Livin' La Vida Lockdown: Day Twenty-One An Average Weekday In Lockdown

Livin’ La Vida Lockdown: Day Twenty-One An Average Weekday In Lockdown

What is life like for me in lockdown? What do I get up to? I thought I’d write about it because, why not?

I warn you – it’s not the most interesting life…but who’s is right now?

7.30/8.00am

Wake up, no matter what day it is I will wake up at this time. It doesn’t matter if I have any plans, any calls or if I have slept my body just seems to wake up at this time.

8am – 9am

After Ali has kicks me out of bed, my first port of call is to feed the Hams who act as if they have been starved for weeks, despite the fact they will have food in their cages.

Pour the first big cup of tea of the day – there is no time for

9am – 10am

Shower, get ready in whatever form that’s going to be for the day. Check my emails and LinkedIn to see if anything has come in overnight, make my list for the day. If I have work to do I’ll try and start in this window, if not I’ll take a scroll through YouTube to entertain myself or carry on with whatever I’m reading.

10am – 12pm

This definitely depends on what I’ve got on. I’m still getting some work, although less that normal so this will be the block where I work on it, have any calls or catch ups etc.

That said there are more days than not where I don’t have much to do and will alternate between cleaning (still boring), watching something or reading.

12pm -1pm

Pop out to sit on the grass for a bit, talk to my neighbour from a distance – if I’m feeling up to it I might even try and go for a walk but this obviously depends on how I’m feeling.

1pm-2pm

Remember I haven’t eaten lunch yet and I should probably do that… Also look at what I have for the afternoon. Prioritise my tasks and check LinkedIn again. If there isn’t anything I’ll try and find something to read/watch for a bit.

2pm-3pm

If I’m not working this is optimal nap time if I feel I need it. Now, this isn’t because of the pandemic. I have a condition that causes fatigue – when I was working full time in an office I’d have to try and have naps on both days of the weekend and early nights most week days.

When I work from home I can have my ‘lunch break’ as a nap if I’m feeling particularly rough. That said you don’t need a chronic illness to enjoy having a nap – especially now. Probably less so when you get back to work unless you have a REALLY good hiding place. 😉

3pm-5pm

More searching for something to do, aimlessly looking out of the window and reminding Ali that our next place needs to have a garden – this is coming from someone who is not an outdoor person and never has been.

Also, if my family is dropping food off for me it’s normally around this time.

5pm – 6pm

This will be around the time I log off for the day if I’ve been working on anything, although that’s not every day! I’m slowly trying to accept doing nothing and just trying to enjoy that. I might go for a walk if I haven’t already.

6pm – 7pm – Dinner, Brooklyn 99 and more importantly, GIN. Yes, I’ve definitely drank more Gin in the last few weeks with an evening meal than I have in my life with meals.

7pm -10pm –

This can vary, sometimes I’ll be on my laptop chatting to friends, I might be on the phone to family or just hang out with Ali. There have been evenings where we have caught up with some kind of streaming. Sometimes I even do exercise.

Also blogging, obviously.

10pm – 10.30pm –

Start getting ready for bed, play with the hams for a bit.

10.30 – 11pm – Try and sleep…sometimes it even works

What’s happening with your daily routine right now? Let me know below!

Livin' The Vida Lockdown: Day Twenty - How I Did With The Easter Readathon 2020

Livin’ The Vida Lockdown: Day Twenty – How I Did With The Easter Readathon 2020

Hello, hello, hello!

While I intended to writer yesterday on Easter Sunday, when it came down to it I didn’t want to. It was a pretty weird day for me – the first Easter I’ve ever spent without my family. We’re not religious but like to get together for any occasion that we can make fun. So, for now, the egg hunt has been postponed but I did get a special delivery.

Apparently the Easter Bunny does delivery now, who knew? But I am very thankful for the bag of goodies that arrived on our doorstep for me and Ali to enjoy.

Not going out meant that I could spend the whole day reading and cracking on with the Easter Readathon – my first one! And it was definitely a great one to start with. While I didn’t tick off all the tasks I think I did pretty well. So – what books did I get to and finish? Well, since you asked so nicely…

Day One & Two

On day one I started Watch Us Rise by Renée Watson and Ellen Hagan, a novel about a group of teenage friends who want to do more to support women’s rights in their school. I think this would work maybe for a younger reader who is looking for inspiration on setting up a feminism club or similar. For me though it didn’t do anything new or memorable.

