A Week in the Life: On Balancing Jobs and Blogs

A Week in the Life: On Balancing Jobs and Blogs

Last week, someone mentioned to me the idea of writing a blog post about balancing working a full-time job and blogging. I was going back to work after six months, so I knew I was a little out of practice.

I figured this week would be the perfect test of my balancing skills.

I dropped the ball.

Here’s how the week played out:



I’m feeling good, because I got all excited about starting work and I planned ahead.

Tomorrow’s blog has been ready for roughly a week now, which has been the average for the time I’ve been off work.



Everything went off without a hitch today, and I even remembered to update the link in my bio on Instagram, which I am actually terrible at.

Now I have a week to go!



Getting up every morning has been catching up to me, because now I don’t have the option to go back to bed (which I didn’t do often anyway).

I’ve spent the last two days running around picking up shipments that I wasn’t home to receive, and I haven’t done any grocery shopping. Maybe I should do that. Food is good, right?

Instead, I unpack the shipments, get far too excited about the amount of Rubbermaid containers I ordered, and the fake marble sticky things I got to redo my desk. I put it all away, start playing Diablo 3 with Shane, and forget everything else.



I’m sitting in the lunchroom with my new coworkers, starting to make friends. I’m realizing, though, that it’s almost the weekend and I have nothing ready for next week’s post.

I’m sure that won’t be so bad, because I’ve left it to the last minute before, right?

It’s a long weekend, though. And I won’t be home. I should start writing something. I start, but it falls onto the back burner after lunch. Final Fantasy calls my name when I get home, and I start to redo my desk far too late at night. I get halfway through, and I’ll finish it tomorrow.



Where did the week go? It flew by in a blur of meetings, new projects, not knowing what’s for dinner, and trying to spend time with my little family.

I just learned that they’re sending us home early today though, so maybe the few extra hours will give me a chance to write.

I completely expected this to happen when I started working again. I have so many memories of carrying my pretty pink laptop into the lunchroom at my last job, walking past all the developers and hoping they weren’t judging me in their heads.

I’d sit, while my friend drew her amazing doodles, and write out my ideas because I didn’t know when I’d get time to do it again. It made me pretty antisocial, but it was something I absolutely wanted to make sure I did.

I’m more out-of-practice than I thought I would be, but that just means I get to work on figuring it all out again. My game plan so far?


Dedicate time for writing.

This is the trickiest one, at least for me, because I’ve gotten comfortable enough with my writing that I assume I can get something done in a tight timeframe. It’s pretty hypocritical, because I used to get so mad when someone else made the same assumption.

I like to put aside a few hours a week just for writing, because sometimes it takes a few tries. Even this post took three attempts.

At least two of those hours I like to slot in during work lunches, because it’s actually a really good way for me to unwind and refocus myself halfway through the day. I’m always more inspired after writing.


Dedicate time for planning.

I slipped a little out of this pattern when I was off work and could find a topic at the last minute without any issues, but I like to plan (or at least brainstorm ideas for) blog posts a few weeks out.

It’s a constant process to keep ahead of myself, but this way, I never find myself on the afternoon before posting day with nothing to say.


Dedicate time for taking photos.

Yes, this time is adding up. But it’s important to me, so that’s why I make time for it.

I’m a little more limited on this one, because I use natural light. I’m restricted to daytimes at home on sunny days.

Now that the days are getting longer, I’ll have a bit of luck squeezing in time right when I get home from work, but I’m hoping to set aside time at least every weekend for my photos.

This blog is my baby, and it’s important to me to take time for it. But I have to remember to put time aside for it, and to make sure that time isn’t taking away from everything else, too.

Now I want to know. Are you in a similar situation? Do you have secrets for balancing work and blogging?


Housing Hacks for Final Fantasy XIV

Housing Hacks for Final Fantasy XIV

So you may have noticed from the Projects page here at the Girly Geek that I’m mildly obsessed with the housing aspect of Final Fantasy XIV.

Or, as Shane calls it, my better-looking Minecraft.

I thought I had everything all figured out when I started planning which couches I wanted to arrange around my fireplace. When I discovered Alice’s House Designs in Final Fantasy XIV, though, I realized I had only scratched the surface of what I could do.

It took days of careful scrutiny, combing through Reddit, watching tutorials, and researching furnishings on FFXIV Housing before I had any inkling of how to start on our little house in Shirogane, let alone the medium house.

Here’s what I learned from my experiments!


The subcommand menu is your friend.

This little trick will be your most valuable tool for everything fun when it comes to your house.

I’m not entirely sure how to access it on the PS4, since I only play on PC. On PC, the menu I’m talking about can be accessed by default using the asterisk key on your number pad. It will not work if you use the 8/* key at the top of your keyboard!

