How Moving Abroad Changed My Life

Moving Abroad

A few years ago I moved from Kenya to Canada to study abroad and get my undergraduate degree. As you can imagine this was a huge change in my life and a lot changed after I moved. I have been in Canada for about three years now and a lot has changed in my life in those three years. 

A while ago I asked you guys what you wanted to see on lifesfinewhine and one of the suggestions was a post about how my life has changed after moving abroad. I thought this would be super interesting to share with you guys because as I mentioned so much has changed in the last few years. 

More Independence

Moving abroad gave me a lot more independence than before. When you live abroad there are certain things you can do that you just can’t do back home- mostly because everyone knows you lol… But seriously, I finally started to feel like a real adult and it was also a lot of fun pushing boundaries, trying new things, discovering more about myself and basically just doing stuff I have always wanted to do. 

Adulting Is Hard

Independence and feeling like an adult is all well and good until you have to take responsibility and do stuff on your own. Then it’s a total nightmare. Back home I was pretty used to relying on my parents, other family members or friends for assistance with stuff. Now I have to do everything on my own and as fun as that can be sometimes it can also be awful other times. 

I mean you have to pay the bills (did you know you have to do that every month??), book appointments (why are those still a thing??), go grocery shopping (this one is actually kind of fun!) and that is just the tip of the iceberg.  

New Experiences

One of the best things about moving abroad is that you get to have all these amazing experiences. One major way that my life changed after moving abroad was that I became a different person. No, I did not turn into Winder Woman unfortunately but I did become someone who explores a lot more. 

Back home I was pretty anxious and did not go out or do stuff as much. However, after coming to Canada I decided that I want to get out of my comfort zone and make as many memories as possible so whenever I could I would travel, go somewhere new, try a new place to eat or just do something new in general. 

I was also able to meet new people which was super fun!

I Was Forced To Grow Up

To an extent- I still think cartoons are awesome and pjs should be ugly, old and comfy af. But it did force me to mature and to think of things in a more mature way. Instead of freaking out about every small thing I learnt how to deal with my problems. 

I also learnt how to take better charge of my life, take control of things and to also be more comfortable with fighting for myself. I learnt leadership skills at school which I have found helpful in life too. I also realised that adults really don’t know what they’re doing as much as we think they do- we’re lost and confused almost all the time too! 

Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed this post and learnt a little more about the ways in which my life has changed after moving abroad. 

Have you ever lived abroad? If so, how did it change your life? If not, would you ever want to live abroad? Are you currently living abroad? Have you studied abroad? If so, could you relate to any of the things I mentioned on this post? Let me know in the comments below or if you don’t want to answer the questions simply stop by and say hi!

BTS

No, not the band… I wanted to give you a little behind the scenes/blooper story about this post. So, I finished writing this post and made the cover image for it which took forever because I had to make it HD and stuff. And finally I was done and added it to the post and that’s when I realised it said “Changes” instead of “Changed” and I had to do everything all over again 🤦‍♀️

Original cover image:


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Hi- Lets Chat!

So my laptop decided to take hours to update (it’s super old- I’ve had it for like 8 years) and since I don’t like writing/editing posts on my phone I decided I don’t want to post something specific today.

Instead I thought I would take some time to catch up with you guys! Let me know your answers to the questions below in the comments and you don’t have to answer all the questions you can answer the ones you like or just say hi!

  1. How are you doing?
  2. What is your favourite hobby at the moment?
  3. Coffee or hot chocolate?
  4. Are you a people person?
  5. What’s your favourite TV show?

The last time I did a Q&A someone suggested I answer the questions as well and I thought that was a good idea so I’ll give you guys my answers below:

  1. I’m okay- a little sleepy…
  2. I am really into drawing and painting right now. 
  3. Hot chocolate because I can’t drink caffeine anymore because of my anxiety. But I do prefer coffee. 
  4. Sometimes depending on my mood. 
  5. At the moment it’s The Simpsons

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How To Manage Your Blog While Having A Busy Life

Managing Your Blog While Having A Busy Life

I took a survey/poll a while back and asked what you guys wanted to see on lifesfinewhine or if there were any specific blogging topics you guys wanted to see me write about and one of the suggestions I got was to write on how I maintain by blog while having a busy life.

I am a full time student at university at the moment and as a history major you can image how busy I can get sometimes with all the reading and writing that comes along with history. I also get super busy with blogging because over the last few years my blog has grown quite a bit and it takes a lot more time to respond to everyone and maintain my blog- not that I’m complaining because I truly do love blogging!

Here are some of the tricks I use to manage my blog and my life:

Schedules Are Your Friend

When you have a busy life your schedule becomes your best friend. It’s very important to maintain a balance in your life but without a schedule it becomes easy to become more preoccupied with one thing and ignore the other aspects of your life. In order to avoid this it’s a good idea to create a schedule- it would be best to create daily schedules but if you are unable to do this try coming up with weekly schedules- as this can help you maintain a balance in your life.

