My South Africa Trip

At the top of Table Mountain | South Africa Trip

All has been silent on the blog lately, and I’m sorry about that but I just have to tell you about my adventures in South Africa! At the end of January, T and I took the trip of a lifetime to visit his homeland and see as much of it as we could. We’d been planning it for literally years, and T decided to take me there for my birthday in February. So we set off and got to see all the sights!

Warning: This is a very photo heavy post, so enter with caution, slow internet users! Also, please excuse any slightly blurry/over-exposed photos. This was taken with my rather crappy phone camera, but I did my best with what I had!

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Hello 2016! Goals, changes & reflection

psycheplays_hello-2016_01

Now that all timezones are officially well within 2016, I wanted to wish all of you a very happy new year! It’s been a mere three days, but I’m already feeling like I’m in a more positive place than I’ve been in most recent years. I realise this is nothing to do with the clock chiming midnight on 1st January, but I still think it’s a good way to kick off the year!

I won’t be making any resolutions, as I mentioned in my post last year starting off 2015. However, I already had a lot of plans for the year which I plan to achieve, so I’ll be sharing those with you instead!

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5 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Me (Blaugust #14)

psycheplays_blaugust15-day14_5-things-you-didnt-know-about-me

One of the prompts submitted by Jaedia during the run-up to the beginning of Blaugust was:

Tell us five things that we (probably) don’t know about you, or as an alternative, you could do “five things you probably don’t know about me (because they aren’t true).” Run with it!

And so I figured, with us being two weeks into Blaugust, now is a fantastic time to share something a little personal. Here are five things I’m sure many of you don’t know about me. I went with the true facts, rather than things that aren’t true!

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Life, the Universe & Everything (03/07)

I feel like it’s been a while since I gave an update on everything that’s been going on. What better time for an update on my life and what’s been going on than after a mini blog revamp?

I had a week off work last week, and spent most of that time playing Final Fantasy XIV’s new expansion, Heavensward which released officially on Tuesday 23rd June. I reached level 60 on my Bard (thank goodness!) and started working on gearing up for the new content. I also did a 12-hour stream on Friday last week, levelling Dark Knight with my friends, who played an Astrologian and a Machinist with me. It was a lot of fun!

Speaking of streaming, I have been working to improve my schedule and am tweaking it at the moment, but in the last few weeks I’ve been aiming to stream at least twice a week, attempting to increase that to three times. So far it’s been going great, and I took part in the 24-hour Heavensward Stream-a-thon organised by EvilSqueegeeOpt1kal and WantonNerd. It was a ton of fun, and I met a lot of great FFXIV streamers through the event!

Outside of the geeky sphere, T and I have been planning our trip to South Africa next year! We booked our flights a few days ago, and will be travelling early next year. It’s a really exciting trip, and definitely once-in-a-lifetime. For those of you who don’t know, T is from South Africa. He was born there and his South African side of the family still live there. He hasn’t seen many of them for a long time, so it’s going to be a bit of a homecoming for him.

Our plan so far is to visit friends and family in Durban (two of my FC mates from FFXIV also live there so we will stay with them for a few days!), then travel out to Cape Town and visit some of the sights. We will then drive up the Garden Route and  eventually arrive back in Durban for the last few days before we go home. We’re aiming to have our last few days be a “true” holiday experience, staying in a hotel near the beach and chilling out. It’s the first time the two of us have gone on a “real” holiday together just for us, so I’m really looking forward to it.

Finally, next week is our 10-year anniversary together! We’re not buying any big gifts, but we’re planning on going out to our favourite restaurant on Friday evening.

Hope you’ve all been keeping well lately!

Life, the Universe & Everything (10/02)

First of all, it’s my birthday today! Since I’m off work this week, I thought what better time to post a general update about everything that’s going on in my life, gaming and all.

As you probably know, I’m playing Guild Wars 2 a lot and am working on both levelling my Mesmer and trying to unlock more Ascalonian weapon skins, since I got the longbow for my Ranger. I’ll be trying to get the greatsword for my Mesmer through grinding the PVP reward track and maybe a few explorable dungeon runs, which we started this past weekend. It’s been fun, since we’ve been playing with one of my FC mates from Final Fantasy XIV and she’s a lot of fun to play games with!

Life, the Universe & Everything: My sylvari mesmer in Guild Wars 2.

Speaking of FFXIV though, I’ve finally started working on my Artemis Animus! I was a bit behind the curve when it came to upgrading it to an Atma, and I picked up the first of nine books a few weeks ago. I never got round to finishing it, and I was surprised when I finished it today and felt a genuine sense of accomplishment that I think I’ve been missing lately! So I’ll be trying to upgrade it now, perhaps quite slowly but still, it’s something. I have no idea how to upgrade it to a Novus yet, as I never really paid much attention to it.

I know a few of you have noticed that I haven’t been streaming lately, and for that I’m sorry. I have been feeling a little nervous about it for the last few weeks for some reason, and it’s just put me off going live every time I’m about to. That mixed with the issues I had accessing Twitch last weekend just made it pretty difficult. I will be getting back into it as soon as I can, because I really miss you guys! But I just needed to get myself into the right frame of mind. In between regular streams, I will keep my Forge.gg stream up for whenever I’m playing a compatible game. It’ll tweet automatically when I go live, or if you have an account you can follow me there and see when I’m live on your sidebar. Check out Laughter’s post about Forge.gg for more information and invites to the site.

Life, the Universe & Everything: Forge.gg is a new streaming service for quick captures.

Apart from all of that, everything’s been fine! I’ve been enjoying the beginning of my week off and am thinking of starting a backlog of games I need to finish since I have some time to do that, then maybe dedicating a day every week to my backlog (thanks to Devisaidso on Twitter for the inspiration!).

Hope you’ve all had a great start to 2015!

A New Year Full of New Things

A New Year Full of New things | Christmas 2014 was lovely but it's time to move on!

I have been a very absent little blogger ever since I started my “short” hiatus in October, and I thought what better time to return to the land of blogging than on the first day of the new year? For those of you who don’t know me particularly well, Christmas is my jam. I get excited in the lead-up to the holiday, I love buying gifts for people and adding a personal touch where I can, and I especially love the excitement on Christmas morning (not to mention all the delicious food!). Christmas did pass by a little too quickly and was over before I was truly ready, but I’m going to tackle the beginning of 2015 with as much gusto as I can manage.

I’m not really one for New Year’s Resolutions in the traditional sense; you know what I mean — lose weight, quit smoking or drinking, stop biting nails etc. But that’s only because I know that I’m pretty bad at keeping to them! But this year I will set some goals for myself that I really aim to achieve, and I’ve kept them in the area of nerdiness!

A New Year Full of New Things | Hello 2015

Hello 2015, I am ready for you! This year, I want to accomplish more in my nerdy life, just as much as in my non-nerdy life. Here are a few of the things I intend on doing.

