Just an ordinary girl's life

Tag: january



Happy New Year my dear friends! 🍾

I sincerely hope you’re having a wonderful festive season with time for relax, good food and, of course, language learning 🙂

Last year I shared my not-too-serious goals for 2018 and I’m going to do the same this time!

2019 goals:

  1. decide whether or not I want to take JLPT this year and, in that case, go for it!
  2. start saving for Japan travel
  3. read a 漫画 in Chinese
  4. get that second piercing (I didn’t in 2018!)
  5. go to a festival! (same)
  6. watch 8 Asian dramas
  7. Ireland trip with the plus one
  8. get myself a luxurious skincare product
  9. read 45 books

I feel positive for this 2019, the last couple of years have brought a lot of (good) changes in my life and I’m ready for more 🙂

Plans for the rest of the day: read my current sci-fi novel, treat my hair to a glorious hair mask and order Japanese on Deliveroo!



Life Lately / Hello February 

January review

January goals

  • Work a pomodoro every day for job applications
    I’ve skipped this goal again and that’s definitely not good. I know there are phycological reasons for this so I’ll have to go into this matter in the next couple of months and rethink about my current strategy.
  • Make a thorough, reliable and applicable plan for HSK preparation
    Well, things can always be improved but I think I did a decent job here. Actually having the time to put words into action is another kind of story, but overall I think I avoided the usual overplanning problem that I have and this is an important progress IMHO.
  • Be engaged in the social community everyday
    Except for those day I was ill, for the whole month I’ve been able to keep it up with either twitter, blog or Instagram. It is kind of time consuming but not even that much, and it’s something I’ve quite enjoyed doing so I think I’ll keep following this new trend (especially for my second Instagram account).
  • Try to find a solution for my planner slump
    After a couple of months in my Muji planner I’m finally able to say I’ve settled down well. I’ll talk about this in a future post (hopefully), but sure enough I’ve overcome the planner slump that was haunting me.

How I spent my time

Blog 13h07m;
Chinese 13h29m [commute time practice not included];
Productivity 14h21m;
Wellness 6h27m.

Huge decrease of overall productivity this month 😕

How I spent my money

After a somewhat spendy (?) December, in January I’ve been good. Moving to Scotland will drill a huge hole in my bank account so it’s absolutely essential for me to be wise in the way I let money exit my purse. Main expenses were € 11,00 sharp for a ramen lunch and a little less than €30 at my favourite Asian supermarket. No new stationery or beauty in January, I’m quite satisfied.

How I did with my Study

Janury has been a crazy month between illness and work so the only study I’ve been concentrating on has been HSK [of course]. Considering I’m in a transitional period [finishing my internship in a couple of weeks, leaving the country in less than a month] I don’t expect to be able to focus much on studying stuff in February. Once I’m a little settled in I’ll try to rethink and reorganize everything, both in terms of Chinese, Japanese and archives related stuff.


This month I’ve been feeling often tired and out of shape [mostly because of the flu], plus it has been supercold here in Italy [during the first two weeks of January it was way colder in Florence than in Aberdeen, can you believe it?] so going out wasn’t truly an option. In my spare time I’ve been essentially reading and watching stuff on Netflix; I’ve finished watching Gilmore Girls season 5 and I’m halfway through Orange is the new Black season 2. I’ve discovered that some shows are available for download on Netfilx so I’ve just saved a few episodes on my iPad to watch during my lunch break, so convenient! I still haven’t got back to my yoga practice which is a pity, but in order to do that I need a somewhat regular schedule which is impossible for me to have at this time. I’ve also been eating like a pig, especially in the latter part of the month, so I’ll have to take care of that as well in the upcoming weeks.

February’s goals

  1. Finish my archives work and publish it, as I’m leaving in just a little more than a month and I want everything to be clean and ready for that time. If I can manage to finish the work on the files by mid February I should be able to have some 3 weeks or so to write the introduction and review all the data in peace.
  2. Prepare for the Big Move. I will bring some stuff with me and other stuff will have to wait here so a thorough check of what is really essential for me to have in those first couple of months will be essential. It seems quite trivial but I already know I’ll find myself at loss in front of all the beauty products and notebooks I’d love to take with me.
  3. Spend time with family and friends. I would like to be able to slow down a little before leaving in order to make up for all the time I haven’t been able to enjoy during Crazy January. Good food, movie watching and some tours in the city are my plan for now.
  4. Survive the whole hsk experience without losing my face too much. I think this is pretty self-eplanatory XD

Habit of the month : re-establish Tuesday anime night (I didn’t do this in January so I’m reposting the same habit for February).