If you read my posts on my blogging journey you probably know that maintaining my blog while being a full time student was extremely difficult for me and if was one of the biggest struggles I faced. However, what really helped me with this was scheduling a certain amount of time every day for blogging. This helped me make sure that my blog was not neglected even when I did end up getting more busy with school and life in general and that I was posting on a regular basis.

It may be a bit difficult at first and as a professional procrastinator I was very tempted to take a break or put off blogging but I forced myself to not procrastinate and eventually blogging became a part of my life and now it’s just become a habit to spend a certain amount of time every day on my blog.

Be Proactive

We all have days when we are more busy. If you are a student the days when you have tests, exams or assignments due are the days when you are probably more busy. For people who are not students you may have busier days at work sometimes, if you don’t work at the moment you may have certain days when you have errands to run etc. For days like these it is better to be prepared because things don’t always go as planned and you may be forced to change your schedule a little bit due to circumstances.

What I like to do is keep some posts written in advance and ready to publish for days when I am super busy and may not have time to work on a post. When my fall and winter semester are going on I try to write as many posts as I can over the weekend so that I just have to edit and post them on the weekdays when I have classes and don’t have as much free time.

I would also totally recommend writing shorter posts when you are busy as those don’t take as long and saving the longer posts for when you have more time. I know that my lifestyle posts and my blogging advice posts are usually 1500-2000 words and therefore I like to publish those on days when I don’t have other things going on as I know I will need a certain amount of time to work on them. On the other hand, I know that my six word stories and poetry posts are much shorter so I usually end up doing these when I don’t have as much time to blog.

It’s Okay To Mess Up

Schedules are great, being proactive is great but messing up once in a while is also totally okay. Sometimes life gets busy, sometimes a pandemic occurs and life gets crazy. A lot of things can’t be planned in advance and a lot of times things occur that we may not have expected or foreseen and therefore as great as having a schedule is we may not always be able to stick with our schedule. If something does happen and you are unable to post for whatever reason or you are unable to put as much time into your blog as you had hoped to don’t beat yourself up about it. These things happen to everyone.

I would also recommend taking some time off every week to relax and do nothing because if you force yourself to blog you will end up taking all the fun out of it and feeling really burnt out. You may also end up with writers block. That’s why it’s important to take some to just relax and do nothing for a bit. It could be a few minutes each day, an hour or even one day every week. Just make sure not to force yourself to a point where it starts effecting you negatively or taking a toll on your mental health.

Ask For Help

If you are feeling overwhelmed or if you feel like you need some help with the whole blogging thing make sure to ask for help. This makes your life a lot easier and will save you lots of time. I’ll give you a few examples of what I’ve personally been through to help you get a better understanding of what I mean.

As a blogger you are expected to come up with ideas for blog posts on a regular basis but if you are busy with school or work or just life in general this may not always be possible. However, this is where the asking for help comes in. You can take a poll or a survey and ask your audience what they want to see on your blog and ask for topics they want you to write about. I think it is sort of a win-win for everyone- your readers get to read specific posts on your blog that they want you to write about and you get new ideas for blog posts and save your time and energy by getting ideas for blog posts from your readers. I recently took a survey like this to get some topic ideas and to better figure out what my audience wanted to read on my blog and this blog post was actually one of the ideas!

You can also do Q and A’s, challenges, tags etc which are shorter/easier to write and less time consuming. Plus, it’s a great way to interact with your readers and fellow bloggers.

Sharing Is Caring

This is something I used to do a lot in my first three years of blogging because I did not have a proper schedule yet and I was also extremely busy with school and then first year of university so I did not have enough time to come up with blog posts every day or every other day or once a week. What I would do was I would try to stay active even if I could not post on a regular basis because when it comes to blogging staying active is very important if you want to grow your blog.

I would read other blogs and I would find some blogs that I found particularly interesting or sometimes helpful and I would reblog those. I think this is a really great way to stay active when you don’t have time to write posts of your own and again it’s really a win-win for everyone. The person who’s blog post you shared gets a free backlink and a larger audience since you shared the post with your readers and you get to stay active and post on your blog without having to write an entire blog post of your own. It is a really great way to support other bloggers as well as keep your blog active when you are short on time.

Your Thoughts

I really hope you enjoyed this post and found it beneficial. What are some of the ways you manage your blog while maintaining a balance life? Do you find it difficult to juggle blogging and life? Do you have a schedule or do you blog more randomly? How long have you been blogging? Let me know in the comments below because you know I always love getting comments from you guys.