01. Complete more games off my list!

I have a terrible habit of not completing games, as I get sucked into other games before the end, or end up sinking so much time into my multiplayer games that I neglect the singleplayer games I still have yet to finish. So this is a list of a few of the games I’d like to at least attempt to complete:

The Witcher Series, Dishonored, Batman: Arkham Asylum & Arkham City, Borderlands 2, The Walking Dead Season 1 & 2, Mass Effect Trilogy (second & third playthroughs), Dragon Age: Inquisition (and perhaps DA2 as well), Divinity: Original Sin.

02. Read at least 25 fiction books.

I frequently fail these as, despite being a huge lover of books, I don’t make enough time for them these days. Work takes up so much of my day that when I get home I just collapse into my chair and play games for an hour or two before bed. I want to make that change, so I will aim for 25 books this year. I’m also an incredibly slow reader so 25 might actually be a bigger challenge than I realise!

03. Learn more things.

If Christmas’ session of Trivial Pursuit taught me anything, it’s that I need to learn more about a wider variety of topics! Granted, it was a 1980s version of the game from South Africa so take from that what you will! Even if I only learn more about my area of work and things that feed into that, I will feel like I’ve made an accomplishment.

04. Have at least one writing session per week, aiming for short daily sessions.

If I ever want to make something of my writing, I need to commit more time to it. To do this, I will either write once per week for a solid hour or two, with the intention of pulling that up to shorter sessions every day. Perhaps every morning before work?

05. Stream at least three times per week.

I’ve been kicking up my streaming schedule lately, and I want to keep that going. I will aim to stream at least three times a week, including my usual Saturday night horror gaming. While I primarily stream to hang out with people I’ve met through gaming and streaming, I’d love to make something of it. I don’t mean to earn money from it, I just want to feel like I’ve made an accomplishment with it, like I did when I took part in the Elite: Dangerous launch event and had over 130 people hanging out there! That felt amazing, and I’d love to do it more, even if it scared the hell out of me!

I also have some game specific goals, such as jobs to level in FFXIV and reaching Elite in Elite: Dangerous, but those are for another day and another post! Do you have any nerdy goals for 2015?

Short Hiatus (October 2014)

Short Hiatus: October 2014
Image source: WeHeartIt

I know I’ve been around very little lately, and I want to apologise for that! I have been getting back into my streaming schedule and, in turn, blogging has taken a backseat which it shouldn’t be. To anyone who still reads this, I’m very sorry, but I am taking a brief hiatus from all (read: most) things internet. This means online games (except for FC events in FFXIV), streaming, blogging and to a smaller extent social media. So I will only be in FFXIV for FC events (my FC knows this), there will be limited blogging updates and no streams, and while I’ll still be around on social media, I will be there a little less. There are a few reasons for this:

» I have so many singleplayer games I want to work on and enjoy. A lot of online games have been frustrating me lately and I want to enjoy myself, so I will be working on Dragon Age: Origins then the DLC and Dragon Age II in advance of the third game coming out.

» I need a little break from social media with all of the negativity going around in the wider gaming community, to prevent myself getting involved! And also for my own sanity.

» I will be visiting my family for a few days because I haven’t seen them in months (since before I did all that travelling a little while ago!) and I really miss them, so I need a little bit of time just to spend with them.

However, starting the week of Halloween on Monday 27th October I will be back and ready to play all the scary games! I will try to do some small scary streams (specific days will be announced on my Twitter in advance) during the week but the real event will be on Halloween itself, Friday 31st October, where I’m thinking of maybe doing either a 12-hour stream or at the very least a late-nighter starting at around 8:00PM Irish time. I will play spooky games or games with a Halloweeny theme, and will start either Alien: Isolation or The Evil Within, depending on which I’ve got my hands on!

The rest of that week, I am off work and will be able to dedicate more time to blogging and streaming, so expect to see the launch of a Minecraft server for friends and regulars, as well as some more spooky and funtimes streams during the week. I may even try to do one in costume! If I can think of a costume…

So I apologise for the brief hiatus, but I really do need a little break. I promise to be back the week leading up to Halloween though, my favourite holiday of the whole year! I hope you’ll be able to celebrate with me.

Life Lately (15/09/2014)

I apologise for the lack of posts lately, once again! Things got quite a bit busier over the last few weeks and it’s been hard to sit myself down still long enough to catch up on posts. I know I say that a lot, but honestly, I travelled to LA in July and a week later to Germany for gamescom, followed by two extremely busy weeks at work and yet another business trip! I’m just now recovering from all the travel.

I’ve been picking up on my stream schedule as well, streaming at least two or three times a week which is fun! I’ve been getting very much back into it, which has been great because I really missed talking to people while I played games and this gives me a great opportunity to do so.

Due to all my travel, I completely failed at Blaugust, so I apologise to all of my fellow bloggers who were taking part! I wanted to do so much with it, so I hope we’ll have more opportunities to do blogging events that will help with the gaming blog community. I did meet some great games bloggers through it, however, which has been a real treat!

Gaming wise, I’ve been playing an inordinate amount of The Sims 4, and I promise to write up a review here over the next few days! I’ve also been playing Final Fantasy XIV, with a focus on levelling the classes I need for cross-class actions, practicing T5 with my FC, and farming for my atma weapon. All in all, I’ve had a lot to keep me busy, and I’ve been neglecting this place a little too much.

I hope everyone has kept well! Thank you for putting up with my sporadic posting.

Life Lately (16/07/2014)

Life Lately (16/07/2014)

These Life Lately posts of mine are becoming a bit too frequent! At least a monthly occurrence now, it seems. I know I’ve been flaky with my blogging the last few days, but I promise I’ll be back on track in the near future! Unfortunately, not only my blogging has been suffering, but also my writing, streaming, and even my gaming!

First of all, why I’ve been gone! Last week I was visiting my company’s office in LA, California. It was a very exciting trip; I’ve been out there once before but only for a few days so a full week was a treat! A lot of hard work was done, but with hard work also comes even harder play time. So what did I do while I was there? Not only did I get to visit colleagues and friends I haven’t seen for months or even years, but I got to experience a lot of things I never got to the last time I was in the States. I tried In-N-Out (pretty good, but I overhyped it!), Californian wine (delicious!), Korean BBQ, and some delightful steaks. I also got to visit Costco after being told by my colleagues it was a “quintessential American experience”. They were mostly joking, but it was fun to visit! On Friday last week, I also went on a tour of a variety of pubs in Santa Monica, and almost made it all the way to the beach before I bugged out and went to bed at 1:30am. Not my usual Friday night, but fun with very good company and lots of singing to 90s and early 00s music! I also got to see the NA LCS. For those of you who don’t know, that’s the League of Legends esports series. It was fun, and I picked up a Pulsefire Ezreal statue while I was there. Photos of my collection later!

