My 2018 Goals

We are three quarters the way through January, so you might be surprised to see a post about my 2018 goals and resolutions. However, I am trying very hard to stick with them this year and I thought putting them on here might help me keep going. You know – guilt me into sticking with it!

I have two sections to this: my goals and my resolutions. The goals are something that I can achieve and cross off the list, but the resolutions are an ongoing part of my year. In the past I have been pretty rubbish at keeping my resolutions. This year I tried hard to make them managable and achievable. I have even started a sort-of bullet journal to help me track my blog posts/workouts etc.

My Goals

  • Move in with my boyfriend (see my post here for more info!)
  • Publish a research paper (I’m doing a PhD and this is an important part of the process)
  • Finish my secret project. It is only secret because I use a pseudonym on here and writing this one out would tell you all my real name!

My Resolutions

  • Write a blog post (at least) once a week. I really am trying to get back into blogging!
  • Do yoga at least once a week. I used to be so into yoga (specifically Yoga with Adriene), but I barely did any in 2017.
  • Write for at least 2 hours a day, five days a week. I’m in the third year of my PhD now, and I definitely need to start cranking out the words so I better keep to this one!

Wish me luck!

 

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I’m Moving!

I’m moving. Well, not actually until July but I’m moving! I have lived in my current house since September 2015 and I have really loved it here. It was the first time I had lived on my own, and in a proper house too. But, the time has come for me to move in with my boyfriend! I’m so excited!

So, why am I moving if I love it here so much? The main reason is actually a practical one. My PhD funding ends in August and I don’t have enough money to kept renting alone. However, it isn’t JUST because of money. I have been with my boyfriend for coming up three years and we have spent most of that living 200 miles from each other. It will be really good to be able to spend more time together, without having to spend hour on train or in the car to do so.

We have started looking online at places. It is still much too early, but it is fun to look and see what we can afford. We’ll be moving to a new town so we’re trying to do lots of research so we don’t end up somewhere horrible! This is another slightly scary aspect of this moving process is that I’m moving back down south and I’ll have to try and make new friends. God, I hate making friends as an adult! Anyone got any tips?

Anyway, I’m very excited! Is it too soon to start packing my things?

November Favourites and Highlights

November isn’t actually over year but I have had such a good month that I wanted to talk about it now! Here’s a run down of my highlights and favourites from this month.

Crisp morning walks

Lisabeth Westwood winter woods chilly

I love this time of year: it is getting chilly but too cold, the mornings are still light, and I can walk to work not completely bundled up in scarves and hats. I live a few miles from my university and I’m loving my morning walks at the moment. I get wrapped up, stick on a podcast (current favourites are Crtl Alt Delete and No Such Thing as a Fish), and set off to work. I love the crisp, fresh air and I often make a slight detour to walk through the park for that extra autumnal feeling.

Bourgois Rouge Velvet Lipstick

Bourgois lipstick

Lipsticks. There are just so many out there and most don’t live up to the hype. However, I have been loving the combination of this Rouge Velvet lipstick (03 Hippink chic) and the BarryM lipliner in Runway. It is really longlasting, i.e. it doesn’t leave you with that horrible lipstick ring round your mouth after one sip of coffee. I love this colour – I’ve really been channeling my inner Alicia Florrick (another November favourite, I watched ALL of the Good Wife recently).

I’m going to New York!

I’m so excited for this one! I have wanted to go to New York for as long as I can remember. As a child of the 90s, Friends and the like made NYC look like the place to be. I was lucky to win an academic prize that will fund a research trip to the Big Apple in March. It won’t be all fun but I’m really looking forward to planning my stay. I have the hotel booked (I’m staying at the AKA Wall Street and it looks so fancy), next is flights!

Teaching

I won’t sugarcoat it, teaching is hard and I only have a few seminar groups a week. I’m so impressed for all those primary and secondary school teachers out there, it is so much work! Despite all that work and marking, I have loved teaching this year. My students are so nice and seem to be engaged with the subject, the latter is really all that I’m interested in. The extra money has definitely come in handy this month too as Christmas is fast approaching.

L’Occitane Shea Handcream

Birchbox handcream Lisabeth Westwood L'Occitane

I mentioned this handcream in my review of the November Birchbox and I have really been enjoying it. I get very dry skin in winter and my skin has been loving this cream – it is so rich and moisturising. It is the perfect size for on the go but I have mine on my desk. I think I even prefer it to the Body Shop hemp handcream and that has been my favourite for years!

 

I’m back…sort of

When I started this blog over  eighteen months ago I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I tried it for about six months before deciding to put the blog on a semi-permanent hiatus. Honestly, I wasn’t really enjoying it.

There were many reasons why I wasn’t loving the process. The main one was that I wasn’t creating the content that I really wanted to put out. There was a good argument for this – no one else would probably be interested. I am a PhD student studying medieval literature but I’m also mildly into make-up, skincare, and watch more YouTube videos than is probably sensible. My interests are varied and my lifestyle is very different from most. I’m not quite a student and not quite a researcher. I have very little money, lots of flexibility, and almost no future job stability. My concerns about the academic job market, the demands of academia and research, and the day-to-day nonsense of trying to write a thesis don’t make for a very fun blog.