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imPRESS Nails Review

imPRESS Nails

If you know me you probably know that my nails are a very important part of my life. I love my nails- they always used to be long and manicured. However, with everything going on at the moment I haven’t been able to get manicures and I also have not been keeping them long because I have to wash my hands much more frequently now which makes the nails weaker and break easily. I don’t like seeing my fingers without long nails and I also wanted to pamper myself one last time before school starts so I decided to do some research and found imPRESS nails. What drew me to them to begin with was that they were very easy to use- it’s literally just three steps which I will talk about in more detail below.

How I Picked The Nails

imPRESS Nails 2
I decided to try out five boxes- they each contain 30 regular nails and 12/6 accents. I tried to pick different sizes because as you may or may not be able to tell from the pictures I have pretty small hands and nails and I was not sure what would fit me. I also tried to pick some simpler designs that you could wear on a daily basis and some more fancy ones that you could wear on occasions.
To pick the nails all you have to do is go to their site, go to shop all, pick whichever ones you like and add them to your cart. Once you have picked the nails you can checkout and add your information.  The ones I picked were “imPRESS Press-on Manicure Couture Collection, Supreme, Almond Shape“, “imPRESS Press-on Manicure Couture Collection, Lavish,Short Length“, “Rebecca Minkoff X imPRESS Press-on Manicure, Ibiza Nights“, “imPRESS Press-on Manicure, Medium Nails, He’s With Me”, “imPRESS Petite Nails, My Smile is Beamin.” The site was quite easy to navigate and selecting and checking out the items was also quite simple to do. All the nails were between $7.99-$10.99.

How To

I wanted to share the process of how I put on the nails. It was honestly so simple I was kind of amazed.

Step 1

imPRESS Nails
This one is a bit obvious. You open up the box and take out everything. Since the box comes with thirty nails you can pick out the ten that you want to use and put the rest back.

Step 2

imPRESS Nails 4
Wash your hands and make sure they are clean as the oils/dirt on your fingers may touch the glue. The box will contain a prep pad- use this to wipe your real nails properly and prepare them for the imPRESS nails. I thought the prep pad was really cool because right now we really need to be extra careful and hygienic. Plus, it helps the nails stay on much longer since the glue doesn’t wear off.

Step 3

Take of the see through covering at the bottom of the nail and press them on to your real nails. Make sure to press it on properly under your cuticles. Press them very firmly for a few seconds till you are sure the glue has stuck to your nail. Repeat this for all the nails.
imPRESS Nails 6
Tips

  • Press the nails firmly on the both sides and the center so that they don’t come lose.
  • File your real nails before applying these.
  • Put them on slowly and precisely so you don’t have to keep adjusting them as this wears off the glue.

My Final Thoughts On The Nails

imPRESS Nails 3
I looked through the site and went through all the nails they offer and I was pretty impressed (I’m sorry I couldn’t resist the pun!) by the designs they offered. I really liked that they had a large variety of designs. If you’re a professional or maybe you just don’t like having really fancy/loud nails they had a lot of more simple designs that would be perfect for everyday wear. On the other hand, if you’re like me and like to keep it simple with just a dash of extra they also had designs that were not too fancy but not completely simple either. And for special occasions when you want your nails to stand out they also had some really beautiful and quite fancy nails.
I particularly liked the two that I got in black because I think those would be perfect with a LBD or a long skirt/dress. I also liked that they had press on toe nails too so your feet don’t feel left out- I mean if you’re going to make your finger nails look pretty you may as well make your toe nails look cute too. Especially in summer when most people wear footwear that show your toes.
I think they also had a good variety of colours. They had some simple colours, some that were a bit simple and a bit loud and some that were really bright and beautiful which would be perfect for summer/spring. They also had French tips which took me back because I my mum/sister used to do my nails for me when I was young and I would always want to do French tips because I saw older women in movies with nails like that and I wanted to look all elegant like them. I really appreciate that they had nails in petite, medium and large that were actually petite, medium and large.
As someone with tiny nails/hands I find it extremely difficult to find stuff in my size- not just nails but rings, bracelets and pretty much everything. These, however, fit perfectly due to the size and the gel-like consistency which made them flexible/bendy so they kind of take the shape of your real nails perfectly. The nails were all not too long which is perfect for me but if you are looking for those super extra really long nails you may not get those here at the moment but fingers crossed they will have them soon! I also would want more of the bright coloured ones- they definitely had quite a few but I would love it if they had more like neon colours or just very bright colours with nail art on them.
They also offer both almond and square shaped tips which is cool! I always have almond ones for some reason- maybe I just love almonds too much lol- but I am excited to try the square ones too because my sister always has those and I feel like they look super cute.
I have tried using press on nails before but they came with a glue and it was quite a mess process. I think the fact that you have to stick these on and that there are not a lot of steps to putting them on makes them the best press on nails I’ve ever tried. They are super easy to put on- it literally took me about six minutes. If you are someone who loves long nails/press on nails but are trying to avoid the fuss I would definitely recommend these.
I thought these nails were very affordable compared to getting acrylic nails put on in a salon and I thought these were also a great alternative if you are trying to avoid going to salon’s at the moment or if there are no nail places open in your area. The prices were very affordable for the amount of nails you got and quality of the product you receive.
As for the glue- now this is what I was most worried about. As you guys know I love to cook, I type for like two hours a day, I clean with my hands etc. Basically, my life revolves around using my hands and I was scared that these would fall off in like a day. That was my biggest fear. Surprisingly, the glue is very strong. I have had them on for almost a week now and they haven’t budged. They have even moved a little which to me makes the products definitely worth it.
When I looked through their site I realised that they also have holographic nails which I am obsessed with right now. I didn’t want to get them with this batch because I didn’t know whether I would like the product or not but now that I know that I love the nails I want to try the 3D Nails Curious Mind  and Rebecca Minkoff X imPRESS Press-on Manicure Blue Haze- the shade of blue for these nails is just breathtaking.
If you are interested in checking out these nails for yourself you can check out their website by clicking here.


