The End of the Unintended Hiatus.

Hi, guys; I definitely did not intend on taking a few months’ absence from this blog, but that’s exactly what happened. I probably mentioned my job at some point, and that was very stressful at first trying to manage my time around it, but frankly, for a while now, there’s been no excuse: I’ve just been lazy! I lapsed out of the habit of blogging and filming for YouTube, so it seemed like a big effort to go back. But I missed it, and hadn’t deliberately ‘quit’ or anything, so watch this space for me finally getting up off my ass and doing some new videos and content for you!

I have truckloads of plans for the YouTube channels; that’s probably the most infuriating bit. I’ve sat on tons on ideas and haven’t done anything with them; Major Procrastinator Extraordinaire, me. But I’m trying this thing where I don’t just say I’m going to stop being lazy and unproductive – I’m trying to fully effect a lifestyle change, so that it’s more permanent than on-and-off whims. So hopefully in the near future things will get moving along nicely again!

I’ve got a few reviews I should be writing soon, plus my very first ’empties’ video to film, and loads of collections to share with you, including the third part of my shoe collection videos that I very inconveniently haven’t done yet! I know I’m not exactly leaving a gaggle of fans hanging while they await my next video and/or post, but I have felt bad for it, partially because it also says a lot of bad things about my personal commitment to the channels and blogs.

But rest assured, I’m coming back to things, and I don’t intend on taking more months away – and if I do, I’ll be sure to inform everyone in advance! Look out for some new content over the next few weeks, while I work myself into a bit more of a routine (I’m not sure if I’m going to designate ‘filming’ days, since my shifts at work differ every week). Starting up again in winter is an especial challenge, since it gets dark very early, so I’ll know for sure I’m committed if I get things up and running again!

Thank you for all the support I’m currently receiving from you guys – I really appreciate it, since we’ve just been through how I’m not the most reliable blogger! I think I’ll be creating a Tumblr for the channels and blogs altogether, but more on that in a later post. I’ll quit my rambling now 😉

Until next time, and thanks again,

Sascha x

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A tale of shopping and clumsiness.

I tend to film for both of my YouTube channels in one sitting if I have time to film more than a single video, and here are the latest pair: a very quick shopping haul and a discussion of accidents I had in my childhood. Not the most complementary pair, perhaps, but there you are!

First of all, the haul, to which there isn’t anything further to add:

And the chatty video:

I’m quite naturally clumsy – I can’t remember if I mentioned it in the video or not, but my childhood nickname in my family was Butterfingers! Even now I find myself sometimes poorly co-ordinated and holding/doing stuff in the weirdest of ways; maybe being left-handed has something to do with it? I was left a teensy bit underwhelmed when I realized my major accidents tailed off around the age of 12, but I can assure you I do stupid little things almost every day! I’m not the most graceful in movements 😛

Are you a clumsy person? Is it something you have never experienced or simply grew out of? A big thank you for reading and watching, and until next time,

Sascha x

Lupus Awareness Month.

I’ve noticed, especially since the beginning of this year, when my twin brother received the dreaded diagnosis of lupus, that there’s a lot of ignorance about the disease – indeed, a few years ago I didn’t really know what it was either. It doesn’t get much coverage except amongst support groups, which makes it a big problem when you suffer from lupus and your friends and family don’t really have a clue. It’s a lot of work to repeatedly explain to people what lupus even is, let alone explain the effects on everyday life, and I think there’s a lot of room, and opportunity, to spread awareness of lupus, so that the next time you mention it to someone, the answer isn’t simply “what’s that?”

(I apologize in advance for the parts of the video where the audio doesn’t quite match up with the video!)
Since I’m posting up a video, I don’t want to simply regurgitate what’s in there, but I’ll write for those who don’t want to undertake the watching of a nearly twenty-minute video of me rambling without a plan (and I don’t blame you either!). May is Lupus Awareness Month. Maybe the order of the items I discussed in the video is a testament to just how much awareness is needed; I found I couldn’t be satisfied talking about my plans to support charities such as Lupus UK without going into what lupus is and what it does. Because Joe Average really doesn’t have a clue. And it’s not your fault if you don’t.

