in the brush bit. The thing is I can’t even work out why it is there, if it was in the powder side I might have thought it was there to loosen it except that it would actually pack it down, there is no liquid in the brush part that need agitating it is just annoying and distracts me as I use it. At £4.19 it is a good price and I like the product, they just need to sort the rattling noise.

 

The next product is this one…

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Lipcote Lipcote

Sometimes a product can have been around for a long time before you ever try it, for me this was one of those products. To an extent I think I never needed it, most lip products these days are designed to have a long lasting formula, so I tried this out over a range of lipsticks, I have to say it did make some last longer, others I could not say I saw a difference, I confess I do not like the tacky feeling that you get when you have first applied it however that does fade very quickly and at £3.99 it is actually a reasonable price if it makes lipsticks last longer before you need to reapply after all many of the lipsticks cost far more.

And the final item…

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Essence Light up your face luminizer palette

When I first looked at this palette I was not impressed, the colours were not really suited to my skin tone however once I stopped and considered how I could use the palette I have become rather fond of it.

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Rather than using them all as luminizing powders I have been using the two outer darker shades to use for contour shades when I feel the need to contour during the day, they give a little glow along with the shading and I use the middle highlighter if I want a more subtle glow or over the top of a liquid highlighter. I will say that for nights out the shades are not strong enough but they are fine for during the day r for when you need to be understated and at £3 would also be great to take out to top up rather than carrying your more expensive products with you.

Resolutions 2017 – January

So the first month has flown by and I hold my hands up, it has not been the start to the year I would have wished for but O really want to concentrate on finding the positives so let’s see how I did…

01)  Lose weight, yup this old chestnut again, I lost a stone and a half in the second half of last year so just set up a fresh spread sheet and new targets, while I know I have a lot more weight to lose than my target weight I am simply being realistic about losing weight in a healthy way.

Well at the end of the months technically I am down but would have been better if I had not had the blip in the middle, the problem is nights out and stress have both contributed this month to that pound put back on but I want to just focus on the positive and the 2lbs lost. I really want to be losing a pound a week so I did half of what I wanted this month lets hope next is better.

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02) Publish the remaining two parts of the Queen of Ages trilogy

I have started on the second part but am well down on where I wanted to be by the end of this month, however I am determined the first draft will be done before the middle of March so time to get stuck in this month and make up for lost time.

03) Exercise more

I have not made it to the pool this month at all, just bad timing with other things I have had on but next month I fully intend to start getting back into the Monday morning swim at the very least. As you can see I did not hit my 10k step target very often, it is annoying that I cannot get it to show the full month rather than the 28 days but as I can’t change it just have to work with the stats we have. as they were all set at zero on first of last month the increase looks fab but the important thing will be to keep that figure going up, the one thing that is obvious is I need to do more than just housework on Sundays.

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04) Blog at least four times a week

If you are reading my blog you know I failed this terribly but I promise you it is going to get better, family issues and commitments as I discussed earlier in the month have had to take priority but am now getting better organised and balancing everything better.

05) Get out more

If you get my newsletter or follow me on social media you will know I did get out twice this month, once with friends and the second time with the monster (it counts for now okay) both times to the Chinese Buffet, which actually accounts for that pound put back on lol. No actual nights out planned for this month but do have a lunch planned with my lovely friend Debbie and hoping to arrange a coffee meeting with another friend. I am also working on a special outing the month after which I will tell you more about nearer the time.

06) Write every day

I did not manage to write daily but what I did do was write when I had chance and also sort out several old folders with different bits of short stories, as you can see this actually is providing the basis for two very different short story collections potentially, well actually you can’t see both just the one but not going to say which one will come first lol, at the minute one looks like it may be family/relationship based and the other horror, just out of curiosity please answer in the comments do you prefer themed short story collection or ones that are a complete mix of genres?

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07) Work on my self belief

This month I have taken on a new mantra ‘It is what it is!’ By this I am looking at accepting my failings without judgement upon myself, I will not rip myself to pieces because I did not achieve all my goals, I will not waste energy fighting the tide on things I cannot change and I will embrace situations and make the most of them. It does not mean I shall not strive to push myself but it does mean that I shall have faith that if I fail there is a reason and it is not always myself at fault.

08)  Time management

Well obviously I as have not been hitting my targets it would seem I have been failing miserably however it is not quite true, because I have been making more time for family and to spend quality time with my son. I do need to focus more and be more productive during the daytime hours I have spare for writing and that will be my focus for the next month.