Are you a nails person? What is your go-to when it comes to nails- are you extra or do you like to keep it simple? Have you ever tried press on nails? Do you regularly wear press on nails? Have you ever tried imPRESS press on’s? Do you want to see more reviews of products I use? Do you want to see more infographics on my posts? Let me know in the comments below I would love to hear your thoughts!
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Giveaway Alert!

I don’t have a very long or specific post today but I just basically wanted to remind everyone that I’m doing two giveaways on my Instagram- check out my two latest posts to see them- so feel free to enter if you are interested. It’s totally free by the way- I had some people ask me about that yesterday. To check out my Instagram click here.
Also an update on my fingers/hand- it’s doing way better and is almost fully healed. Thank you to everyone for your kind wishes and I will be back to blogging normally starting next week since I can type properly again.


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Art, Anxiety And An Ouch

I thought I would give you guys another little update on what’s going on with me at the moment and also an update on my art stuff. As you may know since I mentioned it a few of my posts I started doing some art again because it sort of helped with my anxiety. I did it on apps because I don’t have a lot of art supplies right now and also it’s just easier to do it on my phone. My anxiety has been a lot better over the last few months in general but I was looking for a relaxing hobby and I saw online that a lot of people recommended art. Studies on art therapy have shown that art can help people with anxiety feel more calmer and also express themselves better through art. And then I wrote a throwback post about my site way back when I started and saw some posts about the charcoal art I used to do and remembered how much fun that was and decided to take up art again.
It has actually helped me with my anxiety. To elaborate a bit more on that- my anxiety causes problems with my concentration. It makes it a bit more difficult for me to concentrate on something and I also get distracted pretty easily when my anxiety is high but with art I need to fully concentrate on the artwork and that has helped me with concentration and staying focused.
I also find art therapeutic because as someone with anxiety my brain is always switched on. Like it’s always chattering in the background and being annoying. There is no off switch and the constant noise can get frustrating sometimes. With art this noise kind of automatically shuts off or I guess I can easily fully ignore it because my brain is fully concentrating on the art and on what I’m doing at that moment. Those I think are the main ways that art and colouring has helped me with controlling my anxiety. It’s also a lot of fun just in general- it is kind of like being a child again which is always a fun treat when you are an adult struggling to adult. Here are some of the artworks I have done so far:

In case you were wondering what app I used for colouring it was Paint.Book.
I have always loved colouring but truth be told I’m more of a drawing person. I like drawing a lot and wanted to draw stuff from scratch. Now the only problem is I’m not great with drawing and I’ve never drawn on my phone before so I did not really know how to do that and it was a lot more difficult than actual drawing but I really enjoyed the challenge and I think I am very slowly but surely getting better at it now that I am getting the hang of how it works.
So, I also got a artbook app where you can basically draw and colour things from scratch and do whatever you want- you’re not limited to what the app provides you with. I’m not going to lie I’ve been binge watching The Simpsons for the last few months so I decided to draw Bartholomew Simpson AKA Bart Simpson. I know it doesn’t look a lot like Bart but this was my first try drawing anything with an app so cut me some slack! I am currently working on the rest of the family.

