Thursday, 31 October 2013

Happy Halloween!

I love halloween, but I really haven't had the time or money to plan much this year. I didn't even bother with costumes really because the kids were going to a disco at a play centre so they need to be able to run around and have fun without worrying about spoiling costumes. So we just used things we already had at home and had a very simple halloween.

I spent the day at the library hammering out assignments, then after the kids finished school got them showered and changed and went over to my best friend's place for an hour or so because her mum wanted to see the kids. They ate cake and got hyped up on candy and cake, then we went to the disco. It was packed with kids and parents and was super noisy. I actually get kind of flustered in situations like that, but it ended up not being too bad once I sat down and got settled. I even won a silent auction they had going! I bid on a t-shirt with a pikachu dressed as batman. Its super cute! I'll be giving it to my son once I go pick it up, I hope he loves it as much as I do!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Playing Pretend

Today I woke up feeling rather terrible so I went back to sleep for another hour or two before finally dragging myself off to the library to try and be productive. I spent most of the day working on the poster to advertise the "event" I have to plan for an assessment. If we're able we can plan a real event in a library and have it assessed, but those of us who don't have that ability can just do a pretend one, as long as we do all the planning that would go into a real one. I decided to plan a "Kids' Day In" with games and stories and stuff for kiddies. I live in the tropics and it rains a lot for a few months of the year, so I thought it would be nice to get kids enthusiastic about reading on those rainy days when they're stuck indoors. The event would actually be really fun I think, I'd love to try it for real, maybe when I get a job! So the poster is done and I've also started work on the bookmarks to advertise the event, the bookmarks need to be double-sided so the front of all of them will be the same but the back will be slightly different. So I put a lot of time into that today and also worked a little on a couple of other assignments. I'm trying to get as much done as possible this week so when classes start again next week I don't have too much work to worry about and I can focus all my energy on my work placement.

As of this morning's weigh in I've lost a total of 7 kilos. It isn't very much considering how overweight I am, but I'm glad that I'm consistently losing weight at least, as long as I keep doing that I'll get there eventually! I've also noticed a difference in how some of my clothes fit, a dress that was quite tight around the waist is now a comfortable fit, and a belt that I previously couldn't do up can now be fastened on the second hole. I'm not sure if I look any different but at least something is happening! Its all progress!

Monday, 28 October 2013

Work Experience and Weekends

Friday I had my first day of work placement which is being done at a school library. It was super busy but really fun. I did a lot of administrative stuff, updating spreadsheets and catalogue entries primarily, but it was really enjoyable for me. I'm looking forward to continuing, particularly when I get the opportunity to sit in on some of the librarian's classes, which should happen in the coming weeks.

The weekend was pretty quiet. I went out for dinner on Saturday and positively gorged myself. The food was really good though. I've been trying very hard to improve my eating habits and lose weight, and I've been doing pretty well I think, so I decided to splash out on a cheeseburger and had some mudcake for dessert. It was delicious and a well-deserved treat I think.

This week I don't have classes because my lecturer is interstate attending a conference, but I have a practical assessment I need to attend tomorrow doing some cataloguing activities at the library in the city. I'm hoping to spend the week getting caught up on assignments. We've had a pretty big workload this term and I've just barely been keeping my head above water so hopefully when we go back to class next week I'll be on top of everything... hopefully.

I've been feeling a little despairing lately because the cost of real estate up here, whether to rent or buy, is just astronomical. It feels like I'm never going to be able to get ahead. I guess I'll just carry on doing what I'm doing and hope for the best. With any luck the feeling won't linger too long as it isn't particularly pleasant.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Job Interview

