Selfcare

Life, thoughts

Selfcare is so important for your well-being. There is something so luxurious about taking time out and pampering yourself but in reality we should all put more effort into selfcare. If you’re wondering what I’m harping on about, selfcare is exactly what it says – caring for yourself. When you’re working or in school it is so easy to become rushed off your feet and unable to step back for a moment but your body needs it. These are my favourite things to do when my soul and body need extra care. 

Bath


It’s cliche and it’s everywhere but a Lush bath is everything. There is something so comforting and something so soul-appeasing about a bath filled with bath bombs. The colour, the scent, the warmth, the bubbles – everything needed to wash away stress. My favourite bath bomb is Lord of Misrule which is only a seasonal addition. I always mean to stock up but I always forget.  

Stock up

That leads me onto the point of stocking up on your faves. I’m not talking about going ‘Extreme Couponing’ but have three extras. I like to do this with bath bombs and face masks. Two things I never use together but always want one or the other. You’ll never know the day that just went wrong in more ways than one and you’ll crave something unwinding. You’ll thank your past self for thinking of this! I like the simple, cheap peel of masks. How good they actually are for your skin I haven’t a clue but I love them.

Smooth over

One routine I have tried to get into for years is moisturising before bed but I am always too lazy. (Quick anecdote; I did moisturise yesterday and ended up only doing one leg because I was so lazy…). My skin is very good at telling me when its needs something extra. It is lovely to sit after a shower and just slather on moisturiser. You’ll be happy and so will your skin!

Get out

Sometimes I find you just need to move to get rid of these thoughts. Whether that is going for a walk, run or doing yoga it is important to move. Put on earphones if you want but there is something liberating seeing everyone else plugged in and you are just there with your thoughts. I find this most helpful when my mind is in a stressful place. 

Tune out

I find listening to the radio or an audiobook is a great distraction. If you can’t listen to someone just talk then turn on music and just lie down. Let’s the melody or the words wash over you and try, for a few minutes, to not worry about anything else. I’m currently sick with vertigo and I am listening to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, it is so enjoyable to lie back and focus on words only. When I get sick I can get so obsessed with how I am feeling that I can’t focus on a show or music but with an audiobook I can imagine it all happening while the words are read to me. (Bonus points when it is Stephen Fry reading it!)

Be nice

We need to hear nice things from ourselves too. When I have messed up in work, felt inadequate or felt low I sat myself down and spoke kindly to myself. I do this internally but nothing is stopping you shouting it. You know your true intentions and this is important. 

Deep breathes

When things get stressful or when you need a break just take a moment and breathe. Breathe in and out slowly, and do so consciously. It helps to calm your mind and body as well as promote mindfulness. 

Do what you love

Do you love to knit or is singing tunes in the shower more your thing? Take a while out of the regular schedule and do it. For me I love writing so I’ll sit down and write while listening to music. It feels great to get it all out. (Though I am partial to Mariah Carey-ing it in the shower. Specifically to the song ‘Obsessed’.)

I’ve written these down but it is easier said than done. I am a huge culprit for ignoring myself until I am so stressed I could explode. That being said I have gotten better. It takes a while to form a habit but even if it was taking three deep breathes while in the queue for the post office it helps. Take care of yourself!

Sober

Life, thoughts


My last drink was my 21st birthday. I stopped drinking because I became ill (there will be another post on that). I never liked drinking that much but enjoyed one every now and again. I’m pretty sure if I hadn’t become ill I would still drink socially but for now I’m temperate in my twenties. 

It is strange growing up and adapting to a drink culture only for it to stop suddenly. Drinking and going out go hand in hand and that is something I never realised until I stopped drinking. Being sober for the first time out was bizarre. I had never been as self conscious my entire life as I was in that moment. I was conscious that I couldn’t dance, I was conscious that I looked like I wasn’t enjoying myself, I was conscious of my words, and I was really conscious my termper was so much shorter than usual. I battled with these very superficial internal issues until people started to confirm them. 

I found that when I went out I made people nervous by being sober. This sounds strange but in the first year of being sober I spent a night out with a housemate at the time. The morning after I walked into the kitchen to make breakfast and she was sitting there. I started a conversation about the night before when she said “I couldn’t enjoy last night because I was too conscious of you there not drinking. I just felt like you were judging me for drinking and I couldn’t relax”. I actually apologised for this at the time for some reason. 

That moment stood out the most but there were others. What I learned was that people didn’t enjoy me being sober on nights out. The amount of people who asked “if I buy you a drink would you have one?” or “are you on antibiotics?”. (The second always made me laugh as if no one in their right mind would choose to be sober unless they were medically advised to be.)