Moving on to the ouch part. So two days ago I burnt two of my fingers while cooking and yesterday I burnt the side of hand/palm. It’s my right hand and it’s the fingers I use to type so it has been kind of difficult for me to type properly at the moment. If you see any typos in this post or in response to any of your comments I’m not having a stroke it’s just hard for me to type with my left hand. It’s also going to take me a while to respond to your comments as I’m going to have to type slower than usual. My posts may also be a bit shorter than usual this week apart from the ones that I had written prior to the incidents. You may have noticed that I only put up two quotes yesterday even though I usually put up four or five but that was because I literally could not make more than those two.
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In other news, have almost reached a 50 day streak on Duolingo which is super exciting. I was excited to tell you guys that because last time I had lost my 52 day streak and was feeling a little down about it. The weather is getting a bit cooler which is awesome- no offense to people who love summer but I am so looking forward to fall. Oh and as always my WP was acting up over the last few days- my reader stopped working and then some of my comments were either not posting at all or if they posted they went to spam so yeah… That’s about it for this update. Again sorry about any typos but I’m doing the best I can.
What have you guys been up to lately? Have you been learning a new language? Have you ever tried doing art to reduce your anxiety? Have you tried drawing as a way to reduce anxiety? Are you a fan of doing art on your device or you do prefer doing art on a book? Let me know in the comments below because I love to chat even when my fingers are in pain!


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Things I Never Said

I don’t know if you guys have noticed but over the last few weeks I have been slowly editing older posts to make them SEO friendly and just to kind of make them go with the whole vibe of my blog. As I mentioned in my first blogging journey post when I first started this blog I had a completely different idea for what it was going to be and over time it has evolved into something completely different. Of course, I am eternally grateful for what it has become now and I wanted to edit my older posts so that they go better with the new layout of my blog. As I mentioned in an earlier post my blog looked VERY different a few years and even just a few months back.

Anyway, before I digress too much, I was going through a lot of older posts and I realised I had a lot of drafts that I wrote but never published. I believe some were never published because they were quite personal and I wrote them just to write them not really with the intention of ever publishing them. Some I had written half way and then stopped for some reason. I probably just didn’t have time to finish them. And some I had written and kept ready to publish but I just forgot to publish them. 

This got me thinking about all the things that we mean to say but for some reason or the other we did not. Maybe it was a text that we had meant to send but then thought about it and decided not to send it or to send a very edited version of it. Maybe we were going to confront someone but decided to not to in the end and just ended up being the bigger person and letting it go. Maybe it was an email we were going to send for a job opportunity or something like that which we ended up not sending because we did not think we were good enough for it. Either way there is so much we don’t say. If you really think about it there is probably more that we don’t say than things we say. There are so many things we want to tell people. It could be someone in your family, a close friends, some you were friends with but have lost touch with, someone you were acquaintances with or merely even a stranger who stole your parking spot perhaps. 

I also started thinking about all the reasons we don’t say stuff and how that effects us. Yes, some of it is probably us being the bigger person and just knowing when something is worth speaking up about and when something is better off let unsaid. But some of it is also how we are conditioned by society to act in a certain way. In a lot of ways we cringe away from letting our true thoughts and feelings out because we’re taught that it’s not proper to be emotional or that emotions are a weakness. So many problems end up stemming from us being so repressed because even if you bottle up all your feelings at some point your bottle is going to overflow and those feelings are going to come pouring out. And when they do come out you won’t know how to deal with them because you never really dealt with them before- you just repressed them. 

All of this just makes me wonder how different my life and everyone’s life would have been had we said what we were thinking. What if we had confronted our childhood bullies? What if we had stood up to people in our lives? What if we had confronted the toxic people in our life and called them out for their behaviour? What if we had taken the chance and asked the person we liked out? What if we said something to the person who took your parking spot (I don’t know why that example is stuck in my head I don’t even drive…)? What if we had applied to our dream jobs even though we were under qualified for it?

Could you imagine how different your life would be right now if you had made different decisions and spoke up instead of staying silent during any event in your life where you chose not to say something? And it works both ways too. Like imagine how different your life would have been had you stayed silent instead of said something when you shouldn’t have? I know I have personally said a lot of stupid things I shouldn’t have and still occasionally (read frequently) tend to do so. 

I just keep thinking about all the things I never said to people. Some I wish I had said, some I still really want to say but I know I never will and some I am so thankful that for once I kept my giant mouth shut. There are so many messages I have written down and then deleted and there are so many things I have kept to myself when inside I wanted to yell it at someone while scratching them in the face (I have a bit of a temper…). I have always been a very passive person and I hate anything confrontation. It gives me anxiety and freaks me out. I’m also horrible at confronting people because I never find the right words to say and I always end up saying something stupid instead and then I regret it for the next decade or two. 

I want that to change though. I want to call people out more, be louder and just make my voice heard. I know that sometimes staying silent is the right thing to do and I will remain silent when it’s the best thing to do but I also don’t want to someday be like 40 and regret not saying something to someone that I really wanted to say. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I want to be more vocal about my thoughts and feelings. 