There was also a very fun story. My good friend Sarah had shared some “unsolved crimes” with me a few days ago, and we were both creeping each other out. I read one of them, and it was all about a woman who had gone missing and was later found in a water tank on the roof of a hotel. The tank was sealed from the outside, but they ruled the death “accidental”. Moments before her disappearance, there was a video of her in the elevator of the hotel. The elevator wasn’t going anywhere, and while she looked a little unstable, it also looked like there was some foulplay. She seemed convinced she was being followed, and the lift wouldn’t go anywhere no matter what buttons she pressed.

One night, after I went out for delicious food with some awesome people from our LA office, I was leaving the office late. They were all staying to play games, and I had just come back to use the bathroom before walking back to my hotel. I got into the lift and pressed for the first/ground floor, and nothing happened. The doors closed and the lift didn’t move. I laughed, and thought, “Just like that story!” I tried calling another lift but nothing worked, so I decided to use the stairs. I didn’t know where they were, so I followed the exit signs through an empty office (creeptastic!) and found the stairwell. I walked out into the stairwell, and noticed it had a sign for roof access. I laughed again, thinking, “I bet that’s where the water tanks are!” I was suitably creeped out but mostly smiling. Until the door shut behind me and wouldn’t open again. The panic started to sink in… I sprinted down the stairs and tried every door but…nope. I felt flustered. This is how it happened! That crime was even in LA, please don’t be a murderer in the stairwell, oh please…

I called my boss, no answer. Before resolving to just spend the whole night there, or possibly try to break out through the alarmed door on the ground level, I started pounding on the door up on our floor until I heard a confused voice in the office area. Luckily a coworker came out to use the bathroom! I got back in, thank god, but was very shaken up! And the lift still didn’t work!

All of that aside, I had a great trip. However, I am thrilled to be back. I get homesick and I’m a very easily stressed out traveller, and honestly, while I missed my routine and my PC and my own bed, I truly missed my fiancé. Our nine year (!) anniversary was on Thursday, so I have the whole week off to celebrate and make up for the fact that I wasn’t here for it.

So I hope you’ll forgive my absence! Again, I know. But I will be around more often now, at least until Gamescom in August!

Life Lately (14/06/2014)

Life Lately (11/06/2014)

I’m still here! My sincerest apologies for being so absent lately, life has been pretty busy, both in the wonderful realm of “real life” and my gaming adventures!

Many of you know that my mum has been in and out of hospital the last few months. The good news is she finally was scheduled for her surgery last week, and while there were some minor complications during the surgery she was released on Friday! I got to go visit her at the weekend, and it was really nice! For the first time in a while I didn’t bring my laptop as I was busy all weekend. I did learn that I make a mean fried egg sandwich while I was up! She is recovering fast, and will be back to her normal self within a few weeks.

In gaming news, I have been hopelessly addicted to WildStar since its launch last week. My spellslinger is only level 18 but I’ve tried my first adventure and had a blast! I’ve honestly been clocking most of my out-of-work hours into this game lately, so I haven’t been giving other games, or my blog, the love they deserve. For that I am very sorry!

Now, I had honestly considered taking a long break from Final Fantasy XIV because of my newfound addiction, but with Square Enix announcing Rogues, Ninja and marriage in FFXIV I’m really excited! Especially because SE even went ahead and announced same sex relationships. This shouldn’t be a big deal, but it’s great that they made the step other companies have been unwilling to do.

I will be back on my streaming schedule as of tonight, all being well, so feel free to catch me on my Twitch.tv channel for Scaredy-Cat Saturday at 10:00pm GMT+1 today!

Life Lately (16/04/2014)

Life Lately (16/04/2014)

I have been really slacking on the blogging front lately, and I’m really sorry! Every evening has been super busy with the massive (and growing!) list of games I have to play and at the weekend I was away, so I’ve been a little bit absent and even missed my Screenshot Sundays. Whoops!

In gaming news, I’ve been playing EVE Online and got my main pilot (the pirate lady) back into high sec finally, after spending a rather large amount of ISK to get tags for security status. It was a pain in the ass, but it’s done now and I’m glad! Now I can travel through high sec without people (legally) being able to shoot me. This is great, as I can start doing missions again on her, and even start moving more freely around space to find a place to set up shop for our new piracy/PvP corp.

However the big gaming news, for me at least, is that my Free Company in FFXIV managed to down Turn 4 of Coil last night! For non FFXIV players, the Binding Coil of Bahamut (or Coil, for short) is the first “raid” players encounter, and is split into phases. Turn 4 has been giving us trouble, so it was exciting to down it last night three times, and even get my healing robe! A few of us got loot so it was definitely a great raid night. We do need to grow our FC a little as we’re struggling to get enough people together for events, but at least we have fun together.

As far as real life is concerned, I went to visit my family at the weekend as I needed to visit my family doctor. It was a great weekend; I picked up a wireless Xbox 360 controller/receiver combo for my PC (even though I already have two wireless controllers…finding a receiver was difficult!) and played a little bit of Dark Souls. My family and I went out for dinner on Sunday evening and my mum and I managed to squeeze in a coffee date before I left on Monday.

The big news is that I ordered my new PC! I’ll be sharing the specs and a review of the website I used to purchase it as soon as I receive my order, but it should be arriving this morning. I’m really excited; it’s a massive upgrade and has even encouraged us to make a better gaming space in our apartment, which will make me feel much more comfortable about streaming again. I will even be creating a better streaming schedule, especially now that I have a brand new and shiny webcam on its way too!

Happy Valentione’s Day! (FFXIV)

FFXIV: Happy Valentione's Day to you and yours!

A very happy Valentione’s Day to you, and Valentine’s Day to all you non-Eorzea citizens! I just finished the FFXIV Valentione’s Day 2014 event and gathered all of the adorable goodies, including heaps of chocolate because really, who doesn’t love chocolate?! (I actually know a few people who hate it, but shhh…)

Whether you celebrated with your loved ones, alone, or didn’t celebrate at all, I hope your day was lovely all the same! Now get out there and get your paws hands on that discount holiday chocolate!

Liebster Award

Liebster Award, February 2014

I really love the idea behind the “Liebster Award”, for one very big reason. Forget about receiving them, giving them is a great way to highlight amazing blogs and, more importantly, bloggers that you’ve met and love. And it’s one of the best ways for someone to find new blogs to read! The lovely Rhi at Sparkly Panda and Danielle at Underland to Wonderland nominated me, so I’m going to answer both of their questions in the one post, and only nominate one group of people because to tell you the truth I don’t know enough bloggers! I definitely want to expand my reading list though!

I apologise in advance for the length of this post!

The Rules for the Nominees

» You must link back to the person who nominated you
» You must state 11 facts about yourself
» You must answer the 10 Liebster questions given to you by the person who nominated you
» You must pick 10 bloggers to be nominated with under 200 followers

11 Random Facts About Me

01. » If you asked me to choose between chocolate and cheese, I would choose cheese every time. In fact, I’d probably choose cheese over just about anything food related.

