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?

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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

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.