I’m glad I experienced sobriety on a night out. Although being sober has gotten me into arguments I never would have entered if I was drunk, it was definitely interesting. I now fully accept I cannot dance. Not in the slightest. I also realised I am very poor at small talk. I am very bad at talking to who I want to. I also realisde I miss a glass of wine with my friends or a cold pint of Bulmers on a summers day but I’m happy where I am with it all now. I do however need to work on my tolerance for drunk people. I have been watching a few videos where the people are trying sobriety for various reasons, mostly different than my own here they are if you’re looking for something to watch:

https://youtu.be/kiITUkmvRks & https://youtu.be/UDMvgxHW22k & https://youtu.be/RY2yvRY0I5w

This sounds like I’m moaning, I’m not (well I am a bit). I’ve come to realise that people who get agitated about me being sober, well, it says a lot more about them than it does about me. Being able to drink in moderation but choosing not to is liberating. Though saying that there are times where I wish I didn’t seem to stand out so much. That’s for another blog post. 

Music

thoughts

Music is so universal; it is a language we all speak. I constantly listen to music and my music tastes vary quite a bit. I adore that music can transport you to a moment in time. Whenever I read, as a teen, I would listen to an album on replay. Rihanna’s Good Girl Gone Bad instantly brings me to the time I was lying on my bed in my Grandmother’s house reading Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison.

If I take a moment and properly think about it I can remember how the air felt and how bright the room was. I can almost feel the mattress underneath my body. I can feel the paper and I can smell the library pages. Everything about it is warm and the thought feels pink and yellow in my mind. The thing is because it is a memory it is a bit fuzzy around the edges. That is where music comes into play. I listen to that album and I am in instantly in that moment even though it was around a decade ago.

Music, for me, is an instant time machine. If I hear Clean Bandit’s Rather Be I think of a weekend in London in 2014. These memories are endless and the more I indulge in, the more that will be created.

 

Wanderlust

thoughts

I have this unbelievable urge to travel at the moment. I want to go to Sweden, Iceland, America, and London but I can’t bring myself to book anything. That is because more than any of those places I want to go back to Italy. I want to eat pasta al fresco, I want to people watch on a piazza, I want to read in a cafe with a foamy cappuccino. I want to experience all the clichés I possibly can fit into the allotted time.

I think my love for Italy stems from having no expectations for it. When I went on holidays, I went more concentrated on my nerves for the flight rather than what I thought it would be like. My strongest memory was when the plane doors opened, I stood at the top of the steps and felt an unbelievable wave of heat. It was so comforting, I had made it onto a plane and managed to get off the other side. There is something so knowing and familiar about Italy for me. (Maybe I lived there in a past life? Or maybe I just really like pasta) I love the language (even though all I can say is the weather is warm/cold) and I really love the food.

In my idyllic Italian life I would wake up in my studio apartment right in the middle of a city. I would get dressed in light summer clothes because it is getting warm and I would make my way to the nearest cafe. I would order a cornetto con crema and a coffee. I would sit there taking in the atmosphere and I would watch people for some time. My days would be filled with reading, writing, photography, cooking, eating, and exploring – everything I want to do. When I think of moving I think what is actually stopping me and that spurs me into a flurry of reading Italian blogs and googling the remedies to my obstacles.

I am going to try and make it happen if only for a week but I really hope for longer.

Oh and who do I talk to in Ireland about importing pasta frita?

Betty Suarez, my spirit animal

thoughts

I am sick at the moment and not the ill that goes away in a couple of days, it will take a few weeks (that sounds dramatic, it’s nothing serious). Since I am ill I could only watch TV and did so for a ridiculous amount of hours. My show of choice was Ugly Betty. I remember watching this back in the late 2000’s but I didn’t remember much of it. I started season one and I was instantly teleported back to 2007 and my fascination with Betty Suarez started all over again. She was leading her way through the publishing industry, desperate to show she’s determined although she faces a lot more dramatics than the average person. I was so drawn to her because she was in the fashion industry and was utterly clueless but her drive and optimism got her through it.

My favourite scene of the whole show is when she walks into the foyer of Mode for the first time with a Guadalajara poncho, red braces, glasses, frizzy hair, and sheer delight she was there. Every moment she lived in after that I was fascinated with because she chose all the options I would have (but with a lot more men involved…how did she do it?!). Every time she skipped something to help her family, going the extra mile for someone, being a bit of a pushover, I was there with her. It was the life I wanted minus the dramatics of working for the Meades and Wilhelmina.

She was in the middle of it all, she lived every moment in Mode, offering to help at every chance she got. She made me want to strive for more. She exuded enthusiasm and when she moved to Manhattan and got her own apartment I was floating. She was living my dream, a dream that I couldn’t reach at this moment but I just need to remember Betty wouldn’t give up so easy. When the time comes I’ll put on my (very) metaphorical poncho and get what I want.