09) Update my wardrobe

Well obviously two pounds is not enough to justify a new wardrobe but I have been thinking about what I want my look to be, I recently added some purple to the pink in my hair and I am tempted to move more towards purple than pink, I am rather liking the idea of a ‘steam-punk’, Victorian ‘Gothic’ I like the idea of the corseted structured look with maybe the long bustled /layered skirts however with a butt the size of mine that may not be the most flattering look to go for.

10)  Publish the newsletter each month

The February newsletter went out on time and I am pleased to say I had plotted out half of it during the month, with the exception of a book to my friend Heidi and the January prize sending out I am now caught up on the mailing situation so that is a huge bonus. I am hoping to have more exciting things to discuss in the newsletters as time goes by because it is hard to make it so they are more than a rehash of FB and Instagram posts and not just pushing the same book over and over again.

11) Work out what I want in my personal life

This month my personal life has not taken a step forwards, backwards or in any other direction. My son has been my priority and my one night out was not exactly the sort of night that was going to give the opportunity to meet someone. At the minute I have so much on making time to met new people is going to be hard, I don’t really want to go down the on line route and just talking to people on line because you can’t judge if the chemistry is there via text or even on the phone, it is a physical reaction, I did meet someone last summer but due to other issues it did not work out but the chemistry was off the chart and the memory of how alive that spark made me feel means I am not about to settle for anything less.

12) Keep my website up to date

I am technically behind by one post as I write this, mainly because I struggle to think of interesting things at the minute to put on up there, I also am due to add another today as I am finally finishing this in the Sunday despite the fact it has been on the go since Wednesday but it has been a rather chaotic week personally so I am going to forgive myself as after all ‘It is what it is!’

Lazy Sunday #28

I want to say this is the first Sunday of 2017 but technically it is the second however as you got a vlog then it is the first Lazy Sunday. So have you got your coffee ready? For most of the posts this week you will notice the theme is resolutions, you can read my post here but I just want to take a minute to talk about why I make resolutions each year. I am later than usual publishing this but I went out last night so am slow getting my thoughts together today lol.

If you have followed me for a while you know each year I post a set of resolutions at the start of the year and then follow them through to differing degrees of success. Last year I was terrible at doing a monthly update, this did not actually mean all the resolutions failed, for example Ascension and Voices were both published. for me the actual act of writing my resolutions post is a way of actively focusing my mind on what I want to achieve in the coming year, both personally and professionally, the updates allow me to see whether I am on track. It is worth noting that missing out on writing the updates does not mean things are not going well but rather sometimes I feel that there is nothing new to add to a previous month although I am still moving in the right direction. for many of us our lives are so busy that giving ourselves targets and reference points we can refer back to helps us maintain a focus on some aspects that it is easy to lose in the chaos of everyday existence. Making time to exercise seems like something that would seem simple but until it becomes an established part of a routine it is easy to neglect, having told the world you intend to do it can be the motivation needed to make it happen.

Enough of me anyway and onto some blogs…

  1. The first lot of Resolutions come from Emmy Leigh I especially love the one about creating an environment in which all can flourish, I frequently find myself getting stressed trying to balance everyday house work etc against writing time and need to find a better balance https://emmyleigh.wordpress.com/2017/01/01/new-year-again/
  2. The next one really does embrace the idea of learning from each experience and moving forward https://blessedwithastarontheforehead.com/2017/01/02/new-year-time-to-renew-and-redo/
  3. The final lot of Resolutions is from Ellie and are quite similar to some of mine I love the idea of an office but until I move one day that is not an option https://quotidiandose.wordpress.com/2017/01/02/new-year-new-plan/
  4.  There is going to be another Annual Bloggers Bash  in London this year and they are running a competition to help fund it, I have the date pencilled into my diary and am hoping to be able to attend this year http://sachablack.co.uk/2017/01/01/the-big-bash-competition-2017/
  5. And the final blog for this week is one I hope you will all follow, not only as I am one of the signing authors at two of their forthcoming events but also I hope to be at many more https://hourglassevents.wordpress.com/2017/01/01/2017-the-year-for-darker/

That is it for this week hope you enjoy xxx

Resolutions 2017

As you will be aware if you have joined me here the last few New Years I like to make resolutions, mainly in the blind hope I might stick to at least one or two of them and this year is no different, well no that’s not true because actually it is. The resolutions I am making this year are split into two categories, writing and personal, and I am going to do half a dozen of each, then update you  on my progress monthly/

01)  Lose weight, yup this old chestnut again, I lost a stone and a half in the second half of last year so just set up a fresh spread sheet and new targets, while I know I have a lot more weight to lose than my target weight I am simply being realistic about losing weight in a healthy way.

