Lifestyle

Overcoming self-doubt as a new blogger

Let me preface this. It’s been a tough couple of weeks. I’ve felt like I had entered a void where all motivation goes to die and that my inner voice had done a complete 180 on me. Although with my generally cheery disposition I was able to pull myself out of my puddle of self-doubt and refocus my goals for my blog.

It’s too easy to say that you’re not good enough and that no one cares, except, at least one person does.

You.

I started Tulips & Tequila (properly) at the start of this year and the whole point of doing this is for me have an outlet for the things that matter to me whilst being creative. Working a full-time job & building a career is tough, and I came to the realisation that I needed a way to spend more time on something that was just for me.

Where it’s started to get tricky is comparison.

There are so many other blogs around it’s difficult to not let their earnt success, bring light to your lack of. Although I’m new, reaching successful goals seem almost impossible. It also doesn’t help that I set incredibly high standards for myself.

But enough about the actual self-doubt, you clicked because you want to know how to alleviate its burden on your confidence about blogging.

Here are some of the ways I’ve lifted my spirits and been able to refocus on my blogging goals.

Connecting with other new bloggers

You are not alone. One of the most beautiful things about the internet is that you are not alone and it’s certain that there is someone else out there who is going through the same issues or challenges you are.

Try to search hashtags or keywords on the social media platform of your choice and you will most certainly find others who are sharing their story or journey. Consume what they’re creating and engage.

For me, this has made me feel fantastic. As a niche-less blogger, I can feel super overwhelmed by others who specialise in a certain topic and it means the world to read content and engage with bloggers who create similar content to me.

It also helps to create a sense of community and has inspired me to innovate and think more creatively.

Join a support group

Once I started connecting with other new bloggers it was not difficult to find a support group of new bloggers. I’ve recently joined one on Facebook and the notifications remind me that I’m not alone.

It’s also a great way to gain and share advice for improving your blog.

Write down what you LOVE

At the end of the day, your blog is for you. If you’re anything like me, thinking back to why you started or even just what you want to write about, will make you want to keep going.

No one ever said this was easy (If they did, they’ve never done it)

But blogging is a great way to be creative and share your passions with like-minded people.

I LOVE talking with people, about literally everything. Which is why I started this blog in the first place. Knowing that I have an outlet, that isn’t just rambling on to my fiance every day is fantastic.

Now for you, it could be about something more specific. For example, you want to share your passion for baking & creating new recipes because spending more time on something that ‘sparks joy’ in your life, makes you happy and provides you with the motivation to focus more of your precious time & energy towards doing more of that.

I’ve still got a lot to go when it comes to fully conquering the self-doubt demons, but I know that surrounding myself with positivity and reminding myself why I actually give a damn about this, will allow me to build my confidence and to have a creative outlet.

Are there any ways you suggest to overcome self-doubt as a new blogger?

How do you keep yourself motivated?

Leave a comment below and until next time….

I’m going to be a bridesmaid!

What a crazy week it’s been! I have to say that the biggest surprise was that one of my close friend asked me to be her bridesmaid!

Earlier this week I came home to a note in my letterbox saying I had a package to collect. Weird right? I normally get packages sent to work if Alex isn’t on school holidays and all my boxing day online shopping had already turned up, so I wasn’t expecting anything.

Anyways, my local post office is only open during 9am-5pm and I leave for work at 7 am and get home at 6:30 pm. On top of that Alex had after-school meetings for the rest of the week and couldn’t pick it up on my behalf.

Itching to see what mysterious package I received, I asked my mum and sister (who spent the week at my house this past week) if they could collect the package on my behalf. They accepted, which was great, but I had a whole day of guessing what it could be. I looked up the tracking number and found out the package came from Mackay and there are only two people I know there. My educated guess was that my friends had sent their engagement party invitations out and we were receiving ours.

But then the question was, invitations are envelope sized, not package sized, so why did it come in a package?

A full day of work passed and an anxious ride home on the train, I quickly rushed to the package and opened it. To my surprise, the package was not just for me, it was also for Alex. When I opened the package, out came two boxes. One with my name and one with Alex’s.