I went to a job interview this morning. They got back to me this afternoon to let me know I didn't make it through to the next round of interviews. I'm immensely disappointed, but I did get some good feedback so hopefully another opportunity comes up soon and I can do better. It was done as a group interview with 5 interviewees including myself. We went around the table doing a bit of an introduction and had an informal chat about the books we'd all been reading, which was all very nice. We were then told we'd split into two groups and had 20 minutes to plan a "story time". If I'm honest, I know that what my group (of three people) planned wasn't that great, but what I had in my head was still better than what eventuated. It was just one of those unfortunate circumstances in which you can't really predict how its going to go wrong until it happens. I thought we were all clear on our roles and how it was going to work, but as I opened the book and began to read and saw what my group members were doing, I realised we had different ideas. I assumed that giving 100% was a given, but one of the ladies seemed very self-conscious and it just didn't go the way I'd hoped it would. But as I said, I got some good feedback and I know what I can do better next time, so even though I'm bummed I didn't get the job, there is a silver lining.

At least I looked nice! :p

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Olia Hair Colour

Last time I had to bleach my roots, I was feeling super lazy. Instead of mixing up bleach I just used box dye and it worked reasonably well, but I was also too lazy to tone it so it was super yellow and icky. Add to this the fact the my ends were pretty close to white from being repeatedly dyed purple and you'll see I had some pretty uneven hair tone happening. Now I have a job interview tomorrow which I only got a call about on Monday, so it was fairly short notice and I didn't want to go with my hair looking the way it did. I spoke to my hair dresser friend and she suggested a couple of dyes I could try but when I went shopping, none of the stores I went to had the shade I needed in the brands she suggested. So I decided to go ahead and try the new Olia hair colour by Garnier. It has no ammonia, which was the primary draw for the brands my friend suggested, so I figured I'd give it a bash.

So, I'll do somewhat of a review I guess. I chose the Light Blonde (9.0), although in retrospect I may have gotten a better result from Blonde (8.0), but I was worried about going darker than I wanted so I decided to err on (what I felt was) the side of caution.

The box contains developer cream, colour cream, a plastic bottle for mixing and applying, a tube of conditioner and a pair of gloves. I mixed the developer and colour creams together, sectioned off my hair and began applying. My hair is pretty short and quite fine and there was enough for my head, but not really any extra. If you have long or thick hair I'd recommend getting a few bottles if you're doing your whole head. Application was pretty easy but I didn't like how thick the mixture was. It felt like it made it harder to spread it out through my hair and have it penetrate through  to coat everything evenly, although the plus side to the thick formula is obviously no drips. I suppose it did the job of coating my hair though and I think the result is pretty even bearing in mind how uneven it was to start with.

Box contents

The product smells quite nice. A lot of dyes get up my nose and have a burny chemically smell to them, but this one smelled sweet, and even after the full 30 minutes on my head it still didn't smell bad. It didn't irritate me scalp or feel uncomfortable, it did tingle a little, but compared to how bothersome I find most dyes this one was extremely mild. After washing it out I actually found that my hair felt really dry and straw-like, which was the only negative in my opinion, but even then my hair was fine and felt normal again once I had conditioned it.

I'm pretty happy with the result. I think it has worked pretty well. It slightly lightened my roots and  slightly darkened my ends so my hair doesn't look so uneven. Its still a bit patchy but there's only so much you can ask of these box dyes really! I do think my hair looks better overall than it did before, and that's what I was going for.

I've taken some before and after shots, though as usual I couldn't quite get the angle and lighting precisely the same between the two so the comparison is not 100% perfect. I've done my best though!

Before and After (please excuse the lack of makeup/styling/caring in the after shot! I was on my way to bed)

Before and After - Length close up

After - the roots are much better blended with the rest of my hair now

After - styled today

Monday, 21 October 2013

Checking In!

I'm sorry I've been absent. I have a lot of assignments going on and I'm feeling kind of down the past few days so I either haven't had time to blog or haven't been in the mood. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed by my workload and our schedule this term is a lot tighter than last. I'm feeling like I'm going to drop the ball and I really don't want that to happen!

I'm starting my work placement this week. The librarian I'll be working under has a lot on her plate and so to start with I'll just be doing Fridays to see how that works for her. I'm hoping I can be useful and do well. I'll be working in a primary school library, learning the ropes there and hopefully being able to put to practical use the theoretical learning I've done. I'm really looking forward to it but I'm also really nervous!