Hello January


December review

December goals

  • Work a pomodoro every day for job applications
    I’ve been so focused on trying to get as much inventory work done as I could that I actually overlooked this task [which is not good]. I *absolutely* need to work on this once I’m back from Christmas vacations.
  • Keep being focused on my priorities
    This is becoming more and more a way of life and I’m really happy to see something sticking in my life. I’ve really been focused on my current priorities, being them studying Chinese or reading novels.
  • Organise a warm and cozy Christmas for me and Doctor L.
    We had our very first Christmas away from family this year and I honestly can say it all went very well. It required a good amount of planning and part of it was disrupted by external events [like our flight delayed of an hour and a half] but we didi manage both to create a cozy environment and have a good time together.
  • Don’t succumb to December overall frenzy
    Done, though I have to say I was helped by the fact I didn’t have that many last minute exchange presents appointments like other years. It still feels good to have had the chance of enjoying the Christmas spirit without panicking over a crazy schedule.

How I spent my time

Blog 13h07m;
Chinese 13h29m [including commute time practice];
Productivity 14h21m;
Wellness 6h27m.

Huge decrease of overall productivity this month 😕

How I spent my money

December is Christmas time in case someone didn’t notice so of course I had to put apart a certain budget for family presents. I spent about 50€ in beauty products/make up but I was kind of tricked by a sales assistant on a certain offer I should be eligible for (and I wasn’t). So I’m kinda pissed about it and now I will have to cut on beauty money for the entire month of January. I also spent some 20£ at Waterstone’s (which is totally understandable), and 3.40€ for cheesecake and tea at my favourite bakery.

How I did with my Study

I’ve been focused more on my inventory job during this month rather than on study and training, but I’ll definitely have more time for it now that I’m on leave. For Chinese I’m advancing slowly but steadily, as I’ve been working almost every day on both Remembering the hanzi and Memrise. Now that I have the goal of passing HSK I’ll have to make some changes to my schedule, we’ll see how things go during this month.


I ‘ve been sufficiently present on social networks during this month, I could have done more but overall I think it was more than ok. I devoted a lot of time (especially in the evening) to reading instead of watching TV shows and this has paid off a lot. A love watching dramas and the like but after a long day of work there’s nothing like showering, putting on the pyjama and curl up in bed with a good novel. This month I’ve also been cooking a lot between work lunches for the plus one and Christmas delicacies.

January’s goals

  1. Work a pomodoro every day for job applications, let’s give this another try, shall we?
  2. Make a thorough, reliable and applicable plan for HSK preparation, as in the last 4 months or so I’ve been concentrating almost exclusively on vocab and characters but I know have to go back to a lot of grammar and even more listening [gosh]. I know that if I plan accordingly, I can pass. If not, I fail.
  3. Be engaged in the social community everyday; whether it’s on the blog, on instagram, twitter I want to try and be present online. I always struggle to do so because I’m a solitary person and after a while I tend to naturally withdraw into my own world. I may discover that I’m really not that interested in always being online, but first I want to try to see what it is like and then draw my conclusions.
  4. Try to find a solution for my planner slump. I’m not no using my planner, as a matter of fact I am; but I’m struggling to find the right place to write down my dailies. I think starting from the basics is not enough this me, I have to re-analyse my necessities in terms of monthly and weekly calendar and then (only then) find a place my dailies can fit in.


Habit of the month : re-establish Tuesday anime night.


Shiny Happy Moments / January

♠| Soundtrack [full albums]. Solar fields, Leaving Home. Cell, Hanging Masses. David Thomas, Samsara vol. 3
♠| In the headphones. Good Good Dolls, Big Machine. Elisa, Swan. David Bowie, China Girl
On the bedsidetable. Cecilia Dart-Thornton, The III-Made Mute. Youko Ogawa, Hotel Iris. Su Tong, Hong Fen.
♠| On the study table. Claude Lèvi-Strauss, The Jealous Potter. Uwe Wesel, The Myth of Matriarchy.
♠| Best on the plate. Mexican dinner [nachos, tacos, fajitas]
♠| On the screen [tv series]. The 100, The IT Crowd
On the screen [drama]. Hello Monster/I remember you, Love Cheque Charge
♠| Pages read. 444
Books finished. 3
♠| Most worn clothes. Purple hat and purple gloves. White arm-knitted infinity scarf. Red coat.
♠| Common weather. Non-winter.
♠| Chinese grammar chapters finished. 2
♠| Chinese Class lessons. 4
♠| Posts published. 7
♠| Photos shared. 11 + 12