Category: Personal

I did it. I finished #Blogtober.

Posted October 31, 2019 by Fictional Fox in Personal / 0 Comments

At the start of this month I committed to posting on my blog every single day for the month of October. I didn’t pre-write my posts or anything like that. I’ve literally forced myself to sit down at the end of every day and write. Some days have been harder than others.

Let me give you a breakdown of my October, behind the scenes:

  • At one point I had to hide from a massive spider that decided to come live in my room. I made my mum come and save me from it- but I had to wait for ages until she came home. That was a tense time. Willow did not help.
  • I found a tree full of about ten squirrels- it was impressive. I thought my dog might faint at the sight of it.
  • I went on lots of dog walks.
  • I braved the optician.
  • I got obsessed with The Sims 4.
  • I built a Harry Potter paradise in The Sims 4.
  • I watched a lot of YouTube videos
  • I started writing a plan for the story I want to write in November for Nanowrimo
  • I found my cherished stash of classic Sabrina the Teenage Witch comics
  • My mum and I were involved in a car crash
  • I went to a class on social media
  • I cried in the changing rooms at work *cringe*.
  • I got new glasses (which I love so much).
  • I cried when I watched Toy Story 4 (again)
  • I pre-booked tickets to watch the next Star Wars film with my dad in December
  • I made Halloween themed cakes. Pretty epic ones, if I do say so myself.
  • I read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Most impressively (to me), I completed a challenge I set for myself by writing a blog post every day.

I’m not good at sticking to challenges. I like the idea of them but I do not usually follow through on them. So I’m really happy to have succeeded at something. The best bit about this is the self-fulfilment. I didn’t do this because anyone told me to or to help someone else. I did it because I wanted to. I did it to give myself something to do for my own well-being.

In short: I’m really proud of myself for finishing #Blogtober.

Do I have regrets about the content I chose? Kind of. I’ve got a few half written discussions, book reviews and film discussions in my drafts that in an ideal world I would have posted this month. I also have a lot of ideas in my notebook that I didn’t have the energy to even start writing up. But all of these posts will be good for another day.

I hope anyone who has enjoyed my posts this month will be happy to stick around and see what comes next.

For the moment, I’m going to take a little break from blogging to focus on a novel writing challenge in November. I will still blog here and there, but not every day ;). I’m going to try and come up with a blogging schedule in December so I have a plan in place to post regular content by the time next year rolls around.

Now, if you will excuse me, I’m going to celebrate Halloween by hiding in the dark, with my dog. Maybe watching a Harry Potter film.

Thank you for reading.

Lauren x

Spookalicious Cakes

Posted October 30, 2019 by Fictional Fox in Personal / 1 Comment

It’s Halloween Eve so me and my mum decided to bake some spooky treats to celebrate (no thanks to my dog, Willow, who tried to sabotage the whole operation on a few occasions).

We went big on the chocolate when making these cakes. We made chocolate cupcakes with chocolate topping, using a white chocolate pen to make a few different decorations-we’ve got skeletons, webs, bats and ghosts.

I am not an expert cake decorator- this was just a bit of fun! But I’m pretty happy with how these cupcakes turned out. I was going for a cute, homemade look ;).

I wasn’t sure about my skeletons when I was drawing them but on the cakes I think they look pretty cute!

For the bats we used chocolate buttons for ears. We did bats last year and I just think they look super sweet with their little ears and fangs (obvs they are vampire bats)

The ghosts were a late addition to the range because I only thought to make them near the end. They took up quite a bit of the contents of what I had left in my chocolate pen though so that was probably for the best!

I’m going to bring them into work tomorrow as a surprise. My colleagues are fiends when it comes to treats and snacks so hopefully they will enjoy these spooky cupcakes.

Have you made Halloween themed cakes before?

Lauren x

Dear Diary #3

Posted October 27, 2019 by Fictional Fox in Personal / 0 Comments

What I’ve been doing this week

Another week, another struggle. I hate to sound so negative all the time but I feel like I’m on a roller-coaster at the moment. At home I’m happy but at work things weigh me down. Really I need to look for a new job. I know this and yet I get scared about being rejected. I’m the only one who can make the change though…. I don’t know. It’s something I really need to think about.

This week I picked up my new glasses. I am so in love with them. They are round and rose gold. I’m looking forward to experimenting with different hairstyles and makeup looks and seeing how they go with my frames.

Getting my glasses helped improve my mood after having a breakdown on Wednesday. Luckily I had Thursday off from work to pull myself together.

The weekend has been great. It absolutely chucked it down with rain yesterday so me and my dog had to paddle down the pavement to get anywhere! It was fun though. I also watched Toy Story 4 on Blu Ray yesterday. I watched it when it was in the cinema so it was nice to finally be able to watch it again at home. It makes me very emotional, in a good way.

Today I’ve mostly been messing around with The Sims 4.

About Blogtober

After today I only have four more days of #Blogtober to get through. I’m struggling to believe that I’m going to make it. I haven’t been this dedicated to a personal project in a long time. There are things I wish I’d done differently- the main thing being interacting with others. I have been so focused on making sure I have a post up every day, regardless of what else is going on in my life, that I have neglected the interaction side of blogging.

I’m really grateful to everyone who has interacted with my posts so far. Once I survive #Blogtober I will go back through the comments and check out other people’s posts, promise. I will be taking a break from posting on the blog in November. Next month I want to concentrate on Nanowrimo. I might try and blog about my progress with that as I go, though.