This was a 3 star read for me and was 1 book down!

At the end of day 1 I also started one of my most anticipated reads for a WHILE…

Day 3

The Eve Illusion - Giovanna and Tom Fletcher

I got an ARC of The Eve Illusion which is the follow up to Eve of Man which was a 5 star read for me back in 2018 and while at first I had to really remind myself of what had happened at the end.

As much as I want to rave about it I can’t say much without ruining the first book for those of you who haven’t read it but once again I couldn’t put it down. Also, this gets darker but in the very best way.

Beneath The Sugar Sky - Seanan McGuire

I also finished listening to Beneath The Sugar Sky, the third installment of the Wayward Children series – I’ve actually got through all three in lockdown so far and I’m pretty sure I will have listened to all five by the end of the week…

This was a 4 star read for me, another excellent addition and I wouldn’t advise listening on an empty stomach.

Day 4

Today was probably the hardest day, I didn’t finish anything although I did start Before The Coffee Gets Cold and The Love Hypothesis so that’s a start!

Overall, I’m pretty happy it’s definitely kick started my reading mojo again and I’m sure I’ll be back on it tomorrow, starting with the 4th Wayward Children book to listen to…

Livin' The Vida Lockdown: Day Eighteen - Reading The Time Away

Livin’ The Vida Lockdown: Day Eighteen – Reading The Time Away

As I mentioned in my last blog, I decided to take part in the Easter Readathon! Five Prompts, four days and me. As of writing I’ve finished one book, Watch Us Rise, and I’m 60% through my second and I think that’s pretty good going, especially seeing as I struggled to get into the reading mindset today. While I woke up early my brain needed frequent breaks – one of which made me very proud of myself.

I’ve been struggling a lot with going outside, something I touched upon in previous blogs because of anxiety and panic attacks. I wanted to get out in the sunshine but taking our normal route made me feel uncomfortable because it’s around and through a big park…which meant idiots. Lots of them.

Now, we don’t have a garden. You can bet if we did I would have been sat there with a pile of books and a large glass of something depending on the time of day. What we do have, however, is a little bit of grass to the side and behind our building. I decided it was a good test of my levels right now and made sure I could get some air.

It worked! I managed to sit out for about an hour and not once did I have any kind of panic attack. People ask but why do you have them? I wish I could tell you. Anxiety and panic attacks are rarely logical – that’s the most frustrating thing.

Coming back inside I sat down and read, and I mean really read. I got through almost 50% of The Eve Illusion in a few hours and felt my superpower coming back. My mountain of books I haven’t read now seems like a challenge rather than a guilty secret.

This reader is back guys!

Beneath The Sugar Sky - Seanan McGuire

Livin’ The Vida Lockdown: Day Seventeen – Easter Readathon

Two bookish posts in one day!? I know, I’m spoiling you all. So, after seeing over on Kate’s Twitter that she is hosting an Easter Readathon I thought why not join? I’ve never seriously done a Readathon before and I think now is a great time to try…because I have no other obligations what so ever -yippie!

So how does it work? The Readathon runs from 12.01am on Friday 10th and finishes at 11.59pm on Monday 13th April. You can find more info and Kate’s post here, make sure to give her a follow too!

As with most Readathons there are prompts, for this one they are:

[Image description: Post reads Easter Readathon 2020 Prompts 1. Read a book that gives you Spring Vibes. 2. Read a book about new beginnings. 3. Read a book that’s under 250 pages. 4. Read a book with yellow or green cover. 5. Read a book involving family/friends.]

I’ve had a look and I’m going to try and complete the challenges – but if I get a load of reading done that’s absolutely fine with me!

Read a book about new beginnings

The Eve Illusion – Tom and Giovanna Fletcher

I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this today and while I can’t say too much as it’s a sequel there’s definitely some new beginnings in it.

Read a book that’s under 250 pages

Beneath The Sugar Sky - Seanan McGuire

Beneath The Sugar Sky – Seanan McGuire

Ok so *technically* I started this before the Readathon started and it’s an audiobook BUT I’m desperate to finish it!