“Remember you are an attractive, intelligent, confident businesswoman”.

betty

Image created by me

Digital Detox – 5 day battle plan

Introductions, thoughts

It is 6am in Ireland as I am writing this and I have been awake for the past two hours. My mind is in need of substance but I commend anything that can hold my attention for long enough. I have been binge watching Estée Lalonde lately, especially her vlogs. There is something so comforting about her, she is definitely in the dream friend group. The reason I am writing this post is because she made a video about a digital detox and I think I need that. It won’t be this week as I am currently revamping my portfolio for an upcoming interview but I will do it!

It makes me anxious to think of forgetting about my phone, laptop, all digital devices. What am I going to listen to? What am I going to watch? Does my Kindle count? For some reason I think the experience will be almost spiritual, that I will be renewed and reawakened after it. Most likely I will be like a zombie when I have at least 4 hours of catching up. Since my last post was on resolutions I would like to check my phone less, only when it beeps (which isn’t often). I wish I had the strength to delete some social media because my current list is very long, everything short of vine.

I am going to approach this digital detox in various part;

Day one: Cleanse my social medias – start tidying up subsricptions, followers/followings, friends, notes, likes, DMs, and everything in between.

Day two: Clean up my emails – Yes, emails. I have various email addresses a family/friends one, blog one, college one, a random one that I don’t know the password to but I still get emails from and even more after that. Unnecessary. I need to delete, archive, clean up in general. With my personal one I have had since 2006 and that means a ridiculous amount of emails! Oh! and add email addresses to my contacts phone numbers.

Day three – Tidy up my hard drive. This is no easy task! I am currently reclaiming an old hard rive that is broken so it means a lot of data. I want to delete pictures that don’t matter and properly label files. It will be a horrendous experience because when I render drawings I label files like ‘Project3 A4’, ‘Project3 A4 Draft1′ Project3 Final draft1’ and at this moment I am not sure what one is the true final article and what is a draft.

Day Four – Consider deleting Facebook forever. This is tough for me because I have been on it since 2009. There are a lot of photos and it is a great way to connect with people and find out whats on. On the other hand there are some pretty horrific things on my newsfeed that I don’t understand how they get there whether it is videos/picture that I really don’t want to see to horrible comments under news articles that make me question humanity. I will download all information I want to remember and after I think I will delete it. Maybe.

Day Five – No technology, not even the toaster (well…maybe the toaster, definitely the kettle!). I am completely addicted to my phone and social media. I really don’t post often on social media with the last post I made on Facebook being well over a year. I just love catching up and I love keeping in touch with people. I have Facebook friends that I met through travel, long lost relationships, and even events like Femfest that I recently attended. I will wake up to a watch beside my bed, I will read, I will listen to music, I will talk to my housemate (and potentially myself). I hope I feel relieved after it, that I can in fact leave the house without my phone and I will be okay (dramatic, I know!). I will give you an update as I go ahead with this digital detox. Before I say “you should try and do one too” let me see if I survive first. If this is my last post you will know I died of a mixture of separation anxiety, boredom, and potentially an ailment that crops up which I can’t google it in time to save me.

New Year, new m- please stop.

thoughts

I have fallen victim to New Year resolutions for a numerous amount of years. At one point I think I believed it was a necessity. I have done the basic, everyone-has-done-it resolutions; get fit, get money, lose weight, get a fantastically well paying job, generally get my life together. Then there are the really cliche ones that I definitely repinned in the past; learn to breathe more, travel the world with your best friend, sleep 8+hours, drink the same amount of water as an orca whale daily. Before you send hate notes on beautifully hammered pearlescent paper and packaged in brown kraft wrapping with a velvet bow, I love Pinterest but sometimes the ideal life isn’t the life for all of us.

This year I want to stop bitching. I wasn’t a bitchy person but due to unemployment and general lack lustre life I have become very bitter. I think this corresponds with the people I surround myself with but the blame also lies with me. I have a friend, she is wonderfully hard working, welcoming, hilarious, and witty but she could knock you for ten with her words. She told me a story of a mutual friend and a horrible ordeal that person is going through. I muttered that I could see something like that happening to her while my friend said “really? Oh God, I think it is awful sad.” When I heard my friend who is so black and white to feel so compassionately towards this situation makes me look even more like such an ignorant and scathing person. At this moment I saw myself for what I was projecting – hate and bitchiness. This is not me and I put it down to being angry at the world. My other New Year resolution is to lose weight and get fit but that’s a give in.