I will also continue to post book reviews as I read. I haven’t been reading as much I would like to recently. All my spare time has been spent on Sims or blogging!

But there are loads of amazing sounding books being released next month so I think that will help me out of my reading slump. I’ll probably post about my most anticipated November releases next week, so look out for that if you are interested.

What have you been up-to this week?

Lauren x

My Plan For Recovering From A Bad Day

Posted October 23, 2019 by Fictional Fox in Personal / 1 Comment

Today is Wednesday. Apparently Wednesday is cursed because the last two have been super rough. Today involved crying in a changing room at work. Crying in front of people is not fun.

Luckily I’m off work tomorrow so I have some time to concentrate on myself and recover before I go back to work on Friday 😂.

These are my plans for winding down tomorrow:

Spend time with my puppy

My dog is my happy place. I’m going to take her for a nice long walk tomorrow and generally make a big fuss of her. Being around my pup always helps me feel stronger. She’s also really good at giving you kisses when you need them most. I am sure my dog is secretly a unicorn.

Read one of my favourite novels

What I need is a comfort read- something known and familiar to enjoy. I could even just flick between my favourite scenes. Maybe Conrad’s Fate by Diana Wynne Jones, or The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison.

I might listen to an audiobook as well. Having stories read to me has always been a comforting and calming.

Watch a Disney movie

Some house of mouse magic would do me good. I’m thinking Hercules or Monsters Inc. (maybe both?).

Eat chocolate

Just because. I particularly love the big bars of white Cadbury chocolate.

Nestle in my teddy bedding

I’m getting a teddy bedding set delivered tomorrow. I can’t wait to get it on my bed so I can snuggle in it. I think my dog might get in and never come out, it will be that cosy.

Pamper myself

I’m thinking a nice, long shower. I’ll use a hair mask and I’ll straighten my hair after I’ve blow-dried it.

Taking some quality time to take care of myself helps settle my mind. If I can properly refresh myself before going to work on Friday it will help me face the day.


I think the best way to recharge my batteries is to get some good quality sleep. I’m thinking that I can stick a film on, climb into my teddy bedding, snuggle my dog, and drift off to sleep. That would be my optimum afternoon activities of choice.

What do you recommend as good ways of winding down after a hard day?

Lauren x

A Day In The Life Of Willow

Posted October 21, 2019 by Fictional Fox in Personal / 1 Comment

First things first, I want to clarify that Willow is a dog. I feel like it’s important to specify this. Fun fact about my family: my mum used to be convinced that Timmy in the Fantastic Five series was a child. Timmy is a dog.

Anyway, today I will be sharing a snapshot of a typical day in Willow’s life.

Imagine: It’s Sunday morning. The sun is creeping through the windows and there is a waggy tail thumping beneath the quilt. It’s a new day and it’s time to pounce on people.

Willow’s favourite game first thing in the morning is slipper police. She’ll steal a slipper, force you to chase her for it, and then as soon as you get it off her she will go back for the other slipper. This dog is wily. She knows slippers come in twos.

Next order of business is to find me. She likes to knock on my door and generally whine until she is let in. Remember that scene in Frozen where Anna knocks on Elsa’s door and asks her if she wants to build a snowman? That’s me and Willow.

When Willow gets in she begs to be picked up and placed on the bed. I don’t know why this is. She is very capable of jumping onto my bed at other times during the day-just not in the morning. I think she just wants the attention. Usually I will stumble out of bed, half asleep and forklift her on to my bed (because, to be honest, she’s pretty big). She will then force me to lift the quilt so she can tuck herself in and settle down for bedtime #2. Until breakfast arrives. Then she starts whining again.

When I start to get dressed to take her out things can go one of two ways.

Option one: While I am getting ready Willow will pretend she’s asleep and ignore me. When I’m ready to take her out she will not be helpful and will only get up for a biscuit. She will look super depressed as I put her lead on and go out in a gloom mood.

Option two: She will start being naughty while I get ready. She will steal things, get in the way and be very chatty. While I put on my shoes she will be bursting with excitement and likely start barking. She’ll head out in a happy mood.

The main thing that determines her mood is whether my mum is coming out on the walk with us or not. I am sad to say that she is more likely to be happy when my mum comes. I try to act like Willow’s not insulting me by only being grumpy when it’s the two of us. But, to be honest, I do take it personally.

During her walk she gets to partake in one of her favourite activities: playing with tennis balls. If she doesn’t have one with her, she will likely produce one from a random bush. Creating tennis balls out of thin air is her super power.

Willow likes it when you throw the ball for her but at the same time she hates giving it to you. This makes playing fetch rather difficult. It has also resulted in her carrying tennis balls all the way home before, all because she would rather make her jaw tired than let me carry it for her 😂.

When she gets home from her walk she will generally be calm and sleepy until tea time. She likes to sit on the sofa, stretch out and watch her TV. She really loves TV. If you tuck her under a blanket she will fight it until she has her head poking out so she can see what’s going on. Her ears go all big and she stares intently at the screen, barking when things disturb her.

As she watches TV we will often stroke and cuddle her which she pays back with kisses and head nuzzles.

At teatime she will start to stir because she gets a special snack (and woe betide anyone who forgets to give it to her). Once she has had her treat, she will settle down again until about 9 pm. After that she will dazedly come upstairs and try to get in my bed if my parent’s haven’t come up yet.

Willow is a very unique dog and perhaps the most pampered one I know. It’s a hard life, but someone has to do it.

I’m lucky to have her.

Lauren x