I bought a couple of necklaces a few weeks ago but hadn't worn them yet. They're so pretty and I think they go so well together that it was like they were made to wear that way. One is a plain gold chain with a heart pendant decorated with little peachy coloured "gems", the other is a double chain, one being just pearls and the other pearls and peach roses. I love them and I think they look really nice with my green spotty dress.

Where I live we don't get the joy of four seasons as most people have, we get three: wet, dry and "the build up". The build up is widely regarded as the worst, its the months preceding the wet season when everyday is disgustingly hot and oppressively humid. You walk outside into a wall of thick, wet heat and its awful. I truly hate it. I've been living through it for the past couple of months but I think it may finally be breaking. We've had a couple of good downpours, although we haven't reached the stage where they're a daily occurrence so we're not quite in the wet season proper. I still hate the heat of the wet season, but I do love the rain. Its so beautiful and calming. Sometimes it roars down on the roof so loudly you can't have a conversation. Those rains are my favourite and I look forward to them every year.

The view from my classroom window during a good rain the other day

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Weekend Rundown

Yesterday I went to a classmate's house for a study session. We have some pretty full on units this term and are on pretty tight time constraints with assignments so we thought it would be a good idea to get together and pool our research and ideas. Corinna, Sam and I spent the afternoon working on our study materials and then had dinner together and got stuck into a few bottles of wine while chatting about life. I had a really great time, I'm glad to have made some new friends, I don't tend to venture outside my comfort zone too often so I don't meet new people much. Its nice to be pleasantly surprised by awesome people when I am in a new and different situation.

I'm feeling pretty disheartened about the weight loss situation. I've lost weight every week so far but in smaller and smaller amounts. I feel like I have SO much weight to lose to get to a healthy range that losing less than a kilo a week makes me feel like I'll never get there. I have decided though that I'm going to change my weigh in day to the middle of the week. I've been doing it on Sunday and if I go out to eat or have drinks or whatever its almost always on a Saturday, so I feel like Sunday is the worst day to weigh myself because I haven't had a chance to recover from the previous night. So I think I'll do it on Wednesday from now on. I've been exercising and eating well so I feel like the lack of weight loss this week is mostly due to the eating out and drinking I did yesterday.

I got a package from Forever New the other day which contained a bag that I've wanted for ages! I didn't want to pay $70 for it though so I waited until it went on sale. The bag is nice and big and functional and obviously really cute! I've been trying to build up by bag collection so I always have a handbag to suit the occasion. Until recently I'd really only have one bag at a time, using it until it needed replacing. Now that I'm wearing more pastels and lighter colours I needed more than just one black bag. So I've been looking for a large and a small bag in a neutral colour as well as a large and small in black. I now have both my neutral bags covered (this one being the larger one) so I have to keep my eye out now for black ones! I also bought two little pairs of fingerless lace gloves which are ever so pretty and I look forward to having an appropriate occasion to which to wear them.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Back to Busy!

First week back at school and I've already got three assignments due next week! Hopefully they won't be too bad once I get stuck into them, but it does look like this is going to be a pretty hectic term. All of the units seem pretty packed with content so I don't think I'll have the luxury of easy weeks with not much to do like I did last term. I should also be doing my work placement at some point which is going to leave me even tighter for time. But it will all be worth it once I'm finished!

Speaking of work placement... I've applied for a job. I think I briefly mentioned in a previous post that I was planning to but I've actually done it now. The automated email I received in response said they aim to get back to everyone within 6 to 12 weeks or something like that so it sounds like there's no huge rush to fill the position. I'll be honest, I know my chances of getting it are slim and I'm really trying not to get my hopes up, but that's easier said than done because I really want the job. We'll see how it goes though. Depending on when they actually do get back to me I may be pretty close to finishing my course which may make me a more attractive applicant.