I know this was kind of a random and weird post but it’s just something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately especially over the last few days. I just wanted to share my thoughts with you guys because you guys always have something interesting to say about stuff like this and I always appreciate your input. If anyone knows any tips for how to be more vocal and assertive please let me know in the comments. I would really appreciate it. 


Thoughts

Have you ever thought about this or something similar? Is there anything you wish you had said? Is there anything you wish you hadn’t said? Are you more of an aggressive or passive person?


Side Note

Talking about being vocal reminded me that one of my favourite bloggers, Tiani, recently made a post and a YouTube video about her experiences with racism and microagressions and I think she did such a great job sharing her experiences. I just had to share it with you guys. As I said I want to use my voice more and I was really inspired seeing her use her voice. I’m sure this was difficult for her to share because it is not an easy topic to talk about especially as a WOC but like I said she expressed her self so well. You can check out her blog by clicking here. You can check out her video by clicking here. I would highly recommend checking out both. She shared these links on her post and I thought I would share them on mine too:

8 Petitions to Help the BLM Movement
30 BLM Petitions You Should Sign
Where to Donate


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How To Save Money During Lockdown

The Lockdown And Money

For a lot of people the lockdown has had an impact on their finances. As a student I know that it is really difficult for students right now. A lot of international students are stuck in a country they may not want to be in right now, many have lost their jobs temporarily or permanently and many have had to pay for unforeseen expenses created due to the lockdown. And obviously it’s not just students. Many people in general have faced a decrease in their income and an increase in expenses at this time. Over the last few weeks I have been able to pick up some tips and tricks that can really help save money for everyone during the lockdown and even in general. I hope this helps everyone especially those who may be struggling financially at the moment. If this or anything in general about the lockdown is causing anyone anxiety or mental health problems and feel like you need someone to talk to feel free to reach out via email or social media all of which will be listed at the bottom of the post.

Meals


Eating is obviously a necessity, however, there are so many ways in which we may end up wasting a lot of money on food. To begin with, if you are trying to save money I would highly recommend cutting down on how much outside food you eat. I know ordering out or grabbing some fast food on your way to work or on your way home may seem easier but this habit can really end up wasting money if you aren’t careful and it may not be very healthy for you either. If you are interested in finding out just how much money you are spending on buying outside food or eating out (if that’s allowed in your area) you can use this brown bag savings calculator to calculate the exact amount. Having that number in front of you may surprise you. Instead I would highly recommend cooking at home whenever possible. If you feel like you may not be able to prepare everything and cook every single day try things like meal prepping, cooking in large batches when you have time and freezing some of it and buying ready to cook items so you don’t have to go through the trouble to preparing everything. You can also look for easy and quick recipes that you can make even when you don’t have a lot of time. You can check mine out by clicking here. 
You may also be paying too much for certain products. We all know, or at least I hope we all know, that all a lot of Ads may not be entirely honest about their products and a lot of times we end up buying brand names rather than items that we want. Instead you can try buying generic products which a lot of times offer the same product minus the brand name. I would highly recommend at least trying generic products with an open mind for a while because this can honestly help save a lot of money. If you aren’t sure how much you can save using generic /unbranded products you can use this generic product savings calculator to see just how much you can save.

Free Activities


A lot of people think that you need to spend a lot of money to have fun but the truth is a lot of times you really don’t need to spend a lot of money or any money at all to do something fun, try something new and make some amazing memories. I know that a lot of places are not open right now and a lot of activities- free and paid- have been cancelled and rightfully so of course. However, there are still some fun things you can do with friends and family that are free of charge or very affordable.
You can play online games together such as Scrabble. I know a lot of us are stuck at home for the majority of the time but this is a really fun way to stay busy and stay in ouch with friends and family. You can also do something creative like start a blog together, start a podcast, write a story together and so much more. This will get your creative juices flowing and will help you make some amazing memories together for free. If you are in the mood to learn something you can learn a language together on apps like Duolingo– learning a language with friends/family members following your progress and learning with you will encourage you to keep going even when you don’t feel motivated and make the whole experience a lot more fun.

Savings Goal


Saving money isn’t always as easy as people make it out to be. It takes a lot of hard work, time and a very strong will to save money. Having a savings goal can help make you more motivated to save money because you will have something you are working towards each week/month/year. Once you figure out the amount you want to save you can use a savings goal calculator to figure out how much you will need to save regularly to reach your goal. This way you can spend your money accordingly while keeping in mind that you have to save a certain amount every week/month/year.

Do I NEED This?