In fact, what we call ‘lupus’ is actually a specific form of it: Systemic lupus erythematosus, or SLE. (You can read about SLE in particular here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systemic_lupus_erythematosus, or about the different types of lupus here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lupus_erythematosus. These links are quite scientifically inclined, but the NHS site – http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Lupus/Pages/Introduction.aspx is a very good simple introduction for those who don’t understand it at all.) Put simply: with lupus, the immune system attacks the body’s healthy cells as if they were pathogens. It can affect every organ and tissue in the body, especially the kidneys. Most lupus-related deaths involve the kidneys failing. (Something I’ve kept in my mind; I view donating my kidney to my brother in the event that we’re a match as a very likely possibility.) The hallmark of the disease is essentially pain; it’s everyday and relentless, though many sufferers have flares and remission periods. Everyday activity can be affected; in the case of my brother, he can’t work, walk far, or even get of bed some days.

The worst thing about lupus, perhaps, is that there’s NO CURE. Once you’ve got lupus, you’ve got it for life. In fact, something I view as worse than that, is that it tends to progress throughout life; it gets worse as you age. In fact, someone who has had lupus for 20 years has a 1 in 4 chance of dying of it. My brother will have a 25% chance of dying by the time he’s in his forties, and that’s ignoring the risks and probabilities related to everything else: lifestyle, diet, habits, etc. The mortality risk is fivefold compared to ‘normal’ people when sufferers are in their 60s, and, according to the Wikipedia article, the leading cause of death is actually the consequences of corticosteroid therapy – the drugs used to help. It might not sound like a lot, but to know you have something inside you ravaging at your body every single day that will get a lot worse and eventually most likely kill you, well, that isn’t good news.

Some lupus sufferers, and indeed those suffering from other chronic and/or autoimmune conditions, have said they wish they had cancer instead. It’s not to be dismissive of the suffering and fatality of cancer, but to wistfully think about the chance of a cure. My brother had a leukaemia scare in the initial stages – it’s now been over eight years – and often he wonders why it couldn’t have just been leukaemia and not lupus. It’s a strong wish and something that really drives home how awful living with lupus can really be.

Luckily, there are online support groups that can really help lupus sufferers feel less alone: Lupus and Me (www.facebook.com/LupusAndMe), for example, welcomes people from all walks of life to share their stories and support each other. Suddenly you realize those pins and needles you’ve been getting aren’t just you; you’re not alone in all the little weird things you didn’t realize were typical of lupus. You can ask questions and not feel like an idiot. Often, family and friends need support too, and I’m pretty certain support groups like Lupus and Me are happy to help with any queries about being a good supporter and help for your friend. It’s not only the one with lupus who is affected.

All that and more are discussed in the video! Do feel free to ask any questions you may have, and I, or my brother, will be happy to answer them! May is Lupus Awareness Month, so become aware! Banish the days where you’ll ask “what’s lupus?” It affects around only 20 to 150 cases per 100000, but to any one sufferer, the stats almost don’t matter – their whole life is still affected regardless of how many are affected beside them. Remember the universality of the disease within the body, so that you don’t end up like the ignorant people who simply refuse to believe someone with lupus must be exaggerating when they list their symptoms and ailments. Remember there’s no cure. Remember the lifelong struggle. Remember lupus.

Visit the Lupus UK site here: http://www.lupusuk.org.uk
or leave any comments or questions below or in the comment section on YouTube.

What’s In My Bag?

The first time I filmed a What’s In My Bag video, I hadn’t long started my channel. The video was dull because I was sitting in a place with crappy lighting, my hair was wet and in the way, and I was using a lot of stuff I’m not now using regularly. So with all that in mind, I decided to film a new one!

I find these videos interesting to watch, because I’m nosy like that; I like seeing what other people carry around with them daily, whether they use a small or large bag, handbag or backpack, etc. I like seeing whether people carry a whole load of makeup around or none at all. I like that they’re an ordinary peek into people’s lives, and I get to see the variety in what people deem necessary to lug around on a daily basis.

With all that philosophizing out the way, here’s my video. 🙂

Thank you, as ever, for reading my blog and watching my videos; it’s nice to know people out there are at least clicking over, if not watching or reading the entire post. I know I just do this blog just for fun, but it’s nice all the same whenever someone registers interest. 🙂

Until next time,
Sascha x

Chatty, Slightly Out Of Focus Collective Haul!

Two posts in one day, sorry about that! But since I posted a video on each channel today, it’s only right I also write the two accompanying blog posts today too 🙂

On DOTK I uploaded a collective haul video – makeup, clothing, notebooks, and another cute surprise! As I said in the video, it will most likely be the last haul video I do for quite a while; I’m in a bit of a financial pickle (nothing too drastic!), so I won’t be making many frivolous purchases. So I will be injecting some novelty into the DOTK channel, I hope, since I won’t be able to put haul videos on there!