I don’t want to diet as such, I enjoy food too much but it is more about eating habits and portion control, after all a little of what you want does you good lol. so this is the chart I will be using at the minute the whole year is shown as a red line, which you will hopefully see begin to incline week after week.

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02) Publish the remaining two parts of the Queen of Ages trilogy

I already have both out lined and know the overall story arc, it is strange because as excited as I am to begin work on them I am also a little reluctant to finish the story as I have lived with these characters in my head for so long while I plucked up the courage to share them.

03) Exercise more

I pay for a gym membership but at the minute have been using it to go swimming once a week, I am determined that I am going to up that to at least twice a week plus use my Fitbit, I was using it frequently but then I accidentally misplaced it then struggled to get it working properly again but hopefully that is resolved. The online dashboard app does not allow a month view rather it does four weekly so the evidence I shall show will be the four weeks prior to updates. I have it set for 10k steps per day but honestly that never happens I might manage one or two days a week so I am going to aim for a weekly target of 45k per week initially hopefully that number will go up and you will see my weekly average increase each week as I get fitter. As you can see I have not used it for a few weeks so it does allow for a fresh start stats wise.

 

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04) Blog at least four times a week

I tend to be quite hit and miss with blogging, either managing daily blogs or going weeks without a post. the only reason for this is poor time management. Most blog posts are around 500 words which takes only half an hour to write. The only blog post I do that I need to live post is the Lazy Sunday post, all others can be done in advance and scheduled, including the weekly vlog.

05) Get out more

Since I split with the monster’s dad I have really gone out very little, that is partly through choice and not feeling like it due to the things that have been going on in my life but also the practicalities of being a single parent, but if I am going to consider meeting someone and having a relationship it might help if I actually leave the house lol, chatting on line or texting is fine but I miss going for meals, going to the theatre or cinema, and of course I don’t actually need a partner to do these things I can go with friends or even on my own but whoever I go with this year am determined to have one night out a month and one coffee meeting with a friend each month.

06) Write every day

I have lots of targets set for myself this year, and if I want to achieve everything I want to get done I will have to not only hit them but realistically hit them ahead of target. I have downloaded the writing tracker so brilliantly crafted by Jamie again this year and she has added the ability to add monthly targets as well which will make it so much easier to keep track of where and when I am struggling.

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07) Work on my self belief

This is one you cannot track on a spreadsheet or by hitting targets it is something within which I need to work on. I constantly second guess myself instead of going with my gut reactions. I also find it hard to take compliments, I may smile and say the right thing at the time but after I question what every comment could mean how it could be interpreted a different way. This is one thing in which the old cliché of fake it till you make it might actually apply but I also think it is something I need to work on from the inside.

08)  Time management

I have touched on this in my other resolutions but I want to elaborate, I know there are enough hours in the day to achieve all I want to but too often I get distracted. I want to set up proper working hours where I focus purely on writing, mainly while the monster is at school. I am trying to find my receipt in the folders for the freedom app which is a great way of stopping you get distracted by other online apps.

09) Update my wardrobe

Now obviously as I lose weight I will be buying new clothes but that is not what I actually mean, I want to work on an image change to go with the transition from someone with a day job who writes to an writer who works a few hours at a day job.

10)  Publish the newsletter each month

I have a horrible habit of leaving the newsletter until the next minute then not getting it done at all, I am determined that the first day of every month if you have signed up for the newsletter it will be in your inbox at some point that day preferably in the morning.

11) Work out what I want in my personal life

This might sound strange but actually it is not, I have lived on my own for quite a while, I am used to having my own space, doing things my own way, so the question is going forward if I meet someone what am I willing to give up or settle for. For example part of me would love someone to curl up with on a night when I fall asleep but I also want to be free to come and go as I please and not to have to answer to anyone. I have enough picking up after a child, two cats and a dog, I don’t want to have to pick up after another person, so you have to question what another person would be wiling to contribute to a house hold. The real answer is of course that compromise is required, for me I have to work out where I am willing to compromise and what the deal breakers would be and of course the fact is these types of things do not just effect me so I have to be doubly sure before I considered letting anyone meet the monster.

12) Keep my website up to date

I have been terrible at posting to the website, it goes months without being updated, which when you consider I pay for it is ridiculous. Admittedly the website is more of a one stop shop, it has links to all my books, photos, newsletter sign up, news and events. It also has a link back to here for those wanting to know me more as a person, I am determined to keep updating it with a weekly post but also to promote it as much as I do the blog and my other sites.

 

So that is my dozen resolutions for 2017, have you made any, if so let me know in comments what they are if you wish to share.