2017 In Review

2017 has been a year of change for me. The biggest changes of my life so far. I thought I would review how this year has gone and written about some of the most notable things that have happened and changed in my life. Fair warning; these aren’t all great things. 2017 has been a strange year for me and a lot of the changes that happened seemed awful at the time but I have grown to accept them and have learnt from the experience.

Relationships

  • I broke up with my long-term partner.

This is what I would class as the biggest change in my life this year. I was with my partner for just under 7 years and decided at the start of the year that I wasn’t happy anymore. Not going to lie, it ended badly and has taught me a lot about the relationships I want to be in going forward. It also taught me that there’s no harm in speaking up if you have a problem in a relationship or have just grown apart as the years progressed.

  • I tried internet dating.

Yep, when I got with my long-term partner what feels like a million years ago; online dating wasn’t really a thing. This being said once I was getting over the breakup I thought I would try Tinder as my friends had suggested and it sounded like a laugh. I met a few people on there and dated a guy for a while but unfortunately we wanted different things moving forward. This leads me on to the last point of this topic.

  • I started dating my best friend.

As I said at the start of this post; it’s been a weird year. This year I’ve grown closer to two people who started as colleagues and then grew into best friends of mine. I’m not entirely sure when it started but I began noticing the little things that my now-boyfriend would do on a daily basis that were very “gentlemanly” (it’s a word okay…!) and how I potentially took some of it for granted.
Flash forward a few weeks after my most recent breakup and he was going to London to return something and he asked if I wanted to come too. I haven’t actually done “touristy” things in London before so decided it would be a great idea. We went to see my Grandad’s treasure too, the Hoxne Hoard, which is currently on show in the British Museum. It was super awesome and I took some photos and we did tourist things. I had an amazing day and we decided to stand by the Thames and he kissed me. (I know, adorable ;)). We’ve been dating ever since.

Hobbies

  • I got a new guitar.

I got a new acoustic guitar. I’m self-taught and have really just been learning chords to support my own singing if I wanted to do some open mic nights. This is something I’ve done 1 of and that was impromptu, but would like to do more of. I’ve also neglected my music YouTube channel but have been posting to SoundCloud more instead. If I’m honest my SoundCloud has a bigger audience plus I don’t have to show my face. Win, win!

  • I tried out bullet journaling.

Bullet journalling is awesome and it’s definitely something I was obsessing over for a while. The issue is that I am awful at drawing and designing layouts which is kind of the most integral part. It helped me to stay organised when I did do it though so I definitely want to try a variation of this in 2018.

  • I learnt more about makeup.

This one is something I’ve inadvertently learnt. My sister is now qualified in various different treatments and makeup application itself so she has been showing me the ropes. I’m very embarrassed to say I learnt about highlighter and contour this year too. Late to the party, I know. I have followed various beauty YouTubers for years but have actually started to listen to their advice. I also learnt the importance of spending more on fewer good quality than lots of low-quality cheap ones.

Health

  • My kidney issues because prevalent again.

This one, as it sounds, is awful. Since the age of 17, I have been having kidney and urinary infections on and off. I think I’m somewhere in the region of 40 now since then. I have had a few months without issues since then but I have been having more again recently.

Unfortunately, no one seems to know the real cause and being pumped full of antibiotics every 5 minutes is dangerous in itself.

  • My mental health has been a rollercoaster.

Bleh. This one is also awful. I had a great start to the year in that I felt the best that I had in a while but then everything went down with my ex and it went downhill from there. I’ve finally learnt the hard way that I need to talk to people when I’m feeling upset or anxious or scared because bottling it up is the worst. The year was pretty rough as a whole but I’m proud of how I’ve managed to bring it back in the last few weeks.

  • General physical health/wellbeing

The start of my year started reasonably well. I am really freaked out by the texture of vegetables and a lot of meats as well. This being said I don’t eat much in the way of vegetables or fruits which is awful. I also don’t do much in the way of exercise either. The start of this year I was doing well with going to the gym and eating healthier until around June and then I just stopped. I’m not entirely sure why. So basically, first six months of the year was good and second just went to hell.

Finance

  • I saved money to move out.

This one I’ve actually done reasonably well on. I’ve managed to regularly put away £200 a month into a Help to Buy ISA. These are sadly not available anymore but £200 a month is the maximum you can put in. Once you close the account to buy a property the government give you 25% of the final balance you saved extra, for free. It’s also at a pretty high interest rate by comparison too which is good.