I opened mine and literally squealed! I was so excited that she had asked me to be apart of such a special part of her life and I couldn’t wait to let her know that I accepted. (for context, she is a bridesmaid for my wedding next year).

Considering there was another box for Alex, I guessed a similar question was in there for him, however, he was going to be at work until 9pm! So my sister and I waited patiently for him to get home so we could see what awaited him in his box.

 

Alex opened the box and inside there was a card asking Alex to be a groomsman for the same wedding as well as a challenge. In order to prove his commitment to the groom, he had to open the wrapping in the box (which contained a small bottle of Green Fairy Absinth), drink it, film it and send it to him. Oh man! It was hilarious!

Both of us accepted in a short video message to our friends and we cannot wait to see them in May when we fly up for their engagement party. This is my first time being a bridesmaid and I’m seriously so excited to be a part of their special day.

Until next time…

January in Review

We’ve officially settled into 2018. January has come & gone with its hype of personal growth and change. I don’t know about you but I’ve had a blast in January and can’t wait to refocus (again) moving into February. I did make some huge goals for this year and looking back; I’m definitely on the right track to smashing them before year’s end. Here are a few highlights and worthy mentions for January 2018:

Highlights & Worthy Mentions:
  • Rocky Horror Picture Show at QPAC! I had such a spectacular evening and my face literally hurt from smiling the next morning!
  • At the start of the year, I refocused my health goals and have been working towards losing weight before I try on wedding dresses later this year. I ended up losing 1kg (approx. 2 lbs) this month. I had lost about 2kgs mid-month but ended up putting some back on due to a few emotional eating sessions. Hoping to use the start of a new month to refocus and find better ways to deal with my emotions rather than eating junk foods.
  • Sarah Knight’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F***”, reading this really put things in perspective and helps me validate my thoughts towards burning through my mental load with useless things that don’t bring me joy.
  • Dinner Parties, our Australia Day Barbeque and beach walks. There were so many lovely & meaningful social engagements this month and knowing I’m surrounded by such amazing, kind people brings so much light to my life.
  • Vegan Salted Caramel Apple Crumble. Oh. My. God. This was amazing and even though I messed up the salted caramel sauce, it was still a winner! – find the recipe here.
  • Greatest Showman Soundtrack. Need I say more?

Moving on from January and into February there are few things I want to focus on to best reach my goals for the year:

Goals for February:
  • Drink more water. There has been so much soft drink left in our house from various parties over the festive season and now that we are down to the last couple of cans, my aim is to avoid drinking any during the week and instead grab a glass of water when I feel the urge.
  • Cut spending. I did pretty well at this in January, however, I want to see how much more I could save if I pull back my spending a little more.
  • Take extra care with my hair. I’ve recently been having some issues with my hair and now that I’ve invested in some quality hair products, I want to take the time & effort to implement it into my routine.
  • Try different workouts. I’ve been doing Yoga twice a week since the start of January and I would love to add some more high-intensity workouts into my week.
  • Begin decluttering my house. For a young couple, we have way too much stuff around our house that serves no purpose at all and I simply want it gone.

How was your January and what are you looking forward to in February?

Until next time…

 

 

Thoughts on turning twenty-two

While preparing to write this post, I was thinking whether turning twenty-two is worth writing about. Considering the most valued birthday celebrations have already passed me by.

But you know what, every year is important and the lessons I’ve learnt and the experiences that are moulding me as I grow are every bit as important as the year that preceded.

Being twenty-one has been an adventure, I have made some memories that I will hold dear for years to come. I partied, traveled, bought a house & got engaged! What a year!

Now I feel there is some pressure to keep this momentum going, like what is going to happen next? What big life change am I going to dive into before I turn 23?

I’m not sure where this sense of pressure comes from, perhaps my own drive to make everything ‘perfect’. It may also be my competitive nature to always one up myself.