Also reading about a candy land over the Easter weekend? That seems too good to pass up.

Read a book with a yellow or green cover

Watch Us Rise – Rene Watson

It’s on my April TBR and I really enjoyed the last two Rene Watson books that I read and they were quick reads so I’m hoping this will be a fast read.

Read a book involving family/friends

Crescent City – Sarah J. Maas

Ok it is a STRETCH but this is, another one I’ve already started but I’m really into. Also, do I think I’ll finish this over the next few days? No, no I don’t. That said, it’s started to get interesting.

Read a book that gives you Spring vibes

This is one I need a few recommendations for – please leave them below!

Are you joining in? Also leave your suggestions down below!

Livin' The Vida Lockdown: Day Sixteen - Life With A Chronic Illness Right Now

Livin’ The Vida Lockdown: Day Sixteen – Life With A Chronic Illness Right Now

I woke up this morning properly and about 90% of my body hurt. I knew what was happening before I even opened my eyes. I’d spent most of the night tossing and turning, fully aware of what a pain in the arse I was being but I couldn’t get comfortable. Fibro has been rumbling along during all of this but today, again, it decided to kick my arse.

I’ve been debating about whether to write about Chronic Illness right now when so much has been going on health wise. Does it matter? Fibro doesn’t put me at a higher risk (asthma is another story) but as with any illness, Fibro would put up a fight at the same time taking me longer to get better. So I’ve been relying on family, friends and food deliveries.

That said, pandemic or no pandemic I’m still living with it every day. I know things could be worse, but that doesn’t take the pain away. Right now I’m not taking my painkillers of preference as they are part of the ibuprofen group which people have been advised to avoid. So I’m plodding along with paracetamol – which doesn’t do much at all.

I’ve felt for a while I couldn’t talk about Fibro or how it is right now, despite the fact that stress is a huge trigger for a lot of people with the illness. I thought, well when people are dying I can’t seem like I’m complaining but that was incredibly isolating. Slowly, I’ve seen other spoonies say that they feel the same way.

So I guess I wanted to write for my fellow spoonies or anyone living with a long term illness to say that it’s ok to still feel frustrated, sad or fed up with your illness right now. It’s ok to struggle with your health in another way because our illnesses don’t care if there’s a worldwide crisis, our bodies are doing what they’re going to do.

Livin' The Vida Lockdown: Day Fifteen - What I've Been Binging

Livin’ The Vida Lockdown: Day Fifteen – What I’ve Been Binging

Now, this is optimum binge time whether that’s TV, Films, YouTube or Books whatever is getting you through the days is a great way to distract yourself and beat the boredom that I know a lot of us are really starting to feel. Also, if you’re so distracted by your screen or page then you’re not going to want to risk going outside, it’s a win win.

So, here are some of the things I’ve been consuming and for once guys, I’m on trend with something that’s on Netflix (this never happens):

Tiger King

I kept seeing people talking about it and I wanted to have a day to just do nothing and this was the perfect distraction because it was so damn insane. I can’t believe this is part of real life and these things have actually happened?!

I thought of doing a whole post on my thoughts on the show, if that’s some lockdown entertainment you’d like then let me know below.

ANYWAY I digress, this was bat shit insane and I just couldn’t stop watching, I spent 7 hours of my day watching – who even am I at this point?! I just have to say though, no one on that show can call themselves a rescuer of big cats. They’re all pretty terrible.

Brooklyn 99

We started watching 99 before the lockdown as something to watch while we ate dinner now we’re back – to the point where Netflix has asked if we’re still watching…

Of course we’re still watching, what else is there to do right now?!

Stranger Things

I know, I KNOW. Where have I been? It’s taken me this long to watch Stranger Things but that’s mostly because I am a huge scaredy cat and when I tried to watch it a few years ago the first part of the first episode I wasn’t sure if it was for me.

Then after the encouragement from friends I started watching it and did 3 episode in one sitting, only stopping because it got dark – I’m not watching it in the dark because I’d like to be able to sleep at night without staring at the walls.

The Boys

So, what if superheroes were celebrities? They were real an in movies with their own sponsorship deals. What if they weren’t as good as they seem. Ali and I watched the entire first season pretty quickly on Amazon Prime and the cliff hanger at the end had me shouting at the TV.