So when I was putting out my first 30 blog posts – I felt like I had to conform to an existing standard. There were so many other bloggers talking about how to run a sucessful blog, how to get and maintain followers and readers, how to do the perfect flatlay. I didn’t feel like I, my interests, and asethetics fit in. I still have no desire to own anything with marble effect or  a blush pink fluffy cushion. Because of all this, I decided to stop – but now I’m back.

I’m not expecting my blog posts to get many views and I’m not planning on pushing my blog on social media. Rather I’m going to use this platform for me. To write about things that interest and are important to me. For the most part, I just want to practice my writing. I’m in the third year of my PhD now and, over the next eighteen months, I’m going to be writing 100,000 words. I need to get used to sitting down and writing.

I’m not going to committ to a certain number of posts per week – that seems like setting myself up for failure – but I’m going to try put something up fairly regularly. Let’s see how this goes….

Academic Year and You

Hiatus

I have not been at all active on here or on Twitter for the past month and I think it is likely to stay this way. I have decided to have a semi-permanent hiatus on blogging. I enjoyed elements of blogging but I have to concentrate on my PhD. I’m leaving the door open to start blogging again in the future but this looks unlikely to happen any time soon.

Thanks to everyone who has supported my blog, spoke to me on Twitter, and met me in real life!

What I think about blogging

It is a Sunday evening. I’ve had my dinner, I’ve got a glass of red, and I’m thinking about blogging.

I started blogging in May as I was looking for a hobby that didn’t require any money and that I could do from the comfort of my living room. But, to be honest, I haven’t enjoyed it as much as I thought I would.

It goes through peaks and troughs: sometimes I am at every Twitter chat in existence and I read lots of other blogs but I’m currently in a bit of a slump. I’m feeling similar with YouTube – I subscribe to a lot of channels and I used to really love catching up with videos but, more and more, I’m finding myself to be frustrated or bored with the content. This is partly because I have a very strict budget so can’t buy many clothes or new beauty items so huge hauls aren’t interesting to me and I end up thinking ‘Who needs this much stuff?!‘.

With my own blog, well I don’t think I have much to say. I never found ‘my niche’. I’d really like to write more about my PhD and life as a researcher but I know that isn’t interesting to everyone. Plus readers who are within the academy tend to want to put a blog to a name and I use a pseudonym. So I feel a bit lost and it is making me not want to write.

Going to the Bloggers Blog Awards was such a good experience. I loved meeting other bloggers and everyone was so friendly, yet it didn’t leave me inspired, more frustrated with my lack of committment to my blog.

What does this mean for the Lisabeth Westwood blog? I’m not sure yet but I’m not ready to quit. I guess just watch this space.

My Day at the Bloggers Blog Awards

So my first blogger event was the Bloggers Blog Award on Saturday 1st October!

I was very nervous as I wasn’t going with anybody and I had never met a blogger in real life before but it was SUCH a good day. The awards were organised by Hayley at Tea Party Beauty and she did an amazing job! Everything ran so well and was a lot of fun so props to Hayley!

The day started off in a very relaxed way. I read a book and had a coffee in bed until it was time to get ready. I wore a Zara tartan dress and my favourite black leather boots from Office: it was nice to get dressed up for a change! My weekends tend to be more of stay at home, make loads of food, and watch TV kind of days so I was so excited to be out and about.

The awards took place in Canal Mills in Leeds so it was super convenient for me. I felt a little bit guilty because some people had come from hundreds of miles away and I had just popped in a taxi. The venue was really cool and there was tons of space, and they seem to do lots of different events there so I’ll definitely check it out again.

Lisabeth Westwood bloggers blog awards

When I got there, we had a couple of hours to grab some drinks and mingle. That was the bit I was the most nervous about as I had to just go up and chat to strangers but everyone was so nice! I met loads of amazing bloggers who were so interesting, wrote really cool blogs, and lots of them were there by themselves too so we ended up making little groups. As I write under a pseudonym, it was quite weird to have to introduce myself by my blog and real name! I met lots of really friendly and welcoming people but big thanks to Arash, Amy, and Becky for chatting to me when I was all alone!

The awards themselves were great: well done to all the people who were nominated and those who won! I took the opportunity to shove a cupcake in my face without anyone seeing me – it was lemony and delicious. I managed to not get buttercream on my nose or cake in my hair: winning at life.cupcake-wine

After the awards were over, it was time to do some more chatting and then draw the raffle. I didn’t win anything and there were so many good prizes 😦 I’m so envious of the person that won the Urban Decay lipstick case, I would have never had to buy a lipstick again!

raffle.jpg
Not my lucky numbers

The event came to an end and a bunch of us went to the Belgrave Music Hall for burgers and a beer. I had such a great day and evening – it was totally non-scary and I will definitely be heading to some more bloggers events in the future and next year’s awards!