  • I got a pay rise.

This one is pretty cool. I’ve been with my current employer for just over 2 years and have been fortunate enough to receive a few pay rises in that time. I got told about the most recent one on the last day before we stopped work for Christmas. I feel like this has been a while coming and I’ve worked really hard to get here and am so proud of myself.

Blog

  • I created the KB Chaos blog.

This is a pretty big one because I’ve always liked the idea of having a blog and have read them for as long as I can remember. The KB stands for my initials and Chaos is just a random word I liked at the time. Not exactly the best way to choose a name but it worked so…

  • I met some wonderful ladies online.

Through blogging and twitter, I have managed to connect with a few other bloggers who have helped me when I needed it. They’ve also given me amazing feedback and one even created my banner for free!

  • I got nominated for my first Liebster award.

If you’ve never heard of this award it’s super cute and you should consider nominating a few bloggers yourself. It’s basically an award you get from being nominated by other bloggers and then answer questions they set in the post. You then set your own for the people or person you nominate. It’s adorable!

You can read my post here.

How has your 2017 been? Eventful?

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Isabelle 

December Goals / November 2017 Update

December goals

November Update

November has been a very strange month. As some of you may know by now I’ve got a new boyfriend (he’s pretty great if I do say so myself!) and life has been crazy busy with work and my kidney troubles. If I’m totally honest then this month has been a write off in terms of goals. I’ve been stressed about work and not sleeping as much as I should or hydrating myself properly.

This being said I’m glad I’ve taken a backseat with my blog as it allowed me to decide what my long-term plans are for it. I’m going to put this post out today and work on my plan for 2018. My posts have been sporadic at best and I want to really focus on the direction I want to take this blog. I want to use it to showcase amazing musical artists, some known and some unknown, and also to write about what I love.

I have some goals for December to ensure that I’m ready for the relaunch of my blog on 1st January 2018!

December 2017 Goals

Blog;

1) Learn about SEO and promotional techniques/platforms.

There is so much information online from other content creators that are comprehensive guides to growing a website and brand. I want to spend some time each week and look through this information so I can properly market my posts to help the right people see my content. More readers, more friends, right?

2) Use my content/blog planner

I was bought a content/ blog planner for my birthday in July and haven’t used it all that much. It’s really helpful and I’m going to use it to plan the relaunch and actually plan what posts will be going up when. There’s also a lot in it that will help with refining the direction my blog will be going in.

3) Instagram theme

This one is fairly obvious. A lot of people that I emulate use particular themes and planning apps to make their Instagram theme as aesthetically pleasing as possible. I think it looks pretty awesome so I’m going to look into themes and the best way to use Instagram. I know the change in algorithm means that it’s pretty much impossible to get new followers so I want to do what I can to mitigate these effects.

4) Socialise with the blogging community

When I started the KBChaos blog then I tried really hard for the first few months and it really paid off. I met some amazing girls who have helped me enormously when getting to grips with the technical side but I’ve neglected that side of things lately. I want to get more involved with the blogger community and help and share what I can as well.

Personal Goals; 

1) DRINK MORE WATER

My health is taking a hit what with the stress of everything going on at the moment, both physically and mentally. I need to drink as much water as I can so my kidneys don’t entirely give up on me. I want to set an alarm every hour to remind me to drink and how much I should have drunk by then.

2) Calm down

I am a worrier, and very highly strung. I get stressed easily and a very frank conversation with my doctor and time to reflect myself has shown me that all in all I just need to calm down. I am going to try this with herbal tablets, for now, to see if it takes the edge off things. My boyfriend calms me too; any excuse to spend more time together of course!

3) Sort my shit out

As I write this I am sat in my room which is potentially the most unorganised and untidy place on the planet. No joke. I need to go through everything and throw the majority of it away as I seem to use 30% of what I own/ wear 80% of the time. I’m going to reread the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up for inspiration I think. Expect some minimalist posts in future about this kind of thing.

4) Ask for help.

If I’m being entirely honest I didn’t think this was something I struggled with. Apparently, it was. A few little things went wrong when I was getting ready for work yesterday and by the time I got to the train station I had a mental breakdown. I had a panic attack which isn’t something that has happened in years and I couldn’t stop crying.