The trick with the subcommand menu is that you can use it to glitch housing items into places they wouldn’t normally go. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Place the housing item into your house’s storage room
  • Click on the housing item in your storage room
  • Without placing it beforehand, move it to where you want
  • Press the * key, then use the 0 key on the number pad to select Place

This is handy because this way, you can place items where they’d normally show up as purple, meaning they can’t be placed.

Note: This will not let you magically float things in midair. Everything needs to be in relation to something else, so you’ll need to place an object on another object and then make that other object go away to float the thing you want to glitch.

Which is a perfect segue into the next handy tool.


The counter surface toggle is magical.

When you’re placing housing items, you’ll notice on the toolbar at the bottom beside the big options that there are two little bubble buttons.

The top one controls whether you can place items like paintings and flower vases on their proper surfaces.

The bottom one controls snaps, which are handy for quick placement but honestly, I don’t use them too much.

Let’s just look at the top one.


When you have that button selected, it will let you place items on top of other items. To magically float things, here’s what you do:

  • Toggle counter surface placement on
  • Place desired floaty thing on a supported surface, like a partition or a shelf
  • Move the supporting surface with desired floaty thing to the location where you want the floaty thing
  • Toggle counter surface placement off
  • Select and then deselect desired floaty thing (without moving it!)
  • Move the supporting surface away

This will leave your desired floaty thing hanging where you wanted it!

This strategy can be used for everything from making fake walls out of Eorzean maps to creating fake staircases with Riviera wall shelves and more.


You can make your own staircases—and walk on them, too.

This was a crazy discovery. One of the hallmarks of Alice’s housing designs is her multi-level approach, which of course needs staircases so it isn’t just as disappointing as all those places you can’t get to until you can fly.

She does a bunch of unique things with her stairs, but her typical approach is to use the floating glitch to place a series of Riviera wall shelves. You can’t step on those, though, so you’ll need a zabuton cushion for each step to make it traversable.

Alice has a couple of step-by-step tutorials on how to do both regular and curved staircases, and once you get the basics down, it’s easy enough to make your own patterns!

And once you have stairs figured out, it’s time for my favourite glitch of all.


The loft glitch takes the cake.

This is the one that really got me as far as Alice’s designs go. How did she make a small house look so massive?

The secret is that she built lofts using troupe stages.

They’re super expensive housing items, but it makes sense when you realize you need at least five level 70 crafters and gatherers to make them. Plus some folklore and master crafter tomes. If you can’t make them for yourself, check with people in your friends list or your FC before you head to the market board!

The loft glitch took me a LOT of time and research and rage-inducing trial and error to figure out, so to make your life easier, here’s what I know about it.

  • It works with the recent 4.2 patch, but it’s happened before that Square Enix patches glitches like this. Unless you want to scour Reddit for days trying to find the updated technique, don’t touch glitched lofts after patches!
  • It requires a pre-existing window in your house to work, and can also work over the location where a workshop door would be in an FC house. It will not work over your front door or on bare walls.
  • It will require a lot of patience, and you might not get it perfect. And that’s okay.
  • It, like the windows, requires the troupe stage to be in your house’s storage room before you can make it work.

Once you know all that, this soundless video tutorial from Alice should make it an easy process for you!


Don’t be afraid to get creative with it!

This is very important! Just because a furnishing looks a certain way when it does its default thing does not mean it couldn’t be something else entirely.

For example, the stove in my small house is made of an Oasis desk, a Hingan sideboard, and a grade 1 picture frame. Alice’s version also includes several sideways Riviera desk chronometers for knobs, and a floating towel rack that I haven’t managed to make work yet.

Another good example is the fireplace in my medium house, which is a manor fireplace with two white half partitions and a backwards mounted box shelf.


Ready to make your own dream house?

Here are some materials I found absolutely essential!

If you’re curious about how the two houses look, head over to the Projects page to see the latest pictures. Have fun with your own creations!

How Geeks Inherited the Earth

How Geeks Inherited the Earth

Have you ever opened up a book, read the first few pages, and silently had the revelation that you had just read about your own life?

This past weekend, I read a book that did exactly that. It was magical.

Usually, when I get absorbed in a book like that, it’s some sort of fantastical adventure where the protagonist has a personality or worldview similar to my own. This time, though, I went a little out of my comfort zone with a social sciences book called I Find Your Lack of Faith Disturbing: Star Wars and the Triumph of Geek Culture by A. D. Jameson. Continue reading “How Geeks Inherited the Earth”

How Gaming Helped Me Get a Job

How Gaming Helped Me Get a Job

When I started my job hunt back in November, I knew I was going to need a way to make myself stand out.

All I could think about was how long it had taken me to get that job—about seven months of solid searching—and this time, I was looking around Christmas time. Which is just about the worst time to try to find a job.

I had no idea if Shane and I could financially handle almost a year of only one income. We had no savings, credit card debt, and no idea how much we’d get from the system, if we got anything at all.

It was just a bit stressful. Continue reading “How Gaming Helped Me Get a Job”