02. » Despite the obvious dangers, I’d love to live in space. I find space fascinating, and while it’s been fed by my obsession with space opera and sci-fi, I’d love to travel space sometime. Unfortunately I suspect it won’t be possible in my lifetime, and also I doubt anyone’s going to be a space pirate but, hey, a girl can dream!

03. » I’m a synaesthete, specifically grapheme-colour. In particular, I associate days of the week and months of the year with a specific colour, and it’s how I code my memories. I know I first met my fiancé on a Wednesday, because the memory is tinted blue in my head. Numbers and letters also have colours.

04. » I didn’t go to college, and I don’t have a degree or any formal qualification. I left school at 18, started working full-time first in a printing shop, then in a gaming centre that I used to work part-time in. I applied for a job in a games publisher in customer support and got it in 2008, and I’ve been working in games ever since. I can’t imagine working anywhere else.

05. » Contrary to popular belief, I did actually play World of Warcraft, and for a time I loved it. I got into the early closed beta due to working at a gaming centre, and then played for about a year after that. I’d finished almost all content before reaching level 60 as I pretty much piggybacked on guild members. I finally got bored with it after a year, but until I found Final Fantasy XIV I missed it dearly, but returning never worked.

06. » I believe in the paranormal. While I can’t be certain, I’m sure I’ve encountered ghosts or apparitions multiple times, including one particular instance where I felt a dog brush up against my arm. I assumed it was my dog, Drake, but when I looked up he was lying down on the other side of the room. I’m sure I’ve seen dogs in my house a few times, and saw a man standing in my bedroom once. I always felt calm in their presence, so I don’t think they were in any way malevolent.

07. » Mountain Dew is my drink of choice, and it frustrates me endlessly that we don’t have real Dew in the UK or Ireland any more. The Energy stuff is not the same flavour! I frequently sneak off to get the closest thing I can manage, which is the stuff from Singapore from the Asian market. It’s still delicious, even if it’s not quite the same! I used to buy five mini cans for £1 at Woolworths when I was younger.

08. » I’ve participated in and “won” National Novel Writing Month twice. I have attempted to complete it four or five times but only twice I’ve managed to finish the 50,000 words. My second attempt was Drifters, which I hope to publish one day as I’m absolutely in love with it.

09. » Thanks to my good friend Heather at Hey, Heather Bee! I have an addiction to young adult space operas. Thanks for that, Heather!

10. » I had never raided in an MMO before Final Fantasy XIV about a few weeks ago. I’m horribly addicted now, and even though we’re in a casual, social guild, we raid two to four nights a week. Apparently this no longer counts as casual? Who knew!

11. » Despite the fact that I apparently exude confidence, I am incredibly shy and easily nervous. I’m very sensitive, and my self-confidence is pretty low, along with my self-esteem. I learned to fake confidence pretty well, so now when I confide in people that I have confidence issues I’m working on, they look at me astonished and say, “But Kirsty, you’re one of the most confident people I know!”

Rhi’s Questions

1. Why do you blog?
I blog because I love writing, and because I enjoy expressing myself. I started blogging purely because I wanted a journal online, which was mostly private. I started gaming blogging when a certain Tilly at Love, Tilly encouraged me to start a blog for our Final Fantasy XI adventures, and it kinda stuck ever since!

2. What is your most memorable moment from blogging so far?
Being able to host the #lbloggers chat on 5th January this year. That was a challenge, but a good one, and a ton of fun. I met a lot of lovely people through the chats, and in particular when I hosted!

3. Where would you like to see your blog in a year’s time?
I’d like to have a more concrete schedule and editorial calendar in place, and also have a ton more blogs I had connected with. It’s less about increasing my own readership, and more about finding the community I crave.

4. What’s your favourite subject to blog about?
Gaming, always. This blog is primarily focused on gaming, but I try to put in a few other subjects from time to time!

5. Have you had any bad experiences since blogging?
Not really. I’ve had a few ups and downs in the past, but Psyche Plays has had a pretty positive experience so far!

6. Is there anything new you would like to learn?
I’d love to learn how to speak Japanese or Russian.

7. What’s your favourite flavour of ice cream?
Hmm, mint chocolate chip! Though it’s tough, I also adore coffee ice cream, and cookie dough!

8. What is the geekiest thing you’ve ever done?
Oh man, everything I do is geeky. I think my geekiest was probably cosplaying as Pentakill Sona from League of Legends, on-stage, as part of a cosplay band (who played real live music!). Or perhaps meeting Virginia Hey, as I freaked out when I saw her and got all nervous and stuttery.

9. Best memory of 2013?
Eek, it’s a toss-up between Gamescom and the cosplay, and visiting Punta Cana. Punta Cana was probably my favourite memory though. It was beautiful, and I miss the lifestyle I pretended I had while I was there. I’m not a big drinker, but free cocktails at noon on the beach? Amazing.

10. Benedict Cumberbatch. Discuss.
Unpopular opinion time: I find his face terrifying. He looks like he’s made up of a bunch of different facial features from different people! I also do not watch Sherlock. Sorry!

Danielle’s Questions

1. Name 3 things that you LOVE about yourself!
I love that I take childish delight in a lot of things, that I’m an overall nice person (even if that can be a problem sometimes), and that I’m incredibly passionate.

2. If you could live in any one country in the whole world for the rest of your life where would it be and why?
Germany, for sure. I loved visiting, and would love to live in Cologne. I have to visit a few other cities in Germany though!

3. Would you rather time travel into the history books or transport to the future?
Probably the future, unless history included some of those wonderful fantasy stories I’ve read!

4. If you were born the opposite sex, what were you going to be named?
David, I think!

5. To die completely happy you will want to of done what?
Written a book and had it published.

6. Favorite Harry Potter character? (If you don’t like Harry Potter, well, what on earth!?)
I actually don’t like Harry Potter, I’m so sorry! I read the first chapter of the first book and thought, “Eh…” I was reading The X-Files books at this point haha.

7. What is the nicest compliment you have been given?
Someone once told me that when they read a short story I’d written, they felt like they were really “there.” That was one of the nicest things anyone had ever said about my writing.

8. Name your greatest fear!
I’m terrified of the dark. Not what’s in the dark, I just hate being in the dark. It feels like what I’d imagine claustrophobia to feel like; I feel like I’m being crushed by the darkness, and I just want to get some light on me. It really scares me!

9. What is your favorite blog post that you have published?
I loved What’s in a guild?, which was about the time that I found my new MMO “family” in Final Fantasy XIV!

10. Who would you choose to, a)Go to a theme park with. b) Go to a resturant with. c)Go to a party with. Out of Johnny Depp, Megan Fox, Justin Bieber.
Awwh man, I wouldn’t want to go anywhere with Justin Bieber. That kid does nothing for me, and he sounds like a pretty horrible person. I’d probably go to a theme park and restaurant with Johnny Depp, and a party with Megan Fox. She’s a hottie!