Luckily I have a very kind and understanding Manager at work who has helped me immensely and said I could go home to rest. I get like this occasionally but it normally doesn’t come out in this way. It normally all stays in my head. I can’t stress enough the importance of talking about things and getting help when you can’t cope by yourself anymore. I didn’t get help and ended up feeling helpless and numb. It’s not something I would wish on my worst enemy.

 

That’s it for this month. Expect a more indepth post abouty the relaunch in a few weeks and until then you can chat to me on the social links below:

Got a social community of bloggers? I’d love to be involved. Leave it in the comments! 

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Isabelle 

October Goals /September Report 2017

I can’t believe that it’s well into October already! This month has been off to a terrible start so I want to try and make goals and stick to them. If you haven’t seen it already this seems to be a regular post here on the blog! Last month’s can be found here. Keep reading to find out how I did in September and my October goals!

September 2017 Goals Recap

1) Meditate /Yoga a few times a week

Unfortunately, I haven’t managed this one and to be honest, the few times I’ve done it I’ve just felt tired and seen no benefit personally. Yoga is an interest to me but not currently I don’t think. I’ll see whether I want to pick it up in the future. In the meantime, I’m going to try other coping strategies.

2) 2+ Litres of water a day

Like a lot of my goals, I started off doing this and then as my life got crazier and busy it fell by the wayside. This is one I need to stick by because as I get more stressed I drink less water and get more kidney issues. It’s a vicious cycle.

3) Grow my blog

So, I didn’t disclose the details of this one but have managed to hit each goal I set in regards to each individual target.

I’m beyond proud of myself because I have a tendency to ditch things if I get bored or forget about them. I’ve had the individual goals for my blog on a board in my room and achieved them and no others. Visibility is definitely a big help. I’m going to make this my goal again this month but just up the numbers that I hope to achieve. I know this is a bad start so far but hopefully, the month will get better.

4) Pursue a hobby

You will notice that September was horrendously terrible for achieving goals. If I’m honest a lot of my hobbies that I want to pursue I have been, just not enough to make much of a difference to my skill level. There are a few hobbies I’m going to be focussing on which you will find in this month’s goals below!

5) Learn something new

I technically did this one. I did half of an online course in social media marketing and got so bored I stopped. I am glad I looked at it because I did learn a few things but I also learnt that free courses, a lot of the time, are free for a reason. I might look into paid courses in the future when I know what I want to focus on in general.

6) Get my s**t together

This one is still ongoing. I finally joined a gym again and have planned my time a lot more than normal. I find if I don’t plan my time then I end up doing nothing or having a Netflix binge. As great as that is I feel I haven’t done anything properly productive in a very long time.

October 2017 Goals

1) Research and save to purchase a house

I am lucky enough that my parents will be able to help me with a deposit for a property. I haven’t actually ever moved out but have decided I would rather purchase than rent. This month I want to do some research on properties in the area and costs that I am likely to incur. I also want to work out roughly how much random things like furniture etc are going to cost me.

I’m also fortunate in my job that we have so much work that needs doing that essentially we have unlimited over time that we can do. I’m going to total everything up and make sure I can afford everything before I move.

2) Work on my general health and wellbeing

I feel like these health-related goals are getting less and less specific. I suppose I kind of like this in a way. I feel as though increasing my overall wellbeing will be more beneficial than focusing on individual aspects. A few things have changed in my life recently (none of them good, unfortunately) and I have a lot more time than I used to. I figure that that time is best spent trying to improve myself mentally and physically.

I am going to try really hard to drink more water as mentioned last month as it is most detrimental to my health if I don’t. I’m going to trial tracking the amount of water I drink on my Fitbit app and then I can see how it varies day to day.

3) Read at least 2 books

I have bought so many books recently and really want to read them. If I’m perfectly honest with myself then I definitely have more than enough time to read; I just don’t. I’m going to make a start on 1 non-fiction and 1 fiction book. I have a lot of both and I get a little bored of the one type after a little while. If you want to know what I’m reading then you can find it on my GoodReads account.

4) Grow my blog further

This is a continuation of last month. I managed to hit all of my mini goals for all of my social media accounts. I’m so proud of myself. I’m going to set the bar a little higher and try to post twice a week for the rest of October. I’m also going to make more of an effort on Twitter to promote past posts and make more blogger friends.