Instead of diving forward I really want to focus on the life I have built and find calm in the joys that surround me and push out the negatives. As difficult as this may be, with all the crazy, I need to force myself to take a breath.

I’m unsure whether I’m articulating this well enough, but the general gist is that my experiences as a young adult have been fuelled by a need to one-up a younger version of myself, whilst not a bad form of motivation, results in pressure to continue doing so.

I do wonder what the next year will bring me but I hope I can take time to take in and cherish the wonder around me.

Until next time

USA & Canada Vacation

I have been very MIA lately and the reason being is that I travelled overseas, the United States & Canada to be precise. Alex and I planned this trip over a year ago so we have been pumping ourselves up for such a long time. So if you want to know a little more about our trip + some pics, keep on reading.

First stop – New York City, NY, United States – This was Alex’s first time to the big apple and it definitely did not disappoint. After the approx. 30 hours of flying, we finally made it to our hotel, the Kimpton Muse Hotel. It was the perfect location for us to squeeze in as much of NYC in the two days we had there. We did a lot of the touristy things, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, 5th Avenue, Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge, National History Museum and much more. One of my highlights was the food day I planned, which started at Katz Deli then went through Williamsburg in Brooklyn, where we stopped at Joe’s Pizza and Milk Bar! By far the biggest highlight of NYC, let alone our entire trip, was going to see Hamilton on Broadway. I tried not to cry, but after fangirling about this show for over a year, I  happy cried more times than I can remember.

Following these crazy days in NYC, we joined our tour and headed off to Boston, which was a gorgeous city with a lot of history. Things sped up exponentially after this, we then went to Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Niagara Falls, Harrisburg, Washington D.C. & Philadelphia.

Here were some of the highlights (in no particular order):

Red Sox v Blue Jays Baseball game in Toronto

Niagara Falls

Montreal Food Tour

We saw some pretty cool street art 🙂

American History Museum in D.C.

We had such a crazy time, and met some amazing people along the way but are glad to be home and back into the swing of things…but I’m sure that won’t last long.

Where’s the last place you traveled to?

Until next time

His Proposal

As mentioned in my last post, I have been super MIA lately because I got engaged!!! I feel like there is so much to catch you up on but all everyone seems to want to know is how did he do it. Now that we have been engaged for about 3 weeks I have probably retold this story about 20 times (maybe even more!). So it’s nice to finally get to write it all out and have it published.

Friday 7th April

Here’s some context.

We were going to a family catch up on Friday evening and all week I had been looking forward to Friday drinks so Alex had agreed to be the designated driver so I could have a few with our family. So you can say I was a little taken aback when I drove home on Friday night to his car, not in the driveway!!! I called several times and honestly thought he had forgotten and left without me. Also, the house looked locked up, all the shutters were closed, lights off etc.

I was wrong.

I walked up the stairs to the front door and saw that it was UNLOCKED!!

Opened the door and was nearly scared to death by my housemate in near darkness, who said that Alex had a surprise for me.

Leading from the front door to our dining table was a pathway of candles and inside this pathway was our love story in photographs. From our very first date at the Brisbane Botanical Gardens over three and a half years ago to our recent trip to Thailand in December.

Once I get to the dining table I see another photo of the two of us, with a note on top saying “I am so grateful for this one, now turn it over”. On the other side was a declaration of love that brought me to tears. At the end of his gorgeous words, I had to turn around. And you guessed it. There. He. Was. On. One. Knee.

I cannot remember what he said because I started crying, but of course, I said yes immediately and without hesitation.

Once my crying and shaking had calmed down to only slightly audible, he decided to tell me that the trip he booked for us at the end of April was actually that weekend (8-9th April) and that he was taking me to dinner in Maleny and we were staying in a suite in Caloundra.

The rest of the night was a blur of champagne, tears, laughter, love and the sparkle of a diamond.

I’ve had some time to calm down in the last couple of days with all the public holidays, but my head is filled with the joy of wedding planning. Alex and I plan on having a long engagement and are aiming to get married in Spring 2019, so I have plenty of time to save and plan for our special day. So be prepared for a few (maybe more than a few) posts relating to wedding planning.