11. What does your name mean in the urban dictionary?
“Rock hard, amaaaaaaaaazing, such a raj and one hell of a sexy bitch!!!
Wow check out the legs on her, she’s such a Kirsty
Hah, that’s amazing!

I nominate…

Okay, so assuming I can’t nominate the same people who nominated me, I might not be able to make it to a full 10 bloggers with less than 200 followers, so I’m just going to nominate some of my personal favourites:

» Heather at Hey, Heather Bee
» J at Kin and Heart
» Yuna at Tech Bunny
» Stephenie at Infrastephy
» Jaedia at Jaedia’s Menagerie
» Zuu at Zuulzilla

These are a few of my favourite blogs with under 200 followers. I hope you’ll visit them, and perhaps learn more about them if they choose to fill out the questions I have for them! I’ll leave comments on their blogs to let them know they’ve been nominatorised in the next few days.

My questions

1. What made you decide to start blogging?
2. What do you think is the most important thing to feature in a blog post?
3. If you had to pick a favourite type of blog post to read or write, what would it be?
4. How did you choose your blog name?
5. Apart from blogging, how else do you spend your online time?
6. What’s your favourite geeky indulgence?
7. What really grinds your gears when it comes to online communities such as the blogging community?
8. What do you want to achieve on your blog by the end of 2014?
9. Off the beaten track, but what’s your dream career?
10. Do you have a bucket list? If so, what notable things are on it?
11. Marmite: love it, hate it, or never heard of/had it? Don’t say you don’t feel one way or the other. We know you’re lying.

I am an introvert, and that’s OK

I am an introvert, and that's okay.

I am an introvert, and that's okay.

Inspired by Ella’s Inside, Outside – Chronicles of an Introvert, I wanted to talk about my own personal experience and take on the word, though I’ve taken a slightly different direction from Ella. She was detailing how she’s an introvert, and that’s okay…but that it’s not okay to have to remind herself to socialise. While this is true for me too, I’m going to focus more on the fact that a lot of people label me an extrovert, and can’t seem to grasp why I don’t spend my days at pubs and clubs, or in large groups of people.

Outwardly, I seem incredibly confident. I talk loudly, and I do my best not to let people walk over me, or insult me needlessly. I give as good as I get. I’ve had a very successful career so far, especially considering my young age, and I’m working towards continuing to improve myself. However, the truth is, I’m actually incredibly insecure. Not only that, but I’m a worrier. I’m a “catastrophiser.” I will worry about every little thing, including the absolute worst that could possibly happen, even if it’s not truly possible at all. I’m shy, but I try to cover it up with a loud voice and laughing a lot.

I avoid going out when I can. I’m happy in my little cave with my fiancé, playing games all day when I can. I’d rather be curled up on the sofa reading, with a lovely steaming cup of tea, or walking around outside, exploring, than at a pub, club, or any other social construct that people use to spend time with one another. I’m not averse to drinking, but I’d rather do it in my pyjamas. While I absolutely adore gaming events, I find them exhausting, and not just because I’m on my feet all day. Despite enjoying interacting with the people that I meet there, I go home and want to just sleep all day for the next few days. I actually didn’t even realise what was causing this until someone I met at a local geeky convention noticed that I was tired, and joked about how he understood, as he was a fellow introvert. I hadn’t really thought of it like that before.

Just because I don’t do social gatherings quite as much as the next guy, doesn’t mean I don’t like you. Just because I’m pretty poor at staying in touch doesn’t mean I’m not invested in our friendship. I really, truly am. And trust me, I’ve come out of my shell a lot more. I’m learning to exert confidence, even if it is a little fake, whenever I need to. I no longer shy away from spending time in a voice comm channel when doing events with my guild. In fact, I’ve stayed in the same guild without running away from it for a solid few months now, and I have no plans of changing that any time soon.

So what if I prefer to be a bit of a hermit most of the time? Just like Ella at Hello Wonderful, I am an introvert, and that’s okay.

What to do when your phone/tablet is stolen

Those of you who are following me on Twitter know that my phone was stolen this past week. It was lifted from my pocket most likely while I stood at the bus stop (I know this as I had it a few minutes before getting on the bus, and not as I was about to get off the bus).

After sobbing miserably because I felt like someone had invaded my personal space and simultaneously taken one of my favourite toys — read: I don’t live through my phone, nor am I social butterfly, so it was mostly just the injustice of it all — I started the process of trying to fix the situation as best I can. Here are the best tips I can give, for before any item of yours gets stolen, and after, if you’re unlucky enough to have it happen to you.

Before the theft!

» Lock your phone: I have read guides that suggest not locking your phone with a pattern/PIN so as to encourage the thief to go online. If you are concerned about your privacy at all don’t listen. Lock your phone or the thief has unlimited access to your social media accounts, emails, and potentially private texts or photos.

» Protect yourself: Make sure that your phone is registered via either Android (eg Google Dashboard can track your phone via GPS, HTC Sense can do the same for HTC Phones) or via third party apps (make sure to do some research on legit apps). This will make it easier to track if your GPS is turned on, remotely wipe the phone, and the official apps usually allow you to see your IMEI number. Make a note of your IMEI number, if you can’t get it on these websites or via the app, you can usually find it on your phone somewhere, or near the battery.

» Write down emergency codes: If you use your phone as a security token for games or your bank, or if you have mobile verification turned on for your social media accounts, take a note of the emergency removal number. Most token systems will have one. This is in case you have to have these accounts removed. It is still possible without the emergency removal, it’s just much easier with it, as often you can do so without needing to contact support.

» Install any verified tracking software: If your phone’s OS has any verified tracking software, install it before losing your phone. Those that say they can be installed remotely rarely work; even when they’re installed they can’t always turn on GPS, and as your phone is lost you’ll have no way of verifying that it was correctly installed.

» Keep your belongings safe: I know this sounds like a nobrainer, but it could happen to anyone. My phone was in a buttoned up pocket on my jacket, and I was leaning against a wall. I didn’t even think it was possible someone could’ve got into it. Don’t use your phone outdoors if you can avoid it, as this makes you an easy target. Use frontal pockets only, preferably those with zips, or in a closed, hard-to-reach pocket in your bag.

After the theft!
If you’re unfortunate enough to have had your phone stolen, here are some things you should do.

» Revoke all app/email access: If, like most people, you use your phone for social media and emails, immediately revoke all access for those apps, regardless of whether you think you may find your phone again. Log into your social media accounts, navigate to their apps sections, and remove the relevant app’s access. For emails, go to your account section, and look for security. For Gmail, that can be found here.