This is definitely adult viewing and can get pretty dark but it just works.

Wayward Children Series

Now for a book series, come on you knew it was coming. I recently got a free trial of Scribd because I kept seeing a lot of booktubers talking about and thought I might as well now I have the time.

These books are so strange but so good. It’s fantasy with a bit of a horror element about children who go to magical worlds and what happens when they come back.

I also love the audiobooks, they’re 4-5 hours long and I’ve been listening every day and I’m now on book 3. Hooked.

Poetry (General)

While I’ve struggled to sit and read full books at the moment but Scribd has so much poetry and I’ve been making my way through the collections. Some of them I’ve meant to read forever but seeing as poetry is quite expensive I can’t always get them but this is a great way to spend time.

What have you been binging and what should I get through next?

Livin' The Vida Lockdown: Day Eleven - 30 Things I've Done So Far To Entertain Myself

Livin’ The Vida Lockdown: Day Eleven – 30 Things I’ve Done So Far To Entertain Myself

Last night while I was trying to fall asleep I started thinking about all the ways that I had been trying to entertain myself since we went into lockdown. Seeing as I’m writing daily posts right now, I thought why not share it with you guys?

Some of these might be specific to me and some of them you can do too.

  1. Reading – Yep I’m trying to tackle my physical TBR right now, I even have a TBR for the month of April.

2. Playing Ukulele – I’ve played around with ukulele for years and it was fun to have something else to focus on.

3. Watching the first season of The Boys on Amazon Prime – Ali got me to watch this series and it’s pretty messed up at times but so good. That said I’ve had some super weird dreams since.

4. Doing a puzzle – 1,000 piece Harry Potter puzzle…it’s harder than you think.

5. Calls with friends and family – I’ve done a lot of Facetime, House Party and just normal calls recently and it’s one of the nicer sides of lockdown.

6. Blogging – almost every day – yep and to think I struggled with Blogmas last year?!

7. Attending a virtual birthday party – Our friend Ben turned 27 and obviously we couldn’t go and celebrate with him so we all got online, had a few drinks and played games.

8. Starting a sign language course – I’ve wanted to properly learn sign language and with a reduced offer I was able to start learning properly.

9. Working on a book – watch this space, my Gramps has set me the goal of finishing it by Christmas. 👀

10. Listening to podcasts – I’ve been listening a little here and there, particularly while doing number 11…

11. Sorting out my wardrobe – I have a lot of clothes to get rid of, so many.

12. Cleaning – I know, I know – who even am I?

13. Watching YouTube – There is so much content on YouTube right now! I’ve been watching so much.

14. Singing – I’ve been getting back into it and damn it’s felt good.

15. Solo dance party – honestly a lot of fun and a great way to cheer myself up.

16. Making a pillow bed – need to be comfy while watching all that TV, right?

17. Cooking – not well I may add, it’s still not my thing but I have done more of it.

18. Waxing my eyebrows – relax guys I’ve been doing this for years but I definitely felt much more human after they were a little more tamed.

19. Online therapy – My therapy sessions moved online and I’m really grateful, we’ve had technical difficulties but they are helping.

20. Movie nights – I watched 2 films on Ice Hockey back to back – for context Ali used to play…I never got to see it.

21. Writing lists – I bet this one really surprised you, huh?

22. Drinking Gin – duh.

23. Lots of hamster hugs – there are mixed reactions from the hams about me being at home more than usual.

24. Long Baths – Quickly running out of Lush products…

25. Making Playlists – I made a positivity playlist and sent it to my family on Apple Music, it was pretty fun.

26. Building Lego – If I had the money I would have ordered the Hogwarts castle the night we went into lockdown.

27. Order a takeaway – Pizza is a life saver right now.

28. Listening to audiobooks – So I found Scribd and I absolutely love it AND I got 30 days free? Awesome.

29. Walks – I was only able to start doing this today because I was so anxious but I’m hoping I’ll be doing more.

30. Quality time with Ali – I’ve actually really enjoyed the time we’ve been able to spend just being together. Which is good because the alternative was killing each other.

What have you been doing to entertain yourself in lockdown? Let me know below!