A lot of companies/brands have had major sales during the lockdown offering incredibly low prices to customers. If you buy things that are necessary than this can really work as an investment however a lot of times these low prices may tempt people into buying things they may not necessarily need. If you are someone that has a hard time with this and you know that you sometimes buy things you don’t need than I would highly recommend working on this. Of course it’s totally normal and natural to want to buy something you like and if you can afford to do so you should completely feel free to go ahead and do as much shopping as you like. However, if you are trying to save money I would highly recommend limiting your purchases to only essential items that you really need. It’s okay to treat yourself once in a while but know your limit. You can try using an oportunity cost calculator to figure out how much you spend on non-essential products and services. Once you see the total amount you can then adjust your spending accordingly to match your budget and savings goal.

Budget


Having a budget can do wonders for you. It can help you spend your money in the most wise way instead of spending too much on non-essential products and services and too little on essential items, it can help you save a certain amount of money in the short-run that you can then use accordingly, and it can help you save in the long-run for things like a rainy day, retirement and more. Having a budget is something that I always think is necessary for everything- as you may or may not remember I have talked about having a budget for blogging in one or two of my blogging advice posts as well. Budgets are particularly important during the lockdown because like I said a lot of people may have a change in the amount of income they are earning and compared to the new costs that have come up due to the lockdown. If you are not sure how to find a budget that works best for you/your family or you are like me and maths isn’t your strong suit try using a budget calculator. This will help you find something that works best for you and of course you can always tweak it a little to make it just right.

Thoughts

What are some of the ways you save money either in general or during the lockdown? Do you have a hard time saying no to non-essential items like I sometimes do? Do you meal prep or make food in advance and then freeze it? What is your easy and quick go-to recipe?


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Life Update #3: I Did A Thing…

I thought I would do another little update and let you guys know what’s going on with me at the moment. To be fully honest not too much has changed because of everything that’s still going on. I was kind of hoping the pandemic would be over by now but obviously that is still going on. I hope everyone is trying really hard to stay safe and following the rules because you are not only putting yourself in danger but others too when you refuse to follow the rules. It may seem like everything is back to normal because everything is opening up but it’s not. A blogger I really enjoy wrote an awesome post about this that you can check out by clicking here.
One of the best things I’ve been doing is start learning German again. I’ve been using the Duolingo app and it’s going really well. The last update I did I was on a 52 day streak but unfortunately I lost that streak which seriously hurt but I am back at it again practicing every day. I finished basics and level 1 which is amazing and I am super proud of myself for sticking with it this time.

I have been cooking more and trying to make new recipes at least once a week. Almost everything has turned out well so far and I will be publishing another What I Eat In A Day post soon. Most of the new food I’ve tried is Korean and I think one or two things were Indian. I’m just super into Korean food at the moment and the flavours are kind of perfect for my taste.

As you can tell from the title I also did something new! A while ago I did a throwback post and it reminded me how much I love art. Unfortunately, all my art supplies are in Kenya and I’m in Canada at the moment so I decided to start doing some online artwork on an app called Paint.Book .
It’s been really fun and relaxing. I’ve heard a lot of people saying how beneficial art if for anxiety and I kind of understand now. I will be doing a full review on that for one of my mental health posts but in a nutshell it’s super calming and I will be doing more art for sure. The app turns it into a video for you so I thought I would share some of my favourite with you guys:





I hope you guys enjoyed that little update! What have you guys been up to lately? Is there anything new with you? Have your schools/universities/colleges reopened? Let me know in the comments below!


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My Blogging Journey

My Blogging Journey

My Blogging Journey And Why I Decided To Share It


You guys may remember but a while back I took a survey and asked you guys what you wanted to read on lifesfinewhine and I got so many amazing responses. Some people suggested that I should write about my blogging journey over the last six years. I thought this was a really great idea and a while back I did a sort of mini throwback post where I used a site to help me see what lifesfinewhine looked like back in the day and how it’s changed over the years and I got a lot of great comments on that and also some asking to elaborate about my journey and talk about the changes I’ve made, how I’ve made them and what inspired me to blog and to continue blogging, etc. It actually turns out people had asked me to write a post about that two years ago as well and I had started to but for some reason never published the post (I probably forgot lol) which I now found when I was cleaning out my drafts section. I wasn’t blogging as regularly back then so I was not posting as often.
But everything happens for a reason and I’m glad I didn’t publish that one because not much had changed two years ago but I have made a lot of upgrades, changes and updates over the last year or so. I have way more to talk about now. So anyway, I’ve decided to write six posts on my blogging journey. Since I began blogging almost exactly six years ago (it will officially be six years in about a month) I thought I would write one post per year talking about my blogging journey during that year as well as what was going on with my life and how it effected my blogging. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy sharing it with you guys and I hope it helps newer bloggers as well because as I mentioned I will definitely be sharing more technical stuff about WordPress too.
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2015- Where It All Began