So being back at school means getting out of my pajamas and into proper clothing and heading off to classes and the library and whatnot. I ordered some new dresses from Lindybop which I'm ABSOLUTELY LOVING. I posted a picture of the blue spotty one the other day which is definitely one of my favourites. This is my other favourite:

Its a nice light fabric, perfect for the hot weather. I love the colour and the pattern, its so very pretty, and its also a perfect length. You can't see it very well in the photo but it has a matching belt too. I've been really happy with all the Lindybop dresses I bought. They're awesome dresses and priced really well. I think next time I can afford it I'll order more of these dresses. They're all beautiful to wear, they make me feel like a princess and they're super comfy.

I'm having a bad hair life at the moment. I really need a hair cut but I always put them off for ages, and I decided it should be a reward for weight loss so I don't feel so terrible about spending the money on it. My hair looks fine when its curled, but when its straight the ends look really dry. I couldn't be bothered curling it before bed last night but I also didn't like how it looked when I was getting ready this morning so I had to do something to get it out of sight and out of mind. I pinned it up with a bunch of bobby pins and used these cute little decorative flower hair pins I got on sale a couple of weeks ago to make something actually rather pretty. I really just held my hair where I wanted it and threw in some pins not really knowing what it looked like so I was pleasantly surprised when it looked passable lol! The flower pins also matched nicely with the dress I think :)

Hope everyone is well!

Friday, 4 October 2013

When the Stars Align

Today was so amazing it was almost like a suspension of reality. Today was the first day of the 8th Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) Top End Symposium (yeah perhaps it doesn't flow of the tongue quite as nicely as it should) and I had the opportunity to attend. I was really excited but also nervous to be meeting tonnes of people from the library industry, I'm taking any chance I can get to meet people and learn all aspects of the job I'll eventually be doing. So I wasn't sure if anyone I knew was going to be there but as it turns out three of my classmates did attend.

Now let me try and jump through the day as chronologically as possible. When I first went in and got my name tag I looked around and saw one of the girls from the Northern Territory Library who had given my class a tour. As she was the only person I sort of knew I went to where she was sitting and chatted with her. She was also talking with three other women and we all chatted merrily and laughed and joked and whatnot. We got onto the topic of jobs and I mentioned there was one I'm applying for, one of the girls I've been chatting with is on the interview panel and another works at the library the position will be. Both of them strongly encouraged me to apply because they think I'd be great. So that was win number one for the day.
During the tea break I was standing on my own for a moment when an old lady comes up to me and reads my name tag and says "oh, you're Kathy's student! I've heard wonderful things about you, she says you're doing really well!" Apparently she used to teach library studies and after she retired Kathy took over. So that felt like a huge win to have a total stranger come and acknowledge me because she's heard good things!

Third amazing thing happened at the after party. The Executive Director for ALIA came up to me and said she'd seen me sitting up the back while she gave her presentation and she thought I looked amazing. She said she wants to do a piece in their magazine early next year on chic, stylish librarians and revamping the library image and she wants me in it. I honestly don't know if that was all hot air or if it will actually eventuate, but regardless it was an amazing compliment. Of course I told her I'd love to and she took my details and we chatted for awhile. She seems like such a lovely person. She gave a great presentation on the future of the industry and how libraries can continue to meet the needs of the public.

So after that I was chatting with several other attendees when the Brisbane Manager of Library Services comes up to talk to me. She gave me her card and told me if I want to fly down there for my work experience she'll make sure she has a place for me. She was great too. In fact, everyone was so lovely and welcoming and supportive. I feel extremely lucky right now. And to top it all off, in addition to the informative talks and amazing social experience there was swag! They gave us all a sample bag which had in it a whole bunch of pamphlets and brochures as well as a bunch of little goodies. My two favourites are the coffee mug with cookie holder groove in the bottom and a little stylus I can use with my phone, but there were also a few nice pens, and who doesn't like pens!

I know this whole entry sounds super braggy and gauche but I'm really happy and excited about the way the day panned out and I just want to share. Its not everyday everything goes this well! ^_^

Dress by Lindybop