» Track your phone/tablet: Using the software you already installed (you did, right?!) or your phone’s built-in software such as HTC Sense, Google Dashboard or iCloud, locate your phone via GPS. Even if you can do nothing with this information, it may help if you’ve lost the phone rather than had it stolen. You can also usually remotely wipe the phone. Keep in mind, you may need to allow this as an option on your phone prior to losing it!

» Contact your phone provider: As soon as you can, call your phone provider. This is especially important if you’re on a contract and don’t want to run up a massive bill, as your provider may very well hold you responsible for the calls/texts/data charges made before you report the phone missing. You can often also contact them via the website to have your phone service cancelled. It can be reinstated if you get your phone back, promise!

» Report the theft to the police: Occasionally your phone provider will require a police complaint ID, particularly if you’re trying to dispute charges that were made between the phone going missing and you reporting it to them. In this case, you will have to call into your local police station and let them know what happened. They will likely need your IMEI number as well.

» Keep an eye on recent sales: While you might not be able to do much, keep an eye on local sales websites for a phone or tablet matching yours going up for sale. You may be able to contact the seller and communicate, and if the phone means a lot you could also buy it back if you wanted. Though I’m more a fan of promising to pick it up and then calling the police with the person’s address, because I’m sneaky.

In an ideal world, none of this will be necessary, but I keep being reminded to “hope for the best and plan for the worst”. Honestly, it’s not a bad practice, and it will do you no harm to make sure you’re prepared!

My 5-Year Plan

My fiancé has been raving for the last few weeks about the infamous “five year plan”. It’s nothing ground breaking, simply a life plan laid out for the next five years. Apparently, people with five year plans are not only more likely to achieve the goals they set for themselves, but they often achieve their goals in a much shorter period of time than they set themselves, often around the three year mark.

So I decided it was time to set my own five year plan, and start working towards it today. Before I share my own personal five year plan, I thought I’d give five simple sets to get started on yours.

01. First, make a list of all of the things you want to achieve by the end of your five years.

02. Prioritise your goals based on how important they are to you and how much you want that goal to happen.

03. Make a list of the things you could do to work towards each goal. Eg. if you want to own your own house, make a list of ways you can raise the funds or save the money.

04. Break down your goals so they fit within the five year timeframe. See my example below.

05. Put your goals up somewhere you can see them, such as by your PC, in your office, or on the kitchen fridge. Somewhere you can be reminded of them, and maybe even track your progress.

For my own five year plan, I’ve focused on writing, streaming, and a little bit on my personal situation. Below are a few of my goals I’d like to achieve in the next five years, and the things I’m going to do to try and achieve them.

My 5 Year Plan, work in progress.

It’s not perfect, and still needs a lot of work, but that’s where I’m at right now. I’m pretty damn committed to those goals, so I will be working towards them as best I can, and reviewing them at the end of each year.

What are your goals for the next five years?

Gaming & Blogging Goals for 2014

Goals for 2014! Goals for 2014!
Source: We Heart It #1, #2

I’m not a resolutions kind of girl, mostly because I don’t have a lot of vices that I feel the need to quit. Usually, it was trying to stop biting my nails but I’ve managed to stop that and grow my nails out so I don’t have anything any more! Except…maybe my addiction to energy drinks needs to be curbed…Anyway! I have some goals for this year! Primarily they’re gaming and blogging goals, but I’ve also included a few personal goals at the end.

Gaming Goals

» Reach level 50 in Bard, Summoner/Scholar, Culinarian and Fishing in Final Fantasy XIV.
» Start an EVE Online business with Mz Dazy.
» Complete my second playthrough of the Mass Effect trilogy, this time pure Paragon.
» Finally finish Outlast and, dare I say it, Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Maybe even A Machine for Pigs!
» Try being friendly in DayZ for more than about five minutes.

Blogging Goals

» Blog at least two to three times a week.
» Set up another editorial calendar and stick to it.
» Start tracking my writing via the blog, and share some of my writing. See more writing goals below!
» Track my FFXIV gameplay through a specific blog. Again.

Personal Goals

» Return to the gym, twice a week. Continue training at home.
» Start learning proper swordplay. Practise, often.
» Participate in National Novel Writing Month in November. Win.
» Complete my first novel, Drifters, and the short stories I’ve been planning.

What are your goals and resolutions for 2014? Will this be “your year”?

Thinking back over 2013

I’ve seen a lot of delightful 2013 recaps, so I thought it was worth reviewing my own year, and seeing what I could come up with. Props to my friend Tilly at LoveTilly.com for her lovely 2013 review in photos! Sadly, no beautiful photos from me, but except some camera phone snaps below!

Thinking back over 2013...

As I mentioned in my Christmas 2013 Recap post, I’ve been stressed out almost every Christmas holiday, including New Year, for the last few years. This has generally been self-inflicted, but almost always linked to work. This year has been different, and in fact, I’ve noticed a vast improvement over my entire year!

The beginning of 2013 was a bit rough with some family troubles and my uncle ended up in hospital, but he made a full recovery, which is the positive side of that story! I moved into a documentation/technical writing position at work, which involved writing FAQs and helpful guides for players with issues who visited our support website. I got to do a lot more writing which was great! I also dyed my hair bright purple, which I loved and hope to return to sometime.

Thinking back over 2013...

I did a lot of travelling and events with work this year. I attended ArcadeCon and hosted our work event with a colleague in front of a crowd of about 30 to 50 or so. I even got to meet Virginia Hey from my favourite series, Farscape! In August I went to Gamescom and got to not only host a lot of the contests on stage (in front of much larger crowds than at ArcadeCon!) but also cosplayed as Pentakill Sona as part of the Pentakill band performance. It was so exciting.

I also visited the Caribbean for the first time on a trip to Punta Cana. It was absolutely beautiful; we stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel which was all-inclusive. I really want to get to a point in my life where I can feel like I can walk into any restaurant and just eat, without worrying about the cost. Even if I simply go on more all-inclusive holidays to get that feeling! Waking up at 6:00am to the beautiful sunrise, eating a lovely breakfast and swimming in the pool before relaxing on the beach, sipping complimentary cocktails all afternoon, was just one of the most wonderful experiences of my life, especially as I got to share it with T and some good friends.

Thinking back over 2013...

Towards the end of the year, I found the wonders of Final Fantasy XIV, got horribly addicted, and reached level 50 as a white mage with my Relic+1. I’m now in a wonderful Free Company called Cake with some of the nicest people I’ve ever met in gaming. I genuinely enjoy hopping on for shenanigans with them, and helping them out whenever I can as they’ve done the same for me! Now all I have to do is convince T to join me and I’ll be pretty chuffed.

I made peace with an old friend and embarked upon a whole new friendship that I really appreciate! I also got promoted to Associate Project Manager at work, so I’m looking forward to digging in on that when the new year hits. It’ll be an entirely new experience and I can’t wait to get started! I took part in some fantastic training in the last few months as well, all of which have helped me to overcome my stress levels more, learn how to leave work at the office, and helped me improve my own time management and people skills. I foresee 2014 involving me honing those skills further, getting more focused with my writing, and potentially starting to plan a wedding, as last week we agreed on a provisional date!