This is kind of the origin story of lifesfinewhine except maybe not quite as exciting…
I always knew I wanted to write- like always. A lot of kids when you ask them what they want to be when they grow up don’t know or will say something like “I want to be a princess” but not me. I was always like “I want to be a vet and also write books.” Obviously both those things worked out perfectly for me since I have written absolutely no books so far and am getting a degree in History (that’s what vets get right??). Anyway, I always knew that when I grew up I wanted to write and by the time I was in my last year of high school I realised that I kept saying I want to write but I hadn’t actually written anything and that was super terrifying for me. As a teenager one of your worst fears is becoming a lame adult who settles for a job they hate and I felt like that’s the path I was on for some reason- obviously I was being super irrational but I was much younger and MUCH stupider back then.
This was also the time when my anxiety and depression were pretty bad and that really did not help. I was struggling with my mental health, being a full time student and just being me in general. I really needed an outlet and I was desperate to write. I tried a bunch of sites but nothing seemed to fit just right and I was getting increasingly frustrated. I felt like I had not achieved how much I had expected to achieve by 18 and it was really eating away at me.
I talked to someone who was a close friend at the time and she suggested that I try out blogging as she was also blogging back then and she was really enjoying it. Therefore, I decided to give it a shot and eventually after ignoring my initial anxiety started looking for names for a blog. I hate to admit this but I just went on Google and used one of those sites that help you create a name for your blog. I looked through a few names and thought lifesfinewhine sounded okay-ish so I decided to “give it a try.”
At this time my blog was supposed to be like my diary where I would rant about stuff and talk about things I find interesting which was mainly anything to do with psychology back then. That’s why I thought lifesfinewhine kind of worked because it had the words “life” and “whine” on it. I think more than anything I knew this would mainly be an outlet for me and I really did not expect it to grow as much as it has now. Yes, I hoped it would grow over time but never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that it would grow this much and this fast.
With a lot of help and guidance from a friend I set up my blog and dealt with all the technicalities. Firstly, I’m awful at technology so I had to learn how to create a blog, write a draft, save the draft, publish the draft and blah blah blah. People think creating a blog is easy but let me tell you it is the furthest thing from easy. It is so difficult and complicated especially if you’re not good with computers/technology.
And so lifesfinewhine was born. This is what it looked like back then- simple, plain and kind of perfect for what I was going for back then. Over time I knew that I wanted to change the look of my blog but back then I really liked this look and thought it was simple but really amazing.

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My first post was a serious hassle. I typed it, retyped it, edited it like a million times till I had pretty much retyped it again and then edited it some more. It about what I was learning in my psychology class which was the psychology behind cults. I was so nervous to press publish but I finally hit the publish button, logged out and had massive anxiety for like half an hour. Nothing compares to the feeling you get when you publish your first post and you’re all excited and nervous and scared. I loved it and also simultaneously hated it.
Also nothing compares to the shock you get when you realise there are thousands of bloggers out there and that no one really cares about your posts as much as you do. I know it’s a harsh thing to say but it’s true. WP has one of the most caring, supportive and amazing communities on the Internet which is shocking when you compare it to what other platforms on the Internet are like but it is also very much a two way street which I did not know back then but began picking up on.
So basically I got very few views, likes and about two comments- one from a friend and one from my sister. I was slightly discouraged but I was still enthusiastic. I think even back then I kind of knew that this was going to become a thing in my life and that blogging was something I needed to stick with. I kept trying my best and published about 40 posts that year. All at random times when I felt like it. Again they did not get many views, likes, comments and shares. I did not get many follows either.

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But at the same time blogging started to become more interesting and fun. I started writing poetry again, sharing my inner most thoughts and feelings. It was kind of like therapy but in a way better- mostly because it was free lol… Anyway, over time the blogging anxiety became less and less and the blogging happiness became more and more. By the end of 2015 I was actually much more into the idea of blogging more and perhaps even regularly- like once a week. I was still a full time student but I was using my free time on working on my posts. My friends were super supportive and sweet about it which was really nice. But not surprising because they’re super awesome.
In a way this blog really saved me. More than anything it brought the spark back into my dull, repetitive life. It gave me an outlet, ambition, drive and a new goal- to write again. I will be publishing the next part of this post which will deal with my blogging journey in 2016 next week so stay tuned for that. I know this post is a bit long but I have so many fond memories of this blog and how it all started and I really wanted to share all this with you guys. Also I do have a tendency to ramble… or should I say whine…
You can check out my posts from back in 2015 if you’re interested by clicking here.

Thoughts

I hope you guys enjoyed this slightly longer and more personal blog. Did you relate to some of the things I mentioned in the post? Did you have a similar journey when you first started blogging? What was your blogging journey like? Are you glad you started blogging? If you’ve been blogging for a while now has your blog changed over the years? Did anything about my blogging journey surprise you or stand out to you? Let me know in the comments below I would love to hear your thoughts and about your personal blogging journey!


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