Intermission

thoughts

As a quick intermission from FMOO I want to discuss Christmas traditions, and be forewarned this ‘post’ (if you can call it that) is a lot of lists that aren’t bullet pointed. Forgive me.

We started family traditions from my first Christmas, some we left to fade and others we still have to this day. Every year we decorate the Christmas tree together and then one by one they drop off until it is probably my aunt decorating it while everyone is offering their opinions at her. A family friend comes to put up the lights around the house every year but one year he just left them up which leaves the scramble to find the adapter (it is usually behind the dryer for no apparent reason). Opening one present on Christmas Eve and my mother insisting we open them all now because she won’t be up for it in the morning. I am usually the first one up on Christmas Day, even at 24 I will probably still be. Every year when we were younger I would go into my little brother’s room, shake him and say “Santa’s been!” like a young British child would say in a cheerful Christmas movie (something I said as if I was being filmed on Christmas morning).

Traditions are so strange and one moment can start a lifetime habit. This year I aim to start a new tradition and that is have the most aggressively Christmas-cheer day I could possibly have. I want to cram in baking in Christmas pyjamas, setting my alarm to Destiny’s Child’s 8 Days of Christmas, watch as many Christmas movies as possible, decorate a Christmas tree (if I had one), have a hot chocolate with marshmallows (only big dreams here), want to taste eggnog, look up the recipe for eggnog, exclaim “it actually has eggs in it?!?”, make another hot chocolate instead, decide to make a gingerbread house, mix all ingredients but the flour, realise I don’t have flour, not bothered to get flour, try to bake the goop anyway, doesn’t believe that it doesn’t work without flour, wrap the presents I bought, retire to the TV after a long day of nearly baking, fall asleep, wake to the sound of the sound of gunshots and the deep voice “Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal”, fall back asleep, wake up at 11pm and get annoyed that I fell asleep on the couch, go to bed. This is all I want for one day, is this too much to ask for universe?

 

(As you can see this is me trying to break a writing fog, thank you for bearing with me)

A wimp’s guide to Halloween movies

Introductions, thoughts

I love Halloween but only of lately. When I was younger I was terrified of getting scared, I didn’t like to dress up and I particularly didn’t like masked and hooded people calling to my house. Now, in my twenties, I still don’t like being scared, and I still don’t like masked people calling to my house but I will answer the door now. My Halloween is a very watered down version of Halloween although my costume is usually spook invoking. I plan Halloween treats via Pinterest and I most definitely do not watch horror movies! Instead I have compiled a list of movies that I will be watching in glee rather than hiding behind the couch.

First up is the classic Halloween movie, Hocus Pocus. I feel it is important to start with this as it is the pinacle of all Halloween movies and I would even go as far as saying even those horror lovers can’t say no to Hocus Pocus (v generalised statement but maybe!).

Halloweentown, the Disney classic makes me think of Halloween instantly! It has been a movie I have watched for the longest time and one that never seems to tire me (as a matter of fact, I am watching it now!). Although Marnie is incredibly annoying you can’t deny it’s a great movie around this time of year!

The next two films are also childhood favourites though I definitely prefer one over the other; The Addams Family and Casper. Casper was always a strong contender for favourite Halloween movie. I have visions of me watching it when I was a child and enjoy it even to this day. Although I will always choose the previous two, you can’t deny Casper is great! The Addams Family I was always intrigued by. I was fascinated by Wednesday and Morticia but I think Cousin Itt terrified me and to this day I have never watched the movie from start to finish…Maybe this Halloween!

The next two are ones that I have recently found that I only watched within the last two years and loved, they are Dark Shadows, and Beetlejuice (can you sense a connection?). I will watch anything with Helena Bonham Carter in it so Dark Shadows was just one in a long list! I love this film from the sets to the costume, and the CGI. It is so enjoyable but you are aware it is a ‘Halloween/autumnal/dark” film from the first few scenes. I only watched Beetlejuice within the last two years and I loved it straight away.

I have left it late to start watching all these but I sure will try! My itinery for tomorrow is;

-Wake up, study…

-Dark Shadows

-Beetlejuice

-Lunch

-Study some more

-Hocus Pocus/Halloweentown (I’ve seen both this week already)

-Try and fit in Corpse Bride and Nightmare Before Christmas (I’ve never seen either!)

-Binge on sweets throughout the day, especially when studying…

 

I am most definitely looking forward to tomorrow I might even bake a cake if I keep looking on Pinterest…we’ll see! There is something comforting about Halloween, you’ve done it since you were old enough to walk (and young enough to be forced into a costume – I was a cow for the majority of my childhood). I love carrying on tradition but adapting it to your age. So tomorrow will be very busy binging on sweets, movies, and lots of Sabrina the Teenage Witch! Happy Halloween 🎃!