And yes, as you can read from the title of either this post or of the video, it’s out of focus! The camera I use to film doesn’t have a flipscreen (I spotted a lovely one I wanted to buy, but of course, financial pickle, boo!) so I filmed the entire thing before realizing I’d been sitting slightly out of focus. Luckily you can still see the items – nothing is really compromised – so I hope you don’t mind that! I would have refilmed it but it was a long haul, and I’d been filming other videos that day too.

Anyway, here’s the video, the last haul in a long time:

The video does play; I’m just not sure why it doesn’t have a thumbnail!

Until next time,

Sascha x

Book Haul!

My local library was selling off some of its withdrawn non-fiction stock, so my brother and I took the day to pop down and see what was on offer! I shall embed the video at this point, so that you can watch it before you read the rest if you prefer it that way – I’ll mostly be rehashing down below what I’ve already said in the video anyway, but for those of you who prefer video or prefer text, you can choose, of course, which medium to view. 🙂

I graduated in classics, and like to keep up my Greek and Latin, so when I spotted a Loeb edition of Frontinus’ Stratagems and Aqueducts, I had to pick it up! Loeb editions have the Latin or Greek (Latin, in this case) on the left hand pages and, if you want to use it, an English translation on the right hand pages. The translations are quite old and more formal in style. Of course, if any of you out there translate, you’ll realize most languages don’t facilitate A > B translation – it’s a lot more complicated than that! – so while the translation will be very useful if I get stuck, I can ignore it if I want to, and it couldn’t give me all the answers unless I apply my own Latin knowledge! Aqueducts aren’t the most thrilling subject for me, but I don’t think military stratagems are that bad, at least! I like to keep a collection of texts that I can use to keep up my Latin, so that was a nice cheap addition to that. For reference, we got 14 books altogether at the library sale, for which the total was only £6 / $9.20 / €7, and when I bought a brand new Loeb edition of a Cicero text, that came to over £20, so the Frontinus was definitely an amazing find!

In the same vein, I bought Amo, Amas, Amat… and all that: How To Become A Latin Lover by Harry Mount. As if I need to become a Latin lover! It’s a primer, but in a very informal, humorous style – good if I want to refresh my basic Latin, but I bought it for all the silly jokes and puns.

I got The Sisters Who Would Be Queen by Leanda De Lisle, about Lady Jane Grey and her sisters, even though I’m pretty much tired of the Tudors by this point and want to take a long break from them! I don’t know Jane Grey’s story as well, nor that of her sisters at all, though, so I picked it up.

Continuing along the royalty line (haha), The Kings and Queens of Scotland by Richard Oram. I focus so much on English/UK royalty that I forget to think about my own! This book covers Scottish royalty from the year 400 till (I assume) 1707, which is when Scotland united with England.

Last from the library, I bought The Short Oxford History of English Literature – just because. The courses I took during my classics degree were mostly in Latin and Greek, but in my final year, I studied a lot of texts in translation. Even in the Latin and Greek texts, I mostly analyzed the texts, so it was all a lot like an English class! So I’ve always been interested in literary analysis, and I was hopefully going to study English Literature and Language after I graduated classics, but I haven’t been able to sort out my finances yet. Still, I bought the book as a wee head start! 🙂

As a little bonus, I picked up Empress Orchid by Anchee Min from a local charity shop. It was 3 for 2, and my brother could only find two he wanted, so I picked up this one. It’s about an emperor’s concubine, and I’m excited to give it a read.

You might see reviews of these books go up on my Goodreads profile (http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/7310932-alexxandra), and I might even film some book reviews 🙂

Until next time

Sascha x

Slightly Belated (!) Avon Haul.

I filmed this Avon haul a few weeks ago. Put it this way – I got my new order this morning, and it comes every three weeks, so I must have filmed it two or three weeks ago, but I just got around to uploading it now because somehow, in the midst of rearranging my bedroom, I managed to lose the laptop I edit my videos on! It’s a very old laptop and doesn’t close properly, so I put it away in a careful place to stop it being stored precariously, but I’d forgotten where that was! Luckily, I did find it, so here’s the video I filmed then:

Another haul video will on its way fairly soon, but I was strong with the Avon order this time and didn’t order anything! I discovered very recently that my bank balance is dangerously low, so I’m pretty much not buying unnecessary stuff from now on until I can get my finances sorted out. I guess this does cause a problem with the YouTube channel, because the bulk of my content on the channel is haul videos. But it will hopefully get me out of my comfort zone a little bit and trying some new things! It will too get me finally uploading the product review I wrote ages ago, and writing some new ones!

Hope you enjoy the video, and until next time,

Sascha x