Livin’ The Vida Lockdown: Day Eight – Books To Cheer You Up In Lockdown

Livin’ The Vida Lockdown: Day Nine – Gaining Weight During Lockdown

Come on, I know that at least some of you have been thinking about it so I’m going to talk about it – I know I have. For 3 and a half weeks before this all kicked off I was working with a personal trainer, going to the gym 1-2 times a week and I’d cut down what I was eating. I’d managed to lose a good chunk of weight and was seeing results.

The we went into lockdown – which just seems to be the story of everything at the moment, right? First I couldn’t get my protein, then the gym shut and then, honestly, I didn’t have the motivation or the mental energy to think about it.

I’ve seen a lot of people loving Joe Wicks workouts, setting themselves goals and getting fit. I’m really pleased it’s working for them but, mentally that isn’t me right now. Will I put the weight back on that I lost? Probably. I can’t help but think though in the grand scheme of things – does it matter?

Of course I want to look good for my wedding but it’s 9 months away, adding another thing in my life to get stressed about isn’t going to help me right now and it probably isn’t going to help you either.

If you’re struggling with motivation it’s ok! If you’re off your normal healthier eating plan, that’s ok too. These times aren’t normal and we all need to do what we need to do to get through. On the flip side if working out and trying to stay as normal as possible helps – that’s cool too!

Basically now is the time to be kind to yourself and your mind. If that includes eating the contents of your kitchen that’s fine. We will have time after this to hit the gym and (hopefully) get out in some sunshine.

Also, balls to being ‘summer ready’ – I’d much rather have a bigger arse and a healthier mind when I get out of this then be down 2 dress sizes.

Book Review: Diary Of A Confused Feminist - Kate Weston

Book Review: Diary Of A Confused Feminist – Kate Weston

Kat wants to do GOOD FEMINISM, although she’s not always sure what that means. She also wants to be a writer, get together with Hot Josh (is this a feminist ambition?), win at her coursework and not make a TOTAL EMBARRASSMENT of herself at all times.

Join Kat AKA the Confused Feminist as she navigates EVERYTHING from menstrual cups and mental health to Instagram likes and #TimesUp in her HILARIOUS, OUTRAGEOUS and VERY EMBARRASSING diary.

While I was working in a book shop over the Christmas period this was left in a pile of ARCS that we could take home and I was instantly drawn to it. A teenage feminist trying to navigate her life and feelings? Hell to the yes please, and I wasn’t disappointed.

There were times while reading where I wondered if I was too old for the book. Did I speak like this as a teenager? Were teenagers this petty over things? The answer is yes, I remember arguing with one of my friends over something ridiculous and then refusing to sit next to each other in our art class. In fact Weston has completely got the characters right.

While reading I felt like this had Caitlin Moran vibes to it (whos book How To Be A Woman changed my whole perception on feminism) there were important points but at the same time it was incredibly funny. It also took me back to when I was the same age trying to work out my on again off again relationship with feminism, because it is bloody confusing!

What skyrocketed my rating for this was the mental health element. There are some hints early on that Kat was struggling but seeing these explored was really excellent and I feel that it could help young people reading. As well as the anxiety that Kat struggles with the pressure to keep up and be interesting on social media.

This was a 4.5 star read for me. I think Kate Weston is definitely one to watch. When I got to the end I KNEW I needed a sequel which will hopefully happen.

Things I Can't Wait To Watch On Disney+

Things I Can't Wait To Watch On Disney+

Today Disney+ came out in the UK, FINALLY. It’s come at a pretty good time when staying in an binging is socially encouraged. While I’m not normally one to watch a lot of TV, Disney is different.

Like many of you, this is what I was brought up on. Disney VHS tapes were piled up in my childhood home, my Mum and I went to Disneyland Paris whenever we possibly could (because coach trips to Disney were hella cheap in the 1990s…yes I am that old).

I’ve taken a peak at what we’re going to be able to watch and here are some things that I’m really looking forward to.

Star Wars (Obviously)

If you haven’t noticed I absolutely adore Star Wars. I have my own lightsaber, I cosplay as Rey and my hamsters past and present are named after characters. Am I going to sit and watch everything to do with Star Wars including The Mandalorian? Ummm yeah.

Marvel (Also, obvious)

Every Marvel film and I fully intend to catch up on ones that I missed and watch them in order of the stories. I’ve been waiting a long time to do this. Also looking forward to the new stuff that Disney will be putting out.