Until Next Time…

I SAID YES!!!!

There are not that many ways to excuse being MIA for this long, but I hope I’m forgiven because I unexpectedly got engaged in the past week!!!! This is not the only reason I’ve been away, we also had the crazy rain and flooding from Cyclone Debbie, which caused a whole shit storm (*ha see what I did) of problems for both Alex and I. Also following our surprise engagement, Alex took me away for an entire weekend!

I will make a post all about his proposal since I honestly cannot shut up about it, it was literally perfect. Also, look forward to watching me plan my wedding and everything else in-between.

Life is a pretty crazy whirlwind right now, but I’m so happy with the direction that we are going.

Until next time,

Priceline Cosmetics Haul

Don’t know whether it was luck or the world trying to give me some silver lining, but this week the bi-annual Priceline 40% Cosmetics sale fell on my pay day!

Now as you may now, I just bought a house so I didn’t go crazy but this was a good excuse to try out new products and have more of the essentials in my collection. e.g. foundation, because I was literally scrapping the bottle to get ready for work.

So here’s what I bought (left to right):

  1. L’Oreal Color Riche Lipstick in Naomi’s Delicate Rose
  2. Australis Don’t Sweat it Water Resistant Foundation in Beige
  3. Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation in 115 Ivory
  4. NYX Liquid Suede Lipstick in Tea & Cookies
  5. NYX Above & Beyond Full Coverage Concealer in Fair
  6. NYX Wonder Pencil in Light
    (left to right) NYX Wonder Pencil in Light – L’Oreal Color Riche Lipstick in Naomi’s Delicate Rose – NYX Liquid Suede in Tea & Cookies

I’ve only had these products for a few days, but I have tried them all out at least once so I can note some first impressions, however, I have a feeling my thoughts on these products may change the more that I use them.

With regards to the Fit Me foundation, even though I got it in the Matte + Poreless formula, I still found myself pouring out the oil by midday, which was way more than normal and I even used a primer and set with translucent powder. I’m going to keep trying this one out and find if there’s a way for it to work for me.

Thus far, I’m blown away with the Australis Don’t Sweat It foundation since I didn’t expect it to actually last all day and stay matte (for the most part!) and the coverage is also quite impressive.

Not much to say about the NYX products other than I’ve had my eye on the Tea & Cookies cream lipstick for a while now and I’m really glad that it’s part of my collection. The color is gorgeous and it lasts well but not as long as I would expect for a liquid lipstick. The wonder pencil has heaps of uses but I’ve only used it for a waterline highlight and it sure does brighten up your eyes and make you look more awake which is a flippin’ blessing for someone like me. Unfortunately, there were no testers for the NYX concealer so I just picked the second lightest shade out of habit with other brands and foundation shades but it ended up being too light. However, there are still heaps of uses for a concealer that’s too light, like carving out eyebrows and fixing eyeliner & lipstick mistakes.

I’m really liking the L’Oreal lipstick because I don’t actually own a sheer lipstick and I think the color of this one is stunning and simply perfect for work.

Overall I’m pretty happy with the products I got and will endeavor to do a more in-depth review on these once I’ve taken them all for a ride.

What do you get in this week’s sale?

Until next time,

 

Sunday Update

Now I had planned on setting aside some time this weekend to write a more interesting post, but unfortunately, life is life and gets in the way.

To bring you up to speed, I was recently told that I have a severe iron deficiency and the results of this deficiency can make me more fatigued than I ever thought possible. For the last month, my doctor has had me on supplements, but this week hit hard. I was using all of my forcible energy to stay awake and it became painful to be awake. I liken the feeling to when you wake up in the middle of the night and start walking and your mind is waking up but your body is still asleep. I started to worry that I would fall or trip while working and thus, headed back to the doctors.