Christmas 2013 Recap

Christmas 2013 Recap: Family's Christmas decorations.

Christmas 2013 Recap: Getting in the spirit with a mini Santa hat! Christmas 2013 Recap: Glamorous decorations in the most glittery bathroom ever!

Christmas has always been my favourite holiday, but for the last few years I haven’t been nearly as excited as I used to be as a child. Part of me thought it was me growing up, but now that I’m less stressed than I’ve ever been I’ve noticed that this year I was practically bubbling over with excitement! Santa was coming, and I physically couldn’t wait til he did! I spent my Christmas with my family as I normally do, and it was delightful. I even got to spend a few extra days with them, which was definitely much needed.

I travelled up to visit them on the Saturday before Christmas. Our plans were simple. Sunday was shopping and Christmas markets day in Belfast (no, I hadn’t finished my shopping until then…don’t judge me!). On Monday, I went for a joint massage with my mum and it was amazing. I had never had a back massage before, so it was a real treat, even if I was a bit nervous because I had never done it before!

Christmas 2013 Recap: Out for coffee with my sister and mum.

While I love receiving gifts, of course, giving gifts is an unbelievable joy and I think I’m pretty good at it. I picked up some really personal gifts for most of my family, and I got my fiancé a host of small nerdy gifts, including a Dungeons & Dragons starter kit so we could play with figures etc, instead of just with books. It had a starter dungeon and means we don’t need a DM, which was our biggest problem before! I was really excited to exchange gifts with him and his family, and I was completely spoiled.

Some of my favourite gifts I received this year include the Farscape complete boxset from my Tristan. He knows me well, and I was extremely excited when I opened it! He’s promised me a rewatch starting tonight, so I’m looking forward to that. I got a lot of lovely clothing, but one of the highlights from my family was a gorgeous bronze unicorn statue, which I’ll share with you when I can get a nice photo of it! His name is Björn. I’ve always joked with my dad that I want him to buy me a unicorn, so this year, for Christmas, he did!

Christmas 2013 Recap: The cutest onesie I ever did see! (excuse messy bed hair) Christmas 2013 Recap: Being a bed ninja because it's so cold here!
Apologies for the low quality photos; I’ve had to use a phone camera as I don’t have an actual camera!

Halloween make-up: Ichigo from Bleach

I’ve not posted a recap of my Halloween so now seemed like a good time! Y’know, before it’s already December and utterly foolish to recall Halloween… Large photo below showing my make-up for Halloween night.

My Halloween make-up featured Ichigo from the anime/manga, Bleach!

My make-up featured the character Kurosaki Ichigo from one of my favourite anime/manga series, Bleach! I started out following some guides but honestly they didn’t help all that much, so I winged it using a screencap from the series. I picked up some water-based white, red and black costume make-up, and utilised some of my regular everyday make-up for things like outlines and shadowing. It was a little bit sloppy in the end, because I was in a rush for a meeting, but it was a lot of fun! The contact lens is from a set of wildcat contacts, which were incredibly easy to put in and remove. I had a really hard time with another set I purchased from a costume shop, so I was a bit nervous!

The night was spent in the office having a costume contest and some spooky themed food. When I got home I was pretty tired, but on Friday night I had my Halloween stream which went really well! I had the most consecutive viewers I’ve ever had (30 at one point, which may not seem like a lot but was pretty wonderful to me!) and played a bunch of games. I even played a little bit of Outlast before it made me want to die.

Hope you all had a lovely Halloween as well!

Monday Quotes: Get started

The secret to getting ahead is getting started.
Source: Flickr / Pinterest

I have a lot of aspirations, and often I get sidetracked on my progress by worrying about how I’ll ever get all of it done. How will I get my novel finished? Will it get published? It certainly won’t if I never get started, or in the case of the story I’m writing, if I never get around to editing or rewriting! So that is where this quote comes from. The secret to getting things completed, to achieving your goals, is to just get started.

Geeky fashion wishlist – T-Shirt Edition!

Geeky fashion wishlist - T-Shirt Edition! Featuring t-shirts from J!NX, Think Geek, and the BioWare store.
1. Diablo III Demon Hunter T-Shirt: J!NX | 2. Mass Effect N7 Burnout Tank: BioWare Store | 3. Mass Effect Garrus T-Shirt: BioWare Store | 4. Fringe White Tulip T-Shirt: Think Geek | 5. League of Legends Singed “Do Not Chase” T-Shirt: J!NX | 6. League of Legends Volibear Tea Party T-Shirt: J!NX

In my first Geeky Fashion Wishlist post, I shared some Mass Effect N7 goodies. Above I’ve listed some must-have t-shirts that I need to have in my life, all from various games and TV shows that I adore. Over the coming months I’ll be picking up as many of these as I can to add to my collection of geeky tees, particularly those from J!NX as they’ve always been a pleasure to order from in the past!

What’s on your geeky fashion wishlist?

Monday Quotes: You don’t lose friends

You don't lose friends, because real friends can never be lost. You lose people masquerading as friends, and you're better for it.
Source: Pinterest

Lately, friendship has been on my mind a lot. I’ve always been somewhat reclusive, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t value friendships. Unfortunately, a lot of my friends are people I’ve met online, who live quite far away, or are people I used to spend a lot of time with back home. This image came at a time when I realised that regardless of what happens, no matter how tame or how horrible, real friends don’t leave your live. Only people who aren’t true friends will leave your life, and when that happens, it’s not a bad thing.

I also made peace with a friend from my past who I genuinely feel I can call a friend again. This has helped me to feel positive about friendship, and has actually helped me to learn how to better handle conflict. On top of that, I’ve also been in contact with a group of people I used to hang out with every single weekend about five years ago, and now we’re playing League of Legends together. They even join me on my streams, and shenanigans always ensue!

What is your inspirational Monday quote?

Stop bullying

Trigger warning: bullying/abuse.

After reading Wil Wheaton’s blog post on bullying, I wanted to share my own story. It’s quite long, so apologies in advance.

I was bullied as a teenager. It wasn’t physical. I didn’t come home from school with bruises, no one smashed my nose, no one pulled on my hair or kicked mud in my face. I’ve experienced the physical stuff as well, but this was, in some ways, worse for me to experience, because it was people I considered friends who turned on me.

I wasn’t a bad kid. I told a few white lies, mostly in relation to my fiancé because my parents didn’t approve of me hanging out with him as he was a little older than me. But I always appreciated the fact that my parents gave me a lot of freedom. They were strict about some things, like being home on time (very, very strict!) but in general, they were open. They talked to me honestly about anything I wanted to know, they let me watch 18+ movies with them, supervised, and they let me drink alcohol as long as I was in the house. If I went out to an event where alcohol was being served, I was told I could have two alcoholic drinks of my choice, and only as long as I stayed with a responsible friend. Because of this, I had no desire to go behind their backs.