5) Declutter

There a lot of moving parts to this one. I’m going to try and find a decluttering checklist and work through it. As I have said previously I still live at home so I keep 90% of my possessions in my very small bedroom. A lot of which I never use and really don’t need. My clothes are the main issue so I will be tackling that first I think.

These are my goals for the month of October. What are your goals for this month?

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Isabelle xo

Wishlist September/October 2017

wishlist

So this month is turning out to be a rather expensive one so in a bid to save my finances I’m trying to spend less. That doesn’t mean, however, that I haven’t been window shopping like it’s my job… These are a few things I really want but can’t justify buying just yet.

Rimmel London Sculpting Palette by Kate Moss

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This is such a random thing to have on my wishlist but it’s something I keep hearing about and vaguely remember wanting to try out. Like a lot of these products, i’m going to do a bit more research first and try and get the best price for it. I’m very new to the whole contouring and highlighting scene; so I think buying a drugstore option is a better idea, to begin with so I can see if I like it enough to invest more.

 

Sweet Like Candy by Ariana Grande.

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This perfume is so sweet and delicious and amazing. I have a real sweet tooth that extends to my perfumes so I like sickly sweet and fruity scents so this is perfect. I tested it again yesterday on my wrist and 13 hours later it still smelled as strong as when I first applied it! I’m definitely looking to get this when I get paid next week.

 

Benefit Hoola Bronzer

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Recently I’ve been thinking more about what I am actually spending my money on and the every increasing makeup collection I seem to be amassing. I really don’t wear makeup very often yet I have like 30 mascaras. 30! So bearing this in mind I have decided to spend more money on luxury items that i know I will be able to use for a long time and won’t throw away after 3 weeks because i hate it.

My sister was kind enough to lend me the miniature Hoola bronzer she got in her benefit calendar and I’ve used it a couple of times and I love it. I’m trying hard to get out of the “but it’s so expensive” mentality as buying 5 drugstore dupes that are awful is just as expensive if not more so. I’m still going to see if I can find it anywhere with money off though. If anyone has a code or knows of a sale then hit me up!

 

Nyx Professional Pore Filler

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I am fortunate in that I used to suffer really badly with blemishes and breakouts and now I’m older it isn’t really an issue anymore. My new problem though is that my pores are like craters. Seriously. So I’m looking for any and everything I can use that will either reduce the size of my pores (is that even possible?) or minimize the appearance of them.

I’m not gonna lie, I literally searched “pores” in boots website and the Nyx Professional Pore Filler came up and had a lot of good reviews. I’m going to do a bit more research on it but am pretty sure I’ll be getting this next payday!

 

Benefit Roller Lash

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Ah, the roller lash. I have a love-hate relationship with this product. As I’ve said before I have about 30 mascaras and this is the only one, really, that I remember that I really like. (I have just purchased the Essence Lash Princess and the internet is going crazy for it so I might not need another mascara.. Fingers crossed eh?) I have noticed that Boots do a mini version of it with their other Benefit minis so I might get the roller lash, Hoola bronzer and something else for £25.

Have you tried any of the products I’ve mentioned? If so what were they like? 

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Isabelle xo

Podcast Feature Friday: Happier with Gretchen Rubin

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These days I spend around 2 hours a day travelling to and from my place of work. I use public transport because it’s cheaper and quicker so that means I end up with a lot of free time. I have a confession to make. Up until about 2 months ago, I didna know what podcasts actually were. I know. I’m ashamed of myself too.

I came across podcasts in the most random way. I watch an amazing YouTuber called Favorite Daughter Emily who talks about saving money, budgetting and planning. She said she was using the Dave Ramsey plan so I searched him randomly on Spotify and his live podcast show thing came up. Since then i’ve been searching keywords in podcasts and have found some amazing ones I wanted to share with you all!

Happier with Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin is the author of several books, including the block- buster New York Times bestsellers, Better Than BeforeThe Happiness Project and Happier at Home. She has an enormous reader- ship, both in print and online, and her books have sold more than two million copies worldwide, in more than thirty languages. She makes frequent TV appearances and is in much demand as a speaker. On her weekly podcast Happier with Gretchen Rubin, she discusses good habits and happiness with her sister Elizabeth Craft. Rubin started her career in law and was clerking for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor when she realized she wanted to be a writer. She lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters.