Hercules

So I’m planning to watch both the 1997 film AND the TV series because I absolutely love this movie. I know that it’s really inaccurate but it’s just so much fun and the songs were absolutely excellent. I remember watching a lot of the series on the Disney Channel growing up.

Robin Hood

C’mon own up, who also had questionable feelings for this fox? Go on, I know you did. Again this is another one I watched on repeat when I was younger, I absolutely adored it…or adored the fox. We’ll never know.

The Little Mermaid Trilogy

You might not have known there was a trilogy, so there’s an exciting surprise for you. The first Little Mermaid, the OG, has a huge place in my heart and is one of my favourite films of all time.

The second one is also brilliant and I still remember getting it on video and Christmas. The third one I didn’t watch as much but has a banging song. I would highly recommend.

Peterpan 1 & 2

Peter Pan is amazing which is why you queue so long at any and all Disney parks to go on the ride that has definitely aged and as an adult is slightly creepy.

Peter Pan 2 is set as Wendy is grown up with her daughter Jane who does not believe…have I hooked you yet? I hope so, I’m damn excited.

The Cinderella Trilogy

The same with our friend Ariel, there are actually 3 Cinderella movies that you might not know about. The second one is about her life learning to be a princess and one of the step-sisters trying to find true love.

Cadet Kelly

This was a Disney Channel movie that I had to watch whenever it was on. It stars Hilary Duff as a teenager who gets sent to a military school where her new step-dad works. I was (and still am) pretty much a sucker for anything with Hilary in it.

Kim Possible

What’s the sitch?

Not only was she a redhead spy school girl saving the world but she was also a cheerleader. Hellloooooo? Have you heard of anything more early 2000s. Kim was great and so was the movie which will ALSO be streaming guys.

Tarzan and Jane

This series was BANGING and much more fun than the film so I’m going to get through a couple of episodes and probably watch the film. Although that has *slightly* been ruined for me now I know Tarzan is Elsa and Ana’s brother.

Recess

Another of my Disney Channel staples, I always wanted to be a Spinelli, but I ended up being more of a Gretchen…

The Emperor’s New Groove

This is just so weird and so wonderful and a perfect distraction right now.

Freaky Friday (2003 version)

Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis absoultely killed it in this film. It was absolutely hilarious and is a pretty good feel good film and apparently as well as the original as well as a new version will also be available.

Herbie Fully Loaded

I really liked Lindsay Lohan ok?

The Lizzie McGuire Movie

Four words. Sing to me Paolo.

Moana

I have a confession to make…I haven’t seen Moana yet. I know, I KNOW! But this is my chance to finally catch up and probably fall in love with it like everyone else.

The Muppets

There’s going to be Muppet Movies and Muppet Babies, although my favourite The Muppets Take Manhattan hasn’t been seen yet I’m hoping it will make an appearance.

Tangled

Probably my favourite of the new princesses and I really do love the soundtrack a lot, plus When Will My Life Begin is pretty apt for what’s going on right now I think.

Wreck It Ralph

Again one of my newer favourites but Vanelope’s sass can get me through pretty much anything. Also there is a whole land that is basically all puns and if you knew the guy I was marrying you’d know that was very important to me.

Toy Story

So, definitely the first 2 because I adore them both. Also, confession, I probably prefer Toy Story 2 because it has Jessie in it and she was my go to dress up character when I was 5, Princesses were out and Cowgirls were in.

As for 3, I don’t think I’m emotionally stable enough right now and I haven’t watched 4 because how can you top that ending that made me a sobbing mess? Exactly.

The Suite Life

Another Disney Channel throwback for me, this was another thing I watched all the time when I got home from school. I also had a crush on both Dylan and Cole and I was right to, have you seen Cole lately?!

Disney’s Fairytale Weddings

I was never going to have a big Princess Disney wedding, no matter how much my Mum dream and tried. That said I do think they’re adorable and you can bet I’ll be snuggling down with a cup of tea and a stack to tissues to watch this one.

The Simpsons

A classic and I am so, so glad to have them all in one place.

This was not spon, I wish it was, but no I’m going to be paying for my subscription just like the rest of you.

What are you looking forward to watching? Anything to recommend? Let me know in the comments below!