Since I work full time and have quite a lengthy commute, and not to mention the fact that I pretty much collapse when I come home, my weekends are my prime time to get anything done. This meant expending all of my limited energy as it was to going to doctors and even the hospital! eek! I’m fine, just exhausted. I left the hospital pretty quickly and met this fantastic nurse who gave me some great advice.

Hopefully, my iron levels will sort themselves out soon, because boy would I like to actually feel like a 21 year old!

This post is probably sounding like the longest excuse for a lack of a good read, but I don’t think I would’ve been capable of publishing anything more worthwhile whilst being this fatigued. I hope you forgive me.

Until next time,

 

 

 

First Impressions & Review: Sally Hansen’s Miracle Gel Polish – Mauve-olous – 244

For all the ladies (and gents) out there who love having their nails painted but hate smudges, chipping, that dreaded cleanup and the time it normally takes for the polish and top coat to dry, I’m sure you get how frustrating it can be if your beautifully painted nails only last a day or two. This always seems to be the case with me, so I endeavour to find methods that won’t kill my nails and will also ensure that the polish stays put for a decent amount of time.

Now, I’ve tried nearly every type of salon nails; polish, acrylic, gel & SNS, and I absolutely love SNS the most by far. I’ll do a review on why I prefer this salon method the most, but the general gist is that it lasts forever!!!

So Kaitlyn, why aren’t you just sticking to SNS?

Well, if you read my last post, you’ll know I just bought my first home! Yay! Woot Woot!

The biggest let down to this huge life milestone is having to cut a lot of luxury services and products off my budget, so getting my nails done once a fortnight (or even every three weeks) just won’t work right now. Maybe later down the track when my life and finances are all sorted and organized, I can get back into the habit. (jk, that’ll never happen, right?)

So I’m back to painting and maintaining my own nails. Sigh.

I’ve tried the Sally Hansen miracle gel polishes before and remember liking it and since I had a gift card that was set to expire for Priceline, I decided that today was better a day than any to feel like a put together millennial woman and have painted nails. I love soft pink polishes, they tend to be my go-to colour, alongside violets and other light purples so naturally, this shade jumped off the shelf and into my basket.

I’m going to detail my first impression as well as a review after a few days of wear so that you have a decent understanding of how lasting this polish is.

First Impression:

To be honest, I haven’t painted my own nails in what seems like forever, what with buying a house, Christmas, changing jobs and also travelling overseas, who has time to paint their nails?!? In the time between the last time I painted my nails and today (Sunday 26th Feb) my only bottle of base coat had gone bad 🙁 So luckily the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel claims to work without one. Yay! For the top coat, I used Seche Vite and although this stuff smells like you’re dying your hair in the 00’s while freshly painting an unventilated room, it does the jobs and dries super quickly.

I’m a big fan of Sally Hansen’s wide brush, it normally means I can paint a coat of nail polish with one movement, even on my thumbnail.

The colour looked good even with just one coat but needed two to deepen and intensify the shade. Now there is a Sally Hansen Miracle Gel top coat that compliments the range and gives that gel gloss, but because I’m impatient, I used the Seche Vite which does give a shine but I doubt is as glossy as the Sally Hansen one, which I haven’t tried.

For both hands including drying time, the application took me approximately 30 mins. I could have been a little quicker but I was watching This is Us while doing them and started tearing up, which may have resulted in the process taking a little longer.

Now a couple hours later, I have no smudges or chips, but I’ll follow this up in a couple of days and see how it wears.

…A couple days later (Thursday 2nd March)

Woah, time flies. Well, I have to say I’m impressed but not swept off my feet. The polish has lasted really well considering my usual track record and I didn’t see the first chip until Tuesday, which is a record for myself.

As you can see in the pics, the chips are only on my right hand (the dominant one) and my left hand (the lazy one) is still in pretty good nick.

With such good colour payoff and an impressive lasting power, I can definitely say I will purchase more colours in the line and will endeavour to keep my nails painted for the foreseeable future, but we’ll see how long that will last.

Would love to hear some feedback! Comment below with your nail hacks for making them last longer, or let me know if you’ve tried these polishes before and can recommend a new shade.

Until next time,