Unfortunately, my “friends” didn’t have parents who were so open-minded, or so trusting. They weren’t allowed to drink alcohol, and while they were able to stay out pretty much as late as they wanted, each freedom they were afforded made them want to push the boundaries further. Where I respected my parents’ rules, they wanted to see how far they could go before a punishment would come in. Their parents would simply shout at them, or ground them. Mine would be disappointed in me, and I didn’t want that.

Because of that, my “friends” started drinking at 14 or 15. In fact, they started drinking in public, down at the beach near my house. They invited me almost every time, and every single time I politely declined, letting them know that I would just head home, or spend time with my then-boyfriend. Sadly, my boyfriend also started hanging out with them at the beach, and I was left alone more often than not. I didn’t mind; I had games to play, a family who were fun to hang out with, and I still had one or two friends who didn’t partake in the drinking fest at the beach. I heard stories of them experimenting with drugs (which I’m not interested in), and heard rumours that I won’t repeat. I didn’t feel like I was missing out, I thought I could continue hanging out with them when they weren’t drinking.

But the problem was they didn’t want me to continue hanging out with them, especially not if I wasn’t drinking. They started excluding me, purposefully changing plans at the last minute so I couldn’t attend, and spreading rumours behind my back. I was hurt, but continued trying to enjoy myself like I always had. One night, we were all hanging out at a friend’s house. She was pretty neutral as she’d been travelling before this all started, so I felt comfortable. I borrowed one girl’s phone to play a game, and she got a text message while I was playing with it that said, “Kirsty’s really annoying me. Let’s make her walk home alone tonight and see if something bad happens to her.” I felt sick. I know that they weren’t planning on hurting me, but both of these girls were people I trusted, people I’d been friends with. People I honestly believed liked me. I lived far enough away that a walk home in the dark was frightening, and usually we’d all walk each other home in a group. I handed back her phone and left early.

All of this seems pretty tame, but after that, things escalated.

Read More

Monday Quotes: Don’t hold back

It's not who you are that holds you back. It's who you think you're not.
Source: Pinterest

In my eternal quest to grow as a person and contribute to my own success, I’m having to learn that a lot of the time we find excuses for why we can’t achieve something. This quote in particular helps to remind me that it’s not about who we are, but who we’ve inexplicably convinced ourselves we’re not. It’s not the things we can’t do, but the things we’re determined we aren’t capable of.

I’m done making excuses. I will achieve what goals I set for myself, and in turn I’ll set even higher goals, and work towards those as well. For some reason, this excites me!

Home is where the heart is.

While I am extremely pleased about my independence, and love living with my fiancé (seriously, we should not be allowed to live together without adult supervision!), sometimes there’s nothing quite like a family visit. T’s sister picked us up in Dublin and we had a mini roadtrip, complete with games of I, Spy and 20 Questions, and after getting lost a few times we arrived home around 8:30pm. I’ve made great use of my childhood bedroom, cosying up with my laptop to play a few games of Hearthstone in my PJs, and today I headed out with my mum.

Lunch at South African restaurant, Makhulu 5. Delicious ham hock with mashed potatoes and gravy.

We went to Makhulu 5 for lunch. It’s a South African restaurant, complete with wood burning on an open fire in the open kitchen. I ordered the world’s biggest ham hock, with a brown sugar glaze, and I was utterly shocked at how big it was. We were ordering off the lunch menu! I’ll take something that size for £10.95, including a starter (ribs, of course) and dessert (hello chocolate fudge cake, where have you been all my life?). I had to get a doggy bag to cart some of it home…

Mummy Psyche driving her new car! My grandparents' little girl cat, Buzz. Yes, as in Lightyear.

We headed out to visit my grandparents, and Mummy Psyche drove me around in her new car! It’s pretty and purple, like my hair used to be (which I miss, by the way). I’ve always found it hilarious that my grandparents’ cat is a little girl called Buzz, as in Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story.

I know this is a little different, but I thought why not keep everyone up to date on what other things are going on in my life, even if they aren’t especially geeky?

Geeky fashion wishlist

Geeky fashion wishlist: Mass Effect N7 wet look leggings. Geeky fashion wishlist: Mass Effect N7 dress.

It’s no secret that I’m not the most fashion conscious girl in the world. While I like to look good, I don’t keep up with the latest fashion trends, and honestly a lot of the time I’d rather wear something comfortable than anything too extravagant. But someone out there thought it was a good idea to design some delightfully geeky goodies, and I immediately started building a wishlist!

The first part of my wishlist is shown above – a pair of wet look Mass Effect N7 leggings, and an N7 mini-dress. I loved the Mass Effect series, and pretty much all of the N7 clothing and accessories I’ve seen have been pretty delightful, but these two in particular stand out as something I’d love. They’re both from Black Milk Clothing, and I’ve asked my fiancé if he’d maybe consider buying them for me for Christmas or my birthday…

Monday Quotes: Tomorrow is a new day

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.
Source: Pinterest, quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Something that is becoming increasingly apparent to me lately, is that not everyone constantly goes over what they did that day and how they could’ve done it better, why they did badly somehow, and almost obsesses over it so that their start to the next day is pretty poor. I need to work on that. There are better ways to start a day, and I’m beginning to firmly believe that having a positive start to my day will help me stay motivated, work hard, and play hard. So that’s my goal!

What is your inspirational Monday quote?

Monday Quotes: Apology you never got

Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got.
Source: Pinterest

I forgot to post this on Monday, so this post is backdated. I won’t say much about this, but the quote speaks to me because I’ve been having to learn, the hard way, that for various reasons you don’t always get the apology you deserve, or that you feel like you need. And it really does become easier when you can accept an apology that was never given, and start the process of moving on.

Of course, I’ve been fortunate enough to receive apologies lately that I never expected I would receive, that perhaps I didn’t deserve, or that I needed more than anything. And for those, I’m eternally thankful. But now it’s time to shed expectations and work on becoming a better person, and stop holding grudges. I’m in control of how I feel.

Monday Quotes: 60 seconds of happiness

For every minute you are angry, you lose 60 seconds of happiness.
Source: Pinterest

The quote above, by Ralph Waldo Emerson, speaks to me a lot recently. With normal, everyday stresses, I’ve been finding myself getting easily frustrated and even angry at some things. People choosing to talk about me behind my back rather than approach me with concerns, for example. However, almost every time I’ve tried to keep positivity in mind. I’m a firm believer that negativity breeds negativity, and that if someone else chooses to be negative, it’s your responsibility to not let them bring you down with them.

I’ve not always been successful in keeping my chin up in the last few weeks, and I admit I’ve broken down once or twice, but I’m feeling much more positive and extremely proud of myself. I would have let things like this get me down much more even a year ago.

What is your inspirational Monday quote?