The above is the press biography from her website and explains perfectly why I love her podcast with her sister Elizabeth Craft. Her podcast is my daily dose of productivity during my long commute to work in the morning; by the time I get there I am feeling much happier and inspired.

My favourite episode so far is episode 134 which you can find here and listen to on her website if you don’t have a podcast platform currently. They talk about a concept that a listener wrote in about and something i’ve been doing for a few weeks actually; the “ta-da list”. I hadn’t given it a name when i started doing it but “ta-da list” is clever and makes sense.

The idea is that you write down all of your achievements in a list rather than your “to-do’s”. It’s a very simple idea and helps you to keep track of what you’re doing and gives you a sort of diary to look back on. The example the listener gave is that she was now in an unstructured job and needed a way to log all the work she was doing for her project. She said it also serves as a progression diary when asked by her boss to show her progress.

If you’re looking for a positive and inspiring podcast hosted by two hilariously sweet and funny ladies then definitely give this a go!

Do you have any podcasts you would recommend? 

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Isabelle xo

 

 

The Liebster Award

The Liebster Award.png

The Liebster Award is something I’d actually never heard of before. I was nominated for it by the wonderful Elise. It’s such a sweet idea so I definitely had to do it! The questions she has suggested is below:

  1. What was the inspiration for the name of your blog?cropped-kbc.jpgThe inspiration behind the “KB” is kinda boring and stands for Kayleigh Bella. Kayleigh is actually my first name although I normally go by my middle name online which is Isabella. Chaos I just liked because I can be pretty chaotic as a person so I thought it just worked. The second choice was Delirium because I like the book but that’s hard for other people to spell!
  2. What has been the best thing to happen to you so far since starting blogging?

    The best thing to happen to me so far is that I’ve met so many helpful, kind and inspiring young ladies who are building their blogs and helping people along the way.
  3. What Instagram/Youtube/Pinterest accounts inspire you?

    superthumb.jpgKalyn. Nicholson. I absolutely adore this girl. She’s amazing and pretty and funny and kind and inspiring… I kind of how the biggest crush on her as a human 😉
  4. What’s your signature look? (clothes, hair and makeup)

    I’m kind of boring with this, I normally wear all black or dark or neutral colours. My makeup is normally minimal with a bold lip colour. My hair is normally naturally wavy and ombre.
  5. What are you reading right now, and what do you think of it so far?

    I’m actually reading the Million Dollar Blog by Natasha Courtnay-Smith. It’s pretty amazing and it’s great for a beginner blogger like me. I’m learning so much.
  6. What TV show do you wish you lived in and why?

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    Don’t laugh. I’m low key obsessed with the Netflix version of The Mortal Instruments, the series. I’d totally love to live there even though it’s super dangerous. It looks super badass and exciting though. I want those cool shadow hunter tattoos.
  7. Current favourite song?

    kelsea-ballerini-second-album.jpgUnapologetically by Kelsea Ballerini. It’s so beautiful and I’m a total romantic. Something about beautiful meaningful lyrics makes me all loved up. Is that just me?
  8. What hobby do you want to take up?

    I really want to take up calligraphy. Some of the hand lettering I have seen in bullet journals is straight up art.
  9. What goals are you currently working towards?

    I’m currently working towards growing my audience here on my blog but also working out what I want to do as a career as I’m still so unsure.
  10. What’s your quote to live by?

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    Live a life that will inspire others.
  11. What motivates you?

    I’m motivated by the idea that my content can help people and make some sort of difference, even just to one person.

Nominee Questions:

  1. Do you have any tattoos? If so, what are they?
  2. Would you rather live forever or travel back in time and live in that period and why?
  3. Whats your staple fashion item you can’t live without?
  4. How long have you been blogging?
  5. What job would you do if money was no object?
  6. What’s one piece of advice you’d give an inspiring blogger?
  7. Where do you want to be in 5 years time?
  8. What’s your favourite photo you’ve taken for your blog to date?
  9. If you join a team for an existing blog; whose would you work on?
  10. Whats the best film you’ve seen this year?
  11. One item you can’t live without?

I nominate:

Kirsty

Lucy

Beth

Geek of All

Rebbekah

Kerry

Hayley

We can carry on the conversation here:

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Isabelle